Gazwa-E-Hind and the Pulwama Attack: Analysis

–Rajendra Gopu

Though the world celebrated Valentine’s Day on February 14, Indians observed it as a ‘black day’ for India on account of the brutal Pulwama attacks, which is one of the deadliest attacks on Indian security forces to date, when 40 CRPF Bravehearts lost their lives.

On 14th February 2019, i.e., three years ago, the nation was brought to a standstill as the news of as many as forty CRPF officers were martyred in a terrorist attack in the Pulwama city of Jammu and Kashmir, which was carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammad, a Pakistan-based terrorist organization.

Here let us try to analyze the root cause of such issues in India.

Whether it is the Pulwama attack or any other attacks that are happening in the country are happening as part of Gazwa-E-Hind. Gazwa means Religious war. The Gazwa-E-Hind word is coined by Pakistani Islamist fundamentalists based on the  Quran and sayings of the Prophet Mohammad’s words that whoever fights a holy war and brings the Hindustan into Islamic rule will be rewarded in paradise.

Radical Islamists invoke the Quran verse “And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah “(Al-Anfal 8:39). Combining this verse with Hadith (the oral traditions attributed to the Prophet Muhammad) they prophesize a great battle in India between those who accept Allah as the only God and Prophet Mohammed as his last messenger and those who refuse to accept the above proposition (Kafirs – Disbelievers of Allah).

The above Quranic verse is supported by authentic Hadis.

Narrated Sa’eed bin Al-Musayyab narrated that:

Abu Hurairah told him that the Messenger of Allah said: “I have been commanded to fight the people until they say La ilaha illallah (there is none worthy of worship except Allah). Whoever says La ilaha illallah, his life and his property are safe from me, except by its right (in cases where Islamic laws apply), and his reckoning will be with Allah.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i 3090, Grade: Sahih (Darussalam)

These references in the Hadith to the Ghazwa-e-Hind (Battle of India) infuse South Asia with importance as a battleground in the efforts to create an Islamic caliphate resembling the social order that existed at the time of the Prophet Muhammad and the Caliphs (632-661 AD). The Hadith predicting the great battle for India is often referred to as the Ghazwa-e-Hind Hadith, various versions of which have been recycled each time a Muslim leader or would-be conqueror attempted to raise an army to invade India.

In one version of the Hadith, attributed to Thawban, a freed slave of the Prophet Muhammad, “the Messenger of Allah said: ‘there are two groups of my Ummah whom Allah will free from the Fire: The group that invades India, and the group that will be with Isa bin Maryam, peace be upon him.’ Isa bin Maryam is the Quranic name of Jesus, whose return to earth alongside the Mahdi is held in Islamic tradition to be a seminal event of the end of time (Sunan an-Nasa’i 3175, Grade:   Hasan (Darussalam)

Another Hadith on the invasion of India goes as follows..

“It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) promised that we would invade India. If I live to see that I will sacrifice myself and my wealth. If I am killed, I will be one of the best of the martyrs, and if I come back, I will be Abu Hurairah Al-Muharrar.”( Sunan an-Nasa’i 3174, Grade: Da’if -Darussalam). A Hadis classified as Da’if is unreliable due to defects in the chain of narration.

The various Quranic verses/ Hadis that command Muslims to fight the non-believers have been given a modern-day connotation with the coining of the term Gazwa-e-Hind. The Pakistani offshoot of the Taliban, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which has declared war on the Pakistani state, maintains that their war is the Ghazwa-e-Hind forecast by the Prophet Muhammad. In their interpretation, the reference to India is said to cover Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. In one May 2013 TTP video, entitled “Ghazwa-e-Hind 3,” footage of militants loyal to Mullah Fazlullah are supplemented with a critique of ISIS for limiting its jihad to Kashmir. According to Fazlullah, “the India jihad begins from Attock [in Pakistan]; the India jihad is in the land of Pakistan; the area of Lahore is in the India jihad; Multan is in India; all the towns of Punjab are in the India jihad that we are waging. Therefore, the Ulema should rise up and explain the borders of the India jihad, explain these sayings of Prophet Muhammad, explain to the public the boundaries of India, which areas were in India 50 years ago, what were their boundaries”

The militant Islamist group Jamaat ul Ahrar, itself a member of TTP’s coalition, has argued that Hind at the time of the Prophet Muhammad referred to “a very large area which today includes Pakistan, Kashmir, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Burma.” The group invited Muslims to “aid the Mujahideen in Khurasan” and “to work for an Islamic state in Pakistan.” Jamaat ul Ahrar promised that “our jihad will not stop till Pakistan is conquered but we will keep fighting until entire Hind is under the Sharia of Allah. We shall keep going and conquer every country in our path [with Allah’s will] until we reach Filisteen (Palestine) and there we shall erect the black flags in al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Several hardline Pakistani Islamic clerics have been continuously releasing videos about Gazwa-e-Hind predicting that all the idols in India will be destroyed and whole of India will be forced to accept Islam.However, Islamic scholars like Jawed Ahmed Ghamidi adopt a soft line and reject the concept of Gazwa-e-Hind.  However, there is no doubt that hard liners will use the ideas of Jihad and Gazwa-e-Hind to push forward their expansionist ideology.

(Writer is a Software Professional)