By Awais Rabbani
Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, a name that never ceases to amaze me. Pakistan’s much loved ‘vigilante’ has made headlines again with his latest demand; that he will commit suicide if he is not allowed to meet his family.
Qadri, who has been hailed as a hero by the supporters of Pakistan’s contentious blasphemy laws, was convicted of murdering his employer Salman Taseer, former governor of Punjab
Taseer’s crime was to seek justice for Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who was sentenced to death for allegedly insulting the prophet of Islam. He proposed reforms to the blasphemy law which are heavily prejudiced in favour of Muslims while failing to safeguard the followers of other religions. Qadri confessed to assassinating Taseer saying he did it because he had referred to it as a ‘black law’.
I am generally repulsed and, perhaps too easily swayed by emotions for my fellow citizens who truly care for the well being of this nation. Does it occur to any one of those followers who are feting him as a devout Muslim that committing suicide is sin forbidden in Islam?
Ironically, his lawyer stated that Qadri has done his country a great service and sacrificed his life to uphold the honour of the Prophet. The way I see it, since the Supreme Court has maintained his death penalty Qadri has two choices:
a) Hang for the heinous crime and die with the a little ‘dignity’ he has left, the chances of which probably faded after he violated the most basic human right, the right of life.
b) Commit suicide and prove that his love for the Prophet was, but a mere demonstration of a weak mind fuelled by hard-line mullahs.
These days many people leave their families behind to look for jobs overseas. I contacted Wajahat, a friend who recently returned from abroad. He left his family to find a job seven years ago and had no means of reconnecting for years to follow. “When I first set foot in Canada, all I had was hundred dollars. I could barely support my family financially.” He recalls.
Wajahat claims he is an ordinary Muslim, who visits mosque five times a day when laziness does not take the best of him. “When you are in a foreign land and have no moral support you tend to lose hope.” He said. “Ever considered committing suicide?” I remarked, in jest. “Now why would I taste a forbidden fruit?” He laughed.
Wajahat might not be the best representation of Muslim ummah, nor he is revered as Aashiqe Rasul but I think Qadri, “the renowned devotee”, should take a page out of his books.
Sometimes in the midst of all this, I find myself angry and helpless; we have hit a new low and changed our priorities from the true heroes of Islam, the four rightly guided Caliphs, to him.
Perhaps it’s time we should all commit suicide.