Law and Humanities
Published: 27 June 2022
Freedom of Religion for Non-Muslims in Islam: A Pakistani Affair
The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, United Kingdom
Download Full-Text Pdf
Keywords: Freedom of Religion, Islam, Shariah, Sunnah, Hindus, Rights of Non-Muslims
Pakistan has long claimed itself to be Shariah compliant, as particularly enshrined in the preamble of its Constitution to be an Islamist State. However, the religious minority, which makes up about 2-4% of the total population, especially the Hindus, have always been the target of persecution, denied religious freedom and even forced to convert to Islam. It is an irony that a state making such a constitutional claim of abiding by the Quran and Sunnah has turned a deaf ear to the freedom of religion and the rights that Islam guarantees to the non-Muslims of a Muslim state. The Quran and the teachings of the Prophet are not only clear on this subject but also vigilant in upholding the rights of non-Muslims. Although religious minorities in Pakistan comprise of not only Hindus but Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyyas and other ethnic minorities, this paper intends to focus solely on the plight of the Hindus in Pakistan, in light of the freedom of religion guaranteed by Islam. The study shall focus on the persecution of the Hindu minorities by way of forced conversions, refusal of the right of practicing their own religion and the recent halt of the construction of a temple in Islamabad. The research further engages in the historical perspective of freedom of religion in Pakistan and its relationship with the Islamic ideology it possesses, as opposed to the true teachings of the Quran and Sunnah which is evidential of the harmonious relationship among people of all religions, cultures and ideology.
Abi-Habib, M., & ur-Rehman, Z. (2020, August 4). Poor and Desperate, Pakistani Hindus Accept Islam to Get By. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/04/world/asia/pakistan-hindu-conversion.html
Ahmet Kurucan, & Mustafa Kasim Erol. (2012). Dialogue in Islam : Qur’an - Sunnah - history. Dialogue Society.
Akram, M. (2006). Introduction To Shariah And Muslim Jurisprudence. Cert Publications Sdn Bhd.
Al-Ayed, & Bin Hussain, S. (2002). The rights of non-Muslims in the Islamic world. Dar Eshbelia.
al-Wafa, A. A. (2001). Kitab al-I’lam bi-Qawaid al-Qanun al-Duwali wa-al-‘Alaqat al-Dawliyyah fi Shari‘at al-Islam. Dar al-Nahdah al-‘Arabiyyah.
Berween, M. (2006). Non-Muslims in the Islamic state: Majority rule and minority rights. The International Journal of Human Rights, 10(2), 91–102. https://doi.org/10.1080/13642980600608350
Blasphemy accusation in Pakistan sparks ransacking of Hindu temple, school. (2019, September 16). Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pakistan-blasphemy/blasphemy-accusation-in-pakistan-sparks-ransacking-of-hindu-temple-school-idUSKBN1W10MX
Curtis, L. (2016). Religious freedom in Pakistan: Glimmers of light on a darkening horizon. The Review of Faith & International Affairs, 14(2), 23-30. https://doi.org/10.1080/15570274.2016.1184439
Islamic activists halt construction of first Hindu temple in Islamabad. (2020, July 8). The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/08/pakistan-shri-krishna-hindu-temple-construction-halted-islamabad
Mahajan, V. D. (1965). The Constitution of Pakistan. Munawar.
Mohammad Hashim Kamali. (1992). Freedom of Religion in Islamic Law. Capital University Law Review, 21(1).
Mohd Nor, M. R., Khan, I., & Elius, M. (2018). Analysing the conceptual framework of religious freedom and interreligious relationship in Islam. Indonesian Journal of Islam and Muslim Societies, 8(2), 309. https://doi.org/10.18326/ijims.v8i2.309-334
Mondal, A. A. (2016). Articles of Faith: Freedom of Expression and Religious Freedom in Contemporary Multiculture. Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations, 27(1), 3–24. https://doi.org/10.1080/09596410.2015.1114240
Objectives Resolution (1949). (2012, August 6). History Pak. https://historypak.com/objectives-resolution-1949
Pakistan. (n.d.). U.S. Department of State. https://2009-2017.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/2006/71443.htm
Pakistan blasphemy riots: Dozens arrested after Hindu teacher accused. (2019, September 16). BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-49714196
Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860). (2012). Pakistani.org. http://www.pakistani.org/pakistan/legislation/1860/actXLVof1860.html
POPULATION BY RELIGION. (n.d.). http://www.pbs.gov.pk/sites/default/files//tables/POPULATION%20BY%20RELIGION.pdf
'Reflections On The Life Of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. (2020). https://www.muis.gov.sg/officeofthemufti/Resources. https://www.muis.gov.sg/officeofthemufti/Resources
Refugees, U. N. H. C. for. (n.d.). Refworld | On Trial: The Implementation of Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws. Refworld. https://www.refworld.org/docid/565da4824.html
Rehman, J. (2001). Minority Rights and the Constitutional Dilemmas of Pakistan. Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, 19(4), 417–443. https://doi.org/10.1177/092405190101900404
Singh Bhalla, G. (2019, August 28). What Really Caused the Violence of Partition? Thediplomat.com. https://thediplomat.com/2019/08/what-really-caused-the-violence-of-partition/
Singh, R. (n.d.). Persecution and Discrimination of Hindus in Pakistan. Retrieved June 25, 2022, from https://hinduismpakistan.info/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Persecution-and-Discrimination-of-Hindus-in-Pakistan-Report-by-Ranbir-Singh-Chair-of-Hindu-Human-Rights-Group-HHR.pdf
Svanidze, T. (2020, February 7). Hindus and sikhs from pakistan flee to india fearing prosecution. New Europe. https://www.neweurope.eu/article/hindus-and-sikhs-from-pakistan-flee-to-india-fearing-prosecution
Syed Abul ʻala Maudoodi, Zafar Ishaq Ansari, & Islamic Foundation (Great Britain. (2016). Towards understanding the Qur’ān : Abridged version of Tafhim al-Qur’an. Islamic Foundation.
Thumama bin Uthal (r.a.)» Questions on Islam. (n.d.). Questions on Islam. https://questionsonislam.com/article/thumama-bin-uthal-ra
Wani, H., Abdullah, R., & Chang, L. (2015). An Islamic Perspective in Managing Religious Diversity. Religions, 6(2), 642–656. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel6020642