The Pros & Cons of Jamaati Islami Pakistan
“And thus did We show Abraham the realm of the heavens and the earth that he would be among the certain [in faith]
“So when the night covered him [with darkness], he saw a star. He said, “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said, “I like not those that disappear.”
And when he saw the moon rising, he said, “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said, “Unless my Lord guides me, I will surely be among the people gone astray.”
And when he saw the sun rising, he said, “This is my lord; this is greater.” But when it set, he said, “O my people, indeed I am free from what you associate with Allah .”
(Holy Quran 6: 75-78
Moral: Keep searching for the ultimate Truth. Never stop
This analysis or trial is of no ordinary party. I consider Jamaat Islami far better than any other party (political or non-political) in the country. Therefore there is no question or there should be no doubt that any other party can face the rigors of such an analysis; JI remains and probably will remain way ahead of the rest.
The Pros of Jamaati Islami
Let us first discuss the numerous plus points of the party as is usually recommended that the good points about any person should always be mentioned first when talking about him.
Most knowledgeable of Islam
Members of JI are no doubt the most knowledgeable about Islam & political Islam than members of any other party. While other party members know only about Islam or politics (liberals, secular), members of JI have most of the time beautifully merged knowledge of both. They even keep themselves apprised of world affairs.
Most Practicing Muslims
There is more percentage of practicing Muslims in JI than in other party and this fact is acknowledged by all. This is the reason why, like all practicing Muslims, they are wrongly trolled for mistakes they unintentionally make and labeled as hypocrites. We are all humans, no one is perfect. If members of JI who make a mistake are hypocrites, then what can one say about the liberals who make INTENTIONAL BLUNDERS and still acclaim to be Muslims.
One will find the most Purdah observing (Hijab or Niqab) women (of their own free choice) in this party.
This is another fact acknowledged by all including friends and foes. Hardly a case of corruption has been raised against a parliamentary member or other member of JI.
However, there are several reports that corruption is starting to creep into circles of JI.
Unlike many other Islamic parties based on sectarianism, JI is a non-sectarian based Islamic party. One may find members of all sects in the party, Deobandi, Bralvi, Shia etc and most importantly they only consider each other as simply Muslims and call each other as ‘brothers’. Leaders of JI have always tried the utmost for unity among the different sects.
Simple Down to Earth Leaders
Many of the leaders of JI are the most down to Earth and humble people especially the present leader Mr. Siraj ul Haq. They are often noted for spending minimum amount from the state treasury including on local and foreign trips instead of the lavish spending by other party members. Even most JI members are simple down to earth people and spend much of their wealth for establishing the rule of Allah in the land.
Most Organized & Disciplined Party
JI is considered one of the most, if not the most, organized and well disciplined parties in Pakistan. Leaders are selected (not really elected) regularly even up to the subdistrict/Halqa/Mohallah level. No one nominates oneself for leadership and canvassing is not allowed in these selections.
Regular meetings, Dars Quran, training camps etc are held at every organizational level. Members guilty of discipline are given warning, admonished, removed from post or expelled from the party as a last resort. Disputes are resolved in a well coordinated manner.
No Nepotism, Favoritism or Family Politics
JI is one of the rare parties which hardly practices nepotism or favoritism towards its members and this is often a complaint by some of their ‘weaker’ members, arguing that when all other parties help their members in getting jobs and other favors, why can’t JI do the same. JI only prefers merit whether the candidate belongs to the party or not.
Likewise JI does not believe in family politics. Hardly a case may have occurred that a family member of even a district Nazim (leader) of JI has become the next Nazim; even if it has occurred, then it is only through merit because most of the members must have have strongly believed that he deserved to be the next leader, irrespective of the fact that he is a son/relative of the previous leader.
This is another field in which JI is far ahead of the other parties. Whether it is an earthquake, or flood disasters or any other national calamities, JI has been in the forefront to the rescue with all type of help it can provide including personnel, funds, medical aid etc. Again most of this is also done in an organized manner.
Support of Oppressed Muslims throughout the World
Once again, JI is often the lone party to raise its voice against oppression against Muslims throughout the world including Kashmir, Palestine, Burma etc. JI also supported and many of its members took part in Jihad against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
Members of JI also actively took part in 1965 and 1971 wars.
Even strong critics of Jamaati Islami like Mr. Zaid Hamid have accepted this fact:
‘Only JI has shed bled for Pakistan’ : reference:
JI is leading the world Muslim political parties for the revival of supremacy of Islam in the world and often calls other party leaders to national conferences and meetings.
Lone Voice Against Interest Based Banking
JI is a lone voice among the major political parties including PML N, PTI, PPP, ANP, MQM etc that continues to raise its voice against interest-based banking system and raises this issue at many forums.
Examplary Judges of Jamaat Islami
Historical decision of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, member Jamaati Islami, against blasphemous pages. Salute to him and Mr. Orya Maqbool Jan pays special tribute
Only Political Party which Meets Criteria For Islamic Revolution:
Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT), the student wing of JI, of which this writer was a member, is a great learning platform for students. It prevents students from going astray during precious days of their lives and helps them to concentrate on studies and Islamic literature, Islamic leadership and political Islam. I must admit that most of my training and knowledge of political Islam was through IJT.
Students of IJT are generally ahead of their peers in studies. IJT has nurtured great national leaders.
JI is also a lone voice for inculcation of important Islamic topics in our educational curricula
Doctors and Other Wings
Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA), the doctors wing of JI is a great platform for doctors who share the same ideology as JI, many of whom who for some reason or another are not members of JI.
PIMA has always been ahead in providing medical relief in national disasters with even top consultants providing their free services during emergency and in routine free medical camps and in free dispensaries.
It also gives Islamic lectures to medical doctors and other form of Islamic Tarbeat (training) programs for doctors so that they can follow the profession with Islamic ethics.
Similarly JI has similar wings among engineers, teachers, lawyers etc so that they can all follow their professions with the principles of Islamic ethics. There is even a women wing with a large number of women members who actively participate in Islamic & political affairs/programs
The Cons of Jamaati Islami
We start with objections of former member of JI, Dr. Israr Ahmad (Marhoom) in a speech available on YouTube.
Dr Israr’s Objections
Change from ‘Usooli Islami Inqilabi Jamaat’ to ‘Islam pasand sisaysi Jamaat’
Dr. Israr Ahmad claims JI turned from a ‘Principled Islamic Revolutionary Party’ to a ‘Islam loving political party’. He proves it by stating the following crimes crept into JI and it no longer followed basic principles of a revolutionary party.
Insistence on Democracy
This point I have highlighted in my blog:
Participation in Elections
Dr. Israr Ahmad also did not approve of JI taking part in elections because he believed nomination for leadership is Haram, one should not ask for votes for oneself and unholy alliances should not be made. All these points are also mentioned in my blog.
Dr. Israr Ahmad also disclosed that Maulana Maududi (RA), who took a stand in favor of participating in electoral politics, subsequently changed his position before his death and opposed such participation. http://www.imranhosein.org/articles/islam-and-politics/85-can-muslims-vote-in-elections-of-the-modern-secular-state.html
But members of JI and the party took no heed to following the new orders of their founding member and continue to take part in elections
Despite Dr. Israr Ahmad’s objections, JI continued to participate in national elections and make unholy alliances, even with parties it previously hated (for support of Fatima Jinnah). JI again made alliance with PML N, JUI & other religious parties in MMA and now has made another ‘unholy alliance’ with PTI.
All these alliances proved harmful to JI & its cause and made it lose its identity.
JI afterwards always feels sorry for their mistake of making alliances whether IJI, MMA or with PTI:
Unable to Win Significant number of Seats in Elections
This also has been pointed out by Dr. Israr Ahmad many times. However this is not totally fault of JI or its members. Firstly job of JI is only to spread the message, and leave the rest to Allah. Secondly the more nearer to the truth, the less support one will get. Thirdly JI does not have that much financial support, support from the media as well as support from foreign powers or agencies to have any significant impact on elections.
But, again the question arises, why participate in elections at all, despite the numerous flaws?
Compromising Quality with Quantity
This has also been pointed out by Dr. Israr Ahmad. When one goes into electoral politics, one tends to make compromises in quality in order to get popularity and maximum VOTES and SEATS. There is a tendency of molding religion according to sociopolitical needs.
Dr. Israr Ahmad quotes the example where JI made a relaxation of JI women wearing the face veil. Similarly many new members entered into the fold of JI without any strict criteria as was being done before.
Over and excessive hatred of Pakistan Army
Many times JI has gone overboard in its hatred & criticism of the Army. Most of the criticism may be justified especially concerning Gen Musharraf & some other top army officers but it should never be generalized especially concerning the lower ranks of the army who have no say in the command. The numerous services rendered by the army should never be forgotten. JI often has gone to the other extreme in many cases.
This not only causes hatred for the JI among army officers and their families; it may reduce the morale of the army, which may be tantamount to treachery. After all there are thousands of JI minded people in the army as well.
The most controversial statement came from ex-Amir JI Syed Munawwar Hassan in which he called Hakim Ullah Masood a martyr and refused to call personnel of Pakistan Army killed in the battlefield as martyrs as they were fighting America’s war.
Such an bold statement should never have been given since we believe that only Allah knows ones intentions and ONLY He knows who is a martyr and who is not.
The hatred against Pakistan army as a whole is quite evident from statements often given by the general JI members on social media.
Support for the TTP
People of JI should know that there are some criteria for revolt against a Muslim ruler/army etc. Any Tom, Dick and Harry or any party CANNOT take arms and start fighting against the rulers. If that started to happened then there would be chaos (Fitnah) as TTP has created.
No matter how God-Fearing, how good or righteous they may be, revolt against a Muslim ruler CANNOT be done just like that. If one does so, then the one who carries out such a wrongful revolt becomes the guilty party.
Therefore I and many other people are unable to comprehend the support of JI for the TTP. Same was the case of JI supporting FSA (Free Syrian Army) which Sheikh Imran Hosein called a ‘Yankee Jihad’!
Flaws in Foreign Policy
While JI takes no time in criticizing the army, unfortunately JI does not take the same stance against countries like Saudi Arabia for its anti-Islam stance. It is Saudi Arabia which helped Gen Sisi come into power and overthrow their brother party in Egypt Muslim Brotherhood.
JI has often taken a soft and silent stance on Saudi Arabia, knowing very well that no country has done more harm to the Muslim Ummah than Saudi Arabia.
It might be due to the thousands of members of JI working in Saudi Arabia and sending millions in funds to the party.
More shocking to me is JI’s support of Mr. Erdogan when it has been proved by Islamic Scholars like Sheikh Imran Hosein that he is also a traitor to Islam and Muslims. Anyone with some understanding of Islam, Islamic politics, Quran and Sunnah and history should be able to understand this fact!
Similarly JI is unable to understand the plight of the innocent citizens of Syria which again Sheikh Imran Hosein has beautifully explained. Syrians are between the devil (Mr. Bashar ul-Assad/Iran/Russia) and the deep sea (ISIS/Turkey/SaudiArabia/USA). To support anyone or condemn only one of them would be foolish.
I have also surprisingly seen some JI members on social media supporting ISIS against Mr. Assad and also not knowing that ISIS is created, recruited, supported & financed by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel & USA.
Likewise JI does not highlight that much as it should especially on mainstream media and social media that 9/11 and 7/11 were inside jobs.
However, it is very pleasing to note that Prof M. Ibrahim Khan (Vice President JI) is the only politician from Pakistan among 58 political leaders from around the world who have signed the 9/11 truth petition:
No issue with Paper Money
Unfortunately I have not found JI, its leaders or its members on social media speak a word against paper money. This has again been clearly highlighted by Sheikh Imran Hosein although it is a conspiracy against which Muslim scholars picked up late and many including JI are still unaware, despite the fact that they have a renowned economist Prof Khursheed Ahmad among their leaders!
Leader/Party Worship and Intolerance to Criticism
Unfortunately, like other party members, members of JI are unable to tolerate criticism of the party or their leaders. They, like all other party members take each and every word of their party leaders as ‘Hadith’ and start trolling people who intellectually speak against the party or against words or actions of the leaders. This sets a dangerous precedent and tantamount to Leader or Party Worship which is shirk. I myself have been a victim of abuse by them. Twice I have been blocked from the facebook page of Jamaat Islami for sharing views against JI.
One famous instance was when Mr. Munawwar Hassan made a blunder in an interview insisting that a rape victim also has to produce 4 witnesses to prove herself, when he was absolutely wrong: read his words and my answer:
Only We Are Correct, Sense of Perfectness
This fault was pointed out by Dr. Israr Ahmad Marhoom. Once one becomes member of JI, a member becomes politically locked into a sense of perfectness and that only JI is correct in every aspect. They rarely listen to other Islamic Scholars like Dr Israr Ahmad or Sheikh Imran Hosein and many many others for further guidance on Islam and political Islam.
Members are often seen on social media to ‘show-off’ (Riya) all the good deeds of JI which should be avoided.
JI leaders are depicted as heroes and immune to any mistakes (Masoom anil Khata). Even their clear mistakes are defended by members of JI.
Failure to Deliver Message to Masses
JI has failed miserably in running door to door campaigns or Dawah to spread their message to the common man. Even a common man in the city doesn’t know their mission, ideology etc, forget about the people in the villages.
It often seems that instead of inviting people to Islam and its beautiful messages, the primary aim of the members of JI is to invite people to join the party.
This is because as Dr. Israr Ahmad pointed out that JI slowly and gradually became more and more a political party & less an Islamic party.
Dearth of World Renowned Islamic Scholars
Maybe this is why JI has failed to produce great eminent scholars as the likes of Maulana Maududi, Dr Israr Ahmad, Dr. Zakir Naik, Sheikh Imran Hosein etc since so many years.
Let me make it clear that I have no bad intentions and do not want to harm the Jamaat in any way. I just want Islaah (corrections) in the party. Let us take it this way: ‘the top students always face the toughest questions in the viva exam’.
My love hate relationship with JI continues, ever since my father joined JI & became a leading member of JI in Saudi Arabia and myself joining its student wing IJT (Islami Jamiat Tuleba) while in medical college and became a full member (Rukn) in 3rd year. Afterwards I myself joined JI and became a full member in 2002 and remain as such as far as I know. I joined PIMA in the same year and was secretary PIMA Rawalpindi at the time.
I remained a strict and open critic of JI throughout this time and continue to be so. However my vote would still be for Jamaati Islami.
Wa ma alaina illal balagh ul mubeen