Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall 1875-1936 Novelist, Journalist and a Muslim scholar, was born William Pickthall in London, to an Anglican clergyman. He spent his formative years in rural Suffolk and was a contemporary of Winston Churchill at Harrow, the famous private school, and had ambitions to join the army or the Foreign Service.
During intervals of living a sedentary life in Suffolk, Pickthall traveled extensively in the Arab world and Turkey. In 1917, Pickthall announced his conversion to Islam and soon became a leader among the emerging band of British Muslims. His translation of the holy Quran is widely read because of its simple, easy to understand style in English.
BUSTING THE SMOKE SCREENS
by Nayyar Hashmey
Please don’t get confused from the title.Actually it’s a saying in Russian that means “Truth Always Triumphs”. This proverb resounds in my mind every time I view the machinations of respective US administrations, particularly the one that preceded the current incumbent of White House [Barack Husain Obama], for the administration led by Bush the Junior wove such an intricate web of blatant lies, conspiratorial concealments and highly scientific near to truth “untruths” through the publicity mills that it can rightly be called lies, lies and lies. It’s another matter though that successive US administrations also made and to a large extent, are still using this propaganda machine to make the world believe in the truth and the only truth they want them to believe. This machinery is run on highly scientific lines and sometimes the targeted groups, communities and even states start believing their “untruth” as the “whole truth”.
The two posts that now come up on these pages; reveal the highly dubious Machiavellian modus operandi of the US State Department and the Pentagon. But before I put up these sensational disclosures (for these are from the horse’s mouth), here are two personal accounts of how do these propaganda mills operate and get desired result / s.
The first one pertains to my college days. One day, all of us, the students of the college, were handed over a beautifully bound, finely printed copy of the holy Quran. Six months prior to getting this beautiful gift, I didn’t know anything of the Quranic teachings except a memorization of Islamic prayer (the Namaz) and some chapters of the holy book, but all in Arabic. Out of my eagerness to know more about Islam and the Quran, from a local bookshop I procured a paperback edition, which a British convert, Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall had translated from Arabic into English. Reading Marmaduke’s English text of Quran ‘The Meaning of the Glorious Quran’ was a totally different experience, as I could understand each and every word, unlike my previous experience of reading Quran in Arabic, a plain parrot like reading of the text not understanding even a single word of what it was all about.
After reading the ‘Glorious Quran’ I did comprehend to a good extent the great message brought to us by the holy prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Naturally I was fascinated to receive such a beautifully bound copy of this magnificent book, all free of cost. My happiness knew no bounds. Being young and inquisitive, however, we all were eager to know about that unknown philanthropist, who gifted us the holy book, so precious, so costly, yet completely gratis. Later when on a scholarship I went to Austria for post graduate studies at the Tech. Univ. of Vienna, did I learn that such copies were actually procured by US secret services and distributed by some of their front men (like Fethullah Gülin of Turkey in present times) to win the goodwill of the younger generation in Muslim countries.
From what I learn of the court proceedings in case of Fethullah Gülin for permanent residence in the United States (as narrated by Sibel in the upcoming posts), it all seems to me an ‘Action Replay’ of what the US secret service did in the cold war era.
Abul A’la Maudoodi was a theologian, Muslim revivalist leader and political philosopher, and a controversial 20th century Islamist thinker in British India, and later Pakistan. He was also a political figure in Pakistan and was the first recipient of King Faisal International Award for his services 1979. He was also the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami, the Islamic revivalist party.
The second case relates to books written by the late Maulana Abul A’ala Maudoodi, founder of Pakistan’s Jamat-e-Islami and this pertains to one of the most lucid, easy to understand translations and explanation of Quranic text in Urdu (and which I frequently read even today) for Maulana Maudoodi was no ordinary Mullah but a true Islamic scholar). But interestingly my fellow students, who were either the followers or the sympathizers of the Jamat used to boast the popularity of Maulana’s books in the United States. Much to my surprise, it later transpired that these books too were imported by some front men into the United States and God knows what did they do with these books but money did come into Jamat’s kitty.
But why did they do so? Because, at that time, the Jamat was spearheading the movement all over Pakistan to fight “the Soviet Infidels” whereas Americans, the believers in God, as they would say are the Ahl-e-Kitab (those who follow religion based on holy scriptures, which Quran too approved as a holy book revealed to his messenger and prophet, the Jesus Christ. No wonder then that Jamat was the most pampered component of our political elite during late Gen. Zia-ul-Haque’s Martial Law and during the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan its militant wing closely collaborated with Gulbeddin Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan.
Whether the J.I. Pakistan knew about the money coming from abroadwas from US secret service agencies or not, I cannot affirm, there were though reports in the Pakistani press those days that the Jamat was being funded by America. The Jamat, however, denied receiving any funds from US state agencies and challenged the authorities to prove this in the court, but of course Govt. Law Department could never prove this as money was coming in as legal sale proceeds of Maulana’s books under the laws of Pakistan. Though such news were rampant in Pakistan in those days (during the cold war between the US and its arch enemy, the former Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics), am not in a position to confirm the veracity of this news, as I never had any link with any political group nor any intelligence network anywhere, but as the facts are coming to light day by day (and Sibel’s interviews are the latest in such disclosures), one starts giving credence to such events of the cold war period.
Last year, when I started this site, I had the privilege of access to research materials like those of Eric Margolis, John Maszka,Michel Chossudovsky and so many others, who offered complete support to put up their views and their independent, unbiased and above all truthful analysis of events on these pages, which I have been sharing with you my dear readers, each time they write on this and other contemporary issues.
Governments come and governments go, so do their administrations. New societies are born, generations come and generations go, but during all such events, happenings and different episodes of our life, what matters, what remains, what never dies and should never be allowed to die is the truth and truth alone, for truth always triumphs and as they say in Russian Vitez Pravda!
Note: .The writer does appreciate Jamat’s current policy of opposing US hegemonism, but what has been described above, is based on writer’s own assertion of events, as they unfolded during different phases of Pakistan’s history. If somebody wants to put Jamat’s viewpoint on the subject, the pages of Wonders of Pakistan are available for asserting their views as well.
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