Islamization Under General Zia-ul-Haq

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When General Zia-ul-Haq took over as the Chief Martial Law Administrator on July 5, 1977, Islamization was given a new boost. General Zia-ul-Haq was a practicing Muslim who raised the slogan of Islam. The Islamic sentiment has always been fully alive in Pakistan. Various governments have used this to their benefit. There are people who doubt Zia’s reasons for raising the Islamic slogan; whether it was for political purposes to counter balance Bhutto’s appeal or was it to enforce Islam in its true sense.

In his first address to the nation, he declared that Islamic laws would be enforced and that earnest attention would be devoted towards establishing the Islamic society for which Pakistan had been created. General Zia wanted to bring the legal, social, economic and political institutions of the country in conformity with the Islamic principles, values and traditions in the light of Quran and Sunnah, to enable the people of Pakistan to lead their lives in accordance to Islam.

The Government of Zia-ul-Haq took a number of steps to eradicate non-Islamic practices from the country. He introduced the Zakat, Ushr, Islamic Hadood and Penal Code in the country. The Government invited eminent scholars to compile laws about Islamic financing. The Zakat and Ushr Ordinance to Islamize the economic system was promulgated on June 20, 1980. It covered only Islamic organizations, associations and institutions. Zakat was to be deducted from bank accounts of Muslims at the rate of 2.5 percent annually above the balance of Rupees 3,000. Ushr was levied on the yield of agricultural land in cash or kind at the rate of 10 percent of the agricultural yield, annually.

The Government appointed Central, Provincial, District and Tehsil Zakat Committees to distribute Zakat funds to the needy, poor, orphans and widows. Shias were exempted from Zakat deduction from their accounts due to their own

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