Friendship of a transgressor with good conduct is dearer to me than that of a learned man with bad conduct.
This reminded your truly of late Dr Farhan Mujib. He was not a religious man. Worse - his inherited company was of the liberals, socialists, communists, Marxists. But to be fair to him yours truly never saw him coloured in that ideology. It was a vestige of past only. A common friend said that his cousin publishes a weekly paper. Farhan Sahab was interested. "What is the name?" Answer : Labourer (Mehnatkash). Farhan Sahab lost the interest immediately, "Oh it is leftist." And thus Farhan Sahab ended up in a permanent conundrum - he was not a leftist but everybody assumed him to be. Yours truly was the only impertinent person who tried to pull him towards Islam. And pressurized others to do the same but they never got the courage to breach the topic. Nothing more could have been done. Of course once he did advice yours truly to pray to Allah(SWT) when a difficult situation arose. For detractors it might not be a big thing but for yours truly it is. There are some people who are so sure of their own good deeds that they criticize others. But there are people who appreciate him. Professor Rashid Hasan usually quips that whatever he was - he was much better than many Muslims. When the topic was breached with Professor Syed Muhammed Abul Hashim Rizvi, who has retired from Physics Department of your beloved Alma Mater, he broke down and said that Farhan was an excellent human being.
Indeed his past haunted him. Once he said in utmost pain that there is only one reason that people hate me and that is Professor Rais Ahmed. Late Professor Rais Ahmed was one of the limited pillars of liberal power structure in AMU - Professor Nurul Hasan of History being another one. There are many people who appreciate Professor Rais Ahmed but there are also the under currents where he is not liked. Late Dr Syed Muhammed Ahmed, former Assistant Public Relations Officer of AMU, was one of those who defended Professor Rais Ahmed. Many teachers of Physics Department remember him fondly and these are not all communists. He was a Haafiz of either 16 or 18 parts of the Noble Qur'an. Professor Hashim Rizvi said that after talking to you for an hour he could give a popular lecture on your topic better than you. Late Professor rais Ahmed went on to become director of NCERT and Vice Chancellor of Kashmir University as well as Vice Chairman of UGC. He was instrumental in framing the concept of what started as Nuclear Science Cener in New Delhi and is now called the Inter University Accelerator Center. He was the brain behind what is called the NET examination and he contributed to the framing of syllabi of IGNOU. He also worked as education adviser to government of Mauritius. For a life time this is no small work.
But then he is not a universally liked person. I suppose one has to live all of these contradictions of life.
A few days ago a poster appeared in the university. The Hobbies Workshop of the university is organizing an art celebration dedicated to late Dr Farhan Mujib. The title of the celebration is NICHE. It begins on March 31, 2012 in the General Education Center. The poster uses the profiles of Streatchy Hall, Bab-e-Syed and Union Hall in the background. Heart sank to see the colour of the above profiles - it is red. This was a time to make a decision. If liberal intelligentsia is celebrating Farhan Sahab then so be it. Farhan Sahab is no more and a Muslim is not supposed to be attached to past. The decision was to let bygone be bygone. Farewell Farhan Sahab. But it was not to be.
Professor Wasi Haider, Chairman of Physics Department at present very excitedly told a few days ago that there is this event on 31st of March and let us go to it.
So there. Can you refuse the invitation of your teacher to attend the memory of a senior friend? No.
Professor Haider is the eldest son of late Mr Wizarat Hussain sahab - a legendary teacher of the S.T.High School (called Minto Circle). Wizarat Sahab was the only competitor of Professor Irfan Habib Sahab for the leadership of Marxist community of AMU. There gap between Islam and this ideology is not bridgeable but presence of people holding to latter can not be denied. These people have been at the forefront in trying to face the communal juggernaut that was unleashed in India a few decades ago and that is one piece of reality that yours truly finds difficult to ignore. I hope recognizing and acknowledging reality is a step towards dealing with it. In those days when yours truly was ignorant about these things Dr Farhan Mujib once told that there are people who would not like you to be seen in this company. Now the situation has changed, as Allah(SWT) so magnificently wished, that yours truly does not want to be seen in that company. But then again these are our own brothers and sisters (uncles and aunties?) and we too have a responsibility to worry about their hereafter - as they worry about our own present condition, in their own way.