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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Dar al Islam Becomes Dar al Harb: Pakistan

Mohammed Ali Jinnah Speaking

Dar al Islam is the House of Islam, and it refers to the lands of Islam. The Dar al Harb is the House of War, and it refers to the lands outside Islam, and  the implication was that that is where Jihad occurred. This is a description and not a religious injunction.

Pakistan is my adopted Islamic country, based on my years of admiration for its founding father, Mohammed Ali Jinnah. As I have mentioned, I was born on the Day of Direct Action called for by Mr. Jinnah, and I have admired him as well as Mr. Gandhi.
Mr. Jinnah is not nearly as well known as Mr. Gandhi. Of course, a good deal of Mr. Gandhi's appeal is based not upon his works and sayings, but upon our later interpretation and modification of them. That, however, is the way it is and should be with intelligent folks: they change things with change; mobilis in mobile, as Captain Nemo used to say, changing with change.

Mr. Jinnah's ideal was expressed in a speech of 1947:
"You are free to go to your temples; you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in the State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed. That has nothing to do with the business of the State."
A secular state is a state that is not unmindful of religion nor is it atheistic: a secular state does not interfere in the religions - considered as religious ideologies - within its boundaries. If the religions wish to act politically or extra-legally or even as producer of foodstuffs, that is another matter and they are subject to the laws of the state governing political activity, crimes, and quality of foods.

Soon after Mr. Jinnah's death, this ideal lapsed almost immediately and changed to follow the wrong path and reached one high point when Zulfakir Bhutto proclaimed the Ahmadis to be non-Muslims in 1974. Imagine the arrogance of such a proclamation! However, it is the distemper of our age, is it not? Even here in the USA do we not have a recent president intimating his acts were directed by God, and we have Republican candidates even now intimating their mantles of leadership descended from lofty heaven!
It is indeed one of the distempers of our age: the more ungodly and unrighteous we act, the more we claim God's blessing on ourselves.

Now there are fellow Muslims being killed within Pakistan.
At the partition of India and Pakistan, the violence was limited to Hindu vs. Muslim. Now the mills of intolerant history have ground more finely and one discovers small differences within the Islamic community itself, and these are sufficient to allow one to kill these people indiscriminately in some incredible extension of Jihad that makes the Dar al Islam itself into the Dar al Harb...  The distinction is no longer geographic; it has become personal.

Which one of us, Allah, may bear up under Your scrutiny?
None of us, but the Mercy of Allah is infinite  ( الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ )

Which one of us may bear up under the murderous scrutiny of new and innovative ideologies which grind us down into such a fine powder that even my greatest acts: belief in God, become small imperfections which cause me to be doomed?

Mohammed Ali Jinnah's Tomb and Memorial

Oh, Pakistan! Whether the past
be glorious or dismal,
let it not diminish thee!
The long road of the future beckons.
Not hatred, but forbearance.
Not strife but ijtimaa '
Attain the perfection
of your lives which
Islam demands of thee!

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