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Random thoughts

August 14, 2019

Interesting and useful

Opinion

August 14, 2019

There are so many interesting and useful books to read. What a pity writing and penmanship pays so little in Pakistan. The first book I would like to discuss is titled 'Memarane Jalees' (Jalees’ Developer) and is written by a very well known journalist, Jalees Salasil. It was published by Al-Jalees Pakistani Books Publishing Services, Karachi.

I have known Mr Salasil for more than 30 years and he has become a good friend. In this book, he has published many interesting interviews with a large number of Pakistani intellectuals, authors, academicians, religious scholars, etc and given quite a few previously unknown bits of information. He has dedicated this book to Prime Minister Imran Khan in the following way: “With the hope that the prime minister of Pakistan will not limit his new Pakistan campaign to personal and party interests but will rise above petty policies to take actions in the national interest and will utilize the talent of non-political economists, educationists, legal experts, writers, journalists, defence analysts and expatriate experts and will not delay this important action. In this connection, the International Pakistani Club Thinkers would be available for any services needed in this matter.”

Mr Salasil's dedication is sincere and most useful but, unfortunately, rulers normally do not want intelligent, competent colleagues. They want people who dance at the slightest pull on the string around their fingers. They pick up sycophants, even if they are incompetent, corrupt or liars – people who dance to their tune. The people you have mentioned do not fall into this category.

Jalees Salasil belongs to the royal family of an Indian princely state. That is reflected in his refinement, kindness, politeness of speech, etc. When I first met him he immediately reminded me of our great poet, Jaun Elia, because of his long hair and philosophical talk. A large number of intellectuals have reviewed his book and given excellent comments. The foreword was written by Razi Haider. There is also a word of thanks by Jalees himself. Jalees Salasil has been associated with, and headed, a large number of literary organizations. Nowadays, he is president of Quad-e-Azam Writers Guild Pakistan.

The second very useful book is on Islam. It is written by Muhammad Masood Ahmad, an expatriate Pakistani religious scholar in America. It is titled 'Would You Like to Know Something About Islam?' and is published by Crescent Books Incorporation, New York. It is also locally available in Darul Salam bookshops. The book has been written in simple English and is very suitable to teach the children of expatriates from Muslim countries about Islam and Islamic principles. Parents, in turn, can read it in order to be able to explain and clarify topics to their children.

The foreword to the book has been written by an American. The author has given the reasons for writing this book and why every Muslim should read it. He has given a brief review of Islam and then gone on to give explanations of many topics and the existence and presence of the Almighty, His Oneness, the need for the coming of the prophets, their character and way of life, the purpose of our life, comments on prayers and the significance of prayer in Islam, the hereafter.

Further, the book talks about the importance of intention, freedom of choice in choosing religion, the lack of compulsion in Islam, the rights of women and their role in life, the importance of knowledge and its acquisition, punishment for wrongdoing and permission to give tit for tat treatment, etc. It is an important book for all Muslims, but especially expatriates, to keep at home and read regularly.

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