PAKISTAN, ISLAM AND MORALITY
Islamic Republic of Pakistan has witnessed what not but events of the last month do raise many a question about morality depicted by the clergy in the name of Islam, via a new unknown party which literally brought life to a standstill across the country for a day and stopped people in the most important two cities including the federal and military capital. How the Government first created an issue which shocked almost everyone in our Republic, then did nothing to take to task those responsible for attempting to change the Oath of allegiance to the supremacy of Allah Al Mighty and His Last Messenger (PBUH).
How such an act can be described as clerical error or slight oversight can and must be explained by the elected representatives, who obviously are massive failures in solving the issues confronting the republic and on top of it try or attempt to deflect the attention of our people. From the day light robbery? their only concern seems to be saving its now dismissed leader from further enquiry and or justice being served.
Islamic Republic of Pakistan has served many a existence and is constantly evolving, where the civil society has little or no impact on what so ever goes on its name, where a religious a classic nerve wrecking power struggle goes on in and between moderates and religious conservatives and so-called politicians who were of little consequence till a few decades ago. However, now even unknown parties with its leaders with ling facial hairs can bring to stop the flow of life at their will, are they the new elite?
Now that even Saudi Arabia is seen to move towards moderation and distance itself from clergyism, Pakistan is seen struggling in this epic battle, wherein religious conservatives are making a last-ditch effort of assertiveness, trying to dominate institutions of the state, besides media and the economy. This hopefully last stand shall fail, just as history reflects their failure as is evident in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries with majorities being Muslims. Where their claims of religiosity and morality are stated to go hand in hand. But not so obvious in Pakistan.
For Pakistan is not like any other Muslim dominated country, it has an extra ordinary history, known to go back as far as 6000 years. Its land has seen many come and go, a lot before Muslims came to make it home and is popularly believed by a lot of Pakistani people that Pakistan is here to stay and eventually be the showcase for Oneness, as it owes its existence to a glorious idea. As an Islamic Republic, its very different to all other nation states with Muslims sin majority. Its constitution clearly states in its preamble that its intended to be a democratic state based on Islamic principles of social justice. What its great Founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah had in mind was not an Islamic state but a state for Muslims to live in without fear of persecution from what its people in its geographical outlay were confronted with under the British colonial domination and Hindu hegemonic ambitions.
No law as per our constitution com violate the clear and simple injunctions in the Qur’an, the words of God Almighty are non-negotiable, hence no one can defy our people adhering to it and the most basic lesson of the Qur’an is that we are all part of one community. Meaning that we as humanity all are to accept our Oneness, struggle and strive for serving humanity as all members of God’s favorite creation. The Qur’an teaches us to learn and acquire knowledge and respect all living being, by being tolerant with infinite patience and foster good relations with all humanity, where in morality, nationality and logic are considered as basic tenets of our belief.
Then how come there is such a big gap between morality and the religious on open display here. What we all have witnessed is that the “Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah” leaders stopped the flow of life, abused, beat-up and cursed our judges and state officials. This is a new low in our lives, as though majority of our people respect the strikers to have the courage to stand up for what a criminal led party in power could dare to do. But what has shocked our people more is the way the government in power dealt with this totally uncalled-for issue and how it all brought all urban centers to get closed down and only open when the government literally begged army to step in and save the day.
The army then got in and agreement signed, on which it had to sign also as guarantor, have the demand of strikers adhered to and got the legal eagle Law minister to resign, pay for the strikers to go back to where ever they came from and open the road for the held to hostage populace of Pindi. The gleeful unknown till a month ago leadership of the strikers to loud claims and leave victorious, however a part of it stays put, blocking the main road of Lahore.
What is missing in this picture is morality. The clergy claim that there can be no morality without religion. The question is that is our religion without morality. The answer is a flat no! Islam to my mind is a source and process of self-actualization and not a source of self-glorification. Where in self-actualization/education makes us moral, while self-glorification is its exact opposite or literally can be called truly evil.
As believing Muslims, who accept the words of Allah Almighty as final, we accept that God is closer than our jugular and knows what is in the depth of our hearts, hence discover God within us, which logically means to witness God in everyone, everywhere and in everything. We follow virtuous teachings to develop a moral character, just as others who follow scriptures and divine guidance. However, what we have to live with is a few and in aloud minority assume that they represent morality and virtuosity, simply because they identify with this or that school of thoughts. Which somehow gravitates them to nothing but just self-glorification. This minority in its self-righteous/bigoted mode never bother to question their acts, for they consider themselves moral by default.
Worse still is the way they look down at other peoples as being misguided and or evil and wicked infidels. This phenomenon is not new and other beliefs/religions have witnessed it, for when such a powerful idea as Islam is reduced to the practice of rituals, what else can be expected.
Hazrat Essa (Jesus Christ) stated that those who are “confident of their own righteousness and look down on everybody else”, he declared are not really righteous. Sinners who regret their failures, he said, are more moral than the pious who boast. History that we know consider Jesus of Nazareth as an exceptional Jewish rabbi, hence all of Abrahamic tradition are believers of one God and one community.
This simplistic ‘us vs them’ mind set is a recipe for disaster, for by stripping morality from religion once relegated to a group identity has led us in so many ways in the cesspool of deviation and distracted us from our path, our glorious path, where in we are as the people of Pakistan to come together as one to be united in faith and discipline, to make the people living in this hand of great and extra ordinary history and promise to lead the divided and labelled humanity, lost under the dark clouds of ignorance and apathy.
It’s time to kind of wakeup and act as per our latent potential and work steadfastly to establish the rule of God being treated as the true sovereign and not follow those who neither know where they are heading themselves, trying to lead very patient Pakistani silent majority. For when is it enough or feeling that this is the rock bottom, we cannot sink any further and believe this prisoner, that is the time hope shall make a re-entry in our hearts and minds. Even though we have a leadership vacuum, we should stop looking for leaders and or magicians. Just say and do the right thing and let not the loud minority, criminal lichens, low end leaders convert us hopelessly into what they can only come up with, which is being a low-end economy and not to be taken seriously lot of unruly mob by the world.
Pakistani people with any consciousness and a true believer need to all get together and stand against the evil urges of a select few, who besides all else have converted our ‘Deen’ into instruments of ignorance, arrogance, bigotry, avarice and shame. We just cannot allow more evil done in Islam and or in our names. We just cannot allow it to be business as usual and each and every Pakistani needs to come together, unite with a one-point agenda of ‘establishing legitimacy’. The rule of law has now become as significant as our capacity to breathe. Even though our air that we breathe and lands we live on have been either converted into slums and poisoned, yet there is hope, as long as we move on the path enshrined in the Holy Qur’an, our constitution and of logic and rationality. We have no other choice and as time waits for no one and is our most critical perishable resource, no option exists to be but to BPakistani.
Categories: Culture & Tradition