The Bilad-e-Khurasan in Making
Research Paper by Bilal Khan, March 30th, 2008
Clarification note: There had been a mistake in references of the paper, and one very important reference was missing in the previous version. The problem has now been rectified.
The Ancient Khurasan:
The ancient Khurasan was the last eastern province of the Persian Empire. Khurasan, in Persian, means the “land of the sunrise”, a natural synonym for East. The term was loosely applied to territories of Persia east and north east of Dasht-e-Kavir.
Emperor Babur wrote in his memoirs (1) that Indians used to call all non-Indians as Khurasanis. Regarding the boundary of Hindustan (India) and Khurasan, it is written: "On the road between Hindustan and Khurasan, there are two great marts: the one Kabul, the other Kandahar."
In modern day world the ancient Khurasan is divided into five central Asian countries i.e.
The largest part of the ancient Khurasan is in Afghanistan today. The present day cities of these modern countries would give a better idea of the geographical map of the ancient Khurasan. These cities include:
1. Nishapur and Tus in Iran.
2. Herat, Balkh, Ghazni and Kabul in Afghanistan
3. Khujand and Panjakent in Tajikistan
4. Merv and Sanjan in Turkmenistan
5. Samarqand and Bukhara in Uzbekistan
Ghulam Mohammad Ghubar, an ethnic Tajik scholar and historian from Afghanistan, talks of Proper Khurasan and Improper Khurasan in his book titled "Khurasan". According to him, Proper Khurasan contained regions lying between Balkh (in the East), Merv (in the North), Sijistan (in the South), Nishapur (in the West) and Herat, known as The Pearl of Khurasan, in the center. While Improper Khurasan’s boundaries extended to Kabul and Ghazni in the East, Balochistan and Zabulistan in the South, Transoxiana and Khwarezm in the North and Damaghan and Gurgan in the West.
Khurasan in Islamic Prophecies:
Khurasan plays an important role in the Islamic prophecies of end times, the wars before appearance of Dajjal and the second coming of Jesus Christ (AS).
One must wonder why Afghanistan has been the centre stage of the world for more than three decades now. What is there in the barren land of rugged mountains of Afghanistan that attracted almost every super power in the course of history?
Every super power in the world, since the time of Alexander the Great till the United States, have turned to Afghanistan when it was their turn to fall from grace.
God has His own ways of making histories and turn fates.
We have already established that Afghanistan has the most land area of ancient Khurasan in it. The Islamic prophecies that speak of the appearance of Imam Mehdi also speak of an army of black flags from Khurasan that will come to help Imam Mehdi to establish his Caliphate in the Holy Kabah.
“Narrated by Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood (RA) that Prophet (SAW) said: A Nation will come from the east with black flags and they will ask for some “Khair” (because of them being needy) but the people will not give them, then, they will fight and win over those people (who did not give them what they asked). Now the people will give them what they asked for but they will not accept it until they will hand it over to a person from my progeny who will fill this earth with justice just as it was previously filled with oppression and tyranny. So if anyone of you finds this nation (i.e. from the east with black flags) then you must join them even if you have to crawl over ice” (2)
We have to keep in mind that the holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) lived most his life in Makkah and the last 10 years in Medina in present day Saudi Arabia. Geographically there are only three Muslim countries, today, in exact east of Saudi Arabia i.e. Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. So it becomes easy for us to establish that whoever this army of black flags is, it belongs to one or more of these three countries.
Another Hadith says:
“Abu Huraira (RA) reported Allah’s Apostle (SAW) saying: You have heard about a city; the one side of which is in the land and the other is in the sea (Constantinople). They said: Allah’s Messenger, Yes. There upon he said: The last hour would come unless seventy thousand persons from Bani Ishaq would attack it. When they would land there, they will neither fight with weapons nor would show arrows but would only say: There is no god but Allah and Allah is the Greatest, that one side of it would fall. Thaur (one of the narrators) said: I think that he said: The part by the side of the ocean. Then they would say for the second time: There is no god but Allah and Allah is the Greatest that the second side would also fall, and they would say: There is no god but Allah and Allah is the Greatest, that the gates would be opened for them and they would enter therein and, they would be collecting spoils of war and distributing them amongst themselves that a noise would be heard and it would be said: Verily, Dajjal has come. And thus they would everything there and would turn to him.” (3)
Constantinople is present day Istanbul and this particular Hadith verifies that it would be either siding with Anti-Imam Mehdi forces or would be occupied by Non-Muslims in the time of Imam Mehdi. From other Ahadith we get clarified that this attack on Istanbul by seventy thousand people of Bani Ishaq or the descendants of Prophet Isaac (AS) would be led by Imam Mehdi himself. In the language of Ahadith seventy thousand means a very large number, it may or may not be actually seventy thousand. The descendants of Prophet Isaac (AS) have been referred with different names in religious scriptures and in different Ahadith i.e. Aal-e-Haroon, Nation of Liberated Slaves and Bani-Israel.
Israel is the alternate name of Prophet Jacob (AS) who was the son of Prophet Isaac (AS). Haroon or Aaron was the brother of Moses (AS) and both of them were descendants of Isaac (AS) and Jacob (AS). So the army of Imam Mehdi will be from the descendants of Prophet Isaac (AS) and Jacob (AS) or popularly Bani-Israel.
Now, the very term Israel itself hints of the present day Jewish nation-state of Israel and one would ask why Israel would help Imam Mehdi. No, they certainly will not. This army of Imam Mehdi that will come from the East, with black flags, will be from Bani-Israel who would already be Muslims.
One of the Ahadith further elaborate:
“Narrated by Abdur Rehman Al-Jarshi that I heard companion of Prophet (SAW), Hazrat Amr Bin Marra Al-Jamli (RA) that Prophet (SAW) said: Surely Black Flags will appear from the Khurasan until the people (under the leadership of this flag) will tie their horses with the Olive Trees between Bait-e-Lahya and Harasta. We asked are there any Olive trees between these places: He said, “If there isn’t then soon it will grow so that those people (of Khurasan) will come and tie their horses there.” (4)
Another of the Ahadith says:
“Abu Huraira (RA) says that Rasul-Ullah (SAW) said: (Armies carrying) black flags will come from Khurasan, no power will be able to stop them and they will finally reach Eela (Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem) where they will erect their flags” (5)
Interestingly, another Hadith says:
“Anas ibn Malik narrated that Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) said: The Dajjal would be followed by seventy thousand Jews of Isfahan wearing Persian shawls.” (6)
Now, from the above three Ahadith we can establish that the army of Mehdi will consist of Muslims from Bani-Israel from Khurasan holding black flags. No power in the world will be able to stop them till they reach Jerusalem and erect their flags where there is Aqsa Mosque standing today.
Dajjal will also have an army of Bani-Israel. Both Muslim and Christian sources (other than evangelical Christians) establish that the Anti-Christ will be a Jewish Leader. The Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) clears that the Dajjal will have an army of Persian Jews from Isfahan. Interestingly, Iran supports the largest Jewish population in the Muslim world of approximately 40,000 mainly in Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz. (7) It has already been said that in Hadith language 70 thousands mean a very large number that may or may not be actually 70 thousand.
This leaves us with the judgment that Imam Mehdi will lead an army of Muslim Bani-Israel from Khurasan and Dajjal will lead an army of Jew Bani-Israel from Isfahan.
Israel and the Lost Tribes:
In order to find out who these Muslims Bani-Israel from Khurasan are, it would be important to critically examine the history of Israelites.
Prophet Jacob (AS), or Hazrat Yaqoob (AS) in Urdu, was the son of Prophet Isaac (AS) or Ishaq in Urdu and grandson of Prophet Abraham (AS). He was popularly known by his alternate name “Israel”. All of his children were subsequently called Bani-Israel or Israelites i.e. the descendants of Israel (Jacob).
Prophet Jacob (AS) had twelve sons, one of which was Prophet Joseph (AS) or Hazrat Yousuf (AS) in Urdu and Prophet Joseph (AS) had two sons. The Bani-Israel, consequently, are divided into thirteen tribes i.e. eleven from Prophet Jacob (AS) and two from Prophet Joseph (AS). The names of these sons of Jacob (AS) and Joseph (AS), which are in turn the names of the tribes of Bani-Israel, are:
12. Ephraim (son of Joseph)
13. Manasseh (son of Joseph)
According to Bible, the descendants of Jacob (AS) united to form the first united Monarchy or Kingdom of Israel in approximately 1050 BCE. King David, or known as Prophet David (AS) or Hazrat Dawood (AS) to Muslims, was the second King of this Kingdom and also the father of the famous King Solomon or Hazrat Suleiman (AS) for Muslims. David (AS) and his son Solomon (AS) constructed the Temple Mount of the Jews on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. This temple is also known as the First Temple. The temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon in 597 BCE. Nebuchadnezzar II not only destroyed the temple and conquered Jerusalem but also took the Jewish people along with him as slaves to Babylon where they stayed until Cyrus the Great (the founder of ancient Persian Empire) destroyed Babylon. The Persians allowed the Jews to return to the Holy Land where they constructed the Temple Mount again in 516 BCE known as Second Temple until the Temple was destroyed again by the Romans in 70 CE.
Interestingly, in 722 BCE the Assyrians under Shalmaneser V and then under Sargon II conquered the northern Kingdom of Israel, destroyed its capital Samaria and sent the Israelites into exile and captivity in Khurasan.
In Jewish popular culture, the ten tribes disappeared from history, leaving only the tribes of Benjamin, Judah and Levi to become the ancestors of modern day Jews.
Today, many ethnic groups claim descent from the lost tribes of Israel. Let us see who among them is located in the geographical Khurasan and are Muslims as well (to keep our track to find the army of Imam Mehdi).
1. Bene-Ephraim in Southern India – are Jews.
2. Bnei-Menashe in Northeast India – are Jews.
3. Beta Israel in Ethiopia – are Jews.
4. Persian and Bukharan Jews in Isfahan, Iran – are Jews.
5. Igbo of Nigeria – are Jews.
7. Samaritans in Israel – are Jews
8. The Lemba tribe in South Africa – religious practice similar to Jews.
9. House of Israel in Ghana – are Jews
10. Pashtuns or Pathans in Afghanistan/Pakistan – are Muslims
11. Kashmiris in Indo-Pakistan – are Muslims
12. Jews of Kaifeng – are Jews
In all these ethnic groups, there are only two groups that are Muslims and only one group that is geographically present in Khurasan i.e. the Pathans of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The only group that is warlike, undefeated and untamed throughout the course of history, staunch in religious fervor, filled with honor and pride and is unforgiving of its enemy; one that will fight its enemy until one of them is dead.
One now starts to understand why Afghanistan is the center of the world and why Pakistan became Independent of United India?
God has His own ways of making histories and turn fates.
Israeli History of Pashtuns:
The Pashtuns or Pathans are the world’s largest patriarchal ethnic group in existence with an estimated population of around 40 Million distributed in present day countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan, UAE, Iran, UK, USA and India with the largest population in Pakistan that is approximately 28 Million.
A lot of research has been done on the origin of Pashtuns. Taaqati-Nasiri, a book that records historical traces of Pashtuns, states that in the 7th century a people called the Bani Israel settled in Ghor, southeast of Herat, Afghanistan, and then migrated south and east. These Bani Israel references are in line with the commonly held view by Pashtuns that when the twelve tribes of Israel were dispersed the tribe of Joseph, among other Hebrew tribes, settled in the region. (8) Hence the largest tribe of Pashtuns i.e. Yousuf Zai in Pashtu translates to the 'sons of Joseph'. A similar story is told by the Iranian historian Ferishta. (9)
The Pashtuns have been living in the Afghanistan area for over 2,000 years. Their language Pashtu/Pakhto borrows widely from the Arab-ized Persian of their neighbors (now Iran), yet it was a purely spoken dialect. There was no Pakhto/Pashtu written script whatsoever, the first Pashtu book appearing about the 1500s. Hence the traditions, customs, tribal genealogy and law orally transferred from father to son. The first book on Pashtun genealogy, the Makhzan-al-Afghani was written in 1613, and contained for the first time a printed table of descent from Abraham to the Pashtun tribes, through the tribe of Binyamin or Benjamin. While the book was not accepted initially by British historians, modern historians consider it the most accurate account as compared to the other theories proposed by classical historians.
Interestingly, the word “Zionist” is created from the mountains of Jerusalem which are called “Zion”. Similarly the language of the Pathan tribesmen is called Pashtu, and its speakers call themselves Pashtun, from the Persian word "Pasht" which means "back of the mountain" so in reality Pashtun is a person who lives in the mountains. The mountains the Pathan's have been living in after exile are called the Suleiman (Solomon) mountains. The Jews/Bani Israel from Russia also claim to be Mountain Jews and are said to be from the same exile.
The word Pathan is a Pashto written form of the original word Pithon, the great grandson of King Saul. (10)
Kashmir was under direct control of the Durrani Afghan Empire in the 1800s, and the majority of the population there were the Yousuf Zai Pashtuns who had moved eastward from Peshawar. They were living in Kashmir in great numbers, about 600,000 families who were later forcibly subdued for about 40 years by the Sikhs. (11)
Dr. Bernier, A French traveler in the frontier villages of Kashmir around the 1880’s remarked on the striking physical similarity of the locals with Jews. (12) He noted that their expressions and manners were distinguishable from the other people in this land. He finally adds that “You are not to ascribe what I say to mere fancy, the Jewish appearance of these villagers having been remarked by our Father, the Jesuit, and some other Europeans long before I visited Kashmir”.
The Jesuit Dr. Bernier points to is Dr. Joseph Wolff who says “I was wonderfully struck with the resemblance of the Youssoufszye (sons of Joseph) and the Khyberi, two of their tribes, to the Jews”. (13) Moorcroft also says of Khyberis “They are tall, and of singularly Jewish cast of features… they have been named by themselves Beni Israel, children of Israel from time immemorial.”
Bernier was also referring to George Forster who wrote in 1808 “On first seeing the Kashmirians in their own country I imagined from their garb, the cast of their countenance which was long and of a grave aspect, and the forms of their beard, that I had come among a nation of Jews”. (14)
Colonel G. Malleson of the British Army did not believe that the Afghans were Beni Israel, but commented on the issue of physical features “This no doubt has its weight”. (15)
A British army officer summed up the emotional behavior of a Pashtun:
“Even when he leaves his native heath behind he takes his manner with him. He will come down, a stalwart manly looking ruffian with frank and open manners, rather Jewish feature… He is certain to be filthy and he may be ragged, but he will saunter into a viceregal durbar (Royal court) as proud as Lucifer and with the air and manner a diplomatist might envy. Not in the least like any Indian subject.” (16)
Pashtuns follow peculiar customs like:
1. “Passover Practice” of sacrificing an animal and smearing the doorway to avert death and calamity
2. Placing the sins of the people upon a heifer or goat which is driven out in the wilderness in the manner of the biblical scapegoat
3. Stoning to death of blasphemers
4. Periodical distribution of land by lot (17)
5. The rites of circumcision and purification
These were all given in the Book of Leviticus of the Bani Israel, and modern Muslim historians like Dr. Azmat Hayat Khan accept them as indicators, if not proof of their Israelite heritage. (18) They are the only tribes in the area to practice all of these customs, as the ancient Bani Israel did 2,300 years ago.
Likewise, if anyone travels in the local bus transport of the Pakistani Pashtun areas, he or she would see fascinating art works in their buses but strikingly all these art works have Israelite origin, these peculiar diagrams include:
1. Peacocks (Torah was written with peacock feathers)
2. The Symbolic ark
3. The Mogen David or the Star of the David – also found in the Israeli flag
4. Tree of Life of Kaballah
5. Fish of the Sabbat/Shabbos
6. The heart shape lamp of the Sabbat
7. Number of Leaf petals signifying Kaballah practices.
Similarly many Hebrew inspired names of people, tribes and places are commonly found in Pashtuns and Pashtun areas of Pakistan/Afghanistan. Some tribes with visible similarities with Hebrew names are:
1. Yousuf Zai – Sons of Joseph
2. Gadoon – Gad
3. Rabbani – Reuben
4. Abdali or Naftali – Naphtali
5. Shinwari – Simeon
6. Zamand - Zebulun
7. Levani – Levi
8. Afridi & Afandi – Ephraim
9. Pathan - Pithon
The popular places that trace their origin in Hebrew are (19):
- Koh-e-Suleiman – Solomon Mountains
- Takht-e-Suleiman – Throne of Solomon (the highest peak in Solomon mountains)
- Afghanistan – Afghana (the grandson of King Saul)
- Kohat – a town in NWFP, Pakistan, means assembly in Hebrew and it is also the name of the second son of Levi and father of Amram.
- Zabul – A province in present day Afghanistan, in the days of Mahmood Ghaznavid the whole region of Afghanistan was known as Zabulistan – Zebulun was one of the sons of Prophet Jacob (AS).
- Khyber – A Jew Fort in Arab in the time of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and a place on Pakistan/Afghanistan border.
- Peshawar – The Capital of NWFP province of Pakistan – PESH means the Pass and HAWAR means City i.e. The City after the Pass. Peshawar is a short drive from Khyber Pass. A Place named Habor is mentioned in Torah as the place of the exile of the tribes.
- Gozan – The historical name of Amu River in Afghanistan, hence the Torah says: “The God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul King of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgath Pilnesser King of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Ruebenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought to Halah, and Habor, and Hara and to the river of Gozan to this day.” (Kings II, 17 and 18; Chronicles 1:5)
- Kerak – A City in Jordan and another in NWFP, Pakistan
- Lugar – A province in Afghanistan and a Jewish family name; the famous wrestler Lex Lugar.
- Kabul – in Hebrew Cab means dirty and Bul means city hence a dirty city
- Herat – The pearl of Khurasan – a city in Afghanistan, Hara is one of the places of the exile along with Habor and Gozan i.e. Peshawar and Amu River.
- Kash/Kish – name of numerous personalities in Chronicles of Hebrew Bible – and there is a Dasht-e-Kash north of Helmund, a City of Kash mentioned in map of Afghanistan 1912 of the Library of Congress, USA. There is also a mountain range named Hindu-Kush in Afghanistan/Pakistan and Kash Rod in Nimroz Province of Afghanistan.
- Dasht-e-Yahoodi – or the Jewish Plain – a famous place in Mardan district of NWFP, Pakistan.
- Killa Yahoodi – or Jewish town – a place on Afghanistan border of Pakistan.
The Christian Belief of End Times:
The historical Christian view of End Times and that of Jews have been different of what we see today. It was not the Muslims but the Christians who persecuted Jews ever since Constantine the Great (the founder of Constantinople) converted to Christianity. Through out the centuries Jews have been disgraced, tortured, molested and wronged not by Muslims but by Christians. It was the Christians of the Nazi Germany that allegedly mass murdered Jews and today Arabs are forced to pay for the crimes of Nazi Germany.
Christians have always thought of Jews of not only as God’s chosen people but also as God’s most hated people because of their ill-treatment of Prophets. Christians have also, in similarity with Muslims, always believed that the Anti-Christ (or Dajjal for Muslims) would be a Jewish Leader.
Christians have also always believed on the Biblical prophecy that the Jews will return to Holy Land have been fulfilled long ago when Persians allowed them to go back to Jerusalem to build the second temple.
But the rise of Dispensationalist Christianity in North America and the subsequent publication of Reverend Scofield’s Reference Bible in 1909 changed the course of history and the mindset of a major Christian power that was destined to become the super power of the world; the USA.
Dispensationalists, or evangelical Christians, or more commonly known as born again Christians stressed that Jews are God’s chosen people and Christian powers must join hands with Jews in order to bring Jesus Christ back to the world. Dispensationalism changed how Book of Daniel and Book of Revelation of the Bible were seen by Christians; these books of Bible contain the prophecies of End of times.
Reverend Scofield’s Reference Bible stressed on three important events to take place in order to bring Jesus Christ back to the world.
1. The Return of Jews to the Holy Land
2. Creation of the Kingdom of Israel
3. Destruction of the Aqsa Mosque
Reverend Scofield essentially believed that Jews will go to the Holy land again and the prophecy has not yet been fulfilled. The Jewish settlements in Palestine after the World War I was seen in the USA as the fulfillment of first pre-requisite of Christ’s return to earth. The so-called Independence of Israel in 1948 was seen as the fulfillment of second requirement by the USA and ever since the USA have been an ardent and blind supporter of Israel, as the US politics has been over shadowed by born again Christians ever since the World War II. These political born again Christians are known as Neo-Conservatives. President Ronald Reagan is famously known for his statement, about Armageddon (or the last war), made in a visit to Israel 1981-82.
The destruction of the Aqsa Mosque is the final requirement of the return of Christ (AS) and the final war. Today many born again Christians, individuals and organizations, collect and donate funds to Israel for the destruction of the Aqsa Mosque. People like late Jerry Falwell and Billy Graham are popular faces of such evangelists. Events in Jerusalem disclose that there is a current Israeli excavation project going on at the foundations of Aqsa Mosque and a recent report tells that if the project goes on for a while more the Mosque will fall.
Imagine the consequences of such a madness to destroy Islam’s third holiest shrine – a shrine revered by almost 1.5 billion humans – where are their human rights?
Rise of Neo-Cons and US’s War on Terror:
The political evangelists are called Neo-Conservatives or just neo-cons. George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld are most recognizable Neo-cons for the rest of the world.
In 1997, William Kristol and Robert Kagan co-founded a neo-con think tank named The Project for New American Century. The think tank has extra-ordinary influence on George W. Bush’s Foreign and Military Politics especially the Iraq War.
The Project for New American Century or PNAC published a review in 1999 on how the USA must reposition its strategic dominance on the world in the 21st century. The Report called for a “New Pearl Harbor” to enforce America’s military and economic dominance over the world. The New Pearl Harbor emerged in the shape of 9/11 in 2001.
“Two years ago a project set up by the men who now surround George W. Bush said what America needed was a new Pearl Harbor. Its Published aims have, alarmingly, come true. (20)
Today, many born again Christians like George ask their priests “when would Christ return”. (21)
Not very surprisingly, if one identifies US or Allied bases in the Central Asian and Middle East region, one would realize that the Allied powers have shockingly circled Syria i.e. the host of the last war of the world.
The US’s War on Terror is a deceptive game and a mind boggling riddle. The term terrorism is itself vague and un-defined and built on repetitive lies upon lies as evident in the case of 9/11. It is almost always blindly used against Muslims. The unilateral, pre-emptive extra-judicial violence by the western powers is always named as wars of democracy and freedom.
But if one makes an unbiased examination of the term and the war itself then one would realize that all these terrorists demand is the right of self-determination and self-rule and their wars of insurgencies are nothing but wars of self-defense against foreign occupational forces and aggressors against their land, sovereignty and religion.
Important Players in Present Day Khurasan:
Now that we have analyzed what Khurasan is, what is its importance in Islamic prophecies, what is going around us and what lies behind the US’s political mentality? Now it would be ideal to see what important Muslim players are present in the region that is historically known as Khurasan.
It is also imperative to understand that, unlike Ronald Reagan or evangelical Christians, no Muslim can be sure of End of times and the time of appearance of Imam Mehdi and second coming of Jesus Christ (AS). We shall only look into these critical state or non-state players in the region considering the American and Jewish mentality of preparation of the last war, and to realize what important Muslim players are there who pose a vital threat to Western interests.
Pakistan: Pakistan is the only state player in our list of Muslims involved in the region. It is currently a frontline ally of the US in War on Terror. But the recent developments of the war, the reports of American exercises in 2006 to secure Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, blueprint designs of possible assault by the US on Pakistani territory, an endless demand of US to do more and more, the growing uncertainty and desperation in the Pakistani masses, the political turmoil and the rebellions of Red Mosque in Islamabad, tribal Pashtuns as well as Baloch separatists may push Pakistan to re-think over its policies and shift according to its vital national interests.
Pakistan also possesses the largest Pashtun population in the world i.e. 28 Million. It is one of the world’s seven declared nuclear powers and is running a state of the art ballistic missile program with current declared capability of hitting as far as Tel Aviv, Israel. It also possesses GPS precision guided undetectable cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads as far as 700 KM. It is considered militarily the strongest Islamic country with one of the most professional armies and intelligence services in the world – the fearsome ISI.
People like Gen (R) Hameed Gul (Ex-Director General of the ISI), Dr. Israr Ahmed of Tanzeem-e-Islami and Abid Ullah Jan, the writer of The Musharraf Factor: Leading Pakistan to Inevitable Demise, have, on different occasions, forecasted some sort of joint roles or alliance by Afghanistan and Pakistan in future.
Taliban: The Taliban were born from the dissent and displeasure found in Afghans on the Mujahideen Government formed after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. They emerged from Kandahar in 1994 and occupied Kabul in 1996. By the late 1990s they were controlling more than 90 % of Afghanistan and their government was only recognized by Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia.
The Taliban leadership can be described as the second tier of command of the Russian-Afghan Jihad of the 1980s. None of the now known Taliban leaders were known during the Afghan Jihad except the famous veteran Jalal-ud-Din Haqqani.
Taliban had studied in the Deobandi seminaries mostly run by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam of Maulana Fazl-Ur-Rehman and Maulana Sami-ul-Haq before the two Maulanas created two separate factions of the JUI.
The Taliban are known for their non compromising application of the Deobandi doctrine of Sharia now also inspired partly by Wahabbism due to their relations with Osama Bin Laden. They are famous for their fighting zeal, their religious fervor and their traditional Pashtun trait of hospitality that they chose a war and abandoned their government just to protect few guests.
The Taliban were blamed for, cooperating with and, harboring Osama Bin Laden and his comrades allegedly involved in 9/11. The Taliban had agreed to turn Osama Bin Laden to a neutral party if evidences were provided against him. But the evidences were never provided and so the Taliban chose for the War and abandoned Kabul to keep the war of insurgency go on. Ever since then the war of insurgency has spread both in Afghanistan and by their supporters in Pakistan self-termed as Pakistani Taliban.
Very interestingly, the Taliban hail from the Pashtun ethnicity and have traditionally used two flags, a white flag with a black Shahada (Kalma) embossed for their government and diplomatic purposes and a reversal of this i.e. a black flag with a white Shahada embossed for their military. These types of black flags are also vividly seen across the tribal Pashtun areas that are now reportedly under the control of Pakistani Taliban.
The popular mainstream media presents a very horrible view of the Taliban whereas one alternate view is given by a “woman” journalist from Britain who was captured by the Taliban and later released on a mere promise that she will study Quran once she goes back home. That lady is named as Yvonne Ridley, a Muslim now, is outspoken political and journalistic personality, member of the RESPECT party and known for her unequivocal support for the freedom fights in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir and elsewhere in Muslim world. Her book on Taliban “In the Hands of the Taliban: Her extra-ordinary story” is a must read for anyone who wants to see Taliban from eyes other than the western media.
Al Qaeda: Al Qaeda is a mythical organization only known to the world of its existence through the western media. It may or may not actually exist. But has become an important player in the region since the 9/11. Every kind of explosion or sabotage activity is tirelessly blamed to Al Qaeda the next moment after it happens anywhere in the world – no investigations, no proofs nothing at all are ever needed.
Osama Bin Laden is the head of the Al Qaeda but merely a figure head now as, reportedly, his deputy Aiman al-Zawahiri is Incharge of operational affairs of Al Qaeda. A long strategic partner of the Taliban – they were actually guests of the Taliban and it was because of them that the Taliban opted for War and abandoned their government in Kabul.
Very interestingly, Al Qaeda has a black flag as well with a yellow/orange Shahada embossed on it. According to Syed Saleem Shehzad of Asia Times Online, Al Qaeda shares this belief with the Taliban that Afghanistan is the promised land of Bilad-e-Khurasan.
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan: Formed in 1998 by a Soviet paratrooper Juma Namangani and Tahir Yuldeshev, both ethnic Uzbeks. Its first objective was to overthrow the government of Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan and later on to expand to the whole of Central Asia under the banner of Islamic Movement of Central Asia.
Labeled as a militant terrorist outfit, the IMU was also a strategic partner and guests of the Taliban. And surprisingly enough, the IMU shares the identities of Black Flags and Black turbans with the Taliban.
Hizb-ut-Tahrir: Hizb-ut-Tahrir an International Sunni pan-Islamist political party whose goal is to unite all the Muslim countries to form a united Islamic state or Caliphate. Formed by Palestinian scholar named Taqiuddin Nabhani in 1953. It is active in many countries especially in the Central Asia (22). It is however viewed by an affiliate group of Al Qaeda as a moderate political party rather being strictly religious. However, interestingly, Hizb-ut-Tahrir also boasts a black flag with a white Shahada embossed on it. Though a non-military organization, it has a vast political following.
Tableeghi Jama’at: It is a Muslim missionary and revival movement. It was founded in the late 1920s by Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Kandhalawi in the Mewat province of India. It draws a large following from the South Asia i.e. Pakistan, India and Bangladesh but also from across the globe. The annual gathering of the followers of Tableeghi Jama’at known as Ijtimah pulls millions of Muslims from across the globe and it is confirmed to be the second largest human congregation of the world after the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage.
It is purely a non-political and non-violent loosely built organization with no formal structure but is known to have very high profile links and has influenced people of every walk of life from common man to popular celebrities. Former Presidents of Pakistan General Zia-ul-Haq and Rafiq Tarar, Ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Ex-Director General of ISI Javed Nasir, famous pop singers Junaid Jamshed, Abrar ul Haq and Shehzad Roy, famous cricketers Inzamam ul Haq, Shahid Afridi, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed, Saeed Anwar, Jonty Rhodes and Hashim Amla of South Africa are few popular names. It was also responsible for the convert of Yousuf Youhana to Muhammad Yousuf that raised eyebrows in Washington.
Tableeghi Jama’at has no direct or indirect relations with any militant outfit or insurgencies going around the Muslim world but yet it is one of the reasons of US’s suspicion on Pakistan. It has been cited as the ideological backyard of Al Qaeda (23) by various western think tanks in their attempt to get the Jama’at banned as well that has been unsuccessful so far.
The Lawyers Movement: All of Pakistan’s 60 years of life, ever since independence, the lawmakers and law-enforcers have equally manipulated the law and constitution of the country for their personal adventures and benefits ignoring public rights and sentiments. There have been four Martial Laws in the country in this short span of life. Every new dictator suspended, abrogated and amended the constitution on his very will. The power, respect and fear, of the strong armed forces of the country has produced many opportunists, civil servants, technocrats and politicians alike who committed every possible sin against the law of the land just to please and prolong the rule of a general.
Whereas the constitution itself has a prescribed way for its amendment, it clearly identifies anyone who suspends or abrogates the constitution as a traitor worth a death penalty.
For over sixty years the law and constitution was raped and, the civil society, the people silently watched this crime ruining their lives and their country over and over again until March 9th, 2007. The date one man braved the generals who had cornered him in the Army house. First time in the history of Pakistan a bare handed Judge defied a Martial Law administrator; something changed in Pakistan that day. The year that ensued saw the occupied President and Martial Law administrator General on continuous humiliation, defeat and retreat. The whole nation either joined the lawyers or supported them. The civil society was re-born in Pakistan, lawyers, political workers, members and employees of NGOs, Media persons, and westernized Students of Pakistan who were earlier thought of as western wannabes who did not care about anything related to Pakistan fuelled the movement. The struggle grew until February 18th, 2008 the people of Pakistan gave a thrashing defeat to political allies of President Musharraf.
Ever since there is a voice demanding reversals of President Musharraf’s actions and policies including the Provisional Constitutional Order on November 3rd, 2007 and to restore the deposed 60 judges of the higher judiciary.
The United States of America has clearly opposed this to happen because they fear that the restored judiciary will reopen the cases of disappeared people, investigate the extra-judiciary violence on Jamia Hafsa (Red Mosque, Islamabad) and in Karachi on May 12th, 2007, the political imprisonments, military actions in the two provinces and the political killings of the likes of Nawab Akbar Bugti and Benazir Bhutto. This clearly means the defeat of American, lies, agenda in Pakistan as well as the end of the so called War on Terror which is filled with nothing but deceptive mantra of repetitive lies.
But the victors of February 18th elections have vowed their conviction to restore the judiciary regardless of American pressure. And to defy the American pressure strong and positive messages are being sent to Beijing as the new leadership clearly realizes that the key to the freedom from American traps lies with China’s support.
But the most interesting fact in the whole struggle of lawyers and the civil society is the symbolic presence of Black Flags and the deep aura of revolution within. It is imperative to compare the basic demand of the right wing strongholds in the country and the lawyer’s movement. The basic commonality between the two is the demand for justice and the rule of law and that clearly means freedom from American clutches that means asking for a confrontation. That reminds of the statement by President Musharraf during the Jamia Hafsa Saga that “the alliance of Black Veils and Black coats will not be allowed”.
Watch out for the Lawyer’s black flag, they are the force to reckon with in the political future of this country.
All these state or non-state players are, somehow or the other, on the hate list of the Western Powers due to their somewhat common interests, ideas and beliefs. These players also have a tendency to re-design their strategic partnership anytime in the future in face of a common enemy i.e. the imperialist design of the Western Powers especially the US. The solution to avoid destruction of unimaginable proportions does not lie in brute use of force against these players but to recognize their role and influence in this part of the world, to withdraw occupational forces and let them devise and evolve their own political systems. True democracy can only be evolved not enforced.
If the world does not realize this, we are all hopeless. We cannot stop the world from a head on collision. A war would be inevitable with destruction yet has never been witnessed by human kind – a war to extinct our own kind. The destruction of Aqsa Mosque will drive 1.5 billion Muslims to a dead-end street where they will be forced to fight their way back – and the world would see the Black Flags of Khurasan the day it happens.
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3. Book 041, Number 6979, Sahih Muslim
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5. Sahih Trimdhi
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16. Oliver, Across the frontier, Pathan and Baluch (London: Champman and Hall Ltd., 1890) p 224
17. Dr. Azmat Hayat Khan, The Durand Line-it’s Geo Strategic Importance, (Islamabad: Area Study Centre, University of Peshawar, 2000) p. 34
18. Dr. Azmat Hayat Khan, The Durand Line-it’s Geo Strategic Importance, (Islamabad: Area Study Centre, University of Peshawar, 2000) p. 30
19. Army of Mahdi: https://sites.google.
20. John Pilger, New Statesman, December 16, 2002
21. Grace Halsell, Forcing God’s Hand, Amana Publications (2002)
22. Noman Hanif, Pakistan’s Tableeghi Jamaat and Hizb-ut-Tahrir in Central Asia, ICSSA, July 24, 2007
23. http://www.rediff.com/, Tablighi Jamaat Under US Scanner, July 14, 2003
The Bilad-e-Khurasan in Making