With the departure of foreign forces from Afghanistan, the Taliban’s aim of re-establishing their ‘Islamic Emirate’ would not only continue the conflict but the world would now understand Islam through their policies and practices, many of them highly questionable from Islamic point of view.
Some diktats the Taliban have introduced in areas they control are already creating conflicts.
These champions of Islam want all men to grow their beards, stop smoking and give the names of their girls over 15 and widows under 45 so that eligible Taliban men can marry up to four wives.
Additionally they would have the option to divorce anyone at will to marry the replacement.
Smoking is injurious to health, so are marijuana, hashish, and poppy seeds.
Afghanistan is a significant global producer of methamphetamine. The country’s opium poppy fields are the source of the majority of the world’s heroin. Now, the crystal meth could eventually become just as big an industry.
The Taliban do charge the drug traffickers a tax. They earn $4m a year from Bakwa district alone, though they deny links to the drugs trade. They make over $2 billion annually through drug trafficking.
Their diktat to ban smoking while profiting from drug trafficking is a slap in the face of their faith. It is a mockery of every value that Islam promotes for human dignity.
If they are sincere in their efforts to ensure a healthy, smoke-free Afghanistan, they should begin with a ban on narcotics.
Their diktat about the growing beard is ridiculous. Beard is not a criterion to determine one’s commitment to divine guidance.
Muslims learn about facial hair not from the Quran, but through hadith – or sayings – attributed to Prophet Muhammad (s).
One such hadith stipulates: “Cut the mustaches short and leave the beard.” It is an ambiguous statement, and it is not an obligation. If it were so, most Imams would have their mustaches cut.
It was a recommendation to his companions in a society where everyone sported a beard. Many non-Muslims at the time of the Prophet had longer beards. No single incident exists in any book of hadith that the Prophet punished anyone for not cutting mustaches and trimming his beards.
The diktat of the Taliban is their subjective preference imposed in the name of God. If they punish anyone for flouting the rule in the name of religion, they will commit coercion.
Islam strictly prohibits intimidation in its name.
It is the obligation of those who understand the Quran and the Sunnah to challenge these Taliban’s diktats.
If the Taliban want to establish the Islamic Emirate, they must ensure the following.
Religious freedom to all
Human dignity to all, women included.
Human rights for all
Education to all
Withdrawal of the offensive diktats
Representation of women in all aspects of national life
Banning the narcotics
Ensure that the law and not the barrel of guns protects justice
An economy that guarantees self-reliance
A health system that secures the healthy future
Islam and monotheism make sense only when human dignity and rights are under the protection of the law. But, unfortunately, what The Taliban has done so far violates everything Islam stands for on human dignity and human rights.