NAYEEM IBN AMIN
The late Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq’s vision was for a politically stable, educationally enlightened, and united Kashmir. The Mirwaiz is particularly remembered for his courage to stand against state oppression, especially on human rights violations but also against political corruption and political injustice. He never hesitated to candidly express his thoughts in his own inimitable way—even after he was put behind bars in 1965 for a period of two years and ten months.
The late Mirwaiz’s achievements were not confined to the important position of “Mirwaiz” he held. He squeezed time from busy schedules to write a prolific amount of articles and books on diverse topics, ranging from the Kashmir dispute to the Muslim theology. In 1984, he founded “Idarae Tasneef wa Taleef” which brought out several publications including journals, pamphlets and books. He demonstrated his versatility in penmanship by writing a book on the universal philosophy of Islam, named “Islam Ka Afaqi Paigam”, which earned a warm affirmation from scholars, thinkers and venerated non-Muslim thinkers. For common Muslims, his book “Islam ki Bunyadi Taleemat” is regarded as the most significant while for Hindi knowing people he has written “Islam ka Sandesh”.
In a press conference held at the Mirwaiz Manzil on 25th May, 1983, he said, “I strongly condemn violence, aggression, dissension, prejudice and mistrust. My motto has all along been, “Live and let others live”. I am opposed to tyranny, dictatorship and gangsterism”. It is reported by his personal assistant, Syed Rehman Shams, that in the course of his last meeting with Maulana Wahidudin Khan, the Maulana advised Mirwaiz, “Make your youth well-educated, not well-agitated” and the Mirwaiz “instantly directed me to jot it down.”
If we delve deep into the causes of corruption in Kashmir, they will be found to be intrinsically linked to our spiritual bankruptcy. Shaheed Mirwaiz was well aware that corruption is sought to be solved with decorative measures while ignoring the most deep-rooted element in it. Shaheed Mirwaiz was of the vision that corruption is to be cured through spiritual reorientation, educational enlightenment, and moral rejuvenation, which can’t be brought about merely by legal and institutional means. History testifies to the fact that legal and institutional measures to combat corruption have never yielded desired results.
Shaheed Mirwaiz would urge people to follow the rightful path as shown by Messenger of Islam Hazrat Muhammad (SAAS) to curb all forms of corruption. His deep love and association with Islam is reflected in his speech at a large gathering organised by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board at Neo College Madras. “You know which force attracted me to this place? I am proudly declaring that it is only Islam which has brought me here. It’s without exaggeration that the Islamic relation surmounts everything.” The Mirwaiz’s leadership was “aesthetic leadership” in nature, emerging from insight into cultural, political or interpersonal issues; or, at a more general level, providing alternative ways of seeing problems, history, or received wisdom.
The real tribute to the late Mirwaiz will be to curb all forms of corruption, whose remedy lies in “spirituality” and “self-accountability”. The late Mirwaiz would always urge people to devote time in prayers to ask for forgiveness and wellbeing of mankind.
Shaheed Mirwaiz’s socio-politico-religious charisma is undisputed, for every social bloc (separatists/mainstream) in the valley pays rich homage to his versatile personality. To work for a corruption-free Kashmir, all the blocs need to do better, as John Kotter claims that corporate transformations fail because leaders don’t do eight key things: instil a sense of dedication, build a guiding coalition, develop a clear vision of future, communicate this vision, remove obstructive people, ensure some short-term wins, sustain the effort for long, and build the changes into a collective culture. Merely verbalism, paper tributes, holding rallies, installing banners, and time wasting in gatherings will only prove futile in taking forward the work and the vision of Shaheed Mirwaiz.
The writer has a Masters in Islamic Studies