Events in Andalus after 1502

Muslims now came under the jurisdiction of the Holy Inquisition, and in fact, cannot really be said to be Muslims in the sense that we can not be sure that of those who converted, how many were pretending, and how many really did apostatize, (thus, the usage of the word Morisco will now be increasingly used to imply those former Muslims that were now Christians). As for the inquisition it had started in Spain in 1478 CE, prior to the conquest of Garnata.

The Inquisition had started in Europe as a movement to check against numerous heresies and sects that were spreading around such as the Cathars and later on the Protestant reform movement led by Martin Luther. In Spain however, these aims were kept in mind, but the real focus of the Inquisition in Spain was to eliminate the Muslim ‘heresy.’ The unique fact about the Spanish inquisition was that the inquisition in their territories fell under the authority of the King and Queen of Spain and not under the Pope, thus eliminating any interference that might jeopardize Spanish internal affairs, (it is also indicative of the strength of the Spanish government that they could dictate terms to the then mighty Papal authorities in Rome). In 1526, after the forced conversions of the Muslims of Arghun, the Spanish government went a step further and gave the Spanish inquisition authority over Muslims as well. The reasons for establishing the inquisition are multifaceted, ranging from the Spanish desire to maintain religious homogeneity in their domains to generating income for the kingdom by way of confiscations of property and wealth.

The procedures of the inquisition would start with Edicts of Grace, where people would be invited to step forward to confess their heresy, and to denounce other ‘heretics.’ Following the Sunday mass, the Inquisitor would proceed to read the edict: it explained possible heresies and encouraged all the congregation to come to the tribunals of the Inquisition to “relieve their consciences”. They were called Edicts of Grace because all of the self-incriminated who presented themselves within a period of grace (approximately one month) were offered the possibility of reconciliation with the Church without severe punishment. The promise of benevolence was effective, and many voluntarily presented themselves to the Inquisition. But self-incrimination was not sufficient, one also had to accuse all one’s accomplices. As a result, the Inquisition had an unending supply of informants. The denunciations were anonymous, and the defendant had no way of knowing the identity of their accusers, and those so denounced were detained. In other words, as long as you denounced someone, you were seen righteous and above suspicion, while the person you have accused, (even though he might be innocent), would be interrogated in a hidden location for a prolonged period of time. It bears a striking resemblance to the environment in America after the Patriot act was enacted, wherein people were ‘encourage’ to report anything ‘out of the ordinary,’ or in other words, Muslims practicing their deen. A defense counsel was assigned to the accused, a member of the tribunal itself, whose role was not to ‘defend’ their client, but rather to ‘advise’ the defendant to speak ‘truthfully,’ and denounce themselves. A Notary of the Secreto meticulously wrote down the words of the accused.

As for the other parts of the inquisitional ‘machinery,’ the fiscal was in charge of presenting the accusation, investigating the denunciations and interrogating the witnesses, (they were the equivalent of Crown Prosecutors). The calificadores were generally theologians; it fell to them to determine if the defendant’s conduct constituted a crime against the faith. The court had, in addition, three secretaries: the notario de secuestros (Notary of Property), who registered the goods of the accused at the moment of his detention; the notario del secreto (Notary of the Secreto), who recorded the testimony of the defendant and the witnesses; and the escribano general (General Notary), secretary of the court.The alguacil was the executive arm of the court: he was responsible for detaining and jailing the defendant. Other civil employees were the nuncio, ordered to spread official notices of the court, and the alcaide, jailer in charge of feeding the prisoners.

After a denunciation, the calificadores, determined if the case and the accusation warranted a trial for heresy. If it was, the accused was detained for lengthy period of time, and if they were not, they will still incarcerated as what was described as preventative incarceration, to avoid the accused running away. Sometimes, those that were not guilty were preventatively imprisoned for upto two years before having their case examined, (let alone for the case to go to trial). The concept applied to property and wealth, in that the accused’s, (eventhough his guilt has not been proven yet), property is sequestered and the revenue from it was used to pay for the inquisitional procedures. So Muslims during this time were ideal targets for envious Christians that lived alongside them, (and sometimes even envious Muslims who were unscrupulous), that had their eyes on Muslims properties and wished to not only remove the Muslim from his property, but also to take possession of it, (as the Inquisition would gladly sell the assets at favorable prices to Christians). This entire process was undertaken with the utmost secrecy where the accused were not informed about the accusations that were levied against them. Months, or even years could pass without the accused being informed about why they were imprisoned. During the trial, the accused had two possibilities: abonos (to find favourable witnesses) or tachas (to demonstrate that the witnesses of accusers were not trustworthy).

In order to interrogate the accused, the Inquisition made use of torture, but not in a systematic way. It was applied mainly against those suspected of Judaism, Islam and Protestantism, beginning in the 16th century. Torture was always a means to obtain the confession of the accused, not a punishment itself. It was applied without distinction of sex or age, including children and the aged. Before the torture was applied, the Torturer began by “…stripping the prisoner [of his clothes and tying him to the trestle, there was a pause in which he was solemnly adjured to tell the truth for the love of God, as the inquisitors did not desire to see him suffer. The exposure of stripping was not a mere wanton aggravation but was necessary, for the cords around the thighs and arms, the belt at the waist with cords passing from it over the shoulders from front to back, required access to every portion of the body and, at the end of the torture, there was little of the surface that had not had its due share of agony, (Lea, 1906, vol. 3, 17).” This was inflicted on both men and women prior to torture to humiliate the victim and perhaps for the pleasure of their tormentors. The torture began and proceeded “…slowly with due intervals between each turn of the garrotes or hoist in the garrucha, or otherwise the effect was lost, and the patient was apt to overcome the torture, (ibid, 18).” Moreover there were restriction on the amount of times that torture could be applied, (this is theoretically identical to the case of Guantamo, Bagram and elsewhere). However, there were ways of circumventing this rule as torture could be continued by simply telling the defendant,

“…the inquisitors were not satisfied, but were obliged to suspend it for the present, and that it would be resumed at another time, if he did not tell the whole truth. Thus it could be repeated from time to time as often as the consulta de fe might deem expedient, (ibid).”

The methods of torture most used by the Inquisition were garrucha, toca and the potro. The application of the garrucha, also known as the strappado, consisted of suspending the criminal from the ceiling by a pulley with weights tied to the ankles, with a series of lifts and drops, during which arms and legs suffered violent pulls and were sometimes dislocated. In about 1620, a writer of an inquisitional manual wrote:

“…the elevating movement should be slow, for if it is rapid the pain is not lasting; for a time the patient should be kept at tiptoe, so that his feet scarce touch the floor; when hoisted he should be held there while the psalm Miserere is thrice repeated slowly in silence, and he is to be repeatedly admonished to tell the truth. If this fail he is to be lowered, one of the weights is to be attached to his feet and he is to be hoisted for the space of two Misereres, the process being repeated with increasing weights as often and as long as may be judged expedient, (ibid, 19).”

People that have read about the torture practice of Arab jails, especially Egypt, would know very well that this is a technique still in practice today by the treacherous regimes.

The toca, also called tortura del agua, consisted of introducing a cloth into the mouth of the victim, and forcing them to ingest water spilled from a jar so that they had impression of drowning. Initially the defendant would be placed on:

“…an escalera or potro…It slanted so that the head was lower than the feet and, at the lower end was a depression in which the head sank, while an iron band around the forehead or throat kept it immovable. Sharp cords, called cordeles, which cut into the flesh, attached the arms and legs to the side of the trestle and others, known as garrotes, from sticks thrust in them and twisted around like a tourniquet till the cords cut more or less deeply into the flesh, were twined around the upper and lower arms, the thighs and the calves; a bostezo, or iron prong, distended the mouth, a toca, or strip of linen, was thrust down the throat to conduct water trickling slowly from a jarra or jar, holding usually a little more than a quart. The patient strangled and gasped and suffocated and, at intervals, the toca was withdrawn and he was adjured to tell the truth. The severity of the infliction was measured by the number of jars consumed, sometimes reaching to six or eight, (ibid, 19).”

This method is especially poingnant today, as the US military has used and continues to use this method of torture, more commonly known as ‘waterboarding,’ upon Muslims they suspect of being part of Al Qaida in numerous ‘Black Sites[1]’ around the world.

When it was over and the accused confessed under duress, the inquisitors concluded their reports by saying that “confessionem esse veram, non factam vi tormentorum,” or that “the confession was true and free.” In other words the accused confessed of his own will, much like victims of American torture in terror in Guantanamo, Bagram, Cairo, Morocco, Jordan, Pakistan and a host of other torture centers confess to whatever it is their tormentors tell them to confess to. After his confession, the accused was to be sentenced. The possible sentences were as follows:

  1. Aquittal: The charges are dropped and the accused is innocent. This was rare during the inquisition.
  2. Suspension: This is where the defendant went free, although under suspicion, and with the threat that the process could be continued at any time. Suspension was a form of acquittal without admitting specifically that the accusation had been erroneous. This resembles what the US government and military says when it releases prisoners from Guantanamo.
  3. Penance: The defendant is considered guilty, and as punishment they had to admit to their crimes in public and renounce them, (it was called de levi if it was a misdemeanor, and de vehementi if the crime were serious). The defendeant was then condemned to punishment by either wearing the sambenito[2], exile, fines or even sentence to the galleys, (as slaves ofcourse).
  4. Reconciliation: In addition to the public ceremony in which the condemned was reconciled with the Catholic Church, more severe punishments existed, among them long sentences to jail or the galleys, (i.e. enslavement), and the confiscation of all property. Also physical punishments existed, such as whipping.
  5. Relaxation: There is a famous saying in Inquisitional documents that, “such and such was relaxed to the secular arm.” This euphemism simply means that the defendant would burn at the stake at an Auto de Fe, and it avoided that Church having to take reposnsiblity for killing anyone, and cleverly putting that burden upon the secular government of the land. This penalty was frequently applied to impenitent ‘heretics’ and those who had relapsed. Execution was public. If the condemned repented, they were garroted, (strangled by rope), before the body was given to the flames. If not, they were burned alive.

Some historians, (such as Hernando Del Pulgar), estimated that the inquisition had burnt around 2,000 people and reconciled another 15,000 people already by 1490. Other historians who have had a chance of studying he Spanish National Archives have found data on around  44,674 judgements, the latter studied by Gustav Henningsen and Jaime Contreras. These 44,674 cases include 826 executions in persona and 778 in effigie, (a symbolic burning in the event that the person accused had not been apprehended yet). This material, however, is far from being complete, due to the fact that the records for each individual tribunal are kept at their locations, (i.e. the Mexican inquisitional records can be found in Mexico City etc.). Moreover many records have been lost due to firs, loss, war and other occurrences that have reduced the likelihood of ever compiling a comprehensive work on the inquisition and its victims. However most historians approximate that the finally death count by the inquisition is likely to be between 3,000 and 5,000 executed.

During and after the end of the Al Bushra Jihad, Muslim cases became predominant in the tribunals of Saraqusta, (Zaragoza), Valencia and Garnata; in the tribunal of Garnata, between 1560 and 1571, 82% of those accused were Muslims, (Kamen, 1999, 224). In fact, during the period of 1540-1549, 266 Muslims were tried by the Inquisition as compared with the period of 1560-1571, where there were 2,371 cases, which is an almost ninefold increase, (ibid). A strategy that was highly effective then, (and very relevant now), was for the Inquisitorial authorities to appoint Muslim notables and elites as ‘familiars’ or informants to inform on their respective populations. This was the case when in Valencia in 1561, the Inquisition appointed the Ibn Aamir family as one of their ‘familiars’ in Valencia, (ibid, 222). In fact it was not just the Ibn Aamir family but the families of

“…Don Cosme, Don Juan and Don Hernando Abenamir [Ibn Aamir] of Benaguacil [whom] ranked among the first of the old Moors [Former Muslims/Mudajjan] of Valencia; the brothers were rich and influential; they held licences to bear arms, and Inquisitor Miranda had appointed them familiars–a position which they resigned at the instance of the Duke of Segorbe, on whose lands they dwelt, for he said that they had no need of such protection, as they had only to appeal to him if aggrieved. In May, 1567, during the absence of Inquisitor Miranda, the fiscal presented to the other inquisitor, Geronimo Manrique, a clamosa against the brothers, (Lea, 1906, Vol. 3, 362-363).”

Due to the conflict between the Duke and the Inquisition, the inquisition schemed on a way to apply pressure upon the Muslim nobles. Don Cosme was bought to trial first and was interrogated. He was asked about when he was baptized, and he said:

“…that he presumed he had been baptized when a child, yet he did not consider himself a Christian but a Moor [Muslim]; he had through life performed Moorish [Muslim] rites and had gone to confession only to conform with the edicts, but in future he desired to be a Christian and to do whatever the inquisitors might require, (ibid, 363).”

Clearly, today the allegory between this example and our leaders, western educated intellectuals and elites is painfully clear. They watch, rule and guide us, and look for the welfare of their masters, (then it was the Inquisition, and today it is America and its kaafir allies around the world), their own welfare and not the well being of the Muslims.

Another oddity that occurred under the purview of the Inquisition was Muslims denouncing other Muslims. This may manifest itself as disgruntled children denouncing their families, or spouses denouncing their partner or even neighbours denouncing each other. The most startling example of this when in 1606, Maria Paez, the daughter of Deigo Paez Limpati, (who were Muslims), denounced not only her family but all her friends in the town of Almagro. In the course of the trial, the denounciations increased and increasingly the whole community began feeling the Inquisitorial authorities. In the end the statistics from the trial are grim:

Died during trial (due to torture or natural causes)

5

Acquittals

14

Cases dismissed

5

Cases suspended

30

Abjuration de levi

24

Abjuration de vehement

15

Instruction ordered

32

Reprimand in audience chamber

8

Spiritual penance

6

Reconciliation with confiscation

78

Reconciliation without confiscation

5

Fines

5

Exiles

2

Wearing Sanbenito

5

Sanbenito and prison for a term 27
nbenito and prison perpetual (usually discharged after three years)

32

Sanbenito and prison perpetual, irremisable

3

Scourging (mostly 100 lashes, sometimes 200) 15
Galleys ([enslavement] for terms of from 3 to 10 years 14
Relaxed to secular arm for burning

11

Source: Lea, 2001, p.109

Of a total of 49,092 trials from the period 1560–1700 registered in the archive of the Suprema, 11,311 cases are registered cases of Muslims. The first appearance of Muslims in the records however, (at least in Valencia), was in 1535 when five Muslims were burnt to death, (Lea, 2001, 99), and thus the numbers above are not really indicative of the scale of the inquisition’s impact upon Muslims from its start to finish.

As for the allegories between the Inquisition and the current doctrine of Extraordinary rendition and torture in third party sites by the United States is very lucid indeed. To begin the secrecy of both their operations and the way by which they make ‘detainees’ disappear, (taking away their Habeas Corpus rights), are very similar. Henry Charles Lea describes the Inquisitions activity:

“When a prisoner was arrested he disappeared from human view as though the Earth had opened to swallow him; his trial might last two, three, or four years, during which his family knew not whether he was dead or alive, (ibid, 111).”

Much has been made in the media about Secret American interrogation sites and prison sites around the globe during the ‘war on terror,’ and this distinction is also found in the Inquisition in Spain. The Spanish inquisitor also differentiated between interrogation prisons and actual public prisons of confinement:

“The cárceles secretas, or secret prison, was the official designation of the place of confinement during trial of those accused of heresy. It formed part of the building of the Inquisition, so that the prisoner could at any moment be brought into the audience-chamber without being exposed to public view–such a case as Carranza’s, where confinement was in a different place and the inquisitors went there, being wholly exceptional. The secret prison was exclusively one of detention, the casa de penitencia, or punitive prison, being wholly different…(Lea, 1906, vol. 2, 507).”

In fact even the torture methods, such as water torture, (‘waterboarding’), are all remnants of the Spanish Inquisition.

ch.2, 3

Many calculated means were used to ensure that Moriscos were sincere in their Christian faith and fully rejected their former Islamic way of life. One of the many ways this was done was to force Moriscos to eat or drink at forbidden items. The fate of these Muslims, that were forced to convert to Christianity, was heard around North Africa, Egypt and even as far as Turkey. In reponse, many fuquha began to examine the present situation of these Muslims and trying to classify it and to figure out a solution for these Muslims in this predicament. One mufti, whose fatwa gained wide circulation in Morisco circles, was Imam Ahmed Ibn Bujuma’a Al Magrawi Al Wahrani[3] issued a fatwa[4] in 1504 explaining how they could maintain their iman and Islam through a variety of methods, by which to circumvent and negate the compulsion upon them. He wrote:

“ If you fear that harm will result from the enemy  coming to know your inner thoughts, blessed are those ghuraba[5] who do what is right when others fall into corrupt ways, for indeed he who remembers to worship Allāh when those around him forget to do so is like a man who is alive among the dead, (Ibid, 60-61).”

The Prophet (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم), said of the ghuraba:

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : بدأ الاسلام غريبا وسيعود غريبا كما بدأ فطوبى للغرباء

Islam began as something strange, and it would revert to its (old position) of being strange, so good tidings for the Ghuraba.[6] [7]


He then goes on to list a number of measure wherein they could, in a shariah compliant way, accept the compelling methods of the Christians:

  1. He exhorts Muslims to reject the Christian idols of the church and that Allāh did not take a son.[8] He exhorts them towards tawheed.[9]
  2. He allows them exceptions by which to make Salat or prayer, by allowing them to use slight movements, (as to not be noticed by the Christians).
  3. Exception for the zakat are made by Imam Ahmed
  4. He provides methods by which to remedy janaba or ritual impurity.
  5. He tells the readers that if they miss prayers during the day due to Christians being present, the reader can make them up at night when no one can see. He also advises them, that in the situation that water in not available for ablution, they can do tayammum or dry ablution.
  6. Hower most interestingly of all, he says: “If, at the hour of prayer, they force you to prostrate yourself before their idols, or make you attend their prayers, maintain it as your firm intention to consider what they do as forbidden, and have it as your desire to carry out the prayer prescribed by Islamic law, bow down to whatever idols they are bowing to, but turn your intention towards Allāh. Even if the direction is not that of Makka, that requirement may be disregarded, as it is in the case of prayer when in danger on the battlefield, (Ibid, 61).”
  7. “If they oblige you to drink wine, you may do so, but let it not be your intention to make use of it, (Ibid).”
  8. He gives exception to eat pork, as long as the reader, in his heart, rejects it and holds firm to the belief that it is haram.
  9. Likewise he allows marriages of Muslim men to Christian women whom the Christians offer him, but if they ask for his daughters, then he is allowed to do it, but the Imam states sternly that: “you should cleave firmly to the belief that it is forbidden, were you not under duress, and abhor it in your hearts, so that you would do otherwise, if you were able, (Ibid, 62).”
  10. He allows the usuage of usury as long as the reader rejects it in his heart and gives the interest bearing portion to charity if he can.
  11. A clever trick is expounded by Imam Ahmed when he explains: “If they oblige you to pronounce words of blasphemy, do what they ask, but employ whatever strategems of equivocation you can, and if you do pronounce the words they require, continue to put your trust in the faith. If they say to you: “Curse Muhammad,” then, bearing in mind that they pronounce it as “Mamad,” curse “Mamad,” and signify thereby the Devil, or else the Jewish Mamad [presumably the Mufti has in mind the Sephardic synagogue official called the Mahamad], since it is a common name among them, (Ibid).”
  12. Using the same logic, Imam Ahmed explains that: “If they say, “Jesus is the son of Allāh,” say that if they force you to, but let it be your intention to say it without the words in the possessive case [i.e. “of Allāh”], namely, that the servant of Allāh, the son of Mary, who is rightly revered. If they say, “Say the Messiah is the son of Allāh,” then say that, but intend it to be a genitive possessive phrase, in the same way as one can say, “the house of Allāh [Bait Allāh],” without meaning that Allāh actually resides there.
  13. Imam Ahmed says the same regarding the situation where Christians ask the reader to say Mary is the wife of Isa (عليه سلام).
  14. Likewise, the same logic is used to explain to the reader how to deal with Christians who would force him to say Isa (عليه سلام), died on the Cross.

Imam Ahmed finishes by praying:

“…that Allāh may so bring it about that Islam may be worshipped openly without ordeals, tribulations or fear…We reassure you before Allāh that you have served him, and done his command, (Ibid, 63).”

Indeed, the Muslims of Spain were thankful that someone had understood their dilemma and tried to constructively help them in their trials. In global events, the Uthmani admiral, Kamal Ra’ees bombards the Spanish in Al Meria and Malaqa and evacuates a number of Muslims and Jews to Istanbul at the beginning of 1506.

In spite of the above fatwa and its intentions of keeping Muslims secure in their deen, as much as was possible, it did not stop the eventual corruption and destruction of individual Muslims, (due to indulgence in kufr habits), and of the Muslim community as a whole. As evidence of this downward spiral, we find on August 19, 1515, the new Spanish Queen an edict to create a public regulation to combat public order offenses in major cities in Garnata, (she sent the letter to Garnata, Wadi Ash, Basta, Almeria, Vera, Purchena, Malaqa, Balsh Malaqa) (My comments are in Bold):

“Know that I have been informed that some of the newly converted [Muslims] who are resident in the above mentioned cities, because of the great amounts of wine which they drink, become so intoxicated that they fall down in public in the street, so that the old Christians mock them. When they are drunk, they cause disorder…and since it is my duty, as Queen…I command you, the aforesaid officers, and your lieutenants, that on each and every occasion that you find a New Christian [Muslims] drunk outside his own house or garden, that you have him brought to the prison of the place where he is found, where he is to be held for one day and one night as a punishment for his misdemeanor, (Ibid, 50).”

In other words, there were Muslims that were not simply following Imam Ahmed’s command to drink if compelled, it would seem they drank of their own will, and that too, to excess, (of course it is entirely possible, that they built this addiction after being compelled by Christians bent on removing the fear of the haram from them). They were so drunk that they got into fights and caused havoc in the streets. One can only imagine what a pitiful sight this would have been[10]. However, there is more, as this problem with drunkenness did not end as we see the city council of Basta, (this is not to say that Basta was the only city with this problem, as other cities of Garnata suffered the same problem), voted to ban the sale of Wine in taverns to prevent drunkenness. The resolution, written on September 2nd, 1521, read, (comments in bold are mine):

“It was resolved that because in this city the sale of wine in taverns…gives rise to problems of many kinds, with Moriscos [Muslims] and other ill-disposed…persons foregathering in such places, and getting drunk, brawling and disputing, so that the Moriscos [Muslims] neglect their own affairs and spend the whole day in the taverns, and when they did go home, they beat their wives, in order to avoid these troubles, and many others which might be mentioned, it was resolved and decreed that all those in this city who have wine of their own production should sell it in their own homes, and not supply it to tavern-keepers…(Ibid).”

The shock to any Muslim reading this should, I hope, lead them to understand not only the saddening downward spiral towards kufr of the Muslims trapped in Andalus, but to the extent this applies to our people today be it in the east in socially ‘liberal’ countries such as Dubai, where Men and women fraternize openly and commit adultery casually, while alchohol and prostitution are accepted facts of life even for our Muslim youth and those older! However, due to a variety of reasons, I cite the above edicts as guidance to the Muslims of the west in North America and Europe who believe that they are living in the new ‘Madinah’ and practicing a ‘pure’ Islam. Have the parents of the Muslim youth ever asked where their children spend their weekend with their kafir friends? Or perhaps they will contest that their children do not fraternize with non-Muslims, then pray tell, why are your child’s ‘Muslim’ friends misguiding your child by encouraging him to drink alcohol, listen to music, use drugs and belittling zina! Do you really think your daughter is still a virgin? Or for that matter, your son? Your children are no longer in your control and you lost them the moment you brought them into the kufr society you brought them up in.

According to statistics, (from a report in 1998), speaking about America specifically, (but applying the principal generally), it is estimated that at least 52% of girls, by the time they have reached 12th grade, are no longer virgins. As for boys, this number is higher, and is measured at almost 60% of boys in 12th grade that are not virgins, (Moore, et al. A Statistical Portrait of Adolescent Sex, Contraception, and Childbearing). As for the society that Muslims in the west live in, we turn once again to America, the leader of the free world. According to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, “During the 1999-2000 television season, 68% of all shows contained some sexual content, (Kaiser Family Foundation. ‘Sex on TV: A Biennial Report of the Kaiser Family Foundation’).” Due to the age of this report, it is only bound to be more during the current times. If we look at alcohol and drugs, then 80% of American high school students have consumed alcohol by 12th grade while in 2002, 53% of twelfth graders reported having used an illicit drug in their lifetime. Oh you parents! Do you really think that somehow your children are immune from being part of these statistics? Or somehow do you think that the law of averages does not apply to you and your offspring? Reflect if you care for your offspring and their future, if not for yourself. I believe that many will read this and protest, “What about the Arabian Peninsula! What about the Subcontinent! Do they not have the same problems which you speak of!” I would reply: Ofcourse, these are not problems limited to simply America, or even the west, but rather a result of the cultural crusade which they call ‘spreading democracy and freedom’ and ‘liberty’ in light of having completed the physical crusade a century ago, (with the destruction of the Uthmani Khilafa). So yes, it does not matter if you are in America or Dubai, or Manama or Karachi, the influences are the same and so are the temptations for your children and yourself. However, do remember that America and its allies are muhaaribeen, (those that are war with Muslims), and by living in America or any associated country would put you squarely in not just Dar Al Kufr but dar al harb as well. In effect, along with the moral corruption that your kids will undergo along with other hardships, you risk your hereafter and the present, (as shall be discussed in due course with the fatwa of Imam Wanshirisi).

Remember: What happened to these Muslims of Andalus is being done to you and your children but in such a devious and stready manner, which would have made the Spanish Inquisitors proud! In fact you no longer recognize falsehood as such, and instead, without any interference or interjection of the kuffaar, you call falsehood, truth and truth, falsehood, willingly!

At any rate, the Spanish were busy trying to crush the Islam of the Muslims of Andalus and were beginning to realize the Muslims were not willing to give up whatever bits of Islam they remembered, and thus began a series of official moves to brainwash the old and young in Christian rites. The Edict of 1511 ordered the Muslims to cease dressing like Muslims and to now buy new ‘Christian’ clothes. Any tailor that made Muslims clothes in the Muslim/Arab/Berber style risked a heavy fine, (as discussed in the new capitulations of 1501). They had to, as contained in the 1501 capitulations, (signed after the first Al Bushra uprising), hire Christian butchers and any butcher that slaughtered according to Islamic standards risked the confiscation of his possessions and property. Books of fiqh and ahadith had to be surrendered to be burnt, while estates of these Muslims would no longer be divided in the Shariah compliant way[11] and they would not be able to sell their properties either, (which would severly impede the emigration of Muslims desiring to leave Spain). Furthermore, the letter below is from Ferdinand de Toledo, the duke of Alba, in June 1514 to order Muslims to be forced to a series of actions to be brainwashed in the faith of Christianity [comments in bold are mine]:

“Firstly, that their children from the age of six to thirteen should be instructed and taught to read and write [in Spanish], and that their parents should bring them on Sundays and holy days to Mass, so that they may learn the doctrine of spiritual things. The better to put this into effect, I command the governor by me appointed to draw up a register of those who ought to learn to read and write, which is to be handed over to the schoolmaster appointed to teach them. The schoolmaster may in this way know who is absent, and he is to notify my governor, who is to inflict the following penalty: the father (or mother where there is no father), of a child sent to learn to read and write will be fined one Real for every occasion when it is the fault of the parents that the child fails to attend (half the fie to be paid to the duke’s office, half to the person acting as informant), (Ibid, 52).”

So we now see concrete government edicts that institutionalize the brainwashing of the Muslim youth, where they will be forced to learn Spanish, while forgetting their Arabic, and in effect losing their connection with the Quran and, truly, with Islam. He continues in the letter that those not attending Church service would be charged a large sum, while those failing to “…memorize the Credo[12], Salve Regina[13], Ave Maria[14], and Pater Noster[15], before the following Easter (the proclamation was dated in June, so they had some nine months), (Ibid),” would be charged 1000 Murabits! One can certainly understand the importance of enforcing church attendance and memorize Christian creeds, but why would learning another language be such a bad thing? This is due to the fact that the children, being the future generation of the Muslims and generation which can be molded,(unlike their parents), would learn Spanish, and it was understood since the use of Arabic was banned, they would forget Arabic. The children, when they are older, would, if they even had the desire to, try to learn about their parents and Islam but discover that it is all in Arabic, a language that is alien to them. They would feel more Christian and Spanish than Muslim and Arab, (or Berber). In effect, you could take away their deen or any ability to learn or practice it by simply taking the language away. Translations can only go so far, and decisions made upon translations can only lead to confusion and misguidance. In addition, translations are dependent heavily on the vocabulary (and baggage therein that its individual words carry), of the language to be translated into. In this case, to translate Islamic texts into Castilian would be to borrow the literary baggage its words carry and superimpose them upon Islamic terms. Lets say for example you try to translate ‘Shaheed’ into English, you would get, ‘martyr.’ However you would be incorrect. The true meaning of Shaheed would be one that Allāh bears witness for on the Day of Judgement for a variety of reasons. However, a martyr is simply one who dies for some cause and is seen as a symbol of that cause due to his death, (i.e. a priest who was ‘martyred’ by the King for speaking against him). Clearly, taking Arabic away from the Muslims was a clever move by the Spanish, but it is not an isolated event, as the British almost 350 years later did the very same with their colony of India. Thomas Babington Macaulay, a British Minister of Parliament who was also serving on the Supreme Council of India, (a British Colonial Institution), stated in 1835 in his infamous Minute on Indian Education:

“It is impossible for us, with our limited means, to attempt to educate the body of the people. We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect. To that class we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature, and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population, (‘Macaulay’s Minute on Indian Education’).”

What is shocking about his statement is that it is almost identical to Fernando de Toledo’s suggestions in terms of its overt and covert objectives. They both wanted to create from the youth a class of people that would, by their own will, adopt the culture of the occupier, (in Spain, Christian culture), and thus serve as the enforcers of the will of the enemy while confusing the populace, (due to, in the Spanish case, the Muslim ancestry of these people and their slightly different physical appearance), as to resist or comply. Indeed, the new generation of Arab rulers are no less subject to this principle, and almost all, if not all, of the sons and daughters of the rulers of the Arab peninsula and elsewhere in the Arab world have been sent to elite western institutions to be schooled in the ways of ‘civilization,’ (i.e. all that is kufr and not Islam). Many of them are sent to elite military academies such as Sandhurt in England where King Abdullah of Jordan and Sultan Qaboos of Oman have attended, among others, to become the iron fisted dictators whom implement the plans of the west in the Muslim world with soldier like precision. If they did not go there, and were slightly more clever, they were sent to elite institutions such as Sorbonne in Paris, (Hassan Turabi), or Georgetown in Washington D.C., (Turki Al Faisal) or maybe an Ivy League university, (which includes Harvard, Yale, Princeton, amongst others).

In fact, the English medium schools[16] that were created as a result of Macaulay’s insistence still remain, and are practically the only school system of any ‘repute’ in the subcontinent. Madaris that teach Arabic and the Islamic sciences are relegated to the fringes and are steadily declining in their relevance and quality. In fact, it has become a fact that those with Western style education and a knowledge of English were, (and still are), eligible for government employment or for a career in public life, (e.g. Benazir Bhutto springs to mind).[17]

In the current climate, the Madrassas have, for the most part, become tools for the governments of this area to manipulate public opinion by issuance of dubious fatawas. In fact, this came to the fore after the Mumbai attacks of November 2008 when, if you opened up any major news website, you would have first found the following headline:

Indian Muslims say they do not want the gunmen killed by the security forces during the attacks in Mumbai to be buried in Muslim graveyards.

Community leaders believe the militants cannot be called Muslims because they went against the teachings of Islam and killed innocent civilians.

One leader said the militants had “defamed” the religion.

Nine militants died when they stormed targets in India’s financial capital, killing at least 172 people…

They said that they could not believe that the assailants, who they said had “killed innocent civilians unprovoked”, were true followers of Islam.

Ibrahim Tai, the president of the Indian Muslim Council, which looks after the social and religious affairs of the Muslim community in India, said that they had “defamed” his religion.

“They are not Muslims as they have not followed our religion which teaches us to live in peace.

“If the government does not respect our demands we will take up extreme steps. We do not want the bodies of people who have committed an act of terrorism to be buried in our cemeteries.

“These terrorists are a black spot on our religion, we will very sternly protest the burial of these terrorists in our cemetery,” he said.

Other Muslim groups have written to their local assembly representatives to say that if the authorities force the militants to be buried in a Muslim graveyard, they too will come out on the streets in protest.

The council move found some support in Mumbai.

One Muslim housewife, Ruksana Sayeed, said: “We Muslims do not even kill an ant, our religion does not teach all this, we are against all these terrorists and I completely agree with the Muslim Council’s argument.”

However, Naseem Ahmed, a Muslim worker in the city, said the council was wrong. “They are Muslims and they can be buried even if they have done something wrong. Our religion does not say that those who have done evil can’t be buried in a cemetery,” he said, (Ahmed, Zubair, Muslims refuse to bury militants, BBC NEWS, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7758651.stm)”

Its too bad that Mr. Ibrahim Tai could not have taken up ‘extreme steps’ when it came to protesting the atrocities the Indians are committing in Kashmir or were in Gujarat, (let us forget for Mr. Tai’s sake that the Ummah is one body and that they should care about Afghanistan, Iraq, the Maghrib and elsewhere). It is surprising how fast the Ulema have so carelessly made takfir on the mujahideen while preaching in parallel that the mujahideen are takfiris? What is more amazing is that so much coverage is given to people of the opinion of Mr. Tai and Mrs. Sayeed but people of intellect such as Naseem Ahmed are pushed to the bottom. If you are an Indian Muslim reading this, which opinion in this article makes sense to you and which one smells of defeatism and cowardice?

Then you would have seen this article:

Avoid cow slaughter on Eid-ul-Azha: Deoband to Muslims

NEW DELHI: Leading Islamic seminary Dar-ul-Uloom has suggested to Muslims in the country that they avoid slaughtering cows on Eid-ul-Azha as a

mark of respect to the religious beliefs of Hindus.

The appeal has been supported by the All India Organisation of Imams of Mosques (AIOIM), which had earlier asked Muslims to put black ribbons on their shoulders as a symbol of their solidarity and grief for the victims of the Mumbai terror attacks.

In a booklet detailing the concept of ‘qurbani’ or sacrifice on the occasion of Bakri-Eid, brought out by Deoband-based Dar-ul-Uloom, the seminary has advised Muslims to refrain from sacrificing cows to avoid hurting sentiments of the Hindus.

“They (Muslims) may slaughter other animals that are approved by the Shariah,” the booklet said, asking Muslims to respect the sentiments of other Indians.

Established in 1866, Dar-ul-Uloom is the most respected school of Islamic teaching in the subcontinent.

AIOIM President Hazrat Moulana Jameel Ahmed Ilyasi said slaughtering cows hurts the sentiments of Hindus and “we should not do anything that will disturb communal harmony in the country”.

Ilyasi also asked Imams all around the country to pray for the victims of the Mumbai terror attacks during Eid prayers and express solidarity with Mumbaikars.

“They should pray to the Almighty during Eid prayers for restoring peace in the country,” Ilyasi said, (Times of India, ‘Avoid cow slaughter on Eid-ul-Azha: Deoband to Muslims.’ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Avoid_cow_slaughter_on_Eid-ul-Azha_Deoband_to_Muslims/articleshow/3797689.cms)”

I would assume next we should tear pages out of our books of ahadith on Jihad and killing of Jews and apostates because it is offensive? Or perhaps we should now fudge up the seerah of the Messenger (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم), and say that Aisha (رضي الله عنها), was really not that young? If that wasn’t enough, then the Muslims came out on the streets to protest against ‘terrorism?:’

“Muslims in Mumbai offer prayers for peace and harmony

From ANI

Mumbai, Dec 6: Muslims offered prayers for peace and social harmony in the country here last evening.

The devotees after prayers felt that although the attacks had caused colossal damage to everybody, they were particularly perturbed since after every terror incident their community was considered as the perpetrator.

“It is a loss to everybody. So many people have lost their lives. Muslims are mostly at loss as they have to bear the brunt of what people do and disappear,” said Sami, a resident.

While condemning the attacks, others said no human likes bloodshed.

“What has happened is wrong and we condemn it. If there is a blood-shed of a Hindu, Muslims won’t be happy, and similarly, Hindus will not like a Muslim bloodshed,” said Yusuf Khan, another resident, (Asian News International, “Muslims in Mumbai offer prayers for peace and harmony” http://www.dailyindia.com/show/285353.php)”

Here are a few of them with placards:

ch.2, 4

Again I ask, where were these thousands of Muslims when Kashmiri Muslims were being killed? Why not the call for ‘extreme’ action then? Oh Muslims of India are you more afraid of these Hindu mushrik tyrants or of Allāh (سبحانه و تعلى) on the Day of Judgement? If you do not stand for truth now, then when will it be that you will? How long will you deny the truth of Islam, jihad and hijrah? Until you have neither deen nor dunya? Or you start practing the new form of Deen-e-illahi[18]? Didn’t the same Akbar, (who had created the Deen-ilahi), also declare an ‘Amari’ or forbiddance of the killing of animals on the holy days of Jains like Paryushan and Mahavir Jayanti, (as you, O Ulema of India, are attempting to do)? I’m afraid the Ulema of both Pakistan and India have chosen the path of disgrace and humiliation by their recent fatwa against terror in June 2008, where Dar Al Uloom’s Grand Mufti, Habibur Rehman said, “Islam rejects all kinds of unjust violence, breach of peace, bloodshed, murder and plunder and does not allow it in any form…(Times of India.‘Deoband first: A fatwa against terror’ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Deobands_first_A_fatwa_against_terror/articleshow/3089161.cms).”

An extract from the Times of India reads thus:

“Citing the “sinister campaign” to malign “Islamic faith…by linking terrorism with Islam and distorting the meanings of Quranic Verses and Prophet traditions”, Mahmood Asad Madani, leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, had wanted Deoband to spell out the stand of Islam on world peace.

The fatwa, issued before a huge gathering of Muslims in Delhi’s Ramlila Ground for the Anti-Terrorism and Global Peace Conference, went on to say, “It is proved from clear guidelines provided in the Holy Quran that allegations of terrorism against a religion which preaches and guarantees world peace is nothing but a lie. The religion of Islam has come to wipe out all kinds of terrorism and to spread the message of global peace. Allāh knows the best.”

The conference was addressed by Jamiat chief and Darul-Uloom’s deputy rector Hazrat Maulana Qari Sayed Mohammed Usman.

He called the conference historic as Muslims of different sects and ideologies — including Nadwatul Ulama Lucknow, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and All India Muslim Personal Law Board — ratified the fatwa against terrorism…

Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind leader Madani, an MP, stated that the fatwa should be welcomed by the entire Islamic world.

“Killing of innocent people is not compatible with Islam. The biggest challenge faced by us today is terrorism (which) threatens to strike at the very root of the secular structure of our society besides causing irreparable loss,” stated Madani…

However, it was when the deputy rector of Deoband, Usman, came down heavily on “the dual policy of America” that the massive crowds cheered the most. “Whenever Christian and American interests are hurt in any part of the world, they take prompt action to set things right even at the cost of human lives. They maintain silence though when Muslims are the victims,” he said, further criticizing the US for its support to Israel.

According to Usman, Jamiat recently held a series of conferences and meetings with madrassas in Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Surat, Varanasi and Kolkata to carry forward the anti-terror movement which was initiated at Deoband in February. Usman said that many people, especially in the West, were carrying out a propaganda that terrorism was synonymous with jehad.

He said that while terrorism is destructive, jehad is constructive. “Terrorism is the gravest crime as held by Quran and Islam. We are not prepared to tolerate terrorism in any form and we are ready to cooperate with all responsible people,” he said, (ibid).”

Qari Sayed Mohammed Usman speaks wonderful words, but they are just that: words. If he really feels so strongly about the double standards of the Americans, then why does he not denounce their killing of innocent Afghanis in Afghanistan? Why not call for jihad against the occupiers in Afghanistan? Ah, I remember you believe in jihad, but of the Nafs only and if you would ever approve of fighting, then it would have to pass through unlimited conditions that would make it almost impossible to wage jihad. As for what was reportedly said by Mahmood Asad Madani, why does he care about the ‘secular structure’ of ‘our’ society? On one level he is supporting man made law and admitting he supports the application of Islam in Ibadah while using secular rules and laws for everything else. On another level, he sounds like a ‘house negro’ and is remeniscint of Malcolm X quipping about African Americans saying:

“Imagine a Negro: “Our government”! I even heard one say “our astronauts.” They won’t even let him near the plant — and “our astronauts”! “Our Navy” — that’s a Negro that’s out of his mind. That’s a Negro that’s out of his mind.”

To conclude this discussion, I realize I have cited almost exclusively South Asian ulema, but it is by no means targeting solely South Asian ulema but due to the limited space and scope of this study, more space can not be devoted to this tangent. I could have added many Arab Ulema’s fatawas here that are just as shoddy and just as questionable.

Returning once again to Spain, Fernando de Toledo, in his letter, proposed to also:

That last condition was to stop Muslims from taking a shower during Fridays and to hinder them from Friday prayers. While the ban on Sundays and feast days is immeasurably more interesting, since it would only make sense if we take Imam Ahmed’s 1504 fatwa in perspective. If Fernando knew about its contents, as it appears he does, he was trying to hinder Muslims, pretending to observe the feast days and Christian holidays, while internally, or in a hidden way, praying their Salat.

However, the Spanish had not anticipated the strong iman and the taqwa[19] of the Muslims of Spain as they stubbornly clung on to their Islam, refusing to budge an inch. In fact, the Muslim youth began to build a hatred of kufr and the kuffaar. Marmol Carvajal, (a soldier in the Spanish army that fought against the Muslims in 1568 during the Al Bushra jihad), states, (comments in bold and/or underlining are mine):

“Hence it was that hour by hour their enmity for the name of Christians increased. Although with feigned humility they adopted moral [Christian] ways in their behaviour…inside themselves they hated the yoke of Christian religion, and in secret they studied their doctrine and taught one another the rites and ceremonies of Muhammad [i.e. the Sunna among other things]. This defect extended to all the common folk. There were certain of their nobles who gave themselves over to matters of faith, and regarded it as an honor to be and to appear to be Christians[20]…If they went to mass on Sundays or holy days, that was only for the sake of form…and to avoid being fined by the clergy…They observed Fridays [Jumuah] and washed themselves then, and behind locked doors they performed salat. On Sundays they stayed indoors and continued working. After the baptism of their babies, they washed them in warm water to removed the sign of baptism and the holy oil, and they performed their own ceremony of circumcision, and gave their children Moorish [Muslim] names. Brides, who had been made by the priest to wear Christian bridal dresses to their [wedding] benediction in church, stripped them off when they got home, and dressed as Moorish [Muslim] women…Although some of them did learn the prayers, that was only because they were not allowed to get married unless they knew them, and many avoided learning Castilian so they would have an excuse for not learning them, (Carvajal, ‘Historia de la Rebelion y Castigo de los Moriscos,’ 63)”

The interesting part of Marmol’s account is that, apparently, Muslim parents would allow children to marry only if they learned how to pray. To us this may seem as lax and a sign of the wayward nature of the Muslims in Spain. However, we must keep in mind the immense pressure and persecution practiced upon the Muslims of Spain, that simply saying the Prophet’s (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم) name could result in torture, let alone prayer or keeping a copy of the Quran at home, (much less reading it). Bearing these in mind, the apparent stance of the Muslims in Spain is remarkable compared to our times, where, we are under no compulsion or torture, but yet our masajid are empty and our Qurans remain untouched, collecting dust upon our cupboards and bookshelves.


[1] This will be discussed in the conclusion

[2] a penitential garment similar to a scapular either yellow with red St. Andrew’s crosses for penitent heretics or black and decorated with friars, dragons and devils for impenitent heretics to wear at an auto de fé (meaning acts of faith) – burning at the stake.The ‘heretics,’ found guilty by the inquisitors, had to walk in the procession wearing the sambenito, the coroza, the rope around the neck, and in their hands a yellow wax candle. The tunic of yellow cloth reaching down to the knees of the wearer, with figures of monks, dragons and demons in the act of augmenting flames, signifies that the ‘heretic’ is impenitent and is condemned to burn at the stakes. If an impenitent is converted just before the procession, then the sambenito is painted with the flames downward, which is called fuego repolto, and it means that the ‘heretic’ is not to be burnt alive at the stake, but to have the sympathy of being strangled before the fire is applied to the stake.The third type of penitential garment was for those who repented before they were sentenced. It was a simple yellow scapulary with a red cross, and a conical cap, dominated coroza, which was formed of the same material as the sambenito, and decorated with similar crosses but no paintings, figures or flames and the wearer is only to do penance.

[3] He resided in in the Moroccan city of Fas/Fez for the majority of his life. This fatwa would have been written during the reign of the Emir of the Wattasi dynasty, Muhammad II Al Burtuqali who reigned from 1470-1525. He studied in Tlemsaan [Tlemcen]. In Umar Ridaa Kahhaalah’s ‘Muajam Al Muallifeen’ Al Wahrani is described as a jurist who wrote ‘Jaami’ jawami’ Al ikhtisaas Wa’l tibyan fee maa ya’rudu bayna Al mu’allimeen Wa Aabaa Al Sibyaan, (a treatise on elementary education).’ In Ibn ‘Askar’s ‘Dawhat Al Naashir li-mahaasin man kaana bi’l Maghrib min mashaayikh Al qarn Al aashir,’ Imam Al Wahrani is described as:

“Ahmad Shaqrun Bin Abi Jum’uah of Maghraawah: among them [Ibn ‘Askar’s authorities] is the master, jurist (faqih), and hadith expert (hafidh), widely read, exacting and accomplished in several fields, the consummate scholar Abu Al Abbas Ahmad bin Abu Jumah, of Maghraawah then [thumma], Wahran. He is known as Sayyid Shaqroun of Wahran becase he had light complexion, red eyes, and a stentorian voice. He came to Fez [Fas], taught as a law professor there, and became one of the prominent jurists…(Stewart, 276).”

He is mentioned in many other biographical works as well. Furthermore he is mentioned in Imam Maqri’s ‘Azhar Al Riyaad fee Akhbaar ‘Iyaad’ in the context of Imam Maqri talking about Imam Al Wahrani’s son:

“The clever professor [ustaadh] and jurist and intelligent preacher Abu Abd Allah Muhammad, son of the Master, jurist, preacher, and professor of law [mudarris] Abu Al Abbaas Ahmad Bin Abi Jumuah Al Wahrani, reported that his aforementioned father used to preach the sermon of Al Qadi ‘Iyaad Abu Al Fadl…(Stewart, 288).”

[4] Which is included in full in both English and Arabic, in Appendices T and U respectively

[5]The contextual meaning of Ghuraba is in the hadith provided. The hadith states that Islam began as something strange, meaning as its state was in Makka during the first few years of the Hijrah, where there were few people who became Muslim and believed in Islam due to Islam being seen as a novelty and something strange. Towards the end of time, Islam will once again seen to being a novelty and strange and the truth shall be seen as falsehood and falsehood would be the truth. Those few that would cling tightly onto the Quran and Sunnah, (at great pain to themselves and persecution), in those times are the Ghuraba. Imam Ahmed Al Wahrani implies this when he begins his fatwa by referring to the Muslims of Andalus as: “Our brothers who are clasping on to their deen, as if clutching on to hot coals.”

[6] Strangers

[7] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 61, Narrator Abu Hurayra

[8] See Surah Al Mu’minoon, verse 91, and Surah Al Furqan, ayah 2.

[9] The oneness of Allah

[10] However it has to be remembered that Alcohol was present in Muslim Andalus, increasingly more during the 14th century and beyond, (one need only look at Al Mut’amid’s, the former Emir of Seville, poetry to see that), but nowhere and no way was the problem of alchohol as public nor as prevalent as it was during the period after 1502 in Garnata under the Christians.

[11] See Sura Al Nisa, Verses 11-12

[12] The Christian ‘Aqeedah’ or creed which seeks to affirm that Allah has been begotten and manifest in the human being Jesus.

[13] “Salve Regina” or “Hail Holy Queen” is a Christian Hymn and Prayer to the Virgin Mary. The Salve Regina is predominantly used in the Catholic Church, typically around feast days like the Assumption or Immaculate Conception.

[14] A traditional Catholic Prayer to Mary, the mother of Jesus, developed in the early Middle Ages, with its roots in the Bible.

The first part of the prayer is the salutation of the Archangel Gabriel as reported in the Gospel of Luke 1:28 “Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee”. The second is from the greeting given to Mary by her cousin Elizabeth in Luke 1:42 “Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of your womb”, and a reinforcement of basic Christian belief in the divinity and humanity of Jesus. The closing petition “Holy Mary, Mother of Allah, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.” is stated by the official “Catechism of the Council of Trent” to have been “framed by the Church itself”.

[15] The Lord’s Prayer is probably the best-known Prayer in Christianity. According to the New Testament, the prayer was given by Jesus of Nazareth as a response to a request from the Apostles for guidance on how to pray. The English text is the following:

Our Father who art in Heaven,

hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done,

on Earth, as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from Evil.

[16] Schools where all learning is in English

[17] The Government of Pakistan has recently announced the introduction of English lessons on a phased basis to all schools across the country. This new policy states that “English language has been made compulsory from Class-1 onwards” and the “Introduction of English as medium of instruction for science, mathematics, computer science and other selected subjects like economics and geography in all schools in a graduated manner.” Caretaker Minister for Education Mr. Shujaat Ali Beg declared January 25, 2008 that eighteen colleges of the city of Karachi would be made “Model English Medium Colleges,”

[18] The Dīn-i Ilāhī was religious doctrine propounded by the Mughal emperor Jalālu d-Dīn Muḥammad Akbar (“Akbar the Great”) intended to merge the best elements of the religions of his empire (primarily Islam and Hinduism; elements were also taken from Christianity, Jainism and Zoroastrianism) and thereby reconcile the differences that divided his subjects.

Akbar was tolerant of religions other than Islam. In fact, not only did he tolerate them, he encouraged debate on philosophical and religious issues. This led to the creation of the Ibādat Khāna (“House of Worship”) at Fatehpur Sikri. From the discussions he led there in 1575, Akbar concluded that no single religion could claim the monopoly of truth. This inspired him to create the Dīn-i Ilāhī in 1581. Various Muslim clerics responded by declaring this to be blasphemy.

[19] Roughly: Fear of Allah

[20] i.e. there were former Muslim notables that had apostated truly and were proud of being Christian. Does this remind you of Sadat, Jamal Abdul Nassir, and the Saud family?

1 Comment »

  1. Reader said,

    Answer to footnote 20: no.


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