An Interview with Dr. Israr Ahmad

Editor’s Note: The following interview by Hadi Askari was published in the January-March 1998 issue of Tauheed International, a quarterly magazine of Muhammadi Education & Publications, London. Before reproducing it here, a number of changes have been made in this interview in order to improve its language and readability and to clarify some points. Certain misunderstandings by the interviewer have been corrected, and some less relevant or repetitive passages have been removed for the sake of brevity.

Before start of talk I thank you on behalf of Tauheed International that you spared your precious time for us.

Q: First of all we would like to know how you started your life and how you went through the various stages of life.

A: This looks apparently to be a simple and short question but its detail will be very lengthy. My ancestors originally belonged to District Muzaffar Nagar. But during the War of Independence in 1857, all the properties of my grandfather were confiscated. They migrated to district Hisar in Eastern Punjab. We lived in Hisar from 1857 to 1947. My place of birth is also Hisar, where I was born on April 26, 1932. I did my Matriculation in 1947 from Hisar Government High School. I was an active worker of Muslim Students’ Federation of District Hisar, and also its General Secretary for some time. Hisar was a backward area. There were no colleges. The Muslim Students’ Federation consisted of high school students. Soon after independence, we came to Pakistan by literally crossing the rivers of blood in a caravan; we covered a distance of 170 miles on foot in 20 days. After coming to Pakistan I did F.Sc in pre-medical from Government College Lahore. Then I passed my M.B.B.S. from King Edward Medical College in 1954. I also did my Masters in Islamic Studies from Karachi University in 1965, and incidentally I stood first in the University in that subject. During my student life I remained associated with Islami Jami‘yat Talaba, the student wing of Jama‘at-e-Islami. After the completion of my M.B.B.S. I became a member of Jama‘at-e-Islami. But it was not long that my views about Jama‘at-e-Islami changed. My view was that Jama‘at-e-Islami had over-politicized itself after independence, and the Jama‘at instead of becoming a revolutionary and ideological party, which was its original stance before independence, became a national political party. I tried to explain my viewpoints and in this respect I also disagreed with Maulana Abul A‘la Maududi, even though I was equal in age to his sons. However, there was provision for such disagreement in Jama‘at.

Maulana Maududi was very confident that he could bring about fundamental changes in the country by contesting in the elections. My opinion was that it is an illusion and nothing will be gained through participating in electoral politics. After resigning from the Jama‘at in April 1957, I waited for some time. A number of prominent people had also left the Jama‘at-e-Islami on this issue, like Maulana Ameen Ahsan Islahi and Maulana Abdul Ghaffar Hussan. It was expected that they would form a new party or organization, but they could not do anything. After completing my M.B.B.S. I had settled in Sahiwal, then called Montgomery as my parents were there. I also stayed for about 3 years in Karachi, and in 1965 I made up my mind to start this mission on my own. I came back to Lahore and worked for seven years on my own without any organization or any party. During this period I continued my medical practice and also formed groups to impart the teachings of the Holy Qur’an. In this way, apart from catering to my financial needs I worked to fulfill on my mission as well.

In 1972, the Markazi Anjuman Khudam-ul-Qur’an Lahore came into being which founded in 1977 an institute called Qur’an Academy, where we are sitting now. Besides this, a Qur’an College was also established later. Then in 1975 I formed Tanzeem-e-Islami which was formed afresh on the basic ideology of Jama‘at-e-Islami but with a new outline and mold. We decided that we will not take part in the electoral politics, as the desired results cannot be achieved through this route, at least in Pakistan. We decided to emphasize the ideological, mental, moral and — if Allah (SWT) grants the opportunity to bring about — spiritual changes in the people. The ideological and spiritual foundation should be so strong that, if needed, people may sacrifice their lives to bring about a positive change, but sacrifices should be given by those who are virtuous, that is those who have established Islam on their own selves and in their homes, and purged their livelihood and social practices from haram. They should unite in a disciplined manner and solemnly affirm to implement Islam by bringing about revolutionary changes. This is what we look forward to work through Tanzeem-e-Islami.

In 1991, we started using the term Khilafah as a target or goal, that is, we want to introduce the System of Khilafah first in Pakistan and then in the whole world. This term was used because the words “Islamic form of Government” was new or unfamiliar to the people. However, the concept of Khilafah is already present in the subconscious minds of the Muslims; they have in their minds a rough idea about the justice and peace in the System of Khilafah and, through using this term, they can easily understand the concept of an Islamic State. At the moment, the following three organizations are being headed by me: Markazi Anjuman Khuddam-ul-Qur’an Lahore which now has numerous affiliated societies, Tanzeem-e-Islami, and Tehreek-e-Khilafat Pakistan.

Q: What should be the foremost task before the Muslims in the entire world?

A: First preference should be given to form an ideal Islamic form of Government in any sizable Muslim country, so that the blessings of Islamic injunctions can be practically demonstrated to the entire world. Not establishing Islam means that we are not performing our duties as Muslims. We are Allah’s representatives on the earth, and by not implementing Islam we are misrepresenting Allah (SWT) and His Deen. This is the reason that we are now worse than kafirs in the sight of Allah (SWT). So long as we are not capable of establishing an ideal and pure Islamic System to present before the world, we are under the wrath of Allah (SWT) and cannot get out of it.

Q: Dr. Sahib, can you say if there any country in the world where according to your idea Islamic form of Government exists?

A: In my opinion there is no such state.

Q: Few months back you had gone to Iran and after returning you had written a book about Shi‘ah-Sunni unity. The Shi‘ahs were very much surprised to see this book and the revelations made in the book were really amazing to the people. The book which you have written now, why was it not written before the visit of Iran.

A: The idea of writing a book did not occurred to me after my visit to Iran, but it was in my mind even before that. Actually, this idea about Shi‘ah-Sunni unity had come to my knowledge earlier, and I had its confirmation from Iran when Ayatollah Wa‘iz Zadeh came here and spoke at Qur’an Auditorium, Lahore. So I visited Iran. Actually, I had started my campaign that we must decide as to what sort of agreement or relationship is needed in Pakistan between Shi‘ah and Sunni Muslims so that we can struggle together to achieve our goal of implementing the Islamic form of Government. For our combined effort it was essential to agree as to what will be the form of the Islamic System when it is established. It was quite evident to me that the Shi‘ah-Sunni problem can be solved only in the manner adopted in Iran. That is to say, as far as the public law or the Law of the Land is concerned, it should be according to the fiqhi principles and concepts of the majority, whereas other sects, whatever fiqhi maslak they follow, should have complete freedom as to the Personal Law. This is written in the Constitution of Iran, but the propaganda I was hearing was different from that. I was of the opinion that, in this propaganda, there must be a role of the enemies of Iran. At that time I did not know that the policy of the Iranian Government was such, and that this was a permanent policy of Ayatollah Khomeini. I had received many invitations from Iran but due to two reasons I did not accept any of them. Mostly the invitations were related to ceremonies. Those ceremonies were purely to perform some rites, such as someone’s death anniversary. I personally consider death anniversary to be a bid‘ah. Here in Pakistan also I do not attend any death anniversaries. To attend chehlum or bursi is not correct in my opinion. After the death of a person there is the prescribed prayers, and after that there is no room for any collective gathering. Individually you can pray for the departed soul, but I am not in favor of other rites. It is not correct in my opinion to perform such rites collectively. The other invitations were to attend different conferences. The conferences were such that the participating scholars should have been those who had acquired the prescribed and required knowledge necessary to become religious scholars, and who are able to express their views clearly in Arabic. The other participants in those conferences were intellectuals and Ph.Ds. I am only a servant of Deen, a student of the Qur’an. In this perspective, I found myself unfit to attend such conferences. I told them that if you invite me individually, I will be there for you. So Ayatollah Wa‘iz Zadeh invited me to Iran and I went there. As far as my thoughts about Shi‘ah-Sunni unity and its formula are concerned, they are not at all new.

Q: In 1982 you had written a book titled The Tragedy of Karbala which hurt the feelings of Ahl Al-Tashi‘ and your maslak is that you consider barsi a bid‘ah. But after reading that book there was a general view amongst the Shi‘ah community that you are an extremist, and at that time you never spoke of Shi‘ah-Sunni unity. So there is a marked difference between your two books. Is it correct or was there a lack of communication?

A: Yes. As far as the book The Tragedy of Karbala is concerned, I still believe in the stand taken in the book. There has been no change in my stand. I think my opinion is moderate, rather than extreme. At that time I had also written a book about Hadrat Ali (RAA), but it was not noticed by anyone. In the book Maseel- e-Eisa Ali Murtada, I have said that as far as the building of the primary traits of personality are concerned, Hadrat Ali (RAA) was closest to Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and I have described this in detail. I would like to mention here that an incident had earlier occurred here. Yom Sidique-e-Akbar, Yom Omar-e-Farooq, and Yom Uthman-e-Ghani were celebrated. I was invited in these functions as I had become quite well known as an orator. I told the organizers that if they do not celebrate Yom Ali as well then I will never attend their gatherings. The attitude which has developed amongst us, that Ali (RAA) has been allotted to the Shi‘ahs as it were and the other three Caliphs are considered to be ours, I believe this division is wrong. Ali (RAA) is ours and the other three Caliphs are ours as well. Whatever has been said against me in the Shi‘ah community was due to the fact that the nikah ceremony of one of my sons was performed on Muharram 7, and the walima took place on Muharram 8. A lot of hue and cry was raised on this issue against me and my office was also attacked during Muharram. There is something strange in it. I had started a reformatory movement in the matters relating to marriage, including that nikah is performed with simplicity in a masjid. There is no need to beat drums or sing songs or for any other function. A simple walima is performed afterwards. It was the occasion of the Annual Congregation of Tanzeem-e-Islami, and I thought that the nikah of my son should take place at this time because my associates from all over Pakistan have gathered, and they could participate too. I didn’t consider it improper if the nikah of my son was arranged at that time. After the ceremony Maulana Kararvi issued a statement that it was not something haram according to us, it was not a wrong act but our emotions were hurt. However, this had not come to my attention.

Q: Dr. Sahib, was it not possible that after performing the nikah of your son on Muharram 7, you should have issued a clarification. It was just like that a portion of a verse is in the mind of the people and they did not know anything about the second portion.

A: I did issue clarification, but there is a problem about the media that they see everything from their own angle. For example, on one occasion I had said: what is the real Sunnah regarding Eid? It is that you should go to the prayers while reciting takbeer, but instead it seems to many of us that Eid is only for eating vermicelli. It was said in the press that I am against the eating of vermicelli. Then propaganda started against me. That is what has happened. [In connection with the popularity of my TV program called Al Huda and the controversy on the issue of purdah] I came to know that in the United States it was felt that a new Khomeini is appearing in Pakistan with the name of Dr. Israr Ahmad, and a meeting was held under the title “Israrization of Pakistan,” about how this new Khomeini can be stopped. Teams were sent from there, and I was surprised that a correspondent of the Wall Street Journal came here and interviewed me and the interview was published on the front page. My story was also published on the front pages of the Toronto Star and Los Angeles Times. In those days, it was being felt that a Khomeini has born in Pakistan, so the media was used in a planned way for my character assassination. To give you another example, I had said that cricket is a time-wasting game. Earlier, only those watched the game who used to go to the ground, but after the matches started to be shown live on television, a lot of time is being wasted; therefore this game should be abolished. A new campaign for my character assassination started. It was attributed to me in the press that the bowlers rub the cricket ball at a particular place which is obscene. The reality is that I never said anything like that; I have never seen where the players rub the ball, nor do I know as to why they rub the ball, but all that rubbish was attributed to me in a planned manner. Foreign journalists also wrote that there is a hue and cry against Dr. Israr in Pakistan. However, this all ended later on.

Q: Much emphasis is laid on Ijtihad in the Islamic world. For example, King Hasan said in Tunis in a conference, and Mian Nawaz has also said that Ijtihad should take place. What is your opinion about Ijtihad? If it is needed, then what are the issues regarding which Ijtihad should be done?

A: Basically, Ijtihad is needed whenever new problems arise. There is no need for Ijtihad concerning matters which were present during the life of the Holy Prophet (SAW), because the Prophet’s leadership was there to solve these problems and to provide guidance. Ijtihad is needed when we face new problems. There will always be a possibility to commit a mistake while doing Ijtihad. A mufti gets rewarded for his mental effort and toil, but the chances of committing a mistake are always there. The real problem regarding Ijtihad is this: Who is authorized to do Ijtihad and whose Ijtihad will be enforced? What I want to say is that, for example, in Iran there is a large number of mujtahids. In Iran there is a hierarchy among religious scholars. In my opinion, in the entire Muslim world there is no country in which hierarchy or a proper organization of scholars exist. But even there, ten religious scholars can give ten different opinions regarding a certain issue. Now whose opinion is to be implemented? The answer is that, in the modern age, Parliament is responsible for legislation. When the Parliament accepts a certain Ijtihad, it will become a law. The legislating authority will be the Parliament. Otherwise who is going to decide about a particular Ijtihad, whether it is really an authentic Ijtihad or a bid‘ah or whether one has stepped outside the Islamic Shari‘ah? In the modern state, three institutions have been established: the Parliament, the Executive, and the Judiciary. The Judiciary is responsible for sorting out disagreements. In Iran, a separate council of Ulama has been established in place of the Judiciary.

On the topic of the modern Islamic State, I have expressed my views in numerous speeches, some of them are available in printed form. I am sending these to Iran after getting them translated in Persian. I have exchanged views with religious scholars in Iran and I felt that they do not have a single opinion as to what form will be most suitable for a modern Islamic State. Most Muslims are not clear in this regard. In my opinion when there was kingship, the King used to be the supreme authority. For example, during the reign of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, he made a council of 25 to 30 scholars who gave their verdicts on particular matters. The point is that 25 to 30, or even 500 scholars could give their Ijtihad but the implementing authority was not with them! The authority to implement these verdicts rested with the King. Now what was the criteria for selecting the religious scholars? They were selected mostly on the recommendations of the King’s advisors and courtiers who used to point out that such and such scholars are credible in their respective areas. This selection also depended on the discretion of King, and the implementation of the recommendations given by the scholars also depended on the King. But that was during the time of kingship. You have democracy in the modern world. So according to democratic traditions, who are the people who will do Ijtihad? In a democracy you should have freedom — freedom of opinion, freedom of thinking, freedom of expression. Every learned person should have the opportunity to express his views. But it is not mandatory that only religious scholars can become members of the Parliament. The parliament can commit mistakes in law-making. So who is going to decide that a decision by the parliament is right or wrong? The answer is that it will be settled in the Constitution that in this country we will not go against the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (SAW) — no legislation will be done repugnant to the Qur’an and Sunnah. If this is settled in the Constitution, then who is the custodian of Constitution? The Judiciary! Consider the Constitution of the United States, according to which certain fundamental human rights have been granted to the citizens and no law can be made that violates these rights. If the Parliament (or Congress) makes such a law, then the Supreme Court can intervene to protect the Constitution. In a modern Islamic state, therefore, all scholars can express their opinions but the Parliament will decide as to which Ijtihad will become the law; if someone feels that the boundaries set by the Qur’an and Sunnah have been transgressed, then the Judiciary shall resolve the dispute.

Q: What are the issues concerning which you think Ijtihad is needed today?

A: I think Ijtihad is very much needed concerning the issue of agricultural land and absentee landlordism. The Iranian revolution was brought about by religious scholars and the same now control the government. These religious scholars have been trained in a particular fiqhi environment. Whether the fiqh is Jafferi or Hanafi or any other, there are limitations in each one of them. These schools of fiqh have developed during the age of kingship, and are not totally free from the latter’s influence. In this way, some concepts have gained entry into the Islamic fiqh that are not in harmony with Islamic ideals. Our religious scholars do their Ijtihad within the limitations of their particular school of fiqh. As long as we do not get rid of the menace of feudalism, a real and just Islamic society cannot be created. The problem is that most of our religious scholars are not capable for doing Ijtihad on this issue because of the limitations imposed by their fiqh.

Q: Dr. Sahib! What would you say about the sighting of moon?

A: There is need for Ijtihad concerning this issue as well. But I will not give my own view as I have imposed a restriction on myself. I do not give my opinions on most fiqhi matters as I do not have the required knowledge. I am not a student of fiqh nor I have the time for its study. Expertise in fiqh will be needed only after it is decided that Islam is going to be implemented in a country. As long as this has not been decided on a collective level, and as long as we do not have the collective will to live and die as Muslims, the priority should be given to the struggle for Iqamah Al-Deen rather than learning the finer points of fiqh.

Q: Are you satisfied with what is being taught in religious institutions?

A: No at all. The religious institutions in Iran are very excellent, although some deficiency is there as well. The basic problem is the division or dichotomy between religious and worldly education, which is totally wrong. Knowledge is a unity, and it should be taught as such. It has been said that the universe is the work of God while Qur’an is the word of God. There is no contradiction between the two.

Secondly, in the education that is imparted through the religious schools, emphasis should be placed on the Holy Qur’an. But the case is quite the opposite. Whether we are Sunni or Shi‘ah or Ahl Al-Hadith, we tend to put more emphasis on fiqh. The Holy Qur’an is not the center of our attention. So, till such time as these two shortcomings are corrected, the system of education cannot be put to order. The system of religious education in Pakistan is in very bad shape, as it does not meet the requirements of our time. Iran is far ahead in this respect. Their standard of religious education is very high, and so is their quality of scholarship.

Q: We are entering the 21st century. Up till the 11th century it was the peak period for the Muslims, afterwards their decline started. The West benefited from our knowledge and progressed, and now we are dragging behind.

A: I believe that the period which you describe as “golden” was also a period of darkness according to the perspective of Islam. According to my analysis, the Muslims touched the peak of their glory twice and they also suffered their downfall twice. The first period of rise and downfall was under the leadership of the Arabs, and the second under the leadership of the Turks. In my opinion, the third phase of rise for the Muslims is about to come. As far as Islam itself is concerned, however, it has risen to its highest peak only once, and afterwards it has been a gradual decline. It would be a great mistake to equate the rise of Muslims with the rise of Islam. The ideal period according to Islamic perspective was the age of the Prophet (SAW) and of the Rightly Guided Caliphs (RAA). The flourishing of various branches of knowledge and of science took place while the true Islamic spirit was on the decline. It was the period of Bannu Abbas when the gates of knowledge were opened. Arts and sciences from Greece, India, and China were acquired and were further developed. In my view, the progress of knowledge is a separate process which has nothing to do with Islam.

Actually there are two kinds of knowledge. The first is what I call Acquired Knowledge, which was given to the first human being, Adam (AS), in a potential form. The history of science is the history of the actualization of that potential knowledge. Then there is Revealed Knowledge which used to come from Allah (SWT) to His prophets in the form of wahi. The Acquired Knowledge is based on observation and experimentation: you see something, think about it, experiment, and infer results. Someone saw an apple falling, and inferred that there is a force of gravity that pulls. The progress of scientific knowledge has nothing to do with Islam. This is a continuing process, and it will continue in the future. There was a period in history when an active and energetic people, the Muslims, took part in the development of science. Afterwards, the Europeans rose as an active and energetic nation and they progressed in science. Now the Muslim Ummah can become active once again and continue to make progress. What is really important, however, is faith — faith in Allah (SWT), faith in the Hereafter, faith in prophethood. We call this metaphysical knowledge. Revealed Knowledge deals with metaphysical facts.

Q: Do you think that the so-called sectarian riots which have been taking place in Pakistan are really sectarian?

A: Sectarianism is being used as a cover. I think RAW and Musad are involved in the actual instances of terrorism, particularly RAW. They are retaliating because we are giving them a very hard time in Kashmir. We never disowned those who fight in Kashmir. Our people do go and fight there. The Government of Pakistan says that we are giving them moral support. India has deployed 600,000 troops in Kashmir. Consider its cost! In this context, it is understandable that they must take revenge, and they have our sectarianism as a cover for terrorism. We can check this terrorism if we deny them the cover of sectarianism. This is possible only if a reconciliation is achieved between Shi‘ah and Sunni Muslims. The clash can be put to an end. I have made efforts in this regard. Shi‘ah leaders are ready to accept when they are offered this formula in private, but they don’t announce this in public.

Q: What is the formula?

A: The majority in Pakistan belongs to Ahl Al-Sunnah, therefore when the time comes for implementation of Islamic laws, then the Public Law or the Law of the Land would have to be in accordance with the concepts of Ahl Al-Sunnah. On the other hand, Ahl Al-Tashi‘ would have the freedom concerning the Personal Law. For example, the criminal law would have to be the same for all citizens, but the laws governing nikah can vary according to the maslak of the individual. The same formula has been adopted in Iran. It has been written in the Constitution of Iran. There is no other way for a reconciliation except this. The ideal condition is that there should be no sects. But the Shi‘ah-Sunni problem is 1400 years old and is not going to go away now. The only solution is what I have just described. The Shi‘ah community should accept this solution, and then we can start our struggle from a joint platform, just as Shi‘ah and Sunni Muslims had struggled together during the Pakistan movement. Positive results cannot be achieved without taking practical measures. These problems will not be solved by meeting and talking in five-star hotels.

I am trying my best with the limited resources I have. There are two extremes here. At one end is the Sipah-e-Sahabah and at the other is Sipah-e- Muhammad. But I was pleased when the patron-in-chief of Sipah-e-Muhammad said that the formula is acceptable to them. Mr. Sajid Hussain Naqvi also held talks with me. It was very kind of him that he himself came to meet me. I presented to him this formula. He said there can be some other solution too, some other way. I said if there is some other solution then please let me know, I will think over that. But to this day I did not hear anything from him. Murtaza Pooya also came and exchanged views. He said there is no other way except this.

Q: Shi‘ah and Sunni Muslims in India seem to be more united after the unfortunate demolition of Baberi Mosque. Shi‘ah and Sunni leaders have jointly demanded from the Government of India to life the ban on the mourning procession in Lucknow. This demand was also made by renowned Sunni scholar Imam Bukhari. What would you like to say on this?

A: I think there is a misunderstanding. This actually goes back to the issue of Muslim Personal Law. Calcutta High Court had given a judgment in the Shah Bano case that would have opened the door for the Indian courts to interfere in the Muslim Personal Law. At least the rules pertaining to marriage being followed by the Indian Muslims are in accordance with Shari‘ah. As a result of this threat, the Muslims gathered together and the Muslim Personal Law Board was established with Maulana Ali Mian Nadvi as its President. Since that time, Shi‘ah-Sunni riots stopped in Lucknow, otherwise they were a routine for many years. So this is the background. Then another common threat appeared, the issue of Ayodhia. This was handled by Sayyid Shahabuddin and Bukhari Sahib in a rather threatening manner. As a result of this attitude we lost respect, which we earlier enjoyed to some extent.

The main point is that any combined attack causes us to unite. It was the fear of the Hindu majority that caused us to unite during the Pakistan movement. Today, in the context of the New World Order, the global policy is meant to promote internal rifts amongst the Muslims. We cannot react to this threat unless we perceive its existence. This is a common danger for all Muslims, irrespective of sectarian divides. In order to deal with this threat, we should strive together to implement Islam. If Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan can come together, they can form a solid block. If you look at the map, you will see Iran and Pakistan joined with each other in the form of a rehal (a folding stand for the Holy Qur’an). Pakistan towards north-east to south-west and Iran from north-west to south-east. In their lap is situated Afghanistan. Towards the north of these three are the Central Asian republics in the form of a crown. These republics might come in later, as a lot of brainwashing has been done to them during the Socialist rule. But if Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan can get united then a solid Islamic bloc can be formed in this region. I think Iran is committing a mistake by not recognizing Taliban’s government in Afghanistan. Gulbadeen Hikmatyar is correct in saying that the Taliban have been supported by the Americans. But Hikmatyar should be reminded that he himself was supported by the Americans. This is no reason for disqualify the Taliban.

Q: Is it correct that Sipah-e-Sahabah had your support?

A: I did not give any support to Sipah-e-Sahabah at any juncture. Instead, I had said that the slogan “kafir, kafir Shi‘ah kafir” is wrong. If they are serious in this regard then they should obtain a consensus of all the scholars of Ahl Al-Sunnah; only then they can say this. As in the case of Ahmedis, we saw that scholars from all sects and parties including the Shi‘ah, Sunni, Barelvi, Deobandi, and the Jama‘at-e-Islami were unanimous that that they are non-Muslims. But here only a certain group of Deobandi scholars are active. There is no consensus in this regard.

Q: Would you like to give any message through Tauheed International?

A: Pakistan is the custodian of the last 400 years of revivalist and reformative struggle, from Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi to Shah Waliullah, Sayyid Ahmad Barelvi, Allama Iqbal, Maulana Ilyas, and Maulana Maududi. Pakistan is the only country in the world that has been founded in the name of Islam, and Islam should be implemented here in its true form. This should be the motto of the Muslims and priority should be given in this regard. Shi‘ah and Sunni Muslims should agree on the formula I have just described so that they can work together in order to achieve the goal. Otherwise we will not be able to go beyond our sectarian differences.

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Dr. Israr Ahmad

Dr. Israr Ahmad

Dr. Israr Ahmad was born on April 26, 1932 in Hisar (a district of East Punjab, now a part of Haryana) in India, the second son of a government servant. He graduated from King Edward Medical College (Lahore) in 1954 and later received his Master's degree in Islamic Studies from the University of Karachi in 1965. He has widely traveled abroad and the audio and video tapes of his Qur'anic discourses in Urdu and English languages have circulated in thousands throughout the world.

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