Question on the meaning of ‘Islam’

It has been popularly propagated that Islam means peace for all. But does it true? The question was triggered after the Sunni Islamic organization ISIS took the responsibility for a blast that took place inside the masjid of Shia Muslims in Pakistan, a Muslim dominated country. Although both the sects follow Islam, they have differences which raised the question of what is the real meaning of Islam? Let us see the differences which led to terrorist attacks and violence in which Muslims were killed under Islamic rule.


Why are Muslims killing Muslims?

According to Hadith, Prophet Muhammad predicted that his ummah (Muslim Brotherhood) would be divided into 73 sects, but only one would be saved. The 73 divisions of the Muslim faith are reported as: the Jews are divided into 71 sects (firqa), the Christians into 72 sects, and my community will divide into 73 sects (Ibn Majah, Abu Daud, al-Tirmidhi and al-Nisa'i). The hadith also occurs in many other versions as well. The sectarian war started immediately after the death of Prophet Muhammad. Till today, this war has claimed the lives of the n-number of Muslims. Son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad named Ali, and Ali's two sons named Hassan and Hussain are also victims of this war. The deadly war continues until today not only between Shia and Sunni Muslims but also between each sect in Islam. Sunnis are killing Shias, Wahabis are killing non-Wahabis, Ahl-e-Hadith followers are fighting with Ahl-e-Sunna followers. Sufis are target of Deobandis, Salafis and Wahabis. For Deobandis, Barelvis are not true Muslims because they follow Sufi traditions and worship Peer & Dargas. Founder of Barelvi sect named Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi has declared Deobandis as Kafir in his book named 'Al Motamad Al Mustanad' (The Reliable Proofs).



Ahmadi is one of the sects that follow Islam as per their beliefs in Pakistan. However, the other Islamic sects have not considered them as Muslim. They called Ahmadi Muslims Kafir, an Arabic term which, in the Islamic tradition, refers to a person who disbelieves in God as per Islam, or denies his authority, or rejects the tenets of Islam. These Ahmadi Muslims have been persecuted in Pakistan for the last several decades. Their graveyards have been desecrated. They have no Islamic status in Pakistan and other Islamic countries. Many Pakistani Ahmadi Muslim leaders have taken shelter in the United Kingdom, Canada and other European countries.

Terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims to kill Muslims

According to media reports, 66 Muslim devotees of the Shia sect have died in the blast which took place on a Shia mosque in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar on March 4, 2022. Within 24 hours, ISIS claimed responsibility. A post from ISIS-affiliated Amaq news agency said a suicide bomber trained by the militant group had carried out the attack, which struck the mosque during Friday prayers. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), as many as 4,000 people are estimated to have been killed by Shia-Sunni sectarian attacks in Pakistan between 1987–2007. And since 2008, thousands of Shia have been killed by Sunni extremists. 

Among those blamed for the sectarian violence in Pakistan are mainly Sunni militant groups, such as the Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP), the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and Jundallah (affiliates of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan "has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks" on Shia, according to Human Rights Watch. Salafi militant groups are also blamed for attacks on Shias, Barelvis and Sufis. 



In April 2006, the entire leadership of two prominent Barelvi outfits, the Sunni Tehreek and Jamaat Ahle Sunnat, were killed in a bomb attack in the Nishtar Park bombing in Pakistan's largest city and business hub Karachi. On 12 June 2009, Sarfraz Ahmed Naeemi, a prominent cleric of the Barelvi sect and outspoken critic of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, was killed in a suicide bombing. Between 2005 and 2010, hundreds of Barelvi sect members were killed in more than 70 suicide attacks at different religious shrines. In two years, 2010 and 2011, 128 people were killed and 443 were injured in 22 attacks on shrines and tombs of saints and religious people in Pakistan, most of them Sufi in orientation. Contemporary Islamic fundamentalists criticize its popular character, which in their view, does not accurately reflect the teachings and practice of the Prophet and his companions.

Question on coexistence under Islamic rule 

Such huge differences have raised the question of how the Muslims would live together peacefully even under Islamic rule. If Muslims are not safe under Islamic rule, what would be the safety of the non-Muslims under Islamic rule? However, this has been proved through data & facts that non-Muslims can’t live peacefully together with Muslims under Islamic law. The following infographic shows how the Hindu community declined from neighboring Islamic countries after faith-based persecution & discrimination.



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