Tag Archives: The Pakistan Idea
It has never been easy for anyone, great or small, to present something new and fresh in the realm of ideas and concepts. Even if people may no longer be burnt or skinned alive for their convictions today, the best thinkers of any country have to wait a long time to make themselves heard above the noise and in of prevalent ideas, leave alone re-creating a new order and a new man. Each idea seems to go its full circle before their warnings are heeded, entailing so much suffering and so much pain. And yet all this need not be necessary.
It has not been easy to present the “Pakistan Idea”. In the uncritical onrush of man’s march in a particular direction, it is terribly out of step. It is all the more difficult because here, as Dr. Muhammad Iqbal put it, “Islam is (being presented as) a protest against all religions in the old sense of the word” – a word that, significantly has never been used in the Quran. Thus whenever Iqbal uses the word “religion” it is used in a very different context and background.
It has been noted during the writing of this little book that the Pakistan Idea can best be reconstructed on the basis of the speeches and writings of the main characters, with Quranic concepts as the touch-stone. This method becomes necessary in this case for the simple reason that the Quran was professedly the basis of their ideology.
This little book has been no easy venture, but it became possible because of my great teacher and mentor, Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez. Indeed without him this book could never have been written.
Allama Parwez’s greatest forte was clarity of thought and his knowledge of semantics. The way he clarified words and concepts and the “Pakistan Idea” as no one else did, I developed a keen sensitivity to the fact that I must write it down. I also felt it so as a duty and a responsibility, being a student of history, although in no way do I claim to be a writer or a historian. Also, during his public lecturesand conversations, Allama Parwez repeatedly warned that the Pakistan Movement can be put into perspective only if Jinnah’s political career is studied in two distinct phases–from 1906 to 1930 and from 1934 onwards. What happened during this period of time between 1930 and 1934 is what makes all the difference.
Secondly, Allama Parwez emphasised that the “Tolu-e-Islam” magazine issues from 1938 to 1942, wherein the ideological battle was fought must be researched, for it lies enshrined in these pages. Without reference to it, the challenges and responses of the “Pakistan Idea” will be overshadowed by controversies and misinterpretations. In fact that is exactly what has happened in the last four and a half decades, both the theocratics and secularists trying to pull it in their own directions. They have a right to project their views but no one has the right to distort history. I have picked up the gauntlet and have attempted to write. Some of it was written during Allama Parwez’s lifetime. Readers will notice that I have given him a pride of place in the presentation of the “Pakistan Idea.” However he had disapproved of it, for, that was not his purpose in exhorting us to research, such was his humility. But I stand by what I have written.
At the end one more point needs to be clarified. The contents of this book are not in the form of a narration, for I did not wish to repeat what already has been copiously undertaken by qualified historians. My emphasis is on the conceptual and abstract principles.
I hope this small effort will be followed by better efforts.
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The “Pakistan Idea” is not an original one and yet in the context of the present it is also very new and different. To understand this proposition it will be necessary to briefly review the beginnings of the prevalent concepts and institutions and the norms that European experience has set for the rest of the world.
Since the Renaissance, Europe has gone through a great transformation from the concepts and institutions of the Middle Ages. Following a haphazard process of trial and error, of action and reaction, new concepts and institutions have been evolved, and it has not been easy. About six hundred years of history has seen many earth-shaking upheavals in Europe, often painful and prolonged in terms of human suffering and man’s span of life. This is not surprising, for in the trial and error process, this is but inevitable. The Reformation and counter-Reformation, Age of Reason, French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, and Industrial and Commercial Revolutions – each in its turn has produced changes in the thinking of the European Man and his pattern of life. Rejection of the priestly Church Organisation developed a scientific attitude of mind and also broke the focus of a sense of Christian unity, giving rise to secularism and the rejection of the king’s will, introducing the concept of the “general will” and popular sovereignty; the rebellion of the people against Napoleon’s conquest of Europe created the “nation states;” and mechanisation of industry gave rise to modern capitalism bringing with it all too familiar concepts of profit-motivation, laissez-faire, and rugged individualism. The reaction to it swung the pendulum to the theories of class-war and scientific socialism and communism.
No doubt on the whole the changes have been for the better, but no human efforts, however much an improvement on the past, can claim to be an undiluted blessing.
Freedom of the intellect from the organised priesthood and medieval scholasticism enabled the development of the scientific attitude and provided uninhibited opportunities for the flowering of the latent human potentials. From the inertia of the Middle Ages, the European mind plunged into an adventure of ideas and a life of action and struggle. But in this rapid changing scene, he has no foothold to stand on. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal points out: “It (society) must possess eternal principles to regulate its collective life; for the eternal gives us a foothold in the world of perpetual change.” This eternal principle is missing in the present modern set-up. Whatever defective value-system Christianity may have had, it has not so far been replaced by another. Rene Guenon says: “The intellect has a sharp eye for methods and tools but is blind to end and values. The importance of “end and values” has been clarified by Robert Briffault; “The real standard by which the worth of the human world is to be computed is a moral standard. It is in an ethical sense that the word ‘good’ bears its essential meaning, when applied to things human; and no process of human evolution can be counted real which is not above all an evolution in “goodness.” It is this “goodness” that has been eliminated from the public life of the people. “Secularism”, the pride of modern achievement, is in essence a divorce from morality. The politicians have escaped the inhuman and unintellectual domination of the priest but now cannot but follow Machiavelli for whom moral values existed only as an expediency. To Iqbal, life divorced from morality is “Changezism” under whatever attractive cloak it may be hidden.
Rejection of monarchical despotism and feudalism has introduced democracy, described often as the best form of government. But Roussean’s “general will” still begs definition. The best that has been discovered so far by way of practical solution is “indirect representation” and “majority vote” to decide what is right and wrong. For example, when by majority vote, the people of the United States of America decided to go dry, drinking of alcohol became “wrong”, but when the majority decided that Uncle Sam’s beard should go wet again, it became “right” to take alcohol. How much can one depend upon the “majority vote” for “right thinking”? Experience has shown that public opinion can be swayed one way or another, or guided and modified by mere suggestions, psychologically induced. Meneken has well said: “Knowing very well as a cardinal article of their art, how little people in general are moved by rational ideas and how much by mere hullaballoo, they make common cause with every pressure group that comes along, and are thus maintained in office by an endless services of public enemies.” Iqbal had therefore warned:
“Keep away from Democracy: Follow The Perfect Man, For the intellect of two hundred asses cannot bring forth a single man’s thought.”
In any case the majority vote cannot on any account be a universal or unanimous opinion. The minority is done great injustice to, particularly when fundamental issues of right and wrong are to be decided. In this respect, tyranny of the majority could be worse than tyranny of one man. Hence Iqbal again warned:
“The Democratic system of the West is the same old instrument,
Whose chords contain no note other than the voice of the Kaiser,
The Demon of Despotism is dancing in his democratic robes,
Yet you consider it to be the Neelam Pari of Liberty.”
The capitalist economy does depend a lot on initiative, hard work and rugged individualism, qualities that invite admiration. But the apparent affluence and prosperity of the industrially advanced countries pretend to hide the mutual hatred and suspicion that it engenders. Laissez-faire, material profit motivation, every man for himself and unlimited ownership has set man against man. This exploitation of the ‘have-nots’ by the ‘haves’ repelled Iqbal. Thus, though he does not think that “atheistic socialism” can solve the ills of humanity he hailed the revolution in these words:
“You witnessed that the hungry slave after all tore into pieces the shirt of the landlord which was stained with his blood. The sparks from the fire of the proletariat burnt the gown of the clergy and the robe of the king.”
Psychologically, capitalism is splitting man into isolated units, unable to communicate and share, lonely and atrophied within. This lonely crowd must be made into a “society” again. Once again Iqbal has described this melody in his very expressive style:
“The most depressing error of Materialism is the supposition that finite consciousness exhausts itself.”
Then further on he says:
“He finds himself unable to control his ruthless egoism and his infinite gold-hunger, which is gradually killing all higher striving in him and bringing him nothing but life-weariness.”
Like capitalism, territorial nationalism also creates hatred and bitterness. “My country, right or wrong” is a slogan that can hardly be said to have led to civilizing influence. Aldous Huxley has well said that the “National Person is super-human in size and energy, but completely sub-human in morality.” It is this duality that Iqbal rejects. “The nationalist theory of state, therefore, is misleading in as much as it suggests a dualism which does not exist in Islam.”
Thus the European Man has reached a dead end in his experiment. He has done well to overthrow priesthood and traditional religion, but has not found a value-system to be guided by. He has overthrown despotism, but winders how to get rid of the tyranny of the majority vote. He has eradicated poverty, but is unable to discover a motivation other than material self-interest. He has rejected God, but replaced it by the god of territorial nationalism. Which way does he turn at these cross-roads?
However, in spite of these limitations, the West, by virtue of being the dominant power politically and economically, has influenced the non-western world, where these concepts and institutions are being adopted as if they were the ultimate truth. This uncritical and indiscriminate acceptance is not an unusual phenomenon, for it is the result of inferiority complex that conquered cultures develop. If they do not follow these concepts, they are touchy at being dubbed as backward and undeveloped. They become almost fanatical at adhering to them even to minor details. For example, the Westminster type of parliamentary system is to many countries (particularly to the ex-colonies of the British Empire) a divine institution, deviation from which is tantamount to unbelief. They do not use their creative capacities in evolving their own machinery for the implementation of democracy to meet their own peculiar situation. Blinded by the outward glamour they miss the inner spirit. Even the people of the United States of America, though originally from European historical processes and experiences, had to modify the system and introduced what is known as Presidential System. But unfortunately the Eastern people are not learning from the mistakes of the West and are repeating them all over again, entailing unnecessary waste of human energy and time.
The west too has developed by now a dogmatic attitude towards these institutions. To them their own particular historical experience has become the universal standard to judge the rest of the world, as if it were an objective law. Their own concepts have become so institutionalized and internalized and so much a matter of sheer unconscious reaction, both emotionally and intellectually, that it kills curiosity and the ability to accept and reject things on merit. This superiority complex allows only a patronizing and condescending attitude if the erstwhile slave says something clever. But anything different startles them. There could not be any other way, but the European way. Thus it is a pity that a “curtain of ignorance” (as Felix Greene describes it) has been created over one of the most glorious experiment on an unprecendetal scale being made in China on human living. Nobody can of course claim that any human situation can be perfect, but we are missing a joyous experience of a quarter of humanity, even though we may not totally agree with everything they do. In the same way, the West was “startled” (in Richard Wheeler’s expression) when Pakistan came into existence on basis unknown to them.
It was high time that somebody stood up and sincerely and boldly spoke the truth irrespective of what the “civilized nations” and “world opinion” thought about him. And what is more, devised some means to experiment his concepts and institutions to show to the world that their can be other ways, other alternatives to the exclusively western or the communist.
One such man was Dr. Mohammad Iqbal. He gave a different idea, today know as “Pakistan Idea,” an idea that was to be objectified in a sovereign state carved out in the Indian sub-continent. It is the evolution of this idea that forms the subject matter of this paper. Realizing the difficulty in presenting the idea in the context of the present world attitude, an introduction of this nature and this length became necessary.
The readings on the Pakistan idea brought to light a remarkable consistency in the thoughts, attitudes and practices of certain personalities. They are Syed Ahmed Khan, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Ghulam Ahmed Parwez. Other personalities come and go, but they lack the above qualities. For example, Abul Kalam Azad expressed very similar ideas to Iqbal during the Balkan Wars but in later life he catapulted into the camp of the All-India National Congress and opposed “The Pakistan Idea” till the last moments of his life. Maulana Muhammad Ali, a very sincere leader, was an emotional agitator, who before his death in 1930 confessed the mistakes he made, and so on and so forth. But the four mentioned above are personalities who have never flinched or wavered from their path once they were convinced of it. Hence the history of their thoughts and efforts is the history of the “Pakistan Idea”.
At this stage it need hardly be emphasised that it is not easy to present new and different concepts when the old ones are so deep rooted and internalised that they have become second nature. Therefore the first chapter will be devoted to the definition of Quranic concepts which are in the words of Iqbal “a protest against all religions in the old sense of the term” and a protest against so many modern western terms. For the same reason, even if at the risk of slight repetition, chapter two “Culture and Civilisation” and chapter three “Approach to History” have been added. While the former is a cause of considerable confusion, the latter, our “history” is retarding our progress which in any case is an uphill task.
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The challenge which Jinnah took up was stupendous. When he decided to launch the Two Nations theory, he knew that he was going against not only the political trend in India but against the flood that was engulfing the whole world. And he had to face it alone, for Iqbal, who had trusted his mission of human destiny in his hands, died. Alone he had to face the machinations of the Hindus, the subtility and hypocrisy of which we have had a mere glimpse only, in the chapters on the “Ideological Battle”. Alone he had to face the might and hostility of the British government, who, looking ahead in their own interests, wanted to keep India united. “This desire for unity became almost an obsession with all vocal British commentators towards the end of British rule. When the creation of Pakistan was assured the decision was regretted by all: The Right, the Centre, and the Left. Myths die hard and for many years to come the Englishmen will look to the division of India as signal proof of the failure of his mission in the East. And Jinnah had done it alone. Alone he had to face the Ulema who came in their sacred garments, their sacred head-gears and their sacred beards, claiming to be the “ successors “ of Muhammad (P.B.U.H), urging the Muslims to join hand with the Congress so that they could preserve their own priestly class with all its vested interests.
Indeed today one wonders as to where are all those “ Maulanas “ and “ Maulvis “ who issued ‘ fatwas ‘ of “ Kufr “ against these freedom fighters – Syed Ahmed Khan, Iqbal and Jinnah. How many today know the names of those who rushed to Mecca to procure a ‘ fatwa ‘ against Syed Ahmed Khan from the guardians of the Ka’aba,!? Where are they who day in and day out screamed out that Iqbal and Jinnah were “ Kafir “? They have sunk into the oblivion of the past , unknown and unsung. History has its own laws in selecting its immortals.
It is to the credit of these leaders of the Pakistan Movement that as long as they lived they pulled the Quran out of the clutches of the Ulema and give it to the people where it belonged. And they did this without the prefix of ‘ Maulana ‘ to their names, without donning the priestly robes and without growing a beard. The charge against Jinnah was that he had no beard and hence he could not quote the Quran. It was the knowledge of this charge that made him all the more determined not to grow one. Same was the case with other priestly gimmicks. Iqbal also, although rather lazy and indifferent about beards or no beards, never let it grow. Parwez was also beardless. All this may sound naïve, but in a fanatical priest-ridden society, to be accepted by it in their scholarship of the Quran is a rare achievement over since the days of the early history of Islam. Jinnah rightly claimed this victory when addressing the Muslim University Union on the 5th February, 1938: “ What the League has done is to set you free from the reactionary elements of Muslims and to create the opinion that those who play their selfish game are traitors. It has certainly freed you from that undesirable element of Maulvis and Maulanas.” All these defeated parties involved, expressed their frustration in misconstruing Jinnah’s personality, his objective and his statements. He was abused and condemned, but he was beyond it all. In a letter to Gandhi during the 1944 talks, Jinnah referred to this with dignity. “If a break comes it will be most unfortunate. If one does not agree with you or differs from you, you are always right and the other party is always wrong, and the next thing is that many are waiting prepared, in your circle, to pillory me when the word goes, but I must face all threats and consequences, and I can only act according to my judgement and conscience.”
In the midst of this kind of opposition Jinnah accomplished the seemingly impossible within seven years of laying down the objectives. Jamiluddin Ahmed has well said that “ Like economy of words in speech, he also practised economy of effort in practical politics.” He did not let the energies of his people go waste in agitational politics which ends in frustration and inactivity. Such emotional bouts reduce a nation to ashes, and nothing constructive is achieved. Shouts of “ Jai “ and “ Zindabad “ (long live) momentarily gives cheap popularity and is therefore misleading. In fact this “ economy of effort “ was ingrained in the politics of Syed Ahmed Khan and Iqbal as well. They all appealed to the reason of the people and took them to their goal stage by stage. Even when Jinnah became the beloved Quaid-I-Azam and drew large crowds where ever he went or spoke, he remained detached, which was often mistaken for aloofness and coldness. He kept his balance where many lesser people lost theirs, people who had not achieved even half of his success and popularity. He operated at a high level and cheap popularity never intoxicated him.
Greatness of Jinnah was his character. Political insight and brilliance alone cannot give this stature. The two, character and insight, must go together. Jinnah was “ incorruptible “ according to Arther Muir, Editor of “ Statesman “. No body could buy him. He could not be reduced to a “ show-boy “ or “ his master’s voice ‘ by the lustre of gold or the pomp and show of high offices. He rejected the Prime Ministership of United India offered as a bait to give up the Pakistan Idea. Many, in fact hardly anyone else, was able to resist such baits. This is what the Hindus and the British could not bear. If only they could buy him! But as Dr. Ambedkar put it so beautifully: “ Mr. Jinnah …..can never be suspected of being a tool in the hands of the British even by the worst of his enemies…. At the same time, it is doubtful if there is any politician in India to whom the adjective incorruptible can be more fittingly applied. Anyone, who knows what his relations with the British Government have been, will admit that he has always been their critic, if indeed, he has not been their adversary. No one can buy him, For it must be said to his credit that he has never been a soldier of fortune.” The Agha Khan has this to say: “ Of all the statesmen that I have known in my life- Clemencean, Lloyd George, Churchill, Curzon, Mussolini, Mahatama Gandhi – Jinnah is the most remarkable. None of those men in my view outshone him in strength of character, and that almost uncanny combination of pre-science and resolution which is statecraft.” Even those who disagree with him felt the impact of his high intellectual and moral calibre. To those “ nationalist “ Muslims who felt jealous of Jinnah’s closeness to his people, Tolu-e-Islam told them: “ The secret of Jinnah’s greatness is his character. He operates on a level where he can never be bought. No attraction, however, tantalising it may, can shake his faith in his principles. Those who are jealous of his status can also capture the same status if they cultivate within themselves similar characteristics. Anyone who is as sincere and as sacrificing, or more, will immediately capture the hearts of the Muslims. So why this heart burning?”
The Pakistan Idea emerged as a challenge to geographical nationalism. It was an attempt to solve the human tangle by experimenting an alternative to the prevalent systems. As such it was neither anti-British nor anti-Hindu. None of its exponents, Syed Ahmed Khan, Iqbal and Jinnah can be charged with the fanatical hatred that geographical nationalism engenders amongst its adherents. It believed in letting Hindus go their way, and it wanted a similar freedom to go its own way. “ And say unto those who believe not: “ Says the Quran. “ Act according to your power, Lo! We too are acting. “ Anyone, be he British or Hindu, if he accepts the Quranic world-view, could be a part of this new state.
Thus Pakistan was not the result of negative forces of fear and insecurity as it is made out to be. Many historians, Pakistanis or non-Pakistanis, have given lists of reasons for the transformation of Jinnah. These negative and apologetic writings are the result of misunderstanding or non-understanding of Islam as “Ad-Deen.” Once this approach is comprehended there can be no confusion about it. It is for this reason that, although there were more than one schemes for separation of Hindus and Muslims, only Iqbal’s plan has been discussed in this paper. Other schemes had a negative approach – fear of Hindu domination and Hindu intolerance. But Iqbal’s and Jinnah’s struggle was for an Islamic polity and that alone. It was this scheme that had universal appeal in Muslim India. A Muslim is free only in an Islamic polity. Mere withdrawal of the British from India was not enough. If it was question of “ religious freedom “ they already had that under the British Raj. Why should “ religious freedom “ under the Hindu Raj be better than British Raj? This is an important question to be ponder over Islamic polity also cannot be equated with “ state religion “ or a “ Muslim head of the State “. Islamic polity is the making of by-laws within a system of “ permanent values “ which is possible only in a sovereign state.
In the last analysis let us evaluate the essence of the achievement of Pakistan. Wherein lies the significance of its creation and the greatness of its creators? How is achievement to be evaluated? Supposing it is laid down that the value of achievement lies in finding out first as to in what situation a person was born? What were the concepts and trends prevalent at the time? What were the difficulties and obstacles in his way? Then when he left this situation behind what did he leave it like? Had he submitted to it uncritically and become its victim? Or had he challenged it and attempted to strike a new Path in spite of the heavy odds against him? Keeping this criterion in view, Iqbal and Jinnah and before them Syed Ahmed Khan, were great people. It is so easy to swim with the tide. It would have been easy to say and do what everyone else in the world was saying and doing. But Iqbal raised his voice against geographical nationalism after he visited Europe and saw its impending inhuman destructive results. And what is more, he made himself heard. He urged humanity ( in complete harmony with the dictates of the holy Quran 34:36) to stop for a moment and ponder over as to where they are heading towards. He repudiated nationalism when the two world wars had not yet been fought. He paved the way for Jinnah who jumped in to the fray, made his way against it and turned the tide in the direction he understood it should turn. “ He refused to be the plaything of circumstances or political expediency. Like the master-mind that he was, over rode events and created his own circumstances. The whole face of Indian politics was changed by his over-mastering intellect and character. Round him revolved the entire gamut of Indian politics, as he held the key to the Indian situation.” In fact whenever he spoke there was a flutter in every camp. This was his achievement. Those who rode on the crest of prevalent public opinion are lost to history. Ultimately those survive who have given a new direction, sometime somewhere , even though it is not realised at the time. The creation of Pakistkan has caused a crack in the edifice of nationalism and no matter what vicissitudes Pakistan may undergo it will one day be remembered by world posterity as one of the earliest concrete challenges to geographical, racial and lingual nationalism, and the first step in this century, however small, towards a global home for the human family.
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(1) Ahmed, Jamiluddin-Ed. “ Some recent speeches and writings of Mr Jinnah”. Volume I. Sh. Muhammad Ashraf Lahore 1952.
(2) Ahmed, Jamiluddin Ed. “ Some Recent speeches and writings of Mr Jinnah”. Volume II. Sh. Muhammad Ashraf Lahore 1947.
(3) Ambedkar, B.R. “ Pakistan or Partition of India “ Thacker and Company Limited, Bombay, 1945.
(4) Allana, G. “ Quaid –I- Azam Jinnah” Ferozsons Limited, Lahore 1967.
(5) Azad, “ Abul Kalam “ “ India Wins freedom “ Bombay 1959
(6) Aziz K.K “ Britain and Muslim India “ Heinmann, London – 1963.
(7) Bolitho, Hector “ Jinnah “ John Murray Ltd. – 1954
(8) Bahadur Lal. “ The Muslim League “ Agra – 1954.
(9) Baljon, J.M.S “ Reforms and Religious Ideas of Sir Sayid Ahmed Khan”.
(10) Callard, Keith. “ Pakistan – A Political Study “ George Allen and Unwin Ltd.. – 1957.
(11) Chaudhry, Nirad C. “ Continent of Circe “ Chatto and Windus, London – 1965
(12) Gopal, Ram. “ Indian Muslims – A Political Study “ ( 1858 – 1947) Bombay – 1959.
(13) Graham, G.F.L “ The Life and Work of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan “. Hodder and Stoughton London – 1909.
(14) Hunter, Sir W.W. “ The Indian Muslmans” Truber and Co: London –1871.
(15) Hamid, Abdul “ Muslim Separateness “.
(16) Ikram, S.M “ Modern Muslim India and the Birth of Pakistan “. Shah Muhammad Ashraf – 1970.
(17) Isphani M.A.H “ Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah as I knew Him”. Royal Book Company Karachi – 1976
(18) Iqbal, Sir Muhammd “ The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam”. Oxford University Press, London, 1934. (19) Jinnah Gandhi Talks (1944) Muslim League Publication 1944.
(20) Khan Abdul Waheed “ India wins Freedom – The Other Side”. Pakistan Educational Publishers Ltd., Karachi, 1961. (21) Letter of Iqbal to Jinnah Sh. Muhammad Ashraf Lahore 1968.
(22) Muhammad Ali Jinnah “ An Ambassador of Unity, His Speeches and Writings, 1912-1917” __ A Pen Portrait by Sarojini Naidu
(23)Moon Penderal. “ Divide and Quit “ Chatte and Windus London, 1964.
(24) Malik, Hafeez Ed “ Iqbal – Poet – Philosopher of Pakistan”. Columbia University Press New York London 1971. (25) Nehru – Jawaharlal. “ An Autobiography “ John Lane, the Bodley Head London, 1936.
(26) Nicholas, Beverly “ Verdict on India “. New York, 1944.
(27) Parwez, G.A “ Iqbal aur (and) Quran” (in Urdu) Idara-I-Tolu-e-Islam – 1955.
(28) Parwez, G.A “ Islam – A Challenge to Religion “. Idara-I-Tolu-e-Islam – 1968 Lahore.
(29) Parwez, G.A. “ Ah’Quaid-e-Azma aap Kahan Hain”? (Ah! Where are you, Quaid-e-Azam (in Urdu) Idara-e-Tolu-e-Islam, Lahore, 1972.
(30) Philips, C.H. and Wainwright, Mary D. “ The Partition of India “. George Allens and Unwin Limited, 1970. (31) Pirzada, Syed Sharifuddin “ Evolution of Pakistan “. The All Pakistan Legal Decision – 1963
(32) Quran (On the whole, M. Pickthall’s translation has been used).
(33) Qureishi, Ishtiaq Hussain “ The Struggle for Pakistan “. University of Karachi Publications, Karachi 1965.
(34) Rajput, A.B “ Muslim League – Yesterday and Today “. Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, Lahore 1948.
(35) Symonds, Richard “ Making of Pakistan “. Allies Book Corporation, Karachi, 1966.
(36) Saleemi Safdar “ Pakisan Ka Maimar-e-Awwal “ (In Urdu) (Pakistan’s First Architect), Idara-I-Tolu-e-Islam – 1967. (37) Syed Percival “ India, Pakistan and the West “ Oxford University Press, London 1958
(38) Sayyid, Matlubal Hassan “ Muhammad Ali Jinnah – A Political Study “ Sh. Muhammad Ashraf 1953.
(39) “Shamloo “ Ed. “ Speeches and Statements of Iqbal “ Al-Manzar Academy Lahore 1948.
(40) Sitaramayya, B.P. “ A History of the Congress” – 1935
(41) Tolu-e-Islam Monthly magazine (in Urdu) issues from May 1938 – June 1942.
(42) Vahid, Syed Abdul Ed. “ Thoughts and Reflections of Iqbal” Sh. Muhammad Ashraf Lahore, 1964.
(43) Vahid, Syed Abdul Ed. “ Iqbal – His Art and Thought :. John Murray Publishers Ltd. 1959.
(44) Vahid, Syed Abdul Ed. “ Studies in Iqbal “ Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, Lahore. 1967.
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Jamaat-I-Islami under Maulana Abulala Maududi was one of the many religious organisations, others being Jamiat-I-Ulema, Ahrar, Momins etc., who entered Pakistan after independence. Their entry has been tragic, and is continuing to be so, for the establishment of Iqbal’s and Jinnah’s Pakistan. Having failed to destroy the movement, they decided to destroy it from within or control it theocratically. In the post-independence period they made at least two attempts to disrupt Pakistan. First by trying to create disaffection in the army by issuing a ‘ fatwa ‘ on the Kashmir War of 1947-48. C.J.Adams describes it merely as “ careless remarks “! Secondly, by creating law and order situation in the anti-Ahmadiyah riots in 1935. Keith Callard confirms that “ the agitation against the Ahmadis was led by religious leaders, many of whom had previously engaged in politics on the side of the opponents of Pakistan. However, before the inquiry commission none of these Ulemas could even define a “ Muslim “.
As early as 1951, the ulema started their struggle to preserve themselves as a class, almost on the style of a Trade Union. Thirty-one Ulema met in Karachi and announced their “ Fundamental Principles of an Islamic State”. Article Nine reads as follows: “ The recognised Muslim Schools of thought shall have within the limits of the law complete religious freedom and the right to impart religious instruction their followers, and shall have the freedom to propagate their view, matter relating to their personal status shall be administered in accordance with their respective codes of jurisprudence. It will be desirable to make provision for the administration of such matters by the respective ‘ qadis’.”
This constitutional recognition of various schools of though or sects was their persistent demand in the light of Jinnah’s categorical declaration: “ In any case Pakistan is not going to be theocratic state… to be ruled by priests with a divine mission.” Knowing this then opposition became all the more vehement and organised, and at one stage they almost succeeded in influencing the first Constituent Assembly in recommending a “ Board of Ulema” in legislative matters. This would virtually have amounted to a theocratic state. But by dramatic and what has come down in Pakistani history as an undemocratic action and thus an unhealthy precedent, the then Governor-General, Ghulam Muhammad, dismissed the first Constituent Assembly, and with it went the Board of Ulema. Seeing from this angle, Pakistan escaped suppression and domination of the worst form. When the second Constituent Assembly announced the 1956 Constitution, it has no Board of Ulema. Instead there was a provision for a law Commission composed of members from all walk of life.
However, the story does not end here. Though they failed in this, they succeeded in procuring constitutional recognition of various religious sects, giving them complete control over the personal life and thought of the people according to their 1951 Karachi Demands. They jubilantly welcomed the Constitution as “ Islamic “ for this very reason. Charles J. Adams completely failed to understand this point. He regards the approval of 1956 Constitution by the Jamaat-I-Islami as “ an outstanding example of flexible adaption to the changing political situation although it was parliamentary form of government. The question is not of parliamentary or presidential form, the question is the recognition of the Ulema’s power over the personal law. This point is further clarified when we see that the Ulema never approved of the 1962 Constitution because it gave no such recognition. The Ulema carried on agitation against it until they did succeed in getting this clause incorporated in it. Having succeeded, they insisted that the constitution be declared “ Islamic “ and then they rejoiced over it again. When Pakistan was again faced with drafting yet another constitution in 1973, the demand of the Ulema, along with all those classes whose vested interests are allied with them, is to revive all the “ Islamic “ provisions of the 1956 Constitution.
The much needed Muslim Family Laws is a classical example of the Ulema’s role as obstructionists in the dynamics of political change. In spite of the strong demand for it, it could not be brought into force without the Martial Law Regime. What the Muslim Family Laws did (they were only first step towards reform) was to make marriage and divorce and polygamy a governmental concern through the Chairman of the Basic Democracies. In other words, it was no longer in the Ulema’s sphere of influence. It is a miracle that the Family Laws still survive in spite of the vehement opposition of the Ulemas. Similarly they oppose all official agencies that interfere in their traditional jurisdiction. For example, Roet-e-Hilal Committee for the sighting of the moon, the Islamic Research Centre in Karachi the like. They raise the issue of “ Sarkari” and “ Sharai” decision and confuse the people by raising the slogan of “ Islam in danger “.
This struggle to preserve themselves as a class naturally make them the spokesmen of the vested interests and the traditional society. They oppose land reforms ( The Land Reforms introduced ultimately were again very mild like the Muslim Family Laws), Scientific and creative activity in any form (they once issued “ fatwas “ against the loud-speaker, and now command the common man not to believe that men have landed on the moon, etc.) women emancipation, birth control and so on and so forth.
And of course the diabolical role that they played in an unholy alliance with General Ziaul Haq in promulgating Hadood Ordinance and the Law of Evidence at variance with the Quran is recent history. Their influence over the educational policy and the rewriting of history is another setback in the same period.
As a long term policy, the Ulema, particularly of the Jamaat-I-Islami brand, played a very clever game. As early as the mid-fifties, they captured the universities and colleges, till a time has come when they virtually rule these institutions. This has not only destroyed the system, but also sabotaged the psyche and culture of the students. Consequently, it is this psyche and culture that dominates the civil and military officialdom. Pakistan, thus no longer belongs to Iqbal and Jinnah. It is today another country.
THE NATURE OF THE PRIESTLY OPPOSITION TO THE
MESSENGER OF GOD AS DESCRIBED BY THE QURAN
Throughout God challenges those who come in between God and Man. The historics of Noah, Hud, Saleh, Ibrahim, Musa, Isa and Muhammad (P.B.U.H) as narrated in the Quran, begin with this challenge, “ Serve Allah, ye have no sovereign authority save Him” (Surah 23/Verse 23: 7/65; 11/61; 21/52; 11/84). The answer to this challenge has always been at the emotional level. “ We heard not of this in the case of our father of old” (23/24; 7/70; 11/62 21/53; 11/87; 20/51;38/8)
Ancestor worship, the basic sanction of all traditional societies is thus exposed. And then, in order that people may not know the truth and reason for themselves, a curtain of ignorance is created by an emotional propaganda, for instead of arguments, the leaders who wish to bring about change are abused as “ insane (23/25) “ madman” (54/9; 68/51) “ bewitched “ (17/47; 26/153) “ magician” (34/43) “ poet” (21/5) wizard and charlatan (38/5). So much hue and cry is raised that people are not allowed to have direct access to the concepts and values proclaimed by the new leaders. This is an ingenious way to preserve their existence as a class, and all in the name of that very Allah from whom they are keeping the people away.
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“ They stood at the gate of the goddess with flowing tresses, and heard her, Circe, sweetly singing before her loom, as she walked to and for weaving an imperishable web, gorgeous and dazzling, such as only goddesses can make.
So she lived on the island of Aecrea, and so she has in India. Men have stood at her gate, and called to be admitted and to all she has opened her shining gate. She has taken them sweats, and served food. But with the food she has also mixed the drug which make them foget their country. Then she turned them into brute beasts.
No invader that come into her great continent has been able to resist her spell, and the British who broke it untimely and went home without first hearing the spirits of their dead heroes are still longing after her with the docility of cattle. The Americans are now crying out like Polites. ‘ Friends there is somebody within singing sweetly, and the hall is echoing to her song. Come quickly, and cry aloud to her’.” (from “ Continent of Circe” Epilogue by Nirad Chaudhry page 306) (Muslims alone were not affected by her sweet songs or the drug that she has put in their food – the writers comment.)
“…………Successful as the caste system was in assimilating the barbarian invaders, it failed totally to cope with the next series of ethnic incursions from outside which were set in train by the expansion of Islam. This historical movement threatened to bring the Hindus under subjection to the newly risen empire of Caliphate, and annex India to the Islamic world. As a result the Muslims were established as a society parallel to that of the Hindus.
No adjustment between the two societies took place except in minor matters, and therefore with the Muslim conquest the country also saw the emergence of the second basic cleavage in its population…..” (from “Continent of Circe” by Nirad Chaudhry page 59-62).
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In his book, ‘ Iqbal ke Aakhri do sall’, Ashiq Hussain Batalvi concludes that it has to be admitted that Dr Iqbal was not statesman…..at least not in the sense as Mr Jinnah, Sir Fazle Hussain and Maulana Mohammad Ali were…..He was essentially and idealist. A.H. Batalvi goes on to say that ‘ His two experiences in practical politics were his selection to the Punjab provincial assembly in 1927 and his attendance of the round Table Conference in 1931. He found both these experiences terribly uncomfortable, what with their conspiratorial, deceitful, sychophantic and hyporitical atmomsphere, particulary of the Round Table conference which he quit’. H.T. sorely has added another dimension to this aspect of Iqbal’s life. In his essay ‘Iqbal’ he says: “ The life of Mohammad Iqbal was completely uneventful… he lived a placid, sheltered existence for 65 years….He was a man who sat in a study polishing words. He did not live events….He did not live dangerously…..” Apparently, these quotes deny Iqbal the noise and deen of agitational politics, or the spectatular glamour of a military victory on the battlefield,but such was the statesmanship of Iqbal that sitting in a corner of dilapidated room on McLeod Road or from a house on Mayo Road, he was able to throw a challenge to the World poliitcal trends and concepts in the teeth of Hindu, British and even Muslim opposition, not only philosophically and theoretically, but in actual fact, in practical concrete form that is Pakistan today. The greatness and uniqueness of Iqbal’s Statesmanship lies in the very fact that in spite of withholding himself from practical politics, he was able to motivate people, fire their imagination and help launch a countrywide movement in carving out a new state with new geographical and ideological frontiers. This is an achievement that is unprecedental, for it was not an ordinary national liberation movement against colonialism, but a harbinger of a vision, the universality and profundity of which elude the practical politicians both inside and outside Pakistan.
It is truism to say that Iqbal was inspired by the Quranic text which he had retrived from under the debris of Sassanin, Byzantine, Judeo-Christian and Indian civilisation which had collapsed on it. The vision he discovered was stated thus: In this cruel and unjust system, where a few capture power and monopolise the resources of the earth, where a few enjoy the bounties of nature through expliotation and enslavement of the many, there should be a group of people somewhere who could stay the hand of the tyrannical exploiter. Indeed there should be some people somewhere who could assure the homeless and the insecure, irrespective of any consideration of race, colour, country or creed, that they will be given protection. Eventually, he dreamed the Quranic dream of making the planet earth a homeland for the whole human-kind as one human family.
It was this dream that made him reject, racial, lingual and geographical barriers as suicidal for humanity. Even before his return from Europe in 1908, he warned:
“ Your civilisation is going to commit suicide with her own
own dagger. The nest which is made on a frail bough”
Cannot but be insecure’, he repeated this all his life, and a few months before his death in 1938 , in a New Year message broadcast from the Lahore Radio on the 1st of January he expressed his anguish thus!… so long as men do not demonstrate by their actions that they believe that the whole world is the family of God, so long as distinctions of race, colour and geo-graphical nationalities are not wiped out completely, they will never be able to lead a happy and contented life and the beautiful ideas of liberty, equality, and fraternity will never materialise’.
Iqbal also learnt that no matter how beautiful an ideal, no matter how deep his anguish, the Quran does not allow even a shadow of force to be used or the undermining of the free will of a human being in any way. So his statesmanship envisioned a group of people establishing a society as a pragmatic test for the rest of humankind. For this, a piece of land was prerequisite. Now, when Iqbal in his 1930 presidential address referred to the North-West of India as a possibility, there were powerful factors involved in his choice. For one thing, for a radical conceptual change and its institutionalization, minimum vested interests in a given region would hasten the movement towards his ideal. It so happened that British Imperialism in India decided not to industrialize the North-Western part of India, so this area could be reserved for recruiting soldiers for the British Indian Army. Naturally, this prevented the development of Big Business and Industrial Magnates who could be a hurdle in the way of building a new society. The only vested interests were the landlords whom Iqbal (and later Jinnah) attacked ferociously in his poetry. The second factor was the eventual withdrawal of the British from the subcontinent. This would create a vacuum for the establishment of a new government and a new society, while in the rest of the ‘ Muslim ‘ world there were already well-entrenched local governments and vested interests.
It was as early as 1910 when Iqbal talked about a separate state to the students of Aligarh. But he had realised as Syed Abdul Vahid has put it, that ‘ During this period Muslim public opinion was moving with tremendous force in directions towards which Iqbal did not approve’. The reason lay in the new leadership in persons like the Ali Brothers, Maulana Zafar Ali and Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, leaders, who in comparison with Sir Syed Ahmed Khan were emotional and in Ian Stephen’s words ‘ lacking his realism or capacity for taking long views’. Thus while there was apparently tremendous activity visible in the Muslim Community from Balkan Wars to the Khilafat Movement, it was more of an emotional and shortsighted and unrealistic activity. It all ended in frustration and destructiveness. Iqbal had written poems in the defence of the Turks but the feeling he meant to arouse were unrealistically exploited by politicians. So he preferred not to attend political meetings and even resigned from the Punjab Khilafat Committee to which he had been nominated or elected. In any case to beg of the British or agitate for the restoration of the Khilafat which the British were being bent upon destroying was not Iqbal’s way of doing things. He believed in self-help, and it was Kamal Ata Turk’s struggle on self-reliant basis that inspired him to write his happy poem on him captioned “ Tolu-e-Islam “.
It was because of the misled political activity that Iqbal kept aloof from practical politics and decided to play an educative role. Through his poetry, lectures and statements he, attempted to change people attitudes, projecting the universalism and humanity of Islam. The response was more than encouraging. The recitation of his latest poems at the annual convention of the ‘ Anjuman-e-Hamayat-I-Islam’ in Lahore were eagerly awaited and people came from all corners of India to listen to him.
By 1930 both at the mass and leadership level, the Muslims stood frustrated and confused. Whatever their objectives and methodology they had failed, left standing on the cross-roads. This is the moment Iqbal was waiting for and thus he formally put forward the ‘ Pakistan Idea ‘ in a speech in Allahabad which summarised and crystallised his thought, that is, all that he had been saying ever since 1908.
The final stage of his statesmanship is the selection of Jinnah to lead the struggle. For him the years 1930-35 were very crucial, because Jinnah had first to be converted to ‘ Pakistan Idea ‘, from an ‘ Indian nationalist’ he had to be transformed in to a ‘ universal being’. This great feat, of convincing Jinnah was accomplished by Iqbal through this period in personal meetings, beginning from the Second Round Table Conference, and through correspondence. Time has proved that Iqbal’s choice was correct. The struggle that lay ahead was going to be a severe one. His leader had to be man of high intellectual and moral courage, to be able to swim against the tide of prevalent fashionable ideas. It is very easy to seek cheap popularity but it is not easy to be a leader. Thus in 1937, 21st of June he wrote to Jinnah: ‘ I know you are a busy man: but I do hope you won’t mind my writing to you so often, as you are the only Muslim in India today to whom the community has a right to look up for safeguidance through the storm which is coming to the North-West India, and perhaps to the whole of India’. Iqbal’s own role in the last years of his life, 1936-1938, was a constant source of inspiration and guidance to Jinnah in spite of his ill health. On his death, Jinnah’s message speak for itself “ To me he was a friend, guide and philosopher and during the darkest moment through which the Muslim League had to go he stood like rock and never flinched one single movement”. These moments were so dark and difficult, that it motivated Ashiq Hussain Batalvi to write a whole volume on it…. Iqbal ke aakhari do sal’…. A good source material for future historians.
There was another area in which Iqbal had to make a choice of a man, a man who could help Jinnah to fight the battle on the philosophical and ideological front. He had inaugurated a magazine ‘ Talu-e-Islam for this purpose. The man of his choice was Ghulam Ahmad Parwez as its editor who was destined to walk with the lamp he had lighted with Iqbal’s flame of learning, thus illuminating the path that he tread. Needless to say Parwez was the most brilliant amongst those who flocked to Iqbal to drink from this fountain of wisdom. It is interesting to note that the first issue of Tolu-e-Islam”, April 1938 lay beside him while he lay on his death bed. Thus before his death, Iqbal had seen to it that the destiny of Muslim India (with all its future portends for humanity, now lost……but that is another story) was in very safe hands, politically and philosophically.
H.T. Sorley has said that Iqbal did not live dangerously’. I would say living and thinking are one and the same thing. No one can deny Iqbal thought too dangerously for the liking of many a vested interests. In another clime and place he would have been put to death, Socrates-like. As for practical statesmanship, while he change the whole political future of India which shook South Asia, sending reverberation all over the world, the practical politicians of today, or for that matter, thinkers and poets, could not even save Pakistan from splitting into two.
Courtesy “ The Nation “.
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A comparative study of religion or madhhab, and deen, should help us understand the vital and fundamental characteristics of each and the difference between the two.
(1) Madhhab is merely some store of subjective experience and is concerned only with the so-called private relationship between God and man
Deen is an objective reality and a system of collective life.
(2) Every follower of a madhhab is satisfied that he has established a communion with Almighty, and the objective of each individual is his own salvation.
The aim of deen, on the other hand, is the welfare and progress of all mankind, and the character and constitution of a society indicates whether or not it is founded upon the Divine Law.
(3) Madhhab does not afford us any objective criterion by which we could determine whether or not our actions are producing the desired results.
In a social order governed by deen, development of a collective and harmonious life correctly indicates whether or not the people are pursuing the right course
(4) Madhhab is hostile to scientific investigation and is an adversary of reason, so that it could flourish unhampered with the aid of a blind faith.
Deen helps in the development of human reason and knowledge, allows full freedom to accept or reject on the basis of reason and arguments, and encourages investigation and discovery of all the natural phenomena to illumine the path of human life and its advancement in the light of Permanent Values.
(5) Madhhab follows the susceptibilities and prejudice of men and pampers them.
Deen seeks to lead men to a path of life that is in harmony with the realities of life.
(6) In every age, therefore, madhhab sets up new idols and mumbo-jumbos in order to keep the people’s attention away from the real problem of life.
But deen is rational and radical: it breaks all idols, old and new, and is never variable in its principles.
(7) Madhhab induces a perpetual sense of fear in the minds of men and seeks to frighten them into conformity; while deen treats fear as a form of polytheism and seeks to make men courageous, daring and self reliant.
(8) Madhhab prompts men to bow before every seat of authority and prestige, religious as well as temporal.
Deen encourages man to walk about with his head erect, and attain self-confidence.
- (1) Madhhab induces man to flee from struggle of life.
But deen calls upon him to face the realities of life squarely, whatever the hazards.
(10) Madhhab treats the world of matter with contempt and calls upon man to renounce it. It promises paradise only in the hereafter as a reward for the renuciation of the material world.
Deen, on the other hand, enjoins the conquest of matter and leads man to measurable heights of attainment. It exhorts him to seek well-being and happiness in this world as well as felicity in the life Hereafter.
(11) Madhhab encourages belief in fatalism (pre-destination), and this tends to dissuade man from active life and self-development.
Deen gives man power to challenge fate, and provides energy for a life of activity and self-development.
(12) Madhhab seeks to comfort the weak, the helpless and the oppressed with the belief that the affairs of this world are governed by the will of God and that its acceptance and resignation helps to endear them to God. This sort of teaching naturally tends to morbidity, and emboldens their religious leaders who profess to interpret the Will of God, so that they indulge in their misdeeds with perfect impunity and persuade the adherents to a complete and quiet submission.
Deen, on the other hand, raises the banner of revolt against all forms of tyranny and exploitation. It calls upon the weak and the oppressed to follow the Divine Laws and thereby seek to establish a social order in which all tyrants and oppressors will be forced to accept the dictates of right and justice. In this social order, there is no place for dictators, capitalists or priests. They are all enemies of Deen.
(13) Madhhab enjoins religious meditation in the name of worship and thus induces self-deception.
Deen exhorts men to assert themselves and struggle perpetually for the establishment of the Divine Social Order, and its betterment when attained. Worship in Deen really means obedience to the Laws of Allah.
- (14) Madhhab frowns and sneers at all things of arts and beauty.
Deen defies those who forbid the enjoyment of the good and beautiful things of life which God has created for the enjoyment of man.
- (15) Madhhab denounces everything new and declares all innovation as sin.
Deen holds that the needs and demands of human life keep changing with the change in the conditions of life; change and innovation are, therefore, demanded by life itself. Only the Divine Laws are immutable.
It should now be easy for us to see the fundamental difference between Deen and madhhab. Islam means saying “ Yes” to life; while the response of religion is “ No “!
Thus Islam is an open challenge to religion as such.
(From “ Islam – A Challenge to Religion “ by Ghulam Ahmed Parwez page 366-369)
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As described by the Quran, Noah, Had, Saleh, Ibrahim, Musa, Isa and Muhammad (P.B.U.H) enjoined upon Man to say YES to the challenges of life and conquer the universe by harnessing the laws of Nature. The power acquired thereby ought to be used for the benefit of the human race by harmonising with the Permanent Values. This harmony with the Permanent Values develops SELF of Man which possesses in latent form, and is the ultimate objective of human living.
Below are given some Permanent Values of the Quran from Ghulam Ahmed Parwez’s book, “ Islam – A Challenge to Religion, “ pages 359-366.
- Respect for humanity in general. The very fact that every human child at his birth is equally endowed with a Self or Personality, entitles every individual as a human entity to equal esteem and respect; and no distinction whatsoever should, therefore, be allowed to the incidence of birth, family, tribe, race or community, nationality religion or sex, for, says the Quran:
Verily We have honoured all children of Adam (equally) (17: 70).
- The criterion of a high position in society. The instrinsic value of every individual human being is uniformly equal, but the criterion for determining the relative position and status of every individual rates on his own personal merits and character:
And for all there are ranks according to what they do (46:19).
And the principle underlying is this:
The noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the best in conduct (49:13).
- Unity in humanity. All human beings, according to the Quran, are the members of one brotherhood and branches of the same tree:
Mankind is one community (2:213).
Racial distinction or dividing mankind into different compartments of communities and nations by drawing lines on the globe is antagonistic to the very idea of humanity as a single entity, and is against the intents and purpose of nature. There is only one criterion for a division and no other – that those who believe in the Permanent Values are members of one community, and those who care not for them and lead their lives against them, go to the other division of a different community, as is said in the Quran:
He it is who created you ( as human beings) but one of you rejects (the Permanent Values) and another believes ( in them, so this is the only line of demarcation) (64:2)
- (1) Human Personality implies responsibility. It means to say that every human being will be held responsible for his own actions, reward as well as retribution, which none else will share. Says the Quran:
Whoever commits a crime commits it against his own self (4:111).
And no other will be held responsible for it:
No bearer of a burden bears another’s burden (54: 38).
This makes it quite clear that the notions of the “ original sin. “ or “ intercession,” or “ Penance “ have no room whatsoever in Islam. That one should be made responsible for one’s own deeds is, therefore, a Permanent Value according to the Quran.
- (2) According to the Quran. Every human being is born free, and, therefore, should ever remain free; and freedom means that non, whosoever he may be, can extort obedience from another human being. In the Islamic Society, only the Quranic laws shall be obeyed. This synonymous with the obedience of God, for very plainly asserts the Quran:
It is not right of any man that God should give him the Book and authority and (even) Nubuwwah and he should say to men “ obey me instead of Allah” (3:78)
In fact, the Islamic Society is the agency for the execution of the Quranic laws; and this constitutes the main criterion to distinguish between the Muslim and non-Muslim creed:
And whoever judges not by what Allah has revealed, those are the unbelievers (5:44)
These provisions apply equally to all, no matter what his position. Not to speak of others, even the Rasul of God was directed to proclaim:
I follow not but what is revealed to me. Indeed I fear, if I disobeyed my Rabb, the chastisement of a grievous day (10:15).
It may be mentioned that what is worship in religion, is obedience to the laws of God in Deen.
- (3) Freedom of will __ no compulsion. The responsibility for the act of a human being is determined by his own volition and intents, so much so, that if one is forced to believe something or is prevailed upon with force and compulsion against his will to act in a particular manner, he would not be held responsible for such belief or action, for Eiman is the other name for full conviction. Says the Quran:
There is no compulsion in Deen (2:256)
And in another place:
And say: The truth is from your Rabb, so let him who pleases believe, and let him who pleases reject (18:229)
Physical compulsion and mental coercion apart, anything agreed to or followed traditionally or conventionally and not after due exercise of reason and intellect cannot be termed as Eiman. Accepting anything traditionally is, according to Quran, the way of unbelievers:
And when it is said to them (the unbelievers), “ Follow what Allah has revealed,” they say: “Nay, we follow that wherein we found our fathers. What! Even though their fathers had no sense at all, nor did they follow the right path(2:170)
The believers, on the other hand, are those:
Who, when (even) the messages of their Rabb are presented to them, they fall not there at deaf and blind (25:73)
- (4) Islam not only tolerates followers of other religions but also bestows upon them all the rights of humanity, and solemnly undertakes to protect and guard their places of worship. Says the Quran:
And if Allah did not repel some people by others, clositers and churches and synagogues and mosques, in which Allah’s name is oft remembered, would have been pulled down; and surely Allah will help him who helps Him (in this regard) (22:40).
- (5) Justice is one of the fundamental Permanent Values (16:9), and no distinction is allowed in this respect between friend and foe, for, says the Quran:
And let not the hatred of a people incite you not to act equitably. Be just: that is nearer to observance of duty (5:8)
As regards the courts of Justice, we have been very clearly guided by Quran:
- (1) Confound not truth with falsehood (2:42).
- (2) Nor knowingly conceal the truth(2:42).
- (3) Hide not testimony (2:283).
- (4) Evidence must be given truthfully (41:1135).
- (5) And be ye not an advocate for the fraudulent (4:105)
- (6) And never be supporter of the guilty (28:17).
- (7) Be ye staunch in justice, witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or (your) parents or (your) kindred, whether (the case be of) a rich man or a poor man for, Allah is nearer unto both (than you are). So follow not passions lest ye lapse (from truth) and if ye lapse or fall away, then lo! Allah is ever informed of what ye do (4: 135).]
Crimes, according to the Quran, are not only those that are actually and physically committed; it considers even the mere thought of a breach of the Permanent Values as an offence. Not doubt, such offences do not fall within the jurisdiction of a court of law, nevertheless they are offences in the eye of the Divine Law of Retribution, and adversely affect the personality of the perpetrators, as has been said in the Quran:
He knoweth the traitors of the eyes and that which the bosoms hide (40:19).
- Subsistence. According to the Quran, it is incumbent upon the Islamic society to provide for the basic necessities of each and all the members comprising it, and make suitable provisions for the development of their human potentialities. Thereafter, it should extend the same facilities to other human beings, and thus make the Order of Rububiyyah universal. A society that fails in this responsibility does not deserve to be called Islamic, for, the Islamic society that is established in the name of Allah is bound to proclaim:
We will provide for you and your children (6:152).
It is paramountly clear that no society could fully discharge this responsibility unless and until it has all the means of production under its control and necessary resources at its disposal. It is solely for this reason that means of production cannot be owned privately in Islam, nor could the produce of such means, or wealth, could form a private hoard (9:34-35).
For the same reason the principle underlying the growth and development of human personality is expressed thus: that an individual should work hard and earn and produce as much as possible, keep that is basically and essentially necessary for his own upkeep and of those for whom he is personally responsible, and give away the rest for meeting out the necessities of others in need, as is ordained in the Quran.
And they ask thee as to what should they give (for the benefit of others). Say: “Whatever is surplus to your own requirements” (2:219).
And in this their attitude should be such as to declare:
We desire from you neither rewards nor thanks (76:9)
- (10) Chastity, according to Quran, is one of the Permanent values and its breach a grave offence (24:3). It demands its observance from men and women equally (24:30-31), and deems marriage as a free contract, leading a life of companionship and mutual cooperation in which both the parties stand on the same level and should be treated uniformly, for the Quran makes no distinction between men and woman on the ground of sex. Both, as human beings, are like each other and equal in all respects:
He it is Who has brought you (mankind) into being from one single-life-cell (6:99).
- (11)Aesthetic taste. There is a basic difference between an Animal and a human being, and that is that while the needs of an animal are confined to the mere satisfaction of physical wants, the requirements of man go beyond that. He is also endowed with the aesthetic sense, a liking, a taste for the appreciation of beauty. The Quran respects this leaning a tendency towards fine arts in the human species and considers it as a necessary element in the growth and development of his personality. It says:
“ Who hath forbidden the adornment of Allah, which he hath brought forth His devotees and the good things of His providing”?(7:32).
Thus it gives full encouragement to the appreciation of beauty in its various phases of arts as well as objects, with the only provision that the limits laid down in the Quran are not transgressed.
(12) Force of Nature. You come across at several places in the Quran with verses like this:
And He has made subservient to you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, all from Himself (45 :13).
That is why Islam demands from us to subdue and harness the forces of nature with the sole object of utilizing them in consonance with the Permanent Values for the benefit of the entire humanity, and never for destructive purposes, for, the basic principle underlying this is:
Only that survives in the earth which is beneficial for entire mankind (13:17)
We have narrated above some of the basic values conveying the fundamental importance in human activity which have not only to be meticulously observed but to be carefully safeguarded by the Islamic Society against their breach and violation.
The Quran does not ignore or neglect, rather it lays a great emphasis on meeting out the demands of man’s physical existence and the satisfaction of this requirements for his case and comforts, of course, in close observance of the Permanent Values. If the needs of his physical life and other requirements are both satisfied in harmony and accord with the Permanent Values, no difficulty or a problem as such arises. When there is a tie or an apprehension of a clash between the two the Islamic view of life will then, as a matter of course, give preference to the maintenance of and compliance with the Permanent Values, for therein lies the loftiness of the human character. This way of life greatly contributes to the development and well being of the human self. In the Material concept of life, on the other hand, the be all and end all of the entire human effort and activity is merely the satisfaction of the physical wants in luxury and plentitude without the least idea of the Permanent Values playing any role at all. This attitude is abhorrent to Islam. Far from agreeing to accept it, Islam will, in no circumstances, even compromise with the Material concept. Further, the otherworldly view of religion, preaching contempt of the worldly life and its enjoyment and ignoring the physical wants, is equally unacceptable and hateful in its eyes.
(From “ Islam – A Challenge to Religion “ by Ghulam Ahmed Parwez – pages 359-366)
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In Chapter IX the aims and objects of the All-India National Congress and the All-India Muslim League have been projected through their own spokesmen. The difficulty was that although representing Hindu culture, the Congress claimed to represent all Indians and thereby wanted to rule over a United India. The Muslim League claimed to be the sole representative of Muslim India and believed that it was only fair that Muslims should have the right to live as they wish, and Hindus the way they wish. This was possible only if both had independent sovereign states of their own. When Jinnah made these statements, a hue and cry was raised in the Congress circles, and every possible method was used to undermine the Two-Nation theory. That story has already been told. Jinnah continued to preservere and to repeatedly clarify the Muslim League stand, and to bring home to the opponents that Hindus and Muslims are two nations. Soon voices were heard in acceptance of this view. Mr. N.C Dutt, an important member of the all-India Congress Committee, wrote an open letter to his nation in the paper ‘Medina’ of Bijnaur on the 1st of February 1940. He wrote: “ In the circumstances I think that the only solution of the Hindu-Muslim tangle is to accept them as two nations and to reject, for ever, the idea that they are one nation. Mr Jinnah has very recently written in answer to Gandhi that ‘ one nation’ concept is a mirage. If not today, tomorrow it will become a fact. I think we should no longer be frightened of the Pakistan Idea.” The basis of the nation was recognised to be Islam. Satya Murti an important Congressman gave a statement that was published in “Hindustan Times” on 11th June 1940 . He said that the formation of a mixed government (Hindus and Muslim) is impossible because how can the Congress form a government with the Muslim League, since the aim of the League “ is to establish an Islamic government.”? As such the Muslim League alone could be representative party of Muslim India. Earlier, Nehru had declared that there were “ two parties” in India, the British Government and the Congress. – Jinnah had immediately challenged this statement and stated that their was a “ third party”, the Muslim League. The struggle from this point onwards had been to convince and to prove that this was so. Till the last, the Congress and the British tried to bypass this claim but facts were otherwise and people were realising it. In “ Independent India “ of 11th May, 1941, M.N. Roy wrote: “ As far as the Muslims are concerned the fact is beyond doubt that Muslim League is their representative. Muslim League is the representative of a quarter of the Indian population.” “ Nationalist Muslims “ who were more vocal than the non-Muslims also admitted this. Khan Bahadur Allah Bakhsh of Sindh, addressing the Sindh Medical Union said, “ Muslim League is now so organised that it can negotiate with other political parties.” (Statesman 21.3.41) It was also being realised that there cannot be one centre for any federal scheme as visualised in the 1935 Act which would inevitably have a Hindu majority. M.N. Roy stated that from the point of view of majority vote, and one man one vote, “ if Muslims refuse to be the member of your federation which has Hindu majority, there are justified.” (Independent India – 27.4.41). Thus Jinnah’s stand was being vindicated and the influence of the Muslim League continued to grow over Muslim India. Ambedkar criticised Gandhi for avoiding facing the issue and taking refuge in “ by protesting that the Muslim League did not represent the Muslim and that Pakistan was only a fancy of Mr Jinnah”. It is difficult to understand how Mr Gandhi could be so blind as not to see how Mr Jinnah’s influence over the Muslim masses has been growing day by day and how he has engaged himself in mobalising all his forces for battle.” One concrete manifestation of this influence was witnessed in the municipal elections in Ahmedabad, the strong entrenchment of the Congress. Here not a single seat was captured by a Congress Muslim. This was so tremendous a success that “ Independent India “ (15.2.1940) asked: “ Does this not prove that Muslim League is increasing its influence day by day? Yet, in spite of this bitter experience of reality Congress is not ready to recognise Muslim League as the only representative of Muslims. This is sheer stubborness. This attitude is responsible for the political stalemate. It is high time that the Congress faced facts after the lesson learnt from the Municipal elections and solved the issue accordingly.”
But the Congress was not yet ready to face facts. In sheer desperation, however, at the League’s success, Rajgopal Acharia flung a “ sporting offer” to the Secretary of State for India, that Hindus would not mind Muhammad Ali Jinnah becoming the Prime Minister of India, provided he was made responsible to the legislature in a “ national government.” A small man could have been bought like this, but Jinnah could not allow this nation to be destroyed thus. “The Musulmans have grown up remarked Jinnah proudly, to believe in such offers.
Another tactic used was to manipulate the withdrawal of the British in such a way that they would transfer power to the congress and leave the League high and dry at their mercy. Ghandhi launched a civil disobedience movement or “ satyagrah “, apparently against the British, but Jinnah could not be hoodwinked. He said “ satyagrah “ is “ to coerce the British Government to recognize the Congress as the only authoritative and representative organisation of the people of India… (It implies) ‘ come to terms with us and ignore the Muslims and other minorities’. He described such an attitude as “a process of blackmail. The Government knows it and we know.” Gandhi himself had written in the “ harijan” that so long as there is no workable arrangement with the Muslim League, civil resistance must involve resistance against the League.” With the same objective was launched the “Quit India” campaign in 1942. Jinnah declared that it was a challenge to Muslims of India, as Mr. Gandhi (has launched) a movement whose one and only object is by hook or by crook to bring about a situation which will destroy the Pakistan Scheme.” Ambedkar has condemned it on similar grounds. He says that it was “ an attempt to do away with the intervention of the British Government in the discussion of the Minority Question and thereby securing for the Congress a free hand to settle it on its terms and according to its own lights. It was in effect, if not in intention, an attempt to win independence by by-passing the Muslims and other minorities. The Quit India Campaign turned out to be a complete failure.” On another occasion, when the so-called National Defence Council was being formed, the British, on a well-thought-out plan attempted disrupt the Muslim League Organisation, by inviting some highly placed Muslim Leaguers like Sikandar Hayat Khan and Fazlul Haq, to join it. This was done without any reference to Jinnah. Boldly Jinnah told them to retrace their steps and resign, which they did. This was a great triumph for the Muslim League as the only representative organisation of Muslim India.
In the constitutional sense, the triumph of the League is reflected in the clauses of Cripp’s proposal in the year 1942, within two years of the Lahore Resolution. The relevant clause was as follows:
“With such non-acceding provinces, should they so desire, His Majesty’s Government will be prepared to agree upon a status as the Indian Union and arrived at by a procedure analogous to that here laid down.”
Then during the Jinnah-Gandhi talks in 1944 although Gandhi refused to recognise Muslim League as representative of Muslim India and himself disclaimed any representation of the Congress, the very fact that he agreed to talk on the basis of C.R Formula that accepted the Pakistan Idea in principle, is significant. Hence Jinnah also said that at last Gandhi “ has at any rate in his ‘ personal capacity’ accepted the principle of Pakistan”.
The issue of Muslim representation continued to be wrangled upon in the Shimla Conference but the General Elections of 1946 clinched the matter. Fighting on the basis of Pakistan Demand, on the whole on an All India basis, the Muslim League had captured 440 out of a total of 495 seats, giving it a victory in approximately 90 per cent of Muslim Constituencies. Thus “ The general election had proved that Muslims of India were overwhelmingly pre-League, in other words they backed the demand for Pakistan.”
This backing for Pakistan was recognised by the Cabinet Mission Plan in May 1946 as “ strong and widespread amongst the Muslims”. In its “ Grouping” clause, India was divided into Sections A.B and C, the B and C including Punjab, North West Frontier Province, Sind, Bengal and Assam. They were to determine whether the provinces concerned would take any provincial subjects in common as a Group. The Constitutions both of the Indian Union and of the Groups were to allow any Province “ to call for a reconsideration of the terms of the Constitution” after ten years. The Muslim League accepted the Plan. The comment of C.S Venkatachar, a retired Indian Civil Servant, on the Cabinet Mission Plan and its acceptance by Muslim League is noteworthy. He says “Cripps had hidden inside the (Cabinet Mission) Plan, the outline of Jinnah’s Pakistan – not the truncated one which was finally accepted in 1947. Jinnah was certain that Congress would fight for a strong center. He would start from compulsory grouping and fight for a center almost unrecognizable as a common center. He was not giving away anything which mattered.
Ultimately, on June 3rd 1947 the British Government accepted Pakistan and the establishment of two Dominions in the Indian Sub-continent. Accordingly, Pakistan came into existence on August 14th 1947, and Bharat on August 15th.
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