Listen, O Afghanistan!

The heart of Asia from the point of view of Allāmah Abūl Hassan Nadvi

The heart of Asia from the point of view of Allāmah Abūl Hassan Nadvi

Allāmah Seyyed Abūl Hassan Ali Nadvi, one of the most influential thinkers in the Muslim world in the twentieth century, was born in India, but had a deep look at the issues of the Islamic world and Muslims in different countries. Due to the deep cultural ties between India and Afghanistan, it is natural that he had paid special attention to the events of this country. The historical relations between India and Afghanistan have root in the past centuries. At the beginning of the fifth Islamic century, when Sultan Mahmūd Ghaznavi conquered India and established an Islamic state in the land of wonders, cultural, political, literary and scientific relations between the two neighbors became even stronger and deeper.
Allāmah Abūl Hassan Nadvi had a week-long trip to Afghanistan with a delegation from the Muslim World League organization. During this trip, which lasted from June 4, 1973 to June 11, he met and talked with prominent scientific, political and cultural figures of the time and got enough information about the political and cultural problems of Afghanistan and expressed the solutions well.
During a meeting with Kabul scholars and Ulama, Allāmah Nadvi stressed the need for invitation and “direct communication” with the nation, following the example of the Jamaat-e-Tabligh movement and its achievements. In this meeting, he stated that leaving the nation without Islamic guidance and education and a full understanding of the situation and issues, makes it a tasty morsel and ownerless wealth for any vicious sinister and anti-Islamic philosophies.
Imam Nadvi, may Allah have mercy on him, called the youth, especially the university youth, “leaders of tomorrow and the next generation” who will take charge of affairs and lead the country, legislate, determine education policy and build life. Allāmah Nadvi reminded Afghan scholars that working among young people requires a new method, language of the time and an accurate understanding of their mentality and problems.
He lamented the weak influence of Ulama in Afghan society and wrote: “Afghan religious ardor and zeal have significantly weakened and drastic changes have taken place in Afghan society. Westernism and imitation of Western civilization have become common and these events have not caused any concern in their lives. All this is a sign of stagnation and weakness in the safe ardor and Islamic nature. The only reason is that Ulama had been deprived from leadership and supervision.”
Speaking at a meeting with Afghan academic women, Allāmah Nadvi reminded them that “collapse of the family system and imbalance in family life, strained relations between men and women, women’s turning away from family life and escaping from its responsibilities” are among the biggest causes of the decline and degeneration of nations and civilizations. He called women’s reluctance to be mothers and turning away from raising children and new generation “dangerous” for society and considered it a cause of intellectual anxiety, social chaos and moral corruption.
After the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and initiation of jihad against the occupiers, Allāmah Abūl Hasan Nadvi listed and wrote the political, social, economic, religious and moral dangers of communism in an article: Unfortunately, Muslim rulers and communities did not understand this radical danger on the time, except one individual and one nation; the minister of war of Ottoman Empire Anwar Pasha felt the threat on the time and formed a strong anti-communist front in Turkestan in 1921-22. He was martyred in the same battles. Among the nations, it was the Afghan nation that fought against communism valiantly; they did not sit calm until they ousted the Russian occupiers. Allāmah Nadvi considers the spirit of independence, hate of strangers, religiosity, and at the same time the chivalry of Afghans “worthy of research” and advises the Islamic and Arab countries to follow the example of the Afghan nation.
This attention to Afghanistan and guidance of scholars, preachers and Mujahideen continued after the departure of the Red Army and establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Taliban. Mufti Mohammad Qasem Qasemi, a prominent teacher at Darululoom Zahedan and one of the special benefactors and devotees of Allāmah Nadvi wrote: When the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was established, Allāmah Nadvi recommended the officials to focus on academic and cultural dimensions, take care of the young generation and insinuate Islam wisely with the goodly exhortation in the hearts of people; unfortunately the advice of Seyyed Nadvi were not heeded as it should be…
Allāmah Nadvi depicts the history of Afghanistan that how it went to extremes in the face of Western opinions and modernism. This procedure has not yet been dismantled, and the religious and educated classes still do not have a mutual understanding of each other and are far from reaching a point of equilibrium. Until this problem is not resolved, we will continue to see Afghanistan’s decline. Elsewhere, he has emphasized on “training men and attention to educational and military institutions, direct contact with the educated class and the new generation, planning and regulation.”

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