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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Riyasat-i-Madina: Problems with Imran Khan’s interpretations

All of these issues await action by the government without which talk of Riyasat-i-Madina will remain a political gimmick. Pakistan’s real success lies in wholeheartedly submitting to Islam; the very basis of its creation. Shall our leaders then understand the essence of Riyasat-i-Madina and take action rather than just using the name as a propaganda tool?

Islam is a complete code of life so it is perfectly valid for it to be part of the political discourse in an Islamic State. While PTI is not a religious party like JI, JUI, TLP and others, IK has been using the slogan of Riyasat-i-Madina ever since the elections of 2018.

Encouraged by his continued references to Riyasat-i-Madina, Tanzeem-i-Islami, immediately after the elections, conducted seminars across the country with the aim of ‘educating’ the government on what were the core principles and values of Riyasat-i-Madina established by the Prophet PBUH; and the duties of a truly Islamic government today. It was hoped that IK’s government would take concrete steps to move the country towards a true Islamic Welfare State. Despite his government having taken some good measures such as the introduction of the Quran in schools and universities and the establishment of the National Rahmatul Lil Alamin Authority, the hope of Riyasat-i-Madina has remained a dream.

Read more: Imran Khan’s difficult balancing act between the US and China

An article by IK appeared in the press of January 17, 2022, titled “Spirit of Riyasat-i-Madina: transforming Pakistan”. The article’s description of Riyasat-i-Madina, its principles and values and the interpretations that follow are flawed. While invoking Riyasat-i-Madina, he has avoided references that may upset the irreligious or his Western audiences.

So, what was the true Riyasat-i-Madina?

The distinguishing feature of Riyasat-i-Madina was Islam in its purest form. It was total submission to Allah (SWT) in accordance with the teachings of the Prophet PBUH in all aspects of life; be it individual or collective (social, economic, financial, political, legal, etc.). Allah being the Creator, the Owner and the Lord of the Universe merit obedience in entirety and to not give Him His due is the gravest of injustices. This was the hallmark of Riyasat-i-Madina.

Riyasat-i-Madina was the result of a revolution that changed completely the ideology and outlook of its people. It shifted their focus from this world to the Hereafter; from being masters of themselves to being viceregent of Allah SWT, from success in this world to success in the hereafter.

“… So, whoever has been kept away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has really succeeded. The worldly life is nothing but an illusionary enjoyment.”   (3:185)

Laws in Riyasat-i-Madina were based on Quran and Sunnah

There is no room for man-made laws in an Islamic State that contradict Islamic Law. In Riyasat-i-Madina, murderers and those committing fornication were put to death, and the thieves had their hands cut, riba was outlawed and alcohol was banned.

Suggesting that the Western and South Asian countries are “successes” is at odds with the whole idea of Riyasat-i-Madina. Obviously, it is the economic success and the prosperity that is being referred to. Where is the need to invoke Riyasat-i-Madina if all we are referring to is prosperity of the people?

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No doubt, there was prosperity in Madina but it followed as a consequence of the society submitting completely to the will of Allah SWT. As Allah says in the Quran

If the people of the towns believed and feared Allah, We would have opened for them blessings from the heavens and the earth …… (7:96)

The strong faith of those Muslims made them adhere to Islamic Injunctions completely and reflected in their deeds and character. It bound them into a common cause of establishing the greatness of the Almighty on this earth.

…Remember the blessing of Allah upon you; when you were enemies to each other, and He brought your hearts together, so that, you became brothers through His blessing…… (3:103)

What else was in Riyasat-i-Madina?

There was truth. Truth is an essential trait of a Muslim. In a hadeeth, the Prophet is reported to have said that while a believer can be a coward or a miser, he cannot be a liar.

There was peace. The implementation of Islamic punishments deterred criminals and the crimes became minimal.

There was no Riba (interest) and hence no exploitation of the poor by the rich. By submitting to the Will of Allah SWT, people got liberated from the exploitative systems. Today, because of Riba and the global exploitative systems, we find ourselves in a new kind of slavery i.e. that of the UN, IMF, WB, FATF, EU, etc.

Quran condemns partial obedience in the strongest of terms.

“… Do you then believe in some parts of the Book, and disbelieve in others? So, what can be the punishment of those among you who do that, except disgrace in the present life? And, on the day of the Judgement, they shall be turned to the most severe punishment.” (2:85)

IK needs to understand his responsibilities

“All of you are shepherds and every one of you is responsible for his herd. A leader is a shepherd and is responsible for his herd. …..” (Hadeeth)

As head of an Islamic government, he is obligated to Implement Islam at the government level as well as take measures that encourage and facilitate complete adherence to Islam by the Muslim population in their daily lives. He will be accounted for this on the Day of Judgment.

“Those who, when We give them power in the land, establish Salah, pay Zakah, bid what is Fair and Forbid what is Unfair … “(22:41)

IK is right when he says that Amr-bil-Maruf is a duty of the government. But is it sufficient to merely teach Quran and seerat-al-nabi (PBUH) in our educational institutions?

One of the foremost responsibilities of the ruler is to establish and strengthen the systems of salah and zakat in the land.

Read more: PM Imran Khan receives sports award in Dubai

Aligning the prevalent laws with Islamic Injunctions must be the top priority of a government to make Pakistan an Islamic State. Many of our current laws (family laws included) violate Islamic principles and need changing. Ironically, the government, even tried to enact new anti-Islamic laws like the Domestic Violence Bill and the Gender Equality initiative, which had to be deferred after big agitation from religious groups.

Our legal system is so convoluted that cases cost an arm and a leg and last decades. The system needs a complete overhaul to make cheap and quick justice available to all.

The amount of obscenity, vulgarity and nudity going on in society, especially the media, has increased exponentially in recent years. This is against the dictates of Islam and damages the morals of society. While opposing opinions (and opinion-makers) have been freely banished from the media, the vulgarity goes on unchecked.

Our economic system is based on Riba which Allah SWT has condemned in the strongest of terms:

O you who believe, fear Allah and give up what still remains of riba’ if you are believers. But if you do not (give it up), then listen to the declaration of war from Allah and His Messenger….” (2:278, 279)

All of these issues await action by the government without which talk of Riyasat-i-Madina will remain a political gimmick.

Pakistan’s real success lies in wholeheartedly submitting to Islam; the very basis of its creation. Shall our leaders then understand the essence of Riyasat-i-Madina and take action rather than just using the name as a propaganda tool?



The author is a retired IT Professional with degrees in Engineering and Business from Pakistan, USA and UK with 30 plus years of professional experience working internationally in some well known companies. He is a member of Tanzeem-e-Islami founded by Late Dr. Israr Ahmed. He can be reached at qislam57@yahoo.com

The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.