Solidarity, Equality, Freedom – The Ideal Principles

“And when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their reins, their seed, and made them testify of themselves: ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said: ‘Yea, verily. We testify.’ Lest you should say at the Day of Resurrection: ‘Verily, we were unaware of this.’ ” (7:72) (Surah Al A’raf, Verse 172)

According to various Islamic traditions, this event occurred at the time of the creation of Adam, whereby God gathered the entire future progeny of Adam – the souls of all human beings that were ever to be born, and bestowed consciousness on them, after which they all entered a covenant with God, testifying that He alone was their Lord and Master, and none other than Him are worthy of worship. This verse and incident has been quoted by Iqbal in his famous work Rumuz e Bekhudi and is seen as an assertion of Tauheed or “Unity” of God by all unborn Human souls. Tauheed is the first pillar of Islam, and is considered to be the very central concept from which the entire Islamic ideology emanates.

Iqbal says, ‘The essence of “Tauhid” as a working idea is equality, solidarity and freedom,” (Lecture VI, Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam) In Rumuz e Bekhudi, Iqbal has most beautifully and elaborately explained that these three principles spring directly from and are intricately connected to the concept of Tauhid.

SOLIDARITY

Belief in One God is the ultimate binding force which holds the community together, it creates a sense of brotherhood and kinship amongst those who are not even related by blood. As Iqbal says in Javednama:

” What is the nation, you who declare ‘No god but God’?
With thousands of eyes, to be one in vision
The proof and claim of God’s people are always One:
‘Our tents are apart, our hearts are one.’ ”

An urdu verse of Iqbal depicts the same solidarity and brotherhood amongst the believers of Tauhid:

کیا تو نے صحرا نشینوں کو یکتا
خبر میں، نظر میں، اذان سحر میں

(You have united warring tribes,
In thought, in deed, in prayer)

EQUALITY

The principle of solidarity or universal brotherhood – i.e. loving one’s brother as one’s own self – results in the belief in the absolute equality of all human beings, before God and before the law, regardless of rank, caste or creed. This is the reason that at the advent of Islam, slaves and people of low rank accepted Islam most readily, as it uplifted them to a status of equality with other muslims, a priviledge they had never had before:

بندہ و صاحب و محتاج و غنی ایک ہوئے
تری سرکار میں پہنچے تو سبهی ایک ہوئے

( Slave or slave’s master, rich or poor, no sense of difference then felt,
For each a brother was to each when in Your Presence, Lord, they knelt)

FREEDOM

Belief in the Unity of God – and the realization that He is the Ultimate Sustainer – not only sets man free from serving worldly lords and tyrants, but also from fear and grief connected to the material world:

اپنے رازق کو نہ پہچانے تو محتاج ملوک
اور پہچانے تو ہیں تیرے گدا دارا و جم

PAKISTAN AND THE IDEAL PRINCIPLES

The concept of Tauhid is the very foundation of Pakistan, the central pillar on which Pakistn was formed. We are all familiar with the slogan raised by our forefathers during the Pakistan movement:

پاکستان کا مطلب کیا
لا الہ الا اللہ

(What is the meaning of Pakistan? Nothing but “There is no God, but God!”)

If Tauhid is the foundation of Pakistan, then the above mentioned three principles should be our ideal principles, in theory as well as in practice – which may appear quite farfetched to a present day citizen of Pakistan. The truth of the matter, however, is that these principles were actually incorporated in the Objectives Resolution of Pakistan in 1949 under the leadership of Quaid e Millat Liaquat Ali Khan; however, after Quaid e Millat’s assassination we were led away from these ideal principles through the indoctrination of alternate theories and principles.

Drifting away from these ideal principles is one of the main causes of the problems existing in our society today. There can be no doubt that the problems we face today are due to the discrimination, disparity and injustice caused by the absence of these principles from the socio-political system which currently prevails in our society.

Let us, for instance, take terrorism – THE biggest issue and threat we have at hand. A root cause of this terrorist and extremist behaviour, besides others, is the discrimination the common man faces due to the lack of equality in society – the denial of justice and basic necessities, together with a hostile environment, which may well induce any person, especially youth, to fall into the clutches of foreign fed and foreign bred terrorist organisations.

It is in the implementation of these principles that the solution to all our problems lies. It was what our forefathers desired and dreamed for us. The implementation of solidarity, equality and freedom, and through it putting an end to injustice and inequality, will surely help us in making Pakistan a Marghdeen – the ideal world of Iqbal.

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