Taliban has established its rule over Afghanistan after the fall of President Ashraf Ghani’s Government. Taliban is a Deobandi Sunni Muslim's organization. Due to apprehension of persecution from the Taliban, the other Islamic non-Deobandi sects are fleeing from Afghanistan. They seem desperate to leave Afghanistan. Why are they leaving the country despite being Muslim? This article highlights the religious conflicts and Islamic sectorial issues in Afghanistan.
The emergence of the Taliban in Afghanistan
A Deobandi movement, which was established in India, reached Afghanistan and had triggered a conflict with the Soviet Union supported Afghan Government. The civil war broke out between Communists and Islamists. This gave birth to the Taliban in September 1994. By 1996, the Taliban got support from the major ethnic community Pashtun and other conservative Muslims in Afghanistan, and they established their rule over the country by defeating the Afghan military. Taliban persecuted other non-Deobandi Muslim communities, mainly the Tajiks, the Uzbeks, and the Hazaras. During that period, Afghanistan observed a major exodus of Shia and Sufi Sunni Muslims. After the intervention of America after the deadliest 9/11 attack, again, the Taliban was rooted out and a democratic Government was formed in 2001, having representation of all ethnic communities who were persecuted during Taliban rule.
Firqa and Islam
According to Hadith, Prophet Muhammad predicted that his ummah (Muslim Brotherhood) would be divided into 73 sects, but only one would be saved. The 73 divisions of the Muslim faith is reported as: the Jews are divided into 71 sects (firqa), the Christians into 72 sects, and my community will divide into 73 sects (Ibn Majah, Abu Daud, al-Tirmidhi and al-Nisa’i). The hadith also occurs in many other versions as well.
The sectarian war started immediately after the death of Prophet Muhammad. Till today, this war has claimed lives of the n-number of Muslims. Son in law of Prophet Muhammad named Ali, and Ali’s two sons named Hassan and Hussain are also victims of this war. Deadly war is continued till today not only between Shia’s and Sunni’s but between each and every sect in Islam. Sunnis are killing Shias, Wahabis are killing non-Wahabis, Ahl-e-Hadith followers are fighting with Ahl-e-Sunna followers. Sufis are target of Deobandis, Salafis and Wahabis. For Deobandis, Barelvis are not true Muslims because they are following Sufi traditions and worship Peer & Dargas. Founder of Barelvi sect named Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi has declared Deobandis as Kafir in his book named ‘Al Motamad Al Mustanad’ (The Reliable Proofs).
(Image- Darul Uloom Deoband madrassa, Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh)
About Darul Uloom Deobandi
Darul Uloom Deobandi is a madrassa of Sunni Hanafi Muslims. It is located in Deoband town in Saharanpur District of Uttar Pradesh, in India. Darul Uloom Deoband was founded in 1866 by Muhammad Qasim and Rashid Ahmed Gangohi. Inspired by the Deoband madrassa, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Pakistan has formed in Pakistan. This organization influenced the Taliban. Mohammed Omar, an Afghan mullah (cleric) and mujahid commander who led the Taliban and founded the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in 1996, had studied in madrassa run by Deoband’s Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Pakistan in Pakistan. The founders of Darul Uloom Deoband have adopted their Islamic thoughts from Shah Waliullah, an Indian scholar of Islamic theology. Shah Waliullah invited Afghan's ruler Ahmad Shah Abdali to India to defeat the Hindu kingship. On his invitation, Ahmad Shah Abdali came to India and a war at Panipat, less than 100 Km from Delhi, took place on January 14, 1761, in which thousands of people were killed. Shah Waliullah's books and thoughts have had a considerable impact on mainstream Islam in India. Based on Darul Uloom Deoband’s beliefs, many influential organisations have formed since its establishment across the world. Taliban is one of them.