This write up discusses an important issue related to " Islam of to-day" as against the original Islam that was established by our Prophet Mohammad( SAWS) .
IQBAL on “ AJAMI ISLAM”
In course of his Presidential address in the annual session of the All India Muslim League at Allahabad in 1930, Allama Iqbal while presenting his demand for a new Islamic State, said," .....I therefore demand the formation of a consolidated North- Western Indian Muslim State in the best interest of India and Islam. For India, it means security and peace resulting from an internal balance of power, for Islam an opportunity to rid itself of the stamp that Arabian imperialism was forced to give it, to mobilize its laws, its education, its culture and to bring them into close contact with its own original spirit and with the spirit of modern times". He further elaborated the said view-point in his monumental work,” The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam” ( 6th lecture ) wherein he said, “ He deplores that during the course of history the moral and social ideals of Islam have been gradually de- Islamized through the influence of local character and pre-Islamic superstitions of Muslim nations. The ideals to-day are more Iranian, Turkish or Arabian than Islamic….The only alternative open to us, then, is to tear off from Islam the hard crust which has immobilized an essentially dynamic outlook on life, and to rediscover the original verities of freedom, equality and solidarity with a view to rebuild our moral, social and political ideals out of their original simplicity and universality”.
The term “Ajami Islam” used by Iqbal vis-a-vis the original pristine Islam, refers to the degradation of real Islam after the reign of “ khulafa-I-Rashidin ,as described below:--
The rapid conquests made in the neighboring Persian and Roman empires by Arabs, led to conversion to Islam of Iranians, Romans and others, en-masse. This massive conversion, however, hurt cause of Islam a lot more than promoting it as the masses accepted Islam without understanding its concepts and precepts. Real and calamitous damage was done by their religious leaders and chieftains who had not digested their defeat and humiliation at the hands of Arabs. Outwardly, they posed themselves as Muslims but in their hearts, they despised Islam and Muslims and conspired to take revenge not physically because they were vanquished but on intellectual level. They were far more learned than the Arabs. What they did was to introduce their own or other non-Islamic concepts and practices among Muslims, under the pretext of it being Islamic ones. Gradually and steadily they replaced most of the Islamic teachings with their fabricated fake and distorted versions. Iqbal calls it “Ajami” conspiracy against Islam . This eventually resulted in converting Islam (“Din”) into Ajami Islam ( “ Mazhab”).
It is necessary to understand the meaning and significance of the terms “Din” and “Mazhab” before we proceed further. The English word religion is usually translated as “ madhhab” and since Islam is generally described in English as madhhab, the word madhhab has come to be used for it in Urdu also. This, however, is a fallacy. Islam is not a religion in the ordinary sense of the term. The word Mazhab does not occur anywhere in the Quran. The Quran has, instead used the word “Iddin”for Islam. Din is a broader and deeper concept than religion. Religion usually means, a set of dogmas, an elaborate ritual and a host of trivial practices. Din as presented in the Quran, is not a matter of ritual or ceremonial. Religion is nothing more than a sort of private relationship between man and his Creator. It is the experience of an individual of a purely subjective nature having no relation with the world affairs. On the other hand Islam is neither a private relationship between man and God, nor is it characterized as being the experience of an individual of a subjective nature; but is essentially a code of life regulating the conduct of affairs concerning the individual as well as the collective life of human beings. Islam, as Iqbal puts it,is” neither a dogma, nor priesthood, nor even ritual”. It aims at the establishment of a social order based on permanent values (enshrined in the Holy Quran), whose members strive for a higher and noble cause of making man’s abode on earth beautiful as also making him fit for further evolutionary stages of life, herein after.
The injunctions and principles enshrined in the Quran, form the corner stone of Islamic polity and the limits laid down by it provide the framework within which the laws of the Islamic State are to be formulated. These principles or limits or framework, are immutable but the statutes made by the state within these four corners, are open to modification according to needs of time. The Divine Laws in its original form and contents have been meticulously preserved in the Quran. So long these laws remain in their original form, these constitute the” Din”, but when these are tampered with extraneous matter like fabricated traditions,forged history etc. they fall from their high pedestal and become what in known as “mazhab”( religion).
The primary aim and objective of the Quran is directed toward the establishment of a universal order based on the Divinely-ordained values as enunciated in the Quran; and the Islamic State is the agency for the enforcement of these laws and injunctions in the country..