Moulana Tariq Jameel, a well known religious figure and a patron of Tableeghi Jammat, has a huge following around the world. He has been religiously uplifting the youth and men by delivering sermons on a variety of subjects addressing their issues and daily routine affairs.
I owe him great respect for his lifetime contribution and services for Islamic preaching but it always triggers questions in my mind whenever I listen to his views on the philosophy of “social change” and the factors behind “system failure” in Pakistan. It does not go smooth through my mind whenever I listen to his views on this specific issue as it collides with what I have read in Islamic philosophy of bringing about social change and the Islamic doctrine that sheds light upon the fight for system change. Also, it opposes Iqbal’s vision, rejects the revolutionary ideals of history and sadly proves to be shelter to the corrupt system.
In his speeches, he highlights the darker aspects of our society which he ascribes to be the fundamental cause of system failure. He firmly believes that it is the character of a nation that ensures a progressive state. He tells that it is useless to think that corrupt and incompetent leaders are a cause of bleak condition of our failed system but our social sufferings are a result of our deeds and moral corruption.
His philosophy of bringing about social change starts with “I”. His suggestion to the listeners and to the entire nation is not to mock leaders but to start the journey of change from oneself. I have heard him telling that we as a nation have to mend our ways and should walk towards the path of Istighfa’r in order to seek Allah’s pleasure which he believes will fix the issue entirely.
I have numerous queries over his approach to address the issue. I second his endorsement to build character of a nation and instead of blame game one must start a journey within. I also agree to the fact that leaders are a face of the nation so whatever we see them doing is actually the representation of ourselves. The moral degradation is the reason for the social evils prevalent in our society.
But why did Holy Prophet (PBUH) continue a long struggle along with tableegh until Makkah was conquered and the Islamic system was placed instead? How does incident of Karbala set precedence for a fight against the corrupt Yazeedi rule if merely the attribution of praying Istighfa’r would have done it alone with no practical effort along with? What argument would completely nullify the revolutions in the history of today’s successful nations that have proved to be the milestones? Does rule of law and a strict accountability not ensure a control on crime and regulation of affair effectively? How do same morally corrupt people act in accordance with the law when they are abroad under strict rule of law? Imagine if the rulers are held accountable by the system at their corruption and are disqualified on their unconstitutional behavior, do you think the termite of corruption would shatter the economy the same way? And will rulers dare to continue with their fearless corrupt acts with the same audacity? If the rapist is punished for his conduct, will anyone dare to repeat the crime knowingly that he’d have to face the circumstances? Will the criminal not fear before committing the crime if he knows that nothing will help him escape the justice?
Unless the system starts working the issues cannot be fixed. The change has to start from the grass root level, I accept. But not by mere praying Istighfa’r but with a collective effort aimed at changing the system. If the system starts working effectively, it will ensure better economic conditions, a powerful political system, a healthy social fabric and a strong nation. When there will be devolution of power and wealth than poverty will not strike a poor to opt for illegal means of earning.
George Bernard Shaw precisely sums up everything when he said that “You have to make the world honest before you honestly tell your children that honesty is the best policy”.