January 16, 2010

By Mr. Ahmad Subhani for “The Pakistan Observer”

Apropos of Ms.Nosheen Saeed’s article titled,” From Integration to Isolation” appearing in Pakistan Observer of  9th January; while agreeing with most of the observations made by the worthy columnist, I am constraint to differ from one of her vital observation that reads,”…misinterpreting homeland for Muslims for Islamic State…” Also, her contention that, “ The fact that the Pakistan movement was all about political rights, economic opportunities,  equality and social justice for Muslims of India was misconstrued and given an ideological dimension”, is only partly true. To ascertain the factual position in this regard ,let us seek guidance from the founding fathers of Pakistan namely, the Quaid and Allama Iqbal .Reproduced here under are relevant extracts from their speeches and writings on the subject:–

Iqbal who conceived the idea of a separate homeland for Indian Muslims, in his presidential address at the annual session of the All India Muslim League at Allahabad in 1930, said,” India was the biggest Islamic country and in it Islam could be sustained as a living cultural entity only if it was centralized in a specific territory [ for that he demanded ] formation of a consolidated Muslim State in the best interest of India and Islam. For India, it means security and peace resulting from an internal balance of power, for Islam an opportunity to rid itself of the stamp that Arabic Imperialism was forced to give it, to mobilize its laws, its education, its customs, its culture, and to bring them in close contact with its own original spirit and with the spirit of modern times” He elucidated the point further in his monumental work,”  The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam”  saying,”….during the course of history, the moral and social ideals of Islam have been gradually de-Islamized through the influence of local character and pre- Islamic superstitions of Muslim nations…..The only alternative open to us, then, is to tear off from Islam the hard crust which has immobilized an essentially dynamic outlook on life, and to rediscover the original verities of freedom, equality and solidarity with a view to rebuild our moral ,social and political ideals out of their original simplicity and universality”.In his concluding remarks [6th lecture of  above named book ],advises,” Let the Muslim of to-day appreciate his position, reconstruct his social life in the light of ultimate principles {of Quran} and evolve out of the hitherto partially revealed purpose of Islam, that spiritual democracy which is the ultimate aim of Islam”.

Quaid-Azam’s speech at Chittagong [ March,1948]:” Pakistan means not only freedom and independence, but also the Muslim Ideology that has to be preserved that has come to us as a precious gift and treasure”. In his Pakistan Day Message in March,1945, he said, “In Pakistan lies our deliverance, defence and honour. If we fail, we perish and there will be no signs and symptoms of Muslims or Islam left in the sub-continent”.

“ The Constitution of Pakistan has yet to be framed———I am sure it will be of a democratic type embodying essential features of Islam. To-day, they are as applicable in modern times, as these were 1300 years ago———-in any case, Pakistan is not going to be a Theocratic State—–to be ruled by the priests with a Devine Mission”. [Broadcast to the U.S.A.-February ,48 ]

“ Islam  is not merely confined to the spiritual tenets and doctrine, rituals and ceremonies. It is a complete code regulating the whole Muslim Society, every department of life collectively and individually” [Eid Message—September, 1948 ]

“ In Islam, ultimate obedience belongs to God alone. The only way to follow this guidance is through the Holy Quran .Islam does not preach obedience to a king, parliament, a person or institution. The Islamic government means rule of the Quran. And how can you establish the rule of  the Quran without an independent state?”. [Address to the students of the Usmania University, Hyderabad, Deccan, India —August,  1941 ].

From the above, it is quite clear that the founding fathers of Pakistan wanted it to emerge as a Democratic Islamic State and not a Theocratic or Secular one. As quoted earlier, the Quaid denounced a Theocratic set up  in no uncertain terms. At the same time, he never used the term “secular” in conjunction with Pakistan or its Constitution. There is a wide-spread misperception that if it is not a theocratic state, then it necessarily has to be a secular one, and vice-versa. It is not so. An Islamic State, in fact , lies in between these two extremes .Briefly speaking, in theocracy there is total and absolute control of religious clergy over the private and public affairs of the state, where as, in a secular regime, religion is virtually banned from having any say in public [state ] affairs. In an Islamic State, it is the primary duty of the Government to implement Quranic Laws through mutual consultation [“ shura” ] and through the process of “ijtehad”. Clergy can be consulted in this respect but it cannot dictate or enforce its will on the government as there is no priesthood in Islam. As such, there is no intermediary between a Muslim and his Allah and Quran remains the all important link between these two.



  1. Dear Ahmad, can u contact me at my blog


  2. i love paksitan
    eik bhot achi speach likhi hain

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