Editorial: Extent of Islamisation?

The Light (Pakistan), 24th January 1984 Issue (Vol. 64, No. 2, p. 3)

The pace of Islamisation is getting mo­mentum in Pakistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world. Recently, Sudan has also decided to embark upon this challeng­ing venture. President Zia’s [Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq] vigorous appeal at the Casablanca Summit Con­ference for upholding Islamic ideals of freedom of belief as the basic creed for creating unity among the Muslims is a significant note. If Muslims can conform to this Islamic ideal in their thought and action, we are sure, the process of Isla­misation will be faster and will win greater consensus.

Unfortunately, our method of finding what is Islamic and what is not is not go­ing in the correct direction. We do not try to find out what guidance the Quran gives in a particular case, rather we wish to find out whether Quran supports our view in a particular situation or not. In this way we are not only limit­ing the teachings of the Holy Quran to a particular situation but are preventing chances of further development when new circumstances and situations crop up. This is something serious and can affect the process of Islamisation in the country. It also means that we are taking a narrow view of the eternal message of the Holy Quran.

While the present phase of Islamisa­tion is going on in the country some inte­resting discussions are found in the press on topics such as: What is the Islamic concept of democracy? What should be the Islamic mode of election? Whether a Presidential form of government is Isla­mic? Whether Islam allows existence of political parties? Whether according to Islam there should be a parliament elect­ed on the basis of adult franchise or it should a selective Majlis-i-Shoora [Consultative Council]? Whe­ther strike or hunger is Islamic or not? This trend of finding the verdict of Islam on each and every issue of social, eco­nomic and political nature will lead to complicated religious controversies. It will close avenues of rational thinking and adjudication which is essential for the smooth running of the process of Islami­sation in different phases of Muslim life in the country.

Human problems are different in different situations and environments. And so are their solutions. That is why the Quran has only explained the basic principles regarding man’s moral, so­cial and political life and has left the rest to the discretion of the Ummah to be decided on the basis of consensus. Therefore, it is essential that we care­fully guard the norms which can in­culcate the spirit of tolerance and unity among the Muslims. We wish President Zia’s emphasis on the spirit of tolerance and unity will take a more practical shape with­in the country. It is high time that we should stop stigmatising people for hold­ing different views and try to bring about unity and solidarity in the rank and file of Muslims within Pakistan and also in the Muslim world at large.