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The Caravan of al-Rahman – 8 Days in Afghanistan

Alhumdu Lillah, through the sheer blessing and mercy of Allah SWT, I was honoured to be part of a delegation sent by Human Aid & Advocacy to Afghanistan on Wednesday 26th July 2023. This journey was a fact-finding mission to separate the truth from the lies and to distinguish between Western Media Propaganda and the reality of the new government. I have penned down my thoughts and reflections from the journey.

Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires,

The land of the conquerors (that never conquered),

The land of the occupiers (that never occupied),

The land where angels descended to protect these people.

وَإِن تَصْبِرُوا۟ وَتَتَّقُوا۟ لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ كَيْدُهُمْ شَيْـًٔا ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ مُحِيطٌۭ ١٢٠

Yet, if you are patient and mindful of Allah, their schemes will not harm you in the least. Surely Allah is fully aware of what they do.

Afghanistan is a large country, three times the size of the UK, and has a population of 40 million. This is a country that has been at war for the last 30-35 years, against two world superpowers. Afghan people are very brave, and resilient and fear nobody but Allah SWT. One of the reasons they kept fighting the USA is they couldn’t take someone who doesn’t believe in Allāh SWT rule over them. “We would rather die…”

On the first day, we met with Maulvi Amir Khan, every meeting we attended started with a recitation of the Holy Qur’an. One of the questions we asked him was, what are his expectations from the Muslims in the West and particularly British Muslims? Can anyone think of what he requested? Tanks? Weapons? Money? That’s what the media will tell you… He lowered his voice and in a solemn tone he replied with an example, (there were tea cups in front of us), “As you can see the cup in front of you is white tell the world it is white.” That’s all he wanted! I was dumbfounded by the answer… Subhan Allah! They only want people to know the truth about them, the whole truth. In Sha Allah and this is what we intend to do… He further added, what you see here, tell people exactly as it is, the media have destroyed us more than their drones and planes.

Before continuing, one must understand when you live in the West you are constantly bombarded with negative images and comments regarding the Taliban government, the question is why? It’s simply because they want to bring back Shariah in its original and pristine form, they want to implement the Qur’an to the full extent, chapter by chapter and verse by verse. The enemies of Islam can never see this as it means that they would also be under Islamic law.

The best way to destroy all of this is to paint the Taliban with a negative brush, which isn’t something new! Titles and degradation were also faced by the Prophet ﷺ. The Prophet ﷺ was also called a poet, a magician, and a soothsayer, but this didn’t deter him ﷺ from relaying the truth. Today we have the Daily Mail and back then we had Abu Jahl & Co, all eggs of the same basket. This mustn’t weaken us, hold on to your faith.

Our second day, was Friday 28th of July which coincided with Ashoora. About 10% of the population is Shia in Afghanistan and we often get told by the BBC and others that Shia Muslims get attacked by the Taliban often leading to many Shia deaths, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Friday morning we were told that all networks will be down for the duration of the day, which means no WiFi and no mobile coverage. The Taliban government do this on 10th Muharram to prevent any sort of attacks/bombings of which Shias and their masajid are usually the targets.

So if the Taliban didn’t care about Shia Muslims or people of other faiths, why take the network down in the whole of Kabul? Many of you will ask if the Taliban are not bombing the Shia, then who is? There is a large presence of Daaish in Afghanistan and they are usually the perpetrators, but sadly the blame lands on the Taliban. Who is Daaish? Nobody really knows not even the Taliban but they certainly don’t represent Islam.

We prayed Jumuah Salah at the Jaame Masjid Wazir Akbar Khan, we met the Imam, Mawlana Muhammadullah Mohsin he was a young Imam. In our brief chat with Mawlana, we asked him what challenges he faced in Kabul? He replied the youth don’t attend the Masjid nor do they connect with the Ulama. He further added, teenagers, particularly disliked Ulama because of the propaganda of the Americans. Sometimes the occupier leaves, but the people are still mentally occupied. People realise when the occupier leaves who is right and wrong. Just like in India when the British left, but their influence is still there. The good thing is the Afghan people were not influenced as much, as they don’t accept other religions, ideologies, and cultures.

2/3 of Afghanistan’s economy used to come from foreign aid, America has now put sanctions on the country whereby money cannot be transferred to their bank accounts. When we asked the people how they survive? “We are resilient people!”

When America occupied Afghanistan in 2001 they had the whole world with them.  It was like the Arabic saying, “When Banu Tameem is angry with you, you will think all of the people will be angry with you.”

When America came they promised Sharia Law in Afghanistan, they said they love Palestine, etc. One of the first things they did was buy tanks? Weapons? Guns? No! They bought the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan. This caused major rifts between the people, as they didn’t know who was genuine. Local people were offered 1000s of dollars to spy and give information.

We met Shaykh Abdul Matin, an alim, a mawlana, I think the first thing we all picked up was his eloquence. He spoke “Fushaa Arabic”, “Articulate English” and “Tayz Urdu” a master of all languages. He opened the gathering with the following, “Two years ago we cannot imagine a majlis so big, or a gathering like this. Alhumdu Lillah, now we sit together, we are open, we are free, this is the land of all Muslims, not just Afghans.”

He expressed his happiness on meeting us because for 16 years he didn’t speak Arabic, as he didn’t meet anyone, so there was nobody to converse with.

“We thank the brothers who gave their lives for this freedom.”

These brothers had young, beautiful wives, and small, innocent children, but they left all this for the hereafter as they didn’t have an ounce of love for the world. Remember, these soldiers of the Taliban don’t get paid much, they do it for Allah SWT. The Americans do it for money, for dunya. One of the reasons many soldiers suffer PTSD is they realise what they were doing was wrong.

We have forgiven our oppressors, normally after victory people take revenge. But the Prophet ﷺ forgave everyone of the victory of Makkah. We are at the place we are because of our resilience, I remember when the Russian war started in the 90s the Taliban didn’t even have proper meals. We survived on dates, bread, and water, this was our sacrifice and now Allah SWT has opened his doors, Ma Sha Allah!

We also met Abdul Qahhar Balkhi, originally from New Zealand so he spoke English, some quotes from his speech:

“Our pain is one our prosperity is one.”

“We are the supporters of every single nation oppressed.”

“The wounds of the Ummah are one… This dates back to Andalus.”

“We will not allow them to harm others using our territory.”

“We don’t hand over Muslims to others except if we have a treaty… we will follow Islam completely.”

We follow Islam and negotiate as long as, my religious, cultural beliefs, and national interests don’t clash and conflict with these.”

India violates all international law in Kashmir and so does Israel, nobody bats an eyelid.

A question was posed by our delegates, “Why does it seem other Islamic countries are not as successful, in Syria, Gaza etc?

i) Our land is mountainous and surviving in Afghanistan is difficult, other countries are easier to occupy as the land is flat and climate is not difficult

ii) all credit is thanks to our Ameerul-Mumineen. He created unity among all Afghans, he implemented Shariah, He had pure intentions

iii) the problem with the Arab countries is, although their countries are not occupied their mind are occupied. They have sold themselves to the West and completely bow down to America

iv) all our instructions and guidance are under the supervision of ulama, following true ulama is important. We have seen others follow fake shaykhs/pseudo Sufis so they have not been successful. The major factor we have is pious ulama which has led to our unity and success.

Women in Education

“In order to understand a community you must mix with them.”

One must understand for 1400 years Afghan women didn’t leave the house, there was nothing for women because that was the culture.

King Zahir Shah in 1930s started social reforms for women’s education and liberation which was about 100 years ago.

Since 2021, Amirul Mumineen has given orders to open a women’s Madrasah (for Islamic knowledge) other sciences will be taught too. Education is available for boys and girls Year 1 – Year 6. Just in the last two years, we have seen a 22% increase in girls attending madrasah. And girls’ schools are now established in provinces where there were no schools before.

One of our delegates objected saying, we have heard you do not allow women to study medicine.

“This is not true, as medicine was always allowed, we need female doctors.”

Further, he added, “Girls’ education has always been there, however, we disagree with mixed schools, we provide segregated education. As for secular education, we will provide it under our methodology, not the Western methodology.”

Alhumdu Lillah, our delegation visited a girls’ madrasah and widows vocational and educational centre. We saw women and children roaming in the parks, despite the press saying “Taliban bans women from parks!”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/10/taliban-ban-women-from-parks-and-funfairs-in-afghanistan-capital

Allamah Iqbal mentions the importance of Afghanistan by calling it as the heart of Asia in a poem. The following is the poem and its translation:

                              درنهاد ما تب وتاب از دل است        خاک رابيداري وخواب ازدل است

                           تن زمرگ دل ديگر گون مي شود        در مسا ما تش عرق خون مي شود

                                    ازفساد دل بدن هيچ است هيچ         ده بردل بندوجز بر دل مپيچ

                                آسيا يک پيکر آب وگل است        ملّت افغان در آن پيکر دل است

                                         از فساد او فساد آسيا        درگشاد او گشا د آسيا

                              تا دل آزاد است آزاد است تن        ورنه کاهي در رهي باد است تن

                                همچوتن پا بند آين است دل        مرده ازکين زنده ازدين است دل

                             قوّت دين از مقام وحدت است         وحدت ار مشهود گردد ملّت است

Asia is a body of water and clay,

Of which the Afghan nation forms the heart,

The whole of Asia is corrupt,

If the heart is corrupt,

Its decline is the decline of Asia;

Its rise is the rise of Asia,

The body is free only as long as the heart is free,

The heart dies with hatred but lives with faith.

Muhammad Iqbal RH (1877-1938) was a scholar of the Quran, a philosopher, a politician and a poet par excellence.

Saturday 29th July 2023

Today, we went to the Ministry of Justice and we met Mawlana Abdul Hakim, he told us in the war against America, many people, including Ulama said, there is no chance you will win against them… but help came from Allah SWT and all credit is due to him. A few weeks before the fath (victory), Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani Saheb told us, we are shameful we didn’t help you. But soon you will get victory, within 2-3 weeks we took over the country, Alhumdu Lillah!

Banu Israeel were blessed with many blessings but they showed ungratefulness “kufraan”, so Allah SWT took it away. This is one of the reasons few people get the victory because of their ungratefulness.

“We need to show people, show the world, the mercy of Islam and the justice of Islam.” – Shaykh Haitham al-Haddad

وعن النعمان بن بشير رضي الله عنهما قال‏:‏ قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ مثل المؤمنين في توادهم وتراحمهم وتعاطفهم، مثل الجسد إذا اشتكى منه عضو تداعى له سائر الجسد بالسهر والحمى” ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)‏ 

Nu’man bin Bashir (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

“The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion, and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever”.

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

We then met Muhammad Agah Hakeem, “In 20 years of war we suffered financially, nobody was helping us everyone cut off from us, but Allah SWT helped us! Allah SWT assisted us because He has promised us in the Holy Qur’an if you obey me I will help you. So Allah SWT fulfilled His promise.

The Americans were shocked, “We torture you, give you pain, insult you, but you don’t flinch.” But the Islamic Emirate was not cheap, we gave our lives, our limbs, our blood, and our time, we thank our shuhadaa.

Dear youth, I would like to mention at this point, value your time and value your youth by doing something for Islam. Become closer to Allah SWT and spend time in the masjid praying Salah, reading Qur’an and gaining knowledge.

We asked about Baghram prison, “We used to pray Salah looking at the sun, we were not allowed to congregate for Jumuah, and we were not allowed medicine unless we were extremely ill/dying.”

What helped you in jail and what motivated you? “The cause you are in jail for, the deen, Allah SWT, the Emirate, is what motivates you.”

There were many difficulties with spirituality in prison, the food was bitter and there was a lot of noise and banging. Every single movement was monitored and with a slight noise or movement, the guards would come and strip the prisoners. Baghram was similar to Guantanamo, with one toilet to 100+ prisoners and one of the worst things was the toilets had no door and walls, just cages… Modesty is part of faith.

In Baghram the Americans tortured us then the Afghans tortured us with pipes, electric shock, and bottles up the back passage. They would often say, “Bring your god to help you.” The fans would blow cold air in winter and hot air in summer, they often put blindfolds on us and headphones and then took us for interrogation.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/22/life-in-bagram-through-the-eyes-of-former-prisoners#:~:text=The%20facility%20located%20within%20the,of%20Afghanistan%20on%20August%2015.

We also spoke about the sad plight of Aafia Siddiqui (Allah hasten her release), they were very sad they could not help her and mentioned her sister had been granted a visit to see her.

Aafia Siddiqui: A case of lies and inconsistencies report

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ ٱلْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ ۗ وَلَوْ ءَامَنَ أَهْلُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًۭا لَّهُم ۚ مِّنْهُمُ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ ٱلْفَـٰسِقُونَ ١١٠

You are the best community ever raised for humanity—you encourage good, forbid evil, and believe in Allah. Had the People of the Book believed, it would have been better for them. Some of them are faithful, but most are rebellious (3:110).

Sunday 30th July 2023

We met Mawlana Khaleel Saheb who runs the “Ministry of Amr Bilmaroof and Nahee Anil Munkar” (enjoining good and forbidding evil).

He started the gathering by telling us about the work they do in this unique ministry (previously Saudi Arabia also had such a ministry, which recently closed down). He mentioned that over 4 million people were drug addicts for the last twenty years. We are now helping these people with rehabilitation services and getting them into employment so they can stand on their own two feet. Many are hafidhul Quran and alims, we send them to the madrasah to teach, we want to make people productive and work for their country.

مَنْ غَشَّ فَلَيْسَ مِنِّي ‏

He who deceives is not of me (is not my follower)

(Saheeh Muslim).

In the markets there was a lot of deception, for example, there was gold of a less grade selling for a higher price. So the Taliban turned the gold to liquid and sold it for the correct rates and now export to other countries. It is now wedding season, previously weddings had music, dancing, free-mixing, no hijab, and alcohol. When we received complaints, we spoke to the hotel owners and they were saying it is not our responsibility. We reminded them it is a collective responsibility. Hence we called all hotel/restaurant owners and requested they make the rules, so they did. Now, they have no alcohol, no music, segregated events, and all weddings following shariah. We had 150 wedding halls, now 188 so numbers have increased which shows people like the new rulings.

In the previous twenty years, we saw men force relationships with women, brothers were taking the rights of sisters in inheritance. If a man killed another, they would go to the killer’s family and say give me your sister because you killed our brother! In mahr/dowry, the bride was not getting the money, her father or brother would steal it. We stopped all this injustice, Alhumdu Lillah!

To be continued….

وعن النعمان بن بشير رضي الله عنهما قال‏:‏ قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ مثل المؤمنين في توادهم وتراحمهم وتعاطفهم، مثل الجسد إذا اشتكى منه عضو تداعى له سائر الجسد بالسهر والحمى” ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)‏ 

Sufyan bin ‘Abdullah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I said, “O Messenger of Allah, tell me something of Islam which I will not ask anyone else about it.” He (ﷺ) said, “Say, ‘I believe in Allah’ and then be steadfast”.

[Muslim].

 This is the Dua we make for our brothers, Allah has given them victory, now stay steadfast.

Ismail ibn Nazir Satia (one who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure).

17th Muharram 1445

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Current Affairs articles

Burma: Where Were the Muslims?

By Khalid Baig
 jeremy-bishop-295475.jpg
Just imagine the year is 2100 CE, long after we are all dead. A school child is studying Muslim history of the last century. He finds extremely disturbing events that took place at the beginning of that century. More than a million people were persecuted with murders, expulsions from homes, and dishonoring of Muslim women. The most disturbing fact is that it was not that Muslim armies fought and lost; these were simply one-sided battles with armies of murderers, rapists, and thugs victimizing innocent and helpless people.
Where were the Muslims, he wonders. He finds that despite a successful effort by their adversaries to reduce their numbers through birth control, there were still 1.2 billion of them in the world. They were on all continents, in all countries. More than 50 countries in the world had majority Muslim populations and Muslim rulers. Did they have no armies or weapons? Actually, they had big armies and lot of weapons. One country was even a nuclear power and had successfully developed ballistic missiles that could hit faraway targets. Another Muslim country with a big army was just next to the troubled area. Some of the countries were very rich. Together, they had sufficient resources to stop the atrocities.
Maybe they did not get the news of the tragic events in time. Actually, they did have good communication equipment. Although they did not really control that equipment and those controlling it used to color and distort things a lot, yet Muslims everywhere were able to hear and see the horrors faced by their fellow brothers and sisters as they were taking place. They saw their plight, they heard their cries, but not a soldier moved from the Muslim world to help those whose lives, honors, and properties were being trampled simply because they were Muslims.

 

Maybe they had become totally indifferent to the plight of their fellows. Maybe they had lost their faith— no, lost their soul — so they just did not care. Actually, despite all their problems, individual Muslims all over the world were still deeply concerned about their fellows. They talked about them. They raised money for them. They prayed for them. They desperately petitioned whoever they thought could help.
Then what was happening? The student is perplexed. As he continues to dig through historical accounts, he finds something curious. As the massacres were continuing in Burma, a big army assembled by Saudi Arabia was busy attacking Muslims in Yemen.
Their enemies had certainly done their part in igniting the flames of those internecine wars, but they had tried that throughout history. The intriguing development that facilitated this fiasco was a strange new ideology that had gripped the Muslim world. The devastating ideology was that of the nation-state. According to it each Muslim country was an independent nation. And so they became. Each with its own national flag, national anthem, national days, and national interests. As Muslim governments took legitimacy from the concept of nation-state, they owed their allegiance to it also — when they did not owe their allegiance to their foreign masters. In the halls of power, the ummah died. Muslim leaders did talk about the ummah but only as a remote, ceremonial entity. The governments and armies were there to protect the national boundaries and national interests; nobody looked after the boundaries or interests of the ummah.
The murders, arsons, and dishonoring of women in Kashmir was not the concern of anyone except Pakistan and that only because the area was a strategic source of Pakistan’s water. If it were not for the “national interests,” Pakistan would have nothing to do with them either. The brutalization of Muslims in Palestine was not the concern of anyone except the Palestinians themselves. Even Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa had become Palestinian problems. Burma was responsibility of no one, because it did not exist at all on the new maps of national interests.

 

It was a bizarre ideology, exported by the colonial powers so their hold would remain strong even after they had formally given up the colonies. But in those strange days people normally had one of two reactions to most anything that came from their former colonial masters; they either welcomed it, thinking it would bring them progress and happiness, or they became resigned to it thinking it inevitable. However, the ideology of nation-states was exactly opposed to the Islamic idea of one ummah and life was torn between the conflicting concepts. Hajj symbolized the dichotomy. It was the annual reminder that Muslims are one people, as believers from all over the world wore the same two-sheet dress, circumbulated the same Ka’ba, making the same commitment “O Allah I am here”. It had also been turned into a reminder of the most important belonging of a pilgrim: his passport. Without that certificate of belonging to a nation-state no one could perform Hajj or even move from one point to another in the sacred land.
The student finally understands the ideological trap that guaranteed the tragedies of Burma and Bosnia and Kosova and Iraq and Afghanistan and … and… an endless list. But he cannot figure out why did Muslims of the period allow themselves to be so trapped. Did they not remember the Qur’anic declaration, “The Believers are but a Single Brotherhood.” [AlHujarat, 49:10]. Did they not remember the Qur’anic command, “Hold fast together the Rope that Allah has extended for you and do not dispute among yourselves.” [Aale-Imran, 3:103]. Did they not remember the hadith, “Muslims are one body. If any part of the body is suffering the whole body feels the pain.” Did they not know that the devastating idea of nation-states was actually the idea of creating permanent divisions in the ummah?  What was going through their minds? Why did they allow themselves to be imprisoned in the cage of that stinking nationalism?
He gives up. History is so full of intrigues!
Post Script:
People have been asking why Pakistan is indifferent to the plight of Burma’s persecuted Muslims plight.
This is the wrong question to ask. For Pakistan is not indifferent. It has extended its hand of support —- to, yes, the Burmese government. 

https://www.dawn.com/news/1313519
“The governments of Pakistan and Myanmar are now in “advanced negotiations” to licence-build the JF-17, a single-engine multi-role fighter jet, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, an independent defence news agency, reported.”
What is more, they are quite proud of this achievement.
“According to PAC chairman Air Marshal Javaid Ahmed, the first sale of Pakistan-made jets to a foreign nation has been a “milestone in the country’s aviation history.”
http://www.defencebd.com/2016/10/myanmar-air-force-ordered-16-jf-17.html

Of course this was nearly two years after the report that showed strong evidence of genocide of Burma’s Muslim by its government.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/10/exclusive-strong-evidence-genocide-myanmar-151024190547465.html

(In 1999 I wrote Kosova: Where were the Muslims. Nearly two decades later it is the same story. This article is an adaptation of the earlier article).
Categories
Current Affairs articles

Qurbani – ‘Sacrifice’ or comparing the price?

Unfortunately, Qurbani has become rather like car insurance, where one searches for the lowest “quote” and the cheapest price… this should not be the case.
We shouldn’t think of Qurbani or any obligation in Islam as a BURDEN, brothers and sisters. Rather we should fulfil it for solely the pleasure of Allah SWT.
Give to the “needy” countries.
Give to the “poorest” country.
Don’t go for the LOWEST quote!
Did you know, there are many Muslims who don’t eat meat all year round, only on Eid! Remember that, next time you’re licking your chicken legs and eating that Kobeda.
I feel sooner or later, we will have websites or apps (like ‘gocompare’… ‘goqurbani’) that will compare charities and countries then show which are the cheapest. Astaghfirullah…
My gripe is we earn thousands of pounds and when it comes to spending for Allah SWT, we are tight fisted – La Hawla Wa La Quwwata Illa Billa!
The saddest part of all of this is, how deep our selfishness goes. The word ‘Udhiyyah’ (Arabic), ‘Qurbani’ (urdu), actually means ‘sacrifice’. It really shows whether we love Allah or just love our pockets, our purses and our bank accounts.
Lastly, many of you reading this will be from Bangladesh/India/Pakistan. Let’s not just focus on these countries, we have many of our Muslim brothers and sisters around the world who are living in extreme poverty. I understand that some of these other countries have extortionate rates for an animal. But, if we all go for a £15 share in a cow from India and just want to absolve ourselves from this obligation, who will feed the Muslims in Iraq and Palestine where a large animal costs almost £2,000 (approx £300 per share). It is advised that family and friends get together and offer a ‘Nafl’ Qurbani in these countries, i.e. split the cost between them, if they can’t afford a full share. A great way of doing this is with the intention of Esale Thawab. This Eid, let’s not deprive anyone In Sha Allah.
Please bear in mind, Qurbani comes once a year and we eat meat on a regular basis in the UK.
ASK YOURSELF: ARE YOU SACRIFICING OR JUST COMPARING THE PRICES?!
(Mawlana) Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure).
1st Dhul Qa’dah 1438