Thursday, March 25, 2021


 Sharjeel Ahmed

The author is a certified Islamic scholar, professional teacher trainer, training & development manager, writer, researcher, and motivational speaker based in Karachi, Pakistan. He holds a masters degree in Education (Hamdard University) and a masters degree in Islamic Studies (Karachi University) along with a degree in Islamic Theology (Aleemiyah Institute of Islamic Studies, Karachi). Currently he is Chief Operating Officer at Spectrum Professional Development Centre (SPDC), Karachi.

Note: The present article was published in Yadgar-e-Mujaddid Magazine (Issue No. 18) in 2018. 

Imam Rabbani Sheikh Ahmad Farooqi Sarhindi(1) رحمة اللہ علیہ (971 Hijri/1563 CE – 1034 Hijri/1624 CE)(2) was one of the great servants of Islam and a prominent member of the Naqshbandi Sufi order. He has been described as “Mujaddid Alf Thani”, meaning the “reviver of the second millennium”, (3) for his work in rejuvenating Islam and opposing the un-Islamic practices and customs prevalent in the time of Mughal Emperor Akbar.


Among the works of Imam Rabbani, there is a book entitled “Ithbat-un-Nubuwwah” which consists of 30 pages. (4) It was written in 994 Hijri/1586 CE. (5) It provides a precise and comprehensive explanation of the topic of Prophethood and also serves as a historical account of what was happening in India in the time of Mughal Emperor Akbar.


The book “I that-un-Nubuwwah” consists of an introduction and two articles. The introduction is divided into two topics:

  1. The Meaning of Nubuwwah
  2. The Meaning of Mujizah

 The two articles are:

  1. Bithat: The Sending of Prophets (علیہم السلام) & Its Necessity

       2. The Proof of Hazrat Muhammad’s (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) Prophethood


The preface to the book “I that-un-Nubuwwah” mentions the rationale behind this work. Here are the key points and aspects of discussion found in the preface.




Imam Rabbani uses a metaphor to explain the way the Prophets (علیہم السلام) should be followed. He writes:


“As a blind person entrusts himself to those who will lead him or as a helplessly an ill person commits himself to the care of compassionate doctors, people must submit themselves to Prophets (علیہم السلام) Allah has sent so that they will attain benefits beyond mind’s grasp and escape calamities.” (6)




While highlighting what was happening with Islam in India, Imam Rabbani writes:


“I have seen with regret that the people of our time have become increasingly slack in believing in the necessity of Prophets’ sending (بعثت), in the twenty-five Prophets (علیہم السلام) whose names are given in the Qur’an, and in obeying the religion brought by the Last Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم). Moreover, some powerful people with authoritative positions in India have been persecuting pious Muslims who diligently follow Islam. There have appeared people who mock the blessed name of the Last Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) and substitute the blessed names given to them by their parents with absurd names. Sacrificing a cow has been prohibited in India. Mosques are either being demolished or turned into museums or stores. Islamic cemeteries are being made into playgrounds or places for rubbish. Disbelievers’ churches are being restored in the name of monuments. Their rituals and festivals are being celebrated by Muslims, too. In short, Islam’s requirements and Islamic customs are being abhorred or totally abandoned. They are being called “retrogressive”. Disbelievers’ and atheists’ customs, false religions, immoral and shameless acts are being praised. Efforts are being made to spread them. Depraved and squalid books, novels, and songs of the Indian disbelievers are being translated into the languages of Muslims and sold. In this way efforts to annihilate Islam and Islam’s beautiful ethics are being carried on which results in Muslims’ faith weakening while unbelievers and rejecters are increasing. Moreover, even men of religion, who must be healers for the disease of disbelief, are falling for this disaster and drifting into calamity.” (7)




While telling us the causes behind the religious ignorance and misguidance he found among the people of India, Imam Rabbani writes:


“I have studied the causes for this corruption in Muslim children’s belief and have scrutinized the origin of their doubts. I have come to the conclusion that there is only one reason for the slackness in their faith. And the reason is that much time has elapsed since Rasulullah (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم), while at the same time some fanatical, short-sighted, religiously nescient politicians and some ignoramuses, who pass themselves off as scientists, talk on religious matters, and have their words accepted as true. I have spoken with people who read and believe the writings of such fanatics of science and who therefore describe themselves as enlightened, modern people. I have seen that they err mostly in comprehending the rank of Prophethood (Nubuwwah).” (8)




In the preface, Imam Rabbani has also pointed out some arguments of the so-called intellectuals of his time and then replied to them. Here we quote one of those arguments along with the reply of Imam Rabbani.




“One who has heard of the Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) and his miracles but who disbelieves this information because centuries have passed ever since is like a person who lives in the mountains or in a desert and has not heard about the Prophet at all.” (9)




“We have not seen the medical scientist Casinos or the grammarian Amr Sibawaih. How do we know that they were experts in those branches of knowledge? We know what the science of medicine means. We read Calinos’s books and hear some of his statements. We learn that he gave medicine to the ill and cured them. Hence, we believe that he was a doctor. Likewise, when a person who knows the science of grammar reads Sibawaih’s books or hears some words of his, he knows and believes that he was a grammarian. By the same token, if a person knows well what Prophethood is and studies the Qur’an and the Hadith, he will understand thoroughly that Hazrat Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) was in the highest grade of Prophethood. As one’s belief in the above-mentioned scholars would never be upset, so the slanders and vilifications of the ignorant and deviated will never undermine one’s faith in Hazrat Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم), since all the sayings and behaviors of Hazrat Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) guide people to perfection, make their beliefs and behaviors correct and useful, and illuminate their hearts to cure them of diseases and disencumber them of bad habits. This is what Prophethood (Nubuwwah) means.” (10)




While identifying the target audience of his book, Imam Rabbani writes:


“With the intention of removing the doubts and suspicions of those who acquired their religious knowledge from the books of religiously ignorant people and from the venomous pens of the enemies of the religion, I have thought of writing what I know.” (11)




Imam Rabbani states that the objectives of his book are:


  • To explain what Prophethood means.
  • To eliminate the doubts of the unbelievers concerning the Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم).
  • To display the wickedness and harms of a few bigots of science who attempt to suppress this fact with their personal thoughts and opinions. (12)


Besides this, Imam Rabbani has also mentioned in the preface that in this book he will cite documents from the books of Islamic scholars and add his humble thoughts too. This can be termed as the methodology that Imam Rabbani took for writing this book.


In the first part of the introduction, Imam Rabbani explains the meaning of Prophethood. He clearly describes here the difference between the understanding of the scholars of Kalam and the understanding of the Greek philosophers on the issue of Prophethood. He cites Sayyad Sharif Al-Jurjani’s book Sharh-ul-Mawaqif while defining Prophethood. Finally, he points out the incoherence of the conditions the Greek philosophers have put for Prophethood.


In the second part of the introduction, Imam Rabbani explains the meaning of Mujizah. Here too Imam Rabbani cites Sayyad Sharif Al-Jurjani while explaining the meaning of Mujizah. He explains the concept point-wise and also provides answers to the questions commonly raised regarding Mujizah. He also answers the questions that are raised on the explanation given by Sayyad Sharif Al-Jurjani.


In the first article of the book, Imam Rabbani discusses the necessity of sending of the Prophets (علیہم السلام) and also supports his explanation with rational arguments. For example, he writes:


  • “Denial of what cannot be comprehended is the result of not comprehending, not knowing.” (13)
  • “As sense organs cannot comprehend things that are known by wisdom, likewise, wisdom cannot perceive the things that are known by the power of Prophethood.” (14)
  • “Those who doubts the existence of the power of Prophethood doubts its possibility or if its possibility is accepted, its occurrence. Its existence or occurrence shows that it is possible. And its existence is demonstrated by Prophets’ (علیہم السلام) giving information beyond the intellect’s ability. This information, which cannot be acquired through intellect, calculation, or experimentation, was acquired only from Allah’s Ilham (inspiration placed upon the heart by Allah or His angels).” (15)
  • “The intellect’s finding something beautiful, ugly or nonsensical is not always valid.” (16)
  • “The the inability of the intellect to grasp the benefit of the things does not show the absence of their value.” (17)


In the first article of the book, Imam Rabbani has also cited Imam Ghazali’s work Al-Munqidh Min-ad-Dalal. Moreover, he has replied to a series of questions raised by the so-called intellectuals. For example:




“The intellect does the thing it finds useful and does not do the thing it considers harmful. When it cannot understand whether something is useful or harmful, it does it when there is a need to do it. Because of this function of the intellect, sending Prophets (علیہم السلام) is unnecessary.” (18)




“There are many things which are misunderstood or which cannot be understood by the intellect, and they have to be taught by Prophets (علیہم السلام). A Prophet is like a specialized doctor. He knows the effects of medicines well. The effects of some medicines might be found by laymen through the intellect after long experiences, but men of intellect might face risks and harms before learning them, and it would require a great deal of time and work. They would have no time left for using their intellect in doing other necessary jobs. By giving the doctor a little recompense, however, they attain the benefits of medicines and rid themselves of their illnesses. To say that Prophets (علیہم السلام) are unnecessary is like saying that doctors are unnecessary. Since the commandments taught by a Prophet are Wahi revealed by Allah, they are all true and beneficial. The doctor’s knowledge, although being the result of thought and experience, cannot be said to be wholly true.” (19)


In the second article of the book, Imam Rabbani writes about the proof of the Prophet Hazrat Muhammad’s (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) Prophethood. In addition to the rational arguments, he mostly uses here the question-answer technique to explain the things and answer to the arguments of those who deviated from the right path. For example:




“Useful things reported by philosophers, materialists and doctors, are believed because they have been discovered by experience. Ibadat is not believed in because its usefulness has not been experienced.” (20)




“Scientists’ experimentations are believed when they are heard of. The things reported and experienced by Awliya are communicated in the same manner. Also, the benefits of most things enjoined by Islam have been seen and experienced. Even if the advantages within the rules of Islam were not revealed by experimentation, it would still be reasonable to believe in them and to fulfill their requirements. Let us suppose that a physician’s wise son, who does not know anything about drugs, becomes ill. He has heard from many people and has even read in newspapers about his father’s achievements and knows that his father loves him very much. His father gives him some medicine and says that if he takes it, he will recover immediately, for he has tried it several times. But when he sees that the medicine will be injected and hurt him, would it be reasonable for him to react to his father by saying, “I have never tried this medicine. I don’t know if it is good for me. I can’t believe if your words are correct.” Who in the world would approve such an answer?” (21)


In the second article of the book, Imam Rabbani has also cited Imam Fakhr-ad-Din Al-Razi’s work Al-Matalib-ul-Aliyya. Imam Rabbani also talks about the importance of Tasawwuf in strengthening one’s faith. He writes:


“A person who acquires knowledge of Prophethood and then studies the Qur’an and the Hadîth will perfectly understand that Hazrat Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) is the Prophet and occupies the highest degree of Prophethood. And if he learns of the effectiveness of his words in purifying the heart and then obeys him, by which his own heart begins to see the truth, his belief in his Prophethood will become absolutely certain (Yaqin). He will gain continuous realization of the truth in the Hadiths, “If the person lives up to his knowledge, Allah teaches him what he does not know”; “He who helps a cruel person will suffer harm from him,” and, “The person who only thinks of attaining Allah’s love every morning will be given his wishes for this world and the Hereafter by Allah.” Thus, his knowledge and faith will be strengthened. For the faith to become strengthened, that is, to improve it up to a state wherein one feels as if one sees the reality, requires endeavoring in a path of Tasawwuf.” (22)


Finally, Imam Rabbani ends his book with these statements:


“The Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) sorted out the beautiful habits from the ugly ones and the good deeds leading to felicity from the bad ones leading to perdition. He taught true Iman and Ibadat. Those who believed him were enlightened by this Iman and Ibadat. He rescued humanity from distorted, concocted religions. He attained the victory promised by Allah. All his enemies soon perished. Depraved, factious, provocative words and actions came to an end. People were rescued from dictators, usurpers, and the cruel. Every place became illuminated with the sacred lights of the sun of Tawhid and the moon of Tanzi.” (23) “Hence it has become clear that the ancient Greek philosophers were on the wrong way and that those who read the harmful books which they have written with their personal points of view on religion and prophethood will acquire wrong religious information and will drift towards perdition.” (24)


(1)     Tazkira-e-Mujaddid-e-Alf-e-Thani, Maktabat-ul-Madina, Karachi, ISBN 978-969-631-823-1.

(2)     Irshadat-e-Imam-e-Rabbani, pp. 5 – 12, Zia-ul-Islam Publications, Karachi, 2002 CE.

(3)     Glasse, Cyril, The New Encyclopedia of Islam, Altamira Press, 2001, p.432 (retrieved from Wikipedia on November 5, 2017)

(4)     Ithbat-un-Nubuwwah (Arabic), Hakikat Kitabevi, Istanbul, Turkey, 2011 CE.

(5)     Irshadat-e-Imam-e-Rabbani, p. 5, Zia-ul-Islam Publications, Karachi, 2002 CE.

(6)     I that-un-Nubuwwah - The Proof of Prophethood (English), p. 5, Hakikat Kitabevi, Istanbul, Turkey, 2015 CE.

(7)     Ibid. p. 6.

(8)     Ibid. pp. 6 – 7.

(9)     Ibid. p. 7.

(10)  Ibid. p. 8.

(11)  Ibid. pp. 8 – 9.

(12)  Ibid. p. 9.

(13)  Ibid. p. 17.

(14)  Ibid. p. 18.

(15)  Ibid. p. 18.

(16)  Ibid. p. 20.

(17)  Ibid. p. 24.

(18)  Ibid. p. 23.

(19)  Ibid. p. 23.

(20)  Ibid. p. 26.

(21)  Ibid. p. 26.

(22)  Ibid. p. 27.

(23)  Ibid. p. 38.

(24)  Ibid. p. 39.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Capitalist-Driven Versus Driving Capitalism: Understanding Reterritorialization of Capitalism and Deterritorialization of Revisionism

 S.M.Mehboob ul Hassan Bukhari

The author is associated with the Department of Philosophy, University of Karachi, Pakistan. He presented the first draft of this paper at 1 International Deleuze Studies in Asia Conference held on 30 May-02 June 2013 at Tamkang University, New Taipei City, Taiwan.

This paper examines the revisionist interpretation of capitalism in postcolonial Pakistan from the philosophical glasses of an eminent late-twentieth-century French Post-Structuralist Gilles Deleuze. The capitalist machine, Deleuze argues, is the only machine in history that deterritorializes the existing codes and then reterritorializes them with capital. It implies that capitalism extracts profit from all existing forms of life. Using Deleuze’s elaboration of reterritorializing capitalism, I will critique Muslim revisionists defending capitalism to be consistent with Islamic law or using capitalism for advancing Islam.

Key Words: Capitalism, Deterritorialization/Reterritorialization, Axiomatics, Codes, Revisionism, South Asian Islam.

Capitalism encompasses all forms of life rather than just an economic quarter of life. Capitalism centers on the market which continues to expand its borders to other forms of life. Gibson-Graham calls this “capital-centric”.
The contemporary political economy recognizes that capitalism regulates accumulation. Sometimes this regulation instigates specialization and reduction of cost of production. Sometimes it expands markets through colonization. Portuguese established coastal colonies in the Indian Ocean in the sixteenth century. The British took control over these colonies later and soon they were able to occupy the Indian subcontinent with the establishment of the East India Company. In 1857, the British started ruling India directly. 

The British gave independence to Pakistan in 1947. Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995), a post-structuralist philosopher, argues that capitalism supplants all forms of life for the accumulation of capital. This explanation raises serious implications in post-colonial Pakistan because it pursues capitalist policies in all its institutions ranging from education to health to law etc. The role of religion particularly Islam in post-colonial Pakistan is significant. Revisionist interpretation of Islam appeals to many literate Pakistani Muslims because it purports to satisfy bipolar – Dunya and deen – quarters of life of an individual. It insists that Islam suggests falaah for both worlds. It entails that interpretation of Islam must not alienate followers in this world. Consequently, capitalism – the dominant form of life – challenges revisionists to interpret it and carve their way out accordingly. For this, Gilles Deleuze’s understanding of capitalism, in the view of the author, is substantial. He is a European philosopher who has lived capitalism at its center rather than at its periphery – here in post-colonial Pakistan – and has the deeper and inside insight into capitalism. Revisionists have lived capitalism at its periphery i.e. in the third world and observed its part. Moreover, Deleuze sees capitalism critically rather than ambitiously. This paper evaluates revisionist argument through the lens of Gilles Deleuze. The study is divided into four sections. The first section argues that capitalism functions with axiomatics rather than codes. It further illustrates that axiomatics is ceaselessly changing abstract principles. The second section will outline the history of capitalism in South Asia. 
 The third section expounds on the revisionist argument in Pakistan. The fourth section critiques the revisionist thesis. This will be followed by a conclusion.
1. Deleuze’s Axiomatic Capitalist Machine 
Gilles Deleuze published a lot on topics ranging from materialist psychiatry to cartography and monadology. Capitalism remained a central theme in all his works but he extensively dealt with capitalism in two volumes titled “Anti-Oedipus” and “A Thousand Plateaus” under the subtitle of “Capitalism and Schizophrenia”. He co-authored these books with Felix Guattari. Deleuze argues that capitalism operates through axiomatics instead of codes. He notes that “the real characteristics of axiomatic that lead us [both Deleuze & Guattari] to say that capitalism and the present-day politics are axiomatic in the literal sense” (Deleuze & Guattari 1987, p461). For a better understanding of Deleuze’s critique, it is significant to know his metaphysics. Two concepts may help to understand his metaphysics. The first is “Line”. He asserts that human beings are composed of “lines”. “Whether we are individuals or groups, we are made up of lines and these lines are very varied in nature” (Deleuze & Parnet, 2007, p. 93). There are many kinds of lines like segmentary lines, lines of flight, etc. He asserts that segmentary lines are the lines with which traditional theory works under “l’image de la pensée” (the image of thought). Image of thought is a methodology of Western philosophy which, according to Deleuze, perpetrates identity and represses difference. Traditional theory premised on the image of thought sustains identity and resists change. He declares segmentary lines to be inappropriate to be engaged without rejecting their existence. He only critiques their exclusive right to determine thought and values. Instead, he argues that “Des Lignes de fuite” (lines of flight) determine thought and values. Line of flight is “even more strange: as if something carried us away, across our segments, but across our threshold, towards a destination which is unknown, not foreseeable, not preexistent” (Deleuze & Parnet, 2007, p. 94). For Deleuze, lines of flight define human beings, societies, the states, etc particularly from the perspective of what these (human, society, state) could become. For him, the real challenge for today is not to discover but to create. Creativity comes from the conceptualization of change, instability, flow, etc. His ontology is of the lines of flight, the “pure difference that lies beneath and within the constituted identities of segmentary lines” (May 2005, p. 137). The other concept which can expound further on Deleuzean ontology is “machine”. He assumes that machine is the ontological principle that operates like a rhizome. The rhizome is a point of connection that can connect to other machines without any predetermined principle in an unprecedented way. Machines connect ad infinitum with other machines to produce the new. The “breast is a machine that produces milk, and a mouth a machine coupled to it. The mouth of anorexic wavers between several functions: its possessor is uncertain as to whether it is an eating machine, an anal machine, a talking machine, or a breathing machine” (Deleuze & Guattari, 2005 (a), p. 1). Deleuze asserts that machines connect in productive ways. Moreover, human beings are “desiring machines”. He vehemently rejects any identity oriented principle to define man and others. Man’s potential can only be actualized, Deleuze reasons if he is thought through “différence”. Thus, Deleuze replaces the metaphysics of identity with the metaphysics of différence. He distinguishes his différence from other exponents of difference by claiming that his différence is positive, real, and productive. There are, according to Deleuze, three kinds of social machines. Deleuze and Guattari define social formations by “machinic processes and not by modes of productions” (Deleuze & Guattari, 2005 (b), p. 480). They are Earth machine (la terre), Despotic machine (despote) and Capitalist machine (l’argent). The territorial machine is “the first form of the social, the machine of the primitive inscription, the “megamachine” that covers a social field” (Deleuze & Guattari, 2005 (a), p. 155). This is a machine that organizes through the codes of a lateral alliance like a kinship in which a specific individual belongs to the specific group. Earth machine controls the rituals of a group which integrates everybody in the group. Deleuze expounds despotic machine “the megamachine” of the state, a functional pyramid that has the despot at its apex, an immobile motor, with the bureaucratic apparatus as its lateral surface and its transmission gear, and the villagers at its base, serving as its working parts” (Deleuze & Guattari, 2005, p. 212). Primitive lateral alliances are replaced by the new alliances of the despot and filiations of the deity. He maintains that the Earth machine and the Despotic machine operate through codes. These machines are less productive. The capitalist machine can be defined by the general characteristic of decoding flows. Capitalism “is founded on a generalized decoding of every flow” (Deleuze, 2004, p. 270). Unlike pre-capitalist machines, the general decoding liberates flows. Capitalism is always “expanding its own borders, always finds itself in a situation where it must close off new escape routes at its borders” (Deleuze, 2004). Deleuze also recognizes the pathological character of capitalism. He contends that the slightest operation of capitalism “manifests the dementia of the capitalist system” (Deleuze, 2004, p. 262). Capitalism expresses its madness, insanity, delirium, schizophrenia in every flow because “everything about capitalism is rational, except capital or capitalism” (Deleuze, 2004, p. 262). Capitalism is an organization of flows that can be understood, taught, learned. Yet “only defined by a particular kind of relationship among irrational factors” (Deleuze, 2004, p. 26). Capitalism, Deleuze observes, is itself irrational. The justification of capitalism only comes from within, from itself. Capitalism can not be justified from outside of it. For this reason, Deleuze defines the capitalist machines as immanently driven, unlike other machines which are regulated by transcendence. Therefore, Deleuze recognizes the madness of capitalism because it is both rational and irrational at the same time. Capitalist machine functions through l’axiomatique (axiomatics) instead of codes. Capitalism does not create any codes. It creates “a kind of accounting, and axiomatics of decoded flows, as the basis of its economy” (Deleuze 2004, p270). Axiomatics is different from codes. He differentiates between the two as “The axiomatic deals directly with purely functional elements and relations whose nature is not specified, and which are immediately realized in highly varied domains simultaneously; codes, on the other hand, are relative to those domains and express specific relations between qualified elements that can not be subsumed by a higher formal unity (overcoming) except by transcendence and in an indirect fashion” (Deleuze & Guattari, 2005 (b), p. 501). Codes are extrinsic whereas axiomatic is intrinsic. Codes rule from outside whereas axiomatic operate from inside. Codes are concrete principles coined to regulate the specific relationship of specific people in a specific society. Like a peasant in the olden times had such a binding to the land and the lord. The peasant’s extended family earns living through that land over the decades or centuries. The landlord had helped them in the need of the hour and had been feeding the peasant’s family over the years. Leaving the land and land-lord will be regarded immoral in peasant society. Peasant, thus, can not simply leave his land and lord due to an already accepted and respected set of obligations. Axiomatics is intrinsically different from the codes. Axiomatics is abstract regulatory principles to control all the interactions of diverse people and things. An important aspect is that axiomatics function regardless of the person, relation, time, and the place of the person in the society. A modern capitalist man is not obliged to any specific employer, and nature of work, any high position in the society. He can freely decide to leave one place and join another without being obliged to any binding regulation. Both the codes and the axiomatics are controlling. However, the form of control is different. Codes regulate the interactions from transcendence i.e. from above and outside of the flow whereas axiomatics rule from “imminence” i.e. from within the flow. Therefore axiomatic is more oppressive than the codes. Axiomatic’s control is deeper as well as it keeps its subject ignorant of the control. Codes regulate for the people according to their place in the society, the relationship but axiomatics are blind regulatory mechanisms. Axiomatics regulates people regardless of their class, gender, race, etc. Codes are concrete thus they can be replaced by other codes. However, this is not the case with axiomatics. Axiomatics is abstract, they can take any form. Axiomatics change with time, people, and circumstances. They do not have any stable principles and fixed nature which endures for a long time. Therefore axiomatics continuously replaces themselves with other axiomatics due to decoding and deterritorialization in capitalism. Nonetheless, axiomatics cannot be traced back to principles. If for the sake of argument, they are traced, they do not have any significance because they instrumentally served in the past and now they may be outdated. The Déterritorializing ability of the capitalist machine is positive because it prevents bodies from the regulation of codes. This decoding operates imminently. No external or transcendent body decodes in capitalism. Deleuze contends that the capitalist machine has provided comparatively more freedom than the earth and despotic machines. However, déterritorialization is always accompanied by reterritorialization. Axiomatics begins to reterritorialize capitalist territories with the exchange value and Oedipus etc. For Deleuze, reterritorialization becomes problematic when it resists any further déterritorialisation. Here capitalism becomes schizophrenic. Déterritorialization is highly valuable for Deleuze because déterritorialization allows human beings to expand freedom and eliminate the regulatory codes enmeshed in capitalism. Deleuze suggests capitalism continues the process of déterritorialization via the world market which will eventually bring about more freedom in the post-capitalist society.
2. Capitalism in South Asia 
I will contextualize revisionism in the debate initiated long before post-colonial Pakistan as a nation-state emerged on the map of the world. Muslims in the sub-continent interacted with capitalism for the first time via British imperialism. Some Muslims during British imperialism realized that there is no way out of capitalism, though then capitalism was less hegemonic and regulating. The colonial experience transformed all quarters of Muslim life particularly their religious lives. The capitalist development and progress in terms of power started challenging the relevance of Islam as a complete way of life. The seriousness of the problem can be displayed from the perception of Syed Ahmed Khan (1917-1998) who contends that the British arrival (imperialism) may be a blessing in disguise for Muslims in the subcontinent. The British arrival accompanied by a bourgeoisie lifestyle, fast means of communication and transportations, highly sophisticated weapons, the powerful army has introduced the controlling nature of science and technology, however, it was deemed as blessings of science. Capitalist development was thought to create unprecedented power. Mughals could not counter the British invasion due to a lack of (capitalist) development in all walks of life, particularly in warfare. For him, capitalist development is the result of modern science that is the difference between two civilizations i.e. Islamic and Western. Interestingly, he perceives modern science as a value-neutral epistemology. Syed Ahmed Khan, thus, notes “the well being of the people of India, especially the Musulmans lies in leading a quiet life under the benign rule of the British Government” (Brown, 2004, p. 204). The epistemological absence of scientific narrative in Islam, Syed Ahmed Khan identifies, is the reason for the defeat of Muslims in the subcontinent. He insists to unlock “authentic Islam” by reinterpreting it according to the need of the hour. For him, colonialism is an opportunity to revisit and subject the conventional interpretation (tradition) of Islam from a scientific perspective. After the failure of the 1857 war, Syed Ahmed Khan’s desire to restore the “authentic Islam” i.e. that justifies the capitalist development gained momentum. For that, he “came into contact increasingly with European missionaries and scholars, and partly under the influence of these encounters he began to question hadith arguing that the Quran alone could be fully trusted to communicate the prophet”s legacy” (Brown, 2004, p 204). He introduces a maxim for the restoration of authentic Islam as “Islam is nature and nature is Islam”. He goes on to argue that the word of God must not contradict the work of God. If it does, it entails that the word of God must be misunderstood. For him, the work of God is the nature that has only been discovered objectively by the laws of modern science. Therefore his “authentic Islam” seems to be compatible with modern science. Modern science accompanied by capitalist development has seriously challenged Indian Muslims who have responded to it differently. Their responses may be classified as modernism, traditionalism, revisionism, and orthodox. This classification is neither strict nor exclusive. Overlapping from one category to another is also possible. Islamic Modernist response like that of Syed Ahmed Khan seeks to reconcile Islam with capitalism by de-legitimizing Islamic history. Traditionists have engaged in the preservation of Islamic laws (Jurisprudence) and rites and rituals. Orthodox has refuted the capitalist life form and sought to replace capitalism with Islam. Interestingly, one feature appears to be common among all above-mentioned responses i.e. all of them purported to unfold the true Islam of antiquity. However, the methods are different. Afghani relies upon the rational discourse of the philosophers whereas Syed Ahmed Khan takes the Muatazilite course of metaphorical interpretation of the Quran. Modernists want to become part of global modernity. They argue to reinterpret Islam according to the presumptions of enlightenment. They are skeptical about Islamic history. Modernists maintain that complete reinterpretation of Islam is required to cope with the challenge which can only be met by de-legitimizing Islamic history and institutions. Islamic modernists construe Muslims” defeat at the hands of the British as an epistemological failure of Islam. They deem Enlightenment values as universal, rational, and perfect. Traditionists see the preservation of Islamic rites and rituals as meaningful. Traditionists and Orthodox remain loyal to Islamic epistemology along with Islamic history. They take Islamic history as legitimate. They are suspicious of capitalism. They endeavor to preserve Islamic rites and rituals by teaching and researching following the footsteps of “Aslaf”. Ironically, the underlying presumption of all responses seems to equate a correct understanding of Islam with its socio-political dominance. The revisionist response lies in between the modernists and the traditionists. Modernists aim to reform Islam by reinterpreting Islamic history so that Islam is brought into line with the age. Traditionists practice Islam of antiquity in capitalist society. However, revisionists seek to practice Islam of antiquity but validate at the same time that capitalist values are intrinsically consistent with Islam. They argue that capitalist codes and Islamic codes are the two sides of the same coin. Revisionists purport to show value-neutral capitalist „codes” of development in Islamic history.
3. Revisionism in Pakistan
Revisionism has become a popular and legitimate interpretation of Islam in modern Pakistan. Its impact can be illustrated from the fact that modern textbooks of different sciences for schools and colleges endorse revisionist interpretation. The government of Pakistan publishes revisionists’ designed textbooks that narrate the history of modern science to have sprung from classical Islamic history. They purport to link modern science with Ibn-ul-Haitham, Musa Khwarzami, Fakharuddin Razi, etc. In this way, the revisionist perspective imposes the legitimacy of capitalist discourse through the vehicle of education. Revisionism refers to intellectuals who “accept capitalism as a rational and natural order and attempt to find room for the practice of Islamic teachings within global capitalist order” (Ansari & Arshad, 2006, p. 69). Revisionists accept the global capitalist order as rational and natural. However, they identify many capitalist practices incompatible with Islam. Revisionists suggest reformation in some un-Islamic capitalist practices like transaction forms and procedures. They see transcendence from capitalism as untenable. Reformation, they believe, allows them to survive in capitalism as a Muslim. In other words, capitalism is erroneous for Muslims but unavoidable, therefore, some reforms may allow Muslims to be a better fit in it. Some of the exponents of revisionism in south Asia are Allama Iqbal (1976-1938), Professor Khurshid Ahmed, Mufti Taqi Usmani, etc. However, Allama’s Iqbal’s key work “The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam” happens to influence both the revisionists and Modernists. Besides, Moulana Abul A’la Maududi (1903-1979) may be categorized as a revivalist in his early life whereas, in later life, he can be cataloged as a revisionist. Therefore, these names should not absolutely suggest their binding and irrevocable classification against their described trends of thought. It is worthwhile to note that there are two observable strands in the revisionist camp in Pakistan. On the one hand, some revisionists reject Islam to be a complete system like Taqi Usmani, on the other hand, revisionists like professor Khurshid Ahmed seriously intend to draw compatibility between capitalism and Islam. However, both of these strands converge on seeing the possibility of the reconciliation between Islam and capitalism. Revisionists reconcile Islam and capitalism by arguing that modern science is a value-neutral epistemology and technology is the materialization of scientific laws. In this way, Revisionist scholarship divorce modern science and technology from their historical context. For them, renaissance and modernism seem to be natural rather than historical. Interestingly, they trace the origin of modern science in Muslim classical history. They disagree with the modernist Muslim intelligentsia to reject Islamic history entirely. For them, capitalism and Islam can reconcile without rejecting Islamic history. Islamic history is filled with numerous examples of the dedication of scientific and technological research. Unfortunately, revisionists argue, Muslims during Mughal rule engaged in internal conflicts and failed to dedicate themselves to scientific research. Muslims, then, in general, remained backward during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They remained backward both in hard and human sciences. To counter this, revisionists suggest the Islamization of sciences. Consequently, many Islamic sciences emerged in the twentieth century like Islamic Economics, Islamic Sociology, etc to allow Muslims’ adaptation to capitalist institutions. Islamic economics displays an attempt to validate capitalist ethics and institutions. By the same token, construing Islamic constitutionalism by Moulana Abul A’la Maududi (1903-1979) and Islamic Sociology by Ali Shariati (1933-1977) represent revisionist tendencies. All of these endeavors accommodate Islamic societies in the global capitalist order. This study will focus only on the argument of Islamic economics as a justification of capitalist development. Islamic economics seems to function within the neo-classical paradigm in which policies are validated to maximize utility within Shariah constraints. The Shariah-compliant economy may appear to be limiting production; however, revisionists argue that these constraints are more productive in the long run. They also foresee, as a fruitful consequence, that riba will be eliminated and zakat will be introduced in the global economy. Revisionists in the general critique that capitalism has not been able to strike the balance between freedom and equality in the world. They believe that if Shariah constraints are introduced in modern economics, it will grow the global economy unprecedentedly. Interestingly, Shariah constraints are regarded as a means to achieve reforms in capitalism. Revisionists blame western historians to have ignored the significant contribution of Muslim thinkers in the history of economic thought. They argue that the recorded history has been biased to acknowledge Muslim contribution. Historians have discovered 500 years gap between Greco-Roman and Modern contribution to economic thought. J.A. Schumpeter (1883-1950), the most influential economist of the twentieth century, has named this gape. “Great Gape”. Dr. Sabahudin Azmi writes “Schumpeterian. “Great Gape” thesis implies, nothing was said, written, or practiced which had any relevance to economics. The theory has also been accepted by almost all writers on the subject as it has been a set practice to leave these centuries blank while writing the history of economic thought. The implication of the “Great Gape” thesis is that this era of European “Dark Ages” was a universal phenomenon” (Azmi, 2002, p. 12). Azmi vehemently refutes this impression and argues concerning Todd Lowry (1992) that “there are [were] many Arab Islamic scholars whom western historians of thought have tended to ignore despite evidence that their ideas were known by the leading scholastics in Europe” (Azmi, 2002, p. 12) The Islamization of capitalist institutions and ethics can be shown in the work of Taqi Usmani. He has written many books but one stands out which vividly elucidates revisionist argument. The title of the book is “Islam Aur Jadeed Tijarat-o-Maeeshat” (Islam and Modern Economics and Finance) published in 1991. He describes the purpose of writing this book as “to provide Ulama (Islamic scholars) and Fuqaha (Islamic Jurists) with a knowledge of modern economic and commercial concepts so that they can issue fatawa (religious verdicts) on economic and commercial issues” (Usmani, 1991, p. 6). The receptivity and popularity of this slim text can be recognized that it has been incorporated as a key text to be taught in the higher level (darja take Asus) students in many Sunni (both Deobandi, Barelvi) madaris (seminaries) all over Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India. Taqi Usmani explicitly endorses the natural philosophy of political economy. Usmani regards capitalism as a natural and rational order “the basic philosophy underlying capitalism is correct in that it identifies the laws of supply and demand and the profit motive as the mechanism for addressing the fundamental economic problem of scarcity because this reflects natural human properties” (Ibid, p. 35). For him, the most fundamental problem of humanity is economic scarcity which can effectively be dealt with by the laws and methodology of natural philosophy. Usmani retreats from the universality claim of Islam and argues that “Islam does not possess an economic system of its own. Islam endorses market forces. Islam fully endorses the profit motive as a basis of human behavior” (Usmani, 1991, p. 38-39). For him, the profit motive and all market forces are natural. He seems to follow Syed Ahmed’s dictum “God is nature and Nature is God”. He strongly disagrees with his counterpart traditionist Ulama and contends that Shariah has not given any mandatory orders to prioritize al-akhirah (hereafter) over ad-Dunya (the world). Instead, he emphasizes that Quran urges Muslims to balance between worldly life and the hereafter. The allocation of resources, thus, may be determined by the motive of profit and the well-being of the society. In this way, Usmani endorses all capitalist values (value of autonomy, progress can be achieved through the market, etc) already proposed by Enlightenment thinkers like John Locke (1632-1704), Adam Smith (1723-1790), and subsequently by many European thinkers. Usmani predicates his revisionist account on the presumed natural law of limited resources and unlimited wants. He writes “all economic thinking accepts that resources are limited and human needs are unlimited and the central question is how to fulfill unlimited needs with limited resources” (Usmani, 1991, p. 19). He further claims “there are many natural laws operative in the universe which always produces similar results – one such natural law is the law of supply and demand (Usmani, 1991, p. 22). The laws of demand and supply are believed to be natural laws. Interestingly enough, Usmani seems to presume that every natural is rational and every rationale is self-evident. He argues “economic problems should mainly be solved by the laws of demand and supply (but) the operation of the profit motive should be limited by considerations of halal (permissible) and haram (impermissible), (refusal) to constrain individual profit (concerning) halal and haram renders the natural laws of supply and demand non-operational” (Usmani, 1991, p. 37). Here Usmani appears to subject individual”s profit to Shariah injunctions that only halal profit may keep the natural laws of the economy working for the welfare of the global economy. These restrictions will be productive in the long run. Usmani asserts that if an individual”s profit is not Shariah's complaint i.e. filtered through halal and haram distinction, it will ruin the global capitalist economy. He believes, following Smith, the profit motive of an individual will naturally bring about welfare in the society. He notes “although every individual works for his own profit, the natural laws of supply and demand force him to fulfill the needs of the society” (Usmani, 1991,, p. 23). Usmani argues that Shariah is the need of capitalism to eradicate monopoly. He makes it clear that the rulings of Shariah are not a limit to the productivity of capitalism; they will enhance and expand productivity. He writes “taking account of Shariah sanctioned halal and haram injunctions leads to the strengthening of the forces of demand and supply and to the eradication of monopoly with capitalist markets” (Usmani, 1991, p. 46-47). Usmani endeavors to show the strength and productivity of the Shariah complaint economy through Islamic banking. The successful project of Islamic banking across the globe shows the validity of this argument. He himself is the Chief Shariah consultant of an Islamic bank “Meezan Bank” which has many branches across Pakistan. The success of Meezan Bank, argues Usmani, in the competitive environment objectively proves the strength of the revisionist argument. Islamic banking along with other projects like Islamic Takaful (Insurance) etc demonstrates the revisionist mindset. Islamic economics instruments Shariah for the growth and development of capitalism. Usmani seems to endorse Smithian assumptions: • Scarcity of resources and unlimitedness of wants • Laws of demand and supply are natural
• Social interests can be served by self-interestedness of individuals Scarcity of resources and unlimitedness of wants laws of demand and supply are natural Social interests can be served by self-interestedness of individuals following Smithian justification of capitalism, revisionists like Taqi Usmani will naturally end up just critiquing monopoly (an internal problem of capitalism). This version of revisionism ignores the reinforcing mechanism of capitalism which stabilizes identity, marginalizes its “other” and perpetuates hierarchy. Professor Khurshid Ahmed (1932-to date) represents another strand of revisionism in south Asia. He explores the sharing principles (Codes in Deleuzean Vocabulary) between capitalism and Islam. He argues “Islamic economic development is rooted in the values embedded in Quran and Sunnah” (Ahmed, 1979, p. 226). Islam seeks to “promote economic development as a constituent of human development” (Ahmed, 1979, p. 230). Economic growth, Khurshid Ahmed supposes, aims for human development. Quran describes two conceptions of human development i.e. Hezekiah and Falah. He interprets these two values as “purification and growth” (Ahmed, 1979, p. 231) respectively. These two values provide the raison d’être of human development and growth. In this way, Khurshid Ahmed displays the rationale of capitalist growth in the holy Quran. He goes on to claim that Quran and prophetic traditions bestow the guiding codes for human (capitalist) development. He regrets what Muslims were supposed to discover with the help of divine text, which Europeans had explored in the sixteenth century. He expounds on the conception of development as a “value-oriented activity devoted to the optimization of human well-being” (Ahmed, 1979, p. 231). He underlines two core principles of development in Islam; firstly “the optimal utilization of resources and secondly their equitable use and distribution. Development means moral and material development of individual and society leading to maximization of socio-economic welfare” (Ahmed, 1979, p. 232). Thus, Islam endorses material development; however, this, Khursheed Ahmed suggests, should be accompanied by moral development. Material growth along with moral development will guarantee the socio-economic welfare of the society. Interestingly, Khurshid Ahmed seems to emphasize more on material growth which will eventually pave the way for moral and spiritual development. He recognizes the significance of social justice in capitalist development. He argues Islam’s main concern is in encouraging economic development with social justice” (Ahmed, 1979, p. 226). Muslim revisionist scholarship has confronted the problem of the justification of development which it resolves by harmonizing Shariah with the global capitalist order. For that, they need to revisit and reinterpret Islamic history. Capitalist rationality is recognized as absolute and natural. Ironically, both strands of revisionism seem to ignore “What is” does not imply “What ought to be”. Taqi Usmani endeavors to filter capitalist values and institutions through Islamic ethics which amounts to be Islamization of capitalism. Shariah-compliant behavior becomes good only if it satisfies Islamic laws to be halal (permissible). In other words, Usmani seeks to deterritorialize capitalism through Islamic Shariah. Besides, Khurshid Ahmed”s attempt to find the codes of productivity and growth amounts to distort both Islamic and European histories. This amply shows the belated consciousness of postcolonial intelligentsia in the face of capitalism. Revisionist endeavor to trace the codes of development in Islamic history as well as to filter capitalist values through Shariah needs critical assessment
4. Analysis
Capitalism's double movement deterritorializes the existing values and principles and reterritorializes them with capital. Therefore, capitalism has no one rule or form. Anything that could accumulate capital is channelized immediately. It can be exemplified by the fact that capitalism has changed its rules and forms consistently across history. One rule in specific time and space for the accumulation of capital may be a limit to capital accumulation at another time and place. Capitalism is constant decoding which means capitalism continuously changes its form, rules, and organization. It is a flow, mutation, metamorphosis, transformation. Nineteenth-century capitalism, Deleuze contends, was determined by “concentration, for production and for property” (Deleuze, 1995, p. 180). For that, capitalism invented a new structure for capital accumulation that was factory “a space of enclosure, the capitalist being the owner of the means of production but also progressively, the owner of other spaces conceived through analogy (the worker”s familial house, the school)” (Deleuze, 1995, p. 179). Markets, then, used to be regulated “sometimes by specialization, sometimes by colonization, sometimes by lowering the cost of production.” (Deleuze, 1995, p. 181). For market control, human beings require training and discipline. Capitalism, in the 19th century, popularized ideas of appropriate training. Many institutions and training centers are opened to facilitate discipline for the control of the market. Now capitalism is not “involved in production….it no longer buys raw materials and no longer sells the finished products; it buys the finished products or assembles parts. What it wants to sell is services but it wants to buy is stocks” (Deleuze, 1995, p. 181). Consequently, it has erected a different structure that is corporation instead of a factory. The corporation is not controlled by the owner but “coded figures-deformable and transformable-of a single corporation that now has only stockholders” (Deleuze, 1995, p. 181). Markets are controlled with different rules. Training and discipline have become useless. To control the market, fixing the exchange rate is imperative. Rather than the specialization of production, “transformation of the product” (Deleuze, 1995, p. 181) is required to conquer the market in the present form of capitalism. Deleuze contends that a new form of capitalism will replace the previous form. This is decoding or deterritorialization, the fundamental operative principle of capitalism. Rules or codes, according to Deleuze, functioning in one form of capitalism are replaced by other rules. Interestingly, these rules are no longer concrete rules or “codes” but are axioms: the abstract principles specially coined to serve the immediate interest of capital accumulation in one setting. Axioms entail that they will constantly be transformed in new settings. Thus, capitalism operates with axioms.
The revisionist thesis is, therefore, incorrect under this understanding because capitalism has no universal laws grounded for the welfare of humanity in general. Capitalism is impersonal. It does not work for the welfare of humanity but is “defined by a cruelty having no parallel in the primitive system of cruelty, and by a terror having no parallel in the despotic regime of terror” (Deleuze & Guattari, 2005 (a), p. 408). This shows the madness and imminence of capitalism. Every form or axiom of capitalism is explainable rationally within the borders of the capitalist field but the very rationality of capitalism is inexplicable. The rationality of capital cannot be explained rationally. Revisionists, thus, erroneously understand capitalism as absolutely rational and sane. Capitalism digests even heterogeneous flows like folk cultures such as Sind Festival 2014 which has ended up in the accumulation of capital. Widespread hunger in Sind has led many to die, but capitalism accumulates on it by selling the pictures widely shared across the globe by running advertising along with it. Media has run many prime-time shows on the site, representing local pains and atrocities in exchange for business – the obsession of increase in rating – etc. The revisionist account of capitalism seems to be uncritical. They take capitalism to be a-historical and absolutely good. Problems in capitalism are associated with bad or inappropriate intents of political administration. Introduction of Shariah complaint measures, in production and marketing will bring justice to capitalism. Deleuze’s approach challenges that too. Fixing the capitalist flows with Shariah complaint measures will double the poison that is to say fixing and determining capitalist flows with any specific flows will hamper the capitalist machine. This is the reason that global capitalism is ready to incorporate Islamic contribution in it but it resists transforming the entire market into the Islamic market. Revisionists' quest for a space in the global capitalist world embodied in Islamic Economics seems to be adventurous because that will mean the déterritorialisation of Islam with capitalism. In other words, revisionist endeavor denotes capitalization of Islam that is to say the distortion of Islamic history. Capitalism is also a fascist form of life. Exchange with capital has become a norm in the capitalist world. Every single act is calculated in capital accumulation. Michel Foucault (1926-1984) identifies that Deleuze’s works particularly Anti-Oedipus (1972) is against fascism “not only historical fascism, the fascism of Hitler and Mussolini- which was able to mobilize and the use of desire of the masses so effectively –but also the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us” (Deleuze & Guattari, 2005 (a), p. xv). Fascism, Foucault articulates, “to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits” (Ibid) is capitalism. Capitalism controls the behavior of human beings for capital accumulation undermining all other forms of life inferior to capital accumulation. Revisionism approaches capitalism uncritically. It fails to recognize fascism embedded in capitalism. Instead, it erroneously supposes capitalism to be a fair form of life. Capitalism is absolute decoding and deterritorialization. Capitalism decodes its “other”, in this case, it is Islam and recodes it with capitalist axioms. Islamic Economics, Islamic Insurance, Islamic Banking, etc serve capitalist interests. Capitalism extracts capital from the periphery that is the third world and distributes it in the center that is the first world. Consequently, revisionism leads to the capitalization of Islam, that is to say, Islam serves capitalist interests rather than the Islamization of capitalism.
5. Conclusion 
The above analysis shows that the contemporary revisionist argument to accommodate capitalism in Islam or to reconcile Islam with capitalism is inconsistent as it fails to recognize the dynamics of capitalism. Revisionist intelligentsia mistakenly takes capitalism as a-historical and natural. It overlooks capitalist metaphysics, morality, and its historical emergence on the Western European horizon. For this reason, it is justified, on the given analysis, to conclude that revisionism is capitalist-driven and capitalism is driving revisionism

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