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Incompatible Responsibilities
Political Issues
Jhangeer Hanif

‘The Day of Reckoning is due to come’ is a statement that is imprinted in our souls1 and has been substantiated by the Messengers of Allah. According to Islam, a profound sense of accountability in the Hereafter should define the life of each and every person subsisting on this earth. It is this sense which is liable to turn the reckless souls into the responsible, the evil into the good and the turbulent into the satisfied. It is awesomely amazing that Allah has especially raised a series of Messengers to remind people of this Day and through them, many a time, have borne a visual testimony to it in this very world2. Undermining the importance of this Day amounts to denying the meaningful scheme of God regarding this universe. It should therefore should be the personal concern of every believer, and also the focal point of the collective efforts undertaken for the reawakening the Muslim Ummah.

The Almighty has assigned to the ‘Ulamā’ (scholars) the grand task of reawakening in the context of the collectivity of the Muslims. In the gloomy night of ignorance and disbelief, they are to bear the torch of knowledge and faith; and in the hot and dry desert, they are to be the oasis, which promises hope and restores life. They have been entrusted with the guardianship of their people. Like a responsible father, they should be concerned about how their children walk and talk lest these exuberant youth bring a drastic change in their lifestyle and attitude that is bound to endanger their Akhirah (their fate in the Hereafter). It is this concern without which a scholar is no scholar; underlying this notion is the assertion that he cannot be indifferent to any member of his family consisting of the entire society and his sincerity with each one of them should be sublimely transparent and beyond a shadow of doubt.

When a Muslim scholar enters the folds of politics, he has to compromise on many things as is evident from the political movements initiated by the scholars in Pakistan. Because of the advancement in human civilization and increased populace, one has to offer oneself for the public office—an unsettling practice which right in the beginning of their political careers mars their sincerity. Aggressive campaigning essentially involves disparaging and criticizing the policy of the rival group(s), which in turn enrages the supporters of the latter. These scholars thus end up causing an irreparable damage by alienating a considerable number of people. They doubtless undertake projects of public welfare, providing basic necessities of life to the poverty stricken people. Yet, in the pursuit of political authority, their services based on utmost sincerity leave no more than an impression of ostentatious display in order to secure votes. With this background, when they come to the pulpit and address the nation, their words scarcely have any impact on the audience. Ironically, they often use the religion of Islam to make it to the parliament, which only adds to the people’s aversion towards religion. Is it thus improper to conclude that preaching and politics, though begin with the same letter, are entirely incompatible if they emanate from the same person? 




1. Jesus (sws) has described this fact as: ‘The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is’, or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:20-1)

2. The allusion is towards the specific law of Allah regarding his Rusul. They, with the help of Allah, elucidate the truth to the extent that none from among their addressees is left with a genuine excuse to deny it. When this is done, a court of justice is established and the fate of these addressees is decided in this very world without deferring the matter to the Last Day of Judgment. (the Qur’ān, 58:20-1)


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