Saturday, October 30, 2010

The call for help...........

Following is the detail of the update of Flood relief work from our group "Friends Indeed" which I have posted on my blog

I am copying the same post here as this blog is read by more visitors as compare to that blog and so, the word will be read by more people.

As earlier I had posted that we have now started the rehabilitation process for the flood affected people. And for the first project, we have successfully helped to built six houses for almost forty people to again start their routine life in the area of Sajawal. These are some pictures of construction of those houses.

We further want to continue this rehabilitation work as more families are still in need of help in order to rehabilitate their lives once again, but we are short of funds. Also, there upcoming the winters and flood victims are in urgent need of warm clothes and other necessities as we all know that Nights in Sindh are so cold during winters. We have also planned to collect funds as much as possible till the Eid-ul-Azha which is coming in mid of November and to provide as much aid to those flood affected people as we can. I therefore request to all of you that please don't think that there is no need to help further, still there are thousands of people who are suffering for a single meal, the change in weather also has spread some serious diseases and they still are waiting for our help, so please spread this word and join our hands to facilitate them and their needs.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Democracy according to Iqbal (VII)

The Allahabad Address (1930)

Indeed the first practical step that Islam took towards the realization of a final combination of humanity was to call upon peoples possessing practically the same ethical ideal to come forward and combine. The Quran declares, “O people of the Book! Come let us join together on the ‘word’ (Unity of God), that is common to us all.” The wars of Islam and Christianity, and, later, European aggression in its various forms, could not allow the infinite meaning of this verse to work itself out in the world of Islam. Today it is being gradually being realized in the countries of Islam in the shape of what is called Muslim Nationalism.

The conclusive remarks

"Islam has the ideals that can lead humankind to the ultimate destiny. Like Inductive reasoning which is a moral Ideal, democracy is the ideal for the politics. Democracy in Islam gives the right to women, slaves and Plebeians for development of society, because every human is supposed to be a centre of latent power. Europe helped the Muslims to restore their democracy, but Islam has better ideals than Europe."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Democracy according to Iqbal (VI)

Islam and Ahmedism (1935)

During the nineteenth century were born Syed Ahmad Khan in India, Syed Jamal-ud-Din Afghani in Afghanistan and Mufti Alam Jan in Russia… It is not possible here to give a detailed account of the transformation which these reformers brought about in the world of Muslim thought and feeling. One thing, however, is clear. They prepared to a great extent the ground for another set of men, i.e. Zaghlul Pasha, Mustafa Kamal and Raza Shah. The reformers interpreted, argued and explained but the set of men who came after them, although inferior in academic learning, were men who, relying on their healthy instincts, had the courage to rush into sun-lit space and do, even by force, what the new conditions of life demanded. Such men are liable to make mistakes; but the history of nations shows that even their mistakes have sometimes borne good fruit. In them it is not logic but life that struggles restless to solve its own problems. It may be pointed out here that Syed Ahrnad Khan, Syed Jamal-ud-Din Afghani and hundreds of the latter’s disciples in Muslim countries were not Westernized Muslims. They were men who had sat on their knees before the mullas of the old school and had breathed the very intellectual and spiritual atmosphere which they later sought to reconstruct. Pressure of modern ideas may be admitted; hut the history thus briefly indicated above clearly shows that the upheaval which has come to Turkey and which is likely, sooner or later, to come to other Muslim countries, is almost wholly determined by the forces within. It is only the superficial observer of the modern world of Islam who thinks that the present crisis in the world of Islam is wholly due to the working of alien forces.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Democracy according to Iqbal (V)

The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam (1930-34)

The idealism of Europe never became a living factor in her life, and the result is a perverted ego seeking itself through mutually intolerant democracies whose sole function is to exploit the poor in the interest of the rich. Believe me, Europe to-day is the greatest hindrance in the way of man's ethical advancement. The Muslim, on the other hand, is in possession of these ultimate ideas on the basis of a revelation, which, speaking from the inmost depths of life, internalizes its own apparent externality. With him the spiritual basis of life is a matter of conviction for which even the least enlightened man among us can easily lay down his life; and in view of the basic idea of Islam that there can be no further revelation binding on man, we ought to be spiritually one of the most emancipated peoples on earth. Early Muslims emerging out of the spiritual slavery of pre-Islamic Asia were not in a position to realize the true significance of this basic idea. Let the Muslim of to-day appreciate his position, reconstruct his social life in the light of ultimate principles, and evolve, out of the hitherto partially revealed purpose of Islam, that spiritual democracy which is the ultimate aim of Islam.

Democracy according to Iqbal (IV)

Muslim Democracy (1917)

The Democracy of Europe—overshadowed by socialistic agitation and anarchical fear originated mainly in the economic regeneration of European societies. Nietzsche, however, abhors this “rule of the herd” and, hopeless of the plebeian, he bases all higher culture on the cultivation and growth of an Aristocracy of Supermen. But is the plebeian so absolutely hopeless? The Democracy of Islam did not grow out of the extension of economic opportunity, it is a spiritual principle based on the assumption that every human being is a centre of latent power, the possibilities of which can be developed by cultivating a certain type of character. Out of the plebeian material Islam has formed men of the noblest type of life and power. Is not, then, the Democracy of early Islam an experimental refutation of the ideas of Nietzsche?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Democracy according to Iqbal (III)

Stray Reflections (1910)

The imperial ambitions of the various nations of Europe indicate that the Westerners are tired of Democracy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Democracy according to Iqbal (II)

Islam As A Moral and Political Ideal (1909)

Democracy, then, is the most important aspect of Islam regarded as a political ideal. It must however be confessed that the Muslims, with their ideal of individual freedom, could do nothing for the political improvement of Asia. Their democracy lasted only thirty years and disappeared with their political expansion. Though the principle of election was not quite original in Asia (since the ancient Parthian Government was based on the same principle), yet somehow or other it was not suited to the nations of Asia in the early days of Islam… England, in fact, is doing one of our own great duties, which unfavourable circumstances did not permit us to perform. It is not the number of Muhammeadans which it protects, but the spirit of the British Empire that makes it the greatest Muhammadan Empire in the world.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

SOIS workshop held on 16th October at i2L Academy: "Democracy according to Iqbal (I)"

Generally when concept of democracy is being discussed according to Iqbal, there are various misinterpretations that are commonly observed among the people. This workshop helped to reveal the hidden meanings of democracy for Iqbal and how Iqbal defines the democracy in Islam.

Seven different excerpts from different periods of Iqbal's life and different works of Iqbal were discussed. I will post them one by one so readers would also be able to discuss them easily.

Political Thought in Islam (1908)

In theory all Muslims, men and women, possess the right of election. There is no property qualification. In practice, however, women and slaves did not exercise this right. Some of the early lawyers seem to have recognized the danger of mass-elections as they endeavor to show that the right of election resides only in the tribe of the Prophet. Whether the seclusion of women grew up in order to make women incapable of exercising a right which in theory could not be denied to them, I cannot say.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Review on SOIS workshop: “What is Literature?” held on Saturday, 9th October 2010 at i2L Academy, PECHS, Karachi.

The weekend again had some new and unique things to know and think about literature, as this workshop was an effort to know the concept of literature and role of writers and poets in building a nation according to Iqbal.

Some excerpts from Asrar-o-Rumooz were read and then the participants were invited to revisit their own concepts of literature in the light of Iqbal’s views about good and bad literature. It was surprisingly observed that most of the qualities that were described as “bad” by the participants turned out to be the qualities of “good” literature according to Iqbal.

For Iqbal the literature should not slavishly imitate the existing realities but should be idealistic. Writers can address the existing issues and their solutions through characters that should become ideals for the readers, so that readers learn to apply the same approach in their lives. Also, writers and poets are responsible to guide the readers towards the positive side of the world, and to describe and show beauty, love, desire and the quest for glory. Literature should have vision and inspiration that could lead the reader towards character development and could unfold the layers of thinking in their mind.

Later, the literature of Pakistan since Iqbal was revisited in the light of the seven stages of Pakistan’s history and the ideals commonly sought by the nation, to see which writers and poets have influenced the masses most during various periods of our history.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

What is History?

Yesterday, there was the first workshop of the five workshops series "What is Pakistan?" which will be held in the month of October 2010 presented by SOIS, and the focus was on the "History".

We all have different views about history. How we look it, what do we feel about it, what is actually the role of the history in our life, etc.

Let's see how Iqbal, Waheed Murad, Goethe and Ibne-Safi look the History and what relationship of History can we found with our lives through their legendary works.

At the beginning of the session, we discussed that What is History for different ideologies and during this Sir Khurram mentioned that many people have considered history as "The story of the Soul", after which we had a brain-storming session in which participants discussed about the current problems of Pakistan. There were many but finally it was decided with consensus that there is only one problem that is related to history and that is "Identity Crisis".

In the next part of the session, I had to present a poem by Tasleem Faazli which was from the movie "Hero" and the song was picturized on Waheed Murad and Babrah Shareef with the lyrics

Mil gaye tum to ik yehi ghum hai (After finding you there is only one grief)

Pyar ziada hai zindagi kum hai (Love is more and life is less)

There were two things that were discussed in the session about the song. First, either it was a happy one or a sad one? because it has both type of emotions and words in it. Then how the song defines the relationship between hero and heroin? Participants discussed both of the questions with great interest.

When I had watched the song before the session, I felt that the relationship was something like body and soul because both of them can not live together forever but then I was not able to find the connection of it with history. But when sir Khurram told earlier in the session that history is also called as the story of the soul my confusion was solved. History is something that is related to our soul, and our soul is not bound within any dimensions so History therefore remains unaffected with the circumstances and shapes itself independently of other parameters.

Then Sir quoted a quotation from Goethe, "One who can not draw on three thousand years is living hand to mouth".

After that a poem of Iqbal from "Baal-e-Jibreel" was quoted.

Since, through these workshops we are trying to discover the realities of Pakistan, therefore we also discussed the history of Pakistan through seven stages. I am just copying the detail of these stages from the work of Sir Khurram “Roshni ki Talash (2010)” because I can never describe it in my own words.

1. (1887-1906) Seek consensus: Our present journey started on December 27, 1886, when Muslim representatives from all over the sub-continent gathered at Aligarh and agreed to take all collective decisions with “consensus.” Mohammedan Educational Conference took this message to the masses and twenty years later a remarkable “consensus” was achieved when the community rose above sectarianism to form a common political party.

2. (1907-1926) Think long-term: All-India Muslim League, formed by consensus of the community, demanded separate electorates which were achieved twenty years later when the masses participated in general elections with great enthusiasm, casting votes according to separate electorates.

3. (1927-1946) Rise above yourself: Results of Election 1926 displayed unrestrained egoism: no single political party had been able to gain significance among Muslims. Iqbal showed that ego can only be perfected by achieving “a real collective ego”, and that requires selflessness. The biggest display of selflessness in recorded history was seen twenty years later when millions of Muslims from minority provinces voted for the creation of a country they were not destined to live in.

4. (1947-1966) Respect the law: The birth of Pakistan meant that revolutions can be brought without breaking the law. The masses remained true to this message throughout the next twenty years, while various systems of government got tried out.

5. (1967-1986) Unite organically: Results of Election 1970 called upon the nation to urgently discover a deeper source of Unity, since no political party had gained significance in both wings of the country. Leaders failed and the country broke into two but “Unity” remained a dominant ideal in one form or another throughout the next twenty years.

6. (1987-2006) Learn through experience: Before the “Unity” dreamed by some visionaries could become a reality, the nation had to undergo a stage where it could act and feel as if it was other than itself.

7. (2007-2026) Accept: The Lawyers’ Movement of 2007 was unique because the masses led their “leaders” rather than the other way round, and achieved stated goals without using violence. Can the same spirit be displaced while coping with other crises that seem to be awaiting us? The future of the people of Pakistan may well depend on that.

After tea, Sir Ahmed Safi read a part of Masnavi from Asrar-o-Rumuz that was related to history and the main idea was that One who remains aware and attached to his history only can survive with his present and future. And then he read an abstract from a novel of Ibne-safi which had quite the same message.