According to this “scholar”, ‘sins such as murder and rape will be ignored as long as you pray’

Published: October 26, 2018
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Clerics like him who specialise in hate speech are far more dangerous than we realise.

The dilemma of the contemporary age is the excess of unsorted information masquerading as knowledge and the most abundantly distorted type of ‘knowledge’ these days is ‘religious’ in nature. A certain breed of such so-called scholars exists among us, disseminating a message that is far from truth.

Their half-baked ideas about religious norms, practices and forms of punishment aren’t based on logic or humanity. Such religious quacks probably existed before our time too but the ubiquity of social media brings them to our phone screens whether we want them to or not.

Recently, I came across one such ‘religious cleric’ spewing inaccuracies and putting a divide between religion and humanity.

This Australian man, who seems about as out of breath as he is out of his mind, is ‘enlightening’ his listeners about the primacy of salah in Islam. It is a form of worship made compulsory by Allah and its abundant mention in Quranic verses adds to its significance even more. However, the concept of sin being explained or rather hammered out by this man in the video is grossly misplaced. His mention of sins such as rape, paedophilia and murder sounds almost nonchalant while he spews hate about those who avoid such heinous crimes but do not offer salah.

The point of his one-minute hate is to emphasise that shameful criminal tendencies and their stains can be washed away if you also offer salah. However, if you do not offer salah and also don’t indulge in such vile acts, you are worse than a rapist, a paedophile or even a murderer “in the eyes of Allah”. Do you know why such hate-mongers always add the phrase “in the eyes of Allah” at the end of such atrocious claims? So that they can scare and shame their listeners into submission by the wrath of Allah. However, the most dangerous thing in this video is still not the audacious comparison that he had made but the delusional conviction with which this man claims awareness about the will of God.

The importance of salah in Islam cannot be overstated but this is not about that, this is something else entirely. Rape, paedophilia and murder are vile and evil deeds that destroy the lives of victims and their families; they do irreparable damage to the very fabric of society. It is utter madness to instil such assertions about religious duties that seem to mitigate the sordidness of wretched acts.

When Imam Hussain (AS) faced an army sent by the Umayyad ruler Yazid at Karbala, both armies counted amongst their ranks people who offered salah, fasted and recited the scripture. I absolutely did not bring this up to take away from the paramount importance of religious duties in any way. I did so to highlight the point that from any given situation, the right lessons have to be learned, right parallels drawn, right comparisons made, and right and responsible examples quoted. It is important to understand that not everyone who prays is a believer and not everyone who doesn’t is a sinner.

Such dangerous individuals who themselves do not understand the reasonable and humane nature of religion end up teaching people to hate, abuse, oppress, rape or eventually kill. The Holy Quran teaches you to be just with one another, care for the underprivileged and remain considerate of the pain of others. It teaches you patience, humanity and love (Surah An Nahl: 90-91). Then on what grounds is this cleric undermining the sinful nature of such inhumanity?

The important aspect to note here is that the Holy Quran does not mention rape specifically which shows that denouncement of oppression itself would prevent this particular abomination among others. The rest was left for us to understand and interpret in a manner that could benefit humanity. But sadly, such people, as the man in this video, continue to use the humanitarian teachings of Islam to spread fear among people instead of love.

Clerics like him who specialise in hate speech are far more dangerous than we realise. Such sermons reach a large number of people who blindly follow their words, believing their odious directives to expunge the society of people who they dub infidels or blasphemers. Such inflammatory speeches have resulted in countless lives lost, families destroyed and futures cast in utter darkness. The case of the 15-year-old boy from Okara comes to mind who cut off his own hand after he misheard and raised his arm to answer the local cleric’s question when he asked if there was anyone present who did not love the Prophet (pbuh). The cleric, without thinking, accused the boy of blasphemy and the guilt-ridden boy chopped off his own hand and presented it to the cleric as a form of atoning for the sin he committed.

The culpability lies with the cleric for not only lack of common sense and consideration but also the ‘generous’ use of absolute terms like blasphemy, infidelity, jannat (heaven), jahannum (hell) and what not. Another example of a flagrant act provoked due to incendiary speeches such as one shown in the video, was the tragedy of December 2016 when a 1000-strong mob stormed an Ahmadi place of worship and burnt it. Shias in Pakistan are not safe either, considering many religious clerics label them as infidels and incite hatred amongst their followers. The increase in Shia killings are evidence to how successful these clerics have been. Sadly, there are many other examples of inflammatory speeches by firebrand clerics that lead to honour killings, mob lynching, desecration of places of worship and all such inhumane acts.

In today’s world, the inter-webs expose us to all kinds of opinions, right, wrong, informed, crude, revolutionary, orthodox, serious, comical, intelligent, moronic, harmless and dangerous, so it is important to keep our guards up and filter out the noise. It is also important to not share such noise, specially one that pertains to religious teachings, for it will only further pollute our already discordant society. It is imperative that such noise be shut out before its deafening roars defile our lives.

Knowledge is power, but that power should not be used for reasons unintended.

Fatima Raza

Fatima Raza

The author is a Biosciences graduate and a student of MPhil International Relations. She aspires to be an accomplished writer someday.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Adnan Rauf

    Absurd comments by this rascal. If some does this act to his wife or mother or children. Will he forgive him……Recommend

  • Kasturi K

    This so called scholar is preaching murder and rape to Muslims. He thinks that piety is only praying forgetting that so much stress has been laid on controlling one’s ‘nafs’ in Islam and there is a reason to it.Recommend

  • awan nazar

    There are two type of sin. one related directly Allah and 2nd to haqooq ul abad. Allah may ignored sin related to Allah but not the sin related to other. So sin of rape or murder will not be ignored.Recommend

  • Ghouse

    His background should be investigated. He might have committed heinous crimes like Rape and Murder.Recommend

  • Rizwan Nasar

    First and foremost just sitting on a pulpit you do not become a scholar! In my humble opinion we are giving credence to folks who should be put on ignore for live. What I here in his sermon is that he does not even know the purpose of ‘Prayers’. They very fact that anyone who prays to his Rub in humility will not commit any crimes… it is as simple as that! We do not need an idiotic cleric to preach us the virtues of namaz.Recommend

  • PatelPara

    IF you pray AND ask for forgiveness. then Allah might forgive you.Recommend

  • goggi (Lahore)

    Fascism is a total mind control and mental conditioning of its obedient, gullible, fearful and submissive Subjects!Recommend

  • vinsin

    What is the purpose? Crimes like what?Recommend

  • vinsin

    Not true. It would depend upon punishment.Recommend

  • vinsin

    Yes if they fail to provide four pious men as witness.Recommend

  • numbersnumbers

    Reminds me of years ago claims by religious pirs claiming that prayer has cured polio in Pakistan!Recommend

  • ASK

    Ignorant person. Should not be on the pulpit. Allah may forgive sins related to Huqooq ul Allah but He may NOT forgive sins related to Huqiiq ul Ibaad, related to other human beings. Preachers like this ignorant person are also the reason why so many people break the law in our country and then feel OK after Prayers !!!Recommend

  • Saifullah JAn

    Can I say a word?
    He means to say that Salah makes you get away from these evils.You have misunderstood him.Recommend

  • Bilal

    I think you are taking it entirely in the wrong meaning. He is clearly condemning all those sins. All he is saying is that if a person prays he comes out to be better than the person who doesn’t. Never that the person won’t he held accountable for his sins or will be forgiven.Recommend

  • 19640909rk .

    This in essence, is what is going on for the last 14 centuries.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Nicely pointed out ….. This man is doomed but I pity those who listen to him and try and find meaning in what he says.Recommend

  • Sarmad Hassan

    No, sins will not be ignored. Every soul has is accountable for what he/she has done in this world. In this, this enthusiastic cleric wants to portray that one who is not offering Namaz is doing a more worse job than a perpetrator involved in Alcohal, adultery etc. As far as murder is concerned that murderer is to be murdered in response to the one that he did. Islam tells humanity that “Allah” is Merciful but it also tells that “Allah” is the best avenger.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Bilal ….. that’s what you want to believe he is saying.Recommend

  • Azmat Ali

    Murder and debt will not be forgiven unless the victim wishes for it.Recommend

  • Alfred Wagner

    From the psychological point of view, in his mind, he is condoning and papering his heinous crimes and sins because he prays. Clearly depraved, devoid of a moral compass, a psychopath without the concept of what is right and wrong. Not a Muslim as defined in the Quran.Recommend

  • Alfred Wagner

    How so? What are your references? You must be an Indian propagandist against Islam. Modi’s keyboard brigade.Recommend

  • Sane

    If this is correctly reported, then people like him are not even Muslim. They are propagating a wrong picture of Islam.Recommend

  • Alfred Wagner

    Where did he say that? He has implied that if you do one prayer you can rape and commit adultery every day. The man is a psychopath.Recommend

  • Alfred Wagner

    I heard that in India that the Hindus jump on infants to drive out devils. I have photographic evidences of Hindu holy man doing it. And can post it here if they allow it. I understand this is a Pro Hindu publication so may not allow this truth to come out.Recommend

  • siesmann

    What God will listen to prayers and ignore such heinous crimes?Recommend

  • Patwari

    Well, see, in Bharat, known as the Rape Capital of the world, they rape
    women on sidewalks, [also called footpaths]. The whole traffic, pedestrians, riskshaw wallas, taxi wallas, passengers in buses are the witnesses.Recommend

  • Patwari

    Or they force feed, wild adulterated honey, to a newborn baby. Perhaps
    hours old. So the baby will have a vocabulary/repertoire of sweet words,
    in the future, when it grows up. And will not use foul language.
    Never mind that the baby’s digestive system is under severe stress trying to
    digest raw, wild, honey. At this early stage it needs mother’s milk only.
    Mother’s milk has all the right ingredients for a healthy thriving baby.
    Correct, this is a pro Hindu newspaper.Recommend

  • Patwari

    “unless the victim wishes for it”….in the case of murder how will the victim, [dead and
    buried] will “wish” or “forgive” ?? You mean his uncles, brothers or even a father, will forgive and collect, some moola, like Rs. 50 million and go live in Dubai.
    Is that Qissas and Diyat? How can anyone accept money, then forgive the murder of a kith and kin? Just how?
    No, it does not works that way. This is not the 7th. century. It might work in Afghani Land
    where they are still living in the 7th. century.Recommend

  • Patwari

    Well, see, he belongs to a country where they invented plastic surgery
    5,000 years ago.
    And according to Lord Modi, himself, [said during a ribbon cutting ceremony of a
    hospital in Maharashtra] that’s how come they can graft Lord Vishnu’s or Lord Hanuman’s head on a human.Recommend

  • Patwari

    Well, see, er hmm, “there is always the unexpected” [quote from The Bridge on
    the River Kwai, said by Major Warden,…saw the movie recently]
    So, could be the cleric was speaking in Swahili or Bantu, or a Mongolian dialect.
    And the real meaning of his purported discourse was lost in translation? Likely.
    Maybe that is what Bilal meant.Recommend

  • Alfred Wagner

    Well, I think he means that if one prays to his Creator then he will not be doing crimes and sins as a prerequisite for preparation for prayers.Recommend

  • Alfred Wagner

    No, you have it wrong, he is correct. Sins against Allah are forgiven by Allah but for sins against man, theft rape murder for example, they must first be forgiven by the victim before Allah will forgive them. That is what he is saying.Recommend