Picture of 2 ladies offering funeral prayers of LeT militant in Shopian evokes mixed emotions

Srinagar: A viral picture of two ladies offering the funeral prayers of slain Lashkar-e-Toiba militant Ashiq Hussain Bhat in Shopian’s Rakh Kapran village on Monday has evoked mixed emotions on social media with some saying that it is a manifestation of resistance while others terming it un-Islamic. 

Soon after two militants and four civilians were killed by the Army in Pahnoo, Shopian in south Kashmir on Sunday, 4 March, evening, men, women and children spent the night under the open sky while waiting for the dead bodies as mystery shrouded the “cold murder” of four civilians.

There was fear and anger. Fear, that Army may kill more people if youth clash with them. Anger, that in January itself in Shopian’s Chaigund village Army had killed three civilians in a similar incident and get off scot-free.

Women thronging militant funerals is a common sight in villages. Many a time, non-Muslims too throng the funerals to pay last respects to the deceased.

Religion has always been a source of strength for Kashmiris in dire situations. Over the past three decades, they have found that falling back on religion is the only rational way to preserve their rationality as Indian courts have not only delayed justice but denied it outrightly.

Tasleema, mother of a slain youth of Chaigund village of Shopian who was killed in a similar incident by the Army on 27 January, told a journalist recently that she has lost all hope in Indian courts and is waiting for the justice of God.

The viral picture showed two women standing amidst the male rows while offering prayers for the slain militant.

Deputy Grand Mufti Kashmir Nasir-ul-Islam said that even though the act has no proof in Islam, however, the correction should be made in a way that must not hurt the emotions of the bereaved.

“Islam takes utmost care of human emotions, especially at the time of calamity. We must educate ourselves and find the ways laid down by the Prophet (pbuh) to supplicate for the deceased,” he said.

An incident from the life of the Prophet (pbuh) supports his claim:

The Prophet (pbuh) passed by a woman who was weeping beside a grave. He told her to fear Allah and be patient. She said to him, “Go away, for you have not been afflicted with a calamity like mine.” And she did not recognize him. Then she was informed that he was the Prophet. So she went to the house of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and there she did not find any guard. Then she said to him, “I did not recognize you.” He said, “Verily, the patience is at the first stroke of a calamity.”

One scholar, while commenting on the above hadith, observed that though the woman was doing an un-Islamic act, crying over a grave, the instruction to have patience was given in a gentle way lest her emotions might get hurt for a calamity had befallen her.

Meanwhile, social media users had their own say about the picture:

“This occupation is pushing Kashmiris to rise above themselves. What can I say as I see this? I am in awe of this resilience and resistance and bravado and this powerfulness in times of such powerlessness,” Ather Zia, who teaches at University of Northern Colorado, commented on the picture on Facebook.

Another Facebook user, Salik Nazir, said, “I can totally understand the emotional outburst and the frustrated state my people are in, however, shouldn’t we stick with the teachings of our beloved Rasool(saw)? By all this, we’re only fulfilling dreams of our enemy. It’s THEY who want a ‘female Imam’, THEY who want our women to go for Haj alone without a mehram, It’s THEY who want Muslim men and women pray together in the same rows. We’re all humans and mistakes are inevitable but at least we must acknowledge the same and try not to repeat it.”

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    By: Aasif Sultan

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