To study and analyze the roots of Islam in depth, it is required to look for its idealistic features and political prospects. The division of Islam into Sunni and Shiite sects started after the demise of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) with the selection of his successor as a Caliph. Later in the 8 th century, Islam was further subdivided into various divergent ideological religious denominations. This division led to the creation of Mazahib. These Mazahib can be considered either as an ideological development or as ideological fractions or both. The differences in practice and fanatic behavior of the Mazahib led to the abandonment of Mazahab and the creation of Islamic Tasawof (Sufi orders).
The new Wahhabi fundamentalism introduced in early 18 th century among Arab Muslims was a threat and challenge to all other sects including the Tasawof. This fundamentalist group became popular within the Arab world. Another new radical sect Ikhwan-ul Muslemeen particularly in Egypt. This was considered another ideological front against all the former denominations including Wahhbism. It emerged at a time when the Arab world and the Middle East lived under western political dominance and as a consequence numerous nationalist movements were rising all over. Oil was discovered and the Arab economy was thriving. Western cultural influences became quite powerful in the Islamic world. There was a grave threat to the Islamic countries in losing their national and cultural identity. Towards the end of the 20 th century it was in Iran where Shiite radicalism seized political power.
From the arrival until 1992, the socio-political bases of Islam in Afghanistan can be listed as:
* The three consecutive primary, high and supreme courts (Qazaeyya Qowa), the formalpolitical base of Islam in the Afghan state judiciary systems.
* Mazhab, both the formal governmental and social base of Islam in Afghan society.
* Tasawof (Sufi Orders), a social base of Islam, free of state institutions.
From the early days of Islam in Afghanistan, its advocates always strove to occupy political power and struggled particularly to monopolies the power to exploit existing social and political tendencies. Islam has always challenged the role of Pakhtoon and Afghan nationalism. The struggle enfolded in the following phases:
* A leader and a Pakhtoon grandfather, Qays Neeka, held a meeting with the Prophet Mohammad in Hejaz 3. He was the first afghan who was received cordially and who pledged allegiance and ideological support to the Prophet. This laid a corner stone of the religious and cultural relations and forthcoming political dealing between Pakhtana and Islam all over the Central South Asia.
Similarly, in accordance with these agreements some of the Suri met Caliph Hazrat Ali. These are examples of the first relationships that Pakhtana maintained with the leading founders of Islam. This had a profound influence on the Pakhtoon social and political mentality.
* A leader of the Suri kings, Shansub, who accepted Islam under Caliph Hazrat Ali, was subsequently empowered by the Caliph as the king of Ghor 4.
* After the popular Mahavi Suri murdered an Iranian Sassanian king “YazdGard” the 3 rd, Caliph Hazrat Ali appointed him as the king of Merv in the Central Asia, because of Mahavi’s admirable triumphs 5.
* Another Suri king, Banji Baharan (Mir Banji) 6 [170 Hegira], was appointed by Haroon Rasheed as the king of Ghor after he signed a peace treaty him 7.
Nevertheless, Islamic conquerors followed reconciliatory diplomacy with local Pakhtoon governments during the early years of their expansion in Afghanistan.
* Subsequently, after arriving in Afghanistan and stabilized in the region, Islam closed the era of peaceful policies. Islam began a struggle against Pakhtoonwali, Pakhtoon nationalism and Afghan nationalism and abolished all the Pakhtoon kingdoms as they crushed others on its route of expansion. While, simultaneously shared its efforts with Pakhtoonwali and promoted establishment and security of a feudal structure.
* In order to ensure the political monopoly, it subjugated other religions and pushed them out from the political scene or abrogated their role. This enhanced its position in all socio-economic aspects of the present and the future.
* The Islamic conquering army crushed the local and regional governments and merged the local authority first into the Amavi Empire and later into the Abassid Empire.
* Islam dominated the Ghaznavied dynasty in the 11 th century, which expanded towards the east and south beyond India. The Ghaznavied dynasty was politically and ideologically annexed to the Abassid Empire with their ruling center in Baghdad. In the Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi (998-1030) court, Islam became the supreme commanding authority 8.
* With the military might of the Ghaznavid dynasty in the early 11 th century, the court leaders accused the Lodi king of being Ismaillia infidel and crushed the kingdom in 1005 AD 9.
* The Islamic conquerors also abolished the Suri dynasty in Ghor (1010-1020) AD 10.
With the establishment of the Ghorid dynasty (1148-1214 AD) 11, Pakhtoon armed power expand Islam down to the Ganges River.
- With the Mongol assaults against the Ghorid dynasty and its subsequent dismantle; Islamic conquerors enforced their oppressive policies once again. In the 16 th century, when the Rokhani Pakhtoon government in eastern Afghanistan revised Islamic Tasawof, the conservative clergy rejected it and subsequently accused this anti Mughul nation government as Ismaillia infidel.
After the Mughul offensives and disintegration of Afghanistan during the first half of the 18 th century, Ahmad Shah Abdali founded a strong feudal government as a direct consequence of the second period of Pakhtoon nationalism. Faithful Pakhtana supporters once again expanded Islam further in the Indian sub continent.
However, Islam enjoyed a judicial authority solely in cities in such a strong central government. Judges ran the Sharia (Islamic law) and police was regarded as the implementing force for their decisions. The high judge in the capital city was the chief judge of the Supreme Court. The judges administered justices in cities in accordance with the Islamic laws. In rural areas, local Jirgas decided cases of proven offences, whereas cases without proven offences were referred to the judge, 8 deputy judges and a few clerks administered the judiciary department of a large city 12.
For the formation of a nation state, Amir Abdul Rahman (1880-1901) believed that: “a nation could be built by the concerted efforts of a king as an architect, the army as masons and the people (common men) as workmen. The middlemen [tribal elders, local Khans, the Ulema and the Durrani Sardars] they had to be reduced or destroyed 13. Islam came in the later category. The governments were directed toward control of the religious authorities. The Afghan rulers had already in the nineteenth century been paying stipends to Mullahs who expressed loyalty and helped courage the warriors to fight, but under Abdul Rahman efforts were made to bring the Islamic learned establishments under more direct control some of the Muslim authorities to whom the people had informally turned for counsel and adjudication were given positions as judges in the provincial governments. They were required to pass government-controlled examinations in Islamic jurisprudence and their judgment was made subject to review by secular officials. Madrassas (advanced schools for Islamic learning), were established, Mosques in the major cities wee built or improved and refurbished by government grants and their Mullahs supported by stipends. Waqf (endowments which supported religious authorities) were taken over by state 15.
Thus, during the last two decades of the nineteenth century, a clear transition was made from the period of indirect rule based of feudal ties, which had been instituted by the rulers of Durrani Empire in the mid-eighteenth century, to the establishment of a centralized government based on superior military force 16.
- Islam in the shape of Tasawof (Sufi orders) was kept away from state and governmental institutions and remained superior. Such superiority played a significant role and helped to establish and topple of Afghan governments. The activities of the Hazrat-e Shorbazar (Mujadidi) of the Naqshbandiyye Tariqa, in overthrowing King Amanullh (1929) and his co-operation with Habibullah II (Bacha-e Saqaw) and later with King Nader Shah (1929-1933) were pivotal 17.
- Islam influenced the Afghan government in early 1920s when it was recognized as a significant supplement to the 1923 Afghan constitution. According to the 1923 constitution (article 123), the Sabi, the Zandiq and especially the Qadyani “were to be killed”. This reference to unacceptable sects has been dropped from later constitution 18.
- According to the Afghan constitution, article 53, the state confirmed the judiciary regulation as an independent institution. While at the same time, the state brought a big change in the judiciary affairs in 1920s: With the help of a number of modern-minded Jurisconsults Tamasuk-e Quzat-e Amania was compiled in 2 volumes defining authorities of judges in different fields of activities. This was the first time that the state held back the means of “Taqdeer”. With this change the authority and responsibility of judges were reduced. In addition, with the separation of Haq-ul Allah (God’s rights) and Haq-ul Abd (people rights) the authority and responsibility of the state secular bodies (Police, provincial Jirgas) were increased 19. Subsequently, through the introduction and gradual refinement of the legal codes, the secular authorities also attempted to reduce the jurisdiction of the Sharia in various was 20.
- Actually, the weak position of clerics affected their ability to dear with two other power sources in Afghan society: The Sufi orders and the Kabul authorities. The Sufi orders, important in the religious and political life of Afghanistan for centuries, have continued to remain traditionally relatively free of formal situations: That is the two important orders, the Naqshbabdiyya and Qadiryya orders 21.
- During the Nader Shah reign (1929-1933) Islam started to play a significant role in the state political affairs. The religious establishment was allowed to control the country’s legal system and declared Hanafi Islamic jurisprudence and the official lea system of the country 22. In subsequent decades the efforts of the authorities to introduce secular constitutions and secular scholars gradually diminished the role of Islam on a formal level 23. As a class the Ulema (religious leaders) were a dying species in the 1960s and the 1970s. The forces of modernization were gradually eroding the basis of the socio-political influence of the Ulema 24.
Until 1978 Islam was content with its role in the three level state judiciary systems with the Hanafi doctrine and that of the Sufi orders in the socio-political life. The three level court system (Qazaeyya Qowa) and the Sufi orders kept Islam in its traditional moderate status. This was as well in conformity with Afghan nationalism in its political and social aspects. This conformity, in fact mad a traditional triangle of political power (Executive, Judiciary and legislature) in contemporary Afghanistan. Nevertheless, with the commencement of the democracy movement in 1964, Islam became rather radical in order to maintain a more influential role. Attempts were made to exploit the liberal environment provided by democracy. The Islamic radicalism regarded its role as insufficient and hurried to monopolies the political power. The real struggle started in 1978-1979 when the communist regime took power with Soviet military support. This finally proved victorious when political power was seized in 1992.
Subsequently, the Islamic fundamentalists engaged in an internal armed conflict for power. The resistance fundamentalist movement weakened by 1995. Another wing of the Islamic fundamentalism known as Taliban came into political existence and as a new well-equipped alternative challenged the others. This faction was able to collect arms from the former frustrated-armed groups and individuals in the south, east and western parts of the country. Similarly, they succeeded in defeating the racist faction of the Islamic radicalism, the government of Burhanuddin Rabanni in Kabul, in September 1996. Under the slogan of Sharia, the Taliban established a radical religious and political power pyramid.
Since 1978, as a component of the traditional triangle of political power, Islam exploited its religious potentials and used its fundamental and radical image to contest against the other components.
- As the PDPA, the People Democratic Party of Afghanistan, attempted revolution politicized the Ulema, gave them a new purpose and much greater influence in socio-political life 25, between 1980-1992, besides safeguarding their traditional position, they exploited the newly established Ministry of “Islamic Affairs” of the PDPA government and waged a vast propaganda campaign for themselves. Furthermore, the Islamic fundamentalism has established some 33,000 Madrassas (8,000 registered and 25,000 unregistered) 26, here in Pakistan and they supported the Islamic fundamentalism and radicalism in Afghanistan ideologically and militarily. This undermined Afghan nationalism within its political and ideological limits.
- Fundamentalist Islam disarmed the traditional and moderate elements of this movement in the political playground and monopolized the field.
- The Islamic fundamentalists broke the traditional power triangle and destroyed the equilibrium among its constitution components.
- By destroying its balance with Pakhtoonwali, it betrayed the admiration of the traditional afghan nationalism along with its cultural and political esteem.
- Lacking experience in maintaining a functional government and due to political immaturity, the fundamentalists installed Sharia as a supreme law and ignored the role of the legislature. It abolished the centuries old state system and in spite of their inability, monopolized state power.
According to attainable documents, the Pakhto language has been spoken for the last two thousand five hundred years. As the prominent Afghan researcher Abdul Hai Habibi stated, it is a proven fact that Pakhto was spoken some two thousand five hundred years ago. According to the Pata Khazana adopted from “Larghonai Tariekh” as well as the Tarikh-e Suris and their predecessors spoke Pakhto.
Before and since the rise of Islam, numerous volumes of political, social and ethical literatures were produced in Pakhto. The socio-political poem of Amir Kuror Jehan Pahlawan around 139 Hejira, indicates his maturity of the Pakhto poetry. The background of Pakhto poetry was then some five hundred years old. This shows that people were writing Pakhto poetry in the first century AD. There were many literary works written in Pakhto before the 12th century. It is important to mention that the Islamic conquerors destroyed most of these literary works in the early years. The famous Pata Khazana encyclopedia shows the growth of Pakhto language and culture. The migration of Pakhtana in different directions and their acquaintance with other cultures and societies forced them to learn reading and writing and therefore literacy became part of their daily lifeAccording to attainable documents, the Pakhto language has been spoken for the last two thousand five hundred years. As the prominent Afghan researcher Abdul Hai Habibi stated, it is a proven fact that Pakhto was spoken some two thousand five hundred years ago. According to the Pata Khazana adopted from “Larghonai Tariekh” as well as the Tarikh-e Suris and their predecessors spoke Pakhto.
Before and since the rise of Islam, numerous volumes of political, social and ethical literatures were produced in Pakhto. The socio-political poem of Amir Kuror Jehan Pahlawan around 139 Hejira, indicates his maturity of the Pakhto poetry. The background of Pakhto poetry was then some five hundred years old. This shows that people were writing Pakhto poetry in the first century AD. There were many literary works written in Pakhto before the 12th century. It is important to mention that the Islamic conquerors destroyed most of these literary works in the early years. The famous Pata Khazana encyclopedia shows the growth of Pakhto language and culture. The migration of Pakhtana in different directions and their acquaintance with other cultures and societies forced them to learn reading and writing and therefore literacy became part of their daily life. .
|Amir Amanullah Khan|