Though formally founded on August 26, 1941, the Jamaat-e-Islami is ideally the continuation of the movement which the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had set up 1400 years ago in Makkah.
Companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and great scholars, sufis and leaders like Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafi, Imam Ahmad bin Hambal, Imam Malik and Imam Ibn-e-Taymiyyah led the movement with the passage of time.
Passing through Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani, Syed Mujaddid Alif Sani, Syed Ali Hajveri and Syed Hassan al-Banna, the movement reached at Sayyid Abul Aala Maududi in Subcontinent and is now moving ahead with the name of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).
The JI is the only politico-religious party of Pakistan which stands above the sectarian, ethnic, cultural and lingual biases. Opening its doors for every human being, the JI believes in Islamic democratic system of Shura. Every JI worker participates in decision making process and can raise questions on central leadership conduct in the any matter. Jamaat-e-Islami’s decades long struggle to bring reforms in the society according to the brilliant principles of Islam and efforts for the protection of individual’s rights are even recognised by its political opponents.
From preparing Objectives Resolutions to taking part in movements of Tehreek-e-Nizam-e-Mustafa, Tehreek-e-Khatme-Nabuwwat and others, the JI played a leading role in all major movements in Pakistan. Unlike other mainstream political and religious parties of Pakistan, which perform as family units and where son, grandsons, daughters, granddaughters, brothers and relatives hold complete control on decision-making, the JI has no concept of dynastic and family politics. Sons, grandsons of former JI chiefs Sayyid Maududi, Mian Tufail Ahmad, Qazi Hussain Ahmad and Syed Munawar Hassan cannot even imagine becoming the Ameer (grand ruler) of the Jamaat-e-Islami. The JI has been struggling for the establishment of a society based on justice, equality and human values. Its objective is to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state, which could play a leading role in the Muslim world.
It fights against feudalism, secularism and imperialistic approach, and stands firms against any conspiracy to challenge the Islamic identity of the country. The JI’s struggle for Kashmir cause has always been widely acknowledged by the leadership of the region of Jammu and Kashmir, currently divided between Pakistan and India. It is because of the JI efforts that the issue of Indiana occupied Kashmir has key importance on national agenda and the successive governments in Pakistan dare not to compromise on it despite massive international pressure. The JI had raised strong voice and extended all-out support to the people of Afghanistan during the war against Soviet invasion.
Widely considered as the most influential religious organisation of Pakistan, the JI focuses on discipline, training of its workers to create a strong sense of responsibility as an individual member of the society. It upholds Islam in its entirety, with its sole purpose to transform the Pakistani society as an ideal place of living for human beings. The JI is strictly against gender discrimination and believes that without participation of women, a society cannot flourish. It works for the protection of the rights of small farmers, labourers and all other oppressed segments of the society. Hundreds of JI workers have served as members of National and provincial assemblies, Senate and local bodies on different occasions but there is not a single allegation of corruption and nepotism against them. It is quite a unique example in a society where the ruling class is engaged in looting country’s resources with both hands and even a three-time prime minister failed to justify his wealth.
The JI had organised a huge public meeting at Minar-e-Pakistan four years ago and it was attended by the people from all walks of life from across the country. The purpose of the meeting was the renewal of the pledge made by the country’s forefathers on March 23, 1940. The JI put forward the idea of “Islami Pakistan-Khushal Pakistan” during the moot. From that day, the JI is struggling to achieve the goal. The message of the JI aims to reach to the masses who are fed up with the typical elite rule in the country for decades.
The JI, if voted to power, will ensure free health and education facilities to common man, introduce uniform curriculum, bring land and labour reforms and other structural changes in the society to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state.
The writer is Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan