One Cry — One Vision — One Ideal

The Light (Pakistan), 1st March 1925 Issue (Vol. 4, No. 5, p. 3–4)

بکوشید اے جوانان تابہ دین قوت شود پیدا
بہار و رونق اندر روضہ ملت شود پیدا
اگر امروز فکرِ عزتِ دین در شما جوشد
شما را نیز واللہ رتبت و عزت شود پیدا

Strive, ye young men, that Islam her strength may regain.
Spring and splendour to Islam’s garden come again.
Should a passion for Islam’s honour burn in you today.
Greatness and glory, by God! you too shall have.

The hand of man can find no nobler work under the sun than the promulgation (ishaat) of Truth. If, like Shakespeare’s mercy, anything on earth is really twice blessed, it is the dissemination of true knowledge. It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. The dyer dyes no piece of cloth but unconsciously and in the course of this process itself, paints his own hand in the same colour. Even so of truth and righteousness. You do not give others one good word, one true word, one righteous word, but, as the day follows the night, it recoils on you and imbues you with the same good, the same truth, the same righteousness, multiplied manifold.

Such is the munificent law of the Lord that holds undisputed sway over this universe.  You sow one tiny grain of seed, and what does it bring you in due course? Why, the same thing a hundredfold; even more. If we must ourselves be good and noble, let us be the dyes that dye others in the good and the noble. If we must reap a rich harvest of truth and righteousness, let us sow these things broadcast. Ishaat-i-Islam — propagation of Islam — let this today be our united battle cry

It was to this battle cry that the Muslim of the Prophet’s (pbuh) day rallied. It was this pivot — Ishaat-i-Islam — round which centred and moved the manifold activities of the centre body politic of Islam. Dissemination of Truth was the one central idea, the one ever-present ideal in all the Muslim said or did. Whether he wielded the sword or plied the ploughshare, whether he was a hewer of wood or a carrier of water, the Muslim was swayed by one passion: the Spread of Islam. If he lived, he lived for Islam. If he died, he died for Islam. And what was the result? In a few decades he became the leader of men, the torchbearer of light and learning and the emancipator of humanity.

If, therefore, the Mussalmans [Muslims] once more see that day of greatness and glory, let the same be once more their unanimous battle cry — Ishaat-i-Islam.

We have knocked at every door. We have grasped at every straw. But we have knocked in vain, we have grasped in vain. The door would not open. Nor would the straw keep us afloat. We tried the Khilafat movement. We tried non-cooperation. We tried Hijrat [migration]. We tried Hindu-Muslim unity. We tried Tanzim [organisation]. We tried education. We tried cooperation. We tried anything and everything. But, alas! If we never turned towards one thing, it was the thing the Prophet tried, the door the Prophet knocked, the movement the Prophet in person launched, and launching, lived for and died for.

Better late than never. Let us now with a united will tell all self-constituted saviours of Islam: No more of your whims! No more of you freaks! To the Prophet’s mission! To the Prophet’s standard! Ishaat-i-Islam! Ishaat-i-Islam!

نفاق و اختلافِ ناشناسان ازمیان خیزد
کمال اتفاق و خُلّت و اُلفت شود پیدا

Let disputes and differences of ignorance
Disappear and give way to love and affection.

Let us as one man rise for the honour of Islam as they of the day of the Prophet did of yore. Let us as one man face the world with the torch of Islam and take it from the Quran, if not from us, that fortune shall once more smile on our way. As one man — let this be the New Vision.

Have we not already had enough of these mullah-mongerings [mullah: clerics] — sects, sub-sects, disputes, and wranglings? No more of that kafir-minting [kafir: heretic] . We are fed up with it. Has the Prophet not told us: All Muslims are brethren? Did he not tell us in his last sermon on earth: The life and honour of every Muslim shall be sacred to every other Muslim? Why, then, turn our backs on the words of one common to us all? Let us as one man rally to his standard.

Does the Quran not speak of the pre-Islamic quarrels and feuds of Arabs as a “pit of fire”? And does it not mention it as the greatest of all blessings that those discordant elements were wielded into one fraternal cord of mutual love? Are we not today in the same bottomless pit of fire?

Is this Islam, we ask in all frankness? Islam is a unifying force. Islam is the cement of humanity. Islam aims at the universal fraternisation of all men irrespective of castes and creeds. A house divided against itself cannot justly claim to be the House of Islam.

Remember! Love of man is the highest of all religions. Love of man is only another name of love of God. Sink your petty differences! Take it from us, they don’t matter. They are not religion — anything that tends to disintegrate.

If you would have us tell you the whole of Islam in one word, we would at once say: Brotherhood of man. Brotherhood — let that be our One Vision.

بمفت این اجر نصرت رادہندت اے اخی ورنہ
قضائے آسمان ست این بہر حالت شود پیدا

For nothing, O brother! They give you the glory of Islam’s service.
It is the decree of Heaven and shall at any cost come to pass.

Islam is the cry of the soul of man. Yes! Islam of the Quran. Islam of the Prophet. Islam, which means love and brotherhood.

The world is sore and bleeding. Even in the so-called civilised world, greed and grudge are the order of the day. Man is up against man. But this sordid, selfish game has been going on for too long. Already, they are fed up with it and are thirsting for a soothing drop of that elixir of life which Islam alone brings, from on High, fresh, unsullied, exhilarating, rejuvenating.

Christendom stands at the crossroads. The Church has no balm of life to give. She has lost her soul. She has lost her Jesus.

The free Western mind is out to usher in a new order of things and eagerly grabs anything Islamic that comes its way. We do not rave. We speak from personal experience.

But have we got that elixir to give? Have our mosques not lost their soul, their Muhammad? Let us ponder and blush! And, in the meantime, in the interest of humanity, let us have but one ideal before us — viz. the Islam of the Quran, the Islam of Muhammad. Flying these colours, go wherever you will and the world will hail you as its deliverer. It is Truth, pure and simple, that is bound to triumph, not its counterfeit. It is the essence the world wants, the soul, the spirit, the kernel. Let us cease fooling about hair-splitting of terms and technicalities, and lay all our emphasis at the thing that really is Islam — the Islam that unites, the Islam that cements, that gives life, that gives love. Let such Islam be our one ideal. Let brotherhood be our one vision. Let Ishaat be our one cry.