Nazir Ul Islam
From the last couple of years Kashmir valley is witnessing an unprecedented surge in the religious activism, top ranked Islamic scholars belonging to different school of jurisprudence are being invited time to time from outside the state to deliver speeches here. The countless congregations across the valley are being held to commemorate the birthday of Prophet (PBUH) in their own way to exhibit loyalty and love.
This sudden moral transcendentalism is certainly a welcome change at least by attending such gatherings and listening to the thought provoking discourses on the various issues is definitely going to help us to understand Islam in a better way. However, the flip side of the change is that there are some self styled brigade of clerics trying to polarize and stoke sectarian clashes by touching those sensitive issues where angels fear to tread. Their job was to show a straight path and explain the traditions of Prophet (PBUH), who throughout his life stood for tolerance, unity, justice and discipline but these self-styled clerics have been seen intentionally indulging in mudslinging triggering a bloody sectarian clash in the valley.
Every day we see huge billboards, hoardings on the roadsides, four ways reading the manifesto’s of these religious groups, introducing their band of clerics and urging people to show their presence in our programme and demonstrate love, obedience and faith towards the Prophet (PBUH). The vehicles are installed with loud speakers decorated with green flags and posters are being used to make sure that their congregation becomes a grand powerful show. The followers and sympathizers of these religious groups can be seen in their typical traditional mystic attires doing door to door campaign to lure people so that to show their power of strength and their version of sincerity towards the Islam. Thus it looks sometimes there is a kind of competition or a rat race going on among these religious groups to show strength and spread their version of didacticism in the society. It’s good and praiseworthy to organize such congregations or to take out processions to mark the Islamic events as long as it falls under the cannons of Sharia but if we start crossing the drawn lines then it’s a totally unislamic.
In the backdrop of this sudden religious fever a revered Shrine of Dastageer Sahib (RA) at Khanyar in Srinagar and many other shrines across valley went up to the flames mysteriously fuming anger and grief across the valley. These Shrine were not just places of worship but they were the symbol of rich cultural heritage of Kashmir which we are suddenly becoming ashes day by day. As a nation we have never been so serious about our rich heritage and cultural sites that’s why we are slowly and gradually losing all these historical monuments.
These shrines stood for peace, integrity and unity in the valley but the way some self styled clerics are using them for their vendettas and nefarious designs have turned these shrines into the battle fields which we have to stop immediately. It is very important at this juncture for us to realize the significance of unity and harmony and not to pay any heed to rumours spread by the miscreants. Someone may ask, why is it so important to unite? The answer is very simple: Together we are strong! As one Ummah, we are a powerful force. This is certainly what the enemies of Islam dread most. With unity, mutual cooperation will materialize. With unity, love and affection will prevail in the society. It is a testing time for the administration as well as to all the Islamic scholars to rise up to the occasion above the ideologies and douse the fire of hatred and violence otherwise a spark neglected can burn the whole house.