Mashal Khan’s horrific demise has hit an alarming nerve with Pakistanis across the globe. The condemnable act defied all levels of humanity and hit our deepest sentiments. He was a student of Mass Communication at the Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan. He was lynched to death by an angry mob who dragged him in a blasphemy accusation.
This barbaric incident has many questions where our society is heading towards. It is a harsh depiction that human life has no value among people and the level of extremism that prevails is a direct threat to our immense efforts of having a harmonious, tolerable and prosperous society in Pakistan. Killing people for blasphemy has taken a toll on our society. A lot of people have been dragged in the alleged cases and it is about time we see proper reforms attending this mundane issue. People can be educated in the light of faith and we need to be reminded what Islam says about it.
This is how Quran discourages people from killing each other:
“Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus We have made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end, will they return to their Lord, and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did.”– Surah Al-An’am – Ayat 108
In reference to the Quranic verse mentioned above, there’s nothing that justifies the killing of people for humiliating, criticising, showing opposition or irreverence towards religious beliefs, customs or personages.
We must not forget the character of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in this regard
If blasphemy was punishable by death and every other person was liable to carry it out, then Holy Prophet (PBUH) would have been the first person to order the killing of all those who opposed and ridiculed him. We must not forget the incidents where non-believers showed their opposition and persecutions, yet he chose to show “tolerance” and forgave all of them.
The easiest instance to remember is that of the woman who used to throw garbage on Prophet Muhammad. Did he order to kill her even after Muslims grew in power? He showed mercy. He portrayed such a remarkable human character that we may never come to find anywhere now.
In the aftermath of Mashal Khan’s demise, Mufti Taqi Usmani released the following statement:
“It is the state’s responsibility to award punishment to a blasphemer. Blasphemy is a sensitive issue and needs solid evidence.”
Dealing with blasphemy cases is solely the responsibility of the state. No civilian is liable to take the law into their own hands.
We are saddened by the death of Mashal Khan. It’s extremely distressing to witness our society dealing with an issue that entails a maddening prospect for our society.