The Kashmir Question

Politics solves every problem. The only thing required is will and a way to do it. But when the path chosen is other than that, one must be prepared for problems and reaction which can be a plenty. Kashmir is one such case study which has suffered a great deal because of the reluctance shown towards a political solution. If history is to be believed, at one point neither Pakistan nor India wanted Kashmir.

Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan told Hayat Khan, ‘Sirdar Saheb, have I gone mad to give up Hyderabad which is much larger than Punjab for the sake of the rocks of Kashmir?’ sights Hayat Khan in his book ‘The Nation that Lost its Soul’. Interestingly Hyderabad Deccan at that time had a Hindu majority unlike Kashmir which had Muslim majority. Hayat Khan writes further, ‘I was stunned by the Prime Minister’s reaction and ignorance of our geography and his lack of wisdom. I thought he was living in a fool’s paradise and did not understand the importance of Kashmir to Pakistan while hoping to get Hyderabad, which at best, was only quixotic wishful thinking. It was not connected to Pakistan anywhere. As a protest, I resigned from the position I was holding in Kashmir operation.’

This showed the lack of vision and short-sightedness of Liaquat Ali Khan and preference of vested interest over the broader national one. Pakistan had the chance and opportunity but he let it go easily only for it to become a major dispute between two newly independent countries Pakistan and India. As if it was not enough, Quaid-e-Azam ordered the then Chief of Army General Gracey to attack Kashmir which he plainly refused. But this did not deter Quaid and with the help of the tribesmen Pakistan staged a war on Kashmir on October 22nd 1947. It did not take long for United Nations to take notice of the matter which happened only a few weeks after India and Pakistan got independence. It was unnecessary when the political solution was available and India had already shown willingness for that. On January 5, 1949 United Nations ceasefire line was established. Pakistan lost more than it bargained and might have lost more if not for the gritty fight by tribesmen and the part of Kashmir (Azad Kashmir) we have now it is to their credit.

Kuldip Nayar, in his book ‘Beyond the Line – An Autobiography’ writes on Sardar Patel’s consistent view that Kashmir should be a part of Pakistan. ‘My impression is that had Pakistan been patient it would have got Kashmir automatically. India could not have conquered it, nor could a Hindu Maharaja have ignored the composition of the population which was predominantly Muslim. Instead, an impatient Pakistan sent tribesmen along with regular troops to Kashmir within days of Independence.’

The first of many rounds of talk to seek the solution of Jammu and Kashmir issue were held in London and Paris in October 1948. The Prime Minister of both India and Pakistan took part in the session along with their respective contingent. United States of America and United Kingdom both were keen to settle the dispute arising from the ownership of the Princely states of Jammu and Kashmir.

“We have in this period essentially two parallel sets of discussions:

 First: there was an Anglo-American attempt to work out what options there really were and to produce a compromise which both India and Pakistan might be persuaded to accept in these exceptionally propitious surroundings.

Second: there were a series of discussions between Jawaharlal Nehru and Liaquat Ali Khan in London and Paris during the course of October, followed up by officials on both sides, notably Chaudri Muhammad Ali for Pakistan and G.S Bajpai and Mrs Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit for India.”

In the final leg of discussions Jawaharlal Nehru tabled two propositions before Liaquat Ali Khan. First, Pakistan should accept the condition of self determination of Kashmiris, and make a sincere effort for it. Second, the current front line, soon to be a cease fire line, should be accepted as the new de jure border.

On 14th November, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan passed on the message to Indian representative Sri Prakasa with the decision of referendum in Jammu and Kashmir. Jawaharlal Nehru after hearing this concluded that it was pointless to try to decide the Kashmir question by further bilateral negotiations.

On 13th August 1948, United Nations passed a resolution in the light of which the referendum in Kashmir was supposed to happen. Liaquat Ali Khan made the announcement. The six conditions were:

1.       Pakistan will withdraw all the troops from Jammu and Kashmir because Pakistan started the attack and accepted it.

2.       Pakistan should use its best endeavour to remove Jammu and Kashmir the tribesmen and Pakistani Nationals not resident of the Princely states and entered for the purpose of fighting. The main reason for this was that in the war’s wake, Pakistan had the tribesmen settled by occupying the houses of Indians and Sikhs as plunder.

3.       The surveillance of the territory evacuated by Pakistan will be done by the local administration and United Nations commission. The definition of local administration however remained inconclusive.

4.       The United Nations commission for India and Pakistan will notify the government of India once the first two conditions are fulfilled by Pakistan. Only after that India will withdraw its troops from the territory. And it was decided and accepted as well that Pakistan will be the first one to start the withdrawal of troops.

5.       To support the local administration in the observance of law and order minimum military strength will remain in Jammu and Kashmir. This right was given to India with the United Nations keeping a close watch to ensure only the minimum strength is maintained.

6.       The government of India will undertake to ensure that the government of the States of Jammu and Kashmir will take all measures to make it publicly known that peace, law and order will be safeguarded and that all human and political rights will be guaranteed.

The referendum was to happen once these conditions were met but unfortunately our institutions avoided fulfilling them and misled the people of Pakistan. The civilian governments always wanted to abide by the United Nations resolution but the dictatorial regime unfortunately always escaped. Ayub Khan advised Sheikh Abdullah Haroon to agree the terms with India as per his wish and don’t worry about Pakistan. But Sheikh Abdullah Haroon knew of the circumstances so he refused. After that Zia ul Haq attempted the same and also Pervez Musharraf in the recent past. The concerning institution always looked for the other solution instead of abiding by the UN resolution. From Ayub to Musharraf everyone was in favour of area wise division of Kashmir.

In his article, ‘A tale of two States’ A. G. Noorani tell us, ‘A quarter century later, on 27th November 1972, the President of Paksitan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, told a tribal Jirga at Landikotal that India’s first Home Minister and Minister for the State, Sardar Patel had at one stage, offered Kashmir to Pakistan in exchange of Junagarh and Hyderabad. But, he added, Pakistan unfortunately didn’t accept this offer with the result that it not only lost all three native states but East Pakistan as well.’

It did not end here. To compensate for the lack of vision and leadership, anti India narrative was built up slowly gradually through mosques, newsprint and textbooks. The Kashmir we could have got easily and politically was made hard to get perhaps just for this purpose to win the battle lost to the short sightedness. And then Pakistan saw unprecedented support and promotion of Jihad for Kashmir. With every passing year it became a popular slogan and found many people joining the Jihad for Kashmir and the proxy religious parties tasked to promote the anti India and Pro Pakistan narrative in the Indian Occupied Kashmir. And for that the real spirit of the Jihad was twisted to suit the purpose. The reputation of word Jihad was tarnished for vested interests. The people were enticed in the name of religion and that they will be martyred and will get seventy two beautiful nymphs (hoors) in heaven, misleading them once again. Perhaps they themselves were unaware or purposely hid it from the masses. People started following it blindly without realising that let heaven be heaven and the fact that human body is formed of seventy two parts.

The slogans ‘Kashmir will be a part of Pakistan’, ‘Kashmir is Pakistan’s jugular vein’ and ‘Kashmir will become independent’ became so much popular that even shopkeeper’s had it displayed as ‘No credit until Kashmir become independent.’ It didn’t take long for the genius to understand how vital Kashmir was for our rivers especially after martial law administrator Ayub Khan sold control of three rivers to India under Indus Water Treaty. It is a fact that the water coming from the rocks refused by Liaquat Ali Khan has been a major source for the remaining rivers of Pakistan – an agriculture based economy. Pakistan must be ruing that why Liaquat Ali Khan refused Kashmir when offered? Zulfikar Ali Bhutto went public about it. But instead of politically correcting the mistake we preferred to go the way which brought a bad name to the country. Even though some efforts were made by the civilian governments but like Jawaharlal Nehru said when Pakistan chose the way of a referendum that the bilateral discussion are not the solution of Kashmir dispute. India strangely has shown more reluctance than Pakistan, perhaps they followed Nehru’s words to the letter.

Pakistan spent billions of rupees, lost many lives in the process but failed miserably to make the world understand its narrative. India successfully propagated Pakistan as the sponsors of terrorism in Indian Occupied Kashmir and continued the accuse Pakistan of infiltrating in the disputed territory. We only got mere words from the world after years of fighting our case and reminding them of their responsibility and the role they must play to have a referendum in Kashmir. One reason could be our diplomatic failure. India despite the brutalities, atrocities, pelting stones on innocent Kashmiris and killings in the Indian Occupied Kashmir escaped any charge. In fact India was able to get the world behind while accusing Pakistan of meddling in IOK. The world has only ever softly condemned Indian brutality but never dared to reprimand India of dire consequences. Pakistan however has always been on the receiving end.

On 5th August 2019 Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi fulfilled the promise he made during his election campaign and repealed Article 370 and section 35A via Presidential order to make IOK India’s Union Territory. He surprised Pakistan and the rest of the world with the urgency shown. This happened within days of US President Trump’s offer to mediate between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir question during the meeting with Pakistan’s premier Imran Khan in Washington. As if the rebuttal from India was not enough that PM Narendra Modi never asked President Trump to mediate to solve the Kashmir dispute, Modi quietly made IOK a Union Territory. Modi’s action caught Pakistan unaware as we were busy celebrating the proclaimed successful tour of United States of America. It created uproar within Pakistan and the IOK. And so begin the curfew, media blackout, atrocities and brutal killings in IOK by the India army increased in numbers days before the Article 370 was repealed. No words are enough to express the plight of Kashmiri people who has been through the worst inhumane and uncalled torture. History however dictates that the occupier had always resorted to such actions just to prove their power and subjugate people by force.

Three days later, reacting to Indian action Pakistan cut all its diplomatic and trade ties. Pakistan vowed to raise the issue in the United Nations Security Council and elsewhere. But since 5th August every other country is suggesting that it’s India’s internal matter and that Pakistan and India should solve this matter bilaterally. This has left Pakistan alone in battling the surprise of Modi and its impact in the region. Even the countries we back as our friend has not come out in our support, leaving us stranded. At this critical juncture our diplomatic and foreign policy failed again. And whoever is making it should reconsider the policy or maybe give up on it and let those qualified to do the job. So, where all of this leaves us as a nation whose years old narrative stands rejected by the world? Something ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif pointed out the infamous ‘Dawn leaks’ of October 2016 that we must put our house in order otherwise the world will not trust us. But instead of paying heed to what the three times Prime Minister was saying, we chose the easy way and called him a traitor.

As of now Pakistan is attempting to get the world behind it to force India to upend the annulment of Article 370 and section 35A. Which is highly unlikely at the moment and such actions indicate crying over spilt milk. What Pakistan must do at the moment is to ensure peace in IOK (now India’s Union Territory) so the life there can come to a normal course. We must engage with India diplomatically through the world and persuade to bring a halt to the atrocities and killings in the newly made Union Territory. This should be the first and foremost priority. Once this is achieved then the state should look to save the Azad Kashmir which after the status of IOK as Union Territory through Presidential order has become a working boundary. We must invest all our energies towards this and must refrain from hate speeches and actions as it will only create problems for already battering Kashmiri people.

United Nations Resolution 1948

Of Tax and Amnesty Schemes

Tax collection has forever been a concern for Pakistan. I don’t remember the last I heard that the tax collection was as per the potential. But since it never happened, our budget deficit continued to increase every year and we had to resort to borrowing to fill the gap. Over the years so much effort put in to increase the tax net but it never reaped the desired results. According to the 2018 report an astonishing 1% of Pakistan’s population is tax payer. This is beyond belief. How can a country survive, run and give for its people in such a scenario?

Growing up, whenever I asked my dad, a seasoned journalist and hardcore patriot, about tax collection in Pakistan he always said that people are not sincere with country. Further he used to say that one must stop all those persons driving luxury cars and should ask them how much tax they have paid but no one has ever done that. Then he used to give example of tax collected from Liberty market, Lahore which was PKR 80,000 to 90,000 in the mid-1990s not even peanuts compared to the business of the market at that time. This was something late Benazir Bhutto also mentioned in one of her talk and listening to her words gives you the horrific picture of how the authorities are least bothered leaving a sitting Prime Minister helpless and in duress.

One of the arguments of not paying tax is that they will not spent on the country’s development and instead will go into the pockets of the politicians. I will not lie; I used to think on the same line until the reality of things got in my head and I realised my assumptions were wrong. The countries across the globe survive primarily on the money received from tax along with other sources and this leave no reason to not pay the taxes. The question and concerns can wait. It is our duty as nationals not a choice.

Amnesty schemes one after the other launched to somehow bring the tax evaders into the tax net but have predominantly failed to bring in the required numbers. And instead of doing analysis of why the scheme failed we prefer to launch a new lucrative one. If people are not paying taxes then the institution (Federal Board of Revenue) is also not working as it should because of the inefficiency. Such schemes can only work if the reforms in the institutions are also made and the non performing elements should be shown the door. It needs overhauling more than anything else. There is nothing in terms of resources that the institution lacks apart from commitment to the cause, perhaps. It is otherwise well equipped to cater the needs of the modern times, if used properly can give the desired result. We don’t need a new system. We need change in the mindset, definition and assertions.

The last amnesty scheme launched by PMLN on 30th June 2018 saw more than 55,000 people availing it and paying PKR 97bn. The numbers are not quite appreciative but still it started the process by giving them discounts and no questions asked like benefits. However, it faced strong opposition and criticism from PTI all across. They did every imaginable thing to discourage people but despite of all that people volunteered which also included Imran Khan’s sister Aleema Khan.

Then we saw PTI coming into power after the process of selection and after much deliberation they also joined the amnesty bandwagon only after a year of voicing against it. But now it seems fine. Before launching their own version of the scheme they made amendments in the ordinance promulgated by the President of Pakistan which prohibited non filers from the buying of land and car through mini budget. We will now have to see how it panes out amidst high hopes from the government on this ‘Halal’ amnesty scheme. Despite of the assumed benefits what was the point of doing it all over again?

This is where we have been wrong for all these years – lack of consistent policy. We never gave those who availed schemes in the past to develop the habit of paying the taxes. Every incumbent government launches its own plan instead of carrying on the already implemented one. They don’t realise that it creates a negative impact. How impatient are we for point scoring that we forget everything else. We first dent confidence of the tax payers and then expect them pay the tax. It cannot happen like that. In a society like ours where tax evasion has become a moral responsibility presents a strong case for educating the people and gaining their trust. But the institution has continuously been doing the opposite. The frequent amnesty schemes and others have not yielded the desired result that’s why we still have just 1% of total population paying taxes, majority of them salaried class. Initially they look productive but in the long run they have failed and that is only because of the ever-changing regulations. Any scheme should at least last 5 – 7 years at the same rate and once they have become use to pay taxes the percentage can increased gradually. The institution must not forget that every little helps and its better than nothing.

The institution itself pushes people towards tax evasion and then cries foul. They keep sending people notices and chase them after they have availed the benefits of the reprieve. They want to suck every rupee out of them in one instance. Ideally the institution should leave them alone and wait for the right time. There is a potential of increasing tax collection but it needs patience, persistence, conviction and application. And the people in Federal Board of Revenue lack them dearly but expect the tax payers to have them. The institution also lacks enough data and the system to get to the neck of tax evaders. It is time we take giant strides in digital economy.

Once the rich and wealthy are in the tax net and have become consistent then the attention should shift to the undocumented part of the economy – street vendors, taxi drivers, mobile and computer sellers and other such businesses. This would need further planning, laying the slabs per their affordability and take it further step by step. The main hurdle will be educating the people and the local bodies can be utilised effectively for this task. Let’s just hope we as a nation can step up and become implementer(s) in addition to the planners, something we have always faltered in.

Jihad in Perspective

Jihad is the most propagandist and misunderstood phenomenon today, mostly linked with war and killing of the non Muslims in the Name of Allah. Mostly Jihad is being categorized in four forms; Jihad of the heart, Jihad of the tongue, Jihad by the hand and Jihad by sword. Many scholars believe that it is the sixth pillar of Islam because so much impetus has been given in Quran on the subject. Many books have been written on Jihad and there are many Hadith being quoted to support the theory that Jihad is nothing but the war against non-believers.

The other term Jihad is being largely politicized to support respective causes. Scholar David Cook has pointed out the same dilemma. He says that, “In reading Muslim literature — both contemporary and classical — one can see that the evidence for the primacy of spiritual jihad is negligible. Today it is certain that no Muslim, writing in a non-Western language (such as Arabic, Persian, and Urdu), would ever make claims that jihad is primarily non-violent or has been superseded by the spiritual jihad.”

Whether it is fighting in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine and elsewhere in the world everybody claims that their war is Jihad. The existence of the word Jihad came to prominence in the late 1980s when the United States of America wanted to defeat the Russians in their war against the Afghans. They politicized the word Jihad for their own benefit and made every effort to spread it across Afghanistan. USA succeeded in building up a force of Afghans — the infamous Taliban. With the help of Taliban they kicked Russia, the then super power, out of Afghanistan, which also resulted in the disintegration of USSR (Union of Soviet Socialists Republic).

One of the reasons behind all the prevailing misconception of the word Jihad is the translation of the Holy Quran by the religious scholars, which leads one to believe that Jihad is about war and the killing of the polytheists with sword. Most of the translations fail to differentiate between the Arabic word Qital and Jihad. The word Qital in Holy Quran is specifically used for killing which for some strange reasons is being overlapped with the term Jihad essentially derived from the word Johad. The fundamental meaning of the word Johad is to work hard, strive and make every effort to achieve the target or destination you have set for yourself. Whatever you do to pull off the particular target comes under the umbrella of Johad.

In Arabic language this word, as far as the meaning is concerned, has no demarcation and limitation; the connotation will remain the same no matter how much you enlarge the canvas. Ideally, the human being should establish the best meaning of this word for himself. In a way, that there should be no better goal and target in sight than the one he sets for himself. And after that whatever hard work he will do and all the steps he will take to achieve that target will come under the term Johad.

In nutshell, Jihad is basically to do your utmost to achieve the goal, target and the purpose of life you have determined for yourself. Therefore, a thief stealing, a murderer killing, an adulterer committing adultery, a drinker getting drunk or the effort a person to earn for his living all could in literal sense be constituted as Jihad.

However, we should keep in mind the Will of The Owner and The Creator of The Universe, God. He has sent us a message through the Holy Quran as to what the real purpose of our creation is: “Look, you were not born all by yourself but by My Will and Affection. There is a universal and centralized purpose behind your creation and your existence in this mortal world, and that is to worship Him (Allah) so that you can achieve the target of understanding the Magnificence of your True Lord.”

This word worship in reality is a pact of life; nothing else but striving towards the achievement of a goal. While offering prayers or fasting or giving away Zakat there is a definite intention behind doing all this which is to become successful and stand tall before The Owner and The Creator. To achieve this goal, some desire that they don’t get punishment and for some it is the reward but there are certain people, who neither want punishment nor have a desire for reward; in their opinion, the driving force behind the deeds they perform or intent to perform is to seek the blessings of Allah and that He be pleased with them. This class has very few people, though. However, if we look closely in to all the three classes, we will find out that the goals of all three are different. Now to achieve their own goals whatever effort, hard work and the steps they will take all will come under the definition of the word Johad.

Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him) always taught His followers to come out of the league of Asfala Saafleen and try to become Adam, once you have grown to be Adam, commence the journey towards becoming human. Bring to light those abilities, within yourself, which The Creator and The Owner of the Universe Has granted you, the abilities you were created to express and highlight. It is neither the purpose nor the meaning of His Creation that you simply come in to this fatal world eat and drink, have kids, spend 50-60 years and leave the world. This is not the underlying principle of life and it should never be. Life has a distinctive purpose which every person determines it for him.

With the advent of Islam the very first desire was to not only enter in to peace and serenity but also pass on and preach this message of peace in its true form and spirit to others and win over them. Unfortunately, during the lifetime of Muhammad (PBUH) the non-believers always made the first offensive move in order to snub this thought and message presented by him. Still, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (PBUH) never took the sword in his hand. The first acts of violence by the disbelievers each time forced him to align his companions, particularly in Badar (The first battle between the believers of truth (Islam) and the forces of evil was fought on the battle field of Badar, 60 miles (96.56 km) from Medina towards Makkah) where the non Muslims resolved to finish them all, stop the message of peace and impede the preaching of it. At that time only three out of his three hundred and thirteen Companions had a sword and that too was their personal. (It was a norm in Arab civilization that those who could afford kept arms.) Others were holding sticks and pieces of wood just for the purpose of self-defence. Among them, there were some people who only had twigs in their hands. The historical fact is that Muslims, in those times, had no official arms and ammunition for war as a rule, community and government.

There is no doubt and this has to be admitted today that their march for defence in the war of Badar was in fact a giant leap towards the achievement of the goal. And the goal was to have Almighty’s concurrence and to spread His message and state it publicly and if required, lay down their lives for the cause. Whether it is about their own self or of the others they will enlighten them with The True Message, and they will not allow anyone to challenge and subjugate them in their mission. By and large there was no such intention of killing anyone behind this commitment. It is a historic fact that Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) never opted for a war, be it the battle of Badar, Uhad (Mount Uhud is a mountain in north of Medina. It is 1,077 m (3,533.46 ft) high) or Khandaq (the battle of Trench), it was always imposed on him and for the purpose of self-defence only he used to suggest his Companions to get aligned and march towards the oppressors in order to stop them from entering the city area. This happened in Badar as well as in Uhad. But by the time of the third war, Khandaq, the non-believers have increased in numbers and it was felt that if the Muslims will stride towards them, they might not be able to stop. At that time Suleiman Farsi (A.S) put forward the proposal of creating a Khandaq around the city to halt the movement of the assailants towards the city area. These tactics were for the self-protection only; by any chance, there was no intention of killing people with sword and one fail to find any such instance throughout the sacred life span of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

As a matter of fact, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) indeed lead from the front, but it was only to motivate the people, who were with him to safeguard their own self and the city area, with just one aim; that in whatever shape they have received this blessing from The Creator and The Owner of The Universe, which has enabled them to recognize their best possible goals and targets, they should achieve it comes what may. They shall not give anyone a chance to suppress them and stop them from marching towards their goal, and they should defend themselves; which nowadays is being perceived as the Jihad of sword. This did happen but the motives behind it were not the one being presented today.

In an incident, authenticated by many religious scholars, when the Prophet’s Companions returned victorious from the war of Badar, they humbly informed Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that, they have accomplished the greater Jihad (Jihad-e-Akbar). Today whatever they have done was to achieve that goal and the destination envisaged by him for which they were willing to sacrifice their lives. At that point in time Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stopped them and said, “do not think like this, whatever you have done today is Jihad but of lesser category. Come; I will guide you about the greater Jihad (Jihad-e-Akbar).” Bewildered, all of them asked, “Is there another form of Jihad as well?” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) replied, “Yes. The greater Jihad is to suppress the temptations which arise within your own self and to abstain from doing what is not required or to act the way it should not have been; striving for it is the real target and goal and make your best effort to achieve it. It is not a matter of one time only but this endeavour is for every single breath you breathe and the moment you live. The achievement of this goal in reality is greater Jihad.”

While explaining what Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had said to his companions after the war of Badar, Ali (A.S) said that, “encumber on your own self and suppress all the emerging wrongful temptations. Once they will be suppressed, you will be able to get acquainted with your own self and this acquaintance will finally form the basis of the understanding of the Magnificence of Almighty Allah.” So the foundation of this greater Jihad, as explained by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), is the resolve and the struggle which a person undertakes to achieve the self-determined goal of his life. But, if a person unfortunately chooses an insignificant and wrong target, neither he will be able to succeed before his True Lord in the hereafter, nor he will be able to proclaim that I have done the greater Jihad.

Today, whatever type of Jihad is doing rounds and the way this sacred word is being misused, this innovation/extemporization in the true form and spirit of Jihad is our own creation. It would not be wrong if I say that this innovation has not come from the true believers but from the Zionist forces. In their effort to not only tarnish this sacred word and its sanctified meaning, they have instilled this new aspect of Jihad in our hearts fearing that the believers of the message of Holy Prophet (PBUH) would die after this holy word Jihad. They contrived a plan to abuse this word so much and present it in such a form to leave even the upright people puzzled and to reach a point where they too would start fearing and won’t come close to it. This is in fact part of a very big international conspiracy. The Jihad of sword and all that is being currently orchestrated by the agencies in the name of Jihad is not even slightly close to real spirit of Islam, the same religion, which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) presented and spread for the betterment of mankind. It is impossible to find even a hint of what is happening nowadays in the whole life span of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The proponents of this innovation should come forward to prove and show at least one incident where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has ever said these words, “Annihilate the community of disbelievers.” The philosophy of Muhammad (PBUH) was that the non-believers should be allowed to live peacefully so that the True Message could reach them or be preached to them.

At Ta’if (a city in the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia), the ingrates did so much harm to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that his holy eyes filled with blood. It is an authenticated Hadith that at that time Angel Gabriel came and said, “If you permit I can crush the town by slamming the mountain of Uhad on it.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “No. If, there is one such person among them who understands my message, I can forgive them all for the sake of him.” Gabriel said, “I have got it confirmed from Allah, there is no one among them who understands your message.” He maintained that, “If anyone from their offspring understands my message, I can forgive them all for the sake of him.” Gabriel once again said, “There is no one in their offspring who understands your message.” Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “If there is anyone among the child of their offspring who listen to my message, I can stop this action for his sake.”

Now look at this incident with a different approach. Gabriel possessed supernatural power, the kind of concept we get today in the Superman, Spiderman type movies, and the one who has decisive control over this activity is Apostle of Allah Muhammad (PBUH) and the moment he will wish that the mountain befall on them, the one who will do this activity will instantaneously show up and take out the orders. The state of pain He (PBUH) was in, drenched in blood, any other person in this situation would have easily got upset and said, “Do it”, but despite the immense pain Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) forgave them, just to achieve his objective. With this level of forgiveness and passion for the achievement of the target, how can Muhammad (PBUH) utter the directive of massacre, it looks impossible.

Nowadays, these words, that “He preached Islam using the sword” are inventively associated towards Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Those who say that must also prove this, that from where they have got this indication, because in the true life span of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) there is no such reference available. Even a person who possesses very little knowledge about the religion Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) cannot even dare to say these words, then from where we are making up these stories. All of this is in fact being injected and projected by means of an international conspiracy. They force people to keep beard and make them learn the Islamic declaration of faith (Kalimah), and then ask them to carry out certain activities. It has happened in the past where some people have blown themselves after saying “Allah-o-Akbar” (All the Greatness is for Almighty Allah). It is all part of a very dubious sort of planning. In reality these people don’t know anything about Allah and His Greatness.

A person, who gets to know Allah, even in bits, cannot imagine doing such heinous act. The manner in which the Most Affectionate Has Created the whole Universe and the way He provides the means of livelihood to every living being, even to the insects, bacteria, viruses, as well as animals, birds, fishes, human beings etc., irrespective of their actions. No matter how sinful or pious someone is He keeps providing the means for him to live. The True Lord Has His Own Philosophy and Method. Almighty could never appreciate one of His Creation holding up a sword and killing the other one in the name of Jihad; the holy word, the significance of which has been lucidly explained in the Holy Quran. In fact so much importance is given to ‘Jihad’ that the Almighty Himself mentioned in Quran that those who carry out Jihad gratify Him, and He likes their gratification and call them benefactors. In fact, it is mentioned in the Quran that those who carry out Jihad gratify Allah. And the Owner and Creator of The Universe in Quran Himself say that they are benevolent.

The entire judicious minds of the world have accepted this fact that the victory of Mecca was the biggest triumph in the human history. The biggest victory of the world, the largest event on the face of the earth and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was standing in the middle with nothing in his hand not even a stick, let alone the sword. Although it would have been very easy to cut the heads of the non-believers who were genuflected at that time and no one could have questioned this act as the Muslims were victorious. It was an easy task; as compared to the vandalism of the non-believers. Since, Muhammad (PBUH) had a definite purpose and being Blessing for the whole Universe, Holy Prophet (PBUH) spread the words of peace and tranquility for the agnostics instead of using the sword.

We have so many names in the history who did what Muhammad (PBUH) didn’t, as triumphant they could not control themselves and used sword, arms and ammunition to kill the people; like Changhez Khan, Halaku Khan, Adolf Hitler etc. We don’t count them as Jihad but when someone lifts a sword or a rifle here, it is unanimously called Jihad. This is most unfortunate but to accept this is our fault, and we are all responsible for it; those who are getting stained by this, those who are suffering because of it and those who are quiet and not doing anything.

If only we could understand the correct meaning of ‘Jihad’, in a manner that we could be aware of the true form and spirit of the concept. God Willing, all these people who study and comprehend the topic will spread that knowledge to other people around them and within the community. We need this to happen, in order to get rid of the root cause of this menace that comes from the wrong interpretation of Jihad.

Let it be, please.

Source: Corruption Watch

We are in the 10th month of the PTI government and in that short while we have seen it all: incapability to address issues, mini-budgets, cabinet shuffle, resignation and incessant clamouring. PTI probably would be the only party in the world who still has not come to term with the fact that they’re in the government now, not on the container anymore and they have to start acting like one before steam runs out. In the five years when PTI was in the opposition, they bashed the sitting government of PMLN for every other thing. They seemed to have an answer for everything until they formed the government. They stalled the progress of the country in every which way: 126 days dharna (they seemed so proud of it that they offer fully sponsored opportunity to opposition) in which the current Prime Minister mentioned umpire’s finger is about to rise every day without fail and the frustrated PTI went on to support the questionable Faizabad sit in. But despite all the obstacles PMLN went on to complete the five years term, only the second time since 1947. In all that time, PTI was aware of challenges ahead for them and the state of the economy because of their actions still they didn’t have any plan when they eventually formed the government. PTI delayed going to the IMF to seek financial assistance for some strange reasons and the rest is history.

So far, we have only heard the blame game from the government. They have not missed a forum to malign the PMLN and PPP for the crisis faced by the country: in the press, National Assembly, Senate and talk shows. If they had shown the same diligence with which they have continued to level charges against the previous government things would have been different. But their concentration and focus remained on one thing – corruption. Beyond that, they have no argument to counter PMLN now sitting on opposition benches. The baseless numbers they have claimed and failed to justify with evidence could have easily been avoided. But they chose not to. PTI government should have known or somebody should have told them that mere allegations are not enough and that they must give evidence of the same. Yet the mudslinging saw no end and perhaps never will till PTI is in power because they don’t have anything else in the goodies bag they promised to the people of Pakistan.

Apart from all of this, PTI has failed to run the Parliament in the proper way. No real legislation has been done so far – the sole purpose ministers and senators are there. If they’re so concerned about corruption then why PTI has not tabled a bill against it yet? This is the only productive and result oriented way of action. Whatever has happened in the past is now buried; we have present and future in front of us so why not ensure it won’t happen anymore? But all elected ministers do during the session is hurled allegations and leave wasting the precious resources of the national exchequer. If there is a way of putting things right and somehow end corruption it is via Parliament. It is another matter that corruption cannot be eradicated but can be controlled. This can only happen when the Parliament and system are considered supreme and not the containers. The system itself needs time and effort to evolve and mature which sadly it never got and allowed. So far, we have seen exactly the opposite from the government: incessant clamouring without any real considerable effort.

The bitter truth is that the system was never allowed a chance to grow and mature since Independence. It was always hijacked and derailed in the name of the fight against corruption, something PTI also keep crying foul about but like its predecessors has done nothing to combat the menace. What actually happened instead of eradication of the corruption is common knowledge – a many-fold increase in the business empire. What actually was achieved from the derailing of the system and abrogation of the constitution every so often? The misadventures have only created problems for the country and only served the vested interests of the parties involved. One fails to understand why as a nation we take it upon us to solve a matter instead of going for the legal course of action? How can the people who are only trained to protect the borders run a country? The results are evident and the country is still suffering from it. The politicians are not innocent but they’re not the main culprit until the system is allowed to function freely. While deliberating on the progress of the country we often forget the 34 years of military dictatorship and how judiciary always approved the abrogation of the constitution. These stints have resulted in the fall of Dhaka, terrorism, crippled economy and three imposed wars. They failed to bring discipline in the institutions and steer the country and have always ended up looking for politicians to help them out.

As if it was not enough, they try to steer government from the backseat and do political engineering for the years’ power was not directly with them. It is rather unfortunate that since independence Pakistan has not seen free and fair elections. Only in the 2018 elections, the spend was Rs.21 billion and an astonishing three hundred and fifty thousand army personnel were deployed across the country on the Election day. If they have to select the government then instead of the charade might as well select and save national exchequer the cost. As a nation, we have not learned from the past and continue to make the same mistake religiously. Why these forces cannot let the democratic system run and flourish? What harm it does to them? What else will make them realise that?

There are problems and loopholes but the system can fix them over the period of continuous running but not when it has to make a fresh start after every 10 years or so. Can we blame a child for anything? No. Similarly, a system which has remained in infancy since Independence cannot be questioned. It took 200 years for the democratic system to mature in the United Kingdom and they worked for it patiently. It has reached a stage where people cast vote to the manifesto and what the party has managed to deliver in its earlier tenure. There has not been a single martial law in India since Independence which we got together from the British Empire. As a result, the system has grown and fast reaching the desired maturity levels. There has never been a hue and cry over the rigged elections. There are many other examples of the countries where a system is running in its full form and the pillars of the state do not meddle in each other’s business and work independently towards one goal – progress. This certainly doesn’t mean there aren’t any problems and issues but they have the system to deal with them not the container and backseat drivers.

According to Transparency International, corruption means, “Generally speaking as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain”. Corruption can be classified as grand, petty and political, depending on the amounts of money lost and the sector where it occurs.

Grand corruption consists of acts committed at a high level of the government that distort policies or the central functioning of the state, enabling leaders to benefit at the expense of the public good. Petty corruption refers to everyday abuse of entrusted power by low- and mid-level public officials in their interactions with ordinary citizens, who often are trying to access basic goods or services in places like hospitals, schools, police departments and other agencies.

Political corruption is a manipulation of policies, institutions and rules of procedure in the allocation of resources and financing by political decision-makers, who abuse their position to sustain their power, status and wealth.”

Going by the above classification bringing corruption to an end is insurmountable ask so instead of wasting time clamouring about it some active measures must be taken. Why not work on the system and ways to deal with corruption? Why not introduce legislation and constitutional reforms? Why not let the system sustain itself for good 20-25 years? Why not show some restraint in abrogating the constitution and derailing the democratic system? When the system will reach maturity it will have the ability to become a hurdle in the way of corruption. Transparency and accountability are the by-products of the democratic system. We don’t necessarily need to put in extra effort or set up a separate office for this purpose.

My sixteen years old niece schooled me a few months ago that politics and corruption go hand in hand and you can control it but cannot minus one from the other. I learnt a lesson and started talking about the system more than corruption. The sooner we will understand and make a collective effort for the progress of the system and country at large the better. Pakistan Zindabad.

A Tribute

It is the authenticated saying of Holy Prophet (PBUH)that, “I was there when Adam was between clay and water.” In general and basedon our knowledge the terminology that Adam was between clay and water does not refer directly to the creation of Adam but thecreation of the Universe. In this saying,the word Adam is for the whole universe. We believe in all the Qudsi Hadithsand no one has ever doubted their legitimacy.The above saying is also Hadith-e-Qudsi. In the light of the above saying whateverestimations and notions we have developed about the date of arrival of the lastmessenger have given rise to confusion. What is the meaning of birth when theperson is already present?

Hazrat Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal (R.A) while explaining the above Hadith has said, “Among the characters of Prophecy, the Apostle of Allah Muhammad (PBUH) was the best being. Before all the creations there would have been characters of Prophecy, Walayat (Sufism), mankind, birds, animals, flora and fauna. In all these forms of characters, the character of the Prophets is the first creation and its very first representation is Hazrat Adam (A.S). According to the chronological order, he was the first one to be sent on this mortal universe and thus the Prophet. Because of this reason, and the words mentioned in the Hadith turned out to be I was already commissioned to Prophet Hood and Prophecy before the next character of Prophet Hood and prophecy came. And that is why the name ‘Adam’ was included in this Hadith-e-Qudsi.”

The worldly birth of the Holy Prophet was different from that of the other children. Unlike the other children who connect with their mothers through the umbilical cord, the Holy Prophet had no relation with the body of his mother. They’re also afraid to differ from this Hadith but they do not speak because of the grudges they hold, that at the time of his birth, there was so much light in the room that it illuminated even early in the morning. The illumination of the holy body was so much that no other light was required in the room. This spectacle was not only witnessed by the people who were in the room, but was also seen by the people outside the room.

No one disagrees to this fact either that the fire which was ablaze in Iran automatically extinguished at the time of arrival of the Holy Prophet. For centuries it was the sign of the existence of those who worshipped fire and was constantly burning. After the fire extinguished, they tried every possible way to set it ablaze again but failed. The big Churches in Qaiser-o-Kasra fell down, but no one was harmed because of this, the arrival of the blessings of the Universe could not in any way cause devastation and this fact was given due consideration by Nature. All these indications are enough to prove that he thoughtfully chose to be one of the human beings to express his Prophecy and preferred the normal course, so that no one could pass judgment that he is different from them. Muhammad (PBUH) expressed this on more than one occasion that, he has been just like us; he was not an angel and not some strange creation, his status was nevertheless different from us. His relation with us in this world only limited to body, but he was directly connected to the Almighty through revelations. The Quran says, “Say, O [Muhammad], “I am only a man like you to whom it has been revealed that your God is but one God; so take a straight course to Him and seek His forgiveness.” And woe to those who associate others with Allah” (41:6). No other human being is blessed with this kind of connection and it is a fact. Even with no other Prophet or Messenger was lucky to have this continuous relation. Prophet Musa (A.S) was given all the revelation in one instance, Prophet Daud (A.S) was conferred with all the revelations in the form of Book and it is being said that an angel visited Prophet Essa (A.S) in the form of revelation just once. But he served Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) continuously for 23 years and even took him to the accent. He acted as a servant.

It is a common knowledge that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had established him as a truthful and trustworthy person at a very early age. It was recognized by the masses of Arab regardless of their religion. Even the leaders of the ingrates Abu Sufyan and Abu Jahal accepted too. At the age of 40, Prophet Muhammad positioned himself on one of the tallest hills in Makkah and loudly called “Labaik” (come here), as per the Arab custom people used to call Labaik loudly whenever there is something important matter, to signal the people of Arab that there is something important he wants to talk about. Hearing this word everybody flocked in. After that Prophet Muhammad asked the people if he would tell them that an enemy is coming from the backside of the hill, would they believe him? All of them collectively said, “Yes, we know you’re Truthful and Trust Worthy.” Although people disintegrated after hearing his message no one really questioned his status as truthful and trustworthy. Thus, this proves that Al-Siddique is the character of the Apostle of Allah, Muhammad (PBUH) and he expressed it as perfectly as one could imagine through his works and actions; and it is quite hard to match this perfection for any other human being.

Likewise, the individual who receives the optimum ability to distinguish between two fighting forces is called Farooq. Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has shown throughout his holy lifespan that how well he differentiated between two opposing notions, e.g. truth from false, black from white, believers from non- believers, good from evil, right from wrong, so on and so forth. I can safely state that Al-Farooq is actually the quality of only Muhammad (PBUH).

While considering the holy life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) one notices that his precept of spirit was ‘have not’. He saved nothing for himself; be it food, money, clothes, revelations, knowledge or anything else. He gave away whatever he had during his holy lifespan being the benefactor of humanity. Throughout his lifespan, he consumed only 33.5kg of foodstuff, had two pairs of clothes, accumulated nothing in terms of wealth and essayed a very simple lifestyle. In short, he disbursed whatever he possibly could and showed through his conduct that Al-Ghani (prosperous) was his attribute.

In the same manner, Muhammad (PBUH) was blessed to have the two lights; Hazrat Ali ul Murtaza (A.S), his cousin and the only successor, and his daughter Her Highness (R.A). He was, in fact, Al-Zunnurain (two lights). After him, if anyone achieved this status it was his successor, Ali UL Murtaza (A.S) who was also blessed with two lights Imam Hasan (A.S) and Imam Hussain (A.S), the saviours’ of the religion Islam.

In the Arabic language when the word “AL” is used as a prefix to a word, it means a proper noun, pointing towards something in particular. And when we say Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is Al-Farooq, Al-Siddique, Al-Ghani and Al-Zunnarain it means that the rights of all these traits are reserved for him only. This does not mean that anyone else cannot have these qualities, but the individual will only be Farooq, Siddique, Ghani and Zunnarain because it is impossible for him to achieve the optimum level of these qualities.

Before going forward I would like the readers to know the following:

  1. God forbid, I have no intention of any sort to undermine the status of any of the Prophets (A.S) but the purpose is to reach a conclusion.
  2. The style of writing is narrative for the simplicity of understanding and remembrance.

The name of Prophet Adam (A.S) is still alive in one form or the other. Whether someone says Adam in English or in Arabic or in any other language, the name, however, is still used in this world.

The name of Prophet Noah (A.S) is one another name which has always been used among the mankind, regardless of the culture and religion. Hollywood even made a movie about him, although it is presented in a humorous way they depicted in a good way. The name of the movie is the Arc of Noah. The name of Noah will exist until the existence of the mankind.

The name of Prophet Ibrahim, like Prophet Noah and Prophet Adam, is still alive in this universe. It is impossible to not find this name in every culture, society and civilization. As per the likeness of the Mother Nature, the name of Prophet Ibrahim is still present amongst the humans.

Prophet Essa (A.S), who is known in the west as Jesus Christ, is one other name which continues to exist and used by the mankind.

All these names will continue to exist until the existence of mankind along with their blessings. But the point of the matter is that what exactly is the reason for their survival, continued existence and why so much importance is being given to these names. The following could be the reason:

1. All of these names have been mentioned in all of the revealed Books.

2. Distinct instances are connected to them:

    a. Prophet Adam for the story of heaven and his exit from there as a  punishment for doing something under the influence of the devil

    b. Prophet Noah for the prayer he made for the tormenting of his populace

    c. Prophet Ibrahim for his sacrifice

    d. Prophet Essa for the incident of his execution

3. Prophet Adam taught how to repent.

4. Prophet Noah taught how to bathe.

5. Prophet Ibrahim demonstrated how to leap into the glowing flame of passion.

6. Prophet Essa educated the people about the soul, but he could not finish it.

All of these points are correct and they have also been mentioned in history. In the following paragraphs, the actual reason for the existence of the names of these Prophets will be elucidated with reference to the Holy Quran.

In general, it is being said the Prophet Adam taught mankind how to repent, but the truth is that he got himself stuck at the station of repentance. It is the same station where almost all the human beings get stuck before repentance and it is called the station of hawa. It must have been a very demanding station. Adam (A.S) taught how to repent, but he got stuck in this place. When he got wedged at this place, and that too very badly, then one day he remembered and said, “Oh my true Lord, I have stayed and wandered in the heaven and I am the one who could not recognize that I saw one more name written by yours. Now I have understood and remembered the love I had for this particular name in the heaven. I invoke You for the sake of this name. I invoke You for the sake of Your connection with him and for the sake of the love I have for him that please get me across this station.” Within seconds his repentance was accepted and He said to him that, “I have so much regard for this love and to protect the honour of it I have accepted your repentance the moment you used his name as a mediator.”

Prophet Adam (A.S) educated the mankind about repentance, but his own repentance was based on love for the Apostle of Allah Muhammad (PBUH). Had you not remembered this love and not used it as a mediator then you would have remained worried for 40 years, 400 years, 4000 years and some also say 40,000 years as quoted by various people. And for the next billions of years, this agony would have remained with him. The love and affection for the Apostle of Allah, Muhammad (PBUH) became the basis of his repentance and the acceptance was its recompense. Because of this example the mankind is compelled to use the name ‘Adam’ because he did humanity a big favour by teaching them this lesson. Look at the reality behind all this – love for Muhammad (PBUH).

Prophet Noah (A.S) got so tired of his people in 950 years of his life that he used to just weep at just about anything. In the end, he prayed that “Almighty apprehend them, destroy and ruin them.” These words can actually be found in the Holy Quran.

He said: “Only Allah will bring it (the punishment) on you, if He will, and then you will escape not. (11:33)

[Nuh (Noah)] said: “O my Lord! Help me because they deny me.” (23:26)

It is mentioned in the Holy Quran that these words came from the holy tongue of Noah (A.S). Almighty replied, “O Prophet, it will be executed as requested by you. Your nation will be washed down.” When the orders of washed down came, Noah (A.S) felt strengthened. The orders were that “Upon your request and recommend the arrangements are being made to wash them down. The water will come from just about everywhere, from all the six directions, i.e. from right, left, up, down, front and backwards, even the most skilful swimmer would not be able to beat that.” On hearing these orders Noah (A.S) got terrified because he was also standing on the same part of the earth and he could foresee his end so naturally the thought to save himself appeared in his mind. Psychology at its very best, he asked for the earth to be washed down, which Almighty acknowledged because the request of the Prophet cannot be put off. Noah (A.S) was told that the water will come from all six directions and he got worried. Almighty asked, “What happened now.” He replied, “I am positioned at the same place.”

“And construct the ship under Our observation and Our inspiration and do not address Me concerning those who have wronged; indeed, they are [to be] drowned.” (11:37)

It is the methodology of the Holy Quran that the incidents and conversation circumambient over centuries on certain times are wrapped up in just one word. That’s it. That one word or few words or the verse has the history of centuries wrapped under them. To say much in few words is purely the methodology of the Holy Quran, all the messages, parts and accounts are compiled based on this principle. The above verse, although is very small in nature, carries the complete history of the 950 years. Whatever Noah (A.S) went through moment by moment is wrapped up in one word. Stories are not being told by the Holy Quran, but it says much in fewer words and ask the reader to put their brain with the word to understand the complete picture.

When Noah (A.S) got terrified that what will happen to me and where will the Arc of Noah go. Almighty saw that His devotee is worried and politely told him, by revealing it on Noah’s heart, that, “Noah, have you forgotten? Should I remind you of what Adam (A.S) did to save himself? This is the charity of that name, so you should not be afraid of this situation and reflect upon it, you will find something in terms of means.” Our rightful command is released now and that too upon your recommendation, until today We have not done anything on our own. We will not let this fall upon us and We will never let this happen. We are telling you in advance that such a thing will take place.

In simple words, Noah (A.S) wanted to say that he was supposed to be safe and he was the one who asked for it by praying. Almighty understood the psychology and said, “Don’t be afraid, Adam (A.S) also got stuck like you’re at this moment. He used that name and you also can.” But Noah (A.S) went a step ahead from Adam (A.S). Noah (A.S) thought that if he will use his name now then being the blessing of the universe he will get everyone bailed out except for him. And he will be questioned why he demanded this action. He prayed that “O Lord, I invoke you not in his name but for the sake of delight of his eyes.” As soon as the prayer was made, not only Almighty accepted it but also His Apostle Muhammad (PBUH) showed his affection and compassion along with his progeny. All the twelve of them enjoined like wooden planks for Noah (A.S) and asked him to sit on it. They asked him to call whoever he wants; the planks of wood that we have tied will not sink and will not wobble no matter how much water comes in its way. And finally, they took the ship to a place where the flow of water stabilized.

It is pertinent to mention here that the ship, regardless of the size, is made of 12 wooden planks. Not a single ship has even been made so far, by using either eleven or thirteen wooden planks. The ship made up of 12 wooden planks is the balance most things, it will brave even the worst of the environmental conditions.

According to the Quran, the very first person who showed faith in the progeny of the Apostle of Allah, Muhammad (PBUH) was Prophet Noah (A.S). The act of becoming skulk after submission, after the acceptance of the delight of Muhammad’s (PBUH) eyes, was done for the first time in this world by Noah (A.S). It was a step ahead of Prophet Adam (A.S) but in reality it was the love for the Prophet and his progeny. By using the delight of the eyes as an arbitrator not only Noah (A.S) exemplified the knowledge of a Prophet, but also familiarized the world with the twelve delights of Muhammad’s (PBUH) eyes. Whatever favour was extended towards humanity at this time salvaged that much of a portion of mankind, which was necessary for its future circulation.

It has been clearly mentioned in the Holy Quran that just by the arrival of the ship and its benevolence and blessings no one was affected and all remained safe. The command of the Almighty was carried out and yet no harm was done. The love and affection for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is enough to save the entire the universe and if his progeny also joins him then the blessings are innumerable. And it happened, the command of Almighty God in effect, but no one got hurt and at the same time the mankind perambulated the station of munificence (Jud).

And it was said, “O earth, swallow your water, and O sky, withhold [your rain].” And the water subsided, and the matter was accomplished, and the ship came to rest on the [mountain of] Judiyy. And it was said, “Away with the wrongdoing people.” (11:44)

Almighty said to Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) that, “You have exceeded in every respect and have gone beyond the ceiling. Solicit whatever you may want. Just say it.” Ibrahim (A.S) replied, “My grandfather Noah (A.S) gave an introduction and it has also reached me, now please include me among them.” Ibrahim (A.S) knew that the delight of the eyes were the twelve Imams. Almighty said to him, “Ibrahim, you have asked for something which you will not be able to deal with.”

And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham was tried by his Lord with commands and he fulfilled them. [Allah] said, “Indeed, I will make you a leader for the people.” [Abraham] said, “And of my descendants?” [Allah] said, “My covenant does not include the wrongdoers. (2:124)

By nature Ibrahim (A.S), forerunner of the Prophets was very kind and loving. He also had the urge and the keenness to go into the depth of things. He devoted all his life to research. And because of this, he was able to determine that the Almighty has said something. He bid adieu by saying, “I understand that I may not be able to deal with it, can anyone from my amongst my children preserve it?” Almighty replied, “I will honour my promise, but I will not give any share to the tyrants.” It actually means that I will not confer this grandeur on anyone but the oppressed since the opposite of the oppressor is oppressed. The moment Ibrahim (A.S) heard that, according to the Holy Quran, he recited the following verse thrice. Just like ‘I accept’ is necessary to be said thrice to consummate the Nikkah, in the similar fashion Ibrahim (A.S) recited this verse thrice. Holy Quran has mentioned it in three different places.

“Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (2:129)

He then said to Almighty that, “I will wait for him. The love and affection I feel for him, the same love was expressed by Adam and Noah. O my Lord, please confer Your benevolence on the mankind by sending him, so that he could educate the humanity and lead them as well. If I am not worthy of the status of leader and instructor, then I request you three times to send them.” In short, Ibrahim (A.S) too expressed the love he had for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by saying that, “I believe that there is someone who understands this discourse, who is able enough to transfer this ingenuity to the mankind and who will open their conscience and heart to the extent that, they could absorb the glory and quality of Imamate.”

Prophet Essa (A.S) surpassed everyone when he said to his people that, “Be prepared, no one like me will come after me; now it is the era of Ahmad-ul-Mursaleen.”

And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, “O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.” But when he came to them with clear evidence, they said, “This is obvious magic.” (61:6)

Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal (R.A) always used to say on the basis of this word ‘Musadiq’ that, “Essa (A.S) began the course of the 40 years of the pre Prophethood of Apostle of Allah Muhammad (PBUH). No scope is left for anyone to deny this fact.” In a nutshell, Prophet Essa (A.S) clearly notified that there will be no one like him in the future. Although he was also His Apostle, but now a man of true word will follow him and his name will be Ahmad.

The point of this whole discussion was to look for the reason why so much preference is given to these four names, i.e., Adam, Noah, Ibrahim and Essa and why the mankind has not forgotten them. It is evident from the above anecdotes and the references of the Holy Quran that the reason nothing else but the love and affection for the Apostle of Allah Muhammad (PBUH). They were the true patriot of Muhammad (PBUH). Another reason why the mankind will not be able to forget them is that Almighty has appreciated their actions and made them ever living amongst mankind. No matter where they’re and on whichever area of the universe the humans exist, they can never forget Adam, Noah, Ibrahim and Essa because they possessed the love for the Apostle of Allah (PBUH).

I will conclude this article with these few lines of a song from a Pakistani movie.

نام لے لے کے تیرا ہم تو جیے جائیں گے
لوگ یونہی ہمیں بدنام کیے جائیں گے

جانے والے تیرے قدموں کے نشان باقی ہیں
ہم تو سجدے تیری راہوں میں کیے جائیں گے 

Developments in October which shook Pakistan

By: Muhammad Zahid Rifat

October, the 10th month of the calendar year, is almost a fortnight old.  For any nation, every day in a month and a year becomes important when some important developments and events take place, having a short or a long impact on things to come in future. Living nations do remember history, learn from the good or bad events taking place every now and then and learning lessons to avoid such things which may lead to further bad developments.

As such, the month of October has somehow assumed a lot of importance in our chequered political history as many events of the sorts had taken place during this month in the past 71 years since the creation of Pakistan.

It was on October 16, 1951, just little more than four years after the birth of a separate country for the Muslims of the sub-continent, that Pakistan’s first  Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan was shot dead while addressing a public meeting in Gol Bagh Rawalpindi since named after him as Liaquat Bagh. This was the first political murder in the newborn country. The inquiry report conducted into this mysterious murder has never been made public so far. It is also not confirmed whether the post-mortem of the assassinated prime minister was then conducted or not.

During the month of October in different years, two military takeovers by the then Army Chiefs had also taken place.

It was on October 7, 1998, that the then President Justice (retired)  Muhammad Rafiq Tarar on the recommendations of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had promoted and appointed  General Pervez Musharraf as the new chief of Army Staff (COAS). In this way, General Pervez Musharraf had superseded a couple of generals who were senior to him. Afterwards, General Pervez Musharraf was also named as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee on April 9, 1999, thus two offices were combined in one person.

The key post had fallen vacant after COAS General Jahangir Karamat was forced to step down by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for floating the idea of a civil-military partnership in power. The same idea was later translated into reality with the establishment of the National Security Council through an Act of the Parliament.

Usually, the Chief of Army Staff is appointed for a period of three years. But the tenure can be cut down or extended depending on the circumstances by the competent authority and whether a civilian or a military ruler is at the helm of national affairs.

It was on October 12, 1999, when an event changed the course of things drastically. The civilian government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was summarily ousted and COAS General Pervez Musharraf had seized the power, assuming the title as the Chief Executive and retained incumbent President Rafiq Tarar apparently till the completion of his tenure.

All these developments had taken place in the fateful afternoon and culminated by the evening on October 12, 1999. Firstly, a ticker was run by then only PTV that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has removed COAS General Pervez Musharraf and appointed then ISI Chief General Ziauddin Butt as the new Army Chief in his place. A couple of hours later, another ticker on PTV said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been ousted and COAS General Pervez Musharraf has seized the power. Had the Prime Minister reduced something in writing in this regard on some official file, then the things would certainly have been entirely different instead of the developments that so took place.

The coup was so staged on the ground when a flight coming from Colombo, Sri Lanka,  with COAS General Pervez Musharraf on board along with over 200 passengers were not allowed to land at Karachi airport. General Pervez Musharraf was returning home after paying an official visit to Sri Lanka and following this development, the army had promptly intervened.

It is a matter of record  that General Pervez Musharraf  had promulgated Provisional Constitution  Order (PCO) on October 14, 1999  holding the 1973 Constitution in abeyance  and suspended the Senate and its Chairman and Deputy Chairman, the National and Provincial Assemblies with their Speakers and Deputy Speakers  and also dismissed the federal and provincial governments  as well. It was the first time ever that the Senate, upper house of the Parliament, was so dismissed, perhaps.

Under the PCO, the National  Security Council was established in October 1999 with a mandate to render advice to the Chief Executive  (later the President) on matters relating to national security, sovereignty and solidarity of Pakistan.

On June 20, 2001, prior to his visit to India, General Pervez Musharraf assumed the office of the President of Pakistan while retaining the post of COAS also after incumbent President Rafiq Tarar was sent home rather quite unceremoniously without letting him complete his tenure. This was in sharp contrast with the good treatment which General Ziaul Haq had meted out to President Fazal Elahi Chaudhry by letting him complete his tenure, even after seizing power and toppling of Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in July 1977.

In October 2001,  General Pervez Musharraf had extended his own term as the COAS indefinitely till further orders. Out of three previous military rulers, General turned Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan had relinquished the post of Commander-in-Chief when he had become the President by appointing General Muhammad Musa as his successor and General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan and General Muhammad Ziaul Haq had retained the khaki uniform even after assuming the office of the President.

In accordance with the direction of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, general elections were held on October 10, 2002, just two days before the expiry of the three year time-frame laid down by the country’s apex court.

Going back to the early political history of the country, Major General Iskander Mirza was the last of the four Governors-General and the first President after enforcement of the 1956 Constitution. General Ayub Khan was the third Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Army after two British  Generals and the first Muslim/ Pakistan army chief.

Political development developments continued to place in quick succession. Leg pulling and intrigues were part of the political culture of that time. The situation took so bad turns that the Deputy Speaker of East Pakistan was beaten up to death in the first week of October 1958.

Viewing this ugly development as “enough is enough”, President, Major General Iskander Mirza  imposed the first ever full-fledged martial law  in the country on October 7,1958, derailed the democratic  system, removed the central government of Prime Minister  Feroze Khan Noon and appointed General Ayub Khan as the Chief Martial Law Administrator  just  a little more than eleven years after Pakistan had surfaced on the world map.. This was the beginning of the army’s intervention in civilian political matters.

This was quite unfortunate and sadly not the end. Much more was in store for the person who had imposed the first martial law in the country. After just 20 days on October 27, 1958,  CMLA /Commander-in-Chief of the Army General Ayub Khan got Major General Iskander Mirza kicked out of the President’s House in Karachi and himself became the President.

It was also in the month of October that Pakistan’s first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated on October 16, 1951, while addressing a public meeting in Rawalpindi and was replaced by Khwaja Nazimuddin,  who had stepped down as the Governor General, on October 17, 1958 as the new Prime Minister, the second in the list to which  new names were being added as the years went by despite frequent military interventions. The democratic process had been derailed and the National and Provincial Assemblies dissolved a number of times. The third Governor General of Pakistan Malik Ghulam Muhammad laid the foundation of foul practice by dissolving the Constituent Assembly on October 1954 just when the draft of the Constitution was ready to be placed before the assembly for consideration and approval.

Pakistan’s third Prime Minister Muhammad Ali Bogra was, however, not dismissed and was asked to run the administration until such time fresh general elections were held. Thus he remained in the office as the Prime Minister, but with a reconstituted cabinet.

Cutting the long story short, the general elections for the 9th National Assembly were held on October 24, 1990, as a result of which  Nawaz Sharif became the 13th Prime Minister.

Elections to the 10th National Assembly were held on October 6, 1993. Its first session was held on October 13, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani took oath as Speaker National Assembly on October 17 and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto became the Prime Minister for the second time by taking oath on October 19, 1993, as the 17th Prime Minister of Pakistan. By the time Prime  Minister Nawaz Sharif was removed on October 12, 1999, both Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif had served two stints as the Prime Ministers in quick succession in about a decade from December 12, 1988, to October 12, 1999.

Besides these frequent political developments, more unpleasant than pleasant ones, Nature had also shaken the people of Pakistan when a massive earthquake of 7.8 Richter scale intensity hit the country on  October 8, 2005, causing massive devastation in Islamabad, Azad Kashmir and elsewhere. Billions of rupees have been spent so far, but the hard-hit large number of people in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir have not been fully rehabilitated even after the passage of thirteen long years.

This is not all. Developments continue to take place. Only Almighty Allah knows the best as to what is in store for the rulers, political leaders and the people of Pakistan in the coming days, weeks, months, years and decades. There is certainly and surely no harm in keeping our fingers crossed and praying for Almighty Allah’s continued blessings, mercy and good times coming and keeping Pakistan safe, secured, progress and developed for all times to come.


The writer is a Lahore-based Freelance Journalist, Columnist and retired Deputy Controller (News) Radio Pakistan Islamabad, my dad and can be reached at


The Philosophy and Practical Aspect of Pilgrimage (Hajj)

By: Muhammad Kamran Rifat

There are five pillars of Islam; Uniqueness (Tauheed), Prayer, Fast, Pilgrimage (Hajj) and Alms-giving (Zakat). The first pillar is Tauheed (Uniqueness), the announcement of the Uniqueness of the Almighty and the Prophet Hood of Muhammad (PBUH). Although it is just a confirmation uttered from the tongue but you cannot get into the circle of Islam without it. This announcement is the prelude and a basic step for introducing into this particular Institution and the Class called religion Islam. Unless you stipulate, you cannot become the part and parcel of this particular Class. Because of this fact, Tauheed is an essential pillar, but you don’t have to abide by rules and regulations. Regardless of wherever in the Universe you’re, whatever your age is, what words you speak, your ethnic background or time, if you have recited Kalimaah-e-Haq (Kalimaah-e-Tayyaba), given acceptance from your tongue, you become part of the Islamic Republic.

Continue reading

Yousaf – Zulaikha


Love is seemingly a four-letter word, but it spins our world around more than the merry-go-round. Still, our lives are incomplete without it. No matter how much has been written on this emotion, it remains a mystery and inexplicable. Every time, it manifests something new and not two experiences of love can ever be the same. This four letter word is the reason behind the creation and expansion of the universe in every imaginable sense. People have sacrificed lives and taken the lives of the other all in the name of love. In the end, it comes down to every individual’s perception. Poetry, prose, stories and quotes are all incomplete without the element of love. Continue reading

To Whom It May Concern


Imran Khan led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf secured majority in the 25th July elections. They went on to form the coalition government in only the second consecutive transfer of the power in the 70 years history of Pakistan’s existence. Unfortunate but at least it is happening now and hopefully it will continue and one fine day the democracy will mature in its true form. Continue reading

Sacred Conglomerate

Photo: Zubair Khawar

On 5th August 2018, news reads ‘China’s Military asked to cease its kindergarten businesses’. China’s military had established businesses in the 1970s, when the country was struggling with a shortage of funds. In the later years, questions were raised over the corruption and effectiveness of the army. The demands of separating military from business had started in 1998 Continue reading