Is Javed Ahmad Ghamidi devotional or deviational?
Ovais Manzoor Dar
The bottle of modern civilization is brimful with the wine of ‘LAA.’ Perhaps there is no cup of ‘ILLA’ in the hands of the cup bearer (Allama Iqbal, Bal-i-Jibril).
As humanity was covered by the torment of death, God sent the Last Prophet (pbuh) to resuscitate it, and to deliver it from darkness into light. The citadel of the darkness had been stormed, and the beleaguered forces sallied forth to fight to the bitter end. But Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) wavered not. In the hurricane of hate and persecution he stood firm like a rock. He even told his uncle who had brought him up since his childhood, “O my uncle, ‘if they [the Quraysh] placed the sun on my right hand and the moon on my left to force me to renounce my work, verily I will not desist until God makes manifest His work or I perish in the effort.” Although the candle of Islam has been facing heavy storms since its early days of glow, thousands of windstorms tried to blow off this candle; but every storm had to change its course because it is the promise of Allah. As Quran mentions: “they desire to put off the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect his light, though the unbelievers may be averse” (Q. 61: 8). There was not a single tactic of barbarism that had not been inflicted upon the Muslims. But the message of Islam was supposed to approach every corner of the world. The forces, which especially became hurdles in its path, were the Jews and the Christians. These forces have been continuously fighting against Islam with weapons as well as other means but were defeated. Nevertheless, over the period of time they have reached the target and have been attacking Islam with their ideas/ intellect. There have been numerous attempts to spoil the lineage of Islam and Prophet (pbuh) by intellects who come from the non-Islamic background and by those who despite claiming to be the scholars of Islamic teachings have battled to strike a balance between modernism and Islam. Such scholars started their mission by knowing the languages of the orient and in-depth study of Islam. They translated many Islamic texts into their own languages and misinterpreted. This wave of misinterpretation abounded many Muslim litterateur. Among one of them is the well-known contemporary Pakistani scholar Javed Ahmad Ghamidi. His understanding of Islam can be clearly known in his books Mizan, Burhan, Monthly Ishraq, Qannoni Ibadah, and Al-Bayan (Exegesis of Qur’an). These books are based on his own understanding concoctions and deviations from Islamic principles in many fashions. Ghamidi rejects some basic tenets of Islam in his books.
Below is provided a brief assessment and summary of his major thoughts on different aspects of Islam—
Ghamidi on Aqeedah (Beliefs): Ghamidi is against the Nazool of Jesus [Esa] and believes on his death (Mizan, 2008, I: 178); Gog, Magog and Dajjal for Ghamidi is western world (Monthly Ishraq, June 1996: 61). He disavows the punishment of Grave and denies the ‘SHIFAT’ of Prophet (Mizan, 64); and he does not believe in the arrival of Imam Mahadi (Monthly Ishraq, june 1996: 60). According to him for entering into paradise one should have faith in Allah, doomsday and should practice good things whether he is a Muslim, Jew or Christian etc. In other words he believes in ‘unity of religions’ or wahadat Adiyan (yearly Musabie, 2008: 15).
Ghamidi on Hadith: Ghamidi does not claim to refute the status of authentic ahaadith directly, yet he takes it a stage further and categories Hadith as something from which ruling cannot be drawn and only Quran is the only original source for drawing ruling. He goes on to say that some ahadith have been misinterpreted by all—yes all the Imams, Mufaseern, Muhaditheen, Fuqaha and Ulama etc. (Mizan, 2002: 24). But in the Hadith of Tirmidhi with authentic chain of transmission, Prophet [pbuh] said, “My ummah will not unite on astray.” Ghamidi’s agenda is to systematically make Hadith irrelevant and replace Islam with new system.
According to Ghamidi, Sunnah is only the name of 27 practices (Mizan, April 2002: 16); in other words, he is challenging Islam as being complete religion. Ghamidi on Jurisprudence (Fiqh): There is no prescribed amount for zakah (Qanooni iebadth April 2005: 119); no prescribed punishment for apostate; apostate can’t be killed (Burhan, June 2006: 140); No prescribed punishment for a drunkard (Burhan, June 2006: 138). Furthermore, he is of the opinion that in Islam only two crimes lead to the punishment of death i.e ‘fasad fil ird’ and ‘katli nafs’ (Burhan, June 2006: 143). Also, for him, there is no concept of purdah [veil] in Islam, no need for a woman to hide her hair (Monthly Ishraq, May 2002: 47). Use and Trade of pig skin and fat is permissible in Islam (Mizan April 2002: 168).
Ghamidi on Religious institutions: He is also against religious education that is imparted from the very beginning of a child’s learning. He wants 12 years of education to have same curriculum across the board, after which student should be allowed to choose between religious or non-religious education.
Ghamidi on Islamic State: According to Ghamdhi, the purpose of Islam, as a religion, is not to establish a world order. He asserts that this obligation is not the objective of the Quran. He presents his view that the purpose of religion is the purification of one’s self to achieve God’s paradise. He presents that the state established by the Prophet was not out of necessity to fulfill a divine command but it was natural outcome. He also wrangled with the predecessors’ notion that within a Muslim state it is impeding to define that sovereignty of the land belongs to God. As per Ghamdhi it is utterly foolishness. Apart from his above mentioned astray, there are several other deviant beliefs of Ghamidi.
In an interview, Ghamidi was asked about ‘beard in Islam’. He forwards his corrupted view and clearly insults the Prophet of Islam [pbuh] by rejecting the Ahadith of Bukhari and Muslim about beard. From these views and opinions of Ghamidi on various aspects of Islam as a religion, it seems Ghamidi is cultivating and nurturing an entirely new interpretation of religion.
Author is pursuing Masters in Islamic Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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