Monday, April 2, 2012

156 - Who are Rohingyas?

Who are Rohingyas?

Mayu Maung @ Mayurkhareir Bhai

Bismillaahir Rwah’maanir Rwah’eem.

Alh’amdu lillaahi Rwabbil A’alameen, Wasswalaatu Wassalaamu A’laa Saiyidil Mursaleen wa A’laa Aalihee wa Aswh’aabihee Ajmae’en.
Before going to the subject it is assumed to be appropriate of forwarding a hint to the Quranic understanding of human life and its relation to here and hereafter as introduction in the beginning and as conclusion in the end.


English equivalent of some Arabic alphabets written in the following Quranic passages:-

Th = ث ; j = ج ; h’ = ح ; kh = خ ; د’ = d-d when an alphabet holds dal it sounds double; dth = ذ ; rw = ر when it is with fat-h’ah and hdwammah ; sh = ش ; sw = ص ; hdw = ض ; tw = ط ; dthw = ظ ; a’, e’, u’ = ع ; q = ق ; lw = ل when the alphabet holding lam-e-Allwaah is with either fat-h’ah or hdwammah ; wa = و ; aْ = اْ when an Arabic alphabet holds hamzah with fat-h’ah, eْ = ىْ when an Arabic alphabet holds hamzah with kasrah, uْ = وْ when an Arabic alphabet holds hamzah with hdwammah.

A hint to the Quranic understanding of human life and its relation to here and hereafter.

Auoodthu Billaahi Minashshaitwaanir Rwajeem.

Qadkhalat ming Qablikum Sunanung Faseerwoo Fil Arhdwi Fangdthwuroo Kaifa Kaana A’aqibatul Mukadthdthibeen (3:137). Many similar ways (and mishaps of life) were faced by nations (believers and disbelievers) that have passed away before you (as you have faced in the battle of Uhud), so travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who disbelieved (in the Oneness of Allah, and disobeyed him and His Messengers).

Lillaahi mulkussamaawaati wal arhdwi wa maa feehinna, wa huwa a’laa kulli shaieeng qadeer (5:120). To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is therein, and He is Able to do all things. (Dominion = All-ruling authority).

Wa Kaanallwaahu Bikulli Shaieem Muheetwaa (4:126). And Allah is ever encompassing all things. (that is, nothing is kept out of His encompassing and grip.)

Innee Jaae’long Fil Arhdwi Khaleefah
(2: 30). I (Allah) shall create a vicegerent on earth.

Wa Maa Khalaqtul Jinna wal Ingsa Illaa Liya’budoon (51: 56). And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone). (Allah SWT has created mankind and jinn, only to obey and worship Him).

All these verses indicate that as long as obeying of Allah Almighty is left on earth i.e. till one man alone is left obeying Allah Almighty on earth; Allah Almighty shall preserve the existence of earth intact with him. When no more obeying of Allah Almighty is left on earth, Allah Almighty shall end the existence of earth. This shall be the last day of all creations.

Mainyutwie’rrwasoola Faqad-d Atwaa-a’llah (4:80). He who obeys the Messenger (Mohammad SAW), has indeed obeyed Allah SWT.

Wamaa Yangtwiqu A’nil Hawa (53:3). Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. Inhuwa Illaa Wah’yui Yooh’aa (53:4). It is only a revelation revealed. (Whatever guidance the Messenger Mohammad SAW is giving to human life for living, is from Allah Almighty.)

Yaa Aiyuhalladtheena Aamanuttaqullwaaha wa Qooloo Qaulang Sadeedaa (22:70). O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. Yuswleh’ Lakum Aa’maa lakum wa Yagfir Lakum dthunoobakum wa Mainyyutwie’llaaha wa Rwasoolahoo Faqad-d Faaza fwauzan A’dthweemaa (22:71). He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger SAW, he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and will be admitted to paradise).

Laa Nufarriqu baina Ah’adim Minrrwusulih (2:285). They (Who believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books and His Messengers) say, “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers”.

Wa Idth Akhadthallwaahu Meethaaqannabiyyeena Lamaa Aataitukum Ming Kitaabiyaun wa H’ikmating Thumma Jaa Akum Rwasoolum Muswaddiqal Limaa Ma A’kum Latuْminunna Bihee wa Latangsurwunnah, qaala A-aqrwartum wa Akhadthtum A’laa dthaalikum Iswree, Qaaloo Aqrwarnaa Qaala Fashhadoo wa Ana Ma A’kum Minashshaahideen (3:81). And (remember) when Allah took the covenant of the prophets, saying: “Take whatever I gave you from the book and Hikmah (understanding of the Laws of Allah), and afterwards there will come to you a Messenger (Mohammad SAW) confirming what is with you; you must, then, believe in him and help him”. Allah said: “Do you agree (to it) and will you take up My Covenant (which I conclude with you)”? They said: “We agree”. He said: “Then bear witness; and I am with you among the witnesses (for this)”.

These verses indicate that without obeying of Mohammad SAW there is no obeying of Allah Almighty and His other Messengers.


Rohingyas are Muslims. They want to live as Muslims according to Quran and Sunnah. They desire peaceful co-existence among all communities they are living with. Their struggle is for establishment of justice and peace.

Rohingyas are aboriginal inhabitants of Arakan. The word Rohingya is not a surfacing from politics. It is a historical name of a community living in Arakan. Historically the old name of Arakan is Rohang and her people are Rohingyas. Rohingyas did not write the history of Rohang, it was written by other people, mostly Europeans. It appeared not only in a single book, it appeared in many books. It is not a myth; it is a history by evidence.

Arakan was an independent sovereign Muslim Kingdom up to 1784AD in which year it was colonized by Burmese king Bodawphaya. It is a multi-national country with two major communities of Rohingyas and Maghs. Rohingyas are Muslims and Maghs confess Buddhism. It is a riverine country comprises an area of 22,000 sq. miles. It is situated between Bangladesh and Burma and bordering India in the north. It is harboring Bay of Bengal with a length of about more than 300 miles in the west. Arakan is separated from Burma by a barrier of big high mountain call Arakan Yoma in the east sloping down from north to the south. It is ornamented with a thick tropical evergreen rain forest. Naturally and geographically it has relation with Bengal in many ways.


The Arabs were seafaring people since 4th and 5th centuries in the Bay of Bengal, which in early days was called Arab Lake. The continuance of their travel to the east brought Islam into Arakan probably at the time of Prophet Mohammad SAW. Mr. R. B. Smart, author of Burma Gazetteer, stated: “ About 788 AD Mahataing Sandya ascended the throne, founded a new city (Vesali) on the site of old Ramawadi and died after a reign of twenty two years. In his reign several ships were wrecked on Ramree Island and the crews, said to have been Mohamedans, were sent to Arakan proper and settled in villages” (Burma Gazetteer, Akyab District, Vol. I, Chapter II, History and Archeology by R. B. Smart). These shipwrecked Mohamedans were Arabs (Burma, an Arab Land of the East by Ch. Mohd. A. F. Hazary in the Dacca Review, p. 35). The Arab merchants and mystics carried out missionary activities among the locals. The superior moral character and high missionary zeal of those devout followers attracted large number of people towards Islam who embraced it en masse (History of Burma in Burmese by U Kyi p. 160); similar writing is also found in New Arakan History by Dengnyawadi Sayadaw U Nya Na p. 161-162. As such the Muslim population of Arakan had grown substantially during the pre-Mrauk-U era, especially after the advent of Muslim rule in Bengal in 1203. In 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, central Asian Muslims arrived and settled in Arakan from which time Muslim Saltanate (Kingdom) was established up to 1784AD in which year it was occupied by Burmese king.


In fact, geographically, Arakan is a continuation of Chittagong plain. It has close overland ties with East Bengal. Before pollution with Burmans it was an Indian land with a population similar to Bengal. In the history book of Ancient India it is written that the people lived in this plain were communities of Rakhshas. They were not ogres, but a common people similar to Bengalees. In those days, in the presence of Rakhshas community it was not known that the name of the land was Arakan, Rakhine or Rakkhapura. The name Arakan and Rakhine appeared only in Mrauku Empire.

Actually the name of Arakan in Burmese is Rakhine. Rakhine is not a separate name from Arakan. A biological scientist who reached Arakan in eighteenth century discovered a variety of banana in the banana plantations of Rohingyas. This scientist named it Musa Paradisiaca Arakanensis. He attached the Muslim name to its variety as it was found with them. Magh Buddhists called it Kala Ngappyaw Thi that is Muslim banana. Kala is a derogatory term to Muslims given by Buddhist Maghs and Burmans. Burmans call this banana Rakhine Ngappyaw Thi. This mentions that Rakhine is translation of the word Arakanese in to Burmese. In Field – Marshal Sir William Slim's "Defeat into Victory" page 146, wrote: "When we withdrew, …. was followed by a bitter internecine struggle for land and power between the Arakanese and Maughs ", which is attributing Arakanese to the Muslims and Maughs to the Buddhists. Major Anthony Irwin, another British officer who served in Arakan front, in his Burmese Outpost pp. 21-22, wrote, " At first Maghs had it all their own way, for they were better organized and better armed, having a fair sprinkling of rifles. But as they pushed north, so they met up stiffer and more organized resistance and were not only held but forced to retreat, for they are, man to man, no match for the Mussulman Arakanese ", which is clearly attributing the term Arakanese to the Muslims.

The almost certain is that the name Arakan became popular after the Muslim conquest of the country in 1430 CE. The Arakan kings were well versed in Persian and it was official language of Arakan upto 1845. In the Journal of Burma Research Society (JBRS), 50th anniversary publication No. 2, pp. 491 – 2, under the caption, Arakan's Place in the Civilization of the Bay, wrote, "It took a hundred years for the kings (Arakan Kings) to learn the doctrine of Islam. When it was well understood they had founded what was known as the Arakanese Empire". “In 1531 Minbin (Zabuk Shah) ascended the throne, with him the Arakanese graduated in their Moslem studies and the empire was founded”. “The last king Thamada 1782-5, bearing as if in irony the name of the first king on earth has less authority than ever, for he was from the despised race of Ramree” (Outline of Burmese History by G. E. Harvey. P. 97). Ramree is an island to where Muslim archers were deported earlier. Medieval Portuguese and other European travelers mentioned it Arracan, Aracco, Orracan, Arrakan and Van Linscoten writes it Arakan which is nearest to the modern name (A History of Chittagong by Dr. S. B. Qanungo Vol. I, page 232). One of the coins found in Arakan and preserved in the museum of Calcutta minted by Sultan Bahadur Shah dated 965 A. H. (1557 – 58 CE) was inscribed in Persian with Kalema on obverse side and mint name Arakan on the reverse side. Similar coins minted by his predecessor Sultan Mohammad Shah 962 AH (1554 – 55 CE) with inscription of mint name Arakan was preserved in Calcutta Museum. Mohammad Shah's coins with the same reading are also found preserved in the British Museum. The name of Arakan did not appear as a solitary instance in Persian or Arabic language. Different important places, rivers and mountains of Arakan also bear names in same language. For example, the name of the capital city of Arakan is Akyab (Ek – Ab) meaning land of one water in Persian. Badr Moqam, a Muslim shrine at Akyab, was established in eighth century (Journal of the Asiatic Society of Pakistan JASP, Vol. VII, 1962, Analytical Study of “Badar Muqum by Siddiq Khan”). The names of rivers: Kaladan (intellectuals), Naf (nerve), Kalapanj (50 learned men) are also of either Persian or Arabic in origin testifying to the fact of Islamic sway over the region now known as Arakan. Thus the terms Arakan and Arakanese are attributed to Muslims.

In a made up history of Arakan by Magh Buddhists and Burmans wrote about Mrauku Dynasty's Islamic identities that when Sulaiman Shah was reinstated to his throne with the help of Bengal king, an agreement was reached between them. According to agreement some of the points are shown below:-

1. Persian language should be official Language of Arakan;

2. The kings should bear Muslim names;

3. On one side of the currency coins Islamic Kalema “Laa Ilaaha Illallwaahu Muhammadur Rwasoolullwaah" should beimprinted and the other side should bear Muslim name of the king;

4. The imprint of State Emblem should be "Laa Ilaaha Illallwaahu Muhammadur Rwasoolullwaah";
5. The State should stay feudatory to Bengal Sultan etc.

In Bengal there is no any historical record of such agreement. A historian of Bengal copied this from the history of Arakan made up by Maghs and Burmans. Moreover in Burma and Indian subcontinent there are neither any historical records nor systems of non-Muslim kings keeping Muslim names; Muslim kings forcing non-Muslim kings to keep Muslim names, imprint Islamic Kalema on currency coins and state emblem of non-Muslim country, and apply an Islamic language as an official language for non-Muslims who do not know that language. Islamic names and signs are holy to Muslims; Muslims do not allow desecration of these. Muslims of fifteen century were better than the Muslims of today. Is there any evidence of such happenings today anywhere in the world that Muslims are forcing non-Muslim subordinates to bear Islamic holy signs? It is not acceptable that Bengal Muslim King had forced non-Muslims of Arakan to bear holy signs of Islam because it is not sacred to them. If it is right, why don’t Maghs of today have any such sign remained as a lineage from their ancestors according to their claim? But these customs of Arakan’s Royal Families are found only with Rohingyas and Muslims of Burma. From history it is clearly found that Arakan kings were not under the pressure of Bengal kings. The reign of Arakan kings bearing Muslim names had covered up to the Meghna River. It is not necessary to please Muslim subjects by bearing Muslim names, because Muslims naturally do not please with a non-Muslim bearing Islamic name whosoever he is. Marbles and stones were found inside pagodas and images of Mrauku (Fattariqilla) with the imprint of Islamic writings. If anyone wants to know about this, ask Maghs and Burmans; surely their sincerity shall reveal the truth.


Magh Buddhists of Arakan under the patronage of Burmans lordship reaped maximum benefit from the ignorance and unconsciousness of the Rohingya Muslims. Nowadays only, the educated class of Rohingya community, after making thorough research into the history of Rohingyas, comes to know that Rakhine is the name of Muslims living in Arakan. The Buddhist community of Arakan owns the name Magh only as their lineage of ancestry traces to Magadha origin of Bihar. But the purity of Arian blood in these Magadah immigrants was lost as a result of intermarriages between them and their co-religionists – the Mongolians, who overwhelmed the region for centuries since 957 CE. Though they are of Magadah origin, in the later period, they have started abandoning it and assimilated into Burmans. Their culture, civilization, language and appearance are totally of Burmans. Some of them are although struggling for Arakan, but their mentality and behavior are of Burmans. Burmans write their language as Burmese. They speak it with slight phonetic differences. The original Buddhists of Arakan are left in a very few quantity in the name of Barua

In the society of Arakan's Maghs, there are those who are politically moving against Rohingyas are mostly from Bangladesh. The infiltrated Magh Buddhists of Bangladesh are constitutionally recognized as ethnic community of Burma whereas the native Rohingyas of Arakan are branded as infiltrators, for they are Muslims. Is it not that majority community of a country at the helm of administration is persecuting minority of other races on the basis of race and religion?

Today's politicizing of words Rakhine and Rakhine Pre for Buddhist Maghs is nothing but a conspiracy to make Rohingyas foreigners in their motherland and Arakan devoid of Rohingyas. Actually Maghs are not Rakhine, They are Maghs. If they want to disown the name Magh, then they are Burmans only, not Rakhine. At the time of independence movement the leaders of so-called Rakhine had served in the movement of Burma Independence Movement under the leadership of general Aung San, instead of moving for the independence of Arakan. Burmese kings were ivited by Maghs to occupy Arakan. They had even abandoned the name Rakhine and bore the name Burman and took pride to be member of big star in the national flag. After coming of military regime, when Maghs are totally assimilated into Burmans with negligible differences in few factors and Rohingyas are made constitutionally foreigners and politically impotent, then only Burma's authority recommended a state for Magh Buddhists by kidnapping the name Rakhine from Muslims after achieving confidence for their policy. In support of this they have made a history up, to deceive the people of Burma from reality of the history. In our life, that is before and after independence of Burma and up to now, there is not seen any official writing on Muslims of Burma by the government. The worst is that the regime is clandestinely behind all anti-Muslim activities. Muslims are made fall guy for all of regime's perpetrations against innocent civilians.

Most of the present day Buddhists of Arakan and Bangladesh say that the word Magh is a wanton coinage by Englishmen which does not stand true as the British came to the East in eighteenth century and the name Magh was prevalent even in seventh and eighth centuries.

The Maghs (Buddhists) of Bangladesh are categorized into two groups namely Jhumia Maghs and Roang Maghs indicating that the Roang Maghs (Bangladesh District Gazetteer, Chittagong p. 115) have come from what was known as Rohang and they belong to a separate ethnic group of Arakan. The Marma (Myanmar) community of Bangladesh claims that they are Rakhine. They speak Burmese language with slight phonetic differences as Magh people of Arakan. The Burmese word Myanmar is pronounced as Marma in Magh Language. Thus the name suggests that they are Burmans. This Marma history is left for study.

From the east, Burmans are regularly immigrating into Arakan. In southern Arakan they are majority. Today Burman communities are being settled throughout Arakan by the regime including northern most Arakan to get rid of its original ethnic communities. It is assumed that in near future there will be no more either Rohingyas or Maghs. Today Burmese authority says that there is no Rohoingyas, next day they will say, there is any Maghs. O’ Magh people, wait for this.


It is necessary to mention what Burmans are. General mass of original Burmans is simple and kindhearted. They are pleasant and cordial towards friends and guests and helpful to strangers. Naturally they are not harmful to any one. But I doubt the survival of this nature when each and every body of Burmans is adopting the policy of their leaders. It is the ruler’s policy of racism polluting Burman community. Throughout the time it is found that the nationalism was exploited for the interest of rulers only pushing the country into chaos and the people to pauper. We hope if Allah Almighty wills our beloved Su shall be able to lead the country to peace and justice to prosper. From Central Asia to Philippines it were mostly Buddhist people converted to Islam by their free will. A man can be killed physically but not his freedom of will. One of the Lord Buddha’s saying predicted the advent of last prophet Mohammad SAW that may probably signals Buddhists to convert to Islam. Muslims never force anyone to accept Islam. As far as belief is concerned, it depends on one’s freedom of will, a gift from Allah Almighty. If Allah Almighty wishes one to be a Muslim, no one can bar him from becoming Muslim, if Allah Almighty does not want one to be a Muslim, no one can make him Muslim. To become a Muslim depends on one’s desire to be a Muslim. It is a sincere overture to end antagonism among all communities of Burma.


Why do Maghs want to disown their own name? The fact is that for more than 2 centuries from the middle of 16th century till 1784, the year of Burmese conquest of Arakan, the Maghs of Arakan in collusion with Portuguese freebooters caused such an agonizing terror and consternation in the minds of people of Bengal that the name Magh becomes synonymous with pirates. The fierceness, cruelty, lawlessness and their obnoxious activities had led the land under occupation to earn the ignoble name of "Magher Mulluk" which means a land without law, justice and order. Magher Mulluk has become a proverbial saying in Bengali language meaning lawlessness.

An account of the mid-seventeenth century historian Shahabuddin Talish "Fathya–I–Ibriya p. 183" suffices to authenticate the fact that those Maghs marauders belonged to the kingdom of Arakan. The account appears in his Fathya–I–Ibriya p. 183 as such "Arrcan pirates, both Maghs and Firingi, used constantly to (come) by water route and plunder Bengal. They carried off the Hindus and Muslims, male and female, great and small, few and many, that they could seize, pierced the palms of their hands, passed thin canes through the holes, and threw them one above another under the deck of their ship. In the same manner as grain is flung to fowls, every morn and evening they threw down uncooked rice from above to the captives as food". The Maghs have earned such a bad name during last many centuries that it has become a great shame for their descendants of today to own the name Magh. Instead they had started calling themselves as Rakhine the derivative of which is directly related to Arakan and Muslims. In Bangladesh district gazetteers, Chittagong, p. 115, wrote, "The term Rakhaing is in fact the corruption of Roang/Recon, the old name of Arakan. Hence all terms Rakan, Rakanj, Arkhank, Recon, Arraco, Arrcan used by different historians are related to either Roang or Arakan. It is in no way related to Rakkhapura as claimed by Arakanese chronicles”.


The old languages of Indian subcontinent are Pali, Sanskrit, Bengali and Hindi. The South East Asian languages were derived from these languages of Indian subcontinent. The later derived languages are regionally different from each other and become almost different from the ancestral languages. The plain containing Arakan, Assam, Mizoram, Tripura, Chittagong, Chittagong Hill-tract has a common language for communication. It is either Rohingya or Chittagonian language, which is spoken throughout the time immemorial by all communities of the plain including Maghs. With the change of time and place it varied, but communicable standard still exists. This language is actually the language of Rohingyas, Maghs and Chatganyas. Maghs, by going alongside with Burmans, adopted Burmese language abandoning their own language. What an outrageous accusation, original people with original language are being alleged as foreigners!

Rohingya language is an admixture of different languages developed during a course of more than thousand years. Persian had been official language of Mrauk-U kings till 1845, 22 years further beyond the conquest of Arakan by the Britishers. Many famous Muslim court poets who served the kings of Arakan like Shah Alwal, Daulat Qazi, Magan Siddiqi etc. wrote in Persian and Arabic or in the language of Rohingyas, a mixture of Bengali, Persian, Arabic, English and Burmese. Although the Rohingya language was wide spread during the era of Arakan kings (The Muslims of Burma, A Study of Minority Groups by Moshe Yegar 1972 p. 25) today its existence as a written language has diminished as it was mainly destroyed by the Burman invaders in 1784 and not preserved well by subsequent colonialists.


The term Roang/Rohang/Roshang – the old name of Arakan is a dialect from Arabic term Raham (blessings, mercy). Arab and Persian traders of earliest days attributed this name to the old kingdom of Vesali (a century prior to the Chandras) the country they used to visit. In 788AD the shipwrecked Arabs having been washed ashore on an island in the west coast of Arakan called the land Raham Borri in Arabic that means "The land of Allah's blessings", (Burma, an Arab Land of the East by Ch. Mohd. A. F. Hazary, the Dacca Review p. 35). The term still left as it was with a slight change in Burmese as Rambree while in English as Ramrhee. Chakma king Manikbi's husband fought many battles with Maghs in the country called Roang (Arakan) in the year 1118 – 1119 AD (Vide Arakan History: Dengyawadi, Aradafung, pages 17 to 19). During the reign of Chakma king Kamal Chega, there was war with Roang and the Chakmas migrated into that country (Bangladesh Dist. Gazetteers, Chittagong Hilltract pp. 33 – 34). In the Tripura chronicles, Rajmala mentioned, "the Tripura king penetrated deep into Roshang and conquered it. Then the king entrusted it to his governor of Chittagong and directed him to carry plan for complete subjugation of Roshang into effect (History of Chittagong by Dr. S. B. Qanango vol. I, pp. 159–60). The celebrated 17th century Arakan court poet Shah Alwal's ballad on the lamentations of Ameena, the youngest daughter of ill-fated Maghul prince Shah Shuja after his death, amply mentioned about the kingdom of Rohang and Rohingyas. All these facts and evidences clearly indicate that the indigenous name of Arakan was Rohang, a term used first by Arabs.

The term Rohingya is derived from the word Rohai or Roshangree, a terminology perverted to Rohingya (Burma, An Arab Land of the East by Ch. Mohd. A. F. Hazary). They are inhabitants of old Arakan (Rohang / Roshang / Roang). Among the Muslim population of Chittagong, two distinct ethnic characters are found; one is known as Chatganya and the other Rohai. In fact today's Rohais of Chittagong are those Muslims who fled Arakan (Rohang) to escape Burman's atrocities after they occupied it in the year 1784AD. More than 50% of Chittagong district's total populations are Rohais. They trace their ancestral origin to Arakan. The Rohingyas trace their origin to Arabs, Moors, Turks, Persians, Moghuls, Pathan and Bengalees (M. A. Rahim, Reader in History, Social and Cultural History of Bengal, Vol. I, 1201–1576, University of Karachi, Co-Operative Housing Society, Karachi 5).

When we study the relation between the Arabic words Raham, Raihan and Rohingya words Roang, Rohang, Rakhine, Arakan, we surely find that they are same words. The differences found in these words are due to the differences of time and place as naturally happening everywhere in the world. Out of many examples, here is being cited one. A green scented plant called Roang Phul (Roang flower) by Rohingyas and taken as national flower which is being used holily to send to Masjid on Friday prayers, is called Raihan flower by Arabs. It is clearly indicating that with a change of time and place, the Arabic words Raham, Raihan are pronounced by Rohingyas as Roang, Rohang, Rakang or Arakan.

A British army officer who served in Arakan front during Second Great War remarked about the ethnic character of the Muslims as follows: "and to look at, they are quite unlike any other product of India or Burma that I have seen. They resemble the Arabs in name, in dress and in habit. The women and more particularly the young girls, have a distinctive Arab touch about them" (Burma Outpost by Anthony Irwin pp. 22).

In the history of Arakan written by Burmese authorities and Magh Buddhists, the presence of either Rohingyas or Muslims in Arakan is not mentioned except those Kaman Muslims for whom they expect their conversion to Buddhism in near future. As such these Kaman Muslims are put under such pressure of authority and Magh Buddhists that they shall have no alternative but to be converted to Buddhism in future. Such writing mentioned above has appeared in the booklet of Arakan published by the Burmese authority. There is another small community like Rohingyas called Barua, practicing Buddhism and speaking Rohingya language is also listed as an ethnic minority of Burma just for being Buddhists, whereas another similar community of Hindu is facing same situation as Rohingyas for they are not Buddhists. The policy of Burmese ruling group is "to be a Burman is to be a Buddhist". The western world's Christian missionaries in the name of NGOs are active among tribal people living in mountainous ranges of Arakan, the conversion of whom to Christianity has enraged the Burmese authority who has threatened them to abandon Christianity and accept Buddhism otherwise they shall be driven out of the country. Most of them have already crossed over to Bangladesh territory and living as Bangladeshi tribal people. These are the true pictures of Burmese authority's policy. When Burmese authority cannot Burmanise Rohingya community, then they have started driving them out of Arakan. Rohingyas’ sister community, the Magh Buddhists, not all, are also aiding in executing Burmese authority's plan. It is very difficult to understand the liberation movement of Magh Buddhists against Burmese regime.

The Burmese regime is always issuing clarification that there are no Rohingyas in Burma; it is a make up of kalasoe (a derogatory and alleging term to Muslims who are fighting for their survival). In the history of Burmese Muslims written by some authentic historians of Burma wrote that when the Burmese king Bodawphaya occupied Arakan, the prisoners of war of all 3700 artillary forces taken by him were Muslims excluding all other ordinary Muslim prisoners taken as porters. They were settled around the moat of Mandalay palace, Sagaing and along the belt of Amarapura to Pyinmana. (I had grown up in the Setkyanwezein Quarter of Mandalay where Rohingyas’ descendents are living. In this quarter an old man who was found healthy and strong at the age of more than hundred years used to say that he had seen Thibaw Min the last king of Burma while he was a young man. He said that his forefathers were descendents of Rohingyas from Arakan. This Muslim community claims that they are Rakhine and formed into a race of Thungtaung Khunihtya Myoo ie. Race of 3700.) More than 60% of Burmese Muslims living in proper Burma are descendants of these Arakanese Muslims (Rohingyas). They had given faithful artillery services to all succeeding Burmese kings. At the time of Thibaw Min they had fought tooth and nail against Britishers. Unfortunately the regime is alleging that these Rohingya Muslims of Arakan are not of pre-British period. On 25th September 1954 at 8:pm, the then Prime Minister of Burma, U Nu, in his radio speech to the nation declared Rohingya as an indigenous ethnic community. Then there was Rohingya program relied from Burma Broadcasting Station, Rangoon. On National Day there were Rohingya Cultural Exhibition in Rangoon officially. Rohingyas’ ethnicity is recorded in Encyclopedia Burmanica. The name Rohingya appeared in the book of geography prescribed for high school classes.


Both Maghs and Rohingyas must realize a real undeniable factor that is controlling the identity of both communities. When Maghs with Burmans and Rohingyas with Bengalees, are living together, their identities are no more left, but when both of Maghs and Rohingyas are living together, their identity is remained intact. Is there any evidence that the Magh community has disappeared in the society of Rohingyas or Bengalees? It is being made a challenge to anyone to bring evidence in this regard. It is as clear as full moon in the cloudless sky that Maghs have completely disappeared in the society of Burmans naturally. Alleging Rohingyas as infiltrators on account of difference in religion and their resemblance to Bengalees, is nothing but a conspiracy to wipe out Rohingyas from Arakan to pave the way for assimilation of Maghs into Burman society easily.


The Burman mind is consistently haunted by the apprehension that one day the history of Arakan might be repeated and they have to wash their hands off Arakan. For prevention of such situation they have adopted a persistent clandestine policy to wipe out Rohingya Muslims of Arakan the potential danger in their eyes. The ethnic cleansing operations being launched off and on against Rohingyas are the result of this deep-seated fear, the Burmans are harboring secretly in their hearts. The irony of fate is that, the governments of Burmans especially military regimes through many decades, by all means of their media are propagandizing against Rohingyas in such a way that today the people of Burma ignorantly perceive that Rohingyas are foreigners. The worst is, Rohingyas’ sister community the Maghs, not all, who are always fanning the flame to burn more and aiding Burmans in implementing their plan of wiping out Rohingyas from Arakan.

After occupation of Arakan by Burman in the year 1784, all Islamic and Magh-Buddhist identities were vandalized and the population of Muslims and anti-Burman Magh Buddhists were massacred. Bringing of Burman-Buddhist appearance to the land was being carried out, the drive of which is active up to these days. It is a noteworthy fact that the original Magh-Buddhist identities were different from that of Burman-Buddhist appearance. At the time of British occupation from the year 1824 to 1948 the Burmans were not able to carry out such activities. But unfortunately in the year 1942 when there was an administrative vacuum due to the leaving of Japanese from the area and the Britons were about to re-enter the place, one hundred thousand unarmed Muslim civilians were massacred by well organized armed Magh Buddhists of Arakan under the patronage of Burman political party leaders with the aim of total cleansing of Muslims from the land to give it a total Burman Buddhistic appearance.

Nowadays throughout the time Muslims are being uprooted and Buddhist people mostly from proper Burma are settled in the vacated places. Muslims are forced to work for the new Buddhist settlers' establishment in the places from where Muslims are uprooted. Masjids, Islamic schools, Islamic identities are being destroyed and Buddhist pagodas, monasteries are constructed in their places; highest summit of mountains and hills of Muslim area and the central positions of Muslim settlements are not spared to erect pagodas and monasteries by Muslim forced labors with their own expenses without any wages. Muslims are forced to provide all necessary materials. Donations for construction of these are collected from Muslims either by force or with a very contrived plan against their will. Muslims are not allowed either to build a new mosque or repair the old ruining ones. Not only the mosques, other religious centers and institutions are also not allowed to establish. Muslim women are forced to abandon Hijab (a veil that covers head to foot of a woman), work outside along with men and engage themselves in a way, which is not worthy of their lives. Women with veils are harassed, disgraced, smacked and their veils torn away by the armies. To Muslims it is a serious blasphemous act against the religion of Islam. Rohingya U’lemas (educated leading members of religion) are being forced to bow Buddhist images, national flag, shave beard, and take prayer caps and turbans off their heads. If anyone is not following the order they are harassed, their beard plucked out, heads smacked throwing away caps and turbans. Actually these acts are insults hurled at Muslims’ faith. Today marriages of Muslims are discriminately and unjustly either banned or imposed restriction. If marriage of a couple is about to be granted, the pair should visit army camp; the bride should show her body to army officer, if needed she should be modeled in the army camp; the injection of sterility should be carried out by the bridegroom; after marriage, the wife should visit army camp again to show her belly to the officer time to time. Clandestinely Muslims are being forced to abandon their religion. Buddhist young men are being encouraged to marry Muslim girls. The authority declares that Rohingyas can stay in Arakan, if they abandon their ethnicity of Rohingya; if they say nothing against perpetrations committed upon them by Burmans and Maghs; if they abandon their culture, civilization and religion; if they offer their daughters to Burmans and Maghs for marriage. These are sinister designs of Burmese policy to change the Muslim land into a wholly Buddhist one.

The Rohingya Muslims of Arakan are not recognized as citizens of Burma by the authority of junta. Today they are foreigners in their own motherland. They have no right of nationality and basic human rights defined by the UN Charter of Human Rights. They have no freedom of speech, politics, religion and movement from place to place even from village to village. There are no facilities of business, health, and education for Rohingya Muslims. They can't claim ownership of anything officially. Farmers cannot sell their agricultural produces; the authority auctions it; the man who wins the auction is the buyer of farmers goods; then farmers are left under the mercy of him; moreover farmers are to pay government taxes also at a very high rate which compels him either to take loan by pawning his land or surrender the land to the authority. Where is food for him to survive? Similar situations are met with other produces and income-oriented projects also. This entire situation made them illiterate, poor, helpless, unhealthy and dependent people. Their lives, properties and dignities are not secured. Killing, molestation and raping of women folks, beating, forced labor; arrest, detention and giving of false allegation upon anyone they like are usual phenomena being faced by Rohingya Muslims. From some Muslim villages such inhuman actions by law enforcing agencies are heard that parents are tied to a post and in front of them their young daughter is made naked and inhumanly raped either to death or unconsciousness; in some occasions the infuriated young men of the community kill the perpetrators. Young Rohingyas are shot to death in groups under false allegation without trial and many men are beaten to death similarly. There is no justice and trial for Muslims. Magh Buddhists and Burmans can commit any crime upon Muslims as they like and for that they have no crime officially.

The Maghs and Burmese authority are always alleging that Rohingya Muslims are infiltrators from Bangladesh. There was a devastating cyclone hit Kyauktaw area of northern Arakan killing thousands of people and made hundreds of thousands homeless. Next day in the newspaper of Burma appeared a news captioned "Kala people infiltrated into Arakan under the pretext of cyclone". The cyclone-hit area was seen as a burnt out area, the survived ones are dying of hunger and after-cyclone diseases. Is it believable that the people of Bangladesh where they are enjoying full of democratic and human rights, freedom of speech, politics, business and movement and free of harassments by law enforcing agencies are immigrating into Arakan of above said situation? In a meeting of gazette officers and political leaders of Arakan State attended by general Tin Oo (now NLD's vice president), one of the Burma Socialist Program Party (BSPP) Magh leaders spoke on the occasion that if the infiltration of Kalas from the western border is not prohibited, this country will become Kala country within twenty years. One can make an assessment into the facts of these situations. After perceiving the reality of fact, what Burmans and some Maghs want, can be traced out.
Under the patronization of Burman policy makers, being not content with their above anti-Rohingya activities, with the advancement of information technology, to mislead the world, some Maghs are further forging ahead seriously in misinforming and mispropagandizing about Rohingyas and their struggle for survival, either inside or outside the country, under the pretext of present day war against terror by the US. As Rohingyas are Muslims, Maghs think that they will be able to persuade Americans to wipe out Rohingyas from their native land as they have been doing the same with the help of Burmese junta. It is a universal nature of Allah Almighty that false never gains victory over the truth.

The measure of persecution being perpetrated upon Rohingyas by the authority is so cruel that the native Rohingyas have no alternative but to flee their beloved motherland leaving hearths and homes behind with tears. Today more than half of them are found in foreign countries passing a life of illegal immigrants under the sympathy of respective governments.

In foreign countries they are found either in the form of villages, quarters or scattered here and there. A few of them reached America and European countries. They are found in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Pakistan, India, Thailand and Malaysia. In Bangladesh a big size of Rohingyas is found in southern Chittagong, particularly Cox's Bazar and Bandarban districts are their abodes along Burma-Bangladesh border.

For more details see “Arakan Past and Present” by Dr. Mohammad Yunus.

Laa Ekrwaaha Fiddeeni Qadtabaiyanarrwushdu Minal Gaiyi. There is no compulsion in religion. Verily the right path has become distinct from the wrong path.

Waqulil Haqqu Minr Rwabbikum, Famangshaa-a Fal Yuْmin Wa Mangshaa-a Falyakfur, Innaa Aa’tad-dnaa lidthwaalimeena Naarwan Ah’aatwa Bihim Surwaadiquhaa. And say: “The truth is from your Lord”. Then whosoever wills, let him believe; and whosoever wills let him disbelieve. Verily We have prepared for the dthwaalimeen (polytheists and wrongdoers), a fire whose walls will be surrounding them (disbelievers in the oneness of Allah).

These verses indicate that no any Muslim has right to force or persecute non-Muslims to accept Islam. Acceptance of Islam or to have faith in Islam is left on the will of all mankind and jinn. It is based on the freedom of their choice the gift of which is granted by Allah Almighty so that their human wisdom and will may have chance to realize the Oneness of Allah Almighty. If they accept they will be winner of the paradise; if they reject they will be losers in the here and hereafter.

May Allah SWT guide us on His path – Aameen.

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