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Wednesday 8 July 2020

Zaira Wasim quotes Qur’an verse to justify locust attack

The tweet of actress Zaira Wasim can be but hardly faulted for misinterpretation, as it matches the translations by renowned Islamic scholars

Voluntarily retired Bollywood actress Zaira Wasim, who had once grabbed news headlines for quitting the profession of cinema as it went against her religious beliefs, has found herself at the centre of yet another controversy as she tweeted a verse from the Qur’an that came across as a justification of the locust attacks in India. Twitterati slammed the actress and branded her as “anti-India”.

Zaira Wasim, who had debuted in Bollywood with Aamir Khan in the film Dangal, compared the attack of locusts in her tweet to ‘Fruit of Karma’.

Zaira Wasim subsequently deleted not only her tweet but her account. While sharing the verse of the Qur’an, the former actress from Kashmir had tried to say this was Allah’s ‘justice’ that India was facing. Zaira wrote that “all the disasters which have been seen in the recent past including the havoc of locusts are the result of evil deeds of human beings”. In her sentence from the Qur’an “We sent upon them…”, the “we” refers to the divine power.

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The original verse in Arabic: “فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الطُّوفَانَ وَالْجَرَادَ وَالْقُمَّلَ وَالضَّفَادِعَ وَالدَّمَ آيَاتٍ مُّفَصَّلَاتٍ فَاسْتَكْبَرُوا وَكَانُوا قَوْمًا مُّجْرِمِينَ – 7:133”

All reputed scholars in Islam and Islamic theology translate it near identically:

DR. GHALI

So We sent upon them the deluge, and the locusts, and the lice, and the frogs, and the blood, expounded signs; yet they waxed proud and were a criminal people.

MUHSIN KHAN

So We sent on them: the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs, and the blood: (as a succession of) manifest signs, yet they remained arrogant, and they were of those people who were Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists, sinners, etc.).

PICKTHALL

So We sent against them the flood and the locusts and the vermin and the frogs and the blood – a succession of clear signs. But they were arrogant and became a guilty folk.

SAHIH INTERNATIONAL

So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood as distinct signs, but they were arrogant and were a criminal people.

And the actress wrote, “So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood: Signs openly self-explained: but they were steeped in arrogance- a people given to sin”. Therefore, Zaira Wasim cannot be said to have misinterpreted Islam.

However, seeing her tweet, users started trolling her and some even called her crazy. Some users said, “It is forbidden to use Twitter in Islam, then she should leave Twitter.” Either embarrassed or really believing that Twitter was harām, Zaira Wasim beat a hasty retreat from the medium.

zaira wasim trolled

Soon after the tweet went viral on social media, many netizens started slamming her. One of them also questioned “Are you a radical Jihadi?”.

It may be mentioned that locust invaded a few states in India in the past three days. It triggered panic in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and other states. National Capital, Delhi is on alert due to the attack.

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Many other states including Telangana have issued instructions to concerned officials to get ready for the probable attack by the pest. This season, the locusts have changed their attack strategy. They are flying at a great height against their basic nature to fly in the low lying areas.

The current outbreak is the worst in 26 years. The pest is well known for destroying agricultural fields. In many parts of the world, it had also triggered famines.

In India, the pest has entered from Pakistan. Farmers in India are using loud music and fires to battle with the menace instead of using harmful chemicals.

It is a migratory pest that can fly up to 150 km per day. The quantity of food it can eat daily is equivalent to its weight. As they reproduce fast, their numbers increase by 12 times within three months.

Earlier, the breeding centres of locusts were African nations and hence they used to take time to reach India. However, now with the Pak-Afghan border becoming their breeding centre, they are entering Rajasthan from Pakistan.

Before deleting her social media account, Zaira Wasim made an Instagram post where she asked people to not shower her with love or send her good wishes because that deviate her from her path of righteousness. She also put forth her views on the impact of mocking and trolling on people who are sensitive.

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Siddharth Raghvendra Raghuvanshi
Siddharth Raghvendra Raghuvanshi
Editorial Assistant of Sirf News with experience in covering sports and entertainment for Navbharat Times and Network 18's IBN Lokmat

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