To Save The Garden
IT was just after 'Asr on a Sunday, the free time for the busy students of Deeni madaris who have been hard at studies from morn till eve; the time for them to step out of their bookish world and refresh and pep up for reading and revising far into the night; sometimes till one or two in the morning. Lots of other people not related to madaris often go to bed at this hour too, since going late to bed is now considered 'modern' and fashionable, but they also get up late. Except that the students mentioned have to wake up for the Fajr prayer and many of them have never missed their Tahajjud prayer either. This night vigil is not enforced but self-imposed. The free birds of schools and colleges will scarcely understand the need of the students of Islamic schools and universities that forces them to live away from home, eat whatever is available, live without the comforts of life, sit and sleep on mats, serve their teachers whole heartedly, and dedicate all hours in seeking knowledge and trying to act accordingly. These students are trained into the habit of a routine. Timings are set for eating, sleeping, waking, studying, and recreation; the time for recreation is from 'Asr to Maghrib. It's another that some of these thirsty students spend their free time in prayer and recitation of the Qur'aan.
That day, as usual some students were sitting on chairs, taking in the fresh air and chatting together when as per an outrageous plan a bomb explosion occurred followed by a much bigger one, martyring 11 and injuring nearly 50. One of the victims' mates tell that this was the first time he had stepped out of the Jamiah after 'Asr, otherwise his habit had been to recite the Qur'aan daily at that time. Without doubt a person's death calls him to the place of death. The only crime of these students was their innocence. Their association with a deeni institution, and their love for the Book and Sunnah made them targets for hard-hearted, beastly men. This relation and love has these days become a crime in the eyes of some lowly people.
Some hardened humans have taken an oath to live and die by Imaan, they know fair well the change of winds and the leaders' inclinations. They are not unaware of changes in the international scene; they also know that politicians, leaders, and bureaucrats are after madaris students, ulema-e-kiram, and those wearing turbans, the sign of Sunnah on their faces, and the masnoon or national dress. They are called 'fundamentalists', linked to the 'Al-Qaeda', and their innocence exchanged for the label of 'terrorist'. This persecution has made them insecure and some have limited themselves to their mosques or madaris and others have restricted their circles of acquaintances.
Bureaucrat The despots would have thought that the prevailing atmosphere of fear would frighten and put off the common man from sending their children to madaris, and those lending a hand would back off their assistance gradually closing down these fountains of knowledge of the Book and Sunnah. There would be the thirsty but no sweet water to quench the thirst, there would be ignorance but no hand to guide to knowledge, there would be the wrong track but no one to steer people off it. Then the dictators, the westernizers, the enemies of ulema, and the 'doctors' and 'professors' would have a clear field. They would have no hindrances in creating a new edition of the Qur'aan, its meaning and explanation; interest would be called 'halal' (permissible); song and dance would be given the name of 'culture'; drinking would be a free choice; the mixing of sexes would be a must for progress. All of this planning is quite clear. The people of the madaris are watching these changes with open eyes but even then they are not ready to budge from their stance.
Their attachment with the masjid and madrasa is so strong that they are not ready to move over despite bomb blasts, raining bullets, and the siege of the media. Nor should they. If they start backing off they will be pushed too far off. But one of these days they will have to sit and make decisions that show the strength of their unity and accord; otherwise they will be left shouldering their dead and watching their garden being ripped apart. How many prominent personalities have been expired by cruel unseen hands, and if this mode continues, the time is near when no learned ulema will be left and all we will have will be the ignorant ones who give verdicts without knowledge and will themselves be on the wrong path, guiding others to it. In this situation the union of madaris organizations will, InshaAllah be a strong and positive step towards the safety of our intellectual garden; but if these decisions are late in coming…the way will be paved for more bomb blasts and murders.
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