All posts by Minhaaj Rehman

Minhaaj Rehman is a consultant, writer, and speaker with multilingual skills. Currently, he contributes to The News, More Magazine, ProPakistani, etc. He writes on diverse topics ranging from technology to education and politics to travel.

The Stranger

Perhaps one of the greatest inventions of mankind is the invention of Gutenberg printing press. Not only has it preserved many of the classics and traditional wisdom that was on the verge of extinction, it has given people the tools to create and disseminate knowledge.

What used to take thousands of scribes to compile, the press could do it in an instant. It was in the hands of the intellectuals, academics, and publishers in the beginning until the technology became too big for even that. The era of web 3.0 came along where not only anyone could publish, people could interact with them instantly.

The Stranger by Albert Camus is one of the classic French novels that many categorize as a blatant defense of existentialism. Novel’s hero is an Algerian French. Islamic Spain was long ago in history and French morals were imposed on the new colonized Algeria. Along with that, it brought the indifference and apathy that is part of European social fiber.

The story begins with the news of the demise of hero’s mother in another province. Man doesn’t show reactions to the calamity as if it was just another cadaver wrapped in coffin put into the casket. He smokes and drinks coffee and sits in front of it the whole night denying the offer to see the face.

The story goes onto to explain his coming back to work and starting an illicit relationship with a former colleague to mistakenly killing someone and denying the appeal. Finally, he denies the cleric’s plea to convert to Christianity in utter contentment with his destiny, death sentence in this case. Meursalt, the hero is portrayed as hardened, cold character for whom the progression of life comes so natural that peer pressure or public reaction seem to be of comical and childish impulse.

For him, this comes as a huge surprise that people would find his personal life and reactions so immensely aggravating that they would make a point by letting him know. His consistent inability to understand how people around him live seems to be very relevant today when one compares it with the occidental societies and literature. Gloom and doom seem to be an acceptable way of life and when it does talk about happiness, it is always bacchanalia of sin and avarice.

This complacency or apathy by any standards of literary style or decency has no precedent in Islamic literature or even eastern heritage. Ironically this has made its way into Le Monde’s top 10 0books. Jean Paul Sartre’s last-minute explanation of the book made it stand out from the rest, perhaps in his self-glorifying attempt of finding an ally for existentialism. Book has since been translated into many languages.

Eulogizing the worst of the society as erudite scholars and intelligentsia is just one of the ways web 3.0 has brought havoc on moral values and religious injunctions. To the point where Sartre himself in his book Existentialism and Humanism had to talk about so-called intellectuals who could rant nonsense in the name of existentialism. Pandora box was wide open, too late to close and French society too corrupt to fix.

One by one they buttered all demented writers the likes of which we have never seen. Some of the most obnoxious include Foucault and Flaubert etc. It is through them vile movements like feminism, heterosexuality, pornography and pedophilia became the norm in a society already heading south. This smearing of lipstick over stinking dead pig has now brought these very people to their own destruction. Le Pen is going neck to neck with other moderate candidates and if she gets elected, time of King Louis isn’t far again. Muslims would be new Jews.

The ability to feel, acknowledge and think is what characterize a human soul. Having a purpose and goals in life make human journey different from animals whose routine lives don’t follow the vicissitudes we humans go through. Pseudo-scholars and phony clerics make the ends of the societal spectrum a suffocating sandwich to live in for people who seek the truth. Navigating these waters without a mentor is bound to fail. Luckily one of the noblest traits of our faith is hope. The quest for truth with sincerity always brings people to other people who have successfully navigated the same dark forests.

The gems aren’t too rare to find. Prophet SA’s hadith should be enough for all of us wayward, looking for solace and peace.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was reportedly asked: “Which of our companions are best?” He replied: “One whose appearance reminds you of God, and whose speech increases you in knowledge, and whose actions remind you of the hereafter.”

The Pied Piper of the Dreams

It is often said the most learned and wisest of the people are like stars that on the sky from which many seek guidance in the wilderness and dark thus becoming the saviors for the wayward. Much comes on the path of knowledge and its perseverance, effort, and blessings of Allah that makes a man source of hope and knowledge for others. What can be done when this very light becomes the torch for the abodes?

Prophet SAWS foretold the state of such chameleons for people like us to save us from the calamities of wisdom that was meant to be the solace for the souls. Recently a British turncoat imam with the name of Hafiz Ahmed urged Muslims in the UK to join the British army and fight against their own faith group. This by no chance is a coincidence anymore. Traitors with the turbans and beards are breeding like maggots. It has been a consensus for centuries that anyone fighting with non-Muslim troops against Muslims is not a Muslim in any degree.

It is these times when this hadith sounds most pertinent.

“Such a time will come to people that only the name of Islam and the image of the Quran will remain. Mosques will be prosperous on the outside but will have no salvation in them. Their scholars will be the evilest under the sky. Corruption emerged from them and will return to them.” (Al Bayhaqi).

“Wolves will give readings in the end of time. Let those who come to those times seek shelter from their evil in Allah. They will be very corrupt people. Hypocrisy will prevail, and nobody will be ashamed of it and it’s manifestations.”(Tirmidhi)

The tragedy is the state of the countries that have a Muslim majority in it. Mostly under dictatorship and in some instances under pseudo democracy the abject and heart-shattering situation of healthcare, education, and religiosity is appalling. Religion is being used for nothing but self-glorification, justice is being served to protect the felons and the most wretched has risen to the top echelons of the state.

Quran narrates the tale of Pharoah how he walked through the red sea and lead his nation to ruin and destruction for the life and the hereafter. For some reason, the simile isn’t irrelevant today.

It was known originally with its German name Rattenfänger von Hameln. The story from the middle ages of a man with special powers. He helped people until they did him wrong and he would finally avenge it with the brutality that most would remember and tell the tales about it. People in the English-speaking world now know the story as The Pied Piper.

Our leaders are a mirror of our depraved selves and state of our corrupt hearts. They are the very ugly self that reflects itself. These Pied Pipers are our own creations when we wrong them by teaching them as children that inexorable killing, corruption, indulgence, lying and cheating is not only okay but somewhat applauded. That riches is the end for which all means are legal. Have they not sat on the same benches in the same schools where we went? Do they not song speak the same language, breath the same air, bask in the same sun and buried in the same soil as we do? Yet our blood is on their hands.

Hamelin might be an old town in lower Saxony that existed or not, yet Allah the living, has his laws etched in the stone. No matter where we live, this karma will watch us. If the parables in the Quran aren’t enough, we’re not better than rats that followed the pied piper into extinction.

The Macabre Wealth

In 630, famine fell upon Arabia. By the time whole Arabic peninsula had been conquered by the Muslim armies and was living the most prosperous period it had ever seen. The supposedly intimidating conquerors kept to themselves. They relied on what they brought with themselves and were kind, upright and just. Now the time would test them again. The riches of the land couldn’t feed its denizens from the unruly famine. Wells dried up, food became a dream and cattle began to die.

Aid was sought from wherever one could muster it. Appeals were made and promulgated to four corners of the Islamic empire to soul their souls. It was these times when the shoulders that carried the brunt of this burden, Caliph of the Muslims, Omar bin Khattab RA passed by a nomad’s tent. Therein sat an elderly woman who offered him the hospitality as was the custom of the good bygone days when people had some sense of fellowship.

She carried on with her womanly ramblings about everything when she cursed the Caliph Omar bin Khattab RA for his irresponsibility. Apparently she thought it was his fault that he could not feed the poor of his jurisdiction. Despite his own ascetic living, this magnificent ruler in human history broke into tears. “How is he to know that someone living in such ruins need help?”, he asked solemnly. The woman looked at him not knowing who he was and retorted, “What kind of a Caliph is he if he doesn’t know how his subjects live under his reign?”

He shuddered and never ate a full meal until everyone had it in his reign again. Such were the people who brought us the religion that we take for granted. A panacea that has been reduced to fit a column in a consensus form.

Pakistan is the only nuclear power that was founded with the vision of having a homeland for the Muslims. Just like the battle of Badr, it divided brothers, uncles, sons, and daughters. The migration from darul kufr was made to a destitute land where people had to fight penury and woe to make a living for themselves. Guides turned out to be the con men and this time it didn’t take white foreigners to undertake the carnage. English had lived here long enough to breed an illegitimate dynasty of their own with a darker skin tone.

From private torture cells to judicial conniving and oligarchy to divide and rule, they plundered and looted their own in cold blood. As literacy rate took a nose dive to bottom their own offspring went back to countries where their real fathers came from. Money dipping with peasant blood bought them chartered planes, finest meals and luxurious yachts. Haute couture and dining manners were taught lest they bring with them the incivility of the human waste they set upon eliminating hundreds of years ago through colonization.

As they practiced their Machiavellian plots, the people became so desensitized and demoralized that they started accepting it as a pre-fated situation. Subtle words with delicate nuances were invented for the pleasure of these corrupt wolves.

Sharjeel Memon, one from the same lineage recently returned home after two years of escapade from the law along with arguably the most corrupt man on earth, Asif Ali Zardari, ex-president of Pakistan. He is allegedly guilty of defrauding public exchequer of Rs 3 billion. Man gratuitously shared his pillage with the voracious judiciary who set him free. People waiting to earn brownie points came out on streets and coronated him with a gold crown calling it the victory of the veracity. While people are dying under his nose in Thar desert from drought, waiting for the death that they wish came earlier than the inexorable agony they live through each day he basks in the radiation of his golden crown.

Islam came to this region with Sufis and merchants and erudite savants who literally took off the shirt off of their back to feed the poor and the heart-broken. It dignified the locals by talking them out of worshipping stones and slaughtering others to please innumerable gods. What a tragedy it is to see their kin ransack whatever they gave to this land. Haven’t they read or believed what Allah says in Quran?

“Has the time not come for those who have believed that their hearts should become humbly submissive at the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the truth? And let them not be like those who were given the Scripture before, and a long period passed over them, so their hearts hardened, and many of them are defiantly disobedient.” Surah Hadid (57–16)

Ranks of the Mystics

Historical revisionism and deconstruction have always been the tool of the victors to create a generation that would serve its new masters well. Sometimes it is achieved by using the traitors showered for their lax morality, at others, news ideas are forcefully imposed. One of the examples are the words of Lord McCauley who surveyed the education system of the subcontinent in his 1835 report for the British Parliament.

“I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.”

For years after pseudo-independence civil services system and English medium schools, this vision has become a reality. The deadly part is how deep it has penetrated.

It is a falsehood that Muhammad bin Qasim RA invaded 712 and it was the first interaction of people of the subcontinent with the Muslims. Long before the muslim merchants had arrived in the region. It is exactly because of these savants and mystics that Islam spread in great numbers.

The argument that Islam was spread by the sword must explain a huge population of Hindus in India today. If extermination and plunder were the goals, they certainly didn’t comply with it building roads, schools, hospitals and employing non-Muslim subjects.

Among these mystics, great Sufi saints single-handedly converted the downtrodden untouchables to the egalitarian and liberal religion of Islam. Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti Ajmeri, Data Ganj Baksh, Nizamuddin Aulia, Shah Walliullah and other blessed souls spearheaded the proliferation of esoteric chains of Sufism.

Like four schools or Madhhabs, Hanafi, Shaafi, Maliki and Hanbali, the spiritual chain of divine blessings were propagated by four chains of tassawwuf. They are known as Naqshbandia, Qadria, Chistia and Suherwardia, their name taken from their founding sheikhs.

A great many books were written on the nature of the soul and how to purify it from the adulteration of diseases of the world e.g. Envy greed, hate, miserliness and cowardice. All of them stem from an impure heart. Prophet SA’s hadith goes like this “Everything has a polish, and the polish of the hearts is Dhikr of Allah”.

These four great sheikhs not only polished the hearts but embedded these Barakat into their disciples. Many ways of doing this have been in use. From Dhikr of La Ilaha to Pas Anfas method, they all agree on some principles.

  • Before the soul starts traveling towards the higher stations it needs to illuminate these parts to be able to travel.
  • There are certain stations on this path and for all of them, strict following of Prophet SA’s sunnah and noble character is mandatory. There is no Sufism without following shariah.
  • Like cardinal parts of the physical body, the soul has its own parts called Lataif. Some of them suggested 5, some 7 and some 11.

Just like the worldly offices, these spiritual matters also use people in this world to run the divine affairs. Ghaus, Qutb, Abdal, Qayyum are some of the officers of this divine army.

The irony of the situation is how such sublime and exalted path of self-inspection and purification went into the hands of opportunities and clowns. Prostrating in front of graves, wearing crowns, lighting the pile of mud called graves was never what these great saints taught them.

These people arduously converted people who for centuries burned the widows alive with their husbands when they died. They drank cow urine and believed that a carved stone can give them sons they greatly need as opposed to the wretched daughters.

Today true Sufism is hard to find but at the same time, its never hidden from the seekers of the knowledge and wisdom. The path remains open. The prophecy that this ocean of light will never see a dark night, holds true. For some, this will be a heresy, for others, just what they were looking. As for me, nothing is upon us but to convey. The gift Allah gives you, tell the people about it.

The Kosher Holocaust

Krakow is one of the oldest cities in Poland. The laid back stone city is such a dreamy place to me. The city square and its pigeons sing a serene song. Journey inwards to west, however, isn’t as smooth, both physically and historically.

Less than 50 km west there is a small city called Oświęcim. It’s both ironic and tragic that most people wouldn’t recognize it with its real name. Unless you speak polish, it won’t ring any bells. Most of us know it from its German name. Auschwitz. The train stops in the middle of nowhere. One crosses the tracks and walks about a mile to get to the concentration camps.

A mile or so away, one is greeted by ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’. As you walk past the entrance a tour guide is assigned to a group of tourists and one walks through the chambers and looks at the disheveled, miserable belongings of the people gassed. Out the window, you can see the shooting wall where one was stood before the firing squad that unleashed the bullets. Their crime sometimes could be as trivial as their not being healthy enough to be of any use to the Third Reich.

Each day new flowers are found below it. The guide walks one through the corridors of history into uber Alles psyche. Millions rammed into sluggish trains towards their death.

Hair, teeth, bones, there was nothing that couldn’t be put to use. Nature, after all, had to favor the chosen race. Blond, blue eyes, Aryan ancestry and the right to take and grant life. A rather inflated sense of entitlement for a nation that had endured the ignominy of the treaty of versailles. Man with the mustache had them beguiled though.

Less than a century later, the relics of these Jews rallied and encroached another country. Tables turned and gentiles were the new Jews. The Ashkenzai wrath was just beginning. They begged the weapons from where they could find it, they pledged whatever they could and beat the effeminate Arab world many times. Israeli occupation enslaved and tortured the Muslims out of their homeland. Mass exodus with an ever increasing expansion of the territory is still in process.

Extra-judicial killings and kangaroo courts rule the law. Shylock-like lending practices made the sons of Moses a little more ruthless than they used to be. Banking, Media, Politics and War all dominated by the ‘chosen people’.

If there was a punch pulled from the fist fight, David Friedman’s appointment as US Ambassador to Israel has done it. A hardcore, hardened Zionist teamed with a racist, misogynist, xenophobic president isn’t a match made in hell. While the rats are nibbling the cheese, scum of the scholars is preaching tolerance and interfaith harmony. Muslims for Trump is in bed with their own nightmare and Muslim rulers are throwing bacchanalia.

It is found in Hadith literature that in end times a believer’s most valuable asset will be his goats that he’ll herd off to mountains to save his belief from the world. Food will be abundant but it will not reach the needy. Then Allah’s zikr will be the only food for people. Murders will be common and fight among scholars will kill their followers in hordes. Nonbelievers will rally and attack from all four sides and yet they will be defeated eventually.

The kosher holocaust of the Muslims seems quite palatable to the holocaust survivors. Their recidivism never slacked throughout the history. They killed dozens of prophets each day and then went about doing their business as if nothing has happened. I guess the unbelieving gentiles are a lot less to bear on their conscience if there is something like that. Ibn Khaldun’s remarkable work Muqadimmah got it right. Times change. Saints beget the sinners and sinners atone to become the salvaged.

The need of the hour is to stick to Prophet SA’s sunnah and religion steadfastly. The love of the throne and the garb of piety cannot gather in one heart. When the bloodbath starts, it’s only the ones who follow the chosen one will be victorious. Hasn’t Allah promised the righteous the ultimate victory? When the dust settles it is only these warriors that will have no fear and no regrets!