New Age Islam Edit Desk
February 13, 2013
In the third part of his article Maulana Asmatullah Muawiyah has adopted the same style of speech as that of the prophets warning the sinners against severe torments or expressing his regrets on the wrongs committed by the sinners. The west has ignored religion for long and has accepted the church and the government as independent and separate entities, formulating laws of governance on the equality of the masses, equal participation of people in governance and common human interests. However, the democracy in the Muslim majority countries like in Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh and now Egypt etc is based on the Islamic Shariah and jurisprudence. The parliament is not an idol, as Maulana Muawiyah wants people to believe but a house of the representatives of the people that can be called the Majlis-e-Shoorah in Islamic lexicon where the affairs of the nation are decided and, if the laws of the country are based on Islamic Shariah the laws are formulated on its basis. Hadhrat Umar had also changed the law of triple Talaqs in one sitting to be considered as one as per situation arising out during his caliphate whereas during the prophet’s time and that of the caliphate of Hadhrat Abu Bakr, triple Talaqs were considered one. Later, when the situation changed, the rule of triple Talaq to be considered one was reinstated. Similarly, Hadhrat Umar had given relaxation in the hand amputation punishment for thieves during a drought as the possibility of people inclined towards theft had grown out of starvation that year.
This demonstrates that Shariah is not rigid and gives one right to decide on the basis of the changing circumstances and keeping in mind the conditions and compulsions of the people. The personal correspondent of the Prophet (pbuh) was a Jew. There are incidents when the prophet (pbuh) decided the affairs of the Jews according to the Torah and not according to the Quran. In several wars, women took part shoulder to shoulder with men and the War of the Camel was fought under the leadership of Hadhrat Aisha. The constitution of Medina under the Medina Accord was the primary form of Islamic democracy which recognised the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims as a single nation thought the reign of the government was in the hands of the Muslims and the government was based on the Quran and the Sunnah. In other words, the holy Prophet (pbuh) had presented an outline of an Islamic democracy during his life which though will be based on Islamic Shariah but it will also recognise the personal laws of the non-Muslims, their places of worship will not be destroyed and their religious affairs will be solved according to their personal laws. By quoting the following verse, Maulana Muawiyah has tried to give the impression that the verse opposes the idea of democracy.
“They wish that you become Kafirs like them so that you will be equals.”
The Quran does not give a clear outline for a form of government because the human society is ever changing and every new age has different conditions and requirements. So, the Quran stresses on the execution of the Islamic ordainments and principles rather than on the form of government.
The Maulana has also presented the following verse in a wrong context and has tried to prove that Muslims living in democratic countries are Kafirs.
“The polytheists do not obey Deen but obey what the Satans whom they consider their elders present to them as their Deen. They follow what their elders call one thing Haram and the other Halal.”
The verse is about the polytheists who follow in the footsteps of their elders and forefathers in terms of faith. But the Maulana would like the people to believe that by polytheists the Quran actually means the Muslims living in democratic countries (Pakistan, Iran etc) and obeying the laws of their countries.
In his presidential address at the Allahabad conference of the Muslim League in 1930, Mohammad Iqbal who famously presented the idea of the Two Nation Theory and who had presented the concept of a separate autonomous state for the Muslims within India had though criticised the British Unitary form of democracy by saying that such a democracy in India was not in the interests of the Muslims as being the majority, the Hindus here would always form the government making the Muslims a dominated community for ever, he nevertheless did not use the term Khilafat (caliphate) for such a Muslim autonomous state. In other words, he was ready to accept such a federal democracy that would be based on Islamic principles.
In his Allahabad address, Iqbal disapproved of the western or European democracy in the following words:
“The principle of European democracy cannot be applied to India without recognizing the fact of communal groups.” 1
However he recommended a federal government by saying:
“The Muslims demand federation because it is pre-eminently a solution of India’s most difficult problem, i.e. the communal problem.”2
He further says:
“The best course, I think, would have been to start with a British Indian Federation only.”3
It is clear here that Iqbal was in favour of a federal democracy for an autonomous Muslim dominated state within India which currently Pakistan is. Therefore, if Iqbal had been alive today, he would definitely have approved of the federal form of government in Pakistan which the likes of Maulana Muawiyah claim are anti-Islamic.
In his letter written to Jinnah, Iqbal had preferred social democracy for the proposed Muslim dominated autonomous state in India because he believed that the British or European democracy would not be able to address the cultural and religious issues of the Muslims. That’s why he demanded a separate state for the Muslims where the reign of the government would be in the hands of the Muslims and the government would be based on Islamic Shariah. But the narrow-minded Jihadis like Maulana Muawiyah will be disappointed to know that Iqbal wanted social democracy for such a government based on Islamic Shariah and not Khilafat. In his letter he says:
“Jawaharlal’s atheistic socialism can never be popular among the Muslims. Therefore, the question is how to solve the issue of poverty among the Muslims and the future of the League depends on to what extent it finds a solution to this problem. If the League does not offer any hope in this regard, I am afraid the Muslim masses will remain alienated with the League as before. Fortunately, the problem can be solved by the implementation of the Islamic laws…. But until an independent Muslim state or states are created in this country, the implementation of the Islamic Shariah is not possible.” (Translated from Urdu) 4
It becomes clear that Iqbal stressed the implementation of Islamic Shariah in Islamic countries but he wanted the Islamic government based on social democracy and not on Khilafat. In the same letter he makes his stance clear enough:
“The idea of accepting social democracy in Islam in an appropriate form and according to the Shariah is nothing new or revolutionary but is like reverting to the core purity of Islam.” (Iqbal's Letter to Jinnah dated May 28, 1937) 5
In short, Islamic Shariah and the form of government are two identical things and a modified form of social democracy in consonance with the principles of Islamic Shariah could be adopted for a Muslim government. In other words, the constitution is important on which the government is based and the mere form of government. If only the form of government was the criterion for a government considered Islamic or un-Islamic, then the Politburo of China is very much similar to Islamic shoorah in form (not in essence) where the head of the government is responsible for the execution of the decisions of the Politburo. But though, the constitution of the country is based on Communism and not on Islamic shariah, it could not be termed as an Islamic government merely because it has a government based on a form of government that is similar to caliphate.
Will then the Taliban scholar Maulana Muawiyah declare the intellectual founder of Pakistan Md Iqbal ignorant and kafir or will he admit his own lack of understanding and ignorance?
1. Iqbal’s presidential address in Muslim League’s Allahabad Conference in 1930
4. Iqbal’s letters to Jinnah, Iqbal Academy Pakistan