Dr. A Q Khan
Mohsin e Pakistan

The blessed ones

Posted in English Articles  by draqkadmin
January 27th, 2010

Random thoughts
by Dr A Q Khan

Throughout history there have been certain individuals who achieved recognition in certain areas. Shaikh Saadi said: “Honour is not earned, it is conferred by the One Who Confers.” According to this concept, if a great deed is accomplished by someone, he should regard it as a gift of God rather than “the muscles of his own arms.” It is a special favour from God that a particular individual is selected by providence and singled out for a specific task.

Sir Sayyed was given the honour to accomplish the educational uplift of the Muslims. He was neither a pious religious scholar nor a wealthy man, nor did he occupy any high office.

In the 18th century, Raja Ram Mohan Roy brought the Hindus out of isolation and encouraged them to pursue modern education. Until then they had considered travelling overseas a cardinal sin. Now they started going to England and Europe for education. These educated Hindus earned the trust of the British and were placed in high positions in the government. The Muslims continued to live in the past. It was Sir Sayyed who changed this. He turned a small school into a university, thus enabling the Muslims to acquire modern education. Before him, Pandit Madan Mohan Malwiya had done the same for Hindus by establishing the Banaras Hindu University. After Aligarh University was established, it started producing cadres of modern educated Muslims. They joined in the competition for high governmental posts and started advancing in the fields of politics, trade, journalism, etc.

When Allah selects someone for a certain task, He provides him with all the required resources. How could Hazrat Musa talk to Firawn on an equal footing? Only because he had been raised in the king’s palace and was familiar with the royal manners. In short, Hazrat Musa had been prepared in advance for this role by Divine Providence. In the same way, Salahuddin Ayyubi was cast in the role of the Conqueror of Bait al-Muaqaddas and Malik al-Zahir Beybars was destined for the task of defeating the Mongols. The honour of conquering Constantinople – the seat of the Eastern Roman Empire – belongs to the great Ottoman Sultan Muhammad al-Fatih (‘the Conqueror’). The advance into the heart of Europe and the capture of a major part of Eastern Europe goes to the credit of Sultan Bayazid Yaldram (‘the Lion’). Incidentally Sultan Muhammad al-Fatih was the same Mujahid of Islam about whom the Prophet (SAW) had forecast victory. The Prophet (SAW) had given glad tidings of Paradise to “the army and its virtuous Commander that will conquer Constantinople.”

In pre-partition India, the Hindus had formed many political parties. They took over the Indian National Congress that had been founded by A O Hume – an Englishman – along with Parsi Dadabhoy Nouroji and five others. At the time there were hardly any capable all-India Muslim leaders. Congress had inducted into its ranks some Muslim leaders as showpieces.

Allah (SWT) in His Infinite Wisdom chose someone different from the traditional ulema and leaders for the task of protecting the Muslims from Hindu domination — someone who could not speak or write Urdu, let alone Arabic. Normally such a person would not have been able to convince 100 million Muslims. However, he was one of the topmost barristers of British India; a man of upright character who enjoyed respect among friend and foe alike for his impeccable conduct. His popularity incurred the ire of many traditional ulema and they took to mobilissing the Muslim public against him. Despite their fierce opposition, things happened exactly the way they were destined by Divine Providence. Quaid-e-Azam succeeded in obtaining independent nationhood for the Muslims. Despite all the mischievous efforts made by the Hindus, some Muslim traitors and the treachery of the British, the nascent Islamic state survived.

Another event of great consequence was India’s nuclear explosion. There appeared no major international reaction from anywhere. No one seriously condemned India for this act, nor did any censure come from the custodians of world peace and non-proliferation. In fact, some of these powers are today helping India in expanding its destructive powers and patronised its ambitions for regional domination. At one point the Indian leadership entertained fresh hopes of destroying Pakistan and annexing it to Mother India. But as the Persian proverb says: “Man plans, but Providence ridicules.” East Pakistan had meanwhile become independent as Bangladesh. In the now truncated Pakistan, the prime minister, Mr Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, resolved to make his country a nuclear power. Being a small frail state overwhelmed by economic ills, it could hardly afford such an expensive ambition. Foreign support or scientific assistance for such a project was not possible. Our scientists were not equipped with the requisite knowledge, infrastructure and know-how. But when something is decided by God, no difficulties defy solution.

Circumstances put me in the right place at the right time and I was selected to take up this task — an ordinary citizen of the country, a man of meagre resources. I was educated at a government school and college, without any scholarship or stipends. I was afforded, by desire and circumstances, an opportunity to study abroad. During my stay abroad I had not only studied the right subjects for this cause, but had also acquired practical experience in the relevant field. Upon the request by the late Mr Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, I resigned from my foreign job and undertook this seemingly impossible task. Professional jealousy, predictions of failure and the wasting of precious time and resources were to be my companions from the start.

However, Allah’s help seemed to be on our side from the beginning. Mr Bhutto’s determination in going through with this project ensured its continuity. Despite our very limited resources, the requirements of secrecy, the fact that we had to buy each and everything in the open market and the opposition we faced, both from internal and external sources, our work could not be stopped.

Fortunately, despite frequent changes of government and the diverse policies followed by different rulers, no one attempted to halt this programme or succumbed to external pressures. While the credit of inaugurating this project goes to the late Mr Bhutto, Gen Ziaul Haq, despite involvement with America in the Afghan war, ensured that it continued. Mohtarama Benazir Bhutto also remained supportive.

Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif has gone down in history by his courageous decision to undertake the explosions, despite constant American pressures. The late Mr Ghulam Ishaq Khan, while holding various offices, not only supervised this work, but always provided the necessary facilities. Similarly, General Aslam Baig and General Abdul Waheed Kakar also protected the programme from all harm. They even confronted Americans with plain and forthright answers wherever this was warranted.

In all the momentous events mentioned above, the eternal principle laid down in Verse 26 (Aal-e-Imran) had been at work: “Say (O Muhammad [SAW]): O Allah! Possessor of the kingdom, You give the kingdom to whom You will, and You take the kingdom from whom You will, and You endue with honour whom You will and You humiliate whom You will. In Your hand is the good. Verily, You are able to do all things.”

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