Why Was the Islamic Republic of Pakistan formed? This question keeps on nagging me. Also, why was it decided to name it ‘Islamic’ Republic of Pakistan?
Let’s go down the memory lane of the history of Pakistan and search for answers. Flashback. Whoa, where am I? The place seems to be set up for some conference. It says on the banner that it is the Muslim League’s Annual Conference in Allahabad. History tells me that it must be the conference that was held on 29th and 30th of December 1930. Dear me, is that Allama Muhammad Iqbal (B. A. (Arabic and Philosophy) – Government College, Lahore. Awarded Jamaluddin Gold Medal for securing highest marks in Arabic, and another Gold Medal in English;M.A. (Philosophy) – Government College, Lahore. Secured first rank in Punjab state and awarded Gold Medal.Reader in Arabic, Oriental College, Lahore;Ph.D., Munich University, Germany (Thesis: Development of Metaphysics in Persia)). Shush, apparently he is about to give a speech. Let’s hear what he has got to say…
“It cannot be denied that Islam, regarded as an ethical ideal plus a certain kind of polity – by which expression I mean a social structure regulated by a legal system and animated by a specific ethical ideal – has been the chief formative factor in the life-history of the Muslims of India. It has furnished those basic emotions and loyalties which gradually unify scattered individuals and groups, and finally transform them into a well-defined people, possessing a moral consciousness of their own. Indeed it is not an exaggeration to say that India is perhaps the only country in the world where Islam, as a people-building force, has worked at its best. In India, as elsewhere, the structure of Islam as a society is almost entirely due to the working of Islam as a culture inspired by a specific ethical ideal. What I mean to say is that Muslim society, with its remarkable homogeneity and inner unity, has grown to be what it is, under the pressure of the laws and institutions associated with the culture of Islam.
“The ideas set free by European political thinking, however, are now rapidly changing the outlook of the present generation of Muslims both in India and outside India. Our younger men, inspired by these ideas, are anxious to see them as living forces in their own countries, without any critical appreciation of the facts which have determined their evolution in Europe. In Europe Christianity was understood to be a purely monastic order which gradually developed into a vast church organisation. The protest of Luther was directed against this church organization, not against any system of polity of a secular nature, for the obvious reason that there was no such polity associated with Christianity. And Luther was perfectly justified in rising in revolt against this organization; though, I think, he did not realize that in the peculiar conditions which obtained in Europe, his revolt would eventually mean the complete displacement of [the] universal ethics of Jesus by the growth of a plurality of national and hence narrower systems of ethics.
“Thus the upshot of the intellectual movement initiated by such men as Rousseau and Luther was the break-up of the one into [the] mutually ill-adjusted many, the transformation of a human into a national outlook, requiring a more realistic foundation, such as the notion of country, and finding expression through varying systems of polity evolved on national lines, i.e. on lines which recognize territory as the only principle of political solidarity. If you begin with the conception of religion as complete other-worldliness, then what has happened to Christianity in Europe is perfectly natural. The universal ethics of Jesus is displaced by national systems of ethics and polity. The conclusion to which Europe is consequently driven is that religion is a private affair of the individual and has nothing to do with what is called man’s temporal life.
“Islam does not bifurcate the unity of man into an irreconcilable duality of spirit and matter. In Islam God and the universe, spirit and matter, Church and State, are organic to each other. Man is not the citizen of a profane world to be renounced in the interest of a world of spirit situated elsewhere. To Islam, matter is spirit realizing itself in space and time. Europe uncritically accepted the duality of spirit and matter, probably from Manichean thought. Her best thinkers are realizing this initial mistake today, but her statesmen are indirectly forcing the world to accept it as an unquestionable dogma. It is, then, this mistaken separation of spiritual and temporal which has largely influenced European religious and political thought and has resulted practically in the total exclusion of Christianity from the life of European States. The result is a set of mutually ill-adjusted States dominated by interests not human but national. And these mutually ill-adjusted States, after trampling over the moral and religious convictions of Christianity, are today feeling the need of a federated Europe, i.e. the need of a unity which the Christian church organisation originally gave them, but which, instead of reconstructing it in the light of Christ’s vision of human brotherhood, they considered fit to destroy under the inspiration of Luther… I hope you will pardon me for this apparently academic discussion. To address this session of the All-India Muslim League you have selected a man who is [=has] not despaired of Islam as a living force for freeing the outlook of man from its geographical limitations, who believes that religion is a power of the utmost importance in the life of individuals as well as States, and finally who believes that Islam is itself Destiny and will not suffer a destiny….
“What, then, is the problem and its implications? Is religion a private affair? Would you like to see Islam as a moral and political ideal, meeting the same fate in the world of Islam as Christianity has already met in Europe? Is it possible to retain Islam as an ethical ideal and to reject it as a polity, in favor of national polities in which [the] religious attitude is not permitted to play any part? This question becomes of special importance in India, where the Muslims happen to be a minority. The proposition that religion is a private individual experience is not surprising on the lips of a European. In Europe the conception of Christianity as a monastic order, renouncing the world of matter and fixing its gaze entirely on the world of spirit, led, by a logical process of thought, to the view embodied in this proposition. The nature of the Prophet’s religious experience, as disclosed in the Quran, however, is wholly different. It is not mere experience in the sense of a purely biological event, happening inside the experiment and necessitating no reactions on its social environment. It is individual experience creative of a social order. Its immediate outcome is the fundamentals of a polity with implicit legal concepts whose civic significance cannot be belittled merely because their origin is revelational.
“The religious ideal of Islam, therefore, is organically related to the social order which it has created. The rejection of the one will eventually involve the rejection of the other. Therefore the construction of a polity on national lines, if it means a displacement of the Islamic principle of solidarity, is simply unthinkable to a Muslim…
“…Personally, I would go farther than the demands embodied in it. I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sindh and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single State. Self-government within the British Empire, or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim State appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of North-West India…
… One lesson I have learnt from the history of Muslims. At critical moments in their history it is Islam that has saved Muslims and not vice versa.”
Hmm… from what I know about Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, he is not an illiterate. But he has also ended up being on the list of illiterates of this country as he perfectly fits the bill of that category that some elders of Pakistan have formed.
Allama Muhammad Iqbal is clearly involving religion in political and social matters and that is supposed to be on of the major symptoms of illiteracy. Therefore, he was an illiterate.
It is very disappointing to know that the gentleman, who envisioned Pakistan turned out to be an illiterate. He even talked of unity!!! That is a criminal offense. The ‘literate’ elders of the country believe in poking fun and demeaning citizens belonging to different provinces. Unity is not supposed to exist, eh?
Well, let’s hope the founder of Pakistan was ‘literate’ and didn’t make such statements—Hark! He is giving a speech. It’s in January of 1948:
“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.”
My mind just can’t accept that the founder of Pakistan, Baba-e-Qaum, had such ‘stone age’ thoughts. Or is history lying to us about their beliefs? Seemingly all the educated and prudent personalities in the world are turning out to be illiterates? My intellect simply cannot accept that.
We wanted independence. Why? Because we wanted an independent country where we could practice Islam. But now we consider Islamic beliefs the beliefs of illiterates.
I have been born 40+ years after Independence, but I believe that those principles still hold true in this age. Reason: Islam applies to all times. I am not accountable for other people’s deeds, but as a Muslim I will always stand, or in someone’s words “guard”, my Religion-the Religion that Allah (SWT) has commanded all to follow, the Religion that Rasoolullah (s.a.w.w.) taught us. I S L A M. The only way of life.
Allama Iqbal’s Point of View of Muslims:
نہ تو زمین کے لیے ہے نہ آسماں کے لیے
جہاں ہے تیرے لیے تو نہیں جہاں کے لیے
Momin-A Great Power:
کوئ اندازہ کر سکتا ہے اس کے زور بازو کا
نگاہ مرد مؤمن سے بدل جاتی ہیں تقدیریں