By Busharat Elahi Jamil
June 8, 2019
— there remains the far greater task of constructing and building up Pakistan which will require every ounce of our energy, but by the Grace of God we shall build up this new greatest Muslim sovereign State in the world with complete unity, discipline and faith. (Mr. Jinnah, July 7, 1947)
In modern-day world, Pakistan is suffering from swelling socio-political and economic anguishes of Mullah-ism. The issue dates back to August 1947, when Pakistan came into being for Muslim on the basis of Muslim and non-Muslim areas; not for Islam amidst the resilience by Islamic forces, stratums, assemblages awfully countering its formation. Mr. Jinnah’s idea was to form a Muslim-welfare and progressive State. Unfortunately this ideology of Mr. Jinnah was not supportive to the defeated so-called Islamic fundamentalists. Since 1947 the political affiliations, misinterpretations of religion, the support of conservative Islamic factions and illiterate masses are somehow effectively persisting in “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. No doubt the existence of Mullah-ism and its practices are conditional with the existing socio-political fabric of Pakistan.
Mullah-ism steadily penetrated through politics in the conventional conservative society of Pakistan in seventy years. The authoritarian regimes like Zia used them to prolong and strengthen their rule while the democratic regimes used these Mullahs as a vote bank as they have been proved very convenient to manipulate the common masses blindfolding them with religion. Therefore, political Mullahs have ever remained part of parliament in every political regime. They are not willing to say prayers with each other however you can find them on the same page/plate in the very name of politics. Jamat-i-Islami, Jamayat-i-Ulema-i-Islam, Sunni Tehrik, etc. hold Islamic vote bank but could not make Pakistan an Islamic welfare and progressive state in 70 years. They are actually power seekers and exploit democratic politics selling the very merchandise; religion. Mullah used even political platforms to create chaos in the country Khatm-i-Nabuwwat Movement of 1953; Anti Ahmadiyya campaign of 1974, Sami-ul Haq’s Taliban policy and the Dharnas of Tahir-ul-Qadari and Khadim Rizvi are its worst examples.
How fundamentalist Mullahs belong to 72 sects can create unity in believe, faith and equality. Indian society is divided into a harsh cast, creed and religious system. Likewise the extremist Mullahs are dividing the Pakistani society in the name of religion, believes and sects. The eminent religious figures like Maulana Maududi, Mufti Mahmood, Abdul Satar Niazi, Shah Ahmad Nurani, Ataullah Shah Bukhari and Fazal-ur-Rehman are representatives of certain faction but not serving the “Islam” and its universal teachings. They are solely failed to provide a united leadership for the uplift of the nation Pakistan.
Mullahs influence the social fabric and illiterate public of Pakistan to get socio-political and economic benefits. Commonly religion is a source of income for religious strata. For sale Fatwas, death events, weddings and ‘Nikah’ ceremonies, birth of child, opening ceremony of any business opening and many other compulsory social events have economic attractions for Mullahs. Millions of Pakistanis perform Umrah and Hajj every year but the country is still recognized for corruption and terrorism for lacking mandatory morals, which is the very essence of religious training; the foremost responsibility of religious clerics. Loot, rape, child molestation, murder, ransom, kidnapping, bribes, exploitation of minorities and tiny groups and social injustice are the mainstream issues of Pakistan and the religious stratum are not addressing the situations for being their least priority.
Govt. have banned more than seventy religious extremist and terrorist groups including TTP, Sipah-i-Sahaba, Lashkar-i-Taiba, Jaish-i-Muhammad, Sipah-i-Muhammad, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, etc. and held many under surveillance. Contrariwise, they justify their dismaying and extremist activities with their own version of Islam regarding the teachings of certain sects. Shias, Ahmadis, Christian and Hindu communities are mostly victimized by extremist groups. Mostly the madrasas are their muscles where Hafiz, Qaris, Mullahs are usually found involved in terrorist activities across Pakistan. So the monitoring of certain groups and madrasas can be supportive to contain the situations.
In fact, Islam is being attacked with ideologies, not swords, which makes it the fight ‘Jihad’ through ‘pen’ but not through ‘gun’. The historical facts are proving that the notion of jihad through gun is not practicable in this world. This is an outdated notion and defaming the ‘Islam’ and its teachings. The policies of Gen. Zia and the nourishment of Jihadi movements in his regime are responsible of recent extremism and religious backwardness in the Country. His Islamisation policy empowered the fundamentalists and so-called jihad. Misinterpretation of Islamic teachings, Quran and Sunnah by the ignorant Mullahs defame Islam even in the “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. They are unconsciously practicing the theory “knowledge is power and the power is knowledge” because many backward Mullahs are eager to implement the fanatic teachings of respective sect to gain social and religious influence in form of political, social and street power. The only things they hope is power but are utterly ignorant of the responsibility that comes with it.
Their manipulation encompasses land mafia as well, occupying land by building a mosque and madrasa on any plain piece of land which is a usual practice. The graveyard issues, instigation of illiterate public against other sects and tiny groups, political and economic abuse of street power, intolerance, etc. are the common practices by the so-called mullahs in Pakistani. Pakistani society has now drifted towards ignorance where every concern is measured with the scale of religion.
Public gatherings, Seerat conferences and other religious congregations are habitually platforms for hate speeches criticising and highlighting differences from other schools of thought. In fact, Pakistani political elite and governments are responsible of these horrible situations as in the past allegedly political regimes empowered this ignorant stratum through certain legislation against the tiny groups and weak minorities in the Country.
Ignorant Mullahs using religion as a tool, influence vulnerable common masses for their illiteracy. They fail to solve the issues around them yet, they are highly ambitious to religiously serve the “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. They seek vote in the name of religion but do not serve the religion. Mullahs like Fazal-ur-Rehman are willing to highjack the both religion and politics but not ready to sacrifice anything for the nation of Pakistan. The student bodies like ‘Jamiat-i-Islami’ led ‘Jamiyat’ are the symbol of rigidness and fundamentalism in colleges and universities; they strive to set up monopolies and hegemonies over the administrations.
In Pakistani Islam, Mullahs failed to provide proper religious leadership to the Muslims of Pakistan. Islam is a religion of peace, harmony, brotherhood, justice and equality. Pakistan Ulema Council, Islamic Ideological Council, Muttahida Ulema Board and Pakistan Ulema Council, etc. are responsible to confine Islam and its teachings and for religious services of the Muslims of Pakistan. But inappropriately these institutions and their heads are exclusively failing to serve whatever their agenda is and country is still divided in various factions, groups on the basis of cast, creeds, race and sects. Minorities cannot practice or preach their religions with freedom in Pakistan. Freedom of expression and the worsening status of civil society reflect the ground reality of human rights in Pakistan. According to the report of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan from 2014 to April 2018, 1369 sectarian and 179 religion related offences are reported.
No doubt the entire Mullahs in Pakistan are not under the above discussion but at liberty Pakistan is suffering from such severe social and religious situations and extremism. This cannot be Jinnah’s Pakistan rather legacy of anti-Pakistan forces. Mullahs should not be the part of power politics. They are to serve the religion and they should practice the Islam as a symbol of peace and equality. Religious classes should provide their best services for the prosperity and the unity in “Islamic Republic of Pakistan” which is their definite responsibility.