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DIET - Discover Islam Education Trust, held a panel discussion on the topic named “Khilaafah, Kingdoms & the World of Democracy

What’s the Reality & What’s the Exaggeration?” on Saturday , 25th of Feb, 2017 at IMA Hall. Janab Syed Shafiullah Saheb, Karnataka State Secretary, Minority Wing, Janata Dal Secular, was the guest speaker, and Br. Umar Shariff, Educationist and the President of DIET, being the other. The event was moderated by Br Yunus.

Br. Yunus began the discussion by posing to Br. Umar Shariff the reason behind choosing such a topic. Br. Umar Shariff said he did so with a concern towards actions of few youths of our community who are alarmingly getting radicalized and have gone migrating to other countries which are Muslim dominated, believing that doing so is doing Hijrah. Br. Umar Shariff cited the incidence of 19 Muslim youths from Kerala leaving their country along with their women folks to that effect.

Br Shafiullah said that all the religious leaders throughout the country have on numerous parlays and gatherings have spoken against and condemned such extremist actions of migrating from the country or joining extremist deviant groups such as ISIS, time and again, and the same message has been sent across every state and city of India through all Imams of Masjids in Jumma sermons. Hence few of those youths are the fringe elements of our community, who have taken extreme steps out of ignorance unaware of the right directions of our Ulemas. He said that none of the various groups such as Tableeghi Jammat, Ahle Hadees, Jammat e Islami, or any other group of our community have recognized the extremist groups such as ISIS.

Br. Umar Shariff said that today through some media, a sense is created in the minds of some of our youths with a notion that Islam cannot be practiced in democratic states and hence Muslims must do Hijrah to Muslim countries to completely follow Islam. When Br. Yunus questioned as to what measures are being taken to stop this trend, Br. Umar Shariff said that the numerous incidences of our innocent Muslim youths being detained in prisons for many year through false convictions has created resentment in our youths, and this has emotionally charged the raw minds now that become susceptible to committing such extreme acts. For this, he said that we need to make them understand that we can definitely while also staying under the constitutional precincts, can democratically, through media win justice to our innocent youths, and hence make a difference. We have to ensure that we work towards providing many forums to them to democratically fight against such unlawful detentions; but we Muslims generally let ourselves to feel victimized always.

Br. Umar Shariff said that the Ulemas - scholars of Islam point out towards two aspects of democracy. He quoted Dr. Shaikh Jaffer Idris for them to being as:

1. In a democracy the majority nominates the leader, to which the scholars have no major objections.

2. The second aspect is the issue, as sovereignty lies with the state; and the people legislate laws, to which the scholars strongly disagree due to the verse of Quran that says “the right to legislate laws is only for Allah”.

Now to the question of how to reconcile between democracy and the disagreed aspect, Br. Umar Shariff said we as a Muslim minority, living in a pluralistic society living within the democratic system, have to participate in the democratic system, in a manner as Shaikh Bin Uthaimeen (rahimahUllah) said, “It's waajib (obligatory) to participate in democracy. By no means can you stop the outcome. So you have to choose the lesser evil looking for a man favorable to the people and more just”.

He quoted Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen further as saying, “I think elections are obligatory. We should appoint one who is good. Because if good people abstain who will take this place. Evil people will take place. Or, neutral people in whom there is neither good nor evil. But they will follow who will make noise. But choose who are fit. If someone says that its only someone who is bad and most of the people in the parliament are good, then we say that if Allah blesses that one person with speaking the truth, then undoubtedly he effect the parliament, but what we mean to say is that we rely more on physical means and do not listen to what Quran says. So nominate the one who is good and put your trust in Allah”.

Janab Shafiullah stressed on the point that we need to actively participate in voting, and do not keep ourselves back saying we are few; because even just 1% of votes can either raise a government or cause it to fall.

On the question about the Kingdoms in Islam, Br. Umar Shariff said that there is a wrong notion amongst some of the movements today who think that the end of the Prophethood of Muhammad (saws) that paved way to Khilaafah must exist all through up till the final phase of the Qiyamah. But the Prophet himself said that Khilafa will last for a specific period of time, and later will be followed by kingdoms and military rule, up until Khilafa will return before the day of judgment - Qiyaamah. From the Seerah of our Prophet we learn that there was a phase when the Muslims lived in Makkah, while only calling people towards Islam; and then through a phase of Hijrah; and finally into the phase of Islamic state in Medina under Prophethood; and not to forget the peace treaties done by the Prophet with the non-Muslims, while the Islamic state was already established. Citing this, he suggested that we need to follow the rightly guided scholars who would guide the masses according to the Seerah according to the prevalent situations, i.e to lead a life giving daa'wah, if that’s the call of the current conditions, or do Hijrah - migration, if the Muslims are not given the rights to practise and propagate their religion. He further said that in India, Muslims are given the right to practise their religion and even propagate that which they believe. They are able to pray 5 times a day, engage in business, marry according to the Islamic law and they are give equal rights under the constitution of India. Meanwhile we need to stop our youths from extremism, considering the existence of Kingdoms to be illegitimate, while perpetrating hatred towards it, that would cause bloodshed in the name of achieving an Islamic Caliphate.

Janab Shafiullah’s two messages to the youths finally were to:

Please follow our religious leaders, instead of following acts of extremes of some youths.

Our country has seen lot of our ancestors having sacrificed their lives for its freedom. So show respect to our past freedom fighters and to our motherland, both through talk and deed.


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