The motto of the father of the nation was faith unity and discipline, and this was the crux of his nation-building ideology. He wanted us to live as proud Muslims in a homeland for the Muslims and not become the persecuted minority of undivided India.
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He never intended Pakistan to become a theocracy and he categorically stated it. Prime Minister Modi is perhaps showcasing what the Quaid-e-Azam had the foresight to envision, over seven decades earlier. Modi is narrowing the space for Muslims in India. In recent news, in Karanataka state’s Government P U College for Girls in Udupi, Muslim girl students were asked to stand outside the classroom for wearing hijab. Speaking the Urdu language and greeting Salam are additionally banned. This is an infringement of basic human rights, including their religious and civil rights. Girls who wish to continue their education will have to abandon their religious practices and cultural heritage to assimilate and be accepted in the Indian academic environment.
This is what the Quaid was saving us from. Faith from the perspective of theology was never his goal. Quaid’s motto of “faith” was all about the sociological, cultural, anthropological, political, and economic dimensions of faith. He then stressed unity for what good is a crowd, unless it becomes a nation. The father of the nation’s early demise had tragic consequences for Pakistan as nation-building could not be undertaken, with the result that ethnic divides plague us even today and have caused us to lose the eastern wing in a humiliating military defeat. As Muslims, we are commanded by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to stay united. This aspect of faith is an inconvenient truth, which is completely ignored. The greatest beneficiaries of tribalism, parochialism, and sectarianism are political leaders, hence they reinforce these destructive ideologies. Discipline remains our greatest failing. We have no concept of self-regulation as a nation. Might makes right and people act wilfully, with no one guiding them about proper conduct. If social media is to serve as the barometer for civilized behaviour, then the behaviour of men and women on Pakistani Facebook groups can only be abhorred.
Disciplining a child is seen as a disservice to him, and encouraging children to be mouthy, willful, and inconsiderate of others, is seen as empowering and confidence building.
On a few women-only Facebook groups I have joined, the women routinely comment and react in ways, which would result in their immediate removal from an American women group. Bullying, mobbing, ridiculing, showing contempt for differing viewpoints, and stooping low with ad hominem attacks are seen as normal behaviour, and why not, since this is how most Pakistanis raise their children. In Pakistan, very rarely do people teach their children proper social conduct. Rude behaviour is rewarded and reinforced in children as assertiveness and confidence. Children are not stopped from misbehaving in other people’s homes as guests.
Parents do not discipline their children seeing that other kids are wilful and so they must not hold back their child from acting likewise. Disciplining a child is seen as a disservice to him, and encouraging children to be mouthy, willful, and inconsiderate of others, is seen as empowering and confidence building. Most Pakistanis completely lack civility in speech and mannerisms. This includes even the highly educated ones with terminal degrees in their field. Every few days, there are clips circulated on social media about the out-of-control behaviour of people holding high positions in the media, government, academia, and almost all other professions. When more than one person is present onscreen on any news or discussion program on television, they talk over one another and do not show even a modicum of civility. Hooliganism is best displayed by parliamentarians, who are the movers and shakers of the country. Religious televangelists and social media preachers are no better. They display atrocious manners and display revolting misogyny in their speech. Self-regulation is key to dignified and civilized conduct.
It lies at the heart of Islamic teachings. An unfettered tongue, an unregulated gaze, and willfulness in the use of oneâ€™s bodyâ€” especially oneâ€™s hands â€” are the main reasons why many people will enter hellfire. Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, was asked, â€œWhat admits most people into Paradise?â€ The Prophet said, â€œFear of Allah and good character.â€ It was asked, â€œWhat condemns most people to Hellfire?â€ The Prophet said, â€œThe mouth and the genitals.â€
(Sunan al-TirmidhiÌ” 2004)Amazingly, the vilest speech and the most atrocious conduct are often displayed by women inside the sacred premises of mosques. Raised to run their mouths as weapons against others, to establish dominance, they are so lost in sin, that it does not even occur to them that their acts of worship are nullified by their vile behaviour and that their mosque attendance is buying them a ticket to hellfire. Civility in speech and righteous conduct leads to nobility in character. These are the two elements that constitute our worldly deeds, which will determine our placement in the pecking order of nations in this world and decide our fate on Judgment Day. However, at present, our focus on faith is all about empty rituals.
The latest news from this quarter is that caps and hijabs are being made mandatory for primary school children so that Quranic recitation can be properly conducted. Quranic recitation cannot create better humans, only obeying the relevant Quranic teachings can, but they are an inconvenient truth that is best avoided by Pakistanis.