Mullah, Mosque and State. By Aftab Alam Advocate


One of the surmises that is being proliferated by most of the Muslim vocal clergy is their prolonged misconception. They believe firmly that they alone as a community have the exclusive right to rule. What is the logic for this fallacy? Simply because they assume they are better Muslims than the others.
To comprehend the mystery and chemistry of a mullah it is necessary to scan this species in history. The most vocal species in our society; generally a crude, rude, alienated, customary & quasi literate person, lacking knowledge - wrapping their head with some head cover, wearing loose trouser, disorderly over the ankles and is supposed to perform some routine type religious rituals, mostly by default, is known as a Mullah. I don’t mean to scoff at Mullahs - but simply to reflect the fact. A Mullah as we observe in the society has nothing to do with knowledge ordinarily, for he grows in quarantine. A person whose religious knowledge is acknowledged is called scholar (viz aalim) and never a Mullah.
The biting wit is; that if one tries to argue with them; that none among the human community has the right as a community to claim ruling as prerogative. And that overall competence is a must for a person to rule - and that limited expertise in some religious rituals is no qualification to rule a nation. They, on this would skip by saying that there was no concept of separation of State and Mosque - as had been according to them was the case of Church & State in Christianity. But this is also one of the misperceptions (viz hypothesis) they have been selling wittingly. I don’t mean separation of Mosque & State but I do mean separation of Mullah & State!!!
Right from the first Prophet Adam (PBUH) to our last Prophet, Mohammad (PBUH) - all of them were the Highest Righteous, the Greatest Statesmen and the Outstanding Highbrows Personas - and none of them were a Mullah. All the Prophets (PBUT) were caused to live in inclusion with others, so as observe, experience, comprehend and taste all the ground realties of life practically. Likewise none of the four ‘Caliphs the Righteous’ were a Mullah and similar was the case afterwards. They were Poles apart, from Mullahs who born, grow and live in seclusion and thus suffers from worthlessness, senselessness, tastelessness and mindlessness. It is through leading a practical life alone which can lead you to practical knowledge and practical world.
And above all, so far the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) as well as the four ‘Caliphs the Righteous’ were concerned, they were exceptions in all round brilliance and nobody can either catch or match them in any excellence. Moreover, those whose skill were believed to have restricted to performing the rituals; they had never interfered in the state affairs.
So much so that ‘Ashab-e-Suffah’ albeit they were the highest and luminous religious scholars and they had devoted, confined and spared their entire lives for learning and spreading the religious knowledge - nonetheless none of them had ever tried either by themselves or through others to be indulged in politics as of right even in the lifetime of Mohammad (PBUH). Allah Almighty has commended their devotion towards the knowledge and endorsed their selflessness, moral fiber and sincerity in Holy Qur’an in the Surah Al- Baqarah: 2-273.
And similar was the case afterwards in period of ‘Caliphate the Righteous’. Thus if none among the scholars of that high caliber had ever claimed to be the exclusive community who alone should rule the Muslims - then how a Mullah who with a little exception, can’t do anything, can aver to be the exclusive right holder of power?
It is an admitted fact that the overwhelming number of our current day Mullah lot is simply uncouth incarnate - and they are not different from our quacks, for most of them are Mullahs simply because they happened to be from Mullahs background. Thus if a quack is not competent to meddle with public health then how a habitual Mullah may be allowed to play havoc with the nation’s national, physical, political as well as spiritual being? Who else other than Allah Almighty can know better that governance has been inclusively a peerless art and is entirely a different assignment? And this is why that statecraft always requires the extraordinary all-round skill and competence as prerequisite. And that’s why that all the Prophets were the most chosen adroit and practical personas in terms of all round talent. Ergo in the Holy Qur’an, Allah the Almighty Order has been:
“VERILY ALLAH COMMANDS THAT YOU TO MAKEOVER TRUSTS TO THOSE WORTHY OF THEM”. (Surah Nisa: 4 -58). The milieu under which this verse was revealed makes the meaning of this verse further glistening. If a person is believed to have learned riding a motorbike, this does not mean to maintain that he can cruise the ship of over 140 millions Muslims on board without prerequisite thereof. Similarly if a Mullah has learned performing a few religious rituals this does not mean that he alone has been privileged to rule.
What is the importance of competence for he who would govern is evident from this Holy Verse as well:
According to my humble opinion it was from the early Muslims whom ‘they’ (most of the non-Muslims of the west) learnt from, the worthiest secret of statecraft that by keeping their clergy (viz Church) away from the state (viz state affairs) thereafter alone a state could be set to prosper. And to keep them away, it was necessary to keep them busy in purely religious rituals - and be paid for handsomely.
But one must bear in mind that I don’t mean to say that religion has nothing to do with the helm of affairs of a state so far as the religion of Islam is concerned. What I mean to convey more articulately is; that in Islamic polity, the religion of course shall be the heart of the politics. For, by doing so there will be all virtues within on one hand and no harm whatsoever outside on the other. But so far the helm of affairs are concerned they shall be run by those who are worthy thereof. Meaning thereby that acquaintance which would be limited simply to religious rituals shall not be the credential to rule - and that including the Islamic Knowledge, all round competence in all the relevant and contemporary fields shall be germane for those who will be in the helm of state affairs. In other words that mind setup of a person who would be the leader shall be the yardstick and not the getup of a person.
The quirk of fate of most of Muslim folk has been the misconception that if a person is not within the aforementioned getup of a Mullah - or particularly one who use to wear some rational apparel then he can’t be considered a person who can understand Islam. Whereas in fact I have never ever seen any Mullah at least in our country whose attire is according to the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). And this is why that you won’t observe two Mullahs in similar attire or even in similar head cover. Each Mullah wears his own designed head cover and appears in his own style of attire. Thus howsoever a person may be well skilled in ideology of Islam but if he is not in the getup of Mullah, he/she is hardly acknowledged as cerebral in Islam by Mullahs and their cohorts.
Nevertheless, if a politician is deficient in religious ritual knowledge, he can be boosted up by a scholar consultant of high integrity easily - but so far Mullah’s over all deficiency is concerned it has no cure whatsoever. But so far the overwhelming majority of our Mullahs are concerned they are neither scholars nor politicians - they can neither understand the substance of Shariat nor the spirit. Similar is their caliber vis-à-vis the worldly affairs given the limited and restricted origin they have been coming from up.
Furthermore, the more a cleric would be genuine the more it would be hard for him to take part in the smeared game of politics, given his constrained and well ordered orthodox life. To be good politician flexibility is a must for him - but quite counter is the case with a true cleric. To perform rituals needs quite different capabilities as compared to performing a political role. And this is why that all emphasis of the Allah Almighty in making over portfolios has been upon the competence of the incumbent. A true cleric is not supposed to maneuver according to the contour of the attending circumstances, for he interprets the ‘sirathum-mustaqeem’ (viz straight path of Shariat) as walking all along straightly. While, every political persona conversely, always needs to run the vehicle of his nation according to the emerging outline of the political boulevard. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) by choosing the meticulous intricacy during the Holy Journey of Hijrah (migration) from ‘Mecca the Blessed’ to ‘Medina the Radiant’ proved the importance of raison d’etre. Similarly was His (PBUH) stratagem throughout the Islamic Movement.
To illustrate my opinion I would like to say that one must not forget the difference between the maneuvering of Omar bin al Aas (RA) (may Allah be pleased with him) and Abu-Musa Ashary (RA) (may Allah be pleased with him) at the most crucial juncture of the Muslim history during the Jang-e-Saffain (viz ‘War of Saffain’ fought between Ali ibn Abi Talib (RA) & Muavia bin Abi Safyan (RA) and its aftermath. A politician can afford altering the gear of the political vehicle according to the intricate voyage - whereas a true cleric cannot think or afford to do so. And this is why that JUI (F) Supremo, chosen a non Mullah for the highest slot of chief ministership of NWFP!!!
If a Mullah is genuine and say he may be gold even but gold cannot be molded into weapons or wares and if a Mullah is not genuine then he is called fake, means of no use for any sake. No genius is required to appreciate and differentiate between the demands which are inevitable for a fighter and the demands which are inescapable for a true administrator. Similar is the case and pace between a politician and a cleric. If even a player of ping pong is not supposed to play wrestling then how a cleric can claim that he, given his clerical background simply has the right to rule - and outclass any other person simply for the reason that his outfit is not of a cleric? But one must not misconstrue my conclusion, for I don’t mean to convey that all those persons who have been winning glory for Muslims were not good Muslims by themselves - or who would be a cleric, politics shall be tabooed for him merely because he is cleric. Likewise a cleric can’t claim the right to rule simply because of his clerical background.
All the four Caliphs the Righteous were the best Muslims on one hand and were the best strategists on the other. Successors of four the ‘Caliphs the Righteous’ were also the best in terms of strategies and thus were successful leaders in the world. So far the question of their Islam was concerned; Allah Almighty alone has the measuring tape to gauge one’s inner being.
The world has witnessed a number of huge Muslim Empires of assortment throughout the history e.g. Umayyad Empire, Abbasid Empire, Mamluk Empire, Seljuk Empire, Mughal Empire, Afghan Empire and Ottoman Empire etc - but none of them had been a cleric empire or Mullah Empire. Similar has been the case of non-Muslim Empires viz Nubian Empire, Persian Empire, Ancient Greek Empire, Ancient Roman Empire, Mauryan Empire, Mongolian Empire, Russian Empire, German Empire and British Empire etc - but none of them had been a clerical empire. So it is a historical fact that lot of clerics has been like wild plants self sown and self grown entity and have never been a lasting tree.
The most formidable loss due to the Mullahs addiction of politics to the Muslim Ummah has been the overall sectarianism and divergence among the Muslims throughout the world. To be follower or resister towards the ruler is normal phenomenon â€" hence sectarianism and divergence among the Muslims shall be the direct outcome if a Mullah would be the ruler. Because Mullah carries out everything in the name of Shariat hence any slip of a Mullah is equated to breach of Shariat and hence bring about defiance by other clerics. Conversely, in case of a non-Mullah ruler, no Mullah is blamed for the error and thus that does not warrant any religious defiance but at the most some political defiance only.
As an individual every one does have the right to yearn for serving the nation - but as community none of them (viz clerical or secular) has the right to claim politics his/her hereditary right. Thus what I want to convey is; that getup as well as setup of mind of a true cleric is such which can not be supposed to find it conducive to be indulged in every affairs comfortably like any other person who has the competence to lead. For instance; a scholar could not be supposed to play football, boxing, wrestling or any other sport in a tournament but this does not mean that sports are tabooed for them however if they don’t play the better. Similarly a film actor could not be supposed to be a Mullah unless and until he adopts the prerequisites. Exceptions are everywhere of course - but one must not forget that exceptions always prove the rules.
Mullah’s track record regarding the unity & purity among the Muslims has been very sad hence ‘they’ must not thirst their soul for running a state!!!
Throughout the history Mullahs have never been in power, nor are they supposed to make a fuss of that. This tragedy occurred for the first time in Afghanistan - and Mullah’s rule ruined the whole region. The bottom line in precision is that we, the Muslims must make a choice between the Mullah and Islam!!!


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