Friday, July 24, 2015

Popular Pakistani Preaches Ignorance

Asalamu Alaykom,

Pakistani celebrity (and would be pundit) Junaid Jamshed is shown in this video demonstrating a number of idioms.  He is chewing the fat, shooting the breeze and putting his foot in his mouth.

The main problem is that he's spouting off about the Holy Quran.  Specifically, he's surmising why there aren't more women mentioned within the pages.  He states that Allah honors women by not naming them.  He also throws out that the Virgin Mary, Maryam (ra), is solely mentioned in the Quran because of her son Jesus, Isa (as) and negates her importance unto herself.  He goes on to say that God created women from mud and He covers up her mud as if behind a veil.

Should we take what he says as a truth?

No.  Don't let his long beard fool you!  Junaid Jamshed is not a Muslim scholar.  He's a singer.  Here he is singing the nasheed, "Mera Dil Badal Dai" which means "Change the World of My Heart."

Back in the 80's, he was "The King of Pop" in Pakistan.

In 2004, he did a Cat Stevens and left his pop music career to focus on his Islam.

Yet, ten years later, in 2014, his Islam was called into question when he was charged with blasphemy from his appearance on yet another TV show.  On the program, he joked casually about Prophet Muhammad's wife Aisha (ra) and how she is reported to have feigned illness to gain attention.  If you watch this video from December, 2014, you will see both the TV show clip and his eventual apology.

It is in some ways similar to the apology he has made this summer because they are made by the same person.  However, if you click the link for the most recent apology, you'll see a lot of eye rolling, as if we've inconvenienced him once again.

I had never heard of this man until I read an article by Pakistani writer Bina Shah entitled, "No Islam Is Not Inherently Misogynistic.  Here's Why."  Of course, she, as a Muslim woman, doesn't think of women in Quran the same way as her countryman.  Bina Shah can count 24 women named in Quran as well as a whole surah actually entitled "Women".  She sees the many blessings Islam has bestowed on women in the form of rights, praises, and promises.  She reminds others of the time before Islam when baby girls were buried alive, women were denied property, inheritance, and the right to marry or divorce whom they wished.

For me, I don't see the issue as whether or not this man represents Islam.  He doesn't and he can't. Over one billion Muslims are no more represented by his sound bytes on TV than the two billion Christians are represented by Quran-burning Florida preacher Terry Jones.

Is he a misogynist?  Junaid Jamshed doesn't think so.  He loves women in his own culture-infused way.

His biggest offense truly is in taking his religion too lightly.  Chit-chatting casually over the lives of the most honorable and revered Muslims is not acceptable to the ummah, the community.  Making an assumption about the Mind of God is indeed blasphemous.  We, as Muslims, are not to assign our reasons for the way things are.  We are not equals to God, astragferallah, may God forgive.

When we have a platform, as Muslims especially, we need to be responsible in how we speak.  If we are not knowledgeable, then we can't act like we are.  As for us, we wouldn't listen to just anyone giving medical advice; we'd ask a doctor.  The same goes for spiritual advice; we need learned imans and not pretenders.

Let's hope he meant well and that, with two nasty incidents in two years, he can learn his lesson.  It's a reminder to all of us to be careful of when and how we speak.  May Allah forgive us all for our transgressions.

1 comment:

Um Zakarya said...

Assalamu alaikum sister,
Long time no see I know 😊
If you're looking for a knowledgable shaykh originally from Pakistan/Bangladesh, I can advise you to listen to shaykh Hasan Ali, a British shaykh of Bangladeshi descent.
Here is an excerpt of one of his lectures: