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Bahrain and the Struggle for Self-Defense

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The Bahraini people are at a crossroads.

The current situation in Bahrain has taken the peaceful protestors to a crossroad, and all the attention is towards the religious leaders. The choice would be to either end their struggle and face systematic abduction, imprisonment or execution by the dictator of Bahrain, or to continue with the struggle by getting slain or by self-defense. The choice belongs to the people of Bahrain, and the Holy Qur'an dictates that: "Whoever defends himself after he is oppressed, there is no way (of blame) against them." (42:41) The Arabic word Intasar in the above verse means to defend oneself; those who defend themselves after tyranny is imposed upon them, there is no blame on them (for any conflict or altercation). By the act of self-defense, the oppressed has vindicated his position and completed his divine responsibility, and thus recorded his voice in the annals of history that will amputate the courage and audacity of the oppressors of the later time.

But what is oppression in Islam? And who are the oppressors in the eyes of Allah? The Qur'an says, "For whoso transgresses Allah's limits: such are the wrongdoers" (2:229). The act of crossing the limits that Allah has established is tantamount to oppression in Islam. The Holy Qur'an elaborates the explanation regarding oppressors in the following verse: "Oppressor is he who rejects the Day of Judgment and he who diverts (from) the path of truth and who creates a hinder in the path." (7:45)

The first sign of the oppressors is that they consider themselves free from standing trial in the court of Allah on the Day of Judgment; their greed for this world overshadows the fear of the day when their actions will jostle them headlong into eternal perdition.

The second sign is that they divert the truth for their personal gains. The history of Islam has records of many individuals who belied the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) and purposely misinterpreted the meaning of the Qur'an in order to seek material gains. They have designed a lie against Allah and His messengers to portray their own evil actions as righteous deeds. They have been labeled in the Qur'an as follows: "And who is more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah or (he who) gives the lie to His communications; surely the unjust will not be successful." (6:21) The actions of those individuals who belied the Prophet – during his lifetime and after his death – created a Muslim nation that attested to their lie as truth and adhered to it with unwavering commitment.

The third sign of the oppressors is that they create a hindrance in the path of truth so that the truth gets buried in the realms of perplexities, because the path to truth leads to the destruction of the tyrants; the truth and the beholder of the truth are both imprisoned in the dungeons of the evil men that appear in sanctified garbs. The Qur'an explains to mankind the nature of oppression and the warning against this path, in the following verse: "And believe in what I have revealed, verifying that which is with you, and be not the first to deny it, neither take a mean price in exchange for My communications; and Me, Me alone should you fear." (2:41) This is a clear indication of who the tyrants are in the eyes of Allah: there are those who have sold the communication of Allah for a small price in exchange for this material world and for seeking their interest. They are determined to massacre humanity, plunder the wealth of a nation, hatch conspiracies to subjugate the bearers of truth, systematically alter the path of religion and lead masses to misguidance, hatred and extremism.

The Qur'an further emphasizes the sign of injustice in the following verse: "And do not mix up the truth with the falsehood, nor hide the truth while you know (it)." (2:42) This is the epitome of injustice and a real tool that the tyrants have adopted to establish religiosity in their actions. This has been the nature of all the tyrants who entered the religion of Prophet Muhammad and Imam Ali (peace be upon him) and deceived the people by blending the truth with falsehood, and by adulterating the doctrines of Islam by inducing the idea of autocracy hidden under the veil of "rightly guided caliphate". The journey of tyrants that entered the religion began with some hypocrites acting as companions who formulated the plan to masquerade the path of truth after the death of the Prophet, by plundering the seat of guidance from Imam Ali and establishing their autocracy on it.

Thus the first tyrant dictator ruled the Muslim nation under the institution of Caliphate, and in order to justify his past actions and pave the path to a viable future of this tyrannical establishment, the first dictator began to architect his plan of blending the truth with falsehood and began inventing such ideas that not only justify their actions, but also cover their evil personality under the Dishdasha of sacredness.

The tower of corrupted doctrines became the sacred house, and the Muslim community formed a human chain to guard it from any criticism and to protect its founders and beholders. The corruption and the unchaste ideology of the hypocrites of Islam that breeds in the minds of Muslims is like a curtain that blinds them from recognizing truth from falsehood, justice from tyranny, spirituality from materialism, light from darkness, and guidance from ignorance. In the spirit of defending and furnishing the evil ideology, the Muslims had no choice but to accept the dictators, the aristocrats, the kings and despots as the vanguards Islamic nation. The King of Saudi Arabia, the Emir of Kuwait, the Sultan of Oman, the Khalifa of Bahrain or the Sheikh of UAE have many things in common – but the most prominent of them is that they are the absolute dictators of their nation, and they suppress their people in their own ways. Their common aim is to conceal the path of truth and hinder the people from reaching to the reality of their religion. They are following the path that was paved by the hypocrites of Islam of blending the truth with falsehood.

If today the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders are suppressing their own people, then that act of oppression is a manifestation of an ideology that belied the words of Allah and His messenger – an  ideology that hindered the path of truth by concealing the trail of truth, an ideology whose founders have taken a small price and an insignificant material gain in exchange of the words of Allah, and an ideology where fear of Allah is replaced by the desire of aristocracy, social status, power, authority, ego and a mountain of wealth built on the graves of the oppressed.

When the people of Bahrain continued their peaceful demonstration with stronger determination, the accursed Hamad Khalifa and the leaders of the neighboring gulf countries began to panic. The cause of such harmonious anxiety is ongoing persecution of innocent civilians in their own countries. The wave of reforms sweeping the Middle East has already brought the patience among the people to a boiling point, but as soon as the innocent protesters were attacked in Pearl Square, the boiling pot began to overflow, and protests began in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia too. There is no better way to put it than to say that these regimes consider persistently oppressing innocent civilians to be a life-blood to their kingdoms, because if true believers are granted freedom, they will always gravitate towards truth and justice.

There are two questions at this time: what result is the tyrant expecting and when will the endurance of the protestors exhaust? As for the first question, the tyrant expects to annihilate every speck of opposition that threatens its position and to get away with it. These expectations are formed based on the force and wealth the tyrants have amassed during decades of transgression while overlooking their own ignorance that a short-lived respite is not a victory. The short-lived victory of the tyrant will come to end soon, either by loss of wealth, health, or force, or by the deception of their own partners. As the Qur'an says, "But the tyrants have no helpers" (2:270), and the blood of the oppressed will never smear in vain.

The people of Bahrain are being oppressed as we speak and an unjust war is imposed on them. They are driven out of their homes, women and children are attacked – the endurance of the peaceful protestors may exhaust and these words of Qur'an will echo in the ears of the tyrant forces: "Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed." (22:39) The endurance of the people may shift from peaceful demonstration to defending themselves from the Saudi force; it will be the call of the grand scholars, and every conscionable believer in the world will endorse the decision. The power of patience is more mighty and profound than the abusive and cunning show of power, and the oppressed shall rise from his pool of blood – but not to seek a "free election" anymore, rather to hold the oppressive hand of the tyrant and overpower them or at least die trying and seek the eternal provision through martyrdom. For, as the Qur'an says: "Those who leave their homes in the cause of Allah, and are then slain or die, on them will Allah bestow verily a goodly Provision" (22:58). Whatever may be the decree of the grand scholars regarding the people of Bahrain or regarding the oppressed in any part of the world, we shall all comply with it to the fullest. Please supplicate for the appearance of our beloved Awaited Imam (may Allah hasten his reappearance) so that falsehood is perished along with disgrace, because "indeed falsehood has to go" (5:27). In the words of Imam Zainul Abideen (peace be upon him) in his supplication for the People of the Frontiers: "O God, defeat their enemy, separate them from their weapons, pull out the firm ties from their hearts, keep them far away from their stores, bewilder them in their roads, turn them astray from their direction, cut off reinforcements from them, chop them down in numbers, fill their hearts with terror, hold back their hands from  stretching forth, tie back their tongues from speaking, scatter by them the ones behind them make them a lesson for those beyond them, and through their degradation cut off the hopes of those who come after them!" (Sahifa Sajjadia)

Author of this article: Imtiaz Rizvi
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