Hijab, the Prophet Row, Nupur Sharma and the Quranic Concept of War

A historical, theological and contemporary analysis of recurring incidents of violent Islamic fundamentalism in India.
Hijab, the Prophet Row, Nupur Sharma and the Quranic Concept of War

THE GLOBAL ISLAMIC LOBBY and its willing and fear-ridden Shariafied harems in the media, academia and commentariat have their faces deep in camel dung, to borrow an early Arabian idiom. What initially appeared like a signal victory has morphed into desperate and panic-driven attempts at face saving. Former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s expulsion from the party was the short-lived victory. But when someone as rabid as Asaduddin Owaisi openly distances himself from a bigger fanatic named Imitiaz Jaleel, it is a sign of our times. The same phenomenon is at work in the case of something called the IWPC (Indian Women’s Press Corps), whose members are competing with one another in condemning Saba Naqvi’s filthy tweet about Lord Shiva and distanced themselves from her subsequent “IWPC statement.”

Who would have thought that a mere statement on a TV debate would transform Nupur Sharma into an inadvertent herald of a massive and much-needed Hindu consolidation? The consolidation happened because Nupur Sharma spoke the truth found in Islamic primary texts. The truth did two things at once. It infuriated the Islamic world because it was…err…true. To the Hindus, it was proof again of the eternal dictum: Satyameva Jayate.

Kudos to Nupur Sharma.

In the last six months, the so-called Prophet row is the second major milestone in the long trajectory of Nehru-sanctioned imposition of Islamic street power. The first was the manufactured Hijab controversy which started unfortunately, in Udupi, Sri Krishna’s Kshetra.

Both eruptions reflect the same thing: the Muslim psyche, permanently anchored in the scorching sands of seventh century Arabia. The anchor is the Islamic scripture drilled generationally into the community by its powerful clergy. But the Hijab…ummm….affair temporarily subsided because in the expandable hierarchy of the ingredients that offend Muslims, it occupies the middle-to-low order. Ask Rana Ayyub, Hijab advocate by day, party animal by night and vacationing vixen at other times.

Rana Ayyub
Rana Ayyub

THE LAST TIME we heard, no Fatwa was issued against Rana Ayyub for wearing such profoundly un-Islamic clothes and leading a thoroughly Haraami lifestyle while simultaneously recommending the Hijab to her Muslim sisters. This, dear Hindus, is the precise juncture where the Mullah meets and merges with masquerades such as Rana Ayyub. She feeds and sustains the Ulema’s thralldom over the community and the Ulema gives her the driving licence to indulge in Haraam activities. The Washington Post subsidises both.

Islam Imposes an Emergency on India

BE IT THE HIJAB CONTROVERSY or the “right” to blast the ears of non-Muslims with loudspeakers or the “right” to be offended by Hindu processions or the Green Card to play the permanent victim… all these are manifestations of Sita Ram Goel’s memorable phrase, Islam Imposes an Emergency on India. However, what tops this list is a less-than flattering mention of Prophet Muhammad. He is the ultimate litmus test of Islam. To invoke Sri Goel again, this is how it works in practice:

If any member of [the Indian] intelligentsia is asked what he thinks of [Indira Gandhi’s] Emergency, the answer is always a loud disapproval. ut the same intelligentsia is not even aware that Islam has imposed an Emergency on India, so that everyone has the perfect "liberty" to praise its Allah, its prophet, its scriptures, its history, and its heroes but gets into trouble if he so much as says that Islam should answer some questions. Muslims have a popular saying: ba khuda diwana bash o ba Muhammad hoshiyar (have fun about Allah but be careful when it comes to Muhammad). This seems to be a very apt warning because in the belief system that is Islam, Allah has been replaced by his prophet. One cannot be a Muslim merely by believing in Allah as the only God; one has to believe in Muhammad also as the Last Prophet. In fact Allah is not and cannot be known or even approached except through Muhammad. Allah has spoken through Muhammad in the Quran and acted through him in the Hadis. The Hadis, collected labouriously and preserved meticulously, has been the source for the life story, Sirat, of the Prophet. We have as many as six life stories which the orthodox theology of Islam regards as sacred literature in which a "divine pattern of human conduct" is supposed to have been unfolded. So far so good. THE TROUBLE ARISES WHEN PERSONS OTHER THAN PIOUS MUSLIMS EXAMINE THESE LIFE STORIES. There is a lot in them which offends man's normal moral sense and natural reason. BUT ISLAM DOES NOT PERMIT ANYONE TO PROBE THAT PART OF THE PROPHET'S LIFE. The Prophet himself had pronounced and carried out death penalty for all those who asked inconvenient questions about his person and mission. THAT BECAME A PERMANENT PRESCRIPTION FOR ALL MUSLIMS.

This is exactly what Nupur Sharma did when she quoted from the Hadis narrating the life and exploits of Prophet Muhammad. Some argue that she has paid a price for it. But the reality is that she is just the latest Hindu who had the courage to speak the truth publicly, defying the Islamic emergency, and thereby reawakening Hindus to the clear and present danger they live with on a daily basis. Several prominent mosques in my city display huge banners with these words in both Urdu and English: “Fear not the present situation. Allah has promised that he is with you!” I shudder to think what the preachers are fulminating from their pulpits. Nupur Sharma might have apologised but that does not mar her credentials as a truth-teller.

The Posthumous Authority of the Prophet

BUT THEN NUPUR SHARMA has a more renowned predecessor. Salman Rushdie who had committed the same crime of allegedly insulting the Prophet of Islam in a work of fiction. The present controversy pales in comparison to the global furore that had exploded in the aftermath of The Satanic Verses. It is now common knowledge that India—and not Iran—was the first country to ban the book. An India helmed by Rajiv Gandhi, a Prime Minister held hostage by unvarnished fanatics like Imam Bukhari. It was in this climate that a gutsy and rare Muslim named Shabbir Akhtar wrote an analysis of the Rushdie affair. Here is an excerpt:

Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses is seen by Muslims as a calculated attempt to vilify and slander the Prophet of Islam. Not only has Rushdie said what he pleased about God, he has also taken liberties with Muhammad. The reaction of the Muslim communities world-wide has been loud and clear… it will be our task to see why so many Muslims have been willing to spill much more than merely ink over The Satanic Verses… Muslims jealously guard the reputation of their Prophet in a manner that looks odd even to Jews and Christians, let alone to secularists and rejectors… Muhammad is unique in the respect and honour afforded him by his followers. Though not regarded as divine, Muhammad is held in the highest possible esteem. No pictorial representations are allowed; mention of his name warrants…the invocation of divine blessing on him, his family and companions… The reason for the caution is what may be called 'the posthumous authority of Muhammad'. The influence of the Arabian Prophet on the lives of millions, through the patterns of his biography daily imitated, is without parallel in the whole of history, religious or secular. The imitation of Muhammad is, unlike the imitation of Christ, an accepted obligation…It is the ideal not only for the saints-but for all Muslims, FROM THE BEGGARS IN THE SLUMS OF INDIA TO THE SPECTACULARLY WEALTHY SHEIKHS OF SAUDI ARABIA, FROM THE ILLITERATE PEASANTS OF PAKISTAN TO THE ERUDITE SCHOLARS OF AL-AZHAR, FROM THE VILLAGE WOMEN OF THE THIRD WORLD TO THE SOPHISTICATES OF WESTERN FEMALE SOCIETY.

Undoubtedly, this is one of the clearest explanations for the violent brouhaha that has erupted from the Muslim community over Nupur Sharma’s statement. It also explains the stunning swiftness with which Islamic nations, inferior to India in every respect, closed ranks to chastise us.

The Quranic Concept of War

There is a theological-military side to this prohibition against scrutinising Prophet Muhammad. Among others, the Pakistani Brigadier S.K. Malik explains it unabashedly and draws the authority and endorsement of the Quran and the exploits of the Prophet for his thesis:

[The Quranic approach to war is] “infinitely supreme and effective . . . it makes maximum allowance to its adversaries to co-operate [with Islam].”

The key terms are “co-operate with Islam,” which is a code word for Daawa, or an invitation to non-Muslims to convert to Islam in a peaceful fashion. Or else! Happily for the Islamic clergy, this project has met with glowing success in India under the craven patronage of the Nehruvian apparatus. The greatest evidence for this fact is the legions of our secularists — all bearing Hindu names — who give cover fire to the worst elements of Islamism even in peacetime.

But to paraphrase Malik, the Quranic concept of strategy is derived from and has divine sanction. The examples and lessons abound in the Prophet’s own life and deeds in key battles such as Badr, Khandaq, Tabuk, and Hudaibiyya. In each battle, the Prophet won because of Allah’s assistance and with the aid of the angels. Malik cites the battles of Hunain and Ohad as examples of the Prophet snatching victory from the jaws of defeat because Allah “sent down Tranquility into the hearts of believers, that they may add Faith to their Faith.” Thus, firm faith in Allah “strengthens the hearts of Believers,” and it is only then that “Allah will strike terror into the hearts of Unbelievers.”

Now, compare this with the aforementioned banners outside mosques: “Fear not the present situation. Allah has promised that he is with you!”

And then, S.K. Malik then provides the deadliest formulation of the Quranic concept of war:

…a war of preparation being waged in peacetime is vastly more important than the active war… peace-time training efforts should be oriented on the active wars to come, in order to develop the Quranic and divine Will in the mujahid… in war, the point where the means and the end meet is in terror… Terror is not a means of imposing decision upon the enemy; it is the decision we wish to impose… strike terror; never feel terror… Terror can be instilled only if the opponent’s Faith is destroyed . . . . It is essential in the ultimate analysis, to dislocate the enemy’s Faith… a weak Faith offers inroads to terror… our actions will be oriented on weakening the non-Muslim’s Faith, while strengthening the Islamic Faith… Psychological dislocation is temporary; spiritual dislocation is permanent… The Holy Quran lays the highest emphasis on the preparation for war. It wants us to prepare ourselves for war to the utmost. The test . . . lies in our capability to instill terror into the hearts of our enemies.

Every Hindu who is serious about sheer survival must memorise this. Regrettably, what has happened especially after Gandhi entered the scene perfectly resonates with what Malik says: “a weak Faith offers inroads to terror.” In other words, Gandhi was the first Hindu who opened this road to weakness. Enough said.


BUT A SILVER LINING has also emerged in the aftermath of Nupur Sharma’s truth-telling. As in the case of the phoney Hijab controversy, the so-called Prophet row too, has done the same thing: the global image of Muslims has taken yet another severe battering. This is the pathetic outcome despite tons of decadal investment in propaganda whitewashing the core doctrines of Islam, tampering with Islamic history, and attempts at sanitising the savage record of outfits like the Taliban. The outcome will only recur unless reform occurs at the root.

Happily, the de-weeding process has begun, most notably, in Uttar Pradesh. Other states should hopefully follow suit. Bulldozers might be a sufficient or necessary condition or both.

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