Many Facets of Muslims in Pakistan
In Pakistan, the land of the pure, we have a range of Muslims with respect to their beliefs, cultures and ideologies. Everybody practice (or not practice) Islam according to his own perceptive of this monotheistic religion. The Muslims in the country can be grouped in four clusters.
In this taxonomy, liberal Muslims are the people who only have the opportunity of proclaiming their religion, when they are asked for the purpose of fill in the blank of religion in their identity card or passport. They are the people who get a chance of offering a prayer once in a blue moon. These people are usually rich with a lot of wealth at their disposal so they don’t find a need to ask for help from God as they can buy everything with their money. They organize Melads and functions of charity to let others believe in their religious identity. Such class of Muslims is seen more in media highlighting human right issues and endorsing art and culture within the society. With a few exceptions most of our intellectuals of the present day, which appear on different streams of media, fall in this category of Muslims.
The moderate Muslims are the people who have the true knowledge of the religion and they also act upon the teachings of Islam by offering prayers and fasting etc. These people keep themselves away from debates on religion and whenever they are asked about their stance about some religious matter they opt to remain silent. These people also shy away from all forms of media. Most of the times they hide their practice of religion from other people to make other people feel comfortable around them.
Most interesting type of the Muslims we find in our society is the enthusiasts. They have no practical knowledge of Islam and accept everything whatever they hear from anybody about the religion. They are not outspoken about the religious extremism but defend it according to their own accepted wisdom of Islam. They don’t practice the basic beliefs but they don’t hesitate to debate on the topic with all the superficial knowledge acquired devoid of any research or credible source. They silently support the cause of Muslim extremists and speak in their favor when asked for opinion. It is because of the dread inside them that what if these extremists are truly the warriors of God? In the case, denouncing these extremists will ultimately result in the wrath of God upon them, both here in the world and hereafter. They try to defend their religious ideology on the basis of whatever they heed from others and consider researching about Islam not less than blasphemy.
The fanatics are those who express their radical religious views boldly and interpret Islam with extremism and intolerance. They are the ones who justify each and everything according to their extremist elucidation of Islam. They lay more emphasis on their own hardcore beliefs of Islam and most of the times forget the basic teachings of Islam. They consider themselves as the bastions of the religion upon which Islam has survived till day and support their agenda openly and don’t hesitate in justifying vicious acts in the name of Islam. They are everywhere in T.V, press and social networking websites propagating their cause. Such fanatics take active part in Jihad against who so ever lie in the category of infidel according to their understanding. They interpret the teachings of Holy Quran in the way which suits their ideology best. The prayers are offered to show others about their piety.
These are the main categories of the Muslims in our society based on their understanding of Islam regardless of their sect and creed. The rest lies within inclined towards one or other kind.
As Hali says:
Kuch dil se hain daray huay, kuch aasman se hum