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REFLECTIONS: Clouds and Smoke… Part II

In Islam on July 14, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Continued from Part I (in which I shared some of my random and vague anxieties about the Sawat situation).

The second phenomenon with which my mind has been continually preoccupied has not happened yet. But for all appearances, it may come about very soon. At least the makings of the phenomenon are well under way…

Dajjal, the Anit-Christ.

Signs of Qayamah and Dajjal

Nearly all the minor signs (derived from authentic  ahadith) to appear before that Last Day are now complete. All kinds of immoralities are the order of the day, being happily engaged in and promoted; while the people – muslim or not – willingly choose the corrupt and the hypocrite as their leaders. Even some of the more specific minor signs such as competing for the heights of buildings, and the female hairstyle of wearing hair-buns on the top of the heads) have been realized for years.

picture at the back of a dollarThe one minor sign which I’m particularly interested in and which so keenly reminds me of the approaching Dajjal is the prophecy that Christians will reach Khyber. [I haven’t been able to find a proper online reference to this hadith, but I have read it in an other reliable source.] This Khyber refers to the one in Saudi Arabia, of course.

The same hadith contains the general prediction that Christians will govern the whole world – the Khyber prediction seems to be one specific manifestation of it. A manifestation which is not too far from being realized. A manifestation to which the whole current scenario involving the Middle East, Iran  and, of course, Pakistan is speedily leading up.

Among the major sings preceding Dajjal, there are but two – the appearance of Mahdi and the famine of increasing extensiveness over a period of three years. The appearance of Imam Mahdi is the first major sign of qiyamah to surface. There is doubt as to the exact duration of his reign on the ummah but the more popular view seems to be seven years. It is towards the end of his reign that Dajjal will appear, followed later by Hazrat Isa to kill Dajjal and to take over the leadership of the ummah after Mahdi’s death.

Dajjal, the System

Ahmed Thomson's book on Dajjal, the SystemThere are three aspects of Dajjal. There is Dajjal the individual. There is Dajjal as a world wide social and cultural phenomenon. There is Dajjal as an unseen force. [Ahmad Thomson in Dajjal: the King Who has No Clothes]

Ahmad Thomson is a Muslim scholar who has taken pains to describe how the forerunners of Western civilization have been paving the way for the One Currency, One Government, and One Leader, a dream which is speedily coming true before our very eyes and whose pinnacle will be the appearance of Dajjal, the ultimate Leader of the system.

freemasonry symbolAhmed Thomson points out the Freemasons as the real organizing (the unseen) force underlying the System that has been firmly implanting its feet in societies and governments for the past few centuries. Many have come to believe this  (for example see here) and have attempted to show the connections between masonic history and more  current world politics. On youtube some interesting videos on the topic may be found, though the authenticity of every aspect of their presentations cannot always be gauranteed.

The focus of Thomson’s enlightening book, however, is neither the history of freemasons nor its secretive role in the world politics. Rather, Thomson attempts to analyze every manifestation of that typical Western progress and civiliation – their medical, legal, financial, educational, etc. systems – and to show how these very systems [indeed the very science on which these systems are based] lead to results quite opposite to the values taught by the Prophet (salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam)  and inculcated by him with a great labor of love in the Madinah society that he had founded. [Read the text of the first few pages of Ahmed Thomson’s brilliant exposition on Dajjal, the system here.]

I myself have often wondered at the workings of these systems to the limits of my knowledge and have related them to the increase in the very things these systems are claimed to eliminate – disease, unrest, crime, ignorance of the profound values of life, lasting peace of minds and hearts…

Another interesting point is how some of the crowning achievements of the Western progress make  some of the very specific characteristics of Dajjal, the individual very plausible to us, the satellite communications, the airplanes, the striving for the global village. An interesting article of old by the Islamic Party of Britian expresses this much better than I can.

So when does he come?

In plain and simple words (which all skeptics will call oversimplified) when the New World Order is finally realized, when the One Currency and One Government dream is  achieved, when the political centre of the governance of the world shifts at last to the freemasonist jews in Israel.

In short, very soon in the decades to follow.

I remember in school when I was told about the signs of Qayamah I always used to think ‘oh that must be far far away, centuries hence, no need to worry my mind over it’. Today, I’m fearfully waiting for the first major signs of Qayamah to appear. The stage is nearly all set. We only wait for the hour to be sounded…

Seriously, there are 91 years yet to go in this century. It has only taken us the headlong rush of the past 8 years since 9/11 to bring us face to face with the reality of the approaching Qayamah. And if not myself, then my children will in all probability live in the era of Dajjal.

How to cope?

Our Prophet (salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam) has prepared us well in this respect. He has painstakenly revealed to us details of Dajjal’s background, his physical appearance, the seemingly magical but really scientific feats in his repertoire with which he will lure people into following him, and the details of his era on this earth: his emergence, deceptions, encounters and finally his end.

Like any prescription of the doctor forgotten upon the shelf, our prohpet’s pains will be wasted if we don’t make use of the knowledge he has given us.

So what are we doing with the prescription? Dajjal the individual is nearly upon us, but how many of the muslims are really thinking about it? Do we care to access the treasure trove of authentic ahadith on this topic and familiarize ourselves with it? Do we speak to our children (by which I mean any members of the young generation that we are in touch with) about it, for they indeed might be the ones who face Dajjal in the prime of their adult lives?

My fellows, it is NOT JUST about identifying him and his actions. It is REALLY about the depth and the firmness of our belief in God.

Already the western way of making science and society has allured many of our current generation away from a real belief on the One and Only and on His Word. You have to read any of the myriad modern blogs by ‘enlightened’ bloggers to learn that. A majority of the Muslim population seem  hypocrites and a significant number are, or stand the risk of, turning atheists at heart. It is these very kinds that Dajjal’s cunning will be keenly successful with.

DO NOT you CARE?

The only real solution must be to acquaint ourselves and our children with the most authentic sources of our religion; to return repeatedly to the Quran with a thinking, pondering heart; and to approach all we are being given in the name of  science, culture, society, progress, and modernity with a thinking, independent and skeptic mind whose deepest emotional connection must be with Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam).

Al-Qur'an

May Allah make us succeed in our hefty goals.

NOTE:

  • In times of active conflict with kuffars, our Prophet (salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam) used to recite Qunut-e-Nazila instead of the usual Qunut prayer recited in the third rak’at of witr, the last prayer of the day after Isha. These are indeed high times to engage in the practice and to recite both the versions of the nazila qunut that we find in authentic ahadith as general prayers. These qunuts may be found commonly in collections of wazaif and of masnoon prayer pieces.
  • The hadith in which our Prophet mentions recitation of Sura Kahaf as an antidote to the evils of Dajjal is really about the first 10 verses of the sura. The hadith is to the effect that whosoever recites the first 10 verses of Sura Kahaf on successive Jummas (Fridays) will be saved for the duration from the evils of Dajjal. It is high time we make it into a practice and teach both these noble traditions (the qunut and the lines of sura kahaf) to our young.
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POETRY: Nostalgia

In poetry on March 18, 2009 at 4:41 pm

I wrote this poem on 7th May, 2007, the day after the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry reached Lahore in a huge procession. This, after a historic night of warm and enthusiastic reception by the masses all along the way.
The poem does not revolve around him, however. It focuses on the role of the antagonist who had brought the axe on his own foot by tampering with the judiciary. The poem was strangely prophetic of 12th May next-week. I’d kept this poem private, but since the restoration of Mr. Iftikhar I’ve been thinking may be I should share it after all.

mushjudge

JUSTICE WILL YET REIGN

“Justice reigns!”

Or so he says

With finger raised

High on Pedestal

On fictitious cloud.

His reins will master

The gallop of rebuilding thought

(Or so he thought)

En masse.

His baton will make

The refrain of people

Die nascent,

Return to the grave.

(“Well, if not the baton,

then cane!”)

His cord

umbilical

That ties his knot

To more than a single

Decaying Pharaoh

Will call this disaster

To a halt.

So he takes up his sword,

Swings it through thin air,

Flings into the veins

Of true earth.

(“Its heat will moulder.

Its moist will be colder

And quash the smolder

And bow out of path!”)

(And yet so he dreams

In his comical wrath!)

But now

Does he see

The red line

Enlivening the horizons?

Does he hear

The brim of the flood

Spilling on to the plains?

Does he feel

The point of that sword

Now pointing of its own will

To his heart?


On the Sharia Deal in Pakistan

In Current Issues, Pakistan Issues on February 17, 2009 at 7:36 pm

HOT NEWS from Pakistan!

On Monday the NWFP Chief Minister Mr. Ameer Haider Hoti agreed on a deal with Maulana Sufi Mohammad of Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) to instigate a sharia-based judicial system in the Malakand division (encompassing Swat). This took place after President Asif Zardari gave express permission to the provincial government to make the agreement.

The main demand of TNSM was to replace the regular courts with Islamic courts. Actually, Shariat law has been in force in Malakand since 1994 but appeal cases are heard in the Peshawar high court, which operates under the civil code.

Prime Minister Gilani has expressed the motive of the government behind this deal as follows: ‘The government has opted to hold dialogue as it believed that use of force was not the only solution.’ Some other Pakistani officials had already suggested that a truce was necessary in Swat because the army was unable to fight a guerrilla insurgency and civilians were suffering in the conflict.

Indeed, the Swat Taliban said on Sunday that they would observe a 10-day cease-fire in support of the peace process. On the other hand, President Zardari will reportedly not sign the deal unless TNSM observes the peace deal.

Read here a copy of the peace agreement (in Urdu).

Concerns and Criticisms

The issue of militancy in Swat is so sensitive that any move by the government must come under critical scrutiny by national and international analysts. The deal made news today but it has already generated considerable amount of comment and observation in both print and electronic media. Here are a few snapshots:

  • I.A. Rehman, a human rights activist and columnist wrote for the Daily Dawn: “An order presided over by clerics will not guarantee deliverance to the Frontier region as matters have perhaps gone too far to be reversed. The fact is, people will reject theocracy only after paying the cost of opting for it. Pakistan should think of minimizing the damage by granting full autonomy to FATA and the Frontier province in the hope that this will douse the fires.”
  • Also by him: “Ultimately, the key to a safe future lies in Afghanistan. The war there must be brought to a speedy end. It is posing a greater threat to Pakistan, Iran, Russia, China, India, and the Central Asian states than to the US.”
  • British High Commission in Islamabad: “‘Previous peace deals have not provided a comprehensive and long-term solution to Swat’s problems.'”
  • From the blog CYNCERITY: “The logic of the Pakistani government would seem to be that, under the new system, the TNSM will get their demand for Sharia law, but this will be Sharia law, to the extent it falls within the limits of the Pakistani constitution, as this region would still be part of the Pakistani state. Hence, this would not be much more than a change in appearance, as all that will happen is, in exchange for peace, judges within these areas, will move from having the title ‘Judge’ to having the title ‘Qazi’, a nominal difference at best. They have attempted this kind of compromise before, and it will not work.This is because these people do not have any interest in falling under the control of the state and constitution of Pakistan. These are not simple clerics, who feel their religious imperative urges them to establish an Islam-based legal system in Pakistan. This is an armed revolutionary movement bent on control and establishment of their own system under their own supervision.”
  • On the blog Pak Tea House: “It is also designed to malign the good name of Islam by enacting archaic and backward laws in its name.”
  • On pkpolitics.com: “No one is clear whether the sweets distributed in Swat by the people should have been distributed but it was a sign of the people clinging to straws,” according to one observer of the scene. But it did demonstrate that the people are fed up with violence and they were probably celebrating the 10-day ceasefire announced by the TTP.” Also: “The weakness of the agreement became evident when TNSM’s Sufi Mohammed and his spokesmen said he would start a campaign to convince the militants to agree. ANP leaders were claiming that Sufi Mohammed was a giant and those who would oppose him would be rejected by the people but the recent months have shown that Sufi Mohammed was already a spent force and the initiative had been taken over by militants who did not listen to the founder of the Shariah movement any more.”

My observations

If you care to follow all the links and read the statements of the government officials, analysts, bloggers, and comment-leavers on those blogs a few things will be clear:

  1. Pakistani government is concerned about the death toll in Swat and FATA with civilians being the primary sufferers whether it’s the militants or the American drones doing the killing [Refer: Prime Minister Gilani].
  2. The government is hoping to buy peace for the region with the possibility of paving way for further dialogue with the militants. This in admission of the failure of its own military in the region and of it’s helplessness given continuing drone attacks by USA.
  3. Critics of this move insist on interpreting it as succumbing to militants without sympathizing with the difficulties the government faces and the limited range of alternatives it possesses.
  4. Some critics, including Pak Tee House and Shaheen Sardar Ali seem to conform to a distorted view of Islami sharia and possess a misunderstanding of the older judiciary system in these areas which had been replaced by the inefficient and corrupt system of the country by previous governments. It is that older system of justice, which was even then called Islami Nizam-e-Adl that is hoped to be reinstated. [Refer NT Times and Abdul Qadir Hasan of the Daily Express]

Summing Up:

I believe that in discussions such as this one, both sides of the matter should be evaluated.

In international polls on Pakistani samples, people have repeatedly voiced the opinion that negotiations rather than military actions were a desirable move for the government to take.[Refer here]

Failures of past deals should not serve as an execuse for future attempts at constructive solutions.

Violence begets violence and maneavoures by the Pakistani and US military have only been followed by more intensive retaliations by the militants.

Strikes by Pakistani and US militaries have even been used to advantage by the militants in enticing the local residents’ emotional support.

Since the Nizam-e-Adl relates to a form of justice traditionally followed in the concerned areas, the locals are more likely to relate to it. Thus the government’s deal-making may also be seen as an effort to win back local support.

Finally, while the nation clearly has no tolerance for the Taliban’s innovation of school-burning and women-killing sharia, we shouldn’t use such discussions to propagate the modernist (rather, secularized) interpretation of Islam which is as much inauthentic. A significant number of people in Pakistan and many muslims all over the world favor the true sharia over the prevalent forms of their countries’ judiciary systems. [Refer here]

On the other hand, concerns that the government may fail to take true advantage of the deal or the deal itself may be weak to begin with are valid. We can help by offering constructive solutions rather than stacking pressure upon pressure.

Finally the winner of the day in my opinion is I.R. Rehman’s apt observation which I requote below to conclude.

“Ultimately, the key to a safe future lies in Afghanistan. The war there must be brought to a speedy end. It is posing a greater threat to Pakistan, Iran, Russia, China, India, and the Central Asian states than to the US.”