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How Kashmir became Muslim country& then Predominantly Muslim Majority!

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    How Kashmir became Muslim country& then Predominantly Muslim Majority!

    How Kashmir became Muslim country

    "In thirteenth century, a boy of tender age by name Ratanju came to Kashmir. Somehow, he got a place in the court of king Sahadeva and reached a high rank. He had neither any religion, nor any nationality of his own. Moulana Mohammed Kazam Muradabadi writes in his history book, that Ratanju had a great love for Hindu religion. He wanted to embrace it. But the Hindus were not ready to accept him in their society. He used to listen to story of Gita every day from the pundits.

    "One day the pundit, while explaining him the meaning of verse 47 of chapter 18, told him that it is fearful to accept another man's better religion and one must not leave ones own religion though it had many disabilities. On this Ratanju asked, 'Can I not join your religion?' The pundit said 'Absolutely not'. Getting disappointed by this reply, Ratanju resolved to accept the religion of the person, whom so ever he will see first one in the morning. One muslim fakir, by name Bulbulshah, got to know the decision of Ratanju. Next morning he went to the palace of Ratanju. On seeing him Ratanju came down and asked him, 'Would you accept me in your religion?'

    " 'The door of Islam is open to all human beings. A prominent political officer wishes to become my brother in religion (dharma bandhu). What could be more pleasing thing for me other than this', replied Bulbulshah. Ratanju became muslim. His son Shahamir usurped the throne and brought home forcibly the queen Kona, wife of king Sahadeva's son. But the queen committed suicide by stabbing herself. It is said, those pundits, who refused to become muslims, were put in gunny bags and drowned in river Jehlam by Ratanju and Shahamir. The place in Shrinagar where they were drowned, is famous even now by the name of 'watta mazaar'." [Santram, Sarita Mukta Reprint series, (Hindi) vol. 8, p.162.]

    But who was this Shahmera and how he became an officer in court of King Suhadeva? He was son of one Ratanju, whose details are given in an article by Santram.

    The same story is repeated by Sundarlal Sagar in his hindi book "hindu sanskruti me varna vyavastha aur jati bhed", on the authority of a great scholar Ramdhari Simha Dinkar ["Hindu Sanskruti" - ch.4, p.269].

    From the story, though he is said to have no religion or nationality, it seems he was a Buddhist as he was neither a Hindu nor a Muslim, and must have been considered of a low caste as he was not acceptable to the pundits of Kashmir as a ruler. The story runs as follows:

    "Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards." -- Unknown

    In arrogence or Ignorence some Non muslims or even misguided suffering from 'negro Complex' unfortunately fail to see the light of Islam & its true brightness crowded by inadequacy of oneself rather than the theology philosophy & its jurisprudence .A daunting task indeed

    Islam has a progressive tradition too

    Most western views of Muslims are founded on ignorance

    Hamza Yusuf
    Wednesday June 19, 2002
    The Guardian

    When a Welsh resistance leader was captured and brought before the emperor in Rome, he said: "Because you desire to conquer the world, it does not necessarily follow that the world desires to be conquered by you." Today one could offer an echo of this sentiment to western liberals: "Because you wish your values to prevail throughout the world, it does not always follow that the world wishes to adopt them." The imperial voice is based on ignorance of the rich traditions of other civilisations, and on an undue optimism about what the west is doing to the world politically, economically and environmentally. The entrenched beliefs many westerners profess about Islam often reveal more about the west than they do about Islam or Muslims. The Ottomans were history's longest-lasting major dynasty; their durability must have had some relation to their ability to rule a multi-faith empire at a time when Europe was busily hanging, drawing and quartering different varieties of Christian believer.

    Today Islam is said to be less, not more, tolerant than the west, and we need to ask which, precisely, are the "western" values with which Islam is so incompatible? Some believe Islam's attitude towards women is the source of the Muslim "problem". Westerners need to look to their own attitudes here and recognise that only very recently have patriarchal structures begun to erode in the west.

    The Islamic tradition does show some areas of apparent incompatibility with the goals of women in the west, and Muslims have a long way to go in their attitudes towards women. But blaming the religion is again to express an ignorance both of the religion and of the historical struggle for equality of women in Muslim societies.

    A careful reading of modern female theologians of Islam would cause western women to be impressed by legal injunctions more than 1,000 years old that, for instance, grant women legal rights to domestic help at the expense of their husbands. Three of the four Sunni schools consider domestic chores outside the scope of a woman's legal responsibilities toward her husband. Contrast that with US polls showing that working women still do 80% of domestic chores.

    Westerners, in their advocacy of global conformism, often speak of "progress" and the rejection of the not-too-distant feudal past, and are less likely to reveal their unease about corporate hegemony and the real human implications of globalisation.

    Neither are the missionaries of western values willing to consider why Europe, the heart of the west, should have generated two world wars which killed more civilians than all the wars of the previous 20 centuries. As Muslims point out, we are asked to call them "world wars" despite their reality as western wars, which targeted civilians with weapons of mass destruction at a time when Islam was largely at peace.

    We Muslims are unpersuaded by many triumphalist claims made for the west, but are happy with its core values. As a westerner, the child of civil rights and anti-war activists, I embraced Islam not in abandonment of my core values, drawn almost entirely from the progressive tradition, but as an affirmation of them. I have since studied Islamic law for 10 years with traditionally trained scholars, and while some particulars in medieval legal texts have troubled me, never have the universals come into conflict with anything my progressive Californian mother taught me. Instead, I have marvelled at how most of what western society claims as its own highest ideals are deeply rooted in Islamic tradition.

    The chauvinism apparent among some westerners is typically triggered by Islamic extremism. Few take the trouble to notice that mainstream Islam dislikes the extremists as much as the west does. What I fear is that an excuse has been provided to supply some westerners with a replacement for their older habit of anti-semitism. The shift is not such a difficult one. Arabs, after all, are semites, and the Arabian prophet's teaching is closer in its theology and law to Judaism than it is to Christianity. We Muslims in the west, like Jews before us, grapple with the same issues that Jews of the past did: integration or isolation, tradition or reform, intermarriage or intra-marriage.

    Muslims who yearn for an ideal Islamic state are in some ways reflecting the old aspirations of the Diaspora Jews for a homeland where they would be free to be different. Muslims, like Jews, often dress differently; we cannot eat some of the food of the host countries. Like the Jews of the past, we are now seen as parasites on the social body, burdened with a uniform and unreformable law, contributing little, scheming in ghettoes, and obscurely indifferent to personal hygiene.

    Cartoons of Arabs seem little different to the caricatures of Jews in German newspapers of the Nazi period. In the 1930s, such images ensured that few found the courage to speak out about the possible consequences of such a demonisation, just as few today are really thinking about the anti-Muslim rhetoric of the extreme-right parties across Europe. Muslims in general, and Arabs especially, have become the new "other".

    When I met President Bush last year, I gave him two books. One was The Essential Koran, translated by Thomas Cleary. The second was another translation by Cleary, Thunder in the Sky: Secrets of the Acquisition and Use of Power. Written by an ancient Chinese sage, it reflects the universal values of another great people.

    I did this because, as an American, rooted in the best of western tradition, and a Muslim convert who finds much of profundity in Chinese philosophy, I believe the "Huntington thesis" that these three great civilisations must inevitably clash is a lie. Each civilisation speaks with many voices; the best of them find much in common. Not only can our civilisations co-exist in our respective parts of the world, they can co-exist in the individual heart, as they do in mine. We can enrich each other if we choose to embrace our essential humanity; we can destroy the world if we choose to stress our differences.

    Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson is the director of the US-based Zaytouna Institute
    [email protected]

    Special report
    Religion in the UK

    Comment and analysis
    28.09.2001: Polly Toynbee: Behind the burka
    28.09.2001: Martin Woollacott: Muslim societies need to deal with failure

    Father is like the referigerator light .You only notice it when it is fused!


      It is said at one point Kashmiri Muslims wanted to come back to their original Hindu religion and asked the Pandits for conversion. The Pandits disagreed and did not want them back.

      Islam came to Kashmir in 16th century.




        The author is grand daughter of Himayun Kabir ,iIndias first group of Ministers in Nehru Cabinet incharge of Petro Chemichal.

        Ananya is phd & scholar at OXFORDCANBRIDGE trinity college in England

        Veiled Revolution' (On Islam, Hijab and Kashmir) The Telegraph Kolkata, 29th January 2001

        BY ANANYA JAHANARA KABIR On January 5, 2001, newspapers carried a photograph of Asiya Andrabi, head of the pro-Pakistan Duhktarane Milat, and three other women at a press conference in Srinagar. The women are clothed in black, except for their hands and their eyes. An average reader would describe their dress as burkha. It is perhaps more accurate to describe it as hijab. While burkha conjures up images of obsc

        rantism, illiteracy and oppression, hijab bears very different connotations. As a Muslim student of mine at the University of California, Berkeley, declared, the muhajjaba (hijab-wearing woman) willingly covers her head. She participates not in patriarchy, but in a ?contra-modern revolution?.

        I left India two months before December 6, 1992, still basking in the cosy glow of secularism. At Oxford, I encountered, among other things, the topsy-turvy world of pan-Islamism. I was bewildered by all those Muslim women at Oxbridge who were articulate and ambitious, but who foregrounded their Muslimness by wearing a headscarf. This was clearly a choice, not a compromise. To discover its reasons, I spoke to Muslim women from Malaysia, Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan and Chechnya, to British and American Muslims from Bengali, Punjabi, Hyderabadi and Kashmiri families. I wanted to understand, through these diverse women, the pull of the hijab, and not condemn it outright (much the easier option in the circles in which I move).

        In the process I learnt that the terms burkha and purdah are not in currency among such women. Iranians wear the chador ? an overgarment resembling the south Asian burkha, but not necessarily black, teamed with an often rather fancy headscarf. Most Sunni Muslim women describe their Islamic dress as hijab (Arabic for ?modesty?). This can range from trousers and a turban-like headscarf to a long skirt and loose headscarf framing the neck and shoulders. The lowest common denominator is the headscarf, which signals ?I am Muslim and proud of being so?.

        Secondly, hijab has more to do with constructing a neo-Islamic identity than remembering south Asian traditions. Most south Asian muhajjabas reject the salwar-kameez-dupatta or sari worn by their mothers (who are not necessarily burkha-clad) as ?un-Islamic?. They thereby bypass such inherited identities as Pakistani/ Bangladeshi/Indian, which in any case remain insufficiently defined in the case of families that left south Asia around the time of the Partition (and who prefer, therefore, ethnic labels such as Kashmiri, Bengali or Punjabi over national ones). By adopting, instead, the headscarf and modest ?Western clothes? they tap into a subculture of self-definition for various non-white women growing up in first world milieux ? be it France, Belgium or Germany.

        Hijab enables such women to negotiate diasporic identity and participate in a wider discourse of ?discovering the truth about Western imperialism?. This discourse, disseminated ironically through the electronic media, constantly connects modernity with the colonialism of various ?Muslim peoples? and with American neo-imperialism. It brands 20th century ?modernizers? such as Mustapha Kemal Ataturk and the Shah of Iran as elitist and atheist genuflectors to Western culture, whose misguidedness crystallized in their mass unveiling of women. Hence the support of the chador by many Iranian feminists and the agitations by women in Turkish universities against Ataturk?s ban on headscarves in campuses.

        This highly politicized Islam grants an agency to Muslim women in the Western world, finding visible expression in the headscarf and/or other forms of Islamic dress. For many young women, of course, it is simply a way of being different and, as some men might admit, seductively so (remember Pakeezah?). I once asked an extremely stylish Afghan student whether she would ever consider hijab. Her reply: ?My parents would never insist on it. But one day, after Jumma namaz, I walked out on the street with my headscarf. I sensed people looking at me strangely. Suddenly, I was different, and it felt powerful.? This power hit me when, on the streets of Copenhagen, I saw a young woman in headscarf and sequinned jeans, smoking a cigarette with insouciance. It struck me again when, at a San Francisco evening of ?Islamic protest poetry?, a woman, scarf as tight around head as trousers around hips, spoke of Allah and against the taliban?s treatment of her sisters.

        Does all this have any relevance for India? The day after the Andrabi photograph appeared, I attended a symposium on Kashmir at Netaji Bhavan. A packed audience listened to the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader, Mohammed Yasin Malik, the vice president of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party, Mehbooba Mufti, the senior journalist, Ved Bhasin, and others. We also heard questions testifying to the deep paranoia within members of the Indian mainstream (if we may thus characterize the predominantly Bengali Hindu, educated, male audience) regarding the capacity of the Kashmiris to govern themselves and their minority populations if granted autonomy and/or independence.

        Amidst predictable questions about the JKLF?s setting of watches to Pakistani time, a senior academic asked whether Kashmiri Muslims would be able to protect the rights of women by preventing the imposition of the burkha. That the Andrabi photograph had done its ideological work was evident in the academic?s reference to that very photograph within his question. Was it not astonishing, I wondered, that those thus concerned about the rights of Kashmiri women were silent about the targeted rape of countless such women, young and old, about which we had just heard? Was it not astonishing that our intellectuals so readily transfer stereotypes of Islamic anti-feminism ? effectively congealed in the image of the burkha-clad (usually poor and illiterate) Muslim woman ? to a woman in hijab capable of summoning a press conference?

        In dismissing what she called ?the burkha thing?, Mehbooba Mufti declared, ?People from outside do not have to teach us Kashmiris about Islam.? She was probably referring to hardline Muslim groups parading a particular mode of hijab as the only way to interpret the Quranic injunction (Sura Noor, 24:31) that believing women ?draw their veils over their bosoms?. Mufti?s dupatta-covered head was perhaps her own interpretation of that injunction. What even our most well-meaning ?secularists? need to remember is wearing Islam on one?s sleeve, or one?s head, does not per se signal, ?here is an oppressed/fundamentalist woman?. Choice and context are more important than the outward form of female dress.

        We require, instead, a nuanced understanding of which pan-Islamic trends have an impact on south Asian Muslims, and why. Simultaneously, we urgently need to unpack that lumpen category, ?the minority community?, in terms of region and socio-economic status before assessing the diverse ways in which Muslim women seek empowerment while exercising their right to retain the framework of faith. Only then can we distinguish between Shah Bano and Asiya Andrabi, for instance. Only then can we ask why in highly literate Kerala, Muslim women increasingly wear the headscarf (rather than burkha) and demand entry into the masjid, while Indian Muslim women elsewhere remain ignorant that Islam does not prevent them from praying in masjids any more than it insists they don the burkha.

        The author is research fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge


        "Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards." -- Unknown