Pakistan is unique in the world as having been born specifically with the aim to be an Islamic homeland. With all the privileges of enlightenment we are taught by our Islamic history, and the values encompassed within. This aim has found repetition most recently in Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is often quoted as saying he aspires Pakistan to be “Riyasat e Madinah” — where the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) created the ideal society. After the Prophet (PBUH), the Khulfa-e-Rashideen continued the traditions set by the Prophet (PBUH), and expanded our knowledge with examples of an Islamic ideal society, as we understand it today.

Hazrat Abu Bakar Siddique (RA) was advised by Hazrat Umar (RA) to give up his profession as a trader after becoming Caliph. To which Hazrat Abu Baker (RA) agreed, and applied to the Bait Ul Maal for a modest income, upon which he then lived.

There is perhaps no Muslim unfamiliar with the story of Hazrat Umar (RA), where in the crowded mosque, he answered to his questioners, that the shirt he had upon him was stitched by joining together a piece of cloth he had received, with a piece of cloth his son had received.

The examples we have of the pinnacle of Islamic society, from the era of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the four Caliphs, are what inform our vision of the Riyasat e Madinah. That vision is that of the ideal state, a just welfare state, governed with humility, and fairness. Is Pakistan on track to be that? Many would argue either way. But among the Pakistani people there is a decision to be made. Between the ideal and what we have today, where will we find our equilibrium? If the ideal is Riyasat e Madinah, what will satisfy us as attainable?