In Your Name, Allahumma
The toxic atmosphere of hatred and bigotry faced by Muslims in India (the political crisis in Kashmir, the Citizenship Amendment Act, the unjust Supreme Court ruling in the Babri Mosque case, the pogrom in Delhi, and scapegoating Muslims for the spread of Covid-19) calls for a revisit of the Two Nation Theory. Undoubtedly, Muslims have never been as insecure and vulnerable to extermination in India as today. The situation for our people in that country resembles the situation of the Jews in 1930s Germany. The recent pogrom in Delhi is strikingly remnicient of Kristallnacht. Make no mistake, India is no longer a secular republic like in the days of Nehru and Indira Gandhi. According to the Two Nation Theory, the Muslims and Hindus of India, though inhabiting a common geographic land mass, are two distinct and separate nations that have two different destinies requiring two different states for them to pursue their respective destinies. This idea is actually based in the Koran, in the example of the son of Amram, Moses the Prophet, supplicating Allah to separate him from the cow-worshipers:
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي لَا أَمْلِكُ إِلَّا نَفْسِي وَأَخِي ۖ فَافْرُقْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ الْقَوْمِ الْفَاسِقِينَ
He said: “My Lord, indeed I do not possess except myself and my brother, so part us from the defiantly disobedient people”
The Two Nation Theory was not opposed by Muslims and their Ulama except by the Indian nationalist faction. Being Indian nationalists they had no leg to stand on in any attempt to repudiate the Two Nation Theory from a purely religious angle. The truth is, the Indian nationalist so-called Ulama, predominantly of the Deobandi sect and remnants of the Khilafah movement, made the mistake of favoring the idol-worshiping Hindus over the foreign British White man who was nevertheless of the People of the Book. The Koran informs us that the Christians are nearest in affection to the Believers, while it is the polytheist idol-worshipers who are greatest in manifesting enmity toward us (Surah 5:82). It is certainly true that Pakistan was essentially a reward to the Muslims of India because of the loyalty they demonstrated to the Crown during the course of the Second World War under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Muslim League, at a time when the main Hindu political leadership of Gandhi and the Congress boycotted the war effort, and other Hindus like Subhas Chandra Bose went to the extent of materially assisting the Axis powers of Germany and Japan. The respectable Abul Kalam Azad, who throughout his life co-operated with Hindus in the Swadeshi movement and became a prominent figurehead in the Indian National Congress, recounts how he was duped by the cunning Hindu politicians like Nehru and Patel in his book India Wins Freedom. He died with a broken heart.
But it is also true that the Muslim political leadership which put forward the Two Nation Theory and led the movement to create Pakistan was dominated by the modernist school associated with the influence of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and Aligarh University. It was this tendency which, though politically astute in countering the threat of malicious Hindu majoritarianism, nonetheless failed to provide the kind of righteous and pure leadership the Muslims are in desperate need of. Today the so-called “Islamic Republic” of Pakistan is an extremely corrupt and wicked nation. Its ruling establishment are openly antagonistic to Islam and is an agent of the Devil. Do not think I am exaggerating when I say that the majority of Pakistan’s weak and oppressed Muslim populace would actually welcome India’s takeover of their country as liberation in the same way the majority of Iraqis initially welcomed America’s liberation of their country from the fascist, totalitarian Ba’thist regime of Saddam in 2003. Despite the frightening rise of Hindutva chauvinism in India, the Muslims of that country ironically enjoy greater religious and political freedom than their co-religionists in the so-called “Islamic Republic” of Pakistan. So while the Two Nation Theory was definitely good, it remains theoretical till this day, as the Muslims who now reside in Pakistan face greater challenges than the original threat of Hindu domination they would have faced in a united India.
Everywhere in the world where we witness a worrisome rise in toxic nationalism, Muslim minorities are the primary target. This is especially true in India. The chauvinist ideology of Hindutva was crafted by V. D. Savarkar (1883-1966). According to him, Muslims of India are a potential fifth column because their very Religion is foreign and they cannot be expected to manifest the same kind of devotion to “Mother” India as the Hindu, and those who follow religions that are offshoots of Hinduism, like the Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs. Nationalism in India cannot be divorced from its Hindu identity and heritage, meaning no Muslim can truly be an Indian nationalist. After all, our emotional attachment is primarily to Arabia, to the sacred sites of Mecca and Medina, and to Jerusalem in the Holy Land. We have no emotional or spiritual connection to so-called “Mother” India, nor should we.