پاکستان میں اسلام کی خدمت

برّصغیر پاک و ہند میں اسلام کی تاریخ اگرچہ پرانی ہے، لیکن اگر مسلمانوں کی کل تاریخ کا مطالعہ کیا جاےٴ تو معلوم ہوتا ہے کہ یہ کویٴ اتنی پرانی بات نہیں۔ برّصغیر میں اسلام گو کہ تجارت کے ذریعے متعارف ہوا، لیکن اکثر اوقات افغانستان کےلٹیرے اور فارس کے حکمران اس خطہ میں مذہب اسلام لے کر آےٴ۔ آج جس محمود غزنوی کو بت شکن قرار دیا جاتا ہے، معلوم ہوتا ہے کے اس کا ہندوستان پر حملے کرنے کا مقصد صرف اور صرف مال و دولت اکھٹّا کرنا تھا، افغانستان کے بت اسی طرح سلامت کھڑے تھے۔

بہر حال اب جب اسلام کی جڑیں اس خطے میں مضبوط ہو گٴیں اور مسلمانوں کی تعداد میں اضافہ ہونے لگا، تب برّصغیر پاک و ہند کے مسلمانوں نے اسلام میں آنے کے بعد اپنے اقدار اور ثقافت سے کنارہ کشی اختیار کرنی شروع کر دی، یہاں تک کے عرب ثقافت کو اسلامی ثقافت کا نام دیا جانے لگا۔ کچھ علماءکرام میں چند بنیادی اختلافات پر فرقہ بندیاں شروع ہوگٴیں۔ اس زمانے میں مسلمان فرقہ در فرقہ بٹتے چلے گےٴ، یہاں تک کے مسلمانوں کے فرقے ۵۰ سے بھی تجاوز کر گےٴ۔ ان فرقہ بندیوں کے نتیجے میں مسلمانوں کی مرکزی طاقت بھی بٹ گیٴ اور یکّے بعد دیگرے، ہندو اور پھر انگریز اِن پر مسلّت ہو گےٴ۔ ان دنوں سر سیّد احمد خان جیسے روشن خیال لوگ آگے بڑھے اور مسلمانوں کو تعلیم حاصل کرنے کی ترغیب دی، جو کہ بہت سے علماء کے نزدیک بہت غیر مقبول ہویٴ۔ اِن عالموں کے نزدیک انگریز کی تعلیم حاصل کرنا اسلامی تعلیم کے منافی تھا۔ حالاںکہ آحضرت محمّدصلیﷲعلیہوسلّم کی حدیثِ پاک کہ علم حاصل کرو چاہے چین جانا پڑے، اس سے صاف ظاہر ہے کہ مسلمان پر ہر قسم کی تعلیم حاصل کرنا فرض ہے۔ ذرا غور تو کیجیےٴ کہ ٦ صدی عیسویں میں چین میں کونسا اسلام تھا؟ تاریخ کا مطالعہ کریں تو معلوم ہوتا ہے کہ اس زمانے میں چین کیمیایٴ اور فلکیاتی علوم میں ترقّی کررہا تھا۔

اب آگے آ ٴیے، تحریکِ پاکستان کے وقت تقریبًا ہر بڑے عالم نے پاکستان کی مخالفت کی۔ لیکن جب مسلمانوں کی اکثریت نے ان نام نہاد علماء کو مسترد کر دیا تب ان علماءکرام نے پاکستان پر اپنے پنجے گاڑھنے شروع کر دیےٴ۔ محمّد علی جناح کی وفات کے بعد، جناب خان لیاقت علی خان نے اپنے اقتدار کو طول دینے کے لیےٴ پاکستان کے آ ٴین میں قراردادِ مقاصد متعرّف کروا ٴی۔ واضح رہے کہ محمّد علی جناح نے ایسی کسی قسم کی قرارداد آ ٴین ساز اسمبلی کے سامنے نہیں رکھی۔ اس قرارداد کے آنے سے علماء کیلےٴ سیاست کی ایک نیٴ راہ کھل گیٴ، مولویوں نے اپنے کارنامے دکھانے شروع کردیےٴ یہاں تک کے ١۹۵۳ کے فسادات تک نوبت پہنچ گیٴ۔ ان فسادات کے بعث لاہور میں جزوی مارشل لاء لگانا پڑا جس کے بعد پاکستانی فوج نے کیٴ مارشل لاء لگاےٴ۔

بہرکیف ١۹۷۴ بھی آگیا، جب قومی اسمبلی نے قادیانی فرقے کو اقلیّت قرار دے دیا۔ ٦ اکتوبر کو نواےٴ وقت نے اس خبر کو اس طرح رپورٹ کیا

ٰقادیانی فرقہ کو چھوڑ کر جو بھی ۷۲﴿بہتّر﴾ فرقے مسلمانوں کے بتاےٴ جاتے ہیں، سب کے سب اس مسلہ کے اس حل پر متّفق اور خوش ہیں۔

نواےٴوقت ٦ اکتوبر١۹۷۴

اس اعلامیہ کو علماء نے اجماعِ امّت کا نام دیا۔ اور یہ بھول گےٴ کے اسلام میں فرقہ بندی پر خود مہر لگا رہے ہیں۔ مزید یہ کہ مسلم علماء نے اس فرقہ بندی کو تسلیم کرکے آ ٴین کا حصّہ بنادیا گایا۔ لیکن اس وقت کے علماء کی اقتدار کی حوس پوری نہیں ہویٴ، بھٹّو کے خلاف مہم میں تمام علماء نے شمولیت اختیار کی، اور آخر میں ایک آمر جنرل ضیاءالحق کے ساتھ مل گےٴ۔ جنرل ضیاءالحق نے بھی اپنے اقتدار کو طول دینے کے لیےٴ مولویوں کا سہارا لیا۔ توہینِ رسالت کے تمام تر قوانین اسی عرصہ میں متعرّف کرواےٴ گےٴ۔ جنرل ضیاءالحق نے افغان جہاد کے نام پر ان نام نہاد مذہبی جماعتوں کو پروان چڑہایا۔ افغان جہاد کے بعد ان جہادی تنظیموں کو پالنا مشکل ہو گیا، تب ان مذہبی جماعتوں نے آپس کے تعصّب کی بنیاد پر ان عسکری تنظیموں کو ایک دوسرے کے اوپر استمعال کرنا شروع کردیا۔ تب سے اب تک اس فرقہ واریت پر قابو نہیں پایا جاسکا ہے۔

مذہب کے نام پر سیاست نے اس ملک کو اس نِہج پر پہنچا دیا جہاں سے واپسی بہت مشکل ہے۔ ہمارے مذہبی رہنماوٴں نے عوام النّاس کو تعلیم سے دور جہالت کے اندھیروں میں دھکیل دیا۔ آج کے علماء نے اسلام کے نام کو جس قدر نقصان پہنچایا ہے شاید ہی کسی اور شہٴ نے پہنچایا ہو۔ یہ وہ لوگ ہیں جو ممتاز قادری جیسے قاتلوں کی حوصلہ افزایٴ کرتے پھر رہے ہیں اور کویٴ پوچھنے والا نہیں۔ توہینِ رسالت پر خاکسار پہلے ہی کافی کچھ لکھ چکا ہے، لیکن ہمارا جہالت سے بھر پور معاشرہ ابھی بھی ممتاز قادری کے فعل کو اسلامی اقدار کے مطابق سمجھتا ہے۔ ﷲ اس قوم کو ہدایت دے اور ان نام نہاد علماء سے پاکستان کو نجات بخشے۔آمین

Difference between people and nation

11th March 2011, it was a normal Friday for everyone, then at about 5:45 GMT the world saw nature in its most calamitous form. An earthquake measuring 9.0 on Richter scale hit just outside the coast of North Eastern Japan. While Japanese infrastructure is built to coupe with it, there was another threat they weren’t prepared for. A tsunami, with waves soaring up as high as 13 meters hitting the coast of north eastern Japan. It was nothing like this generation has ever seen. The tsunami swallowed everything in its path, whole communities wiped out in a matter of minutes. This disaster also affected the most busiest place on earth, Tokyo. No least than a hundred thousand (may be more) were stranded for the night on the streets of Tokyo. Then one of their nuclear power plant was crippled and it was hazardous if it wasn’t controlled. It was a brutal challenge for the Japanese.

In these tough times, the Japanese people showed the world what they are made of. It was their second greatest disaster since the World War II. The prices of foods and basic necessities were lowered voluntarily by business owners, doctors and engineers made themselves readily available for public service. They started looking patients, repairing what ever they can by themselves but in an organized way. There was no looting, no riots, no complaints even when they were sleeping on the streets they weren’t blocking any corridors. There were no kidnappings, no breaking into stores and no indiscipline at food distribution centers, everyone waited patiently for their turn to come.

In contrast, if we see the response towards natural disasters of the rest of the world, I am afraid its more or less the same horrifying story. From Unites States of America to Philippines and Australia, looting, breaking into, stealing and chaotic scenes. The worst of these have to be Pakistan. Recent floods showed how people were desperate to get their hands on anything they can whether or not it belonged to them. Those who were responsible for looking after the dams fled their duties, many dams were broken to save the properties of the rich, people kidnapped little girls for God knows what reasons, they looted everything from the disaster areas, even looted the immigrants who were coming to seek shelter in the city. Even in times of disaster the nation was divided, many minorities were left out of the relief operation because they were not Muslims or belonged to a different sect. Compare the two situations, Japanese and Pakistanis, it sounds like there are animals living in Pakistan rather than human beings.

The one thing I conclude from this comparison, nations unite in times of disaster while people divide at the same time. We Pakistanis are people while Japanese are a nation. We have a compassionate example of Japanese to re-visit our national character and transform ourselves from people to nation, because history remembers nations and forgets people.

Is Pakistan the only one?

There is a lot of anger and rage in Muslim countries after the ridiculous Qura’an burning incident took place in Florida. The actions of that (so-called) pastor are shameful and extreme. His stupidity could have had put Christian lives in Muslim countries in jeopardy. His claim that Muslims are extremists, doesn’t hold any authority when he himself goes to such extreme measures.

On the other hand, his actions have brought Pakistani people out on the street (once again). I understand they are enraged (both Pakistani Christians and Muslims), why is it that only Pakistanis are showing so much ignorance and undisciplined? It is alright if you want to protest, but protest with unity! I have been reading news regarding these protests and everyone has their own agenda and name to the protest. Why is it that these (wayward and outrageous) protests are only happening in Pakistan? Is Saudi Arabia not Muslim? Are not Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia or United Arab Emirates not Muslim countries?

I fail to understand the fact that they all come out when Raymond Davis kills someone or he is released according to the ‘Shariah law’ or when the Qura’an is burnt or there are cartoons published in the West, but none of these individual take to the streets when Al-Qaeda or Taliban carry out their inhumane acts. They don’t protest when Taliban bomb mosques, kill women and children. Why? What message these people out on the streets trying to convey?

They have stopped businesses, transport is cut off, trade is halted just for their protest which frankly speaking means nothing to the West. All the other Muslim states (except for the majority in Middles East because they have their own issues) are going about minding their own business, while Pakistanis are out on the streets ‘trying’ to show their passion for Islam. It makes me wonder whether those countries where people didn’t come out on the streets are Islamic or Pakistan is the only one?

انصار عباسی صاحب کا ایجنڈا

This post is in response to Mr. Ansar Abbasi’s Column He wrote on 21st February.




Taking hypocrisy to a new level

There is a saying,  “the true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity”; I think that this quote sums up all the politico-religious groups in Pakistan.

Since the infamous incident of Lahore, there has been a lot of controversy theories developing within the political system of Pakistan. This is a tough one for, not just for the government, but everyone even remotely involved with politics or government. Wikileaks have proven the fact that every political figure is either directly or indirectly in contact with the American establishment. Americans will not tolerate the fact that its ‘official’ gets punished for being a terrorist by another country, since they are the leaders in the global war on terror.

The issue has grown out of proportions, it’s now a matter of dignity rather justice. Americans have already announced that the case of Raymond Davis will affect the bonds between Pakistan and the United States, which (it may not appear the case to a commoner) is taken very seriously in Pakistani political camps. I don’t have to re-iterate the revelations of Wikileaks, one can figure why some in Pakistani politics are so keen to hand Raymond Davis over to American officials.

The most interesting side to this story is the one of our politico-religious sections. Progressions, are being carried out, speeches are being made, banners are raised and (American) flags are burnt in protest of the murders carried out by Raymond Davis in broad daylight. Ofcourse no one in their right mind can defend the extreme actions of Raymond Davis, every Pakistani is in a state of shock and rage after what happened in Lahore that day, this man should be brought to justice and that should happen in Pakistan only. But these people who are once again bringing the nation on the streets, are the same who not so long ago were celebrating the horrifying murder of Salman Taseer. Those who celebrate one murderer (Mumtaz Qadri) are condemning the other one (Raymond Davis). It really confuses me, how people follow these ignorant, self-centered, deceiving and self-proclaimed scholars who openly contradict their own actions? First the infamous ‘Namoos-e-Risalat Tehrik’, now Raymond Davis, they just need an issue, may it be calling Islam a peaceful religion (they don’t like it at all), or anything against the United States of America and they will make it look like its an ‘attack on belief’.

Why is it that the nation fails to observe their hypocrisy? When will Muslims of Pakistan will understand that fact that they are being played by these (self-proclaimed) religious scholars? How will the common Muslim know his religion is being hijacked by an ignorant man who doesn’t even know laws of Physics? The only way to put an end to this is to separate religion from politics. If that doesn’t happen, this menace will bring more shame and misery to the Nation.

‘I blame the West’

“I blame the West”, time and again I see Pakistanis from ‘various’ sections (especially the clerics) uttering this, blaming the west for the current (humiliating) situation the Muslim world, especially Pakistan, is in. I strictly disagree with them. This mess is created by us alone, it is preposterous to hold any (foreign) force responsible for it. Make no mistake I love my country, I love my countrymen / countrywomen. But as a nation, we are not doing what needs to be done for our own betterment.

If we compare the ‘Western’ ethics with ours we will observe that our ‘national’ character has fallen behind not only in the race of material progress, but also moral and religious values too. They (the west) say religion plays no part in a nation’s progress, but the truth is, they have adopted our (religious) values which have propelled them from being barbarians, into what we see today as prosperous and progressive countries. Let’s examine some basics.

Cleanliness:

Islamic values tell us “cleanliness is half of faith“, as a nation, we are only left with half of our faith.  Our roads, our alleys, our water streams are all filled with garbage and filth. There is no mechanism, on individual level or on community level to address this issue. The nation is deprived of clean water, pollution of every kind is found in almost every city in Pakistan.

Abiding the laws:

Islam commands every Muslim to observe the laws of the country he/she is living in. In Pakistan however, ‘laws’ only apply on those who are deprived (i.e. living from hand to mouth). There is a famous saying, ‘a nation’s character can be observed by observing its traffic’. There is a majority in Pakistan who completely disregard the traffic laws, not only the vehicle owners, even the cyclists and the pedestrians. Our nation, sadly is unaware of the road ethics which are observed in the developed countries.

Traffic is just a preview of a common Pakistani’s lawlessness. Corruption is a widespread disease in the country, majority from the President of the country, to the most low ranked clerk in an office, everyone is involved in some sort of corruption. Often, no work is done until and unless some sort of  ‘offering’ is made.  Ironic is the fact that the same is true for offices responsible for law enforcement.

Unfair & Unforgiving:

Yes, unfairness, a common trait we ignore in ourselves. Nothing in our country (not even the air we breath) is pure, adulteration in various edibles (even medicine) is overlooked by the common man (even the consumer, who frankly have no other choice as an average man). Everyone wants to make money ‘by hook or by crook’, how can there be fairness in such environment.

Most alarming is the fact that we are vengeful and unforgiving. It is very troubling to know that over a hundred thousand judicial cases are still pending in courts countrywide. Even more shocking is to know that many of these cases, have been passed down from generations. How does a nation progress when it can’t even resolve conflict between them in a given time?!

Islam teaches us fairness, forgiveness and honesty, but as a nation, I am afraid to say we have lost it. Interesting to note is the fact that none of the (so-called) clerics and religious scholars are addressing this issue. They are the ones to guide the nation in the light of this great religion, rather they are leading it into a ditch of ignorance and darkness. They ‘use’ the name of Islam, they fail to ‘understand’ it.

Literacy:

“Seek education, even if you have to travel to China (from Arabia)”, this is how much the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) emphasized on education. Clerics misunderstand the concept put forward by the Prophet and confuse that He was asking Muslims to get ‘religious’ education. While it is clearly not the case, there wasn’t any Islam in China at that time? History confirms that at that time (during the mid first century A.D.), Chinese were involved in researches including, aerospace, astronomy, physics and chemistry.

In our country, education is treated as a ‘business service’, there are scores of schools in every small town, different types of education. Tragically, everyone gets education based on their wealth, which has divided the country through generations. None of our universities is even in the top 100 in the world.

The saddest part is, this nation doesn’t even celebrate its most literate person, ‘Professor Dr. Muhammad Abd-us-Salam’, who went through this education system to produce his masterpiece which was ‘Electro-Weak’ theory. I bet, no average Pakistani can tell a single postulate of his theory. He won the Nobel price in Physics for his accomplishments, while his work isn’t even mentioned in our schools and colleges. He was victimized for being a member of a minority sect. Today, the United Nations is a proud owner of his scientific research institute in Italy (which according to him, he wanted to build here in Pakistan).

Conclusion:

I believe if our nation starts embracing its religion (in its pure form), Pakistan can leave behind every developed country in the world in every field. Its time the nation understood, that they are being used, played by some interest groups, who are ‘hijacking’ their religion for their own benefits. And to those who blame the west, I blame you, I blame me, I blame every citizen of Pakistan, for where Pakistan is today. Change yourself, change Pakistan.

Pray tell (by Nadeem F. Paracha)

January 23, 2011 (Dawn Opinions)

Oh, my, that label again: ‘Liberal extremist.’ What on earth does it mean? Absolutely nothing. Great wordplay and deliciously idiosyncratic, but that’s about it.

However, since the popular electronic media in Pakistan is usually about a rather nihilistic strain of whatever it considers to be news and analysis, this topsy-turvy label has become the catch-all term of a number of TV anchors, hosts and, ahem, analysts.

So, then, what is a liberal extremist? How many Pakistanis do you know who advocate the abolition of faith, legalisation of cannabis, the creation of nude beaches, support gay marriages or… oh, okay, so this is not what you mean. Then what? If you guys who have suddenly become so fond of this phrase mean by it Pakistanis who emphasise reason over passion (especially in political and theological matters), or who find religion synonymous with humanitarianism, tolerance and compassion, or who like political parties that they support to retain a degree of secularism, or those who cherish the concept of social and religious pluralism and diversity, if these are the dreaded liberal extremists so many Pakistanis have suddenly started moaning about, then I pray for me to become one of the finest liberal extremists in this land of the pure.

So, can one suggest that what passes as being plain old liberal elsewhere becomes liberal extremism in Pakistan? There is another innocent question I would like to ask of all those who have been swinging their fists by suggesting the following brilliant insight: ‘The problem in Pakistan is religious extremism and liberal extremism.’

If so, then pray tell, dear sirs and madams, exactly how can one couple the two phrases in the same sentence? To begin with, one can safely suggest that those you call liberal extremists constitute an embarrassingly minute percentage compared to the glorious blooming and flowering we have seen of what are called religious extremists.

Over and over again we have heard and seen the delightful things faith-based extremists advocate, preach, feel happy about and shower rose petals for, but what have the malicious liberal extremists to gloat and float about? I’ve heard arguments (and that’s about it) from the liberals in the following cases, but no liberal extremist distributed sweetmeat when Dr Aafia was convicted; never saw this extremist chant ‘yea, baby, let’s have more,’ when the news of a drone attack breaks; never seen one claiming that such or such person should be killed just because he or she disagreed with the liberal extremist. Sure he or she may have a sympathetic argument about what their counterparts may consider to be treason, sacrilege, etc., but that’s it.

Kindly stop using this term, liberal extremists, as if it was an indigenous made-in-Pakistan media masterstroke. The term first began being used in the US during the 1970s. It was coined by some ultra-conservative Republican politicians and Christian evangelists against certain mainstream American newspapers, TV channels and filmmaking circles. These guys from that country’s far right in politics and religion thought that the American media and Hollywood were brimming with atheists, agnostics and liberals who were soft on the Soviet Union (mostly because the media was opposing the war in Vietnam).

It was a lunatic fringe whom the then liberal American media suspected of having extreme political and religious views, and this fringe retaliated (in typical knee-jerk fashion), by calling their detractors as liberal extremists. This term was again used during the conservative Reagan years in the 1980s against mainstream media outlets who were opposing his overtly laissez faire economic policies and his arming of the paid mercenaries to topple the revolutionary leftist regime in Nicaragua.

By the end of the Cold War (1990), the liberal extremist tag was hung around social and environmentalist groups that began agitating against large multinational corporations and ‘globalisation.’ The media in this respect was finally let off the hook and the reason was simple. With the arrival of such monsters like FOX-News and SkyNews, things in this respect were turned on their heads when it was the media that began adopting this term for detractors of corporate capitalism and the new millennium’s ‘neo-con’ polices.

In Pakistan it was the military dictatorship of General Musharraf who first used this term. In many of his apologetic speeches he defended his (albeit half-baked) actions against extremist religious organisations by adopting the old 1970s American ultra-conservatives’ mantra of being against both extremes (religious and liberal). However, the irony was that genuine liberalism (that the American conservatives used to call liberal extremism in the US) was almost non-existent in Pakistan.

Right-wing apologists of faith-based extremism now found in abundance in the FOX-News like environment in Pakistan’s electronic media have simply picked up where Musharraf had left: Blame the large-scale presence of both state sponsored and populist, civilian extremism in the country on the handful of vocal liberals by calling them liberal extremists. Of course, intoxicated on the delusion that they have discovered a perfect explanation to defend their sheepish defence of violence-prone extremism, they conveniently forget it is not liberal extremists blowing themselves up in public places or showering rose petals on killers.

by Nadeem F. Paracha

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