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A call to basics

A book of essays by the late Ali Jawwad Zaidi

“Islami Taraqqi Pasandi” a book by (the late) Ali Jawwad Zaidi, renowned figure in Urdu literature, was released by Vice President Hamid Ansari at his residence recently. Speaking at the occasion, the Vice President said, “The book was written in times when it was believed that religion and modernity do not go hand in hand. The world was divided into progressives and reactionists. However, such black and white lines only misguide, largely ignoring the other colours.”

Talking of Islam as a revolution at all levels — be it theological, social, political or economic — he noted, “deen or religion must reflect from one’s daily routine that ought to be in accordance with the fundamentals which is a matter of concern, pre-9/11 or post; the book just does that presenting the basic principles and stands in need of English and Hindi translations for wider reach.”

The former Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, Shahid Mehdi threw some light on the contents of the book and the life of the author who studied Law at Lucknow University, fought for the freedom of the country and wrote prolifically. His works include “Uttar Pradesh ke Marsiyago”, “Do Adabi School”, “Naat Nigaaran-e-Uttar Pradesh”, “Mir Anis”, “Mirza Ghalib” and many more that serve as reference material for research students.

The fundamentals

“This book ‘Islami Taraqqi Pasandi’ is not a book of Fiqh but relates to contemporary mindset and presents the fundamentals. There is no use of defensive language but a pure balanced approach to guide the common Muslim,” clarified Mehdi, adding that the author’s works, a combination of the traditional and the modern, must be attended to and his memoirs deserved to be made into archives.

The book by the brave patriot, who received the Padma Shri in 1988, is a collection of essays that does not offer any legal arguments but prescribes ways in which to better one’s day-to-day life in the light of Islam.

FARHEEN

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