KNOWLEDGE is not just for reading and understanding. It is for action because knowledge without action is futile or a sheer waste of time and other precious resources. While visiting the well-crafted website of Islamabad-based Shariah Academy I happened to learn that the said Academy was initially founded as an Institute of Training in Shari’ah and Legal Profession in 1981 to fulfil the task of training of those associated with legal profession in various capacities. Afterwards, the Institute was elevated to the status of an Academy to become a constituent unit of the International Islamic University in 1985.
Since its inception the Academy has been mandated to promote the Islamic legal philosophy, orientation in Islamic law and the Islamic concept of justice through the training of all key players of legal-judicial system in the country. The website of the Academy further notes,” The programmes of the Academy aim at preparing the judicial personnel to realize the aspirations of the people and constitutional imperatives calling for the Islamisation of laws.”
Every year, I think, four months long regular training course is arranged for senior district judiciary officers, District and Sessions and Judges, Additional District and Sessions and Judges, among others. Nowadays, the 61st regular course is underway at the Academy. In the past the trainees, after completing two months training used to be taken to Jammia Al-Azhar, a University in Cairo, Egypt and then for performance of Umrah, but now the management of the Academy never take them to Jammia Al Azhar reasons better known to them.
Sources reveal that this year the trainees will be taken to Brunei and Malaysia respectively and then for performance of Umrah. Several trainees who have been nominated by the honourable High Courts for this training are men of great wisdom, knowledge and professional -judicial acumen and I think, thousand times better than those who are hired for their training. I think, the honorable High Court of Lahore has shown its utmost sagacity for not nominating its judicial officers for this ongoing 61st regular Shariah (Islamic Law) course at the Shariah Academy. Judgeship itself is an act of worship and those spend every single moment in this noble divine are laudable.
I often reflect upon the training on Islamic law (Shariah) and pose these questions: Firstly, what is the utility of such training on which millions rather billions of rupees are being spent annually from the national exchequer of this poor nation which has no practical application in our legal and judicial system? Secondly, why such persons are placed at the helm of affairs in such training institutes/academies who are not “role models” for their peers, colleagues and apprentices, among others in society?” Thirdly, which such person are hired as faculty members both regular and visiting who fail to attract all stakeholders and trainees? Fourthly, which are faculty members and others of such training academies and institute hired from a particular sect, ethnicity and region, why not from all the federating units of Pakistan? How long injustice and cruel joke with Islamic law in this land of ours? Is there anyone to take notice of it and tell them that knowledge is for action?
—The writer is freelance columnist, based in Islamabad.