Sunday, August 30, 2015

Time to revive Sir Syed's education movement

The phenomenal rise of the Islamic State and its promise to take Muslims back to the era of caliphates has become a global problem. The reach and influence of IS, an entity that is not recognised by any country, is on such rapid ascendance that its reverberations are being felt in India too. A large number of Muslim youth across the globe appears to be falling prey to the incessant propaganda of the IS through social and other media. 

Muslim intelligentsia including noted scholars of Islam have been condemning the IS, its use of cold-blooded violence and its objectives. But that does not seem to be working effectively. 

The idea of caliphate started losing its appeal as many as 150 years ago. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the pioneer of modern education among the Muslims of the Indian sub-continent, said, "A present day analysis clearly shows that no one is worth the title of Imam and also no one, not even a head of state, is worth being entitled to be called a khalifa (caliph) of the prophet," In an article titled Imam aur Imamat (in Urdu) he pointed out, "Although Muslims governing an area can aptly call their monarch as sultan (king) of that country, and in fact they are actually sultans, whatsoever they may call themselves."