Selection from OCEAN IN A DROP
Translation of Hz.Wasif Ali Wasif’s book
Qatra Qatra Qulzam
When there are too many leaders around, know for certain that an absence of leadership has become too pronounced. The diversity of leadership divides the nation and makes it difficult to determine the way to be followed. When the unity of purpose comes to an end, multipurposeness takes over, with the result that even the meaning of a goal becomes obscure.
Every leader points out a different direction to its crowd of followers, gives them a different consciousness, creates different needs for them and invents different methods for the alleviation of distress. In this way, he confounds the mind. Everyone wants to bring Pakistan and Pakistani nation to a safe haven and every leader points towards a different haven. As a result the boat remains exposed to the vagaries of midstream.
Leadership, like messianism, has reached the proportions of an epidemic. It is but logical that it leaves the nation confused. Every leader waxes eloquent while enumerating the reasons for Pakistan’s decline but when it comes to revealing the road to prosperity the leaders say nothing. It is something secret which every leader keeps to himself. In other words you must blindly follow your leader if you wish to prosper. The nation boasts of so many leaders that only Allah can save us from them. One can’t even move around easily. Every leader now derives his reference of veracity from the past. Quaid-i-Azam said that ______ therefore it is incumbent upon the nation to join his party. Every leader begins its speech by quoting one of Iqbal’s couplets and there are so many couplets in Iqbal’s work that he alone can serve as a testimony for the manifesto of each political party. Whether it is the tidings of the rules of masses or the mention of Satan’s assembly or a discussion of the demon of tyranny or a command to shake the poor awake and give a jolt to the lofty mansions of the rich, it can all be found in Iqbal’s work. Iqbal complains to Allah on behalf of mankind and then comes up with an answer to mankind, speaking on Allah’s behalf. What is there which is not to be found in his verses. Iqbal is a progressive, a believer in evolution, he raised his voice against exploitation, stresses the need for equality. He wishes to see the ordinary man and his superiors to stand shoulder to shoulder. The work of Iqbal is a blessing for many of our present-day leaders. On the contrary there are public meetings which begin with the following couplet of Iqbal:
With the power of love elevate all those who are lowly.
Light up the world with a passion for Muhammad (peace be upon him)
Iqbal lends distinction to the leadership. Every type of leader is a follower of Iqbal. The sayings of Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam are on everyone’s lips. Meanwhile every leader opposes tooth and nail the leadership of each of his rival. What a peculiar situation.
Most of the speeches of these leaders can be summed up in a few words. They always say that they will restructure the state and the nation according to the will of Quaid-e-Azam and in line with Iqbal’s vision. The division between rich and poor will come to an end and everyone would be able to live in peace. The defence of the nation would become strong _______ and ________ and what else? Call an election _______ vote for us _______ and all this must be done quickly ________ otherwise _______ otherwise what?
We are moving today through the magic labyrinth of leadership. On the one hand,Islam is being enforced, on the other there is a discussion going on for enforcing something else. At one place, egalitarianism is the subject of conversation, at some other place, views are being exchanged about Nizam-e-Mustafa (a socio-political system based on the example set by the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and the supreme status of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him). On one side, one hears a demand for polls. On the other side, matters pertaining to accountability are being debated. It is very difficult for a law-abiding non-political citizen to understand what is going to happen next. Those who speak of increasing dangers do so because of their active adherence to a political ideal. Those who want us to totally forget the threats we face do so to serve their own political ambitions. Those who profess to love Islam make the enforcement of Islam conditional. They wish to be forced upon the people along with Islam. They wish to fulfil their own designs under the umbrella of Nizam-e-Mustafa. The nation is baffled by the profusion of leader.
The bewilderment, in fact, confirm that our faith is still alive. The concept of leadership in Islam is different from the concept of leadership in the world of politics. It is dissimilar as well as singular. Islam is the name of spending one’s entire life under the leadership of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The faithful is duty bound to carry out the commandments of Allah and Allah’s Friend (peace be upon him).
One should not really say it but any how _______ the fact is that if one were to deliver the message of any leader, Quaid-i-Azam included, except that brought to us by the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), to a simple-minded Pakistani the poor fellow would be at a loss as to whose message to follow.
How many should we show deference to or cover up for in the course of this single existence of ours? Should we obey the government because it is our own? What is more, it happens to be an elected government, in fact, one which has been recently elected. One can’t help but obey the government but it makes no sense why the government holds the public meetings. So many things have to be done for the masses which are the government’s responsibility. These must be done. Every big city is plagued with traffic snags. The roads and streets are in poor condition. The supply of gas and power is beset with complications. Too many problems bedevil the education system. There are other problems which people have to face when they need a job. The government should not only solve all these problems but also point out to the nation a single and clear-cut aim of life.
If Islam has to be enforced why not do so to please Allah only. What need is there to obtain the approbation of the public? Perhaps the matter of Islam’s enforcement is a difficult one. If it is hard to enforce Islam on the Muslims it can mean only the following: either else these Muslims are not Muslims or the Islam we know is not Islam or the enforcing authority does not deserve to be known as such.
In any case, the concept of leadership in Islam is as follows: the Muslims have been commanded to obey Allah, to obey Allah’s Prophet (peace be upon him) and to obey the man of authority. What do we mean by man of authority? The question is no longer relevant. It came to an end with the tragedy at Karbala. Yazeed was not a man of authority. This distinction belonged to the Illustrious Imam (A.S.). If the qualities of a ruler are not consonant with Islam, do not call him a man of authority. If he adheres to the tenets of Islam it won’t be inappropriate to reckon whether he is a man of authority or not. In any case, these are decisions better left to the discretion of our religious scholars.
We celebrate the days of our old leaders. But the problem can’t be solved by celebrating such days. We have failed in the sense that our efforts have not led to any memorable event. We remember 6 September and we also remember the day when the country was split into two. How can we reconcile these memories, how can we remember both of them simultaneously?
We tend to be somewhat forgetful. We are eager only to be leader. A leader is someone who sets us free from former leaderships. And a Muslim can never be freed from his past. In this lies his excellence as well as his fault. It is excellence because religion is always associated with the past. It is fault in the same sense that the Muslim is absolutely unwilling to embrace a new concept. Russia is there to help Afghanistan by offering a new concept of life and Mujahids are engaged in jihad. Although America possesses endless wealth both Imam Khomeni and Muammar Qaddafi have nothing but detestation for it. The charisma of leadership, whatever its nature, has no influence on the Muslim. For him the Prophet (peace be upon him) of Allah is more than sufficient. If you give your allegiance to a leadership which is un-Islamic it is tantamount to polytheism. If the polytheism is to regard someone as God besides Allah then surely it is also polytheistic to propagate and obey any other ideology except Islam. In spite of the fact that there are so many leaders around we have not been able to find a leader so far. He alone can be our leader to obey whose orders should be an article of faith for us, for whose sake we should be willing to lay down our lives and attain martyrdom.
In Islam the leadership is conditional on piety. The pious man considers this life as a preparation for the life to come. He regards Allah as the Provider. He submits to the commands of the Quran. He believes that the supreme leadership of the Most Generous (peace be upon him) among the prophets will abide until doomsday.
Today the nation, in spite of the proliferation of leaders, waits for someone who is aware of the Truth, who regards himself as a slave of the slaves of the Chosen One (peace be upon him). He alone can be our guide who is not only a visionary but also a knower of the hidden secret.