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There is no punishment for Blasphemy in Islam, however, somewhere in the history, the bootlickers wrote items to please someone, and the ordinary men and women in the market today rely on those made up books... All sites at www.WorldMuslimCongress.com


Monday, June 2, 2014

Blasphemy and Apostasy Laws: Islam or Hislam?


It is one of the simplest but effective pieces in understanding Blasphemy, this virus has penetrated deeply into the psyche of Muslim, even though, it is not Islamic. Recommended reading.

Mike Ghouse

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Courtesy: FaithStreet

n January 2011, the governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, was gunned down by one of his own security guards over a controversial move — opposing the blasphemy law in Pakistan. Although thousands of Pakistanis condemned this by attending his funeral and showing support on social media, religious fanatics hailed his murderer as a hero, recently naming a mosque after him.

As a Muslim, I stand firmly against blasphemy laws. My faith demands that I do so, for it repeatedly asks me to stand for justice and fight oppression.

The Quran shows us that even though God’s prophets were mocked and threatened, they never killed their accusers for hurting their “religious sentiments.” In fact, the Quran opposes any laws that restrain freedom of speech or would have someone killed over differences in belief. Rather, Quran 73:10 says, “Be patient over what they say, and leave them graciously.”

So how did these blasphemy and apostasy laws come to be associated with Islam?

The blasphemy and apostasy laws are found in the Hadeeth, sayings attributed to Prophet Mohammad, which were compiled two-three centuries after his death. Muslims know that no Hadeeth should contradict the Quran if they are to be accepted, given their subjective nature and reliance on the Quran for authenticity.

But early scholars intentionally overlooked this to protect the interests of clergymen and political leaders. These oppressive laws allow them to exercise complete control over people, punishing anyone who threatens their position by declaring them apostates — enemies of Islam. To so many clergymen, religion is nothing but a means to gain power and control people. To keep out competition and force their monopoly, they invent laws in the name of God so “consumers” have no choice but to keep buying their “product.” Or face persecution.

Religious leaders like Tahir-ul-Qadri, a staunch proponent of blasphemy laws, rule people by fear. Add to that the fact that the average Muslim is unaware of the Quran’s teachings, which makes them likely to believe whatever the clergy tells them about Islam. Of these leaders, the Qur’an asks us to be weary: “O You who have believed! A great many religious leaders: rabbis, priests, monks, Mullahs, yogis, and mystics devour the wealth of people in falsehood, and bar them from the path of God” (Quran 9:34).

So what exactly does the Quran say about blasphemy and apostasy?

Quite frankly, blasphemy and apostasy laws are themselves blasphemous to the teachings of the Qur’an. Not in the traditional sense, but because they violate the very instructions the scripture gives regarding freedom of belief.

Regarding apostasy, in Quran 2:256 God says, “There is no compulsion in matters of faith. The right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces false authorities and becomes at peace with God has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. God is Hearer, Knower.”

In a similar vein, verse 109:6 instructs adherents to end a debate by saying: “To you, your belief system. And to me, mine.”

If all that isn’t convincing enough, Quran 10:99 should seal the deal: “If your Lord willed, all who are on earth, would have believed (by not providing free will). Would you then, compel people to become believers?”

When it comes to blasphemy, I often hear some version of, “Hold on. If someone mocks my religion, it prompts me to act violently. You see, it makes me very emotional.”

But this statement only shows an ignorance of the Quran, which says in verse 6:68, “When you see them engaged in vain discourse about Our verses, turn away from them unless they engage in a different subject. If Satan ever makes you forget (i.e. your mind gets engrossed in their discourse,) then as soon as you recollect, no longer sit in the company of the people who confound the truth with falsehood.”

Here, Muslims are instructed to engage with these people if they change the topic. Certainly that means we’re not to have enmity towards them, let alone kill them!

And, again, Quran 28:55 instructs, “Whenever they (believers) hear vain talk of ridicule, they withdraw from it decently and say, ‘“To us our deeds and to you yours; Peace be upon you, we do not seek to join the ignorant.”

Those verses are practically shouting freedom of expression at the top of their lungs! Islam is a very progressive path to God, one in which differences in opinions and beliefs are accepted, not punished (Quran 39:18). On the other hand, blasphemy and apostasy laws lead to negative misconceptions about Islam being an oppressive faith.

But what are we Muslims to do? By not voicing our disapproval, we stand for these anti-Quranic laws and call them Islam. Is that not like setting your own house on fire? There is not a single verse that encourages Muslims to act violently toward those who leave Islam, or even mock the Quran. After all, shouldn’t truth be able to defend itself on its own merit? What good is a forced belief?

We can even take it a step further by noting how rejecters treated the prophets.

Of Prophet Nooh: “They said, ‘If you do not desist, O Noah, you will surely be of those who are stoned’” (Quran 26:116).

Prophet Ibrahim’s father said, ”Do you dislike my gods, O Abraham? If you cease not, I will certainly cause you to be stoned to death! Now get away from me for good” (Quran 19:46). Similarly, the priesthood said of Ibrahim, “Burn him alive and uphold your gods if you are going to take any action” (Quran 21:68).
Regarding Prophet Musa, “[Pharaoh] said, ‘If you take a god/authority other than me, I will surely place you among those imprisoned’” (Quran 26:29). To Musa’s followers, Pharaoh also said, “I will surely cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, and I will surely crucify you all” (Quran 26:49).”

These verses should reveal to us a different perspective: all prophets were seen as blasphemers and apostates to the prevalent religion of their time. To condone the oppressive laws of religious leaders today is to support ill treatment of the prophets. After all, you would’ve done the same!

And that’s the most ironic part. If a messenger were to come today, these clergymen and their ardent followers would utter the same threats to him. They have fabricated their own laws in the name of God, so when you ask them to reform, they either consider you a blasphemer or an apostate and have a fatwa issued to kill you.  That’s the scary thing about truth: it doesn’t warrant aggression but is always met with it.

This is not a matter of interpretation, as some would call it. The Quran condemns forced belief in numerous verses. Rather, this is a matter of giving preference to the Hadeeth over the Quran to justify bigotry and extremism in the name of Islam. Having said that, it’s up to you whether you want to rethink your stance or keep blindly following what you have been taught — whether you want to follow Islam or Hislam. Because unlike misguided religious fanatics, sincere believers never force their beliefs on others.

What’s the Golden Rule, again? “Any secondary source on Islam that goes against the Quran should be rejected.”

Often said, but seldom followed.

The opinions expressed in this piece belong to the author.
Image courtesy of Cezary Piwowarski.
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About

Ro Waseem Ro Waseem is a progressive Muslim who is bent on separating culture from religion. His articles have been published by The Express Tribune, The Malaysian Insider, and World Religion News. He blogs about Muslim reformation at http://quranalyzeit.wordpress.com.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blasphemy Charges against Christians Shafaqat Masih and Shagufta Bibi in Pakistan, Muslims Condemn these charges.

Evil exists because good people do nothing about it – all it takes for evil to subside is for the good people to speak up.

The formula is simple: The evil people (in all nations and all religions) are less than 1/10th of 1% - if 5 of them scream, all we have to do is get 10 of us from a lopsided pool of  99% to speak up,  and I have seen them run – realizing that there is no support for them.

The latest is the SMS blasphemy charges, the good news is that the Deobandi Ulema have promised the Christians to bring amendments to blasphemy charges in Pakistan, it would be good to see them keep their promise.

Blasphemy and Apostasy are tools of tyrants to suppress people; it is not Islamic in any sense.  Prophet showed the right way by example, but the Muslim monarchs, dictators and a handful of ulema (it is shame that we call them Ulema instead of Jahil) like all damned fascists erected the apostasy and blasphemy charges to oppress.
Besides, these fanatics are dumb people, if they really want to convert other people, pray for them, like the Prophet, instead of pushing them. Don't kick the beehive if you want to gather honey.  

The Muslims of today – I mean the 99% of Muslims are civilized and cultured,  and we should not let 1/10th of 1% of Jahils (brutes) dictate the nature of Islam.
As a Muslim I condemn these shameful and ugly acts against Christians, and as Muslims, it is our duty to stand up for the oppressed. 

Please remember, Islam is not going anywhere; prophet is not going anywhere, and by opening ourselves up to criticism, we will learn a lot more about our faith than we would ever know. We need to move away from intolerance to acceptance of a different point of view without having to agree with it. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) lived through it and Muslims can learn from his examples.

Criticism can fade away or rain on us depending on how Muslims respond to it.  Lack of conviction in one's faith breeds intolerance towards criticism, whereas firmness in faith can lead us to learn from criticism, explore the infinite wisdom and realize the strength of our faith (Imaan); a worthy feeling to have, instead of living in doubt and shooing criticism away.

Mike Ghouse
www.MikeGhouse.net 
www.WorldMuslimCongress
and WorldMuslimCongress@yahoogroups.com


BLASPHEMY CHARGES
ASIA/PAKISTAN - "Technological Blasphemy": Christian couple arrested for insulting Muhammad via SMS

Islamabad (Agenzia Fides) - A new "front" of blasphemy seems to be opening in Pakistan after the life sentence of a man accused of having sent a blasphemous SMS (see Fides 15/07/2013), cases and complaints of blasphemy via SMS increase. As reported to Fides, another blasphemy case was registered against a Christian couple in the town of Gojra, in Punjab. Shafaqat Masih, 35, and his wife Shagufta Bibi were arrested by the local police because accused by the Muslim Rana Mohammad Fiaz for having sent a blasphemous SMS on the Prophet Muhammad. The police traced the SIM card and arrested the couple.


A court of first instance validated the arrest, placing further investigation. Shafaqat Masih is disabled and his wife is a waitress in a local school. Their two teenage children are now being taken care of by the NGO "World Vision in Progress", which also aims to provide legal assistance. Gojra is a place which is "religiously sensitive" since 2009, when, due to a case of alleg ed desecration of the Koran, the Christian area of the city was set on fire, causing 8 deaths, destroying 40 homes and a church.

Currently the debate on blasphemy through new technologies, mobile phones, computer resources is alive in Pakistan. The Telecommunications Authority and the government are discussing technical solutions to the problem of the presence of blasphemous material on the Internet, on YouTube, on social networks. Many are calling for a law to limit and censor blasphemous Internet sites.

Another issue is the abuse of the law of blasphemy, sometimes used instrumentally to hit opponents. As reported to Fides, recently a delegation of 15 ulema in Karachi, of the Islamic school of thought "Deobandi," assured its support to the Christian community to propose an amendment to the blasphemy law: the goal is to stop their misuse against members of religious minorities.

Among the cases reported by Fides is that of a Christian 15-year-old from Karachi, Ryan Brian Patras, accused of having sent blasphemous SMS to some peers (see Fides 12/10/2012) and the victim of a plot. The boy and his family escaped by miracle from the murderous rage of a few extremists. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 23/07/2013)

Criticism of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and free speech

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We need to welcome every criticism of Quraan, Islam and the Prophet and deal with it with grace. Let freedom of speech be the corner stone of Islam.


Islam is not going anywhere; prophet is not going anywhere, and by opening ourselves up to criticism, we will learn a lot more about our faith than we would ever know. We need to move away from intolerance to acceptance of a different point of view without having to agree with it. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) lived through it and Muslims can learn from his examples.

Criticism can fade away or rain on us depending on how Muslims respond to it.  Lack of conviction in one's faith breeds intolerance towards criticism, whereas firmness in faith can lead us to learn from criticism, explore the infinite wisdom and realize the strength of our faith (Imaan); a worthy feeling to have, instead of living in doubt and shooing criticism away.

You may ask, "Why are you presenting a different point of view, and why should I believe you?" The great scholars from the past have done it, and what is the need for me to learn?

I will ask you, "Why wouldn't you review the work of Tariq Ramadan, Hamza Yusuf, Ziauddin Sardar, Wahiduddin Khan, Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, Asghar Ali Engineer, Chandra Muzaffar, and a host of other critical Muslim thinkers? Why should you believe every word of Maududi, Banna and others? Isn't Islam for all times and all people?

Way back in 1967, my sister had asked me, if I knew more than Allama Iqbal? That question has never left my mind, and I had to scramble for the answer, the answer was a definite no, but I did not want to discard individual responsibility of not learning and knowing it on my own. I was always stuck with one of the most powerful sentences from Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) last sermon, "I leave behind two things, the Qur'an and the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray." The responsibility to know was placed directly on us.

Like all Mothers, my Mother taught me responsibility, she said, "if you do wrong, you alone will get punished and not your brother who might have instigated you, it is not what he said, but it is how you respond that matters to me". She would invariably add, "On the Day of Judgment, you stand alone, there will be no one for you, as each one will be busy in reflecting his or her own deeds."

The Qur'an repeatedly reinforces the paramount principle of faith: "O You who believe, on you rests (the responsibility) of your souls"(Q5:105) and (Q53:38), "that no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear another's burden." The picture was clear to me.

I don't wish this for others, but the best thing that has ever happened to me was walking away from Islam and Quraan when I was 15. I made the same mistake that every maligner of Islam makes; reading the wrong translations of Quran and blaming the religion for it. After 30 years of searching for the truth on my own as the Prophet had advised "to read the book", I found the truth. Islam is an inclusive faith, it is about co-existence, it is a faith that appreciates all of God's creation and urges one to respect the otherness of others (Quran 109:6) without having to agree, it explicitly says (Quraan 49:13), that all of us are his creation, created to be different, and that we have to learn about each other to mitigate the conflicts and nurture goodwill. Today, I am proud to be a believer, not a blind one, but a critical believer in Islam.

The Critical thinking has given me inordinate confidence to the point of challenging Pastor Jeffress in Dallas, that if he finds three faults in Quraan, I will convert to his faith, and if he cannot, all I asked of him was to become a blessed peacemaker and work with me in mitigating conflicts and building a cohesive America, where all of us can aspire to live without the fear of the other. He backed off as we returned the bad challenge with the request to reason and finding the truth. We held a Quraan Conference with ten Non Muslim Clergy on the panel and four Muslims including Imam Zia Shaikh, Dr. Basheer Ahmed, Imam Shakoor and Brother Hamid Shaikh, and I moderated the event. A full accounting of the event, including media interviews and the program is recorded in details at  www.QuraanConference.com

When you have an issue with your spouse and child, you don't scream and shut them down; the problem will not go away unless you face it and solve the issue. When people accept the solutions willingly, we will have peace. Isn't that Islam is all about, freedom?

Indeed, we must gracefully respond to every criticism of Quraan, Islam and the Prophet and I have the patience to welcome it.

Aren't we supposed to learn and know each other to mitigate conflicts and create the kingdom of heaven right here on the earth, while waiting to go the next heaven? Didn't God say, the best among you is the one who learns about the other (49:13), so the myths, phobias and fears can be dismantled?

I urge fellow Muslims to open to all the criticism with confidence, don't shut it, and let freedom of speech be the corner stone of Islam. Islam stands on its own; it does not need our defense, and it is silly to protect God or the Prophet, they are not weaklings or our property to protect, they belong to the whole universe, don't they?

Muhammad Yunus, a Muslim thinker and a writer at New Age Islam responds,   "Doesn't the Qur'an repetitively say, "repel evil with good" (13:22, 23:96, 41:34). Shouldn't you take the opportunity to demonstrate the good in your faith and remove the cloud of hatred that is forming by the twin growing menaces of the day: Islamophobia and Radicalization? Inscribe on the facade of your mosques in bold and golden letters, the verses of the Qur'an that demonstrate the divine scheme on religious pluralism - 2:62, 2:136, 4:124, 5:69, 22:17, 64:9, 65:11 for example.

Tell the believing world by visual display on billboards at all Islamic centers that the divine Light is lit in all places of pure worship (24:35) and God's name is proclaimed regularly in monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques (22:40). Inform the atheist and all categories of non-believers that they all are recipients of a portion of divine spirit (15:29, 32:7-9, 38:72) and God will judge them as well along with the believing humanity (22:17). Tell the whole world that however they demonize our Prophet, we must ignore them as this is an article of faith for us (6:112, 25:31).

Dr. Tariq Cheema of World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists, adds another point of view, "the Muslim scholars and intellectuals around the world must rise to the challenge and offer guidance to the faith-loving masses on how to encounter the exploitation of freedom of speech, which is often quite provocative and insulting. On the other hand every one must strive for a legislation that guards the sanctity of all religions and their Prophets, scriptures, and symbols alike."

Prioritizing Sunnah

The most important Sunnah (Prophet's example) and the first Sunnah is to be the Amin; the trust worthy (81:21), the truth teller and someone who mitigates conflicts and nurtures good will for the peaceful coexistence of his or her neighbors, communities, tribes and nations.

That was the first example of Muhammad (pbuh) to be a good citizen, wasn't it? Wasn't that the first model prophet had set up for one to follow? Mind you, he was called Amin by non-Muslims. Shouldn't we start with the same first foot forward? To be good citizens, whether in Pakistan, America, Saudi Arabia, China or Indonesia, we have to earn it by being a participant and a contributor towards the wellbeing of the nation. Your presence should relax others, and make them comfortable that you are a peacemaker and they can trust you for your fairness. Do you follow the Prophet?

The second most important Sunna to follow is to be Rahmatul Aalameen (Mercy to mankind) (21:107). To be a Rahmat (Mercy) to fellow beings who are Atheist, Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Sikh, Wicca, Natives, Zoroastrians and others, we must be kind to them, no one should be afraid or apprehensive of us. Should anyone be afraid of a Muslim, then we have not followed the Sunna of the prophet.

Please note that I have stripped the title of Allama or Maulana from all the names above. We have a habit of placing individuals next to God, they are just like you and I, of course with more knowledge, sometimes real, and sometimes looped up. Practicing and rehearsing the same wrong thing over and over again does not make them perfect. We need to reserve the titles to the Prophets; all others must be referred to just by their names with utmost respect.

We should not be loose with titles, unless they have shown that Allah is Rabbul Aaalamen (Universality of the Creator) and Muhammad is Rahmatul Aalameen in their actions and words. How many of them would qualify to be an Allama then?

All other Sunna emanates from these two basic steps, clearly and unambiguously corroborated by the Qur'an (81:21, 21:107).

We cannot compromise on free speech, however much a few may abuse it, but free speech is an enduring value and the hallmark of civilization. I believe in free speech and that is the only way societies will grow. As Muslims we need to seriously consider the gains Muslims have had, that far outweigh the tensions given by a handful of loonies.

Islam is a universal inclusive faith, it is from Rabbul Aalameen (creator of the universe, its prophet is Rahmatul Aalameen (Mercy to mankind) and we should be Mukhlooqul Aalameen (Universal, all embracing beings). Islam is about goodness and not forcing others, and not domineering but co-existing, just as the Prophet did and proclaimed in the Madinah treaty. Islam is about appreciating everything God has created on this universe (55:16).

If they curse the prophet, prophet is not going to be cursed, have the strength in your faith and return badness with Good; we know all the examples of his work. When you hear someone curse the prophet, just say I am sorry you feel that way, but if you wish to seek the truth, find it on your own or I will connect you with someone who can guide you, if you don't that is your choice and nothing will come off me or the prophet, your words do not have the power to reduce Islam or the prophet, I will pray peace of mind to you. 

Don't feel compelled to convince anyone, let go. What did Allah say to Prophet when he was frustrated that people were not getting his message? You do your dharma (duty) and let them have the freedom to accept. Elsewhere God says there is no compulsion in matters of faith (2:256).

Have confidence, read what is good in Islam and ignore the bad things others say, write, or put it in the film about Islam or its Prophet.  From the very first day of his mission, the Prophet was criticized and the Qur'an reviled and the criticism and revulsion only gained momentum through the medieval ages as Islam continued to win the hearts of other people. It has come to surface again with greater ferocity, but we the Muslims as peace makers must act peacefully.    

Islam is not going anywhere, prophet is not going anywhere, and by opening up you will enjoy your Imaan (faith) immensely with genuine admiration for its wisdom. I thank Allah for helping me see the light and beauty of Islam, and you can too.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, activist, pluralist and a writer committed to building cohesive societies. More about him at www.MikeGhouse.net


Related Articles:

• Huffington Post -Muslims don't get it http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/freedom-of-speech-and-the-legitimacy-of-muslim-protests_b_1902427.html

• Dallas Morning news -Separation of church and state http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2012/09/texas-faith-is-separation-of-church-and.html

• Dallas Morning news - right to free speech http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2012/09/texas-faith-religion-and-right-to-free.html

• Critical Muslim by Ziauddin Sardar http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2012/09/critical-muslim-by-ziauddin-sardar_30.html

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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralismpolitics, peace making, foreign policy, IslamIsraelIndiaPakistaninterfaith, and cohesion at work place or social settings. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. Mike has a strong presence on national local TV, Radio and Print Media, and is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News, fortnightly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes everything you want to know about him.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Blasphemy Law in Islam – A Definition

I just happen to run into this article and pleased to share it here at www.BlasphemyLaws.com and www.WorldMuslimCongress.com - Its well written for those who want to get a good idea about the law - Mike Ghouse
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In November 2010, I posted some research work about Blasphemy Law in Pakistan. I got a great response from all over the world and specially from Pakistan. Since then I was assigned to collect some more and detailed information about Blasphemy Law. During my research I visited several websites, journals and newspapers and also verified their responses. I feel first there is high requirement to chalk out the basic & important details about Blasphemy Law before discussing the detail version about Blasphemy Law. So here I have come up with some basic information about Blasphemy Law in Islam.

What does Blasphemy Law means ?
In Islam it is any irreverent behavior toward holy person, religious artifacts, customs, and beliefs that Muslims admire. Let be clear that the Quran and the hadith do not speak about blasphemy. Law experts created the offense, and they made it part of Sharia. Where Sharia applicable, the penalties for blasphemy can include fines, imprisonment, flogging, amputation, hanging, or beheading. Muslim leader (religious) may call for the punishment of an alleged blasphemer by issuing a fatwa.
Who would be Blasphemers?
It is agreed by all Islamic authorities that a blasphemer can be Muslim or non-Muslim. To be declare as guilty of blasphemy offense, an individual must be an adult, of sound mind, and not under threat. Some jurisdictions do not punish individuals who commit blasphemy accidentally. The Maliki school of jurisprudence permits the exoneration of accused individuals who are converts to Islam.
How Blasphemy against holy persons yet?
  • Speaking ill of Allah.
  • Finding fault with Muhammad.
  • Slighting a prophet who is mentioned in the Qur’an, or slighting a member of Muhammad’s family.
  • Claiming to be a prophet or a messenger.
  • Speculating about how Muhammad would behave if he were alive (happened in Nigeria).
  • Drawing a picture to represent Muhammad or any other prophet, or making a film which features a prophet (happened in Egypt).
  • Writing Muhammad’s name on the walls of a toilet (happened in Pakistan).
  • Naming a teddy bear Muhammad (happened in Sudan).
  • Invoking God while committing a forbidden act.
How Blasphemy against beliefs and customs of Islam yet?
  • Finding fault with Islam.
  • Saying Islam is an Arab religion; prayers five times a day are unnecessary; and the Qur’an is full of lies (happened in Indonesia).
  • Believing in transmigration of the soul or reincarnation or disbelieving in the afterlife (happened in Indonesia).
  • Finding fault with a belief or a practice which the Muslim community (Ummah) has adopted.
  • Finding fault with or cursing apostles (Rasul or Messenger), prophets, or angels.
  • Expressing an atheist or a secular point of view or publishing or distributing such a point of view.
  • Using words that Muslims use because the individuals were not Muslims (happened in Malaysia).
  • Praying that Muslims become something else (happened in Indonesia).
  • Whistling during prayers (happened in Indonesia).
  • Flouting the rules prescribed for Ramadan.
  • Reciting Muslim prayers in a language other than Arabic (happened in Indonesia).
  • Consuming alcohol.
  • Gambling.
  • Being alone with persons of the opposite sex who are not blood relatives.
  • Finding amusement in Islamic customs (happened in Bangladesh).
  • Publishing an unofficial translation of the Qur’an (happened in Afghanistan).
  • Practicing yoga (happened in Malaysia).
  • Watching a film or listening to music (happened in Somalia).
  • Wearing make-up on television (happened in Iran).
  • Insulting religious scholarship.
  • Wearing the clothing of Jews or of Zoroastrians.
  • Claiming that forbidden acts are not forbidden.
  • Uttering “words of infidelity” (sayings that are forbidden).
  • Participating in non-Islamic religious festivals.
How Blasphemy against artifacts yet?
  • Touching a Qur’an or touching something that has touched a Qur’an because the individuals were not Muslim (happened in Nigeria).
  • Damaging a Qur’an or other books of importance to Islam, for example, hadith (happened in Pakistan).
  • Spitting at the wall of a mosque (happened in Pakistan).
What would be Punishment in Blasphemy?
The punishments for different instances of blasphemy in Islam vary by jurisdiction / region / country and even cities. A guilty blasphemer may, among other penalties, lose all legal rights. The loss of rights may cause a blasphemer’s marriage to be dissolved, religious acts to be rendered worthless, and claims to property (including any inheritance) to be rendered void. Repentance may restore lost rights except for marital rights; lost marital rights are regained only by remarriage. Women have blasphemed and repented to end a marriage. Women may be permitted to repent, and may receive a lesser punishment than would befall a man who committed the same offense.
Difference between Blasphemy against Allah and Muhammad
There is a distinction between a blasphemer who insults Allah and blasphemenr who finds fault with Muhammad. Difference is based on the notions of the  “right of God” and the “right of Man.” A blasphemer who violates the “right of God” can seek forgiveness through repentance.
The Qur’an advises Muslims to reject those who find fault with God. Detail Reference
A blasphemer who violates the “right of Man” must seek forgiveness from the person insulted. In the case of an insult to Muhammad, the Muslim community is considered to be under an obligation to avenge the insult because the possibility of forgiveness expired upon the death of Muhammad.
Here is summary and brief version of my long research work. It took time to collect and verify the information about such sensitive topic. Please share your opinions regarding Blasphemy Law and its relationship with Islam in comment section. Subscribe with my rss for more updates. To get more details and information about project management,web design you can connect to me on twitter, facebook, linked in and google+.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Blasphemy Article by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan



Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

The Quran is the most authentic source of Islam. The Quran clearly states which actions are crimes and specifies what kind of punishments are to be meted out for them.

One notable example is what is called ‘qazaf’. The following is the verse of the Quran in this regard: “Those who defame chaste women, but cannot produce four witnesses, shall be given eighty lashes.” (24:4)

We learn from this verse of the Quran that if a pious woman is defamed without any proof, such a person, in the eyes of the Quran, becomes a criminal who deserves physical punishment by a court of law. When the Quran mentions this crime, it also mentions the specific punishment along with it.

Now let us look into this matter from another aspect. The Quran states that since ancient times God has sent prophets in succession to every town and every community. It says, moreover, that the contemporaries of all of these prophets adopted the same negative attitude -- but with far greater intensity -- as has been mentioned in the Quran with regard to chaste women. For instance, the Quran says: “Alas for human beings! They ridicule every messenger that comes to them.” (36:30)

There are more than two hundred verses of this nature, which reveal that the contemporaries of the Prophet repeatedly perpetrated the same act which is now called ‘abuse of the Prophet’ or ‘using abusive language about the Prophet’. Prophets down the ages have been mocked and abused by their contemporaries (36:30), some of the epithets cited in the Quran being “a liar” (40:24), “possessed” (15:6), “a fabricator” (16:101), “a foolish man” (7:66). The Quran mentions these words of abuse used by prophets’ contemporaries but nowhere does the Quran prescribe the punishment of lashes, or death or any such deterrent punishment.

This clearly shows that ‘abuse of the Prophet’ is not a subject of punishment, but is rather a subject of dawah. That is, one who is guilty of abusing the Prophet should not have corporal punishment meted out to him: he should rather be given sound arguments in order that his mind may be addressed. In other words, peaceful persuasion should be used to reform the person concerned rather than attempting to kill him.

There is a verse in the Quran to this effect: “God knows all that is in their hearts; so ignore what they say, admonish them and speak to them in such terms as will address their minds.”(4:63)

This verse means that those who adopt a negative stance towards the Prophet will be judged by God, who knows the innermost recesses of their hearts. The responsibility of the Prophet and his followers is to observe the policy of avoidance, and, wishing well, convey the message of God to them in such a manner that their minds might be properly addressed.

This case is made out in the Chapter entitled Al-Ghashiya: “Do they never reflect on the camels and how they were created, and on the sky, how it is raised aloft, and on the mountains, how they are firmly set up, and on the earth, how it is spread out? So, exhort them; your task is only to exhort, you are not their keeper. But whoever turns back and denies the truth, will be punished by God with the greatest punishment. Certainly, it is to Us that they will return.” (88:17-26)

These verses of the Quran tell us about what approach the Prophet was required to adopt. This approach was that people should be addressed by arguments. Attempts should be made to satisfy them rationally as to the veracity of the religion. And notwithstanding any negative reaction on the part of those addressed, this same positive style of dawah (conveying the message of God to people) has to be adhered to. It is not the task of the dayee to assume the role of a keeper. So far as punishment and reward are concerned, that is a subject wholly in the domain of God. God will gather together everyone on the Day of Resurrection and then, according to their deeds, will reward or punish them.

Another important aspect of this matter is that at no point in the Quran is it stated that anyone who uses abusive language about the Prophet should be stopped from doing so, and in case he continues to do so he should be awarded severe punishment. On the contrary, the Quran commands the believer not to use abusive language directed against opponents: “But do not revile those [beings] whom they invoke instead of God, lest they, in their hostility, revile God and out of ignorance.” (6:108)

This verse of the Quran makes it plain that it is not the task of the believers to establish media watch offices and hunt for anyone involved in acts of defamation of the Prophet, and then plan for their killing, whatever the cost. On the contrary, the Quran enjoins believers to sedulously refrain from indulging in such acts as may provoke people to retaliate by abusing Islam and the Prophet. This injunction of the Quran makes it clear that this responsibility devolves upon the believers, rather than that others be held responsible and demands made for them to be punished.

Looked at from this angle, the stance of present-day Muslims goes totally against the teachings of the Quran. Whenever anyone -- in their judgement -- commits an act of ‘abuse of the Prophet’, in speech or in writing, they instantly get provoked and their response is to start leading processions through the streets, which often turn violent, and then they demand that all those who insult the Prophet be beheaded.

All those who initiate such provocative processions and demand the killing of supposed ‘abusers of the Prophet’, are instead themselves the greatest culprits when it comes to abuse of the Prophet. Their violent conduct has resulted in the public being lead into believing that Islam is a religion of a pre-civilized era, that it imposes a ban on free thinking, that it is a religion which believes in thought crime, and that it is a religion of violence, etc.

It is Muslims themselves who are entirely responsible for the formation of this negative image of Islam. Distorting the image of Islam in this way is, indeed, the greatest of all crimes.

Center for Peace and Spirituality - USA