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Random thoughts

September 9, 2019

Useful books


September 9, 2019

Politics, the economy, Kashmir affairs – all hot topics these days. Let us, laypersons, leave these decisions to the rulers and politicians and talk instead about some nice, useful books.

The first book has been written by Dr Arif Kisana and is titled ‘Bachon Ke Liye Islami Mamoolat Per Mabni Sabaq Ainoz Kahanian’ (Stories for Children Based on Islamic Values). It is published by Pakistan Book Foundation under the able guidance of its managing director, Prof Dr Inamul Haq. This is the second part to the book published earlier by Dr Kisana, which has since been translated into many languages in different countries, specifically for expatriate’s children. He lives in Stockholm and works with the famous Karolinska Hospital.

Together with a group of graduate students of the Technological University of Delft (Holland), I visited Sweden and Denmark in 1964. There we visited industrial units, educational institutes and the Karolinska Hospital. Even at that time it was extremely modern and well-equipped. The hospital was so big that the staff used small bicycles on all the floors to get to where they needed to be. Sweden was an eye-opener for us, very beautiful, neat and clean and highly developed and manufacturing well-known products – Saab, Volvo, Sandviken steel, Oxelosund steel to name but a few. The Royal Institute of Technology and Uppsala University were world famous.

This book, like the earlier one, contains chapters on a number of useful topics on Islam, presented in a way that is suited for children to understand. It also contains questions and answers for the children. I hope that this book receives the same warm welcome as the first part did and that, it too, will be translated into many languages. May Almighty Allah shower His blessings on Dr Arif Kisana and his family – Ameen.

The second book has been written by Prof Sarvat Sultana Sarvat of Greenwich University. It is titled ‘Lakhon Men Intekhab Ke Qabil Banadia’. It has been published by Al-Hamd Publications, Karachi. The title of the book has been borrowed from a verse by Jigar Muradabadi, the Imam of poets. It reads: “Lakhon men intekhab ke qabnil banadia; Jis dil ko tumne dekhlia dil banadia.” I am pleased to learn that Prof Servat Sultan is from Bhopal and belongs to a well-educated family. I know a number of her relatives there, – Prof Dr Arif Qureshi, Aziz Qureshi, former minister of Bhopal and governor of India’s Northern Provinces (Nanital, Shimla, etc), and Mr Mohsin Qureshi, my Urdu teacher in high school.

Prof Sultana is the author of about 36 books in Urdu and many of these books have been taken up in the syllabi of high schools and colleges. She is not only a poet par excellence, but is also a cook par excellence. Whenever I go to Karachi to see my younger sister, she always brings delicious Bhopali dishes for us. She is still a very active author. All I can pray for is the verse by Nawab Mirza Khan Dag Dehelvi: “Allah kare zorey Qalam aur ziada.”

The third book is titled ‘Besachtgi’ and is written by famous poet Khalid Masood. It has been published by Nastaleeq Matbuat, Urdu Bazaar, Lahore. It contains beautiful poetry and is a pleasure to read. Comments by Dr. Ajmal Niazi and Munnu Bhai certify it to be good poetry. My best with to Mr. Khalid Masood.

The fourth book is titled ‘U-turncracy”. It is written by Muhammad Islam and published by Fareed Publishers, Urdu Bazaar, Karachi. The book contains decent, humorous articles. It makes a nice change from dry essays and dirty politics of mudslinging. Appreciative comments on the book have been made by Prof Sehar Ansari, Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, Dr Abdul Rauf Parekh, Prof Dr S M Moen Qureshi and Prof Anwar Ahmed Zai.

The book is so interesting that once you open it and read a page or two, you don’t want to put it down. It makes you smile and laugh, a nice change in this world full of worries and cares. If you are not alone, people might think you have gone mad, sitting there and smiling to yourself. All Urdu-speaking people should buy this book, read it and then pass it on to other members of the family to enjoy.

We need this kind of book to neutralize the bitterness of politicians and the nasty language they use against each other. Islam Bhai, heartiest congratulations for this wonderfully nice book.

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