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Views of Pakistani Religious Leader Dr. Israr Ahmed Regarding the Structure of an Islamic Caliphate

Views of Pakistani Religious Leader Dr. Israr Ahmed Regarding the Structure of an Islamic Caliphate

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Published by Political Islamism
A special MEMRI report examining the late Tanzeem-e Islami leader's views on the caliphate.
A special MEMRI report examining the late Tanzeem-e Islami leader's views on the caliphate.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Political Islamism on Jul 01, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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June 29, 2010 Special Dispatch No. 3066
 Views of Pakistani Religious Leader Dr. Israr Ahmed (1932-2010)Regarding the Structure of an Islamic Caliphate
Dr. Israr Ahmed (1932-2010), the founder of Pakistan's leading religious organization Tanzeem-e-Islami, was arominent Islamic scholar who campaigned for establishing an Islamic caliphate. Trained to be a medicaractitioner, he began activism during his student days while associated with the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, but later developed differences because of its "involvement in electoral politics." 
In April 1957, he left the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan and established his own religious organization, Tanzeem-e-Islami, in 1975.Over the past few decades, he wrote more than 60 books, delivered television sermons, and founded severaorganizations such as Anjuman-e-Khuddamul Quran and Tehreek-e-Khilafat, acquiring devout followers in Pakistan,India, and in Saudi Arabia and the broader Middle East. During the past few years, he had been unwell, handingover the leadership of his organization in 2002 to Hafiz Akif Saeed as the acting Emir. While the Jamaat-e-Islami'sinfluence is more in the area of day-to-day activism, Dr. Israr Ahmed's Tanzeem-e-Islami's influence is more in thespiritual, religious, and scholarly domains. At a meeting in June 2010 held in Lahore to examine the teachings of Dr. Israr Ahmed, Akif Saeed, the new Emir of Tanzeem-e-Islami, stressing the message of his predecessor, diagnosed all problems of Pakistan as originating fromthe absence of caliphate in the country, and asserted: "The real cause of our woes is the delay in the enforcement of Shari'a [in Pakistan]. Peaceful protest and other tactics can help us in this regard... When the infidels can unite,why can't we? We have the Koran, on the basis of which we can come close to each other. Our belief in the onenessof Allah can make the Muslims one nation." 
 According to a report in the Pakistani daily Dawn, "A critic of modern democracy and the electoral system, Dr. Israr [Ahmed] believed that the head of an Islamic state can reject majority decisions of an elected assembly. A familiar refrain in his writings is that the spiritual and intellectual center of the Muslim world has shifted from the Arab world to the subcontinent and that conditions are much more congenial for the establishment of [an] Islamic Caliphate inPakistan than in other Muslim countries." 
In 1982, he created a furor in Pakistan, claiming that women should bebarred from all professions except medicine and teaching.
The following article, which is translated and excerpted from Dr. Israr Ahmed's booklet in Urdu language, "PakistanMein Nizam-e-Khilafat: Kia, Kyon, Kaise?" (The System of Caliphate in Pakistan - What, Why, and How?), highlightshis conception of how the constitutional structure of caliphate, or a modern Islamic state in Pakistan or elsewhere,has to be organized. The booklet has been published by the Anjuman Khuddam-ul-Quran, an organization of Tanzeem-e-Islami based in Lahore.
Title of Article: "Constitutional Sketch of Modern Islamic State or Caliphate"
"A huge part of Shari'a is about man's religious duties, which is thought in Islam to have a collective touch, yet at aconstitutional and legal level it should be considered as personal to an individual. Then, a lot of do's and don'ts of Islam relate to human ethics and morals that are common heritage of human beings and world religions. Then,there are the rules of religion that pertain to collective human life. Family is the basic unit of human society, andmatrimonial relations a starting point of human collectives. Furthermore, this part of human life was perfect fromthe very beginning and the issues and problems related to it were not to be affected by the evolution of civilizations; so the Koran described family laws in detail and explained even the minutest of it. In the same way asthe psychology of men and women was to remain the same in its essence, so too the do's and don'ts of social lifeand orders regarding these were given in a lot of clarity and detail in the Koran. But the case of political, state-related, and economic life of human beings is quite opposite to it. In these areas, evolution was underway when theKoran was revealed and is still in progress. So right according to the logic and wisdom, the Koran established itsbasic principles and goals, yet orders were not issued in detail. Of these matters, we find a few particularitiesregarding economic life in the Koran, for example forbidding of interest, gambling, and bribery, condition of mutualconsent in trade, and laws of inheritance, etc.; but it is a reality that about politics and state, Shari'a has only giventhe basic principles and has not obligated any form or structure."
Fundamental Characteristics of the Islamic State
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"What would be the constitutional sketch of a modern ideal Islamic state? Or in other words, what shape would theIslamic system of Caliphate, state and politics take practically? Philosophical and ideological debates aside, whatthe author can positively say on the basis of his study and contemplation is that it will be the most democratic stateof modern times, and will have only two fundamental differences with the secular democratic state based on[territorial] nationalism:
i) "Sovereignty of Allah
"The first and foremost basic difference is that sovereignty will belong to Allah. That will be expressed in theunconditional and complete supremacy of the Koran and the Sunnah over the system and the law. This supremacywill obviously be asserted in the constitution as the basis of the state's existence. So the state will be based not onthe sovereignty of man but his servitude to god.
ii) "Islamic Citizenship
"The second major difference, that is also a logical deduction from the principle discussed above, is that fullcitizenship will not be awarded to all the people living within its geographical boundaries, but only to those amongthem who will announce their belief in Allah and Mohammad as his final prophet. Non-Muslims will be a protectedminority whose life, wealth, and honor will be protected and who will enjoy guaranteed freedom in their beliefs,religious activities, family laws, and complete personal law. And their sacred places will be as safe as mosques are.But as law-making in an Islamic state or caliphate will be within the boundaries of the Koran and the Sunnah, andthe purpose of the Caliphate will be the expansion and completion of the Prophet's mission, the non-Muslims willnot be a part of law-making or of higher order policy or strategy development."
"What Does it Mean to Digress?"
"The principles mentioned above are not only complimentary but also are part and parcel of Islamic state orcaliphhood. The Muslims who do not feel compatible with these should clearly say that they accept Islam only atthe level of beliefs or morals, and consider it impractical, inappropriate, or unsuitable as a system of state or forgovernance at national level. First of these principles is a logical demand of 
(belief in the oneness of God),which is the base and root of Islam. So to deny it is Kufr [being infidel] and to think of exceptions is adulteration. Ithas been told in the Koran that those who do not take decisions according to the Shari'a revealed by God areinfidels and adulterators and also that who obey God and his prophet in some aspects of life and someone else inother aspects are in fact adulterators."As far as the second principle is concerned, it is an obligation for every Muslim, generally, to accept it because it isa logical result of the first principle and for Pakistani Muslims especially, as it is the root of Pakistan's existence
ThePakistan movement was run on the basis of religious nationalism, and it negated territorial nationalism. Digressingfrom this principle is the equivalent of destroying Pakistan and denying its being. That's why Indian journalists andintellectuals very subtly state that they have accepted Pakistan, not the two nation theory [i.e. the idea thatMuslims cannot live with Hindus and hence the origin of Pakistan]."
"Nine Constitutional Points of a Modern Islamic State or Caliphhood"
"Maintaining these two principles of the Islamic system, the highest ideals of human rights and most moderninstitutions of state and governance can be attached with them and that's how we can benefit from the fruits of human civilizations' evolution. For example:"
"Collective Caliphhood"
"When the political consciousness of man was in childhood and the man knew kings; and an individual ruler'scaliphate, or Imamate, was situated in an individual. So in the Koran, Prophet Daood was told that he wasappointed as caliph of God on earth and that he should rule justly. And as the Koran tells us, Prophet Abraham wastold that God is about to make him the leader of people. But when human consciousness developed, God madecaliphhood and Imamate a public and collective institution. So, on the one hand, leadership of human beings wasawarded to Muslims, and on the other, caliphhood was handed over to the Muslim population, who from amongthemselves can choose one to become a caliph. This is the reason that Hazrat Omar ibn Khattab [the 2nd caliph of Islam] arranged a congregation to warn people about the intentions of those who wanted to usurp the right of people when in his last days he was informed by Abdul Rehman Bin Oaf that some people are saying that they willmake Mr. X the caliph after Hazrat Omar. He postponed the program, as he was traveling, and later arranged acongregation where he said that the allegiance paid to some emir without consulting other Muslims is no allegiance."So the system of consultation among Muslims was therefore based on the tribal grounds and the categorizations,on the basis of the Prophet's saying, present at that time. But there is no religious hindrance in expanding thisconsultative system to all the adult Muslim men and women living within the geographical boundaries of the state.The principle set by the Muslim jurisprudence experts that all Muslims are equal to each other is according to thespirit of times. And they way irreverent and pious sons of a person share his inheritance equally the Muslims will beconsidered equal as far as voting for electing consultative council or caliph is concerned."But according to the eternal guidance of the Koran, 'hand the responsibilities over to those who deserve,' it will beimperative to screen the character of the candidate for the election; so the responsibility of the nation goes to thosewho deserve. As far as age of the candidate and other relevant conditions are concerned, these matters will bedecided by consultation among Muslims."In this debate ideologically the stance of the people, who believe in Imamate or caliphhood of a person who isflawless (or has divine guidance) even after the end of the prophethood on Prophet Mohammad, will be different.But as their majority Shi'ite (who believe in 12 Imams) believes that the Imam is not physically present, so
Page 2 of 5Print Report30/06/2010http://www.memri.org/report/en/print4413.htm
practically they are facing the same situation as the Sunnis are; rather it is a fact that for the last many centuriesonly Shi'ites have kept the institution of Ijtihad alive. The same is the situation with the Bohri sect of Shi'ites; so,practically the only exception is regarding the followers of Agha Khan. Their Imam is present and alive; so if anIsmai'li state is created anywhere on earth, the election of a ruler is out of the question as the Imam or somerepresentative nominated by him will rule; yet the followers of Agha Khan are a very small minority in Pakistan; soit is not an important problem."
"Three Organs of State"
"All of us know that the three organs of a modern state legislature, executive, and judiciary were notconsidered separate in the system of caliphate, but nothing bars a modern Islamic state from taking benefit of thisevolution in civilization. So, on the one hand there will be a legislature to continue lawmaking as per the Koran andthe Sunnah and to continue updating the Shari'a. But that will only have Muslims as members and that will only beelected by a Muslim population. On the other hand, there will be a judiciary to decide disputes among people,between people and the state, and to safeguard the rights of the people. Being the custodian of constitution, the judiciary will also decide if the law adopted by the assembly is in accordance with Shari'a. The third organ will beexecutive that will handle the day-to-day working of the state, will enforce law, maintain law and order, and willdefend the country."
"Law Making or Ijtihad"
"This opinion of Allama Muhammad Iqbal [the founding poet of Pakistan] that Ijtihad will be done and law will bemade through parliament is correct. But that does not mean that learned people outside the parliament will not beconsulted; the real spirit is that the parliament will decide (from among the proposed drafts of law) what draft willbe enacted as law and will be enforced. The decision of whether law is in accordance with the Shari'a or not is atechnical and sensitive issue; so wisdom does not allow us to hand over to the parliament the qualification of members of which is the support of adult Muslims irrespective of the voters' knowledge of religion."The clause of the constitution [i.e. the present Pakistani constitution] that no law repugnant to the Koran and theSunnah will be enacted can be implemented in three ways. One way is that it should only be the right of theparliament to make laws as the champions of democracy say; yet in that case the number of the people from whichmembers of the parliament will be selected will be very few as they will be selected from the people who havesufficient knowledge of the Koran and the Sunnah [in order to make laws according to them]. This decrease in thebase from which the members are to be selected is against the spirit of the times. The second way is that thereshould be an institution of religious scholars who will check the laws made by or drafts proposed to the parliamentfor them to be in accordance with the Koran and the Sunnah. That would be a theocracy that also is against thespirit of the times. So the only way possible is to leave law making to the parliament and let judiciary check if thelaws are in accordance with the Koran and the Sunnah or whether they are against them."We can bear with the present dual system, that [in Pakistan] there are Shari'a courts and the Supreme Courtseparately, temporarily. And it is too bad that there are different rules and standards for appointment of judges inthese courts
In future when there will be an ideal Islamic state, it is obvious that law colleges will be Shari'aschools and all the lawyers and judges will be the experts of Shari'a. So, there will be one judicial system and noduality."
"Political Parties"
"An important institution of the modern enlightened state is political parties, and freedom of association is also anestablished right, like freedom of thought and freedom of expression. In a modern Islamic state, citizens will enjoythis right with certain limits and certain extra freedoms. The parties will be barred from including in their programsanything that is against the Koran and the Sunnah, as the political parties will be running a system under somerestrictions. Every member of the parliament will be free to express his views regarding everyday issues. Oneexception applies to the issues of fundamental nature. Another exception will be the case when the lawmaker'sopinion will contradict his party program. In this case, it is a demand of logic and wisdom that he should resign."
"A Beautiful Combination of Limitations and Freedoms"
"The discussion can be summed and its crux can be stated in a few words by referring to a hadith that the exampleof the believer is of a horse tied to a peg. Extend this example and imagine a vast piece of land where there is a lotof space for the horse to roam but you don't want the horse to run away so you tie him to a peg through a rope of 100 meters length. So there will be a circle of 100 meters radius in which the horse will be free to move. But itsmovement to 101st meter will be banned."The beautiful combination of limitations and freedom can be explained through this example. The circle representsthe Koran and the Sunnah going out of which is neither allowed to individuals nor to the society or state. Butindividuals, society and state are free within the circle. So, the democratic values can be propagated and enforcedwithin this limit and the requirement of the Koran's principle of consultation for common issues can be met withinthe circle."
"Differences in Jurisprudence and Their Solution"
"A problem presented as a major hurdle in the way of enforcement of Shari'a is sectarian differences based on jurisprudence. The problem is not as grave as we think. Firstly, its high temperature is due to the stagnation andthe professional jealousy among religious scholars, and both of the causes will be eliminated by the creation of anIslamic state. Secondly, the atheists blew it out of proportion. But we have no doubt that these difference are thereand to end them is not only practically but also logically impossible. It is imperative to give them a suitableconstitutional and legal form for an Islamic state.
Page 3 of 5Print Report30/06/2010http://www.memri.org/report/en/print4413.htm

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