Updated: Monday August 11, 2014/AlEthnien Shawwal 15, 1435/Somavara Sravana 20, 1936, at 09:58:07 AM
by G. A. Parwez
Before Partition, we asserted
that the Muslims of the sub-continent had their distinct culture and way of
life and needed a separate homeland where they could live and develop according
to their own Ideology. The demand was conceded and
But what thereafter? Pakistanis
forgot completely that their State was created to give shape to their own
Ideology. During the struggle for
We had a Constituent Assembly
from the day
Years rolled on, one after another, without producing a constitution. Every one talked of Islamic Ideology. We were engrossed in following alien ways bequeathed by the past. It took nine long years for the Constituent Assembly to give the country a constitution, a constitution of many compromises which adorned itself with the dignified name of “Islamic” but in fact had little to do with the fundamentals of Islam, except in their breach. The diseased constitution of 1956 met the fate it richly deserved and was abrogated in October 1958.
The question before us is “What is Islamic Ideology”?
Ideology is, as you know, a philosophical term meaning the ‘Science of Ideas’. ‘Idea’ is again a subtle and very comprehensive term. It is unnecessary for our present purpose to go into the details of the term. Suffice it to say that ‘Idea’ means a basic concept, and that the basic concepts on which any ‘system’ is built constitutes its ‘Ideology’. Since Ideology pre-supposes the existence of a system, the question arises whether Islam is a ‘system’.
Yes, Islam is a system. Islam is not a ‘religion’ in the ordinary sense of the word. Religion is the English equivalent for the Arabic word Mazhah, which does not occur even once in the whole of the Holy Quran. The Quran has, instead, used the word Addeen for Islam, which means a particular way of life.
The basic idea of Mazhah (religion) is that God, the god created by human imagination, is sitting somewhere away from the universe. He is like a king or a dictator. If someone incurs the king’s wrath, he is doomed and is subjected to all kinds of afflictions. The only way out is to humor the king by reciting his praises, flattering him, making offerings to him, seeking the intervention of those near about him, and so on. The moment the king is brought round, all the troubles vanish and are replaced by munificence, rich gifts, awards of honor, inclusion among the king’s trustworthies, and so on. Since the god created by man’s imagination is on the pattern of a king, the devotees of the god try to propitiate him by ‘means’ similar to those adopted for humoring a king. The ‘means’ so adopted are given the name of religious ceremonies or rituals.
According to this conception of God, man does not require to lead a gregarious or collective life. His relationship with his God is essentially an individual and private affair. In lonely seclusion he seeks through worship God’s forgiveness and bounties, and having done that, proceeds according to his sweet will, to engage in matters material and mundane. He is a religious person.
Religion in this sense came about at an early stage in human development when man was still ignorant of the “how and why” of the working of the universe or the threatening forces of nature lightning, clouds, floods, fire, disease, etc. and quite unable to hold his own against them. In that stage man trembled at the sight of everything more powerful than himself and in trying to appease it, made obeisance in complete surrender and submission.
As I have already said, religion is based on a conception of God which is the creation of man’s own imagination. There is another conception of God which has been vouchsafed to man through Revelation. According to the revealed conception, God is a Being who controls the entire universe and moves it on to its final destiny in accordance with certain inviolable laws. According to these laws, everything in the universe from its initial stage, grows, develops, and, in time, attains its full stature, like the seed which grows gradually into a huge tree. Man is no exception. There are God’s inviolable laws which govern man’s development also. According to the revealed conception of God and that conception of God alone can be true which He has given Himself the relationship between man and God comes about through the laws which He has designed for man’s development. To understand the Essence of God; and to know what He is, is beyond the scope of human intellect. What we can understand, however, are His laws which pertain to our development. The laws have been preserved in the Holy Quran. Those who follow them develop and go ahead: those who contravene them are deprived of growth like the seed which happens to be buried under hard soil.
A person living alone by himself needs no rules or regulations to guide his conduct. Rules become necessary when people live together. Far away from habitation in a jungle, it makes little difference whether one keeps to the right or to the left. In a city, however, it does make a difference because if the rule of the road is violated, untoward consequences follow forthwith. The revealed laws help mankind as a whole to live together amicably and peacefully. People living together, not as they please, but according to some law, become an organized society, bound together by a system or an order. The order, which the Holy Quran envisages, is termed Addeen, that is, a system for living collectively according to the revealed laws of Allah.
I may add here that the Quranic term for the principle according to which one should lead his life is Kalema qualified with the word tayyib. The meaning of tayyib generally is pleasant. but when used to qualify a tree, it refers to a tree which bears exquisitely fine fruit. Says the Holy Quran:
“Kalerna-e-tayvib is like a shajare tavvib, the roots of which hold the soil deep and firm, whose branches spread out in the sky high and wide and which bears fruit perpetually in conformity with God’s laws” (14/24).
Islamic Ideology, therefore, consists of never-changing principles or concepts of life capable of evolving, unhampered by the limitation of Time and Space, a universal social order for the good of humanity at large.
The comparison of Islamic Ideology with a tree has another noteworthy aspect. To ensure its growth, a seed should be healthy and capable of taking root, growing, blossoming and bearing fruit. Then, it is necessary that it should be taken care of in matters like preparation of soil, manuring, watering, supplying heat and light, protecting it against seasonal changes and ravages of insects and animals. The Holy Quran points to this aspect in its own inimitable way. It says that the healthy concept of life Ideology or kaIema-e-tayyiba revealed by God has the capacity to rise high towards Him, that is, it can attain the heights which He has destined for it. But it cannot rise high by itself: it is man’s co-operation which helps it rise. In Quranic parlance, Ideology makes up what we call Faith (Eemaan) and the means to give the Ideology a practical shape are termed A ‘maal-e-Saaleha. It follows, therefore, the Kalema-e-tayyiba or Ideology forms the objective of the Islamic Order and A’maale Saaleha constitute the programme for attaining the objective. In the present context you can say that Ideology provides the ‘Objectives Resolution’ of an Islamic State, its ‘Constitution’ gives political form to the Resolution and its laws prescribe the programme for helping the people attain their destiny.
· 12. Two concepts of life Material concept.
There are two concepts of life. One is that man like other animals, is nothing but his physical body which lives according to the physical laws of nature and, after a time, according to the same laws, its mechanism ceases to function, bringing about its death with which the individual concerned comes to a final end. This is the mechanistic concept of life, and the social order which is based thereon aims at catering for the physical well-being of the people living within the State. The better the provision for the individual needs in abundance and with ease, the better the State.
This concept, in the view of the Holy Quran, degrades man to the animal level and is Kufr.
“And those who reject (the Quranic concept of life) avail of material things and eat and drink as do the animals, their abode is hell (whose fire reduces the dignity of man to ashes)” (47/12).
· Quranic concept of life.
According to the other concept of life, man is something more than his physical body; he has, besides a physical body, a Personality or Self, which no one else in the animal world possesses. Human Personality is neither the outcome of material evolution nor is subject to physical laws. Every babe on birth gets Personality as a gift from God, whether born in a king’s palace or beggar’s hut, in the house of a Brahmin or an out-cast, or of Muslim or non-Muslim parents. The gift is, however, not in a developed form, but in a potential form with realizable possibilities. For the development of human Personality there are God-given laws, as there are laws for the growth of man’s body. If Personality develops according to its laws, it begins to manifest, within human limits what are, in their highest and limitless form, called Divine Attributes. A developed Personality does not disintegrate with the death of man’s body, but lives on and on through further evolutionary stages of life. The purpose of man’s life is the development of his Personality.
Gentlemen, you may be wondering that there is nothing new about what I have said. It is the same old story of ‘spiritual advancement’ narrated by sponsors of say Hinduism or Christianity. No, it is not the same thing; the two are entirely different. The sponsors of ‘spiritual advancement’ to whatever religion they may belong, believe:
The Holy Quran, on the other hand, says that for the development of human Personality man should:
A social order functioning in this manner becomes an Islamic State, which makes itself responsible. I repeat responsible, to see that every citizen is provided equitably with the basic needs of life as well as the means and opportunities for the development of his Personality.
According to the Holy Quran, State is not an end in itself; it is a means to an end, the end being the development of man’s Personality, which it is impossible to achieve except in an independent country. Therefore, the justification for the establishment of an Islamic State, nay, for its very existence, is that it makes itself responsible for the development of every citizen, his Personality as well as his body. The State which fails to fulfil this responsibility cannot be called an Islamic State.
The foregoing may lead one to conclude that in the Quranic Social Order responsibilities, one and all, devolve on the State, leaving little or nothing for the individual to do. Let us consider the point for a while. A glance at the history of man s social life is enough to show that from the very beginning the one problem which has baffled man has been that of the relationship between the State and the individual. Man has devised several social orders in which, when stress was laid on society or State, the individuality of the people went by the board, and when individuality received consideration, the State got disintegrated. The Holy Quran has given a social order in which both get stronger and firmer day by day, man’s individuality in integration and the State in cohesion and solidarity. The secret of Quranic Social Order lies in the unique relationship between the individual and the State which the Holy Quran has expounded. A few introductory remarks seem necessary to get a thorough grasp of the Quranic idea.
The Holy Quran has declared in unequivocal terms that an individual, a society or a State has no right to claim obedience from any person, since obedience is due to God and God only. But we cannot see God nor have we ever heard His voice. How can then one obey Him? The answer is that obedience is not to God personally but to the laws He has revealed in the Quran. For securing obedience to law, however, it is necessary to have some properly constituted Enforcing Agency. The agency for enforcing God’s laws is the Islamic State and obedience to God means, in practice, obedience to the State which enforces His laws.
But says God to the Islamic State since you take obedience from the people in My name, you should give them what I have promised to give, that is, fulfil the responsibilities which I have assumed in respect of mankind. If you fail to fulfil the responsibilities to people, you lose your right to their obedience. The two go together. Therefore, in the Quranic Social Order, the relationship between the individual and the State is a two-sided affair the individual obeys the laws of God through the Agency of the State and the State honors the promises God has made to man.
· Contract between individual and State.
The relationship comes about through a mutual contract which the Holy Quran mentions in brief but very comprehensive terms. Says the Quran:
“Allah has bought horn the believers their lives and what they have of material things so that He may give them Jannah” (9/111).
The meaning of the verse is that the people entrust their lives and property to the State which undertakes to enforce the laws of God, and, in return, the State gives them Jannah. You know that there is a Jannah which is to come after a man’s death, but the Holy Quran uses the term Jannah also for the Social Order established here, on this earth, in which every individual is assured, and he is actually provided, all that is required for the development of his body and his Personality, and is free from want, anxiety and fear. According to the contract referred to above, therefore, the individual in offering obedience to the laws of God surrenders, without any compensation, his life and property to the Islamic State, and in return the State assumes full responsibility for providing him the basic necessities of physical life and all the means required for the development of his Personality. By this arrangement, the individual. even after surrendering his life and property to the State, preserves his Individuality or Self, nay helps it develop and gain in strength day by day, and on the other hand, the State gets established on firm and solid grounds. The laws of God through their observance by the individual as well as the State, ensure both the above objects.
· Means of production.
It is obvious that the State will
be unable to discharge its huge responsibilities unless the sources of
sustenance and means of production are placed under its control. There is
nothing startling about it. After the people surrender willfully their lives
and all else to the State, the question of individuals owning anything ceases
to exist. The means of production pass on quietly to the control of the State
to enable it to fulfil its responsibilities of providing the people with the
necessities of life and means for development of their Personality. But
mind you, by this control over means of production the Islamic State does not
become at par with a
There are, as stated above, laws governing the growth of the human body and laws for the development of his Personality. The Holy Quran calls the latter laws Kalemaat Uliah and says they are inviolable. Kalemaat is the plural of kalema, a term which, as already stated, the Quran uses for Ideology. Therefore, Kalemaat UIlah would mean the concepts of life which. taken together, make up Islamic Ideology and admit of no change. In the words of the Holy Quran:
“The Kaleima revealed by the Nourisher has been made complete in truth and justice. There is none who can change His concepts” (6 116).
In other words Islamic concepts of life (ideology) are complete as well as unchangeable. They constitute Inviolable Principles or Permanent Values and it is through observing them that the development and integration of human Personality comes about. Since the provision of the means of’ this development is the essential responsibility of the Islamic State, its entire activity will be guided throughout by the God-given Inviolable Principles or Permanent Values. Observance of Permanent Values results, in the life of an individual, in showing up, within human limits, Divine attributes. For instance, God is Aleem (all knowing) and Khabeer (fully informed). A developing Personality will imbibe these qualities as far as may be possible within human limits, and become Aleeni and Khabeer within the sphere of human activities. Similarly, in consonance with God’s attributes of Robubiyyat and Razzaqiyyat a developing Personality must cherish the feeling for helping others in their development and in giving them preference over itself. The criterion for judging whether a Personality is or is not developing, is the extent to which it manifests those attributes, limited of course to man’s restricted sphere.
Similarly when a State bases itself and its programme on Permanent Values it will manifest Divine Attributes much more prominently than an individual. The distinguishing feature of an Islamic State is that, within due limits, it brings out a manifestation of Divine attributes here, there and everywhere throughout its activities. It means that
There is little difficulty in determining whether a State is or is not Islamic, since the Holy Quran has dealt at great length with Permanent Values as well as Divine Attributes.
· Final position.
The final position in a nutshell is:
Let us now take up some of the Quranic Permanent Values.
Every human being, solely on account of his being a human being, deserves to he respected.
Says the Holy Quran:
“And verily we have made children of Adam deserving of respect” (17/70).
The verse makes no distinction between black and white, poor and opulent, believer and unbeliever, caste or creed, but is of general application embracing one and all of the human species.
What distinguishes man from other animals is the gift which every child gets at birth from God, namely human Personality, The respect is, in fact, due to human Personality, the basic characteristic of which is freedom and it is every soul’s freedom that has to be recognized and honored.
· Humanity is one.
Says the Holy Quran:
“The whole of humanity is one entity” (2/213).
What militates against the oneness of mankind is its division into groups tribe, party, sect, nation on the men-made basis of distinctive interests as opposed to the general interest of all.
But it is the good of all which has the capacity to endure. In the words of the Holy Quran:
“That which benefits humanity as a whole, endures on this earth. (13/17).
To bring about universal brotherhood of man mere expressions of good-will, amity and tolerance won’t do; it requires a dynamic social order, built on the basis of Permanent Values to realize it. And the first and the foremost objective which the Quranic Social Order or an Islamic State has in view, is the interest of the entire humanity and moulding it into one in-divisible whole.
· Human freedom.
No individual shall enforce his will on another; all will obey voluntarily the revealed laws of Allah through the agency of an Islamic State which undertakes to enforce those laws.
Says the Holy Quran:
“No one whom Allah has given a code of law and authority to enforce the law and whom He has favored with Revelation. shall tell people ‘Obey me’ and not Allah, but will say that through obedience to the Book, which you read and study. You should help nourish one another.” (3:78)
Free is he who hasn’t to toe another’s line but obeys, out of his own free will, laws of Allah and such of man-made laws as conform to those laws.
Man shall live a life of cooperation with fellow men and not a secluded life.
The Quranic injunction is
“Co-operate in what will add to life’s richness and help safeguard God’s laws, and co-operate not in slackening or going beyond those laws” (5/2).
Co-operation will, however, be in matters which help man’s development. Willing cooperation by one helps him integrate his Personality; working under duress disintegrates it. Unhealthy social order not only condones duress but encourages it by applying the lever of want. Islamic Social Order, on the other hand, makes itself responsible to see that no citizen is stranded by non-fulfillment of wants and is thereby exposed to duress.
The Holy Book says:
“Verily Allah ordains justice” (16/90).
Honoring of Rights is justice. Take what is your due and nothing more: give with full measure what is due to others: where there are more than one contestant, every one of them should get his due and nothing less. Justice gives confidence and security. Every citizen has a right to be provided with work, basic necessities of life and means of development of his Personality. Islamic Social Order assumes the three-fold responsibility and discharges it, as best as it can, with due regard to the inviolable principle of justice.
· Restoring disturbed proportions.
The Quran ordains:
“Verily Allah ordains justice and restoration of disturbed proportions’ (16/90)
Ehsaan is derived from husn which is beauty or proportion. In nature there is beauty and proportion everywhere: so it behooves man that his own self as well as things round about him should not be lop-sided. Proportion might be disturbed here and there. Islamic Social Order cannot stand disturbance and tries to restore proportion without delay in accordance with the Inviolable Principle of Ehsaan. Old age, illness, accident, additions to family, etc., strain .the family income. Unless the deficiency is made good in time suffering must follow. By assuming the responsibility for supplying the basic needs of citizens an Islamic State is always prepared to make up the deficiency and to restore the disturbed equilibrium in the life of the family concerned. The reaction of the State is equally prompt if and when similar disturbances of proportion might occur in national affairs.
The Holy Quran says:
“And they determine their affairs by mutual consultation” (42:38).
That is, consultation at all levels, in petty affairs concerning individuals or in matters of national or international importance.
Islamic Social Order is essentially democratic with the rider that discussions shall always respect the Quranic fundamentals and never infringes them.
The Holy Quran concerns itself mainly with broad principles of life and very little with detailed instructions. The underlying plan is, as explained by the Holy Book itself, that Muslims in all ages and inhabiting different parts of the world, should be free, within the ambit of the Quranic fundamentals, to determine details to suit their particular circumstances.
Islamic State accepts Quranic principles as its basis and keeping them in view, frames by the method of consultation and discussion, whatever laws are needed to meet new situations as they develop from time to time in different ages and localities. Present day democratic legislatures are bound solely and wholly by the rule of the majority, which is liable to change with every change in the political atmosphere. Islamic legislatures, on the other hand, stand on the bed-rock of Inviolable Quranic Principles and from that firm pedestal set themselves whole-heartedly to the task of framing laws for serving the best interests of the people.
· Pooling of surpluses.
Pooling of individual surpluses for the good of all is a Permanent Value. The Quranic injunction is:
“And keep open what is surplus to needs for us in the way of Allah” (2/195)
Infaaq is derived from nafq which means a tunnel or a covered passage with both ends open. Wealth comes in at one end, stays inside while it is being used to provide needs of the earner, but through the other end the surplus remains available for use for collective purposes.
Varying capacities for work result in bigger or smaller incomes, leaving deficiencies here and surpluses there. Man-made social orders feel unconcerned or helpless and leave the situation to seek its own adjustment. The result is misery for many and luxury for a few, the latter trying always to perpetuate and even enhance the disparity. Islamic Social Order, on the other hand, tackles the situation boldly and rationally, pools the surpluses and uses them to bring about social equilibrium.
· Islamic State.
Says the Holy Quran:
“You are a dynamic society drawn out for the good of mankind, you enforce the recognized (lawful) and prohibit the unrecognized (unlawful) and have faith in (the laws of) Allah - (3/109).
The existence among mankind of a people who will, subject to the Inviolable Principles of the Holy Quran, champion freedom of individual will, enforce respect for law, and stop unlawful activities with a stern hand, is one of the Inviolable Principles.
Brotherhood of the human race is a charming idea. But it cannot be achieved by verbal professions of high sounding slogans, in the name of tolerance and religious amity. The effective method for establishing universal brotherhood of man is that a social order should be created on the basis of universal principles, that it should adopt those principles in practical life and that it should then become a living nucleus for gathering people around and realizing the dream of oneness of humanity. This dynamic social nucleus will generate centrifugal forces out of freedom of will and its achievements. It will recognize no criterion for merit other than what an individual actually is.
I have cited before you, very briefly indeed, some of the permanent Values given by the Holy Quran. They should, I hope, help you form an idea of where and how far the Holy Book would take humanity in its evolutionary progress.
The considerations set forth before you lead to the following three-fold conclusion:
1. Islamic Ideology connotes the sum total of Permanent Values or Inviolable Principles which have been preserved in their complete and final form in the Holy Quran.
2. Islamic State is a state which adopts Quranic Permanent Values as its ideal.
3. Islamic Constitution is the document which proclaims the above ideal and details the plan according to which the edifice of the State will rise solid and firm on the basis of Quranic Inviolable Principles.
Posted on August 11, 2014