Friday, July 15, 2011

Roots of our current state of affair

For fifty years Aurangzeb held the reins of an empire unequalled in size, population and wealth among the polities of the contemporary world. In the discharge of his extremely onerous duties he had shown a devotion, assiduity, courage and calmness which mark him out as a unique ruler of men. In personal life he was the model of a good man. He was free from the vices so common among Asian potentates and princes. He lived simply, nay, austerely. He was abstemious in food and drink, in dress and all the amenities of life. While engaged in the heavy work of imperial administration, he found time to earn money to provide for his needs by copying the Quran and sewing caps. In his last will, his instructions concerning his funeral expenses were, “four rupees and two annas, out of the price of caps sewn by me, are with Aia Beg, the Mahaldar. Take the amount and spend it on the shroud of this helpless creature. Three hundred and five rupees, from the wages of copying the Quran, are in my purse for personal expenses. Distribute them to the faqirs on the day of my death. His daily routine was exacting, and he gave only three hours of sleep out of the twenty-four. He was a stern taskmaster, equally of his own self and of others. He supervised every detail of his vast administration and he directed personally every military expedition. He had inexhaustible energy and indomitable will. ( Chapter One: History of Freedom Movement In India, Volume One. By : Tara Chand) Aurangzeb died in 1707.

Lord Thomas Babington Macauly came to India in 1834, about 127 years after the death of Aurangzeb, and travelled the length and breadth of India for four years. On February 2nd 1835 he addressed the British parliament and had the following to say about what he saw:

“I have travelled across the length and breath of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self -esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.”

Please keep in mind that at the time of Aurangzeb the estimated population of Muslims in India was probably around 5-10%. This means that an over whelming majority of people he was ruling over did not share his religious belief. But the state took care of all in a manner that even 127 years after Auranzeb’s death the system that he had established was such that an imperialist man, like Macauly, was forced into saying “I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief”. The question is what was that system? That system was the Sharia, which he enforced through out his kingdom. It was the sharia based economic system that Macauly had to say “Such wealth I have seen in this country”. The wealth was not concentrated in few hands as is the case with modern day capitalism but was so much dispersed that “I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief”. Compare this to the situation of U.S.A the “lone superpower” and undisputed champion of capitalism. “In 2009, the top fifth of households held 87.2% of all wealth in U.S.A” while “the bottom fifth actually had negative net worth” which means that not only they own nothing but instead they owe money to banks etc. http://www.irle.berkeley.edu/cwed/wp/wealth_in_the_us.pdf

But if we look at our current situation with rampant corruption, illiteracy, poverty etc it is hard to believe that we are the same nation which was making our would be colonizer so worried that he had to say “I do not think we would ever conquer this country”. The question is how did we reach this situation? A simple answer is Macaulay and his countrymen succeeded in “replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self -esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.”

Here I present a piece of evidence which will be very unsettling for many amongst us so please read with an open mind and let me know if it is incorrect. “Without flattering the English, I can truly say that the natives of India, high and low, merchants and petty shopkeepers, educated and illiterate, when contrasted with the English in education, manners and uprightness, are like them as dirty animal to an able and handsome man. The English have reason for believing us in India to be imbecile brutes.” Excerpt from a letter written by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan to the Secretary of the Scientific Society at Aligarh in October 1869.

After reading the above excerpt is there any doubt that Macauly has indeed succeeded in his plan. We have lost our self-esteem and have become a truly dominated nation. We pray five times, fast, go to Hajj etc and often pay lip service to how good Islam is, but the fact of the matter is that we really do not believe in our ideology, in fact we are embarrassed of it. We do not think that sharia is implementable in the times we are living in, which means that intellectually we are unsure about Allah’s guidance; we think it was ok for old/simpler times but not now. Modern day Shaitans in the form of Macaulay and his disciples have sown the seeds of doubt in our hearts through secular education. This doubt has corroded our belief in “Tauheed” because when we look towards others than Allah for guidance, in any part of our lives, (economics being the most significant ) then in reality we are affirming that there are others whose guidance is equally ( if not more ) relevant than that of Allah. We might deny it all we want but our daily lives and the system we are supporting is a proof of who we are following. This confused belief allows Shaitan to make inroads in our belief in Tauheed. If we contemplate changing the system, he threatens us with poverty. We start to believe that if we do not follow Macaulay and his disciples we will perish. Intellectuals/economists and pragmatists will tell us that this world does not run on emotions, it runs on mighty Dollars and if we don’t have enough of them then we are doomed. So we have no choice but to leave aside the utopian ideas of a by gone era and try to improve our lot within the existing system. Once Shaitan has scared us into this trap then he orders us to commit Fahsha. “Shaitân (Satan) threatens you with poverty and orders you to commit Fahsha;” (Al-Baqara-268). This is exactly what is happening, we are scared of poverty and as a result commit Fahsha. Fahsha does not mean that one goes out nude in public, it encompasses all sinful acts. Look around, which sin is absent in our society?

So how do we get out of this situation? A comparison might be helpful at this point. I think our situation is very similar to that of bani-Israel when Allah freed them from the oppression of pharaoh. They had very weak belief in Tauheed which made them such cowards that they refused to fight when Musa ( pbuh ) told them that Allah had ordered them to do so. We are a nuclear power, but afraid, why? because we are more afraid of non-Allah than of Allah Himself.

So who can help us rebuild our belief in Tauheed? Bani-Israel had prophet Musa ( pbuh ) and his disciples, who do we have? religious organizations/parties? My observation is that most of them are more interested in superficial aspects of Islam and/or grabbing political power. They want to replicate the ideas of mass production in religion and want to mass produce Islam of their brand. Our prophet Mohammad ( PBUH) produced less than 100 Muslims in 13 years of preaching in Mecca. But the belief in Tauheed of those early Muslims was such that 313 of them, poorly armed, defeated more than a 1000 well armed well fed non-believers. It was the belief in Tauheed of each individual Muslim which translated in the collective belief the group. Similarly we have to build our individual belief first of all before we can move forward. To do that each individual has to work on him/her self. We all know when we are afraid of or motivated by non-Allah in our daily lives. We can start our journey towards Tauheed by discontinuing doing that.

9 comments:

CISCO said...

Thanks sir to tell me this one.. So we must read Quran and hadith and move towards our old Islamic system. We read everything and bypass Quran and sunna . That is our root cause. Thanks for that
Lord Thomas Babington Macauly came to India in 1834, about 127 years after the death of Aurangzeb, and travelled the length and breadth of India for four years. On February 2nd 1835 he addressed the British parliament and had the following to say about what he saw:
“I have travelled across the length and breath of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self -esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.”

Asif Shahzad said...

Thanks for sharing interesting realities. Allah may help us to right path. I believe He helps when we take initiative by following his given guidance, initially. And when our believe get pure and good deeds becomes our habit, His unlimited helps comes.

M-2A said...

After doing some research on internet, mainly wikipedia, about Aurganzeb, the following points are worth mentioning.
1. Aurangzeb was engaged in bloody conflicts with his brothers and father over the Mogul throne succession. He even got them executed to secure his position.
2. You referred to the fact that the population of Muslims in India was probably around 5-10% during his time. Still Aurangzeb tried to force the religion of the minority on majority which sowed the seeds of religious intolerance in sub-continent.
3. The aub-continental economy was in very poor state when Aurangzeb died.
"Aurangzeb was the last powerful ruler of an empire inevitably on the verge of decline."
4. Within a century of Aurangzeb's death, the Mughal Emperor had little power beyond the walls of Delhi. This means your point that "the state took care of all in a manner that even 127 years after Auranzeb’s death the system that he had established was...." may not be valid.
Looking forward to your comments on this.

Nadeem said...

In response to M-2A

I chose “History of Freedom Movement In India” for two reasons, firstly this book is considered an authentic work on its topic from an Indian point of view, it was probably commissioned by the then Gov of India. Secondly and more importantly the author Tara Chand is a Hindu author, not a Muslim. If I had selected a Muslim author people would have raised the accusation that it is one Muslim praising another Muslim.
Now regarding your point about “He even got them executed” which is contrary to Tara Chand’s statement that “In personal life he was the model of a good man” which means that either Tara Chand was not as great a historian as you are or that he was an idiot who did not know what constitutes a “good man”. The fact of the matter is that Aurangzeb did not execute his father; he had him confined in a garden for the sake of stability of the state. Similarly regarding his brothers, they were challenging his authority and causing “fassad” in the land, and that can only be dealt with force, which he did.
Regarding your point #2. Firstly please keep in mind that Tara Chand wrote his book immediately after the partition of India, which we all know was one of the bloodiest events in history. If Aurangzeb had forced non-Muslims to convert to Islam Tara Chand would have minced no words about it. Secondly and more importantly it is a very clear order for Muslims of all times not to forcibly convert people. It is clearly mentioned in Quran “There is no compulsion in matters of religion ( al-Baqara – verse 256 )”. So for a man who is trying his best to follow Sharia in all visible aspects it would be an unforgiveable crime to go against such a clear verdict of Quran. So he gave his subjects complete freedom to practice their religion whatever it was.
In point #3 you mentioned "Aurangzeb was the last powerful ruler of an empire” that is true but not the part “The aub-continental economy was in very poor state when Aurangzeb died” because 127 years after Aurangzeb’s death Macauly was forced into saying “Such wealth I have seen in this country”
Regarding point #4, I was talking about the residual effects of the system that even in the state of decline Macauly, witnessed “I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief”. Again related to point #3, Macauly did not say “Hindu beggar”, he simply mentioned beggar regardless of religious affiliation.
I don’t know if you read the whole article or just the earlier portion. The purpose of the article was to try to trace the reasons for the mess that we are in now, and how to get out of it; not to start a hair splitting historical debate. I have many responsibilities to take care of and as such it is difficult to take out time to respond. In future I will only respond to “serious and original” criticism not run of the mill copy/paste material.

Tayyab said...

Salam,
I think the purpose of discussion is not Aurangzeb but the fact that a highly diverse region like the sub-continent can be ruled by a single ruler for decades without breaking the peace among various races and communities and not disturbing their religious beliefs. And above all, the ruler was from minority. The system he gave and peace and harmony stayed there for more than a century.
On the other hand, as soon as we enter the British era in sub-continent, we see disturbance and discrimination on the basis of 3R (Religion, Race and Region).
To me, these are the three basic concepts that if the majority of a community or a nation shows tolerance and respect, then there can be long lasting peace and harmony. A system that assures these facts is bound to stay more than any other system. And if any of these things is removed or disturbed then we see rival groups emerging who do not want to tolerate each other. Here in sub-continent, it started primarily with the religion. The whole nation that remained united for more than a thousand years got wounded and the people got divided on the basis of Religion. Once the religious discrimination penetrated, each group opened its secrets and wealth to the British. The British further destroyed the Muslims by working on religion. Dividing and further dividing them in such groups who were not ready to live with each other even though they all were Muslims. Now the Muslims were like sitting ducks for them. They already were of the mind that they were separate from Hindus because of Religion and afterwards when they fought with each other, they lost the track.
The British worked simultaneously on Race by empowering the people of certain Race such as the Muslim Nawabs and Hindu Rajas to rule the people who were divided on the basis of Religion and Regions.
To me, the individual men women were still a threat to the British because they still had the basic building block of a nation the "Self Respect" or in Iqbal's words "Khudi".... (I shall continue in my next comment.)

Tayyab said...

(In continuation of my previous comment...)

Consider a person who is ridiculed and pinched and mocked and disgraced and humiliated just because he does not posses certain characteristics and/or assets. He is not allowed to raise hi voice or protest. He lives or dies its up to him. No one feels anything. Imagine what does he think ?

Assume that a short time ago, he and his forefathers were respected among the people and he was regarded as a decent man in society. He was influential and everyone used to listen to his words with attention to act upon them. His influence had a small spread. To his family and relatives and few neighboring houses or maximum to a village. He considered it mandatory upon him to make the people around him to follow certain manners and follow certain religion and respect their culture and traditional heroes. He had many role models from his culture and history on which he felt proud and used to give examples of them to his fellows and children and convinced them to follow those historical role models...
Now the society has discarded him and people have new language new culture and new role models to follow. His presence is not required now. What does he think ? How does he go out ? How does he communicate ? How does and what can he teach his children ?

Its not difficult to answer these questions. He is certainly feeling low and obsolete. When people make fun of his old culture clothes and obsolete manners, he does not want to go out or talk to anyone. An urge to revolt soon arise inside him but there is no one to help him.
We can certainly say that the man and others alike him have lost the self esteem.

Same was done by the British when they invaded the sub continent. They changed the manners of society. This was their next step to isolate the individuals of already divided nation. This psychological weapon is always effective to cut the roots of any culture and religion. This is a traditional weapon of the conquerors..............(Conquerors except Muslims but this is not the topic at the moment).........About one and half century ago, this was happening here in sub-continent. Everyone was made to think that unless he follows the "new" manners of the society and speak the "new" language, they can not progress in their lives. Unless he knows English he cannot convey his matter to high ups of the society. Unless he knows the English dance and English clothing he can not be admitted by the "respectables" of the society.
Now what effect does it make on the future ? Apparently one can see a little impact but instead it is a silent poison. How ? The new generations will never be able to see or experience the old culture which took quite a long time to build. What was that old culture ? In short words, it was the culture of harmony and respect. No one thought that the key to success is by following a certain religion or manners associated to it.
Instead now we see a competition in the people to follow the new culture in order to be called noble. Now the nation went astray. They have no one in them to be considered as worth following. Its all the foreigners who are to be followed. Whatever the new rulers say is true. Whatever they consider wrong is wrong. There is no revolt and no voice is raised. Now this nation was ready to offer its resources to the rulers. The agricultural, mineral and industrial production is now solely to fill the treasure chambers of the British Empire. And all this happened because we lost our self respect....we fell into a complex that we are not good, our forefathers never did a good deed, we are suffering due to our forefathers, we have no culture, we are the lowest part of the society and British are above us. (I am not concluding this comment and will continue....)

Tayyab said...

........
But is'nt this a rule of nature that a civilization ends when it members stop the respect of laws and traditions of the society ? Then why to bother ? Consider it as a thing that had to happen and it happened. But why do we still see the marks of our culture and why do we still respect the traditions to some extent ? The answer is that our culture was never dieing and was never on its knees. The strength of a society is what do we teach to our next generations ? The British were able to control the land-lords but they were not able to change the life of a common man completely. I think that they never wanted to change the common people because they were interested in controlling and ruling the nation and leading it according to their need. Its true that in British era, the laws were followed strictly and the development plans and social work done was planned to last for ever and they did. But all of it was done to keep the ox healthy so that it can plow more land. They kept us healthy so that we could work and nothing else. That is why our culture kept its roots because the British never allowed the common people to indulge fully in their culture. They kept us at a boundary because once included in their society, we certainly will want to demand our rights and become aware of the fact that we are feeding the British. Thus a majority of us were left half British half our culture. This was a very clever way to rule. Its key was to choose few people from us, brain wash them and make them influential artificially. And then get the things done through them. This is still practiced today. Except that the real players control the "puppets" remotely.
In the past, the Muslims were able to influence the society and could stay for a thousand years in rule by allowing every member of the society to take active part in the development of nation. It was perhaps due to the fact that they wanted to stay in this region for ever. And they did. But in case of British, we see that as soon as the people of the nation stood against them, they left. Well I don't agree that this all happened so simply. I have shown before that the British had a perfect environment set to rule for more time than that. Then why they left ? One answer is that the British were weaken by the second world war and they could not control the sub-continent. But as I have said before, they were controlling the nation very well. Then why they left ? In my opinion, the British puppets decided to take over the region by themselves. They started the political movements. We see that the political leaders were all from those families which were supported by the British in the sense that they all were land-lords and industrialists. All of them were well aware of British system and all were happy under British. Then why British gave away this region ?

If we say that our lost "self respect" came back then its not true because self-respect was never taught to young generations of that time. Then what made the British go away ? In my view, the political parties needed two things:
1) A lot of common people to raise the slogans
2) A genius man who can make common people to follow him.......

Tayyab said...

..........

We see that in all the parts that got separated in 1947, we see leaders and common men. Except that in our part, our leader lost his life after a very short time of fulfillment of the goal. Since then we are following the same practices and same manners that were done in British era. I mean we still have no self respect and we still are in complex. Our self respect is aroused to fulfill certain short term goals and then it comes to null. For example in Afghan war against Russia, in Kashmir war, in making very-right-wing Islamic organizations, in getting new province name and even dividing the country.

Ever since we are being used either by British or by others. We do not realize that we are a nation. We have to live in the very same country. We have to make our roots strong if we want to live in this country. We do not realize that the people we vote are of what caliber ? We blindly follow our leaders despite realizing where they are taking us. We still consider that we had no culture, no historical heroes from our region. We hate Hindus and they hate us. We think that the real achievement is by following the media. We hate our country, our traditions, we make fun of our country and consider that others are always right....

We need to realize that the strength is in living together and sticking to our culture despite whatever our religion is. And that all the people are equal and all the laws are equally applicable to all of us. We have to make our country strong . This is the only key that can lead us to success. Consider the example of Malaysia and Bangladesh......
Note: In no way my comments should be regarded as of raciest and religious thoughts. I am not dividing the nation. I am not influenced by the Norwegian Breivik. Instead I condemn any violence on the basis of culture, religion and nation. I only want the nation to realize that we have a culture that we can be proud of.

RAHEELA said...

ITS really a good piece of research work.I dont think any part of it can be denied or found less agreeable .
concerning the people who do not find anything wrong about Aurangzeb only has got one point about him pertaining to what he did to his father and brother, least understanding the power game rules of that time.Go through the history and see who so ever wanted to avoid fitna for his subjects had to take the same sort of steps. But did any of his steps threatened the lives of his people at the least . They enjoyed peace and harmony for such a long period of time.
Think over it, after raising yourself from the very low level of criticism for the criticism sake