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‘The Hussaini call’: some suggestions

December 12, 2012

THIS is apropos of the article ‘The Hussaini call’ (Nov. 25). Writer Qasim A. Moini by has done an excellent job in highlighting the multidimensional significance of Imam Hussain’s sacrifice, an epitome of devotional love, unflinching faith and matchless resolve to uphold integrity of principles at the exclusion of everything else, including one’s own self, as well as of the family.

I quite agree with the writer’s comment on the critical condition of our society shredded in bits under the pretext of ‘reverence’ for Imam Haussain by sectarian parties.

There is an urgent need for some sort of mechanism to arrest spread of the gap which, if left to itself, would grow wider and wider.

Here are some suggestions. First, it is important to enhance general awareness of the benefits of working out some sort of ‘reconciliation’ amongst the contending groups.

The reconciliation process can start with the setting up of a high-level state legislative council -- a sort of forum with participation from all the leading religious groups for discussions on various issues of common interest. Consensus of opinion on some issues could be referred to the head of state for final decision.

This is to reactivate a long forsaken practice of ‘Ijtehad’. For such a purpose the legislative council must be quite competent to practise Ijtehad by way of contemplation, argumentation and interpretation of various matters and, thereby, thrash out a workable solution, in the light of the Quran and Sunnah, of issues facing Muslim society. In this respect the Islamic Ideology Council can be of great help.

To ensure effectiveness of the Council’s deliberations with the concurrence of member-groups, it is important to draws a line between the law of the land and beliefs (procedures) of Zakat or prayers in mosques, including family laws ,as well as inheritance laws.

The second category comprising beliefs and procedures should be left at the discretion of people with full liberty to comply with them according to their respective ‘fiqahs’ ie, Hanafi or Jafari.

This also includes religious rituals, which would not hurt susceptibilities of any of the sects. As to the law of the land, there is no exception or option. It is mandatory for all regardless of their respective fiqahs.

QAMAR NAEEM Lahore Cantt