Syed Abul A’la Maududi (1903, 1979) was an erudite thinker, scholar, jurist, historian, philosopher and politician. Both western and south Asian historians have described him one of the most powerful Islamic ideologues of 20th century whose ideas and writings went on to influence a vast number of Islamic movements in the Muslim world. Syed Maududi produced and authored prized knowledge which can be benefitted through his books
He penned down hundreds of letters for different people from every walk of life. His letters are an invaluable source of information and education. At least, one dozen collections were compiled, edited, and published by different scholars namely, Asim Nomani, Saleem Mansoor Khalid, Rafiudin Hashmi, Muhammad Ishruf Bakhari, Muhammad Younus, Mulana Muhammad Charagh , Hakim Muhammad Sharif and Amin ul Hussain Rizvi. The latest volume under review was compiled and edited by Dr. Zafar Hussain Zafar who is a great educationist, renowned author, and researcher. Being an established researcher and prolific writer, he is persistently adding to the storehouse of knowledge. He held Syed with high esteem assuming him his mentor and spearhead. Therefore, he put all his passion, endeavor, and skills into this valuable work. He pursued hard and unearthed these letters from various archives. He traveled wide, put his time money and influence to collect these memos. It was not possible to compile this volume without venerated passion for Syed. Dr. Zafar has also sought information about the addresses of these epistles, their profile, and key achievements and furnished them in this book. Similarly, the footnotes were judiciously used to help readers comprehend the background and foreground. Generally, these introductory notes as well as footnotes divert the attention of readers; however, in this work, they are used such artfully by the writer as they seemed to be unavoidable parts leading for comprehension without any diversion.
The first letter dated back to 1926 when Syed Abul A’la Maududi was 23 years old. This letter was addressed to Ghulam Rasool Mehr. It is indicative of grave concern expressed by him over an ongoing trial regarding a blasphemous type of book by Pundit Kali Churn in which the role of court sounded of partisanship and partiality. This letter, as a matter of fact, urges Muslims to raise their voice against this dubious role of the court. In another letter, we find Molana admitting his judgmental error regarding an important issue wholeheartedly pointed out by Dr.Muhammad Hamid Ullah (2002).
Similarly, a series of letters to the tune of 18 were addressed to Anwar Abbasi from Azad Kashmir which was mostly replies by him regarding certain critical issues and complicated knots vis- a- vis different aspects of Islamic teachings and jurisprudence. These issues are pertaining to zakat, Islamic banking, usury, divorce, and so on. One important letter aims at critiquing the faulty teachings of Ghulam Ahmed Pervaiz. Similarly, we find a handy discussion about zakat and mark up out of provident funds and shifting of unused and underutilized material from the mosque. The other vital themes are educational system, course designing, Syed wedlock with Non-Syed,state of preaching activities in the USA and rift in the faction. This volume is a good addition to the work that had already been done. Arguably, it is the finest book as compared with other collections of Syed’s Letters. There is much to assimilate for followers attached to Syed Abul A’la Maududi and general readers too. The effort put by Dr. Zafar is laudable and speaks volumes of the high esteem and adore he held for the addresser and author of these letters.
The letters of an author and thinker are paramount in terms of erudition besides knowing the stream of consciousness and subconscious working of his mind. Syed Abul A’la Maududi was a great Islamic scholar, an ideologue, and writer of par excellence. Therefore in this book, there is handy stuff for his followers, for common readers of Urdu literature and researchers. Certainly, Dr. Zafar deserves full marks for this fine work. This book has been published by Manshoraat Publishers from Lahore and New Dehli simultaneously. Anybody can have this book by contacting the following numbers respectively: 042-3532522210, Lahore; 9810650228, New Delhi.
Khalid Akbar Columnist, Writer, and Chairman English Department Boys Degree College Trarkhel and could be reached at:email@example.com.