The narrative that has put Muslim youth and
societies on the path to religious extremism is based on a few
1. Caliphate is
a religious term and the establishment of a caliphate system
is a religious responsibility. This means that all Muslims in
the world are a single political entity and they have a
religious obligation to formulate a collective system with a
caliph whom they should all follow. The literature that has
been written in support of this ideology treats terms such as
“caliphate” and “Islamic State” synonymously. The word
“caliphate” was used in the academic world until the times of
Allama Rashid Raza. It was then replaced with “Islamic State”
and now the usage of caliphate has been adopted again.
2. The only
foundation of Muslim unity is religion. All other bases,
whether they be colour or race, geography or language are
false and anti Islamic. Therefore, if a political system is to
be set up among Muslims, it must be on the basis of religion.
3. The nation
state is a concept of modern times and is anti Islamic. It
accepts geography or race as a principle of collectivity. In
the modern age, imperialist powers have encouraged the non
Islamic concept of nation states and divided Muslims on the
basis of colour and race. As Muslims, we are not under any
compulsion to accept this division. We should, therefore,
start a movement against this and establish a global
4. Democracy is
a system of non-believers. It only counts the numbers but does
not weigh them. In this system, the opinion of both the common
man and the scholar is treated the same. This is an anti
Islamic concept. In Islam, the one who knows cannot be the
same as the one who does not know. It is a concept that
pitches the leadership of the majority against the leadership
5. God Almighty
is the true sovereign of this earth. The self-evident result
of this is that His rule be established upon human society and
the state. Therefore it is the right of Muslims to rule the
world because they are the ones who establish God’s real
sovereignty in the world. Islam has allowed religious freedom
at an individual level only. Non Muslims cannot be allowed to
rule the earth. If they do have this power anywhere, we shall
destroy this by using force. In case we do not possess the
required strength, we shall tolerate this rule unwillingly.
6. The present
Muslim rulers are playing the role of barriers to the
establishment of Islam and of agents of the enemies of Islam.
Rulers have certain responsibilities from the perspective of
religion. Some of these are related to the collective, such as
jihad or implementation of the boundaries in Islam. Others are
related to implementing Islamic injunctions on citizens at an
individual level, such as ensuring hijab and keeping of
beards. Muslim rulers are abrogating their responsibilities.
According to Surah al-Ma’idah (5:44), they have become deniers
of faith through their actions, hence they are apostates.
Since the punishment for apostasy in Islam is death, their
killing is permissible. In other words, they should be put to
death. People who work for them and assist them are included
in their category and the same punishment for apostasy will be
applied to them.
7. Not only the
rulers, but ordinary people also commit apostasy, as in
ridiculing religious rituals or blaspheming against prophets.
It is the responsibility of the government that it should
apply the punishment for apostasy upon such people. If the
government is not an Islamic one, or employs delaying tactics,
it is the demand of the spirit of religious fervour that
people themselves punish the perpetrators.
8. Muslim and
non Muslim citizens of an Islamic state are not equal. The
Islamic state comes into being through an ideology and those
people who do not believe in this ideology cannot be proven to
be truly loyal to the state. Therefore the civil rights of
Muslim and non Muslim citizens cannot be equal. Because of
this reason, non Muslims cannot be given pivotal posts in an
Islamic state. One argument in support of the punishment for
apostasy is that it is rebellion against the ideology of the
state and the punishment for rebellion in every religion or
law is death.
9. The purpose
of jihad is to end disbelief and attain supremacy of Islam.
This means that jihad is carried out to put an end to denial
of truth and ensure that Islam gains power over all other
religions. It is a basic responsibility. Every Muslim is
responsible to carry this out.
proclaim jihad. But if rulers are ignorant, the instruction
for jihad is not suspended because it will remain until the
Day of Judgement. This responsibility will again need to be
fulfilled by Muslims by themselves. Today, organizations that
are set up for this purpose are fulfilling this
responsibility. Therefore, supporting them is the demand of
faith, and opposing them is akin to opposing Islam.
This is the narrative that has sown the
seeds of religious extremism and hence of terrorism in the
world. Religious arguments are given in support of all the
above points. The Qur’an, Hadith and Fiqh are employed to
present the bases. The real responsibility of scholars is that
they should clarify the reality of this narrative. They should
bring forth their points of view on all of these points. The
basic question is whether they believe that this narrative is
correct from a religious perspective? Each of these points
should be addressed clearly and without ambiguity. For
example, does Islam accept a foundation for the collective
other than religion? Is the nation state permissible by Islam?
The answers to these questions are not that Pakistan was
created in the name of Islam and its constitution prohibits
the formulation of any law that goes against the Qur’an or
Sunnah. Rather, scholars should explain whether a basis for
the collective other than religion is possible according to
the point of view of Islam.
The next stage will come after this. If
these points are correct, there is no need for a counter
narrative. After this, it becomes necessary from a religious
view that those people who believe it to be correct should be
supported. And if they are wrong, clarifications should be
made as to why. Scholars will need to explain the mistakes
which have been made in bringing forth arguments from the
Qur’an and Hadith in their support. At the end, they should
present what the counter narrative would be. How do the Qur’an
and Sunnah guide us in this direction?
It is no longer useful to assume that
condemning statements are the narratives. Muslim societies and
states must move out of this ambiguity. As far as Pakistan is
concerned, the matter remains vague at the state and the
societal level. The reason is that it has not been addressed
from its origins.
(Translated by Nikhat Sattar)