Maududi’s life through his daughter’s eyes (Book Review)
Shajar haaye saayadar is a short book about the journey of the author's parents
Author: Syeda Humaira Maududi
Publishing house: Markazi Maktaba Islami Publishers, New Delhi
Shajar Haaye Sayadaar, a glorious tribute in the shape of a biography from a daughter to her father, is a wonderful read. It took me nearly four hours to go through it and I can conclude that this book deserves a special place in everyone’s wish list.
Literature is of three types – the literature of ideas, the literature of events, and the literature of individuals. This work of Humaira Moudoodi, daughter of the great Islamic scholar Syed Abul Ala Moududi, specifically falls under none, yet has all type of features in it. It describes the ideas that her father stood for, provides an ultimate rare chronology of events of her father’s life in a classic biographical form.
Maududi was a man whose greatest contribution lies in the fact that he shaped and presented Islam as an alternate discourse in a world dominated and driven by western ideologies of communism, socialism, and capitalism.
The person that she has written about was a man of ideas, who stood like a rock against all the deviant notions regarding Islam that were prevalent in the 20th century in the subcontinent and beyond. Moududi was a man whose greatest contribution lies in the fact that he shaped and presented Islam as an alternate discourse in a world dominated and driven by western ideologies of communism, socialism, and capitalism. It describes his history and his contribution to the world of Islam that led to the Islamisation of the whole Indian Subcontinent, with significant impact on much of the Arab and African world as well. This impact was so immense that Moa Xi Tung, the father of the Chinese revolution, who led the communist wave in China, is once reported to have said: ‘I would have brought the whole of the sub-continent and much of the world beyond it under Communism, but the ideas of Maududi created harsh barriers, obstacles, and hurdles that stopped my ideas to flourish in the region’
The book also gives a glimpse into the personal life of Moulana as it furnishes the details of the life events of the Maududi household. Humaira at length recounts the events that she witnessed in her home- of the library where Maulana used to work, of the kitchen that witnessed Moulana survive upon meager food, of the bedroom where her father would wrap his children in a blanket to protect them from the cold winter nights of old Lahore. It recounts the horrific scenes of the partition and tells us how Moulana saved, transferred and sheltered people amid the brutalization. It also recounts the time that Moulana spent in jail and how the erstwhile brutal treatment from jail authorities changed into soft attitude all because of his persona.
Shajar haaye saayadar is a short book about the journey of the author’s parents, but owing to the copious work and immense contribution of Moulana Moududi that directed the subcontinent upon a new course of history, much of the pages speak about Moulana only. However, she mentions both the personalities of the twentieth century—Moulana Moudoodi, her father and Mahmooda Begum, her mother.
Humera presents Mahmood Begum as a woman who bore all hardships with patience, stood as a source of knowledge and wisdom for her children and stood with her husband in all ups and downs.
Besides providing the history behind some of the important works of Moulana like Tafheemul Quran, Al jihadi Fil Islam among others, Humera Moududi also writes about the sacrifices of Moududi household for the sake of Islam and Muslim Ummah. She details the events when Moulana was persecuted and jailed for many years for propagation of his ideas. She speaks highly about the sincerity, glory, notability, patience, bravery, morality, and truthfulness of her father. She takes pride in his life struggles as well as his accomplishments.
The book also mentions her mother Mahmooda begum, who, as per the author, played an important role in her husband’s life. Humaira presents Mahmood Begum as a woman who bore all hardships with patience, stood as a source of knowledge and wisdom for her children and stood with her husband in all ups and downs.
This book although emotional in content carries immense hope and courage along, with her father’s struggle bearing fruits with time. His struggle for Islam makes him to be counted among the most influential preachers, scholars and philosophers in the Muslim world. As a child of conflict, I could relate their trails and tribulation to every individual and family who are suffering here for the political reasons. I would highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to go deep into the life of Moulana, his times, and his struggle for Ummah, as this book is written by one who has been most close him throughout his life.
Author is doing bachelors in English Literature at Aligarh Muslim University and can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Disclaimer: Views expressed are author’s own and do not reflect the stand or policy of Oracle Opinions