بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔

False statement made by RSS member Indresh Kumar about eating meat at Jamia Millia Islamia University

(In all the books of Hadith it is duly recorded that the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) and his noble companions used to eat meat, and in the Holy Quran it has been declared permissible to eat the meat of Halaal animals)

Under absolute support of Mahatma Gandhi and supervision of Maulana Mahmoodul Hasan Deobandi, Jamia Millia Islamia University was established in 1920 by towering personalities like Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari, Mufti Kifayatullah, Maulana Abdul Baari Firangimahli, Maulana Sulaiman Nadvi, Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani, Chaudhry Khaleequzzaman, Nawab Muhammad Ismaeel Khan, Tasadduq Husain Khan, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, Maulana Sanaullah Khan Amritsari, Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Dr. Syed Mahmood, Seth Abdullah Haroon, Abbas Tayyabji, Seth Miyan Mohammad Haji Jaan, and Maulvi Muhammad Abdul Haq. It is a university that was promoted by iconic figures such as Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar, Abdul Majeed Khwaja and Dr. Zakir Hussain. One of the many features of this institution is that it is the only institution whose majority of founders and builders comprise of those courageous and selfless personalities who had sacrificed everything for the independence of the country.

Jamia Millia Islamia is a purely secular institution that earnestly aims at serving the country. On the contrary, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is founded solely on Hindu interests. The first and last objective of this organisation is to destroy the secular character of India and turn it into a Hindu Rashtra. This organisation –that came into being to oppose the plural ethos of Ganga-Jamni tradition– was banned once by the colonial government and thrice by the Indian government after independence. When it comes to provoking communal sentiments of the people and instigating riots in India, this organisation tops the list. A notable member of this organisation Nathuram Vinayak Godse, assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, the most prominent leader of India and the overseer of Jamia Millia Islamia. With respect to involvement in various communal riots, this organisation has been reprimanded by the inquiry commissions.

Under the guidance and support of this organisation that is dreaming to turn secular India into a Hindu Rashtra, another organisation named Muslim Rashtriya Manch organised an Iftaar Party in this university associated with the names of iconic freedom fighters such as Mahatma Gandhi, Sheikhul Hind, Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar and Dr. Zakir Hussain. In this gathering, rather than inviting someone secular-minded, renowned intellectual, or, given the occasion, some respected and credible scholar of Islam, an attempt was made to destroy the secular character of Jamia Millia Islamia by inviting Indresh Kumar, a senior leader of RSS. One can only expect this from an organisation that was formed in 2002, on the approval granted by the erstwhile RSS supremo K. S. Sudarshan. However, it is the Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, Prof. Talat Ahmad, who is to be held accountable for this. Why did he grant permission for the Iftaar Party organised by an organisation that is hell-bent upon destroying the Ganga-Jamni tradition of a secular institution like Jamia Millia Islamia? There were few so-called Muslims too in this gathering who had attended the gathering for their personal interests. In Jewar (Bulandshahar), four Muslim women were gang raped. Bilquis Bano has been knocking at the door of Indian courts for many years now, however, perhaps because she is a Muslim, till to date her demand for justice has not been attended to. Few days ago, the way a fasting Muslim woman was subjected to sexual harassment by a constable near Bijnor while she was travelling on a train from Lucknow to Chandigarh, is a matter of grave shame for the entire humanity. However, in relation to these grievous incidents, the leaders of this organisation that is run under the guidance and supervision of the RSS did not utter a single word in support of the victims let alone making an appeal for severe punishment for the culprits. The custodians of this seat of learning –students and other well wishers of Jamia Millia Islamia– recorded their absolute unease by protesting on this occasion. The students of Jamia Millia Islamia, both boys and girls, did not mind being beaten up by the police while fasting as they demonstrated their anger to the extent they could. It is because of those demonstrations that the Vice Chancellor of the university did not attend the Iftar gathering, though he was required to be present in the capacity of a special guest.

On the occasion of this Iftaar gathering, senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar, while claiming that consumption of meat leads to illness, made a false claim that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his family members did not consume meat. Not only this is an absolutely false statement, it is also something that is wrongly attributed to the noblest of human beings and leader of all the prophets (AS). It is quite obvious that someone who has not read books of his own religion properly can never furnish authentic information in relation to the Holy Quran and sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It is quite possible that he has not even once touched the Holy Quran or any book of Hadith thinking that it might become a source of righteous guidance for him and, consequently, followers of Hindu religion will sever their relations with him. At this moment, neither I am addressing him nor do I see any benefit or incentive in addressing him. However, whatever he had said urged me to convey to common Muslims (essentially those who do not have access to authentic sources of knowledge related to Islam) that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself used to eat meat; meat-based dishes were cooked in his (PBUH) house, it (meat) was liked by the noble companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and, alongside pulses and vegetables, the Islamic Shariah permits Muslims to eat meat of Halaal animals. Meat is consumed not only by Muslims but followers of other religions too. In all the famous and well-known hotels of the world and India, along with a variety of food items served for lunch and dinner, beef, mutton and chicken are served too. In India, other than Muslims, there are countless people who enjoy non-vegetarian dishes. At the Kebab corners, we find many non-Muslims relishing hot and delicious Kebabs. Suffice it to say that at the global level, as a major source of protein, meat is a significant part of people’s diet.

In the Holy Quran, Almighty Allah has revealed the longest chapter by the name of the cow (Al-Baqarah), a chapter that will be recited till the Day of Resurrection. In His Holy Book, Almighty Allah has used the word cow at nine places and calf at ten places. In the Holy Quran, it has been mentioned that when two angels met Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to convey to him the glad tidings of him being blessed with a son [Prophet Ishaaq (AS)], Prophet Ibrahim (AS), out of hospitality towards the guests, served roasted calf meat to the angels (Surah Al-Hood, verse nos. 69 & 70). In Surah Al-Zaariyaat too Almighty Allah has mentioned this incident. In Surah Al-In’aam verse no. 144, Almighty Allah has clearly mentioned that the meat of both cow and calf is Halaal. In Sahih Bukhari, the most authentic collection of Hadith, it has been recorded that the mother of believers Ayesha (RZA) said, “On the day of sacrifice, cow meat was brought to our house. I asked, “What is this”. The person who had brought the meat said, “Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has performed the sacrifice on behalf of his wives”. It is quite clearly mentioned in this Hadith that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) sacrificed a cow on behalf of his wives and sent them the meat of the cow to eat. In Sahih Muslim, another authentic collection of Hadith, it has been recorded that Ayesha (RZA) said that cow meat was presented before Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and it was said that the meat was given to Burairah (RZA) in charity. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “It is a charity for him but a gift for us. Therefore, all of you should eat it”. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself ate meat from the cow as recorded in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim that Jaabir (RZA) narrates that when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) reached Saraar, he (PBUH) ordered the companions to slaughter a cow. A cow was slaughtered and everyone ate its meat. Similarly, in Sahih Muslim, it has been recorded that Jaabir (RZA) narrates, “We set out with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) reciting Talbiyah (prayer invoked by the pilgrims as a conviction that they intend to perform the Hajj only for the glory of Allah) for Hajj. The Prophet (PBUH) asked us to join each other in sacrificing camels and cows, that seven people should jointly perform the sacrifice of a camel or a cow”.

As clearly mentioned in Surah Al-In’aam, verse no. 144 of the Holy Quran, Almighty Allah has declared cow meat as Halaal. Moreover, in the authentic compilations of Hadith, there is credible evidence that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the best of the entire human race, himself ate cow meat. What also needs to be pointed out is that since in the light of the verses of the Holy Quran and sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), for as many as 1400 years, all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree on eating meat of all the Halaal animals as permissible. That being the case, no one has the right to attribute something to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that cannot be proved by means of credible evidence. In Sahih Bukhari and Muslim, two of the most authentic compilations of Hadith, it has been documented on various occasions that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to eat meat. Several ahadith in this respect have also been mentioned. Other than this, in Tirmidhi, another famous compilation of Hadith, there is proper documentation of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) day to day life (known as Shuma‘il-e-Tirmidhi) in which there is a record of various occasions from Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) life related to eating meat. Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) wife Umme Salma (RZA) said that she gave Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) roasted square-cut shoulder meat and he (PBUH) ate that. Similarly, Abdullah bin Haarith (RZA) says, “We ate roasted meat with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the mosque”. Abu Hurairah (RZA) said, “Somebody sent meat for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Out of that, the front limb was served to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). As a matter of fact, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) liked the front limb meat. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used his teeth for that meat and ate it”. Similarly, Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) wife Aysha (RZA) said, “Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) liked the front limb meat more because of its taste”. What is also to be mentioned is that in the Holy Quran also the meat of Halaal animals is declared Halaal for Muslims to eat, and there is not even a single compilation of Hadith that does not have instances of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his noble companions eating meat. This is the reason why the entire Muslim community agrees that once a Halaal animal is slaughtered as per the Halaal way its meat can be eaten. Moreover, from the medicinal point of view as well meat is quite beneficial for human health. By means of consuming few pieces of meat, a poor labourer can provide himself valuable protein content, something for which he would have otherwise needed a lot of money. It goes without saying that it would be unwise on our part to expect anything good from an RSS leader. It is their mission to disgrace the religion of Islam and its teachings. However, what is quite distressing is that they used the space of an institution of ours that came into being as a result of earnest efforts of our noble and sincere leaders.                 

Chicken Boti, Karhai Chicken, Mutton Biryani and Mutton Qorma are prized delicacies not only for Muslims but also other communities. Suffice it to say that at the global level meat is a major part of people’s diet. If some people do not want to eat meat or they consume the meat of an animal that was slaughtered in a non-Islamic way, neither do Muslims have any issue with this practice nor do they take out any protest march against it. This being the case, those who do not eat meat have no right to forcibly stop those who do. That said, the Muslims should also ensure that meat-consumption does not become the defining feature of Islam because the fact of the matter is that at the global level, just like pulses and vegetables, meat is an important part of people’s diet. What also merits our attention is that even in present-day India there are several states where cow slaughter and consumption of cow meat is absolutely legal.

Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi (http://www.najeebqasmi.com/)