Real reasons for the munkar acts in our prayers.

I never felt convinced about the reasons that are given for the many acts which we carry out in our swalaah, those which are not required to be done under any verse of Qur-aan. For example: the raising of hands while saying takbeer and the raising of index finger while sitting and many more such things. It is only the research on Tableegh Jamaa'ath and its distinctive practices, through which I understood the principle behind these munkar acts. (Munkar acts: those which have not been required to be done, in Qur-aan.) These things would not be found to have been ordered in the Qur-aan, but are enforced through the ahaadeeth (sayings) attributed to our Prophet Muhammad (peace upon him), or through the edicts of the fiqh books or through the sayings of the leaders of the reformative Jamaa'aths. But if we study the Qur-aan keeping in mind these indigestible things, we come to know that the real purpose of compelling observance of these acts is not obedience to any sayings of the prophet (peace upon him) or any of their sect-leaders or group-leaders, but to contravene or make fun of verses of Qur-aan.

When were the munkar acts introduced.

On trying to reflect about when exactly these munkar acts were introduced into our prayers, my attention tends to rebound towards the battles that took place between early Muslims and Muslims, that too in about two decades from the death of our beloved prophet Muhammad (peace upon him). Traditions give us some reasons for the battles, citing disputes between those who were close to the prophet, i.e., some of his companions and some of his family members, on the question of inheritance of property and succession to governance. One of the saddest and bloodiest battle was the Battle of Jamal, in which thousands of muslims on both sides of the battle lost their lives.

My intention in raking up this subject is not to arrive at a conclusion or deliver a judgment on who were guilty of causing these battles, but to ask my brothers in Islaam to remove from their minds the reasons that are given in the books about the root cause of the clashes. The eemaan (belief) or the ilm (knowledge) of the companions of the prophet (including his family members) would not have been so weak so soon after the prophet's departure, so as to start a quarrel on the question of property inheritance or succession to power. Even if there was a quarrel between some individuals, the rest of the muslims would not themselves allow to be polarized into bloody internecine groups, disregarding several verses of Qur-aan.

Real reasons for the religious conflicts are always suppressed.

The battles were, as I see it, determined opposition to the attempts to corrupt our acts of ibaadah, initially swalaah - prayers, with the munaafiq (hypocrites) among the muslims trying to bring in munkar practices in the collective prayer in mosque, at the bidding of their masters - the enemies of the believers identified in the Qur-aan. That could be the real reason for the third caliph staying away from the mosque during the last days before he was murdered.

Strictly speaking, the battles were not between two groups of Muslims, but were between the mu'minoon, the believers and the munaafiqoon, the hypocrites. I will not try to sit in judgement as to which side in the battles was what, because today is neither the day of judgement nor we have been called upon to judge. It is best to follow the two identical verses of Qur'aan, which say:
"Those are a people who have passed away. Theirs is that which they earned, and yours is that which you earn. And you will not be asked of what they used to do." (2:134 & 2:141)

I will give two recent examples of incidents, involving disputes over religious questions, in which the real reason were hidden from the public and totally different reasons were assigned for the disputes.

There was cleric in a mosque in Chennai, whose Friday sermons often generated controversies. The real reason for his unpopularity among some of the members of the management of the mosque was that he would frequently launch veiled attacks on the Tableegh Jamaa'ath and would vigorously promote Qur-aan. The bitterness increased on his being forced not to deliver the Friday sermon, except the Arabic sermon, standing on the pulpit in the mosque. On one of the Fridays that followed, he reportedly said in his sermon that he was leaving the job in the mosque and that those who are happy with his departure, let them eat a fistful more of biryani, a speciality food which is generally prepared on Fridays.

A fierce controversy ensued and the management forced him to take back his words. I did not hear the sermon directly, but when I heard about it, I too felt that there was no need to say such things in a public gathering.

A few weeks later, a friend of mine, who claimed to have heard the sermon directly, narrated a different story. He said that the cleric informed the gathering that in Europe, the Qaadiani group had printed thousands of copies of an Arabic book with the title "Furqaan Majeed" and that it was distributing it among the gullible Muslims, who are mistaking it to be "Qur-aan Majeed". He said: Those were Qaadianis, a too well-known misguided group and open enemies of the Muslims. He said: But here in Chennai also, there are people among us whose faces will turn red when the name of Qur-aan is taken. He is said to have spoken more on these lines.

Then I realised that the powerful people have suppressed the real but bitter reason for their unhappiness with the cleric, but have publicised a negligible part of the sermon as the reason for their ire.

Case No. 2:

And then there was a young man, who had taken up residence in our town, because he was employed in another nearby town. He used to argue with the clerics in our town, over their Friday sermons and on other religious questions. One day I heard that he was beaten up by a group of people, at the instance of the management of a teaching institution.
The reason given was: The young man, due to enmity with the clerics, had lodged a false complaint with the law enforcement authorities and that they had come to verify the complaint at the premises of the teaching institution. They reportedly went back after intervention from higher-ups. Afterwards the young man was beaten up.

I thought that the young man committed a mistake in taking the matter to the law enforcement people. Whatever the dispute between Muslims, none of the parties should take the matter to others for adjudication.

Several weeks later, a friend of mine asked me whether I heard about the incident involving the youth. I told him of what I heard about the incident. That was the first time he was hearing this version. He told me that what I heard was wrong and told me what he heard first-hand from one of his friends, who himself was one of the members of the group which went to beat up the young man. According to him, the real reason was: The youth was repeatedly causing annoyance to a cleric at the teaching institution, with arguments about his Friday sermons and that the cleric was unable to answer his questions. So, with the permission of the management of the institution, the man was beaten up. Later the man was hounded out of the town.

Case No. 3:

In the case of my web-pages about the Tableegh Jamaa'ath, some people approached a computer expert to seek his assistance to delete its contents, telling him that I had written bad things about Islaam.

Date: Mon, 3 Feb 2003 13:31:35
Dear Sir.
I am a resident of *****. May be u would have recognised me easily.
First let me tell u one thing, that i congratulate u for ur this extra work and research what u have done against the people of tabliq jamaat. i am a resident of *****.
Let me tell u my story. Some people of visharam came to me to ask one doubt. i asked what it is. They asked me the question whether it is possible to delete the data from the web server if somebody has hoisted it. i told it is not possible. then i asked them what is the problem and i told them to tell me if i can help u guys.
At that time they told me U (Abdur raheem) has started a new web site and u have written bad about islam and bad about the whole community and u order the people of ur factory not to go to jumaa bayaan and u dont allow anybody to pray sunnats and u order them to pray jumaa farz in the factory itself.
I asked them the web site address and the mail address of the site so that i promised them that i will write email to the address and write bad and vulgar words to u and i will ask him about everything in the worst possible unparlimentry words and ask him who does he thinks to go and research quran. They even told me that u compare and contrast bible and quran and u have done that in ur web site.
So on that intention only i came today and opened the site and i found that what i thought about u is wrong.
U have done a good thing which nobody has the guts to do it and even if they have the guts they r poor.
Allah has provided u with money and the power. Please do it. if u need any help i will help u if there is any thing.
Now i want to take a print out of the whole things and take it to my friends and show them and tell them what is the mistake in the web site and why do u people r against him.
I salute u sir. Keep it up and let it go more. Inshallah god will help u. If i have a chance to meet u inshallah i will meet u.
Nothing more to add.

From the attitude of the people who wanted to delete the web-pages, we come to know that whatever group or sub-sect a muslim is attached to, he considers his group or sub-sect as "Islaam". And whoever points out the mistakes of the group, he is considered to be speaking "against Islaam".

Thus, the real reasons for the incidents arising from disputes over religious matters are not made public, but instead some concocted reasons are publicised. The false reason for the disputes / clashes is invented and publicised not by the aggrieved person or group, but by the group which is guilty of wrong-doing, like introducing a bid'ath practice, suppressing of importance of Qur-aan, suppressing of Qur-aanic edicts, etc. And if the guilty person or group gets the upper hand in the conflict, the false reason also gets dominance and the real reasons get suppressed.

Thus, we see that even in the present 'information age', disinformation gets precedence / priority over facts and unless we have the necessary means and time to verify and enquire about the real facts with authority, we would get carried away by the information emanating from the dominating group. If we cannot get the real reasons for a conflict, while we are living in the same town and times, how can we believe reasons given out for the conflicts that took place centuries ago, in far-away places. And if the cities and countries, which are considered to be the source, authority and guardian of the knowledge of the religion continue to be under the political and religious control of the hypocrites, who is going to tell us that the real reason for the conflicts of the early days of Islaam was the struggle to protect and retain the shariah and shape of our ibaadaat: swalaah / prayers, etc., as prevailing during the days of the prophet (peace upon him) ? Had there remained from those days, even a tiny group of people who were merely "Muslims", they would have narrated to us the real reasons for the conflicts that took place in the early days of Islaam. But, unfortunately, everyone of us is in some sub-group or the other, and the reasons told by every one of their leaders is bound to be false.

Our only hope of knowing what we are required to do, irrespective of what our forefathers have been saying or doing, is al-Furqaan : The Criterion (of right and wrong) : Qur-aan. We have to chart out our course, with the help of Allaah, in the light of The Criterion, even if the believers of old times, in the face of onslaught on the purity of Islaam, had to adopt silence, for reasons and circumstances best known to Allaah, that led to the continual following of wrong practices by the later generations.

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