Certainly Not My Sultan!

By K M Khan:

The Turkish dramas are popular these days. While I am not a fan of the Turkish dramas but for curiosity’s sake I started watching “Mera Sultan”. The historical drama is mainly about the life of Sultan Suleiman, the lord of the Ottoman Empire during its golden days. The drama is magnificent with beautiful clothes and ornaments. Honestly, one admires as well as envies the life of the princesses who all the time wear glittery clothes and jewels and have servants at hand round the clock. The Sultan, who is admired by every girl in the harem, is a charmer and the ladies will do anything to catch his eye. The drama itself is made splendidly and resolves more around the personal life of the Sultan and the politics of the harem. I started watching this drama because it was about the Sultan of Turkey for whom the Khilafat Movement was initiated in 1919.

The Muslims of India had a great regard for the Sultans of Ottoman Empire who were successors to Suleiman. As the Muslims had a deep-rooted loyalty to the Khilafat, so they initiated this movement under the leadership of Gandhi Ji, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, Maulana Muhammad Ali Johar and Maulana Shaukat Ali. The Muslim clerics of Jamiat-ul-Ulema Hind issued a fatwa under which the Muslims were encouraged to abandon the government titles and resign from jobs, boycott of courts and legislature. The student’s were told to pull out of the educational institutes. Thus, the religious clerics triggered the agitation by ordering a civil disobedience movement. Luckily, this movement failed and God saved us all from the Ottoman Empire.

After watching the drama I was shocked as I could not believe that the so-called Muslim clerics initiated such a disastrous movement for characterless Sultans who drank alcohol and womanized all the time with the girls in the harem. Both deeds are prohibited in Islam. It is pointed that everything that the television shows is not a fiction and is in one way or the other a depiction of what is happening in the society. So the image painted in this drama showed the Sultan not only drinking wine but also frolicking in the harem. The Sultan who has been given the title of Magnificent and the Lord of the Century was mainly a man who had absolutely no respect for women folk as he used and discarded them at will. The Sultan’s list of affairs has no limit and even his sons follow the footsteps of their father.

However, whatever time period it is, the Muslim population has proved to be dim-witted as they blindly follow whatever the Muslim clerics preach them. In the case of the Khilafat Movement the fatwa was keenly followed by both the literate as well as illiterate Muslims. The Muslims blindly followed the fatwa without considering the pros and cons of the situation and shunned everything to save the Khilafat and in particular the Sultan. The verdict of the religious clerics was so important to the Muslims that they not only migrated to some other country but also accepted starvation for this ‘noble’ cause. Thus, they were the losers in every respect as the majority Hindus became the beneficiaries and prospered utmost.

However, no matter what year it is the religious clerics have always manipulated the masses in the name of religion as they know that nobody would really investigate about the religion. The people have failed to understand the true faces of these clerics. It is interesting to point out that in Pakistan even the most educated person fails to understand religion and leaves everything for the so called clerics to resolve. After watching the drama I wonder was the Khilafat movement in the name of religion for such a characterless sultan justified? And that did the Muslim masses learn anything from their past?

Thus, like the olden days the religious clerics still manipulate with the sentiments of the brainless Muslims by issuing fatwas like “a dog killed by US will be a martyr” or “a Muslim who kills a non-Muslim would go to heaven”. Ironically some Muslims do believe such fatwa’s and become good Muslims by either killing non-Muslims or by in-humane actions towards the non-believers. But still they are the true believers!

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