It is generally understood that
the founders of Pakistan wanted to make it an Islamic democratic welfare state.
In later times as well, this concept about Pakistan continued. In these times,
advocates of revolution and change also say the same. If the common masses are
asked, a vast majority will also attest to this concept. There are excellent
examples of democratic and western states in the western world; so it is not at
all difficult to understand what such states are or should be. However, the
question arises: What exactly is implied by an “Islamic State”? One of its
models can be seen in the monarchy of Saudi Arabia and another in the theocracy
of Iran. However, if Islam is understood directly from its sources, it does not
regard either of these models as correct. Therefore it is essential that the
requirements of Islam regarding the state system of the Muslims be stated here
so that in the light of this people can evaluate the promises and measures of
Following are these requirements:
1. Those who call themselves
Muslims and regard Muhammad (sws) to be the last prophet of God, who are
diligent in their prayer and are ready to pay zakāh to the state, shall be
regarded as Muslims and the rights which they specifically enjoy by virtue of
the Islāmic sharī‘ah shall be given to them in all circumstances.
This means that they will not be subjects of a king but equal citizens. No
discrimination shall be made between them in the state system and the laws of
the state. Their life, wealth and honour shall hold sanctity – so much so that
without their consent the state shall not impose any tax on them other than
zakāh. If a dispute arises in their personal affairs like marriage, divorce,
distribution of inheritance and other similar matters, then it shall be decided
in accordance with the Islamic sharī‘ah. They shall be provided with all the
essential facilities for their daily prayers, the fasts of Ramadān and hajj and
‘umrah. 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 zakāh. They
will be governed with justice and fairness on the principle of amruhum shūrā
baynahum (their system is based on their consultation). Their public wealth and
assets shall be reserved for the collective needs of the society and shall not
be given in private ownership; in fact, they shall be developed and looked after
in such a way that the needs of people who are not able to financially support
themselves are fulfilled from their income. If they pass away, they shall be
enshrouded and prepared for burial according to Muslim rites; their funeral
prayer shall be offered and they shall be buried in the graveyard of the Muslims
the way Muslims are buried.
2. It shall be the responsibility of the government to organize the Friday and
the ‘īd prayers. These prayers shall be held only at places which are specified
by the state. Their pulpits shall be reserved for the rulers. They themselves
will lead and deliver the sermon of these prayers or some representative of
theirs will fulfill this responsibility on their behalf. Within the confines of
the state, no one will have the authority to organize these prayers
3. Law enforcing departments shall be primarily reserved for amar bi al-ma‘rūf
and nahī ‘an al-munkar (enjoining good and forbidding evil). Thus the most pious
of people will be selected as workers of these departments. They will urge
people to do good and forbid them all what mankind has always regarded as evil.
4. The state shall always adhere to justice (qā’im bi al-qist) with regard to
its enemies as well. It will say the truth, bear witness to it and will not take
any step contrary to justice and fairness.
5. If the state enters into agreement with someone within itbbb s jurisdiction or
with someone foreign entity, then as long as the agreement exists it shall be
honoured both in letter and in spirit with full honesty and sincerity.
6. If a Muslim is guilty of murder, theft, fornication, falsely accusing some of
fornication (qadhf) or spreading anarchy and disorder in the land and a court is
fully satisfied that he does not deserve any leniency arising from his personal,
familial and social circumstances, then punishments shall be meted out to him
which the Almighty has prescribed in His Book for those who have whole-heartedly
accepted the call of Islam.
7. Dissemination of Islam to all parts of this world shall be organized at the
state level. If any power of the world tries to hinder this effort or persecutes
Muslims, then the state, according to its capacity, will try to remove this
hindrance and stop this persecution even if it has to lift arms for it.
(Translated by Dr Shehzad Saleem)