By Daim Chughtai
Arafat Mazhar is the director at Engage and the author of “The Untold Story of Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law” which is a five-part article on Dawn News that goes into the depths of this taboo subject.
Recently, Mr. Mazhar graced the students of LUMS with his presence in a talk arranged by the Law and Politics society. He talked about Article 295.C of the Pakistan Penal Code that is regarding the applicability of Blasphemy Law on non-Muslims. Mr. Mazhar chose to base his research on one of the four schools of Islamic Law, the Hanafi Tradition.
Starting off with discussing Hudd and Ijma, and how the two come together to form an infallible Law of God, he then traced back the line of Hanafi scholars till Abu Hanafi himself who clearly said that non-Muslim blasphemers must not be killed. Then he talked about Abu Al-Hussayn Ahmed Al-Quduri who has been quoted in the Federal Shairat Court to say that a non-Muslim only sinks deeper into his lack of faith when he blasphemes: since a non-Muslim is not killed for his disbelief, he shall not be killed for an increase in his disbelief if he insults the Prophet (S.A.W.). The gist of the talk revolved around how some Muftis have bended the teachings of earlier scholars to conform to their own beliefs resulting in unanimity against killing non-Muslim blasphemers to unanimity in favour of the death penalty.
The talk left me with a nascent realization of the abyss of uncertainties I had been living in and how a new approach to a widely-controversial discipline triggered untested ideas in my mind. I urge everyone to attend one of his sessions if the opportunity arises because it will leave you astounded. You are going to start analyzing everything that you have been told to believe all your life and let your mind wander over new horizons. That is the power of Mr. Arafat Mazhar’s research and pursuit to uncover the truth.
To read in more detail about Mr. Arafat Manzar’s work, please visit the following link: