Friday, October 30, 2009

Saturday Session 31st October, 2009

This Saturday's session will be a special one, from 2 pm to 6 pm (4-hour long) so that we can have fun readings, possibly also clips from movies, in order to integrate the larger picture which is now emerging from our sessions on Iqbal Studies. Also to renew our interest and enthusiasm for the future programs.

So please come. And let's know, now :).

Khurram Ali Shafique
Research Consultant,Iqbal Academy Pakistan.
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Thoughts on the Present Discontent

By Khurram Ali Shafique, Iqbal Sciences (Blog)

What should we do? This is a question which many people in Pakistan are asking today. One possible answer is that we should develop a habit of looking at things from our perspective too, like any self-respecting human being and like most other nations. I shall try to offer a few observations in this regard.

I am not sending this series to any newspaper right now because I want to try out this “new media” first – the outreach of the Internet and desktop printing. Be your own publisher: if you like this article, please take a print-out (perhaps two sides of a single A4 sheet), and pass it on. Please do not remove the names of author and blog.

Let’s begin by understanding that continuity in national life can be seen only if we desire to see it. Otherwise it is possible to discard even the structure of a Shakespearean play as random incidents (some modern critics have tried that). Without saying whether it is true or false, I want to share an insight from Muhammad Ali Jauhar (1878-1931), our hero who fought for freedom of press, orchestrated mass movements and defied colonialism. In 1927 he wrote:

The average span of a generation is usually considered to be thirty years although marriages happen in India much before that age and life expectancy among Indians is also comparatively lower. Yet, just as the Indian National Congress came into being thirty years after the establishment of the universities of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay, precisely in that same manner a new educated generation of Muslims came up to become the founder of [All India] Muslim League in 1906, thirty years after the foundation of the Aligarh College, and Muslims entered politics as a nation.

Jauhar is trying to tell us that when any type of formal education is introduced in a society, it bears inevitable results in thirty years. Those results cannot be avoided because nobody has been able to identify conclusively the chords that control the collective behavior of a society (who could have known that the Americans were going to elect George W. Bush twice)!

Hence, the results of education are inevitable in a society, and they bear fruit approximately thirty year later. If we also include informal education which affects the hearts and souls of the masses on a much larger scale, then we can say that some political events that touch the feelings of everyone can also have similar effects thirty year later. Perhaps this is because people who are in their early twenties at the time of an event are the ones who react most strongly, and hence they are most receptive. Thirty year later, they are in their fifties, and that is the age group to which most decision-makers belong.

If we look at our history of the last 120 years, we find at least the following seven events whose impact seems to have been stronger than any kind of formal education. Perhaps this was because these events were of such a nature that they could not have been engineered by an individual leader unless several strands of collective thinking converged at that point. I call these the “peak moments” of our history. Just as should be the case in the light of Jauhar’s theory, each “peak moment” seems to have born fruit approximately thirty year later:

1886: Foundation of Mohammedan Educational Congress (later Conference). Thirty year later: Lucknow Pact secures approval of Muslim nationhood in 1916

1906: Birth of All-India Muslim League. Thirty year later: Revival of All-India Muslim League by M. A. Jinnah

1926: First elections on the basis of separate electorates but limited franchise. Thirty year later: Pakistan’s first constitution in 1956, which could be called “elitist” in many ways, followed by an era of “basic democracy” which demoted the franchise to something similar to thirty years ago

1946-47: Elections and direct action for the making of Pakistan, “Pakistan ka matlab kya…?” Thirty year later: Mass movement demanding Islamization in 1977

1967: Birth of progressive movements in West Pakistan and East Pakistan. Thirty year later: Reversion of weekly holiday to Sunday in 1997, beginning the process which would eventually mature into “enlightened moderation”

1987: Demand for elections on party basis and dissatisfaction with the conservative concept of Islamization pervades even among those segments of society which had been impartial or supportive earlier. Thirty year later will be 2017, a year which hasn’t arrived yet, but can we make a guess now?

2007: Lawyers’ Movement. Thirty year later will be 2037, so how should we plan?

This pattern makes some sense, and more sense can be added as we go along. We can see that the last “peak moment” was the unrest of 2007. Whether somebody sympathized with the Lawyers’ Movement or not (I was indifferent until much, much later), everyone felt an urge for creating a fresh mandate for the future. The true effects of this peak moment (along with the resulting Long March of 2009) may not be clearly visible until thirty years later but what are likely to witness much before that is the turning point of 2017, listed here as the inevitable effect of 1987.

Therefore we can say that one possible undercurrent of the present unrest is that Pakistan is moving from the peak moment of 2007 to the turning point of 2017 – from the birth of a spectacular mass movement to an unknown point awaiting us seven years ahead like an unseen rock in an ocean on a dark night.

Let’s use our radar and try to see what that rock is. The way to find out is by looking back at 1987 and understanding things which were shaping the hearts and souls at that time. Those were the things which formed an inevitable “turning point” in the as-yet-unborn year of 2017. Knowingly or unknowingly, we are moving towards it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Power Struggle of Al-Hamra

The enormous sense of failure and trouble which was written in fates of Muslims of Spain (Granada and Cordoba) should be taken in account to anticipate our actions and potential consequences of those actions on collective basis.

However, to great extent we have evaded the insult and humiliation from our memories in relation with that part of history because after the great episode of 1492 A.D it was no longer last in anyway. In continual fashion, the Muslims of Asia and from whole world then faced this disgrace from its interior and then from external sources.

No power of nature has taught us lesson which should be learnt after this extreme example of withdrawal. The lesson of unity and faith , lesson to adhere to the sources of religion and persuasion of footsteps of our predecessors. Muslims was succumbed by a power to gain favor of Christian gods and were totally agreed upon selling their Emmaan (faith). Their passions and energy was used to serve the mission of enemies.

Dil Hamare Yaad e Ahd e Rafta se khali nahi
Apne shahoon ko ye Ummat bholne wali nahi

No matter how much gain has been rewarded, how much compensation has been showered on betrayers. Their names will always be written in history with dark pen under headline of Traitors. They have obscured their afterlife by purchasing little worldly power and rule.

The most interesting part which is a lesson for us is that aftermath of Muslim's domain destruction is not filled with the pleasures of traitors instead they also got strict prohibitions which ended with their disgraceful demise and ebb.

Man ki Dunya main na paya main ne Afrangi ka Raaj,
Man ki Dunya main na dekhay main ne Sheikh o Barhaman.

The gradual erosion of spiritual civilization from Muslim's life was a main reason for the collapse. Syed Ameer Ali, in one his greatest write-up "The Spirit of Islam" has well said that "The lust of Earthly Power has devoured Muslim Ummah".

The spirit is not merely a comparative of fantasy world for Muslims. It is encoded secret of Lord which He Himself did not reveal to His creatures. It depicts that God wants us to unravel the beauty of its creation which is hidden within each and every being. In life of a Muslim the keep-up and protection of this Heavenly gift is more than anything. It represents as a bird and cage is our body (in Eastern Classics).

The heavy and bulbous cage destroys the spiritual enhancement. Food and sex are key-players in this field. The excessive practice of these two malign the splendor of soul.

Enormously Big palaces, beautiful maids, wide, green and stunning valleys of Hispania were like piece of Paradise in this temporary world. Although, the most attractive remains of Spain (with respect to Muslims) are still constructive fineness, architecture and designs. But, if look with deep analysis then one would find that concentrated focus on exterior of world has extracted out lot of spiritual zeal in progressive generation of Hispanic Muslims.

In last stages of ebb, Spain was apparently one place on surface but in reality , muslims wee divided in different groups , ethnicity wise ,politically, on basis of religious argumentation and some was striving to get imminence and favor of new ruling Christian circles of power. These ruling elites easily grabbed any small state (in anarchy and disharmony) in similar way continuously propagate it further.

Analysis by,
Hena Jawaid.

Friday, October 9, 2009

10th October, 2009

Iqbal Academy Pakistan is offering a series of weekly workshops about the basic ideas of Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal and related subjects. Participation is free for the following four sessions but due to limited space, advanced registration is NECESSARY and please be there in time (seats will be given on “first come first” basis).

Resource Person:Khurram Ali Shafique, author of The Republic of Rumi: A Novel of Reality Venue: Teachers’ Development Center, 129-G, P.E.C.H. Society, Block 2, Karachi.
(for all workshops): 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm.

Contact for further information: Dr. Hena Jawaid

The coming workshop will enrich its participants with the knowlegde of cause and worth of publication of most valued peice of Iqbaliat, "The Reconstruction of Religious Thoughts in Islam". What are the focal points which Mohammad Iqbal tried to emphasize and elaborate for People of that time as well as for future generations?