Asif Ali Zardari calls for rejecting dogmatic interpretations of religion
Islamabad November 8, 2016: The best way to pay homage to Allama Iqbal is to reiterate our resolve not to allow anyone to exploit religion for foisting their own political agenda or for perpetrating violence”, said the former President Asif Zardari in a message on the birth anniversary of Allama Iqbal on Wednesday November 9.
The message of Islam has been systematically distorted over the decades, he said and added “we need to seek inspiration from Iqbal to correct the distortions and restore the peaceful, progressive and egalitarian image of Islam”.
Allama Iqbal believed that nobody held monopoly over interpretation of religion which was a living and dynamic force that needed to be continuously interpreted. Let us not fear in reinterpreting religious thought in the light of his teachings, the former President said.
A great contribution of Allama Iqbal in the realm of thought is that he rejected the idea of giving legislative powers to a handful of un-elected clerics and stressed that such powers must be exercised by the elected representatives of the people.
In memory of Iqbal let us dedicate ourselves to free inquiry, discussion and debate, as preached by him and also refuse to blindly follow the dogmatic interpretations of religion, the former President said.
Allama Muhammad Iqbal not only gave the vision of a separate homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent but also gave courage to the people to hold free and critical inquiry to understand the true message of religion instead of blindly following the dogmas.