Dr. A Q Khan
Mohsin e Pakistan

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February 24th, 2010

Random thoughts
By Dr A Q Khan

Everybody is engaged in exploiting and looting the country. Both the rulers and the public are held equally responsible for this lawlessness and plunder. It must be obvious to everyone that when neither rulers nor public follow laws (or are held responsible), the result is chaos and corruption.

One story goes that there was once a raja who wanted to enforce law and order in his kingdom but the elite and the public were not willing to follow the rules and wanted to do whatever suited them. After the raja failed to convince the officers and public, an old, wise minister advised him to allow the people to do just as they pleased. So it became a free-for-all. Robbers, the corrupt, exploiters and extortionists had a heyday. Once the son of an officer got seriously injured in an accident and when he was brought to the hospital there were no doctors available to attend to him and he died. After a few days there was a robbery at the house of the head of the hospital. The robbers thrashed the inmates, stole all their belongings and vanished. The police were least bothered and did not take serious notice. Soon after, a fire broke out at the house of the chief of police but the fire-fighters were slow in reacting and the whole house was reduced to ashes. The sanitary workers refused to collect the garbage and the whole area stank, became contaminated and various diseases spread rapidly.

The powerful bullied the weak, women were molested and soon became too scared to venture out of their houses. Markets were closed for fear of looters and soon there was a shortage of foodstuff. Cities took on a deserted look. In short, there was total lawlessness. The ruler was not oblivious to the situation and his agents kept him informed of the whole situation. Some elderly, wise people got together and decided to convince the ruler to enforce law and order within his domain and to mete out exemplary punishment to violators. The king readily agreed, but insisted that the public be asked to choose – law and order or a free-for-all. A meeting was called and the question was put to the people, who requested the enforcement of law and order.

There were, of course, a few dissenters who did not really want law and order, but since they were in the minority, they did not dare voice their objections. The next day instructions were issued for the strict enforcement of the law and for the appointment of strict officers. At first there were some mischief-mongers who tried to create problems, but they were severely dealt with and within a short span of time the kingdom once again revived, the whole system started running smoothly and markets, educational institutions, hospitals, etc., once again functioned. Though this is just a story with a moral, it reflects on how law and order can change a negative free-for-all situation into a positive one.

During the period of the Caliphs, law and order was strictly maintained. Nobody could dare to violate any law during the period of Hazrat Umar (RA) without being punished. During the Moghul period, law and order was strictly enforced. However, upon the slow disintegration of the empire, the situation became so bad that the courtiers even blinded the king, Shah Alam. The excellent and strict law-and-order situation during the reign of Alauddin Khilji is an unforgettable chapter in Islamic history.

In our country dictators ruled with impunity, not for the good of the country, but to prolong their own rule. Had they been honest and God-fearing, they would have taken steps for the welfare of the public in general and the poor in particular. Had they done so, the country would have been quite different now. For the last 45 years the country has been on a downward path and has now almost gone to the dogs. Shortage of foodstuff, load shedding, hoarding, adulteration, corruption, terrorism, you name it, are the order of the day. At the rate of which we are borrowing from international institutions, we will soon be a failed state. But programmes costing billions of rupees are in full swing and are feathering the nests (or fattening the pockets) of those in power.

There is no faith in Allah but full faith in foreign powers for our survival. There is a lot of submission to foreign dictates and ghairat, or self-esteem, has become a scarce commodity. But as Ghalib said: “When pain exceeds all limits, it itself becomes a healer.” Our problems have resulted in an independent and assertive judiciary and an independent, fearless media.

The public can no longer be kept in the dark. Now they are aware of the tricks, lies, cheating, etc., of the political leaders and can form their own opinions to judge the characters of their leaders. Many of the dishonest and corrupt are now planning to get out of the country with their ill-gotten wealth before the noose is tightened around their necks. But remember Allah’s warning! “Truly, strong is the grip (and power) of Allah.” (85:12.) “The truth will prevail and the wrongdoers will be taken to task, as promised by the Almighty.”

On Jan 9 I was invited to address the Rawalpindi District Bar Council and was given a rousing and memorable reception. The whole area was covered with rose petals and hundreds of lawyers raised deafening slogans. In my address I deliberated upon the ills plaguing our society, like lawlessness, corruption, adulteration, hoarding, lying, munafiqat. I pointed out that most of these evils were being practiced by the common man – i.e. about 99 per cent of the population – and because of their attitude, the one per cent ruling clique thrived. If, on the other hand, that 99 per cent of the population acted honestly and with integrity, the small minority of rulers wouldn’t dare to indulge in the kinds of misbehaviour mentioned earlier.

I earnestly request the public to revert to Islam in word and in spirit, to be fearful of the Almighty and change their behaviour or face the wrath of Allah. There will be no place for wrongdoers to run away to or to hide in. The punishment of the Almighty will get to them.

A long time ago a Greek philosopher said that whomever God wanted to destroy, he first turned them into mud – i.e. deprived them of their wisdom. The French monarchist, Joseph de Maitere, once said that a nation got the rulers it deserved – i.e., good, honest people got good, honest rulers; bad, corrupt people got bad, corrupt rulers.

Let me draw your attention to just two of the stern warnings given by Almighty Allah to wrongdoers (corrupt, characterless people/rulers).

“Do not think Allah is heedless of the evil deeds in which the evildoers are engaged. He is merely granting them respite until a Day (Doomsday) when their eyes shall continue to stare in horror.” (14:42.)

“When we decide to destroy a town (people) we command the affluent among them, whereupon they commit sins in it, then the decree (of chastisement) becomes due against them and thereafter we destroy that town (people) utterly.” (17:16.)

Nobody should be under the illusion that, if our rulers and the public do not pay heed to these warnings, our fate will be any different from those who have become examples in history.

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