AMU has always welcomed people from across on its renowned platforms.
But a lot of controversy has happened recently around the AMU’s women leader’s summit event.
The controversy revolved mainly on Arfa khanum’s remark on niqab which was tweeted as –
“I seriously want to understand &respect AR Rahman’s daughter’s choice of clothing
But Niqab?Quran certainly doesn’t ask 4it
What kind of conditioning/patriarchal brainwashng convinces a woman that she has to hide something as basic to a human as her face to look modest or pious?”
Well! Some students in AMU have asked a public apology from Arfa khanum on this particular remark, knowing that she is being invited in AMU as a part of leader’s summit, now as expected this has triggered another debate of “intolerance” and “freedom of speech and expression”
Well! Freedom of speech and expression doesn’t mean that one should be so free that they can malign and defame anything.
There should be *fairness in speech* instead.
Islam is a faith of monotheistic belief (belief in One God only, without any partners), Allah swt in Holy Quran has asked us –
Surah Al-Ikhlas (Surah 112) in English :
1. Say, “He is God, the One.
2. God, The Absolute.
3. He begets not, nor was He begotten.
4. And there is nothing comparable to Him.”
Now, coming to another ayat
“And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides Allah, lest they insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge.”
Holy Quran – (6.108)
The fairness of speech is expected from us, though our whole faith is based on the aqeedah, belief on the Oneness of God, but we as believers are asked to invite those who believe not with wisdom and intellect, and not by insulting the ones whom they worship other than Allah swt as in their ignorance they will do it for Him, Who has created them when they were nothing!
So, in nutshell, we are asked to invite the makhlooq (creation) to their Khaaliq (Creator) in ways which are good and unadulterated which has *fairness in speech!*
So, one should always try to be fair in speech, freedom of speech will only make one to be held accountable in His court as we are responsible for what we say and for what we do not say.
We are not created in jest and vain, we all will be accountable for our sayings and deeds.
So, I hope and pray that those who are arguing in favour of freedom of speech should understand this.
As far as niqab (face veil) is concerned, there is a valid opinion of classical scholars who acknowledge it as command of Islam and they have evidences in support of it.
I also wear hijab and jilbab though I don’t do niqab but I too often have been asked by many non muslims (and I am glad they asked it) and unfortunately by some Muslims as well who asked me whether my father/ husband has compelled me to do so (patriarchal angle, they have in their minds), I was even given an unasked advise by “too much concerned people” when I was unmarried, to abandon the hijab as nobody will marry me, thinking me to be a backward sort of girl.
SubhanAllah! I have some niqabi sisters as good friends and believe me, they have to fight for it within community to observe it, they have to struggle with their own family members, who ask them often not to wear it beacuse of the environment and Islamophobia around but they are striving to wear it and they are striving hard for it, within their family, in their circles, outside the community and with people who out if ignorance even label it as not part of Islam at all.
I respect a lot these sisters, they really have to bear so much for it. May Allah swt bless them and reward them immensely.
As far as freedom of choice is concerned then wearing hijab and jilbab is not a freedom of choice for us, as Muslims.
It is an obligation.
To say that wearing a jilbab and hijab is a freedom of choice is the wrong voice.
The only freedom we have is whether we choose to submit to His will and command or not! But to label the command as choice is not right!
One should learn the difference here.
Before speaking on any issue one should do their research well, and it is for all.
Islam is not based upon someone’s opinion or what their perspective has to say, it is a code of living life.
Yes, there are qatai issues which means definite, where no difference in opinion is allowed like for eg offering Salah is a definite masla, no difference in opinion is allowed in it.
But then there are many issues which are called dhanni issues in which difference in opinion of classical scholars is allowed and every opinion is based on different evidences, depends which evidence convince you more (and notice the thing is convince you more not the convenient one).
And that doesn’t mean that the other opinion will become invalid, it will still be a valid opinion and should be respected.
Now, coming to tolerance part.
Islam is an ideology, under which people of different faiths co existed peacefully. Justice was given to all, irrespective of any difference. Islam commands kindness to all.
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “He who is deprived of kindness is deprived of goodness.”
Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2592
We have to be kind to every one, Prophet Muhammed pbuh is addressed as Rehmatul aalaameen (mercy for all mankind) and *not* only Rehmatul muslimeen, he (pbuh) is sent for as a Rehmat, mercy for all.
But to think that you co exist and be kind only if you celebrate others festival is weird.
Islam’s base is monotheism – Belief in One God alone – La’ilaaha illalAllah –
No God except Allah.
Muhammed ur RasoolAllah
Prophet Muhammed is messenger of Allah.
Now, to celebrate other religious festival by saying bismillah will not make it halal or permissible.
And if you want to do that, do not please associate it with Islam, Islam is very clear on it.
And this doesn’t mean that Islam is intolerant!
Under the rule of Caliph Omar r.a lived the Jews and Christians and they lived peacefully.
Under Ottoman empire lived the Jews and Christians and they celebrated their festivals and had their own customs without any compulsion from Islam. It was co existinence peacefully.
So, yes har rang Rabb ke hai, lekin keh ke bismillah ap wo Nahi karsakte hai Jo Rabb ke hi ahkaam ke khilaaf ho.
Aise to sab cheezein Rabb ki taraf se hi hai, lekin keh ke bismillah hum sharaab ko Rabb Ka hi mashroob samajh Kar Nahi peesaktey hai!
Haraam is clear and Halaal is clear.
There is a hadees on it.
“The halal is clear and the haram is clear, and between them are matters unclear that are unknown to most people. Whoever is wary of these unclear matters has absolved his religion and honor. And whoever indulges in them has indulged in the haram. It is like a shepherd who herds his sheep too close to preserved sanctuary, and they will eventually graze in it. Every king has a sanctuary, and the sanctuary of Allah is what He has made haram. There lies within the body a piece of flesh. If it is sound, the whole body is sound; and if it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted. Verily this piece is the heart.”
May Allah swt bless us all.
May we not ascribe any of our whims to Islam, even in an attempt to sugar coat it.
May He swt make our speech clear and fair and may we not mould anything in ignorance.
May He bless us all with correct understanding and guide us all.
May we all live peacefully and for living peacefully we don’t need to be in some sort of inferiority complex to present or mould religion what it is not.
Now, coming back to the controversy.
AMU has welcome people across with open arms always.
It is good to listen to the other view too.
It gives one a spectrum to think and analyse.
I appreciate many of Arfa khanum’s work in journalism but that doesn’t mean that if we appreciate someone’s work then they get the license to say whatever they want.
AMU’s stand (though in minority) to demand a public apology on her tweet is appreciated.
Now, in doing so *if* (as some people are saying that) some students have pulled off the tents then I believe, if it’s is true then they should have demosntrated the protest in a better way. But to believe that the girls were abused and their duppatta was snatched, is something which I cannot believe at all.
I know well being a part of AMU myself for years that the brothers would have protested, raised slogans, may be heated arguments happened, BUT they can never snatch the dupatta of girls.
I can never, ever believe this.
The tehzeeb is still alive.