Sie sind auf Seite 1von 2

In my column of April 2 I stressed the differences between the old Islamic judiciary system and

the present one. Today I would like to further discuss this topic. While appreciating that it would
not be feasible to enforce the old qazi system in toto, I do believe that if we used the spirit of this
golden system, we could still apply it in present times to provide quick and cheap justice.
In one of my previous columns I had also mentioned the historic letter (advice) written by Hazrat
Umar (RA) to Abu Musa Ashari (RA), governor of Kufa. It contained the golden principles of quick
justice without fear or favour. I am reproducing the whole letter here.
1. The duty of adjudication is a well-established and consistent practice in Islam that has been
followed throughout the ages; therefore, try your best to understand with depth and wisdom
whenever you are appointed as judge, on the basis of evidence and proof, and enforce the right, if
it is established, because it is useless to talk about a right which is not enforceable.
2. And make sure that you do full justice between the litigant parties, not only through your
judgments, but also through your facial expressions and body language, so that an influential man
never hopes for any kind of injustice from you, nor a powerless person need question you fairness,
nor an enfeebled one gets hopeless about your justice.
3. Remember that the burden of proof is always on the plaintiff and the complainant and the
obligation of oath is upon the defendant and the respondent. Reconciliation is allowed between
Muslims, provided it does not permit what is prohibited or prohibits what is permissible.
4. Your earlier judgment should not deter you from reviewing it if you are guided to the right path
by your senses and reason, because truth is eternal and it can never be abolished. And to revise
decisions for the sake of upholding the truth is far better than persisting in something that is null
and void (not correct).
5. And you must be perceptive and judicious regarding whatever comes to your mind which is not
revealed in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. Then search for earlier, similar examples from the
Quran and Sunnah.
6. And compare your unprecedented thoughts and ideas with what you have discovered and then
base your judgment upon what is closest to the guidance of the Almighty and nearest to the truth.
7. And set a deadline for a complainant who is asking for a right and accept his claim if he/she
manages to produce evidence. This will leave no room for any excuse.
8. Muslims are equal before you as witnesses unless someone is convicted in a Hadd (adultery)
case or proved guilty of fake testimony or is seen as serving the personal interest of a friend or
relative. Almighty Allah takes responsibility of secrets and will relieve you of your responsibility if
you decide a case on the basis of evidence and proof.
9. And beware of showing anger, getting annoyed and upset, hurting people and shying away
from deciding a case. Do not forget that adjudication with justice and truth will entitle you to some
great reward from the Almighty in this world and the hereafter as the one who makes his
intentions pure regarding what is between him and other human beings. But whoever presents
himself falsely to others, pretending to be what he is not in Divine knowledge, then Allah will
surely disgrace and dishonour him, because Allah never accepts any act from His servants except
that which is done purely for Him.
Hazrat Umar (RA) took extreme care in the selection of judges and those chosen were of the best
character and most knowledgeable in the whole Islamic world. He also organised tests for them.
Even though judges were appointed by the governors in their respective domains, Hazrat Umar
(RA) still used to personally meet them and approve their appointments on the basis of their

knowledge and experience. Besides, he also personally appeared before judges many times in
disputes, in order to ascertain their competence and neutrality.
Our judicial system was established in 1919. It was modified in 1935 and again in 1945. As a
layman, I am not aware of the details of those changes. I got my first taste of law in 1983 when a
court in Amsterdam sentenced me to four years in jail in absentia. I was not aware of the court
proceedings, nor had I been given a chance to defend myself. I was blamed for attempting to
obtain so-called classified information from my colleague, which was, in fact, openly published
information. I immediately contacted one of Pakistans most prominent lawyers and a former law
minister, Mr S M Zafar and asked him to defend me.
There were some who tried to be wise and said that the government would never agree. I told
them all that, come what may, I would do whatever it took to clear my name. Permission was
given and I appointed two Dutch lawyers, Dr W Russells and Dr Den Drijver to assist Zafar Sahib.
We won the case and the Dutch prosecutor general agreed that there was no substance in the
accusations. In order to assist Zafar Sahib, I read through the Dutch Criminal Code and the
international laws covering such cases.
I am fully aware of the fact that the old qazi system cannot be enforced in toto, but we can
definitely adjust our judicial system to encompass the spirit of that golden age. Unfortunately, our
current system is a legacy of the British. On April 12, 1936, Quaid-e-Azam said that the 1935 Act
was worse than the Versailles Treaty, which had turned Germany into a subordinate state
(resulting in the Second World War and the deaths of almost 55 million people). In his letter dated
May 28, 1937, to the Quaid-e-Azam, Allama Iqbal had also criticised the 1935 Act.
In Britain the legal system functions well, but our disfigured system is not providing quick and fair
justice to the people. The reason is that those who are supposed to obey the law are of a criminal
mindset and make a mockery of the judiciary.
A word here about Maulana Fazalur Rahman and Maulana Shirani, chairman of the Islamic Ideology
Council. Our Constitution states that no law will be against the Quran and Sunnah. Why then are
they not doing or saying anything about Article 148 which gives protection to looters and the
corrupt? They should remember what Allah has ordained in Surah Zarriat, Ayat 55: Do, however,
keep exhorting them (to do good), for exhortation benefits those endowed with faith.