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The Implementation of Islam
Political Issues
Dr. Shehzad Saleem

The debate that whether Pakistan had been created in the name of Islam or its founders had intended to establish in a secular democracy has been going on here ever since its creation. In our opinion, this debate is totally needless and we should not waste further time in it.

Since we are Muslims and there cannot be two opinions about the fact that the Sharī’ah which has been given to us addresses us both individually and collectively; therefore, to practise Islam in the complete sense, it is imperative that both types of its directives be followed. Hence, in our opinion, instead of demanding the implementation of Islam from our rulers on the controversial grounds regarding the purpose of Pakistan's creation, the grounds of our demand should be that Islam has to be followed in all the spheres of life.


Fortunately, in the recent past, efforts have been made by our rulers in some form or the other to implement the Islamic Code. The present regime also has shown an inclination, though fairly frail and feeble in nature, towards the process of Islamization. However, the methodology adopted throughout this period, we are afraid, is both lacking in wisdom and application. In our view, Islam has not only a philosophy of its own, it also has a methodology of its own. It stresses that such an implementation can only be successful if steps are first taken to rebuild and reform the society and create within it a yearning for the ideals of Islam. This is not a push-button process; it implies transforming the mentalities of a large number of people, changing a huge, complex social structure and evolving new patterns of thought, culture and behaviour.

In our opinion, besides a lamentable lack of the true understanding of Islam, there are two main factors which have contributed quite significantly to the failure of some sincere efforts from our rulers in implementing Islam.

Firstly, instead of first making efforts to evolve a society on the ideals of Islam, a very crippled system of Islamic Punishments was enforced which made a complete mess of the whole process.

Secondly, instead of beginning this task with their ownselves, they started the process of Islamization with the society. Consequently, the following three directives that Islam gives to the rulers and which make an Islamic State `the Kingdom of God', were totally ignored: (i) their standard of living shall not exceed that of a common citizen, (ii) their doors shall always remain open to hear the grievances and problems of the general public and (iii) the Friday prayers must be led by the head of state in the federal capital and by his administrators in other cities.


This brings us to the question that what should be the strategy which our rulers should adopt in rebuilding our society upon the values and ideals of Islam and in what order should they implement the directives of the Sharī’ah. In this regard, many religious and political parties have compiled their manifestos which elaborate on this strategy. As a religious scholar, our mentor, Mr Javed Ahmad Ghāmidī, has also thought over this issue and presented his views in a detailed discourse which I have reproduced from Urdu in the following pages. I hope our readers, particularly those who are at the helm of our state affairs will give it a sincere reading.

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