Masjid for ‘Sahabs’


Masjid for ‘Sahabs’

To discriminate against someone is to exclude that person from the full enjoyment of their political, civic, economic, social or cultural rights and freedom. Discrimination contradicts a basic principle of human rights: that all people are equal in dignity and entitled to the same fundamental rights. Discrimination and segregation related to ethnicity, culture, physical appearance, religion and social status take place in ways both palpable and subtle. Sadly, this culture which was previously restricted to just the “upper-class” and the politicians is now being followed vastly by almost everyone!

 

In India, there are more than 32 crore people which are known as untouchables. They are normal human beings who work day and night to earn a living. They have ears, eyes and truly everything which makes us human. Yet, they are considered the most unpleasant “kind” of people on the basis of where they live and on their heritage. We all condemn that sort of activity but yet we practice it every day, though we haven’t given the people who live in the slums a title/name (like untouchables). When we see someone, our mind immediately forms a fact sheet about that person. That fact sheet contains reasons to whether or not that person deserves to be gifted by our presence. This leads to new social barriers, since we want to surround ourselves with people who are (apparently) influential and powerful, we tend to alienate ourselves from the masses. We colonise in the areas which are more socially acceptable and preferable and situated ideally away from the “dirt of the city”. These social barriers – created by us- have a huge impact on the society in general.

 

A few days ago, I went to a local Mosque for prayer. I was flabbergasted to know that my driver was not allowed to enter the Mosque by the guards, claiming that the Mosque is for the “sahabs” only! Such is the level of prejudice in our society. We’ve created barriers in our homes and in our hearts. I believe that we’re all equal; some people might have more money, some might enjoy the high social status but all of it does not change the fact that we’re all human and we all deserve to be treated impartially! There are posh areas in the city where the elite live in their huge mansions; protected by personal guards, enjoying a life which a normal person can only dream of and yet they are captives in their homes. Most of them have decided to estrange themselves from the general population and to live a life far away from reality. The reality- which includes all the problems faced by the people outside their high security walls.

 

Economic inequalities armoured by social barriers make it especially difficult for poor people to move out of poverty. The general population is mainly focused on their survival while the question of crossing the barrier and speaking up for their rights and egalitarianism seems absurd; they are all dependant on that same ruling class for their bread and butter. Our this attitude to stay away from people who are less privileged than us forces people into more despair as we are unaware of their problems and hence are indifferent towards their lives. Education has also been seen as a means of equalisation among all, because it has been argued that universal education for all would be an ideal environment where children could bypass factors such as race, gender and social class standing. In all actuality, the latter is merely a flight of fancy. Social discrimination is prevalent widely in schools where students form their own groups of friends and some groups contain popular people who are “followed” by others. There are students who consider themselves higher than others merely on the basis of the social status acquired by their parents.

It’s depressing to see that the overall trend in our society now is to discriminate ourselves in various groups and to isolate those who we feel are unworthy of any consideration.

 

The question is: Who will change this social norm and help in establishing justice? Who will put an end to this inequity?

 

Educators and theologians in the past have led massive revolutions on the basis of religion or mass education.  But, education and religion are not in leadership roles today.  Strong political leadership can be considered a possibility, but politics is coupled with greed for both affluence and supremacy.  The media—television, movies, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet—certainly have a powerful influence on what is seen as acceptable behaviour.  However, the media are not leaders. They feed back to us those things for which we will pay the most to see, hear, or read.  That leaves us, the general public, to lead ourselves!

 

Limiting beliefs can’t be dispelled overnight, but a shift in focus on what we have in common over what’s different can have a powerful unifying effect.  We have to eliminate this sense of supremacy from ourselves in order to achieve the true potential of our society. Maybe if we accept that we are each capable of good and bad, of being open and narrow in mind, we can see how truly similar we are to each other. We need to accept we are all equal, and those more privileged are at the expense of those who are not.



Ali Moeen Nawazish

Youth Ambassador, Geo and Jang Group

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=813586664 Darakhshan Roohi

    what do you mean by ‘limiting beliefs don’t change over-night’?! No one is allowed to force any muslim out of a mosque, its a simple strong beyond contradiction rule, it should be followed that way. The problem is, we over-pamper our weakness and abuse our good points. Our weaknesses grow while our positivism dries out, as a nation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hshakeem Hassan Hakeem

    Aaik he suf main kharay ho gaay Mehmood o Ayaz

    Na koee banda raha no koee banda nawaz

  • M.Saeed

    This reminds of the famous British Raj limiting conditions shamelessly displayed at the entrances of some places reserved for elites that warned:

    ” Entry of Indians and dogs not allowed”

    It appears, now we must have another version for the famous quote about the in-discrimination displayed by Muslims in a Masjid:

    “Aik hi saf main kharay ho gaye mahmood o Iyaaz
    Na koi banda raha na banda nawaz”.

  • MH

    I would refuse to pray in such a mosque. Its not actually mosque at all!

  • Rimibra

    I never had any such experience that people are being stopped going in the Mosque for prayer irrespective of the status of the person. Do not call it Mosque better call it a “Mandar”. It’s terrible sin comitted act if done so and a biggest ever sin of the centuries since the beginnig of Islam.

    • Jaygor

      Why call it Mandar?? In India and in Mandars all over the world nobody dare stop any one from entering- this elitism is peculiar to this mosque only and I think the writer is full of BS- that is the reason why he is not telling us the location of the mosque

  • Anon

    Where is that Masjid for saahabs

  • A B

    Did you actually then attend this “Masjid”?

    NAME AND SHAME, who are the heathens who are running this masjid.

  • Shayan Abbasi

    Which mosque was this? You should have mentioned the name, maybe when this issue comes to media attention, there could be a change in their attitude. And nobody, NOBODY, has the right to stop anyone from praying in any mosque!

  • S Nasrullah

    Ali Moeen seems to unnecessarily sensationalize a non-issue. Under the backdrop of the famous Mosque of Turkey contended to be a Church by origin, and converted to mosque by successful Muslim monarch, where there is absolutely no restrictions on anyone entering into the premises for prayers, the entire gimmick of writing this article looks ludicrous and an exercise in futility. It could only happen in Secretariat Mosque in Islamabad with that repugnant Culture of dsicrimination.

    Islam manifests equality. Quran repeatedly emphasizes the importance and practice of equality and tends to qualify that people with Taqwa are the ones elevated. prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in his last Khutba re-inforced the Islamic teaching of all Muslims are equal, irrespective of their birth, creed, color or class.

    Indeed, mosques are the symbolic House of God and that the Deity who created the world that peoples the magnitude of plurality, and provides sustenance to creatures over ground or under, and has made human beings alike with same flesh and blood would NEVER discriminate, nor tolerate it in any mode.

  • S Nasrullah

    Ali Moeen seems to unnecessarily sensationalize a non-issue. Under the backdrop of the famous Mosque of Turkey contended to be a Church by origin, and converted to mosque by successful Muslim monarch, where there is absolutely no restrictions on anyone entering into the premises for prayers, the entire gimmick of writing this article looks ludicrous and an exercise in futility. It could only happen in Secretariat Mosque in Islamabad with that repugnant Culture of discrimination.

    Islam manifests equality. Quran repeatedly emphasizes the importance and practice of equality and tends to qualify that people with Taqwa are the ones elevated. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in his last Khutba re-inforced the Islamic teaching of all Muslims are equal, irrespective of their birth, creed, color or class.

    Indeed, mosques are the symbolic House of God and that the Deity who created the world that peoples the magnitude of plurality, and provides sustenance to creatures over ground or under, and has made human beings alike with same flesh and blood would NEVER discriminate, nor tolerate it in any mode.

  • GF

    And who does greater evil than he who bars God’s places of worship, so that His Name be not rehearsed in them, and strives to destroy them? Such men might never enter them, save in fear; for them is degradation in the present world, and in the world to come a mighty chastisement. Surah Baqara v2: 114

  • the king

    shut up Ali Moeen you need to learn alot more yet stop talking like you some professor

  • Jas

    how can politics solve something that is inherent to personal ethics? Our education needs to “train” students to live in society instead of establishing a belief that “the higher you go the exclusive you are”. I am still surprised that there is no requirement of community service or even the faintest of ideas in our schools. When the students spend time improving their societies when they are IN schools, they will improve societies when they get out of it.

  • Jaggu

    inequality exists in pakistani society but i doubt that there ‘d be any such mosque. if there is, there should be no issues with giving out name and location. if there was such mosque, the administraion would have been exposed by media and people barred from going inside it, by now. if it has not been exposed so far, as you say, then you must expose and change it. that will go long way than his blog.

  • Muhammad Shuaib

    This is insane. I never ever in my life found such a mosque. Baseless fabricated story.

  • Farhan

    Well Moeen! your point is agreed right but which mosque are you referring to. I have never seen people being stopped on basing of their looks. Mind you, I have lived across the breadth of Pakistan in connection with my work from Gilgit/Skardu to Quetta/Karachi & Nangarparker. Never seen this behaviour

  • Parvez

    First I have never come across a mosque for sahaba only. Where do U live. Name it or face being called a liar. Second, I am surprised to learn of a young man being driver driven. That also speaks of your background. Third, some of the so called untouchables in India include Dr Ambedker, Mayawati, Lalu and a host of very TOUCABLE persons.

  • Sohaib

    Very rightly pointed out , although such mosques are rare and of course when it say for ‘sahabs’ then it really means for ‘sahabs’ – people from truly elite class and maybe that’s why most of the people including myself who initially thought it’s a fake story of your own has never tried to go to such elite class areas. but of course point isn’t that whether such mosques exist or not but the point that discrimination exist isn’t hidden by anyone. but it’s not for our society i think it’s almost everywhere except for maybe where idealist communism prevails. i wont’ comment on religious aspect of it but practically i think it’s not all that unnecessary discrimination , you see if by arranging separate praying areas or dining areas for different groups of people the management of event can be facilitated like security arrangements etc. then there’s no harm in that and people do understand that. in my view that doesn’t mean to deprive someone of their basic human right. for example i’d say that clean water is basic human right and govts have failed over years to fulfill this responsibility of theirs but they do work on it however none of them can work to make sure that imported mineral waters is served to everyone , neither everyone is crazy to get that. similarly praying areas are right but it’s not mandatory that every praying area be carpeted air-conditioned and surrounded by security arrangements of multiple tiers. i’m not saying that discrimination is good , we should avoid it as much as practically possible but we can’t eliminate it totally , we’ve to differentiate between necessity and luxury.

  • Tariq

    Deeply disappointed to hear such attitude in Mosques also on basis of Status. Mosque is free for any person of that faith. Discriminating such is highly deplorable and sad.

  • asad ali

    kkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

  • shahrose

    Yeah your right there are some of the elements but it only exists in so called elite high class. You can find these in bahria town or eden gardens or defence where people discriminate others and allows only sahabs. However other 99.99% Masjids are the best places in the country where poor’s are even feed and people get together to solve others needs and problems. Blaming every Masjid is not right there are good one’s too.

  • Navaid, Wah

    Please someone or any one name such a mosque.

  • Vicky

    The particular masjid the writer is telling about is strange, never ever heard of this thing. And that goes against the teachings of Islam. To Allah, all are equal either SAHAB or SLAVE, white or black, rich or poor etc etc.