In a recent article written after his tour of Jammu & Kashmir, leading Indian cleric Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani lamented that along with the return of peace to the Kashmir valley, apostasy is returning too, fostered by Christian missionaries. The state of Jammu & Kashmir was torn by decades of Pakistan-backed terrorism that began around the year 1989.
In his article titled "Who Knew That Apostasy Would Also Come Along?" Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, who belongs to the Deobandi school of Sunni Islam, blamed Christian missionaries for taking advantage of the instable period in Kashmir's recent history to convert Muslims to Christianity, apostasy being conversion of Muslims to other faiths.
Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani also accused Ahmadi Muslims of distorting Islamic beliefs. Ahmadi Muslims are followers of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani in late 19th century in the northern Indian town of Qadian. Ahmadi Muslims are accused by Islamic clerics of not believing that Prophet Muhammad was the last prophet. They are pejoratively described as Qadianis and their beliefs and practices are dismissed as Qadianiat.
In the article in the Urdu-language daily Roznama Inquilab which is published from Mumbai and several other Indian cities, Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani dubbed Ahmadi Muslims and Christians as fitna (mischief) out to cause rifts – in alliance with Jews and Hindus – in the Muslim Ummah. "Christians and the Qadianis are hell bent on looting the faith of your brethren in your neighborhood and you have no knowledge of it," he writes. Following are excerpts from his article:
"Thank Allah That Peace Is Being Restored In The State [Of Kashmir]"; "With All These Good Tidings… Apostasy Is Silently Percolating In The Muslim Society Like Cancer"
"As a Muslim, one feels happier while coming to this state [of Jammu & Kashmir] because it is the only state in India where Muslims are in a majority, and this is the only state where Urdu is the state language. The impact of Muslim culture and civilization is also very conspicuous here; there are mosques at every step; there are mausoleums of the pious slaves of Allah; the rate of growing beards is also higher here in comparison to other areas; during the five prayer times the sound for Azan [call for prayer] is heard from all sides; trade and businesses are in the hands of Muslims and the economy of the Muslims residing in the cities is also good; and Muslims have their hold on the business and trade, especially after Jagmohan [former Governor of Jammu & Kashmir whose policies are blamed for exacerbating the Kashmir situation] unleashed a reign of terror there which resulted in growing hatred among the Muslim youths for India and … [as a result of which] Pandits [upper caste Hindus in Kashmir] took flight from there.
"Thank Allah that peace is being restored in the state; life is coming towards normalcy; educational and economic activities have been restored; Kashmiris are showing their caliber [by succeeding] in the highest level of national test of civil services; with all these good tidings the thing of great worry is also coming to fore that apostasy is silently percolating in the Muslim society like cancer.
"On the one hand, there is the fitna of Qadianiat [beliefs and practices of Ahmadi Muslims]. This is a very old fitna. A close friend of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani [founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community] was Hakim Nuruddin, who was very rational and logical person; and he was also the personal doctor of the anti-Muslim [Hindu] ruler Maharaja of Kashmir…. The fact is that… [Hakim Nuruddin] is the one who planted the evil tree of Qadianiat for the first time in Kashmir and propagated his religion by taking advantage of people's ignorance – so much so that a fake tomb of Jesus Christ was also discovered there.
"The reality [of the tomb] was unearthed by [prominent cleric] Allama Syed Anwar Shah Kashmiri who said that the epitaph of the tomb read that this is the tomb of a messenger of Allah's Prophet Masih ibn Maryam [Jesus the son of Mary]. But Qadianis, at first, deleted the first word 'messenger' and said that this is the tomb of Allah's Prophet Hazrat Isa [Jesus the son of Mary himself]. The fact is that Hazrat Isa didn't die at all; he has been lifted to the sky and he would again be sent before the time of the Doomsday.
"Therefore, the fitna of Qadianiat is an old fitna for Kashmir which thrived on the ignorance of the people there; but it was weakened because of the hard work by Islamic scholars. But alas! Qadianis are again cheating the Muslims by taking advantage of their situation in the past 20 years [marked by Pakistan-backed militancy]."
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"The Second Fitna [Mischief] … Is The Fitna Of Christianity"; "Christian Missionaries, Who Have A Well-Developed Network In Kashmir… Took Full Advantage Of The [Militancy] Situation And Got Busy In Making Muslims Apostate"
"The second fitna which is greater than the previous one is the fitna of Christianity. Thousands of women were widowed and thousands of children were orphaned during the violent struggle in the past 20 years [affected by Pakistan-backed militancy since 1989]. On the other hand, trade was down and businesses were closed down. People got deprived of basic facilities. There was no one to give support and place a hand of love and affection on their heads. At such a time the Christian missionaries, who have a well-developed network in Kashmir and there are missionary schools there in great numbers – and from clerics to political leaders all have studied there – took full advantage of the situation and got busy in making Muslims apostate with full planning.
"That is why the population of Christians in the Muslim majority areas has increased manifolds, according to the Kashmir census of 2005. So much so that, family members of some of the Imams [mosque prayer leaders] have also become victims of apostasy. And all these have been done with such a planning that the brothers could not know about their sisters [being converted to Christianity], uncles could not know about their nephews, and in some cases even mothers could not know about their children.
"Alas! The Kashmiri Muslim leaderships have nothing to do with it. But thank Allah, that some of the Muslim clerics have gathered the courage to fight the fitna of apostasy. They are doing this work with all wisdom, foresightedness, high morals and bashfulness of faith; and various religious institutions are cooperating with each other in this work despite their differences. They have taken to the path of help and love instead of violence.
"And it is hoped that if they continued working with sincerity and perseverance, then those [former Kashmiri Muslims] who have forsaken the path of Islam would come back in its fold in the near future. Not only those; but also those who are Christian by birth but whose forefathers must have been Muslims would also return towards the faith."
"The Christians And The Qadianis Are Hell Bent On Looting The Faith Of Your Brethren In Your Neighborhood And You Have No Knowledge Of It"
"This haqeer [meaning a 'petty person' but used in a positive sense; Maulana Khalid Saifullah refers to himself] had the chance to address a select group of clerics and administrators of madrassas [Islamic seminaries] from all over Kashmir; he had a chance to say something to the intellectuals and religious organizations of the state; the Srinagar High Court Bar Council [lawyers' organization based in the state capital of Srinagar] organized a big program to honor this haqeer in which lawyers and judges participated in large numbers. The Bar Council program was on the Muslim Personal Law; but in all other congregations [during the tour of Kashmir] my attention was drawn towards the fitna of apostasy in which three things were especially stated:
"First, when the outsider enemy is in front of you, then there should not be much hype about the internal differences so that attention gets diverted from the real issue. It is the conspiracy of Zionists [Jews], Crusaders [Christians] and Saffronites [Hindus] that Muslims should be entangled in internal rifts in such a way that their attention gets diverted from the real issue [faced by Muslims everywhere].
"It is sad to note that the people do not remain content in choosing a sect of their taste, but they also start propagating their sect and start calling people towards it. They do not even fear Allah in calling other infidels and polytheists. However, according to Maulana Qari Tayyab [a 20th century Islamic cleric], sects are a thing of preference and not something to be propagated; propagation is valid for faith only. With this point getting out of focus, there arose a pattern of action and reaction among Islamic clerics who made it as if it is the most important need of the religion [to propagate their own sects].
"The second issue is the want of awareness. The situation is that the people of cities are ignorant of the people in villages. The people of a muhalla [locality] don’t know about things happening in the other locality. The result is that the Christians and the Qadianis are hell bent on looting the faith of your brethren in your neighborhood and you have no knowledge of it.
"Allah's Prophet [Muhammad] has termed a Momin [true Muslim] to be like a body which has this specialty that if any part of it has some problem, the whole body becomes restless; and the second aspect is that if there pinches a thorn in the heel, the head comes to know about it and it informs the whole body. The life pattern of Ummah [the global Muslim nation] should be like that only, that they should be aware of one another and if there pricks any thorn of kufr [unbelief], apostasy, sinfulness and impiety then the whole ummah should get restless at it."
"There Occurred A Historical Mistake That Islamic Clerics Left The Reign Of Modern Education Completely In The Hands Of Those People Who Were Not Only Ignorant Of Religion But Were Its Rebel Too"
"The third and the most important issue is that Islamic clerics and religious people have left the contemporary [modern] education either fully in the hands of non-Muslim organizations or to those Muslims for whom education is a business and not a service and those who take the name of Islam so that Muslim children get into their schools; they have no relations with Islam beyond that. The uniform of the [school] children, their cultural programs, their ethics and their routine are totally colored in Western culture and they are molded in the pattern of Western mind.
"This is an important need of time that clerics and religious people should take contemporary education in their hands. They should make such a syllabus for them that Islamic education is percolated in them. Such a training program should be prepared through which their thinking should be molded in the Islamic mould and with that there should also be no compromise on the educational standard; there should be best teachers; English should be adopted as the language of instruction and in its education we should be at par with the Christian missionary education."
"At the end of 19th century, two big movements got initiated – one was centered at Deoband and the other at Aligarh. The first movement made religious education as its goal and laid the foundation of the movement of madaris [Islamic seminaries]. And the second movement made modern education for Muslims as their agenda and in this way both of the movements got extraordinary results. Today [if] there is religion among Muslims it is due to the movement of madaris and if Muslims are a little bit attracted towards the modern education, it is due to the Aligarh movement [started by Islamic social reformer Sir Syed Ahmed Khan].
"But perhaps there occurred a historical mistake that Islamic clerics left the reign of modern education completely in the hands of those people who were not only ignorant of religion but were its rebel too. On the other hand, those who made the modern education their field of work they could not understand it that the knowledge and art which are coming from Europe are appreciable but their ideas and culture are sugar-coated with poison. It is the duty of the Muslims to get this education avoiding those poisons.
"It is deplorable that the mistake was continuously repeated and it is still being repeated. But now the time has come to rectify this mistake. This would not be appropriate in any way that these madaris are turned into the institutions of modern education because they are the jugular vein of the Ummah and through them all the spheres of religion get nourishment; but it is the need of the time that the clerics and religious people should come forward and take the system of modern education in their hands and color it into the Islamic color, ensure its Islamization; and in the coming ten to twenty years there would be a large number of such people who would enter into different walks of life with Islamic thinking and Islamic identity. Else it would be the same what Akbar Allahabadi [a prominent poet of early 20th century] had said:
"I had thought that the education would bring prosperity;
"But who knew that apostasy would also come along with?"
 Roznama Inquilab (India), Friday Special, June 15-21, 2012.