Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Allahhafiz vs Khudahafiz...


Note: Post meant for Muslims.

If you know me, you surely do know that I am a Muslim, Alhamdulillah…. And I am an Indian, Alhamdulillah.
I was born and brought up in this country, speaking Urdu/Hindi and using terms like ‘Namaaz’ and ‘Roza’.
And I have no desire of suddenly changing my language because ‘some’ people find it inappropriate.

I had written in an earlier post that I absolutely hate the de-Indianization of Indian Muslims. That post dealt with the increasing usage of "Ramadhan Kareem" instead of "Ramzaan Mubarak".
I am still of the same view.
Today, someone told me that ‘Khudahafiz’ is not the correct word to be used. We should rather say ‘Allah hafiz’. The reason being ‘Parsis also use Khudahafiz’.
I have heard the same ridiculous notion earlier as well…..
And I am very sure that a lot of people reading this also have similar views…..
In any case, I make it clear to anyone and everyone reading this post, that I, Almas, will not stop saying Khudahafiz.

Firstly, for the benefit of the readers, ‘Khuda’ is a word incorporated into Urdu from Persian (like many many many Urdu words are). If you do a thorough search, you’d find that the word ‘Khuda’ has a very elaborate meaning- from ‘the powerful one’ to ‘the one to which sacrifices are offered’. To keep it simple, we shall use the commonest meaning for which the term ‘Khuda’ is used- ‘God’.
When I say Khuda, I mean my God, my Creator, the One to whom I shall return.
When I say Khuda, I mean my Allah.
But, obviously, not everyone in the world speaks Urdu, not everyone in the world calls Allah ‘Khuda’.
Just like not everyone in the world speaks English, not everyone in the world would call Allah ‘God’.
But, to remind you, I am not ‘everyone in the world’. I am me. and I do call my God ‘Khuda’. And then it doesn’t matter to me who else uses this word for what else….

For the people who say that ‘Khuda’ shouldn’t be used coz a lot of other people use this term for their God…

Well, yes…. Urdu is a language, so is Persian.. and anyone who speaks in this language can use ‘Khuda’ for his God. A Christian from Pakistan can use ‘Khuda’, a Zoroastrian from Iran can use ‘Khuda’. That, by no means, implies that a Muslim from either Pak or Iran cannot use ‘khuda’.
When you say that ‘Khuda’ can also mean the Christian God or the Parsi God…or even the Sikh or Hindu God … you are actually trying to say that there IS a Christian God, a Parsi God, a Sikh God, a Hindu God……besides a Muslim God Allah.
Tell me, is this what you believe in?
Does this make you Muslim?
Tell me, what is the most important thing to be a Muslim?

The belief in one God.
La ilaha illallah.
There is no God but Allah.

so when anyone says ‘God’ what should come to your mind?
Allah…. Coz who is Allah but Allah????

There is one God who created us all, who provides for us all, whether we be Muslim or Hindu or Parsi or whatever.
Then what exactly dyu mean wen you say that ‘so and so people also call their God ‘Khuda’????

Do you realize that a Christian Arab also uses ‘Allah’ but for him Allah is the father of Jesus…. How cool is that?
So, now shouldn’t I stop using the term ‘Allah’ too?
Do you realize that when Huzur S.A.W. became a Prophet, Arabs belonging to the Jahiliya also worshipped Allah, only that they also worshipped Uzza, Lat, Manat?
So, doesn’t this too mean that I should stop using ‘Allah’ ?
Giving you a very recent example…..
I read this little thing in ‘TeleKids’ which is (or used to be) a supplementary issue with ‘The Telegraph’…at that time I was in ninth std. It told that ShahRukh Khan’s son Aryan points at the statue of Ganapati at home and calls it ‘Ganapati-Allah’.

And a whole lot of Non-Muslims believe that Allah is some ‘other’ God………a God other than their own God.

So, doesn’t ‘Allah’ too conjure images other than what we as Muslims know ‘Allah’ means?

Now, if ‘Allah’ despite being used by other sects means Allah. I am sure ‘Khuda’ too can mean ‘Allah’ for me.

When a Christian says ‘KhudaHafiz’, he mite be leaving you in the protection of God the Father…. But wen I or any other Muslim says Khudahafiz, we are leaving you in the protection of Al-Ilah…. The God.

There are reasons, definitely, why you can tell me to use ‘Allah hafiz’ instead of Khudahafiz.
The best being that Allah calls Himself Allah in the Qur’an.
That saying the ‘word’ Allah itself brings blessings.
That it binds the Ummati in a common thread.
You give me these reasons and I will agree to you.

But you tell me that stupid reason of “A Parsi calling God ‘Khuda’”, and you are seriously going to have a good piece of my mind.

Besides, I would also like to add that Allah created us all different … there are Muslims with golden hair and blue eyes……. Muslims with black skin and crude curly hair….. and then there are Muslims with brown skin and black eyes…
We eat different food, speak different languages and have different cultures.
We are united in our belief and our belief doesn’t include us becoming Arabs.
No, I don’t mean ‘Allah’ is for Arabs alone.
What I mean is that this sudden need among Indian Muslims to switch over from ‘namaaz’ to ‘Salaah’ and the like as also a sudden defilement of ‘Khudahafiz’ have all arisen (I believe) from that same misconception that Muslim and Arab is synonymous.

It is NOT.

I live in Kerala at present and the Muslims here use the term ‘Niskkaram’ or ‘Namaskkaram’ for ‘Namaaz’ / ‘Salaah’. Yet I don’t find huge forums on the internet debating the usage of the term. Nor do I find Keralite Muslims with any sense of shame in their usage of a word which is well known to be of Hindu origin (if I can call it that) to refer to the second pillar of Islam.
Yet, ‘namaaz’, ‘roza’, ‘khuda’ are so vehemently opposed….

The only explanation that I can find for this absurd phenomenon is the huge population of the Hindi/Urdu Muslims…….
Keralite Muslims form a small population and their ‘terms’ are not so apparent to the larger Muslim world nor are they a threat. Whereas Urdu/Hindi Muslims are a bloody huge group of people and with the global community that we all have become the urdu/hindi Muslim ‘terms’ have somehow stood as competitors to their ‘Arabic’ counterparts, at any given place and time.
And with an increasing Western Muslim population due to an unprecedented rise in reversions, Arabic in its chaste form is being embraced as the sole language of Islam.
In such a scenario, naturally, the older Indian/Paki Muslims who use Urdu/Hindi in its various forms, present as the single largest ‘alienation’.
And thus, the need to extol the usage of ‘arabic’ terms… or rather deprecate the usage of Urdu/Hindi terms that the larger Muslim World cannot understand.

In any case, I feel this is so totally ridiculous.

I myself end all my posts with an ‘Allah hafiz’ , yet I use ‘Khuda hafiz’ in my routine language. Not coz one is better than the other but coz both mean one and the same.

And trust me my God can understand all the languages he created. He really does.
The need to de-Indianize us (Urdu/Hindi Muslims) stems from the belief that how can anything Muslim be non-Arab? It is very similar to the Urdu/Hindi Muslim belief that how can anything Muslim be non Urdu/Hindi (within India)?
Since most Muslims in India know one or the other form of Urdu/Hindi, even if their mother tongue be something totally different .. like..say.. Tamil .. there is a common belief that all Indian Muslims speak Urdu… which is NOT true….

I know Keralite Muslims who don’t know the ‘U’ of Urdu and yet are beautiful Muslims.
We need to realize that the pulse of the Ummati… the golden thread that binds us as Muslims is our belief and not our language.

We need to understand that ‘your God and my God and his God and her God and that God and this God and their God’ is for people who believe that there CAN possibly be more than one god.
What makes us Muslims is our proclamation ..
“There is One God.”
Now, if I call him God, or Rabb or Khuda or Bhagwaan or Maalik or Parwar dighaar is not of as much importance as is that I call Him and Him alone.
Coz, after all….
There is only One who can possibly be God
Him---- Al-Ilah--- The God.
Wahadahu la shareek
Allahu Akbar.

P.S.- No offence to the person who told me not to say ‘Khuda hafiz’. You did your part. It’s just that I disagree. Newaz… you are my favouritest.

1 comment:

kashif said...

beautiful post Almas. May God Subhanotala' shower His blessings on you.




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