Persecution of Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan

[Business Standard] At the time of partition, the vision of the creator of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was of a nation that would adopt secularism to accommodate its historically multi-religious and culturally diverse population.

Persecution of Sikhs, Hindus and other religious minorities in Pakistan. [Representational Image]

Persecution of Sikhs, Hindus and other religious minorities in Pakistan.
[Representational Image]

The Hindu and Sikh families that chose to stay back were assured of security and basic rights equal to those of the majority community. Sadly, what has happened is at total variance to that vision. Today, the very existence of these communities is under threat in Pakistan.

It seems that Pakistan is determined to exist as an Islamic state, comprising only of Sunni Muslims. The unwritten policy to attain this objective is based on five prongs. First, subject the minorities to terror attacks and pogroms. Second, allow terror to sink in enough to cause a general exodus, mainly towards India. Third, convert and marry the female population of the minorities into the Muslim fold. Fourth, impose stringent laws that force the weak minded to convert voluntarily. Fifth, make sure that the government and other institutions make the right noises about protection of minority rights so as to keep international scrutiny at bay.

With these prongs in place, Pakistan has been carrying out the most insidious ethnic cleansing over the last six decades right under the eyes of the world.

At the time of partition, Pakistan had 11 to 12 percent Hindu/Sikh population. When considered in terms of the existing population levels of the country, the present strength of the Hindu/Sikh community should be around one crore fifty lakhs; on ground it is a miniscule thirty lakhs which is barely 1.5 percent of the population.

One crore thirty lakh people have vanished in thin air. According to the Pakistan Hindu Council, about 20 cases of kidnapping of Hindu girls above 15 years of age are reported every month in Karachi alone.

If the families of such girls approach the courts, hundreds of people gather outside and shout “Allah-o-Akbar” in an attempt to intimidate the judges.

It is being said that millions of Hindus/Sikhs were killed by the Pakistan army in the early 1970’s when tension between India and Pakistan was at a peak. The Enemy Property Act of Pakistan 1965, legitimised confiscation of the property of Hindus and Sikhs including their homes and temples.

The Islamic law implemented by Zia-ul-Haq in 1977 sealed the fate of the minorities by tacitly excluding them from constitutional and legal systems of the country. Hindus cannot get jobs, Hindu women cannot wear their “Bindi or Mangal Sutra” and dress according to Hindu tradition; the list of insults and persecution is endless.

In August 2012, Rimsha Masih, a Pakistani Christian girl was arrested under the infamous Blasphemy Law on allegations of having desecrated the Holy Quran. Despite scant evidence and with utter disregard to her being an eleven year old minor, suffering from Down syndrome, she was incarcerated in jail for three weeks. On being freed, she and her family had to go into hiding to avoid the ire of the fundamentalists. Finally, the family has moved to Canada in June this year.

The recent suicide bombing at all Saints Church in Peshawar that left 80 dead and about 100 wounded has put paid to any spirit of nationalism that the Christian community ever harboured in Pakistan; no amount of explanation about the attack being the handiwork of terrorists can help regain the trust of the community.

Faced with such terrible conditions the aforementioned communities are looking at India. Reports indicate that Pakistan is covertly facilitating the same. There are reports to suggest that certain out posts in the Pakistani side of the India-Pakistan border, especially in the Rajasthan sector, have deliberately been kept vacant to facilitate the movement of the Pakistani Hindus, Sikhs and Christians into India.

Muslims of sects other than the predominant Sunnis are being blatantly persecuted. Sections 298-B and 298-C of the Pakistan Panel Code outlaws Ahmadis from calling their place of worship a Masjid, claiming to be Muslims or preaching their faith to others. A month back, in September, 2013, the Sialkot police tore down the Minarets of an Amadi place of worship simply because a fundamentalist cleric said that the building resembled a Mosque. During Eid al-Adha on October, 16, 2013, Ahmadis in Lahore were stopped from offering Qurbani (sacrifice). As a community, Ahmadis are blatantly being denied their religious identity in Pakistan.

Pakistan is home to about six lakh Shiite Hazara Muslims mainly in Quetta, Balochistan. This hapless community is being specifically targeted by al Qaeda associated terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah-e-Sabah, as a continuation to their persecution and ethnic cleansing in Afghanistan. To quote a sad incident, an attack on the Imam Bargah, a place of worship of the Hazara’s in Aliabad area of Quetta in July, 2013, left 28 dead and over 60 injured.

What is happening to the Shia Muslims across Pakistan and especially in the occupied areas of Gilgit-Baltistan would take volumes to document. Suffice to say that there is no inhumane method of persecution that they are not being subjected to right from bombings of religious places/religious congregations to economic deprivation, and curbs on right and liberties

It is quite distressing to see a region that has for millenniums been the hub of civilization and religious integration, with an abiding heritage of multi ethnicity and linguistic/cultural diversity, degenerate into a fanatical society in such a short span of time. It is astounding to see how some fanatical groups have converted rich diversity into a liability.

Those who are responsible are not the visionary intellectuals and thinkers of the society; they are fringe elements seeking to further their business, economic and political interests by playing politics of sectarian hatred.

The world needs to take cognizance of the genocide that is slowly taking place in Pakistan. The responsibility on India is all the more acute; while being concerned about all the groups that are suffering, special attention has to be given to the Hindu, Sikh and Christian communities and to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.



7 thoughts on “Persecution of Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan


    The Quran says that Muhammad is the seal of the prophets:

    Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Apostle of God, *and the Seal of the Prophets*: and God has full knowledge of all things. S. 33:40 Y. Ali

    Now at first glance this text seems to imply nothing more than that Muhammad was the culmination of prophethood, that he was the last in a series of spokespersons that Allah had sent. Reading the hadith literature, however, it is obvious that according to Muslim sources this seal was more than a statement regarding Muhammads status in relation to the previous prophets. All bold and underline emphasis will be ours.

    *Sahih al-Bukhari*

    Narrated As Saib bin Yazid My aunt took me to the Prophet and said, “O Allahs Apostle! This son of my sister has got a disease in his legs.” So he passed his hands on my head and prayed for Allah’s blessings for me; then he performed ablution and I drank from the remaining water. I stood behind him *and saw the seal of Prophethood between his shoulders, and it was like the “Zir-al-Hijla” (means the button of a small tent, but some said ‘egg of a partridge.’ etc.) * (Volume 1, Book 4, Number 189 )

    Narrated As Saib My aunt took me to Allah’s Apostle and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! My nephew is ill.” The Prophet touched my head with his hand and invoked Allah to bless me. He then performed ablution and I drank of the remaining water of his ablution and then stood behind his back *and saw “Khatam An-Nubuwwa” (The Seal of Prophethood) between his shoulders like a button of a tent*. (Volume 7, Book 70, Number 574 )

    *Sahih Muslim*


    Jabir b. Samura reported: I saw the seal on his back *as if it were a pigeon’s egg*. (Book 030, Number 5790 )

    Abdullah b. Sarjis reported: I saw Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) and ate with him bread and meat, or he said Tharid (bread soaked in soup). I said to him: Did Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) seek forgiveness for you? He said: Yes, and for you, and he then recited this verse: “Ask forgiveness for thy sin and for the believing men and believing women” (xlvii. 19). I then went after him *and saw the Seal of Prophethood between his shoulders on the left side of his shoulder having spots on it like moles *. (Book 030, Number 5793 )

    *Sunan of Abu Dawud*

    Narrated Qurrah ibn Iyas al-Muzani: I came to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) with a company of Muzaynah and we swore allegiance to him. The buttons of his shirt were open. I swore allegiance to him and I put my hand inside the collar of his shirt *and felt the seal* (Book 32, Number 4071 )

    *Jami (Sunan) of at-Tirmidhi*

    Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib When Ali described the Prophet (peace be upon him) he said: He was neither very tall nor excessively short, but was a man of medium size. He had neither very curly nor flowing hair but a mixture of both. He was not obese, he did not have a very round face, but it was so to some extent. He was reddish-white, he had wide black eyes and long eyelashes. He had protruding joints and shoulder-blades, he was not hairy but had some hair on his chest, and the palms of his hands and his feet were calloused. When he walked he raised his feet as though he were walking on a slope; when he turned round he turned completely. *Between his shoulders was the seal of prophecy and he was the seal of the prophets*. He had a finer chest than anyone else, was truer in utterance than anyone else, had the gentlest nature and the noblest tribe. Those who saw him suddenly stood in awe of him and those who shared his acquaintanceship loved him. Those who described him said they had never seen anyone like him before or since. Tirmidhi transmitted it. (Hadith 1524; ALIM CD-Rom Version)

    Narrated AbuMusa AbuTalib went to ash-Sham (Syria) accompanied by the Prophet (may Allah bless him) along with some shaykhs of Quraysh. When they came near where the monk was they alighted and loosened their baggage, and the monk came out to them although when they had passed that way previously he had not done so. While they were loosening their baggage the monk began to go about among them till he came and, taking Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) by the hand, said, “This is the chief of the universe; this is the messenger of the Lord of the universe whom Allah is commissioning as a mercy to the universe.” *Some shaykhs of Quraysh asked him how he knew*, and he replied, “When you came over the hill not a tree or a stone failed to bow in prostration, and they prostrate themselves only before a prophet. *I recognize him by the seal of prophecy, like an apple, below the end of his shoulder-blade*.” He then went and prepared food for them, and when he brought it to them the Prophet (peace be upon him) was looking after the camels, so he told them to send for him. He came with a cloud above him shading him and when he approached the people he found they had gone before him into the shade of a tree. Then when he sat down the shade of the tree inclined over him, and the monk said, “Look how the shade of the tree has inclined over him. I adjure you by Allah to tell me which of you is his guardian.” On being told that it was AbuTalib he kept adjuring him to send him back until he did so. AbuBakr sent Bilal along with him and the monk gave him provisions of a bread and olive-oil. (Hadith 1534; ALIM CD-Rom Version)

    *Tarikh (History of) al-Tabari*

    When Bahira saw this, he descended from his cell and sent the caravan a message inviting them all Finally he looked at Muhammads back, *and saw the seal of prophethood between his shoulders* He replied, “I also recognize him by the seal of prophethood *which is below the cartilage of his shoulders and which is like an apple*.” (*The History of al-Tabari: Muhammad at Mecca*, translated and annotated by W. Montgomery Watt and M. V. McDonald [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1988], Volume VI, pp. 45, 46)

    Al-Harith Muhammad b. Sad Muhammad b. Umar Ali b. Isa al-Hakami his father Amir b. Rabiah: I heard Zayd b. Amr b. Nufayl saying “He is a man who is neither short nor tall, whose hair is neither abundant nor sparse, whose eyes are always red, *and who has the seal of prophethood between his shoulders*. His name is Ahmad” (p. 64)

    Ahmad b. Sinan al-Qattan al-Wasiti Abu Muawiyah Amash Abu Zibyan Ibn Abbas: A man of the Banu Amir came to the Prophet and said, “*Show me the seal which is between your shoulders*, and if you lie under any enchantment I will cure you, for I am the best enchanter of the Arabs.” “Do you wish me to show you a sign?” asked the Prophet. “Yes,” said the man, “summon that cluster of dates.” So the Prophet looked at a cluster of dates hanging from a date palm and summoned it, and began to snap his finger until it stood before him. Then the man said, “Tell it to go back,” and it went back. The Amiri said, “O Banu Amir, I have never seen a greater magician than I have seen today.” (Pp. 66-67)

    “Then one said to the other, Open his breast. He opened my heart, and took out from it the pollution of Satan and the clot of blood, and threw them away. Then one said to the other, Wash his breast as you would a receptacle or, wash his heart as you would a covering. Then he summoned the *sakinah*, which looked like the face of a white cat, and it was placed in my heart. Then one of them said to the other, Sew up his breast. So they sewed up my breast *and placed the seal between my shoulders*” (p. 75)

    It turns out that Muhammads seal of prophethood was a physical deformity, a mole with spots, which conflicting reports say was shaped either like an apple, the button of a small tent or like the egg of a partridge! It is simply beyond us how this is supposed to be one of the proofs that convince people of Muhammads prophethood!

    • Hi Lucky bin Raj, glad to see you back!

      The seal of the Prophet is the Quran and not the alleged physical mark on his body by the Hadiths :

      Quran 33:40 Pickthall: Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets; and Allah is ever Aware of all things.

      NOTE the words : “…he is the messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets..”

      I hope you will not repeat that allegation anymore!!

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