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March 17, 2014

Literary masterpieces

March 17, 2014

Random thoughts
The country is passing through difficult times. We hear and read about nothing other than terrorist attacks, murders, suicide bombings, shootouts, etc and the press blows everything up. Any one incident is shown for hours on end with constant repetitions of the same thing over and over again. The only relief comes when our sportsmen and women achieve good performances. Today’s column will discuss some literary works to create a change of scene.
The first book is ‘Mauamlaate Rasul’ by well-known former politician and prolific writer, Qayyum Nizami. This book deserves to be read by every Muslim and should be in every library in the country. For more than 1400 years thousands of books have been written on the character of our Prophet (pbuh). Every author did his best to highlight his noble character.
The Quran says that, even if all the oceans were the ink and all the trees were the pens, they still would not be able to describe the characteristics of the Almighty. I would like to add to this: even if the largest ocean was the ink and all the trees of the rain forests were the pens, they still wouldn’t be able to describe the characteristics of our Prophet (pbuh). Nizami’s book covers the practical life of the Prophet (pbuh) and is based on reliable references. It has been published by Jehangir Books, Gulberg, Lahore.
The launch of this book was recently organised at Tek Club, Lahore, where I was invited to be chief guest. The hall was packed to capacity. Justice (r) Nasira Javaid, Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran (a dear friend and top-class physicist), Liaquat Baloch, Mujeebur Rahman Shami, Eng Abdul Majeeb Khan, Zubair Shaikh and Jamil Gishkori spoke on the occasion, praising the efforts put into Nizami’s work. Syeda Abida Hussain (former minister and ambassador to the US) and Gen Ziauddin (a dear friend and competent, professional soldier) were also present.
The second book I would like to mention is ‘Mata-e-Zamir’ (The

Assets of Zamir), written by Gen Ehtisham Zamir, son of that giant of Urdu literary figure, Zamir Jafri. Gen Ehtisham is a professional soldier and has made his name, both as a soldier and as a literary figure. This book contains his columns on various aspects of local and foreign affairs. It has been published by Nastaleeq Matbuat, Urdu Bazar, Lahore and contains comments by such giants as Ataul Haq Qasmi, Jamil Yousuf, Rubina Tehseen Bina, Sarmad Salik, Sarfraz Shahid, Dr Inamul Haq Javed, Jabbar Mirza, Aamir bin Ali and the great Altaf Hassan Qureshi. Each of them praised the contents and the standard of the columns. I don’t find myself capable enough to add anything to the reviews of such experts.
The third book is an important one on history, titled ‘Rajgan-e-Mewat Jadubansi Rajput Khanzada Qabile Ki Tareekh’. It is written by Professor Khanzada Amanullah Nausherwi and published by Ibarat Printing Press, Hyderabad, Sindh. The cover and the inner flaps carry beautiful miniature paintings of the Mewat Kings. Prof Amanullah has given credit to the late Sharfuddin Ahmad Khan Sharf for the original work on the history of the Mewati Rajputs.
I belong to the state of Bhopal, which in my youth was a beautiful place with lakes, thick forests, wildlife, exotic birds, etc. The Muslims living there were mostly Pathans from Tirah and there were close contacts and family relations with other Pathans all over India, especially Tonk, Rampur, East Punjab, Saharanpur, Jalalabad, Muzaffarnagar, Patudi, Korwai and Rajistan. During Partition, many Pathan families came to Bhopal for safety and later, when the situation calmed down, migrated to Pakistan via Khokhrpar. They were all treated with great hospitality by the Bhopalis.
The book contains 541 pages and contains invaluable information on Rajgan Mewat. Every Mewati Rajput family should have one in the house to keep for posterity. It should also be in every library dealing with history. In the olden days, British political agents used to write comprehensive histories of the people, crops, wildlife, seasons, etc of the areas in which they were posted. These can still be found in British libraries and are considered to be authentic documents. Very few Indian rulers, barring the Moghul emperors, wrote down anything in historic records. The begums of Bhopal wrote biographies covering all aspects of the lives of the people of Bhopal.
The fourth book I would like to mention is a collection of poetry called ‘Ek Mehfile Tanhai’ by Mohtarma Razia Farooqi, wife of Prof Dr Abdul Wahab. I am sure most of you know Prof Wahab as being the architect of the Institute Of Business Administration, Karachi, which he turned into an internationally renowned institute with many of its graduates becoming quite famous. He was also vice chancellor of the University of Karachi and is now President of Mian Aamir’s Muhammad Ali Jinnah University. He belongs to Tonk State. Both Tonk and Bhopal followed the same educational system under the Ajmer Board. We thus share many literary interests. It does not come as a surprise that his wife is an accomplished poet.
The book has been published by Yadgar Printing Press, Hyderabad (Sindh) and is a collection of beautiful ghazals, nazams and haeko. The foreword has been written by the famous Urdu critic, Dr Hasni, and he has included many nice verses in it. Dr Aslam Farrukhi has written a short review and has ‘decorated the cake’ beautifully. He lauded the maintaining of old traditions in it, its freshness and beauty and the smooth flow of words. I would like to quote two verses that I particularly liked.
Ae gardish-e-dora’n tu zara dair ko ruk ja/Wo lutf mere haal per fermaney lagey hen (Oh passing time, tarry for a while. My beloved is sharing affection.) Laug saddiyun ki baat kerte hen/Hum ko lam haun pe ikhtiar nahin (People talk of centuries but we have no control even over seconds. )
I am borrowing a verse by Nawab Mirza Khan Dag here to wish Mrs Razia Farooqi all the best:
Khat unka bohaut khub, ibarat bhi hey achi/Allah karey zaure qalam aur ziada (The writing is beautiful and the text excellent. May Allah give more power to the pen of the author)
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