By Nikhat Iqbal
Today we stand in a moment,or many moments,where people talk about the world being broken.For many of us,globally and historically it has been broken and breaking and completely destroyed already, time and time again. How do we move forward then? How do we reconceptualise societies that are healing rather than suffering/negligent, celebratory rather than unjust, and fundamentally committed to equity, balance and more than just a status quo of something vague like “peace”, but something more radically joyful and just and inclusive?
“Muslim Ummah- The way forward” an important book penned by Syed Sadatullah Husaini the president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind makes a potent call to its readers and provides an answer to what Islam asks of us as humans, as creatures living on this earth, and as souls. These are basically articles that were written in a span of a year and more, in a monthly urdu magazine.
The book is divided into three main sections – Attitude, public opinion and facing the challenges.Each section deals with the problems that Indian muslims find themselves entangled in, supported with a detailed diagnosis, followed by the proposal of principled and practical action plan that could guide them to fling open the closed doors and make their way through the walls obstructing their march. Each article is poignant, sharp, educational, politically astute and full of guidance. It is genuinely one of the most important books of this era specially for beleaguered Indian muslims who are cornered for a long tumultuous ride as long as the current regime remains at the helm.
“Muslim Ummah- The way forward” is a heartfelt letters packed with immense mental strength, for the muslims of this country specially, the youth.It’s a labour of love, concern and intellect, for the minds seized with fear and chaos. Though every chapter is deeply insightful but my personal favourite was about, Jumping on the bandwagon of condemnation at every call .The condemnation is a method of distraction and division.If we stopped entertaining the expectations for condemnations, we would be able to wrest the gaze and the cameras off our faces and instead flip them onto the questioners, we’d spend that time in building the world we need to build in order for people to live safely.
Another biggest takeaway is that, we need to organise ourselves. We need to work on our strengths to protect our rights and our future by connecting back to our roots. We do not have to be apologetic or defensive about our existence or identity. At the same time, we need to build bridges with our Hindu brethren whose majority remains reasonable. They are our biggest hope and allies in this war for an inclusive India. Wherever we are, we must reach out to our non-Muslim friends and neighbours to address their misunderstandings about Islam and Muslims. This is the key to many of our problems.
Shaped by the chaos and fear of Covid-19 a new world awaits us and what it needs most is an action plan. One that emanates from a deep sense of concern and one that is backed by foresight,intellect,reaosn and understanding.This collection of articles are testimony to that fact.
The book can also serve as a valuable volume for policy makers, educators and academics and a guidebook for the common man.The strengths of this book are that the steps of the roadmap are drawn from the Qu’ran, hadith and corroborated with commendable breadth and depth of research.
When I finished reading this book, I had to think deep for a while before I could attempt to get my thoughts down to paper.I must point out that the depth of the book is so intense, I could write a whole book about it in reviews.
They say you taste some books,some you eat and very few you digest but this is one of the books that you churn over time and again. I would highly recommend reading this book,gifting it to your friends and family and then reading it again. It will be taking pride of place on my bookshelf to remind me that change is just a heartbeat away.
My biggest reason to love this book is that it doesn’t just state the problem but also provides the answers to solve them.