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Pakistan's pre-eminent Islamic scholar Javed Ahmad Ghamidi sahib recently visited San Francisco Bay Area as part of his tour of the United States in October, 2017. Viewpoint From Overseas host Ali Hasan Cemendtaur had a conversation with him at his hotel to ask some questions. Here are some of the key points that emerged from this interview:
|Riaz Haq (R) with Ghamidi sahib (L)|
1. Islamic state:
How can a state be Islamic state? The states we have today are nation-states that are defined by territorial boundaries, not by religion or color or ethnicity. All of the inhabitants of a nation-state are its citizens with equal rights. Pakistan is a nation-state. Nation-states are governed by the majority of their citizens with their will expressed through a political and electoral process.
The state has no business deciding who is a Muslim and who is not.
There is nothing Islamic about blasphemy laws. You can not force people to respect your religion or your prophet at gun-point.
|Viewpoint From Overseas Team with Ghamidi sahib|
4. Weapons of Mass Destruction:
Weapons of mass destruction are immoral. Islam prohibits attacking non-combatants in war. Use of weapons that destroy civilians, schools and hospitals is a war crime.
Sectarianism is rooted in ignorance. Dividing people along sectarian lines is wrong.
6. Interfaith Marriages:
There are no restrictions on interfaith marriages as long both the man and the woman reject "shirk" (polytheism).
Istikhara is merely a prayer to ask Allah for guidance in making important life decisions.
After the formal recorded interview concluded, I asked Ghamidi sahib about the authenticity of he Hadiths. He said Hadiths are a historical record, and like any history it is subject to constant investigation to establish its authenticity.
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi sabib is among the most progressive scholars of Islam in the world today.
If religious reform ever comes to Pakistan, it’ll be because of people like Ghamidi sahib, not from “secular liberals” who attack Islam and Pakistan on a daily basis.
I know from personal knowledge that Ghamidi sahib's message resonates with a lot of ordinary people in Pakistan who are tired of the violence committed by a small minority in the name of Islam.
Ghamidi sahhib has a lot of following in Pakistan and it’s growing by the day through both mainstream and social media. His being away from Pakistan for most of the year to do his job does not seem to have hurt his efforts at bringing about reform.
Here's the recorded video interview:
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Islam and the State: A Counter Narrative
by Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
The situation which has been created today for Islam and Muslims in the whole world by certain extremist organizations is an evil consequence of the ideology taught in our religious seminaries, and also propagated day and night by Islamic movements and religious political parties. The true understanding of Islam, in contrast to this, has been presented by this writer in his treatise Mizan. This understanding actually constitutes a counter narrative. It has been repeatedly pointed out by this writer that when in a Muslim society anarchy is created on the basis of religion, the remedy to this situation is not advocacy of secularism. On the contrary, the solution lies in presenting a counter narrative to the existing narrative on religion. Its details can be looked up in the aforementioned treatise. However, the part of it which relates to Islam and the state is summarized below.
1. The message of Islam is primarily addressed to an individual. It wants to rule the hearts and minds of people. The directives it has given to the society are also addressed to individuals who are fulfilling their responsibilities as the rulers of Muslims. Hence, it is baseless to think that a state also has a religion and there is a need to Islamize it through an Objectives Resolution and that it must be constitutionally bound to not make any law repugnant to the Qur'an and Sunnah. People who presented this view and were successful in having it implemented actually laid the foundations of a permanent division in the nation states of these times: it gave the message to the non-Muslims that they are in fact second rate citizens who at best occupy the status of a protected minority and that if they want to demand anything from the real owners of the state must do this in this capacity of theirs.
2. It can be the dream of every person that countries in which Muslims are in majority should unite under a single rule and we can also strive to achieve this goal but this is not a directive of the Islamic shari'ah which today Muslims are guilty of disregarding. Certainly not! Neither is khilafah a religious term nor its establishment at the global level a directive of Islam. After the first century hijrah, when celebrated jurists of the Muslims were among them, two separate Muslim kingdoms, the Abbasid kingdom in Baghdad and the Umayyad kingdom in Spain had been established and remained so for many centuries. However, none of these jurists regarded this state of affairs to be against the Islamic shari'ah. The reason is that there is not a single directive found on this issue in the Qur'an and the Hadith. On the contrary, what everyone, including this writer, does say is that if at any place a state is established, rebelling against it is a heinous crime. Such is the horrific nature of this crime that the Prophet (sws) is reported to have said that a person who does so dies the death of jahiliyyah.
#Muslim Convert Prof Jeffrey Lang : 97% of the #Quran teaches #ethics, relationship between #God and humans, faith and reason. Only 3% emphasizes rules but we are obsessed with them but all sermons are about rules, not the essence of #Islam https://youtu.be/kvomfF0Pjn4 via