Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Issues (5): What is real?

The paths of civilization are paved with the blood of some martyrs who cannot be accused of aggression even by the wildest stretch of imagination: Jesus Christ, Imam Husain, Mansur Hallaj, and so on. Their sacrifices give legitimacy to questions which would otherwise be heretical (consider the slogan for which Hallaj was put to death, “Ana al-Haque” or “I’m the Creative Truth”).

Rashid Minhas is a sort of little Hallaj for the new nation of Pakistan – as if he wrote with his blood, “I am Pakistan.” In him, the personal becomes the political: in the final duel, his self-respect and prestige of Pakistan become one, and he must choose to die in order to save both.

In Javidnama, Iqbal placed Hallaj on the fifth sphere, i.e. the Sphere of Jupiter. That is where I would place Rashid:
“I saw a people who were turning away from life, so I decided to wake them up,” said Hallaj. “They said they believed in God and yet they didn’t believe in themselves. How can you have faith in the Almighty without having faith in yourself?”
Rashid’s story may have a similar message for us. As we realize that this is just the case study we need in the 21st Century, we are forced to ask:
  • Who wrote this story?
Having faith in God might not be sufficient for answering this question. We need to have faith in ourselves too.


  1. I am the Creative Truth=I am Pakistan=Pakistan is the Truth. Outer world view and outside visibility of greater and larger picture is marred by inner-outer duality;self being the only reality loses equilibrium,equation and even existence on this conflict.

  2. Wasim, that's an interesting insight. Would you like to elaborate? Thanks.

  3. Excellent post, i am first time encountering with new measure of self-assessment in Rashid story.

  4. sir, the issue you posted is quite philosophical, and is i don't know who the hallaj was , i can't get da hang of it properly..
    as i've just started all this, my brain and my skills are not polished enough to understand things so easily of a genius like you.
    if you don't mind and you can find some time, then would you please bother to explain it a bit? i don't want to miss a single episode of rashid minhas, since i've started following it.

  5. Wasim, you speak a language of the mystic. Perhaps Iqbals' Oneness of humanity and that same mystical language used by the greatest prophets, poets, artists and philosophers and the lives/sacrifices of others (who live out that which others merely write or draw) - this universal language has this under-explored meaning: that we can't have inter-nation let alone inter-national oneness or even a larger, more inclusive world-view without also minimizing our inner-outer duality?

    Perhaps when the little "self" is or becomes- out of fear or self-centered greed -the only reality - no matter how outstanding creatively or in terms of scholarship, technology etc.the person's work & life - this use of one's life -can only utimately claim at best a narcissistic genius rather than one which may have the reach to move others universally? And in terms of national "prowess" - advanced intelligence which does not always abide by national or international law, drone-development-nuclear expansion who's precision & end result is quite inaccurate at best, quite worrisome at worst, etc. who wants this on their obitiary or even in Wikipedia?

    There is so much more power than is easily visible - that pertains to integrity, calling, listening to something way deeper. Yet look at the greater value over time - the lives, writings and spiritual metaphors given by the persons to whom Prof. Khurrum
    Ali Shafique is drawing our attention? The value of all this is even great and nurturing to me as an American yet largely an international citizen more and more.

    Wasim, you are skilled with tight, fertile, evocative language and speak in such vivid terms using so few words like my favorite writers! I'm watching your lead.

  6. Each here is capable of the same kind of genius and exemplary life as the host here and those about whom he speaks and I feel that this is the purpose for his blog at least in part? Am I right, host?

    There may be a divine purpose for each one who is here - whatever your faith level or type? what do you think?

    One tiny tip for ReeBz and others may be to ask ourselves: what is worth living for? how do we go about doing this? maybe both Wasim and the host here will suggest portions to read from the people who can teach us in the simplest language as well as his own commentary?

    But what i want to say to ReeBz is that you are living out these principles whether or not you understand them and by keeping a journal of your own fresh daily experiences with the immigrants & displaced YOU will have the most important lessons for the rest of us here and more people too should you later share your own writings. (did u see earlier response?)

    If I disappear, I will be back later or will at least read and learn from all of you, particularly from you, Areeba and also you Wasam. Areeba, if you want to email me:
    Connie I may not check every day but will look for your email (can you but your name in subject heading?)

  7. Man, who is the receptacle of divine revelation must in order to know God, know himself, in his permanent possibility. But he will know himself also through God. As it is said “Man, is to God that, which the pupil is to eye”.

    Connie, I very intently follow your comments that are elaborate, well structured and resourceful, like to write the way you do.