Paigham-e-Pakistan: A Historic Fatwa against Terrorism and Extremism

21.01.2019
Terrorism, extremism and militancy have wreaked havoc in the name of religion. Islam being the religion of peace has been relentlessly blamed for any act of extremism and terrorism. However, Islam as a religion dislikes mischief on earth and forbids its followers from adopting such an approach. The rising misperception about Islam and the ascending Islamophobia madethe government of Pakistan to immediately look for a policy step to unveil the actual teachings of Islam. Therefore, in January 2018,up to 1800 ulema of Pakistan issued a national fatwa against the terror and extremist ideologies which are exploiting the image of Islam for personal economic or political gains.
 
This historic fatwa serves as the national counter terrorism narrative of Pakistan. It has not only strengthened the writ of state but has also backed the struggle of security institutions adamant at ending the inhumane phenomenon of terrorism, extremism and sectarianism.
 
Paigham-e-Pakistan Fatwa has been sought by the Islamic International University and the scholars from all the Fiqahs of Islam. The participation from Wafaq-ul-Madaris al-Arabiyyah, Tanzim-ul-MadarisAhl-e-Sunnat, Wafaq-ul-Madaris al-Salfiyyah, Wafaq-ul-Madaris al-Shi'ah, Rabitat-ul-Madaris Pakistan, in the formulation of this fatwa strengthened the credibility of this document. The endorsement of this fatwa by the religious scholars of high stature -Imam-e-Kaaba, Egyptian Grand Mufti and Mufti Taqi Usmani- further adds to its credence. Moreover, this fatwa is a practical manifestation of Islamic union which puts an end to the sectarian divide. This historic fatwa serves as the national counter terrorism narrative of Pakistan. It has not only strengthened the writ of state but has also backed the struggle of security institutions adamant at ending the inhumane phenomenon of terrorism, extremism and sectarianism.
 
The Phaigham-e-Pakistan Fatwa declares Pakistan a true Islamic state based on the tenets of Islam. It denounces all types of extremist ideologies and suggests the government to deal extremism with kinetic, non-kinetic and ideological approach in the light of Islamic teachings. In addition to this, the fatwa also criticizes the promotion of sectarian hatred, calls it the mischief on earth and demands the state to resolve this critical issue with an iron fist.Additionally, the forceful imposition of sharia -the common practice promoted and followed by the terrorist organizations- and the armed struggles against Pakistan have been declared HARAM under this fatwa.
 
By declaring suicide haram and jihad a state’s prerogative, the fatwa has not only distanced Islam from such extremist ideologies but has also highlighted the actual message of Islam.
 
Similarly, the scholars from all the Islamic schools of thought have stated that suicide attacks have been forbidden by the Quran and they have been termed as HARAM. Hence, the ones involved in such horrific crime must be considered rebels and Khawarijis and shall be punished to the greater extent. Furthermore, according to the Islamic teachings the Jihad is a prerogative of state or it can be only waged by the state permission. However, today the terrorism has stripped away the right of state to decide about waging war. On the same hand, this fatwa also supports the military operations aimed at eradicating extremist and militant evils out of this society.
 
In order to realize the dream of perpetual peace- mosques, seminaries, civil society and the government institutions of Pakistan shall work in harmony or else this fatwa would become just another piece of paper.
 
The critical analysis of Paigham-e-Pakistan Fatwa reveals the fact that this document is actually based on the teachings of Islam. Thus, the criticism from the warring factions -TTP explicitly- holds no importance for the world knows their actual mala fide intentions. This fatwa holds immense significance for Pakistan and Pakistan’s walk towards peace. By declaring suicide haram and jihad a state’s prerogative, the fatwa has not only distanced Islam from such extremist ideologies but has also highlighted the actual message of Islam.
 
Consequently, it could be opined that Paigham-e-Pakistan Fatwa is an achievement at the religious as well as at the national front.Therefore, from individual to national all the players have to perform theirpositive role in eradicating the evils of extremism and terrorism from the society.Moreover, media must fulfill its responsibility by raising awareness regarding this fatwa in the general populace and must help the government in strengthening a national narrative against terrorism.In order to realize the dream of perpetual peace- mosques, seminaries, civil society and the government institutions of Pakistan shall work in harmony or else this fatwa would become just another piece of paper.