ALLAH does not change the state of people, until they change it themselves

13.7.12

Character Of Literature


For humans, aesthetic needs are as important as basic needs because they feed the soul and help to enhance it. People are always in need of an ideal. The urge to follow some principle, person etc. was built into us.
Accordingly, literature is an important aspect of the aesthetic sense and all societies need it as their source of aspirations, ideals, objectives, and visions. Yet, good literature is the kind which makes people think and plan ahead of their time. It offers role models which help to evlove ideas and ideals, and preserve and pass objectives to future generations. Above everything else, it brings together people from different backgrounds to acquire a unity of imagination, if it is equally enjoyable to the initiated and the uninitiated (and this has been a hallmark of all good literature throughout the ages, even though this is denied nowadays by those who uphold a dichotomy between "high" and "popular" cultures). In other words, good literature prevents the stagnation of society and creates unity of vision. 
Hence, intellectuals become crucial for their societies since they must read the time correctly. If they stray, they bring the whole nation to the brink of destruction. 
Both the masses and the elite can be fooled separately but they cannot be fooled together ("You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time," said Abraham Lincoln). Therefore, a product of literature deserves our most serious attention when it turns out to be enjoyable for the masses as well as the elite at the same time. 

It may be helpful to remember, in any case, that Allama Iqbal and Quaid-i-Azam placed so much emphasis on Unity, and the Quran also asks us to hold fast to the Rope of God. 

If we presume that the Rope of God is the community founded by his Prophet (and according to some Muslim thinkers, the entire humanity after the Holy Prophet), it may follow that humanity collectively cannot go wrong. This lesson can be learnt even from the most destructive wars, and even from the two world wars where the aggressors had to lose in the end. In Muslim history, even if Genghis and Halaku destroyed the Muslim world, the children of those same destroyers became Muslims and defended Islam. 

2 comments:

  1. Greetings,

    Thank you for this. This is a great post.

    I very much like how it's expressed so directly that we (humans) have within us that special splendor that would have us soar rather than just survive. And literature can inculcate in us, spread in us, establish in us, an Ideal toward which we can strive.

    All good wishes,

    robert

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    1. @Robert: thank you. :) Khurram sahib inspired me to write this one.

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