Thursday, May 26, 2022

A Killing In Ferozewala

I first read the news on January 6: “Ahmadi leader shot dead in Ferozewala,” and “Victim’s son claims police took no action despite being intimated about threats”...

A Killing In Ferozewala
A Killing In Ferozewala

(For Rana Tanveer)

Ferozewala (Latitude: 29 18' 10'', Longitude: 70 25' 50'') must be a meagre little place in Pakistan. This is how “Wiki” describes it: 

“Ferozewala is a city of Sheikhupura District in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The city is tehsil headquarters and is located near … Lahore, Pakistan, … on the famous Grand Trunk Road…. The economic and social life of the city, which has two police stations and a rail station, mainly depends on Lahore.” 

It also says there are five high schools in Ferozewala, and three health clinics, and that three tribes, Rajput, Jatt, and Ara’in, dominate the area. A different website gave the town’s population in 1998 as 118,958. 

My two sources were not interested in religious divides, but the 1998 census of Pakistan, the last held, was. According to it, the population of the Punjab province itself was 97.21% Muslim. Of the 2.79 percent non-Muslims, only 0.25 percent were listed as “Qadiani (Ahmadi).” Extending that ratio to Ferozewala, we may assume that there were at least 300 to 500 people there in January 2010 who regarded themselves as Ahmadi Muslims but were labelled by the census-takers as “Qadiani (Ahmadi).” 

Why my interest in Ferozewala, and its affairs in January 2010?

I first read the news on January 6, in the Internet edition of the Daily Times (Lahore). Its two headlines were: “Ahmadi leader shot dead in Ferozewala,” and “Victim’s son claims police took no action despite being intimated about threats.” The report [1] by a Rana Tanveer read

An Ahmadi leader was gunned down allegedly for seeking police protection against sectarian zealots in Ferozewala police precincts on Tuesday.

The family of 70-year-old victim Muhammad Yousaf – leader of the Ahmadi community in Ferozewala – alleged that extremists killed him for demanding police to stop them from creating religious strife in the area. Earlier, extremists had gathered together, carrying placards and signboards bearing slogans against the Ahmadis.

Ferozewala Police Station House Officer (SHO) Muhammad Munir told Daily Times that police had registered the first information report (FIR) against unidentified persons for Yousaf’s murder. Although no one had been arrested so far, the murderers would be brought to justice, he added.

According to complainant Fatehul Deen – son of the deceased – two armed assailants on a motorbike sprayed bullets at his father around 8am when he was sitting at his general store, where he (Fateh) and his brother were also present. He said his father died instantly while he and his brother narrowly escaped the attack.

Fateh alleged that the assailants were the henchmen of local religious leader Muhammad Ahmed Faridi. He alleged that two men – Inamullah and Shaukat – were also involved in his father’s murder.

Fateh said that on December 29, Faridi erected a huge signboard at the main roundabout in Ferozewala Bazaar, which bore slogans provoking people against the Ahmadis. He said the accused also made phone calls to him and other Ahmadis in the area, threatening them to leave the area or else face dire consequences. Fateh said despite being intimated about these threats, police took no action against the accused that had resulted in his father’s death.

I then checked the two major Urdu newspapers I read. The Jang had carried the news but relegated it to its sub-section on Shaikhupura; its single headline said, “Man Shot Dead by Motorcycle Riders.”

In Rachna Town on the G. T. Road and in the middle of a bustling market two men riding a motorbike fired upon Muhammad Yusuf, the president of a religious organization, and escaped after killing him. Ferozewala police has registered a case against unknown persons. However, the police report further explains that the murder was a 'target killing,' and Muhammad Yusuf was killed at the instigation of one Maulavi Faridi and two other persons.

The two reports were about the same incident—Rachna Town being the colony in Ferozewala where the killing had occurred. However, where the English daily had stated the religious identity of the victim and the motive as reported by the victim’s son, the Urdu daily, one of the two biggest in the country, had erased both. The other hugely popular Urdu daily, Nawa-i-Waqt, did not carry the news, but in its sister English language publication, The Nation, I found this in the regional news:

Two motorcyclists shot dead Prof Yousaf in Ferozewala on Tuesday morning. According to police, two unknown assailants riding on a motorcycle came to the shop of Prof Yousaf and opened indiscriminate fire at him killing him on the spot. Later, the assailants fled from the site.

The police, on the report of Fateh-ud-Din, son of the deceased, have registered a case against Maulvi Muhammad Faridi and three others. Investigation is underway.

The following day, the Daily Times surprised me by publishing a follow-up by Rana Tanveer; it was rather boldly written too. The main headline said, “Police ‘unwilling’ to arrest Ahmadi leader’s murderers.”

Ferozewala police officials are allegedly reluctant to arrest those accused of the murder of an Ahmadi leader, while the bereaved family is constantly facing threats to their lives.

Professor Muhammad Yousaf, leader of the Ahmadi community in Ferozewala, was gunned down two days ago for seeking police protection from sectarian zealots, but police had not made a single raid to arrest those nominated in the first information report (FIR), according to the family of the deceased. They told Daily Times Ahmadis in the area were at risk, as the accused lived in the same area as the victim’s family and could potentially harm them if they were not under police protection.

On the other hand, Ferozewala Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Tariq claimed that he was on leave on the day of the incident and had no information about the case. He told Daily Times that the station house officer (SHO) could better comment on the case. However, sources in the police department said the DSP was indeed on duty on Tuesday and did not get a single leave during the current week…. 

Complainant Fatehul Din – son of the deceased – said the accused had been making threatening phone calls to his relatives…. [The] accused had warned them to withdraw the case or face the consequences. Fateh said he had abandoned all hopes of justice after seeing the attitude of the police…. He said although he had managed to lodge an FIR, the police wanted him to divert from the facts and make up a story in the application. He said the police also wanted him neither to mention the applications the family had filed for police protection before the incident, nor include the element of religious hatred in the FIR.

In addition, a signboard displayed at the main square in Ferozewala Bazaar bearing anti-Ahmadi slogans has not been removed so far….

According to the FIR, the assailants were the henchmen of local religious leader Muhammad Ahmed Faridi, and according to the complainant, Inamullah, Ashraf and Haji Arshad were also involved in the killing of his father. SI Zulfiqar said the police had been collecting information about the whereabouts of the accused and would arrest them soon.

I decided to keep track of the investigation. The two Urdu newspapers were of no help; they published nothing further on the killing. The same was true of their sister English journals, The News and The Nation. But the Daily Times of January 11 carried another revealing instalment, under the headline, “Alleged murderers claim Ahmadi leader ‘killed by family.’” 

The men accused of murdering an Ahmadi leader . . . are now claiming that the leader was killed by his own family over a monetary dispute…. The four men accused of Muhammad Yousuf’s murder in the first information report (FIR) # 14/10 had gone into hiding and are still at large, according to police sources….

Ferozewala Station House Officer (SHO) Munir Ahmed told Daily Times that police had removed the signboard that Yousaf had complained about before his murder. Police wanted to avoid further religious strife in the area and was trying its best to resolve the matter amicably, he said. Munir said the accused were on the run, but certain prominent people of the area had assured him of their support in apprehending the alleged murderers. The SHO said that so far, police did not have any clue about the identities of the murderers, but the situation would become clear once the four men were in custody. Police have not ruled out the possibility of a financial dispute being the reason behind the murder, he added.

According to local sources, after the removal of the signboard, Faridi’s supporters had planned to hold a protest against police for registering the FIR and removing the board. However, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MPA Pir Ashraf Rasool managed to talk the protesters out of staging the demonstration, assuring them he would get the board back from police custody.”

The report also contained an image of the infamous signboard.

Painted in gaudy colours and dominant in size, the sign first quoted three verses from the Quran in Urdu translation then urged people to follow their alleged message. 

The Quran’s Message to the Muslim Ummah

"O believers, do not make friends of those who are my enemies and yours." Chapter 60, verse 1.

“And those who should demean your religion you should kill them, the leaders of Kufr.” Chapter 9, verse 12.

“And fight with them, for Allah Ta'ala will punish them and demean them at your hands, and He will help you against them (Kafirs), and Allah will cool the breasts of the believers.” Chapter 9, verse 14 [2]

Therefore we request you:

“Keep yourself away from the Mirza'is and Qadianis, the worst branch of kufr and Islam's worst enemies. And also keep your children away from them, because those who will maintain social ties with them will, on the Day of Judgment, find themselves denied any intercession on their behalf by the Prophet Muhammad.” 

Khatm-i-Nabuwat Youth Wing, Ferozewala [3]

Judging from the image, the sign must have dominated the roundabout where it was set up to exhort the 97.21 percent of Ferozewala’s population against the unfortunate 0.25. It had stayed up for weeks. Thousands, including any number of men with power and authority, saw it but chose to do nothing. Finally a retired schoolteacher victimized by the sign and fearing worse approached the police for relief. A few days later, he ended up dead. 

I became curious about the man. What was he like as a person? I went to an Ahmadi site on the web; it led me to a video report (“Murder of Professor Muhammad Yusuf, Ahmadi, in Ferozewala, Lahore #1/2”).

It told me how to spell the victim’s name as he wanted it. The video said he was born in 1945—so he could have been only 65, and not 70, when he was killed—and that his parents and siblings had not been Ahmadi. He had worked as an educator all his life, serving in government and private schools in several cities. Now in retirement, he had lived in Rachna Town with his sons, helping them in their grocery store and also running a small school. The survivors included the widow, four sons and a daughter. People who had come in contact with Muhammad Yusuf described him as exceptionally caring and kind, particularly with children. His non-Ahmadi neighbours spoke of his genuine affection for them, and expressed their grief and anger at the murder.

It was, of course, not the first murder of an Ahmadi in Pakistan. Searching through the archives of the Daily Times and my own files now, I find the following: 

  • 23 Ahmadis, including eleven doctors killed in Sindh between 1984 and 1986.
  • An Ahmadi doctor named Dr Abdul Manan Siddiqui shot dead in Mirpurkhas in September 2008. 
  • 9 Ahmadis killed in different cities in 2009. 

There is sadly also much else: expulsion of 23 Ahmadi students from a medical school, exhumation and reburying of a little Ahmadi girl’s body, vandalizing of Ahmadi mosques, false arrests of Ahmadis under trumped up charges of blasphemy, physical attacks, attempts at extortion. 

On January 12, an apparently indefatigable Rana Tanveer put in another report; the headline said, “Ahmadi leader killed in Ferozewala: Police let suspects leave with PML-N MPA.”: 

Four suspects – who remained at large for six days after their nomination in a first information report in the murder of a local Ahmadi leader were brought to a police station on Monday, but police let them leave with a member of the provincial assembly instead of arresting them, sources in the Ferozewala Police Station told Daily Times.

The sources said the MPA, a member of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), had brought the four suspects – Muhammad Ahmed Faridi, Inamullah, Ashraf and Haji Arshad – to the police station, and they remained there for more than an hour. They said the investigation officer listened to their side of the story, wherein they claimed they were innocent and had been wrongly implicated in the case. Following this, the police – instead of arresting them – let them go with the MPA…. 

The policeman in charge of the investigation, Sub-Inspector Rai Zulfiqar Ali, told Daily Times that the suspects came to the police station with PML-N MPA Pir Ashraf Rasool, and conceded they were allowed to leave, “as the complainant party did not come to the police station”…. He said although the four men had been named in the FIR, they were allowed to leave on the MPA’s guarantee. “The MPA will bring them to the police station on Tuesday (today),” he said.

Yousaf’s son Fatehuddin told Daily Times that police and the MPA were giving the suspects “an undue favour”…. He claimed that the MPA had been “sheltering the suspects since the day of the murder ... they have been living with him”. He said while police summoned his family to the station on Monday, they did not go because “we were feeling insecure because of their influence.”

The following day, January 13, the Daily Times published an editorial, “Protect Ahmadis”. As a rare editorial stance at the time, it deserves to be reproduced in full.

The recent incident of murder of an Ahmadi leader in Ferozewala, a city of Sheikhupura district situated near Lahore, is a sad reflection of how society chooses to treat a section of the minorities, variously known as Mirzais or Qadianis in Pakistan. What is more disconcerting though, is the apathy — rather collusion — of the state, which not only allows such incidents to take place under its very nose, it tends to protect the perpetrators. According to a series of reports published in this paper, Professor Mohammad Yousaf, leader of the Ahmadi community in Ferozewala, had sought police protection against sectarian zealots in his locality who had been threatening him. Allegedly, in response to this, two unidentified assailants shot him dead while he was at his general store. It was with some effort the family managed to lodge the FIR against the two murderers and four abettors known to the victim, who live in the same area. Instead of arresting the accused and investigating further, it is reported that the police let the four abettors go when they visited the police station with PML-N’s member of the Punjab Assembly Pir Ashraf Rasool. Meanwhile, both the police and the nominees in the FIR have been pressurising the family to withdraw the murder case. Alarmingly, even after the ghastly retribution visited upon Mohammad Yousaf, Khatam-e-Nabuwat Youth Wing’s signboard on the main roundabout of the town, which urges believers to kill and maim Islam’s enemies and to socially boycott Ahmadis, has not been removed.

While we are witnessing the gruesome consequences of promoting extremist Islam in the form of suicide attacks, this incident shows another dimension of the free rein given to hate-mongering mullahs. Most often the paranoia and hatred against Ahmadis inspired by self-styled Islamic leaders has taken a murderous turn. Not long ago, a TV presenter incited the wholesale murder of Ahmadis by declaring it an obligation for Muslims, as a result of which two targeted killings took place in Sindh. This continues unabated because of the failure of the concerned authorities to take action against the culprits. Apparently, it is due to a deep bias that runs through the entire system. There is a visible nexus of protection as demonstrated in this case. Whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim, the state is responsible to protect all citizens of Pakistan against oppression. It is these kinds of cases that really require judicial activism, as the legislature and executive have both been found siding with the perpetrators rather than the victims. 

Nothing could be more forthright. It had, however, no effect. On January 14, Rana Tanveer filed the following report, with the headline, “Ahmadi leader’s murder suspects ‘visit’ police again.”

All four men accused of murdering a local Ahmadi leader ... appeared before the Sheikhupura superintendent of police (SP) (Investigation), accompanied by a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) member of the provincial assembly, to “prove their innocence” on Wednesday.

Eight days have passed since the victim’s family nominated the four men in the FIR but the police have yet to formally arrest the suspects despite getting two chances – when the men visited the police station with PML-N MPA Pir Ashraf Rasool to ‘prove their innocence’. It is important to mention here that the suspects have not moved the court for bail so far….

Syed Amin Bukhari, the SP, told Daily Times that the accused were not on bail and according to the law they should be arrested, but with the consent of the complainant the police had given them a chance to prove their innocence.

The SP said both parties had appeared before him, adding that he had given them a few days to resolve the matter through a local panchayat. He said the accused had guaranteed their cooperation and would not evade the police.

However, Faatehul Din, the complainant and son of the murdered Ahmadi leader, told Daily Times the accused had been given undue favour by the police and PML-N MPA Pir Ashraf Rasool. He said he had never asked the police not to arrest the accused. 

The MPA told Daily Times that the four men were innocent. He said he had advised the four not to get bails as they were innocent, adding that the competent authority to decide the case were the police and the courts. Ashraf said he was ready to hand over the men to police custody.

Nine days after the shooting, and following two friendly visits by the four accused, the police finally moved—with great caution—as reported by Mr. Tanveer under a marvelous headline, “Ahmadi leader’s murder suspects finally arrested: Police fails to present men in court for remand.”: 

Ferozewala police have arrested all four men accused of murdering a local Ahmadi leader, but failed to present them in court for physical remand, Daily Times learnt on Thursday. According to police sources, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MPA Pir Ashraf Rasool presented the alleged murderers before police….

The PML-N MPA told Daily Times on Thursday that he presented the four men before Superintendent of Police (Investigation) Amin Bukhari to be taken into custody, but he sent them to Ferozewala Police Station. Rasool denied allegations that he was favouring the alleged murderers or was trying to exert political pressure on police. He said he just wanted to resolve the issue amicably in order to save the people of his constituency the trouble of enduring lengthy litigation. The PML-N MPA said he handed the men over to police once he realised that the deceased’s family did not want an out-of-court settlement. [4]

Sources said the investigation officer (IO) had not presented the accused – Muhammad Ahmed Faridi, Inamullah, Ashraf and Haji Arshad – in court for physical remand. Criminal law expert Muhammad Azhar Siddique told Daily Times that according to section 167 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, police is bound to produce the accused before the court for physical remand within 24 hours.

The complainant said the police told them (Yousaf’s family) it was a police tactic to try getting information out of suspects before presenting them in court for physical remand.

A few more days passed in silence, then Rana Tanveer rose to the task again. The Daily Times of January 19 carried the following report, headlined, “Ahmadi leader’s murder in Ferozewala: Police yet to ‘book’ suspects in custody.” 

The ‘arrest’ of four people [on January 14] in connection with an Ahmadi leader’s murder was meant to merely pacify the bereaved family, as police have not made the case against them official, nor have their names been mentioned in any paperwork. In addition, the men are yet to be interrogated, Ferozewala police sources told Daily Times on Monday.

Sources said police had arrested the men only to placate the aggrieved party, but had not fulfilled all the legal formalities. They said certain influential individuals were pressing police not to book them and keep them in lock for some time before declaring them innocent and releasing them without presenting them in court.

When contacted, Ferozewala Deputy Superintendent of Police Tariq Gujjar avoided comment on the issue.

Fatehul Din, son of the slain Ahmadi leader Muhammad Yousaf, told Daily Times that police was using ‘delaying tactics’ to hush up the case. “The police are probably serious about pursuing the matter, but certain influential politicians are pressing them to hush it up.”

Three days later on January 22 came another report, describing the defiance of the accused in police custody:

The four . . . accused . . . have claimed that the [victim’s] family has offered to withdraw the case against them if the Khatam-e-Nabuwat Youth Wing (KNYW) is shut down. Muhammad Ahmed Faridi, Inamullah – the president of the KNYW — Ashraf and Haji Arshad, all currently being held at the Ferozwala Police Station, told Daily Times on Thursday that the complainant had sent them various messages, offering to withdraw the case against them provided that the men guaranteed that they quit the KNYW and dismantled its operations, a claim that the complainant denies…. They said they would never quit the KNYW, going as far as saying that they would prefer to die before they thought of leaving the organisation. 

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Member of the Provincial Assembly Pir Ashraf Rasool, who is allegedly favouring the accused, told Daily Times that the complainant had asked him to offer the compromise to the accused….

Fatehul Din, Yousaf’s son, told Daily Times that no one had made any such offer to the four men.

How defiant and virulent the alleged killers were came out also in a detailed report that appeared in The News International (Islamabad) on January 17. The writer, Aoun Sahi, had travelled to Ferozewala along with some people from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Here are some relevant excerpts: 

Maulana Muhammad Ahmed Faridi, who originally belongs to Okara district and is nominated in the FIR as the abettor of the killers, tells TNS on the phone that he has been targeted by Ahmadis only because of his public opposition against them. “It is only because of our efforts that the whole Muslim community in our area is against them. We have created hate against them because they deserve it. They are enemies of Islam and Shariah allows Muslims to kill such people. We have only written the message of Islam on these signboards, posters and banners….”

According to Faridi, Pir Ashraf Rasool, the PML-N MPA from his area has been very supportive. “He is my old friend and we have been working as members of TTKN since long. He is helping me only because he is a Muslim who strongly believes in the finality of the Prophet….” he says.

The report vividly brought out how poisoned the small town had become:

Many residents of the locality seem satisfied by the role played by TTKN…. “Majority of the population in our area belongs to the Sunni Barelvi school of thought. Other sects, like Shia and Wahabis, also have a presence. There are almost 50 mosques in our area and most of them are affiliated with TTKN. It has been working actively in our town since 5-6 years and at present an overwhelming majority of our area is convinced that fighting against Qadiyaniat is a religious duty,” says 40-year-old Javed Iqbal and a father of three.

He thinks Muhammad Yousuf was a good human being but does not feel sorry about his murder. “He was a good man and was never involved in preaching openly but after all he was a follower of Shaitaniat (Satanism). I do not think that TTKN is involved in his murder.” Iqbal says that a visible difference has been observed in the youth of the area during the last few years. “Now, they are more inclined towards religion.”

“We are peaceful, but if the police try to arrest Maulana Ahmed Ali Faridi and others, we cannot guarantee peace in the area,” says 20-year-old Abdul Jabbar, a charged resident of Rachna Town.

On January 22, Rana Tanveer filed another report, highlighting the cunning of the accused:

The four men accused of murdering Professor Muhammad Yousaf, an Ahmadi leader from Ferozewala, have claimed that the man’s family has offered to withdraw the case against them if the Khatam-e-Nabuwat Youth Wing (KNYW) is shut down. [The four accused held in custody] told Daily Times on Thursday that the complainant had sent them various messages, offering to withdraw the case against them provided that the men guaranteed that they quit the KNYW and dismantled its operations…. They said they would never quit the KNYW, going as far as saying that they would prefer to die before they thought of leaving the organisation. 

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Member of the Provincial Assembly Pir Ashraf Rasool, who is allegedly favouring the accused, told Daily Times that the complainant had asked him to offer the compromise to the accused. He said the accused had informed him that they were ready to face imprisonment or even the death sentence for the sake their beliefs. 

Fatehul Din, Yousaf’s son, told Daily Times that no one had made any such offer to the four men, adding that the accused were trying to divert attention from the real issue.

A week of silence later, on January 30, the Daily Times published Rana Tanveer’s final report on the killing. My heart went out to that intrepid man as I read. For twenty-five days he had conscientiously gathered information and brought it to the attention of his fellow-Pakistanis. His uneven English suggested he was not from among the coddled. Just an ordinary man, doing what he thought must be done in a civilized society. But to no avail. The headline put above his report could have been predicted on day one: “Men accused of Ahmadi leader’s murder released.”

Ferozewala police have released all four accused of murdering a local Ahmadi leader, after keeping them in custody for 17 days, sources told Daily Times. Police released accused Muhammad Ahmed Faridi, Inamullah, Ashraf and Haji Arshad on Thursday. The four were nominated in the FIR, which accused them of abetting the murder of Muhammad Yousaf in Ferozewala police precincts on January 5. The Ahmadi leader was allegedly killed for his religious views. Ferozewala Deputy Superintendent of Police Muhammad Tariq told Daily Times on Friday the accused were released without any charges being filed, as there was no direct evidence showing their involvement in the case. Tariq said the accused had not been exonerated from any charges, and would still be required for further investigation. On the other hand, Yousaf’s son, Fatehul Din, accused police of favouring the accused by releasing them. Fateh said police and local politicians had been favouring the accused since the outset of the case, adding that they were being discriminated against simply because of their religious beliefs. He said the release of all the nominated accused in the FIR had endangered the lives of all Ahmadis in the area.

And that was that. 

I looked but did not find any report in The News, Dawn, Jang, and Nawai-i-Waqt. National papers all. I could be in error. I could also be in error in thinking that the case was never reported in any TV news in Pakistan. A conscientious reporter brought out all the lying and collusion on the part of the authorities and a politician, but no one took any action. Not even Salman Taseer, the owner of Mr. Tanveer’s newspaper who also happens to be the Governor of Punjab. 

The following too went unnoticed: 

  • On January 14, an Ahmadi mosque built in1982 near Rabwah was taken away from them by court orders and handed to anti-Ahmadis, “in order to pre-empt extreme law and order disturbances.”
  • On January 28, a court at Vehari, Punjab, sentenced three Ahmadis to imprisonment and fines on trumped up charges of preaching their religion to “simple Muslims.”
  • On February 3, an Ahmadi was similarly killed at Shehdadpur, Sindh. 
  • On April 1, three Ahmadi traders were ambushed and killed near Faisalabad. 

Then, on May 28, 2010, in well-organized attacks on two Ahmadi mosques in Lahore, just a few miles away from Ferozewala, more than 90 Ahmadis were killed and scores wounded. We can only hope it was the worst such incident, for unfortunately it was not the last. On June 1, just three days later, the Daily Times reported another killing: an Ahmadi man was stabbed to death in his home and his son seriously wounded in Narowal, Punjab. The assailant, who reportedly threatened not to leave any Ahmadi alive, escaped. 

 C.M. Naim is Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago

1. All reports datelined Lahore. For reasons of space, I have often deleted repetitions and a few minor details. I have not however altered the language of the reports. All translations from Urdu are mine.

2. Most Muslims understand individual verses in their specific historical contexts. For the above, one may usefully consult (in English) Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Quran (original edition, not the Saudi revised version) and (in Urdu) Abul Kalam Azad, Tarjuman-al-Qur’an

3. Khatm-i-Nabuwat, “Finality of Prophethood,” i.e. the Muslim belief that Muhammad was the final prophet on Earth to bring God’s message.

4. He probably wished to pay the family some “blood money” under the Shari’ah law of qisas.


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