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The Political System of Pakistan: Points to Ponder
Political Issues
Dr. Shehzad Saleem


In compliance with the Qur’ānic injunction ‘أَمْرُهُمْ شُورَى بَيْنَهُمْ’ (their system is based on their consultation), the Sunnah decreed by the Prophet (sws) is based on two principles: First, Muslims shall be consulted in the affairs of state through their leaders in whom they profess confidence. Second, among the various parties or groups present in an Islamic State, only that party shall assume its political authority which enjoys the confidence of the majority.

It is evident from the above two principles that the real essence of democracy definitely exists in an Islamic Political System, however, there are certain evils present in the prevailing system of democracy of Pakistan, which are contrary to the teachings of Islam. Some of the important ones are listed below.

The first evil is that greed for an office in government has become so desirable a trait that even the pious feel no aversion to it. It has now become a tradition for people to come forward and present their names for various posts, go about proclaiming their qualities and services in streets and employ other means to allure the public. In Islamic ethics, this shameless attitude is not permissible at all. The Prophet (sws) is said to have said:

إِنَّا وَاللَّهِ لَا نُوَلِّي عَلَى هَذَا الْعَمَلِ أَحَدًا سَأَلَهُ وَلَا أَحَدًا حَرَصَ عَلَيْهِ (مسلم: رقم ١٧٣٣)

By God! We shall not grant any person a post in this system who asks for it and covets it. (Muslim: No. 1733)

The second evil is that people are generally encouraged to vote for whatever is in the party’s interest, even if their conscience considers it against the truth. Quite evidently, this attitude cannot be tolerated by the adherents of a religion whose followers have pledged a covenant at the hands of the Prophet (sws) that they would always say what is right disregarding ‘the reproaches of a one who reproaches’.

The third evil is that money has become the decisive factor in this system’s election campaigns. Therefore, only people who are able to spend lavishly in these campaigns, however little they might know about politics, however much they may lack in wisdom and intellect and however low they may be in character, reach parliament. Islam on the contrary, as every one knows, stresses that only people who are pious and noble, worthy and competent should assume political authority. It totally disapproves that money should rule the realm of politics in place of intellect and morality.

These are some of the evils which plague the democratic order of Pakistan whenever it is allowed to flourish. In their presence, it cannot be expected to function in accordance with the guidance provided by Islam. The whole set-up must be reformed and rehabilitated to harmonize it with the spirit of Islam’s political directives.

(Adapted from Ghamidi’s ‘Burhān’)


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