Our Model is Medina: The First National Address by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan

By Dr. John Andrew Morrow

In his first speech to the people of Pakistan after his electoral victory, which was delivered on August 20, 2018, Prime Minister Imran Khan stressed that Muslims had but one role model, the State of Medina, and the principles enshrined its constitution. The Prime Minister stated that his goal was to turn Pakistan into “a real welfare state” and that Muslims should emulate the principles established by the Prophet Muhammad in the Constitution of Medina. Speaking for more than one hour, he made the following salient points:


There is only one role model who we all Muslims follow and Allah in the Quran too asks us to learn from his life. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) united the pagan Arabs Tribes who used to fight with each other. They had 2 superpowers on either side – Romans and Persians.

This great leader brought together these warring tribes and within the span of few years transformed them into a great nation. What were those elements? I would like to share with you which ever nation follows those principles rises. These are the principles adopted by the West – rule of law, protects weak against the powerful. A civilization that adopts these principles rises (among nations).

The Prophet said that he would punish even his daughter, if she broke the law. Hazrat Ali lost a case to a Jewish citizen, in the Court. This shows that all are equal in the eyes of law and minorities have equal rights. The Prime Minister mentioned Zakat – money paid according to position. The concept of progressive taxation is present even in the West – Norway, Sweden, Denmark. Provision of education to poor, justice are principles which were present in the State of Medina. Hazrat Umar one said that he would be responsible even if a dog went to sleep hungry.

A leader should be Sadiq and Ameen. This is in America and Britain – the American President was ousted for lying. In Medina, all Kulafa were honest and trustful. They presented themselves for accountability. Once Hazrat Umar was asked about his clothes, which means that even rulers were accountable to public. When Hazrat Abu Bakr become Khalifa, he closed down his clothes’ shop as he realized that his being in that position will be disadvantageous for his counterparts.

Such laws are present in the West but have we can compare what those who come to power had and what they have. These people come only to make money. But this is not so in the West. Those democracies which have progressed do not allow such practices i.e. to mint money when in power. This was the law in practice in the State of Medina, 1400 years ago. After war of Badr, the Prophet gave emphasis on education.

When he said that every slave who would educate 10 slaves would be set free. Telling the world that without education nations cannot progress. But look at us, our 2.5 billion children are out of school. The West is spending a lot on education, the principles which were made 1400 years ago in Medina are in practice in the West but not by us. We are not following any of the principles for which this country was made. It was not established for the reason that Hindus were moneyed or now Muslims have a lot, but it was the vision of ‘Allamah Iqbal who I consider to be the greatest Muslim in 500 years, we will put into practice the principles on which the Prophet built his State.