Allama Mashriqi's "TAZKIRAH": Its Essence By Prof. Amalende De

4.1.            THREE PARTS OF TAZKIRA
Ever since 1916, Inayatullah’s mind was occupied with thoughts of the welfare and uplift of the Muslim world. Neither the Indian National Congress, nor the Muslim League, neither the Khilafat, nor yet the Hijrat made any appeal to him. What predominantly shaped his thoughts was Islam in its pristine purity as it was in the days of the revelation of the Quran and the ministry of Muhammad. This led him to write in 1924 a book partly in Arabic and partly in Urdu entitled Tazkira expounding the cardinal doctrines of the Quran.
The word Tazkira means the ‘Story’, that is to say, the narration of the story of Islam for the illumination of mankind. This treatise consisted of three chapters, The first chapter, Iflitahia or Opening, was written in Arabic. The second chapter, Dibacha or Preface and the third chapter, Muqaddama or Presentation, were written in Urdu.
In the first chapter Inayatullah analysed in detail some of the Surahs of the Quran. Reminding the Muslims he observed: You are making friends with all excepting God. Like a spider you live in your own house, but never ponder that in reality its frame is “weaker than even the cobwebs of a spider.” He asked them:
“Do you believe that your actions will benefit you during your lifetime in this world?”
He replying to this question Inayatullah said:
It is regrettable that being misguided you are blissfully oblivious of God, and fully sunk in pleasure. Remember, the judgement of God is fixed for you. Besides the punishment in this world you shall have to face punishment in the world after death
Because din and duniya cannot be separated from each other. Din is duniya, and duniya is din. The world is like a cultivable land. As you sow in this world, so you reap in the next: You will get the reward according to your work. Of course, reward is only for those who do good work and make good things. But there are many who are ignorant of all this.
Do you think you can deny the orders of God and the dictates of religion? You cannot deceive God. He has created you to spread the truth in the world and to rectify things. So don’t be a disbeliever. Work in faith. Remember that for the betterment of this world God has created some superior to others. Be pious and bend before God. Don’t make anyone Master except Him. Don’t quarrel among each other. Obey the order of your Amir. If there is any difference solve it according to the prescriptions of the Quran. Make Jihad with your life and property. Don’t run away at the time of war. Migrate from one country to another to make the kingdom of God strong and to carry out the orders of God in this world. But, at present, you are migrating to protect your life only! Don’t oppress anyone. Foster unity and brotherhood. Don’t try to detect other’s defects. Don’t make the breach of agreement. Don’t raise your voice higher than your Amir. Don’t be afraid of anyone except God. Think of the creation of God. Work for and try to understand God. Give up your bad habits and try to acquire the good ones. Endeavour to work for what God has said in the Quran. Do good work and be included in the galaxy of those persons who are beloved of God. Disseminate truth in this world. Remember that “pious people will be the rulers of the world”. The land belongs to them. Those who do not follow the right path will lose their kingdom. So the wise nations should deeply ponder over it. The Quran affirms that “the pious are the heirs of this world”. Keeping this in mind Inayatullah said, ‘Study Nature, know God’s Order and understand the nature of man. Learn how to earn your daily bread and cultivate the qualities of the good nations. Acquire good habits and distinguish between the good and the bad. Use your ears, eyes and heart to learn the work of God and to know what He wants. Dive deep into the matter to understand the duty of man. Perform your duty and prosper.
Explaining some verses of the Quran which emphasize the acquisition of knowledge ‘Inayatullah deplored that the Muslims have not abided by this injunction, though western scientists and learned man have acquired that knowledge. They know the rule on which the world is dependent. The laws of existence and the safety of present nations are known to them. They have thoroughly studied the various aspects of the earth and the universe. They have really known the aims of the Quran.
God has led them to the right path. Actually they have followed the principles of God. So they should be called the faithful servants of God.
Inayatullah commented:
Oh Muslims, do you think you are on the right path? Unfortunately, you know nothing about iron and other minerals. You do not know how to distinguish between black and white stones. You have acquired no knowledge of Nature. You have no knowledge of the stratification of the world’s surface which the Europeans have acquired. These are the people who made good things by their knowledge and work. So you cannot call them Kafirs. Those who are faithful to God see the signs of God in the Sun and the Moon from every angle. They know the movements of the sun and the moon. But your Alims (learned men) treat the Book of God and religious scripures as objects of fun and laughter. They treat the things of Nature as insignificant. They are unaware of God’s creations between the sky and the earth. So you are a set of ignoramus blockheads. Do you consider yourselves to the gainers and the western peoples to be losers? Practically those who have adhered to the principles of Islam are real Muslims.
As regards the question of language, Inayatullah pointed out that God did not make any distinction between Arabic and non Arabic languages. But He wants that He should be obeyed and his orders carried out by His followers. No one can be a true Mu’min until he follows in thought and action the true spirit of the Quran. God has said to an Arab or ajami that the Quran is a beneficial directive for the Mu’mins. Actually those who have no Iman are called Ajam. Inayatullah said that you can invoke God from any place and in any language. He will listen to you and accept you. He will reward you as He is kind to all human beings. The Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus are all alike. He who obeys and follows God is a believer and a Muslim. He who denies His Order is a Kafir. Further, the Quran says that among the Muslims, Christians, Jews and Sabaeans, only those who have faith in Allah and in the Day of Judgment, and performs good work (Saleh), will be rewarded. And they will have no fear and will not suffer so long as they continue to do good work and adhere to the Books which are given to Moses, to Christ and last of all to Prophet Muhammad. The Quran says that God has set apart a proper path for every nation. Don’ quarrel in the name of God. He will lead you on to the right path. Inayatullah reminded the Muslims that if they wanted to be great then it would be their bounden duty “to extend the boundaries of Islam”.
In the second chapter of the Tazkira Inayatullah analysed the essence of Islam. He wrote that of all the transcendental philosophies in the world religion is the highest. If all the religions are true there should be no question of any difference between them. If there is any difference it would not be possible to claim a particular religion to be true.
In fact all wars and conflicts are on account of the religious differences. Such a conflict between man and man is against the wishes of God and hence unnatural. The messages which the Prophets of all religions have left for mankind are one and the same. Those who go against religion are also against such messages. Concord, not discord, among men should be the aim of knowledge. The world is based on justice, not cruelty. The central theme of the messages of all Prophets is how men should live together. In different ages different Prophets have preached the ‘same natural religion’ which was, in fact, renewed from time to time with the arrival of new Prophets. Men have read differences in religion on the wrong assumption that the messages of Prophets were mutually different. But in reality the essence of all religions or of Prophets is the same. Inayatullah conceived orthodoxy in religion to be the principal cause of all clashes between men. Men are usually blind to a particular custom. But this is not desirable. One should discern the strength and weakness of a particular custom. 
Inayatullah observed that educated people in western countries have ignored religion and they have given an impression that religion is the source of all evils. They have attached more importance to the material life than to the spiritual life. It was, of course, their ignorance about spiritual life which has led them to ridicule religion. They should sincerely Endeavour to understand the true importance of religion. The westerners have twisted the main principles of their religion to suit their own needs. They have made changes in the Bible too. In different times they have given different interpretations of the Bible. The Quran is the only book in the world which is above any change.
The Christian priests have misinterpreted the Quran in ignorance. They have also criticised Prophet Muhammad as ‘a hysteric person’. They are against the Quran. But the famous English author Thomas Carlyle has supported the Quran. He has discovered truth from the Quran and held that the calumines cast by the Christian priests against Muhammad and the Quran are false. He criticised them and said that they should be ashamed of their conduct. Carlyle has praised Muhammad as a true and great prophet. Inayatullah wrote that as a result of bad effects of the absence of spirituality in Western Civilization the western people have failed to grasp the latent potentialities of man. Unaware of the real beauty of religion they are surprised when they see men living together and dying together. Similarly Oriental people also lack spirituality and cannot fathom the capacity of man. Both the Westerners and the Easterners have underrated the capacity of man. Sometimes they have exaggerated one thing by ignoring another and vice-versa. The Westerners are ignoring the teachings of God now, but a time will come when they shall have to listen to the message of God.
Inayatullah next criticised the theory of Darwin. He pointed out that with the advent of the Renaissance in Europe and the opening of the avenues of education Europeans became engaged in research work. Then they enquired: What is the secret of collective prosperity and collective destruction? How to build or destroy a nation? ‘What is the law by which any nation can acquire peace, prosperity and strength? After a thorough research on these points arid probe into the mysteries of Nature Europe came to unravel some secrets. The most important of these was Darwin’s Theory. Darwin threw new light on the origin of the species. He defined the laws of life and death, and disclosed some fundamental principles of life. But when the theory was applied to men it was found to be vague and wrong so far as the human society was concerned, as the nature of man differs entirely from that of animals. But the Europeans are giving undue prominence to the theory Things which are necessary for animals are also believed to be necessary for man. Human beings become slaves to material things as their life depends largely on them.
That is why they are involved in conflicts and are “socially going downwards”. They do not realise that without power to do work, divine knowledge, belief and faith, spirituality and unshaken determination, no nation can survive and enjoy peace and prosperity in the world. It is a matter of regret that Europeans attach no importance to the messages of Prophets and they cannot understand what the Prophets have taught them by their divine power and knowledge.
Inayatullah felt that human knowledge has soared high. In order to comprehend the messages of God correctly and to study the world one shall have to acquire knowledge. This will stimulate the study of the rise and fall of nations. Inayatullah believed that with the widening of the limits of knowledge and wisdom in the present age the true import of the message of God and its significance can be clearly grasped and applied to human society.
Man can determine the real aim of religion and decide how best to fulfill it. The essence of religion can easily be separated from orthodox views. The message of God as revealed in different religions is always the same though religious customs and rituals differ. These customs and externals are mere excrescences. In this way man can acquire the Universal Brotherhood and obey the command of one God. Inayatullah observed:
The Prophets who have come to this world with the massage of God never ignored the teachings of their predecessors. In fact they have certified them. As for example, Buddha supported Krishna, Moses certified Abraham, Jesus certified Moses and last of all, Prophet Muhammad accepted the teachings of all previous Prophets. Not only that, Prophet Muhammad has confirmed all the Prophets —  known and unknown —  of all times and of all Even very recently the founder of Sikh religion Guru Nanak endorsed the teachings of Prophet Muhammad and the Prophets before him. This is a conclusive proof that they are the carriers of a common message. Knowing the secrets of the message of God, they have brought the same divine laws and come for the same cause.
According to Inayatullah the Quran is a complete book enabling one to get knowledge of laws of nature and of the message of God. There are some common messages which have been recorded in the Quran and other divine books. These common facts have been proved to be true. The Quran are not changeable. The Quran guides the behaviour of man. There is no contradiction in the meaning of the Quran. The Quran says everything clearly. This is a book of Quran or Divine Law. At the same time there is continuity in the Quran, because it is according to the laws of nature. There are no unnatural things in the Quran. Only the illiterate people will say that there is no continuity in the Quran. Inayatullah asserted that the Quran is a perfect book. It is eternal. It imparts true teaching which is universal. It is, however, not for a particular time or for a particular race. Unfortunately, the Muslims belonging to different sects are interpreting the Quran to suit their own needs. The essence of the Quran cannot be acquired without proper knowledge. So education is essential to grasp it. It is a great sin to conceal the order of the Quran for one’s own benefit. The verses of the Quran are neither abstruse nor vague. Everything is clearly indicated here.
Inayatullah affirmed that his object in interpreting the Quran was not to create any communal group or to found a new religion. His sole aim was to show the right path to all and to forge unity among nations. To him, Islam teaches not only adherence to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, but also to those of other Prophets who came before him. The core of all religious books is the same, i.e., the unity of man. And this should be achieved by action, not by words only. True Islam lies in this unity. Discarding all differences, nations should work in unison and jointly Endeavour to achieve it. Inayatullah observed:
We should follow the teachings of Moses, Jesus, Krishna, Buddha and other religious leaders of the world, and welcome their followers as brothers. And thus make a strong Islamic Jamaat. That is real Islam in my eyes and that is the Islam of the Quran.
This is Inayatullah’s conception of the new Islamic Brotherhood.
4.11.        MEANING OF KAFIR
What is really meant by the word Kafir? Literally one who hides or covers up the truth is called a Kafir. The word is, however, generally used by the Muslims “to define one who is an unbeliever in the ministry of Muhammad and his Quran, and in this sense it seems to have been used by Muhammad himself.” According to Inayatullah Kafirs are those who make differences between man and man and engage in fighting different groups on the assumption that the messages of Prophets, known or unknown have made differences between man and man. Even the Muslims who cause such differences are to be regarded as Kafirs and they have had to suffer severe divine punishment. They should remember that the Quran has a high educative value, as its aim is Universal Brotherhood. The Muslims should sincerely abide by the Order of the Quran and prove their adherence by deeds, not by words. Every prophet seeks to give peace to their followers.
In explaining Siratul-Mustaqim or ‘The Straight Path’ Inayatullah looked back to the early halcyon days of Islam. Islam was then a democracy and brotherhood. The sole aim of early fighters of Islam was to spread it and obey the Orders of God, not merely to form a group of followers of Muhammad. Nations, still observing the principles of the bygone days of Islam, i.e., democracy and brotherhood, are even now enjoying peace.
Undoubtedly the Islam of olden days was real Islam, for it united men by removing differences between them. Islam proclaimed that all human beings are subjects of the same God, sons of the same Father and belong to the same community. Islam taught people to be kind and generous, and prohibited its followers to hate anyone, whether a Jew, Christian, Hindu, Parsi, etc.
After the death of Prophet Muhammad his followers endeavored to preach the message of God, and to attract different peoples to this particular religion (Islam), which was really preached by all the Prophets of the world. They were determined to spread the message that God wants equality and unity among all His subjects and the survival of mankind on this earth. Inayatullah considered Islam to be a real democracy; as there is no distinction of caste, creed or colour in Islam. Casting aspersions on the teachings of other Prophets was strictly forbidden. This gave Islam a magnetic power and it spread very rapidly in the wide areas of the world. Nations adhering to the inherent principles of Islam are enjoying peace and prosperity; They will gain strength and honour, and will receive rewards from the Treasury of Nature. This is God’s will.
Inayatullah wrote that Islam imparted a peculiar type of knowledge and enlightenment to the world. After the hard struggle of twenty- three years Prophet Muhammad had spread Islam among the ignorant and warring tribes, and civilised them. These people, in turn, spread real Islam in extensive areas of the world, and followed its prescriptions in practice. But now that Islam has come to lose its essence due to the short-sightedness of the Muftis and Maulavis and on account of their misinterpretation of Islam. They have begun to give more stress on ordinary things which have no value, as for example, how to brush teeth, what type of garments a Muslim should wear, the necessity of keeping beard, whether to say ‘Amen’ silently or loudly, and whether to raise hands or not during prayer, etc. Yet they quarrel among themselves over these paltry matters. Inayatullah lamented Thus do they forget the real principles of Islam. Hence if the reward of God vouchsafed to a true Muslim goes to others, neither the Quran nor Islam can be blamed. So long as the Muslims strictly followed the teachings of Islam they were not deprived of divine blessings. The Muslims of the time of Prophet Muhammad and immediately after him enjoyed these blessings. Islam of that time was the real Islam along the True Path (Siratul-Mustaqim). Subsequently minor things were also grafted on to it as principles of Islam. According to Inayatullah that was not true Islam, but bidat or innovations. Such accretions were against the pure teachings of Islam. This was due to the laziness, misunderstanding, dishonesty and ostentation of the Muslims.
4.14.        ISLAM MEANS WORK
Inayatullah was of opinion that if the aim of the Muslims is to be the Naib of God and the master of the world then it can be done only by work. Lazy nations or peoples merely talk in expectation of God’s favour and make utterances without any actual work. It is useless. If any one does not act up to his belief and utterances then mere faith in God has no value. It is nothing. Such a man will be dubbed a double-faced man, and also as anti-Iman (against real faith). The Quran condemns it as Gunah-i-kabirah (a crime of the highest order) 78. Anyone who works in accordance with his belief and the orders of God notwithstanding tribulations, moves in the right direction. He can rightly claim, ‘I am a true believer in God’. Mere verbal faith and obedience to God without work is nothing. Inayatullah observed that “in this world of action no one can hope to establish his dominion and supremacy without hard work”. According to him it is wrong to say that “we should first correct our faith and then work according to that”. To him “Islam means work, and work means Islam” 80. Work first, mere faith is futile.
Posing the question: What does God expect from man? Inayatullah himself gives the answer: “God has said everything in this great book Quran. Now, it is your bounden duty to follow it. From the very beginning all His creatures have been following the laws of nature and abiding by His directions.” God’s prescriptios have been brought by different prophets of different religions. Remember what God has said. He has said: “You are my shadow. You are my Kha1fah or Naib.
You are a minute symbol of my power. You have the power of thinking. I have kept a particle of my power in you. I have put my spiritual power in you at the time of creation. So I want you to be my replica. I am powerful and honourable. So I want you to be powerful and honourable. I have power to work. So I want you to work. I possess the power of creation. So I want you also to create new things. You are my Naib on earth. This universe and this firmament are for you — for your use and benefit. But there is, one condition: You should prove yourself worthy of being the Naib of God. Acquire knowledge and work accordingly. As this world is a place of examination those peoples which do not cultivate knowledge and the power to act will be ruined. This is
the law of nature and this is the wish of God.”
4.16.        MEANING OF IBADAT
As regards Prayer (Ibadat) Inayatullah held that it is really the expression of obedience to God’s order. The real Ibadat is work and to follow the ten principles as mentioned by him. To remain immersed in prayer, ignoring everything in this world is to go against Islam. To perform prayer without obeying God’s order is meaningless. It is only for show. It is needless to sit inside the mosque the whole day for prayer, as it will not earn any reward from God. The true prayer is that which nurtures unity among the faithful under the Amir or Sardar. It wins the mind and fosters unity and mutual understanding among men. The sole aim of the worship of God is to do good for mankind. A true Muslim must not place anything of this world above God. Commenting on the common belief that bending one’s head before stones and idols is a means of knowing God, Inayatullah branded it as useless, and held that to be a worshipper of God such bending is not at all necessary. Nevertheless, those who not only bend their heads before stones or idols as a religious custom or habit, but actually followed the orders of God, may be regarded as real worshippers of God or Muwahhid (belief in one God). Inayatullah stated that the idols or images nurtured within one’s own heart and placed above God may be destroyed. This is real Ibadat.
Inayatullah explained the five foundations or pillars of Islam, viz Kalimah, Namaz, Rozah, Zakat and Hajj, and suggested that it was imperative for a Muslim to observe these. Kalimah means belief in one God. The liturgical prayer is called Namaz. The real meaning of Rozah or fast is to crush the evil spirit in man. Zakat is an organized and. powerful method of collecting taxes for the benefit of the society. The aim of Hajj is to express a sense of Muslim Brotherhood.
4.18.        MEANING OF TAUHID
Inayatullah wrote that Tauhid is natural. It reflects the will of God. Tauhid gives strength to man. Belief in Tauhid implies faith in Muhammad. God is angry on those who believe in different Gods. If the Muslims cannot retain faith in God, they will be annihilated like other races. Believers in God will, however, survive. Those men and those nations who, without endeavoring to understand divine wishes engage in useless work are really Kafirs in the eyes of God. The life of a Kafir resembles that of a beast.
Victory will ultimately fall to the lot of the believers in one God. This idea is now gaining ground in the world. Inayatullah believed that Islam will not be confined to one nation only. It is sure to spread from one nation to another. Nations who cherish belief in Tauhid will enjoy in this world and in the next. It is only through Tauhid that the real unity of human heart can be achieved. Mere expression of the word Tauhid is nothing.
There is practically no difference between worship of God without proper work and idol worship. God keeps a watch over what peoples do, but not over what they utter. God is not cruel. He cannot do cruelty to man. To do evil works is really tantamount to idol worship. It is easier to destroy a stone image or idol than to destroy the evil thoughts of mind 88. To remain sunken in pleasures of material life really implies disbelief in one God. Some wrong idea as regards the love of God and Tauhid has been disseminated by Sufism. Those countries that believe in one God and live under one Amir will enjoy sound administration. Sometimes the believers shall have to go on Hijrat, leaving behind their kith and kin. Their aim should be to achieve lasting peace, and the kingdom and blessings of God. They should know their own strength and acquire knowledge of this World.
4.19.        TEN PRINCIPLES
Combining the five pillars of Islam and six Foundations of Faith, Inayatullah enunciated his Ten Principles which, he thinks, should be followed by a country or community if they want to prosper. These are:
(1) Belief in one God, (2) Unity of the nation, (3) Obedience to Amir or leader, (4) Jihad bil-mal or the spending of money and belongings for God, (5) Jihad with sword (sacrifice of the life), (6) Hijrat, (7) Istiqamat-fi’s-Sai (Perseverance and tolerance), (8) Elm (knowledge), (9) Makarim-Ikhlaq (good behaviour), and (10) Iman-bil-Akhirat (Belief in life after death).9’ Inayatullah considered these ten principles to be fundamentals of the real religion of Islam. In fact, real Muslims are those who have full faith in these principles and work accordingly 92. He who sticks to these has Iman, and he who deviates from these have lost his Iman 93. Non-conformity to these fundamentals has been the root cause of the destruction of nations of the world and the real Shirk (belief in polytheism). Inayatullah stated that the Westerners are following four or five principles out of these Ten Principles of Islam, whereas the Muslims are neglecting even these.
Inayatullah continued this discussion in the Third Chapter of his Tazkira entitled Muqaddama (Presentation). He asserted that if Islam is the truth, no one can harm it. He called upon the Muslims to realize that real piety consists not in mere observance of prayer but in comprehension of the views of other persons. It becomes incumbent to avoid quarrel among themselves and to remain united under the guidance of one God. The Muslims should be united in every sphere of life. That is real faithfulness and real belief in God.
If the Muslims wanted to be the beloved of God they should first unite. This is the ultimate aim of the order of God. Inayatullah wrote:
If you are united you will win, otherwise you will be defeated. God wants the unity of His faithful followers. God said: ‘Oh Muslims, I have made you the choicest people and it is your bounden duty to accept good things and to reject bad things and at the same time you should disseminate truth not only among the Muslims but all human beings and thus checks the evils’. But after the good olden days of Islam they have not followed these principles.
What is the necessity of appointing an Amir for the Muslims? Inayatullah attached much importance to this issue. In his observations on the subject he interpreted the Quran so as to imply that obedience to the Prophet is obedience to God. During his life-time the Prophet directed his followers to abide by the order of God, and to follow a code of conduct so that there was no problem then. But, who would be obeyed after the Prophet? Who would give the directions? In the absence of Prophet Muhammad it would be necessary to have an Amir for the Muslims to guide them. His duty would be to lead the Muslims along the path of God and the Prophet.
Otherwise wrong people would mislead the Muslims. Only an Amir can properly guide them in accordance with the rules and regulations of Islam. It is the duty of the Amir to unite the Muslims and to acquire political power for them. It may be argued that when the Quran and the Hadith (Apostolic Traditions) are there easily to guide the Muslims, an Amir would be unnecessary. But, counter argued Inayatullah, sometimes, in the absence of an Amir, the Quran and the Hadith by themselves cannot give adequate directions in such cases as Jihad and Hijrat. Only a real Amir can guide Jihad and Hijrat, especially when immediate decisions have to be taken. Hence an Amir, to whom obedience is due, would be as essential as the mandate of the Quran. To disobey him is to disobey the Quran and God. The Quran lays down that disobedience to the Amir is a great sin, punishable by God with the collective defeat of the Muslims. Thus the entire Jamaat will suffer: for it. The position of a Prophet was like that of Commander-in-Chief or a great ‘Hakim’ (Amir) of their Jamaat. They came to unite their people and bring them under one banner. In the olden days of Islam its followers, with their pure hearts, faithfu1y obeyed the orders of Amir.
They were united on account of the fear of God, which, in its turn, was based on faith in one God and obedience to His Commands. All these things, viz., unity; faith and obedience, helped to secure the compliance to the orders of God, led men to the Kingdom of God, strengthen the nation and to infuse goodness in man, which are among the chief objectives of Islam.
4.22.        REAL IMAN ﴾ایمان﴿ OR FAITH
Again, the real Iman or faith consists in work and action. There are some verses in the Quran which explain the real meaning of Iman and act as a spur to the Muslims to march forward towards unity The Quran says that Muslims, make no distinction between different Prophets of the world and every Muslim should follow them. But the true basis of this unity is a belief in Cod as the Supreme Authority: This can be ensured only by following His Orders not by words only but also by acts or deeds. According to Inayatullah this is the real meaning of Iman or Faith. The second name of work is Iman. This applies not only to a particular community but to all communities. Inayatullah said that we would keep in mind the Quranic verses which clearly vouchsafe that God has sent a Prophet to every nation of the world from time to time, to exhort his adherents to follow God and to avoid Satan.
Inayatullah referred to one Quranic verse in particular which states that “all human beings spring from common parents and formed one community.” Keeping in mind their common heritage God have sent Prophets to convey to different nations the good news of their collective survival and to warn them of their collective destruction. God has made laws in the form of books in different languages to guide the human beings. Unfortunately, the people interpret these books to serve their own interests and begin to quarrel among themselves. Thus they are divided into different communities, castes and nations. God has shown the right way to the true believers. Inayatullah concluded that as men originated from a common parentage, there is no fundamental difference between man and man and that they should not quarrel among themselves. Man can take lessons from other creatures of the world. Rules and regulations preached by different Prophets in different times and different places are for all human beings, though it might appear that the message brought by one Prophet at a particular time is for a particular nation only.
True Islam, therefore, inculcates obedience to all Prophets without making any distinctions between them. Hence Inayatullah observed:
“If we can go deep into the teachings of Islam, we can realise that all human beings are equal in the eyes of God”. God feeds and nurses all His creatures with equal love and affection. He distributes everything from His treasures. So how can He bear that one of His creatures should be killed by another? The message of God is this that all human beings should live together, and should follow one authority (i.e., God), and to observe the principle of universal brotherhood without paying any heed to the allurements of the Satan. This is Islam. This is Iman. There is no caste or community in Islam, because Islam is for all mankind.
Referring to the Salat or congregational prayers of Islam, Inayatullah wrote that the Muslims observe it jointly and in a disciplined manner under the leadership of a proper Imam or Amir. This is collective acceptance of belief in God. The real meaning of the Salat is to show obedience to Amir. This is the main teaching of Islam. There is one Jamaat, one line and the leadership of one Imam in prayers. Jamaat is compulsory for the Namaz. When the Imam utters the Prayer all should listen to him and move as their leader moves. All these exactly resemble military training on the battlefield. According to Inayatullah true prayer presupposes unity of mankind and obedience to God. The Quran stresses equality of man. However an individual will attain preeminence through his action, not by caste or creed.
Thus does Inayatullah define his conception of Siratul-Mustaqim or the Straight Path, which is founded on belief in God and work in accordance with that. And this is real Islam. ‘With the help of this verse Inayatullah tried to prove that the real thing is to work properly. There are verses in the Quran in which God has instructed Prophet Muhammad to tell his followers to obey the following commands: to keep belief in one God; to show good behaviour towards parents ; not to kill children for fear of poverty; to keep away from sins, secret or open; not to kill any human being without any cause (except in Jihad); not to take the property of orphans ; to be fair in business and private dealing with men; to keep justice even if any of your relatives is involved and to keep promise every time and everywhere. Inayatullah considered these principles as Siratul-Mustaqim. These will bring peace and prosperity to the nations. Non-observance of these principles would be the cause of their defeat and destruction. Inayatullah further explained that “a nation following this Siratul-Mustaqim, will achieve religiosity; collective benefit, strength, benefit in social life and also political gain. In the past the Muslims succeeded in spreading Islam by following this path”. Moreover, one has to sacrifice his life and property; take part in Hijrat, bear all kinds of trouble and to obey the order of their Amir (or Rasul or Prophet) if he wants to adhere to the Siratul-Mustaqim. For he does these things to obey Gods order, not for his personal interests, and he will certainly be rewarded by God.
Inayatullah held that the policy of the European Governments was to westernize the Muslims and thereby to destroy their traditions and their culture. They are harming Islam in a silent way. Moreover, the proud West is also opposing every good thing of Asia and trying to remove their subject Asian people from the path of religion and Jamaat.  Referring to it Inayatullah stated that no Muslim ought to keep friendship or any relation with those who decry the principles of religion, mock at Muslim prayers and seek to minimize the importance of the latter or insult it, and try to generate hatred among the Muslims. It is the basic duty of a Muslim. The principle of self-respect or self- defence is writ large on every page of the Quran. It is the teaching of Islam. By adhering to these principles the Muslims can utilise the world to their best advantage. This is Siratul-Mustaqim. All the living creatures — big or small — are following these principles, and this is the essence of nature. The Quran strictly prohibits all efforts at creating friction and disunity among the Muslims. Those who do this would go to hell. The Supreme aim of congregational prayers is to achieve unity and brotherhood among Muslims. It would enable them to become pious, neat and clean and strong in every walk of life, and ultimately become the ruler of earth. Moreover, the sole aim of the Iman is to live in this world with strength and power, and the ultimate result of having the Iman is political supremacy Inayatullah exhorted the Muslims thus: “If you are true Muslims you should be the ruler of the world”. Referring to the Quran he stated that to deny the necessity of having a kingdom on earth is to leave the Siratul-Mustaqim.”
Extracting certain principles from the Quran Inayatullah embodied these in his treatise called Tazkira : Belief in God, unity of nation, obedience to the leader, sacrifice of personal interests, acquisition of knowledge, formation of character, cherishing of unfaltering faith in the final judgement, and so on. The essence of Tazkira is that “religion is basically a system governing the rise and decline of nations”. Naturally, it must be as infallible as science in its methods and results. Inayatullah held that Islam is the true religion and “the Quran is the only authentic ‘revelation”. So Islam “must provide the correct law of national prosperity”. As an instance he referred to the spectacular success of the Muslim Arabs in their earlier days as imperial conquerors. This is also “a proof of Islam’s purpose and of its success”
Inayatullah observed:
Islam becomes....the most successful and universal principle of nation- building, and all religious and moral injunctions become means to serve that end. It becomes, so to speak, the infallible and divine sociology.113
In this treatise Inayatullah has emphasised the importance of military power and military ways of thinking. In his opinion this is the path to follow in as much as it alone leads to steady progress in the modern age. Moreover, the religious scriptures should not be treated merely as historical narratives, but as constituting a treasure-house of material and spiritual wisdom. Large-heartedness, self-restraint and endurance are the only remedies of mutual strife and envy among men. He focused the attention of the world on the following message of the Quran: “everything is meant for God’ and ‘Faith in God alone is the bedrock of fortitude”. Says the Quran:
Truly, my prayer
And my service of sacrifice,
My life and my death,
Are (all) for God,
The Cherisher of the Worlds
From the preceding discussion it will become clear that the whole burthen of Inayatullah’s Tazkira is to develop that above idea of the Quran in his characteristically appealing and mellifluent language. He stated that the aim of this book Tazkira is not to confuse people, but to express everything about the Truth of Islam. He also observed “I do not propose to enter into a controversy over this book with anybody and I would prefer silence”.
In the Tazkira he has severally taken the Muslims to task and exposed their pitfalls. But his attitude was not merely negative. It was also positive or constructive for he has pointed out the remedy of the weaknesses as well. He has described his book as “an attempt to apply the teachings of the Quran and the Hadith to the conditions of modern life”, though orthodox Indian Muslims regard it “as the work of an agnostic”. W.C. Smith characterised this work as “a modern interpretation of Islam”. After a discussion with Inayatullah in 1939 Amiya Chakravarty wrote thus on the Tazkira: “Tashkara, ‘The Story’, was to reveal Islam for man. History culminating in that supreme religion would show civilization as a series of variants on recorded finality. The Koran, he explained to me is also science; it shows truth as facts... All religions must be respected, but Islam, being Religion, must guide all domains, spiritual, domestic, juridical. Recognized by authorities as an important interpretation of Quranic principles, this book is meant by the author to be a blue-print for the application of immutable laws. The complete structure of man’s story is there: Seeing it clearly, civilization cannot go wrong. In fact the publication of the Tazkira produced a tremendous sensation in the Muslim world. The book is counted among one of the priceless gems of world literature by a section of learned Muslims.
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History of the Khaksar Movement in India, 1931-1947

(In 2 Volumes)

This is the first exhaustive study of the History of the Khaksar Movement in India (1931-1947). Collecting unused materials from the National Archives of India (New Delhi), vast range of Urdu Literature of the Khaksars and other source in India and abroad, Professor Amalendu De has thrown new light on various aspects of the Movement. The scholars engaged in studying the Muslim Politics in India will get enough materials of a militant Muslim movement which tried to revive the pristine glory of Islam, and rose to prominence as a great challenge to all India Muslim League led by M.A. Jinnah and British authorities. The British Government and the  Muslim League played the most vital part in crushing this movement. The saga a militant Muslim movement its rise and fall during the most crucial period if Indian history is discussed here from a vast historical canvas.