Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Reaction...what is an Islamic State?

Reaction..............

My first reaction after reading Javed Ahmed Ghamdi's article in Jang newspaper on 22nd Jan 2015, was that 'none would be able to answer these tough questions raised and accusation business would start as it was (available in history books of pre-1947 era) when demand of Pakistan - an Islamic state- was at its peak and Muslims were arguing each other through the platform of Muslim League or Jamiet Ulema-e-Hind for dividing or not, the sub-continent.'

It happened the way exactly I perceived. First Allama Ibtisam Illahi, the son of notable Ahl-e-Hadith scholar late Allama Ehsan Illahi Zaheer has replied to queries of Ghamdi sahab viz a viz Islamic State, its formation, role of Caliphate in Islam, is it necessary to be worked upon, and how Islamic State would behave in modern world, means legislative part! Ibtisam Illahi's article was -in my view- scattered thoughts penned down in a hurry to respond as it lack the answers chronologically. It also contained weak references worth nothing for academic researchers to consider. Later, Mufti Taqi Usmani's article published, though little better than earlier response but lacks the same spirit. This means queries weren't discussed as they were raised by Javed Ghamdi. I assume that points not raised were agreed by Taqi Usmani as well. Only he highlighted where he disagrees or needed correction.

In both two articles, there were no single reference that 'why Caliphate system is needed, why it is missed for so many centuries by respected scholars of that times, why no efforts had been made, under what category Abdullah Ibn-e-Zubair's Caliphate is classified, could all Banu Ummaya/Hashim rulers be termed as Caliphs, why religious scholars of their times didn't raise their concerns etc.'

Likewise, what would be structure of modern Islamic state, who will perform legislation (extent is known and agreed upon - no law against Holy Quran & agreed Sunnah), & what would be role of religious scholars in the presence of legislators, nothing discussed in detail.

Typically, Justice Taqi Usmani labeled the writer as promoter of 'secularism' even knowing the fact that author Javed Ghamdi is an ex-disciple of Syed Maududi, a core hardliner of Islamic State formation (though Taqi Usamni had already argued with him too during his famous book Khilafat o Maulkiyat) and great adherent of sub-continent most respected scholar Maulana Amin Ehsan Islahi. These thoughts are not new and were also raised by Maulana Waheed uddin Khan from India. So this is not unique voice promoting secularism. But that's our beloved tradition, where arguments fail accusation starts!

Neither I am fan of Javed Ghamdi nor endorse his political mission, if any, by any means but as a student of Islam, Pakistan, & Islamic State, I wanted to learn something that is not available through books only and felt disappointed after reading these replies. I was under the impression that some reply should contain Imam Sarkhasi's 'Mabsoot' references, Ghazali or Abu Hanifa's vision about Islamic State (through books like 'Kharaj' of Abu Yousuf), or modern days political Islam supporters such as Syyed Qutub (his Tafseer Fee Zilala el Quran or Mualim/Milstones) or a short-but accurate discussion as why Hajjaj is not termed as Khalifa and what prompts scholars to term Umar bin Abdul Aziz as 5th Caliph, if any but not Hazrat Muawaiyah (RA)...

Sorry these are tough questions and we would like to remain in limbo as we are since 1300 years!

Nadia Khan

27th Jan 2015

9 comments:

Najam Saquib said...

I think it is very simple problem and there is a simple solution to it. We get us indulge in terminologies that is the main reason get confused. Following are some basic questions:

1. Who have the right to rule
2. How to select the ruler, and for how long
3. How to change the ruler
4. What are the rights and duties of a ruler.

(Ruler could be single person or ruling counsel)

There are only 3 options:

1. God appoint some one
2. Some one take up the rule with power
3. People living in a given society decide

A society can select one of the 3 options and build a system according to that and give what ever name they want to give it.

Anonymous said...

Why the fuck u r so allergic to us Muhajirs, madmoiselle fat a la bimbo ?

Nadir Ansari said...

Nadia Khan seems to be well meaning commentator, but her comment is marked by the naivete of her modernity. State that we have today has nothing to do with the pre-modern political systems. The modern state emerged after a revolt against the religion. Martin Luther led it in the sixteenth century. Other factors that facilitated the birth of modern state are ethnic racism, French Revolution, and the European colonialism. Therefore the state is a bastard child of the illicit relations between the Reformation and the emerging mercantile capitalism. Of course people like Ghamidi are not aware of all this. Modern state is by definition secular. The error of the colonized nations was to accept the new political dispensations of modern national state, and probably they had little choice. Islam is strictly opposed to secular, nationalist, racist, and colonial mentality. Therefore no religious role can be given to the modern state. Taqi Usmani's reaction is in the right direction, but needs to further explain the theoretical underpinnings of the direction taken. As for Ghamidi, his net contribution has been to uncritically accept everything modern. He belongs to the old tradition of "Modern Islam" initiated by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Ch. Ghulam Ahmad Pervez, Chiragh Ali and Dr. Fazlur Rahman. This is not a moment to discuss the journalistic work of Ghamidi, but to go deeply into its intellectual roots, and see how modernity has undermined the pristine tradition of Islam

Bold and Bearded said...

I have published an article detailing all the back and forth on this subject. I intend to keep in updated with any new discussions from scholars and critics. Please visit: http://goo.gl/kciGTE
OR https://mymusingsinurdu.wordpress.com
Your comments / input shall be appreciated.

Nadir Ansari said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nadir Ansari said...

Thank you Bold and Bearded! I visited you page and read your responses. You also seem to miss the point. Ghamidi's journalistic writings are rooted in a fallacy, the fallacy of the "State" and many of his opinions are modernistic constructs with no basis in religion. Since you fail to identify the fallacy, you seem to be talking beside the point. If you are interested in scholarly criticism on Ghamidi's writings, see the Urdu research journal "Quarterly Jee" (Vol 11/12). The journal is not available on line. You will have to contact the following email to get the journal mailed to you: shahidmahmood@baatdiscourse.com. The articles on Ghamidi's fallacies are scholarly and you may find them dense and difficult to read. But let us not bring down these sensitive issues to journalistic level.

Azhar Aslam said...

Nadir Ansari

I am forced to disagree with various specifics with your comments. They are unfounded.

1. Modern state was a revolt against religion. I am afraid that is a very partial truth. Modern state is a result of various complex factors, including revolt against Christian religion in specific, and other forces unleashed by European reformation. It took good three centuries to come into being. Neither is it 'a-religious' in the way you have implied. All western nations states are founded on judeo-Cristian tradition. BTW you are probably aware of the role played by Islam and Muslims in all this, since the first among the fathers of modern state, John Locke was directly influenced by Msulim writings and his treatise on toleration is an indirect replication of Maqasid e Shariah.

2. Ghamidi is not aware of that. How do you know that. His writings and thoughts do not reflect your assertion.

3. State is by defintion secular. Err ... Name one please. All modern states in the west, have the underpinnings of judeo-Christian traditions, reflected int heir symbols. U.S. Constitution begins by stating that God has created man, and UK queen is head of the curch. So yes in that sense it's secular that state does not concern itself with get the religious beliefs of its citizens. But not the way you have stated.

4. By that criteria, all empires, ares States first, as these had territorial limits, and were subject to same set of law, expecting loyalty and obedience, . In any event the Msulim Semites were all secular. The last ottoman caliphate had all religions within its ambit and there was no persecution of the minorities, albeit there were discriminations. But even if it's not legalised, the discrimination exists in all modern nation states of the west. So a proto secularity was always part of all Muslim empires, because secularity is itself an integral component of Islam.

5. I would refer you to the constitution of medina and Prophet's covenants with various Christians, to support my statements.

6. Islam is snot strictly opposed to secularity. Secularity as I have stated is part of Islam. It depends if you want to stay with the original and strict definition of secular or later distorted subcontinental versions.

7. Modern Islam movement has made massive contributions to Islam and Muslims, not least of which is that as a result, you Nadir Ansari, are able to come on Internet, critically analyse and present your views and are able to contribute. So don't belittle it.

My email is azhar1302@yahoo.com and I live near London. If you wanted to stay in touch.

Anonymous said...

The comment of Azhar Aslam only shows that we are using Modernity in different senses. Mr. Azhar uses it in literal sense of newness. I use it as a proper term (irrespective of its literal meaning). Modernity is "the condition created by the Renaissance, Anthropocentric Humanism, Protestant Reformation, Colonization, Secularism, and above all Enlightenment." Therefore I consider it incompatible with religion as such, and particularly incoherent and even antithetical to Islam. Those who understand "modernity" accept that "Modern societies . . . are faithless by their very nature" (Terry Eagleton, Culture and Death of God, 7).

As for secularism, I agree with the definition of Guenavan who defines secularism as a condition in which "various spheres of cultural expressions and social institutions ignore, undermine, subvert or manipulate religious discourses" (The Future of Secularism, Oxford, 163).

Many Muslims have accepted these concepts uncritically. For details see the journal Quarterly Jee wherein the incompatibility of these concepts with Islam has been elaborated.
Nadir Ansari

Anonymous said...

The comment of Azhar Aslam only shows that we are using Modernity in different senses. Mr. Azhar uses it in literal sense of newness. I use it as a proper term (irrespective of its literal meaning). Modernity is "the condition created by the Renaissance, Anthropocentric Humanism, Protestant Reformation, Colonization, Secularism, and above all Enlightenment." Therefore I consider it incompatible with religion as such, and particularly incoherent and even antithetical to Islam. Those who understand "modernity" accept that "Modern societies . . . are faithless by their very nature" (Terry Eagleton, Culture and Death of God, 7).

As for secularism, I agree with the definition of Guenavan who defines secularism as a condition in which "various spheres of cultural expressions and social institutions ignore, undermine, subvert or manipulate religious discourses" (The Future of Secularism, Oxford, 163).

Many Muslims have accepted these concepts uncritically. For details see the journal Quarterly Jee wherein the incompatibility of these concepts with Islam has been elaborated.
Nadir Ansari