Religion in Pakistani Society- A Tale Of Contradictions

February 22, 2016

 

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Written By: Shahid Wafa

Tension was growing in the Masjid. Everyone was staring  at the wall clock, over and over again. The reason of their concern was that only 60 seconds were left for prayer congregation and Imam Sahib had still not arrived. With every passing moment people’s anxiety was increasing but finally, he entered the mosque with a quick gait and everyone relaxed. People couldn’t imagine delaying the prayer beyond its proper time, not even for few seconds. Their concern was understandable. After all it is ordained from God to be punctual when offering Salah.

“Verily Prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.” (Sura Nisa, verse: 103)

Islam is a religion of reason. Every Islamic order is not just of spiritual importance but also has a practical significance. One can reason that purpose behind the fixed timing of most acts of worship was to inculcate discipline in the lives of adherents. But who thinks that way?  Who preaches that way?

A divine decree about punctuality, which is followed so scrupulously inside the mosque, could have brought the same effect on all societal norms, but sadly, this is not the case. This is a huge double standard and this duality in behavior is directly linked to the superficiality with which Islamic rulings are interpreted by the clergy in our country.

In the month of Ramzan we continue deceiving and hoarding but make no compromises on Sehr and Iftar timings according to our respective sects.

Our clerics are perhaps unable to interpret the real wisdom behind every act of worship or decree from God. They never preach their listeners to be better citizens; they scarcely advocate for the need of a civilized society. How could doing the acts of worship mindlessly and ignoring their spirit take us to Jannah? How can one achieve a glory the afterlife on the basis of those deeds and behavior which are unacceptable in a civilized society?

There is a complete disconnection between Quran and society. Clerics claim that Quran offers solution to every problem faced by humanity, but they have never been able to lead the world on contemporary issues.

Quran and Sunnah of Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) can provide us the solution of every modern day problem but for that purpose one would have to take the responsibility and reinterpret the scriptures. In every field ideas need constant review and deliberation.

For example, a medicinal herb becomes beneficial only when its essence is extracted according to the needs of the patient. This task is achieved after painstaking research, experimentation and foresight.

Now it is time that every educated and sensitive person should step forward and take the responsibility of making this society better. If the youth can master other complicated subjects of curriculum they can also reason and give society a new thought process. Instead of leaving it to the clergy, we, at our own, should start finding the answers to modern day questions in Islam. When one sincerely strives to seek the truth even his/her own conscience guides him/her towards right path. Otherwise, though few in number, learned scholars are always around to guide.

The day our young educated people start this process, wrong or superficial interpretations of the religion will wither away in our society. Moreover, using the name of Islam for political, personal or financial gains will also become gradually harder for opportunists. And finally, once we establish a prosperous society growing on Islamic values, no terrorist organization would ever be able to present a twisted version of Islam in the world.