The world has come to a point that Muslims are killing one another, while the Western countries also take part in this terrifying conflict. Given the fact that there are extremely large numbers of Muslims dying in many places around the globe, some Muslim states are handing out death sentences to individuals for the alleged crimes committed years or even decades ago, without batting an eyelash. One of these countries is Bangladesh.
Yesterday’s news reports were dreadful for Muslims, as well as for the entire humanity. The death sentence issued for the 73 year-old Mullah Rahman Nizami, the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami was upheld in Bangladesh. Since 1973, a total of 156 criminals with death sentences were declared not guilty and released, this demonstrates that such executions are clearly ill judged.
That being so, we kindly request from Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to leave behind the incidents that took place 45 years ago in all respects, and strive for a Bangladesh where love, peace, harmony, and democracy will utterly prevail. There could be a small minority group that is maybe endorsing to uphold the death sentences, but such a loveless approach could in the future raise serious problems for her and against her country. Forgiveness, and a loving, friendly conduct will help in resolving all the issues.
I also would like to set out a humble request from my brother Mullah Rahman Nizami, the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami who has made significant contributions to the Islamic world as a scholar. For the sake of all his Muslim brothers who have great love for him and most importantly for the approval of God – according to the news in the media – if there is any possibility for his death penalty to be reverted to life imprisonment, he should make an apology. Making a statement of apology will definitely not impair his honor since the entire world is very well aware of Mullah Nizami’s devotion to God. Because when a Muslim is under risk of death, then he can speak out what is asked from him. Everyone would know that this was a necessary way of action to save a life.
At the time of our Prophet (pbuh), the Companions also passed through severe hardship and were tortured immensely in the Meccan society. In order to save themselves from such torture, the Prophet advised his Muslim brothers to speak denial in words when they were threatened with death. This incident, which is considered to be the reason for the revelation of verse 106 of Surat an-Nahl, took place as follows:
“Those who reject God after having had faith – except for someone forced to do it whose heart remains at rest in its faith – but as for those whose breasts become dilated with disbelief, anger from God will come down on them. They will have a terrible punishment.”
Ammar (ra) whose family was martyred by means of torture says that he has no faith to free himself from torture. Then one approaches the Prophet and claims that Ammar has abandoned religion. The Messenger of God responds to him: “No, Ammar is faithful from head to foot. Faith is in his flesh and bone.” Meantime, Ammar arrives and the Prophet tells him the following: “If they force you again, you may seem to agree with them in words.” (Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Qur'an al-'Azim, Istanbul, 1985, IV, 524; Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır, ibid, Istanbul 1936, IV, 3130, 3131)
In addition to these, asking for forgiveness does not imply the acceptance of the alleged crimes. Muslims who are very well informed and knowledgeable of the verses of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of our Prophet would definitely understand the circumstances and never be upset with this. Muslims have total trust in the faith of Mullah Rahman Nizami and would never be suspicious of him. Besides, making an excuse would never be degrading, on the contrary, by carrying out such conduct, my brother Mullah Rahman Nizami will be carrying out this commandment of God and will be able to serve in the way of God’s religion for a longer time.
Her Excellency Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,
In order to establish a perfectly secular, modern and progressive Bangladesh, which is your goal, I believe your conduct with gentleness in forgiving these death penalties is highly noteworthy. Your virtuous pronouncement would find great appreciation in the international public opinion, and history will never forget your exemplary graceful conduct.
Adnan Oktar's piece on New Straits Times & Jefferson Corner: