ISLAMIC SPAIN AND DR ASAD SADIQ
A THINKING VISITOR FROM MANCHESTER
Inspirations of the past
Dr Asad Sadiq paid us a visit a few days back. And like us all, basked in the glory of Islamic days. We talked of how the modern Spaniards do not allow anyone to pray in the Mosque of Cordova. The authorities pick up kneeling people forcing their prayers there, and throwing them out. The Inquisition spirit has not gone out of them, even after centuries. It was perhaps after centuries that Dr Allama was able to do the same and we have a photograph to prove it to the world. But Dr Sadiq smiled and whispered to me, that he had managed ‘two nafils’ there in despite of the opposition. And he was very proud of same.
Eight hundred years Muslims ruled Spain and it was the first period where Muslims gave free reign to the Jewish people. The Muslims and Jews were hand in hand. In 1492 when Queen Isabella decided to oust the Muslims, so were the Jews, and their belongings were confiscated by authorities. And yet the Jews do not remember what the Muslims did for them in Spain, at all. Why the animosity now?
The Alhamra Palace is unique in history. It has all the usual things, but it also has a HALL OF PHILOSOPHERS. A thinking room, with pictures on its ceiling. Dr Asad adiq said that it had a profound effect on him. The library of M.A. Rahman Chughtai is full of books on Spain. He tried his best to visit Spain in 1932 and again in 1938 but a war was going on there, and Visas were not allowed to British subjects. It was a regret of the artist all his life.
The artist believed that the innovations made in Spain under Islamic rule, gave a new impetus to Islam itself. The aesthetic innovations were incredible too. That is why when he founded the Pakistan Arts Council Lahore, he gave it the name of Alhamra Lahore, and I think very few understand the significance of the name. When cousins marry, their children end up with genetic defects, but marriages outside families and culture, get a new genetic stimulation. That is why when civilizations intermix, the result is a new form of evolution of society. In Punjab, the land of five rivers, various civilization came and went, and left a richer Lahore. The culture of Lahore was not made in a day.
Scholars are of the opinion that whereas Islamic Culture and knowledge holds ts own to this day, the present generation of Muslims are a sorry lot. MANY BELIEVE THAT A NEW CIVILIZATION WILL EMBRACE ISLAM AND GIVE A NEW INFUSION TO ISLAM. Who would these people be? Who knows? But till then believe that Pakistanis are the only muslim nation left in the world capable of not only understanding the dynamism of a new Islam abut forcing its adoption in the present world scenario. We indeed are blessed by Allah with wisdom to undertake the task of the renaissance. And indeed Mullahs as well as Seculars are the other end of the hopeless scale. One of the prime reason for the degradation of Islam today is precisely the imbecility of these barbarians.