Was Jinnah’s Pakistan ‘Islamic’?

Published: December 11, 2010
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Jinnah dressed up in sleek, hip western suits and drove imported cars.

Whether the country that came into being on August 14, 1947 was actually intended either for the Muslims or Islam is a matter that still invites enormous room for debate. This question has always meddled with our ideological roots; but even after 64 long years, we are not anywhere close to the answer. This confusion can be held for transforming our country into a mighty farce.

Jinnah the liberal

Jinnah, as it comes out, was a liberal to his bones. Why, he dressed up in sleek, hip western suits, drove imported cars, conversed in a foreign language and never sported a beard. In fact, the founder of this Islamic country doesn’t share one common trait with the custodians of Islam we have in our country today. During the Independence Movement, members of the extreme right often looked down upon Jinnah, blatantly denouncing him to be an infidel and went on to the extent of tagging him “Kaafir-e-Azam”. Interestingly, after the birth of the same country even the mention of which they abhorred, they munificently assembled to define and devise the Islamic character of this state. No wonder our country is messed up!

Countries take time to develop their own cultures, an exclusive set of beliefs and traditions peculiar to them. Pakistan, just years above the golden jubilee landmark, is relatively a young country. It is only now that the impressions of colonialism have started fading. The clouds still hovering as a result of subservience to the British have started to disperse, but only to give way to more troubling vistas: the appalling picture of an excessively intolerant, fanatic society overwhelming with self-righteous monkeys. Based on religiosity, it’s either my way or no way in Pakistan.

Iskander Mirza once asked the Quaid, “Sir, we all agreed to go to Pakistan, but what kind of polity are you going to have? Are you going to have an Islamic state?” The Quaid replied, “Non-sense! I’m going to have a modern state.”

It doesn’t take much to realise that there’s no accordance between the Quaid’s quote and the current scenario. For much we see in our country today are oppression, tyranny and compulsion, all adorned with the prefix of “religious”. In a country intended to be abreast the modern trends, all predicaments seem to be emanating from religion.

Religion can save us

Lest I be endowed with a handful of fatwas, I want to clear the air here about myself being an atheist; nor am I a sworn member of some ancient, secret brotherhood inclined to curb all religions. As far as my personal discretion goes, I firmly believe that Islam, and only Islam in its true essence, can take this country forward.

The implementation of Islamic principles of social justice and fairplay is precisely what the country demands at this moment. Yet, in the years that have passed, we have never taken any inspiration from Islam’s ethical teachings. Instead of being taken as a source of enlightenment, Islam in this country has invariably been used to impress a state of fear, to bag some votes, or to black-mail emotionally; religion always hits the soft spot, after all. The Islam we see in our country today is in direct contrast to the spirit of one of the most beautiful religions of this world. There’s no point in clinging to this barbaric version of religion. It damages, harms and little else.

Is Pakistan an Islamic country?

In terms of numerology, it definitely is; with about 97 per cent of the population comprising Muslims. But measuring the same on a scale of religious ideology doesn’t yield very bright results. Despite being furiously proud of our religious identity, and flocking wildly to the mosques every Friday, we still have domestic violence in over 80 per cent of our households.

The birth of a baby girl is still a matter of shame than bliss for most of us; women are brazenly denied their basic rights in many parts of the country. Gay clubs are rapidly blossoming in our metros. Child molestation and abuse are spreading like wild-fire. Adultery, pre-marital sex and sexual offences are on an incessant rise. Every year, we break all past records of corruption. All the quintessential un-Islamic practices like stealing, robbing, rambling, drinking, lying, abusing, fighting and so on, are on an all-time high. Despite living in a vocally livid Islamic nation, if this is what we’ve been able to extract out of our religion, then something is severely wrong with our way of preaching. Had we been properly cognizant with the teachings of our religion, we surely wouldn’t be so un-Islamic.

We the hypocrites

In a country created for the believers of a religion that teaches tolerance and mutual respect above all things, hypocrisy and force enjoy supremacy. We surely hit the roads the instant we ear the news of Quran burning in California, but ourselves are continuously coercing the Kalash people to convert. We may remain religiously glued to our television screens for all those inhuman, excruciating Indian soaps, but we’ll never tolerate a Hindu bowing before his monkey god in public in this country. If we can’t allow others to practice their norms, we absolutely have no right to protest if France bans burqa in its territory. We’ve learned to determine the piety of a man by the length of his facial hair, his nobility by the time he squanders on the prayer-mat. This is what we’ve come down to. In the name of religion, we have forgotten the actual deeds and insist on judging on the superficialities.

Coming towards the conclusion, religion hasn’t done but exacerbated the situation in this country. And unless we learn and spread the true version of religion, it’ll keep on doing so. In the meanwhile, we must untie religion from other affairs in this country, as it has always served as a dangerous tool for ulterior motives.

Instead of scaring the masses of the hell-fire in case of transgression, we should impart them education and edification – patiently and logically. For this we must bring to light actual religious scholars, who have, by the virtue of their knowledge, the ability to convince and inspire. More importantly, as in done in Malaysia, the sermons that our clerics declare on TV, in mosques, in congregations and so on, must first be approved by some religious authority.

For what I’ve been through, our clergies keep on igniting the fire of hatred and contempt in their speeches. No one should be allowed to twist and mold religion for personal gains. Every body should be given the right to live life on his own. Each citizen of this country should be given the access to both: a mosque and a bar; and it depends on his personal choice to go either to pray or to liquor.

For Pakistan to serve its purpose of creation, we need to develop a nation where the masses refrain from bad, not due to the fear of some worldly punishments, but for the love of good.

Asif Nawaz

Asif Nawaz

Asif Nawaz is a doctor from Abbottabad who's either traveling or writing while not procrastinating. He tweets as @asifnz (twitter.com/asifnz)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Talha

    Jinnah’s Quotes:

    In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State to be ruled by priests with a divine mission.

    We are now all Pakistanis–not Baluchis, Pathans, Sindhis, Bengalis, Punjabis and so on–and as Pakistanis we must feet behave and act, and we should be proud to be known as Pakistanis and nothing else.

    You may belong to any religion, caste or creed –that has nothing to do with the business of the State

    I have nothing to do with this pseudo-religious approach that Gandhi is advocating

    Jinnah wanted a secular nation where religion would have no role in state affairs.Recommend

  • Saad Durrani

    Come December 25th and we should all get a copy of Secular Jinnah available at Karachi International Book Fair. We can then all get our perspectives straight.Recommend

  • MilesToGo

    We are now all Pakistanis–not Baluchis, Pathans, Sindhis, Bengalis, Punjabis and so on–and as Pakistanis we must feet behave and act, and we should be proud to be known as Pakistanis and nothing else.

    That is a bad statement in my view. Its like asking a toddler, whose girl are you – daddy’s or mama’s and the toddler replies – both.

    Let Balochis celebrate Balochi, and Sindhi celebrate Sindhi and Punjabi celebrate Punjabi and Bengali celbrate Bengali and Pakistan will happen.Recommend

  • rukun

    funny part is, jinnah didnt mind slogans like pakistan ka matlab kya as long as he was getting support. then zia misused religion for political gain.

    and now we are a confused nation. but then again wiki leaks and saudis. same problem on a much bigger scale and with way more serious implicationsRecommend

  • Talha

    @ MilesToGo

    Completely irrelevant and pointless comparison, firstly a citizen isn’t birthed by his nation and his ethnic background, its just that the nation comes first as the sole identity and one for you thrive for.

    The quote I should have used was as follows:

    I cannot emphasize it too much. We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community, because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on, and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, also Bengalis, Madrasis and so on, will vanish. Indeed if you ask me, this has been the biggest hindrance in the way of India to attain the freedom and independence and but for this we would have been free people long long ago. No power can hold another nation, and specially a nation of 400 million souls in subjection; nobody could have conquered you, and even if it had happened, nobody could have continued its hold on you for any length of time, but for this. Therefore, we must learn a lesson from this. You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan…

    Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.

    Being known as a Pakistani alone would have solved many of the woes that face our nation where ethnic violence is alive and kicking.

    Jinnah never said that you should stop celebrating your ethnicity but rather being only known as Pakistani’s so that you may have a singular identity and everyone is classified as equal because of this.Recommend

  • Talha

    @ rukun

    Please read on your history before making such an erroneous statement, Jinnah never used this statement (Pakistan Ka Matlab Kya) and it was rubbished by him the first time he heard of it.

    It is said that Pakistan was created with the use of the slogans “Islam in danger” and “Pakistan ka matlab kya, La illaha ilallah”, both slogans which — ironically — were never used by Quaid-e-Azam himself. Indeed Jinnah ruled out “Pakistan ka matlab kiya, La illaha illallah” when he censured a Leaguer at the last session of the All India Muslim League after partition in these words: “Neither I nor the Muslim League Working Committee ever passed a resolution — Pakistan ka matlab kiya — you may have used it to catch a few votes.”1

    It was the likes of Zia who started to use this slogan which was all but dead in Pakistani spectrum and that is where the religious identity was given to Pakistan, unfortunately to much negation.Recommend

  • Jamal

    Ah, the secular-brigade comes out in force yet again! I was wondering when another “Jinnah-was-secular” article would come out. After all it has only been a few days or so…Well done guys! Lets all be secular! WOO HOOO !!! GO SECULARISM !!!Recommend

  • http://dinopak.wordpress.com Hasan

    You have put all the problems with the current Pakistan in a single post. Impressive! You are very right about the current situation of Pakistan, though 97% are Muslims, but you will not see a single Muslim in the country. They either Sunnis, Deobandis, Wahabis, Shias, Ismailis and so on……

    How can you impose religious laws when you have 72 sects all dwelling side by side in one country.Recommend

  • http://www.nooru.wordpress.com Nooruddin Jalal

    Is this the Pakistan whose founder, belonged to a minority sect? Or whose first National Anthem was written by a Hindu Jagan Nath Azad? Or whose first foreign minister was an Ahmedi who also authored the Pakistan resolution? This is the Pakistan whose laws discriminate against its own citizens, who gave sweat and blood to this country, whose mullahs – who then opposed the creation of Pakistan and labeled our founder “Kaafir E Azam” ???

    Have we identified the cancer and are we struggling/working to get it removed?
    Need to ponder!!!
    I appreciate your piece of writing :) Recommend

  • k khan

    i can recommend a book murder of history by KK Aziz. hope it will answer many things.Recommend

  • Mohammad Shoaib
  • Ehtisham Rizvi

    We are taught in primary schools that Pakistan is an ideological state and it came into being in the name of Islam and for the Muslims of the sub continent.

    My question is, if Pakistan was supposed to be a place of religious freedom for the Muslims of the subcontinent, shouldnt our borders be open to all Muslims of the subcontinent who want to migrate to Pakistan? Why was immigration of Indian Muslims stopped? and how come there is such a large number of Muslims still in India? shouldnt the government ask them to migrate to Pakistan?

    There are some major flaws in the practical application of the two nation theory.Recommend

  • Hamza Baloch

    Qaid before and after 11 august speech

    Qaid-E-Azim said
    “We have to fight a double-edged battle, one against the Hindu Congress and the other against British Imperialists, both of them being capitalists. The Muslims demand Pakistan where they could rule according to their own code of life and according to their own cultural growth, traditions, and Islamic Laws.”

    (Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah,
    Muslim League Conference on November 21, 1945 )

    “Remember! We are building up a State which is going to play its full part in the destinies of the whole Islamic World.”

    (Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, 12th April, 1948)Recommend

  • ABU

    It is very simple. They want a land for Muslims. Jinnah struggled for a Muslim country. He was a secular once before he recognized Islam completely. For sure it was Islamic and meant to be Islamic. But ………………………………..Recommend

  • Hamza Baloch

    Another point,

    Why Balochistan become the part of Pakistan?? As that was already a separate state.

    I prefer “Greater Balochistan” over a “secular Pakistan”.

    Yes ISLAMic law is not implemented here in Pakistan, that should be implemented.Recommend

  • Mubasher

    Now a days so called secular or liberal extremists are creating paradoxical situations especially in the case whether Pakistan is a Muslim state or a Secular state. I have some points here to mention:
    1. Pakistan ka matlab kya: LA ILAHA ILLALLAH. This was the slogan chanted everyday during the freedom movement.

    Quaid-E-Azam initially joined Congress bus later realised that this party was biased against Indian Muslims and then He joined the All India Muslim League under which platform the struggle movement ended with the creation of Pakistan.
    The Basic ideology of Pakistan was (and is) that there should be a separate homeland for Muslims of India (note the word Muslim) as Hindus and Muslims are two distinct nations in respect of Belief, Religious Rituals and that their all other daily habits and normal life way of doing things is different from Hindus. This ideology is called DO QOMI NAZ’RIAH.
    When, finally, voting took place in India to determine which parts of India be included in Hindustan and Pakistan. These elections or voting was based on the concept that MUSLIM MAJORITY parts or areas will form Pakistan and Hindu Majority areas be included in Hindustan.
    When the flag of Pakistan was designed it was unanimously agreed that the main colour will be GREEN, representing Muslims or Islam with WHITE STAR AND CRESCENT, both of which represents Islam (and these are agreed universal symbols around the world to represent Islam) and on the left of the Green colour there will be a WHITE colour which will represent NON-MUSLIMS MINORITIES in Pakistan.

    I just mentioned here 5 basic points although there are so many points to consider. Please don’t mess with History if you do not know. Moreover, whenever any quote or saying is quoted in the name of Jinnah it must be quoted with full context.

    In the end, this does not mean that Pakistan is only of Muslims, NO NO . This country is for everyone whether he or she is Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Parsi, Sikh, Budh or whatever religion or creed he or she believes in. WE ALL ARE PAKISTANIS WITHOUT ANY DISCRIMINATION. PAKISTAN IS OUR COUNTRY, WE MUST PLAY OUR PART TO MAKE IT A NATION OF PROSPERITY AND A SYMBOL OF UNITY AND PEACE.

    In my opinion, the debate should not be on whether Pakistan is a Muslim state or a Secular state but the focus should be on how we can contribute to its growth and sustainability and how we all can live in peace and harmony. I understand that we are facing a lot problems to meet these objectives but our (Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Budhists) focus must be resolve these issues.Recommend

  • http://www.thetrueperspective.com Hamza Malik

    The slogan Pakistan ka matlab kya was never raised during independence rukun. And I strongly disagree with MilesToGo’s idea that Jinnah’s statement of Pakistaniat being our identity was a bad one. On the contrary, that is precisely what has held us back.

    We’ve always advocated how we’re Punjabis Sindhis Balochis Pathans. In the course we’ve forgotten the essence of Pakistan. We have forgotten what Pakistan is and what it stands for. For example, the political parties of Pakistan wave their own flags everywhere, but no one waves the Pakistan flag. On 14th August the PPP put up PPP flags all across Islamabad, but the Pakistani flag was missing. By advocating our zaat paat biradri, we are fragmenting the society even more.

    We’re not proud Pakistanis because we’ve never loved Pakistan. Look at the Indians; or the Americans; or the Chinese. Notice the commonality? They are the INDIA-ns, AMERICA-ns, and the CHIN-ese. We Pakistanis on the other hand could never overcome our Punjabi Sindhi Balochi or Pathan roots. We’re just more interested in our own selves. When the idea of Pakistaniat has taken root, only then will Pakistan when. Only then will Punjabis love the Sindhis, and the Balochis will want to come to Punjab, and the Pathans will be respected, and the Sindhis will stop banning people from entering their province.Recommend

  • Adeel

    I dont know why the hell we waste our time thinking Quaid’s Pakistan was Islamic or not?? The Muslims of India (including not only the Migrated Pakistanis but all Punjabis, Sindhis, Balochis Paktoons etc) made a promis to ALLAH “Pakistan ka Matleb kia La Ilaaha Illallah” SO it means that Pakistan was made for the sake of being an Islamic COuntry. No matter even if Quaid wanted a democratic ( or any other sort of) Pakistan.

    Its we the people as a nation promised to ALLAH for Pakistan as an Islamic State and now sadly we have betrayed Almighty Allah. Recommend

  • zaigham

    such a weak writeup…
    can even sum it up in a sentence…
    you have written all gibberish the occurred to you…

    any ways, Jinnah is long dead and we aren’t…
    may be jinnah’s vision (doesnt matter if it were religious or secular) was faulty,
    its time to move on, to smell the gun powder in the air…
    Zia’s dream was a kind-of theocracy… we are living through its nightmare…
    lets atleast start rolling back what he did, as a 1st step Recommend

  • ravi

    India – after independence India in cold war era goes after soviet socialism .Till 1990 india was opposing usa for most of time, NAM movement was a failed one.Only after collapse of soviet and good decison od PM-narsihrao – manmohan govt india open its economy .
    I feel whatever india today (economy) is bcos of free market economy.
    If Neharu had in his time taken india to free mkt economy india would b at par with japan / germany today.

    Pakistan – pakistan is always supporter of USA but i think like japan and germany they do not made their oportunities in developement of economy of pakistan.

    People here in india doesnt consider india as hindu country – but as secular democracy.

    errors expected ,sorry if any one hurts.

    Thnx & rgds
    Ravi
    IndiaRecommend

  • waqas

    If he wanted to make a secular state, then why he is asking his followers to build Pakistan as ‘Qila’ of Islam. See http://www.humsafar.info/471030_tas.php

    “All I require of you now is that everyone of us to whom this message reaches must vow to himself and be prepared to sacrifice his all, if necessary, in building up Pakistan as a bulwark of Islam and as one of the greatest nations whose ideal is peace within and peace without. Your immediate task is the rehabilitation of millions of our distressed and unfortunate brethren who are either already with us or who have still to join us in Pakistan, bereft of all they possessed or had in this world. The least we now can do for them is to receive them as our own brethren. No decent or sane person should consider that they are unwelcome burden thrust on us. Save all you can and give towards the relief of these victims of bestiality and vandalism who have suffered all this for the sole reason that they are Muslims.”

    If we don’t cut and pasted his speeches and quote his sayings out of context. Instead, if try to read his verified sayings and history of the time, then you will not find idea of a secular Pakistan there (at least no in traditional secular understanding).

    Yes, he was a product of secular British system and he wasn’t very religious himself. He didn’t vision a theocratic system for Pakistan, as well. He also emphasized a lot on protection and freedom for Non Muslims (which by the way is precisely an Islamic concept, if you read Ahadith and history of Islam). But he and masses following him had an idea of a country for Muslims, governed by Islamic principles.

    There are numerous examples of this, for example see his speach to State Bank inaguration. How his desire to setup a financial system based on Islamic principles fits with your no religion in state affairs?Recommend

  • Dr. Altaf ul Hassan

    The term , Islamic Democratic System, might be a wishful theoretical thinking but practically experiencing it in Pakistan has proved to be disastrous and virtually has failed to pass the test of time.It later on paved the way to pass Objective Resolution 1949 which logically leads to no-where but theocracy.It opened a Pandora box which can never be closed now.

    The point to ponder is that Democracy is secular in its very essence and any attempt to repudiate this naked fact will be lethal to the system.It never dis-allows any religion or belief to be practiced but putting it under the religious touch of any kind in a sate will favour only the religious indoctrination of that particular kind instead of democracy.Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    We never should have allowed religious fanatics to step in and dictate how the law of the land takes shape, this is not just something that happens in Pak, anywhere where religious parties are allowed to interfere in matters of the state spells chaos. Look at whats happening in the middlE east, the reason why the arab israeli conflict is not getting resolved is cause right wing religious fanatics were allowed to politicise And be part of the govt including the current coalition govt led by pm netanyahi, whose partners are engaged in a land grab of palestine in the name of religious right over that land.Recommend

  • Pakistan One

    Was jinnah himself Islamic?Recommend

  • http://m-a-jinnah.blogspot.com/ gmdc
  • Pakistani

    @tw
    Qauid-e-Azam

    “Come forward as servants of Islam, organise the people economically, socially, educationally and politically and I am sure that you will be a power that will be accepted by everybody.”
    Presidential Address at the All India Muslim League, Lahore
    March 23, 1940Recommend

  • Mir Siddiqui

    Pakistan was meant to be secular and Pakistan would have been secular till date. It was the flow of wahhabism and love for theocracy of military dictators that pushed our country in to religious extremism which has not helped Pakistan at all, rather it has pushed us far behind in development.Recommend

  • AJAY

    @Talha:
    @Saad Durrani:
    First read & understand Gandhi & Jinnah was a secular Indian,rather then building Developentstan mullah forced him to create Pakistan.Already Pak is being chewed by these mullahs in border areas ,while Jinnah effect is fading , mullahs are getting ready for new dawn.Recommend

  • HB

    History has been deteriorated to an extent that we can not actually extract the true facts. However, I think this discussion is not significant in presence of other problems Pakistan is facing today. Pakistan was meant to be a welfare state, and this can only happen if Islamic principles are followed. Even western historian admit that the system of justice implemented by Caliph Umer was one of the best judicial system mankind experienced ever. The rulers of Pakistan have always used the emotions of foolish Pakistani’s for their own purpose. It is the time for us to demand our basic rights of food and shelter irrespective of religion and belief. If you want Pakistan to be an Islamic state then the principle of welfare state shall be included in Constitution. But constitution alone can not safeguard rights of people of Pakistan unless we have leaders that are sincere with this country !Recommend

  • http://dreamsbecomedestiny.wordpress.com Fatima

    Of course, Jinnah,s Pakistan should be Islamic. Otherwise it denounces the mere existence of Pakistan and Partition phenomenon.
    Lets move on. The question should rather be “what Islamic Pakistan did he mean?” …and here, Iqbal comes to the rescue.(Only if someone is really willing to understand and find the answers in the real spirit of it)
    “Liberal or liberated?” -Iqbal guides you. “Jinnah -Iqbal -Islam” triad and hence Pakistan for me is liberated.
    Their lies a thought arrest in our minds. The most educated, the intelligentsia of this country has still not moved on beyond the superficial question of whether Jinnah,s Pakistan should be or should not be Islamic – a “he loves me; he loves me not” alike teenage mindset.Recommend

  • Mubasher
  • parvez

    Excellent article. You have your thinking going in the right direction. Recommend

  • Mubasher

    @Hamza Malik:
    Hamza these videos are for you to watch and think and do some research, read both pro and against views, to clear your views.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6DajWUTbe8&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8lq0my2oJY&NR=1Recommend

  • Talha

    The Islamists are up in arms once again because they cannot bear the truth.

    Even Iqbal stated in a closed session that Pakistan was not going to be an Islamic State.

    Here is another incident in which Jinnah vetoed an Islamic constitution.

    In 1943 Dr. A H Kazi of Bombay presented a resolution saying that the future constitution of Pakistan should be based on Islam. Jinnah vetoed it and declared it as nothing less than censure

    These religious extremists are the bane of our society, they cannot even answer basic questions on Islam but want to implement it.

    Haven’t you people done enough damage.Recommend

  • Talha

    @ AJAY

    I do not know what kind of history they are teaching you in India but the reality is different.

    The religious clerics of India denounced Pakistan, they named it NaPakistan and our leader Kafir-e-Azam.

    The only religious groups to fully support the Pakistan movement were the Ahmadi’s and Agha Khani’s.

    Apart from Shabbir Ahmed Usmani, not other Deobandi cleric supported Pakistan, it was the congress and Gandhi who introduced Islam in politics.

    Khudai Khitmatyar, led by Bacha Khan was allied with congress and was against Pakistan, it was full of religious zealots. Majlis-e-Ahrar, a party funded by congress to disrupt the Ahmadi’s work for Kashmir and Pakistan is swell known.

    Please correct your history, I do not know what history you are reading.Recommend

  • Talha

    Very unfortunately and I am sad to say this, many here are not familiar with factual history of Pakistan.

    This ‘Pakistan ka Matlab Kya’ slogan only became popular during Zia’s time who used Islam for political gains.

    Let me reiterate this story:

    It is said that Pakistan was created with the use of the slogans “Islam in danger” and “Pakistan ka matlab kya, La illaha ilallah”, both slogans which — ironically — were never used by Quaid-e-Azam himself. Indeed Jinnah ruled out “Pakistan ka matlab kiya, La illaha illallah” when he censured a Leaguer at the last session of the All India Muslim League after partition in these words: “Neither I nor the Muslim League Working Committee ever passed a resolution — Pakistan ka matlab kiya — you may have used it to catch a few votes.

    Recommend

  • majid maqsood

    It is the need of hour, to debate this edifice, and system of this country for transforming into liberal and moderate sate. i really commend the way Mr. Asif has shown the mirror to our Nation. We call ourselves Muslims but we have never accepted the reality if it does not go into our favor. Background of Qauid Azam has been distorted in the history of Pakistan. we love Karachi more than any else city of Sindh, but the fact is that Quid belonged to the Thatta not to Karchi at all, but now our kids studying different and distorted version of history of Quaid Azaam. Quaid Azam was very liberal man and he tried so hard to integrate Hindustan but Hindu extremists of India compelled Mr. Jannah to go for Pakiatsn, permanent majority of Hindus in Hindustan also paved the way for Pakistan but one cannot say, there was great struggle of Quaid Azam for the creation of Pakisatn, till 1945 Pakisatn was not talk of street but later it became inevitable for Muslims.
    The most Important thing is that Qauid Azam was not traditional Muslim, but he was so liberal and mystic man and Muslim Scholars in that time never recognized him a ture Muslim but they used to call him Qafer Azam, there is no any evidence that he might have offered prayers and talked about Muslims` unity but his role has always been liberal and coexistent for the Muslims and for Hindus.
    The political acumen of Quaid Azaam was really commendable and he knew this thing the country cannot be run on the base of religion, so he categorically stated that, Muslims and Hindus are free to preach their religion and no one is supposed to object each other.
    But what happened here? those religious Scholars who were not ready to accept Quaid Azam and even Pakistan have been considered patriotic Pakisani and rest are always suspected which has exacerbated things, and we have not emerged a Nation on the Globe.
    Liberal and moderate force was not encouraged by state but the extremists force had been encouraged and used for Jahad.
    Now the true essence of Islam has been diminished here but there has been a religious polarization and we are giving Fatwa each other that and this. A lay man of this country is totally confused about the true Islam.
    We are Muslims and consider ourselves superior but when any suicide bomber exploded here, our religious scholars’ state that there are foreign hands and they are never ready to accept the fact. All the suicide bombers have been recognized origin of Pakistan and they are Muslim. Are we Muslim such fool man who are being used against our own Muslim brothers? Not at all, why we any Muslims does not make suicide bomber to any Jew or christen who attack on their own people? I think we must admit this fact that these are our Muslim brothers who are misguided by extremists. If USA is enemy of Muslims then why she is not supporting such in Iran and Saudi Arabia where they may do suicide attack in mosques and Imam Bargh. I think it is simple to misguide the people and investigative agencies as the true culprits may not brought into justice.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/2534/whose-country-is-this-anyway-not-the-tax-payers/ Syed Nadir El-Edroos

    I agree with Talha and some other commentators above, that many of the quotes attributed to Jinnah are dubious, and have entered popular culture via the patronage of political parties in the 1980’s.

    For those who would like to follows Jinnah’s thinking to the letter, perhaps you can start here:

    “I have lived as plain Mr. Jinnah and I hope to die as plain Mr. Jinnah. I am very much averse to any title or honours and I will be more than happy if there was no prefix to my name.”

    The Quaid-E-Azam title bestowed on him has created a myth and in the process destroyed the man. The propoganda written in our schools textbooks are repeated by those who put up his potrait and claim to be his true followers may represent a self made caricature of the “Quaid-E-Azam” but Jinnah died somewhere along the way.

    As for the use of Islam and Musalman’s of India in quotes attributed to Jinnah, do also consider that the connotations of those words are nothing to do with today. Then, most of the Muslim world was colonized and after the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire after World War 1, muslim nationalism in the face of colonialism had not yet been articulated and was practised only in pockets. In fact across the middle east for example, various tribal leaders cooperated with the Europeans who had been given mandates in the region after WW1.

    Today’s the use of Islam in terms of identity politics and the sense of global injustice against the Muslim world was not part of the landscape of India just before and after WW2. Then the Muslims of India were being called to unite and prosper in the wake of the reinvigoration of learning as articulated by people like Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and Allama Iqbal, and building on the governance and bureaucratic structures of the Ottomans, combined with the best practices (not wholesale adoption) of Western practices.

    Well, that may or may not have been the case, but we often compare our reality with the past, and imagine our biases and concerns on those who struggled for the protection of Muslim rights in British India. Recommend

  • Zaid

    What are you guys on about Pakistan & Israel are the only nations which are made on the principle of Religion and not other factors.,

    West of Europe , France , Belgium is just different with each other on their Language , rest is nearly the same, other nations emerged on their cultural factors , When we talk about History or Race , after 1766 all people residing in America were called as Americans.

    Of course if a country like Indo-pak would divide it would have minorities on the both side and so did our religion Islam , gave protection to the minority and Jinnah made sure he addresses that…

    But saying Pakistan would become a Dubai where you would have a bit of everything is wrong, Yes one of its city can be made secular just like other Islamic countries have…

    When we were with indo-pak they wud divide us with religion now when we have our own sovereign nation , they divide us with ethnicity ….

    What Jinnah dreamed and what it turn out to be can only be answered if he would have lived long…

    We all plan different but it turn out to be different ,, the two nation theory concept , which was “muslims are a different nation”, can not be justified now that much , as Bangladesh came in to existence which were muslims too apparently …so there are other factors then just religion so that cud be debated …

    secular or a conservative society both has flaws, and you rotate in a perfect circle, iran was secular first and then turn in to islamic , turkey is secular now is slowly gradually turning back to be islamic,

    Jinnah how much religious or not , wont matter but what would matter is his humanitarian examples and his character.. and his love for Pakistan, we must all have a Jinnah in us

    India on the other hand follow the concept of Gandijii , and practice it as a lifestyle..

    We will just stick to the fact that was he secular minded or conservative.. which will address nothing , as our ideology will only be muslim , there is nothing as moderate muslim or conservative, it is a person who practices islam more or practice less.. Recommend

  • Tanveer Khadim

    The speeches of Mohammad Ali Jinnah from August 1947 till his death, repeatedly advocated Muslim Ideology for Pakistan. he persistently stressed Islamic social justice, equality, brotherhood, Islamic ideals and principles and the onward march of renaissance of Islamic culture.

    During his speech at the inaguration ceremony of the Constituent Assembly of pakistan on 14 August 1947, Quaid e Azam marvelously ascribed pure Islam in response of Lord Mountbatten’s address in which he prayed for the betterment of the world and hoped to fulfill the principles of Akbar the Great:

    “The tolerence and goodwill that Emperor showed to all the non-Muslims is not of recent origins. It dates back thirteen centuries ago when Prophet (peace be upon him) not only by words but by deeds treated the Jews and christians, after he had conquered them, with the utmost tolerence and regard and respect for their faith and beliefs. The whole history of Muslims wherever they ruled, is replete with those human and great principles which should be followed and practiced.”

    The father of the nation wanted to built Pakistan as Bulwark of Islam, he emphasized that we should lead our lives according to Islam’s glorious tradiions an Holy Quran should be our motivating force for our future successes:

    “If we take our inspiration and guidance from the Holy quran, the final victory, I once again say, will be ours” (30 Oct 1947)Recommend

  • Tanveer Khadim

    The speeches of Mohammad Ali Jinnah from August 1947 till his death, repeatedly advocated Muslim Ideology for Pakistan. he persistently stressed Islamic social justice, equality, brotherhood, Islamic ideals and principles and the onward march of renaissance of Islamic culture.

    During his speech at the inauguration ceremony of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 14 August 1947, Quaid e Azam marvelously ascribed pure Islam in response of Lord Mountbatten’s address in which he prayed for the betterment of the world and hoped to fulfill the principles of Akbar the Great:

    “The tolerance and goodwill that Emperor showed to all the non-Muslims is not of recent origins. It dates back thirteen centuries ago when Prophet (peace be upon him) not only by words but by deeds treated the Jews and christians, after he had conquered them, with the utmost tolerance and regard and respect for their faith and beliefs. The whole history of Muslims wherever they ruled, is replete with those human and great principles which should be followed and practiced.”

    The father of the nation wanted to built Pakistan as Bulwark of Islam, he emphasized that we should lead our lives according to Islam’s glorious tradiions an Holy Quran should be our motivating force for our future successes:

    “If we take our inspiration and guidance from the Holy quran, the final victory, I once again say, will be ours” (30 Oct 1947)

    All those how are trying to manipulate his guidelines and are crying for “Secular Jinnah and his Secular Pakistan” and “Secular Pakistan is the only solution for tadays’s problems”, off repeated intuitions propagated by many so called farsighted and open minded intellectuals and writers who are in reality shortsighted and closed-minded, should vigilantly study why Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah gave major portion of his life to the cause of Sub-Continent’s Muslims plus what he said about himself:

    “What ever I have done, I did as a servant of Islam and only tried to perform my duty and made every possible contribution within my power to help our nation.” (Quaid e Azam 17 August 1948)Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/265/haris-masood-zubairi/ Haris Masood Zuberi

    What’s with the Jinnah portrait above?
    Did someone put Gen Kayani in Quaid’s attire?
    Or is it a hidden sign…!? Recommend

  • Ali

    While I found a few good ideas in your article, the hatred that was spewing out of every single sentence made if hard for me to go through it. For a person who is trying to preach tolerance you sure don’t mind calling people “self-righteous monkeys”. I wonder if you have ever considered that others might think of you the same way – and they wont be entirely unjustified even though I don’t condone calling humans monkeys even if they are convicts. Perhaps the title of your last section should have been “I the hypocrite”. Forgive me for my anger but I couldn’t help getting engulfed in your hate even though I share your political view for the most part.

    One view I do not agree with entirely is the censorship of speech be it as hateful as yours. Now while its certainly not worthy of a reputable journalistic source, you still have the right to express it. What bothers me is that you want to take away the same right from others. Even if they are about as ignorant and hateful as you, they should have the right to express themselves. You should just learn to ignore them if their views don’t blend well with yours. What would be preferable, however, is if you actually listen to them and see if there is something of value in what they are saying and not dismiss them as “self-righteous monkeys”, lest you become one yourself. Ooops, too late?… Well I hope not.

    The only redeeming quality of this post is that fairly concisely demonstrates most things that are wrong with the social dynamic in Pakistan. As long as the name calling and hatred doesn’t go away from both side of the synthetic divide we have; that is till our clerics stop telling everyone that they are going to hell if they don’t believe in their interpretation of Islam and till the rest of us stop using the words “Molvi” and “Mullah” with the hate of the world condensed into one word and stop looking down at them as somehow fundamentally inferior to us, this country will keep suffering.

    -Ali

    P.S.: I find it really funny how you claim that we are developing a culture of our own now, just assuming that cultures emanate from nation states; a claim most social scientists will tell you is false. And then after acknowledging that we had strong British cultural influences all the way up to our leader, and that we our devloping our own culture now, you still go on to espouse the virtues of Modernism which is western cultural construct and now a moral absolute. I think it comes from your religious belief in your “modern” views which honestly you don’t even understand well.Recommend

  • sandeep limaye

    @Mohammad Shoaib:
    bhaisaheb you are correct. i have also studied Jinnah sahib extensively. and i firmly believed
    that if he had taken the offer of prime minister ship of united India, she would be a superpower
    just now. he was a man of resolve. but alas we had not that kind of leader. our leaders are weak like pt Nehru. so we tasted defeat in 1962. after pt Nehru, by grace of god we got better leaders like shastri and indira.
    i also believe if Jinnah sahib would have lived longer, Pakistan would be an democratic and progressive Islamic country which have good relations with India. but he died early only after one year of your independence.
    so you are perfect in your observation that Pakistan should be meant for Islamic democracy.
    if you see all great Muslim empires in India or else where in the world you will see that other religion also have respectful place in them. like Akbar the great in India
    even Aurangzeb also had so many Hindu commander in his army.Recommend

  • Agam

    @Talha:
    . If he wanted a secular pakistan, why did he demand it in the name of religion.This is and will always remain pakistan’s dilemma and its failing. Calling Jinnah a great leader is an insult to human intelligence. He was an opportunist of the worst sort and can’t be described as much else. And the creation of Pakistan, Bangladesh and the dismemberment of Hindustan was may be historical necessity, much like the disintegration of USSR. Another era will come and people will get tired of their over-religiosity and will be disgusted by it. When everything else is common between the people, creating differences between them on the basis of religion is the last ditch effort of conservatives and religious bigots. And all this sham of following the “true Islam” and the “Peaceful Islam” will never lead to anything. Recommend

  • Shahzad Sumayari

    Jinnah’s speech to the first constituent elected assembly of Pakistan on August 11 clearly elicits that which type of state he wanted; Secular or Theocratic.
    he mandatory wanted a secular state and supported secularism.Recommend

  • Syed Sarmad Bukhari

    The problem here lies in the fact that the Quaid is gone. Our books (Textbooks) tell us that he wanted to establish Pakistan as a “Fort of Islam” if my memory is correct. Its been a long time since I read a Pakistan Studies book. Correct me if I am wrong. But then again, our books also tell us that India invaded Pakistan in 1965. What everyone should realize is that what has been written in books isn’t necessarily 100% true. Even word-of-mouth or first hand evidence suffers from fallacies.
    What I would add here is that whatever you read should be taken with a pinch of salt since none of us has any way of knowing what the Quaid really wanted. Unless you can go back in time and hack his brain, this debate will never end.
    Here I should also point out that one man, he may even be the Quaid, can not decide whether a country goes religious or secular. It should be left to the people to decide. In the practical sense, it doesn’t really matter what he wanted. I don’t understand why people lay so much by things that do not and will not ever affect them.Recommend

  • Ibrahim Shakeel

    “Prisoners of the same cage: Liberty.”
    Well written, though I think you’ve taken Jinnah out of context. Made me read the entire blog, good show!Recommend

  • Talha

    @ Agam

    Jinnah was known as a champion of Hindu-Muslim unity but in the background, growing communal tensions and agitations made it difficult to reside together.

    The upper provinces of British India wanted to separate once the British left and the idea of P (Punjab) A (Afghania) K (Kashmir) S (Sindh) Tan (Balochistan) was born.

    The idea was rejected by Jinnah and the likes of Iqbal as fantasy. But with the growing tensions, it was decided that Muslim rights had to be secured and Pakstan (i added later for easier pronunciation) was the tool to safeguard Muslim rights. Once the Muslims of India and Bengalis heard of this, they threw their full support behind it. An autonomous Muslim state within the Federal state of India.

    Nehru and Gandhi did not offer the kind of deal that Muslim League wanted even after Jinnah acceded and accepted the Cabinet Mission plan. Alas Nehru and others were not willing to give the Muslims their due right and Pakistan was born.

    Jinnah did not want it to happen the way it did but the people had decided, we wanted Pakistan and we got it. Jinnah made it happen with his team of excellent worthies.

    Nehru, Gandhi, and many other notables consider(ed) Jinnah a great leader. Then they must be pretty stupid going by your logic.Recommend

  • Awais Farid Khan

    Dear All

    I read most of the comments and after reading them I am really disappointed. My hope for a bright future is shaking now. When 1st year pre medical student can write anything and call Quaid e Azam, “Jinnah” as if he is equal. And when most of pakistanis start a debat as if they know the conditions of pre-partition era, i am starting to question my stand. Quaid wanted to unite us and one ideology was the best strategy at that time. He did his work (May Allah rewards him for his hardships and sacrifices). What are we doing, discussing Quaid’s strategies after more than 60 years. Dear All, we are the generation who has seen no hardships. We are majority and donot know how to live in minority. Please donot corrupt your ideas, your vision, your aspirations. we should equip ouselves with tools of intelect and wisdom. One of the reasons of a fall of nation is the lack of respect of the heros i and inability to produce future heros due to lack of collective destination.

    India secular – this must be a joke. Blood drenched partition, 65 & 71 wars, atomic blasts, Babri musjid incident, dehli incident, just read the newspapers at that time. Our memory is very short. Recommend

  • Ajay

    @Hamza Malik

    You said “We Pakistanis on the other hand could never overcome our Punjabi Sindhi Balochi or Pathan roots. We’re just more interested in our own selves. When the idea of Pakistaniat has taken root, only then will Pakistan when. ”

    Pakistaniyat will not take root in the minds unless the basic freedom to practice each distinct identity is there. So emphasis on Pakistaniyat was wrong, it should have started with total freedom for everyone to do what each wants without saying what Jinnah said “Muslim Nation will shape the destiny of all” while saying to each “you are free to go to your temples….”.Jinnah kind of took both positions. How can you say that Hindus and Muslims are very different in everything and then expect they will be able to coexist happily together. I find all his statements very contradictory!!

    That is why you see each province and party raising their own flags today and identifying themselves regionally. This is because nationalism never took root as it was based on a weak foundation. Nationalism cannot be imposed from the top as an idea. It has to start at the field level, at the grass roots level which never happened in the case of Pakistan!

    I think the slogans of “Pakistan ka matlab kya…” were definitely there and Jinnah did nothing to curb them. He infact reveled in the chorus of such protests as it propelled his vision for a new country to greater heights and he also spared no effort in bringing out the differences between Hindus and Muslims. It belies common sense- How can difference in living style & customs of 2 communities justify creation of a nation???????” By that logic India should have been many nations. Jinnah actually thought that. In my conclusion “Jinnah was not all secular”. Although he was not an Islamist as someone said he did not dress or keep beard like Taliban and had the mannerisms and habits of west. That does not mean Jinnah did not use Islam to further his political objectives. It is wrong to say that no one could have gauged the effects of partition in terms of killings etc as Hindu Muslim riots were a known phenomenon and could have been predicted. Jinnah, it seems id not care deeply about the ill effects of partition.Recommend

  • Ajay

    Totally CONTRADICTORY !! what Jinnah said… another example..
    ““The constitution of Pakistan has yet to be framed by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. I do not know what the ultimate shape of this constitution is going to be, but I am sure that it will be of a democratic type, embodying the essential principle of Islam. Today, they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1,300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fairplay to everybody. We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as framers of the future constitution of Pakistan. In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims –Hindus, Christians, and Parsis –but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.” – ”

    How can you implement principles of 1300 years ago when things change in a hundred years time? That itself was a wrong principle. Then Koran does not allow secularism and democracy. Jinnah was trying to say “we will follow Islam to guide nation and its deliverance” and then saying the impossible- “we we will give equality to minorities and follow democracy”. Recommend

  • Akif Mallick

    Isn’t the real question “What sort of Pakistan do we want to live in?” Instead of trying to find the “true narrative” of Pakistani independence and forging an identity based on that its perhaps easier and more useful to have some sort of social discourse now and try to form a national identity based on what we collectively want as a nation. Recommend

  • Cherish Raj

    @Sandeep Limaye
    Jinnah was the leader of a religious party. Whether he was Islamist or secular is not something which is clear even to his countrymen. But Nehru was the leader of India’s largest political party and he rightly deserved the post and he definitely had a secular outlook. There is no doubt or confusion about that. It is not for individuals like you to decide whether Jinnah would have been the prime minister of ‘India’; it was for the people of India to decide. We did not lose the 1962 war because of Nehru. On the other hand, the Chinese led by Mao was a more aggressive force who had fought long protracted battles to come to power. They even took on the powerful Russians in 1969 and that shows their confidence in their battle skills. Your idea of a ‘glorious’ Mughal empire is just an imaginative ‘amarchithrakatha’. Yes, they built great monuments and patronized art and poetry and those achievements are part of our culture. They also treated the Rajputs with great respect for poltical reasons. But, they saw the Hindus as idolaters and ‘dhimmis’, who should be suppressed. And the Hindu masses had to pay jiziya unlike their Muslim neighbors to remain alive. Recommend

  • Princess

    I personally belive that Quaid opposed theocracy and did not talk of secularism but pleaded for an Islamic State…Yea Quaid established a government based on the law of God … He created government that declares supremacy of the law of God, under the guidance of HOLY QURAN, so that all mankind can attain an equal opportunity and live happy fulfilling lives.Pakistan Should Not Be a Secular State..

    A truly Islamic, and not a secular, state is the real answer to Pakistan’s myriad problems…

    I also wish that we had Jinnah’s Pakistan..But dude he never used the word ‘secular’ to describe the country. Yet, as every sensible Muslim and especially Pakistani Muslim knows, a state truly guided by Islamic principles is as far removed from theocracy as is an ideal secular state (I might add that there is not one example of either of these states in existence today)Recommend

  • http://www.youtube.com/spsyed spsyed

    Power crazy and stubborn Lord Louis Dicky Mountbatten was much more arrogant and hard hearted towards Jinnah and the concept of Pakistan, than imperial history portrays. The love affair between Jawaharlal Nehru and Edwina Mountbatten only complicated the 1947 partition… Watch the full Jinnah movie online, linked here http://www.youtube.com/watch?hl=en&v=Akxq2hCThLwRecommend

  • Milestogo

    What has Religion done to the sub-continent. It has divided brothers into Muslim punjabi vs Sikh punjabi, Hindu Sindhi vs Muslim Sindhi, Bengali Muslim vs Bengali hindu. It is sad.Recommend

  • Anoop

    “As far as my personal discretion goes, I firmly believe that Islam, and only Islam in its true essence, can take this country forward.”

    –> Thats the problem! You are basing your argument on YOUR understanding of Islam. Your neighbor might honestly believe that what he thinks of Islam is right and that happens to a very violent version.

    When you are arguing for something which is right, why lean on an Ideology whose understanding differs from person to person? Why cant you just say Pakistan should be a Secular Country because it makes sense? Or, why Pakistan should nullify the Blasphemy laws because they are unfair? Why is this tendency among Pakistanis to spell out what Islam says or Koran says when talking about a subject?

    Jinnah was a Secular man, but not always. If you look back Jinnah got Pakistan easily. No leader worth his salt came to Pakistan and hence, Jinnah had no back up. His insistence that Urdu,which is not even native to Pakistan, should be the Language of Importance sowed the seeds of Bangladesh even before Pakistan was born. This just indicates how poorly he thought of importance of Identity and Ethnicity in a person’s life.

    Lets say Nehru had passed away like Jinnah after India got her Independence. There were so many people to lead India to the present situation. Jinnah isolated all leaders of the Indian Independence movement and created this mess called Pakistan. Even a tall Muslim leader like Maulana Azad didnt go to Pakistan and had even predicted Bengalis would want their own country soon.

    Jinnah used to bat for all sides. He may be secular in his habits but a thorough opportunist.

    But, I agree that Pakistan in some form was inevitable. Nehru and Patel saved India from Civil war and possible disintegration. Recommend

  • inam kamal

    Truth’s always bitter
    whatever ever you mentioned is certainly the true image of our society.
    No doubt Islam is a complete code of life,but we are misusing it for the sake of our self-interest.
    This is the matter of shame for us.
    I wish i could argue you on this matter,but i have no words in the favor of our society.Recommend

  • Yusuf

    Who cares whether Jinnah was secular or Muslim or whatever? He’s dead.

    If you really care about what the people of the country want, take a national referendum.

    This worthless debate will never be resolved. It’s just a tool for one party to impose its political ideologies on the rest.Recommend

  • Truth

    Jinnah expressly ruled out Pakistan ka matlab kiya … this is well recorded. He actually told the person who tried arguing this to shut up and sit down. Recommend

  • Hasnain

    Lets get some facts straight – all traces of British colonialism may have (somewhat regrettably) left the Pakistani culture but instead a most abhorrent and perverse sort of Arabic colonialism has spread through Pakistan through the (alleged) Islamic values and principles we have embraced. No country in this world, I repeat NO COUNTRY IN THIS WORLD with any form of human rights or any promise for the future has been governed in “accordance with religion”; any religion! And before any person tries to tell me that this is the reason that people of other countries have lost their “moral fiber”, I feel it is pertinent to mention that the so-called “morally depraved” nations like the United States and the Europe are light years ahead of any place Pakistan (or Saudi Arabia, or any other supposed “Islamic Nation”) can ever aspire to be. This is the reality and there’s no point denying it.

    I am a Muslim and I believe in God but I cannot expect that any nation of rational people can be “governed” by what the religion dictates. I don’t understand when exactly things became so convoluted that religion became a matter of the state. It was meant to be personal and between oneself and God. No official in the government was ever permitted to punish or question your religious beliefs/conduct. Islam came to the Arabs because they were the most deviant, corrupt and immoral people in the world at the time (study the history of Islam to verify this). Then to my mind, after the Prophet (peace be upon him) left this world the Arabs would be just as fast to degenerate into their old selves. If you remember, the Jews started to worship a cow mere moments after Moses (pbuh) went up the hill. Who can vouch for the Arabs and tell me that they did not start to twist and misinterpret the message of Islam after the Prophet (pbuh) left their midst?

    In any case Islam, as we know it, is all written in Arabic which we Pakistani’s don’t speak. How in God’s name is the Pakistani state supposed to understand, interpret and then implement Islamic principles when the government can barely read 90% of the existing laws of our country or understand any Arabic. Religion is always open to varying interpretations; half of the Islam I know is based on stories about prophets born millions of years ago and what they did. How am I supposed to interpret these stories and derive principles from them. Instead of making idealistic statements envisaging that everything will be merry when Islamic principles are implemented in Pakistan, the media should at least be responsible and openly declare that religion and the state are not to be mixed. That is what every developed country in the world has established after centuries of development and education. The thing is that the 1400’s were the middle ages for Christian Europe when there was “suppression of knowledge and learning” and the Church was actively involved in matters of the State. Islam is also 1432 years old today and it definitely appears that we are in the Middle Ages of Islam today, and like most fledgling nations before us, we are unable to learn from the lessons of more developed and prosperous nations because of some perverse and unfounded sense of righteousness that we possess. People are struggling to survive in our country, women in rural areas are treated like commodities in the name of Islamic principles as interpreted by the Arabs (as was prevalent in pre-Islamic Arabia), children are uneducated and there are no jobs for the poor. In these circumstances I think the last thing anyone of us needs to concern ourselves with is how “Islamically” or “un-Islamically” the state of Pakistan is being conducted and we need to start focusing on more tangible and concrete principles that are not open to interpretation and misapplication. I think the media should play its role in educating people and informing them that religion mixed with state affairs is not at all a sustainable model of governance. This is what countless scholars and leaders have concluded in the educated world and instead of taking exception to this well-founded conclusion we should follow suit (especially since we don’t have much to fall back on except the petty funds offered by the Secular (non-Islamic) United States). Perhaps when Saudi Arabia starts funding the development in Pakistan, other than that of Madrassas and terrorist outfits, we too can aspire to be a “model” Islamic nation like theirs (crime rate = 0, human rights = 0). Recommend

  • hpcompaq47

    I just cannot agree more with the highly illuminating blog of mr Asif Nawaz. Recommend

  • Abdul-Mughis Rana

    Well done! Alas! We got Pakistan, now run it properly! Let the world know that Pakistan is one of the good things that happened to this World. We all are Pakistani’s if we belong to a religion then we have to give a best example of it and respect each other. Respect our neighboring countries. Recommend

  • Angelos

    Read this: http://www.pak-times.com/2010/11/03/theocratic-democratic-or-secular-what-jinnah-desired/

    Moreover, two nation theory was the basis of founding a separate country, so secularism has no place in Pakistan. Even if Quaid has said he wanted Pakistan to be secular, so what? Muhammad (PBUH), Abu Bakar, Umar, Uthman and Ali are bigger in every way then Quaid and we will implement their system but replacing Khilafah with democracy.Recommend