By: Humayun Gauhar
So long as we keep blaming others for our woes, so long we will not realise that the fault is ours for allowing others to take advantage of us. Pakistan pompously professes to be an Islamic Republic but doesn’t know what that means. Which Islam? The Islam of God or one of the 72 versions of the cleric? That is our core problem from which all other problems arise. We don’t know who we are and why we are. This leads to an erosion of self-confidence and self-esteem (except in rhetoric), the lack of which make us in thrall of alien ideologies and their political, economic and social constructs.
This poem on the Holy Quran written some 35 years ago by the ninth President of India, Dr Pandit Shanker Dayal Sharma, says it beautifully. It’s very good because it’s very true. I have translated it myself.
Amal ki kitab thi.
Dua ki kitab bana dia
It was a command for action.
You turned it into a book of prayer.
Samajhne ki kitab thi.
Parhne ki kitab bana dia.
It was a Book to understand.
You read it without understanding.
Zindaon ka dastoor tha.
Murdon ka manshoor bana dia.
It was a code for the living.
You turned it into a manifesto of the dead.
Jo ilm ki kitab thi.
Usay la ilmon ke hath thama dia.
That which was a book of knowledge;
You abdicated to the ignoramus.
Taskheer-e-kayenaat ka dars denay aayi thi.
Sirf madrason ka nisaab bana dia.
It came to give knowledge of Creation.
You abandoned it to the madrassah.
Murda qaumon ko zinda karne aayi thi.
Murdon ko bakhshwane per laga dia.
It came to give life to dead nations.
You used it for seeking mercy for the dead.
Aye Musalmano ye tum nay kia kiya?
O’ Muslims! What have you done?
Please don’t take kneejerk offence. Righteous rage before thinking is a hallmark of the ignoramus. Don’t focus on who says something but on what he says.
Look at the Muslim condition. They remain on the lowest rung of the ladder. The Jews, numbering less than the people who live in Karachi, are on the top rung. Why? Because they educated themselves, used their minds, recognised and understood the real levers of power, bought stakes in them and became the most powerful people in the world. The Muslims, on the other hand, remain mired in ignorance, waiting for divine deliverance without bothering to lift a finger, fooling only themselves by wallowing in their undoubtedly glorious past, deluded in their present illusions. They live on homilies and humbug.