Secularism does not mean atheism or la-deeniat


Here are two excellent articles on this topic. The first one has been written by Anand Krishan in Indonesian context, and the second one by Munno Bhai in Pakistani context.

Promoting faith-based secularism

Anand Krishna
Jakarta – 01/18/2010

When the British writer George Holyoake first used the term secularism in 1851, he likely had no idea that his brainchild would be so dreaded by so many prominent religious establishments.

In our country, the Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI) issued an edict on July 29, 2005, declaring as haram (forbidden in Islam) the idea of secularism, saying it was “opposed to the teachings of Islam”.

But what did Holyoake himself think of secularism? “Secularism is not an argument against Christianity, it is one independent of it. It does not question the pretensions of Christianity; it advances others.”

“Christianity” here certainly does not pertain to the Christian church alone, but to all other churches and religious establishments as well. If we can read between the lines, what Holyoake is trying to say is this: Secularism does not question the pretensions of any particular religion, but also does not endorse any. It is open to all religions, and respects the pretensions of each one of them.

I see this as a sincere acknowledgement of diversity and its true celebration. And this is how the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, sees it.

In his remarks during the closing plenary of the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions Convention in Melbourne on Dec. 9, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate defended secularism as an idea not opposed to religion. Indeed, in his own words, “secularism respects all religions.”

He cited India as an exemplary secular state. Indians, however, are not nonreligious or faithless people. They represent all major faiths, including the faith of the minority Zarathustrians from Persia, persecuted in their own homeland.

The Dalai Lama sees secularism as a force and hope for a better world, where no one claims to be holier and better than any other. It is a force that can unite peoples of different faiths (not only religions) to work together for the betterment of their respective nations and the world.

Yes, secularism respects all faiths, and not just the established and well-known world religions.

Secularism equally honors the faiths of those who have been marginalized and often persecuted in the name of religion, and by the “religious” majority.

It was very disheartening to listen to the stories of Australian Aborigines and the Native Americans, where the faiths of their ancestors are seen as anti-development and anti-progress.

Bob Randall, an Australian Aborigine leader, questioned our sanity during the convention: “Your scriptures speak of love, but where is it in practice? Where is it in your daily lives?”

The Kanyini faith kept alive by “Uncle” Bob and his community may not conceive God as we, the so-called “religious”, do. But it certainly upholds unconditional love for one and all. The man, in his seventies now, holds no grudge against those who have deprived them of their basic rights. Instead, he invites them to harmonious living in the spirit of togetherness.

Must we first enforce our brand of religion or belief system upon people such as Uncle Bob, before acknowledging their basic civil and social rights?

What if someone does not believe in the concept of God as we do? What do we call them? Do we call them atheist or nonreligious?

Derived from the Greek a theos, the word “atheist” actually means “without any concept of theo, or god”. The Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, did not have any concept of God. However, dharma, the good and goodliness, was conceived by him as eternal (Esa Dhammo Sanantano), just as the god of our concept. So what do we call him? An atheist?

What is religion? From the Latin, re ligare means rebinding, reuniting or retying. One may very grossly define it as binding to a set of dogmas and doctrines, or tying to a certain church or institution. The Buddha called it sangha, or togetherness, coming together.

One may also understand this as returning to the self within — the spark of god (using our common and more popular term) within each one of us. The Buddha called it the awakening. Was the Buddha not religious?

Sufi Hazrat Inayat Khan once met a young, intelligent and very well-mannered boy who claimed to be an atheist. The master commented, “But you must have some kind of faith.”

The youth answered, “Yes, I have faith in myself.”

“That is it,” the Sufi master chuckled, “we are both men of faith.”

Day after day, listening to the speakers at the Melbourne convention, I began to question our sanity in calling others faithless. I yet have to meet a faithless person.

It was very disappointing, therefore, to see many of the “big” world leaders gathered at the convention still clinging to their “little” boxes. The community night organized with the good intention of getting to know each other turned out to be more disappointing, as people belonging to certain religions remained in their respective boxes. Instead of interacting with others of different religions, they chose to stick together.

Our 12-member group, representing six religions and two indigenous beliefs, were mistakenly put in one of the boxes. We considered the mistake a blessing and looked forward to interacting with the people of that particular box. But alas, they were not willing to “host people belonging to different religions”. What a joke! And this was at the Parliament of World’s Religions Convention held every five years.

The Dalai Lama suggested that we, the so-called religious and believers, reach out to those we consider nonbelievers with equal love and compassion. The coming together of the entire world and all people is our only hope for a better and peaceful world.

One may follow a popular religion endorsed by the majority, or any other non-endorsed belief system or faith — we are all still one. Humankind is one. We need to develop a faith-based secularism that respects all kinds of differences among us. This is spirituality.

The writer is a spiritual activist and author of more than 130 books. He spoke on “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika for the World” at the Melbourne Convention (

Source: Jakarta Post

Secularism is not against Islam

An impression prevails among Muslims in general and ulema in particular that secularism is against Islam and that Islam is incompatible with democracy. There is, however, no written or historical evidence in Islamic literature or history to substantiate this view. This general belief is a result of deliberate attempt by the Islamic orthodoxy to create suspicion and hostile sentiments amongst Muslim masses against these concepts so that they are able to keep their hold over their minds and block the path of Ijtehad, progress and modernisation of Muslim societies.
Unfortunately, contrary to the vision of the founders of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam, and Allama Iqbal, who wanted it to be a multicultural, tolerant, democratic and progressive state, ulema who had opposed its creation want it to be a theocracy and even a mention of the word ‘secular’ in Pakistan’s context makes them react violently.
In this backdrop it is essential to examine the meaning of the word ‘secular’ to determine if it really means what our ulema think it means with a hope that it will lead to its adoption in Pakistan’s polity and end the problem of communal hatred and violence that has plagued Pakistan throughout its existence, particularly during the last 30 years.
The common and prevalent meaning of the word ‘secular’ in the dictionaries of all the major languages of the Muslims — Urdu, Arabic, Turkish and Persian — is “ladeenia”, “ghair mazhabee”, or irreligious and against religion. In contrast, none of the western dictionaries of English, French, Spanish and Russian, etc., give this meaning to the word secular. They all give the following meanings: (1) of or relating to the world or temporal as distinguished from spiritual, (2) of or relating to the state as distinguished from the Church and (3) not formally related or controlled by a religious body.
In practice, all western countries allow complete freedom and equality to all religions. Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Parsees and followers of all other religions are allowed to build their places of worship and pray the way they like without interference from the state. This freedom is constitutionally guaranteed to them and protected by the judiciary.
To sum up, we see three main features of western secularism: (1) freedom of religion, i.e., no compulsion on beliefs; (2) equal status for all religions; (3) no interference by the state in religious matters or by the church in the affairs of the state or separation of the state and the church.
Now let us compare this with the 1400-year old teachings of Islam and the Sunnah of the holy Prophet (saw). In view of the constraint of space only one example of each is given here. As regards the first point, the Quran says in no uncertain terms “there is no compulsion in religion” (Al-Baqra 2: 256) and tell the non-believers “to you be your religion, and to me my religion”, (Surah Al-Kafroon 109). On the second point, it tells the Prophet to tell others that “we (Muslims) make no distinction between various prophets” (2: 136). On the third, it tells the Prophet and “those who believe (Muslims) and those who are Jews and Christians and Sabians (star worshippers)… all those who believe in Allah and do good deeds, will be rewarded on the day of Judgment (Al-Baqra 2:62). The Quran also repeatedly tells the Prophet that he had been sent only as a messenger and warner and not as the guardian of any one’s faith, “and you (O Muhammad) are not a guardian over them” Al-Shura 42:6.
Accordingly, one of the first major decisions the Prophet took as the ruler of the Islamic state of Medina was to sign a covenant “Meesaq-e-Medina” with the Jews and others, which guaranteed them complete freedom of religion and equality with Muslims. In his book The Spirit of Islam, Ameer Ali quotes the following from the book of Al Hisham: “The Jews who attach themselves to our commonwealth shall be protected from insults and vexations, they shall have an equal right with our own people to our assistance and good offices. The Jews of various branches shall form with the Muslims one complete nation. They shall practise their religion as freely as Muslims, their allies and clients shall enjoy security and freedom”.
Later when the Prophet conquered Makkah in 630 CE he granted amnesty to all its residents and did not force any one to convert or die. It is true that Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) declared war on the renegades of Hijaz who wanted to create chaos and anarchy on the death of the Prophet (saw) but he did not show intolerance towards the people of other faiths. And Caliph Umar (RA) declined to pray in the Church of Sepulcher, though asked to do so by the Archbishop of Jerusalem, on the ground that later Muslims may turn it into a mosque (The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong). Thus Islam is the first and perhaps the only religion to preach and practise secularism during the lifetime of the Prophet and Khulfa-e-Rashedin when it was at the height of its power and could have forced itself on the people of other religions.
Similarly in regard to democracy the western perception that Islam is incompatible with democracy is actually based on the fact that a few Islamic countries today practise democracy. But that has nothing to do with Islam which shows a preference for democracy over other forms of government. This is evident from the fact that the Prophet was chosen as ruler of Medina by its people. He had not conquered the city and imposed himself as a ruler. Then he never took the title of king even after he had conquered the city of Makkah and brought all of Hijaz under his rule.
Secondly, Allah did not instruct him to nominate his successor before his death as He had done, according to Torah/the Old Testament, in the case of Joshua before the death of Hazrat Musa (AS) and latter in the case of Saul and David (Hazrat Daud AS). Thirdly, the Prophet himself did not nominate a successor though he could have easily done so and left it to the people to select his successor.
Fourthly, the first four caliphs of Islam were chosen by the people or their representatives and none of them was anointed king or tried to establish a dynasty by appointing his son his successor. This practice was changed by Hazrat Muawwiya, who became the fifth caliph after Hazrat Ali (RA) and appointed his son Yazid as his successor in his own life time.
In comparison to Islam, the two other Abrahamic religions, Judaism and Christianity, were highly intolerant of the people of other religions. The Torah and Jewish history is full of stories of killings of the people of other faiths by the believers who had even crucified Jesus Christ on the charge of blasphemy though he was only trying to reform Judaism which had been highly corrupted by its religious leaders.
In turn, the Christians, once they had gained power following the conversion of Roman Emperor Constantine in 323 CE, began to take revenge and persecuted the Jews for over two thousand years until the Second World War (1939-45).
The Christians also acted with great cruelty and barbarity towards the Muslims during the Crusades. Western Christian historians have themselves given graphic accounts of the merciless killings and raping of hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Jews and wholesale pillage of their cities. Even today, in this age of enlightenment and human rights, Israel has been killing tens of thousands of Palestinians irrespective of their age and gender and destroying their properties indiscriminately.
To sum up, Islam was the first religion to preach and practise secularism as far back as the 7th century CE when the law of the jungle was the norm of the day. Therefore, it is a great irony that the very people who consider themselves its guardians should denounce secularism as “la-deeniat”. Similarly, Islam is not incompatible with democracy and, though it has not prescribed any political system, it favours selection of rulers by people, which is the most important characteristic of democratic system .
Finally, the history of Christianity and our own history should leave us in no doubt that only secularism will help us rid of sectarian and communal strife that has played a major role in making Islam weak and ineffective as it is today.

Secularism aur La Deeni Nizaam – by Munno Bhai

Source: Jang


9 responses to “Secularism does not mean atheism or la-deeniat”

  1. A relevant discussion in Dawn (January 2006):

    Religion a collective matter

    MR S. Qadri (Jan 20) and people like him who believe that secularism means ‘la deeniat’ need to change their definition of secularism.

    I would like to give few examples to explain the term secular as is understood in the UK. Recently the UK government helped to finance the building of a mosque and community centre for the local Bangladeshi community. I am still waiting to hear of the government of Pakistan financing the building of a church or temple. In Germany, the government has been helping the Turks build mosques and community centres and the same is true of France, Belgium, the Netherlands and almost all other EU countries. This is true in Canada, Australia and America as well.

    Mr Qadri needs to contact the Muslim mosques there and they would tell him the way the government and local agencies have been helping them. This is what secularism is, which is that a state does not support any one religion or group.

    I would like to suggest to Mr Qadri that rather than blaming women for apparently inciting passions and unwarranted feelings in men, men need to control their ‘passions’. In any case, if the government’s job is to control Muslim women it should be to control the men as well. The best solution to it is that all Muslims whether men or women should war burqa/hijab.

    Leeds, UK

    Religion is a collective matter

    APROPOS of the rejoinders of Mr Ashar J. Khokhar and Ms Rukhsana Khan (Jan 26) to my letter (Jan 20), the following comments are offered:

    Mr Khokhar, while contending that secularism does not mean “la deeniat”, has cited examples from his country of residence, the UK, to explain the term. Let me quote the opinion of the well-known British writer, Ms Karen Armstrong, who used to be a nun and wrote books on Christianity until she encountered some sufis in Central Asia that radically changed her thinking. After that, she studied Islam and started writing books on it, beginning with a biography of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) which is a real labour of love.

    Discussing Europe’s “enlightenment” in her book, A History of God, she explains that by the end of the 18th century Europe had begun to dominate the world (due to its technological advancement) and tried to colonize as much of it as possible. With this, the process of westernization had begun, along with the cult of secularism “that claimed independence of God”. Many other western writers and commentators, too, have acknowledged that secularism is indeed godlessness.

    She further writes: “My study of the history of religion has revealed that human beings are spiritual animals. Indeed, there is a case for arguing that Homo sapiens is also Homo religiosus….(Religion) was not tacked on to a primordially secular nature by manipulative kings and priests but was natural to humanity. Indeed, our current secularism is an entirely new experiment, unprecedented in human history. We have yet to see how it will work.”

    From her deep understanding of both culture and religion, she has shown that man is religious and spiritual by nature. So, why try to impose something unnatural on him, whose benefits have not even been proved yet?

    Now, let us also consider the views of another British writer and convert, Mr Gai Eaton, who was raised as an agnostic, about the centrality of belief (in God) to Islam.

    “Islam, (is) a religion which treats the distinction between belief and unbelief as the most fundamental of all possible distinctions, comparable on the physical level to that between the sighted and the blind…. We do not seek for an adequate description of a landscape from a blind man …. In Islam every aspect of human life, every thought and every action, is shaped and evaluated in the light of the basic article of faith. Remove this linchpin and the whole structure falls apart (“Islam and the Destiny of Man”)”.

    It may also be noted that thousands of upper-class Britons are said to have embraced Islam after reading this book but unfortunately many Muslims unappreciative of the value of their faith are trying to push us into the same trap these truly enlightened people are warning us about. The western secularists, blind as they are to spiritual realities, are arrogantly misleading themselves and the rest of the world by trying to eliminate or weaken the importance of the most fundamental pillar of Islam, which is belief in God.

    Regrettably, Ms Khan has considered the invocation of Islam in dealing with “huqooq-ul ibad” as “muddying them up”. Another noted western convert to this great religion has begun one of his books by quoting the Quranic verse, “God is the Light of the heavens and of the earth.” By explaining things in the light of His words, one can’t muddy the subject matter but only enlighten it.

    S. QADRI

    from Letter to Danbury Baptists by Thomas Jefferson:
    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.

  3. Secularism is the most misunderstood term ever and People of Pakistan cannot differentiate between Secularism and Atheism whereas Secularism can keep Pakistan united e.g.

    In my opinion Pakistan can only be run peacefully if it is to be run et all then it must be run through an Strictly Secular Constitutional System otherwise be prepare for another Yugoslavia of 90s, Lebanon of 70s and 80s or latest Iraq. Those who claim that Jinnah wanted an Islamic State should know about Jinnah that he was an Ismaili [in his early life as per the record of Bombay High Court] and then converted to Shiaism [as per Sindh High Court Record more references are given at the end with excerpts from a books].

    Just assume that Pakistan is going to be an Islamic State [in a literal and real sense] then what School of thought will govern the country [just imagine the mess Deobandis hates Barelvis, Shia and Wahaabis, Wahaabis hate Deobandis, Barelvis, Shias, Barelvis hates Deobandis, Wahaabis but they dont hate Shia as much above all if Jamat-e-Islami is allowed to run then all those mentioned above hate Jamat-e-Islami to extreme].

    We are in a soup for big time. Assume that Jinnah wanted Theocratic Country then it would have been a Rafizi Pakistan. I am posting the entire history below read and you all decide tha should Pakistan be run on Secular Ideology or Islamic Ideology? I vote for Strictly and Pure Secular Pakistan.


    On 24 September 1948, after the demise of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, his sister Fatimah Jinnah and the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, submitted a jointly signed petition at the Karachi High Court, describing Jinnah as ‘Shia Khoja Mohamedan’ and praying that his will may be disposed of under Shia inheritance law. On 6 February, 1968 after Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah’’ demise the previous year, her sister Shirin Bai, moved an application at the High Court claiming Fatimah Jinnah’s property under the Shia inheritance law on grounds that the deceased was a Shia. As per Mr. I. H. Ispahani who was a family friend of Jinnah, revealed that Jinnah had himself told him in 1936 that he and his family had converted to Shiism after his return from England in 1894. He said that Jinnah had married Ruttie Bai according to the Shia ritual during which she was represented by a Shia scholar of Bombay, and Jinnah was represented by his Shia friend, Raja Sahib of Mehmoodabad. He however conceded that Jinnah was opposed in Bombay elections by a Shia Conference canditate. Ispahani was present when Miss Fatima Jinnah died in 1967. He himself arranged the Ghusl and Janaza {Funeral Bath and Funeral} for her at Mohatta Palace according to the Shia Ritual before handing over the body to the state. Her Sunni Namaz-e-Janaza was held later at Polo Ground, Karachi after which she was buried next to her brother at a spot chosen by Ispahani inside the mausoleum. Ritualistic Shia talqin (last advice to the deceased) was done after her dead body was lowered into the grave. (Jinnah had arranged for talqin for Ruttie Bai too when she died in 1929). Allama Syed Anisul Husnain, a Shia scholar, deposed that he had arranged the gusl of the Quaid on the instructions of Miss Fatimah Jinah. He led his Namaz-e-Janaza in a room of the Governor General’s House at which such luminaries as Yousuf Haroon, Hashim Raza, and Aftab Hatim Alvi were present, while Liaquat Ali Khan waited outside the room. After the Shia ritual, the body was handed over to the state and Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani, an alim belonging to Deoband school of thought known for its anti-Shia belief, read his Janaza according the Sunni ritual at the ground where the mausoleum was later constructed. Other witnesses confirmed that after the demise of Miss Fatimah Jinnah, alam and panja (two Shia symbols) were discovered from her residence, Mohatta Palace. Despite all this Jinnah kept himself away from Shia politics. He was not a Shia; he was also not a Sunni; he was simply a Muslim.

    [PAKISTAN: Behind the Ideological Mask (Facts About Great Men We Don’t Want to Know) by Khaled Ahmed, published by VANGUARD Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. The Murder of History: A critique of history textbooks used in Pakistan by K.K. Aziz, published by VANGUARD Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad].

    Three months before the partition of the subcontinent, in an interview with Doon Campbell of Reuters, Jinnah firmly stated: “The new state will be a modern democratic state with sovereignty resting in the people and the members of the new nation having equal rights of citizenship regardless of religion, caste or creed.” He repeated this on August 11, 1947, whilst addressing the members of his Constituent Assembly, making it doubly clear to them that religion is not the business of the state. He told them: “You are free, free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

    On August 11, 1947, before the flag of Pakistan had even been unfurled, Jinnah told his people and their future legislators:

    “You are free, free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State.

    Jinnah addressed his Constituent Assembly at Karachi. He told the future legislators :

    “. . . . . . . you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state.

    “Well, gentlemen, I do not wish to take up any more of your time and thank you again for the honour you have done to me. I shall always be guided by the principles of justice and fair play without any, as is put in political language, prejudice or ill-will, in other words, partiality or favouritism. My guiding principle will be justice and complete impartiality, and I am sure that with your support and cooperation I can look forward to Pakistan becoming one of the greatest
    nations of the world.”

    Indian Congresswoman and poet, Mrs Sarojini Naidu, after meeting Jinnah for the first time at the 1906 annual session of Congress held at Calcutta.

    Now to what Mohammed Ali Jinnah had to say on the future constitution of Pakistan in his broadcast to the American people in February 1948: “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. Islam has taught the equality of men, justice and fairplay to everybody. We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as framers of the 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. 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. ”

    Jinnah’s views against mixing religion with politics

    “Jinnah left the Home Rule League and the Congress after Gandhi took them over because he (Jinnah) strongly disapproved of the introduction of religion into politics by Gandhi, and because he disapproved equally strongly of unconstitutional means to secure swaraj.” H.M. Seervai — Legend and Reality, p.169

    “Jinnah had told him that he (Gandhi) had ruined politics in India by dragging up a lot of unwholesome elements in Indian life and giving them political prominence, that it was a crime to mix up politics and religion the way he (Gandhi) had done.” Transfer of Power Documents, Vol.VI, p. 617

    “Jinnah, however, warned Gandhiji not to encourage the fanaticism of Muslim religious leaders and their followers. Indeed, he was not the only person who foresaw danger in the Khilafat Movement.” K.M. Munshi, Pilgrimage to Freedom — p. 22

    “Jinnah made it clear, however, that he had no intention of playing the role of an Islamic Khalifah. As Pakistan’s Governor-General, he intended to see to it that all its citizens, irrespective of religious or cultural orientation, were, politically and before the law, similar and equal.” The Pakistan in the Twentieth Century — A Political History by Lawrence Ziring – pp. 66, 67

    “Jinnah’s insistence on balance and fairness to all, irrespective of religious persuasion or cultural
    identity, projected a secular approach that was now obscured in the Muslim League’s struggle to achieve parity with the Congress.” Ibid, p. 39

    “Jinnah, the ‘ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity’, had worked hard to get the Congress and the League to co-operate and deplored the opportunistic alliance between the Mahatma and the Khilafat Muslims.” The Sole Spokesman — Jinnah, the Muslim League, and the Demand for Pakistan by Ayesha Jalal — pp. 8, 9

    Quaid-e-Azam never referred to Pakistan as “Islamic Republic” but as the “State of Pakistan,” “Sovereign State of Pakistan,” “Dominion of Pakistan” or “Federal Republic of Pakistan”.

    Pakistan not to be a theocratic state

    “Will Pakistan be a secular or theocratic state? You are asking me a question that is absurd. I do not know what a theocratic state means.” Jinnah’s press conference in New Delhi on July 14, 1947, Jinnah — Speeches and Statements 1947-1949, Oxford University Press, p.15

    “But make no mistake: Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it…” Jinnah’s address to the people of Australia on Feb. 19,1948 — Ibid, p.118

    “In any case, Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State–to be ruled by priests with a divine mission.” Jinnah’s address to the people of the United States of America in February 1948, Ibid, p.125

    Equal status, and rights, and protection to minorities

    “Minorities, to whichever community they may belong, will be safeguarded. Their religion or faith or belief will be secure. There will be no interference of any kind with their freedom of worship. They will have their protection with regard to their religion, faith, their life, their culture. They will be, in all respects, the citizens of Pakistan without any distinction of caste or creed”. Jinnah’s press conference in New Delhi on 14th July 1947, Ibid, p. 13

    “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed–that has nothing to do with the business of the State”. Jinnah’s presidential address to the Constituent Assembly on Aug.11, 1947.

    “Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.” Ibid.

    “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.” Jinnah’s address to the people of the United States on February 1948, p.125

    Almost all authors of the books on the Quaid-e-Azam, including Stanley Wolpert, Lawrence Ziring, Ayesha Jalal, H.M. Seervai and K.M. Munshi, substantiate and support the view that the Quaid was himself secular and always wanted Pakistan to be a secular state.

  4. Ulema and Pakistan Movement

    Muslim religious organisations of the sub-continent –Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, Majlis-i- Ahrar- i-Islam and Jamat-i-Islami [1]– were politically very active during the struggle for Pakistan but all of them opposed tooth and nail the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims. The opposition of Jamiat and Ahrar was on the plea that Pakistan was essentially a territorial concept and thus alien to the philosophy of Islamic brotherhood, which was universal in character. Nationalism was an un-Islamic concept for them but at the same time they supported the CongressParty’ s idea of Indian nationalism which the Muslim political leadership considered as accepting perpetual domination of Hindu majority. Jamat-i-Islami reacted to the idea of Pakistan in a complex manner. It rejected both the nationalist Ulema’s concept of nationalism as well as the Muslim League’s demand for a separate homeland for the Muslims.

    The most noteworthy feature of the struggle for Pakistan is that its leadership came almost entirely from the Western-educated Muslim professionals. The Ulema remained, by and large, hostile to the idea of a Muslim national state. But during the mass contact campaign, which began around 1943, the Muslim League abandoned its quaint constitutionalist and legalist image in favor of Muslim populism which drew heavily on Islamic values. Wild promises were made of restoring the glory of Islam in the future Muslim state. As a consequence, many religious divines and some respected Ulema were won over.[2]

    The Muslim political leadership believed that the Ulema were not capable of giving a correct lead in politics to the Muslims because of their exclusively traditional education and complete ignorance of the complexities of modern life. It, therefore, pleaded that the Ulema should confine their sphere of activity to religion since they did not understand the nature of politics of the twentieth century.

    It was really unfortunate that the Ulema, in general and the Darul Ulum Deoband in particular, understood Islam primarily in a legal form. Their medieval conception of the Shariah remained unchanged, orthodox and traditional in toto and they accepted it as finished goods manufactured centuries ago by men like (Imam) Abu Hanifa and Abu Yusuf. Their scholasticism, couched in the old categories of thought, barred them from creative thinking and properly understanding the problems, social or philosophical, confronting the Muslim society in a post-feudal era. They were intellectually ill-equipped to comprehend the crisis Islam had to face in the twentieth century. [3]

    The struggle for Pakistan — to establish a distinct identity of Muslims — was virtually a secular
    campaign led by men of politics rather than religion and Mohammad Ali Jinnah and his lieutenants such as Liaquat Ali Khan who won Pakistan despite opposition by most of the Ulema.

    Jinnah was continuously harassed by the Ulema, particularly by those with Congress orientation. They stood for status quo as far as Islam and Muslims were concerned, and regarded new ideas such as the two nation theory, the concept of Muslim nationhood and the territorial specification of Islam through the establishment of Pakistan as innovations which they were not prepared to accept under any circumstance. It was in this background that Jinnah pointed out to the students of the Muslim University Union: “What the League has done is to set you free from the reactionary elements of Muslims and to create the opinion that those who play their selfish game are traitors. It has certainly freed you from that undesirable element of Molvis and Maulanas. I am not speaking of Molvis as a whole class. There are some of them who are as patriotic and sincere as any other, but there is a section of them which is undesirable. Having freed ourselves from the clutches of the British Government, the Congress, the reactionaries and so-called Molvis, may I appeal to the youth to emancipate our women. This is essential. I do not mean that we are to ape the evils of the West. What I mean is that they must share our life not only social but also political.” [4]

    The history of the Ulema in the sub-continent has been one of their perpetual conflict with intelligentsia. The Ulema opposed Sir Syed Ahmad Khan when he tried to rally the Muslims in 1857. Nearly a hundred of them, including Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, the leading light of Deoband, ruled that it was unlawful to join the Patriotic Association founded by him. However, the Muslim community proved wiser than the religious elite and decided to follow the political lead given by Sir Syed Ahmad.

    The conflict between conservative Ulema and political Muslim leadership came to a head during the struggle for Pakistan when a number of Ulema openly opposed the Quaid-i-Azam and denounced the concept of Pakistan. It is an irony of history that Jinnah in his own days, like Sir Syed Ahmad before him, faced the opposition of the Ulema.

    The Ahrar Ulema — Ataullah Shah Bukhari, Habibur Rahman Ludhianawi and Mazhar Ali Azhar – seldom mentioned the Quaid-i-Azam by his correct name which was always distorted. Mazhar Ali Azhar used the insulting sobriquet Kafir-i-Azam (the great unbeliever) for Quaid-i-Azam. One of the resolutions passed by the Working Committee of the Majlis-i-Ahrar which met in Delhi on 3rd March 1940, disapproved of Pakistan plan, and in some subsequent speeches of the Ahrar leaders Pakistan was dubbed as “palidistan” . The authorship of the following couplet is attributed to Maulana Mazhar Ali Azhar, a leading personality of the Ahrar:

    Ik Kafira Ke Waste Islam ko Chhora

    Yeh Quaid-i-Azam hai Ke hai Kafir-i-Azam. [6]

    (He abandoned Islam for the sake of a non-believer woman [7], he is a great leader or a great

    During the struggle for Pakistan, the Ahrar were flinging foul abuse on all the leading personalities of the Muslim League and accusing them of leading un-Islamic lives. Islam was with them a weapon which they could drop and pick up at pleasure to discomfit a political adversary. Religion was a private affair in their dealings with the Congress and nationalism their ideology. But when they were pitted against the Muslim League, their sole consideration was Islam. They said that the Muslim League was not only indifferent to Islam but an enemy of it.

    After independence, the Ahrar leaders came to Pakistan. But before coming, the All India Majlis-i-Ahrar passed a resolution dissolving their organization and advising the Muslims to accept
    Maulana Azad as their leader and join the Congress Party.[8]

    The Jamat-i-Islami was also opposed to the idea of Pakistan which it described as Na Pakistan (not pure).

    In none of the writings of the Jama’at is to be found the remotest reference in support of the demand for Pakistan. The pre-independence views of Maulana Abul Ala Maududi, the founder of the Jamat-i-Islami were quite definite:

    “Among Indian Muslims today we find two kinds of nationalists: the Nationalists Muslims, namely those who in spite of their being Muslims believe in Indian Nationalism and worship it; and the Muslims Nationalist: namely those who are little concerned with Islam and its principles and aims, but are concerned with the individuality and the political and economic interests of that nation which has come to exist by the name of Muslim, and they are so concerned only because of their accidence of birth in that nation. From the Islamic viewpoint both these types of nationalists were equally misled, for Islam enjoins faith in truth only; it does not permit any kind of nation-worshipping at all.[9]

    Maulana Maududi was of the view that the form of government in the new Muslim state, if it ever came into existence, could only be secular. In a speech shortly before partition he said: “Why should we foolishly waste our time in expediting the so-called Muslim-nation state and fritter away our energies in setting it up, when we know that it will not only be useless for our purposes, but will rather prove an obstacle in our path.” [10]

    Paradoxically, Maulana Maududi’s writings played an important role in convincing the Muslim intelligentsia that the concept of united nationalism was suicidal for the Muslims but his reaction to the Pakistan movement was complex and contradictory. When asked to cooperate with the Muslim League he replied: “Please do not think that I do not want to participate in this work because of any differences, my difficulty is that I do not see how I can participate because partial remedies do not appeal to my mind and I have never been interested in patch work.”[11]

    He had opposed the idea of united nationhood because he was convinced that the Muslims would be drawn away from Islam if they agreed to merge themselves in the Indian milieu. He was interested more in Islam than in Muslims: because Muslims were Muslims not because they belonged to a communal or a national entity but because they believed in Islam. The first priority, therefore, in his mind was that Muslim loyalty to Islam should be strengthened. This could be done only by a body of Muslims who did sincerely believe in Islam and did not pay only lip service to it. Hence he founded the Jamat-i-Islami (in August 1941).[12]

    However, Maulana Maududi’s stand failed to take cognizance of the circumstances in which the Muslims were placed [13] at that critical moment.

    The Jamiat-i-Ulema- i-Hind, the most prestigious organization of the Ulema, saw nothing Islamic in the idea of Pakistan. Its president, Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani, who was also Mohtamim or principal of Darul Ulum Deoband opposed the idea of two-nation theory, pleading that all Indians, Muslims or Hindus were one nation. He argued that faith was universal and could not be contained within national boundaries but that nationality was a matter of geography, and Muslims were obliged to be loyal to the nation of their birth along with their non-Muslim fellow citizens. Maulana Madani said: “all should endeavor jointly for such a democratic government in which Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Parsis are included. Such a freedom is in accordance with Islam.” [14] He was of the view that in the present times, nations are formed on the basis of homeland and not on ethnicity and religion.[15] He issued a fatwa forbidding Muslims from joining the Muslim League.

    Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani accepted the doctrine of Indian nationalism with all enthusiasm and started preaching it in mosques. This brought a sharp rebuke from Dr. Mohammad Iqbal. His poem on Hussain Ahmad [16] in 1938 started a heated controversy between the so-called nationalist Ulema and the adherents of pan-Islamism (Umma).

    Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a member of Indian National Congress regrets that he did not accept Congress president ship in 1946, which led Nehru to assume that office and give the statements that could be exploited by the Muslim League for creation of Pakistan and withdrawal of its acceptance of the Cabinet Plan that envisaged an Indian Union of all the provinces and states of the sub-continent with safeguards for minorities. [17] He had persuaded the pro-Congress Ulema that their interests would be better safeguarded under a united India, and that they should repose full confidence in Indian nationalism. However, they should make efforts to secure for themselves the control of Muslim personal law, by getting a guarantee from the Indian National Congress, that the Muslim personal law would be administered by qadis (judges) who were appointed from amongst the Ulema.[18]

    In a bid to weaken the Muslim League’s claim to represent all Muslims of the subcontinent, the Congress strengthened its links with the Jamiat-i-Ulema- i-Hind, the Ahrars and such minor and insignificant non-League Muslim groups as the Momins and the Shia Conference.[ 19]

    Along with its refusal to share power with the Muslim League, the Congress pursued an anti-Muslim League policy in another direction with the help of Jamiat-i-Ulema- i-Hind . It was not enough to keep the Muslim League out of power. Its power among the people should be weakened and finally broken. Therefore, it decided to bypass Muslim political leadership and launch a clever movement of contacting the Muslim masses directly to wean them away from the leadership that sought to protect them from the fate of becoming totally dependent on the sweet will of the Hindu majority for their rights, even for their continued existence. This strategy — called Muslim Mass Contact Movement — was organized in 1937 with great finesse by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. [20]

    Congress leaders …. employed Molvis to convert the Muslim masses to the Congress creed. The Molvis, having no voice in the molding of the Congress policy and program, naturally could not promise to solve the real difficulties of the masses, a promise which would have drawn the masses towards the Congress. The Molvis and others employed for the work tried to create a division among the Muslim masses by carrying on a most unworthy propaganda against the leaders of the Muslim League. [21] However, this Muslim mass contact movement failed.

    It is pertinent to note here that a small section of the Deoband School was against joining the Congress. Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (1863-1943) was the chief spokesman of this group. Later Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Othmani (1887-1949), a well-known disciple of Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani and a scholar of good repute, who had been for years in the forefront of the Jamiat leadership quit it with a few other Deoband Ulema, and became the first president of the Jamiat-i-Ulema- i-Islam established in 1946 to counteract the activities of the Jamiat-i-Ulema- i-Hind. However, the bulk of the Deoband Ulema kept on following the lead of Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani and the Jamiat in opposing the demand for Pakistan.

    Contrary to the plea of the nationalist Ulema, the Muslim intelligentsia was worried that the end of British domination should not become for the Muslims the beginning of Hindu domination. They perceived through the past experience that the Hindus could not be expected to live with them on equal terms within the same political framework. Therefore they did not seek to change masters. A homeland is an identity and surely the Muslims of the sub-continent could not have served the cause of universal brotherhood by losing their identity, which is what would have inevitably happened if they had been compelled to accept the political domination of the Hindus. The Ulema thought in terms of a glorious past and linked it unrealistically to a nebulous future of Muslim brotherhood. This more than anything else damaged the growth of Muslim nationalism and retarded the progress of Muslims in the sub-continent. [22]

    The nationalist Ulema failed to realize this simple truth and eventually found themselves completely isolated from the mainstream of the Muslim struggle for emancipation. Their opposition to Pakistan on grounds of territorial nationalism was the result of their failure to grasp contemporary realities. [23] They did not realize that majorities can be much more devastating, specifically when it is an ethnic, linguistic or religious majority which cannot be converted into a minority through any election.[24]

    The Ulema, as a class, concentrated on jurisprudence and traditional sciences. They developed a penchant for argument and hair splitting. This resulted in their progressive alienation from the people, who while paying them the respect due to religious scholars, rejected their lead in national affairs. While their influence on the religious minded masses remained considerable, their impact on public affairs shrank simply because the Ulema concentrated on the traditional studies and lost touch with the realities of contemporary life.[25]


    1. After independence “some of the Ulema decided to stay in India, others hastened to Pakistan to lend a helping hand. If they had not been able to save the Muslims from Pakistan they must now save Pakistan from the Muslims. Among them was Maulana Abul Aala Maududi, head of the Jamat-i-Islami, who had been bitterly opposed to Pakistan.” Mohammad Ayub Khan, Friends not
    Masters, P-202

    2 Ishtiaq Ahmed, The Concept of an Islamic State in Pakistan, p-66

    3. Ziya-ul-Hasan Faruqi, The Deoband School and the Demand for Pakistan, p79-80

    4. Speech on Feb. 5, 1938

    5 Afzal Iqbal, Islamization of Pakistan, p-28

    6. Ibid. p-54

    7. Alluding to Quadi-i-Azam’ s marriage to a Parsi girl.

    8. Munir Report, p-256

    9. Maulana Maududi, Nationalism and India, Pathankot, 1947, p-25

    10. The Process of Islamic Revolution, 2nd edition, Lahore 1955, p-37

    11. Syed Abul Ala Maududi, Tehrik-i-Adazi- e-Hind aur Mussalman (Indian Freedom Movement and Muslims), pp 22-23

    12. Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi, Ulema in Politics, p-368

    13. Ibid., p-368

    14. Zamzam 17.7.1938 cited by Pakistan Struggle and Pervez, Tulu-e-Islam Trust, Lahore, p-614

    15. Ibid. p-314

    16. Hasan (rose) from Basrah, Bilal from Abyssinia, Suhaib from Rome, Deoband produced Husain Ahmad, what monstrosity is this? He chanted from the pulpit that nations are created by countries, What an ignoramus regarding the position of Muhammad! Take thyself to Muhammad, because he is the totality of Faith, And if thou does not reach him, all (thy knowledge) is Bu Lahaism.

    17. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, in his biography, India Wins Freedom, fixes the responsibility for the partition of India, at one place on Jawaharlal Nehru, and at another place on Vallabh-bhai Patel by observing that “it would not perhaps be unfair to say that Vallabh-dhbai Patel was the founder of Indian partition.” H.M. Seervai, Partition of India: Legend and Reality, p-162

    18. Dr. Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi, op. cit., p-328

    19. Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi, The Struggle for Pakistan, p-237

    20. Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi, Ulema in Politics p-334

    21. Justice Sayed Shameem Hussain Kadri – Creation of
    Pakistan – Army Book Club, Rawalpindi ,1983 — p-414

    22. Ayub Khan, op. cit., p-200

    23. According to Dr. Mohammad Iqbal, the present state of affairs of the Moslem world. Dr. Iqbal said: “It seems to me that God is slowly bringing home to us the truth that Islam is neither nationalism nor imperialism but a league of nations which recognizes artificial boundaries and racial distinctions for facility of reference only and not for restricting the social horizon of its members.” (Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, p-159) Dr. Iqbal had apparently in mind the following verse from the Holy Quran: O Mankind ! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other. (49:13)

    24. Qureshi, op. cit., p-378

    25. Afzal Iqbal, Islamization in Pakistan, p-26

    26. Ayub Khan, op. cit.,p-202

    27. Wilfred Cantwell Smith, Modern Islam in India, Lahore: Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, 1963, p-173

    28. Afzal Iqbal, op. cit., p-29

    29. Qureshi, op. cit., p-383

    30. Wilfred Cantwell Smith, Islam in History, p-215

    31. Munir Report, p-205

    32. Ibid. p-218

    33. Ibid. p-219

    34. Anita M. Weiss, Reassertion of Islam in Pakistan, p-2

    35. Leonard Binder, Islam and Politics in Pakistan, University of California Press, 1961, p-29

    36. Anita M. Weiss, p-21

    37. Ibid. p-21

    38. When Pakistan appeared on the map, they (Ulema) found no place for themselves in India and they all came to Pakistan and brought with them the curse of Takfir (calling one another infidel). Munir, From Jinnah to Zia, p-38

    39. Prof. Rafi-ullah Shehab – The Quaid-e-Azam and the Ulema – The Pakistan Times, Islamabad 25.12.1986.

    40. Ahmad Bashir, Islam, Shariat and the Holy Ghost, Frontier Post, Peshawar, 9.5.1991

    41. Ibid.


  5. As per historian Dr Mubarak Ali says…


    “Religion did not mix well with the state. He said talk of ijtihad was meaningless because there was no guarantee that any Muslims would accept it. He said every time someone did ijtihad it gave birth to a new sect. He said the two-nation doctrine was no longer valid in Pakistan. The concept of ummah was equally irrelevant.” end quote of Mr Mubarak Ali [PhD (on Mughal Period, India) from Ruhr University, Bochum,Germany]


    Religious ‘scholars’ who could not even agree on the definition of a Muslim when they were questioned by Justice M. Munir and Justice M. R. Kayani in the court of inquiry into the Punjab disturbances of 1953. The inquiry was launched after the campaign against the Ahmadis initiated by the then Jamaat-e-Islami chief Maulana Mawdudi.

    The Munir Commission Report (Lahore, 1954) states:

    “Keeping in view the several definitions given by the ulema, need we make any comment except that no two learned divines are agreed on this fundamental? If we attempt our own definition, as each learned divine has, and that definition differs from all others, we all leave Islam’s fold. If we adopt the definition given by any one of the ulema, we remain Muslims according to the view of that alim, but kafirs according to everyone else’s definition.” The report elaborated on the point by explaining that the Deobandis would label the Barelvis as kafirs if they are empowered and vice versa, and the same would happen among the other sects. The point of the report was that if left to such religious ‘scholars’, the country would become an open battlefield. Therefore, it was suggested that Pakistan remain a democratic, secular state and steer clear of the theological path.

    Unfortunately, this suggestion was not heeded and, consequently, the exact opposite happened. Pakistan became hostage to the mullahs and is now paying a heavy price. Our politicians played into the hands of these fanatics for expedient political reasons and overlooked the diminishing returns from such an unwise overture.

    The journey of politicising Islam began with the Objectives Resolution. Jinnah envisioned a secular Pakistan, but Liaquat Ali Khan made the mistake of adopting the Objectives Resolution in 1949 that stated, “Sovereignty belongs to Allah alone but He has delegated it to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him as a sacred trust.” This stipulation gave the mullahs the chance they were looking for, a chance to flash their religious card and put fear in the heart of the ignorant masses. After moving the Objectives Resolution in the Constituent Assembly, Liaquat Ali Khan said, “As I have just said, the people are the real recipients of power. This naturally eliminates any danger of the establishment of a theocracy.” Although he believed in the power of the people and aimed for a secular, democratic rule, yet by bringing the name of religion into the Objectives Resolution, he gave an edge to the
    mullahs who later claimed it as their licence to impose the Shariah. And so began the rise of the fanatics.

    Ulema did not wait long to demand their share of power in running the new state. Soon after independence, Jamat-i-Islami made the achievement of an Islamic constitution its central goal. Maulana Maududi, after the creation of Pakistan, revised the conception of his mission and that of the rationale of the Pakistan movement, arguing that its sole object had been the establishment of an Islamic state and that his party alone possessed the understanding and commitment needed to bring that about. Jamat-i-Islami soon evolved into a political party, demanding the establishment of an Islamic state in Pakistan.

    It declared that Pakistan was a Muslim state and not an Islamic state since a Muslim State is any state which is ruled by Muslims while an Islamic State is one which opts to conduct its affairs in accordance with the revealed guidance of Islam and accepts the sovereignty of Allah and the supremacy of His Law, and which devotes its resources to achieve this end. According to this definition, Pakistan was a Muslim state ruled by secular minded Muslims. Hence the Jamat-i-Islami and other religious leaders channeled their efforts to make Pakistan an “Islamic State.”

    Maulana Maududi argued that from the beginning of the struggle for Pakistan, Moslems had an understanding that the center of their aspirations, Pakistan, would be an Islamic state, in which Islamic law would be enforced and Islamic culture would be revived. Muslim League leaders, in their speeches, were giving this impression. Above all, Quaid-i-Azam himself assured the Muslims that the constitution of Pakistan would be based on the Quran.

    This contrasts to his views about the Muslim League leaders before independence: Not a single leader of the Muslim League, from Quad-i-Azam, downwards, has Islamic mentality and Islamic thinking or they see the things from Islamic point of view. To declare such people legible for Muslim leadership, because they are expert in western politics or western organization system and have concern for the nation, is definitely ignorance from Islam and amounts to an un-Islamic mentality. On another occasion, Maulana Maududi said it was not clear either from any resolution of the Muslim League or from the speeches of any responsible League leaders, that the ultimate aim of Pakistan is the establishment of an Islamic government…..Those people are wrong who think that if the Muslim majority regions are emancipated from the Hindu domination and a democratic system is established, it would be a government of God. As a matter of fact, in this way, whatever would be achieved, it would be only a non-believers government of the Muslims or may be more deplorable than that.

    When the question of constitution-making came to the forefront, the Ulema, inside and outside the Constitutional Assembly and outside demanded that the Islamic Shariah shall form the only source for all legislature in Pakistan.

    In February 1948, Maulana Maududi, while addressing the Law College, Lahore, demanded that the Constitutional Assembly should unequivocally declare:

    1. That the sovereignty of the state of Pakistan vests in God Almighty and that the government of Pakistan shall be only an agent to execute the Sovereign’s Will.

    2. That the Islamic Shariah shall form the inviolable basic code for all legislation in Pakistan.

    3. That all existing or future legislation which may contravene, whether in letter or in spirit, the Islamic Shariah shall be null and void and be considered ultra vires of the constitution; and

    4. That the powers of the government of Pakistan shall be derived from, circumscribed by and exercised within the limits of the Islamic Shariah alone. On January 13, 1948, Jamiat-al-Ulema-i-Islam, led by Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, passed a resolution in Karachi demanding that the government appoint a leading Alim to the office of Shaikh al Islam, with appropriate ministerial and executive powers over the qadis throughout the country. The Jamiat submitted a complete table of a ministry of religious affairs with names suggested for each post. It was proposed that this ministry be immune to ordinary changes of government. It is well known that Quaid-i-Azam was the head of state at this time and that no action was taken on Ulema’s demand. On February 9, 1948, Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, addressing the Ulema-i-Islam conference in Dacca, demanded that the Constituent Assembly “should set up a committee consisting of eminent ulema and thinkers… to prepare a draft … and present it to the Assembly.

    It was in this background that Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, on March 7, 1949, moved the Objectives Resolution in the Constituent Assembly, according to which the future constitution of Pakistan was to be based on ” the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice as enunciated by Islam.”

    While moving the Resolution, he said: “Sir, I consider this to be a most important occasion in the life of this country, next in importance only to the achievement of independence, because by achieving independence we only won an opportunity of building up a country and its polity in accordance with our ideals. I would like to remind the house that the Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam, gave expression of his feelings on this matter on many an occasion, and his views were endorsed by the nation in unmistakable terms, Pakistan was founded because the Muslims of this sub-continent wanted to build up their lives in accordance with the teachings and traditions of Islam, because they wanted to demonstrate to the world that Islam provides a panacea to the many diseases which have crept into the life of humanity today.”

    The resolution was debated for five days. The leading members of the government and a large number of non-Muslim members, especially from East Bengal, took a prominent part. Non-Muslim members expressed grave apprehensions about their position and role in the new policy.

    Hindu members of the Constitutional Assembly argued that the Objectives Resolution differed with Jinnah’s view in all the basic points. Sris Chandra Chattopadhyaya said: “What I hear in this (Objectives) Resolution is not the voice of the great creator of Pakistan – the Quaid-i-Azam, nor even that of the Prime Minister of Pakistan the Honorable Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, but of the Ulema of the land.” Birat Chandra Mandal declared that Jinnah had “unequivocally said that Pakistan will be a secular state.” Bhupendra Kumar Datta went a step further: …were this resolution to come before this house within the life-time of the Great Creator of Pakistan, the Quaid-i-Azam, it would not have come in its present shape….”

    The leading members of the government in their speeches not only reassured the non-Muslims that their position was quite safe and their rights were not being impaired but also gave clarifications with regard to the import of the Resolution. Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, the Deputy Leader of the House, while defending the Resolution said: “It was remarked by some honorable members that the interpretation which the mover of this Resolution has given is satisfactory and quite good, but Mr. B.C. Mandal says: “Well tomorrow you may die, I may die, and the posterity may misinterpret it.” First of all, I may tell him and those who have got some wrong notions about the interpretation of this resolution that this resolution itself is not a constitution. It is a direction to the committee that will have to prepare the draft keeping in view these main features. The matter will again come to the House in a concrete form, and all of us will get an opportunity to discuss it.”

    In his elucidation of the implications of the Objectives Resolution in terms of the distribution of power between God and the people, Omar Hayat Malik argued: “The principles of Islam and the laws of Islam as laid down in the Quran are binding on the State. The people or the state cannot change these principles or these laws…but there is a vast field besides these principles and laws in which people will have free play…it might be called by the name of ‘theo-cracy’, that is democracy limited by word of God, but as the word ‘theo’ is not in vogue so we call it by the name of Islamic democracy.

    Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi further elaborated the concept of Islamic democracy: Since Islam admits of no priest craft, and since the dictionary meaning of the term “secular” is non-monastic — that is, “anything which is not dependent upon the sweet will of the priests,” Islamic democracy, far from being theocracy, could in a sense be characterized as being “secular.” However, he believed that if the word “secular” means that the ideals of Islam, that the fundamental principles of religion, that the ethical outlook which religion inculcates in our people should not be observed, then, I am afraid,…that kind of secular democracy can never be acceptable to us in Pakistan.

    During the heated debate, Liaquat Ali Khan stressed:

    the Muslim League has only fulfilled half of its mission (and that) the other half of its mission is to convert Pakistan into a laboratory where we could experiment upon the principles of Islam to enable us to make a contribution to the peace and progress of mankind. He was hopeful that even if the body of the constitution had to be mounted in the chassis of Islam, the vehicle would go in the direction he had already chosen. Thus he seemed quite sure that Islam was on the side of democracy. “As a matter of fact it has been recognized by non-Muslims throughout the world that Islam is the only society where there is real democracy.” In this approach he was supported by Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani: ” The Islamic state is the first political institution in the world which stood against imperialism, enunciated the principle of referendum and installed a Caliph (head of State) elected by the people in place of the king.”

    The opposite conclusion, however, was reached by the authors of the Munir Report (1954) who said that the form of government in Pakistan cannot be described as democratic, if that clause of the Objectives Resolution reads as follows: ” Whereas sovereignty over the entire Universe belongs to Allah Almighty alone, and the authority which He has delegated to the state of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust.” Popular sovereignty, in the sense that the majority of the people has the right to shape the nation’s institutions and policy in accordance with their personal views without regard to any higher law, cannot exist in an Islamic state, they added.

    The learned authors of the Munir Report felt that the Objectives Resolution was against the concept of a sovereign nation state. Corroboration of this viewpoint came from the Ulema themselves, (whom the Munir Committee interviewed) “including the Ahrar” and erstwhile Congressites with whom before the partition this conception of a modern national state as against an Islamic state was almost a part of their faith. The Ulema claimed that the Quaid-i-Azam’s conception of a modern national state….became obsolete with the passing of the Objectives Resolution on 12th March 1949.

    Justice Mohammad Munir, who chaired the committee, says that “if during Quaid-i-Azam’s life, Liaquat Ali Khan, Prime Minister had even attempted to introduce the Objectives resolution of the kind that he got through the Assembly, the Quaid-i-Azam would never have given his assent to it.

    In an obvious attempt to correct the erroneous notion that the Objectives Resolution envisaged a theocratic state in Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan repeatedly returned to the subject during his tour of the United States (May-June 1950). In a series of persuasive and eloquent speeches, he argued that “We have pledged that the State shall exercise its power and authority through the chosen representatives of the people. In this we have kept steadily before us the principles of democracy, freedom equality, tolerance and social justice as enunciated by Islam. There is no room here for theocracy, for Islam stands for freedom of conscience, condemns coercion, has no priesthood and abhors the caste system. It believes in equality of all men and in the right of each individual to enjoy the fruit of his or her efforts, enterprise, capacity and skill — provided these be honestly employed.”

    The Objectives Resolution was approved on March 12, 1949. Its only Muslim critic was Mian Iftikhar-ud-din, leader of the Azad Pakistan Party, although he believed that “the Islamic conception of a state is, perhaps as progressive, as revolutionary, as democratic and as dynamic as that of any other state or ideology.”

    According to Munir, the terms of the Objectives Resolution differ in all the basic points of the Quaid-i-Azam’s views e.g:

    1. The Quaid-i-Azam has said that in the new state sovereignty would rest with the people. The Resolution starts with the statement that sovereignty rests with Allah. This concept negates the basic idea of modern democracy that there are no limits on the legislative power of a representative assembly.

    2. There is a reference to the protection of the minorities of their right to worship and practice their religion, whereas the Quaid-i-Azam had stated that there would be no minorities on the basis of religion.

    3. The distinction between religious majorities and minorities takes away from the minority, the right of equality, which again is a basic idea of modern democracy.

    4. The provision relating to Muslims being enabled to lead their life according to Islam is opposed to the conception of a secular state.

    It was natural that with the terms of the Resolution, the Ulema should acquire considerable influence in the state. On the strength of the Objectives Resolution they made the Ahmadis as their first target and demanded them to be declared a minority.

    After the adoption of Objectives Resolution, Liaquat Ali Khan moved a motion for the appointment of a Basic Principles Committee consisting of 24 members, including himself and two non-Muslim members, to report the house on the main principles on which the constitution of Pakistan is to be framed. A Board of Islamic Teaching was set up to advise the Committee on the Islamic aspects of the constitution.

    In the course of constitutional debates, a number of very crucial issues were raised that caused much controversy, both inside and outside the Constituent Assembly over specific questions such as the following:

    1) The nature of the Islamic state: the manner in which the basic principles of Islam concerning state, economy, and society were to be incorporated into the constitution.

    2) The nature of federalism: questions of provincial autonomy vis-a-vis federal authority with emphasis on the problems of representation on the basis of population and the equality of the federating units; the structure of the federal legislature — unicameral or bicameral.

    3) The form of government: whether it was to be modeled on the British or the U.S. pattern — parliamentary or presidential.

    4) The problem of the electorate: serious questions of joint (all confessional groups vote in one election) versus separate (each confessional group votes separately for its own candidates) electorate.

    5) The question of languageboth national and regional. These very fundamental issues divided the political elites of Pakistan into warring factions that impeded the process of constitution-making.

    Here lies the so-called Muslim Ummah! – 1


  6. Calamity of Takfir [Rulings of Heresy – Apostate]


    Ghulam Ahmad Pervez

    Ghulam Ahmad Pervez of Lahore is a well-known Pakistani Islamic thinker and writer, representing the Ahl-i Quran tendency, and founder of the Idara Tulu‘-i-Islam (Institute of the Dawn of Islam). In the monthly journal of this institute, entitled Tulu‘-i-Islam, dated August 1969, there is an extensive article headed Fatwas of Kufr (Rulings of Heresy) quoting fatwas of various Sunni groups condemning one another as kafir. A long extract from this article is given below in translation.

    The Sunnis are divided into two main sects: Non-conformists (ghair muqallid), commonly known as Ahl-i Hadith, and conformists (muqallid), commonly known as Hanafis. The conformists are divided into two groups: Deobandi and Barelvi. Also among the conformists are the various Sufi orders. Now let us see how these sects are declaring each other as kafir.

    Fatwas of conformists against non-conformists

    “The non-conformist (ghair muqallid) sect, whose distinctive outward manner [of prayer] in this country is saying Amen aloud, raising the hands [during the prayer], folding the arms on the chest, and reciting the Al-Hamd behind the Imam, are excluded from the Sunnis, and are like other misguided sects, because many of their beliefs and practices are opposed to those of the Sunnis. It is not permissible to pray behind them. To mix with them socially and sit with them, and to let them enter mosques at their pleasure, is prohibited in Islamic Shari‘ah.” (This bears the seals of nearly seventy Ulama. Reference the book: Arguments with regard to the expulsion of Wahabis from mosques, p. 8.)

    “He who calls conformism (taqlid) as prohibited, and conformists as polytheists, is a kafir according to Islamic Shari‘ah, and in fact a murtadd [apostate].” (Book: Discipline of mosques with regard to the expulsion of mischief-makers from mosques)

    “It is obligatory upon the Ulama and Muftis that, by merely hearing of such a thing, they should not hesitate to issue fatwas of heresy and apostasy. Otherwise, they themselves would be included among the apostates.” (ibid.)

    Ahmad Raza Khan, the Barelvi leader, has quoted the beliefs of all sections of the non-conformists, and given the fatwa:

    “All these groups are murtadd and kafir. He who doubts their being kafirs, is himself a kafir.”

    (Book Hisam al Haramain)

    Fatwas of non-conformists against conformists

    “Question: What say the Ulama and the Muftis regarding the conformist (muqallid) group, who follow only one Imam [i.e. Hanafis]. Are they Sunnis or not? Is it valid to pray behind them or not? Is it permissible to allow them into mosques, and to mix with them socially?

    “Answer: Undoubtedly, prayers are not permissible behind conformists because their beliefs and practices are opposed to those of the Sunnis. In fact, some of their beliefs and practices lead to polytheism, and others spoil prayers. It is not correct in Islamic Shari‘ah to allow such conformists into mosques.”

    This bears the seals of nineteen priests. (Reference the book: Collection of Fatwas, pp. 54 – 55)

    The late Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan wrote:

    “The word polytheist can be applied to conformists, and polytheism can be applied to conformism. Most people today are conformists. The Quranic verse, ‘Most people believe not, they are but polytheists’, applies quite well to them.”

    (Iqtarab as-Sa‘a, p. 16)

    Not only Hanafis, but all of them:

    “The followers of all the four Imams and the followers of the four Sufi orders, viz. Hanafi, Shafi‘i, Maliki, Hanbali, Chishtiyya, Qadiriyya, Naqshbandiyya and Mujaddidiyya are all kafirs.”

    (Jami al-Shuhood, p. 2)

    Fatwa of three hundred Ulama against Deobandis

    “The Deobandis, because of their contempt and insult, in their acts of worship, towards all saints, prophets, and even the Holy Prophet Muhammad and the very Person of God Himself, are definitely murtadd and kafir. Their apostasy and heresy is of the worst kind, so that anyone who doubts their apostasy and heresy even slightly is himself a murtadd and kafir. Muslims should be very cautious of them, and stay away from them. Let alone praying behind them, one should not let them pray behind one, or allow them into mosques, or eat the animal slaughtered by them, or join them on happy or sad occasions, or let them come near one, or visit them in illness, or attend their funerals, or give them space in Muslim grave-yards. To sum up, one must stay away from them completely.”

    (See the Unanimous Fatwa of Three Hundred Ulama, published by Muhammad Ibrahim of Bhagalpur)

    Deobandis should be declared non-Muslim minority

    In March 1953, a poster was put up on walls in Karachi headed: “Demands: Deoband sect should be declared a separate minority”. Among other things it said:

    “Just as Sikhs originated from Hinduism, but are not Hindus, and Protestants came from Roman Catholicism, but are not Catholics, similarly, the Deobandi sect originated in the Sunni community, but are not Sunnis. The representatives of this minority sect are Mufti Muhammad Shafi, Sayyid Sulaiman Nadawi, Ihtasham-ul-Haqq, and Abul Ala Maudoodi, etc.”

    After this it was demanded that this sect be declared a non-Muslim minority. It was signed by 28 persons (see Tulu‘-i-Islam, May 1953, p. 64).

    Fatwa of Deobandis against Barelvis

    Maulavi Sayyid Muhammad Murtaza of Deoband has, in his book, tried to show that Ahmad Raza Khan, the Barelvi leader, was a kafir, a great kafir, Anti- Christ of this century, murtadd, and excluded from Islam. (See the booklet Radd at-Takfir ala-l-fahash at-Tanzir.)

    The opposite side

    Ahmad Raza Khan (Barelvi) has noted the beliefs of Muhammad Qasim Nanotavi (founder of the school at Deoband) and Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (of Deoband), and then added:

    “They are all murtadd [apostate] according to the unanimous view (ijma) of Muslims.”

    This fatwa bears the signatures and seals of Ulama of Makka and Madina, and other Muftis and Islamic judges. Three reasons have been given for calling them kafir:

    They deny the finality of prophethood;

    They insult the Holy Prophet;

    They believe that God can tell a lie.

    Hence it is written about them:

    “He who doubts that they are kafirs, is himself a kafir.”

    (Hisam al-Haramain, pp. 100 and 113)

    You will have seen that all the sects, whether Hanafis, Ahl-i Hadith, Deobandi, or Barelvi, and all the Sufi orders such as Chishtiyya, Qadiriyya, etc., have had fatwas of heresy and apostasy pronounced against them. And not only sects, but the prominent men of these sects have had fatwas directed against them individually.

    Fatwas against individual leaders

    Maulana Nazir Husain of Delhi (Ahl-i Hadith) was called disputant, doubter, follower of base passions, jealous, dishonest and alterer (of the Quran).

    Maulavi Muhammad Husain Batalavi, along with the above Maulana, was called devil, atheist, stupid, senseless, faithless, etc. This fatwa bears the seals of 82 Ulama of Arabia and elsewhere. (Book Nazar al-Haq)

    Maulana Sana-Ullah of Amritsar (Ahl-i Hadith) had fatwas directed against him which were obtained in Makka. It is written about his commentary of the Quran:

    “It is the writing of a misguided person, one who has invented new doctrines. In his commentary he has collected beliefs such as re-incarnation and the doctrines of the Mu‘tazila [an early extreme Muslim sect]. It is neither permissible to obtain knowledge from Maulana Sana-ullah, nor to follow him. His evidence cannot be accepted, nor can he lead prayers. There is no doubt regarding his heresy and apostasy. … His commentary deserves to be cut to pieces. In fact, it is forbidden to see it except for the purpose of refuting it.”

    (Faisila Makka, pp. 15 – 20)

    Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani (Deobandi):

    Referring to an article of his, the weekly Tarjuman Islam of Lahore carried the following extract in its issue for 10 November 1961:

    “Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani, Deobandi, was a first-rate scholar and servant of Quran and Hadith. He needs no introduction. But one was very shocked by a letter of his which contained the grotesque idea of the denial of Hadith. This concept goes beyond the Mu‘tazila, and breaks the records of the ideologies of Chakralvi and Pervez.”

    All those whose record is said to be broken by Husain Ahmad Madani, have had fatwas of kufr directed against them. This makes it clear that Maulana Madani too is considered a kafir.

    Maulana Maudoodi:

    Abul Ala Maudoodi and his party have been the subject of fatwas by Ulama of nearly every sect.

    Mufti Muhzar-ullah, of Jami Fatehpuri in Delhi, wrote in his fatwa:

    “On the very face of it, these things [beliefs of Maudoodi’s party] exclude a Muslim from the Sunnis, and lead to divisions among the believers, and is the basis of making a new sect. But looking closely, these things take one to heresy. In this case, they do not make a new sect, but result in one’s entry into the group of apostates.”

    Maulana Hafiz-ullah of Aligarh has written:

    “Whatever was the position of the Zarar mosque, similar is the position of this [i.e. Maudoodi’s] party.”

    [Note: The Zarar mosque was a mosque built by some hypocrite Muslims in Madina during the Holy Prophet’s time for the purpose of conspiring against Islam].

    The word kufr is used about the Zarar mosque in the Holy Quran. Hence the same word applies to these people.

    Maulana Izaz Ali, Deobandi, wrote in his fatwa:

    “I consider this [i.e. Maudoodi’s] party to be even more harmful for the faith of the Muslims than are the Ahmadis.”

    Mufti Sayyid Mahdi Hasan, President-Mufti of the theological school at Deoband, writes in his fatwa:

    “If an Imam of a mosque agrees with the views of Maudoodi, it is a hateful matter to pray behind him.”

    Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani (Deobandi) wrote in a letter to Maudoodi:

    “Your ‘Islamic’ movement is against the righteous tradition in Islam. It is like the [extremist] sects of old such as Mu‘tazila, Khwarij and Rafiz. It resembles modern sects such as Qadiani, Chakralvi [deniers of Hadith], Naturi [rationalist], and Baha’i [i.e. the Baha’i religion]. It seeks to make a new Islam. It is based on principles, beliefs and practices which are against the Sunnis and Islam.”

    The Committee of Ulama of Maulana Ahmad Ali wrote in a poster against Maudoodi:

    “His reasoning is devilry against the Quran.”

    It is then added:

    “May God save all Muslims from Maudoodi and the evil and deceit of his so-called Islamic Party.”

    Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan [prominent Muslim modernist leader and founder of the Aligarh University for Muslims, d. 1898]:

    In his biography Hayat-i Jawaid by Maulana Hali, the storm of condemnation and takfir against Sir Sayyid is fully detailed. Read some of these lines:

    “Sir Sayyid was called atheist, irreligious, Christian, nature-worshipper, anti-Christ, and many other things. Fatwas that he was a kafir were prepared, and signatures of Maulavis of every town and city were obtained. Even those who remained silent against Sir Sayyid as regards takfir, were called kafir.” (p. 623)

    “All the Muslim sects in India, be they Sunni or Shiah, conformist or non-conformist, the seals and signatures of the known and unknown Ulama and priests of all these are on these fatwas.” (p. 627)

    A fatwa was obtained from Makka, bearing the seals of Muftis of all the four schools, in which it was written:

    “This man is an heretic, or he was inclined to unbelief (kufr) from Islamic law in some aspect. … If he repents before he is arrested, and turns away from his misguided views, and there are clear signs of repentance from him, then he should not be killed. Otherwise, it is obligatory to kill him for the sake of the faith.” (p. 633)

    Jinnah and Iqbal [revered in Pakistan as fathers of the nation]:

    Sir Sayyid had at least expressed views on religious matters. But these people also called Jinnah as “the great kafir”. Even a true believer like Iqbal had a fatwa of kufr directed against him.

    Fatwas of kufr against early savants

    The pastime of declaring people as kafir is not a product of the present age. Unfortunately, this disease is very old, and there can hardly be anyone from among the great figures of Muslim religious history who escaped being a subject of such fatwas. Let us look at the great leaders of religion after the age of the Holy Prophet’s Companions.

    Abu Hanifa: He was disgraced, called ignorant, inventor of new beliefs, hypocrite and kafir. He was imprisoned and poisoned. He died in 150 A.H. [circa 768 C.E.].

    Imam Shafi‘i: He was called devil and imprisoned. Prayers were said for his death. He was taken in captivity from Yemen to Baghdad, in a condition of humiliation and degradation. He died in 204 A.H. [circa 820 C.E.].

    Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal: He was kept in prison for 28 months, with a heavy chain around his feet. He was publicly humiliated, slapped and spat upon. Every evening he used to be flogged. All this was because of the controversy regarding whether the Quran was ‘uncreated’ or ‘created’.

    Imam Malik: A resident of Madina, he too was imprisoned and flogged.

    Bukhari [Collector of Hadith]: He was exiled and died in 256 A.H. [circa 871 C.E.].

    Nasa’i [Collector of Hadith]: He was disgraced and beaten in a mosque so much that he died.

    Abdul Qadir Jilani [Saint of Baghdad, d. 1166 C.E.] was called kafir by the jurists.

    Muhiyud-Din Ibn Arabi [great philosopher and saint, d. 1240 C.E.]: The Ulama issued a fatwa against him saying: “His unbelief is greater than that of Jews and Christians”. All his followers were declared kafir, so much so that those who doubted his unbelief were called kafir.

    Rumi, Jami and Attar [now world famous Muslim saints and writers of Persia] were called kafir, and anyone not calling them kafir was also called kafir.

    Imam Ghazali [philosopher and mujaddid, d. 1111 C.E.] was called kafir, and burning his books and cursing him was declared a good deed.

    Ibn Taimiyya [Muslim philosopher and mujaddid, d. 1327 C.E.]: The King of Egypt asked for a fatwa to put him to death.

    Hafiz ibn Qayyim: imprisoned and exiled.

    Shaikh Ahmad of Sirhind [d. 1624 C.E., mujaddid in India]: called kafir.

    Shah Wali-ullah [d. 1763 C.E., mujaddid in India]: called inventor of new beliefs and misguided.

    Sayyid Ahmad Barelvi [d. 1831 C.E., mujaddid and military leader in India]: called kafir.

    Shah Ismail Shaheed [deputy of above mujaddid]: Fatwas of heresy against him obtained from Makka.


    Ghulam Ahmad Pervez, founder of the movement which publishes Tulu‘-i-Islam, from which the above extract has been taken, was himself the subject of fatwas such as those quoted below:

    “Ghulam Ahmad Pervez is a kafir according to Islamic Shari‘ah, and excluded from the pale of Islam. No Muslim woman can remain married to him, nor can a Muslim woman enter into marriage with him. His funeral prayers cannot be said, nor is it permissible to bury him in a Muslim grave-yard. This applies not only to Pervez, but to every kafir. It also applies to any person who is a follower of his in these heretic beliefs. As he has become an apostate (murtadd), it is not permitted by the Shari‘ah to have any kind of Islamic relations with him.

    Signed: Wali Hasan Tonki, Mufti and teacher, Muhammad Yusuf Banori, Shaikh al-Hadith, Madrasa Arabiyya Islamiyya, New Town, Karachi.”

    An organ of Maudoodi’s Jama‘at-i Islami gave the following fatwa about Pervez’s followers:

    “If they say that Shari‘ah is only that which is contained in the Quran, and all that is besides this is not Shari‘ah, then this is clear heresy. It is the same kind of heresy as the heresy of the Qadianis. In fact it is worse and more extreme than that.” (article by Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi, in the daily Tasneem, Lahore, 15 August 1952, p. 12)


    Here lies the so-called Muslim Ummah! – 2

  7. “Fatwa of three hundred Ulama against Deobandis

    “The Deobandis, because of their contempt and insult, in their acts of worship, towards all saints, prophets, and even the Holy Prophet Muhammad and the very Person of God Himself, are definitely murtadd and kafir. Their apostasy and heresy is of the worst kind, so that anyone who doubts their apostasy and heresy even slightly is himself a murtadd and kafir. Muslims should be very cautious of them, and stay away from them. Let alone praying behind them, one should not let them pray behind one, or allow them into mosques, or eat the animal slaughtered by them, or join them on happy or sad occasions, or let them come near one, or visit them in illness, or attend their funerals, or give them space in Muslim grave-yards. To sum up, one must stay away from them completely.”

    (See the Unanimous Fatwa of Three Hundred Ulama, published by Muhammad Ibrahim of Bhagalpur)

    Deobandis should be declared non-Muslim minority

    In March 1953, a poster was put up on walls in Karachi titled:

    “Demands: Deoband sect should be declared a separate minority”.

    Among other things it said:

    “Just as Sikhs originated from Hinduism, but are not Hindus, and Protestants came from Roman Catholicism, but are not Catholics, similarly, the Deobandi sect originated in the Sunni community, but are not Sunnis. The representatives of this minority sect are Mufti Muhammad Shafi, Sayyid Sulaiman Nadawi, Ihtasham-ul-Haqq, and Abul Ala Maudoodi, etc.”

    After this it was demanded that this sect be declared a non-Muslim minority. It was signed by 28 persons

    (see Tulu`-i-Islam, May 1953, p. 64).

    Fatwa of Deobandis against Barelvis

    Maulavi Sayyid Muhammad Murtaza of Deoband has, in his book, tried to show that Ahmad Raza Khan, the Barelvi leader, was a kafir, a great kafir, Anti- Christ of this century, murtadd, and excluded from Islam.

    (See the booklet Radd at-Takfir ala-l-fahash at-Tanzir.)

    The opposite side

    Ahmad Raza Khan (Barelvi) has noted the beliefs of Muhammad Qasim Nanotavi (founder of the school at Deoband) and Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (of Deoband), and then added:

    “They are all murtadd [apostate] according to the unanimous view (ijma) of Muslims.”

    This fatwa bears the signatures and seals of Ulama of Makka and Madina, and other Muftis and Islamic judges. Three reasons have been given for calling them kafir :

    1.They deny the finality of prophethood;

    2.They insult the Holy Prophet;

    3.They believe that God can tell a lie.

    Hence it is written about them:

    “He who doubts that they are kafirs, is himself a kafir.”

    (Hisam al-Haramain, pp. 100 and 113)”

    (Tulu’-i-Islam, August 1969)

    Late. Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi on everybody!!!!!!


    “The Ahl’ul Sunnah have an ijma that Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab was a Khwaarijee and baghi (rebel) whoever holds this Najdee belief is an enemy of Islam” [Ahmad Sayyid Kazmi his book “Al Haq al Mobeen page 10-11 and Amjad Ali in “Bahar Shariath Volume 1 page 46”]

    “The Wahabis are worse than Jews, Christians, Magians, Hindus, and more damaging to Islam they are worse than Murthads”.

    “Whoever is a Wahabi and follows Rashid Ahmad Gangohi is a kaffir”.

    “From the Shaytan Wahabis is Ashraf ‘Ali Thanvi”

    “Whoever doubts the kufr of Ashraf Ali Thanvi is also a kaffir, his followers are all kaffirs and it is a sin to read his book Bahishti Zewar”.

    The Sunni scholar Naasir Sunniyath Abu Tahir Muhammad Thabib Siddiqui Dhana Purri, writes as follows:

    “the Ulema of Deen, and scholars of the Law are faced by the problem of Wahabis, Deobandis….Najdhis kufr beliefs, and this book addresses how Muslims should deal with them”. [“Tajhahib Ahl ul Sunnah” by Naasir Sunniyath Abu Tahir Muhammad Thabib Siddiqui Dhana Purri, published Markazi Anjuman Huzbul Aynaf Lahore, Bareylvi Electorate Press 1361 Hijri]

    “A reply to question one

    “The followers of Muhammad bin Najdi are called Wahabis. Shah Ismail Dehlavi under “Al Iman” in which there lots of kufr translated his book “Tauhid” in India. Whoever follows the Wahabis is a kaffir.

    “Deobadiyaat is a form of Wahabiyath their ideology is to disrespect the Saints, every Deobandi is a Wahabi, and not every Wahabi is a Deobandi. Deobandi’s become Hanafi and those that are not Deobandis call themselves Ahl-e-Hadith. They possess a great deal of kufr beliefs. The Wahabis and Ahl e Hadith tend to adhere to the work “Taqwiyat ul Iman” and call it the truth. The Deoband apostates acknowledging their kufr beliefs still call them Muslims, under Islamic Law they are therefore both kaffir and should be punished accordingly” [“Tajhahib Ahl ul Sunnah” by Naasir Sunniyath Abu Tahir Muhammad Thabib Siddiqui Dhana Purri, published Markazi Anjuman Huzbul Aynaf Lahore, Bareylvi Electorate Press 1361 Hijri]

    “Oh God send your curse who refuted your beloved, disrespected him and identified faults in him and send your curse on those who loved and supported Abdul Wahab because such people are apostates”.[“Tahjanib Ahl’ul Sunnah un Ahl’ul Fitna (published Bombay by Anjumaun Tablighi Sadaqat): page 657]

    “Verily there is no doubt that the Wahabi Najdis are kaffir and according to Sharí’a they are apostates if they die without repenting, they will be the first to perish in the fire”. [“Tahjanib Ahl’ul Sunnah un Ahl’ul Fitna (published Bombay by Anjumaun Tablighi Sadaqat): page 263]

    In the same above book the scholar names the guilty party with the following titles:

    Ibne Saud, Kahazala Malik al Mabuud (page 257)

    Ibne Saud, Kujha al Malik al Wuddod (page 259)

    Murdood Ibne Saud (page 268)

    Khubsa Najad (page 258)

    Mullah Una’y Najad (page 259)

    Kafara Najad (page 259)

    Murdha Najad (page 260)

    Kuffar Najad (page 263)

    Murthadeen ay Najad (page 264)

    Maloon e Najad (page 268)

    Shayaatheen au Deoband (page 268)

    “Tahjanib Ahl’ul Sunnah un Ahl’ul Fitna (published Bombay by Anjumaun Tablighi Sadaqat)

    Ahl ul Sunnah work “fitnah Najdiyaat” by Haji Nawabdeen Golarvi writes:

    “Mufti Azam Maulvi Zafar Ali Khan says who is Ibne Saud but a sales man of Haram Shareef that invests his profits on illicit luxuries, appeaser of the British, fired bullets on Muslims”[“fitna Najdiyaat” by Haji Nawabdeen Golarvi”, publishers Makathaba Ghosia, Thala, Ganag Road, Chakwaal, page 252]

    In the same book Haji Nawabdeen Golarvi writes:

    “If at any time Ameer Faysal turns against the British they have an alternative Crown Prince Ibne Saud on the pay roll taken from the speeches of Mufti Azam Muhammad Ali, published Delhi, Ghunni Muthaba, Delhi Volume 2 page 68″[“fitna Najdiyaat” by Haji Nawabdeen Golarvi”, publishers Makathaba Ghosia, Thala, Ganag Road, Chakwaal, page 76]

    “Wahabis are greater kaffirs than Jews and Christians we have heard from our ancestors that even the Jews and Christians didn’t deny their Prophets but these filthy individuals are against their own Prophet (taken from Munkuul As Azad ki Kahani page 351)”[“fitna Najdiyaat” by Haji Nawabdeen Golarvi”, publishers Makathaba Ghosia, Thala, Ganag Road, Chakwaal, page 98]

    “As far as I recall he said that marriage with a Wahabi is not permissible – Azaz ki kahani”[“fitna Najdiyaat” by Haji Nawabdeen Golarvi”, publishers Makathaba Ghosia, Thala, Ganag Road, Chakwaal, page 173]

    “Those that follow Abdul Wahab are called Wahabi in our country and consider themselves la madhabi. They claim that it is shirk to follow any of the four Imams, those that do are polytheists and consider Ahl’ul Sunnah women as captives, and deem it halaal to murder Sunni’s. These are Wahabis a group of Khwaarjis as deemed Allamah Shaafi”.[“fitna Najdiyaat” by Haji Nawabdeen Golarvi”, publishers Makathaba Ghosia, Thala, Ganag Road, Chakwaal, page 108]

    “Deobandis books should be spat upon and urinated on”[Fatawi Razooba, Volume 4 page 183]

    “The kufr of Ismail has been proven by the Ulema – quoting Mufti Azam Allamah Shah FuzulAllah Badhyawni (ra) – 10 – 13 Hijri”[Fitnah Wahabiyaath page 36 Haji Nawabadeen and Maulvi Fazl Haq Sahib Khayr Abadi, in their commentary “Tahqeeq al Fatawi Fi Abthal at Thaqhi Kamal Sharra wa basath” – pages 18-20]

    “Ismail Dehlavi according the Sharia is a Kaffir and his killing is a duty. Whoever doubts his Kufr is also kaffir and cursed”.[Haji Nawabadeen and Maulvi Fazl Haq Sahib Khayr Abadi, in their commentary “Tahqeeq al Fatawi Fi Abthal at Thaqhi Kamal Sharra wa basath” – page 20]

    “The scholars of Ahl’ul Sunnah and the Ulema of Ka’ba, Arabs and non Arabs have a united Fatwa that Ashraf Ali Thanvi is kaffir whoever doubts this is also a kaffir”.[“Private Matters of the Muslim League” page 7 by Muhammad Miyaar Qadri]

    Shias are also not spared


    Munir Report on Fatwas of Kufr

    One of the most famous public documents in the history of Pakistan is known commonly as the Munir Report, its official title being: Report of the Court of Inquiry constituted under Punjab Act II of 1954 to enquire into the Punjab Disturbances of 1953. The disturbances referred to were instigated by a number of religious leaders (ulama) in pursuance of their demand that the government officially classify Ahmadis to be a non-Muslim minority community, and take certain other actions against members of this movement.

    The disturbances were eventually quelled by the authorities, and a public court of inquiry appointed with Justice Muhammad Munir as president and Justice Kayani as member to investigate the causes of the trouble. The inquiry went into the underlying issues behind the events, carrying out an incisive analysis of the ulama’s concept of an Islamic state. Its 387-page Report, which soon became a historic document, was presented in April 1954.

    Referring to the ulama’s call for Pakistan to be run as an official `Islamic’ state, and to their demands against Ahmadis, the Report says:

    “The question, therefore, whether a person is or is not a Muslim will be of fundamental importance, and it was for this reason that we asked most of the leading ulama to give their definition of a Muslim, the point being that if the ulama of the various sects believed the Ahmadis to be kafirs, they must have been quite clear in their minds not only about the grounds of such belief but also about the definition of a Muslim because the claim that a certain person or community is not within the pale of Islam implies on the part of the claimant an exact conception of what a Muslim is. The result of this part of the inquiry, however, has been anything but satisfactory, and if considerable confusion exists in the minds of our ulama on such a simple matter, one can easily imagine what the differences on more complicated matters will be. Below we reproduce the definition of a Muslim given by each alim in his own words.”

    (p. 215)

    There then follow in the Report the answers given by various ulama to the question, What is the definition of a Muslim. At the end of the answers, the Report draws the following conclusion:

    “Keeping in view the several definitions given by the ulama, need we make any comment except that no two learned divines are agreed on this fundamental. If we attempt our own definition as each learned divine has done and that definition differs from that given by all others, we unanimously go out of the fold of Islam. And if we adopt the definition given by any one of the ulama, we remain Muslims according to the view of that alim but kafirs according to the definition of every one else.”

    (p. 218)

    After this, under the heading Apostasy, the Report refers to the belief held by the ulama that, in an Islamic state, a Muslim who becomes a kafir is subject to the death penalty. The Report says:

    “According to this doctrine, Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan, if he has not inherited his present religious beliefs but has voluntarily elected to be an Ahmadi, must be put to death. And the same fate should befall Deobandis and Wahabis, including Maulana Muhammad Shafi Deobandi, Member, Board of Talimat-i-Islami attached to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, and Maulana Daud Ghaznavi, if Maulana Abul Hasanat Sayyad Muhammad Ahmad Qadri or Mirza Raza Ahmad Khan Barelvi, or any one of the numerous ulama who are shown perched on every leaf of a beautiful tree in the fatwa, Ex. D.E. 14, were the head of such Islamic State. And if Maulana Muhammad Shafi Deobandi were the head of the State, he would exclude those who have pronounced Deobandis as kafirs from the pale of Islam and inflict on them the death penalty if they come within the definition of murtadd, namely, if they have changed and not inherited their religious views.

    “The genuineness of the fatwa, Ex. D.E. 13, by the Deobandis which says that Asna Ashari Shias are kafirs and murtadds, was questioned in the course of enquiry, but Maulana Muhammad Shafi made an inquiry on the subject from Deoband, and received from the records of that institution the copy of a fatwa signed by all the teachers of the Darul Uloom, including Maulana Muhammad Shafi himself which is to the effect that those who do not believe in the sahabiyyat of Hazrat Siddiq Akbar and who are qazif of Hazrat Aisha Siddiqa and have been guilty of tehrif of Quran are kafirs. This opinion is also supported by Mr Ibrahim Ali Chishti who has studied and knows his subject. He thinks the Shias are kafirs because they believe that Hazrat Ali shared the prophethood with our Holy Prophet. He refused to answer the question whether a person who being a Sunni changes his view and agrees with the Shia view would be guilty of irtidad so as to deserve the death penalty. According to the Shias all Sunnis are kafirs, and Ahl-i-Quran, namely, persons who consider hadith to be unreliable and therefore not binding, are unanimously kafirs, and so are all independent thinkers. The net result of all this is that neither Shias nor Sunnis nor Deobandis nor Ahl-i-Hadith nor Barelvis are Muslims and any change from one view to the other must be accompanied in an Islamic State with the penalty of death if the Government of the State is in the hands of the party which considers the other party to be kafirs. And it does not require much imagination to judge of the consequences of this doctrine when it is remembered that no two ulama have agreed before us as to the definition of a Muslim. If the constituents of each of the definitions given by the ulama are given effect to, and subjected to the rule of `combination and permutation’ and the form of charge in the Inquisition’s sentence on Galileo is adopted mutatis mutandis as a model, the grounds on which a person may be indicted for apostasy will be too numerous to count.”

    (p. 219)

    Hence this extensive inquiry found that if the fatwas of the ulama are relied upon to determine whether a sect is Muslim or kafir, then no sect at all will be left which could be called Muslim.


    Barelvi and Deobandi Maulvis on Shias being Infidels [in Urdu.] CLICK THE LINK AND READ THE LAST PART Here lies the so-called Muslim Ummah! – 3

  8. Tragedy of Muslim Mind: My House is mine and your house is mine too. They want Khilafa in UK where they live as First Class Citizen, Secular India is acceptable to them [Evangelist Mullahs and they will give you Interpretation for justifying their support to Secularism] and whenever they are united [either Sunnis or Shias] they will enforce their School of Thought [in case of Saudi Arabia and Iran] and put Non-Muslim in second class category. This second class category is also enjoyed by Pakistani, Indian and Bengali Muslims in any Muslim Arab Country [no rights of Citizenship and owning property and even marrying local would be like asking for trouble (mind you this is Anti Islam)] yet Islamic Itch always there in Miserable Ummah.

  9. ہمارے مغالطے..سیکولراور لبرل کے معنی
    February 4, 2012
    ہمارے ہاں بہت سے لفظوں یا اصطلاحوں کے معنی بگاڑ دیئے گئے ہیں۔ ایسی ہی دو اہم اصطلاحات ہیں “سیکولر” اور “لبرل”۔ نام نہاد مذہبی علماء نے عوام کو بتایا ہے کہ سیکولر کا مطلب “لادین ” ہے یعنی جس کا کوئی دین نہیں اور لبرل کا مطلب مادر پدر آزاد ہے جو کسی روک ٹوک یا پابندی کو نہیں مانتا۔
    نام نہاد مذہبی علماء کو ان پڑھ عوام سے واسطہ پڑتا ہے جن کو کوئی سوال کرنے کی اجازت نہیں ہوتی۔ سو جو کچھ عالِم صاحب نے فرما دیا وہی حرفِ آخر ہو جاتا ہے۔ ورنہ محض معمولی سے سوال جواب سے ان کے بتائے گئے معنی کی قلعی کھل جاتی ہے۔
    لفظ سیکولر ہی کو لیجئے ۔ دنیاء بھر میں ایسی ریاستوں کی تعداد انگلیوں پر گنی جاسکتی ہیں جو کسی مذہب کے ساتھ اپنا تعلق جوڑتی ہیں۔ ان میں پاکستان، ایران، سعودی عرب، اسرائیل اور نیپال شامل ہیں (ہو سکتا ہے کہ ان کے علاوہ کوئی دو یا تین مزید ریاستیں ایسی ہوں، تاہم مصنف کے علم میں نہیں)۔ اس کا مطلب یہ ہوا کہ دنیاءکے اکثر ممالک کسی ایک مذہب کو ریاستی مذہب قرار نہیں دیتے۔ اگر اس کا مطلب یہ نکال لیا جائے کہ یہ سارے ممالک “لادین” ہیں تو کیا ان ممالک میں بسنے والے لوگوں کا کوئی مذہب نہیں ہے؟ مغرب کے بیشتر ممالک سیکولر ہیں مگر وہاں بسنے والے لوگ عیسائی، یہودی، مسلمان یا کسی دیگر مذہب کے پیروکار ہیں اور اپنی اپنی مذہبی تعلیمات کے مطابق عبادات اور دیگر رسوم و رواج کی پابندی کرتے ہیں اور اس حوالے سے اُن پر کوئی روک ٹوک نہیں ہوتی۔
    حقیقت یہ ہے کہ سیکولر ایسی ریاست کو کہتے ہیں جس کا ریاستی سطح پر کوئی مذہب نہیں۔ جہاں کسی ایک مذہب کی خدمت کرنا حکومت کی ذمہ داری نہیں۔ اسی طرح انفرادی سطح پر بھی ایسا فرد سیکولر کہلائے گا جو مذہب کو ہر شخص کا ذاتی معاملہ سمجھتا ہے اور کسی کے مذہبی عقائد میں ٹانگ نہیں اڑاتا۔ کسی کے مذہبی عقائد کو غلط اور صحیح قرار نہیں دیتا اور اگر کسی کے مذہبی عقائد کو غلط سمجھتا بھی ہو تو انہیں درست کرنے کی کوشش نہیں کرتا۔ یاد رہے کہ تمام فسادات کی جڑ کسی کے مذہبی عقائد کو درست کرنے کی کوشش ہی ہے۔
    ہمارے علماء یہ بھول جاتے ہیں کہ مذہب کا تعلق عقیدے سے ہے اور عقیدے کو عقل/منطق کے ترازو میں تول کرنہیں اپنایا جاتا۔ جس کا جو عقیدہ ہے وہ اُسی کو درست سمجھتا ہے۔ چنانچہ جب ہم کسی کے عقیدے کو درست کرنے کی کوشش کرتے ہیں تو وہ شخص بھڑک اُٹھتا ہے اور یوں فساد کی بنیاد پڑتی ہے۔ یورپ میں مذہبی رواداری سیکولر خیالات کے فروغ کے بعد ہی آئی ہے۔ ورنہ مذہبی اور فرقہ وارانہ اختلافات اُن لوگوں میں بھی کم نہیں تھے۔
    اب آئیے دوسری اصطلاح کی طرف “لبرل”۔ اس کا ترجمہ “آزاد خیال” کیا جاتا ہے اور مفہوم یہ لیا جاتا ہے کہ لبرل ایسا فرد ہوتا ہے جو کسی قسم کی روک ٹوک کو پسند نہیں کرتا اور کسی طرح کی پابندی نہیں چاہتا۔ اب اگر ہم مغرب کے لوگوں کو لبرل سمجھتے ہیں تو پھر مغربی ممالک میں تو قانون نام کی کوئی چیز ہونی ہی نہیں چاہئے۔ اگر مغربی ممالک کے زیادہ تر لوگ “آزاد خیال” ہیں تو پھر وہاں قانون کی حکمرانی کا معاملہ ہم سے بہتر کیوں کر ہے۔
    حقیقت یہ ہے کہ لبرل لوگ وہ ہیں جو انسانی آزادیوں کے قائل ہیں تاہم پابندی کو ایک “ناگزیر برائی” خیال کرتے ہیں۔ یعنی وہ کسی بھی طرح قانون یا پابندیوں کو مکمل طور پر ختم نہیں کرنا چاہتے بلکہ انسانی آزادیوں پر ایک معقول حد تک پابندیاں لگانے کے قائل ہیں۔ اس حوالے سے ایک دلچسپ واقعہ اکثر سنایا جاتا ہے کہ ایک شخص اپنی چھڑی اِدھر اُدھر گھماتا جا رہا تھا ۔ ایک اور شخص نے اسے ٹوکا کہ میاں یہ چھڑی سنبھالو، کہیں مجھے لگ نہ جائے۔ تو پہلا شخص بولا “میں آزاد انسان ہوں اور اپنی چھڑی گھمانے کی مجھے مکمل آزادی ہے”۔ دوسرا شخص بولا “ہاں مگر تمہاری آزادی وہاں ختم ہو جاتی ہے جہاں سے میری ناک شروع ہوتی ہے”۔
    سو “آزاد خیال” ہونے کا مطلب “مادر پدر” آزاد نہیں ہے۔ تاہم اتنی پابندیاں بھی نہیں کہ فرد کو یہ اختیار بھی حاصل نہ ہو کہ اُس نے ڈاکٹر بننا ہے یا وکیل۔ اس نے شادی کس سے کرنی ہے یاکرنی بھی ہے کہ نہیں اور کب کرنی ہے۔ وہ پڑھنا چاہتا ہے یا کوئی کھیل کھیلنا چاہتا ہے۔ لبرل ہونے کا مطلب یہ ہے کہ آپ مکمل طور پر آزاد ہیں جب تک آپ کی آزادی کسی اور کی آزادی میں رکاوٹ نہ ڈال رہی ہو۔
    دلچسپ بات یہ ہے کہ ہمارے ملک میں ہمیں دوسروں کی آزادی سلب کرنے کی مکمل آزادی ہے۔ ہمارا جب دل چاہتا ہے گلی میں ٹینٹ لگا کر گلی بند کر دیتے ہیں اور ولیمہ شروع کر دیتے ہیں۔ اس بات کا ذرا برابر احساس نہیں کرتے کہ گلی بند ہو جانے کی وجہ سے کتنے لوگوں کو تکلیف پہنچ رہی ہوگی۔ ہم شادیوں پر ساری ساری رات ڈھول بجاتے ہیں یا اونچی آواز میں گانے بجاتے ہیں اور اس بات کی ذرا پرواہ نہیں کرتے کہ آس پڑوس میں کسی نے سونا ہوگا، کسی نے پڑھنا ہوگا۔ دلچسپ بات یہ ہے کہ ہم اس طرح کی مادر پدر آزادی کا بھرپور لطف اُٹھاتے ہیں مگر مادر پدر آزاد ہونے کو برا خیال کرتے ہیں۔
    نوٹ: مصںف نے سیکولر اور لبرل جیسی اصطلاحوں کے تاریخی پس منظراور اس کے نتیجے میں ان اصطلاحوں کے بدلتے معنی پر مقالہ لکھنے سے قصداً اجتناب کیا ہے۔ کیوں لالاجی کی یہ تحریریں عام پاکستانی کے لئے لکھی جاتی ہیں، کسی محقق یا نقاد کی طرف سے علمیت کی سند حاصل کرنے کے لئے نہیں۔