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 Updated: May 17, 2015

Hajj discrimination with Pak Shias

By: Syed Abu Rudaab

“I too have a tongue in my mouth (I too have an opinion)”

In balloting only 2-3% shia applications for hajj are accepted this year in Pakistan.

The Holy Kaaba is the first home of Allah on the earth which is a source of blessing and guidance for the inhibitors of this world and the most magnificent sign of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) and his pious son Hazrat Ismaeel (AS) who participated in its reconstruction. People from throughout the world, by becoming the witness of Allah’s dignity, honor and sovereignty, and accepting the value of prophets and by showing modesty to them, circumambulate around the Kaaba like angels. Allah has declared Holy Kaaba as pennant of Islam and its respect and honor is made compulsory while its pilgrimage is made obligatory upon those who can afford it. Hajj is visiting the Holy Kaaba and the performance of the obligatory rituals prescribed under Sharia. It is obligatory upon every mature, conscious and financially sound person, at least once in his entire life. It is the desire of the Muslims across the world that they could pay visit to Holy Kaaba to perform Hajj or Umrah (minor Hajj) at least once in their life and every year Muslims strive to perform this obligation throughout the world.

The governments of Muslim countries provide different kinds of facilities so that the pilgrims do not face any difficulty during the Hajj season. Shafi, Malki, Hanbli, Hanfi, Muqalid (conformist) and Ghair-Muqalid (nonconformist), all perform the rituals of Hajj according to their own jurisprudential injunctions. Government of Pakistan has also established the department of Religious Affairs which grant facilities to the pilgrims according to its own limitation. To perform Hajj, government of Pakistan issues a Hajj Application Form contain some information to be filled by the applicant so that necessary facilities could be provided.

While questioning about other requirements in the Hajj application form, a column was added asking “are a Shia or not”, where there are five schools of thought in the world and even in Pakistan the followers of Jafari School of thought and the Hanfi school of thought, both exist. That is way throughout the years the timings of Azan and in the month of Ramadhan, the timings of Sahr and Iftar are separately shown for Fiqh e Hanfiya and Fiqh e Jafariya on the media.

I would certainly give a naive reaction to tremendous acumen demonstrated by Dr. Amir Liaqat Hussain in a column tagged as “Hajj Form Ka Qazia” in 11th May, 2015(21st of Rajab, 1436 A.H) of Daily Jung News Paper, but before that I, without any hesitation, will pen down that the only representative organization of Maktab e Tashayyo, Tehreek Nafaz e Fiqh e Jafariya always tried to root out the sectarianism and terrorism from the beloved homeland Pakistan. The Moosavi Peace formula, which was presented in the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the era of Chief Justice Syed Sajjad Ali, was not only approved at governmental level but was also appreciated among the religious associations and more than five dozen extremists and terrorist groups who were foreign funded, were declared as banned, besides the fact that these banned organizations are still carrying out their evil activities openly with new names and identities and media is also giving them full coverage. Quaid e Milat e Jafariya Agha Syed Hamid Ali Moosavi twi
ce has warned to the Muslim extremist countries through media that they should stop imposing their believes and revolutions on other Islamic countries because Pakistan is the mutual inheritance of all the Islamic schools of thought and its destination is achieving the blessings of Mustafa (SAWW) through Murtaza (KAW).

The question in Hajj Application Form as “are you a Shia or not” is seditious and worrisome and a conspiracy to divide Muslims, plus unified system for Prayers and totally impractical. Quaid e Milat e Jafariya Agha Syed Hamid Ali Moosavi always performed a daring role to encounter the attacks on Islam and beloved homeland Pakistan and to fail the conspiracies of the enemies he performed a positive role in the beloved homeland Pakistan. Though the point of view of Maktab e Tashayyo on the issue of unified system of prayer timings and Hajj Form was not openly telecasted by media yet while seeing the anxious condition of Shia school of thought, the statement given by Saudi Minister for Hajj affairs is a transparent evidence of us being right. As for as the column of Dr. Amir Liaqat Hussain is concern, due to shortage of time, replying to every single statement of his is not appropriate yet he wrote in his column that “those who showed their anxiety on the question in the Hajj application form asking “whether you are Shia or Sunni” are actually foolishly exasperated by the question, they thought that its some kind of sectarianism”. This column proved the Dr. Amir Liaqat himself even did not read the Hajj Application Form because the actual question in the form is “are you Shia or not?”.

If the Sunni school of thought question had asked in the form, the objection would not have been raised. And besides the Fiqh e Jafariya and Hanfiya, the Ahl e Hadith, Diobandi school of thought, Malki, Shafi, Hanbali, Muqalid (conformist) and Ghair-Muqalid (nonconformist), all perform the Hajj, thus not asking about them in the form itself is a serious question. If the purpose of questioning in the form is for administrative convenience, it would have been better if columns for the other schools of thought would have also been added. Dr. Amir Liaqat has even written that those who are raising objection against the concern column in the Hajj Application Form are considering it as sectarianism and a blasphemy to Islam and believes it as the conspiracy of proliferating hatred by neighboring Islamic country. Dr. Amir Liaqat, while giving the reference of him as being ex-minister for religious affairs, claimed that the recommendation to add the concern column was given by Allama Mufti Jafar Hussain.

Further he discussed about the facilities which are given to the Shia pilgrims against checking this column. Dr. Sahab must keep this in mind that Tehreek e Nafaz e Fiqh e Jafariya was established against the reaction of a past dictator Gen. Zia ul Haque, when he made an attempt to turn Pakistan as a sectarian state. Tehreek e Nafaz e Fiqh e Jafariya’s first chairman was Mufti Jafar Hussain, and after his death Agha Syed Hamid Ali Shah Al Moosavi was handed over the charge of Tehreek. He, soon after becoming the leader of Tehreek e Nafaz e Fiqh e Jafariya, openly annunciated that there is no element of Shia-Sunni sectarianism throughout the world, and the one who says so is the enemy of both Shia and Sunni. Thus the attempts of Zia ul Huq to make Pakistan as a sectarian state was failed and today, Pakistan is not a Shia or Sunni State but according to the Article #2 of the constitution of Pakistan, Pakistan is an Islamic state, and according to the Article #227 All existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the Injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah, in this Part referred to as the Injunctions of Islam, and no law shall be enacted which is repugnant to such injunctions 1[Explanation.-In the application of this clause to the personal law of any Muslim sect, the expression “Quran and Sunnah” shall mean the Quran and Sunnah as interpreted by that sect.]

Unfortunately, the international powers and satanic governments have been trying to portray terrorism as Shia-Sunni sectarian problem for a long period of time and in this connection they are targeting the Muslim countries. Yemen crisis are the chain of same continuity. One can judge the great injustice on the part of journalism that in the Headlines and tickers it is time and again written “Shia Houthi Militants”, yet the reality is the Hauthis are not at all Shia neither they are the followers of Twelve Imams or Isna Ashari. Everyone knows that after propagating the word “shia” when an Iranian passenger plan, carrying the pilgrims for Umrah, landed on Saudi Arabia, they were treated so shamelessly which shock the Muslims of entire world and that is the reason Iran is not sending their pilgrims for Umrah as a protest. Now this scenario raise a suspiciousness that the question in Pakistani Hajj Application form regarding shia might lead to the same kind of treatment with Pakistani Shias in the Saudi Arabia. That is the reason Saudi Arabia immediately reacted and issued and official statement that they did not ask for any such information in the hajj application form from Pakistani government, just to dilute the mentioned impression. As for as Mr. Liaqat’s statement is concern as recommendation was given by Mufti Jafar Hussain, can he even dare to bring any evidence in this connection? Or else anything could be said about the one who is not present right now and cannot be present.

As soon the information about the prejudicial question in the Hajj application form came to be known, Joint Secretary Tehreek e Nafaz e Fiqh e Jafariya Maj (R). Baqir Hussain Bukhari wrote a letter to Federal Minister for Religious Affairs yet it is another awful reality that ministers feel it their insult to reply. Likewise, the other important problems, the introduction of unified system for prayers, which is completely inapplicable and utopian because in all the cities the timings are sun rise and sun set are different with the gap of almost ten minutes according to the Jafar ibn e Muhammad’s school of thought. Respected Dr. Liaqat tried to prove himself as great scholar yet he did not mention which sect does he belong to? Because sometimes he becomes Diobandi and sometimes, Baralwi, sometimes he is seen in the Shia Majalis and sometime becomes “Jack of All Trades” in the entertainment programs. We just objected on the question asking directly only about Shia sect and recommended that the question should be asked in this way, You belong to Shia or Hanfiya Sect, so that all types of sectarianism could be condemned. The most noticeable thing is that whether the saying like, “arrival before Muharram and differentiation in the rituals of Hajj” are not sectarianism? Who among Muslims does not want to get back to his country before Muharram ul Haram? Imam Hussain (AS) does not belong to Shias only, rather Imam Hussain (AS) is of everyone. The doors of Ijtahad by the followers of rest of the four schools of thought are shut down while in other administrative departments this column, “whether you are Shia or not” is added which is a serious question. We demand from the authorities that this column must be removed not only from the Hajj application form, but also from the form of other administrative departments for public employees and the question should be asked as “to which sect you belong out of five schools of thought?” Secondly. The followers of Fiqh e Jafariya must be granted amnesty from the Hajj Lottery System. Thirdly, the question about confidante should also be excluded. Fourthly, in connection to the Hajj jurisprudence, questions should be referred to the authentic Shia scholars. Fifthly, from Ullama board to Islamic Ideological Council, in all the public departments the Shia members might be Shia but not Shia representatives. The representatives would be those who are selected by concern religious organizations.

That’s how the convenience would be ensure for the administration of religious affairs and the elements which are isolating Shia and Barelwi school of thought must be eradicated.

(Writer is the member of shiite organization Tehreek Nafaz Fiqh-e-Jafariya, TNFJ -  Article was written in Reply to the Column of Dr. Amir Liaqat Hussain Published in Jung Newspaper, 11th May, 2015)


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