Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mufti Rafi Usmani

Mufti Rafi Usmani is a beautiful example of deep knowledge coupled with wisdom, gentleness, excellence of character and dealing.

Muhammad Rafi Usmani is the Grand Mufti of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. He is also the current President of Darul 'Uloom Karachi. He is the son of the late Mufti Muhammad Shafi - the founder of Darul 'Uloom Karachi. Mufti Rafi Usmani is recognized for his knowledge in Fiqh, Hadith, and Tafsir. He has authored a large number of books in Urdu, as well as some notable treatises in Arabic. He is the brother of another notable Islamic scholar - Muhammad Taqi Usmani. Rafi Usmani is also a member of the Jamiat ul-Ulama USA.

Mufti Rafi Usmani is moved by the Laal Masjid incident and feels that President Musharraf has probably lost his honor. Killing civilians and carrying out a military operation with a blatant disregard for human life is simply ruthless and cruel. He believes that Islam does not allow killing of innocent civilians and non-combatants under any circumstances.

Mufti Rafi Usmani feels that the issue is serious now and it is becoming increasingly difficult for the Ulema to preach the real concept of jihad, or holy war, to young Muslims. He feels that the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine is radicalizing young people and an angry young man is in no-one's control.

He has been airing his views on Jihad at various forums. He says that ‘Jihad’ is not incumbent on all Muslims and a call for jihad can be given only under special circumstances. In Islam, Jihad has been laid down in great detail precisely to avoid any confusion. He says that jihad can only be called in the following circumstances:

If a Muslim community comes under attack, then jihad becomes an obligation for all Muslims, male and female, in that community
If that particular community feels it cannot fight off attackers on its own, then jihad becomes incumbent on Muslims living in nearby communities
If a Muslim ruler of a country calls for jihad, then it is incumbent upon the Muslims living under that ruler to join the jihad.
Mufti Usmani says that even in such circumstances, jihad is obligatory only on as many Muslims as are required to defend the community under attack.

The second principle relates to the conduct of the jihadis. Under no circumstances are Muslims allowed to attack women, children, the old and the meek, the sick, those that are praying and civilians, says Mufti Rafi Usmani.

Muslim militants argue that if innocent Muslims are killed in enemy action then Muslims are allowed to kill innocent people in retaliation.

But this is not at all right and Mufti Rafi strongly disagrees with this line of thinking, arguing that Islam does not allow Muslims to respond to "a mistake" by another mistake.

Mufi Rafi Usmani believes that Islam is absolutely clear on this issue. Two wrongs do not make a right.

He says that if we feel that the US or the UK is killing innocent civilians in Iraq or Afghanistan, it does not give us the right to kill innocent citizens in London or New York.

Mufti Rafi Usmani says that if an Iraqi living in London is outraged over Britain's role in what is happening in Iraq, then he should go to Iraq and fight the coalition forces there. Nothing gives him the right to hit back at innocent civilians living in the UK. This doctrine evolves from the fundamental Islamic principle of honoring commitments.

Mufti Rafi Usmani feels that when a Muslim visits a Western country or if he is living there, then he is under a kind of a contractual obligation to abide by the law of that land.

He says that Islam is so strict about honoring commitments that a commitment cannot be revoked unilaterally even in times of battle.

Nevertheless, The Grand Mufti of Pakistan also questions the right of the world leaders to criticize Taliban. "The people who nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who killed hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq, and are killing people in Afghanistan through the recently imposed sanctions, how strange that they should be raising their voice?"

Mufti Rafi Usmani further feels that it is a mistake to think that the Taliban are a bunch of ignorant people. "I know them personally. They themselves are not ignorant in Shariah. They also have scholars among them and their decisions are based on the guidance from their respected scholars."

Mufti Rafi Usmani has in-depth knowledge of Islam and feels an urge that we all must work together to make Pakistan a true Islamic State.

Mufti Rafi Usmani - a true ‘Scholar’, indeed.