“How can we still be nationalistic, when we know it has no place in Islam. Our beloved Prophet SAWS showed us how to co-exist as Muslims and brothers to one another not as nationalities.”
“Mahfil-i kaun-o Makan men sahar-o sham phiray
Ma-i tauheed ko ley kar sifat-i jam phiray
Koh men’ dasht mey ley kar tira paigham phiray
Aur maaloom hay tujh ko kabhi nakaam phiray
Dasht to dasht hain darya bhi na chorey hamnay
Bahr-i zulmaat men daura diy-e ghorey hamnay
Safah-i dhar se batil ko mitaya hamney
Nau-i insan ko ghulami se churaya hamney
Terey kaabe ko jabeenon sey bassaya hamney
Terey Qur’an ko seeno sey lagaya hamney”
“We continuously wandered all over the world
We wandered with the cup full of Tawhid’s intoxication
We wandered with Thy message in the mountains, in the deserts
And do you know whether we ever returned unsuccessful?
What of the deserts! We did not spare even oceans!
We galloped our horses in to the unforgiving ocean.
We effaced falsehood from the earth’s surface
It was we who freed the human race from bonds of slavery
It was we who filled Your Kaa’ba with our foreheads
It was we who put Your Qur’an to our hearts”
I don’t intend to point out your flaws, I think your better acquainted with them then I am. The economic, social and political problems aren’t something that you were ever able to ignore. Despite all of that, despite the depths of your flaws, I still find myself inescapably drawn to you, Pakistan.
I grew up in your streets, learned in your schools and formed my first memories in your cities. Often times though Pakistan, I feel as if I am a spouse in love with an abusive partner. As such I am constantly defending you; ‘the army isn’t all bad’ and ‘the people aren’t all corrupt’ are my ‘I walked in to a door’ and ‘I’m the clumsy one, I should have kept my mouth closed’.
It is with this context that I write these words. On the 14th of August 2013 you turned 66, or as you prefer to say you have been ‘independent’ for 66 years. As I said, I don’t want to show you how wrong you are about that, like I said, I’m sure that you know the problems that you have better than I. I do feel though that it is now my duty to stand up against to those who did this to you, for all the hurt they have put us and all Pakistanis through. This is not an attack on you; I want it to be an advice.
At heart, I know you love Islam and so I want to share with you something that our beloved Prophet SAWS said, “None of you will have truly attained faith, until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself”. These aren’t just my brothers in these other countries; they are your brothers, your sons, your sisters, your daughters. You rejoice in your independence while they suffer under tyranny. Where is your faith Pakistan? Who is it for? I am not blaming you for the problems that this Ummah is facing; I am not even saying that you are this Ummah’s sole survivor. What I am saying is that it is inappropriate for you to rejoice.
How can we still be nationalistic, when we know it has no place in Islam. Our beloved Prophet SAWS showed us how to co-exist as Muslims and brothers to one another not as nationalities. We maintain that we are a nation founded on the principles of Islam, are not those suffering in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Burma Iraq, Palestine, Syria and Egypt not also Muslim? There can be no place for nationalism in our creed.
I am sorrowful. I look upon the situation of our brothers and sisters and I don’t feel independent or liberated. I feel oppressed by the oppression that afflicts them. This is the sorrow I am trying to share with you in the hopes that you too might feel it. That you too might feel oppressed, that you might see your ‘independence’ for the curse it really is. There is still hope; you can still become truly independent by becoming united with your brothers and sharing your good and bad with them.
As Iqbal so wonderfully put in the above section from his poem, Shikwa, we used to be great. We used to be truly independent. We were a united ummah. We elevated mankind; we travelled the world with the word of God in our breasts. We overcame deserts and oceans. We did so with the sole objective of destroying falsehood from this Earth, and isn’t that why you were created, as a fortress for Muslims?
I will forever associate the 14th of August with the massacres and sacrifices it took us to get here and that we still continue to go through. Not just Pakistani sacrifices, but the recent massacres in Egypt. I will reflect on images of martyrs and pray that Allah has rewarded them by clutching them to His bosom, in a figurative sense. I will replay images of the clashes, of men separated from their brains but at one with the hearts of green birds. I will find it impossible to wave my green and white flag, sing your national anthem or even meditate on you. That is until we truly become independent, the way that we deserve.
The 14th of August will never be a happy day for me, Pakistan, and I urge you; no, I need you to feel the pain of this Ummah so you can become the fortress you were constructed to be.