Interview – Sami Bukhari

I’ve known Sami Bukhari for quite a while now, have had lengthy discussion on various topics with him and although we’ve often differed on core ideologies, talking to Sami had always been a refreshing experience …

I interviewed Sami to get an idea whats the reason behind his admiration for Javaid Ghamidi …

Interview with Sami Bukhari

Q.1: Sami, can you introduce yourself to our readers, some introduction of yourself, who are you, where are you from and what do you do ?

Samiullah Bukhari, a Muslim, originally from Peshawar, these days i work as an accountant in an accountancy firm.

Q.2: I happen to know you mainly from a forum based on the teachings of Javed Ghamdi, can you please explain what do you think about Javed Sabah and his ideology ?

Javed Ahmed Ghamidi is from an Islamic Intellectually Lineage we call “Farahi School Of Thought.” His Social and Political ideas show he is impressed by Maulana Waheed Ud Deen Khan of India.

Q.3: What is it that makes you a big fan of Javed Sahab ?

Fan is not the word i would have used, but I am Indebted to him in many ways… He broke the box I was in i.e., Maududi’s political Islam.

Q.4: That was going to be my next question. What is your take on Molana Mauddudi Sahab’s ideology ?

Maududi taught me how to challenge the orthodox thought and think on my own.He taught me the value of Ijtehad, in short. His idealogy what we call political Islam is a very narrow minded approach towards Islam and makes man a thoroughly political animal without a deeper understanding of the evolution of human society and ways other than political for change. He was not in resonance with the zeitgeist .

Had he studied the process of change in the west after renascence and reformation he would have had a better understanding of things.

Q.5: There is an argument that Mullahism is after all not that evil because deep down they are just doing their job, some people say that what Mullahs are saying is in fact the real Islam. You said Mauddudi Sahab’s ideas are narrow minded. How should an ordinary person think about this conflict between various ideologies ?

The basic problem with the Islamic clergy is that they take the interpretations of Qur’an from their respective Imams. Secondly, and that’s the major problem, their Imam’ interpretations are based on Hadith which are mostly quoted without any context.

Q.6: Isnt Ghamdi sahab doing the same thing, i.e. taking his own desired interpretation from Quran ?

Ghamidi’s approach, which is in fact Farahi’s approach is: making Qur’an the center of their intellectual endeavor (2) understanding Qur’an in its own light and, (3) understanding it in its socio-politico-economic context.

But off-course every intellectual endevour is one’s opinion.

Q.7: You just mentioned the need for Interpreting Quran with the changing times. Dont you think its a bit of a problem too. Its like when the Science discovered Big Bang Theory, we started looking for justifications to say how Quran already predicted it. Question is if Quran really has all this secret info in it, how come we dont predict things before Science ?

First of all science is not Qur’an’s subject and that’s why it urges man to “ponder in the aafaq (the external world) and ANFUS (the inner world of man).
by changing times, i mean the application of Qur’an’s moral principles(which is the subject matter of Qur’an) in changing times, by understanding the context in which those were revealed.

Q.8: You seem to be critical of Hadith Collection. Do you reject all Hadith or just those Hadith which do not sound good to you ?

I take Hadith which is in consonance with the Qur’an. Apart from that every word of wisdom is pious. Hadith is history and should be treated critically.

Q.9: Does treating critically mean preserving those which are giving good messages but discarding the Ahadiths which sound like trouble, violent or filled with outdated ideas ?

The problem with Hadith is mostly its a quote without any context, secondly taba’een (followers) like Abu Hanifa doesn’t accept it as a reliable as people used to quote things in Prophets name even in those days which the junior sahabas (companions) like Ibn-e-Abbas used to detest. Malik and Hanbal have given categories of Ahadiths which were created “mauzoo.” Bukhari rejected more than 1.5 million Ahadiths on the basis of historicity (riwayat).

“The seeker of truth is neither a Muslim nor a non-Muslim, he is just a seeker.”

Q.10: Lets move to a different topic. Fundamentalism seems to be Pakistan’s top problem right now. What do you think is the solution ?

I think the making of Pakistan was a big big mistake. The solution now is education!

Q.11: Could you explain why Pakistan’s creation was a mistake ?

Two nation thoery was a childish basis for the creation of a Muslim majority state. Muslims co-exsited with the Hindus for seven hundred years. Muslims who were the rulers in the past or the first time were in minority.

Q.12: Molana Azad had similar concerns about two nation theory. What do you think would have happened if we were part of India today ?

I think if we were the part of India, and had to like in minority the results would have been like that of Hudaibias results without any wars. Had Muslims chosen the path of peaceful tableegh, maybe Muslims would have been in majority, but that’s not that important. After the partition the conversion of Hindus to Muslims have dropped drastically.

Q.13: You said solution is in Education now. But who will decide what kind of eduction ? Religious education, modern westernized education, or eduction promoting atheism ? How do we reach to a common ground ?

I think the education should be such that it can help a person develop the capabilities of creative,critical thinking. Religion should not be a part of education till grade 8th, and even after that it should be optional.

But as it will not happen very soon, we can agree upon a secular+religious education in a way that the secular education can make the child think on his own.

Q.14: Correct me if I’m wrong, you seem to supporting a sort of Secular Pakistan, are you ?

You can say that.

Q.15: Sami, Atheism seems to be on rise at least in a very tiny portion of Pakistan’s society (as evident on Facebook). Do you think its a problem ?

No I don’t. Its a good sign, people have started thinking on their own, they don’t just follow their parents religious beliefs.

Q.16: You did an excellent interview Sami. In the end, would you like to leave a message for our readers ?

I would like to quote Maulana Room…
“The seeker of truth is neither a Muslim nor a non-Muslim, he is just a seeker.”

4 thoughts on “Interview – Sami Bukhari

  1. This interview was an excellent read. I’m glad to know that people like Sami Bukhari exist in our society. And at the end the quote was awesome.

  2. “The seeker of truth is neither a Muslim nor a non-Muslim, he is just a seeker.” If this is what Rumi says then why do you convert people. Why don’t you just let them remain seeker….

  3. Good interview, & pleased to know that even being religious some people are going to accept sensible thoughts, Ageed with Mr Sami’s advice regarding the Islamiat subject, it should b optional.

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