WITH the sad demise of Syedd Munawar Hasan, the former ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami, a vacuum has created that can never be engulfed in years to come. He was perhaps from the last lineage of the leaders who in true sense uphold the definition of genuine leadership, scholarship, spiritualism, and intellectualism. Perhaps, the world would never see again such a brave political leader, social reformer, and religious orator. Syedd practiced what he preached and he would never do a deal on his principles and what he believed was right.
Born in 1941 in Delhi, Syed Munawar Hasan’s family migrated to Pakistan and settled down in Karachi. He spent all of his prime time studying various political ideologies popular in those days. Initially, he was very impressed by the National Students’ Federation and assumed that socialism had the solution to all the contemporary problems faced by the world.
But, when he studied the literature of Maulana Syed Abul Aala Maudoodi, his mind, and soul underwent a transformation and he decided to lead all his life in accordance with the teachings of Islam. Later on, time proved that Syed Munawar Hasan remained steadfast in practicing Islam and never looked back. And he struggled all the way through his life for the establishment of the Islamic government system in Pakistan.
Many of us who knew Syed Sahib would witness that he was such a rare person, truly salt of the earth who because of his idealism would unfit to endure in our hypocrite world. He didn’t belong here and we didn’t deserve him as our leader, as our guide, and as our reformer. And how could we have accepted this man with all his faults and privileges while we don’t have a sense of differentiating between a genuine leader and a fake one? How could we have appreciated this man and his party when unlike other leaders who lure us, he honestly showed us the path to prosperity.
When he invited us to unite against all sorts of oppression and tyranny, exploitation, and injustice and asked us to struggle to wipe these out of Pakistan, how many people stood by him? When he and his Jamaat took to the streets and staged a countrywide protest against American hegemony, how many of us shouldered by him?
How many of us supported his stance on US drone attacks which he said they were violating our sovereignty? When he called a spade a spade and said that War on Terror was not our war, did we listen to him? When he campaigned for the release of the nation’s daughter Dr. Afia Siddiqui, how many of us joined Syed’s movement?
As a matter of fact, we are a hypocrite society and we are an easy victim to fake and double-faced leaders and believe in their white lies, empty slogans, and alluring. We want to live in a fool’s paradise, in utopia, and we like to be misled and cheated by others, so honest and straightforward leaders like Syed Munawar Hasan don’t match our way of life and thinking. We are satisfied with corrupt mafias. We want to live a life of fear and uncertainty. For that reason, we don’t need any messiah like Syed Munawar Hasan to liberate us from these evils.
When I read Allama Iqbal’s poem Marde-e-Musalman, I feel as if Iqbal had written it for dervishes like Syed Munawar Hasan, Mian Tufail Muhammad, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Malik Meraj Khalid, Hakeem Muhammad Saeed, Abdul Sattar Edhi, and a few others. Each thought illustrated in this poem was corroborated by Syed Sahib’s humble and simple life. Qahhari, Ghaffari, Quddusi, Jabroot- the four elements which Iqbal says are essential in the composition of a Muslim were all truly endowed by Sayyad Sahib.
While in the words of the Holy Quran true believers are a mercy for one another and fiercely against the infidels, Syed too was the friend of friends, affectionate and kindhearted, but when it was a matter of Islam and Pakistan’s foes, he showed his wrath against them and openly threw down the gauntlet at them.
He was a very brave, outspoken, and judicious leader who once expressed his viewpoint would never think of taking his words back. His life was like an open book. Nothing hidden and nothing ambiguity. Everything was crystal clear.
Syed Munawar Hasan, you will be missed. When there will be famine of genuine and courageous leadership to call spade a spade and challenge the executors of oppression and tyranny.
Whenever innocent civilians go missing and there is no one to voice for them and for their families, you will be missed. When the rulers devise wrong policies and accept US hegemony, you will be missed because no one would be there to challenge them.
When no one would talk about ideology, principles, and values, the world will miss you. When the fake politicians would be busy in amassing wealth and assets, we will miss you because there would be no one to derive inspiration from his simple lifestyle.
You were the last living reference to ideological politics. Rest in peace, sir!