A visitor to the mosque on any Friday at 1 pm will see a long queue of brand new vehicles in which the rich of the twin cities [Islamabad and Rawalpindi] come for the Friday sermon. Some come from the adjoining cities.
Why do they take this trouble when there is no dearth of mosques in their vicinity?
Because they get the opportunity of listening to Hafiz Abdur Rehman Makki, the number two in JD's hierarchy who travels every Friday from Lahore to give a sermon and lead the Friday prayers.
An eloquent orator, Makki has the power to draw tears from his listeners. Last Friday [October 21] this correspondent attended his sermon.
Quoting numerous Koranic verses, Makki justified the earthquake as a punishment of Allah on the sinful.
Ridiculed seismologists who rationalized the quake on scientific grounds, he said: 'You are saying that the earthquake has occurred because the plates beneath the earth have dislocated. Oh foolish scientists, don't you know that the plates could have never moved without Allah's order? Human beings' knowledge is nothing before Allah who is the creator of the universe. Whatever knowledge you have today is due to His will. You could have learnt nothing had Allah not wished so!' He urged the scientists to seek Allah's forgiveness instead of being proud of their so-called knowledge.
'Oh unwise people open Koran. It tells you how so many nations before you were annihilated by Allah through natural disasters when they crossed the limits and refuted His blessings. Don't you learn a lesson from the Jews? They are the worst receiver of Allah's wrath because they flayed His commandments blatantly.'
Declaring natural calamities as Allah's army, Makki said: 'Allah would order His soldiers -- earthquakes, storms, plaques, droughts, and hurricanes -- to invade the disobedient. Thus He would serve a reminder on the survivors i.e. they should abandon vice and adopt virtue.'
'The earthquake is a reprimand to the rulers on their un-Islamic policies e.g. recognition of Israel; maligning jihad and ditching the jihadis; ridiculing jihab; perverting society with obscenity by urging women to work with men in all spheres of life; secularizing the curriculum, etc. Oh foolish rulers, did you ever give it a thought that Islamabad had many towers but only one collapsed? Because Allah did not want all of you to die! He has given you another chance. Avail it and become his obedient beings.'
Criticizing Musharraf's development agenda, Makki said: 'By 2007, Musharraf had to take off veil from women's faces and force them to run with men on road in semi-nude state. He had to put them in dance classes. The quake has perished his plans! Now he has become a beggar. He has to beg continuously for 10 years to rebuild the quake-hit areas!'
Reminding Musharraf that his decision to outlaw jihadi outfits was myopic, Makki said: 'The world has seen that these banned jihadis reached where the army or the US Chinook could not reach and provided relief to thousands of people. Jihadis are not afraid of bans. They are the soldiers of Allah. They will continue to help the people. Nobody can stop them!'
Urging the rulers to reject the aid by the international community and secular NGOs, he said: 'Remember brothers, by accepting their aid, you will lose your honor. You will become their slaves. They will ask you to follow their evil agenda. The UN, the US, and the EU are not the friends of humanity. They are the worst enemies of the Muslims. You should seek help from Allah only.'
Makki claimed that the JD alone could undertake the entire relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation work.
'Only the four districts have been devastated. The rest of the country is in the protection of Allah. The 150 million people can feed and shelter all the earthquake victims. I ask the government to hand over the charge of relief work to JD. We -- the mujahideen -- would do everything alone in minimum time.'
Makki reminded his followers that the Muslims' glory was in jihad. As long as they dedicated money and sons for jihad, they ruled the world. They were trapped in the quagmire of humiliation when they abandoned jihad.
'We can rise again. We can rule the world again. I give you a simple recipe. Donate money and sons for jihad and your glorious days will return. The entire world will be under your control. Bush and Blair will become your slaves and lick your boots.'