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The logic of illogic

By Dr Ghayur Ayub

The internet is fast impelling us to think logically even if things do not fit in logic. Furthermore, it tends to bracket illogical happenings as chances or coincidences which might not be true. The modern mindset is becoming oblivious to the fact that in history, certain events occurred which had no bearing on logic and they certainly could not be considered as coincidences. Yet, they had enormous impact on the history of civilization. Let me quote three such events.

First, around 1200 BC, a mother placed her baby son in a small crib in a turbulent stream to avoid Pharaoh’s soldiers killing him. The baby landed up in Pharaoh’s palace and was brought up as his son. Later, he became the founding father of Judaism.

Second, in 325 AD at Nicaea, Emperor Constantine, after getting tired of bickering amongst the custodians of various gospels, ordered them to leave all the gospels under the table and the gospel found on the table the next day, would become the official gospel of Christianity. He locked the door. The next day, they found St Paul’s gospel on the table giving birth to ‘Pauline Christianity’ which later became ‘Roman Catholicism’

Third, in the fifth century AD in Yasrab, Abdul Mutlib, was going to sacrifice his son Abdullah to the deities according to the ritualistic customs. Instead, a hundred camels were sacrificed after successively casting 10 magical arrows on instruction of priest Pythia of the temple. Abdullah grew up and became the father of Mohammad (PBUH).

These three events which lacked apparent logic shaped the world theologically as it stands today. Over five billion people with logical minds follow these religions. How and Why?

Another illogical event in recent history has tied 190 million people to a country which should not have been on the map of the world. But it is; and we call it Pakistan.

No logical mind would accept Pakistan as an independent state. For example:

The launching platform for a new Muslim state was technically narrow, humanly shaky and politically nonviable.

Though the country was meant for the Muslims of the subcontinent, it didn’t have any support from (rather they opposed it) major Muslim scholars and theologians. They labeled Jinnah a ‘Kafir’ (infidel) and Pakistan a ‘Kafiristan’ (the country of infidels).

Mr. Jinnah, though demanded a separate Muslim State, was himself not a practicing Muslim. He was a westernized liberal, who dressed like a foreigner, consumed alcohol, could not speak the native language, and had limited knowledge of Arabic.

Many Muslim intellectuals labeled Pakistan a misguided notion.

All Hindu intellectuals would call it a madman’s dream.

The politically powerful Hindus were deadly against its creation.

There were no Muslim ‘think tanks’ to strategize a separate state.

In initial stages, Mr. Jinnah seemed a reluctant leader and left the stage not to return from England.

The British Raj did not take Muslims seriously in political matters.

Mr. Jinnah antagonized Ghaffar Khan at a stage when he needed support of the Pashtuns.

Lastly, the prominent political pundits were convinced that in the unlikely event of its creation, Pakistan would not survive for more than three years.

Against all the logical justifications, Pakistan came into existence and survived against any common sense. This was on the face of:

1. Having no potent financial resources.

2. Having no proper military, administrative, economic, agricultural, industrial, educational, health or other infrastructure worth a name. It was like rubble left by a strong earthquake and overrun by millions of refuges.

3. Being demolished under its own weight within three years as predicted by the think tanks of the time.

Yet it survived. How and Why?

Countries rest on the strength of three pillars; Judiciary, Legislative and Executive. It happened that three extra pillars were added in case of Pakistan; again, an illogical incident. The added pillars are; the armed forces (because of ambitious general Ayub); the bureaucracy (because of the cunning bureaucrats); and the religion (because of zealous general Zia). It is historical fact that countries go into chaos and disintegrate when their supporting pillars crumble because of irreparable damage caused by erosion. Over the years, we have witnessed gross erosion of all the pillars sustaining Pakistan by administrative nepotism, moral corruptions, financial bungling, military interferences and sectarian activism. How did this poor country keep itself alive and intact is beyond any logic.

And, here comes the crunch; while each pillar was getting eroded, an illogical event was taking place in the form of nuclear technology. The program had progressed steadily during every perilous circumstance. It was this program which was going to act like a glue to keep the society cemented from within and protect the country from without. Had it not been for our nuclear technology, India would have invaded Pakistan twice with disastrous consequences. It is reported that once Israel had nearly taken it out as it did in Iraq. The most illogical part of this program was that it was spearheaded not by a highly skilled nuclear scientist but by an ordinary metallurgist with an apparently dubious disposition.

The three great religions mentioned earlier, needed unifying states as their flag bearer. The Vatican in 1929 and Israel in 1948 became those states for Roman Catholicism and Judaism respectively. In the mid-1970s, when a defeated Pakistan arranged OIC Conference and took an initiative to become nuclear; it put its name for consideration as the flag bearer of the Muslim world. Was it illogical? Yes, it was. A geographically, morally, psychologically and financially broken country looking for leadership of the Muslim world was illogical indeed. Then in 1998, it seized the title after conducting the nuclear tests surpassing Saudi Arabia which not only holds the holiest places of Islam but keeps the Central Secretariat of OIC at Jeddah as well. Wasn’t that illogical?

So, here is Pakistan born illogically, survived illogically, became the flag bearer of the Muslim world illogically and now threatened by the only superpower illogically despite being its ally. Would the superpower be successful in its aim? Logically yes, illogically no. The question is which one is more powerful; the logic or the illogic? Those who believe in the forces behind the illogical events would opt for the latter. They say that every logic rides on illogic or every illogic carries a logic. One stands on a temporal cliff, the other sits in an intuitional cave.

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