First and foremost, we should highlight two main points. The first one is related to the nature of the Taliban people. They are very religious people. It is religion that motivates them in their Jihad against their enemies and is the source from which they derive their decisions.
The second point is related to the nature of Qandahar. The people of Qandahar are characterized by their strict adherence to their cultural heritage and traditions and the harsh living conditions in this area which has inspired them with a spirit of challenge.
Most of the members of this movement belong to the Deobandi School. The subjects of this school fall into two main categories. The first category is basic sciences which include interpretation of the Qur’an (tafsir), Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) and the Prophetic Traditions (Sunnah). The second category is methodology. This involves the means to understanding the basic sciences, for example, logic, grammar, philosophy, rhetoric, ancient astronomy, mathematics.
The education system is very traditional and is limited in its approach. They reject classroom teaching or using modern teaching methods such as blackboards and other teaching aids or forms of demonstration. Graduates of this school are characterized by absolute obedience and reverence to their Sheikhs and skepticism towards any modern movement in the Muslim world.
The origin of the Taliban:
This movement seems to have started spontaneously in response to internal factors, such as the civil war, atrocities between Sunnis and Shiites, chaos and moral corruption. There are also external factors that have led to its proliferation. US support is one factor and its purpose has been to curb the growing Iranian influence, stop opium culti
vation and oppose the traditional Afghani mode of extremism by encouraging a more fanatic version that the international community detests.
The Taliban aim to establish an Islamic state similar to the old Islamic caliphate and choose the scholars and religiously committed people to occupy high posts in the state. They stress the importance of hijab and insist on women adopting it. In addition, they are fighting moral corruption. The taliban’s ethnic background is Pashtunism. They follow the school of Abu Mansur al-Maturidi (Maturidiyyah) with regard to basic tenets of belief and the Hanafi School of Fiqh in respect to fiqh and minor issues.
The survival of the Taliban is attributed to the following:
1- The unified intellectual background and their devotion to their beliefs and principles.
2- Their success in achieving many of their goals has given them confidence and increased their ambition.
3- The spiritual influence of the leader on the group.
4- The continuous change of people occupying posts which has led to the absence of central influential characters.
5- Inflicting instantaneous penalties on those who break the rules.
The well-known Islamic thinker, Dr. Muhammad `Imarah responds to those Muslims who are prejudiced against Taliban saying:
“It is our religious duty to advise our Muslim brothers and sisters of the Taliban and to have a dialogue with them instead of being prejudiced against them. I believe that those who disagree with the Taliban are still keen on the stability of Afghanistan and the improvement of conditions affecting the people and the government.
Those who are prejudiced against the Taliban are secularists who want to use some of the Taliban’s views as a pretext to criticizing Islamic thought and tarnishing the image of Islamic trends.
The clamor concerning the statues.
The West and the New World Order that has spurred the US against the Taliban in defense of some stone statues, are also those who are destroying Afghanistan in spite of the fact that the Taliban government has banned the cultivation of opiates in the area. It has now become an area in which peace and security prevail whereas terror was prevalent there during the civil war.
The West has made a big fuss about the statues and mobilized all efforts to stop their destruction. Yet it turned a blind eye when Al-Aqsa mosque was on fire in 1969, and continues to ignore all the Zionist threats to destroy it. The US Secretary of State, in spite of all UN resolutions, claims that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
Western governments and organizations are imploring all to save the statues but did nothing when the Hindus destroyed the Babari mosque in 1992, and likewise with the precious and valuable antiquities that the Serbs destroyed in the Bosnian war, including mosques.”
Editor’s Note:
In conclusion, we can say that mutual respect, love and cooperation are basic guidelines for relations between Muslims.
We cannot even imagine a Muslim to be at swords drawn with his fellow Muslim brother. If there is misunderstanding between two Muslim parties, why don’t we employ wisdom and sincere advice to sort out differences.
Asked about Al-Khawarij, Imam `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “There is a far cry between the two parties: the one who had originally sought the right trend but was misguided and the one who had been keen to attempt the wrong and finally achieved it after long last.”
We cannot exclude Taliban from the Islamic fold for being an ethnic sect. We should appreciate their efforts and sincere intentions towards Islam.
Taliban, as well as many other Muslims, are human beings liable to making mistakes. We, on the one hand, can not categorically reject their way of representing Islam. On the other hand, we admit that their way of representing Islam is not the model that should be taken for granted. They demand the application of Islamic Shari`ah, which is appreciated. However their mechanism in determining priorities lacks deep understanding of the objectives of the Islamic Shari`ah and the current complex circumstances.
Muslims today are in need of more qualified scholars and well-versed jurists who are better able to deal with the ever-increasing demands of modern life and priorities in view of an all-embracing view of Islam.
No wonder the tarnished image of Islam and Muslims in the International media captures the attention of all Islamic circles and makes all hesitate to determine the priorities of all Islamic movements, especially the Taliban in the light of the current situation of post-war Afghanistan.