“Any person of the Quadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves ‘Ahmadis’ or by any other name) who directly or indirectly, poses himself as a Muslim, or calls, or refers to, his faith as Islam, or preaches or propagates his faith, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations, or in any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of Muslims, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine….” (Ordinance No. XX of 1984)
What can one deduce from this very diktat which constitutes a part of our law? Before assuming the findings one may infer from it, I should remind you of the exalted slogan which was raised once by the founding leaders of the state. The well-versed slogan reads, “Pakistan ka matlab kiya, La ilaha illallah’ meaning by that Pakistan means to be the only place where ‘there is none worthy of worship save Allah.’ This slogan is now taken to be an epitaph of the nation. I say epitaph in a manner that if the country is doomed, the erroneously interpreted slogan would only be the reason for it. The slogan, God forbid, itself is not unworthy or dross, as few critics take it, unless it is interpreted in the right manner and true context. There was certainly no harm, as many of us truly believe, in achieving a piece of land where one could worship Allah without fear of persecution. It, in fact, became the reason, told by some reputable historians, for Muslims to long for a separate country where they should practice their faith freely. Otherwise Muslims as a minority would have been most vulnerable to the majority of Hindus. Convinced of the fact, our elders unremittingly toiled to give rise to a country – where we still stand amiss – so that we could practice our faith without restrictions of which we were afraid Hindus might exercise on us. Most unfortunately, our elders had no idea as to what faith they were going to hand in their children.
Worship of Allah has been described as the only purpose of the creation of mankind in the Holy Quran [51:57]. In view of the pre-Islamic history of paganism, if you ponder over the message brought in by the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him), you would not find a better way to explain the crux of it than that of explained by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) himself i.e. ‘there is none worthy of worship save Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger’. We can reason by all means that there is no more important injunction owed to the man than worshipping the Omnipotent. I certainly can assume that none of the Islamic scholars would ever disagree to what has been stated above.
Now, back to the dictate. What would ‘If a Quadiani poses to be a Muslim, or calls, or refers his faith as Islam’ mean? It would mean; If you prostrate before Allah, you pose to be a Muslim. If you believe Holy Prophet was His true Messenger, you pose to be a Muslim. If you believe that Quran is the book revealed to the Holy Prophet, and you read the book and try to practice accordingly, you pose to be a Muslim. If you invoke blessing on your fellow by saying Assalamo Alaikum, you pose to be a Muslim. If you, inspired by the beauties of the teachings of Islam, try to practice any of it, you pose to be a Muslim. If, touched by the exemplary deeds of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) you tend to be kind, humble, sympathetic towards needy, benevolent, obedient to Allah or try to adopt any of the myriad of attributes of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), you pose to be a Muslim. The way one sees it, the number of such ‘ifs’ goes ad infinitum.
Unfortunate land which was meant to be the place where there is none worthy of worship save Allah, proved to be the land where worshipping Allah is deemed to be (God forbid) a heinous crime liable to severe punishment. The land which the folks claim to have been achieved in the name of Islam lamentably turned out to be a menace for Islam, for our country, always down on luck, unprecedentedly volunteered her territory to harbour every imaginable type of ‘extremism’. Undoubtedly, when such errors remain unfixed, they bring about irreparable losses.
Can there ever be a severer form of blasphemy than to constrain someone from worshipping Allah. The irony extremum when the worship of Allah outrages the feelings of Muslims. The Islam indeed was strangled by this ruthless diktat, yet no mortal would stand up to repeal it and clasp the tongue of the real blasphemer. Even those at helm are nothing more than a jellyfish.