Shoaib Noor

Blasphemy laws: what does the Quran say? — by Dr Mohammad Taqi

It is a travesty of justice that a verse dealing with war, sedition and rebellion is invoked to punish what may not even qualify as theocratic or religious dissent. In fact, Article 295 is not just a travesty of justice, it is an iftira (slander) against the Almighty and Prophet (PBUH) as it attributes to them what they never mandated

“Haq jalwagar ze tarz-e-bayan-e-Mohammad [PBUH] hast,

Aaray kalam-e-Haq ba zuba-e-Mohammad [PBUH] hast,

Ghalib sana-e-Khwaja ba Yazdan guzashtaim,

K’aan zaat-e-Paak martaba-daan-e-Mohammad [PBUH] hast” — Ghalib.

“The Truth expresses its grace through Mohammad’s [PBUH] expression,

Indeed the Truth speaks through Mohammad’s [PBUH] word,

Ghalib, therefore, I leave Mohammad’s [PBUH] praise to God,

Almighty alone can understand the exalted status of Mohammad [PBUH].”

While the Lahore High Court (LHC) is restraining the president from pardoning Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case and a federal minister has vowed to not allow any change in the blasphemy laws, why do I quote Ghalib’s praise for the Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)? For starters, Ghalib remains one of the foremost secularists that the Indian subcontinent has ever produced and this na’at (hymn) — perhaps amongst the finest written in any language — goes to show that it is perfectly alright for the secularists to occasionally talk about matters of faith, including their own faith. In fact, it is imperative to do so when a fog of confusion is deliberately created around faith by bigots of all shades.

Moreover, the Holy Quran and Sunnah, ostensibly, form the premise of Article 295 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and, without revisiting what they actually say about blasphemy, the only challenge that might be successful against this law would be to have its procedural aspects modified. The Quran and Sunnah indeed are the two material sources of the shariah law, but were eventually supplemented by...