As I write this piece. I must reiterate that I am not an Islamic Scholar but have read history to a great detail especially the conflicts and wars that ensued after the death of the Holy Prophet PBUH. Now the reason I chose to write this piece is because there is an extensive debate ensuing that whether we should do negotiations with Talibans in Pakistan or not. The nation looks very much polarized on the issue and rightly so as some hold religious beliefs close to the chest with out trying to understand the facts or more practical views on what ensued after the death of Prophet (PBUH) . There are those as well who do not belief in the extremist version as portrayed by some and try to use their head given by Allah to understand religion.
Now I am not going to lecture you on religion but I am going to touch a very sensitive topic which I wonder for unknown reasons some experts in religion deter to discuss. Now the reason why I bring this out today and I hope to achieve is to profile the enemy we face in the form of Talibans and decide whether there is room to negotiate or not.
The magic word I am going to discuss today is the word called Kharjiites . It is very critical to understand in a summarized manner their inception, their evolution and their re-emergence today. Now it’s a vast topic on which hundreds of chapters have been written but then lets at least under stand the inception of the thought and its connection to the present scenario in our nation.
When Hazrat Imam Ali when to wage a war against Hazrat Abu Muawiah who disagreed to accept Hazrat Ali (R.A.) as the fourth Caliph; the battle ensued for many days but could not reach a conclusion; than peace was approached by both sides and Hazrat Ali’s camp returned towards Baghdad. Now there was a group of people who were not happy with this truce as they were of the view that Hazrat Muawiah was in contravention and should have been handled justly as he was going against accepting Hazrat Ali as the fourth Caliph. Now this group of people camped at a distance from Hazrat Ali’s camp. An action ensued and they say that there were roughly 3000 who all got killed for disobeying Hazrat Ali’s orders to regroup as one camp. Now these group of individuals were responsible for the deadly attack on Hazrat Ali (R.A.) whilst he was going to offer morning prayers. I am sure most of you would know that at the same time an assassination attempt was made on Hazrat Muawiah during morning prayers as well but that day some one else led the prayers for some reason and was attacked instead. This was one of the first coordinated attack in the history of our religion at two locations apart being one in Madina and the other in Damascus.
Now this group of people were named as Kharjiites at the time due to their revolt . Some say they do not believe beyond second Caliph i.e. Hazrat Umar R.A. as they feel that conflict ensued post which. Again I must reiterate I am just capturing or replicating history as I know not my opinion necessarily.
There has been instances in the history especially post the 9th century when this group of individuals have commenced revolts against government in one form or another. Notably their view has been causing assassinations at the times where they get mostly noticed and create fear amongst those present. Followed by suicide of the attacker post the attack. I must again mention here that their view is an absolute form of an Islamist government which has no room for any innovation in way of living whilst I agree that no room exist for innovation in the religion at all forgetting the instances in Islam when latest technology available plus resources were utilized efficiently at the time of spread of the religion. Further, the reason why they kill with ease other Muslims because they belief that who ever would not follow their view of the religion is permissible to be killed let it be even women and children who have been specially excluded by our religion in view of the rules of engagement including even those who do not fight or are unarmed, disabled or old. But their view is that who ever irrespective is permissible to be killed.
Whilst they feel that their view is correct. My view is simple. That by killing those not in combat is against our religion and its our duty to denounce such a group. Now I leave it to you whether there is room to negotiate with these group of individuals as for them you can never be suitable unless you fall in line with their view on Islam. I guess any sane and true Muslim would not do that. Well like I wrote earlier that this is a vast topic but has to be discussed as they are the enemy and its critical to understand how they think rather than keeping quiet on that. The type of attacks from un armed girls, to schools, to hospitals, to homes , to mosques etc etc. Especially the part where non combatants are attacked ruthlessly prove my given logic earlier. Further, the thought of causing awe in their attacks show that their objective is beyond just killing their target but those who are with them and around to create that type of fear. Now I feel that this extremist element with their thoughts are non negotiable at lesser terms. Currently, we are at a position of weakness and there can be no comprise from this on.
Here first our religious scholars would need to take a position on this and accept the fact that these people and their like minded have been a source of discord amongst the Muslims for centuries and by not accepting this they would be always seen as the Islamist warriors in the shining armor and would always attract people in their ranks. These need to be denounced strongly so that there can be a clear strategy for fighting this group with resolve. Currently, it looks like a Muslim vs. Muslim battle which it is not. It is Muslim vs. Kharjiites and that’s it. So lets debate this and clear this off. Now I could have been off mark here but would encourage debate to clear our heads and those of our lesser educated Pakistanis who are confused in which side to choose as they see it as a war between Islam and Pakistan which is not the case. It is the responsibility of educated Pakistanis and especially scholars to stand up and denounce openly for the sake of Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabad!
Hazrat Ali returned to Koofa after the war, not Baghdad and coordinated attack on Hazrat Ali happened in Koofa.
Different versions of return exist. Koofa is also one of em.