"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Haq
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Religion and State Law

A. Haq (London)

In any country, if a religion is designated as a state religion and that is promulgated with all its injunctions as the law of a country or state, it can cause enormous hindrances in the way of progress and improvement of the country. As for example if today we implement Christianity as the state religion in England and promulgate its teachings as the law of the country, Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Sikhs may face untold hurdles and this action will make their lives very difficult. It is not allowed for women to cover their legs below their knees, as it is there in the Bible today (in the latest version). Secondly the Christians consider dog as a holy being and love dogs in imitation of the dog of the People of the Cave. They can keep their dogs in their beds to slumber. If it is made mandatory on everyone by law, the Muslim cannot act upon it. Neither it can be acceptable for Muslim girls nor women to keep their knees uncovered nor to keep their dogs in beds because they consider them dirty. They don’t mostly like even touching them. Similarly some Sikhs families may also declare total boycott of this sort of law. So this type of action will be limited to the specific group of public alone.

Similarly if Hinduism is declared as law of a country, it will make the life of the other communities miserable.  Every woman will have to wear Sari (a particular type of Hindi dress, one sheet of cloth wrapped all around) and every man will also wear Dhoti (one sheet of cloth to wrap around the waist). Cow slaughtering will be totally banned and everyone may need to besmear head with her urine. Kathak dance may become mandatory to learn in schools and colleges.

However, if the law of a country is based on universal moral and ethical values will enjoins upon every individual to honour humanity, then it may bring about excellent results. Keeping in view the above discussion; on the problems of promulgating religion as the state law; if we declare Islam as the state law of Pakistan, results will not be different from those of other religions. Moreover, it may also be hurtful for the Muslims as well. No two factions / sects can agree on one decision. Sectarianism may turn out to be a curse and all the factions will start fighting for supremacy of their sect. They will issue religious decrees against one and another. One faction considers Mat’a (time-bound/purpose-bound marriage) as lawful while the other rejects it as unlawful in sharia’t (Islamic law and jurisprudence). One faction considers it un-harmful/ acceptable act in the eye of religion for women to go to the graveyards while the other considers it against teachings of the Islam and rejects it.  One considers it holy to spend wealth on shrines while the other considers it unlawful. One faction considers it as O.K to keep covered their ankles while the other declares it totally un-allowed.  In many cases there can be a middle decision, but not in all matters. So if the Religious scholars start issuing Fatwa’ s ( religious decrees issued by religious scholars) on petty matters , how will it function as a state law. The question arises, which type of Islam the people want to be promulgated? Islam is surely complete in code and conduct. But socio-cultural history of the region has given rise to such misconceptions which have become the foundations and pillars of certain sects. If things grow so confused and perplexed within the sects and factions what to talk of implementing a religious code on all the communities living in the same country. According to Islam no woman should go out of house without a veil or a covering but the other communities cannot put under coverings their girls. Islam promotes free-will in the matter of acceptance of religion and allows the other communities to live the way their religions prescribe. That’s why, the glorious principles of governance of state and society our holy prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has prescribed are basically related to uplift of humanity and in matters of personal affairs Islam allows communities to live as per their own style of living. As Islam is against any sort of hegemony, acceptance of other religious communities in the making and promulgation of a law must be achieved through the principle of free-will.

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