In the previous blog we talked about how Pakistan can be a modern state by creating new paradigms guided by the principles do Islam. Such paradigms which are suited to the modern world and life styles. We also identified that education is the key to creating such new society.
We can’t deny the fact that without our religion and our values we are shallow. Our identity is lost without our own definitions. Unlike West we do not want to get rid of our religion. Islam provides us a great anchoring point. And unlike West where Church played many a negative role, Islam for its first 700 years provided a shining and broad minded progressive civilisation, which was tolerant and inclusive. We have also seen by ditching the religion in broad sense has created spiritual vacuum and social problems in the West. Hence there are even more reasons not to follow the trajectory that West followed in reaching its modern phase. We must follow our own path in this regard.
Pakistan provides us with that piece of Land, the state, where we can create new paradigms, modern yet Islamic, that can benefit the whole world for the new challenges of 21st century. We must create new social, economic, political and scientific paradigms by reinterpreting the principles of guidance in Quran and Sunnah.
As being the greatest creation, Allah has also given human beings the greatest sense to differentiate between right and wrong. Allah has then sent His guidance and then given us a freedom to choose how to live. But is that guidance fixed and immutable ? Should we think that Quran is only suitable for a limited time ? The answer to both these questions is no of course. But every time and space brings its own challenges.
With changing time we also have to change to compete with the world. For that we need to reinterpret the concept and practices of Islam as developed by the early doctors of Islam in political and economic context of their respective eras. Today’s Islamic society needs to be guided more keenly for both scriptural foundation of Islam relevant to politics and statesmanship. We need a modern Islamic state as the foundation of the revival of Islam as well as the Muslims.
We have to make a modern Islamic state as an ideal state for the world. In Quran we can’t find any direct reference to the institutions of the state. Rather it focused more on the concept of UMMAH- the universal brotherhood. This is an important principle. State provides a mechanism for one set of humans brings to rule over other set of human beings. And since Islam and Quran explicitly promote and condone Human freedom, Quran on purpose only provides and guidance for minimalist state and minimalist government. This is the foundations and fundamental political principle of Islam with far reaching consequences.
The first logical conclusion we can draw is that there is no fixed method of governance enshrined by Qur’an and Sunnah. It promotes consultation and cooperation. So one is free to choose its own method of governance according to its convenience, in the milieu of its own Time and Space. The second equally important principle that is derived is that whatever method of governance we choose it must be inclusive, tolerant and minimalist. There must not be focused power centers which are few. Instead power must be distributed across several sectors and sections of society both horizontally as well as vertically. The freedom given to Human beings, freedom of choice in matters of belief and choices in life is a fundamental character of such a society.
It is not government on whom we should rely on. Rather the people of the society make up a nation. We can clearly see that education is the key toward the modern and well civilized nation. Without education we cannot reflect upon Quran, Sunnah and Islam. We cannot create new paradigms.Now we have to think what that education would be? And how we would develop such scholars?
Centuries old oppressive and colonial rule have brought degeneration of both morale and spiritual values of Muslims throughout the world. To retrieve from this degeneration it’s time for the Muslim to restructure their educational priorities by aligning the Islamic principles along with modern educational theories and methods.
Through such education system our upcoming generation will become the torch bearers of our Islamic values and will play a vital role in the present world. The challenge that we face in the modern world is to rebuild our education system is such a way that it fulfills our spiritual as well as temporal needs.
Muslims in today world are considered as the most humiliated community. We need to change the education system passed to us by our masters from generation to generation or else we won’t be able to recover from moral and spiritual decline. The major purpose of the attainment of education is to gain the good of the world rather than destroying it through pride, arrogance and reckless chasing to reach the higher standard of material comfort. We cannot destroy this planet which is our only home, given to us by Allah in Trust.
The first and foremost obligation on us is to acquire the knowledge and second is to disseminate and practice it. Only knowledge that is pursued and practiced with humility and modesty will lead to the trio of freedom, justice and dignity, which are fundamentals is a fulfilling human life.