Rohingya Muslims are the largest stateless people on earth today, and they are the most persecuted people as well. They are a victim of injustice carried out by intolerant terrorist Buddhist state amidst passive stand of the world leaders specially influential Muslim leaders (with a possible exception of Turkish president Erdogan).

Feeling helpless and frustrated, I thought I will vent some of my feelings through a blog post and publish it to the world. After all, modern technologies like the Internet and social media enabled general public to share with the world some of the sufferings of these Muslims, where mainstream media -by and large- failed this obvious responsibility.

The Quran is the most powerful assets of Muslims. Why not resort to it while studying the current sufferings of the Rohingya and seek some insight and consolation. But which part of the Quran to narrow the search? As millions of Muslims just finished the ritual of pilgrimage (Hajj), and as the Quran has en entire Chapter (i.e., Surah) by the name of Hajj, I decided to narrow my study of the Quran by reading carefully through Surah Hajj in search for the Rohingya issue. Quran will never fail someone who seeks guidance from it, and here again it proved so, and what follows is a brief sketch of what I found.

Surah Hajj in a nutshell

Part I : the reality of Hajj

Surah Hajj talks about the power of a person when he fully submits to Allah. Pilgrimage is a ritual that trains a person to submit to Allah. Hajj is a worldly journey that evokes in the heart and mind of a Muslim the reality of this temporary world and that we are -since our birth- in a journey towards our permanent address in the world hereafter. The place of such metaphysical and spiritual feelings is the heart, and you can not imagine how valuable and wise a person becomes when his heart is touched by Taqwa (fear of Allah), and what other physical mechanism is more effective to cultivate Taqwa in the heart than the spiritual symbolisms shown during the Hajj. Here is a sample verse (32) from the first part of this chapter

And whoever honors the symbols of Allah - indeed, it is from the piety of hearts

hajj Hajj the best method to show submission to the Almighty Allah. Source

Part II : The Rohingya

This surah is ten pages. Above was a sketch of the first five pages which ended with a description of Hajj.

What the next half covers is very amazing and brings the Rohingyas into the center of the discussion. It starts talking about persecuted people who are dragged out of their homes for no crimes other that believing in Allah, and that Allah will change their situation and replace their anxiety with glory one day. Read few verses (38 - 41)

Indeed, Allah defends those who have believed. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone treacherous and ungrateful.

Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory.

[They are] those who have been evicted from their homes without right - only because they say, “Our Lord is Allah .” And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned. And Allah will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.

[And they are] those who, if We give them authority in the land, establish prayer and give zakah and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. And to Allah belongs the outcome of [all] matters.

The order of verses by design is very insightful. As if Allah is saying that when Muslims -as a group- attain spiritual awakening through Hajj, only then they are entitled to uplift the oppression and build a just society and civilization. The biography of prophet Muhammad confirms this proposition. Throughout his lifetime prophet Muhammad built quality human beings (the Sahaba or his companions) who’s hearts were attached with Allah. His farewell Hajj was like the graduation ceremony when he unleashed those Sahaba to carry their mission to the entire globe. Indeed, after his departure, the Sahaba from the time of Abu Bakr and then Umar started the greatest mission ever on this earth spreading the light to east and west as Allah said in Chapter 3 aal Imran verse 110:

You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah . If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient.

islam expansion Greatest mission in the shortest time in the history of mankind (source)

Surah Hajj and the Rohingyas

After this satellite view above, let us descend a little bit and look deeper into some verses of this sura and attempt to related them to the issue at hand, i.e., the Rohingyas.

The two camps of Mankind

Ideologically mankind -since the very beginning- are of two camps: camp of the prophets and camp of their opponents. In the vocabulary of the Quran, the former are called Muslims and the later are often called Kafirs (i.e., infidels, non-believers, etc.). Such two-camp division is very helpful when attempting to understand current (and past) events. At the time of prophet Moses the children of Israel were divided into two camps: true followers of Moses were Muslims and their opponents (e.g., Pharaoh) were non-Muslims. Same two-camp logic applies at times of Noah, Abraham, Jesus, David, Solomon until Prophet Muhammad.

Verse 19 of this sura alludes to this two-camp concept.

These are two adversaries who have disputed over their Lord. But those who disbelieved will have cut out for them garments of fire. Poured upon their heads will be scalding water

The last verse of this surah (78) gives the significance of the title Muslims as a global ancient name that carries virtues as well as responsibilities towards the mankind.

And strive for Allah with the striving due to Him. He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty. [It is] the religion of your father, Abraham. Allah named you “Muslims” before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation] that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. So establish prayer and give zakah and hold fast to Allah . He is your protector; and excellent is the protector, and excellent is the helper.

Let us now apply this concept to our contemporary issue. The issue of Rohingyas is a Muslim vs. Kafir issue. Very much same as the issue of Palestine. The non-Muslim camp might be Buddhist, Jews, Christians or Hindus but the historical pattern is very consistent that all non-Muslims would form coalition and collectively try to afflict hardship on Muslims. Often hypocrites (among the so called Muslims) side with the non-Muslims.

Take for example the stand of Modi -the Indian Prime Minister- on this matter. Hindustan Times recent article titled Why India did not raise Rohingya issue during Modi’s Myanmar visit sheds light on his priorities; lowest among them is the Rohingya issue. Read an excerpt from the above article.

India’s primary interests in Myanmar can roughly be summed up in the following order. One, to build an economic and security relationship that prevent Myanmar from inexorably slipping into the orbit of China… Two, ensure the Myanmar military’s continuing cooperation in preventing various Northeastern militants, most notably Naga insurgents, from using Myanmar as a safe haven. Three, preserve and support the country’s stuttering transition into a full-fledged federal democracy. Four, seek to ameliorate the plight of the Rohingyas as well as ensure the already tense relations between Bangladesh and Myanmar do not spiral out of control.

The same scenario goes with Trump. While he expressed anger over Islamic State persecuting Yazidis in Iraq (and promised to grant refugee status to religiously persecuted minorities), the Rohingyas -although the most persecuted religious minority on Earth- never grabbed his attention, even at least with a 120 character tweet.

In an op-ed in Washington Examiner, Siraj Hashmi said:

It’s the type of persecution that would garner attention from President Trump. Following reports that the Islamic State was targeting religious minorities such as Christians and Yazidis in northern Iraq, then-candidate Trump not only pledged to defeat the Islamic State militarily, but also do everything in his power to save religious minorities from persecution. In his original travel ban, Trump issued a provision that would prioritize refugee claims from minority religions on the basis of religious-based persecution.

Much of the problems we face today in the Indian subcontinent are the result of the British Raj who before leaving the continent after World War II, made sure to draw boarders between countries in such a cunning way that it was almost certain that religious conflicts must erupt among the population in future. They left a majority Muslim population in Kashmir at the hand of the Hindu Indians, as they did with the Arakan Rohingyas by leaving them under the authority of the hostile Buddhists.

A nation with a mission

Verse 41 of Surah Hajj describes a typical mission of a Muslim society.

[And they are] those who, if We give them authority in the land, establish prayer and give zakah and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. And to Allah belongs the outcome of [all] matters.

Muslims take a global responsibility to spread the message of Allah to the mankind. They are not out to plunder lands and rob the resources of native people as was the case with Western imperial forces. With this mission they left the comfort of their homes and went to far far lands. They set off in horse-back, on donkeys, just walking or on ships.

Rohingya Women Their supplications will never go in vain (Source)

They reached Sri Lanka (then named Sarandeeb or Ceylon), and they reached further east to the cost of todays Rohingya province, probably as early as 1000 CE. The very name of Rohingya is a corrupted form of the Arabic term Rahmah meaning ‘blessings of God’ as described by many Muslim historians. The indigenous people of the lands of todays Rohingya (as well as the lands of Bengal) happily embraced Islam and found peace and tranquility in it. Local kings converted to Islam and changed their old Buddhist names with Islamic name (e.g., from Narameikhla to Solaiman Shah in 1430). They even felt proud to give the entire province the Arabic name of Arkan which is plural of Rukn meaning a pillar in Arabic, which refers to the five pillars of Islam. Thus since 1430 CE, this land -in the mindset of the founding fathers- is the land where pillars of Islam should find a deep root.

early rohingya Prince Shah Shuja received asylum in Arakan in 1660 (Source:Wikipedia)

In parallel to those who converted to Islam, a group continued on Buddhism but coexisted peacefully under the Islamic kingdom. They would continue to call themselves as Rakhaings. Both these indigenous people are indistinguishable in ethnicity, skin color and shape from the neighboring Bengals. It is true that after the British occupation, many more Bengals migrated to the Arakan province, but that does not mean -as the Barmese claim- that before the British these lands were populated by only Mongolian Buddhists.

No surprising then that a British observer noted the following about the Arakan Muslims:

and to look at, they are quite unlike any other product of India or Burma that I have seen. They resemble the Arab in name in dress in habit. The women and more particularly the young girls, have a distinctive Arab touch about them”

Indeed, these early Arabs truly fulfilled what Allah said in Chapter 2 (aal-Imran) verse 110 (which I mentioned earlier):

You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah . If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient.

Buddhists are no doves

Before the atrocities of violent Buddhist monks in Myanmar, I was very much confused and misguided by the Western literature associating Buddhism with peace and harmony as if they never dare to kill an ant, unless Muslims -in their view- are worse and less insignificance than ants. But I should have taken lessons from Surah Hajj about the two-camp theory, and that all non-believers are just one group.

Here is again fresh readings from selected verses of this surah. Verse 19.

These are two adversaries who have disputed over their Lord. But those who disbelieved will have cut out for them garments of fire. Poured upon their heads will be scalding water

burning villages Burmese burning Rohingya villages (Source:

Buddhist terrorists burned Muslim villages killing innocent women and children. Isn’t it amazing that in this above verse Allah will let these people (who use fire to punish the Muslims) taste the same type of punishment -but much more intensity: “will have cut out for them garments of fire. Poured upon their heads will be scalding water”.

Continue the graphic description of their punishment in the next two short verses (20, 21):

By which is melted that within their bellies and [their] skins. And for [striking] them are maces of iron.

Now turn to another verse 25:

Indeed, those who have disbelieved and avert [people] from the way of Allah and [from] al-Masjid al-Haram, which We made for the people - equal are the resident therein and one from outside; and [also] whoever intends [a deed] therein of deviation [in religion] or wrongdoing - We will make him taste of a painful punishment.

The Myanmar government often deprive these Muslims from going to Hajj which is a grave injustice and religious discrimination, for which according to this verse Allah will make them taste of a painful punishment.

My fellow native Bengalis would recognize the proverbial term in Bengali which I have heard since early childhood Mogher Mulluk or the Reign of the Mogh as a symbol of a land without law and order. Little did I know then that Mogh were referring to terrorist Buddhists Rakhainges.

Here is what an early historian in the book Fathya-I-Ibriya p. 183 had to say:

Arracan pirates, both Magh and Firingi, used constantly to (come) by water route and plunder Bengal. They carried off the Hindus and Muslims, male and female, great and small, few and many, that they could seize, pierced the palms of their hands, passed thin canes through the holes, and threw them one above another under the deck of their ship. In the same manner as grain is flung to fowls, every morn and evening they threw down uncooked rice from above to the captives as food.

In an attempt to investigate deeper, I turned to the works of a much influential researcher on this subject: Michael Jerryson. In an insightful article titled Monks with Guns, Jerryson demystified many misconception. Here are few excerpts:

The problem is that the ‘peaceful Buddhist’ narrative is erroneous. It prevents us from understanding the causes of violence. Buddhists, after all, have an agency that goes beyond Hollywood stereotypes of mystical monks, Himalayan mountaintops and Shangri-La.

Buddhist Warefare Little monk on a mission! (source)

Both Myanmar and Thailand share two common traits: a) they are state Buddhism and b) both have a large provinces with Muslim majority where minority Buddhist reside. Therefore, the government must unleash these terrorist monks to terrorize the Muslim population and drive them out of their lands.

Here are words of a monk whom Jerryson interviewed

‘Because we are here, the monks and the people stay. Instead of running away, they stay together with us and fight. We southern Thai Buddhists are like small ants uniting against an elephant. Though small in number, we can collectively combat the Muslim terrorists.’ He saw the insurgency as not merely political, but religious in nature. Buddhism itself was under attack, and such a threat justified special steps to protect Buddhists and Buddhist monks.

Then he attempts to trace when and how peaceful Buddhism shaped the western mind:

After the Second World War, the Buddhist movement found its home in the Beatnik generation through romanticised works such as Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums (1958), the writings of the poet Allen Ginsberg, and those of the ex-Episcopal priest Alan Watts. Later, Robert Pirsig’s philosophical reflections in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974) gained an enthusiastic following among readers dissatisfied with modern life and who wanted more. In 1987, US interest in Buddhism began to assume political implications with the founding of the Free Tibet movement.

One of the three Jewels of Buddhism is Shanga meaning community. In Arakan the Buddhist monk fear that their Shanga is under threat by Muslims, and it is this card that the government started to play with and inflict further fear and hatred among the Bhuddist minority in Arakan. No doubt that Burma being under communist dictators for decades has mastered the art of propaganda and rumors. Here is what a recent Diplomat article has to say:

On the other side of the political tension in Rakhine state, as shown by Schissler, Walton and Phyu Thi’s “listening project” in this series, are Rakhine Buddhists who are genuinely afraid of a (false) Muslim takeover.

Myanmar remains a rumor driven society. In Kyaw Yin Hlaing’s analysis of Buddhist misapprehension of Muslim Burmese, surveys were conducted in seven cities in Myanmar, with 500 participants in total. It is clear that anti-Muslim propaganda has become part of regular nationalist discourse. Of the survey respondents, 85 percent cited fear of Muslims turning the country Islamic as the main reason for their dislike of Muslims.

The Fence Rider Muslim leaders

In my view, this group are the number one responsible for the downfall of Muslim nation. Muslim world sits in the most important geographic location and on the richest natural resources on Earth. The problem is that these country leaders are puppets of the West. They spend billions of dollars to purchase arms from the West but not a single bullet they dare to fire against those forces that occupy Muslim lands and cause suffer to Muslims (like Israel and Myanmar). Rather, they are busy fighting among themselves and victimizing fellow Muslims.

military spending 2017 15 countries with highest military expenditure 2016 (Source: SIPRI Report 2016)

How accurately Allah described them and their ‘fence Riding’ attitude in this Sura Hajj verse no. 11

And of the people is he who worships Allah on an edge. If he is touched by good, he is reassured by it; but if he is struck by trial, he turns on his face [to the other direction]. He has lost [this] world and the Hereafter. That is what is the manifest loss.

At our current difficult times, we can only seek consolation in true stories from our past glorious history like sweet fictional tales. One Muslim lady was insulted by a non-believers in the then Byzantium city of Amorium around the year 838 CE. The lady feeling humiliated shouted the name of the Abbasid Caliph al-Mu’tasim billah who was thousands of miles away. When the message reached the Caliph, he could not rest a moment before sacking the entire city and bringing it under the fold of Islam.

Today’s social media is bringing hundreds of graphic pictures of children and women among the Rohingya but alas Mu’tasim is dead today!

Rohingya girl Alas! No Mu’tasim today (Source:Huffington Post)

Arrogance of the peace prize Noble laureate

I have never seen a peace Noble prize laureate becoming so arrogant as Aung San Suu Kyi becomes when confronted with Rohingya issue. All in a sudden she transforms from Dr Jekyll to Mr Hyde. I saw her BCC interview in April 2017 with Fergal Keane where she is surprised and does not know why the world is condemning her! She does not believe anything close to ethnic cleansing is happening in her country. She is much like an ostrich burying her head as an excuse to deny things happening in her surroundings.

How amazingly Allah captures such attitudes in this Surah verses 8 - 9:

And of the people is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge or guidance or an enlightening book [from Him], Twisting his neck [in arrogance] to mislead [people] from the way of Allah . For him in the world is disgrace, and We will make him taste on the Day of Resurrection the punishment of the Burning Fire

She boasts that she allowed Kofi Annan to carry an Advisory Commission on Rakhine State report on studying the matter and presenting recommendations. Well, I have read the report and one can not fail to notice the enormous pressure this commission underwent from government bodies to underestimate facts to the extent that the report was not allowed to call Rohigya by name, so the report was forced to just call them ‘Muslims’.

consolation for the oppressed

Sura Hajj is full of glad tidings and consolation for the oppressed Rohingyas. This world is a place of trial and tests and if they keep faith and stay steadfast a pleasant reward will be awaiting them. Read for example verse 23:

Indeed, Allah will admit those who believe and do righteous deeds to gardens beneath which rivers flow. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and pearl, and their garments therein will be silk.

Myanmar government is a huge propaganda manufacturing machine against Rohingya and concocting dirty plots day and night, very similar to what infidels of Mecca did to exterminate Muhammad, read verse 15:

Whoever should think that Allah will not support [Prophet Muhammad] in this world and the Hereafter - let him extend a rope to the ceiling, then cut off [his breath], and let him see: will his effort remove that which enrages [him]?

Let Rohingyas read history and observe the outcome of the oppressors and the reward of the oppressed. Let them carefully read verses 45 and 48:

And how many a city did We destroy while it was committing wrong - so it is [now] fallen into ruin - and [how many] an abandoned well and [how many] a lofty palace.

And for how many a city did I prolong enjoyment while it was committing wrong. Then I seized it, and to Me is the [final] destination.

Let them not doubt the power of Allah and that He is able to destroy His and their enemy, but He does everything for wisdom and nothing can come if it is not predestined. How beautifully Allah is soothing them in verses 58 - 60:

And those who emigrated for the cause of Allah and then were killed or died - Allah will surely provide for them a good provision. And indeed, it is Allah who is the best of providers.

He will surely cause them to enter an entrance with which they will be pleased, and indeed, Allah is Knowing and Forbearing.

That [is so]. And whoever responds [to injustice] with the equivalent of that with which he was harmed and then is tyrannized - Allah will surely aid him. Indeed, Allah is Pardoning and Forgiving.

Jihad is the solution

In ancient times prior to prophet Moses, Allah interferes directly to destroy his prophet’s enemy through some Divine natural catastrophes like flood, wind, etc. The pattern has changed after the destruction of Pharaoh and revealing Torah. From now onwards, Allah wants the followers of prophets to get guidance from the Scripture and form army and fight against their enemies i.e., Holy War or Jihad. Moses servant Joshua led his followers to the first of such kind of battles and conquered Jerusalem.

Myanmar government might have found a very conducive international environment to tag those Rohingyas who fight for their legitimate rights as al-Qaedah or Islamic State members, in order to find a supporting voice among the Western powers. It is just the old fashion political trick to play with vocabularies and deceive the public. These same group would be called freedom fighters if the British were still there and Burmese were fighting to drag them out of the land. The Afghan Mujahedeen were once freedom fighters when their enemy was the communist USSR, and all in a sudden the very group became Muslim terrorist when they turned the gun against U.S.A.

One of the universal truth I have seen written on a wall in the occupied Palestine is whatever is taken with power, can not be returned except with power. How amazingly sura Hajj -in its very last verse (no 78)- leaves us with such a strong and beautiful words of wisdom.

And strive for Allah with the striving due to Him. He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty. [It is] the religion of your father, Abraham. Allah named you “Muslims” before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation] that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. So establish prayer and give zakah and hold fast to Allah . He is your protector; and excellent is the protector, and excellent is the helper.


The case of Rohingya is beyond doubt is a case of oppressor and oppressed. It is a case of persecution of the innocent, helpless and stateless people. It is a case of genocide and a case of religious hatred and discrimination. Rohingya is a testimony to declare the failure of modern democracy, human rights and international justice systems. Rohingya is a testimony that -after all- Samuel Huntington was right is his forecast of coming clash of civilizations. But more than anything, Rohingya is a testimony that rich and influential Muslim leaders are bunch of hypocrites.

But, bright sides are there as well. There are the public like you and me who are not corrupted by their governments. There are you and me who can easily tweet, retweet, post in facebook and sign some petitions. You and me are actually billions, but they are only few thousands. Never underestimate the power of you and me. We are the worst enemy of Myanmar. How much they hoped that these social media did not exist, so they can carry on their atrocities in cold blood.

But the brightest of all is that we have Surah Hajj and we have the entire Quran intact. I barely scratched the surface of one Surah, let alone investigating the entire Quran. Indeed, Quran has to offer a lot to us, and if we only are able to stick to a fraction of its teachings, then the entire mankind will enjoy an utopia like never before. I end with an excerpt from Surah Taha (20) verses 123 - 124:

..And if there should come to you guidance from Me - then whoever follows My guidance will neither go astray [in the world] nor suffer [in the Hereafter]. And whoever turns away from My remembrance - indeed, he will have a depressed life..