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From Kashmir to Ram Navami: Quranic sanctions to ‘stoning’ the Devil and targeting of Kaafirs

Given that Islamists routinely resort to stone-pelting, whether it is in Kashmir or processions carried out on Hindu festivals elsewhere, can the indoctrination of bigotry, coupled with sanctions of the religious scriptures, be ruled out?

Stone pelting was once an everyday phenomenon in the Kashmir Valley. Young children and grown men alike, dawned skull caps, unfurled ISIS flags and took to stoning the security forces in unison. However, with the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, the cases of stone-pelting gradually began to drop. Today, it is close to nil.

However, it remained a central part of protests against the Indian Armed forces stationed in Kashmir. While sometimes stone-pelting was used by Islamists to agitate security forces, knowing fully well that the security personnel won’t use guns against them, at other times it was used as a tool to help besieged terrorists escape from being caught by the forces. Though it cannot be denied that several of the stone pelters were backed by the Pakistani deep state, the religious motivation behind it could not be understated.

Much like stone-pelting was used as an instrument of defiance against security forces in Kashmir, it was and has been routinely used to target Hindu processions when they pass through neighbourhoods that are now being referred to by the liberal intelligentsia as ‘Muslim areas’, which is nothing but a contemporary manifestation of the divisive Two-nation theory. Processions, carrying deities, often come under a volley of stones, followed by arson attacks, vandalism and violence, under the garb that they played devotional songs and hymns that ‘provoked’ the other side.

This was witnessed during the recent Hindu New Year celebrations in the Karauli district of Rajasthan where a Hindu procession, which was carried out after more than 7 years, witnessed stone-pelting and a wanton bout of violence and vandalism. Earlier yesterday, Ram Navami celebrations came under attack in 5 different Indian States, namely, Gujarat, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. They were allegedly orchestrated by frenzied mobs, who were armed with stones and sticks, and determined to stop the Hindu processions from advancing through their ‘Muslim areas’.

As stone-pelting seems to be the default choice of action by the Islamists who get ‘provoked’ on something as fundamental as a procession being carried out from their ‘areas’ by non-Muslims, it is important to understand what the religious scriptures and commandments say about stone-pelting.

Stoning of the Satan in Islam

During the Islamic pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca, Muslims participate in a ritual called the Rami al-Jamarat. They hurl stones at 3 pillars (jamarat), believing it to be the abode of Satan. It must be mentioned that the Jamarat is located in Mina city, which is located east of Mecca.

The Islamic ritual mandates that Muslims collect 70 stones and throw them at the three pillars on the day of Hajj. The ritual is repeated for the following 3 days before the completion of the circumambulation of Kaaba.

“Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet made Al-Fadl ride behind him, and Al-Fadl informed that he (the Prophet ) kept on reciting Talbiya till he did the Rami of the Jamra (stoning of the Satan),” says Sahih al-Bukhari 1685.

Furthermore, the Sahih al-Bukhari 1748 notes, “Narrated Abdur-Rahman bin Yazid: When Abdullah, reached the big Jamra (i.e. Jamrat-ul-Aqaba) he kept the Ka`ba on the left side and Mina on his right side and threw seven pebbles (at the Jamra) and said, “The one on whom Surat-al- Baqara was revealed (i.e. the Prophet) had done the Rami similarly.”

A video of the ritual was shared by Qatar funded news outlet, Al Jazeera on Youtube. According to Islamic Finder, the stoning of Satan represents submission to the commandment of Allah.

“Throwing pebbles at the Satan is not as if Satan is present at the place, rather it is an exercise of faith: this act is a testament that the believers are able to resist the thoughts and desires that Satan puts in the believer’s mind,” it noted.

Islamic Finder further emphasised, “Even though a pilgrim is throwing a pebble at one of the pillars of Jamarat, but in fact, he or she is throwing them in the face of Satan as nothing annoys Satan more than a man following the command of Allah.”

Stoning to death for ‘adultery’

The Islamic practice of stoning is not just limited to pillars, assumed to be the embodiment of Satan. Adult men and women in Islamic countries are often flogged and stoned to death for committing the supposed sin of ‘adultery.’

Quran says in Chapter Number 24 (An-Nur) Verse 2:

“As for female and male fornicators, give each of them one hundred lashes, and do not let pity for them make you lenient in ˹enforcing˺ the law of Allah, if you ˹truly˺ believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a number of believers witness their punishment.

Although there is no explicit mention of killing over adultery in the ‘Holy Book’, the authentic Hadith of Sahih Muslim (which contains the sayings of Prophet Muhammad) claims otherwise.

For instance, the Sahih Muslim Book 17, Hadith Number 4191 states

“Ubada b. as-Samit reported: Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Receive (teaching) from me, receive (teaching) from me. Allah has ordained a way for those (women). When an unmarried male commits adultery with an unmarried female (they should receive) one hundred lashes and banishment for one year. And in case of married male committing adultery with a married female, they shall receive one hundred lashes and be stoned to death.

A clarification for the disparity in punishment between Quran and Hadiths for adultery is explained in the Sahih Muslim Book 17, Hadith Number 4194. It states

“…I am afraid that with the lapse of time, the people (may forget it) and may say: We do not find the punishment of stoning in the Book of Allah, and thus go astray by abandoning this duty prescribed by Allah. Stoning is a duty laid down in Allah’s Book for married men and women who commit adultery when the proof is established, or it there is pregnancy or a confession.”

Conclusion

Given that Islamists are purists who adhere to the Quranic and Hadith sanctions in all its entirety, it cannot be ruled out that an idol-worshipping Hindu might appear as an embodiment of the ‘Devil’ to them. Also, several scholarly accounts claim that Islamic texts preach extermination of non-believers and apostates, and regard idolatry as one of the biggest ‘sins’.

It must be recalled that former Shia Waqf Board Chief Waseem Rizvi (converted to Jitendra Narayan Singh Tyagi) had last year appealed to the Supreme Court to remove 26 verses of the Quran, which called for the annihilation of infidels and disbelievers.

It is, most likely, for these reasons, that stone-pelting has become such a popular practice among Islamists. Whether it is their opposition to security forces, and by extension, to India’s sovereignty of Kashmir, or their antagonism towards processions carried out on Hindu festivals, they don’t flinch from resorting to stone-pelting, which has been widely cited in various Islamic texts.

Considering that the targeting of the Hindu festivals is a routine occurrence, can the indoctrination of bigotry, coupled with sanctions of the religious scriptures, be ruled out?

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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