Story of 50-year long history of the Millat

Book:Dastawizat-e Mushawarat / Mushawarat Documents
Compiler: Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan
Pages: 1086 (Urdu), 1062 (English)
Price Rs. 1,200 (each)
Publisher: Pharos Media, New Delhi

Muhammad Alamullah

This book is based on the documents of Mushawarat since its inception in 1964. It was published on the occasion of the golden jubilee celebrations of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat. It contains a lot of valuable and rare material. Both of these parts (Urdu and English) have some common material, while each contains documents which are available in one language only. As the early documents of Mushawarat are extinct, they were extracted from various sources, particularly from some newspapers and magazines of that period and some personal and organisational collections. Both parts of the book have been compiled by the famous scholar and journalist, Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan. The compiler has the reputation of a serious researcher and historian. His English books, Palestinian Documents and Hijrah in Islam have already received compliments from learned people.

The present book is the record of Mushawarat’s efforts to control communal riots in India which had erupted again in early 1960s, mutual consultation and the 50-year-old record of the organisation which came into being in 1964 to work for Hindu-Muslim amity and goodwill. This joint platform of the Millat had a prominent role in solving the problems of Indian Muslims, in leading them, clarifying their stands and in waging their struggles. This book contains details about issues facing Indian Muslims from 1964 to mid-2015, the proceedings found in the official registers, pamphlets, speeches, addresses, interviews, editorials of some newspapers and magazines about Mushawarat, important letters and its various constitutions, etc.

The purpose of the compilation of these documents is that the historical realities should not be lost sight of or changed or misunderstood with the passage of time, and to enable researchers to easily get the required matters in their original form. This need compels researchers to compile voluminous books of documents so that future researchers, historians and readers may be able to benefit from them. This is why every part of this book exceeds 1,000 pages.

To write history in an objective way is a difficult job. This is correct to some extent. But the difficulty occurs when original sources are not available, and you have to depend on secondary or tertiary sources. In this context, this collection by Dr. Khan will surely be dependable as he searched the sources with utmost care and hard work, and compiled the available documents in a scientific manner.

Newspapers and magazines from which the compiler has benefited include Radiance, Dawat, Tajalli, Qa’id, Aza’im, and Nida-e-Millat, besides old records, some of which are still available, while some have become extinct. In these circumstances, it was not at all easy to compile this material. Looking at the thickness of the book, its sources, references and footnotes, it is not difficult to assess how much hard work the learned compiler has put in to compile the book.

By going through this book, it won’t be difficult to say that if books have to be written in future with reference to the Indian Muslims, it won’t be easy for future authors to ignore this compilation. The basic reason is that the issues which the Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat tried to raise with regard to  the Indian Muslims from time to time during this long period, at proper forums and various proceedings of the organisation, have appeared in newspapers and magazines, besides being published in booklet forms but it would be difficult for a researcher to search all this material. This task has been performed by the compiler in an excellent manner and he deserves congratulations on this count.

The book contains the behaviour of various governments in India with the minorities, particularly with Muslims who had to put in utmost efforts to save themselves and their properties after each communal riot, efforts for the uplift of educational and social standards, to guide and unify the opinion of Indian Muslims regarding national and international problems, the demolition of Babri Masjid, illegal occupation of Muslim monuments and waqfs, threats to Muslim Personal Law, illegal use of various questionable laws against Muslims and encroachment upon their rights. All these issues are covered in this book. These are problems which compelled Muslims to adopt defensive postures as well as to defend themselves against all attacks.

This book contains material on all the problems which Indian Muslims had to face after independence. It also gives them hope to stand against all types of injustice which they have to face. These documents also contain articles, interviews and writings of great Muslim intellectuals, thinkers and politicians, including the founder of Mushawarat, Dr. Syed Mahmud, Mufti Ateequr-Rahman Usmani, Maulana Abul-Hasan Ali Nadwi, Shaikh Muhammad Abdullah, Maulana Manzoor Nomani, Maulana Abul-Lais Islahi, Maulana Muhammad Muslim, Badruddin Tyabjee, Maulana Saeed Ahmad Akbarabadi, Maulana Mujeebullah Nadwi, Shaikh Zulfiquarullah, Syed Shahabuddin, Maulana Ahmad Ali Qasmi, Maulana Shafi Moonis, etc.

While studying these documents, Muslims can form opinion on the problems they would be facing in future also. Therefore, these documents could be termed as useful for Muslim organisations, journalists, research scholars, officials and social workers, etc. No library should be without this collection.   

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 October 2015 on page no. 21

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