Written By: Shahid Wafa
After Isha prayer, it was dark and quiet in the Masjid. Most of the Namazis had left and rest were either talking to each other in hushed voices or doing Zikr. I too was there and trying to absorb the sacred serenity, then suddenly a firm voice echoed from nearby.
“If Saudi Arabia and Pakistan join hands, they can conquer the whole world.”!!!
I turned towards the voice and found that it was the scholarly Imam Sahib of the Masjid who was giving an informal lecture on world politics to a few elders.
“Saudi Arabia has money and Pakistan has the best Army in the world. Both would make perfect allies,” Imam Sahib continued. “In the second phase they should take Iran in the loop. With the inclusion of Iran, the alliance’s influence will increase manifold. Once this task is achieved, all the enemies of Islam will start trembling in fear and their decline will begin,” the Imam concluded.
In other words, he was expecting Arch rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia to join hands. Expecting them to shower their petro dollars on a third nation. Which though has a strong military force but is marred with illiteracy, sectarian violence, energy crisis and corruption. This arrangement would be enough for these countries to dominate the whole world. I was taken aback on the simplistic world view of a person who is called as Imam (Leader) and also has the privilege of delivering sermons every week.
The Imam’s audience consisted of a retired professor, an experienced lawyer, a doctor, one engineer and two shop keepers. The astonishing and most disappointing part of this incident was that such educated and experienced people were also in complete agreement with the said Imam.
This conversation was the clear reflection of naive mindset which prevails in our country. A wish to dominate the world and standing tall among other nations is very positive passion and a natural ambition.
The question is how one nation achieves this goal? If majority of people in a country believe that without building an educated, civilized and progressive society they can lead other countries, they are definitely living in fool’s paradise. And if some people believe that in modern times like these, one country can establish its supremacy over the world through war, they are still living in ancient times. Gone are the days when arsenal and warrior-nature were considered the only strength of a nation.
It is true that first world countries have strong armies and they spend billions on their defense. But it is also a fact that all of them have made education and social justice their priority and worked painstakingly towards glory. Their real strength is their welfare societies, strong economies and dominance in the fields of science and technology.
All above objectives are of course not un-Islamic. Upon asking, Muslim conservative circles also loudly endorse them. But they want to achieve them through practices which were never endorsed by the Muslim thinkers even centuries ago. They don’t even realize that when Muslims were a dominant power of the world, they were the most progressive people of those times. Europeans came out of dark ages only when they started following the Islamic values of critical thinking, reasoning and knowledge seeking.
When few sane voices emphasize to reform and enlighten the society, their aim is not to change the fundamentals of the religion but to promote exactly those values that were once the hallmark of Muslim world. No society can thrive on defunct ideas and practices just like no disease can be cured with an expired medicine.