Honourable Mullah Umar,
As a Muslim I felt obligated to write to you and share with you my thoughts about the current situation in and around Afghanistan. To be honest with you, I have never supported Taleban style of implementing and preaching Islam. But as you may agree with me that this is the beauty of our religion that an ordinary Muslim like myself and a Muslim like you who is Head of State of a Muslim country can respectfully disagree with each other. This is the way the Companions of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) ruled the Islamic State for many years. I hope and pray that my letter reach to you before things gets worse. I do not want to make this letter very long. I just wanted to remind you two very important and critical treaties of Islamic history which apparently looked at that time very humiliating and insulting for Muslims but Allah had turned those incidents into victories for Muslims.
The first was the treaty of Hudaibiyah which Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) signed with the Quraish (Pagans) of Makkah during 6 A.H. Two things in that treaty were highly disturbing for the Muslims, first and the fourth condition, about which they said that it was an expressly unfair condition, for if they had to return a fugitive from Makkah, why should not the Quraish return a fugitive from Madinah? To this the Holy Prophet replied: “What use would be he to us, who fled from us to them? May Allah keep him away from us! And if we return the one who flees to us from them, Allah will create some other way out for him.” The other thing that was rankling in their minds was the fourth condition. The Muslims thought that agreeing to it meant that they were going back unsuccessful and this was humiliating. Furthermore, the question that was causing them feel upset was that they had accepted the condition of going back without performing the pilgrimage to the Ka’bah. According to the treaty conditions, therefore, they would perform the pilgrimage the following year if it pleased Allah.
Right at the time when the document was being written, Suhail bin ‘Amr’s (the leader of Pagans) own son, Abu Jandal, who had become a Muslim and been imprisoned by the pagans of Makkah somehow escaped to the Holy Prophet’s camp. He had fetters on his feet and signs of violence on his body. He implored the Holy Prophet that he help secure his release from imprisonment. The scene only increased the Companions’ dejection, and they were moved beyond control. But Suhail bin ‘Amr said the conditions of the agreement had been concluded between them although the writing was not yet complete; therefore, the boy should be returned to them. The Holy Prophet admitted his argument and Abu Jandal was returned to his oppressors.
Second incident took place in the nineteenth year after the Hijrah, Umar ibn Al Khattab, second Caliph of Islam, (May Allah be pleased with him) dispatched an army to fight against the Byzantine. In it was Abdullah ibn Hudhafah. News of the Muslim force reached the Byzantine emperor. He had heard of their sincerity of faith, and their willingness to sacrifice their lives in the way of God and His Prophet. He gave orders to his men to bring to him any Muslim captive they might take alive.
God willed that Abdullah ibn Hudhafah should fall captive to the Byzantines and he was brought before the Emperor. The Emperor looked at Abdullah for a long time. Suddenly he said, “I shall make a proposal to you.” “What is it?” asked Abdullah. “I suggest that you become a Christian. If you do this, you will be set free and I shall grant you a safe refuge.” The prisoner’s reaction was furious: “Death is preferable to me a thousand times to what you ask me to do.”
“I see that you are a bold man. However, if you respond positively to what I propose to you, I will give you a share in my authority and swear you in as my aide.”
The prisoner, shackled in his chains, smiled and said, “By God, if you give me all that you possess and all that the Arabs have in exchange for giving up the religion of Muhammad, I shall not do so.”
“Then I shall kill you.”
“Do what you want,” answered Abdullah.
The emperor then had him put on a cross and ordered his soldiers to throw spears near him, first near his hands and then near his feet, all the while telling him to accept Christianity or at least give up his religion. This he refused over and over again to do.
The emperor then had him taken down from the wooden cross. He called for a great pot to be brought. This was filled with oil, which was then heated under a fierce fire. He then had two other Muslim prisoners brought and had one of them thrown into the boiling oil. The prisoner’s flesh sizzled and soon his bones could be seen. The emperor turned to Abdullah and invited him to Christianity.
This was the most terrible test that Abdullah had to face up till now. But he remained firm and the emperor gave up trying. He then ordered that Abdullah too be thrown into the pot. As he was being taken away he began to shed tears. The emperor thought that he had at last been broken and had him brought back to him. He once more suggested that Abdullah become a Christian but to his astonishment, Abdullah refused.
“Damn you! Why did you weep then?” shouted the emperor.
“I cried,” said Abdullah, “because I said to myself ‘You will now be thrown into this pot and your soul will depart’. What I really desired then was to have as many souls as the number of hairs on my body and to have all of them thrown into this pot for the sake of God.”
The tyrant then said, “Will you kiss my head? I will then set you free?”
“And all the Muslim prisoners also?” asked Abdullah.
This the emperor agreed to do and Abdullah said to himself, “One of the enemies of God! I shall kiss his head and he shall set me and all other Muslim prisoners free. There can be no blame on me for doing this.” He then went up to the emperor and kissed his forehead. All the Muslim prisoners were released and handed over to Abdullah.
Abdullah ibn Hudhafah eventually came to Umar ibn al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) and told him what had happened. Umar was greatly pleased and when he looked at the prisoners he said, “Every Muslim has a duty to kiss the head of Abdullah ibn Hudhafah and I shall start.” Umar then got up and kissed the head of Abdullah ibn Hudhafah. Had Abdullah ibn Hudhafah stubborn and not kissed the head of enemy of Islam he would have died and many other Muslims too. But he was smart and sincere Muslim. He saved himself and saved many other Muslims too.
I fully understand and recognize that you are an Islamic scholar but at the same time Islam has given me the right to express my opinion freely and openly even in front of Head of State. During the period of four Caliphs of Islam an ordinary person could stop Ameer-ul-Mo’mineen on the street and could challenge him for his decisions or actions. I am using the same right and asking you that your decision, not to hand over Osama Bin Laden to United States is wrong. One Muslim’s interest must not be preferred over the interest of entire Muslim Ummah. Osama Bin Laden is only a suspect in terrorist bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. He is also a suspect for September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C. No doubt, that these crimes are against the teachings of Islam and I know you have also condemned these attacks.
Honourable Mullah Umar,
I know it is very painful for Osama bin Laden to be in the hands of his enemies but please consider him like Abu Jandal (May Allah be pleased with him) and hand-over Osama to USA as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) handed over Abu Jandal to Quraish. Consider yourself as Abdullah ibn Hudhafah (May Allah be pleased with him). Kiss the head of today’s Byzantine Emperor (George Bush) and save yours and millions of lives of other Muslims.
If you still think that you can fight with USA and it’s allied forces. I would say nothing but to tell you one more noble incident of our beloved Prophet and his very sincere and beloved Companion Abu Dhar Ghaffari (May Allah be pleased with him). Once, Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) was appointing various governors for various territories of the Islamic State. Abu Dhar Ghaffari (May Allah be pleased with) went to Allah’s Messenger and said, O’ Allah’s Messenger you are appointing different governors, may I also be appointed as a governor of any Islamic territory? As you also know that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) loved Abu Dhar Ghaffari very much. He was one of the most pious, sincere and beloved companions of Allah’s Messenger. However, Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said to him that Abu Dhar to be a ruler of a state or territory requires some special skills and characteristics which you do not have and he did not appoint him. This proves that for a ruler it is not enough to be a pious and a practicing Muslim. Along with piety and knowledge, it requires some very special decision making, diplomacy and different way of thinking, which you do not, seems to have. You may be very good Muslim but you do not qualify to be a ruler.
In short, in order to be victorious in the battle of Badr, it is mandatory for Muslims to go through the training – miseries and humiliation of Makkah. Present period in our history is similar to the Makkan life of early Muslims.
Who brought back this period of humiliation and miseries upon Muslims? This period of humiliations and miseries was brought upon us by those so-called Muslims who fought against the Islamic Superpower, Khilafat-e-Islamiyah (Ottoman Empire) during 1700 and 1800s in Najd area which is now a part of Saudi Arabia. They founded a new ideology in the name of Islam called Wahabism. They used this new ideology and fought against Muslims and destroyed Khilafat-e-Islamiyah. Wahabism is based upon hate, killing and Destruction. While, Islam is based upon love, life and construction. You are in the trap of Wahabism and you need to remove yourself and your followers from this trap. May Allah help us and make us good Muslims. Ameen.
I said what I understood is right. The true knowledge is with Allah.
Thank you and Jazakumullah-o-khairan
Mr. Syed B. Soharwardy is Founder and President of Muslims Against Terrorism (M-A-T)