‘The dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out their dreams with open eyes.’
This year, the celebration of the Quaid’s day acquires a somewhat greater significance. The adoption of the sly new slogan of ‘Pakistan First’ to justify all that is not Pakistan, has ironically brought about the country’s dissociation from its very identity and defines our ‘patriotism’ as what Iqbal called “a fanaticism for country … a subtle form of idolatry; a deification of a material object”, what Islam’s eternal mission is geared against. This new orientation of what I would call our ‘ideology-less ideology’ reduces
Because of our pseudo-Westernised ‘men of letters’, the Quaid e Azam’s vision for Pakistan has been clouded over by an ambiguity that leaves the average Pakistani confused about what the vision that made Pakistan really was. A large number of our writers and thinkers are at pains to somehow create a justification for
There is a tendency among our contemporary ‘media monopolists’ to focus on the Quaid’s thoroughly Westernised lifestyle, mannerisms and culture as a result of his British education without indicating his thoroughly de-Westernised mind. Portrayed in this manner, the Quaid, among naïve minds who do not know much about him except what the media tells them, has acquired a kind of westernised image. With this, it is easier to accept when our writers tell us that Jinnah won
A deeper and incisive study into his life and career shows a steady evolution of his mind towards what became at the end, a ripened and mature Islamic vision, which led him to remark so candidly, simply and sincerely: ‘All that is good is Islam, and all that is not good, is not Islam’. At the end of his days, he used to carry a copy of the Quran at all times with him. This gives a rationale easy to understand, to his devoted struggle against British ascendancy and Hindu bigotry that threatened Islam in the subcontinent. For without a firm ideological basis, it is impossible to dedicate yourself so completely, and to sacrifice yourself for a cause.
The Quaid e Azam believed that the greater task was not in the winning over of, but in the construction of
The Quaid was unequivocal in laying down the imperatives of that vision on which
The Quaid’s words were unequivocal as regards the question of the Islamic identity of the nation. He knew that without it
It is very important to be clear about what the Quaid wanted
Another aspect that I found a lot of emphasis on in the Quaid e Azam’s speeches was socio-economic equality in the new
Islamic socialism aims at equity of the masses by the dissolution of all racial and financial barriers and distinctions, by establishing a system of ‘Zakat’ or compulsive charity to purge away the destructive concentration of wealth and the spiritual detriment that it brings by maintaining an equal distribution of national wealth. It involves the provision of basic rights for all free and law-abiding citizens of the State. It means freedom from basic want for all, justice and equal opportunity through a homogenised educational system and a free and open job market. It means a rejection of Capitalistic tendencies of lusty acquisitiveness, materialism, exploitation in all forms, profiteering etc. It means making the welfare of the common man your motive towards which all economic activity of the state is directed. Most significantly, Islamic socialism means breaking free from the tentacles of an interest-based economy that anomalously creates money out of money even when it is idly hoarded in bank coffers and not put in healthy investment for economic progress. This system exploits the classes which do not have a lot of idle capital lying in banks, multiplying itself. This way, it increases social disparity until the rich get richer (and automatically, the ‘exploiters’ in an exploitative system), and the poor, poorer (automatically the exploited of this exploitative system). The interest-based economy is a system of exploitation and parasitism, detrimental to the spirit of Islamic socialism that the Quaid wanted for
It is not without significance that the Quaid attached the epithet ‘Islamic’ with socialism either. With the social experiment in
It is important though, to see how the Quaid e Azam has streamlined the extremities of the ideological State. ‘It is not to be a theocracy ruled by priests’, he said. An Islamic state certainly should not be like the theocracies in medieval
This is how our patriotism ought to have been defined for it to make us abandon our comfortably laid-back state and rise to the forefront as builders of a nation. In order to pick up the threads and go forth in our journey, we first must seek out the path that shall lead to salvation. We must first rediscover the ideal for the achievement of which
Let his words not become poignant today. Let them not become a tragic anthem of a vision betrayed, but a clarion call that should spur us on to the only road to salvation:
“Remember, we are building up a state which is going to play its full part in the destiny of the entire Islamic world. We, therefore, need a wider outlook, an outlook which transcends the boundaries of provinces, limited nationalism and racialism. We must develop a sense of patriotism which should galvanise and weld us all into one united and strong nation. That is the only way in which we can achieve our goal, the goal of our struggle, the goal for which millions of Muslims have lost their all and laid down their lives”.