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Feb 24, 2007

Kashmiriyat - the Muslim definition...

This article below in Greater Kashmir Online finally should tell the Indian media - which harps so much about "Kashmiriyat" whats really is in the minds of the majority of Kashmir. I have repeatedly written about the hoax Kashmiriyat is and how its been a curse for the Pandits... and now read the muslim view on it.

I must thank Suhail Showkeen for blowing the cover off the pretense and speaking what Muslims actually have in their hearts... this is the Kashmiriyat which they wanted to convert to "Nizam-E-Mustafa"... this is the Kashmiriyat that meant Pandits living at mercy of the majority community as second class citizens - as Hindu's and Christains do today in Islamic states like Pakistan and Bangladesh... this is the Kashmiriyat that meant "convert, die or flee" for the 5% minority Hindu's in the valley... and this is the Kashmiriyat that reduced the once majority community of the valley into a non-existant minority - refugee's in their own country.

The construct of ‘Kashmiriyat’

It is a mix of two ideologies which makes it to stand somewhere outside Islam, analyses Suhail Showkeen

“Kashmiriyat” is a word in vogue. Letters and articles are written regarding it. Books and magazines are published for its promotion and propagation and media is also used to disseminate the theory of “Kashmiriyat”. A number of articles have appeared and are still appearing in this newspaper by different authors giving different definitions of this term. But one thing which is common in all these definitions is that the very term “Kashmiriyat consists of the inevitable elements–secularism and nationalism and without these two constituent elements the “concept of Kashmiriyat” cannot be conceived. In other words, “Kashmiriyat” is nothing but a hotchpotch of these two ideologies. As Muslims it is obligatory on us to judge both of these ideologies with true Islamic perspective so that we may be in a position to accept or reject the same. So in order to form any opinion regarding “Kashmiriyat”, it is necessary that the above-mentioned two ideologies should be dealt with in detail.
First comes the ideology of “Secularism”. In simple words, secularism is a principle of separation of religion from politics and this separation is one of the greatest tragedies in human life. It has reduced religion to become a private affair between an individual and God. It has also deprived man of the invaluable guidance of religion in social and collective affairs. It made ruthless inroads into religion.
It gainsays all the moral values and declares them to be only relative in character. By virtue of this “Ism”, the man lost the real hold of things and began to shape his own career with complete disregard to the divine guidance and thus, became an objective slave of his own passions and desires. Renaissance brought in its wake this concept of “secularism”. What was done actually is that a line of demarcation was drawn arbitrarily by the men at the helm of renaissance forces, cynically allotting to Christianity merely a tiny niche of human life in the shape of Sunday service in the Church and of the rites of birth and marriage and of burial on death. This new concept of “secularism” was liberal enough to allow Christianity only a peripheral existence, and too a din, pale and divorced existence from the storm and stress of life.
Consequently, Christianity lost its hold and grip for the political and collective affairs of man and was left merely as a dogma and a ritual. On the contrary Islam as a complete divine way of life i.e. “Ad-Deen” demands full and complete subservience on part of its followers. It strongly negates rather condemns this so-called separation of religion from politics. It demands complete implementation in every aspect of life whether private, collective, social, economic or political. As Allah (SWT) says: “The religion before Allah is only Islam” (Al-Qur’an, 3:19).
“If anyone desires a Deen other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost” (Al-Qur’an, 3:85). “O you who believe! Enter into Islam wholeheartedly; and do not follow the footsteps of the evil one” (AL-Baqarah, 2:208). “This day I have perfected your Deen for you, completed my favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your Deen”. (Al-Maidah, 5:3). Allama Iqbal (RA) has rightly said: “I behold the politics of secularism, the maid of evil, of low nature an dead conscience”. The great scholar and jurist of contemporary times Dr. Allama Yousuf-Al Qardawi regards belief in secularism as blasphemy (Fatawa, Vol: 1, page No. 70).
The second fundamental element of this “Kashmiriyat” is nationalism. Nationalism, in simple words is a social attitude, which makes nation and nationality the over-mastering, centripetal force, to which must gravitate the whole fabric of society. In nationalism, nation is the master of the people. Sovereignty vests in nation. The greatest virtue is to sacrifice for the nation and the greatest crime is to go against it. The expression “my nation, right or wrong” is redolent of a nationalist mind. This redolence we can clearly see in the following sayings – Mazzini, the protagonist of romantic or liberal nationalism, could not refrain from asserting that “the destinies of Italy are the destinies of the world”. Fichte went much further about Germany and said: “It is first of all the Germans who are called upon to begin the new era as pioneers and models for the rest of mankind.” (Freedom and Organization by Bertrand Russell, pp 405). He further says: “to have character and to be German undoubtedly mean one and the some thing”. (Ibid, pp 407). Now every sane person can assess what sort of disaster this type of biased and fanatic ideology can bring to the humanity, as it did in the past. This concept of nationalism proved a deathblow to the moral code and humanitarian view in one’s individual and collective affairs. The idea of the unity of man was completely exploded. Humanity was divided into innumerable units and groups on the basis of homeland, language, colour, caste, race, class and community. This helped to create a number of prejudices. To quote Hans Kohan: “For nationalism represents “vested interests”, not only political and economic but also intellectual and emotional, of an intensity and extent shown by no previous idea. In the face of the omnipotence of nationality, humanity seems a distant idea, a pale theory or a poetic dream through which the red blood of life does not pulsate”. (The idea of nationalism, pp 21-22).
Now, a far as the two systems – Islam and nationalism are concerned they stand poles apart. The idea of oneness of man is foreign to the modern society engulfed by nationalism. It has divided mankind into innumerable tiny compartments of nation, caste, colour, race etc. on the other hand Islam strongly believes in the oneness of man. According to Islam all men are the children of the same parents, Adam and Eve and hence, they are all brothers. The whole humanity is one family and the whole world is one home. The artificial walls erected by nationalism between man and man must therefore be razed to the ground and man must be freed from the tyrannies of division. Islam frees man from the bondage of his own passions and desires, from the tradition and customs and from the clutches of other men, nation or other demigods. In short it frees man from the bondage of man. Allah (SWT) says: “O mankind! Be careful to your duty to your lord who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women.” (An-Nisa 4:1)
“And He it is who hath produced you from a single being, and (hath given you) a habitation and repository.” (Al An’aam 6:98) say (O Muhammad): O mankind! Lo! I am the messenger of Allah to you all”. (Al-Aa’raf 7:158). “O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! The noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. (Al-Hujrat 49:13).
In word and deed, our most respected and beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was the perfect embodiment of the Qur’an and the final guide to the whole humanity (Kaafatan Naas). His sermon on the occasion of the last pilgrimage was a remarkable epitome of his ceaseless and indefatigable endeavour. He reminded the mammoth gathering before him that all human beings were born of Adam and Adam was born of dust, that the Arab and vice versa and that white people had no superiority over black people and vice-versa. He commissioned the concourse present there to convey this message to those who where not there. It was an address to humanity at large and it constituted the first and finest character of liberty, equality and freedom of man. May blessing of Allah and peace be upon Muhammad (SAW) – the real benefactor of humanity?
It must be clear by now beyond any shadow of doubt that Islam stands of humanity, super-nationalism, internationalism and nationalism and categorically negates and opposes this “new European god” of Nationalism whether it is Racial, Linguistic, Roman, Democratic, Totalitarian or of any other type. Allama Iqbal (RA) is cent percent right when he says: “The greatest among fresh Gods is country, its apparel is the shroud of religion.” (Bang-e-Dara).
I have taken pains to discuss extensively these two modern ideologies so that we may be able to form an opinion about “Kashmiriyat” which is the hotch-potch of both these ideologies and is being foisted upon the minds of Kashmiri Muslims through electronic and print media. It is now proved beyond any doubt that this “Kashmiriyat” is an alien concept and it undoubtedly undermines the basic concepts of Islam on the one hand and on the other hand it is this tool of “Kashmiriyat” which has been used to sabotage the concept of unity among Muslims of the sub-continent.
As “Kashmiryat” is undoubtedly an un-Islamic rather anti-Islamic ideology, so it is very strange on part of those “Muslims” who have devoted and are utilizing their capabilities in promotion and dissemination of this alien “secular and nationalistic” idea. I would like to conclude with the excerpt taken from the prophetic and pathetic speech delivered by Moulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar (RA) at the Round Table Conference in London in 1930, just a few days before death so that it may serve as an eye-opener for all the secular and nationalists of the world:
“Many people in England ask us why this question of Hindu and Muslim comes into politics and what it has to do with these things. I reply, it is a wrong conception of religion that you have, it you exclude politics from it. It is not dogma, it is not ritual! Religion, to my mind, means the interpretation of life”. I have a culture, a polity, an outlook on life – a complete synthesis which is Islam. Where God commands. I am a Muslim first, a Muslim second, and a Muslim last, and nothing but a Muslim… we are not nationalists but super-nationalists, and I as a Muslim say that “God made man and the devil made the nation.” Nationalism divides, our religion binds. No religious wars, no crusades, have been such holocausts and have been so cruel as your last war, and that was a war of your nationalism and not my Jehad”

(Pakistan Movement Historic Documents by G Allama 1968 Edition, Pages 81-832)
Seeing Kashmiriyat through this perspective will not mislead us any further.

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