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Address By HCJP

Dated: 8-May-2013

Respectable Faculty Members of International Islamic University Islamabad ;

Respectable Participants of Shariah (Islamic Law) Course;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

Assalam-o-Alaikum
It gives me immense pleasure to welcome you all in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. I highly appreciate the efforts of the faculty of Shariah Academy of International Islamic University for imparting training to the members of legal fraternity on the subject of Islamic legal philosophy and orientation in Islamic law. As you people are holding prestigious public offices in the justice sector, I am hopeful that the Sharia course undertaken by you, will give befitting results in addressing the challenges of the legal system in accordance with Islamic law.
Islam provides the most comprehensive concept of justice and deems it one of its fundamental objectives. Justice is a supreme virtue in Islam and ruling spirit of the Shariah. It provides the framework for the entire corpus of Islam. Justice is considered to be a trust, a sacred responsibility, which is to be performed in conformity with the provisions of the Quran and the Sunnah. Allah Almighty sent Prophets at different times with the paramount purpose of guiding men to achieve justice. The Holy Quran declares:
‘We sent our messengers with clear signs, and sent down with them the Book and the Balance so that men may conduct themselves with justice’ (Al-Hadid 57:25)
As per Islamic teachings justice is also the very ideal for which the community of Islam exists. The Holy Quran declares:
‘Thus we made you a just community, that you be witnesses to mankind’ (al-Baqarah 2:143).
And again:
‘O Believers, be you upholders of justice, witnessing for God alone’ (al-Nisa’ 4:135).
Shariah covers each and every aspect of human life. It not only embraces worship, morals and conduct but also provides rules and regulations for the political, social and economic aspects. The concepts of justice, equality, supremacy of law and judicial independence were recognized by Shariah much earlier as compared to the contemporary legal systems.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
The Revelation and Divine Wisdom are the primary sources of the developing public order, presuming to meet the community’s growing needs and expectations. Here I would like to recall a passage from the speech of the first Caliph of Islam, Abu Bakar (RA), which he made immediately after being elected to succeed the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him):
“I have been given authority over you although I am not the best of you. If I do well, help me; and if I do wrong, set me right. Loyalty is to tell the truth to a leader; treason is to hide it. The weak among you will be powerful in my eyes until I secure his rights, if Allah so wills. The strong among you shall be weak in my eyes until I get the right from him. If people do not follow in the way of Allah, He will disgrace them. Obey me as long as I obey Allah and his Prophet, and if I disobey them, you owe me no obedience.”
This gives us, in sum and substance, the role of the governance system in any society governed, not by men, but by laws. If every person in authority in any branch of government follows this model in letter and spirit, most of the grievances now forming subject matter of protracted litigations in our courts would not be coming into existence at all and the people would be enabled to avail their rights and entitlements in the ordinary course, and not having to undergo the ordeal of seeking redressal of their problems and difficulties.
The very Preamble of the Constitution of Pakistan provides that the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed. It further provides that the Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accordance with the teachings and requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and Sunnah (PBUH). It shows the stress on enforcement of essential fundamental rights and freedom for the common weal and welfare of the citizen. These rights are essential for a civilized society, free from tyranny, oppression, discrimination and injustice.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
With the advancements in science and technology, economics, statistics and other fields, major challenges have emerged for legal fraternity in Muslim world to address the same. No doubt the basic concepts of Islam as provided in the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (SAW) are immutable; however, Islamic law based on Islamic principles is constantly evolving. The understanding of Islamic law continues to evolve as does human understanding and knowledge. The spirit of Islamic principles is for all times and Ijtihad is applied by recognized and qualified scholars in order to address contemporary legal issues.
Law in Pakistan is not confined to the statutes alone, it also includes Islamic law, given effect to by some statute or as general principle of law. It is not only the duty of courts to provide justice to the people of Pakistan but also the duty of every organ and functionary of the State to facilitate in the enforcement of rights. The role of Courts is however important because they are approached by the aggrieved persons as a lost resort. The role played by each adjudicator in the justice system will collectively secure peace and tolerance in the society and promote rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution.
Every one of you is witness to this fact, that the country witnessed unprecedented changes in the wake of lawyers’ movement resulting into a healthy debate about the need to ‘change our old habits’ where expediencies held sway over rule of law and supremacy of the constitution. This movement for rule of law, supremacy of Constitution and independence of judiciary instilled a new spirit and provided a common platform to lawyers to cooperate with one another for larger good of the society, because it was the struggle for the principles.
It also gives me much satisfaction to note here that, the Judiciary today is striving at its best to bring peace and tranquility in the society by redressing the grievances of the public, timely and within the constitutional domain. People reposed confidence in judiciary and it is incumbent upon us to ensure justice to them at their doorsteps. You are aware, that the Constitution of Pakistan 1973 accords a crucial position to the Judiciary. Therefore being a pivotal pillar of the State, it has to be strong enough to shoulder the structure of the State not only from its own location, but it has to provide strength to the other pillars as well. The question is from where will it get the requisite strength from outside or from within? To me, the inner strength of the judiciary will enable it to play its role in the governance of the country. The inner strength, in turn, lies in the strength of character and professionalism of the persons manning the judiciary.
We have also learned from history that no country can realise the dream of progress and prosperity for its people without following the route of rule of law and supremacy of constitution. The early we imbibe this message in the life blood of our existence, the sooner we will reach the stage, where citizen are treated equally and given respect and dignity and their rights are protected. Therefore all of you being professionals of legal community are bound to follow the dictates of law. Through effective performance of functions, you should help the countrymen in realising the dream of rule of law and supremacy of constitution.
Therefore, we should move ahead. This movement is a successful movement because it has bright horizons. The horizon is bright. The future is a very bright future. A day will come when the Muslim Ummah, with the power and might of God, will rise to utmost majesty and independence. Muslim nations [should] while retaining their specifications and distinctions, stand under the single banner of the invitation to God and Islam; should be all together. It is then that the Muslim Ummah will find its glory.
In conclusion, let me appreciate the efforts of the International Islamic University for arranging the course in Islamic Law and Shariah for the course participants, who belong to the justice sector. The training will broaden your vision and widen your perspective to comprehend and understand the intricacies of laws, so as to be able to decide cases and resolve disputes in accordance with the law and principles of justice. As you know, justice is a divine attribute and those who perform this noble function are promised to be rewarded by the Creator in the Hereafter. I hope that the knowledge and wisdom that you will gain as result of the training will make you better professionals and good human beings, which are the essential characteristics of an adjudicator.

Thank you.
 
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