The spilling of innocent blood of human beings has become common place in the ever changing, civilised and modern contemporary world. In just a few days the world witnessed massacres in Nigeria, Turkey, Belgium and Pakistan. In these barbaric and heinous attacks, dozens of innocent people lost their lives and many were grievously wounded. It looks like humanity is under a great threat.
Many years ago, the fourth caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community wrote with extreme sadness about the killing of innocent humans: “So much blood has been spilled throughout history that the whole world could be painted red with it – with plenty to spare. When will man stop killing his fellow men? When will his thirst for blood ever be quenched?”
Unfortunately, this thirst for blood is increasing at a massive rate. More sadly, in many of such events we find that some so-called Muslims, individual and organisations, are involved.
Recently, several thousand religious activists protested the execution of convicted murderer Mumtaz Qadri in Islamabad, Pakistan. The protesters chanted that it was the ‘love of the Holy Prophet Muhammad’ which obliged Qadri to shoot Salman Taseer, then governor of Punjab, thus he should not have been executed. Moreover, they were demanding the immediate imposition of Islamic laws (according to their interpretation and understanding), the execution of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman convicted for alleged blasphemy, and so on.
I believe that the true love of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, does not demand the shedding of innocent blood or the imposition of one’s religious beliefs on others.
True love requires the saving of lives and showing kindness, compassion and mercy towards fellow human beings, respecting freedom of religion and conscience of every person. One of the attributes of God is As-Salam, meaning the source of peace. The very name of Islam means ‘peace, submission and kindness’. The Prophet was declared in the Holy Quran as a ‘mercy for the mankind’.
Prophet Muhammad was very kindhearted and merciful. He not only preached to the people to show kindness to each other but also to all living souls. He even treated animals with great care and love. He forbade the practice of cutting tails and manes of horses, of branding animals at any soft spot, and of keeping horses saddled unnecessarily.
Whenever he engaged in a defensive war, he used to firmly order that, even during war, women, children, elderly people and animals should not be killed. When the Prophet was so compassionate towards all living souls, then how could these terrorists justify the killing of humans in his name?
I believe that whoever is involved, directly or indirectly, in these terrorist attacks, is the enemy of mankind. He is far from being called as a human being. These were the people who were called “the worst creation under the canopy of Heaven” by the Prophet Muhammad.
He said: “There will come a time upon the people when nothing will remain of Islam except its name and nothing will remain of the Quran except its words. Their mosques will be splendidly furnished but destitute of guidance. Their divines will be the worst people under the heaven; strife will issue from them and avert to them.”
The religious leaders of the Muslim world are not playing their role enough to extinguish this fire of terrorism; instead there are many who are fuelling to it. The madrasas (religious schools) are becoming the nurseries of extremism. The suicide bomber in the Lahore attack was a teacher in a madrasa in Lahore, where he studied for years.
In January, after the Peshawar school attack, a national action plan was established by the Pakistani government to crack down on extremism and terrorism. Unfortunately, it is not being implemented fully.
I think, in the short term, there should be a clean sweep operation wherever there is a need, around the world. And in the long term there should be reforms in madrasas, in their syllabuses and in their preaching and practices. No one should be allowed to use places of worship and religious schools to preach hatred, violence and extremism. Law must act ruthlessly against the murderers of mankind.
It is the huge responsibility of religious leaders, including me, that they should not let the places of worship and religious school to become the haven of terrorism. They should not leave any stone unturned in making these places an abode of knowledge, peace, compassion and mercy. They must truly reform their souls and become the true lovers of mankind; and save themselves from becoming “the worst creation under the canopy of Heaven”.
Laiq Ahmed Atif is president of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta. Find More: