Why Medina?

“An unpromising start”, Peter Frankopan writes, “in a cave near Mecca had given birth to a cosmopolitan utopia of sorts”.  As the two great powers of late antiquity—Roman Empire and Persia—flexed their muscles and prepared for a final showdown, few could have predicted that it would be a fraction from the far reaches of the Arabian peninsula that would rise up to supplant both. Those who had been inspired by Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) truly inherited the earth, establishing perhaps the greatest empire that the world has ever seen. The Islamic conquests created a new world order, an economic giant, bolstered by self-confidence, broad-mindedness and a passionate zeal for progress. Ambitious men born on the periphery of the Muslim umma, or even far beyond, were drawn like bees to honey. Peter states further, “The name of new cosmology didn’t reflect how revolutionary it was. Closely related to the words for safety and peace, the revolution of ‘Islam’ had arrived.”

The Medina model is mayhap an idyll or nirvana-like state of affairs in which everything is perfect. It’s not a misplaced faith in political ideals that leads to ruin. When PM Khan reckons with the idea of Medina, he desires such a social contract in which everyone will be free because they all forfeit the same number of rights and impose the same duties on all. He yearns for the “general will” which is actually the will of the people as a whole.  He fondles with an ideal egalitarianism that prioritizes equality for all people.  He is such a protagonist of holistic theory of education in which education is a means to achieve justice when each individual develops his or her ability to the fullest. Khan’s all idealism rests in his one doctrinal opinion: “This nation will rise when the poor man knows that his son is getting quality education on the state’s expense and that education will open opportunities for his son to achieve success in life. That’s when the common man will want to become part of this system and own it. Not only owns it but also wants to fight and die to defend such a state.” Going back to the history of Islam, PM Khan said, “We need to look back and see what Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) did in order to bring those people together to form a nation so strong that they ruled the world for centuries.”

PM Khan’s entire life depicts that his character could not be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial could the soul of his be strengthened, his lofty ambition inspired and finally he achieved success. He didn’t seek achievement for only himself and forgot about progress and prosperity for others. Rather his ambitions were broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others by reminding that a man’s worth is no greater than his ambitions. His landmark victory in 1992 World Cup didn’t let him stop there. He then decided to sail the most difficult philanthropist boat in shape of Shaukat Khanam Hospital. His indefatigable struggle for that noble cause made him earn kudos. After that he joined politics to water his power impulses. But again his power lust was not for sake of more power or for capturing top most public office. Nope. It’s not. To somewhat he sees power as a structural manifestation of a complex strategic situation in a given social setting that requires both constraint and enablement. Atif Mian’s episode depicts his constraint of power that he can’t go against the public sentiment no matter how difficult U-turn could be taken by him. His brief address to the nation to ultimately end the Netherlands’ silliest ado of ludicrous caricatures competition is an illustration of his power enablement which augments from popular public sentiment. In sum, his power derives from populism. For he knows only the tide of populism can buttress his fragile majority.

Now the million dollar question: Will PM Khan simply contended with the premiership of a country? Is his hankering being circumvented within the precincts of domesticity—in other words only internal consolidation and no global agenda? The previous 3-week span forecasts otherwise. PM Khan’s letter to the UN Secretary General for his utter failure to stop Rohingya Muslims’ genocide renders his extraterritorial proclivity. His tweets to stand by Turkey and Iran illustrate his beyond-borders aspirations. His reluctance to go for the annual UN summit delineates his strive to rise the humdrum country up in the comity of nations first and then to visit abroad. So first of all he really longs for the progress and strength of his country. Maybe he is steered by his dogmatic dream: “Pakistan is destined to rise.” To rise he means an active involvement in world affairs. For this very reason, he veritably gleans his grandiloquent yearning from the glorious chapter of Medina. He, in fact, wants such a peaceful global revolution that may, in line with Peter Frankopan, open the “road to concord” towards the entire world.

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1 Comment

  1. akmal says

    very well written article ,well done

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