[Shamim A Siddiqi, New York]


The inevitable in Pakistan has happened. President Musharraf got the civilian set up as per his need and the liking of his “time-being masters” in the White House. The amount of maneuverings, arms twisting, political pressure, enticements and floor crossing that have taken place are now a part of history. It would be of no use to cry over the spilt milk. Musharraf is well settled in his power and position to serve the most selfish designs of the USA that are through and through anti-Islam and anti-Ummah. President Musharraf, inspiring in his inner-self to be the Ata Turk of Pakistan, has preferred to be the tool in the destruction of our centuries old hope and aspirations to see the emergence of an Islamic state in Pakistan or elsewhere in the Muslim world. The resurrecting hopes of Pakistan to become an Islamic State have been given a temporary burial at the least for the next five years, by the cunning hands of American diplomacy, self-centered selfish parochial approach of Benazir Bhutto and adamancy of military hierarchy not to return to barracks. And in its wake the Muslim Ummah is the only sufferer both at home in Pakistan and here in America where human rights violations in respect of Muslims have reached to a miserable climax.


However, the most “glaring and splendid outcome” of the melodrama played at Islamabad during the last one month since October elections is the emergence of MMA as the most “victorious” group in her “abortive” attempts to form the government with PML-Q. In this “effort” it has exposed the hidden game of the so-called “King’s Party”, the PPP and others that were playing dirty games of politics with MMA. The MMA has rightly resolved to sit in opposition for which it was destined right from the very outset. It has a big agenda to perform for the next five years. Had it joined the power, it could not do the job of awakening the people of the land to stand solidly for the Islamic revolution for which Pakistan was carved out of the subcontinent of India. In its place it would have shared the backlash of all the evil deeds of the military government and that of the “nominal” civil administration that has now been incorporated in Islamabad. Allah (SWT) has saved MMA from this “ignominious success” that would have ruined it for good. 


Mohtram Qazi Hussain Ahmad Sahib, Amir Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan and the leader of opposition, in his last Friday’s sermon at Mansoorah, Lahore, has lamented that had the people of the province of Punjab supported us [MMA], Islamic revolution would have taken place in Pakistan. But why the people of Punjab would have supported the Islamic parties? Had they made any genuine effort to reach out the people of the two majority provinces of Pakistan, Punjab and Sind? Has his party or the Ulama as a group work relentlessly at grass root level to educate the masses on Islamic lines and create an urge and a burning desire in their hearts and minds that there salvation lies only in transforming Pakistan into an Islamic state that guarantees their basic needs of life? If it was not done, his complaint and lamentation is nothing more than rhetoric. In fact, this is the onerous task that the Islamic parties have to do for the next five years throughout Pakistan, especially in Punjab and Sind. 


Allah (SWT) by denying their access to the “chair” of power has pinpointed the way for them to go in the field, meet the masses, educate them day and night and aspire them to live like “conscious Muslims and Muslimah”. It would then pave the way for the Islamic Parties to oust the predominant influence of Zamindars, Jagirdars and Vederas from the political firmament of Pakistan. The MMA and its constituent parties should be thankful to Allah that He has saved their skin from the wrath of His accountability, had they been pushed up to power without doing the ground work and preparing the base to rise to power. The task before the MMA, especially JIP, to do for the next five years is tremendous and is of paramount importance. Suggestively, they will have to work on these lines:


1.  At any cost, the Islamic parties must maintain the integrity and cohesiveness of MMA as a real working group both inside the Parliament and outside. They must be ever conscious not to play their differences in Fiqh, approaches and Maslak. The anti-Islam forces will try to find hole in their ranks and files by poking their nose through these differences. MMA must remain extremely vigilant in maintaining its unity and integrity that has brought them to success in elections.


2.  Besides working vigorously in Punjab and Sind on the lines suggested above, they will have to consolidate their position additionally in the Provinces of Balochistan and Frontier. The MMA has to capture the imagination of the masses of these areas and be the throbs of their hearts. These provinces constitute an extremely sensitive region. Their strategic position is very important in development both the political and economic alliances in future, especially when the USA has got almost a permanent hold of Afghanistan, staring towards Iran with bad eyes and has every intention to reach out the gas and oil rich areas of Central Asia. A paramount forceful presence of the Islamic forces in this region will make a gulf of difference.          


3.  While close to power bases and holding a respectable representation in the Parliament of Pakistan, they must use this opportunity to spell out to the secularist and liberal forces of the country and abroad in Europe and America that Islam is not what they have construed willfully and wrongfully but it is the savior of mankind and stands only for justice and peace. It would be in a position to open dialogues with different institutions, governmental and non-governmental agencies, public forums and important individuals around the world. For this momentous task, it has to build different teams of efficient Da’ees in important languages of the world to roam about with emulating character and effective Dawah literature in their hands. This is a gigantic task to create the requisite good will for Islam and get the tension and the mountains of doubts and misgivings against Islam and Islamic state reduced or removed to the maximum possible extent. In the present context of the world, it would go a long way in preparing the world to think Islam as an alternate way of life.


4.  Simultaneously, the leadership of MMA should and must undertake to visit different Muslim countries, develop personal contact with the Muslim leadership, both in power and public and convince them to organize their respective masses on the lines they will organize the Muslims of Pakistan. The urge for Islamic system must now be echoed from every land and region to make it a reality and a force that must be accepted by all our adversaries. The contemporary Muslim regimes that are behaving like stumbling blocks against the emergence of Islam as a political entity in their respective lands are to be exhorted and convinced to change their attitude about Islamic system or the masses will force them to go out. This is a very delicate task and the learned scholars and Ulama of Pakistan will have to undertake it with extreme care, caution and brotherhood feelings for each other. A united approach and struggle for the Islamic system of life is the need of the time. Alone Pakistan cannot hold the fort if struggle for Allah’s Deen is not resounded or displayed from every nook and corner of the Muslim world.


5.  Together with fighting along the aforesaid lines, it is equally important that the leadership of MMA must try to build at least one ideal Muslim community somewhere in Pakistan to serve as model for the non-Muslims world to visit and see by their naked eyes the blessings of Allah’s Deen in practice in this modern world. Islamic society does not exist anywhere. Some model communities must be built in Pakistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world where Islam will be visible in all walks of life of the people living in that community. It will help in removing a lot of misgivings about the practicality of Islam as a way of life in twenty first century.


6.   Equally it is important that the Islamic leadership should work hard in developing the Fiqh for the current millennium. Pakistan has the expertise in this respect. Islamic Shariah Court has already done a lot of work. Dr. Nijatullah Siddiqi and Dr. F. R. Faridi have elaborated the salient feature of this onerous task in their recent writings. In my humble way I have contributed a paper: “Issues and Challenges Confronting The Ummah.” It is available on my website: MMA leadership will have to take a lead and pool the talents of the Muslim world to present Islam in more acceptable form to the developed societies of the world in order to serve the growing needs of the modern age.


7.   This is not a wishful thinking. If MMA and its leadership, especially that of the Jamaat-e-Islami, is desirous to make Islam dominant in body politic of the country, it has to work hard on these lines to make Islam as the need and urgency of the Muslim Ummah and that of the world at large. It needs a lot of resources and that is to be procured by our Ulama by pooling the Zakah and Sadaqah Funds of the Muslim Ummah from Pakistan and elsewhere in the world. If Zakah is collected in an organized fashion, total needs of funds for the aforesaid projects and programs will be available in time. When the Ulama will give a religious decree to this effect, the Ummah will not hesitate to finance these projects overwhelmingly.


None can do this gigantic task except our learned Ulama and Islamic scholars. The leadership that constitutes MMA is ideally suitable to undertake this task as its primary objective. It appears to be its destiny and that is why Allah (SWT) has managed it to sit in the opposition, cooperate with the government for good [Ta’wanu Alal-Bir] and oppose where it is committing sin and injustices [wala Ta’wanu Alal isme wal udwan] and pilot the affairs of the Ummah in a very enlightened and sophisticated manner with wisdom and Hikmah.  Islamic parties of Pakistan have the manpower, a clear vision to establish the Deen of Allah in the body politic of the country and introduce it as an alternate way of life to the world community at large. This is the road map for the Islamic forces of Pakistan at least for the next five years to carry out with courage and a will to get the Deen of Allah introduced, spread and establish in the body politic of the day with love, persuasion, intelligence and exhortation where necessary. If they pursue this onerous task ahead of them for the pleasure of Allah, He will shower His infinite Mercy and bless all their moves with Barakah. May Allah bless the entire leadership of Islamic parties with courage, wisdom and Tawfeeq to undertake this program with the determination of a Mumin! 



Shamim A Siddiqi

November 25, 2002