By Dr A Q Khan
April 22, 2013
Election fever has brought with it a Pandora’s Box full of secrets of past wrongdoings of politicians and rulers. When one reads about the extent of embezzlement of the national wealth that took place, one can’t help but hang one’s head in shame. However, the culprits don’t seem to be ashamed at all about the revelations of their corruption, loan write-offs, etc. The rulers, the opposition and the bureaucracy all played their part in this dirty game.
For the first time we have an independent judiciary and Election Commission and both are flexing their muscles. As a result, criminals have aimed their guns at these two fine institutions. They object to the scrutiny of their papers by the returning officers and they have been unfairly targeting Justice Fakhruddin G Ibrahim, the CEC, who is a competent former judge and an upright, honest person.
Undoubtedly, too many returning officers asked too many religious questions, but that was within the scope of their work. The LHC put an end to such questions, even though they were within their right under Articles 62 and 63 of the constitution. The problem with us is that we don’t really know much about our own religion and its golden principles and can’t quote from it. However, we like to quote western authors and philosophies just to impress.
Many can’t recite Surah Ikhlas and thus cannot offer Fatiha for their near and dear ones. Many of our secular and so-called ‘enlightened’ scholars have turned Islam and Pakistan’s ideology into a punching bag and would like to see Islam and the Ahadees changed in the manner explained by Musharraf.
We all know that the creation of Pakistan was demanded so that we could be free from the excesses and coercion of a Hindu majority and lead our lives according to our own beliefs. The Almighty was kind to us in sending us Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who mobilised the Muslims of the Subcontinent and managed to get a separate, independent homeland for us, though at the cost of the martyrdom of hundreds of thousands of people.
The objective of the creation of Pakistan was unambiguously stated by Quaid-e-Azam in his speech on February18, 1948 in which he said that he believed that the country’s constitution would be democratic and containing the fundamental principles of Islam. He said that those principles were as valid today as they were 1300 years ago - we were taught democracy and its spirit by Islam. These principles are equality, justice and impartiality. It was hoped that lawmakers, while drafting the constitution of Pakistan, would keep in mind these golden principles and traditions.
Pakistan was not to be a theological state ruled by orthodox fundamentalists. In accordance with the wishes and instructions of Quaid-e-Azam, Allama Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar and Dr Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi drafted a document which defined the total authority, democracy, federal system, fundamental rights, the rights of minorities, etc.
On March 12, 1949, a resolution moved by PM Nawab Liaquat Ali Khan was approved by the Constituent Assembly. This ideological resolution contained 10 points. The four most important ones are:
• The sovereignty of the whole universe rests with Almighty Allah, who has granted authority to the government of Pakistan, through its citizens, as a sacred trust.
• Muslims would be provided facilities to lead their individual and family lives according to the tenets of Islam. Islamic laws would be according to the Quran and Sunnah.
• The people’s government would be democratic.
• All citizens would have equal rights without any discrimination and they would be entitled to exercise their political, social and financial rights without any restrictions while the judiciary would ensure implementation.
Later, the Supreme Court, under Justice Hamoodur Rahman, made it a part of the constitution. Similarly, in the 1973 Constitution, Islam was declared as the state religion under Article 2 and the above-mentioned Objectives Resolution was incorporated as Article 2-A.
These are the basic fundamentals of our constitution, but many so-called ‘enlightened’ intellectuals have started a debate on the explanation of the ideology of Pakistan in accordance with their own likes and dislikes. In other words, attention is now focused on the lengths of beards and Shalwars and the edicts of Allah and His Holy Prophet (pbuh) have been shelved. Articles 62 and 63 are discussed without considering their essence.
What do the Quran and the Sunnah tell us about being a Muslim in an Islamic state? There we learn that an individual is a Muslim if: (i) He/she affirms and voluntarily proclaims the unity, oneness and sovereignty of Allah over the whole universe; (ii) Accepts all the prophets and the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) as the final messenger of Allah who conveyed the last Divine Message - the Quran; (iii) Accepts his/her final accountability before Allah; (iv) Prays five times a day; (v) Fasts during the Holy month of Ramadan; (vi) Pays Zakat; (vii) Performs Hajj (if he/she is able to); (viii) Pledges to live according to the commands of Allah and His Prophet and refrains from those evil acts prohibited by Allah and His Prophet, such as adultery, sodomy, stealing, usurping the money or belongings of others, etc.
An Islamic state can be defined as one which affirms projects, upholds and defends the above-mentioned principles by employing all means at its disposal to do so. It protects all its citizens, safeguards their life, honour, property, privacy and freedom of expression and allows them to organise their lives, pursue their dreams and ambitions within the ambit of Islamic principles.
The state will act as their protector and will guard all their individual and collective interests. Above all, it will maintain a transparent and trusted system of justice to ensure equal rights to all without exploitation or discrimination. In the words of Hazrat Abu Baker (RA): “The people must follow me as long as I obey Allah”. This means that an Islamic state is one that obeys Allah and his word the Quranic edicts. Any government that prefers the likes and dislikes of its favourites and ignores the commandments of Allah is not an Islamic government.
We find that ordinary Muslims in other parts of the Muslim world are not confused about these issues. The problem here lies with our self-projected, selfish experts or Ulema who don’t care about justice, fair play, transparency, honesty, truth, sincerity, love, compassion, mercy, clemency and generosity.
History is replete with such wrongdoers about whom Allah Almighty has clearly warned: “Think not that Allah does not heed the deeds of those who do wrong. He but gives them respite against a Day when their eyes will fixedly stare in horror.”(14:42).