Peace through sectarian harmony | By Prof Dr Muhammad Khan


Peace through sectarian harmony

ISLAM is a religion of peace and love among all believers and for the rest of humanity.

The Holy Quran and Sunnah are the two sources of Islam. Holy Prophet (PBUH) said during his last Serman (Hajjatul Wida) “O People! No Prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore O People! and understand words that I convey to you.

I leave behind me two things, the Quran and the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray.” In the light of the directive of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), all Muslim must follow the teachings of Islam.

The essence of Islamic teachings, driven from Holy Quran and Sunnah are promotion of peace and love among all Muslims through unity.

Indeed, not only for Muslims but for entire humanity the Sermon of Hajjatul Wida is a complete charter of human rights which needs to be followed by champions of human rights.

As an ideological state, Pakistan has the distinction to be a true Islamic state, created to experience the golden principles of Islam; the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

For Muslims, there is One God (Allah), the Holy Prophet (PBUH) as the last messenger of Allah, the Holy Quran and Sunnah, leaving no chance of any division within the religion; sectarian split.

Unfortunately, there developed sectarianism among the Muslim which caused great harm to Muslim Ummah.

Today, sectarianism is hurting the Muslim world on almost all fronts. Based on the sectarian divide the anti-Islam forces are exploiting the Muslims all over the world and robbing their wealth (natural resources).

In Pakistan, there has been some sectarian based violence in the past. However, successive governments and the state institutions have been able to curtail the long-term impacts of this menace.

One such effort was a unanimous Fatwa, agreed from all Maktab-i-Fikrin the form of “Paigham-i-Pakistan”.

Indeed, this Fatwa created a narrative of unity, peace and love among all sects and the people of Pakistan.

In the light of violent extremism and militancy in the country, “Paigham-i-Pakistan” is Fatwa against any sectarian divide and a narrative for counter terrorism and counter extremism in Pakistan.

It was well conceived narrative having inputs from all religious scholars of all Maktab-i-Fikr of Pakistan.

The narrative is nothing new, but a reiteration of the essence of Islam, which rejects the very basis of extremism, radicalization and terrorism and sectarian divide.

Indeed, the Constitution of Pakistan is in line with the teaching of Holy Quran and the Sunnah of Holy Prophet (PBUH).

If we follow the constitution of Pakistan in true later and spirit, all evils in the implementation of rule of business and obstacles in the implementation of true teaching will be removed. “It is our foremost responsibility that we must hold this foundation (Constitution).

It is the base which will provide us the strength to achieve a dignified place amongst the comity of nations and enable us to meet the challenges at national level.”

Being the worst sufferers of the terrorism and sectarian divide, the people of Pakistan have unanimously rejected the narratives of all terrorist and sectarian based organizations, since they are against Islam and humanity.

The word Islam itself denotes peace and Holy Quran ‘teaches love and compassion for every human being’ irrespective of their religion. Indeed, Islam denounces terrorism and the violent and intolerant beliefs.

Truly the radicalization, the extremism and the terrorism is not the agenda of Muslims and Islam.

There is a need for the farsightedness and prudence among the religious scholars and ruling elites of Muslim world.

The religious scholars and ruling elites can remove the unfounded anomalies and disparities existing among the ignored masses of the Muslim world.

Apart from imparting the basic education, the Muslim youth need to know the moral values of Islam which form essence of this great religion.

Thereafter, there is an immediate need to address the socio-economic deprivations of Muslim societies.

These deprivations become the reasons for the exploitation of poor Muslims in the name of sectarianism, terrorism and extremism on the name of religion.

The ruling class needs to ensure good governance where collective and individual issues of all citizens are addressed to create a trust between rulers and masses. Let’s have a positive usage of Islam as a religion as per its essence.

The current anti Islam narratives of terrorists, while taking cover of Islam have created a scare among the youth.

Let’s promote the education for discarding the narratives of terrorists as well as of those forces conspiring against the teachings of Islam and ideology of Pakistan.

We must introspect and look within instead of hypothesizing about conspiracies only.

Pakistan was created as a modern and progressive nation, based on the ideology of Islam and essence of ideology is promotion of peace, respect and tolerance for all faiths, castes and creed.

The future of Pakistan centred on the promotion and practice of true teachings of Islam.

The essence of Islam is based in the promotion of peace, unity and kindness for everyone.

In the light of true teachings of Islam, Muslims should stay over and above the hatred-based on; religion, sects, caste/creed and all racial discriminations.

Let’s not allow malicious elements and major power centres to use Islam and Muslims for furthering their own strategic and economic designs.

Since the armed forces of Pakistan have established peace in Pakistan after years of military operations, therefore let’s not allow resurgence of terrorism, extremism, sectarianism and sub-nationalism.

Let’s transform Pakistan into a model Islamic state where we practice the golden principles of Islam through promotion of tolerance, respect, love, peace and harmony for everyone in Pakistan.

— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.