Dr Eben Alexander Back from Heaven

As an employee of a large corporate I have an important responsibility. Every year my boss gives me some papers on the top of which is written “OBJECTIVES”. My sacred responsibility as a faithful employee of this company is to put in my best efforts towards the achievement of those objectives every year. Like every year this year again my performance will be evaluated by my boss. I must prove to him that I did what was required of me as a minimum to pass annual evaluation. This is quite logical and acceptable.

My team members and direct reports go through the same process when I evaluate them. In the corporate heirarchy we work to prove our hard work, loyalty and achievements to make a satisfactory case in our favor. To me its more like a natural tendency for man to please his master to get what he deserves. With perhaps one exception.

When it comes to man’s relationship with God the equation looks inverted most of the time. This time its God who is required to prove Himself to His creation. We ask for proof of God while we know only too well we are not the creators of the universe. We ask for scientific proof of God, angels, heaven and hell. Its strange because with all the scientific knowledge within our armory we cant disprove any of that either. No scientist has ever been able to say “this is the evidence that we were not created by God but by someone else”. Not all scientists though.

Dr Eben Alexander is an elite scientist who followed his family trade as a neurosurgeon. With 25 years experience in some of the most prestigious medical schools in America Dr Alexander maintains a humble and easy to approach lifestyle. He teaches nurosurgery at the Harvard Medical School. I dont want to steal his words except for these few lines, “Modern physics tells us that the universe is a unity—that it is undivided. Though we seem to live in a world of separation and difference, physics tells us that beneath the surface, every object and event in the universe is completely woven up with every other object and event. There is no true separation”. Dr Alexander writes in Newsweek magazine about his journey and experience in the afterlife and how that is connected to God.

As a neurosurgeon, I did not believe in the phenomenon of near-death experiences. I grew up in a scientific world, the son of a neurosurgeon. I followed my father’s path and became an academic neurosurgeon, teaching at Harvard Medical School and other universities. I understand what happens to the brain when people are near death, and I had always believed there were good scientific explanations for the heavenly out-of-body journeys described by those who narrowly escaped death.

The brain is an astonishingly sophisticated but extremely delicate mechanism. Reduce the amount of oxygen it receives by the smallest amount and it will react. It was no big surprise that people who had undergone severe trauma would return from their experiences with strange stories. But that didn’t mean they had journeyed anywhere real.

Although I considered myself a faithful Christian, I was so more in name than in actual belief. I didn’t begrudge those who wanted to believe that Jesus was more than simply a good man who had suffered at the hands of the world. I sympathized deeply with those who wanted to believe that there was a God somewhere out there who loved us unconditionally. In fact, I envied such people the security that those beliefs no doubt provided. But as a scientist, I simply knew better than to believe them myself.

In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated, I experienced something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death.

I know how pronouncements like mine sound to skeptics, so I will tell my story with the logic and language of the scientist I am.

Very early one morning four years ago, I awoke with an extremely intense headache. Within hours, my entire cortex—the part of the brain that controls thought and emotion and that in essence makes us human—had shut down. Doctors at Lynchburg General Hospital in Virginia, a hospital where I myself worked as a neurosurgeon, determined that I had somehow contracted a very rare bacterial meningitis that mostly attacks newborns. E. coli bacteria had penetrated my cerebrospinal fluid and were eating my brain.

When I entered the emergency room that morning, my chances of survival in anything beyond a vegetative state were already low. They soon sank to near nonexistent. For seven days I lay in a deep coma, my body unresponsive, my higher-order brain functions totally offline.

Then, on the morning of my seventh day in the hospital, as my doctors weighed whether to discontinue treatment, my eyes popped open.

‘You have nothing to fear.’ ‘There is nothing you can do wrong.’ The message flooded me with a vast and crazy sensation of relief. (Photo illustration by Newsweek; Source: Buena Vista Images-Getty Images)

There is no scientific explanation for the fact that while my body lay in coma, my mind—my conscious, inner self—was alive and well. While the neurons of my cortex were stunned to complete inactivity by the bacteria that had attacked them, my brain-free consciousness journeyed to another, larger dimension of the universe: a dimension I’d never dreamed existed and which the old, pre-coma me would have been more than happy to explain was a simple impossibility.

But that dimension—in rough outline, the same one described by countless subjects of near-death experiences and other mystical states—is there. It exists, and what I saw and learned there has placed me quite literally in a new world: a world where we are much more than our brains and bodies, and where death is not the end of consciousness but rather a chapter in a vast, and incalculably positive, journey.

I’m not the first person to have discovered evidence that consciousness exists beyond the body. Brief, wonderful glimpses of this realm are as old as human history. But as far as I know, no one before me has ever traveled to this dimension (a) while their cortex was completely shut down, and (b) while their body was under minute medical observation, as mine was for the full seven days of my coma.

All the chief arguments against near-death experiences suggest that these experiences are the results of minimal, transient, or partial malfunctioning of the cortex. My near-death experience, however, took place not while my cortex was malfunctioning, but while it was simply off. This is clear from the severity and duration of my meningitis, and from the global cortical involvement documented by CT scans and neurological examinations. According to current medical understanding of the brain and mind, there is absolutely no way that I could have experienced even a dim and limited consciousness during my time in the coma, much less the hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey I underwent.

It took me months to come to terms with what happened to me. Not just the medical impossibility that I had been conscious during my coma, but—more importantly—the things that happened during that time. Toward the beginning of my adventure, I was in a place of clouds. Big, puffy, pink-white ones that showed up sharply against the deep blue-black sky.

Reliving History: The search for the meaning of the afterlife is as old as humanity itself. Over the years Newsweek has run numerous covers about religion, God, and that search. As Dr. Alexander says, it’s unlikely we’ll know the answer in our lifetimes, but that doesn’t mean we won’t keep asking.

Higher than the clouds—immeasurably higher—flocks of transparent, shimmering beings arced across the sky, leaving long, streamerlike lines behind them.

Birds? Angels? These words registered later, when I was writing down my recollections. But neither of these words do justice to the beings themselves, which were quite simply different from anything I have known on this planet. They were more advanced. Higher forms.

A sound, huge and booming like a glorious chant, came down from above, and I wondered if the winged beings were producing it. Again, thinking about it later, it occurred to me that the joy of these creatures, as they soared along, was such that they had to make this noise—that if the joy didn’t come out of them this way then they would simply not otherwise be able to contain it. The sound was palpable and almost material, like a rain that you can feel on your skin but doesn’t get you wet.

Seeing and hearing were not separate in this place where I now was. I could hear the visual beauty of the silvery bodies of those scintillating beings above, and I could see the surging, joyful perfection of what they sang. It seemed that you could not look at or listen to anything in this world without becoming a part of it—without joining with it in some mysterious way. Again, from my present perspective, I would suggest that you couldn’t look at anything in that world at all, for the word “at” itself implies a separation that did not exist there. Everything was distinct, yet everything was also a part of everything else, like the rich and intermingled designs on a Persian carpet … or a butterfly’s wing.

It gets stranger still. For most of my journey, someone else was with me. A woman. She was young, and I remember what she looked like in complete detail. She had high cheekbones and deep-blue eyes. Golden brown tresses framed her lovely face. When first I saw her, we were riding along together on an intricately patterned surface, which after a moment I recognized as the wing of a butterfly. In fact, millions of butterflies were all around us—vast fluttering waves of them, dipping down into the woods and coming back up around us again. It was a river of life and color, moving through the air. The woman’s outfit was simple, like a peasant’s, but its colors—powder blue, indigo, and pastel orange-peach—had the same overwhelming, super-vivid aliveness that everything else had. She looked at me with a look that, if you saw it for five seconds, would make your whole life up to that point worth living, no matter what had happened in it so far. It was not a romantic look. It was not a look of friendship. It was a look that was somehow beyond all these, beyond all the different compartments of love we have down here on earth. It was something higher, holding all those other kinds of love within itself while at the same time being much bigger than all of them.

Without using any words, she spoke to me. The message went through me like a wind, and I instantly understood that it was true. I knew so in the same way that I knew that the world around us was real—was not some fantasy, passing and insubstantial.

The message had three parts, and if I had to translate them into earthly language, I’d say they ran something like this:

“You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.”

“You have nothing to fear.”

“There is nothing you can do wrong.”

The message flooded me with a vast and crazy sensation of relief. It was like being handed the rules to a game I’d been playing all my life without ever fully understanding it.

“We will show you many things here,” the woman said, again, without actually using these words but by driving their conceptual essence directly into me. “But eventually, you will go back.”

To this, I had only one question.

Back where?

The universe as I experienced it in my coma is … the same one that both Einstein and Jesus were speaking of in their (very) different ways. (Ed Morris / Getty Images)

A warm wind blew through, like the kind that spring up on the most perfect summer days, tossing the leaves of the trees and flowing past like heavenly water. A divine breeze. It changed everything, shifting the world around me into an even higher octave, a higher vibration.

Although I still had little language function, at least as we think of it on earth, I began wordlessly putting questions to this wind, and to the divine being that I sensed at work behind or within it.

Where is this place?

Who am I?

Why am I here?

Each time I silently put one of these questions out, the answer came instantly in an explosion of light, color, love, and beauty that blew through me like a crashing wave. What was important about these blasts was that they didn’t simply silence my questions by overwhelming them. They answered them, but in a way that bypassed language. Thoughts entered me directly. But it wasn’t thought like we experience on earth. It wasn’t vague, immaterial, or abstract. These thoughts were solid and immediate—hotter than fire and wetter than water—and as I received them I was able to instantly and effortlessly understand concepts that would have taken me years to fully grasp in my earthly life.

I continued moving forward and found myself entering an immense void, completely dark, infinite in size, yet also infinitely comforting. Pitch-black as it was, it was also brimming over with light: a light that seemed to come from a brilliant orb that I now sensed near me. The orb was a kind of “interpreter” between me and this vast presence surrounding me. It was as if I were being born into a larger world, and the universe itself was like a giant cosmic womb, and the orb (which I sensed was somehow connected with, or even identical to, the woman on the butterfly wing) was guiding me through it.

Later, when I was back, I found a quotation by the 17th-century Christian poet Henry Vaughan that came close to describing this magical place, this vast, inky-black core that was the home of the Divine itself.

“There is, some say, in God a deep but dazzling darkness …”

That was it exactly: an inky darkness that was also full to brimming with light.

I know full well how extraordinary, how frankly unbelievable, all this sounds. Had someone—even a doctor—told me a story like this in the old days, I would have been quite certain that they were under the spell of some delusion. But what happened to me was, far from being delusional, as real or more real than any event in my life. That includes my wedding day and the birth of my two sons.

What happened to me demands explanation.

Modern physics tells us that the universe is a unity—that it is undivided. Though we seem to live in a world of separation and difference, physics tells us that beneath the surface, every object and event in the universe is completely woven up with every other object and event. There is no true separation.

Before my experience these ideas were abstractions. Today they are realities. Not only is the universe defined by unity, it is also—I now know—defined by love. The universe as I experienced it in my coma is—I have come to see with both shock and joy—the same one that both Einstein and Jesus were speaking of in their (very) different ways.

I’ve spent decades as a neurosurgeon at some of the most prestigious medical institutions in our country. I know that many of my peers hold—as I myself did—to the theory that the brain, and in particular the cortex, generates consciousness and that we live in a universe devoid of any kind of emotion, much less the unconditional love that I now know God and the universe have toward us. But that belief, that theory, now lies broken at our feet. What happened to me destroyed it, and I intend to spend the rest of my life investigating the true nature of consciousness and making the fact that we are more, much more, than our physical brains as clear as I can, both to my fellow scientists and to people at large.

I don’t expect this to be an easy task, for the reasons I described above. When the castle of an old scientific theory begins to show fault lines, no one wants to pay attention at first. The old castle simply took too much work to build in the first place, and if it falls, an entirely new one will have to be constructed in its place.

I learned this firsthand after I was well enough to get back out into the world and talk to others—people, that is, other than my long-suffering wife, Holley, and our two sons—about what had happened to me. The looks of polite disbelief, especially among my medical friends, soon made me realize what a task I would have getting people to understand the enormity of what I had seen and experienced that week while my brain was down.

One of the few places I didn’t have trouble getting my story across was a place I’d seen fairly little of before my experience: church. The first time I entered a church after my coma, I saw everything with fresh eyes. The colors of the stained-glass windows recalled the luminous beauty of the landscapes I’d seen in the world above. The deep bass notes of the organ reminded me of how thoughts and emotions in that world are like waves that move through you. And, most important, a painting of Jesus breaking bread with his disciples evoked the message that lay at the very heart of my journey: that we are loved and accepted unconditionally by a God even more grand and unfathomably glorious than the one I’d learned of as a child in Sunday school.

Today many believe that the living spiritual truths of religion have lost their power, and that science, not faith, is the road to truth. Before my experience I strongly suspected that this was the case myself.

But I now understand that such a view is far too simple. The plain fact is that the materialist picture of the body and brain as the producers, rather than the vehicles, of human consciousness is doomed. In its place a new view of mind and body will emerge, and in fact is emerging already. This view is scientific and spiritual in equal measure and will value what the greatest scientists of history themselves always valued above all: truth.

<:figure style=”DISPLAY: block” jQuery17206130544335219017=”70″>This new picture of reality will take a long time to put together. It won’t be finished in my time, or even, I suspect, my sons’ either. In fact, reality is too vast, too complex, and too irreducibly mysterious for a full picture of it ever to be absolutely complete. But in essence, it will show the universe as evolving, multi-dimensional, and known down to its every last atom by a God who cares for us even more deeply and fiercely than any parent ever loved their child.

I’m still a doctor, and still a man of science every bit as much as I was before I had my experience. But on a deep level I’m very different from the person I was before, because I’ve caught a glimpse of this emerging picture of reality. And you can believe me when I tell you that it will be worth every bit of the work it will take us, and those who come after us, to get it right.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/07/proof-of-heaven-a-doctor-s-experience-with-the-afterlife.html

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Rational Proof of God

“Were they created by nothing? Or were they themselves the creators? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay they have no firm belief.” [Quran 52:35-36]

The Islamic Belief and subsequently the Islamic way of life has an intellectual basis. Therefore, Islam is neither a religion nor a set of values and rituals that arise from Blind Faith. Rather, Islam is an intellectual belief from which emanates a comprehensive system of life, be it for individuals or society. To understand the unique system that Islam offers necessitates the explanation of the Islamic belief i.e. the belief in God, Allah (swt) in Arabic, and the Word of God, the Qur’an.

 

Arguments For & Against God.

Today if you mention God then you’ll probably get a negative reaction. It has become a trend to get on with life and not to bother to ask the question whether there is a God or not. In fact this question was not even asked much in the days of old, when you simply had to believe in God or be persecuted. Therefore it is not surprising that people find it easy to believe that the existence of God is a myth, simply because they have never thought deeply about the idea.

It is because people continued to believe in God blindly, i.e. Blind Faith, rather than use ration, that science and its attempted explanations of universal phenomena was hailed as the ‘new God’.

But let us deal with both arguments – for and against the existence of a Creator – from a rational perspective. A common argument by many Christians and some other religions is that God is the God of many abstract attributes such as Love, Peace, Mercy which indeed are admirable qualities for human beings to aspire to. This characterisation of God is based on an implicit assumption that God can be likened to human beings thus the attempt to understand God in a human framework. Accordingly, we find in some societies, such as early Greek, that individual gods were used to represent single human attributes, and in other cultures gods have the quality to reproduce.

The question this begs is whether the essence of an unlimited Creator is understandable through a limited, imperfect human mind when God lies beyond our perception? Rational thought would dictate that if God exists then knowledge of God’s attributes can only come from Itself. Therefore, famine in the world leading to the deaths of millions would not deny the Justice, Mercy or Love of God as the Governor and Controller of the universe. This is the failure of Christianity and indeed all religions as their belief becomes a matter of Blind Faith. Consequently, they allow themselves to be plagued by rational contradictions which inevitably lead to intellectual refutation.

With regard to the opposing view proposed by scientific theories to disprove the existence of God. Are these arguments valid? To understand the validity of any proposed argument the premise should be examined. Science is concerned with the methodology of processes in the physical world i.e. it deals with ‘how’ and not ‘why’. Thus scientists are not concerned with why gravity exists but how gravity influences bodies to shape the universe.

The scientific method is limited in that it can only deduce rules by repeated observation of physical phenomena. This question of the existence of God does not and cannot fall into the realm of scientific thought because science deals with the mechanisms of events and phenomena within the universe, i.e. the tangible and not the intangible. To test the hypothesis to apply scientific proof for or against God, one would effectively have said that God is ‘testable’. Therefore, logically one would conclude God to be within the universe since God must be physically tangible and contained within the universe. God must be limited and therefore cannot be God.

Thus scientists are falling into the same trap as the blind followers of religion, that is they are implicitly defining a role to God as the ‘one who makes things work’. Since scientists have explained how things work the question of God does not arise. Those who argue from this angle have falsely assumed an attribute/essence of God in the same way Christians say God has a son or is Love. To prove or disprove the existence of a Creator we need to go beyond the limitations of the scientific method and proceed rationally for it is only rational thought which has the ability to deal with an issue like this.

 

The Rational Thought

Man progresses as a result of his thoughts concerning everything around him. Thoughts are what distinguish man from other animals and without them man would be lost. Thought occurs when man receives information about something through his five senses. He then distinguishes it by linking it to previous information and experiences he has encountered. For example, a person comes across a plant. He knows that it is a plant due to his previous knowledge of what a plant looks like. But only when he links it with previous information on the various types of plants will he be able to tell if it is edible or poisonous.

Hence, just receiving information is not enough. It will only remain as information that we cannot appreciate or understand. However, the process of linking it to previous information and distinguishing the information is the process of thought and the key of understanding and progressing.

Consequently, when a man becomes convinced of the correctness of a thought, it becomes the concept which he carries, thus, affecting his behaviour. For example, if we carry the concept of dislike of someone, it will affect our behaviour towards that person. So we see that carrying false ideas has serious implications for a person and if such false ideas are carried widely it has serious implications for society

Thus the idea and question of God has serious implications because the answer obtained becomes the very basis by which we understand the creation and purpose of man, life and universe.

Therefore, the method used should not only be the rational thought but the comprehensive and agree with reality. Anything hypothetical or emotional should be rejected since their basis disagrees with ration and reality.

 

The Rational Proof of God

When we look around us at everything we can sense one factor is shared by these things, and that is that they are all limited. By limited we mean that they have restrictions, a starting point and an ending point, and they have definable attributes i.e. they are all finite.

Man is born and he dies. There is no-one alive who will not die. During his life span, he will grow to a certain height, weight and volume.

The universe is defined as all the celestial planets. All these objects have certain mass, shape, volume and so on. The life span of a star may be very long, but a point in time will come when it will cease to exist.

The universe is large, but still a finite space. No scientist could ever prove using hard facts that the universe has no bounds. In fact when we say that the universe arose from the Big Bang and expanding they inherently admit it is finite in size, otherwise it could not expand!

There is nothing in reality which is unlimited. No matter how hard we try, man is unable to find anything unlimited around him. All he can perceive is the finite and limited.

A further attribute of everything around us is that they are all needy and dependent in order to continue existing. They are not self-sustaining or independent. Man has needs. He has to satisfy in order to survive. He has organic needs. Man must eat and drink if he is to survive. If he does not he will die. We see the need and dependency in plants and animals. They depend on other parts of the food chain for their existence. The water cycle is dependent on the sun, which is dependent on the laws of the galaxies and of burning mass, and so on… Nothing man can perceive is self-subsistent. So things exist, but do not have the power of existence. They cannot control when they die or when other bodies die.

Thus what we see is that everything around us is limited and finite. Everything that is limited and finite is dependant and everything that is dependant is dependant upon something greater than itself.

Applying this to everything we see will bring us to a conclusion. If everything in the universe is dependant because it has not the power of being in existence on its own accord, and is also finite and limited, then what is everything dependant upon for its existence? Hence, two possibilities exist, that is either all finite and limited objects depend upon each other in an infinite chain of inter dependencies (infinite regression). Or there is a first cause a sole creator upon which everything depends. To explain this further we can understand this by way of analogy. Consider a set of dominoes for example, for the final domino to fall it is dependant upon the domino before it, and for that domino to fall over it is dependant upon the domino before it. Now imagine if there was an infinite number of dominoes…… would any of the dominoes fall over?

The answer is no, none of the dominoes would fall over. Now to view any aspect of the universe we would see that something is already in existence in essence the last domino has fallen over. Thus meaning that finite things are not dependant upon each other in an infinite chain. Therefore, there needs to be a first cause or a sole Creator upon which everything depends and itself being independent. Now, we have noted that everything that is finite and limited is also dependant, hence, for something to be independent it would need to be infinite and unlimited. This is whom we Muslim call Allah (swt) the sole Creator, self subsistent, and completely unique and different from creation. And

Allah (swt) says

“Declare, Allah is one and only,Allah is self sufficient (needy of nothing but upon which everything depends), Neither Allah begets nor was he begotten, And there is nothing equal to or comparable unto Allah”  [TMQ 112]

The only rational and intellectual solution to the question of creation is that there is a Creator that has accounted for all that we see and perceive. Ration tells us that nothing can be created without a creator. Ultimately, there must be a Creator who is unlimited in every aspect.

 

Conclusion

Belief in Allah is not a superstition nor a mythology, but is a definite fact that is established upon the use of the mind and is felt within every person. Hence, looking at any planet in the universe, contemplating on any phase of life, or comprehending any aspect of man provides a conclusive evidence for the existence of a Creator, what Muslims call Allah (swt).

“Verily in the Creation of the heavens and the Earth and the alternation of the night and the day the are indeed signs for a people who depth and thinking” Quran [TMQ 3:190]

Belief through rational thinking

Each religion has its own position regarding how one comes to believe and, as such, instructs its followers to come to believe according to this way as the optimum way.

Islam also directs people on this matter.  In the Quran, Allah (God) invites people to reflect and think, ponder and contemplate on the things around them.

It is through such reflection that leads Muslims to come to an understanding that the universe and everything in it was created by a Creator.

Many verses of the Quran state this invitation, such as:

“Behold!  In the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alteration of night and day, these are indeed signs for men of understanding” (Quran chapter 3, verse 190)

“Behold! In the creation of heaven and earth and the differences of night and day, and the ships which run upon the sea with that which is of use to men, and the water which Allah sends down from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after its death, and dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and in the ordinance of the winds, and the clouds obedient between heaven and earth are signs for people who have sense.” (Quran chapter 2, verse 164)

Belief is not through blind Faith
This means that Muslims do not have a blind Faith in a religion that they cannot prove.

Muslim can rationally prove to themselves that God exists through thinking and contemplation.

Blind Faith was the European Christian solution to the questions of belief that the clergy could not answer.

Blind Faith is dangerous, for why would someone believe in something that cannot be proven. Adherence to such a belief would be shaky and weak, built upon doubtful ideas.

In addition, one who believes through blind Faith closes his mind to various facts and observations around him in this Universe.

Islam is not a theory, or a possibility, but a belief that should and can be proved, definitely and conclusively.

Islam is a belief that asks humankind to approach it by thinking so as to do away with blind Faith and doubt, so the very foundations of belief are strong, like a knot which cannot be broken.

A Shared Personal belief
When Muslims gather together, they have a commonality; a shared belief, arrived at by contemplation.  So Islam is a communal belief, not merely a personal matter for an individual to follow and not care about others.  Such a shared experience in belief further binds people together and even acts as a point of discussion enhancing our understanding in a shared belief in a Creator.

Can you prove God exists by Experiments?
Can one find God in a laboratory?  science and its theories cannot prove the existence of God, neither can they disprove it. So some scientists believe in God, and some do not.

The existence of Allah is established, and can be proved by reason – by thinking about the environment around you.

You don’t need to be a scientist in a white coat or a professor to do this – just a normal person who begins to critically question what life is all about.

How certain can you be?
Muslims are 100% sure of the existence in Allah.  Muslims are as certain as they are of anything in life.

That certainty nurtures a concern for humanity and the hope that others would one day arrive at these conclusions about life through thought.

This unshakable belief creates a harmony in a person, so that life is not merely huge peaks and troughs of happiness and depression.  The Islamic belief creates a stable character that should be constant in his mental and physical well being.

Pakistan’s future foretold in 1946 by Abul Kalam Azad

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad: The Man Who Knew The Future Of Pakistan Before Its Creation

 by Shorish Kashmiri,  Matbooat Chattan, Lahore

Congress president Maulana Abul Kalam Azad gave the following interview to journalist Shorish Kashmiri for a Lahore based Urdu magazine, Chattan, in April 1946. It was a time when the Cabinet Mission was holding its proceedings in Delhi and Simla. Azad made some startling predictions during the course of the interview, saying that religious conflict would tear apart Pakistan and its eastern half would carve out its own future. He even said that Pakistan’s incompetent rulers might pave the way for military rule.

According to Shorish Kashmiri, Azad had earmarked the early hours of the morning for him and the interview was conducted over a period of two weeks. This interview has not been published in any book so far — neither in the Azad centenary volumes nor in any other book comprising his writing or speeches — except for Kashmiri’s own book Abul Kalam Azad, which was printed only once by Matbooat Chattan Lahore, a now-defunct publishing house. Former Union Cabinet Minister Arif Mohammed Khan discovered the book after searching for many years and translated the interview for COVERT

 

Q: The Hindu Muslim dispute has become so acute that it has foreclosed any possibility of reconciliation. Don’t you think that in this situation the birth of Pakistan has become inevitable?

A: 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.

 

Q: But many Ulema are with Quaid-e-Azam [M.A. Jinnah].

A: Many Ulema were with Akbare Azam too; they invented a new religion for him. Do not discuss individuals. Our history is replete with the doings of the Ulema who have brought humiliation and disgrace to Islam in every age and period.

The upholders of truth are exceptions. How many of the Ulema find an honourable mention in the Muslim history of the last 1,300 years? There was one Imam Hanbal, one Ibn Taimiyya. In India we remember no Ulema except Shah Waliullah and his family. The courage of Alf Sani is beyond doubt, but those who filled the royal office with complaints against him and got him imprisoned were also Ulema. Where are they now? Does anybody show any respect to them?

 

Q: Maulana, what is wrong if Pakistan becomes a reality? After all, “Islam” is being used to pursue and protect the unity of the community.

A: You are using the name of Islam for a cause that is not right by Islamic standards. Muslim history bears testimony to many such enormities. In the battle of Jamal [fought between Imam Ali and Hadrat Aisha, widow of the Holy Prophet] Qurans were displayed on lances. Was that right? In Karbala the family members of the Holy Prophet were martyred by those Muslims who claimed companionship of the Prophet. Was that right? Hajjaj was a Muslim general and he subjected the holy mosque at Makka to brutal attack. Was that right? No sacred words can justify or sanctify a false motive.

If Pakistan was right for Muslims then I would have supported it. But I see clearly the dangers inherent in the demand. I do not expect people to follow me, but it is not possible for me to go against the call of my conscience. People generally submit either to coercion or to the lessons of their experience. Muslims will not hear anything against Pakistan unless they experience it. Today they can call white black, but they will not give up Pakistan. The only way it can be stopped now is either for the government not to concede it or for Mr Jinnah himself — if he agrees to some new proposal.

Now as I gather from the attitude of my own colleagues in the working committee, the division of India appears to be certain. But I must warn that the evil consequences of partition will not affect India alone, Pakistan will be equally haunted by them. The partition will be based on the religion of the population and not based on any natural barrier like mountain, desert or river. A line will be drawn; it is difficult to say how durable it would be.

We must remember that an entity conceived in hatred will last only as long as that hatred lasts. This hatred will overwhelm the relations between India and Pakistan. In this situation it will not be possible for India and Pakistan to become friends and live amicably unless some catastrophic event takes place. The politics of partition itself will act as a barrier between the two countries. It will not be possible for Pakistan to accommodate all the Muslims of India, a task beyond her territorial capability. On the other hand, it will not be possible for the Hindus to stay especially in West Pakistan. They will be thrown out or leave on their own. This will have its repercussions in India and the Indian Muslims will have three options before them:

1. They become victims of loot and brutalities and migrate to Pakistan; but how many Muslims can find shelter there?

2. They become subject to murder and other excesses. A substantial number of Muslims will pass through this ordeal until the bitter memories of partition are forgotten and the generation that had lived through it completes its natural term.

3. A good number of Muslims, haunted by poverty, political wilderness and regional depredation decide to renounce Islam.

The prominent Muslims who are supporters of Muslim League will leave for Pakistan. The wealthy Muslims will take over the industry and business and monopolise the economy of Pakistan. But more than 30 million Muslims will be left behind in India. What promise Pakistan holds for them? The situation that will arise after the expulsion of Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan will be still more dangerous for them. Pakistan itself will be afflicted by many serious problems. The greatest danger will come from international powers who will seek to control the new country, and with the passage of time this control will become tight. India will have no problem with this outside interference as it will sense danger and hostility from Pakistan.

The other important point that has escaped Mr Jinnah’s attention is Bengal. He does not know that Bengal disdains outside leadership and rejects it sooner or later. During World War II, Mr Fazlul Haq revolted against Jinnah and was thrown out of the Muslim League. Mr H.S. Suhrawardy does not hold Jinnah in high esteem. Why only Muslim League, look at the history of Congress. The revolt of Subhas Chandra Bose is known to all. Gandhiji was not happy with the presidentship of Bose and turned the tide against him by going on a fast unto death at Rajkot. Subhas Bose rose against Gandhiji and disassociated himself from the Congress. The environment of Bengal is such that it disfavours leadership from outside and rises in revolt when it senses danger to its rights and interests.

The confidence of East Pakistan will not erode as long as Jinnah and Liaquat Ali are alive. But after them any small incident will create resentment and disaffection. I feel that it will not be possible for East Pakistan to stay with West Pakistan for any considerable period of time. There is nothing common between the two regions except that they call themselves Muslims. But the fact of being Muslim has never created durable political unity anywhere in the world. The Arab world is before us; they subscribe to a common religion, a common civilisation and culture and speak a common language.

In fact they acknowledge even territorial unity. But there is no political unity among them. Their systems of government are different and they are often engaged in mutual recrimination and hostility. On the other hand, the language, customs and way of life of East Pakistan are totally different from West Pakistan. The moment the creative warmth of Pakistan cools down, the contradictions will emerge and will acquire assertive overtones. These will be fuelled by the clash of interests of international powers and consequently both wings will separate.

After the separation of East Pakistan, whenever it happens, West Pakistan will become the battleground of regional contradictions and disputes. The assertion of sub-national identities of Punjab, Sind, Frontier and Balochistan will open the doors for outside interference. It will not be long before the international powers use the diverse elements of Pakistani political leadership to break the country on the lines of Balkan and Arab states. Maybe at that stage we will ask ourselves, what have we gained and what have we lost.

The real issue is economic development and progress, it certainly is not religion. Muslim business leaders have doubts about their own ability and competitive spirit. They are so used to official patronage and favours that they fear new freedom and liberty. They advocate the two-nation theory to conceal their fears and want to have a Muslim state where they have the monopoly to control the economy without any competition from competent rivals. It will be interesting to watch how long they can keep this deception alive.

 

I feel that right from its inception, Pakistan will face some very serious problems:

1. The incompetent political leadership will pave the way for military dictatorship as it has happened in many Muslim countries.

2. The heavy burden of foreign debt.

3. Absence of friendly relationship with neighbours and the possibility of armed conflict.

4. Internal unrest and regional conflicts.

5. The loot of national wealth by the neo-rich and industrialists of Pakistan.

6. The apprehension of class war as a result of exploitation by the neo-rich.

7. The dissatisfaction and alienation of the youth from religion and the collapse of the theory of Pakistan.

8. The conspiracies of the international powers to control Pakistan.

In this situation, the stability of Pakistan will be under strain and the Muslim countries will be in no position to provide any worthwhile help. The assistance from other sources will not come without strings and it will force both ideological and territorial compromises.

 

Q: But the question is how Muslims can keep their community identity intact and how they can inculcate the attributes of the citizens of a Muslim state.

A: Hollow words cannot falsify the basic realities nor slanted questions can make the answers deficient. It amounts to distortion of the discourse. What is meant by community identity? If this community identity has remained intact during the British slavery, how will it come under threat in a free India in whose affairs Muslims will be equal participants? What attributes of the Muslim state you wish to cultivate?

The real issue is the freedom of faith and worship and who can put a cap on that freedom. Will independence reduce the 90 million Muslims into such a helpless state that they will feel constrained in enjoying their religious freedom? If the British, who as a world power could not snatch this liberty, what magic or power do the Hindus have to deny this freedom of religion? These questions have been raised by those, who, under the influence of western culture, have renounced their own heritage and are now raising dust through political gimmickry.

Muslim history is an important part of Indian history. Do you think the Muslim kings were serving the cause of Islam? They had a nominal relationship with Islam; they were not Islamic preachers. Muslims of India owe their gratitude to Sufis, and many of these divines were treated by the kings very cruelly.

Most of the kings created a large band of Ulema who were an obstacle in the path of the propagation of Islamic ethos and values. Islam, in its pristine form, had a tremendous appeal and in the first century won the hearts and minds of a large number of people living in and around Hejaz. But the Islam that came to India was different, the carriers were non-Arabs and the real spirit was missing. Still, the imprint of the Muslim period is writ large on the culture, music, art, architecture and languages of India. What do the cultural centres of India, like Delhi and Lucknow, represent? The underlying Muslim spirit is all too obvious.

If the Muslims still feel under threat and believe that they will be reduced to slavery in free India then I can only pray for their faith and hearts. If a man becomes disenchanted with life he can be helped to revival, but if someone is timid and lacks courage, then it is not possible to help him become brave and gutsy. The Muslims as a community have become cowards. They have no fear of God, instead they fear men. This explains why they are so obsessed with threats to their existence — a figment of their imagination.

After British takeover, the government committed all possible excesses against the Muslims. But Muslims did not cease to exist. On the contrary, they registered a growth that was more than average. The Muslim cultural ethos and values have their own charm. Then India has large Muslim neighbours on three sides. Why on earth the majority in this country will be interested to wipe out the Muslims? How will it promote their self interests? Is it so easy to finish 90 million people? In fact, Muslim culture has such attraction that I shall not be surprised if it comes to have the largest following in free India.

The world needs both, a durable peace and a philosophy of life. If the Hindus can run after Marx and undertake scholarly studies of the philosophy and wisdom of the West, they do not disdain Islam and will be happy to benefit from its principles. In fact they are more familiar with Islam and acknowledge that Islam does not mean parochialism of a hereditary community or a despotic system of governance.

Islam is a universal call to establish peace on the basis of human equality. They know that Islam is the proclamation of a Messenger who calls to the worship of God and not his own worship. Islam means freedom from all social and economic discriminations and reorganisation of society on three basic principles of God-consciousness, righteous action and knowledge.

In fact, it is we Muslims and our extremist behaviour that has created an aversion among non-Muslims for Islam. If we had not allowed our selfish ambitions to soil the purity of Islam then many seekers of truth would have found comfort in the bosom of Islam. Pakistan has nothing to do with Islam; it is a political demand that is projected by Muslim League as the national goal of Indian Muslims. I feel it is not the solution to the problems Muslims are facing. In fact it is bound to create more problems.

The Holy Prophet has said, “God has made the whole earth a mosque for me.” Now do not ask me to support the idea of the partition of a mosque. If the nine-crore Muslims were thinly scattered all over India, and demand was made to reorganise the states in a manner to ensure their majority in one or two regions, that was understandable. Again such a demand would not have been right from an Islamic viewpoint, but justifiable on administrative grounds.

But the situation, as it exists, is drastically different. All the border states of India have Muslim majorities sharing borders with Muslim countries.

Tell me, who can eliminate these populations? By demanding Pakistan we are turning our eyes away from the history of the last 1,000 years and, if I may use the League terminology, throwing more than 30 million Muslims into the lap of “Hindu Raj”. The Hindu Muslim problem that has created political tension between Congress and League will become a source of dispute between the two states and with the aid of international powers this may erupt into full scale war anytime in future.

The question is often raised that if the idea of Pakistan is so fraught with dangers for the Muslims, why is it being opposed by the Hindus? I feel that the opposition to the demand is coming from two quarters. One is represented by those who genuinely feel concerned about imperial machinations and strongly believe that a free, united India will be in a better position to defend itself.

On the other hand, there is a section who opposes Pakistan with the motive to provoke Muslims to become more determined in their demand and thus get rid of them. Muslims have every right to demand constitutional safeguards, but partition of India cannot promote their interests. The demand is the politically incorrect solution of a communal problem.

In future India will be faced with class problems, not communal disputes; the conflict will be between capital and labour. The communist and socialist movements are growing and it is not possible to ignore them. These movements will increasingly fight for the protection of the interest of the underclass.

The Muslim capitalists and the feudal classes are apprehensive of this impending threat. Now they have given this whole issue a communal colour and have turned the economic issue into a religious dispute. But Muslims alone are not responsible for it. This strategy was first adopted by the British government and then endorsed by the political minds of Aligarh. Later, Hindu short-sightedness made matters worse and now freedom has become contingent on the partition of India.

Jinnah himself was an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity. In one Congress session Sarojini Naidu had commended him with this title. He was a disciple of Dadabhai Naoroji. He had refused to join the 1906 deputation of Muslims that initiated communal politics in India. In 1919 he stood firmly as a nationalist and opposed Muslim demands before the Joint Select Committee.

On 3 October 1925, in a letter to the Times of India he rubbished the suggestion that Congress is a Hindu outfit. In the All Parties Conferences of 1925 and 1928, he strongly favoured a joint electorate. While speaking at the National Assembly in 1925, he said, “I am a nationalist first and a nationalist last” and exhorted his colleagues, be they Hindus or Muslims, “not to raise communal issues in the House and help make the Assembly a national institution in the truest sense of the term”.

In 1928, Jinnah supported the Congress call to boycott Simon Commission. Till 1937, he did not favour the demand to partition India. In his message to various student bodies he stressed the need to work for Hindu Muslim unity. But he felt aggrieved when the Congress formed governments in seven states and ignored the Muslim League. In 1940 he decided to pursue the partition demand to check Muslim political decline.

In short, the demand for Pakistan is his response to his own political experiences. Mr Jinnah has every right to his opinion about me, but I have no doubts about his intelligence. As a politician he has worked overtime to fortify Muslim communalism and the demand for Pakistan. Now it has become a matter of prestige for him and he will not give it up at any cost.

 

Q: It is clear that Muslims are not going to turn away from their demand for Pakistan. Why have they become so impervious to all reason and logic of arguments?

A: It is difficult, rather impossible, to fight against the misplaced enthusiasm of a mob, but to suppress one’s conscience is worse than death. Today the Muslims are not walking, they are flowing. The problem is that Muslims have not learnt to walk steady; they either run or flow with the tide. When a group of people lose confidence and self-respect, they are surrounded by imaginary doubts and dangers and fail to make a distinction between the right and the wrong.

The true meaning of life is realised not through numerical strength but through firm faith and righteous action. British politics has sown many seeds of fear and distrust in the mental field of Muslims. Now they are in a frightful state, bemoaning the departure of the British and demanding partition before the foreign masters leave. Do they believe that partition will avert all the dangers to their lives and bodies? If these dangers are real then they will still haunt their borders and any armed conflict will result in much greater loss of lives and possessions.

 

Q: But Hindus and Muslims are two different nations with different and disparate inclinations. How can the unity between the two be achieved?

A: This is an obsolete debate. I have seen the correspondence between Allama Iqbal and Maulana Husain Ahmad Madni on the subject. In the Quran the term qaum has been used not only for the community of believers but has also been used for distinct human groupings generally. What do we wish to achieve by raising this debate about the etymological scope of terms like millat [community], qaum [nation] and ummat [group]? In religious terms India is home to many people — the Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs etc.

The differences between Hindu religion and Islam are vast in scope. But these differences cannot be allowed to become an obstacle in the path of India gaining her freedom nor do the two distinct and different systems of faith negate the idea of unity of India. The issue is of our national independence and how we can secure it. Freedom is a blessing and is the right of every human being. It cannot be divided on the basis of religion.

Muslims must realise that they are bearers of a universal message. They are not a racial or regional grouping in whose territory others cannot enter. Strictly speaking, Muslims in India are not one community; they are divided among many well-entrenched sects. You can unite them by arousing their anti-Hindu sentiment but you cannot unite them in the name of Islam. To them Islam means undiluted loyalty to their own sect.

Apart from Wahhabi, Sunni and Shia there are innumerable groups who owe allegiance to different saints and divines. Small issues like raising hands during the prayer and saying Amen loudly have created disputes that defy solution. The Ulema have used the instrument of takfeer [fatwas declaring someone as infidel] liberally. Earlier, they used to take Islam to the disbelievers; now they take away Islam from the believers. Islamic history is full of instances of how good and pious Muslims were branded kafirs. Prophets alone had the capability to cope with these mindboggling situations. Even they had to pass through times of afflictions and trials. The fact is that when reason and intelligence are abandoned and attitudes become fossilised then the job of the reformer becomes very difficult.

But today the situation is worse than ever. Muslims have become firm in their communalism; they prefer politics to religion and follow their worldly ambitions as commands of religion. History bears testimony to the fact that in every age we ridiculed those who pursued the good with consistency, snuffed out the brilliant examples of sacrifice and tore the flags of selfless service. Who are we, the ordinary mortals; even high ranking Prophets were not spared by these custodians of traditions and customs.

 

Q: You closed down your journal Al-Hilal a long time back. Was it due to your disappointment with the Muslims who were wallowing in intellectual desolation, or did you feel like proclaiming azan [call to prayer] in a barren desert?

A: I abandoned Al-Hilal not because I had lost faith in its truth. This journal created great awareness among a large section of Muslims. They renewed their faith in Islam, in human freedom and in consistent pursuit of righteous goals. In fact my own life was greatly enriched by this experience and I felt like those who had the privilege of learning under the companionship of the Messenger of God.

My own voice entranced me and under its impact I burnt out like a phoenix. Al-Hilal had served its purpose and a new age was dawning. Based on my experiences, I made a reappraisal of the situation and decided to devote all my time and energy for the attainment of our national freedom. I was firm in my belief that freedom of Asia and Africa largely depends on India’s freedom and Hindu Muslim unity is key to India’s freedom.

Even before the First World War, I had realised that India was destined to attain freedom, and no power on earth would be able to deny it. I was also clear in my mind about the role of Muslims. I ardently wished that Muslims would learn to walk together with their countrymen and not give an opportunity to history to say that when Indians were fighting for their independence, Muslims were looking on as spectators. Let nobody say that instead of fighting the waves they were standing on the banks and showing mirth on the drowning of boats carrying the freedom fighters [¼].

Courtesy: Covert Magazine

URL of this Page: http://newageislam.com/books-and-documents/maulana-abul-kalam-azad–the-man-who-knew-the-future-of-pakistan-before-its-creation/d/2139

Quotes and Wise Sayings From Quran :: Islam A Message of Peace!

ISLAM---World's Greatest Religion!

In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Quotes and Wise Sayings From Quran :: Islam A Message of Peace!

From Noble Quran: 

And whenever you give your word, say the truth [al-An’aam 6:152]

And seek help in patience and prayer [al-Baqarah 2:45]

And speak good to people [al-Baqarah 2:83]

And fulfil the Covenant of Allaah when you have covenanted [al-Nahl 16:91]

Verily! Allaah commands that you should render back the trusts to those to whom they are due [al-Nisa’ 4:58]

And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift) [al-Isra’ 17:29]

Eat and drink, but waste not by extravagance [al-A’raaf 7:31]

And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is al-taqwa (piety, righteousness) [al-Baqarah 2:197]

And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every…

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