“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.
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.
“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).
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.