Pakistan’s Constitution Is In Accordance with Islamic Shariah
By Sajjad Shaukat
Two Nation Theory which is the basis of the Ideology of Pakistan was kept alive from Sir Syed Ahmed Khan to Quaid-e-Azam. It stated that Muslims of the Sub-continent have their own Islamic culture, traditions and religion which are quite different from those of Hindus.
In accordance with the Two Nation Theory, Allama Iqbal had demanded a separate land for the Muslims, where they could live freely according to their own religion, culture and social norms. Both Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam endorsed the Ideology of Pakistan which is based upon the Islamic principles.
Undoubtedly, it was in the name of Islam that Pakistan emerged on the map of the world and the ground norm of the new state and its society, which came to be known as the ideology of Pakistan, was nothing but Muslim faith. Before embarking upon the task of framing of our first constitution, this ideology was translated into words in precise from by the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan in a resolution passed by it in 1949.
However, the Constitution of 1973 which was adopted during the PPP founder, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (The late), was signed by the members of all political and religious parties. It declares the country, The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and clearly mentions that Pakistan is basically a democracy, guided by the Islamic principles and values—no law would be made contrary to Quran and Sunnah—the government will made efforts to implement Islamic system (Shariah) in future.
Therefore, the Constitution of 1973 contains various Islamic provisions, based on the principles of Holy Quran and Sunnah. 1. Pakistan shall be known as “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. 2.
Islam shall be the state religion of Pakistan. 3. Sovereignty over the entire Universe belongs to Almighty Allah and the authority bestowed by him on men is a sacred trust which the people of Pakistan will exercise with the limits, prescribed by Quran and Sunnah. 4. The constitution also gives the definition of a Muslim. A person who believes in Tauheed or Oneness of Allah, and in the prophet hood of Hazrat Mohammad (P.B.U.H) as the last prophet of Allah has described as a Muslim. 5. The constitution laid down that only Muslims shall be elected president and prime minister of Pakistan. It was made compulsory for the president and prime minister to also profess faith in the finality of prophet hood. No Non-Muslim could hold these offices. 6. Steps shall be given to enable the Muslims of Pakistan to order their lives in accordance with the fundamental principles and basic concepts of Islam. 7. The State shall take necessary steps for prosecution of social justice and eradication of social evils and shall prevent prostitution, gambling and taking of injurious drugs, printing, publication, circulation and display of obscene literature and advertisements. 8. The state shall try to make the teachings of Holy Quran and Islamiat compulsory to encourage and facilitate the learning of Arabic language. 9. The state shall endeavour to strengthen fraternal relations among Muslim countries in order to promote Islamic unity. 10. There is a council of Islamic Ideology which shall guide the government, and shall make recommendation to parliament and the provincial assemblies for bringing the existing laws into conformity with the injunctions of Islam and Islamic teachings, their implementation and propagation. Its chairman and members are appointed by the president. Although its advice is not binding on the government, yet it is not easy for any government to ignore or over rule its suggestion or opinion regarding any law. 11. The government shall endeavour to secure correct and exact printing and publishing of the Holy Quran. 12. The federal and Provincial Ministers, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National and Provincial Assemblies, the chairman of the Senate and the Governors and Chief Ministers of the Provinces also take oath to preserve and protect the Islamic Ideology.
It is also mentioned in the Constitution that the state shall secure the proper organization of Zakat, Auqaf and Masjid, and would protect the real rights and interest of minorities, living in Pakistan.
It is also emphasized in the Constitution that all steps will be taken to introduce interest free banking system in the country in the light of Islam.
Nevertheless, all religious scholars endorsed that the Constitution of Pakistan is absolutely in accordance with the Islamic Shariah and there is no law repugnant to the principles of Islam. Federal Government also obtained a Fatwa (Religious verdict) from country’s most prominent clerics to declare that the Constitution of 1973 is based on Shariah. Pakistan’s Constitution is mindful of the fact that it seeks to rule a diverse populace divided along religious, cultural, ethnic and sectarian lines. It lays down a general rule that no law shall be made against the dictates of the Ouran and Sunnah. The entire legal system of Pakistan is, therefore, within the confines of Shariah. Our Constitution forbids any law which contradicts the teachings of Islam and sovereignty of Allah. Hence, there should be no controversy or division of opinions regarding the Constitution of 1973.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations