Rulers’ char­ac­ter

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

THERE is a vast dif­fer­ence be­tween a government be­ing Is­lamic and the ruler of a coun­try be­ing a Mus­lim. In the sub­con­ti­nent, the rulers of many small states were of a dif­fer­ent re­li­gion to that of the ma­jor­ity, but they were re­li­giously im­par­tial, their main con­cern be­ing the wel­fare of the peo­ple. With Bri­tish oc­cu­pa­tion, things changed. They learnt a bit­ter les­son from the 1857 War of Lib­er­a­tion and there­after they con­cen­trated solely on ad­min­is­tra­tion and left re­li­gious mat­ters to the re­spec­tive com­mu­ni­ties. Nei­ther Hin­duism nor Is­lam was forced on peo­ple by the rulers. Had that been the case, the whole of In­dia would have been Mus­lims. How­ever, for­eign tra­di­tions and re­li­gious fes­ti­vals did leave last­ing im­prints. For ex­am­ple, Mus­lims adopted hina, ubatna, soyam, cha­haram, etc, from the Hin­dus.

Pak­istan was cre­ated in or­der for its peo­ple to have a free at­mos­phere, re­li­gious free­dom and fi­nan­cial au­ton­omy. Un­der the present con­di­tions it is very dif­fi­cult to en­force strict Is­lamic laws. Mus­lim lead­ers, re­al­is­ing the sen­si­tive na­ture of the mat­ter, de­clared it an Is­lamic state, but did not en­force Is­lamic Shariah. Now hard­lin­ers want a the­o­log­i­cal Is­lamic state while the mod­ern gen­er­a­tion wants a west­ern-type sys­tem. It had al­ready started dur­ing Bri­tish rule. Some peo­ple were dead against any form of ortho­dox re­li­gious prac­tices while oth­ers con­sid­ered all mod­ern prac­tices as “kufr” and “il­had.” It was at this time that the great Sir Syed Ah­mad Khan and oth­ers ap­peared on the scene. Sir Syed preached ed­u­ca­tional re­forms while Maulana Hali laid em­pha­sis on cul­ture and good be­hav­iour, and Al­lama Iqbal used his ex­cel­lent po­etic gift to preach Is­lamic val­ues.

Shah­je­han Begum, Nawab of Bhopal ( grand­mother of Nawab Hamidul­lah Khan), em­barked on the con­struc­tion of a grand mosque made of red stone. Un­for­tu­nately, she ex­pired be­fore its com­ple­tion. Only the in­ner hall had been com­pleted at the time. Her daugh­ter Sul­tan Je­han and Sul­tan Je­han’s son, Nawab Hamidul­lah Khan, were un­able to com­plete the mosque. A very fine per­son, Dehradun­trained Maulana Im­ran Khan, started a madres­sah there and also gave reg­u­lar lec­tures to Mus­lims. He col­lected money from the Mid­dle East and fi­nally man­aged to com­plete the struc­ture – now the big­gest mosque in the sub­con­ti­nent known as Ta­jul Masajid ( crown of all mosques).

In 1962, Nawab Hamidul­lah Khan died and his daugh­ter, Sa­jida Sul­tan, ar­ranged a large func­tion with lots of food. Fewer peo­ple came than were ex­pected and the large amount of food that was left over was sent to the mosque for the chil­dren. This was po­litely re­turned by the mosque’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, with the mes­sage that it was against stu­dents be­ing fed leftovers. Should the Begum have wanted to pro­vide a feast for the chil­dren, it would have been more ap­pro­pri­ate to in­vite them rather than send­ing them leftovers. This in­di­cates the char­ac­ter of the teach­ers and the up­bring­ing the chil­dren were re­ceiv­ing. Nowa­days, even na­tional lead­ers and rulers do not hes­i­tate to use za­kat money for per­sonal use. In one of his verses, Hi­mayat Ali Shair said: “How to com­ment on plun­der­ers and loot­ers; they are our lead­ers, our lead­ers.”

Our re­li­gious lead­ers are no bet­ter. In­stead of serv­ing Is­lam and guid­ing the peo­ple, they have their at­ten­tion fo­cused on Is­lam­abad. They waste mil­lions of man-hours on use­less pro­ces­sions, sit- ins, etc, caus­ing im­mense in­con­ve­nience to the pub­lic and de­stroy­ing pub­lic and pri­vate prop­erty. Af­ter mak­ing in­cit­ing speeches they re­turn to their com­fort­able lives.

In Karachi, a mas­sacre is in full swing and it is only the ANP that is de­mand­ing the army’s de­ploy­ment. The PPP and the MQM are ve­he­mently re­sist­ing that, fear­ing they will lose their grip on the mafias and ex­tor­tion­ists. Traders are forced to pay “bhatta” ( ex­tor­tion money) to crim­i­nals in or­der to pro­tect their busi­nesses and their own skins.

The PPP is for­ever cry­ing it­self hoarse claim­ing that there should be no state within the state, but that claim is made only to en­able it to dis­obey court or­ders. They don’t seem to have any ob­jec­tion to killers run­ning a state within a state. The sit­u­a­tion has be­come so bad that crim­i­nals have even taken to killing po­lice, Rangers and army per­son­nel with im­punity. This is the be­gin­ning of the end of Pak­istan!

The present sit­u­a­tion and be­hav­iour of our rulers and the pub­lic re­minds me of what is writ­ten in Surah Al- Maida, Ayat 105: “O you who be­lieve! Guard your own souls. If you fol­low right guid­ance, no hurt can come to you from those who go astray. The goal for you all is Al­lah. It is He who will show you the truth of all that you do.” Hazrat Abu Bakar Sid­diq ex­plained this in a prayer ad­dress: “O peo­ple, you read this verse and make wrong de­duc­tions. I have my­self heard the Holy Prophet ( pbuh) ex­plain it thus: ‘ When peo­ple don’t stop oth­ers from wrong­do­ing or don’t stop the tyrant from cru­elty when they see such acts be­ing com­mit­ted, then it is pos­si­ble that the Almighty will in­flict se­vere pun­ish­ment. By Al­lah, you must preach good­ness and stop oth­ers from wrong­do­ing. If you don’t, Al­lah will thrust on you as rulers those who would be the worst from among you. They will make your life in­tol­er­a­ble. The God- fear­ing, good peo­ple will then be­seech Al­lah for His favours, which re­quest will not be ac­cepted.” The present sit­u­a­tion is a true re­flec­tion of that edict from Al­lah and its ex­pla­na­tion by His last Prophet ( pbuh). Only the Almighty can save us from the pre­vail­ing sit­u­a­tion and forth­com­ing curses.

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