Friday, May 23, 2008

Film Review: "Khuda Kae Liyai"

Taken from:

It’s on the screens, papers and magazines, and chit chats, of a common man. It’s not about, the crises in middle east, or the carnage in Iraq, the thing everyone has been talking about is, the movie "Khuda Kae liya". As a layman, with sufficient schooling background in English. The appropriate translation of this phrase would have either been "For God's Sake" or "For the Sake of God", the former may imply a strong definitive remark with an exclamation mark, and the latter may be taken on a slightly softer tone, for giving a significant recommendation.

Perhaps the makers of the film knew well, and the official English name stand as, ‘In the name of God’. Translate in to Arabic - you don’t need to be an Imam of a mufti for that - "Bismillah".

But this time, it’s not about a recitation from the Quran, or the ‘dua’ before having meal. It’s about the movie, being hailed as the philosopher's stone for revival of cinema in Pakistan. So what is it all about? To answer that, I visited the cinema in Fortress stadium a while ago.

From its official synopsis given on the website: "The film is about the difficult situation in which Pakistanis in particular and the Muslims in general are caught up since 9/11. There is a war going on between the fundamentalists and the liberal Muslims."

It must have taken a Cyclope's wisdom, to blind oneself into reducing that the War Of terror, unleashed by the imperial powers after 9/11, to a war between fundamentalists and the liberal Muslims. The images from Abu Gharib, didn’t really showed that as such. Perhaps they were faked? I am sure the makers of khuda kae liyai are well skilled, to determine that.

Two countries, Iraq and Afghanistan, have been occupied, and the subsequent massacre which continues to date has caused millions of innocent lives. A tragedy that puts humanity to shame, and the silence of the Ummah and its armies in question; but Shoaib likes to think the other way, for it has resulted according to him "in Great suffering for a forward looking Muslim."
The movie claims, that "It helps the Muslim youth find a direction... the right direction, which we all are looking towards." And the pundits of enlighten moderation have been boasting, that to make this movie a success it should be shown to every school and college students. (Little surprise, that they would certainly never say that, regarding teaching of Sura Tauba.)

To know what that direction is, the movie if filled with both subtle and overt signboards, pointing towards a direction.

One of the lead role, played by Fawad Khan, is about a person, well versed in music, who attends the lectures of a religious person. Fawad is convinced to give up music, and as the chain of events is shown, He ensures paintings in his house are taken off the wall, goes out to throw some paint on billboards depicting women, and tells the ladies in the house to observe Hijab. He would then move on to Wazirstan, agree to a force marriage to a western born girl, who’s father did not wanted her daughter to marry a non-muslim and so had brought her to Waziristan, and then go for Jihad.

Here stands, a classical example of propaganda tactic, painting the weak and the definitive injunctions altogether, with the same brush, undermining the essentials, to the level of nonessentials, in effect making both pointless.

From Islamic perspective, ensuring that females in a family, observe Hijab, is binding upon the men. And using women beauty for commercial purposes to allure customers violates the ethics of Islam. How that may be stopped is a matter related to the State, which is supposed to ensure marketing trends are in line with the ethics of Islam. Also a Muslim girl, is not allowed to marry a nonmuslim. However the movie seems to have highlighted these points in a well crafted context, arousing deliberate sympathies for the opponents of these points.

The movie, entertained a fully packed hall; However it was now time for the interval, I along with a friend went to the nearest mosque for Asar prayers, only to find it locked. Fortunately, some servants of a local restaurant nearby had made some meager arrangements for the prayers in the open. Enlighten Moderation, I reminded myself, as I headed back for the second half of the movie.

The debate on music has already been much done. And I would skip that. However an interesting reference in the movie is when, Naseer uddin shah, playing the role of typical Tableghi, makes comparison between the Miracle of Quran to the Prophet(saw) and a bogus claim of Musical Melody, being made use of by Prophet Daoud to praise God.

In the magnified, debate that goes on in the court, the lead actor, Fawad, is made to conclude - realizing his mistakes- that He was a good person before, and did not lied or drink. However the good thing now was that he had now started praying.

The debates aside, I'd request viewers of the movie, to stop, and think for a while.

Not lying, not drinking, and praying regularly, is what a Muslim must do. However is that all Islam demands from a Muslim? What about standing up to liberate the occupied lands of Muslims, about defending the oppressed brothers in the dungeons of Bagharam and Guantanamo bay, or releasing the sisters who are jailed naked in Russian jails in Chechnya? What of the necessity of Muslims to be united under the Shade of an Islamic state, so that these oppressed lands can truly be liberated?

Qur'an 4:75 "And what reason do you have not to fight in the cause of Allah, to rescue the helpless oppressed old men, women, and children who are crying: "Our Lord! Deliver us from this town whose people are oppressors; send us a protector by Your grace and send us a helper from Your presence?"

Are angels going to come down to do all this?

In "In the name of God", the makers of the movie, want to tell you: don’t think about it!, An ideal Muslim youth, should be happy and satisfied with a life, that makes him a person that doesn’t lies, doest drinks and prays regularly - fullstop.

Moreover, the film reaffirms, the western media proporganda, that the Talibans were against education of women. An allegation, which had no bases in reality. Mahan Hussain Mirza, as part of the offical delgation led By Dr. Israr Ahmad in April 2001 visited Afghanistan, and writes, in 'Quranic Horizons Magzine', that he came across in Kandahr a clinic run by Dr. Laila Siddique, a woman; and while travelling from kabul, passed by a school district that had a univeristy where a thousand women were studying to be doctors.

Had the makers of the movie, any shred of sincerity, and appropriate understanding of Islam and the current situation, they could well have done a job worth commending, if in the name of God, was to be truly worth its name. A movie on the life of Junaid Jamshed, or the Gallant warriors, who continue to fight the occupiers with whatever little resources they have, or the youth who truly and sincerely strives today to resume the Islamic way of life, and unify the Muslim lands by reviving an Islamic State would have been befitting for the need of our time.
Sadly, and not surprisingly at all, the Makers of the film want you to think about what Bush, his henchman, and there think tanks want you to think about; that those who stand up against tyrannical occupiers are all fundamentalists and extremists, and hiphops are what the youth should be aiming for.

But then again, there is a perspective to all this, that needs to be mentioned. The fact that the Movie, had to be designed to look "Islamic" and has been hailed in as a sign of revival of Cinema in Pakistan, goes to show the ever growing interest in the masses in general and the youth in particular to know Islam. Without an iota of doubt, if Revival of Muslims of this region, and the Ummah at large, has to come, then truly it can only be from Islam alone enroute the revival of an Islamic State.


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