"The factors that laid the foundation of Islam in Indian society and created a powerful following have become victim of the politics of partition", Maulana Abul Kalam Azad said commenting on the demand of partition.
"The communal hatred it has generated has completely extinguished all possibilities of spreading and preaching Islam. This communal politics has hurt the religion beyond measure", he added.
Maulana Azad made these observations while talking to Shorish Kashmiri - veteran journalist of the time and editor of Chattan. Former Union Minister Arif Mohd Khan translated the Urdu interview published in Chattan that was carried by Covert with the title 'The Man who knew the future'.
Maulana Azad's above observations came when Shorish Kashmiri said, the Hindu Muslim dispute has become so acute that it has foreclosed any possibility of reconciliation, and asked Don’t you think that in this situation the birth of Pakistan has become inevitable?
Maulana Azad replied: If Pakistan were the solution of Hindu Muslim problem, then I would have extended my support to it. A section of Hindu opinion is now turning in its favour. By conceding NWFP, Sind, Balochistan and half of Punjab on one side and half of Bengal on the other, they think they will get the rest of India — a huge country that would be free from any claims of communal nature. If we use the Muslim League terminology, this new India will be a Hindu state both practically and temperamentally. This will not happen as a result of any conscious decision, but will be a logical consequence of its social realities. How can you expect a society that consists 90% of Hindus, who have lived with their ethos and values since prehistoric times, to grow differently?
The factors that laid the foundation of Islam in Indian society and created a powerful following have become victim of the politics of partition. The communal hatred it has generated has completely extinguished all possibilities of spreading and preaching Islam. This communal politics has hurt the religion beyond measure. Muslims have turned away from the Quran. If they had taken their lessons from the Quran and the life of the Holy Prophet and had not forged communal politics in the name of religion then Islam’s growth would not have halted. By the time of the decline of the Mughal rule, the Muslims in India were a little over 22.5 million, that is about 65% of the present numbers. Since then the numbers kept increasing.
If the Muslim politicians had not used the offensive language that embittered communal relations, and the other section acting as agents of British interests had not worked to widen the Hindu-Muslim breach, the number of Muslims in India would have grown higher.
The political disputes we created in the name of religion have projected Islam as an instrument of political power and not what it is — a value system meant for the transformation of human soul.
Under British influence, we turned Islam into a confined system, and following in the footsteps of other communities like Jews, Parsis and Hindus we transformed ourselves into a hereditary community. The Indian Muslims have frozen Islam and its message and divided themselves into many sects. Some sects were clearly born at the instance of colonial power. Consequently, these sects became devoid of all movement and dynamism and lost faith in Islamic values.
The hallmark of Muslim existence was striving and now the very term is strange to them. Surely they are Muslims, but they follow their own whims and desires. In fact now they easily submit to political power, not to Islamic values. They prefer the religion of politics not the religion of the Quran. Pakistan is a political standpoint. Regardless of the fact whether it is the right solution to the problems of Indian Muslims, it is being demanded in the name of Islam.
The question is when and where Islam provided for division of territories to settle populations on the basis of belief and unbelief. Does this find any sanction in the Quran or the traditions of the Holy Prophet? Who among the scholars of Islam has divided the dominion of God on this basis? If we accept this division in principle, how shall we reconcile it with Islam as a universal system? How shall we explain the ever growing Muslim presence in non-Muslim lands including India? Do they realise that if Islam had approved this principle then it would not have permitted its followers to go to the non-Muslim lands and many ancestors of the supporters of Pakistan would not have had even entered the fold of Islam? Division of territories on the basis of religion is a contraption devised by Muslim League. They can pursue it as their political agenda, but it finds no sanction in Islam or Quran. What is the cherished goal of a devout Muslim? Spreading the light of Islam or dividing territories along religious lines to pursue political ambitions?
The demand for Pakistan has not benefited Muslims in any manner. How Pakistan can benefit Islam is a moot question and will largely depend on the kind of leadership it gets. The impact of western thought and philosophy has made the crisis more serious. The way the leadership of Muslim League is conducting itself will ensure that Islam will become a rare commodity in Pakistan and Muslims in India. This is a surmise and God alone knows what is in the womb of future. Pakistan, when it comes into existence, will face conflicts of religious nature.
As far as I can see, the people who will hold the reins of power will cause serious damage to Islam. Their behaviour may result in the total alienation of the Pakistani youth who may become a part of non-religious movements. Today, in Muslim minority states the Muslim youth are more attached to religion than in Muslim majority states. You will see that despite the increased role of Ulema, the religion will lose its sheen in Pakistan.
[The above article is third and last part of Maulana Abul Kalaam Azad's interview with Shorish Kashmiri - a veteran journalist of the time and Editor of Lahore bases Urdu Magazine Chattan in April 1946. Former Union Minister Arif Mohd Khan translated the Urdu interview published in Chattan that was carried by Covert Magazine with the title 'The Man Who Knew The Future' in its November 28, 2009 issue.]
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