Islamisation under General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
Teaching of Holy Quran was made compulsory in schools.
Islam has always been the motivating force for the Muslims of the subcontinent. Pakistan was created in the name of Islam. Quaid-e-Azam had wanted Pakistan to be a democratic state based on the Islamic principles of social justice. The Objectives Resolution of 1949 was the first constitutional document, which laid down the Islamic principles on which the Constitution of Pakistan would be framed.
In 1974, the 1973 Constitution was amended and a clause incorporated which stated that non-believers in the Finality of Prophethood were non-Muslims. Islamisation was given a new boost when General Zia-ul-Haq took over as the Chief Martial Law Administrator on July 5, 1977. General Zia-ul-Haq was a practicing Muslim who raised the slogan of Islam. The Islamic sentiment has always been fully alive in Pakistan. Various governments have used this to their benefits. The reason why General Zia raised the slogan of Islam is not sure; whether it was for political purposes to counter balance Bhutto’s appeal or was it to enforce Islam in its true sense is not known for sure.
In his first address to the nation, he declared that Islamic laws would be enforced and that earnest attention would be devoted towards establishing the Islamic society for which Pakistan had been created. General Zia wanted to bring the legal, social, economic and political institution of the country in conformity with the Islamic principles, values and tradition in the light of Quran and Sunnah to enable the people of Pakistan to lead their lives in accordance to Islam.
The Government of Zia-ul-Haq took number of steps to eradicate un-Islamic practices from the country. He introduced the Zakat, Ushr, Islamic Hadood and Penal code in the country. Islam is a complete code of life containing specific teachings about all matters. All governments should be based on a proper financial system. The government of General Zia for this purpose invited eminent scholars to compile laws about Islamic financing. The Zakat and Ushr Ordinance to Islamise the economic system was promulgated on June 20, 1980. It covered only Islamic organizations, associations and institutions. Zakat was to be deducted from the account of every Muslim lying in the bank at the rate of 2 % annually above the balance of Rs.3000. Ushr was levied on the yield of agricultural land in cash or kind at the rate of 10% of the agricultural yield, annually.
Government appointed Central, Provincial, District and Tehsil Zakat Committees to distribute Zakat funds to the needy, poor, orphans and widows. The Shias were exempted from Zakat deduction from their accounts. The Zakat tax was to be deducted by the banks on the 1st day of Ramzan.
A Federal Shariat Court was established to decide cases according to the teaching of the Holy Quran and Sunnah. Appeals against the Lower and High Courts were to be presented before the Shriat Court for hearing. It changed the sentence from, life imprisonment to execution in the case of blasphemy of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon him).
The President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq selected his Majlis-e-Shoora in 1980, the Islamic Parliament to act as the Parliament of Pakistan in place of the National Assembly. Most of the members of the Shoora were intellectuals, scholars, ulema, journalists, economists and professionals belonging to different fields of life. The Shoora was to act as a board of advisors for the President.
A number of other Islamisation programs were carried out including the teaching of Islamiat and Arabic, which were made compulsory. Pakistan Studies and Islamiat were compulsorily taught to BA, B.Sc., Engineering, M.B.B.S, Commerce, Law students and Nursing students. For professional studies extra marks were given to people who were ‘Hafiz-e-Quran’. The first Ombudsman was appointed to rectify the misadministration of the Federal Government,...
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