History’s ad nauseam

To build the temple or not?

Perhaps I would not face much opposition to argue that one of the biggest ad nauseam pedigrees of history is the state’s possession towards the persecution of its official ideology. In democratic states it is to win “the herd”, despots do so to be immortals.

Although much-hailed Muslim rulers of the Abbasid dynasty for their struggle in terms of stimulating knowledge were not safe from this contagion. Harun ar-Rasheed decided to collect and translate the knowledge of the whole world. For this purpose, he selected Al-kindi as the head of mission. However, they used to believe in Mutazilites(rationalist) theology and it became state Ideology. In 833 AD, Al-Ma’mun started a process termed “Mihna”, an inquisition to test the ideas and crush the opposition. Imam ibn-Hanbal, a traditionalist, was flogged, abused, and jailed for his views.

Furthermore, the scholars or prophets at the various spots in the zig-zag path of history also faced dissent for having dissimilar views. They were exiled or in some cases strangled in the intricacies of the law. From Abraham to Muhammad (PBUH), from Socrates to Giordano Bruno and Galileo patience shriveled.

Our relation as a nation to these evils reflects in the current outrageous response with the news of temple construction in the capital. Various objections have been raised in this regard, but they provide the measurement of intolerance rather than justification.

For example, it is being said that (a)the time choice is not good as Muslim predicament in India lies under dire straits,(b)  state funds cannot be used for the construction of the temple,(c) the proportion of the population doesn’t permit. To answer, (a)one wrong can’t be rectified by another, and it doesn’t hold grounds to set up our standard of behavior to treat our countrymen on the priority of what their religious fellows in other countries do. (b) The tax also comes from the Hindu community as well, if the state can allot 227 million rupees to Darul-Uloom-Haqqania in 2018 from the same tax than the Hindu community also has to be paid. (C) The capital of a country is the symbolism of unity and representation. Hinduism is the second biggest religion of the state with its 3000 followers in Islamabad. At least, they “deserve” one temple.

It is not astonishing on part of the government to retreat from its raised step. The bewilderment follows with the metamorphosis of government’s philanthropic stance of building a temple by throwing it to previous rulers as a sin. Perhaps, this kind of tricks coming out of our cap is one from the deluge faced by marginalized on a micro-level in day to day life. The precedented campaign on social media through violent and abusive statements and videos should not be taken granted as a right of free speech. This is actually at the expense of the mobility and safety of thousands.

Hence, the proselytizing of collectivism is inevitable which has been eradicated by romanticizing the demolition of temples. One instance, hovering in my mind, is related by Reza Aslan in his book, No God But God. The murdering innocent Jews and Christians is direct defiance of Prophet’s (PBUH) injunctions. This is clear by this Hadith on the basis of which Hazrat Umar (RA) demolished mosques in Damascus which were erected illegally on the land of Jews. It goes “He who wrongs a Jew or a Christian will have me as his accuser on the day of judgment”. And it was also Hazrat Umar’s verdict to open Jerusalem for Jews to worship whose entrance was banned earlier.

In the end, one can pray; may Almighty bless the land of pure!

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