By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi
“See! Here the word “Ghazwa” has been used. Ghazwa means an Islamic battle in which the prophet himself participated, be it a big military expedition or a small-scale battle. So, when the Prophet is no more now to participate in this battle physically, why has it been called “Ghazwa”? Have you really thought about it? Simply, because it is none other than Prophet’s own mission. So, you have to carry on this Prophetic mission. This is an honour that Allah has bestowed on Pakistanis. And this is the cause that led to the creation of Pakistan. Pakistanis should now get ready to fight Ghazwa-e-Hind.”
Does the above quotation of a top Pakistani cleric Maulana Irfan ul Haq remind you of something? Yes, an obviously concocted or misinterpreted Hadees against idol-worshippers of India that many extremist Islamists of Pakistan like the Maulana openly quote in their crazy bid to incite all Pakistanis to take arms against India and wipe out all idol-worshippers from the region. Needless to say that the word “idol-worshipper” includes in their exclusivist dictionary the overwhelming majority of Muslims who love and venerate the holy Sufi saints who brought Islam to South Asia. Like Maulana Irfan ul Haq, there are some more fanatic Maulvis and extremist political and religious ideologues in different parts of Pakistan who provide religious stimulus to breed terrorism and mindless violence against Indian citizens in general and our non-Muslim brethren in particular.
However, many of us Indians might still not know what Ghazwa-e-Hind is and for what purpose it is being propagated. For such naive and gullible Indian citizens, both Muslims and non-Muslims, who are still unaware of, or oblivious to this pernicious plan to launch a dastardly attack on our soil, India, in the name of Ghazwa-e-Hind, I would first unravel this mischievous conspiracy of self-styled Jihadists, then turn to refute it on the firm and well-founded Islamic theological grounds.
What is the doctrine of Ghazwa-e-Hind?
The Pakistani proponents of Ghazwa-e-Hind claim that the holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had predicted that one day India will be conquered by their (so-called) Mujahideen and all idol-worshippers will be wiped out for ever. And those who will participate in this bloody war against infidels will be granted free and faster entry to paradise as compared to ordinary Muslims. This is precisely the core idea behind the creation of the nefarious myth: Ghazwa-e-Hind. In a nutshell, Ghazwa-e-Hind, also known as Ghazwa-tul-Hind, is a dangerous doctrine (based upon concocted Hadith) used by self-styled jihadists, extremists and terrorists who cultivate hatred against India in the hearts of the common Pakistani people by giving it a religious justification.
Concocted Hadith of Ghazwa-e-Hind
Extremists have concocted four Ahadith to propagate the virulent and brazenly un-Islamic notion of Ghazwa-e-Hind, but, ironically, they go unchallenged among the silent Muslim majority of Ulema in Pakistan. The most popular among those Hadith is the one that they believe has been narrated by the Prophet’s companion Hazrat Abu Huraira (r.a). This is the Hadith that Maulana Irfan ul Haq also quoted in his speech in Pakistan in which he recklessly tried to brainwash common Pakistanis into engaging in a bloody war against India in the name of Ghazwa-e-Hind. See how this fanatic Maulvi uses this Hadith to brainwash Pakistani people and promote terrorism against India:
“You see, God eliminated idolatry and polytheism from the entire Arab peninsula, but He had set some period of time for His prophet to accomplish this work which was still incomplete even at the time of his demise. Polytheism and idolatry were yet to be uprooted from the rest of the world. Therefore, in his final days, the Prophet issued an order. He said, “There will be a Ghazwa (Islamic battle) in India, in which a group of my Ummah would participate and they will be granted a position equal to that of my foremost followers. In this jihad, some people will be killed and some others will be arrested. After achieving the conquest, the group will join the army of Isa Ibn-e-Maryam (Jesus) in Syria.”
The chairman of the Pakistani Islamist organisation “Islam Ke Sipahi” (the soldiers of Islam) mentions three more such grossly concocted Hadith in an article titled “Ghazwa-e-Hind: Mujahideen will conquer India”:
(1) Thawban (R.A) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Allah has protected two groups of my Ummah from the Hellfire – one that will conquer India and the other that will be with ‘Esa son of Maryam (AS)”
(2) “Abu Huraira (R.A) said, “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) promised us the conquest of India. If I was to come across that event, I will spend my soul and wealth. If I am killed then I am among the best of martyrs. And if I return then I am Abu Huraira (RA) who has been freed from the fire of hell.” (Sunan Nasai)
(3) Na’im, son of Hammad in al-Fitan reports that, Abu Huraira said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) mentioned India and said, “A group of you will conquer India, Allah will open for them (India) until they come with its kings chained – Allah having forgiven their sins – when they return back (from India), they will find Esa son of Maryam in Syria.”
Very shockingly, after mentioning these Hadith, the writer of the above article concludes:
“India is a Fitna, which is being supported by the Zionists to destroy Muslims. This has turned into a proxy war where the Zionists fund and support India to destroy the Muslims. India itself was a Muslim country until the British invaded it and before they left they gave all the power to the Hindus and tried their best to bring the Muslims down, thanks to Allama Iqbal, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Pakistan Movements’ efforts that Muslims got Pakistan.”
This is one of the many instances of how extremist Islamist zealots use these fabricated Hadith and brainwash common Pakistanis to engage in an intellectual war and terrorism against India.
From a theological perspective, if we want to offer a credible retort to the extremists’ interpretation or concoction of a Hadith, we must engage with its standpoints using the approaches of classical Islamic scholars. Therefore, I would like to base my refutation on both the classical and modern methodology of Islamic theology:
1. According to the classical Islamic science of Hadith, any report or narration cannot be termed as “Hadith Sahih” (authentic saying of the Prophet) until it is scrutinised and validated by applying the certain criteria for checking the Hadith texts. One of those criteria is being mentioned in any of the books of Sihah-e-Sittah (six canonical Hadith collections that have been meticulously scrutinised by the experts of Hadith and are considered the most reliable by mainstream Muslims). None of the Hadith concocted for the “Ghazwa-e-Hind movement” find any place in any of the six authenticated books of Hadith. Although two such Hadith appear in an unauthenticated Hadith collection of Imam Nasai, but not in Sunan an-Nasai al Sughra, the book counted among the Sihah-e-Sittah. The other two reports do not even exist in any collection of the Hadith compilers.
As for the two reports mentioned in Hadith collection of Imam Nasai, it should be noted that Imam Nasai died in 915 AD, many years after the compilers of Sihah-e-Sittah died. The question arises how come Imam Nasai mentioned a Hadith that his predecessors and seniors in the technical field of Hadith did not even hint at. It is really awkward that some people could claim to believe in a Hadith that was reported by Imam Nasai only, and not by any other compiler of Hadith, let alone the other compilers of Sihah-e-Sittah. How could it happen that all the Muhaddeseen (collectors of Hadith reports) gave pass to a Hadith speaking of a “Prophetic Battle for India” (Ghazwa-e-Hind) that will help its participants go straight to heaven and attain the position of the foremost followers of Islam whose virtues have been mentioned even in the Holy Quran? Yes, this is what the Jihadist goons of Pakistan believe. Given such an abundant reward for participating in this war, as the Ghazwa-e-Hind Hadith tell, they should have been narrated by many more companions of the Prophet and should have been recorded in more books of Hadith, not only in a collection of Imam Nasai. Interestingly, all these Hadith are narrated through a single chain, i.e. through only one companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him). This defect alone can reject the Hadith outright.
2. We have found no report in Islamic history telling us about the use of the term “Ghazwa-e-Hind” in the past, not even by the so-called Muslim rulers or conquerors who waged a war on India and invaded it. If the Hadith related to “Ghazwa-e-Hind” were really authentic or at least popular among them, they must have resorted to them and we should have such reports in history of Islam or Muslims.
3. Since these Hadith are not found at all in any of the Hadith collections that the Muslims of Shiite school of thought consider authentic, there are chances that they may have been invented by the Ummayads according to their expansionist designs. This is noteworthy that Umayyads did reach Sindh, a part of Hind (India) back then.
4. The Hadith literature serves as a secondary source of Islamic theology. Therefore, all its collections and compilations have been reviewed meticulously to ensure the authenticity of their contents. But this authentication process is ongoing. According to the progressive Islamic scholars, only Isnad (one component of Hadith i.e. its chain of narrators) is not sufficient to check the authenticity of a Hadith. Matn (the other component, i.e. the text of the Hadith) also should be given equal attention. Now when there are more chances for Hadith reports to be misinterpreted or concocted, we should consider the universally acceptable Islamic criteria to verify the Hadith text’s validity. It implies that while verifying the Hadith narrations, we should employ five most important criteria: (1) the holy Qur’an (2) rationally authentic traditions (3) sound reason (4) established history and (5) moderation of the ideas. Going by any of the five basic criteria of checking the Hadith texts, there is no room for any obnoxious idea like the Ghazwa-e-Hind in Islamic theology.