Imamat has two aspects, one personality aspect and the other quality aspect. Muslims even today lay all the emphasis upon discussion about personalities; ignoring the importance of formulating the qualities and conditions, responsible for leadership on the basis of Quran, Sunat and profiles of Seerah. Muslims must come closer to constitute guide lines for an Islamic transformation and draw a bottom line for constitution of global Islamic State.
III Scientific approach to fight hegemony of west and emergence of an integrated Bloc:-
The physical location of the Muslim World stretching from North Africa to East Europe, all across South and Central Asia and parts of Far East has remained for centuries, the cradle of the greatest of civilizations, abode for great Prophets and a laboratory for research and scholarship.
Having geographically a great importance, the discovery of oil and gas assigned new meanings to politics, friendship, values, ethics, war and peace. As such, if Muslim World was consolidated on strong foundation of Islamic values and brotherhood, it would have definitely been in possession of power and vision, not to allow any body dictate terms and define the essence of humanity, ethics and freedom.
Unfortunately, the downfall of Ottoman caliphate due to internal hatred among various sects of Muslims, almost all across the Muslim lands, led the Western colonial powers and enemies of Islam to disintegrate and destabilize the Ummah; thereby fulfilling their malicious designs, making the historians record the end of Ottoman caliphate. The event generated chaos, confusion and sense of insecurity and fear all across the Muslim World.
The segregation and disintegration of Ummah began with the breath taking slogans of Nation and Nationhood. A wave of Nationalism which was once used by the Europeans against the tyranny of Church, among their own nations, now swept the Muslim World and was portrayed by the colonial players for Arabs, as a token of liberty from Non-Arab (firstly ottoman subsequently others) control and preservation of their Arab superiority over Non-Arabs.
The aftermath of Second World War was seen as the occupation of Muslim lands by the colonialists and the resistance movements against such occupations were not free from nationalistic ideals. If and when any Islamic movement emerged, was combated by nationalist sentiments.
Amidst this chaos and confusion, one would blame another. Some scholars advocated secularism as a solution. Islam in their view was having no dynamics to respond to newly emerged challenges. In the course of time, the success of industrial revolution and renaissance in Europe put the Muslim World on receiving end. But in later part of 20th century, many scholars studying the reasons of decline came up with the concrete vision and formulae for reconstitution and restructuring of Ummah. Amongst them, Imam Hassan Al-Bana, Syed Qutub, Imam Musa Sadr, Syed Jamalu-ud-din Afgani, Allama Moudodi, Allama Iqbal, Imam Khomeini and Ayatulla, Baqir-us-Sadr took the lead and provided guidance for returning the Ummah back to the state of its glory and integrity. In the light of their thoughts, it is useful to discuss some of the most important factors, which if taken as a bottom line, hope shall be generated for the consolidation of Ummah in near future.
Concrete principles are available for unity among various schools of Islamic thought and jurisprudence. On social and individual levels, they can provide guidelines on the basis of fundamental principles of Tawheed (Belief in only creator-Allah), Risalat-wa-Khatmi Nabuw-wat ,(Belief in Prophet Hood and seal of Prophet Hood), Aakhirat (Belief in hereafter, the day of resurrection), Quran and Sunnah (the traditions of Prophet Mohammad ‘SAWW).
There is need and scope for Mufasireen (commentators of Quran) and Muhadiseen (traditionalists) to sit together, where an analysis of the Prophet’s (SAWW) traditions would be taken up and a multidimentional discourse could be arranged, in order to arrive at an agreement upon Sunnah guide lines, which could parameters for framing a constitution for an Islamic State.
In addition to the harmonized prime level of basic principles, secondary differences could be included and introduced as and “personnel laws”, among the Muslims as a whole, and for the related schools of thought in a particular country. Making the idea elaborative, let us propose the set of laws (constitution) in two parts:
These shall be comprised of two sets,
Articles of the constitution based on bottom line viz (i) Fundamental beliefs and principles, (ii) Basic rights, guarantees and responsibilities.
Personnel laws, related to Fiqh (adopted by individual family).
[Main stream fiqhs among Muslims being four among Sunis viz Hanafia, Malikia, Shafiea, Hambalia (inclusive of Ahli Hadees pattern of fiqh application) and one vastly introduced among Shias viz Imamia (Jafferia).
Pattern and procedures of running the government, in reference to: (I) nature of society (II) cultural dimensions of the communities/community and country (iii) contemporary relations and issues (concerned ZAMAN-WA-MAKAN; to given time and place). This part of by legislation could be termed as “social laws”.
Now in a country, where Suni Muslims are in absolute majority say 90% or more, there the variable factors (social laws) could be introduced on the pattern of “Shaikhain” (R.U.) and the related experiences on that profile. Here reference to Shaheed Ayatullah Baqirus-Sadar of Iraq (R.A.) great mujtahid/writer of many Islamic books on basic Islamic issues like, Islamic Bank, Iqtisaduna, Falsafatuna etc) would be exemplary who had said about Egypt, “If they frame an Islamic Government there with a guarantee for basic principles and personnel (fiqh) laws, on the pattern of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) and Hazrat Umer (R.A.) we shall fully co-operate”. Similar instance will be followed in a country, where Shia Muslims are in absolute majority, in case of “variable factors”.
But such practice cannot practically be held responsive and effective in such countries/societies, where various sects are, more or less in good numbers, living in a composite society. There keeping the “constant factors” in tact, let various such schools, frame a set of ‘social Bylaws’ together (based on bottom line) through a constituting forum of ullamas and experts (from concerned constituent sects) by the instrument of “Ijtihad”.
ENTER INTO SCHOLARLY DISCUSSIONS
Again, wherever it could be necessary among Ulema to enter into scholarly discussions and dialogue with an intention of constituting bylaws for reform, the Quranic verdict should be adopted as real measure, specifying Hikmah (reasonable approach), Mouiza-e-Hassana (proper discourse) and Jidal-e-Ahsan (beautiful way of argumentation). In a country, where (absolute) majority adheres to a particular school of thought (as cited above under the definition of constitution), personnel laws in favour of minority school ought to be guaranteed, wherever the differences arise. (It is evident after going through the Fiqh of five prevailing schools that about 50 to 70% umoomi Masail of deliberations addressing matters of common concern for Muslim are similar or closely resembling between two or more schools). Non-Muslim minorities living in a Muslim state should be, as guaranteed in Islam, provided with religious freedom; however necessary laws, for safe guarding the basic human values need to be framed/implemented. [ to be concluded ]
By : GHULAM ALI GULZAR
[ Ed. Note : Author of more than 40 books, the writer of this series is a renowned scholar, poet, social worker and intellectual. For the last so many decades he has been very actively working for the unity of Ummah in troubled Kashmir. Comments about this series are invited from the worthy readers, which can be mailed at : monthlycrescent @ gmail.com – Editor]