Islam can never allow a true Muslim to adopt India as his motherland and regard a Hindu as his kith and kin. That is probably the reason why Maulana Mahomed Ali, a great Indian but a true Muslim, preferred to be buried in Jerusalem rather than in India

Pakistan or Partition of India, by Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, pg 330-1

The above mentioned are the words of man who was widely used as prop by many protesting against CAA. It is indeed very interesting to observe that if Savarkar was a bigot then Ambedkar certainly needs to be the topper among list of bigots. In this essay I put across few of Ambedkar’s views about Islam. Trust me, when I first read his book “Pakistan or Partition of India”, I could not believe on the newly found avatar of Ambedkar. As per the Intellectuals of the day like Javed Akhtar, Ambedkar certainly was an Islamophobe.

In Ambedkar’s opinion Islam has only contempt & enmity for others & one can’t be true Muslim by accepting India as motherland.

In Ambedkar’s own words: “Islam is said to bind people together but this is only a half truth. For Islam divides as inexorably as it binds. Islam is a close corporation and the distinction that it makes between Muslims and non-Muslims is a very real, very positive and very alienating distinction. The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal brotherhood of man. It is brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only. There is a fraternity but its benefit is confined to those within that corporation. For those who are outside the corporation, there is nothing but contempt and enmity. The second defeat of Islam is that it is a system of social self-government and is incompatible with local self government, because the allegiance of a Muslim does not rest on his domicile in the country which is his but on the faith to which he belongs. To the Muslim ibi bene ibi patria is unthinkable. Wherever there is the rule of Islam, there is his own country. In other words, Islam can never allow a true Muslim to adopt India as his motherland and regard a Hindu as his kith and kin. That is probably the reason why Maulana Mahomed Ali, a great Indian but a true Muslim, preferred to be buried in Jerusalem rather than in India.

Ambedkar believed that a Muslim can’t accept a Hindu Government for they consider “Hindus” as “Kafir”, and hence inferior. Muslims even considered low of Hindus despite they supported whole heartily in Khilafat Movement.

In Ambedkar’s own words: ” How far will Muslims obey the authority of a government manned and controlled by the Hindus ? The answer to this question need not call for much inquiry. To the Muslims a Hindu is a Kaffir. A Kaffir is not worthy of respect. He is low-born and without status. That is why a country which is ruled by a Kaffir is Dar-ul-Harb to a Musalman. Given this, no further evidence seems to be necessary to prove that the Muslims will not obey a Hindu government. The basic feelings of deference and sympathy, which predispose persons to obey the authority of government, do not simply exist. But if proof is wanted, there is no dearth of it. It is so abundant that the problem is what to tender and what to omit. In the midst of the Khilafat agitation when the Hindus were doing so much to help the Musalmans, the Muslims did not forget that as compared with them the Hindus were a low and an inferior race. A Musalman wrote in the Khilafat paper called Insaf:

“What is the meaning of Swami and Mahatma? Can Muslims use in speech or writing these words about non-Muslims ? He says that Swami means ‘Master’, and ‘Mahatma’ means ‘possessed of the highest spiritual powers’ and is equivalent to ‘Ruh-i-aazam’, and the supreme spirit.”

Ambedkar further writes mentioning the incidence: “He asked the Muslim divines to decide by an authoritative fatwa whether it was lawful for Muslims to call non-Muslims by such deferential and reverential titles.”

Ambedkar was very clear that Muslims prefer “Law of Islam” over “Law of Land”.

Ambedkar writes: ” Among the tenets one that calls for notice is the tenet of Islam which says that in a country which is not under Muslim rule wherever there is a conflict between Muslim law and the law of the land, the former must prevail over the latter and a Muslim will be justified in obeying the Muslim law and defying the law of the land.”

Ambedkar talks about Dar-Ul-Islam, & makes and claimed that Muslims fought British only for it. He also oped that Muslims will continue Jihad to establish it & won’t even shy off to take foreign aid.

Ambedkar writes: “According to Muslim Canon Law the world is divided into two camps, Dar-ul-Islam (abode of Islam) and Dar-ul-Harb (abode of war). A country is Dar-ul-Islam when it is ruled by Muslims. A country is Dar-ul-Harb when Muslims only reside in it but are not rulers of it. That being the Canon Law of the Muslims, India cannot be the common motherland of the Hindus and the Musalmans. It can be the land of the Musalmans—but it cannot be the land of the ‘ Hindus and the Musalmans living as equals’. Further, it can be the land of the Musalmans only when it is governed by the Muslims. The moment the land becomes subject to the authority of a non-Muslim power, it ceases to be the land of the Muslims. Instead of being Dar-ul-Islam it becomes Dar-ul-Harb.

Ambedkar further goes on to write: ” There is another injunction of Muslim Canon Law called Jihad (crusade) by which it becomes “ incumbent on a Muslim ruler to extend the rule of Islam until the whole world shall have been brought under its sway. The world, being divided into two camps, Dar-ul-Islam (abode of Islam), Dar-ul-Harb (abode of war), all countries come under one category or the other. Technically, it is the duty of the Muslim ruler, who is capable of doing so, to transform Dar-ul-Harb into Dar-ul-Islam.” And just as there are instances of the Muslims in India resorting to Hijrat, there are instances showing that they have not hesitated to proclaim Jihad. The curious may examine the history of the Mutiny of 1857 and if he does, he will find that, in part, at any rate, it was really a Jihad proclaimed by the Muslims against the British, and that the Mutiny so far as the Muslims were concerned was a recrudescence of revolt which had been fostered by Sayyed Ahmad who preached to the Musalmans for several decades that owing to the occupation of India by the British the country had become a Dar-ul-Harb. The Mutiny was an attempt by the Muslims to reconvert India into a Dar-ul-Islam. A more recent instance was the invasion of India by Afghanistan in 1919. It was engineered by the Musalmans of India who led by the Khilafatists’ antipathy to the British Government sought the assistance of Afghanistan to emancipate India. Whether the invasion would have resulted in the emancipation of India or whether it would have resulted in its subjugation, it is not possible to say because the invasion failed to take effect. Apart from this, the fact remains that India, if not exclusively under Muslim rule, is a Dar-ul-Harb and the Musalmans according to the tenets of Islam are justified in proclaiming a Jihad.”

People often try to quote Ambedkar for his criticism of Hindus but they forget that while he never questioned latter for patriotism, he always questioned that of Muslims. Not only this, he criticizes Hindus for Social issues but always saw Islam to be carrying larger baggage of social evils. In the paragraphs below, I mention his opinion about Social Issues among Muslims.

Ambedkar believed that Indian Muslim society is no different when it comes to social evil.

Ambedkar writes: “The social evils which characterize the Hindu Society, have been well known. The publication of Mother India by Miss Mayo gave these evils the widest publicity. But while Mother India served the purpose of exposing the evils and calling their authors at the bar of the world to answer for their sins, it created the unfortunate impression throughout the world that while the Hindus were grovelling in the mud of these social evils and were conservative, the Muslims in India were free from them, and as compared to the Hindus, were a progressive people. That, such an impression should
prevail, is surprising to those who know the Muslim Society in India at close quarters.”

Ambedkar firmly considered that Muslims have all evils of “Hindus” & even something more.

Ambedkar writes: “Take the caste system. Islam speaks of brotherhood. Everybody infers that Islam must be free from slavery and caste. Regarding slavery nothing needs to be said. It stands abolished now by law. But while it existed much of its support was derived from Islam and Islamic countries. While the prescriptions by the Prophet regarding the just and humane treatment of slaves contained in the Koran are praiseworthy, there is nothing whatever in Islam that lends support to the abolition of this curse.”

Ambedkar quotes Sir W. Muir as following:

“… rather, while lightening, he reverted the fetter….
There is no obligation on a Muslim to release his slaves….”

Ambedkar mentions: “But if slavery has gone, caste among Musalmans has remained. As an illustration one may take the conditions prevalent among the Bengal Muslims.”

Ambedkar mentions caste-system among Muslims citing census of 1901. He writes as below:

Census for 1901 for the Province of Bengal records the following interesting facts regarding the Muslims of Bengal:—
“ The conventional division of the Mahomedans into four tribes— Sheikh, Saiad, Moghul and Pathan—has very little application to this Province (Bengal). The Mahomedans themselves recognize two main social divisions, Ashraf or Sharaf and Ajlaf. Ashraf means ‘noble’ and includes all undoubted descendants of foreigners and converts from high caste Hindus. All other Mahomedans including the occupational groups and all converts of lower ranks, are known by the contemptuous terms, ‘Ajlaf’, ‘wretches’ or ‘mean people’: they are also called Kamina or Itar, ‘base’ or Rasil, a corruption of Rizal, ‘worthless’. In some places a third class, called Arzal or ‘lowest of all’, is added. With them no other Mahomedan would associate, and they are forbidden to enter the mosque
to use the public burial ground. “Within these groups there are castes with social precedence of exactly the same nature as one finds among the Hindus.

I. Ashraf or better class Mahomedans.

  1. Saiads.
  2. Sheikhs.
  3. Pathans.
  4. Moghul.
  5. Mallik.
  6. Mirza.

II. Ajlaf or lower class Mahomedans.

  1. Cultivating Sheikhs, and others who were originally Hindus but who do not belong to any functional group, and have not gained admittance to the Ashraf Community, e.g. Pirali and Thakrai.
  2. Darzi, Jolaha, Fakir, and Rangrez.
  3. Barhi, Bhathiara, Chik, Churihar, Dai, Dhawa, Dhunia, Gaddi, Kalal, Kasai, Kula Kunjara, Laheri, Mahifarosh, Mallah, Naliya, Nikari.
  4. Abdal, Bako, Bediya, Bhat, Chamba, Dafali, Dhobi, Hajjam,Mucho, Nagarchi, Nat, Panwaria, Madaria, Tuntia.

III. Arzal or degraded class.
Bhanar, Halalkhor, Hijra, Kasbi, Lalbegi, Maugta, Mehtar.”

Ambedkar talks about the system of untouchability in Muslims. He mentions that “Azrals” are the untouchables in Islam. After giving account of “evil Untouchability” in Panchayat system of Bengal he asserts:

“But the facts for Bengal are enough to show that the Mahomedans observe not only caste but also untouchability.”

Ambedkar quotes The Census Superintendent as below:

“ The authority of the panchayat extends to social as well as trade matters and… marriage with people of other communities is one of the offences of which the governing body takes cognizance. The result is that these groups are often as strictly endogamous as Hindu castes. The prohibition on intermarriage extends to higher as well as to lower castes, and a Dhuma, for example, may marry no one but a Dhuma. If this rule is transgressed, the offender is at once hauled up before the panchayat and ejected ignominiously from his community. A member of one such group cannot ordinarily gain admission to another, and he retains the designation of the community in which he was born even if he abandons its distinctive occupation and takes to other means of livelihood …. thousands of Jolahas are butchers, yet they are still known as Jolahas.”

So to sum it up, I must say that Ambedkar was a staunch critic of Islam and he considered Muslims as threat in India. While Savarkar was open to accommodate Muslims in India Ambedkar was completely against it. Ambedkar is one of the most misunderstood personality of the Indian History.

The above issue is output of my reading of book “Pakistan or Partition of India” by Dr.B.R.Ambedkar.

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.