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June 06, 2010
Report of the Court of Inquiry constituted under Punjab Act II of 1954, to enquire into the Punjab Disturbances of 1953, also called Munir Report, carried an incisive analysis of the Ulema’s concept of the Islamic State and of a Muslim. Justice Muhammad Munir as president and Justice Kayani as member were appointed to investigate the causes of the trouble. The report concluded that the concept of a Muslim differed for different sects and if the fatwas of the Ulema were relied upon to determine whether an individual is Muslim or Kafir, then no sect could be called Muslim because of the lack of a single, coherent and unanimous definition of a Muslim and an Islamic State. Below are excerpts from this historic document:
An Islamic State
…The Quaid-i-Azam’s conception of a modern national State, it is alleged, became obsolete with the passing of the Objectives Resolution on 12th March 1949; but it has been freely admitted that this Resolution, though grandiloquent in words, phrases, and clauses, is nothing but a hoax, and that not only does it not contain even a semblance of the embryo of an Islamic State but its provisions, particularly those relating to fundamental rights, are directly opposed to the principles of an Islamic State…
The position of non-Muslims
…The ground on which the removal of Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan and other Ahmadis occupying key positions in the State is demanded is that the Ahmadis are non-Muslims; and that therefore, like zimmies in an Islamic State, they are not eligible for appointment to higher offices in the State. This aspect of the demand has directly raised a question about the position of non Muslims in Pakistan if we are to have an Islamic Constitution…
This being the position, the State will have to devise some machinery by which the distinction between a Muslim and a non-Muslim may be determined and its consequences enforced. 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 ulema to give their definition of a Muslim…
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…
Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, Amir, Jama’at-i-Islami
“Q. Please define a Muslim.
A. A person is a Muslim if he believes (1) in tauheed, (2) in all the prophets (ambiya), (3) all the books revealed by God, (4) in mala’ika (angels), and (5) yaum-ul-akhira (the Day of Judgment).
Q. Is a mere profession of belief in these articles sufficient to entitle a man to call himself a Musalman and to be treated as a Musalman in an Islamic State?
Q. If a person says that he believes in all these things, does anyone have a right to question the existence of his belief?
A. The five requisites that I have mentioned above are fundamental, and any alteration in any one of these articles will take him out of the pale of Islam.”…
…Apostasy in an Islamic State is punishable with death…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 beautifnl tree in the fatwa, Exhibit D. E. 14, were the head of such Islamic State…
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 the consequences of this doctrine, when it is remembered that no two ulema have agreed before us as to the definition of a Muslim…
The death penalty for irtidad has implications of a far-reaching character, and stamps Islam as a religion of fanatics, which punishes all independent thinking. The Qur’an again and again lays emphasis on reason and thought, advises toleration, and preaches against compulsion in religious matters…
Reaction on Muslims of non-Muslim states
…The ideology on which an Islamic State is desired to be founded in Pakistan must have certain consequences for the Musalmans who are living in countries under non-Muslim sovereigns. We asked Amir-i-Shari’at Sayyad Ataullah Shah Bukhari whether a Muslim could be a faithful subject of a non-Muslim State, and reproduce his answer:
“Q. In your opinion is a Musalman bound to obey orders of a kafir Government?
A. It is not possible that a Musalman should be a faithful citizen of a non-Muslim Government.
Q. Will it be possible for the four crore of Indian Muslims to be faithful citizens of their State?
The answer is quite consistent with the ideology which has been pressed before us, but then if Pakistan is entitled to base its Constitution on religion, the same right must be conceded to other countries where Musalmans are in substantial minorities, or if they constitute a preponderating majority in a country where sovereignty rests with a. non-Muslim community. We therefore asked the various ulama whether, if non-Muslims in Pakistan were to be subjected to this discrimination in matters of citizenship, the ulama would have any objection to Muslims in other countries being subjected to a similar discrimination…
We have dwelt at some length on the subject of Islamic State not because we intended to write a thesis against or in favour of such State, but merely with a view to presenting a clear picture of the numerous possibilities that may in future arise if the true causes of the ideological confusion which contributed to the spread and intensity of the [recent anti-Ahmadi] disturbances are not precisely located.
Compiled by Minahil Zafar