In the third part of this series the reader we will made privy to some of the more disturbing views of the pseudo-intellectual Javed Ghamidi.
One of the basic principles of Islam is:
لَا طَاعَةَ لِمَخْلُوقٍ فِي مَعْصِيَةِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ
“There is no obedience to any human being if it involves disobedience of Allah.” Narrated by Ahmad, 1098
However, Ghamidi argues that in the implementation of a “religious directive pertaining to the state affairs”, consultation is still required, and only if the majority of the elected representatives agree to it:
“This extract clearly shows that, for the interpretation and application of even a religious directive pertaining to the state affairs, it is consultation that should be the procedure. Experts of Islamic sciences may proffer their opinions. It is their right to express their viewpoints, but their opinions become legally binding on people only when the majority of the elected representatives of people accept them.” (Selected Essays of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, pp.134-135)
Furthermore, Ghamidi says that no Muslim has the right to defy a law enacted by the Parliament, including such laws which are explicitly in contravention of Islam:
“No one has the right to violate the laws enacted by the parliament or defy the system. Neither the ‘ulama nor the judiciary is superior to the parliament. Each institution has the obligation to comply with the parliamentary decisions even if it has differences of opinion with it.” (p.135) “These scholars indeed have the right to present their views and express their opinions; however, their view can only become a law for the people to follow when the majority of the elected representatives accept it. In modern states, the institution of the parliament has been constituted for this very purpose. It holds and should hold the final authority in the system of a state. People do have a right to criticize the decisions of the parliament and point out their mistakes; however, no one has the right to disobey them or rebel against them. Neither scholars nor the judiciary is above the parliament.” (p.154)
Here Ghamidi has stated that the Parliament or legislature has greater authority than the Ulama and the judiciary. This is blatantly opposed to the teachings of Islam. According to our Religion, legislative authority is the exclusive domain of Allah Most High. Man is only charged with judging in accordance with the divine legislation and practically executing it. Hence, in a purely Islamic state, there is no legislative body. The Muslims are only allowed to consult about those affairs where Allah Most High has left the matter open. For example, it is not acceptable for the Muslims to consult on whether Riba (usury) should be legalised since Allah has explicitly declared it Haram. But it is acceptable for Muslims to consult on the location for the construction of a mosque.
Ghamidi says that it is not necessary for Islam to be implemented in full, but only to the extent and degree of “people’s commitment to this faith”:
“Now, the objective of our efforts should be a purely democratic state. Once this state is truly formed, Islam will manifest itself in the system in proportion to the degree of people’s commitment to this faith.” (p.135)
This is clearly in violation of the Holy Qur’an:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ادْخُلُوا فِي السِّلْمِ كَافَّةً وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ
O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.
Yet another one of Ghamidi’s false principles is that the State does not possess the authority to coerce people into fulfilling a religious obligation apart from Salat and Zakat:
“Not even the state itself has been permitted by Islam to use the force of law to coerce people into fulfilling any obligation of purely religious nature except the mandatory prayer and alms (al-salah and al-zakah).” (p.136) “They will not be forced by the law to submit to any directive which reflects a positive injunction of Islam except the prayer and the zakah.” (p.142)
This is incorrect, because not only the State, but even individual Muslims have been authorised to enforce religious obligations on the people. This is a principle known as Amr bil-Ma’ruf (enjoining the good) and Nahi ‘anil-Munkar (prohibiting vice). The Prophetﷺ said:
مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُمْ مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُغَيِّرْهُ بِيَدِهِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِقَلْبِهِ وَذَلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الإِيمَانِ
The context of this narration as reported in Sahih Muslim: “It is narrated on the authority of Tariq b. Shihab: It was Marwan who initiated (the practice) of delivering khutbah (address) before the prayer on the 'Id day. A man stood up and said: Prayer should precede khutbah. He (Marwan) remarked, This (practice) has been done away with. Upon this Abu Sa'id remarked: This man has performed (his duty) laid on him. I heard the Messenger of Allah as saying: He who amongst you sees something abominable should modify it with the help of his hand; and if he has not strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue, and if he has not strength enough to do it, (even) then he should (abhor it) from his heart, and that is the least of faith.”
So for example, it is a religious obligation on every able bodied Muslim adult to undertake the fast of Ramadan. Not only the State, but individual Muslims are authorised by Allah Most High to coerce those who are sinful and breaking their fast to comply with the religious obligation of fasting in Ramadan. The only difference between the State and non-State actors is that the State is authorised to carry out corporal punishments or the Hudud, whereas non-State actors are not authorised to spill blood of anyone. Non-State actors can only coerce the people into complying with religious obligations short of spilling anyone’s blood.
Ghamidi, in his blind love for parliamentary democracy, attempts to restrict the role and position of the Ulama, claiming instead that their influence over social and political affairs should only be exercised in their capacity of elected members of the Parliament and not as men of religious learning:
“If some of the religious scholars are fond of politics as well, they can join political parties to become part of the parliament where they can play their role in legislation in accordance with the parliamentary norms and procedures.” (p.136)
Regarding polygamy, Ghamidi justifies the laws of certain contemporary states which require a man to seek the permission of his first wife before contracting a second marriage, despite the fact that such a law is clearly in violation of the teachings of the Holy Qur’an (Sura 4:3)
“In the state of Pakistan, laws regarding permission of the first wife for second marriage and prohibition of marriage of minors have been made on this basis.” (p.146)
It is quite strange that on one hand Ghamidi asserts that Muslims are obligated to obey the State even if they think it contradicts a religious directive: “No one has the right to violate the laws enacted by the parliament or defy the system. Neither the ‘ulama nor the judiciary is superior to the parliament. Each institution has the obligation to comply with the parliamentary decisions even if it has differences of opinion with it.” (p.135) Yet on the other hand, Ghamidi contradicts his own fabricated and un-Islamic principle by stating that the government has no authority to enact a religious laws:
“Thus, if a government, for example, has enacted the law that people will not be allowed to wear their religious identifications like the zunnar, the cross, the turban or kirpan, or they will have to necessarily give a wife a certain amount of their wealth at the time of divorce or will not shave their beards or not wear shorts or not listen to music or women will not go out without wearing the veil or will not put on the scarf then this indeed is exceeding the limits. Similarly, if, on the contrary, it has enacted the law that they cannot go out unless they wear the veil or not go for hajj or ‘umrah without a mahram or will not drive cars, or will not adopt such and such a profession, or will not take part in politics or will not cast votes, then this is also exceeding the limits. Even if any of these is God’s directive, then people are answerable before God if they follow or violate it. No government of the world has the authority to order a person to obey such matters.” (pp.146-147) “No government, for example, can force a person to fast or go for hajj or ‘umrah or to circumcise himself or to keep his moustaches trimmed or in the case of a woman to cover her chest, refrain from displaying her ornaments or to wear a scarf when going out.” (p.155)
In summary, Ghamidi claims that if people wear shorts exposing their thighs, or if women expose their breasts in public, the State has no right to reprimand them! One then wanders what is the purpose of even having a State if it cannot even enforce basic morality and prevent shameless public displays of nudity. Furthermore, Ghamidi has exposed his ignorance of the practice of the Prophetﷺ who in his capacity of Prophet, Imam (leader) and Hakam (ruler) practically implemented such religious directives with his own hand. Ghamidi has put forward the example that it is “exceeding the limits” for a government to force a person to “keep his moustaches trimmed”. Yet the Prophetﷺ himself would force people to keep their moustaches trimmed and practically enforced this religious directive with his own hand:
زَادَ الأَنْبَارِيُّ وَكَانَ شَارِبِي وَفَى فَقَصَّهُ لِي عَلَى سِوَاكٍ
In other words, when the Prophetﷺ saw that his companion Mughira b. Shu’ba’s moustache was very long, he trimmed it upon a Siwak. (Sunan Abi Dawud)
Now let the reader bear witness that Ghamidi does not even believe in the concept of so-called “Islamic democracy”, where there is democracy as long as Islamic principles are enshrined and protected by a constitution which no parliament or legislative body can overturn. Instead, Ghamidi believe in absolute and unrestricted democracy, and validates it even if it is clearly resulting in disobedience to Allah Most High:
“Hence, it is baseless to think that a state also has a religion and there is a need to Islamize it through an Objectives Resolution and that it must be constitutionally bound to not make any law repugnant to the Qur’an and Sunnah.” (pp.147-148)
Next, Ghamidi makes a baseless claim that the Prophetﷺ barred people from establishing the Friday prayers and delivering the sermon apart from the head of state and his deputies:
“Considering this extraordinary importance of the Mosque pulpit, the Prophet (sws) set the rule that none other than the heads of state and their viceroys may lead the Friday Congregation and deliver a sermon on the occasion. The service cannot legitimately be assumed by an individual on his own accord.” (p.180)
“Friday congregations are banned in any other mosque. Government should manage and administer the mosques.” (p.182)
It is quite strange that on one hand Ghamidi portrays himself as a liberal committed to freedom to practice one’s religion, but here wants the State to bar ordinary Muslims from establishing the Friday prayer service and delivering the sermon, which he claims is the exclusive prerogative of the State. Interestingly, Ghamidi has not cited any evidence from the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah to establish this false principle of his. Although this is the view of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence that the Jumu’ah cannot be established without the express permission of the State, and only the ruler or one of his deputies is authorised to establish the Friday service and deliver the sermon, the three other schools (Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali) are right in rejecting this condition for validity on the grounds that it lacks evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Another one of Ghamidi’s blunders, and a proof that he is a man given to following his evil desires and lusts rather than the teachings of Islam, is his contention that paying interest is not Haram:
“No objection can be raised on paying interest” (pp.216-217) “People who acquire interest-based loans cannot in any way be regarded as guilty of co-operation with evil.” (p.218)
This despite the fact that the Prophetﷺ did not merely curse the one who consumes usury, but also the one who pays it (Bukhari & Muslim).
Ghamidi also allows for usury if the one consuming usury is not “exploiting”. For example, he allows the general masses, especially orphans, widows and retired personnel, to consume usury through government savings schemes:
“Should saving schemes through which governments acquire loans for their needs from people and also give them profit be regarded as prohibited? It is known that interest has been forbidden because it can result in oppression and exploitation. However, the intensity of this oppression and exploitation is greatly reduced in this arrangement. For the pious, it is befitting that they do not benefit from such schemes. However, if the general masses especially the orphans, widows and retired personnel who are apprehensive in investing their wealth in business ventures benefit from these schemes for their essential expenses, it is hoped that they will not be held accountable for this by their God.” (pp.216, 218-219)
Once again, Ghamidi is playing with fire, amending the explicit commandments of the Holy Qur’an which prohibit anything that even stinks of usury:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَذَرُوا مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ الرِّبَا إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٢٧٨﴾ فَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلُوا فَأْذَنُوا بِحَرْبٍ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ۖ وَإِن تُبْتُمْ فَلَكُمْ رُءُوسُ أَمْوَالِكُمْ لَا تَظْلِمُونَ وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ
O you who have believed, fear Allah and give up what remains [due to you] of interest, if you should be believers. And if you do not, then be informed of a war [against you] from Allah and His Messenger. But if you repent, you may have your principal - [thus] you do no wrong, nor are you wronged (Sura 2:278-279)
Regarding the Islamic punishment of Rajm (lapidation) for extra-marital adultery, Ghamidi flatly rejects this:
“The punishment of fornication prescribed by the shari’ah for both married men and women and unmarried ones is a hundred lashes as stated in verse 24 of Surah Nur. No doubt, the Prophet (sws) did stone to death some criminals of his times who were guilty of fornication. However, this was administered to criminals guilty of rape and profligacy and in accordance with verses 33-34 of Surah Ma’idah.” (p.255)
Ghamidi claims that the Hudud cannot be implemented on non-Muslims and even those Muslims who are ignorant of their religion:
“These punishments cannot be given to those who are non-Muslims or are Muslims by birth but because of a lack of awareness of their religion are akin to non-Muslims.” (pp.255-256)
Such pronouncements by Ghamidi have no foundation, and go against the Sunnah of the beloved Prophetﷺ, who implemented the Hudud on non-Muslims subject to his authority.
Ghamidi claims that there is no Hadd in Islamic law to punish those guilty of drinking intoxicants:
“The punishment of drinking is not part of the shari’ah.” (p.290)
However, the Prophetﷺ and his successors carried out the Hadd of beating and flogging those guilty of intoxication (eighty lashes), proving that it is indeed a Hadd and not simply Ta’zir (a discretionary punishment).