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Geo you won’t get away with this Blasphemy

It is very unfortunate that after a failing campaign of defaming the Pakistan’s security institutions, Geo has now started mocking the Islamic personalities and core values of Islam of showing respect to Prophets and the Family of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Across the Muslim World it is blasphemy to make scurrilous remarks or mocking Allah, his Prophets and his companion and his noble family. Geo TV has really hurted the religious sentiments of Muslims by playing manqabat ‘ Ali ke Saath hai Zahra ki Shaadi’ during the wedding re-enactment of film Actress Veena Malik in its morning show.

Geo and some so-called Islamic scholars who are trying to brush this act of Blasphemy under the carpet are using the Geo’s so-called apology as an excuse to cover Geo’s back. They have failed to understand that blasphemy in the Islamic laws is different from mere expression of disbelief (Kufar) and apostasy (Irtidad). Even a non-Muslim western scholar’s like Edward William Lane has very clearly described the blasphemy in the following words, ‘Still more severe than in case of Apostasy (Irtidad) is the Islamic Law with respect to blasphemy. The person who utters blasphemy against God, or Muhammad, Christ, Moses or any prophet or their companions is to put to death without delay, even though he profess himself repentant; repentance for such a sin deemed impossible. Apostasy (Irtidad) or infidelity is occasioned by misjudgement; but blasphemy is the result of utter depravity’.    

If an orientalist scholar like Edward William Lane has understood the severity of this crime two centuries ago why Geo has failed to understand it in 21st Century.  It is very strange that such an incident has taken place in the so-called fort of Islam (Pakistan). Even during the British rule, blasphemy laws were introduced in India, three of them (Indian Penal Code 295, 296, and 298) in 1860 and the fourth one (IPC295A) in 1927. The IPC295 and 296 defined the offence as well as its punishment in the following terms:

‘295: Injuring or defiling place of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class. Whoever destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship, or any object held sacred by any class of persons with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction, damage or defilement as an insult to their religion, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.’

Muslim communities across the world are gradually becoming aware of this blasphemy which will prompt many passionate expressions of distress and anger. Both Shia and Sunni venerate and pay respects to Hazrat Fatima Zahra (A.S.). She is also called As-Siddiqah (the Honest/ Truthful), Al-Mubarakah (The Blessed One,) At-Taherah (The Virtuous), Az-Zakiyah (The Chaste), Ar-Radiah (The Gratified One), Al-Mardhiah (The One who pleases Allah), Al- Mohadditha (The Narrator of the Hadith) Al-Batool (The Pure One), and Az-Zahra (The Splendid One). She was the one whom the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) referred as Umm Abiha, and who was very dear to him.

Hazrat Fatima Zahra (A.S), daughter of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), is an exemplary personality and a symbol of piety, set by Islam for women.  Ans bin Malik (R.A) narrates that when the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) used to come out for Fajr (dawn) prayer, as he passed the door of Syeda Fatima ( A.S ), he used to say, “O people of the house’ , perform your prayer” and then he used to recite the following verse of Sura al-Ahzab 33 from the Holy Quran:

Allah only desires to keep away (all kinds of) impurity from you, and to totally purify you,” O (AHAL-I-BAIT) ‘people of the house’.

The message and role of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (A.S), is not only important for Muslims but all truth-loving people of the world including the West. The sacred personality of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (A.S) is of paramount importance for every Muslim. Miswar bin Makhr amah narrates that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “Indeed, Fatimah is my fruitful branch; whatever makes her happy also makes me happy. Whatever hurts her hurts me.’’

Those who has compared the wedding of Veena Malik with the wedding of Hazrat Ali (AS) and Hazrat Fatima Zahra (A.S) should know that the Imam Ali’s marriage with Hazrat Fatima, took place when the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had refused many proposals for her from prominent and wealthy companions, he was delighted when Ali approached him asking for his daughter’s hand, and said that it was a welcome and happy proposal. The Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) also later informed the Muslims that since he had no male heir, Allah (s.w.t.) decreed that his progeny would issue forth from the union of his daughter Fatima with Ali.

On the occasion of their marriage, the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) prayed to Allah (s.w.t.) with these words: “O Allah! Bless both of them, sanctify their progeny, and grant them the keys of Thy beneficence, the treasures of Thy wisdom and Thy genius, and let both of them be a source of peace and blessing to my people.”

Addressing Imam Ali, the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) said, “Fortunate are you indeed! Of all the virtuous women of the world, your wife is the queen!” Then turning towards Fatima, he said, “Of all the virtuous men of the world, your husband is the king.”

To both of them he said, “May Allah keep you pious and chaste and bless your children. Verily, I am a friend to him who befriends you, and an enemy to him who is your enemy.” 

In this cheap show of the wealth event of wedding of Veena, when participants were busy dancing and conducting Joota Chupai, the sacred relationship of Hazrat Ali (AS) and Hazrat Ali (AS) in so-called spiritual Manqbat was being mentioned. Those who broadcasted this vulgarity on the name of entertainment probably forgot that Ali (AS) and Fatima (AS), were directed and brought up by the holy Prophet (PBUH), lived in the most austere conditions to pave the way for the loftiest of virtues. They brought up children who all in their own right left an indelible mark in the history of mankind. Life at Fatima and Ali's hope was mingled with enlightenment and piety. Not only was Fatima's (A.S) home the center of politics and social matters, but it was also the center of affection and social upbringing of the generations of Muslims. They were endowed with such lofty moral characteristics that they would spare no effort to carry out God's will.

It is very sad that during the whole show of the GEO, the attitude of the host and guests was totally inappropriate and disrespectful to holy figures of Islam. Pakistan Penal Code (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 1980 section 298 A, clearly mentions Use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of holy personages. Whoever by Words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of any wife (Ummul Mumineen), or members of the family (Ahle-bait), of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), or any of the righteous Caliphs (Khulaf-e-Raashideen) or companions (Sahaaba) of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both’.

This incident of Blasphemy is now a test case not only for Government and Media regulatory body but for the Muslim majority population of the Pakistan.  The whole movement of separate homeland for the Muslims of India now appears to have lost its credence and direction. What Maulana Abul Kalam had said in one of his message is proving to be very relevant; “I fear it may happen that it may not be possible for you

to save your own imaan.” Do we want to continue proving him right or put a stop to it by taking steps we need to take to put us back into the right direction? What’s the purpose of having laws when the Government and its agencies are being blackmailed by one anti-Pakistan media group.

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