Sunday, July 31, 2005

Badshah Khan's Islamic Nonviolence

I feel incredibly inspired by the wisdom, vision and life of Abdul Ghaffar Khan, better know as Badshah. As a Muslim I feel that this path is one completely in tune with the inner unity and love of Islam.
For those who are unfamiliar with this great Muslim figure, I suggest reading Eknath Easwaran's book, Nonviolent Soldier of Islam.
Badshah Khan was a Pathan who defied the British much like his contemporary Gandhi. He created the largest nonviolent "army" in the world, the Khudai Khitmatgars. They were Pathans who set to follow the example of the Prophet and his followers during their time in Mecca, by showing unswerving patience, love and restraint in the face of brutality and violence. Sadly, he was imprisoned for more than half his life, first under British rule in India, and later in Pakistan as the North-West frontier became a part of it during partition
This is a powerful, courageous figure who led a movement to bring education, peace and prosperity to his people. This is Islamic liberation theology much like that of great Christian figures such as Oscar Romero. Islam is full of many figures like this. I cannot claim to be able to share anything new about Badshah Khan, yet I would like to share a few quotes.
This is the oath that the Khudai Khitmatgars had to take:

"I am a Khudai Khitmagar; and as God needs no service, but serving his creation is serving him, I promise to serve humanity in the name of God.
I promise to refrain from violence and from taking revenge.
I promise to forgive those who oppress me or treat me with cruelty.
I promise to refrain from taking part in feuds and quarrels and from creating enmity.
I promise to treat every Pathan as my brother and friend.
I promise to refrain from antisocial customs and practices.
I promise to live a simple life, to practice virtue and to refrain from evil.
I promise to practice good manners and good behavior and not to lead a life of idleness.
I promise to devote at least two hours a day to social work."

Here is a quote from Khan:

"I am going to give you such a weapon that the police and the army will not be able to stand against it. It is the weapon of the Prophet, but you are not aware of it. That weapon is patience and righteousness. No power on earth can stand against it."

8 comment(s):

  • A guy like him would not survive more than a few days in Falluja, Najaf, or Baghdad - The occupation forces would have him handcuffed and sexually tortured - and he'd be dead, before he had anything substantial to say.

    Sorry but these are nice words, but don't work in today's times when your country is using immense military powers to slaughter people indiscriminately all over the planet.

    This does not justify anyone killing civilians. All humans have a right to self-defense... unless you are advocating that a rape victim should do nothing but say sweet words to the rapist.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/31/2005 10:31:00 PM  

  • Yes, that’s true..."A guy like him would not survive more than a few days in Falluja, Najaf, or Baghdad"...because all these fundamentalist whackos flooding into Iraq, would abduct him and behead him before he could ever open his mouth...

    Lets get this straight...”The terrorist are doing all if not most of the killing right now in Iraq...not the occupational
    forces”...YOU MORON!!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/01/2005 07:55:00 AM  

  • Salaams

    I have long been inspired by Khan, and if only Muslims in Palestine, Chechnya, etc would follow his example, rather than the example of the murderous fascists they are fighting, then Islam would indeed be rescued from the mire of its own victimhood.



    By Blogger Julaybib, at 8/01/2005 09:00:00 AM  

  • Anonymous, perhaps he would not survive. That is not the point of his nonviolent movement or "civic jihad" as some call it.
    In fact many many of his nonviolent army died. They were tortured by the British. They were shot in the street defenseless. Yet, their movement was not about winning or losing in that sense. They considered themselves servants of God, and with that absolute faith was put in him, not in what seemed hopeless. Khan himself spent more than half his life in jail in horrible conditions.
    His message is about internalizing peace and sabur(infinite patience). These are the weapons of the Prophet and even if things look terrible, patience and faith take more strength than violence ever will.
    Look at the great figures of Islam that internalized this love and patience. Their message has lit up many many hearts.
    Yes, Yakoub, I agree that this is badly needed right now. This can be applied to real situations in our world today.

    By Blogger whalesoundervish, at 8/01/2005 12:03:00 PM  

  • Sick Islamo/facists. Thought we wiped out the Hitler types. Here we go again. Death to the Islamo/ facists. The good in this world will prevail.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/03/2005 06:24:00 PM  

  • Blair and Bush are turning their countries into fascist police states; they both have scared the people of america and britain to such a level that the people cant use their brains any more.The brits and americans have become blinded to the fascist inhumane policies of bush regime and blair regime!!!!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/04/2005 05:18:00 AM  

  • At the moment American military fits all definations of terrorism,violating all human rights.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/04/2005 05:20:00 AM  

  • Fascists??

    My Muslim friend, do you know the definition of fascists? Fascists are left wing buffoons that control most facets of government and who follow an idealist agenda and shove it down people’s thoughts. Fascists states are those states that do not allow their own people to choose representatives into government positions.

    So Fascists states are those like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Libya…etc etc…

    All of these nations are mostly controlled by an elite few, non-elected people. All of the leaders of these nations like regardless of weather I or anyone likes it or not, the nation owns or controls most if not all means of production, not to mention that these handful of people deicide what their foreign policy will be …i.e. they run their country as if it were their own personal shwarma joint...

    The U.S., England, France…the entire west chooses their representative government. Bush and Blair act in the interest of those in the “MAJORITY” who elected them to office. In other words, just because a few disgruntled Muslims and a some radical people within their nation disagree with the foreign policy...a fascist state it does not make...


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/04/2005 08:36:00 AM  

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