It has long seemed to me that there should be some sounder ground for the writing of a review than the desire of the author that a few superficial and vaguely eulogistic comments upon the contents of his work should be made by someone who, for the most part, has not read it. Moreover, the better that work, the less the writer of the review can have to say which is worth saying. For these reasons I have hitherto consistently refused to write reviews. But in the present instance the author of this book on the “Ansari Lectures” has asked me to write one because I was a close companion of his Eminence Mawlana Razlur Rahman Ansari and I had the honor and privilege to be present in almost all the lectures contained in this book.
Undoubtedly, Mawlana Fazlur Rahman Ansari was one of the great sages of the 20th century. He reminded us of the sacred journey into the infinite undertaken by every human being, consciously or unconsciously. He was able to explain in the language of the contemporary age the fundamental truth that in our beginning lies our end and in our end lies the secret of our beginning. Thus he was able to demonstrate with a mastery of cosmology, not only from the perspective of the Quran and Hadith but from his knowledge of the scientific findings of the contemporary age that all of creation would ultimately return to the State before creation and the secret of our souls would be made manifest.
He deplored the intellectual, moral and spiritual stagnation of the Ummah and reminded us of the urgent need of an Islamic response to the intellectual challenges of the 20th century. He believed that the great majority of Muslims of the contemporary age have resigned themselves to being either sentimental enthusiasts or professional traditionalists. He urged the Muslims to become functionalists by making the values of Islam operational in their day to day life. As early as 1970 he predicted that Islam would arise from the West, as indeed appears to be the case in both America and in Europe where Islam is recorded as the fastest growing faith in these regions.
Mawlana Fazlur Rahman Ansari came to South African in 1970 and 1972. The lectures he gave during his short visits are contained in this book which deals with three broad themes. A deeper understanding of the basic principles of Islam, and Islamic response to the intellectual challenges of the 20th century and the methodology of the Islamic spirituality.
A product of both traditional Islamic schools and post graduates Western universities, Mawlana Ansari was able to marry the inner technology of Islamic spirituality with the outer technology of modern day sciences to produce a beautiful and noble example for Muslims to follow. These lectures are a must for any serious student of Islam.
Available from Kazi Publications, Price $14.00