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The Implementation of Islam: Strategy for those in Authority
Political Issues
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
(Tr. by:Dr. Shehzad Saleem)

The implementation of Islam has proven to be the most elusive task in the hapless history of our country. The earnest yet assertive voices of our religious scholars in this regard have always been received with a deaf ear. The apparent exception to this rule occurred quite recently, and time conclusively proved that it too was, in fact, no exception1. It was rather like a sudden gust of wind that had ignited a cindering mass of wood, restoring the status quo after some anxious moments of hope and expectation. It was widely proclaimed that the creation of an Islamic State was just in the reckoning---a state which had once manifested itself in the desolate deserts of Arabia many centuries ago; when moral and social values scaled unprecedented heights, and all of man’s ideals became tangible realities. 

But alas! these expectations could not materialize. This failure, in our opinion, was due to the fact that our rulers were initially not equipped with the pre-requisites of this task. Moreover, they were not aware of the proper strategy without which this goal cannot be achieved.

This article is written to present to our ruling class the strategy which we deem proper for this task. In our estimation, it should be based on the following two dimensions:

Firstly, all those factors should be enumerated and analyzed which in some way or the other influence our society and, subsequently, the role played by those found harmful be reformed.

Secondly, priorities should be set according  to  which the directives of the Qur’ān and Sunnah are to be implemented in the society, and all measures should be taken accordingly.


Consider the first dimension:

The factors which exercise a decisive influence in the socio-economic and religio-political spheres of our lives are apparent to every keen eye: Among them is a vast network of religious and general educational institutions, both of which are a perpetual source of scholars and intellectuals, orators and rhetoricians, academicians and thinkers; there are numerous mosques throughout the length and breadth of our country where millions of Muslims turn to five times a day; there are khānqāhs, the abode of our sufis where innumerable devotees are indoctrinated with the occult of sufism; there is the media comprising radio, television, newspapers and magazines which is the foremost means of entertainment; there are countless religious and political parties disseminating there call and message to the general masses and Lastly, we all live under the influence of a political and economic system which play a significant role in determining the pattern of our lives.

We have mentioned the important factors which influence our society. Our aims and objectives, attitudes and desires, cravings and convictions, ambitions and aspirations, trends and inclinations, customs and traditions---in short, the general set-up of our society is determined by the interaction of an individual with these metamorphosing agents. Consequently, our foremost task, as mentioned above is to purify them from any evil they cause and then redirect them so that they can contribute positively to our society. We now examine them one by one.

Institutions of Religious Education

We start our analysis by the role played by our institutions of religious education. A rigorous evaluation of their structure reveals a number of flaws.

Their gravest flaw is that they are based upon the principle of Taqlīd2. Here a student from the very first day is labelled as an orthodox follower of a particular sect. His destiny seems to be carved out beforehand as a devout denouncer of every other sect and an ardent acclaimer of his own. He is made to believe that only his brand of beliefs is in direct conformity with the Qur’ān and Sunnah. He is brainwashed with the notion that only his sect has been divinely blessed with the true version of Islam. An inference attributed to a highly revered scholar of his sect stands supreme till the Day of Judgement. That it can be challenged by explicit reasoning’s derived from the Qur’ān and Sunnah cannot be dared thought of. On the contrary, it becomes a part of his faith that such a scholar cannot falter.

It is this superhuman veneration that has actually given rise to the menace of religious sectarianism. Differences in opinion have often developed into severe conflicts. An atmosphere charged with lightning and resounding with thunder prevails amongst our religious circles. Every now and then, a new episode of defamacy erupts form our mosques, which are unfortunately being used for these malignant offensives. The intense disregard the various sects have for one another has led them to violate all norms of decency. Even immoral tactics are employed to safeguard their own views and interests. Prejudices and bigotry have severely hampered the long needed compilation of the Islamic law and its subsequent implementation. Like nations at war, they continue their crusades against each other---while, very close to them, the forces of evil mock at them and continue to flourish.

There are some among them, who claim to be liberal by not insisting upon the Taqlīd of a single person, yet are adamant that after the fourth century Hijra, the process of direct deliberation and reflection over the Qur’ān as a means for deduction and derivation can no more be deemed admissible; a matter that stands closed and no one should dare open it. To them the explanation of a Qur’ānic verse or a Hadīth contrary to the conventionally understood meaning, outrightly amounts to heresy. Evident omissions and apparent flaws in inferences made in the past are accepted vehemently simply because no one has ever disputed them. In their opinion, scholarship and research only consist of enumerating, as much as possible, the views of previous scholars in support of their own. As a result, all their mental pursuits are confined to compilation and collection of references, while the faculties of reasoning and intellect are impelled into a permanent state of dormancy.

The arguments, they give in their support have no basis in the realms of reality. All of them acknowledge that the Qur’ān is the foremost source of our religion. We need not elaborate upon the fact that the Qur’ān has always remained under the protection of Allah, and there is no question of anyone ever having tampered with it. Its authenticity stands unchallenged, and it has been passed on to us as it was revealed. Its meanings and implications like its language, Arabic, are very clear. All the material required to study the semantics of the language is available to us, just as it was in the early days. After the Qur’ān, the Sunnah and Ahādīth are the second source of our religion. Most of their contents have reached us by way of ‘amalī-tawātur3, while the remaining content is in the form of akhbār-i-ahād4 which has been critically examined by our scholars and the portion found authentic has been transferred to us. They have even recorded the reasons which have led them to accept or reject a Hadith. In short, they have passed on the smallest bit of information that might prove useful. These are the two sources of our religion designated as the final words of authority. They are as accessible to us as they were to our predecessors.

Therefore, any argument on these grounds cannot be entertained in support of their principle of Taqlīd .

After this, only two things can be alleged: firstly, the degree of piety achieved by our forefathers is now unattainable, and secondly, the extent of intellect and comprehension possessed by them cannot be emulated in present times.

The latter is just a claim that finds no basis in the Qur’ān and Sunnah, nor has it ever been justified in the field of observation. The former is, also, just another claim, which is actually in contradiction with the Qur’ān itself. The Qur’ān unequivocally states that in the Hereafter the highest honour would be bestowed upon the Assābiqūn---people foremost in faith. They would grace this world in the earlier as well as the later times:

"And those foremost [in faith] are foremost. They will be nearest to Allah in gardens of bliss. A number of people from the old and a few from those of later times." (56:10-14)

Whatever else affirmed by the proponents of this viewpoint is mere wishful thinking which has no place in the world of reason and rationality.

Their second major flaw is that though these institutions are centres of religious education, the Qur’ān, which occupies the cardinal position in Islam, has been driven in the background within their confines. The lofty status commanded by the Qur’ān as the Mīzān, the Balance of Justice and the Furqān, the Distinguisher between good and evil, demands that it should be made the pivot around which the whole curriculum should revolve. Students should be reared with the notion that in the Qur’ān rests the final authority and that it is the Qur’ān which rules over every matter in our religion. With this beacon in hand, they should be made to explore the various domains of knowledge and at every step seek its guidance. Every other subject taught should merely help the students in having a better understanding of the Qur’ān. Everything accepted in our religion should be rigorously scrutinized under the light of this Divine Guidance. All basis of belief and faith should be directly derived from this Word of God and it should be considered the ultimate authority not only in all religious issues but should also be regarded as the ultimate linguistic standard of Arabic. Students should be made to ponder over every word and meditate over every verse they encounter. They should be made aware that even the works of great jurists like Abu Hanīfa and Shaf’i, scholars of Hadīth like Bukhārī and Muslim, scholastics like Ash’are and Maturedi, sufis like Junaid and Shibli must be weighed in the scales of this Mīzān and that nothing can be accepted from them which is not in consonance with it.

Our religion confers this supreme status upon the Qur’ān and, consequently, it should have held the same status in these institutions. But here, unfortunately, we know that during the initial years the only stress is upon its recital and committal to memory, while in the later years, students have a final glimpse of it in the commentaries of "Jalālain" and "Bidhāvi"5. This is all as far as Qur’ānic teaching is concerned.

This estranged attitude towards the Qur’ān has resulted in there being no ultimate authority which can decide the correctness of a specific thought or a particular course of action. All religious concepts have become disputed and a subject of hot debate. Our religious educational institutions which could have enlightened us over these issues, are themselves plunged in pitch darkness. Suffice to say that these institutions can have no access to the exalted wisdom of the Qur’ān, just as a born blind person can have no idea about the sun’s splendour.

The third major flaw in these institutions is that the syllabus they follow is both outdated and ill-suited to the requirements of teaching and learning. It is generally believed that it was composed by Mullah Nizām Uddin. While, according to Shah Suleman, the heir to the shrine of Phulwārī Sharīf, its initial seeds were sown by Mullah Fateh ullah Sherāzī, and after many subsequent changes and additions reached its present form. Nevertheless, it was composed during the time when our religion had been completely isolated from its sources. The aforementioned treatment given to the Qur’ān speaks volumes about its inefficacy. The methodology of Daurah6 employed in the study of Hadīth in this syllabus can never instil the fondness of contemplation, neither in the teacher nor in the pupils. No importance has been given to pre-Islamic Arabic literature, which has rendered the subtleties of a language beyond appreciation. The books included for the teaching of Arabic grammar and rhetoric have an approach in which logical terminologies have overshadowed the diction of the language, and even if a student has an initial aptitude to relish the finer aspects of a language, he finally ends up with its crudest comprehension. His aesthetic faculties are made to remain passive and he inevitably fails to acknowledge the finesse in a Qur’ānic expression. Whatever has been set aside for philosophy, logic and ‘Ilmi-kalām7 in the syllabus inflicts a harm that surpasses its utility. Only the Hanafite Fiqh has been accommodated in the syllabus, and the concept of an Islamic Fiqh, irrespective of any school of fiqh, is non-existent. ‘Ilmi-Usul8 is one discipline, pioneered and perfected by the Muslims; unfortunately, no book about it has been incorporated which could cultivate and develop the skill of Ijtihād9 in the students. On the other hand, books like "Sadrā" and "Maibzī"10 are regarded with a sanctity which has rendered them an eternal part of the syllabus. Any revision of old books or introduction of newer ones is considered high treason. Two centuries have gone by since the enunciation of this syllabus, but the progress made in other branches of knowledge has failed to find any place in it. Tremendous advances made in philosophy, psychology, astronomy, economics and political science have been treated with an almost contemptuous disregard. We are well aware of the fact that  the  world  of  knowledge  continues  to grow and expand and this dynamism constantly replaces older concepts with newer ones. The last two centuries bear witness to this with so much of material which once shaped the intellect of the world now being regarded as redundant. But our religious educational institutions, quite unaware of these additions and abandonments, continue to blow their ancient trumpets.


These are the main flaws of our institutions of religious education. No methodology for the enforcement of Islam in this country can succeed unless it also aims at the reformation of these institutions. In our estimation, the following measures should be adopted by the government in this regard:

1. Besides persuading the pundits of the existing network of religious institutions to reform their set-up, the government should establish under its own supervision higher level religious educational institutions.

2. Scholars entrusted with the task of teaching in these institutions should be specifically those who consider only the Qur’ān and Sunnah as the source and basis of Islam and, as far as possible, practice what they preach.

3. These scholars should be freely allowed to form and express their opinions about the various matters and issues of our religion, wherever and whenever they want to do so within the limits set by the Qur’ān and Sunnah, so that all distinguished scholars are provided with an opportunity to lecture at these venues.

4. Only students who have passed their intermediate should be admitted in these institutions, just as in the existing framework students enter medical and engineering institutions after passing their intermediate examination.

5. The total period of education should be five years. The Qur’ān should occupy the same place in the syllabus as we have mentioned above. Besides this, the basic emphasis should be upon the disciplines of Arabic grammar and rhetoric, pre-Islamic Arabic literature, usul-i-fiqh, Hadīth and Islamic law. The students should just be made familiar with the medieval trends and terminologies of philosophy and logic enabling them to read the works written in the older diction. The essentials of modern philosophy, psychology, economics, physics and politics should be expounded to the students so that they are able to follow their methodology of reasoning and have the capability to explicate, in contrast, the views of the Qur’ān and Sunnah. The syllabus should also constitute an anthology of world literature which will assist the students in developing a literary taste and in having some idea about the delicacies of the sublime language of the Qur’ān. A comprehensive book upon the principles and basis of modern law should also be part of the syllabus. All schools of fiqh should be taught and students should be made to consider themselves the beneficiaries of this vast heritage and also made to realize that any biased affiliation in this regard is intolerable in the world of knowledge and learning. It should be made clear to them that from this profound legacy of our scholars, only material found in accordance with the Qur’ān and Sunnah is acceptable and everything else stands rejected without any hesitation whatsoever.

6. Besides these mental pursuits, the character of the students should be moulded so that they profess a high calibre of moral conduct. They should be made to spend sometime everyday in the company of pious scholars, and urged to pay special attention to the injunctions of the Qur’ān and Hadīth which pertain to self-purification and character-building. They should be induced to offer their utmost support and co-operation in furthering the cause of Islam, and also made conscious of the fact that after being enlightened with the true understanding of Islam, it is their responsibility to urge and exhort the ruling class of our country to follow and implement the teachings of Islam.

7. The existing way of higher education in Islamiyat should be completely abolished and the degree given by these institutions should be equivalent in level with the M.B.B.S degree.

Institutions of General Education

Consider next, the institutions of general education. The system on which they are based is the legacy of the British rule in our sub-continent. It is the brain-child of a nation which still rules our minds more than four decades after its departure. It was implemented to achieve the mental servitude of the Muslim subjects and to gain their affiliations. Sure enough the objective has been more than achieved, as each passing day merely strengthens this relationship between the victor and the vanquished.

The system is based upon the negation of any metaphysical explanation of the universe and upon the assertion that man himself is capable of deciphering the complex code of his existence without any assistance from his Creator. This is the underlying concept upon which philosophy, science, sociology and other branches of knowledge have evolved and developed in the West during the last two centuries, and it still holds sway in contemporary Western thought. No doubt, not all of the Western thinkers have denied God’s existence, yet it is a manifest reality that all their views and thoughts are actually built upon His denial. Quite naturally, the syllabus of these institutions upholds this concept. The entire celestial cosmos is presented as a creation without a creator, a scheme without a deviser, a book without an author---a self-existent and self-sustaining mechanistic reality. The fate of the universe is considered to be in the hands of its inhabitants who carve out their own destiny and shape their own future. All the bases and principles of law and politics, economics and sociology are constituted by a human endeavour that looks down upon any Divine Guidance in these disciplines. Human intellect on its own seeks to solve the problems that face the world. The story of mankind starts and ends with man himself and the concept of a God is granted no place anywhere in it by this syllabus. It warrants that man is a material entity who himself is the source of all concepts of truth and reality and that nothing lies at the exterior of this space-time continuum. Consequently, the graduates of these institutions become advocates of the view that life can also be spent without having any relationship with God and all affairs of life can be conducted without His Guidance. Overlooking changes at the basic level and inducting Deenyat as a compulsory subject in the syllabus has made the situation even more ironical. Severe conflicts have arisen in the minds of the students, regarding their religion and its relation with their lives.

As a result, this system of education has injected in our society a novel breed of men regarded as its intellectuals and trend-setters. Whatever they say or write vouches for the fact that the concepts of absolute truth can only be obtained from the West, but the Qur’ān can be regarded as a sacred book if it is interpreted, modified and brought in accordance with Western thoughts. Their characters have become an amalgam of ambiguity. They do not deny God’s existence, yet consider regular vigilance in worship a needless affair. They do not disclaim the Day of Judgement, yet are not ready to sacrifice the paltry leasures of life for nobler causes. They assent to the Prophethood of Muhammad (sws), yet consider his directives outdated and inapplicable. The recital of the Qur’ān might herald the start of their gatherings, but the promulgation of its decrees in the constitution of their country weighs down heavily upon them. Only a grim lesson can be sought from their contradictory personalities. In short, the system has drained out the Islamic spirit from their mortal remains and they present a sight most pathetic.

Their lives are tuned with the trends of the West and even the blood in their bodies seems to flow after seeking permission from these sources of revelation.

The secular nature of the system has not only produced an aversion from Islam within the minds of our elite, but also has gone a long way in degenerating their characters, without which no nation can thrive and prosper. It never envisages the real purpose of educational institutions which are not just meant to impart knowledge to the students, but a bigger objective is to breed and rear men of high moral calibre in consonance with the ideology of a nation. This goal can only be achieved if the mentors of these institutions are not only competent in their own fields but are also devout Muslims who possess an impeccable character and lead a chaste life. Undoubtedly, the most powerful influence upon a child after the mother is the teacher’s personality. If he honestly upholds a certain ideology and leads his life in accordance with it, his pupils receive tremendous inspiration from him. No other way can be more effective in building their characters. Woefully, this system never takes this aspect into account. Courage and perseverance, valour and discretion, discipline and steadfastness which were once the hallmarks of Muslims, are now extinct commodities. The virtues of honesty and integrity, benevolence and sincerity have become relics of the past. We seldom see any modesty in their eyes, loftiness in their thoughts, and dignity in their behaviour. What we often see is an immaculate mixture of dishonesty and pettiness, a charming blend of arrogance and haughtiness, an exquisite combination of perversity and corruption. We are breeding a nation that has been detached from its glorious past, has become indifferent to its present and unconcerned about a future which after all may not even exist. Thanks to this system moral values are breathing their last and materialistic goals are being regarded as the ultimate objective of life. To say the least, a scheme more sinister could not have been contrived against us, as a nation.

Rectifying this system is no easy job. It requires drastic measures that would extract it from its roots and implant a new one in its place. We suggest the following steps in this regard:

1. A uniform system of education should be enforced in our country. Any diversity in nature, religious or non-religious, and medium, Urdu or English should be eliminated.

2. Only teachers who are self-righteous, staunch and practising Muslims besides being proficient in their fields should be selected.

3. The total period of education should be divided into three levels: primary, secondary and a higher level. The first of these should span over eight years, the second over four years while the last level should extend over five years.

4. At the primary level, only the Qur’ān and the language trio of Arabic, Urdu and English along with mathematics and calligraphy should be taught. Initially, the students should be made just capable enough to read the Qur’ān fluently and they should then be made to learn by heart the last group of the Qur’ān (Surah Mulk to Surah Nās). As soon as the students get acquainted with Arabic, the Qur’ān should be studied with a specific stress upon its meanings. By including the essential teachings of Islam in the Arabic reader and interweaving the Urdu reader with topics pertaining to general knowledge and the English reader with topics relating to science, the students should be imparted a comprehensive understanding of these languages, besides being enlightened with other branches of learning. They should be encouraged to read about subjects that interest them from the libraries. Furthermore, all modern educational aids should be extensively employed in all these pursuits and the present way of loading the students with scores of text books should be discontinued.

5. The study of the Qur’ān and the languages should continue at the secondary level. Besides this, a few more subjects relating to the one in which a student wants to specialize at the higher level should be introduced. Just as in the present system the students of medicine and engineering study certain science subjects at this level, the students of Dīnyat, for example, would study pre-Islamic Arabic literature, grammar and rhetoric. The same mode should be adopted in the teaching of other subjects.

6. The higher level should only be reserved for specialization. This specialization can be in Dīnyat, medicine, engineering, sociology, physics, biology or any other subject the students choose. The existing mode of specialization in non-professional subjects should be completely terminated.

7. All topics in various books should begin with an elucidation of the Qur’ānic point of view about these topics. Other details should be enlisted in coherence with this point of view so that the relationship between the knowledge obtained from the Qur’ān and the knowledge acquired by means of rational inquiry and scientific observation is clear in the minds of the students.

8. Co-education should be completely abolished and all the surplus energy of the students should be directed towards receiving the necessary training for Jihād.

9. Teaching should be made the most highly paid profession and teachers should be given more facilities than any other professional. That a person should have an aptitude towards teaching must be firmly emphasized in his selection.


The influence exercised by our Mosques is, also, no doubt, tremendous. In this regard, the Sunnah set by the Prophet (sws) is that the Friday address should be delivered by the head of state and his administrators and only they should lead the Friday prayers. However, in case of any legitimate plea on their part, some other person can address and lead the Friday prayers as their authorized representative.

The implications of this Sunnah are very clear: In Islam, mosques are meant to be the fountainhead of authority. Also, there is a complete negation of theocracy. A person whom the Muslims choose as their leader shall also lead them in worship, eliminating once and for all the division between state and religion.

After the Prophet (sws), his Companions solemnly adhered to this Sunnah in the Caliphate they established. However, in later times, when due to their own ill-ways the Muslim rulers could not stand face to face with the public, they themselves handed over the mosques to the ulema. This was the most tragic incident in our history. The result was that religion lost its grace and the state its grandeur. A further consequence of this was that the most ill-suited and corrupt lot of people has assumed the country’s helm of affairs. The whole set-up does not leave the slightest of chance for the able and morally sound to rule and govern the country.

The menace of sectarianism has turned the mosques into citadels which are in a perpetual state of war with one another. This has further led to the creation of professional Maulvis who are an utter disgrace to knowledge and learning. Differences of opinion are very ‘graciously greeted’ by them with fire and fury. They shower ‘special courtesy’ on those who propagate Islamic teachings by slinging cartloads of insults on them. Intellectual endeavours and advancements are the cherished targets of their ‘highly encouraging’ jeers. Every mosque is a stronghold of sectarianism which is taught, encouraged and patronized in place of the Qur’ān and Sunnah. It is impossible for any scholar to use a mosque to spread and communicate the message of Islam---an obligation the Almighty has imposed on him according to his abilities.

These evils which emanate from our mosques are apparent to every keen person. They can only be eliminated if the above stated Sunnah of the Prophet (sws) in this regard is revived. In our consideration, this can be done through the following measures:

(1) The centre of every administrative unit of the state should be a Jami’-i-Masjid, and the division of these units should be such that one Jami’-i-Masjid should suffice for one unit.

(2) Within each unit, all the administrative offices and courts should be instituted adjacent to this Jami’-i-Masjid.

(3) The state capital together with the provincial capitals should have a central Jami’-i-Masjid.

(4) The address of the Friday prayers should only be delivered by the head of state and only he should lead these prayers in the central Jami’-i-Masjid of the capital. The provincial governors should be entrusted with this job in the central Jami’-i-Masjids of the provinces, while the representatives of the government should perform this duty in the Jami’-i-Masjids of the various administrative units.

(5) The Friday prayers should be prohibited in all mosques except the above ones.

(6) Mosques should be established and supervised by the government itself.

(7) Every religious scholar should be allowed to deliver a lecture or teach, educate and instruct his students according to his own views in any of these mosques.


We continue our inquiry by assessing the role played by our khānqāhs. The religion preached here is called tasawwuf (sufism) and, we are afraid that, it is entirely different in all fundamentals and principles from Islam. Even a cursory analysis clearly brings out this fact. It is observed thus :

1. The Qur’ān defines Tawhīd (monotheism) as the acknowledgement of Allah as the only Ilāh, who is free from all flaws and imperfections and to whom all gracious attributes are ascribed which are accepted by all norms of sense and reason and which have been explained by the Almighty Himself through His prophets. The word Ilāh in the Arabic language is specifically used for someone who at some level or the other possess control and authority without requiring any cause or means to execute what He intends. According to the Qur’ān, if an attribute is acknowledged for someone which is actually the result of such control and authority then this is what is called Shirk (polytheism), and it states in unequivocal terms that such an attribution is only true in case of the Almighty. It demands from all Muslims to acknowledge this control and authority only for Allah in their faith, deeds as well as in all their objectives.

It is this Tawhīd upon which our religion is based. It is around this basic belief that the mission of all the prophets had revolved. Abraham and Moses, John and Jesus, all upto Muhammad (peace be upon them) had proclaimed and propagated this message. All Divine Books elaborated upon this at length. There is no other level of Tawhīd above this for which a person must strive in this world.

In Tasawwuf, however, this is regarded as the first level of Tawhīd and it is meant for the common man. It is considered as a mere prelude to the actual contents of Tawhīd. The highest level of Tawhīd , according to the exponents of this religion, is to acknowledge existence only for the Almighty and simultaneously affirm that no one besides Him actually exists. All the determinations (ta’ayyunāt) of the Universe whether observed directly or perceived through reason and intellect are mental concepts and emanate from the Absolute Being---the Almighty. They have no external existence beyond the Absolute Being. The Universe is actually another name for the manifestations of Allah. It is God as regards its substance though it cannot be considered so as regards its determinations. Its nature is nothingness (‘adam). If it is regarded to exist then this would be associating something in the Being of Allah, and this is precisely what the popular sufi maxim Lā maujūda illalāh (there is nothing except God) negates.

This same view about Tawhīd is held by Shiri Shankar Achāriya, the famous commentator of the "Upanishads", along with Shri Ram Noje Achāriya, Plotinus and Spinoza. Among modern western philosophers Leibniz, Fichte, Hagel, Schonpenhauer, Bradley and Benedict are the ardent exponents of this concept. Among these, Shri Shankar, Plotinus and Spinoza uphold the philosophy of Wahdat-ul-wujūd (Oneness of Being), while Ram Noje Achāriya advocates the philosophy of Wahdat-us-shuhūd (Oneness of Witnessing) as does Shri Krishan in "Gita". The "Upanishads", "Braham Suter", "Gita", and "Fusūs-ul-Hikam", occupy the same position in this religion as the one occupied by the Torah, the Zabūr, the Bible and the Qur’ān in the divinely revealed religions. Viewed thus, it can be observed that in contrast with the Qur’ānic concept of Tawhīd, this fallacious concept has remained a universal evil, influencing many intelligent people the world over.

2. The concept of Tawhīd presented by the Qur’ān is an obvious reality asserted by the Almighty Himself in all Divine books and explained by all His prophets. It conforms with the highest possible standards of rationality and is, in fact, the call of our hearts. Its rationality is so indisputable that those enlightened with true knowledge as well as the angels vouch for it and none of its aspects is concealed from our eyes. According to the Qur’ān:

"Allah [Himself] is a witness that there is no God save Him. And the angels and the men of learning [too are witnesses]. [He] is the Executor of justice. There is no god but He, the Exalted in Power, the Wise." (3:18)

All the Prophets were sent forth in this world to call mankind towards this belief. This was their foremost obligation, and if they had failed in fulfilling it, they would have, in fact, failed to discharge their basic duty as Prophets. It must also be borne in mind that this assignment was not something beyond their ability, for the Qur’ān clearly says that the Almighty never imposes an obligation on someone which is beyond his capability.

In tasawwuf, on the contrary, when a sālik (the traveller of the spiritual path) gets to know the secrets of his Tawhīd as stated above, words are unable to state and define it and a person, therefore, is unable to propagate it as well11. It is said that the more it is explained the more complicated it gets and the more it is revealed the more it gets concealed. Therefore, the secrets of this Tawhīd cannot be written down and, in fact, the disclosure of these secrets amounts to infidelity.

3. The Qur’ān categorically states that the institution of Prophethood has been terminated at the Prophethood of Mohammad (sws). This quite obviously means that all forms of divine revelation have been brought to an end and no person after the prophets can claim utter innocence from any sin and divine protection from any evil on their basis. This meaning of the finality of Prophethood has been stated in clear terms by the Prophet (sws) himself:

"Mubasharāt are the only remnants of Prophethood. People inquired: ‘What are mubasharāt?’ The Prophet (pbuh) replied: ‘Good dreams’." (Bukhārī, Kitāb -ud-Ta’bīr)

However, our sufis have always negated the implications of the finality of Prophethood and have their own peculiar concept about this finality. They maintain that the Almighty still sends down His revelation to their leading figures, just as He did to His Prophets. They also claim that like the Prophet (sws), many of their own distinguished people have ascended the heavens to witness Divine Disclosures (Tajalliāt) and were also blessed with the opportunity of a dialogue with the Almighty. According to them, the meaning of the finality of Prophethood is that no one will be able to give a new Sharī’ah, but as far as other features and characteristics of prophethood are concerned, they still exist and are attainable. To them the inspiration (ilhām) of their elect, because of their innocence, is free of any traces of evil and its authenticity is beyond any shadow of doubt. The views of the person among them who is entrusted with the first station of bestowed spiritual stations (maqāmāt-i-wahabiah) are regarded by them to be based on truth in their entirety, and no evil can make an incursion into them. They say that such a person follows a Prophet only because he has been divinely commanded to support him, otherwise he does not need a prophet or an angel to receive divine guidance because of his own direct link with the Almighty. Therefore, on this earth his own words and deeds are the final authority to which the Qur’ān and Sunnah themselves submit.

After violating the sanctity of the institution of Prophethood, they move ahead and enter into the realms which lie beyond the spacio-temporal order crying out in frenzy: ‘O daring spirit of man! The Lord is reachable as well’. Their control and authority at this stage extends over the entire space-time continuum. They are not only aware of the language of birds but are even aware of a footfall and are even able to hear the sound of an ant walking on a stone at night. They have complete knowledge of a person’s fate and fortune and are able to read a person’s mind. They hold and grasp the world and enforce the orders of the Almighty. At this point they cry out: ‘O group of Prophets you have only been given the title of a Prophet and you never received what we were given’ ("Futūhāt-i-Makkiya", Ibni Arabi, Vol 2, Pg 90)

4. According to the Qur’ān, the basic duty which Islam requires of its believers is to worship the Almighty. Worship, in reality, is a subjective phenomenon and first of all appears within a person, and after it becomes related with his external self, it completely encircles his personality. As a result, his relationship with the Almighty is that of a worshiper and the worshipped. Throughout his life, he tries to worship the Almighty in the most befitting manner in order to please Him and thereby become entitled to the life of eternal bliss---something which he has been promised by Allah through His Prophets.

On the contrary, since according to the sufis, man is actually a Determination (ta’ayyun) of the Almighty and since on the basis of this Determination he has left the Domain of the Divine (‘ālam-i-lahūt) and entered the corporeal world (‘ālam-i-nāsūt), therefore, a return to his origin is actually what is required of him. Hence, according to this religion, the relationship between a man and the Almighty is that of a lover and his beloved. He regards his own actual reality---the Almighty---his beloved and tries to seek Him under the guidance of a spiritual mentor after he is made aware of his reality by his mentor. Until he is united with his reality, he rolls and writhes in the agony of remaining parted from his beloved. Since death, in fact, means an eternal union with his actual reality, therefore, it is called ‘union’ (wasal) and the function held to commemorate it is called ‘urs’. All the poetry of sufism is actually a tale of this love and its related issues.

5. The Qur’ān categorically states that the religion it has revealed upon mankind through the Prophet (sws), is totally complete and final in all respects and there is no possibility of any addition. It says:

"This day I have perfected your religion for you and completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion." (5:3)

The Prophet (sws) used to explain this verse in the following words:

"Listen! Indeed, the best book is the Book of Allah and the best guidance is the Guidance of Muhammad (sws) [the Prophet of Allah] and the worst of all things are those which are new to this religion and every new thing leads [a man] astray." (Muslim, Kitāb -ul-Jum’ah)

The followers and exponents of tasawwuf maintain that the religion presented by the Qur’ān and Sunnah is just a preliminary principle consisting of a few superficial things. The real spirit of this religion can only be saught, after the death of the Prophet (sws) and his Companions, by a methodology they themselves have formulated. Furthermore, the way to obtain the real religion beyond this preliminary principle has also been revealed only to them. Consequently, there exists a whole Sharī’ah of aurād, ashghāl, chillās and murāqbāt12, which is above and beyond the Sharī’ah given by Allah, being not contained in the Qur’ān and Hadith. In fact, it is totally against the aims which the Qur’ān and Ahādīth intend to achieve, and about it they openly say that it can only be obtained after associating oneself with their distinguished people. It is called Tarīqat.

According to sufism, the level of excellence that can be achieved in virtues like perseverance, thanksgiving, veracity, sacrifice, modesty, trust and faith is so high that even the Prophet (sws) and his Companions hardly qualify for the first or second level. As far as the third or the level of the elect of the elect is concerned, even they could not attain it. In this regard, the ultimate target of the sufis is much beyond the one fixed by the Almighty. The best example of the contradictions which consequently result between their words and deeds is a piece of writing of a great scholar of tasawwuf of contemporary times. He writes that for a number of years he remained very perplexed at the fact that none of the sufi saints had ever committed a sin, whilst it is historically proven that some of the Companions of the Prophet (sws) had even committed as grave a sin as adultery and were also punished for it. He goes on to write that after many years of contemplation he was able to solve the riddle. He concluded that none of the Companions of the Prophet (sws) committed a sin intentionally, but since the Almighty wanted to complete and finalize his religion through them, He forced them to commit some sins so that He could reveal His laws and directives about them.

In the short space of this article, it is not possible to discuss this topic in detail. However, from the few examples quoted, it is quite evident that tasawwuf is a totally different religion from Islam and has been given patronage under the deceiving label of the reality of Islam. After appreciating this fact, it is necessary to make efforts to reform this state of affairs.

In our estimation, only two measures are needed in this regard: Firstly, those who undertake this job must be very clear that now the Qur’ān is the final and ultimate word of Allah on this earth and every belief of Islam is stated in it. Secondly, the Arabic language, congregations in which the meaning of the Qur’ān is recited and other ways of education should be given patronage so that no one is able to fool the general masses about the content of the Qur’ān.

These two steps, it is our sincere belief, will go a long way towards ridding our society from the evil creed of tasawwuf.

The Mass Media

Our mass media exercises the most powerful influence on our society, as it actually shapes the trends and inclinations within it. The present day forms comprise a highly sophisticated network, which has progressively developed in congruity with the needs and requirements of a society. Various forms of mass communication in the form of public gatherings and festivals, congregations in village-pavilions and proclamations of town criers had always existed. But today, after the advent of radio, film, television, newspapers and magazines, the influence exerted by a media has reached an extent which could never have even been imagined a couple of centuries ago. A brief analysis shows that it is involved in somewhat circulating the following types of information:

1. Certain realities that are accepted in a society.

2. Propagation of a system of faith and beliefs as an obligation after a person adopts them.

3. Knowledge and information beneficial to mankind.

4. News about man himself and his world.

5. Creative ability and technical competence of a person that distinguish him from others.

The above list encompasses almost all types of information which man has always aspired to transmit in a society. Today, our media is carrying out this task. Each of the above mentioned categories is needed by man in one way or the other, and the Qur’ān and Sunnah have not prohibited their propagation in the absolute sense. In fact among them is a category whose communication and propagation is our religious obligation. Moreover, in this regard, the Qur’ān and Sunnah has not even discriminated between a man and a woman. Both can discharge this religious duty through the written or the spoken word as well as through various forms of literary expression. Barring our Fiqh, there is no directive in the Qur’ān and Sunnah, which are the only two sources of Islam, that imposes any restriction upon women in using these modes of propagation. But it is disgusting to see that all the agencies of the media are transmitting within our society some other types of facts and figures that violate all norms of morality. They openly commit an unforgivable crime against humanity and instead of being ashamed, consider themselves worthy of praise. Shamelessness has overpowered them and they do not care that these outrageons acts would lead them to negotiate the severest of penalties in the Hereafter.

Their first offense is that they seldom give any coverage to learned and accomplished women who have not only distinguished themselves in the fields of arts and science but also as scholars of Islam. Instead, they present women as objects of lewd entertainment. This lecherous display is in complete disregard to the injunctions of the Qur’ān which specifically enjoins all Muslim women to cover their heads and chests and to refrain from exhibiting themselves. Rather than setting examples of dignity and modesty they ‘sell’ their honour and integrity by furthering the shameless trends of a shameless culture.

Their second offense is that through their courtesy the stories of romance and intimacy which everywhere in the world had been confined to the subtleties of poetry and literature and whose recital and listening to was not disallowed in a specific age and situation even by the great Caliph Umar, have now invaded the everyday atmosphere of our homes. Such is the nature of this invasion, that the chastity in the relationship between a mother and son, father and daughter, brother and sister, upon which the poise and grace of a society so heavily depends, is becoming an episode of the past. Through the agency of our media a state has been reached in which our youngmen, like most women are seen perpetually involved in glamourizing themselves with the latest flares of fashion. The older lot, may not be very enthusiastic about their clothes and appearance but show tremendous enthusiasm in shredding off any shame they might have originally had.

Their third affense is that they have promoted sports and other means of amusement to an unwholesome and unhealthy degree. Such is the nature of this patronization that our younger generation regards actors and sportsmen as their ideals in life. While our scientists and technologists, scholars and thinkers do not even receive posthumous recognition for their achievements, these merry-makers are kept in the highest esteem. The bewitching manner in which they allure young minds by depicting the daily routines of these celebrities effectively diverts them from the higher objectives of life, after which they can no longer be expected to become scholars and thinkers, and indulge in other intellectual pursuits.

Their fourth offense is that specifically among them radio and television show complete disregard to the mandatory hours of worship in a day when nothing except prayers are permissible.

These are the everyday offenses which the media commits and continues to flourish triumphantly in our society. If the ruling class of our country sincerely wishes to promulgate Islamic values and traditions in our society, it must develop an abhorrence against these offenses and cleanse the media from them.

Religious Parties

We continue our investigation and next examine the shadows of influence cast by our religious parties. They can be classified into three categories on the basis of their aims and objectives.

The first category comprises religious schools of thought which have organized themselves into religious parties to propagate their specific thoughts and safeguard their rights and interests. The basic principle underlying their formation is that since Islam grants every person the right to freely deliberate on all affairs of life and formulate his own views, therefore, if a group of people adheres to certain thoughts in common, which may be the result of a lone or a collective intellectual endeavour, they should be granted this right also by Islam to organize themselves in the form of a party. We acknowledge this principle and, in our opinion,  upon its basis various schools of thought can organize themselves into parties. They can strive with all freedom to propagate their beliefs and increase their following. In this regard, though, certain stipulations should be sought from them: They should abstain from denouncing and censuring other religious schools and issuing religious verdicts against them. Each party should refrain from inflaming and provoking the common man against other parties and should also not be a source of any hindrance in the propagation of their beliefs. Furthermore, the common practice of the party leaders forbidding their followers to sit in the company of scholars of some other religious school should be discontinued. They should only be permitted to rationally reason out the flaws in the thoughts of other religious schools and at the same time positively assert their own. Intellectual disagreements are, in fact, a blessing. It is due to them that the frontiers of knowledge expand, making the truth more and more discernable. But these differences should remain within bounds and not exceed them by manifesting themselves into rivalries and enmities. This is what actually leads towards religious prejudice and bigotry, which are now so apparent in our society. An Islamic State can in no way tolerate such attitudes and tendencies.

Among the second category are constituted those religious parties whose aim is to disseminate the basic message of Islam and to reform the moral character of the people. These are the parties that assist an Islamic government in fulfilling its primary duties of Da’wah-ilal-khair13, Amar-bil-Ma’rūf14 and Nahī-’anil-Munkar15 and an Islamic Government is as such indebted to them for this service. For an Islamic State this noble collaboration is no doubt indispensable, but can only produce the desired results when these parties base their message only and only upon the Qur’ān and Sunnah. When such virtuous enterprises base themselves upon stories, legends and folklore then inevitably the true picture of Islam begins to vanish from the people’s minds, and they are ultimately not even able to distinguish the good from the bad. Unfortunately, such religious parties are not free from this serious drawback. Until and unless this flaw is overcome, no Islamic government can accomplish its obligation of Da’wah-ilal-Khair.

The third category comprises parties that have been formed to enforce the Islamic Sharī’ah at the state level. Quite obviously, after this enforcement they would have no justification to exist upon previous objectives. They would, in fact, be left to accept two alternatives: either to devote all their energy in reforming the nation or to transform themselves into political parties and by adopting constitutional measures strive for a better political leadership. These are the only two options open for them, which would, of course, have the same stipulations and restrictions mentioned earlier on.

However, among this category there are some other religious parties as well which insist that even after the creation of Pakistan as an Islamic Republic, a Muslim will die the death of Jāhiliyyah, if without any excuse he is not a member of any such party or otherwise, does not form his own party. They further assert that for such a religious party of this third category, the Prophet’s Sunnah is that its leader will assume the title of Amīr and his followers would be required to pledge a covenant of Sam’u Tā’at (to listen and to obey). This point of view is in obvious contradiction with the Qur’ān and Sunnah and amounts to a revolt against the state affairs of Pakistan. Therefore, no political party can be established on this basis in Pakistan.

This, in our view, should be the policy of an Islamic State towards our religious parties, and it should be very clear that any deviation in this regard could lead to serious mishaps in the state affairs.

Political Parties

Consider next the political parties of our country. Indeed, the influence they cast is tremendous. They have the same significance in the formation of a state as that of a family in the formation of a society. A study of history reveals that man, by nature, has always been a gregarious being and just like food and clothing, a social set-up is his indispensable physical need. Therefore, from the earliest days of his creation, he has striven for the formation of a society. His needs induced him to live in a community and a community itself had some requirements. Gradually, a community developed into a civilization and with it arose the need for resources. The natural tendency in man to expand and augment these resources together with other wicked inclinations within him led to a state of anarchy and disorder. The only way to protect a community from such turmoils and discords was to organize it under a single leadership. Again, since this leadership, for its own existence and well-being, depended on the support of the masses, things like caste, race, language and ideology were instrumental in forming this support and allegiance. Hence, the result was that the progeny of a single human being were divided into many clans and tribes. Finally, as a result of some social need or the outright internal strength of a group, there emerged a supreme group to which other smaller groups became subservient.

The political history of man is but the tale of a mere repetition of this process. Ibni Khuldūn, the founder of the subject of the philosophy of history, writes in his celebrated treatise "The Muqaddamah":

"Furthermore, if in a single group there are different families and various sub-groups, it is certain that a single group will emerge which is the strongest in the lot. This group achieves its supremacy over others and demands their obedience. Finally, all groups merge into it and a larger group comes into existence. If this does not happen, the outcome is a turmoil which leads to disagreement and dissension." (Ch 2, Pg 139)

Our political parties are actually these groups and to ascertain the strongest among them, the Qur’ān has directed us to follow the principle of amruhum shūrā bainahum16, and has thereby provided mankind with a peaceful means of transfer of power. History bears witness that when in the Thaqīfa of Bani Sā’idah the two major groups of the Muslims---the Ansār and the Muhājirīn---had gathered over the issue of the Prophet’s (sws) successor, the Muhājirīn, in accordance with the Prophet’s (sws) directive, were transferred the reins of power since they commanded the confidence and support of the majority of the Arab Muslims. Therefore, it is incorrect to believe that in an Islamic State there is no justification for political parties. However, it must be conceded that most of the parties which at the moment tread this country’s political arena have no basis for existence in an Islamic State.

The leaders of some of these parties do not dare to openly invite people towards secular ideologies. However, they have adopted another way to propagate their ideas: They say that religion is a personal affair and as far as a state is concerned, it should have no religion. Previously, the king and his nobles were the final authority and now the parliament should play this role. A majority opinion should decide what is right and what is wrong. Religious laws are relics of the past and are outdated and ill-suited for the requirements of the modern era.

This viewpoint is obviously based on ignorance. Truth is an indivisible whole. If religion is a truth then it is so for both a person and a state. If people who hold this point of view regard it as being contrary to the truth then there should be no discrimination between a state and an individual in this regard. A reality whether divinely revealed or intellectually derived is a reality for all. It addresses both an individual and the collectivity in which he lives. Veracity, justice and honesty are universal and not relative truths. If, for example, a religion obligates the individual to observe fasts in a certain month and obligates the state to follow the principle of consultation, enforce collective justice, establish prayers and promulgate a certain penal code, then these are two aspects of the same reality. Both a state and an individual must necessarily adopt it. If it is a truth that man on this earth is a creation of the Almighty and one day he shall be held accountable in front of Him for all his deeds then it is so for an individual as well as for a state. It cannot be correct for one and incorrect for the other.

Similarly, there are leaders of some other parties who at times openly and at times secretly try all what they can to dismember the state of Pakistan and wish that it should be, God forbid, wiped out from the face of the earth. Such horrible campaigns, obviously, are heinous crimes which no Muslim can commit against his country. People who die in such a cause, according to the Prophet (sws), die the death of Jāhiliyyah:

"A person who separated [himself] even slightly from the political system of his country and died in this condition then he died in the state of Jāhiliyyah." (Bukhārī , Kitāb -ul-Fitan)

Such ignorance, as we have mentioned earlier, cannot be tolerated in an Islamic State. But apart from these parties, other political parties, groups and clans of an Islamic State must, also, follow certain principles and observe certain limits. To quote the Qur’ān:

"O Mankind! We have created you from a single [pair] of a male and a female and divided you into nations and tribes that you might get to know each other. The most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is he who fears Him the most." (49:13)

The sociological principles of Islam which are so compactly stated in the above verse need a lot of space for their explanation. However, since some of their aspects do not concern the topic under discussion, we shall briefly state the important points which are penitent to our topic.

The first thing on which the verse throws light is that although mankind has been created from the same man and woman, yet the nearness in blood relations, association with a country and its customs, common collective needs, harmony in cultural traditions, conformity in behaviour and mental tendencies, collaboration in achieving aims, common targets and many other natural and instinctive needs and sociological requirements have divided mankind into many groups and tribes and prevented them from living as a single collectivity.

Secondly, the real aim behind this division is that various people are able to show and express their characteristics and features and are identified on their basis as separate groups, instead of being lost in the vastness of a single group. Furthermore, if as a result of this identification, some values exist in common then efforts should be made for mutual cooperation and collaboration to achieve wider collective needs by regarding these values as the principles for such an alliance.

Thirdly, these groups and clans should not become a means for expressing arrogance, pride and vanity and an association with anyone of them should not be regarded as a basis for a person to be on the right path and should also not be regarded a standard for his nobility and righteousness because the most honoured in the sight of Allah are those who fear Him the most and observe the limits set by Him. If these groups instead of being a means of expressing individuality start showing hostility and malice towards each other then they shall not only be deprived of the very utility for which they were actually created, but also become a source of harm and damage for the society.

If in an Islamic State, groups, clans and parties do not exceed these limits and are strong and stable then they serve to check the tyranny and oppression of the rulers and restrain their dictatorial tendencies. They also nurture and nourish alternative leaderships for the country. They are the fountainhead of power for those in authority and their existence ensures the freedom of a society. Dictatorship and monarchy may not tolerate them, but the political system based on consultation envisaged by Islam thoroughly relishes their existence. Islam wants its followers to think and reflect and freely express themselves both through individual and collective means. Though it curtails this freedom, yet it does not totally prohibit it.

The Political System

Let us next analyze our political system. The intellectuals of our society generally regard democracy as the ideal political system. A vast majority of our religious and political leaders, scholars, writers and journalists have been, as a mission, striving for the establishment of a democratic order since the very birth of our country. Irrespective of the conventional connotation of democracy, if we analyze it as a system in which the affairs of state are run by the elected representatives of the people, who conduct these affairs through the consultation and approval of the people, remain in power as long as they enjoy the general support then it can be safely said that though the Islamic form of government is an aristocrarcy based on the piety and political acumen of the individuals which constitute it, yet the state affairs in this form of government are also run in this manner.

The Qur’ān says: ‘The affairs of state of the believers are run by their mutual consultation’ (42:38). Keeping in view linguistic considerations, it is evident from this Qur’ānic injunction that a consensus or majority opinion of the Muslims can in no way be overruled. The Qur’ān has not said: ‘The believers are consulted in their affairs’, it has, on the contrary, declared: ‘Their affairs of state are run by their mutual consultation’.

The style and pattern of the verse demands that an Islamic government should be established through the consultation of the believers, continue to exist on this basis and should cease to exist without it. It should conduct its affairs, in all cases, on the basis of a concensus or majority opinion of the believers.

In compliance with the above Qur’ānic injunction, the Sunnah decreed by the Prophet (sws) is based on two principles: Firstly, Muslims shall be consulted in the affairs of state through their leaders in whom they profess confidence. Secondly, 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, which are contrary to the teachings of Islam.

The first evil in this system is that in the state affairs, it bestows the final authority on the masses. On the contrary, the basic principle on which Islam has based its political law is that in the affairs of state God and his Prophet (sws) are the final authority. The head of an Islamic state and even the members of the parliament have no right whatsoever to have a ruling in matters decreed by the Qur’ān and Sunnah. The believers have a right to disagree with those in authority and indeed also have the right to ascertain the real purports of the Sharī’ah and discuss how to carry out the directives of the Qur’ān and Sunnah, but they can have no disagreement with God and His Prophet (sws). In fact, if such a situation arises even with those in authority the decision must be made in the light of the Qur’ān and Sunnah: ‘If you disagree among yourselves in any matter, refer it to God and the Prophet’ (4:59).

The second evil is that greed for an office in the 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 is said to have said:

"Do not seek a post. If it is granted to you because of your desire, you shall [find yourself being] handed over to it and if it is granted to you without your desire, the Almighty shall help you." (Muslim, Kitāb -ul-Imārah)

The third evil is that a general acknowledgement is given to the fact that the people should 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 in a religion which says that the whole Muslim Ummah has been instituted to bear witness to the truth and 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 reproached’.

The fourth evil is that money has become the decisive factor in the election campaigns that take place in this system. Therefore, only people who are able to spend lavishly in these campaigns, however little they might know about Islam, however much they may lack in wisdom and intellect and however low they may be in character, reach the 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 the evils which plague a democratic order. In their presence everything but Islam can be enforced in the country. The whole set-up must be reformed and rehabilitated to achieve the supremacy of Islam. The following steps, in our consideration, must be taken:

1. It should be very clearly written down in the constitution of our country, that the Qur’ān and Sunnah shall be the Supreme law of the state to which our parliament and constitution itself must submit.

2. For the interpretation of the Qur’ān and Sunnah a committee of competent religious scholars should be instituted by an electoral mandate of the parliament. This committee would be entrusted with the task of ascertaining the implications and purport of the Qur’ān and Sunnah in the collective affairs of life. It would also be assigned to formulate the rules for legislation, and to determine the limits beyond which we, as Muslims, can never exceed. After this the actual task of legislation should be done by the parliament itself keeping in view these ascertained implications, rules and limits. The following two principles should be clearly spelled out in the basic code of this committee:

Firstly, all differences of opinion shall be resolved by a majority vote. Anyone, within or outside the committee, who disagrees with its final verdict will have all the freedom to rationally express his views, wherever he likes and in whatever form he chooses. However, any protest, evasion or refusal to obey it would be considered a criminal offense.

Secondly, the content of Islam is only that which is endorsed by the Qur’ān and Sunnah, which also, incidentally, are the only two sources of it. Whoever considers this to be so, shall only be considered eligible for this committee.

3. The affairs of the state should be run by the consultation of only those who establish regular prayers, and if eligible, pay zakat to the Bayt-ul-Māl, and the only basis of their appointment in the Shūrah (parliament) should be their wisdom and piety, intellect and sagacity which distinguish them from others.

4. Those in authority (the ūl-ul-amr) should be obligated that their standard of living must not exceed that of a common man, and to always keep their doors open to the general masses.

5. In the general elections, the mode of proportionate representation should be adopted so that instead of an individual, a party presents itself to take charge over the affairs of state, and as a result of which the parties, on the basis of the trust and support bestowed upon them by the public, are able to nominate their pious and competent members for the parliament.

6. In the parliament, the tradition should be established that instead of the party members voting only for their own party, should vote for what they consider as right, abide by it and, in fact, take pride in it. Also, no one should be allowed to forcibly convince them against something which they consider as correct.

7. After the general elections the process of transfer of power to the newly elected representatives should be delayed by at least six months. During this interim period, all the members of the parliament should undergo training in political affairs in an academy specifically instituted for this purpose, just as in the present set up those selected for the civil services are given a training in administrative affairs for a certain period before they actually take charge of their duties.

The Economic System

Finally, we evaluate the economic set-up of our country. A detailed analysis reveals that the whole system is founded on vice and evil.

The foremost evil in it is the institution of Banking through which the whole nation’s wealth is rendered at the disposal of a few individuals. In the guise of national development and stability, all the money is actually used to satisfy the whims and lusts of a few capitalists. Banking, on the one hand produces economic disparity and on the other, cripples the national economy. While the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, a country gets caught in a vicious circle of procuring external loans for its own sustenance. It is because of the institution of Banking that a country has to rely on money borrowed on interest from its own people through investment certificates, prize bonds, rifle draws and other such alluring schemes for the completion of its various welfare and commercial projects and for its administration and defence.

The second evil is its system of taxation. The government has an almost unlimited authority to impose whatever amount of tax whenever it likes on the people while the rate of tax fixed once and for all by Allah and His Prophet (sws) is not taken into consideration. As a result, it has become almost impossible for people to honestly carry out business or pursue any other economic activity. Every year the national budget is anticipated with dread and fear. Every new tax decreases the credibility of the government and represses the spirit of its people to come out and offer what they can if their country is in need of their assistance.

The third evil is that the system does not uphold the rightful claim of the workers to be granted both a basic salary and a share in the net profit according to the extent of toil and labour put in. Although, the industrial workers have been granted some other facilities besides their basic salary, yet their share in the total profit has only been accepted half-heartedly. The conditions of the land workers is even more pathetic. Their share in the net profit is generally accepted but they are not given a basic salary. They are neither employed on fixed working hours nor given other facilities every industrial worker receives. In particular, the millions of peasants which inhabit our villages live and die like slaves serving their masters day and night throughout their lives.

The fourth evil in it is the total lack of acknowledgement of the fact that every penny over and above a person’s needs does not belong to him; the poor and the destitute are its rightful claimants. As a result, such needy citizens have been deprived of this right and the whole system is unable to provide them even with the basic necessities of life.

The fifth evil in it is the menace of large cities which are actually large industrial centres. Instead of dividing the resources of development into small units and providing all the citizens with equal opportunities, these resources have been concentrated in a few areas which receive development at the expense of others. Moreover, these large cities have become perfect breeding places for criminals and have also accounted for the disruption of our cultural traditions. Not to mention the fact that congestion and pollution have deprived people of fresh and invigorating environments.

These are the major evils which plague our economic set-up. They have, in fact, significantly contributed to the moral degeneration and regression of the whole society. In our estimation, the following measures must be undertaken to put this set-up in order:

1. All institutions which provide capital on loan should be completely abolished, and all Banks should be converted into various branches of the Bayt-ul-Māl where people can deposit their savings. These branches should provide protection, exchange and other similar facilities. In return for this service, the government should be allowed to spend the deposited money only in the public sector upon industrial, commercial, agricultural and welfare projects, with the precondition that without being given any profit on the original amount, the depositers would be returned their money whenever they demand it.

2. The only form of absentee partnership permitted should be that in which people can directly become shareholders in business projects of the private or public sector.

3. Every economic venture which leads to moral misconduct in the character of an individual, is a means of deceit or damage for the parties involved, or is a cause of accumulation of wealth in the society should be declared unlawful. Interest, insurance, gambling and hoarding should be prohibited, and the law of inheritance should be correctly enforced.

4. To run the machinery of the state, the government should be allowed to rely only on the income obtained from its lands, industries, mineral reserves, trade and zakat. ‘Ushr should also be imposed upon industrial produce. In emergency situations, however, an appeal for money can be made by the government. Furthermore, no tax should be imposed on the people, so that they are liberated from the shackles of this barbarity of the modern age.

5. In every economic enterprise which results from the interaction of labour and capital, labour should be granted a share according to its participation. Those working on the lands should also be given wages and be entitled to all other facilities like the industrial workers.

6. It should be the responsibility of the state to provide everyone with the basic necessities of life which include food, shelter, clothing, education and medical treatment. Those at the helm of the state’s affairs should always keep in mind the Almighty’s promise about all means and resources that if the people in their national capacity hold steadfast to His directives, He would bless them with immense prosperity and happiness.

7. All means and resources of development and progress should be divided into small units to get rid of the menace of large cities.

8. If in the means of production, the rights of private ownership result in injustice and usurpation, the state has all the authority to interfere and debar a person from these rights, though, only after a court pronounces this verdict.

9. To keep money in circulation, people should be urged to spend it in the way of Allah and to refrain from accumulating it.


In the beginning of this article, we had stated a two-dimension strategy for the promulgation of Islam in this country. After elaborating on the first dimension ie, how to reform the factors which influence a society, we now take up the other dimension ie, the priorities which must be kept in consideration during this process of reformation.

The foremost thing in this regard is that those who undertake this task should be aware of the reality of the religion they intend to implement; they should have knowledge of its basic principles and the fundamentals of its philosophy and wisdom; they should be well-versed with its legal aspects, having an appreciation of its goals and objectives and the strategy which must be adopted to achieve them.

Secondly, before practically commencing this task, they should calmly analyze the extent of faith and determination they have for this tall order. They should evaluate their own commitment to their religion: whether their reason and intellect submit to it and they themselves have the will and perseverance to fulfill all what it requires of them irrespective of the consequences; whether they have the courage to remain steadfast on their mission even if they have to risk their lives; whether they have the guts to fight a lone battle for this cause if people desert them and do not submit to even a small requirement of the religion they intend to implement and whether they have the will to continue this struggle till their last drop of blood and their last quantum of energy.

Thirdly, they should begin this implementation with their ownselves by obeying the directives which pertain to them as rulers of an Islamic State. Consequently, before asking their people to follow Islam, they should take lead in complying with the Sunnah of the Prophet (sws) set for them ie, (i) their standard of living should not exceed that of a common citizen, (ii) their doors should 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.

Fourthly, they should make sure that the associates and companions they select for this job are neither narrow-minded mullahs or the equally narrow-minded westernized brand of intellectuals; nor are they those who are unaware of Islamic teachings. They should, in fact, only be those who consider only the Qur’ān and Sunnah as the source and basis of Islam and whole-heartedly submit to their injunctions.

Fifthly, they should simultaneously start all the measures we have mentioned above to reform the role of the factors which influence our society, and without compromising in the slightest sense with the forces of evil must strive their utmost to carry them out to completion.

Sixthly, they should only enforce the penal laws of Islam after they have carried out all the prescribed measures needed to reform the harmful role played by these factors. Furthermore, they should demolish the present set up of the Executive and the Judiciary, and implement in its place a new system. Under this system, the whole country should be divided into small administrative units where all the problems of the general public should be dealt with. They should also abolish the present gradations in the government, and these administrative units should be first directly linked to the provinces and then to the centre.

This is the strategy which, in our opinion, our rulers should adopt with all the conviction of their hearts if they intend to implement the Sharī’ah in Pakistan. In case they attempt to carry out this task, the Almighty has promised to open His treasures for them from the heavens above and the earth below:

"Had the people of these cities accepted faith and kept from evil, We would have showered the blessings of the heavens and the earth upon them." (7:96)

If our rulers have the privilege of fulfilling this task, there is all the chance that just as in its early period, our Ummah would once again be able to bear witness to the religion of truth upon other nations of the world and there is all the liklihood that the Kingdom of God would be established through their efforts on this earth as well.









1. This article was written during the later part of the regime of the late present General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (1977-88), who had embarked upon the task of Islamisation.

2. Blind acceptance of a scholar’s interpretation.

3. The mode of passing on the established customs of the Prophet (sws) as religion to the Muslim Ummah by a vast majority of the companions of the Prophet (sws) through their practical consensus or perpetual adherence to such customs.

4. Traditions reported by a single or a few individuals.

5. Qur’ānic exegeses which have become famous by their authors’ name. The former is by Jalāl Uddin As-suyutī (d:1505 AD) and Jalāl Uddin Al-Muhallī (d:1459 AD), while the latter is by Abdullah Bin Umar Al-Bidhāvī(d:1286 AD)

6. A brisk oral recital of important books of Hadīth before a teacher.

7. Scholasticism ie, the aims, methods and products of thought which constituted the main endeavour of the intellectual life of the middle ages.

8. The principles of deducing commandments from the Qur’ān and Sunnah.

9. Independent or original interpretation of problems not covered in the Qur’ān and Sunnah.

10. Two books of philosophy taught in Dars-i-Nizāmi, the syllabus of our institutions of religious education. They are, in fact, commentaries upon "Hidāyat-ul-Hikmah", a book on this subject by Asīr Uddin Abharī (d:1264 AD) that have come to be known by their authors’ name. One of them is written by Mullah Sadar Uddin Sherāzī (d:1640 AD) and the other by Moin Uddin Maibzī.

11. But whenever a sālik in his ecstasy does reveal these ‘secrets’, the walls of the shrines of the sufi saints echo with claims like ‘Annal Haq’ (I am God!), ‘Subhāni, mā ā’zama shā’ni’ (I am pure! What an exalted status is mine!) and ‘mā fī jubbatī illalāh’ (There is no one in my robe except Allah!)

12. These four practices are various forms of zikr (remembrance of Allah) and fikr (meditation) undertaken by the sufis.

13. Inviting towards all that is good.

14. Enjoining what is right.

15. Forbidding what is wrong.

16. ie, their affairs of state are run by their mutual consultation.

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