SECOND OPINION: Fallacy of religious reasoning —Khaled Ahmed’s Urdu Press Review
The truth is that different exegeses of the Quran have led to different courses of action. The judge favours the concept of the “wali” under the Maliki “fiqh” although he knows that the Hanafi “fiqh” ignores it and gives primacy to consent. Then he takes flight into emotion and fantasy. He thinks that a girl marrying on the basis of her consent runs away from home and marries someone “stealthily”. He presumes that the parents did not agree. Before assuming that the girl fled her home, he has to legally consider whether the parents were right in refusing her choice, but he does not. It is thinking like this that misleads us
How do we use “reason” to defend what we think is our faith? Let us be frank about what we end up doing. We use deductive logic, the kind found in geometric propositions, in which we accept a premise to be true and incontrovertible. The problem is with the premise. We think that the premise is given by the Quran. In certain cases when it is not given by the Quran, but by the jurists, do we treat it any different? We don’t. We think “shariah” is based on the Quran but find that it is based on the “fiqh” as well. Our “fiqh”, not someone else’s. Because if another “fiqh” contradicts ours, we denounce it. Above all facts are not important when seeking to defend our faith.
Writing in “Khabrain” (5 January 2004), Justice (Retd) Abdul Majeed Tiwana said that asking for the repeal of Hudood laws was not within the power of any institution of the state as it was divine law as enforced by the Quran. He said as far as the question of “wali” is concerned the different schools of thought in Islam have been discussing the question since 1979. He thought that while an adult girl could marry without the permission of her “wali” society would not tolerate that a girl run away from home and marry someone stealthily after dishonouring her family and parents, and starting a vendetta between the two families involved in the runaway marriage.
The judge thinks we can’t reform anything related to the text of the Quran, but doesn’t say if by the text of the Quran he excludes interpretation of it. The “hudood” are supposed to be the “nas” (clear edict) of the Quran, but we ignore it in some cases and accept “nas” when it is not even in the Quran. The truth is that different exegeses of the Quran have led to different courses of action. The judge favours the concept of the “wali” under the Maliki “fiqh” although he knows that the Hanafi “fiqh” ignores it and gives primacy to consent. Then he takes flight into emotion and fantasy. He thinks that a girl marrying on the basis of her consent runs away from home and marries someone “stealthily”. He presumes that the parents (father as “wali”) did not agree. Before assuming that the girl fled her home, he has to legally consider whether the parents were right in refusing her choice? It is thinking like this that misleads us. The judge is an intellectual delinquent. He lives under Hanafi law but is dying to go Maliki or Hanbali. What he wants is hardline Islam. But facts tell us that after hardline Islam is forced upon people the state collapses.
Daily “Pakistan” (5 January 2004) editorialised that the people of Peshawar were facing hardship in the making of new ID cards because a number of Peshawar councillors were unwilling to endorse their applications. NADRA has brought cases against the councillors because they had endorsed applications of Afghan nationals sheltering in Pakistan in order to enable them to carry Pakistani ID cards. In protest the councillors of Peshawar had stopped endorsing genuine applications. The paper appealed that the cases against the councillors be taken back.
Pakistan has to settle more than one-half of the country living under tribal rules where the state and its boundaries are not recognised. The councillors are doing “melmastia” under the “Pahktunwali”. They can go one step forward too. If a criminal from municipal law seeks refuge they can offer that also. The councillors are a perfect example of the kind of dual legal framework we have in Pakistan.
According to Sarerahe in Nawa-e-Waqt (6 January 2004), Ex-ISI chief Hameed Gul said that India was in a cleft stick because it needed energy to survive but energy from Central Asia was available only if Pakistan allowed the pipelines to cross its territory. India therefore was forced to agree to Pakistan’s demands, only if Pakistan were to play its cards well. If India gave Kashmir to Pakistan it would go to pieces and if it did not then there would be nuclear war in South Asia in which both countries would perish. Vajpayee therefore was now trying to get Pakistan to drop its visa system and join India in a single currency. That would make sure that there was no Pakistan.
Aslam Beg and Hameed Gul are the “strategists” of Pakistan. That’s why the country has come close to annihilation. Let’s see the logic of his argument. He says India needs the Iranian pipeline like a hole in the head. But Pakistan wants Kashmir first. And if India gives up Kashmir it is finished. And somehow if India doesn’t go to pieces as a result of giving up Kashmir, then there will be a nuclear war between India and Pakistan, resulting in the destruction of both countries. The general has set the stage for an eternal deadlock in which giving ground is simply not possible. He is an intellectual suicide-bomber and wants to take Pakistan down with him. Then, out of the blow, he credits the most far-flung bit of imagination on the part of Vajpayee and tends to believe it. This way too one country is destroyed and that is Pakistan. Pakistanis love Hameed Gul. It is a kind of death-wish and a sign of intellectual exhaustion. The Hameed Guls of our day are the flotsam of a warrior state that has fallen on its face and has brought nothing good to the people of Pakistan. He is the chief lemming leading his flock to the precipice while his own economic base is sound and all comforts of life are supplied to him and his family by a nation who is belly-up because of the shenanigans of the swashbuckling soldiers of his ilk. *