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Published in the 16-31 March 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition


Why offer space to Ismat Chughtai?

The Milli Gazette Online 

I have been a subscriber to MG since its inception six years ago and I wish to place it on record that the editor and the MG team deserves a big congratulation for the uninterrupted delivery of the Newspaper of all the 122 issues except two, one, I remember due to a cruelly shocking family bereavement and another one due to postal incompetence. Mind you I live in the rich tropical jungles of Borneo which lies about 4000 KM away from New Delhi. 

Honestly, this is a surpassing achievement for any newspaper. I had been subscribing to Radiance Views Weekly, Newsweek, Hindu Overseas Edition, Crescent International, Impact, London, Islamic Voice etc., at one time or another. None of them performed better than the Milli Gazette in maintaining punctuality of delivery. 

I can fully comprehend and realistically imagine the almost insurmountable problems (financial, political, invidious, personal threat and you name it) that Br. Zafarul Islam Khan and his small team of faithful workers have gone/are going through, but the Newspaper keeps shining and comes out every fortnight with greater vigour and bolder approach.

But it is extremely sad that our English educated intellectuals spend more money on profligacy and trash but do not support the print edition of the courageous voice of the Millat by subscribing to its print edition neither do they introduce the newspaper to the libraries, institutions, business firms and their friends. Many borrow and read but not generous enough to buy their own (the price per copy is just the price of a cup of coffee: meagre ten rupees). 

I feel sorry to say that the community will be answerable to Allah SWT in the hereafter if more and more Muslim Newspapers such as Muslim India and the Milli Gazette should discontinue printing and close shops due to protracted financial problems. 

As a matter of fact there is no unbearable financial problem in the Muslim community. The problem is our stinginess, our attitude and our wrong priorities. I have personally come across so many Muslim families whose monthly incomes do not exceed Rs 3,000 but every family subscribes to Cable TV network paying a monthly subscription of Rs 150, but ask them to subscribe to a Muslim newspaper paying an average of Rs 5-10 a month, they are close-fisted. Please, someone do research on this( I am ready to make a small contribution from my monthly salary towards the cost of such a research) and release the findings for this dissipated and equally despicable attitude. When are we going to change? We will never see the defeat of Americans in Iraq, Israelis in occupied Palestine or Russians in occupied Chechnya until we change our attitudes and priorities.

Most importantly, I ask other readers to join me in invoking Allah SWT. 

"Our Lord, please bestow on the Editor of Milli Gazette and his team of dedicated workers better health, longer life, economic prosperity, greater happiness, renewed confidence and trust in You. 

Our Lord, let the newspaper become an economic viability and self-sustaining, widely read and widely circulated serving the cause of Islam and the overall development of the Ummatul Muhammadiah. 

Ya Allah Bestow the same to all the Muslim newspapers which work with total Ikhlas and with totally selfless, Umma-based dedication. Ya Allah, Show us the straight path: the path of those who have attained Your pleasure Not the path of those who have gone astray nor of those who have been angered by You. 

Considering the divisions among both the secular minded and the learned persons in the Islamic Ummah, the simple minded laymen like me wonder whether the situation that Sallallahu Alaihiwa-sallam described in the following Hadis is coming closer towards us or has already arisen. 

The Prophet said: "How will you fare when your women get out of your control and your youth will go evil ways and you will abandon Jihad?"

The people asked him "Ya Rasulullah, is all this going to happen?"

He replied: "A harder stage is to follow and said, how will you fare when you neither order good not forbid evil?"

The people around him asked him "Ya Rasulullah, is this all going to happen?"
The Prophet asked them: "How are you going to fare when you behold that Ma'ruf has become Munkar and Munkar has become Ma'ruf?"

The people around him wondered whether all this was going to happen.

The Prophet continued: "What will be your condition when you order evil and forbid good?"

The people repeated the same question. "Ya Rasulullah Is all this going to happen?"

The Prophet said: "Allah says that He has taken an oath by Himself that He will create such tumult for them that the greatest learned people among them will be confounded"

Scholars interpret the above to mean that the way of goodness and truth is not visible even to the greatest leaders of the society. They become blind like the rest of them. The above was taken from the book by Amin Hasan Islahi

Islamic thinkers, scholars and leaders are kindly asked to contemplate the above and give their interpretations and explanations.

Datuk Zainuddin Maiden (The Deputy Minister of Information: Malaysian Govt.) has said that Muslims in order to improve their relations with non-Muslims, we have to interact and the point of interaction can be even a Nightclub( Navudubillah)

( How will you fare when you order neither good nor forbid evil?)

In many Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Kuwait, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia many Islamic religious scholars have been imprisoned for declaring an evil as evil, but on the other hand many scholars who are on the Governments' fat pay role, issue Fatwas declaring a well-known Munkar as Ma'ruf and a commonly accepted Ma'ruf has been swept under the carpet to appease their political masters.

("How are you going to fare when you behold that Ma'ruf has become Munkar and Munkar has become Ma'ruf?")

In the Milli Gazette dated Feb 01-15, 2005 on page 20 Mr. Noor Shah has written a flowing kudos to the life and ideals of a lady writer by the name of Ismat Chugtai (born Muslim, Allah knew best whether she died as a Muslim) complimenting the facts that Ismat Chugai's daughter is married to a Hindu, another daughter is married to a Parsee and her two sons follow Parsee traditions. Her elder sister's son is married to a Hindu and the second one to a Parsee, and one of her daughters and her sons are Arya Samajis. She was afraid of the grave and so had willed to be cremated. In the same breath she had said before her death that Islam is a great and good religion. (Who was Ismat Chugtai trying to confound and confuse? Under the guise of secularism, she hides her own weaknesses and justifies her ignorance. Had she lived longer, probably, she would have ordered evil and forbidden good Islamic values.) 

Incidentally, what is the objective of journalists like Noor Shah and Muslim newspaers like the Milli Gazette in publishing the short biography of leaders(?) like Ismat Chugtai? 

Is it to appease the hard core secularists among its readers or to weaken the Iman of some of the less knowledgeable faithful followers?

The Muslim youth stand at the crossroads. We have to show them the straight Islamic path without confounding and confusing them.
Mohamed Ameen, Brunei

Editor: The Milli Gazette is an open and liberal forum for all Muslims, especially in India. We may differ with many within our community but we are committed to offer them space to express and defend themselves. Freedom of the press also means that this freedom is not monopolised or misused against others. We do differ with the likes of Ismat Chughtai and Qurratulain Hyder but we cannot deny that they have achieved an exalted position in the world of literature not only in Urdu or India but on a global level. We will continue to differ with their orientations and opinions but we cannot deny their existence or ignore the fact that they in one way or another are members of our own community which tolerates many shades of opinion within its ranks.

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