Happy Teachers Day, Papa!

My father was a medical doctor. He was a rational man in a deeply religious society. He was born in a poor illiterate family. But he went to a school against his family’s wishes. He moved from his village to a city with a dream to become a doctor. He struggled a lot to make his dream come true. He did not have money to buy medical books. He used to borrow books from his classmates when they were about to go to sleep at night. After studying he returned their books early in the morning. He was the best student in the medical college.

He never prayed, and he never believed in superstitions. He taught me to believe in science, not in religion. He did not let anyone to force me or convince me to wear burqa. He did not let anyone to force me into marriage when social norm was to force teenage daughters to drop out of school and to marry someone. All my father wanted for me was to be an educated and enlightened person.

My father was a professor at the medical college where I studied medicine. He was my teacher. Without my father, I know very well that it would have been impossible for me to be the person I am today. He taught me to live without fear and walk with head held high.

When my father fell ill, I begged, pleaded, and cried to be allowed to see him in his last days. The Government of Bangladesh refused to permit me entry. My father died.

I am shedding tears for him today. In gratitude, I bow my head today.

Happy Teachers Day, Papa.

Religion Divides (Warning: Graphic Images)

India was partitioned in 1947. The partition of India is one of the greatest tragedies in human history. More than a million people were killed. 12 million people were uprooted from their homeland and crossed the boundaries between India and Pakistan.

But not all Muslims left their homeland India and not all Hindus left their homeland Pakistan.



A Pakistani soldier was inspecting whether the man had circumcised penis during Bangladesh war in 1971. If circumcised, you may survive, if not , you are dead.


Muslim fundamentalists killed Gopal Krishna Muhuri, Principal of Nazirhat College in Bangladesh.

‘The rise of religious fundamentalists and terrorists under state patronage in Pakistan has made their growth smooth as is the case of India, which has become a threat to the existence of the Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan.’

In 1951, Hindus constituted 22% of West Pakistan (Pakistan) and East Pakistan (Bangladesh). Today, the Hindus are only 1.7 percent in Pakistan, and 9.2 percent in Bangladesh.

Hindus are persecuted in Pakistan. They are forced to convert to Islam.

Hindus have been leaving Pakistan. Religion kills and divides people. It always does.

It is about ‘fuck’.

Muslims have been hating me for criticizing Islam for more than 20 years. They say that I am an agent of Jewish, Christian or Hindu fundamentalists. They close their eyes and ears when I criticize other religions. They know very well that I say fuck Islam, I also say, fuck Christianity, fuck Judaism, fuck Jehovahs witnessism, fuck Mormonism, fuck Scientologism, fuck Voodooism, fuck Hinduism, fuck Sikhism, fuck Jainism, fuck Buddhism, fuck Zoroastrianism, fuck Bahaism, fuck Paganism, fuck gods and goddesses, fuck prophets, fuck lies, fuck superstitions.

You Muslims who ban my books and file cases against me on the charges of blasphemy and issue non-bailable arrest warrants against me, fuck you.
You Muslims who blame me for writing a book condemning persecution of minority Hindus in Bangladesh and you say that I was paid by Hindus, fuck you.
You Muslims who set price on my head, attack me physically, and prevent me from entering my country, fuck you.
You Muslims who say I am an Western agent when I protest against 9/11, or terrorist attacks in Israel or in India or in many different countries, fuck you.
You Hindus who threaten me for criticizing a bunch of charlatan Hindu goddamn god-men, fuck you.
You Hindus who threaten me when I criticize Hindu fanatics for killing Muslims in Gujarat, fuck you.
You Hindus who want to throw me of out of India because I say against hundreds of anti-women Hindu traditions that you still practice, fuck you.
You Christians who believe your religion is better than other religions and you try to kiss me because I criticize Islam, fuck you.
You Jews who hate me because I criticize Israeli attacks on Palestinians, fuck you.
You religionists who abuse me because I do not believe in your fucking god, fuck you.

We are on Mars!

Does God know anything about Mars? No, he does not. If he knew he would have told us everything about Mars to prove that ‘he knows everything’ and we did not have to spend more than 2 billion dollars to send rovers to Mars. The books God wrote or others wrote on behalf of God are full of lies and filth: who should fuck whom, who should be flogged or whipped, who should be stoned to death, whom he will throw into the eternal hell of fire, etc. When God in the Sky and his disciples on the Earth that was created by God 6000 years ago are busy cursing and killing humans for wrong gender or wrong fuck we crossed 567-million-kilometer to arrive on Mars.

Our Curiosity landed safely. Let’s enjoy our victory.

The little six-wheeled rover Curiosity starts its 98-week mission, now exploring a crater that billions of years ago may have been filled with water. We are curious to know everything about our 14 billion years old Universe. We do not say ‘we know’ before we really know. We are not like God’s fan club members who without knowing anything say that they know everything. The difference between them and us is they do not need any evidence to believe in something. It’s true that the members of God’s fan club and we share the same Earth, but there are two different worlds on the Earth, our world is a world of science and humanism, their world is a world of fairy tales and hatred.

A new Islamic sex guide

The Prophet said, “If a man Invites his wife to sleep with him and she refuses to come to him, then the angels send their curses on her till morning.” -Narrated by Abu Huraira. Book 62: Hadith 121 (Volume 7)

Malaysian Obedient Wives Club has published a new sex guide about pleasing husbands. The title of the booklet is “The Holy Spirit and Holy Islamic Sex Booklet” . The main purpose of the booklet is to encourage women to be involved in hardcore sex including oral, anal, double penetration, threesome, foursome, gang bang, BDSM etc. in order to keep their husbands from ‘straying’.

They published a booklet titled “Holy Islamic Sex” last year, but that was banned by the Malaysian government. They asked women to be submissive and subservient and to have sex whenever their husbands want. The club argues in favor of patriarchy and polygamy, it tells women that they are inferior beings and they can only satisfy 10 percent of their husbands’ needs. Men need more than one woman to be sexually satisfied.
The club advises women to support husbands’ multiple wives and to actively participate in group sex to please husbands. Their performances have to be excellent, they should act like ‘first-class prostitutes’. If wives serve their husbands as prostitutes serve their valuable clients, they will only be able to maintain happy marriages. The Obedient Wives Club tries to prove that Muslim men are nothing but dickheads and Muslim women are nothing but vaginas.

Islam is such a perfect religion for dickheads! Is it the reason for the high rate of conversions to Islam?

Lunatics will soon start fasting

Scientists discovered a 5th moon of Pluto. They have named it P5.

What are the religious bigots doing? They are not interested in exploring things. They are waiting for the- age-old-moon-visited-and-flagged-by-the-Americans to rise, so they can begin their Ramadan-fasting.

Throughout the world, superstitions revolve around the Moon. If you want to know about them, they are here.

What would the lunatics living in northern Finland, Norway and Sweden do? They have to refrain or abstain from eating, drinking, copulating, smoking, vomiting, etc. from sunrise to sunset. But in those regions, sun almost does not set in the summertime and almost does not rise in the wintertime.

The illiterate camel driver in Arabia obviously did not have any knowledge about the climates of the Nordic countries.

My Childhood Days

‘…One of aunt Fajli ’s sons was also called Muhammad. He was her first son—before him had come his three older sisters—Humaira, Sufaira, Mubashwera. After having produced three girls in a row, aunt Fajli became prone to frequent possession by jinns, but after Muhammad was born the jinns began to leave her alone. However, Muhammad was then followed by three more girls. The jinns renewed their attack with greater force. Even Humaira, I heard, had been possessed a few days ago. In fact, this was quite a common occurrence in this house. Some young girl or another would be possessed almost every day. Amirullah had to be called in to get rid of the evil spirit, in a dark room, with all the doors and windows closed if there any.

I had once witnessed the whole procedure. The girl was called Juthi, in the same school as me, but one year my senior. She was a very pretty girl. One afternoon, she happened to be sitting under a banyan tree, singing quietly to herself. When the bell rang, all the other girls left but Juthi continued to sit there, singing. The bell rang again for the next class, but Juthi just went on singing, her hair blowing in the wind.

Our Urdu teacher—we called him Urdu Sir—was a priest. Informed about Juthi, he dragged her away from under the tree and told the other teachers that she had been possessed by a jinn . Juthi, by this time, was already shouting, “Let me go, let me go!” But, keeping a firm hold on her, Urdu sir began preparing for an exorcism. The first thing he did was take some holy water, mutter a few lines of prayer specific to the task, after which the water was sprinkled on Juthi’s face. But this was not all. Urdu Sir then set fire to one end of a branch from a neem tree, held it before Juthi, and beat her with a thicker branch. It didn’t stop until she fell over. I stood with all the other girls in the school and watched this spectacle, my eyes filled with boundless wonder. I felt very sorry for Juthi. Sitting in this room in Amirullah’s house now, I felt extremely uneasy. What if I was also possessed by a jinn ? What if Amirullah had to take me to a dark room, stick in hand, as he had done with all the others?

I shrivelled up with fear, so much so that I didn’t even notice the other girls moving away from the window. Ma came in briefly to tell me that she would return home as soon as the meeting was over. This brought me no comfort, for I had already had some experience about the length of Amirullah’s meetings. I knew the get-together would take place in a large hall. The girls would go straight from the inner part of the house, the portion of the hall that was curtained off. Everyone would have to sit on a mattress on the floor. Only Amirullah would sit on a divan, on a thick mattress. When he entered the hall filled with the scent of incense, his right hand would be raised, his face would be grave, and everyone would rise to their feet and say, “Salaam aleikum ya Rahamtullah.” The hall would echo with the sound of so many voices. Amirullah would reply in his deep voice, “Waleikum assalaam!” and make a gesture inviting his audience to sit down. The women—some smelling of talcum powder, some wearing kohl—would peer through a chink in the curtain to look at Amirullah and to cast sidelong glances at the other men.
The routine was the same today. Amirullah ran his fingers through his beard and began speaking: “Look, Abu Bakar, this world that we live in is an unreal world, so what’s the point of making a lot of money here? Will anyone ever be able to take it with him in the end? Tell me, will you take your possessions with you to your grave?”
Abu Bakar—short, with a dark beard, seated in the front row—replied, “No, Huzur.”
“So what will you give your heart to, eh? To Allah, or to the pursuit of wealth?” Amirullah addressed the question to Abu Bakar, but his glance swept over all the heads in the room, each covered with a white cap.
“To Allah, Huzur,” said Abu Bakar, sounding as if he had been hypnotized.
The women stared hard at Abu Bakar through the curtain. Today, his name would be on every one’s lips. Amirullah had spoken to him voluntarily. This was a rare honor for Abu Bakar. Some were of the view that Amirullah would now make a special recommendation to Allah to send Abu Bakar straight to heaven.
Each time the meeting lasted exactly an hour. This evening, Amirullah spent the time describing the poverty the Prophet had to suffer. His only possession was a torn blanket. The congregation wept noisily upon hearing how he had suffered. The more you cried in this house, the more you earned a good name. There was something else that earned one a good name too: having a dream. Aunt Fajli had dreamed she was sitting by the side of a fountain of Heaven with the Prophet Muhammad. Flocks of white birds were flying around, and a soft breeze was blowing. Although she couldn’t recall what they talked about, Amirullah had told her that a place in Heaven for her was now assured. After that, aunt Fajli had risen in everyone’s estimation. Some had asked her individually what the Prophet looked like, her face lit up as she described her dream: “His face is so bright, he is so handsome, how wonderfully soft his hands felt!” Her eyes closed slowly as she spoke, as if she could still feel the softness of his touch. They had moved to the fountain to take shower together and had only just started, when she woke up.
After hearing of her dream, various other members of the congregation began dreaming of the Prophet and were similarly hailed with words of praise. Ma felt profoundly unhappy that the Prophet had never appeared in her dreams. Before going to sleep she thought very hard about him, so that she might see him, but that didn’t happen. Ma considered herself a sinner.

As soon as the meeting was over, the men formed a queue to touch Amirullah’s feet and thrust money into his hands. The amount was unspecified. One was supposed to pay for Allah whatever one could. Those were Amirullah’s instruction.
Abu Bakar bent with deep reverence over Amirullah’s feet and said, “Huzur, I am very worried. The world is soon going to come to an end and we’ll all have to face the day of judgment. I no longer pay any attention to running my business. After all, when I go, I’ll go empty-handed, won’t I? Who knows what’s in store? All my life, I never really thought about this. Please pray for me, Huzur. Without your prayers and your blessings, I will be lost.”
Amirullah promised to pray and to bless.

Having collected the money from the men, Amirullah entered that section of the room where the women were sitting. Every woman not from his own family would now touch his feet and offer him money. After this was done Amirullah would retire, recline on his bed, and various young women would throw themselves at him to massage his body.
I pulled at Ma’s veil and said plaintively, “Come on, Ma, we must go home. If Baba gets back and finds me gone, he’s going to beat me!”

Ma snatched her veil my grasp. “Stop pestering me!” was all she said.
I stood alone in the dark courtyard, under the hibiscus bush. Somewhere, I had heard that a jinn was more likely to attack if you left your hair open, so I quickly covered my hair with my urna. I was not used to wearing long salwars and a urna, the garments older girls wore. At home, I still wore frocks, but here, in Amirullah’s house, your age didn’t matter. Unless your dress was approved by him, you were not allowed to pass through his front gate. It was an extraordinary new world, functioning within the familiar old one.

On our way back, as we began our ride in another rickshaw I asked Ma, “Why has Israfil been sitting for millions of years, holding a horn to his mouth? Why does Allah make him do that? I mean, He jolly well knows when the day of judgment is going to arrive, doesn’t He? Surely He could ask Israfil to pick up his horn and sound it when the time comes? Poor Israfil having to stay put, not moving an inch.”
Ma replied from under her burkha: “Allah is the Creator. Israfil is only an angel, so he has to obey the Creator’s command. Every angel must do that. Never question Allah’s will. Learn to be afraid of Him.”
“Your Huzur said we must give our hearts to Allah, learn to fall in love with Him. How can we love someone if we are afraid of him?”
I had always found it difficult to utter the words ‘fall in love’. There was an unwritten law that that particular phrase must never be used. But then, that law applied only to love between a man and a woman, because it was somehow wrong. People who fell in love were bad people. Aunt Jhunu , I knew, secretly loved someone. Dada wrote poetry with a girl called Anita in mind but that, too, was done secretly. “There was something between aunt Jhunu and uncle Rashu ,” Dada had once said. Even in my school, girls did not use the word “love.” They said “That girl over there has ‘something’ going on with a boy!” At first, I found it quite difficult to understand what “something” meant, but eventually I got into the habit of using it myself.
I did find that the word “love,” or even the phrase “falling in love,” could be used freely when referring to Allah. I had never heard anyone say, “Huzur has ‘something’ going on with Allah!” Humaira, it was rumored, had a love affair going on with her cousin, Atiq, but, it was always referred to as “something,” and the word was whispered. Yet, no one had any hesitation in saying that Humaira was deeply in love with Allah. In fact, it was always said very loudly so that every one could hear.
In answer to my question, Ma said briefly, “You can love Allah and be afraid of Him.”
“But you always say Allah keeps a record of every human being, when he’s to be born, when he’s to die, even who he’ll marry. Allah also knows who’ll go to Heaven and who’ll be sent to Hell. It’s all written down, all decided. Well then, this man Abu Bakar . . . if Allah has decided already to send him to Heaven, surely he’s not going to go to Hell even if he’s a sinner? And if you take me , , , if going to Hell is what’s already written for me, what’s the point of my praying to Allah? Is He going to change what He wrote down Himself?” I said all this in one breath.
“How come you behave as if you haven’t got a tongue in front of others? When you’re with me, you can’t stop chattering.” Ma said in a very cross tone.
“But, tell me, Allah is capable of doing anything, isn’t He?” I insisted, my voice trembling with curiosity.
“Yes. Allah can make anything happen. But if He does not want something to take place, then no power can work against His will. Not a single leaf on a tree would move unless Allah willed it.”
Ma’s body was covered from head to toe with a black burkha. Her face was hidden behind a thin, transparent veil that hung down from her forehead, so that her eyes were free to spot potholes before she stepped into them. Right now, the fury of her glance pierced the veil. I looked at her fiery eyes and said, “Suppose Allah was sitting with empty hands. Could he create a flower out of nothing?”
“Yes.”
“Suppose He had a hankie in His hand could He turn it into a pigeon?” I asked again.
“Certainly,” Ma said firmly.
“That man who came to do tricks in our school—that magician—he can do all those things too. He can even vanish into thin air and remain invisible, just like Allah!” I declared, triumphantly.
“What did you say? You’ve lost all your belief, all your virtue. You dare to compare a magician with Allah? You stupid girl! Is this why I take you with me to hear huzur’s speech? You’re much worse than you used to be! You are becoming a big Satan. I bet you’ve learned to talk like that from your father. I will sew up your lips, I swear, if you say such things just once more. In the face of such rage, I felt like a pricked ball. Ma had once told me that the saint Abdul Kader Jeelani, after being ordered by Allah, had emerged from his grave. I felt quite sure that if that magician was buried in a grave, he could come out, too. But I did not mention this to Ma, for I had no wish to hear more abuse. However,another question that was struggling to escape from my mind slipped out before I could stop it. “Why do people in your Huzur’s house keep getting possessed? Jinns don’t attack us, do they? You keep telling us Allah Himself comes down to visit that house. If that’s true, how come jinns dare to appear in Allah’s space?”
Ma dug her elbow into my stomach and gave me a sharp, painful nudge. “Shut up! Not another word, do you hear? When we get home, you must pray to Allah and beg His forgiveness. You’re not afraid of Allah, are you? No, of course not. How else would such Satanic thoughts get into your head?

I received no answer to my questions.

One day, I showed Ma my science book and asked, “Allah created Adam, didn’t He?”
“Yes.”
“But look at this!” I pointed at a early homosapian in my science book. “Here’s the first sign of life on earth.one cell grew to multiple. Ancient man evolved from a species of apes. Those men lived in caves, fought among themselves, ate raw meat etc. Then, much later, they learnt to light a fire. Then they made more progress, and gradually became civilised. The first man that Allah made – the prophet Hazrat Adam ,did he look like this hairy, naked ape , who walked in the garden of heaven?”
Ma wrinkled her nose, as if a bad stench was coming from the book, and said, “Get out of here, go! Every word written in that book is a lie. What Allah has said is the only truth. Nothing else matters.”
I had to come away. It was impossible to raise the matter with Baba, for invariably I lost my voice if I went anywhere near him. Who was right? Which was true — Allah or science? Who was going to tell me? There did not seem to be a great deal of reason in what Allah had said. ‘Reason’ was a word I had recently learnt. Baba had lately started saying, “Never act without reason. Ask your conscience before doing anything whether you should — or should not — do it. If the answer is yes, only then must you perform that task. Every human being has a conscience.
This particular speech was delivered — and repeated subsequently — when, during a game, I lit a match and accidentally dropped it in a heap of firewood. Luckily, there was no major disaster. Had the wood caught fire, and had it spread, Baba believed that the whole house would have been gutted.

There didn’t seem to be a great deal of reason in what Allah had said. What science said appeared far more reasonable. The first man was supposed to have been created by Allah and then simply dropped from heaven to land on earth with a loud thud. That sounded like a fairy-tale. If I mentioned this to Ma, she came back with, “If you say such bad things about Allah, your tongue will drop off.” To test this out, I sat in my room one day, with the door closed, and said Allah you are bad, you are ugly, you are rotten, you are a crook, you son of a bitch, you son of a pig . My tongue remained in place, it did not drop off. Now there was no doubt in my mind. Nothing happened if you abused Allah. Ma was quite wrong. I had learned something else. It was just not true that Allah would give you whatever you wanted. So many times after prayers, I had asked for chum chums, or snacks that I had seen uncle Sharaf and the others eat. I was never given anything. In my old school, Rajbari—the one that used to be a palace—I had seen a lovely, painted wooden horse and felt tempted enough to ask for one like it. No one gave me a wooden horse. There were various other things I had wanted. After what uncle Sharaf and uncle Aman did to me, I wanted them to get leprosy and die quickly. They neither got leprosy nor died. I had heard Ma say a similar prayer with regard to Baba. But he remained in perfect health and in fact seemed to be getting even fitter. He never had fever, not even for a single day. I, on the other hand, got frequent attacks of fever. It made me very happy, because I could stay away from school and studies. When I was ill, Baba spoke to me gently and stroked my head. It was only during these rare moments that it became easy to receive his affection. He bought bunches of grapes and oranges and placed them on my bed. I ate them all by myself, while my sister and brothers looked on. If they insisted that I share my fruit with them, I gave them just a little. Ma brought me pieces of salted ginger. But when it was time to take my medicines, the joy of being ill vanished quickly. Baba wanted me to swallow various pills and tablets every hour. Usually, I said, “Yes, I’ll take them,” and then threw each one out of the window when no one was looking.
Once, when my temperature did not come down even after a week, Baba got suspicious. He began bringing me my medicines himself. “Open your mouth,” he would say, pouring water into it and thrusting a capsule or tablet in. It invariably got stuck in my throat, which made me retch and throw up. Undaunted, Baba said “Open your mouth” as soon as I stopped vomiting. He didn’t give up until the capsule or tablet made a successful entry into my stomach.When Baba was not in the room, Ma came in, muttered suras, and blew on my chest. That felt quite nice. After all, someone’s soft breath on my chest had to be very different from a foul-tasting medicine. Then she brought me several glasses of pretty dirty water that was blessed by Amirullah, and she made me drink it. When I recovered, Ma claimed that it was her prayers and the holy water that had done it. Baba maintained it was his capsules…’

From ‘my girlhood’.

Women had more rights in pre-Islamic period.

Pre Islam Arab Women 4th to 6th century C.E. Women in Islam. 21st century Women in Iran Sassanid era (226–651 C.E.) Scythian woman warrior. Ancient pre-Islamic Persia had female warriors and chieftains. A Persian Sassanid Female Warrior. Before Islam. Muslim women in Iran. 21st century Artemisia was a daughter of Hecatomnus, the founder of the Hecatomnid house that had ruled Caria since the beginning of the 4th century. She was the warrior-Queen of Halicarnassus (now in modern western Turkey). Artemisia statue in Bodrum, Turkey. Muslim women in Turkey. 21st century. Al-Uzza, Warrier Goddess. Pre Islamic Arabia. Allah, the moon god and his three daughters, Goddess Al-Lat, Goddess Al-Uzza, and Goddess Manat. Pre Islamic Arabia. Pre Islamic Arab pagan goddess Al-Uzza temple, Petra, Jordan. Islam brought this slogan. Khadija Bint Khuwaylid was a successful business woman. She inherited her father’s business and made it a much more profitable one. She was from a noble family. She earned three titles: Ameerat-Quraish (Princess of Quraish) and al-Tahira (the Pure One), and Khadija Al-Kubra (Khadija the Great). She was a nice and a kind woman. She helped the poor. Khadija was a very wealthy woman, many men asked for her hand in marriage but she refused to marry them. Some of her relatives requested her to hire a man called Muhammad from Quraish tribe. Even though he was illiterate he was known to them as a clever man. Khadija employed Muhammad as an agent for her trade with Syria. Muhammad used Khadija’s  trade caravans for work. He helped her make profit in business. He was considered a trustworthy hard working man. Khadija was so impressed that she doubled Muhammad’s salary and then decided to marry him. She was 40-year-old when she married Mohammad, a 25-year-old man. Khadija  married twice before marrying Mohammad. She gave birth to three daughters when they were together. Khadija had other children from previous marriages. Mohammad had his first revelation when he was 40. He was financially dependent on Khadija. He did not marry other women until Khadija died. After she died, Muhammad married 12 more women including a 6-year-old child.

Muhammad was worried that his wives might get angry with him and leave him. He was so jealous that he revealed some verses.

The Quran: 33.30 O wives of the Prophet! If any of you were guilty of evident unseemly conduct, the Punishment would be doubled to her, and that is easy for Allah.

33.31 But any of you that is devout in the service of Allah and His Messenger, and works righteousness,- to her shall We grant her reward twice: and We have prepared for her a generous Sustenance

He was worried that his wives would attract the attention of other men. So he asked them to wear veils.

33.32 O wives of the Prophet! Ye are not like any of the (other) women: if ye do fear (Allah), be not too complacent of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire: but speak ye a speech (that is) just. 33.33 And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance ; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless.

Muhammad desperately wanted his wives to be submissive. He threatened his wives.

The Quran: 66.5 It may be if he divorced you (all) that his Lord will give him instead of you, wives better than you, Muslims (who submit to Allah), believers, obedient to Allah, turning to Allah in repentance, worshiping Allah sincerely, fasting or emigrants (for Allah’s sake), previously married and virgins.”

Many verses of the Quran and the Hadith (Sayings of Muhammad) prove that Islam did not elevate the status of women, rather it was the cause of the humiliation, subjugation, denigration of women. Here are a very few examples.

The Quran 4.34 Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

Bukhari Hadith Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301 says

Once Allah’s Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o ‘Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).” They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Apostle ?” He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.” The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her religion.”

Bukhari Hadith Volume 3, Book 43, Number 648 says

‘…Then ‘Umar went on relating the narration and said. “I and an Ansari neighbor of mine from Bani Umaiya bin Zaid who used to live in ‘Awali Al-Medina, used to visit the Prophet in turns. He used to go one day, and I another day. When I went I would bring him the news of what had happened that day regarding the instructions and orders and when he went, he used to do the same for me. We, the people of quraish, used to have authority over women, but when we came to live with the ansar, we noticed that the ansari women had the upper hand over their men, so our women started acquiring the habits of the ansari women. Once i shouted at my wife and she paid me back in my coin and i disliked that she should answer me back.She said, ‘Why do you take it ill that I retort upon you? By Allah, the wives of the Prophet retort upon him, and some of them may not speak with him for the whole day till night.’ What she said scared me and I said to her, ‘Whoever amongst them does so, will be a great loser.’ …’

Bukhari Hadith Volume 2, Book 18, Number 161 says

‘I also saw the Hell-fire and I had never seen such a horrible sight. I saw that most of the inhabitants were women.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! Why is it so?” The Prophet replied, “Because of their ungratefulness.” It was asked whether they are ungrateful to Allah. The Prophet said, “They are ungrateful to their companions of life (husbands) and ungrateful to good deeds. If you are benevolent to one of them throughout the life and if she sees anything (undesirable) in you, she will say, ‘I have never had any good from you.’

Bukhari Hadith Volume 4, Book 54, Number 460 says

Allah’s Apostle said, “If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning.”

Sahih Muslim Hadith Book 008, Number 3466 says

Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Woman is like a rib. When you attempt to straighten it, you would break it. And if you leave her alone you would benefit by her, and crookedness will remain in her.

When I was a child, I thought Arabic was Allah’s mother tongue.

‘..I had no idea when Peer Amirullah’s house—once built in a clearing in a jungle—turned into something like a colony. A number of houses had been built over a large area. The one which was the tallest and painted belonged to Amirullah. Ever since Ma had become his follower, she had stopped referring to him as a relative. Instead, she called him “huzur,” since no kinship term was appropriate for Peer, the spiritual guru. He was above all that.

The first thing Ma did when she arrived at Amirullah’s house was to touch his feet, no matter what he might be doing at the time—sleeping, eating or preparing for his prayer. It wasn’t just Ma, everyone had to do so before they did anything else: light the oven, stand for their prayers, even go to the toilet. Since Amirullah was Allah’s favorite servant—no, he was more than that, he was like a buddy —Allah was said to visit his buddies in person, frequently. No one knew when this happened. Ma thought it took place in the dead of night. It was her belief that they spoke in Arabic. In fact, she thought Arabic was Allah’s mother-tongue. If she could learn it, perhaps she could exchange a few words with Allah in her afterlife.

The idea of learning Arabic appealed to her greatly, so much so that she looked with so much admiration at anyone who could speak it. Almost like a dog with its tongue hanging out. From her tongue dripped the temptation to go to behesht, to heaven. When she thought of her huzur conversing with Allah in the middle of the night, her eyes drooped in deep reverence. If she could please Amirullah, perhaps Allah would show her some mercy. After all, she had sinned a lot, running crazily to the cinemas and thinking of worldly pleasures. Would Allah ever forgive a sinner like her?
Having touched Amirullah’s feet, Ma sat on the floor and broke into loud sobs. Her eyes were like two clear drains, and tears ran freely down her cheeks, falling on her chest, her sari, and her blouse. Aunt Fajli ’s full, pink lips were badly chapped, but she placed a hand on Ma’s shoulder and said calmly, “Why shouldn’t Allah forgive you? Just ask for His forgiveness. He is merciful. He is great. Of course He’ll pardon you. He doesn’t turn anyone down if they raise their hands and beg for His kindness.”

It was not just Ma who was keen on pleasing Amirullah. A number of other young women were interested, too. The minute Amirullah finished his tea in the evening and stretched out on his bed to rest, Ma and the other women began a little fighting over who would take Amirullah’s arms, take his legs and his head, to massage. If Ma got his feet, her face lit up instantly and a smile hovered on her lips. This was because a person’s feet—even Amirullah’s—were bound to be dirty. If she could massage his feet it was a way of proving to him that even the dirt on his feet was holy and pure for her.

This massage went on for a couple of hours. Then the young women began offering their huzur the appetizer: orange juice, lemon sherbet, kheer, then food was served on gleaming silver plates: fish dopiaza, chicken curry made with very tender pieces of chicken, basmati rice. After his meal, when Amirullah belched with satisfaction, he was given paan covered with silver foil. Paan was something of an addiction with him. His daughter-in-law sat on a mat on the floor and filled the betel leaves with nuts and spices. Amirullah put those in his mouth, one by one, chewed them six or seven times, then spat out the red juice into a spittoon. If any of the spittle hit one of the young women, she would lick it happily, while most of the others quickly bent over the spittoon. Soon, a war—like-situation broke out over who would be the first to eat the paan already chewed by Amirullah, or drink his red juice.

When I looked at those women, I felt frightened. They reminded me of the time when Ma used to go to the cinema and get embroiled in similar fights over the tickets. There was always a separate queue for women at the movie theater. When the victorious ones emerged from the crowd their bodies were wet with perspiration, the buttons on their blouses torn, hair undone and totally disheveled like a mad woman’s, but their faces were triumphant and happy and in their fists, tightly clenched, were the tickets!

Now, Ma and the others were fighting over Amirullah’s paan juice as if it was nectar. Ma, certainly, was convinced that although the paan had been chewed, it was no ordinary man who had chewed it, but one with whom Allah Himself conversed secretly, late at night, everyone else slept. He clearly was a man who could speak easily of the supreme powers of Allah, what He had ever said and where, and to whom, what He had hinted at—everything. If she ate the paan from Amirullah’s spittoon a place for her in Heaven was guaranteed. In fact, that was what Amirullah himself had implied with an air of mystery, his eyes twinkling, as if he was playing hide-and-seek with a group of children. “You want a ticket to Heaven?” his enigmatic smile seemed to say, “Then keep your eyes and ears open, try to work out what is going to please Allah. He has given you a brain and enough intelligence.”

Ma picked up a half-chewed paan from the spittoon and put it in her mouth. I sat behind the battlefield—alone, scared, my face going red with embarrassment from time to time. Still, a belief began to take hold that if I clung to Ma strongly enough, I could also manage a trip to Heaven. Aunt Fajli was sitting away from the fray, looking at the women who were fighting. She was making no attempt to clean a share of the chewed paan. She did not need to, since—according to Ma—she already had a ticket to Heaven, All she had to do was somehow pass her time on earth. After all, she had not sinned by going to the cinema. Now, aunt Fajli leaned toward Ma, half-crouching in the middle of the battlefield, and whispered, “Why stop at just the paan? If you touch the spit or phlegm of someone favored by Allah, you will earn a lot of virtue.”
The words sank into Ma’s mind immediately.
Before going to look for Amirullah’s spit or phlegm she gave me a chain with a hundred prayer beads and sat me down on the floor in a different room. I was also given a piece of paper with sallallahu Ala Muhammad written on it and which I was supposed to say five hundred times. This, Ma said would earn me virtue. Her sole aim in visiting the Peer’s house was to add to her fund of virtue, and she wanted the same for me. So she picked me up from the playing field and brought me here. I had to admit that I had enjoyed the ride in the rickshaw, but where had I come? What kind of a house was this? No one was allowed to play, to speak with a raised voice, everyone was supposed to stay fully covered, at all times, from the hair on their heads to the nails on their toes, never allowing their clothes to shift and expose even an inch of skin. I thought it was better to be in a stinking toilet than sit clutching prayer beads in such a weird house.

Just before dusk fell, Amirullah began his public meeting. Ma dragged me to witness it. If my veil slipped from my head, she nudged me sharply with her elbow. On the way to his house she had told me in the rickshaw, firmly and repeatedly, that I should touch Amirullah’s feet as soon as I saw him, and make sure that my veil didn’t slip from my head. When we arrived I made no attempt to touch Amirullah’s feet, and my veil slipped more than once. Having found me a seat among the women in the room where the meeting was being held, Ma sat down next to me. The women were, in fact, sitting behind a curtain, in accordance with normal practice. The men were in the main room. Through a chink in the curtain I could see Amirullah, sitting on a mattress, with two or three open books in front of him. He was leaning over them and muttering something in Arabic, which his audience was hailing with shouts of appreciation. “Aha, aha!” they exclaimed.

Then Amirullah took off his glasses, began polishing them, and said, “Those who don’t believe in Allah, who has slightest doubt about Allah and his prophet Muhammad, who don’t follow all the orders Allah has given, well, do you know how Allah is going to burn them in Hell ? O brothers, You will be burnt in that unbelievable fire. Can you imagine the heat when the sun would descend and hang just one foot above your head? Ya, fire will be that hot. Thousands of snakes and scorpions will bite you. Do you know what you’ll be fed on? Boiling hot water and pus! Nothing else. Allah will pull your tongue out and nail it over your head. He will then throw you into the fire. You will burn, your bodies will be charred, but even so you will not die. Allah will keep you alive so that you suffer more. Snakes will coil themselves around you, scorpions will sting. You will not be able to enjoy worldly pleasures for long, o brothers. Doomsday is nigh. Prepare yourselves. Israfil the angel is waiting to blow the trumpet soon, he is holding it to his mouth, Allah is about to issue His final command.”

Wailing broke out behind the curtain. Among the men, some were to be seen wiping their eyes with handkerchiefs. Others cried more openly, their shoulders shaking. Who knew who earned enough honor, and who didn’t?
“You can gain nothing by thinking of this world, o brothers. Think of the next one. Do things for next one. Try walking on the path shown by Allah. If the great Almighty forgives you, only then you will be saved from the confines of your graves and the pain of being burnt in Hell. Remember, the fire in Hell is seventy times stronger and fiercer than any fire on earth.”

I sat silently beside Ma, the prayer beads still in my hand. I felt very sorry seeing her cry. Her whole body was racked with sobs. It surprised me greatly to see so many people crying in fear of being burnt by a fire. It was exactly like frightening the children , they normally cry when they got threats of beating. Perhaps I ought to cry, too, just like the others. I waited for tears to gush, but my eyes remained completely dry. Having heard how Allah might roast people alive, He began to strike me as someone cruel and heartless.

After his long and terrible description of the torture of hell, Amirullah joined his palms sideways and raised them in prayer: “O Allah, forgive these men, forgive every sin they have committed. You are great, you are all-merciful, you are the savior. I am begging you, on behalf of the sinners sitting in this room, to pardon them, O Allah!”
Amirullah’s voice began rising, and in keeping with it the sound of wailing rose from the people. I sat like a statue, except that my eyes darted everywhere, on this side of the curtain and that. What a strange world it was!…’

(From my memoir ‘My Girlhood’)