Madrasah Life Shaykh Mohammad Akram Nadwi, translation by James Piscatori The notion that all modern madrasahs are terrorist factories is a falsehood based on ignorance. This book reveals the daily routine of one well-known madrasah in India and so lifts the veil on that ignorance. It is an account that academics, journalists, pundits and all those concerned with current events and issues should read. It demonstrates that students in a traditional madrasah are given grounding in religious life without any weakening of intellectual breadth and refinement. Above all, the students learn to tolerate and accept different arguments and points of view and to appreciate different human temperament. His writings have been translated from Arabic or Urdu into all of the major languages of the world and remain popular from one generation to the next.
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November 16, Introduction It is not the first time someone is highlighting major discrepancies in the claims of Dr Akram Nadwi, and I can assure you it will not be the last time either. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the Doctor. Doctor Akram! Can you be excused, because you yourself do not know what you are talking about? Or are you compelled to do so by the organisations and platforms which take pride in the fruitful investment they have made in you?
If it is none of the above, the only conclusion is that you are suffering from the same mental health issues you spuriously attribute towards others without any sense of accountability. Before making any judgment on the tone and direction of this article, focus should be on the points which will be discussed here. There are those who afford Dr Akram the liberty to unjustifiably criticise whomsoever he wishes, but then show symptoms of an allergic reaction when the Doctor is on the receiving end of criticism.
And to be frank, had Dr Akram not ranted the way he did, this response would have been markedly different. They just follow this blindly as a Sufi. They shut their mind properly. You can see it. No discussion, no argument. Every single thing he copies from the book and take it as it is. It is not right, people are not consistent. There are very few people in the world who are always consistent; most people are not consistent. And out of all the people he chose to highlight as an example of his hyperbole, he decided to pick an old target.
It appears that his own mind goes into sleep mode when he opens his mouth to criticise, and he does not realise how blatantly wrong his assertions are. A few of these statements are cited below, only by way of example, and not to serve as an exhaustive list.
Some have also been graded as fabricated. Also, in most cases, the authors have not even indicated the weakness to the readers. However, with respect to virtues, this amount of scrutiny is tolerable. Secondly, most of its contents are supported by other narrations. Why did they not care about anything? Which of the abovementioned books are Sufi books?
Unbiased readers will have understood that by now, but things need to be spelled out clearly for Dr Akram! Had the Doctor taken the trouble to do just a bit of research before making his comments, he would not have ended up jumping from the frying pan into the fire. But as readers will have already witnessed, it is very easy for the Doctor to say whatever occurs to him.
We will allow Hazrat Shaykh rahimahullah himself to shed light on the issue. Throughout the night, approximately two pots were filled with blood as if from thin air…. However, I was unable to comply due to my many preoccupations. I thought I should spend these free days in this blessed task. Even if these few pages are not received with approval, my free moments will have been spent in this excellent and most blessed task. There are many cases, old and recent, of dedicated scholars and elders who were advised to take rest, but in their utmost zeal for knowledge and benefiting the creation, they strove relentlessly nonetheless.
Unfortunately, such points are very easily lost upon Dr Akram and it is no longer surprising to hear such bold comments from him. However, all means to verify are useless when there is no genuine attempt to understand, and furthermore, present the truth. My advice to the Doctor is, as the poet says: O he who is hitting his head against the high mountain, in an attempt to wound it!
Worry about your own head, not the mountain! It is unique in its effectiveness and benefit. The language is fluent and pleasant, its style of explanation is profound, and its effective stories are not only heartrending but revolutionary.
It will serve as good detox reading. Thirty years and a few months were spent in compiling it, as the start of its compilation was in Madinah Munawwarah — may it be increased in nobility — in AH, as I mentioned in the beginning of the book. A number of big obstacles, which made me lose hope in completing the book, interrupted the compilation a number of times.
Or is being a Sufi synonymous with insanity according to Dr Akram and his admirers? Or did he switch his mind off and not bother to check if it was reliable or not? Dr Akram is in the best position to answer that. There is nothing he says which comes across as surprising anymore. Disgusting: yes. But not surprising. There is not much left to say after statements like that.
Once people board the roller-coaster of full throttle criticism, they are sure to be derailed totally. Hopefully, that will help him retract his half-baked musings and ensure he is careful not to speak out of turn in future.
Surely, You alone are the One who bestows in abundance.
Mohammad Akram Nadwi
Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi
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