The pre-history of anti-blasphemy activism in Pakistan // Raza Rumi: Pakistan's blasphemy law is used to fuel violence and death.
NB - These articles are courtesy the Brown Pundits blog:
The 1920’s in
NB: B.R. Ambedkar states that Rangila Rasool was written in response to the inflammatory pamphlet Sita ka chinala. Pakistan or the Partition of India, (Chapter 9, footnote 29) -DS
Rajpal was a Hindu book publisher from
Ilm Din was an illiterate teenager from
Ilm Din was deeply affected by this passionate speech and vowed to take action. On 6th September 1929 Ilm Deen set out for the bazaar and purchased a dagger for one rupee. He hid the dagger in his pants and waited opposite Rajpal’s Shop. Rajpal had not arrived yet. His flight had arrived at
The police arrived at the scene and arrested Ilm Deen. He was kept in Mianwali jail. The case went to court and Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was his defence lawyer. Jinnah fought Ghazi Ilm Deen's case on a special request from Allama Iqbal. Jinnah urged Ilm Din to enter a plea of not guilty plea and to say that he had acted due to extreme provocation. The fact that Ilm Din was only 19 years old would have also worked in his favour. Ilm Din refused to offer such a plea and insisted that he was proud of his actions. This case was the only one that Jinnah ever lost. The Session Court awarded Ilm Din the death penalty. Against his wishes, the Muslims lodged an appeal, but it was rejected.
Ilm Din's execution occurred on 31st October 1929. When asked if he had any last requests, he simply requested that he be allowed to pray two rak’at (units) nafl (voluntary) prayer, thus following the example of Khubaib (RA) who also prayed 2 rak’ats nafl before the pagan Quraish executed him. As the noose was put around the neck of Ilm Din, he repeated before the huge crowd: "O people! Bear witness that I killed Rajpal to defend our last Prophet Muhammed S.A.W, and today they are going to hang me. I am sacrificing my life whilst reciting the kalimah (shahadah - testimony of faith)."
The young man was killed and the authorities buried him without any Janazah (funeral) prayer being offered for him. Mass demonstrations broke out and there the tension between the Hindu and Muslim communities was palpable. The inhabitants of
When the body of Ilm Din was exhumed from its grave, it was found to be the intact without any change whatsoever. The kaffan (shroud) had not changed its colour. This occurred on 14th November 1929 — a full 15 days after the hanging. After a two-day journey, the body arrived in
Allama Iqbal carried the funeral bier along its final journey. As Iqbal placed the body of Ilm Din into the grave, he tearfully declared: "This uneducated young man has surpassed us, the educated ones."
The killing of Ilm Din had far-reaching repercussions. A provision was added to the Penal Code, making insult to the religious beliefs of any class an offense. Allama Iqbal’s proposal of a separate Muslim state in 1930 resulted in the creation of