A Blasphemous Eight-year-old?

Aliya Anjum

AUGUST 23, 2021

It was shocking to see a Hindu temple recently ransacked by an angry mob, somewhere in Pakistan.

Angry young men were seen damaging Hindu idols.

Thankfully, Prime Minister Imran Khan had promptly condemned the attack and ordered the provincial police chief to take action against anyone involved, including negligent police officers. He even promised that the government would restore the temple.

My first response was to look up the city where it happened. Seeing that it had taken place in the city of Rahim Yar Khan in Southern Punjab came as a surprise.

I wondered what had prompted these men to attack the holy place of another religion? The cause remained a mystery till I read an article by a British newspaper.

An eight-year-old boy had urinated in the library of an Islamic seminary, in Bhong. This caused an uproar, the reverberations of which were felt internationally.

For this act, this young child was charged with the Blasphemy Act. He was kept in protective custody by the police. He is the youngest ever accused under this law.

No blasphemy law can punish a child for an act, which was not punished by the Messenger of Allah (SWT) when committed by a Muslim adult.

With the child locked up, naturally, his community started feeling insecure. Hindu families closed their businesses and left their homes to hide in fear of mob violence.

The fact remains that there is a historical precedent existing in Saheeh Hadith of a sane, adult Muslim man indulging in the same act of urination in a sacred place.

This incident was narrated by Abu Huraira, a notable companion of the prophet. A bedouin entered the mosque, while the Prophet was seated inside.

The Bedouin prayed, and when he finished he said, “O Allah, have mercy on me and on Muhammad, and do not have mercy on anyone other than us.”

The Prophet turned to him and said, “You have indeed constricted that which is vast.”

The narcissistic prayer itself indicates that the man was afflicted with what is today classified as a Cluster B Antisocial personality disorder. Such people regularly act impulsively out of anger or a complete lack of consideration for others.

True to the textbook definition, not too much time passed before the Bedouin urinated in the masjid. The sahabah rushed towards him, but before they could do anything, our beloved prophet (PBUH) said, “Pour a bucketful of water on it (i.e., on the affected area).” He (PBUH) then said, “Verily, you were sent only to make matters easy, and you were not sent to make matters difficult.” (Jamia Tirmidhi 147).

Prophet (PBUH) took no punitive action against the man, despite his extremely rude and disgusting behaviour. His life is an example for us. It is meant to show us the way. The Quran clearly states that we must follow the Prophet (PBUH).

“O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger (PBUH), and those charged with authority among you. If you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger (PBUH), if you do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.” (Quran 4:59)

No blasphemy law can punish a child for an act, which was not punished by the Messenger of Allah (SWT) when committed by a Muslim adult.

The religion of the child is inconsequential in this matter.

If the provision of punishing a child-his or her religion notwithstanding-exists in the Pakistani penal code, it is in contravention of Sharia Law. It is not Islamic, even if it has a pompous religious title of Blasphemy Law. If the Pakistani judiciary upholds the validity of such a law, then they are going against the message of the Quran.

“Do they, perchance, desire [to be ruled by] the law of pagan ignorance? But for people who have inner certainty, who could be a better law-giver than God.” (Quran 5:50)

Our Islamic scholars should step forward to clarify the matter. They have a duty to play their part in managing public emotions by unanimously issuing a statement that explains the Islamic stance, derived from the Quran and Sunnah.

Their silence is deafening.

If the scholars speak up and address the angry mob, they can quell their anger and bring peace to an entire minority community, which is rightfully filled with the fear of potentially fatal mob violence.

Those who condemn Narendra Modi’s Hindutva ideology regularly call out the extreme measures implemented by Modi’s fascist regime against Indian Muslims. It is now their moral responsibility to defend the Hindu minority of their own country when it is under threat. They need to speak up for this Pakistani child and defend his right to freedom.

An Islamic state is a just state, foremost.

Hindu minorities must not be persecuted in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The writer is an independent researcher, author and columnist. She can be reached at aliya1924@gmail.com.

source https://dailytimes.com.pk/806932/a-blasphemous-eight-year-old/

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