By Mohd. Noorshafi AK
Many at times we end up doing things which we are not supposed to, things which are morally or religiously or politically or ethically wrong. At times we passed by without even realizing or without even bothering to give a thought whether that’s right or wrong and we just do it or we just let it happen. But sometimes it may happen to anybody that an event stuck his mind with so many queries and questions that he can’t simply ignore it and move on. And today that ‘anybody’ happens to be me.
I am neither an expert on religious matters nor an Islamic scholar. I am just another ordinary Muslim who is right now very disturbed with queries and doubts in mind after seeing one of the most unfortunate things that are happening in the Muslim society of Manipur. My observations need not be always right but they may not be completely wrong as well. I strongly belief that I will be forgiven if there is any mistake in my observation or if this happen to hurt anybody. My whole intention is to speak out something which I feel we need to think over for self introspection of our community.
There has been a very dirty business happening in our society especially at times of election-The business of our ‘iman’*, where it is bought and sold. The voters sell their ‘promise to vote’ while the candidates who fight for election buys it at a mutually accepted price. In the absence of faith and belief, the ‘fear for Qur’an’ is used as the ‘security’ in this business transaction. The voters are made to promise in the name of the Holy book. After the promise has been made, the voter will deny changing his/her decision, even if the candidate turns out to be a wrong person to let him lead, for the fear of committing a sin by doing so as if the promise already made in the name of Qur’an by accepting money (that is corruption) isn’t a sin. The more interesting thing is that some voters have come up with a smarter idea of selling their product-‘iman’ to more than one customer. The idea is to make a statement that can be literally interpreted in their favor like “yes, I will vote for you” which can be literally interpreted as- “I have never promise that I will not vote for others” and it is interpreted. This dirty game of literacy favors and justifies himself/herself for his/her multi business like that of some lawyers in a court twisting statements to win a case. But I doubt anyone daring to fight a case against the almighty and assuming to be on safe side through some stupid dirty games. Then to keep their promises they vote for both candidates and allow their valuable vote to get cancelled for the sake few hundreds. In the process he/she has not only fooled ownself but has also shown disrespect to our democracy and to the Holy book.
The irony thing is that both types of people, one those who deny changing their decision and another those who think they make smarter statements, think that they have done nothing wrong because they have either kept their promises or they were literally not wrong with their statements. But here what we fail to realize is that we have already committed a sin in the first place by selling our ‘iman’. The real ‘iman’, I belief, lies with making the right decision and choosing the right candidate as our leader and not to be charged for the decision we make. Above that I believe we may be committing a bigger sin by holding the Qur’an in hand while making such a promise.
Qur’an, I belief, is a light to the right path and it must be loved, honored, adored, respected and followed by Muslims but never to be used in business. It will be wrong if treated as a mere entity for business for some selfish personal motive. Don’t we need to realize that we are committing a big sin in the first place if a promise is made to do something wrong and will that be a right promise which is made under any kind of corruption? Above all that the more frightening one is making such a promise in the name of the Qur’an. I don’t think the misuse of Holy Scriptures by using it as a weapon to test the trust and commitment to one’s promise will be a right thing to do. Our ‘iman’ is not a saleable item. Those saleable ‘iman’ can never be a real one.
Mohd. Noorshafi AK
An Alumni of St. Stephen’s College, Delhi
*Iman in Islamic theology denotes a believer’s faith in the metaphysical aspects of Islam. It’s most simple definition is the belief in the six articles of faith- belief in Allah as the one and only God, belief in angels, belief in the holy books, belief in the Prophets, belief in the Day of Judgment and belief in predestination.