References From The Quran and Sunnah
As conscious Muslims, we are obliged to stand for justice as is mentioned in the Quran:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاءَ لِلَّهِ
وَلَوْ عَلَى أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ
“Believers! Be upholders of justice, bearing witness for Allah alone, even if it means testifying against your own selves, or your parents and relatives.” (4:135)
Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, has advised that:
مَثَلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فِي تَوَادِّهِمْ وَتَرَاحُمِهِمْ وَتَعَاطُفِهِمْ مَثَلُ
الْجَسَدِ إِذَا اشْتَكَى مِنْهُ عُضْوٌ تَدَاعَى لَهُ سَائِرُ الْجَسَدِ بِالسَّهَرِ وَالْحُمَّى
The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.
(Sahih al-Bukhārī and Sahih Muslim)
From the guidance of the Quran on witnessing for justice and the parable in the above Hadith, we understand that if any part of us is suffering from injustice, we should all be feeling their pain. As conscientious Muslims, therefore, it is our duty to stand up for justice in the face of human suffering, no matter who the victims are or who the perpetrators are, and call for solidarity with all people of the world whose human rights and dignity are being violated by oppressive groups and regimes.
God says in the Quran, as in the earlier revealed Scriptures, that saving one life is like saving all of humanity and letting one person die is like letting all of humanity die. We are required to uphold life's sanctity (Quran 5:32).
Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said “Whomsoever sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then (let him change it) with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart - and that is the weakest of faith” (Sahih Muslim).
First Class Muslims and First Class Citizens
We care for our country and we care for the Ummah. We must stand up for truth, peace, and justice at home and abroad.
We, Alhamdulillah, speak up for Palestine, for Muslims in Burma and for Uighurs in China-occupied East Turkestan. Today, I would like to share something about a people we rarely talk about.
Muslims in Kashmir: A Brief Background Of Their Struggle
The people of Kashmir have long cherished their independence and sovereignty. They have never accepted to be sold into slavery, no matter who that was. Kashmiris resisted the Amritsar Treaty between the British colonizers and the region’s Hindu Maharaja Ghulab Singh in 1846.
Later, July 13 became a date commemorated by millions of Kashmiris to remember how the Maharaja Hari Singh’s troops took aim at every Kashmiri that stood up to call for Friday prayer service that day in 1931. By the time they were done, 22 innocent Kashmiri Muslims fell to the bullets, one after another in cold blood, in front of Srinagar Central Jail. Since that gloomy day, Kashmiris have never forgotten to hold peaceful protests and rallies throughout the world every July 13.
The Kashmiri struggle for freedom was spurred by the historic events of 1947. That was when the Indian subcontinent gained independence from Britain, and Pakistan was established. One year after this, the struggle of the Kashmiri people was recognized by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in a 1948 resolution which called for a plebiscite on the future of the region to be convened “as soon as possible” i.e. a referendum to allow the Kashmiri people to determine their own future. However, such a referendum was never held.
After 1947, Dogra paramilitary troops forcibly kicked the Muslims in parts of Kashmir out of their homes. About 237,000 Muslims men and women were killed by these forces. This had clear demographic consequences: the Muslim majority was changed to a minority.
Repression in Kashmir under the current government of Hindutva nationalists has reached a new and unprecedented pinnacle of oppression. Kashmir has repeatedly been under lockdown and communication blackout. Of the 155 internet shutdowns around the world in 2020, two-thirds were in India.
The regime of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi abrogated the nominal autonomy of the state of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019. This was after it revoked Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which granted the region of Jammu and Kashmir autonomy.
The Indian government has unleashed a reign of terror unprecedented even under the oppressive Indian rule of the last 72 years. Under the so-called Registration Act of 2020 and State Subject Rules of 2020, the goal of the government has been to change Jammu and Kashmir’s Muslim majority into a minority.
India has enforced a settler-colonialist apartheid project in Kashmir to make Kashmiris a minority in their own native country.
Young men have been abducted or “disappeared” by Indian security forces, and sometimes die in custody. In the last few years, more than 10,000 have disappeared and over 7,000 have been killed in military custody. Spouses called “half-widows”are left behind, with no knowledge of what happened to their husbands, in families that have been torn apart, and nothing but uncertainty for the future. Young children, even babies, are blinded and wounded by the pellet guns of the Indian forces. And more than 10,283 women are reported to have been gang raped by the Indian military.
All Kashmiri political leaders and activists are languishing in various jails where they are being subjected to torture, isolation, deprivation of medical care, and unhygienic, crowded conditions. They are facing the added fear of Covid-19 pandemic, which is raging among jail staff and security forces. The Modi regime’s goal is to totally incapacitate the political leadership of Kashmir, thereby silencing any voice of freedom and their right of self-determination.
- We must call on our government to pressure the Indian government to defuse the current situation in Kashmir, and to work with the United Nations to resolve the Kashmir issue urgently and peacefully.
- We should visit our elected Congresspersons and Senators or write to them, impressing upon them:
-the urgency of moving toward a resolution on Kashmir.
-the revocation of Article 370, which would reinstate the status of Kashmir as it was before August 5, 2019, when it was stripped of autonomy.
- Last, but not least, we should remember the dire plight of the Kashmiri people in our Dua, as Dua is a powerful tool that can be used to influence change.
At this sacred hour of Juma, I call on you to join me in making a special Dua for the people of Kashmir:
- O Allah, our prayer for the people of Kashmir is full of hope.
We ask for Your help to bring lasting peace in Kashmir and other parts of the world where our brothers and sisters are being persecuted.
- O Allah, we pray for the turmoil to end,
- O Allah our hearts go out to the innocent children who were maimed and blinded due to pellet injuries to the youth who have been picked up from their homes and are detained in the jails of India thousands of miles away from their homes.
- O Allah give Sabr e Jameel (beautiful patience) to those parents who have lost their children and youth during this struggle.
May Allah give the innocent Kashmiris the strength to deal with the oppression they encounter.
We pray for the dignity and freedom of the Kashmiri people, and for peace and
normality to be restored.
We invoke the mercy and forgiveness of Allah for 100,000 Kashmiris who have laid down sacrifices for freedom,
We pray for all those who dedicate their lives to fighting oppression and
striving towards justice and peace.