Notes and Comments: Disgrace to Islam

The Young Islam, 1st October 1934 Issue (Vol. 1, No. 9, p. 2)

Yet another judgment delivered by Maulvi A. M. R Haider, Deputy Magistrate of Noakhali. The prosecution case was that during a puja [act of worship] in a Hindu house in village Begumganj 400 people, including 150 Muslims, participated. A certain Maulvi Musim, along with sixteen others armed with lathis [sticks], appeared on the scene, assaulted the Muslims assembled there and dispersed them on the ground that it was a sin for a Muslim to attend a Hindu performance. The Magistrate, in convicting the maulvi [cleric] and his followers, said:

“His ignorance of the teachings of Islam and misdirected zeal are the direct cause of the disgraceful acts of his blind followers. The Quran distinctly lays down that there should be no compulsion in religion and that they should try to reform those who go astray by appeal to their hearts and sweet reasonableness, but this accused maulvi trampled underfoot all canons of religion and brought disgrace on the name of Islam.”

The worthy Magistrate ought to have known that the phrases ‘appeal to hearts,’ ‘sweet reasonableness,’ and common sense are not to be found in the vocabulary of a maulvi. He only knows that people should on no account worship the Almighty for if they say they are Muslims and begin to pray in mosques they are forthwith declared kafirs [non-Muslims] and not allowed to enter, while if they worship in the manner of other people the maulvi would not allow them to do the same because they are Muslims. In any case the worship of Allah is a monopoly of the maulvi which nobody else can share.