Pakistan needs to get out of all kinds of violence

Muhammad Arif

Time and again in the history of Pakistan violence has erupted by using the name of Islam. Recent instance is of Khadim Husain Rizvi who created law and order situation after verdict of Asia case by Supreme Court. To act like this may be his point of view but at this point we all need to answer very many questions. Without any doubt Islam and Pakistan are synonymous but how, this is the question that we need to answer.

You would find that everybody around you would be talking that distortions in Islam and in concept of Pakistan was conspired and injected by Jews and now we name it as US and Indian conspired policy. But we never take responsibility upon us. Whether it is not true that different sects exist within us! Whether it is not true that in recent turmoil’s various elements have their leading role using the name of Jihad like Taliban, ISIS and other groups! There is a long list of rulers and religious leaders who have tried to use Islam in their favor. They were all Muslims and we should take responsibility for that.

In fact! In Taqlidi Islam now in vogue instead of Ijtihadi Islam we hear sermons mainly focusing on five basic pillars of Islam. But what about deeds for which every Muslim is accountable. For deeds every one as a Muslim has to go before God. Namaz, Roza, Zakat Haj and Zakat are mandatory and they cannot be forgiven but they are like preparing for exam i.e. your deeds. If you fail in exam than what is the benefit of taking daily classes? This is where we have to focus.

Constituted in 1947, the concept for Pakistan was that it is a part that covers the area where Muslims resides in majority in sub-continent but later by different political groups like J.I the slogan came that meaning of Pakistan is nothing but Islam. Rightly so, but what happened in consequence. In 1956 and 1962 constitutions, State religion of Pakistan as Islam was not clearly defined, however 1973 constitution embodied that but remained limited to its preamble saying that Islam is the official religion of Pakistan and no law can be framed against Quran and Sunnah. Thereafter no one has tried to frame any law in accordance with Islam. Islamic banking in our country is even standing without any Islamic legislation.

Imran Khan with his shabby background has now become the proponent of a state like Medina. Fine, but whether he understands that what it means. No Sir! Not absolutely Not.
To touch that height is very difficult and that goes against upper or ruling classes. If Islam comes nobody would be left uneducated, without food and health facilities and without shelter. Islam says that one can keep only that which can fill up his or her requirement to the minimum. Whether we are ready for that? Every one requires only three time bread without any luxury, he would have to travel in public transport like others, and government would have to avoid all luxuries and to incur mainly on developmental funds, education and health. Every inhabitant would have to be humble with seniors and juniors and avoid using insulting language. Nobody would have to keep unlimited land meaning feudalism would become story of the past. Whether we are ready for that?

Onward our four Khalifas (RU) we have seen different interpretations of Islam. Even Feudalism has been given protection by saying that land owned by lawful means cannot be confiscated by State for others. Even for surrender of facilities above ones requirements, it has been said that it is the discretion of one to do so.

We forget that against these attitudes our four Imams Abu Hanifa (RU), Imam Shaffi (RU),Imam Malik (RU),Imam Hamabal (RU) came forward and all were killed (made Shaheed) by the rulers of that time who were also Muslims. Very few people know that these Imams have consensus on Quran and Ahadees but have difference on Ijmah that how much logical weight is to be given for interpretation of Quran and Sunnah. Imam Abu Hanifa (RU) is the strictest on this among four.

In fact, what went wrong in moving forward was that we closed the door of Ijtihad and went for Taqlidi Islam. This is the main reason for our sufferings.

State Bank and Islamic Banks in Pakistan are currently taking cosmetic steps in the name of Islam. Their main tool is using Murhabah i.e. leasing with paper transaction and no relation with real economy. The people sitting in State Bank and Islamic Banks are just doing job with high salaries with no results as required by the slaying of Quran and Sunnah.

This is one example and dilemma what we are witnessing everywhere Like other areas. We are using Islam like a business deal. Islam does not ask for this.

Now coming to another question that has gripped our society very much is of our treatment with Minorities. Muslims take pride, and rightly so, in their treatment of non-Muslims in their societies better than their contemporaries in the past. In Europe the status of religious minorities came to be recognized in sixteenth centuries and rights were constitutionally guaranteed only in nineteenth century. Most modern scholars like Thomas Arnold, Adam Metz, E.A. Mayer and E.I.J. Rosenthal, while critical of present state of affairs, acknowledged the fact that Islam has treated Jews and Christians very well indeed?. In fact Muslims took the rights of their non-Muslim subjects quite seriously when even the idea of this right was not conceivable.

First of all we have to be clear that the term minority is not acceptable to Islamic jurisprudence because the Muslim jurists never used this term or the concept. The term came into use with the advent of nationalism and nation-states, in which the people were classified on the basis of ethnicity, namely language, race and culture, and the smaller groups were given the status of minority. Even religion was included in this classification. Islamic jurisprudence had a different criterion.

The Medina Pact, signed by the Prophet Muhammad (PBU) with the various tribes in and outside Medina, consists of 47 articles. The first 23 articles deal with the rights and duties of the Muslims in Medina, while the remaining 24 articles deal with those of the Jews.

The article 16 obliged to help and support the Jews who joined them. Article 24 obliges Jews to share the war expenditure with Muslims as long as the war continues. The articles 25 to 31 define the position of all the Jewish tribe as constituting one Ummah together with Muslims. Both were free to practice their religion, having equal rights regarding their persons and their clients. The article 37 states that the Jews are responsible for their own expenses and the Muslims for their own.

The article further obliges the signatories to support each other against those external attacks. The article 42 stipulates that in case of dispute between the parties they must refer it to Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (PBU). The remaining four articles state that the parties will not ally with the Quraysh, or with their supporters. In case of attack on Medina they will support each other. Both will stand by the pact, without altering its terms, or violating them. Allah is ally of those who abide by the pact.

The Pact of Najran, signed by Prophet Muhammad (PBU) with the Christian community of Najran in 631, consists of four paragraphs. The first paragraph spells the terms of financial obligation for the Christians of Najran, the second defines their religious and social rights, and the third explains the economic matters and the fourth states the abiding clause of the pact.

The first paragraph states that the people of Najran were sovereign in their produce and property. It lays down further details about the taxes (kharaj) in terms of cloth, silver, hospitality of the messengers, and loan of arms and horses in case of war.

The second paragraph states that the people of Najran and adjacent areas are allies of Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (PBU) with reference to their property, person, and community, present or absent, families, places of worship and everything they own howsoever small or big.

Regarding the economic rights, the pact lays down that no tithe (Daswan Hisa) would be levied on their produce, nor Muslim armies tread their lands. Probably referring to share cropping the pact stipulates the rate of one half as a right of the parties. It also mentions the prohibition of usury transactions.

Now coming to recent Pakistan we are now seeing glimpses of some positive signs emerging in Pakistan not due to directionless dharnas but with continuation of democracy giving chance to the people to speak mainly through electronic and social media.

A perception is emerging that there should be rights for everyone in Pakistan irrespective of the fact what he is whether a politician ,businessman, high bureaucrat, General, judge or people belonging to any walk of life and they should get the same treatment without any discretion based on religion, sect and linguistic group.

Fortunately our Supreme Court, Armed Forces and Parliament are very clear on these subjects. Though, Imran Government is still confused on economic and social fronts creating problems for the country, but sooner one hopes to get out of this with the passage of time.

Chairman Centre of Advisory Services for Islamic Banking and Finance (CAIF), former Head of FSCD SBP, former Head of Research Arif Habib Investments and Member IFSB Task Force for development of Islamic Money Market, former Member of Access to Justice Fund Supreme Court of Pakistan.

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