Pakistan Cyber Force: Pakistan - Islamic or Secular?

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Pakistan - Islamic or Secular?

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In the midst of confusion, if one compares the argument of both Islamic and Secular idealists, and understands both concepts, the pathway to reality becomes quite clear. The secular argument focuses more on the personality and appearance of Quaid e Azam. If their argument is probed, the most significant point is the following quote of Quaid e Azam:

"You may belong to any religion or caste or creed, that has nothing to do with the business of the state..”  There is also one more speech of Quaid e Azam in which he talks about Hindus seizing to be Hindus and Muslims seizing to be Muslims, but not in a religious sense, rather in political sense. Other than these two quotes, secularists focus on Quaid e Azam’s personality. He was educated in England, his English was much better than Urdu, he wore an English suit, and such other things.

But it is to be noted, that Allama Iqbal, the greatest Pan-Islamic philosopher of the same time was educated in the West, he spoke exceptionally fluent English, he usually wore western suits as well, but at the same time he called for the rule of the Quran. So it would not be analytically convincing to label Quaid e Azam secular because of his appearance or seeming way of living. Some Pakistani liberals even go to the extent of saying that Quaid e Azam created Pakistan so that his party could get seats in a parliament, or Quaid e Azam never wanted Pakistan, it was rather a mistake of the situation. It would be extremely offensive to the five million Muslims who gave their lives for Pakistan, when we say that Pakistan and the two-nation theory is not valid anymore.

Even if one does not agree with the pro-Islamic argument and focuses on unbiased research, it is counted, specifically according to the research of Mr. Ayub Baig Mirza, that Quaid e Azam gave 115 speeches in which he perceived Pakistan as an Islamic State; out of which, 101 are prior to independence and 14 are post-independence. In many other addresses, Quaid e Azam clarified that every movement has an ideological foundation and its visionary, and for Pakistan’s movement, Islam is the ideology and Allama Iqbal is the visionary. Pro-Islamic analysts have also concluded, that Quaid e Azam’s speech of 11th August, which is widely rejoiced by secularists, was actually given by him to reassure Non-Muslim Pakistanis of their rights and place in the society, and it did not mean to label Pakistan as a secular nation. The famous excerpt from 11th August address is as follows:

“We are all citizens and equal citizens of one state…. Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal, and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State”.

After this speech was given, secularists spread the word that Quaid e Azam wants Pakistan to be a secular state. Factually, since then all of this confusion had started. But to clarify the matter, Quaid e Azam himself said on 25th January 1948 that

“I could not understand the section of the people that deliberately wanted to spread mischief and propaganda that the constitution of Pakistan would not be made on the basis of Shariah”.

This quote folds and dumps the confusion in the bin. Pro-Islamic writers and columnists have debated that Quaid e Azam’s speech of 11th August was actually meant to relieve the anxiety of the minorities residing in Pakistan caused by the religious conflicts in the sub-continent. It was not meant to describe the system that was to be implemented in Pakistan, and this is ascertained by the speech of Quaid e Azam in 25th January 1948, in which he clarifies what system Pakistan will run on. There is a copious amount of quotes of Quaid e Azam that elucidate the fact that Pakistan was created for Muslims to live their life in accordance to Islamic principles, morals and ethics. Not only this, but also create their own system of governance, in the light of Quran, so that the world has something different to follow other than the systems of the West, which have ruined the economic circumstances of the world (as clarified by Quaid e Azam in his last speech). During his address to the Usmania University, Deccan India, Quaid e Azam was asked what an “Islamic” republic is. He defined it in the following terms:

“In Islam, ultimate obedience belongs to God alone. The only way to follow this guidance is through the Holy Quran. Islam does not preach obedience to a king, parliament, person or institution. The Islamic Govt. means rule of the Quran. And how can you establish the rule of the Quran without an independent state?” Quaid-e-Azam, address to the students of the Usmania University, Deccan, India, August, 1941.

Two things that are illuminated by this answer would either anger the secular elements of Pakistan, or convince them to accept Pakistan as an Islamic state. One, that this quote reflects the fact that Quaid e Azam, at an individual level, was neither secular minded, nor unaware of Islamic teachings.

His description of an Islamic state is no different than what any Islamic scholar would perceive it to be, and his knowledge upon it shows that Quaid e Azam was actually a knowledgeable Muslim. And the second message given by this quote, through the last sentence, teaches exactly why Pakistan was really created. “How can you establish the rule of Quran without an independent state?”. The Great Leader, as “Quaid e Azam” would be translated to in English, wanted the rule of Quran to be established in Pakistan; and through this it becomes lucid that the struggle for Pakistan is still an abandoned mission, which can only be completed after the laws of Quran and Sunnah are implemented. Rather surprising is the fact that some groups find it odd when Quran being implemented in Pakistan is talked about, whereas The Objectives Resolution, the foundation of Pakistan’s constitution, states that no law will be enforced that contradicts to the teachings of Quran.
Plenty of other speeches of Quaid e Azam indicate towards an Islamic system. A few of them are as follows:

"Pakistan not only means freedom and independence, but also the Muslim Ideology that has to be preserved that has come to us as a precious gift and treasure.” Quaid-e-Azam, Chittagong, March, 1948.

“Come forward as servants of Islam, organize the people economically, socially, educationally and politically and I am sure that you will be a power that will be accepted by everybody.” Quaid-e-Azam, Presidential Address at the All India Muslim League, Lahore March 23, 1940.

“You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of Islamic democracy, Islamic social justice and the equality of manhood in your own native soil. With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.” Quaid-e-Azam, address to the officers and men of the 5th Heavy and 6th Light Regiments in Malir, Karachi, February 21, 1948.

“You are only voicing my sentiments, and the sentiments of millions of Musalmans (Muslims) when you say that Pakistan should be based on pure foundations of social justice and Islamic Socialism, not other –isms” Quaid e Azam, March 1948, Chittagong.

“We should have a State in which we could live and breathe as free men and which we could develop according to our own lights and culture and where principles of Islamic social justice could find free play.” Quaid-e-Azam, address to Civil, Naval, Military and Air Force Officers of Pakistan Government, Karachi, October 11, 1947.

These quotes give an idea about the thought process of Quaid e Azam while leading the independence movement, and also confirm that the destined state ideology of Pakistan was always meant to be Islam. In actuality, Quaid e Azam himself called people who support secularism in Pakistan “mischievous and propagandists” (referring to his address on 25th January 1948).

Another argument that is presented by the liberal analysts of Pakistan is that Allama Iqbal had absolutely no role in the creation of Pakistan, mainly because he died before the passing of Pakistan Resolution, also known as Lahore Resolution. This again, is an insult to history. Keeping aside the fact that almost every Pakistani recognizes Iqbal’s vital role in the creation of Pakistan, it is still necessary to clear the mystery. After the Pakistan Resolution was passed and was presented in Minto Park, Quaid e Azam visited Allama Iqbal’s shrine with one of the members of the Pakistan movement, and stated that if Iqbal was here, he would be very happy to see that I have done what was ordained to me.
This highlights the importance of Allama Iqbal in the creation of Pakistan. Also, Quaid e Azam had called Iqbal the visionary behind the movement for Pakistan. The greatest reason, why some people don’t like it when Iqbal is associated with the creation of Pakistan, is that Iqbal was a Pan-Islamist. This is not only portrayed through his extraordinary poetic dimension, but also in his written letters to Quaid e Azam regarding Pakistan. Some of the letters include,

“The Congress President has denied the political existence of Muslims in no unmistakable terms. The other Hindu political body, i.e., the Mahasabha, whom I regard as the real representative of the masses of the Hindus, has declared more than once that a united Hindu-Muslim nation is impossible in India. In these circumstances it is obvious that the only way to a peaceful India is redistribution of the country on the lines of racial, religious and linguistic affinities.”
Iqbal to Quaid, June 1937.

“To my mind the new constitution with its ides of a single Indian federation is completely hopeless. A separate federation of Muslim provinces reformed on the lines I have suggested above, is the only course by which we can secure a peaceful India and save Muslims from the domination of non-Muslims. Why should not the Muslims of North-West India and Bengal be considered as nation entitled to Self-determination just as other nation as in India and outside India are?” Iqbal to Quaid, June 1937.

“Happily there is a solution in the enforcement of the Law of Islam and its further development in the light of modern ideas. After a long and careful study of Islamic Law I have come to the conclusion that if this system of Law is properly understood and applied, at last the right to subsistence is secured to everybody. But the enforcement and development of the Shariat of Islam is impossible in this country without a free Muslim state or states.” Iqbal’s letter to Quaid, 28th May, 1937.

“The Palestine question is very much agitating the minds of the Muslims. I have no doubt that the League will pass a strong resolution on this question and also by holding a private conference of the leaders. Personally I would not mind going to jail on an issue which affects both Islam and India. The formation of a Western base on the very gates of the East is a menace to both.” Iqbal to Quaid, 1937.

Not only do the letters reveal Allama Iqbal’s Pan-Islamism, they also uncover the fact that Allama Iqbal had a critical role in forming the vision, strategy, purpose and motivation for the Muslim League, and the Muslims of India at large for the mission of Pakistan. We can see in the last letter mentioned above, that Pakistan’s foreign policy towards Palestine and Israel is the product of it. Quaid e Azam, before the Pakistan resolution passed, declared numerous times that the Muslims of India did not honor Britain’s pro Jewish attitude and its betrayal towards the Arabs.

Quaid e Azam also declared that the Muslims, not only of India but also of all the world will rise in rage against the state of Israel and will perceive Britain as an enemy of Islam. He even went to the extent to call Israel and “illegal child of the West”. It should be noted here that this is not some fiery lecturer, this is Quaid e Azam himself. The support for the Palestinian cause was built in Pakistanis through this letter of Iqbal, which described Pakistan’s foreign policy, even before its resolution was passed. This shows just a little image of what the importance of Iqbal was in the creation of Pakistan, and it is not to be neglected that the creation of Pakistan was only one big step that had to be achieved; the real completion of this mission would be the implementation of Quran, as ordered by Quaid e Azam and Allama Iqbal themselves.

When Quaid e Azam, and the hundreds of millions of Muslims in the Sub Continent called for an “Islamic” state of Pakistan, they did not mean “Mullahism” (which is usually what the West perceives an Islamic system to be). Quaid e Azam described this case very well when he stated during his address to a US radio station that Pakistan will not be a theocracy (ruled by priests). The aim was to implement the real essence of Islam, and the wisdom of Quran and Sunnah, through which Pakistan would grow as an Islamic welfare state and serve humanity.



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