Zaid Hamid and Ghuzwa-i-Hind — by Tayyab Shah

Zaid Hamid and his followers will not shy away from using religious texts of doubtful authenticity, with totally wrong and self-serving interpretations, to promote war. But the Pakistani youth is no more willing to be at the receiving end of this twisted interpretation of Islam

Zaid Hamid is the latest tool in the arsenal of the Pakistani security establishment to misguide, brainwash and indoctrinate the Pakistani youth, to win support for its belligerent agenda. To achieve his nefarious designs, especially to instill bellicosity and flare up anti-India emotions, Zaid Hamid delivers sermons on private television channels, gives inteviews and holds seminars and workshops in universities to impress and influence impressionable young minds. In order to authenticate his message of attacking and conquering India, Zaid Hamid repeats, ad nauseum, a set of ahadith [sayings of the Prophet (PBUH)] of doubtful authenticity about Ghazwa-i-Hind. Through such a medium, he tries to make his audience and viewers believe that conquering India is indeed a sacred duty of the Pakistani Muslims.

Most religious scholars do not consider these ahadith to be authenic. Some who do consider them authentic say that the predictions and prophecies made in them have already been fulfilled during the first century of Islam, and are not at all applicable to what Zaid Hamid would like us to believe — the invasion of India by Pakistan.

These scholars contend that none of these ahadith are found in the ahadith books considered to be the most authentic by the Sunnis, books like Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Daud, Ibn-i-Maja, Tirmidhi and Muwatta. Two of these ahadith appear in the collections of ahadith by Imam Nisai but not in Sunan an-Nisai al Sughra, the book considered to be among the Sihah-e-Sitta. The others are not even found in the reliable collections of respected muhadiseen (compilers of ahadith).

These scholars also argue that Imam Nisai died in 915, after the death of all other respected muhadiseen to whom Sihah-e-Sitta are attributed. It, therefore, does not make much sense that we have these ahadith being narrated through Imam Nisai, but not through any of the other respected muhadiseen who lived before him.

Another argument put forward by these learned men is that the chain of narrators of these ahadith contains people like Baqiyyah, Asad ibn Musa and Hushaim who have been declared as unreliable, untrustworthy and abominable by experts like Al-Zahabiy, Ibn Hajar and Al-Uqaily. It is clear that not even one of these chains of narrators consists of people who are reliable enough for us to say, with any degree of confidence, that the narratives under consideration are correctly ascribed to the Prophet (PBUH).

They also add that, considering the reward for participating in this war and the importance of it, as these ahadith tell, they should have been narrated by more companions of the Prophet (PBUH) and should have been included in more books of the ahadith.

These scholars also draw attention to the fact that none of these ahadith are found in any of the collections of ahadith, which the Shia Muslims consider authentic. This raises the question: did the Ummayads/Abbasids, considering their expansionist designs, invent them? It should also be noted that the Ummayads did reach Sindh, a part of Hind back then. Many scholars believe that it is possible that these ahadith are not genuine at all and that they might have been fabricated at the time of Muhammad bin Qasim’s invasion of Sindh in order to justify it.

These scholars also note the fact that we do not have any historical report telling us about the use of these ahadith in the past by Muslim rulers or conquerors, even those who did invade India or waged a war on it and claimed to do it for religious purposes. If they were respected and authentic ahadith, we should have such historical reports. It would have been very easy for Muslim conquerors of India like Mahmud of Ghazni, Shihabuddin Ghauri, Timur, Nadir Shah and so on, to present the ahadith about the Ghuzwa-i-Hind, and use them to justify their attacks on the country. The scholars associated with their courts could well have suggested these to them had they wished. However, no such mention is made about this in history books. In the 18th century, the well-known Islamic scholar Shah Waliullah of Delhi invited the Afghan king, Ahmad Shah Abdali to invade India and drive out the Marathas, which he accepted, yet Shah Waliullah, too, did not use these ahadith as a part of his argument.

Those who consider these authentic argue that the battle against India that these ahadith predicted was fulfilled in the early Islamic period itself, and is not something that will happen in the future. They also add that it is quite likely that the predicted Ghuzwa-i-Hind took the form of an attack by an Arab Muslim force on Thana and Bharuch, in coastal western India, in the 15th year of the Hijra calendar, during the reign of the Caliph Umar.

Some scholars also argue that these ahadith could, possibly, have been fulfilled in the form of missionary efforts by some of the Prophet’s (PBUH) companions soon after, during the reign of the Caliphs Usman and Ali, in Sindh and Gujarat. Other ulema consider these predictions to have been fulfilled in the form of the attack and occupation of Sindh by Arab Muslims, led by Muhammad bin Qasim in the 93rd year of the Islamic calendar, which then facilitated the spread of Islam in the country.

In any case, these ahadith do not talk about Pakistanis fighting Indians. They talk about Arabs on an expedition to India, after which they conquer it. The above clearly shows the extent to which Zaid Hamid and his supporters will go to further their agenda. They will not shy away from using religious texts of doubtful authenticity, with totally wrong and self-serving interpretations, to promote war. But the Pakistani youth is no more willing to be at the receiving end of this twisted interpretation of Islam, as was amply demonstrated by the students of Islamia College University, Peshawar, when Zaid Hamid tried to address them.

The writer is an independent policy analyst and has a post-graduate degree in Political Science and Public Policy Analysis

Source: Daily Times



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