By Havi Zayed

Many Pakistanis have a built in aversion towards the word secularism while taking an excessive pride in the Islamic Republic attached to Pakistan’s name. Despite the fact that many Pakistanis fail to follow the tenets of Islam and the word Islamic Republic makes a mockery of the meaning it remains a source of excessive pride. People claim that today the country is very far from Islam as very few people in Pakistan really follow the tenets of Islam however very few of them can answer the question whether it worthwhile to have an “Islamic Republic” only in name. However the real question is do we really have anything to fear from Secularism in the first place?

According to its dictionary meaning Secularism refers to the equal treatment of each and every religious group within the Nation and to the idea that religion should have a smaller role in politics and decision making because when it has too large a role people spend their time over their own separate interpretations of religion rather than Nation building and the tasks at hand.

Many Muslims in Pakistan fear secularism because they have a perverse idea of the concept fearing Islam will be diminished with Secularism. This is completely untrue. Pakistan’s Islamic identity will not be lost with a Secular system.

Will Secularism decrease Islam’s value in Pakistan?

Many Pakistanis continually fear that secularism will decrease the value of Islam or worse will eliminate Islam from Pakistan.

The fact is no one is pushing Islam away and with 95% of the population of Pakistan being proud and extremely pious Muslims for the most part it is impossible to even try. Islam will still be practiced by the majority of people as it is being practiced today without any hindrance whatsoever. The only difference perhaps will be that religion will be a personal matter. A person who does not follow Islam devotedly or a follower of a different religion or a sect of Islam will not be persecuted for having his own separate beliefs.

If seen in such a light Secularism is nothing to be feared. We can be proud Muslims and defend Islam as much or even more with a secular constitution as we can by labelling a country ruled by very corrupt people with barely any link to Islam an “Islamic Republic”. An Islamic Republic where the rulers themselves have no link to Islam and others often use religion as a tool to fulfill their personal interests.

The fact is only a country that has a constitution, laws (that are implemented instead of being cleared by people who can pay bribes) rules and regulations based on the tenets of Islam, the Islamic economic and judicial system and based on the teachings of the Prophet should have the right

The tenets of Islam support Secularism & harmony

“To you be your Faith, and to me mine.”

Ayat 109:6

During the rule of Ali Ibn Abi Talib the fourth Caliph of Islam a Jew stole a shield that belonged to the Caliph and claimed that it was his. He was brought to the court of Ali to settle the dispute. However due to lack of proof and according to Islamic law the Jew was allowed to keep the shield as Hazrat Ali could not prove he owned the shield. This was a verdict going against a Muslim Caliph in his own court. However Hazrat Ali accepted the decision calmly. On the other hand the Jew was dumbfounded as he had indeed stolen the shield. He was quick to embrace Islam and declared that he had lied in front of the entire court.

This was one example of how Islam spread to become one of the largest religions in the World and won hearts and minds. It was due to the insight and tolerance our ancestors had that we got to where we are, that Cordova and Baghdad became centres of learning and Islam spread from the corners of Spain to the boundaries of far east.

Unfortunately many people in Pakistan do not understand that human rights and the equal treatment of all individuals in the country is more important in Islam rather than a notion of Islamic pride and superiority where labelling a country an “Islamic Republic” is deemed necessary. This pride comes from a past that our ancestors built with policies that we fail to understand today.

The Quaid E Azams Principles

“In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State — to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non- Muslims — Hindus, Christians, and Parsis — but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.”

Quaid E Azam, February 1948

The above quote is the greatest proof that Quaid E Azam did not want a state that was built completely on the basis of religion. Unfortunately since his death the constitution has been changed to suit every new leader that came and the title “Islamic Republic” untrue it may be has been added along with many laws that are completely out of line with Quaid E Azams original ideas for Pakistan. If we look closely at many of his speeches we will notice Quaid E Azam was a staunch supporter of secularism with an added focus on Islamic thought and ideology. Therefore until he was alive the Islamic Republic was never attached to the countries name. That happened when Ayub Khan came into power.

Other speeches by Quaid E Azam that clearly supported the message of peace, harmony and equality between all groups whether they are ethnic or religious are stated below.

‘We are starting with the fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state. No matter what is his colour, caste or creed is first, second and last a citizen of this state with equal rights, privileges and obligations….”

“In due course of time Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims will cease to be Muslims – not in a religious sense for that is the personal faith of an individual- but in a political sense as citizens of one state.”

“[If you] work together in a spirit that everyone of you no matter what is his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this state with equal rights, privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make.”

11 August 1947

“The tenets of Islam enjoin on every Musalman to give protection to his neighbours and to the Minorities regardless of caste and creed. We must make it a matter of our honor and prestige to create sense of security amongst them.”

30th October 1947

Clearly Quaid E Azam understood that a Nation could not be built until differences in the minds of people were eliminated and people saws themselves as equal members of a single society regardless of faith or ethnicity.

Perhaps if that spirit was alive today Pakistan would not be afflicted with minor issues and infighting over Shia-Sunni, Barelvi-Deobandi, Ahmedi, and the principles of personal freedom would have given way to building a Nation that was the most glorious one in history. Unfortunately this destiny still awaits the Pakistani race which dreams for justice and equality. Many people continuously deny Quaid E Azam wanted a secular country fearing that Islam will be destroyed by such a move or fearing for their own interests but Quaid E Azam did indeed want a Nation that was Secular and gave equal opportunity to all inhabitants.

People try to deny this but the fact is that this is not a bad thing for us to be ashamed about being Muslims but something glorious in itself that a leader who did so much for Muslims giving them a new homeland and independence still understood the morals of our ancestors because of whom Islam to spread.

Issues caused by the misinterpretation of Islamic Law & resources used to contain them

The fact that laws created to safeguard Islam are being used for the benefit and self interest of bad people does not do anything great for the image of Islam. A clear example is the blasphemy law, a law that makes an insult to Islam, the Prophet or the Quran illegal and punishable by death. This law has been used against minorities for a long time. However Muslims have fallen victims to this law as well.

An example of how this law is misused was the case of Mohammad Imran who was arrested in Faisalabad for blasphemy on the 28th of October 2007. He was falsely blamed because of a personal argument. After being arrested he was first tortured by the police, then the inmates and later he was placed in solitary confinement without anyone looking after his injuries. He was only released in April 2009 after being declared innocent.

Another example was the framing of Akhtar Hammed Khan, an 81 year old writer and sociologist by business interests and authorities unwilling to let his development work take place in Orangi, Karachi. He had launched a development project on the behalf of the people of Orangi. His project offering real estate loans on good terms and work to improve the condition of women through education, access to employment and family planning was not well liked by these authorities. Thus they decided to book him on false charges with the police under the blasphemy laws. He was later released due to inadequate evidence but the case proves how the law is being used to settle personal scores and disputes.

Minorities have many such stories to share as 60% of all victims who are framed under this law are Non Muslims. The law has become a tool for fanatics, murderers and people seeking to settle personal scores yet the law still hasn’t been repealed due to the fact that militants have some influence on governance. Land disputes or personal quarrels are by far the main reason for people to be booked under this law.

Another such law is the Hudood Ordinance where in a case of Rape four witnesses are required to confirm that a Rape has taken place. This is practically impossible. However the woman who complains that a rape has taken place is often booked for being with another man while the culprits of the rape run free.

Therefore the Hudood Law became a tool in the hands of rapists and today any woman can be raped and when she goes to the police to get justice the Hudood Law can be used to frame her as by claiming that she has been raped she also admits that she has been with another man and committed Zinah. Some figures claim that in the year 1979 there were only 70 women in Pakistani jails. A decade later, in 1988, this figure had risen to 6000 and over 80% of the women in prison were there because of these laws. It is said many more women do not even report rapes in fear of being persecuted due to this law.

Is Pakistan really Islamic?

Better to have a Secular constitution than Islam only in name

There is no doubt that our leaders found us a land that was a safe haven for Muslims and gave us freedom to make our own decisions without the fear of suffering biased treatment for the faith we followed. However the question today is how much Islam is being followed in the country?

For instance the Quran states “Keep yourselves away from bribes because it is kufr and one who receives them will never smell the scent of paradise”. The fact is in Pakistan taking and giving bribes is so common that even a noble person can hardly live without paying one. Some honourable folk still struggle on but their lives are much more difficult. If a person has money it is a possibility he has given or taken a bribe at least once. Unfortunately the entire bureaucracy is at the forefront of this rot. Justice is sold and witnesses can be bought.

On the other hand while drinking is not allowed and a license is required in order to drink in Pakistan people who want to drink do so with impunity and with no fear of being punished. The law is not even being implemented while if a drunkard happens to get caught a simple bribe wins back the persons freedom. Also while adultery is considered a punishable law under the constitution it is practiced by many people in the country without any fear of punishment. The same goes for many other laws.

The fact is many laws related to Islam exist in Pakistan but they are there only in name. They are either being misused by people for their own interests or they are not implemented and people who commit heinous crimes are allowed to go free because of them without any fear of punishment while the innocent are framed.

The real question for Pakistan today is whether it is sensible to have a false, broken and corrupt “Islamic Republic” in name or it is better to have a secular constitution that guarantees freedom to everyone and ensures that there are no vaguely addressed laws that make a mockery of our Religion which are misused for the benefit of a few criminals.

Doing Jihad or Waging War On Islam?

Before his Death the Prophet Peace Be Upon Him gathered the Muslims and warned them about a Fitnah (A trial or Test). He very strictly warned Muslims against a number of hypocrites who would use Islam for their own benefits and lust for power and wealth. The Prophet specifically warned that these people would try to justify their Anti Islamic activities by inventing and introducing laws that had been unheard of and unseen in Islam. The Prophet further cautioned that these Munafiqeen would be a challenge to the Muslim Ummah and that they would make Muslims fight amongst themselves and would massacre fellow Muslims in the name of Jihad but in reality would be helping the enemies of Islam by their actions. He further went on to say that they would justify their activities which included murder torture and rape by posing as Pious Muslims claiming that they only wanted what was best for Islam but in truth they would be hypocrites working for the interests of Islam’s enemies. The Prophet called these people a “trial” or “curse” and described them as a major challenge to Muslims as their entire purpose would be to spread fasad in Muslim lands making them weaker and weaker.

Today it seems that this Prophecy has been fulfilled and the Pakistani people have come face to face with this Fitna that lies in the form of criminals and bloodthirsty thugs calling themselves the “Tehreek E Taliban Pakistan.” As the Prophet warned these thugs justify themselves by claiming to fight for Islam and the enforcement of Islamic Law in their areas however the murderers have let loose a reign of terror in the Swat and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan where they continually massacre innocent Muslims and hapless civilians and even the very soldiers of Pakistan whose very purpose is to safeguard Islam and Pakistani citizens.

Most recently the proof of the devious intentions of the TTP has came as the hypocrites have shown their foreign sponsored faces even though their demands for Shariah law were met and the Nizam E Adl regulation was finally introduced! Despite this they did not stop in their War against the people of Swat murdering, raping and torturing innocent Muslims to please their Foreign Masters who fund them and their nefarious designs.

The fact that Taliban fighters are receiving aid and support from across the border to massacre innocent Pakistanis is already well known and understood by the majority of Pakistanis since they understand that no Muslim can commit such horrible acts which the Prophet clearly despised and claim to be fighting for Islam while ignoring or purposely breaching entire sections of the Quran and Hadith.

The question is why has it taken so long for the Ulema and all sections of society in Pakistan to raise their voice against the Taliban and condemn their Anti Islamic behaviour and expose to the World that their work is not that of the Mujahideen? Let us take a look at what the Quran and Hadith say about these Enemies of Islam

Terrorism and challenging the Rulers by creating havoc in the land

The Quran States clearly that Fasadi elements such as the Taliban who massacre Muslims in the name of Islam and create mischief in the land are punishable by death clearly explaining to us that those Soldiers of the Pakistani armed forces that fight against this plague are the real Mujahideen:

“…if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people…(Quran 5:32)”

This Quranic verse goes even further and specially applies for hypocrites of the Tehreek E Taliban who attack and slaughter Muslims with impunity and then claim they only want peace and what is best for Islam and Muslims:

When it is said to them: “Make not mischief on the earth,” they say: “Why, we only want to make peace!” Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realise (it) not. (Quran 2.11-12)

Suicide bombing

Perhaps the one action that has revealed to the Pakistanis that the Taliban are in no way “Mujahids” or Warriors of Islam is the Suicide bombing campaigns that have gripped the country which clearly are under the patronage “Pakistani Taliban” leaders (Obviously supported by CIA and RAW as suggested by the huge amount of funds they would need to commit these actions). These bombings have resulted in the death of over two thousand innocent Civilians and have turned the tide against them with Pakistanis realising their true faces. Innocent women and children have fallen victim to this Genocide of Muslims at the hands of so called “Warriors of Islam” and have proven them to be amongst the ranks of the Munafiqeen.

The Hadith in this regard says clearly:

Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) observed: He who killed himself with steel (weapon) would be the eternal denizen of the Fire of Hell and he would have that weapon in his hand and would be thrusting it in his stomach for ever and ever; he who drank poison and killed himself would sip that in the Fire of Hell where he is doomed for ever and ever; and he who killed himself by throwing himself from (the top of) a mountain would constantly fall in the Fire of Hell and would live there for ever and ever. (Sahih Muslim [Arabic only]: 158)

To further make the point clear:

He who killed himself with a thing would be tormented on the Day of Resurrection with that very thing. One is not obliged to make a vow to offer a thing which is not in his possession. (Sahih Muslim: 159)

Therefore there is no room for suicide bombing in Islam as it is not permissible to take ones own life as Life and Death are in the hands of Allah. According to the Words of Prophet those responsible for these horrible acts can expect to be blowing themselves up in hellfire where they will live forever. Other than this they also red their hands with the blood of the many innocent people they massacre as the responsibility for the Murder lies with them. Allah’s Messenger said:

The first thing that shall be judged among people on the day of judgement will be crimes involving bloodshed (Sahih Muslim 3178)

Clearly Suicide bombing is a Huge Crime against Islam where the person also kills himself and many innocents at the same time. The person therefore condemns himself to hellfire rather than going to heaven which is unfortunately what the illiterate people who join the ranks of the Taliban to serve the interests of RAW and CIA actually get for their brutality.

However this also raises a point that those Muslims who raise arms against such elements and are martyred in the line of duty while trying to stop such mass murderers such as our armed forces and police are the ones who will find themselves in Janna.

Murder and unrelenting brutality

“Nor take life – which Allah has made sacred – except for just cause…” (Quran 17:33).

The Taliban in their illiteracy and evil intentions against Pakistan and Islam have even overlooked several paragraphs in the Quran and Hadith clearly saying that the bloodshed they create is Haram. This has further proven that they bear only malice against the Religion of Islam and seek to defame it with their activities. The cowardice of militants along with their lack of faith in Islam is shown as they flee the field of battle after committing horrible acts such as rape torture and murder on the local population. The way they flee the field is even more surprising as it proves how brave these “phoney mujahidin” are. The Taliban are currently fleeing the field of battle after shaving off their beards in the Face of Operation Rah E Haq II which the Islamic Armed Forces of Pakistan are undertaking to eliminate the bloodthirsty thugs and the support they get from across the border.

In any case the Quran expresses very clearly:

Whoever kills a human being, it is as if he had killed all mankind. Whoever saves the life of one, it is as if he had saved the life of all. (Quran 5:32)

Furthermore the Prophet wanted to make it clear to Muslims after his time not to fight amongst each other as it would lead to their destruction:

Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: It is not permissible to take the life of a Muslim who bears testimony (to the fact) that there is no god but Allah, and I am the Messenger of Allah (Sahih Muslim 3175)

However it is completely understandable how these Anti Islamic Elements calling themselves the Taliban ignore such verses of the Quran and the very Words of the Prophet himself. The Taliban are overlooking this as they are there simply to spread havoc in the land for their foreign Masters. The excuses the Taliban make for murder are equally pathetic and they punish the entire family or tribe for a crime of one:

“Former mujahideen Amjad Islam, who was working as a teacher in a private school in Swat, was gunned down yesterday for not hiking his salwar above his ankles. The militants then went to Islam’s house and gunned down his father, Ghani Akbar, a lawyer by profession.”

The above excerpt from an article shows the paranoia of the Taliban and their foreign masters. The Taliban not only killed a person for something as simple as not hiking up his Shalwar but also killed his father who had nothing to do with the incident!

They not only slaughter anyone who dares to explain to the people what really Islam means and say clearly that the TTP is wrong in its actions against Pakistan but do not even respect those who have died. This excerpt from an article shows clearly the sheer cruelty they can commit on those who stand for Islam and try to stop them:

“Pir Samiullah, a rival tribal and religious leader opposing Mullah Fazlullah’s forces in the Matta region of Swat, and eight of his followers were killed in a Taliban assault on Dec. 16. Two of his aides were subsequently beheaded in public, while an estimated 40 of his followers have been captured. “The Taliban also torched the houses of Samiullah and 15 elders of his group,” Daily Times reported.

After Samiullah was buried, the Taliban returned, dug up his body and hanged it in public. The Taliban made an example of Samiullah and those who oppose Fazlullah’s rule.”

These activities are carried out despite the fact Prophet made it understood that it was not permissible to murder innocents and said that the Muslims greatest challenge would be infighting:

The Messenger of Allah (may peace and blessings be upon him) asked me on the occasion of the Farewell Pilgrimage to make the people silent and then said: Do not return to disbelief after me by striking the necks of one another.

Oppression of people of Swat FATA and Minorities in the areas

“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And God heareth and knoweth all things.” (Al- Quran 2:256)

Perhaps the most painful fact about the foreign backed terrorists is their oppression and relentless brutality against the minority community in Pakistan which is one of the greatest humiliation and shame for anyone who stands against India’s discrimination against minorities. Being victims of Hindutvadi terrorists and their violence during the time of partition Pakistanis have a major responsibility to protect their own minorities which is also stated by Quaid E Azam.

However with traitors in our own land this becomes increasingly difficult. Recently the Tehreek E Taliban attacked minority Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan burning hundreds of houses belonging to their communities in blatant disregard for the words of the Quran and of the Prophet that taught Muslims tolerance:

“Pakistani channel Geo TV reported that Taliban militants had taken over the shops and homes of the 35 Sikh families and arrested community leaders Kalank Singh and Sewa Singh in the Ferozkhel area of Lower Orakzai Agency.

Following this, a local jirga ruled that the Sikh community should annually pay Rs.15 million ($187,000) as jaziya or protection money. Earlier reports had said the Taliban had demanded Rs50 million but that this had been reduced.”

Even though the Sikhs later paid RS 15 Million the Sikh and Hindu community was attacked and the agreement was breached by the Taliban just like the Swat Taliban had breached their agreement to lay down arms when Pakistan accepted the demands of Swats people and imposed Shariah. Not only had they breached that agreement but also started attacking people in Buner.

The Prophet explicitly warned those elements who tried to harm minorities as such:

“Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.” (Hadith Abu Dawud)

The Quran too states:

Let each person believe (or disbelieve) whatever he or she wishes. (Quran 109:1,6)

This applies to the forcible conversion of the Sikhs Christians and Hindus that has taken place on some occasions. However to expect the Taliban not to tarnish the image of Pakistan and Islam and not fulfill the designs of the enemies of Islam who wish to tear Pakistan apart is futile as they will only do what serves them best as their actions have proven well beyond doubt that they have nothing to do with Islam and are simply there to create havoc in a Nuclear Armed Muslim Nation which is a vital part of the Muslim Ummah.

Are the Taliban leaders Da’Jal?

The coming of the Tehreek E Taliban Pakistan it seems indeed is the fulfillment of the Prophets warning and anyone who sides with them has failed to grasp the teachings of the Quran and Hadith and is unsure about his beliefs as he or she cannot fall into such a trap if he is a true Muslim. According to the Prophets warning the hypocrites have risen up to wage direct war against Islam and weaken an extremely important Muslim Nation that possesses Nuclear weapons. If they are not dealt with immediately the religion of Islam itself will be under threat with Anarchists from anywhere in the World changing the rules of Islam as they see fit to pillage and murder at ease while simply justifying their actions by claiming to be working for the best interests of Muslims.

It is an understood fact that such ruthless murder and bloodshed cannot be committed by any Muslim and it is only justifiable to kill such people who use such violence to defame Islam. Those who wage war against elements such as the Tehreek E Taliban Pakistan that pose as Muslims yet are working for the benefit of foreign forces are the ones who are fighting for Pakistan and for Islam and deserve the support of the entire Nation. They are the real Mujahideen who drain their blood for Islam to ensure that Muslims and Pakistanis see a better future. They are the ones who are actually fighting to protect Islam and Pakistanis from anarchy and bloodshed.

It is the duty of every Muslim to support the Pakistan Army in its battle against the Taliban. Not doing so is treason to Islam itself.