When it comes to discussing the Baloch culture from an Islamic criterion, the thesis becomes exceedingly ridiculous. Although I can write at least 100 pages on the poverty of scholarship on this aspect, I will stop here because it is a very sensitive issue - A friend who is an external PhD examiner for a number of universities said that some of the theses he examined were of very high quality. I requested if I could see some of the quality theses he had examined. He handed me four of them — all of them (two each) were from Karachi University and Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan. Since those theses had been evaluated positively for PhD awards, I began reading them with a sense of excitement and anticipation. But soon, I found myself confused. None of them met any known criterion for doctoral research. For example, none of them had a chapter on research methodology; none of them had done a literature review, and none of them had clearly defined research questions. It is true that not every PhD thesis has to have a chapter on, for example, literature review. But certain types of research must review relevant literature and give research methodology. And the four theses in question must have had a literature review and research methodology. Also, a PhD thesis must be written within the rhetorical-structural parameters of a given domain of discourse. For instance, a thesis on linguistics should read like a piece of writing within the domain of linguistic discourse. But two of the theses in question read like newspaper articles. These theses (from Karachi University) are on the role of political contributions of Muslim women of India and Pakistan, and the spread of Islam amongst the Pakistani diaspora in the US, respectively. Even the bibliographies given did not conform to the standard method.
I spoke to my friend about the abysmally low quality of the theses. He gave me another thesis and said, “This is the best thesis I have read in years. You will be happy to read it and will forget the theses you have read.”
The ‘best’ thesis is about the Baloch culture critiqued from Islamic perspectives done at Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan. (My friend tore a few pages, so I do not know the exact title of the thesis.) The study in the thesis is not about the Baloch who live in Balochistan, but those tribes who live in Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur and call themselves Baloch. The research questions as laid down by the scholar are: “To trace un-Islamic signs in the Baloch culture” and “to examine un-Islamic practices amongst the Baloch and give concrete proposals (‘thos tajaviz’) on how to mould them to Islamic cultural principles”.
The very first question that came up was: can a PhD study aim at giving proposals for change? I mean, a PhD study in social sciences, and not a book, is a report or a working paper. Joshua Fishman has written a book giving proposals on how to reverse language shift, but I have not come across a PhD study on such proposals. Maybe I am wrong. So let us accept the research questions and move on.
The first chapter of the thesis is on culture. The scholar lists a number of definitions of culture. Significantly, the poet Amjad Islam Amjad’s definition of culture is given, but cultural critics like Benedict Anderson, Clifford Geertz, James Clifford, and John Barth are absent. Forget about the likes of Oswald Spengler and Tzvetan Todorov. There is not a single authorial critical comment on culture. Anyone can get hold of a dictionary of quotations and list down definitions of culture, but in a work at the doctorate level, a scholar is supposed to analyse definitions and concepts. Worse, the scholar does not say which definition of culture is relevant to his study and why.
But the bigger scholastic sin as been committed through ignorance or deliberate avoidance, which amounts to incompetence. The ‘discussion’ of culture makes no reference to the language(s) or dialects spoken by the tribes discussed in the thesis. The Baloch living in Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur cannot speak Balochi; their language, as the scholar provides in the tables, is Seraiki. If ethno-linguistic identity makes any sense, the scholar should have said something to this effect.
The thesis has many irrelevant and baseless claims and observations. For example, we learn: “The reason Hindus could not colonise other countries was because their religion forbids overseas journey. But those nations which had monopolised sea trade colonised India” (page 7). This has nothing to do with the nature of the study. Another gem: “Islamic culture is as ancient (‘qadeem’) as the human race. It started with Hazrat Adam [RA], the first prophet, and was completed by Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH), the last prophet” (page 10). What is the evidence for this claim? What are the sources? But disdaining evidence or sources, the scholar pushes on like a bulldozer: “Hazrat Adam [RA] was the first citizen (‘shehri’) who set the Islamic way of living before us” (page 10). Who told him so?
The scholar praises Hajjaj bin Yusuf for conquering Balochistan after diplomatic efforts to annex it failed. He calls Hajjaj ‘ghaiyur’ and ‘bavaqar’ (honourable) for conquering Balochistan by force. However, the real blitzkrieg is set aside for the Sikhs: “After Ranjit Singh’s death, his eldest son Kharak Singh succeeded him. Ranjit Singh had been able to rein in a wild and savage (‘ujjarr aur vehshi’) nation like the Sikhs. But after his death all the limits of their savagery were broken” (page110). No evidence is given, no sources quoted: Sikhs are wild and savage because the scholar thinks so!
There is a very strange anti-kafir (infidel) statement. The scholar says: “Most of the Baloch sardars sided with the English to rid themselves of the cruel and kafir Sikhs and their Hindu accomplices” (page 111). But the English were kafir too, and later he denounces them for their anti-Islamic acts.
When it comes to discussing the Baloch culture from an Islamic criterion, the thesis becomes exceedingly ridiculous. Although I can write at least 100 pages on the poverty of scholarship on this aspect, I will stop here because it is a very sensitive issue and one should keep mum because blasphemy...you know what I mean. However, I was greatly amused to read one citation that claims that once Hazrat Hamzah (RA) — the Prophet’s (PBUH) uncle — met a fairy in a desert and by Allah’s command (‘hukm-e-Illahi’) he laid with her (without getting married) and later she bore him a child who, according to some sources, was the fountainhead of the Baloch.
All the theses I have written about are written in Urdu and come from two government/public universities, and not private universities that are blamed for producing low-level research. You need not open a private university to produce bogus scholarship. REFERENCE: VIEW: Are we producing bogus PhDs? — Abbas Zaidi Tuesday, January 03, 2012 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\01\03\story_3-1-2012_pg3_4
I have Sahih Bukhari and Usd al-ghābah fi ma‘rifat al-ṣaḥābah by Ibn al-Athīr [Biographies of 8, 000 Companions of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)] and nothing is mentioned about Companion Hamzah (May Allah be pleased with him)'s son, it would be pertinent to mention here that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and Hamzah (May Allah be pleased with him) were almost of the same age. Baloch are basically Kurds. What happened in Pakistan is that generally people want to see everything through the prism of scripture and when they cannot attain desired result then they invent fiction to soothe themselves and that's what happened in the above Thesis which is discussed by Zaidi Sahab. For example political history on many places praised Hajjaj Bin Yousuf and even some Secular historian as well and similarly Hajjaj is condemned in an Hadith of Tirmidhi Sharif "Imam Tirmidhi has reported a Hadith condemning Hajjaj as Mabeer "Slayer" and Mukhtar (Shia) as Kazzab" - Imam Zahbi (followed by Wahabis), and Gentleman Caliph "Omar Bin Abdul Aziz - have both vehemently condemned Hajjaj Bin Yousuf saying if the whole world bring in their worst and we would only bring only Hajjaj then Hajjaj would overpower every rogue of the world. The word Omar Bin Abdul Aziz used was "Khabees" - For Further Reading: Tabaqat Ibn Saad, Tabari, Al Bidaya Wal Nihaya.
Dr Safdar Mehmood & Haroon ur Rasheed have been trying their best so construct a bridge between Secular Jinnah & Deobandi Scholar Ashraf Ali Thanvi to Islamize Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Pakistan, and each time Dr Safdar Mehmood & Haroon ur Rasheed create/concoct a lie to achieve the desired result ends up in more confusion. Pakistani Scholars are strange, they have several version of Ideologies/Islam to concoct Alleged Islamic Ideologies of Pakistan e.g. on Blasphemy Law they follow Traditionalists, while executing/implementing the Blasphemy Law these ideologues target the most marginalized section of the society i.e. Minorities whereas spare Blatant Blasphemers within the Mullah Community (Deobandi, Barelvi, Shia books are riddled with Blasphemy and their Mullahs often resort to worst kind of Blasphemy in the name of respective Fiqh), same Ideologues adopt a criminal silence on the practice of Blatant and Brazen Apostasy/Disbelief e.g. Practice of Sorcery openly in Pakistan & Promoted through Pakistani TV Channels. Above mentioned Alleged Scholars shamelessly quote Apostate Masnoor Hallaj & Blasphemer Ali Hajweri in their Daily Jang Column without any check or any threat of use of Blasphemy Law from any quarter for quoting Blasphemous Sufis. Dr Safdar & Haroon ur Rasheed & their partners in crime e.g. Mujib ur Rehamn Shami (Dunya TV) and Irfan Siddiqui (Daily Jang) take one more giant step they often praise Mawdudi (Founder of Jamat-e-Islami) whose Blasphemous Views on Prophets (Peace be upon them) & Companions of Prophet Mohammad (May Allah be pleased with all of them) are not a secret. Irony is that Dr Safdar/Haroon ur Rasheed are praising Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanvi & Jinnah's alleged connections, conveniently forget about the Religious Edicts (Fatwas), Books, even Fatwa of Apostasy issued by the very same Deobandi Scholars on Mawdudi and Jamat-e-Islami. It is requested that Dr Safdar Mehmood & Haroon ur Rasheed would also reveal the Fatwa of Apostasy against Jinnah and Fellow Alleged Founders of Pakistan, and Fatwas were issued by Barelvi, Deobandi, Jamat-e-Islami Scholars.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012, Rabi-ul-Awal 29, 1433 A.H.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012, Rabi-ul-Awal 21, 1433 A.H.
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Deoband & Sex Education - 1
Quote 1: Ashraf-us-Sawaneh vol.1, p.12 - A strange incident is mentioned in Ashrafus-Sawaneh (biography of Ashraf Ali Thanvi) about the great-grandfather of Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Muhammad Fareed. He was accompanying a marriage procession when it was attacked by a band of thieves. Muhammad Fareed died defending the procession and was buried near the tomb of Pir Samauddin. An Urs (festival) was held at his grave for many years. The biographer writes, “After his martyrdom a strange incident occurred. At night, he returned to his home as if he was alive and gave some sweets to his family members saying, ‘If you do not tell (about my visit) to anyone, I shall keep coming this way.’ But the family members feared that the people may suspect something wrong when they see the children eating sweets, so they disclosed the incident and after this he did not return
Quote 2: Ashraf-us-Sawaneh vol.1, p.16 & 17- “The story of Hazrat’s (Ashraf Ali Thanvi) birth ... ‘They (the children) die in the fight between Umar (radhi allahu anhu) and Ali (radhi allahu anhu). Give it in the protection of Ali (radhi allahu anhu), he will remain alive.’” ... “the father is from the lineage of Farooqui (i.e. from the descendants of Umar Ibn Khattab (radhi allahu anhu)) and the mother is from the lineage of Alawi (i.e. from the descendants of Ali (radhi allahu anhu)); and up to now the name (of the child) was given upon the name of the father, like Fazl-e-Haqq. This time the son that is born should be named in accordance with the mother’s family and the name should end with Ali.’ ... REFERENCE: Scanned Images of Quotes from the books of the Deobandis http://www.ahya.org/tjonline/quotes/index.html