The Nagative Role of Clergy in Pashtun Society
The internationalization of religion and its presentation as a system of life is a conspiracy of the clergy which could be understood once the history of the organised religion is studied. In every religion, be it Judaism, Christianity, Islam , Jainism, Buddhism or others, the religious bureaucracy has always transformed some progressive concepts meant for the betterment of a certain nation into an organised religion. Vested interest and the greed for wealth and influence on the lives of others are so tempting instincts that it is difficult to overpower them.
More interestingly the clergy class has always made compromises with the power elite to have their share. Abdul Wahab Najdi was a prime example. His compromise with the monarchy and the current power structure of Al Saud having reigns of power and the Wahabis having control over the faith and destiny of the ignorant masses is very vivid. Jeddah which is a versatile prostitution market under the veil for the royal family, is a good amalgam of the religious bigotry of the clergy and the autocracy of the monarchy.
Another example from the past has been the deterministic ethics which were prevalent in the Umayyad, Abbasid and Fatimid Dynasties of Arabs. It was in those times that "Sufi" school of thought came into existence to institutionalise and intellectualise the oppressive concepts of religion into a system of thought.Individualism,Introspective and Introvert mode of life was glorified instead of emphasizing on the collective and social aspects of life and the duties of the state (called sultanate at that time).
The same religious concepts were raised to the zenith of human thought by the Indian intellect.Ashraf Ali Thanvi's concepts of religion and Sufism as presented in his books are the master pieces of such oppressed individualistic mentality. The same was preceded by Hafiz Shirazi of Iran.
Sufism was the tool to justify and intellectualise the monarchy of the Arab rulers. It was later made a philosophy of life by personalities like Ibne Arabi and AlGhazali.The "Futoohate Makkiyah" and "Fusus ul Hukam" of Ibne Arabi and "Kitab Ur Rooh" of AlGhazali were the intellectual efforts to institutionalise Sufism as an intellectual school of thought. The two school which emerged out of it were called Wahdatul wajood (Ibne Arabi) and wahdatul shahood (Sheikh Ahmed sirhindi aka Mujadad Alf thani).Later the two schools were reconciled by Shah Waliullah.
In Pashtuns though Rahman baba, Hamza baba and Ghani khan represent a class which is comparable with the intellectual level of the Sufi thought,however the nature of Pashtuns, like Arabs, is more extrovert and hence more practical contrary to an introvert one, which is the type of mentality and behavior which suits Sufism.
The crux of the discourse is the dogmatic , anti social and impractical concepts of religion in Pashtuns is a continuity of the same virus from which our societal structure has been suffering.This virus produced a confused mentality about our national interests as any struggle toachive it as any struggle to progress and prosperous.