The history of mankind makes tragic reading. Down through the ages, we come across a series of sequences of the rise, growth, decline and fall, not only of nations but even of their civilizations and cultures. No doubt, man has all along shown a remarkable constructive genius, having attained many an awe-inspiring successes, despite occasional set-backs and natural catastrophes, but his constructive genius was always undermined by some inherent weakness underlying his ideas, or his way of life which ultimately brought about a disastrous end to his efforts. Nevertheless, there have been some notable exceptions in the series of sequences when the idea of universal welfare of mankind took practical shape, but the main characteristic in all those civilisations, always remained one of frustration. Man struggled hard to find some satisfactory solution to his problems, but failed. Human intellect, limited as it is helped him little, because it is not aware of any source of knowledge other than itself. There was only one guide left for mankind in this difficult quest; and that confidently proclaimed competency to lead them to their goal:”
The God that has created all the objects in the universe has also undertaken to make them aware of their goal and guide them towards it, (20:50)
The guidance, which comes directly from God, is known as “Revelation”. It has all along been revealed to mankind through the agency of various Anbiya But, unfortunately, due to the ravages of time and human tampering with it, the text of the Scriptures, the message delivered by the pre-Islamic Anbiya, could not be preserved long in their original form. Eventually, about fourteen centuries ago, the complete and final version of that Guidance was revealed to mankind through Mohammed (P.B.U.H.), the last of the series of Anbiya. This version of the Divine Guidance is embodied exactly in its original form in the Quran.
2. The responsibility of the Nabi, to whom Divine Guidance was revealed, was not only to communicate his revelation to others, but also to establish an socio-economic order in the light of that Guidance. Our Rasul—Mohammed (P.B.U.H.) –established this order which fully recognized dignity of all human beings (17:70). The pursuit of individual interest was replaced by the ideal of the good of the humanity at large. Oppression and exploitation were abolished and justice and equity prevailed. The dependence of man and the subjugation of one over another were brought to an end. Every individual was assured the proper satisfaction of these needs. He, thereby, led a full life of satisfaction, peace and harmony. He did not owe obedience to any person or power, except the Divine Laws enshrined in the Quran. Briefly, that order completely put an end to the rule of man over man. In any form, and with it the evil of capitalism. This order was called Deen in the Quranic terminology.
3. This social order prevailed during the lifetime of Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) and for some time thereafter, when the forces of exploitation began to raise their first success with the establishment of Mulukiyyat-kingship–sustained by capitalism. To ensure their survival and consolidation, these forces availed themselves of the co-operation of men who appeared in the robes of piety and spoke in the name of God. They posed as the interpreters of God’s Will and thus distorted principles and tenets of Deen which no longer remained a living force in the society and were reduced to a set of soul-less beliefs, lifeless dogmas and realities of life. They framed rules and laws to suit the purpose of monarchy, and sought to keep the common man entangled in the labyrinth of these dogmas and rituals, and the exploiters, religious as well as temporal, were left free to maintain their stranglehold upon the defrauded masses/ This was the metamorphosis of Deen into Mazhab, which word, by the way, does not occur anywhere in the Quran. The Book of Allah, however, remained intact, since Allah has taken Himself, the responsibility of its preservation Himself, although it was never allowed to play any part in the practical life of the Muslims.
4. This state of affairs prevailed throughout the Muslim countries for centuries together where Mazhab was accepted as true Islam. We should, however, consider ourselves fortunate in as much as a voice was raised in our time and from our own country, to distinguish between Deen and Mazhab, and the Ummah was called upon to revive true Islam in the light of the Quran. This was the voice of Iqbal, the great thinker, and still greater scholar of the Quran. This, he said, was possible only if we had a piece of land in which a State was established purely on the lines indicated by the Quran, thereby wiping out completely the rule of man, in any form, be it capitalism or priestcraft. This scheme of his he pronounced in his Presidential Address of All-India Muslim League Session at Allahabad, in 1930. Such a State, he said:
Would mean security and peace for India resulting from an internal balance of power, and for Islam an opportunity to rid itself of the stamp that Arabian Imperialism was forced to give it, to mobilise its law, its education, its culture, and to bring them into closer contact with its own original spirit and with the spirit of modern times.
(Speeches and statements of Iqbal–P.15)
Two years later, while addressing the nation at the Annual Session of the All-India Muslim Conference at Lahore, on 21-31932, he said:
The possibilities of the faith you represent are not yet exhausted. It can still create a new world where the social rank of man is not determined by his caste or colour, or the amount of the dividend he earns, but by the kind of life he lives; where Capital cannot be allowed to accumulate so as to dominate the real producer of wealth. This superb ideal of your faith, however, needs emancipation from the medieval fancies of theologians and legists. Spiritually, we are living in a prison-house of thoughts and emotions which, during the course of centuries we have woven round ourselves. And be it further said to the same of us– men of older generation– that we have failed to equip the younger generation for the economic, political and even religious crises that the present age is likely to bring. The whole community needs a complete overhauling of its mentality in order that it may again become capable of feeling the urge of fresh desires and ideals.
This point, i.e. to get rid of the “manmade Islam” was so basic and important that he laid emphasis on it time and again. In his famous six (to be more accurate, seven) lectures, he elaborated the theme in the words of (the late) Grand Vizier of Turkey, Said Haleem Pasha, who had said:
During he course of history, the moral and social ideals of Islam have been gradually de-Islamised through the influence of local character, and pre-Islamic superstitions of Muslim nations. These ideals today are more Iranian, Turkish, or Arabian than Islamic. The pure brow of the principal of Tauheed (obedience to the Book of Allah alone) has received, more or less, an impress of heathenish and the universal and impersonal character of the ethical ideals of Islam has been lost through a process of localisation. The only alternative open to us then is to tear off from Islam the hard crust which has immobilised 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.
(Iqbal: Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam –pp. 148-49)
This was the purpose to be achieved, for which Allama Iqbal had given the idea of acquiring a piece of land to establish therein a State which could be identified as a true Islamic State — a State built on the foundations of Quran. This was to be a unique State amongst various States of the world.
5. One of the fundamental factors which makes an Islamic State unique amongst various States of the world, whatever their form of Government, is its principle of law making. As already stated, according to the Quran, all human beings are equal and worthy of equal respect and dignity. It necessarily follows, therefore, that no man has the right to exploit another man or to use him as a means in furthering his personal interests. If society were organized on this basis, there would be neither rulers nor the ruled; none would be permitted to compel others to obey him. Allah alone would be obeyed. Says the Quran:
It behemoth not a man that Allah should give him the Book of Law, power to judge, and even Nubuwwah, and he should say to his fellow beings to obey his orders rather than those of Allah…. (3:78).
The Quran forbids man to arrogate to himself the right to rule over other men: and yet it does not advocate a lawless, anarchical society. What it does is to lay down the principle that Allah alone has the right to rule over them (12:40) and none has the right to any share in it (18:26). Sovereignty belongs to Allah alone.
Allah, however, is the Abstract, Transcendental Reality. How can we obey Him if we cannot contact Him? The answer is by observing His Laws as given in His Book. This is why the Rasul was asked to declare:
Shall I seek other than Allah for Judge, when how it is who hath revealed unto you this Book fully explained (6:115).
This book was the criterion to decide whether a State was Islamic or UN-Islamic. Says the Quran:
Whose do not judge by what Allah hath revealed, they are indeed kafirs (5:44)
The laws, directives, principles and values given by the Quran are complete, final, eternal and UN-alterable. None, not even the entire Ummah has the authority to add to, subtract from or make any alteration therein. But it does not prescribe details thereof. With the exception of a very few laws, it demarcates the boundary lines of what is lawful and what is unlawful. These lines no one has the right to transgress: not even the entire community. Within these lines, the Islamic State is free to frame such byelaws, as the needs of the time require. These byelaws are, of course, subject to change and may be revised or even abrogated by the Ummah by mutual consultation (42:38), leaving the boundary lines untouched. This is where an Islamic State differs from the democracy, the people have unbridled power to frame any laws, whereas, the consultative machinery of the Ummah can frame sub-laws only within the boundary lines framed by the Quran. Iqbal has beautifully narrated this unique feature of the Islamic State. He says in his Lectures:
The ultimate spiritual basis of all life, as conceived by Islam, is eternal and reveals itself in variety and change. A society based on such a conception of Reality must reconcile in its life the categories of permanence and change; it must possess eternal principles to regulate its collective life; for the eternal gives us a foothold in the world of perpetual change. But eternal principles when they are understood to exclude all possibilities of change, which, according to Quran is one of the greatest sings of God, tend to immobilise what is essentially mobile in its nature.
(Reconstruction of Religious Though in Islam…P-149)
Iqbal has touched upon this very subtle, yet most important point with reference to political system of Islam, but it takes us far, far beyond political horizon. The fundamental principle of the reconciliation of the categories of permanence and change is not confined to the process of law making. It is the very essence of Islam and can be appreciated only when the Quranic concept of human life is thoroughly grasped. There are two concepts of human life — materialistic and Quranic. The materialistic outlook of life treats man as any other animal, whose only function is to develop and enlarge his physical existence. It functions under physical laws and is disintegrated and gets extinct with death. It is subject to perpetual change: every moment millions and millions of cells, which constitute human body, are destroyed and replaced by fresh cells. This process of constant change continues till death overtakes him and he ceases to live. Since, according to this concept of life, there is nothing permanent in human life, it stands in need of no Permanent Values, no unchangeable principles, no immutable boundary lines, and therefore, no necessity for Divine Guidance.
According to Quranic concept of life, on the other hand, human body, no doubt develops, flourishes, and eventually disintegrates, under physical laws, but there is something else in man besides his body, that is, his Self or Personality, which is neither physical in its constitution nor is it subject to physical laws as such. It is endowed to every human child in like measure at his birth, but it is only in an undeveloped form. To develop it to its full maturity, and to give it a perfect and balanced shape is the goal of all human activities. Every act of his, performed in accordance with Permanent Values, contributes to its development, and whatever is done against these values, retards this process and weakens the Self. An act, it should be noted, includes thought, wish and desire, as well. The Self or Personality thus developed easily sustains the shock of death and survives the disintegration and dissolution of physical body, and goes on developing further, passing through more evolutionary stages, which we call the “Hereafter” or the life after death. The fact that, not only the actual deeds of a human being but his thoughts, wishes and desires as well, act upon human Personality is what is called the “Law of Retribution” which is as inexorable and immutable as the Laws of Nature.
It is the human personality, which takes decisions, but at the present level of existence, its decisions are implemented through physical body. For this purpose, it is essential that human body should also develop and be in a position to carry out the commands of the personality. For its development, the needs and requirements of human body will change from time to time, whereas human personality, while developing shall remain unchanged. The renowned Polish Thinker, Nicholas Bereave, has beautifully concentrated this in four words, by saying.
Personality is changelessness in change.
(Slavery and Freedom P-8)
The process of the development of human body and Personality can take place only in Islamic Social Order (Deen, as already explained). This order, generally called “Nizam-e-Rabubiyyah”, provides to each and every individual means for the development of both. It will be seen that this system differs basically from all other systems.
6. Reverting to the principle of law-making, Iqbal examined critically what had been going on in our past history, and said that
The teaching of the Quran that life is a process of progressive creation necessitates that each generation, guided but unhampered by the work of its predecessors, should be permitted to solve its own problems.
It follows, therefore, that the general notion that the laws made by our earlier jurists and promulgated in the past are eternal and binding on all future generations is against the basic teachings of the Quran. This was thoroughly explained by Iqbal in his “Sixth lecture”, entitled — The principles of movement in the structure of Islam — in which he says;
The question which is likely to confront Muslim countries in the near future is whether the Law of Islam is capable of evolution — a question which will require great intellectual effort, and is sure to be answered in the affirmative; provided the world of Islam approaches it in the spirit of Omar — the first critical and independent in Islam who, at the last moments of the Prophet, had the moral courage to utter these remarkable words: “The Book of God is sufficient for us”. (P.154).
7. Iqbal accomplished his task and, handing over the torch to Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, passed away. The Quaid, during his struggle for the achievement of Pakistan, reiterated the main features of the proposed Islamic State, as enunciated by Iqbal. No doubt the British and the Hindus opposed tooth and nail the proposal for the establishment of a separate State for the Muslims, but its main opponents were the so-called “Nationalist Ulema” who were the custodians of Mazhab, as already explained. Plainly speaking, the struggle for Pakistan was, in reality; struggle between Deen and Mazhab. This struggle was started during the lifetime of Iqbal himself. For want of adequate space, it is not possible to quote extensively from the speeches and writings of Quaid-e-Azam, on the subject it would suffice if some of the more important points were cited.
It is generally said, that it was the narrow-mindedness of the Hindus and their maltreatment and fanatical prejudice toward the Muslims which compelled the latter to seek protection in a separate homeland, and thus the demand for Pakistan. This is not only distortion of history but also malicious propaganda. The genesis of Pakistan was explained by Iqbal in the Presidential Address at Allahabad in 1930. Pakistan Resolution was passed in the Annual Session of the All-India Muslim League, at Lahore, in 1940. Quaid-e-Azam said in his Presidential Address:
It is extremely difficult to appreciate why our Hindu friends fail to understand the real nature of Islam and Hinduism. They are not religions in the strict sense of the word, but are in fact, different and distinct social orders, and it is a dream that the Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality, and this conception of one Indian nation has gone far beyond the limits and is the cause of most of your troubles and will lead India to destruction if we fail to revise our notions in time. The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, Social customs, and literatures. The neither intermarries nor interdines together, and, indeed, they belong to two different civilisations, which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their aspects on life and of life are different.
(Speeches and writings of Mr. Jinnah, Vol. I, pp. 177-78).
In his speech at the Frontier Muslim League Conference on 21-11-1945 he said:
We have to fight a double-edged battle, one against the Hindu Congress and the other against British Imperialists, both of them being capitalists. The Muslims demand Pakistan where they could rule according to their own code of life and according to their own cultural growth, traditions, and Islamic Laws.
(Ibid. Vol. II, p.333).
In a message to N.W.F.P Muslim Students Federation, in April 1943, he said:
You have asked me to give you a message. What message can I give you? We have got the great message in the Quran for our guidance and enlightenment.
(Ibid.Vol. I, p.516).
In his Eid message to the nation in 1945, he said:
Every Musalman knows that the injections of the Quran are not confined to religious and moral duties. From the Atlantic to the Ganges”, says Gibbon, “the Quran is acknowledged as the fundamental code, not only of theology but of civil and criminal jurisprudence, and the laws which regulate the actions and the property of mankind are regulated by the immutable sanctions of the Will of Allah”. Everyone, except those who are ignorant, knows that the Quran is the general code of the Musalmans. A religious, social, civil, commercial, military, judicial, criminal penal code; it regulates everything from the ceremonies of religion to those of daily life; from the salvation of the soul to the health of the body; from morality to crime, from punishment here to that in he life to come and our Prophet (P.B.U.H.) has enjoined on us that every Musalman should possess a copy of the Quran and be his own priest. Therefore, Islam is not confined to the spiritual tenets and doctrines and rituals and ceremonies. It is a complete code regulating the whole Muslim Society in every department of life, collective and individually.
(Ibid, Vol. II, p.300).
In August 1941, Quaid-e-Azam went to Hyderabad (Deccan) and there gave and interview to the students of the Usmania University. The replies he gave to the questions asked by the students explain in a nutshell the genesis and the ideology of Pakistan in such a comprehensive way that, in my opinion, nothing further would be required to understand these basic foundations. Here are extracts from that interview:
What are the essential features of religion and a religious State?
When I hear the word ‘religion’, my mind thinks at once, according to the English language and the British usage, of private relation between man and God. By I know fully well that according to Islam, the word is not restricted to the English connotation. I am neither a Maulvi nor a Mulla, nor do I claim knowledge of theology. But I have studied in my own way, the Holy Quran and Islamic tenets. This magnificent Book is full of guidance respecting all human life, whether spiritual or economic, political or social, leaving no aspect untouched.
What is the distinctive feature of Islamic State?
There is a special feature of the Islamic State, which must not be overlooked. There, obedience is…. Due to God and God alone, which takes practical shape in the observance of the Quranic principles and commands. In Islam, obedience is due neither to a king, nor to a parliament, nor to any other organisation. It is the Quranic provisions, which determine the limits of our freedom and restrictions in political and social spheres. In other words, Islamic State is an agency for enforcement of Quranic principles and injunctions.
In a Broadcast talk to the people of the United States of America on Pakistan, recorded in February, 1948, i.e. in his capacity as Governor General of Pakistan, he said:
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 principles of Islam. Today, they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1,300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fairplay to everybody. We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as framer of future constitution of Pakistan. In any case, Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State to be ruled by priests with a divine mission.
(Speeches as governor-general, p-65)
I have already explained what “democracy embodying the essential principles of Islam” means in practice: the ways and means for the implementation of the Quranic laws and principles to be framed by the Ummah by mutual consultation, within the immutable boundary lines determined by the Quran. This is what an Islamic State is permitted to do; beyond this it has no authority.
8. I have stated before that the Quran prescribes an socio-economic order, which is unique in its nature. I have so far dealt with its social aspect only. So far as its economic side is concerned, it is a vast subject and requires detailed discussion. It will not be doing justice to it if it is touched upon enpassant. I have written exhaustively on the subject and my self-contained book-Nizam-e-Rabubiyyat–discusses it in detail. Here, I will confine myself only to its basic principles.
The main object of an Islamic State is to provide the individual with full scope of self-development, which means development of his physical body as well as development of his personality. Its basic principles are that the individual is the focus of value and the society exists to enable the individual to develop and express himself to the full extent of his capacity. It lays primary stress on personal worth. A society based on these principles will be composed of free individuals, each enriching his life by working for the enrichment of all life, and each moving onwards by helping others to do the same. This society should be judged by the solutions it offers for the social and economic problems that confront all human groups.
According to the Quran, it is incumbent upon the Islamic society to provide for the basic necessities of each and all the members comprising it, and make suitable arrangements for the development of their human potentialities. Thereafter, it should extend the same facilities to other human beings and thus make this order universal. A society that fails in this responsibility does not deserve to be called Islamic, for, the society that is established in the name of Allah is bound to proclaim:
We will provide for you and your children (6/152).
It is paramountly clear from this that no society could discharge this responsibility unless, and until it has the various means of production under its control and the necessary resources at its disposal. It may be reiterated, and should in no case be lost sight of, that this society takes under its control means of production with a view to discharge its huge responsibility of providing necessities of life for all the members of the Society. If it fails to do so, it will have be a clear act of usurpation in that case.
So far as the members of this society are concerned, the principle underlying the growth and development of their personality is expressed thus: an individual should work hard, earn and produce as much as possible, keep what is basically and essentially necessary for his own upkeep, and hand over the rest to the Islamic State for meeting out the necessities of others in need, as is ordained in the Quran:
And they ask as what should they give (for the benefit of others)–Say:
“Whatever is surplus to your own requirements” (2/219)
And in this, their attitude should be such as to declare:
We desire from you neither reward any thanks. (76/9)
Here arises the question: What is the incentive motivated by which an individual should work, an continue to work, up to his full capacity, retain for himself only to the extent that fulfills his necessities, and hand over the rest to the society, for meeting out the necessities of others in need? Still further.
They prefer others before themselves although there be indigence among them (59/9).
Prof. Hawtrey has said that:
What differentiates economic systems from one another is the character of the motives they invoke to induce people to work.
(Quoted by E.H. Carr, in “The News Society” pp. 41-42)
The motives provided by the Quran are unique, i.e.
Human body develops by what the individual concerned takes, while his Personality develops by with he gives.
This constitutes the basic motive for the establishment of the Quranic Economic Order.
There will thus be no capitalism and no landlordism an Islamic State. Quaid-e-Azam made this abundantly clears during his struggle for the achievement of Pakistan. In his Presidential Address delivered at the Annual Session of the All-India Muslim League, Delhi, on April 24, 1943, he said:
Here, I should like to give a warning to the landlords and capitalists who have flourished at our expense by a system which is so vicious, which is so wicked and which makes them so selfish that it is difficult to reason with them. (Tremendous applause) The exploitation of the masses has gone into their blood. They have forgotten the lessons of Islam. Greed and Selfishness have made these people subordinate to the interests of others in order to fatten themselves. It is true we are not in power today. You go anywhere to the countryside. I have visited villages. There are millions and millions of our people who hardly get one meal a day. Is these civilisations this aim of Pakistan Cries of no, no) Do you visualise that millions have been exploited and cannot get one meal a day. If that is the Idea of Pakistan, I would not have it. (Cheers). If they are wise they will have to adjust themselves to the new modern conditions of life. If they won’t, God helps them: we shall not help them. (Hear, hear renewed cheers and applause.)
(Speeches and writings of Jinnah, Vol. I, p-554).