Few Indian intellectuals have attempted to trace the origins of the perfidious “Two-Nation Theory” (which led to a Hindu and Sikh genocide in Pakistan) to Quranic proclamations. In part, this is due to the complete ignorance on the part of many Indian historians as to the actual content of the Quran (or the Hadith), but it is also a reflection of a tendency on the part of secular and atheist scholars to be irrationally dismissive of religious influences in modern politic theory.
Such tendencies are compounded by an unspoken and unwritten rule that Indian intellectuals must not cast stones on the Quran – lest it may offend Muslims.
Thus, serious and well-meaning scholars have analyzed the Two-Nation theory in ways that have overlooked one of the most critical factors in its genesis – the idealogy of Islam as laid out in the Quran itself (in the verses ascribed to Mohammad after he had left Mecca)
Since Hindu idealogy does not spring from any unique “Holy Book” – it is often difficult for Hindus to fathom the formative role that the Quran might play in shaping the idealogy and consciousness of “faithful” Muslims. Since Hindus exhibit such great diversity in relgious, spiritual and philosophical beliefs, the role of Quranic indoctrination is too easily discounted when they attempt to analyze Pakistan or the idealogy and mindset that led to its creation at the expense of its Hindu and Sikh minoritie
Even when scholars have looked at the Quran, they have been easily misled by the several
innocent verses which talk of mercy, tolerance, kindness and co-operation with the infidels. This is because the verses ascribed to Muhammad in Mecca – (when his followers were not yet in power or controlled any territory and lacked the military might to prevail) are relatively benign.
However, in Medina, where Muhammad was backed by a powerful and vicious fighting force capable of defeating any enemy, there is drastic shift in tone.
Quranic Transformation into a Violent Sectarian Idealogy
Since the Quranic rule of abrogation requires that later verses take precedence over earlier verses, the tolerant Islam – the Islam of ‘peaceful co-existence’ gets systematically replaced by an Islam that is combative and avaricious – and is then transformed into an idealogy that is viciously sectarian and aspores towards world domination.
Henceforth, a sectarian and divisive worldview becomes enshrined in verse after verse of the Quran once Muhammad and his followers had acquired the military might to subjugate all opponents:
29:23: “Those who disbelieve in the revelations of Allah … have no hope of My mercy. For such there is a painful doom.”
2:98: “Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers.”
2:99: “Only evil people are disbelievers”.
2:104: “For disbelievers is a painful doom”.
3:85: “And whoso seeketh as religion other than the Surrender (to Allah) it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter”
Futhermore, there are numerous exhortations attributed to Mohammad himself to fight the unbelievers:
8:12 “I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite the necks and smite of them each finger”. [88, Medina ]
Again, in reference to the “unbelievers” and “infidels”:
008.060: “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly.”
8:65 O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there be of you twenty steadfast they shall overcome two hundred, and if there be of you a hundred (steadfast) they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are a folk without intelligence. [88, Medina ]
009.073: “O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell,- an evil refuge indeed”.
009.123: “O ye who believe! fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.”
9:5: “Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush”.
Division of the World into Believers and Infidels
Such and numerous other verses led to the division of the world into Dar-al-Islam and Dar-al-Harb – i.e. – a world that was divided into two parts – the former, where Islamic rule had been consolidated and cemented by the enforcement of the Sharia codes, and another where power was in the hands of those who had not yet submitted to the power of Islam – in other words, the world of the “unbelievers” or “infidels”, or the Dar-al-Harb. But unlike the naively wishful worldview of Western liberals, dreamy Marxists, or pseudo-secular Indians, not only could there be no secular inter-mingling of these two worlds, there could also be no long term peaceful co-existence between these two worlds. In fact, a correct application of Islamic doctrine required the Dar-al-Islam to wage a constant war against the Dar-al-Harb.
Exhortations to Jihad
In the Quran, the Hadiths and the Sira – there are numerous verses extolling Jehad – the war to extend the territory of Dar-al-Islam.
Specifically, it is stated: “By abandoning Jihad (may Allah protect us from that) Islam is destroyed and the Muslims fall into an inferior position; their honour is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanish. Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim, and he who tries to escape from this duty, or does not in his innermost heart wish to fulfil this duty, dies with one of the qualities of a hypocrite.”
The Two-Nation Theory – as it was articulated in the Indian context was simply a logical extension of this non-secular, violently sectarian, undemocratic world view. Had Islam truly been the “moderate” religion or the “religion of peace” as so many claim, there would have been no need to divide the world in this manner – but since the “unbeliever” is eventually viewed with such deep hatred and contempt, such a sectarian division was merely inevitable.
The Quran and Hadith exemplify this with numerous stories about how Muhammad and his followers repeatedly fought and enslaved or exterminated numerous Pagan and Jewish tribes in Medina even when they were friendly and willing to practice a “live and let live” motto.
Here are just a few examples:
The Murder of a Friendly Jewish Merchant:
Ibn Sunyanah was a Jewish merchant who was friendly and helpful to many Muslim converts. But that friendliness of Ibn Sunaynah did not prevent some fanatic Jihadists to finish him off, just because he was a Jew. This was how it all started: In the morning after the murder of Ka’b b. Ashraf, Muhammad gave a general permission to his followers to slay any Jew whom they might chance to meet. Tabari describes this ordinance of gratuitous killing of any Jew thus:
The messenger of God said, “Whoever of the Jews falls into your hands, kill him.”
From the Sahih Hadith of Sunaan Abu Dawud, Book 19, Number 2996, narrated Muhayyisah:
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: If you gain a victory over the men of Jews, kill them. So Muhayyisah jumped over Shubaybah, a man of the Jewish merchants. He had close relations with them. He then killed him.
From Ibn Ishaq, p. 676:
Asma bint Marwan (a pagan woman and a poet) had spoken critically of Muhammad, telling her tribe to be wary of him. She said: “‘You obey a stranger who encourages you to murder for booty. You are greedy men. Is there no honor among you?’ Upon hearing those lines Muhammad said,’ Will no one rid me of this woman?’ Umayr, a zealous Muslim, decided to execute the Prophet’s wishes. That very night he crept into the writer’s home while she lay sleeping surrounded by her young children. There was one at her breast. Umayr removed the suckling babe and then plunged his sword into the poet. The next morning in the mosque, Muhammad, who was aware of the assassination, said,’ You have helped Allah and His Apostle.’ Umayr said, ‘She had five sons; should I feel guilty? ”No,’ the Prophet’ answered: ‘Killing her was as meaningless as two goats butting heads.'”
Ibn Ishaq, p. 316:
“Following Badr, Muhammad sent a number of raiders with orders to capture some of the Meccans and burn them alive.”
Such stories of violent conquest over non-Muslims abound in the Quran. It was therefore a rather small leap of imagination to view the Hindus as impure sinners – with whom no secular cohabitation could be possible. Not only did India have to be divided, all the infidels – i.e.the Sikhs and the Hindus had to be terrorized into leaving voluntarily or be forcefully expelled or killed.
A thorough study of Islam and its violent rise to power in the Arabian Peninsula (through the verses of the Quran and the injunctions of the Hadith and other related texts), it becomes possible to fathom how so many Muslims of Pakistan were willing to engage in acts of violent terror to put the two-nation theory in practice. They were merely waging a Jehad for the Dar-al-Islam.
India’s secular democratic ideals had simply no meaning for these Quran-trained warriors.
References and Bibliography:
The Root of Terrorism a la Islamic style, Chapter 2 by Abul Kasem
Islam: The Graveyard of Morality by Dr Omar Zia
Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery by MA Khan
Religion of Peace?: Islam’s War Against the World by Gregory M. Davis