[Mathematician, Physicist, Economist, Astronomer]
As a Mathematician
As an Astronomer
As a Scientist
As an Economist
As a Mathematician
Professor Zia Aldin was the Vice Chancellor of Aligarh University and Sayyid Sulayman Ashraf was Professor of Islamic Studies. Prof. Zia Aldin was a noted Mathematician of India. Once he got confused over a question of mathematics. The question was so complicated that despite all efforts, it remained unsolved. Insofar as, Prof. Zia Aldin made up his mind to go to Germany in order to consult his German counterparts. Meanwhile, Prof. Sulayman Ashraf advised him to approach Alahazrat at Bareilly on this issue. Prof. Zia Aldin raised certain queries about Alahazrat. On being told that Alahazrat was Mawlavi, he paid no heed and began to make all arrangements for his trip to Germany. However Prof. Sulayman Ashraf did not change his stand and went on insisting that he should visit Bareilly. Upon this, Prof. Zia Aldin said: "I admit what you say. I admit that he is a great man. But it is not a question of Islamic science; it is a question of mathematics. What has a Mawlawi to do with mathematics? What a deriding it is to go to him for such a question which is a gordian knot even for mathematicians". (For more details, please refer to "Hayat-e-Alahazrat" by Mawlana Zafar Aldin Bihari). Even so Prof. Sulayman Ashraf did not retract at all and argued: "As compared to Germany, Bareilly is at an arm’s length and direct train is there. What ails you if you go there first for my sake? If you get satisfaction, all well. If not, you are at liberty to proceed to Germany or anywhere you like". Then, Prof. Zia Aldin said: "If you so insist, let me see Alahazrat".
Finally both gentlemen reached Bareilly and met Alahazrat. Alahazrat was running somewhat indisposed. However, Alahazrat asked Prof. Zia Aldin: "What brings you here?" "In connection with a question of mathematics", he replied. "What is that", Alahazrat asked. Prof. Zia Aldin said: "The question is not so easy. I shall tell you when you are at ease", "Even so, what is that?" Alahazrat remarked. Prof. Zia Aldin then went on putting up his lengthy and uphill question. By the time the question was finished, Alahazrat replied forthwith: "Its answer is such and such". Hearing the answer at such a slip shod, Prof. Zia Aldin was all-agape. He was overwhelmed with the charisma of Alahazrat talent. He said: "I heard of Ilm-e-Ladunni (inspired knowledge), but today I have seen it with my own eyes. Glorious mathematicians are vainglorious. The real genius is Alahazrat who took no time to solve an insoluble question for which I have been languishing since long". Prof. Zia Aldin, thus, took sigh of relief and thanked Prof. Sulayman Ashraf for his kind and fruitful guidance.
Alahazrat as an Astronomer
Thrilling news appeared in the English daily "Express" of the 18th October 1919 published from Bankipur, Patna (Bihar). It was regarding a unique and dreadful forecast made by Prof. Albert of USA, who happened to be an astronomer and mathematician of international repute. Its gist was as under:
"On 17th December, 1919, six planets which are most powerful viz. Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Neptune will be in conjunction and the Sun will come in opposite direction of these planets. These planets will fetch the Sun towards them with all their gravity. The result will be that the magnetic properties of these planets will pierce into the Sun and it will inflict hole into the sun, which will be in the shape of a big dagger. And, such a stain on the sun will be visible which everybody would see on the 17th December 1919 with naked eyes. Prof. Albert further predicted that conjunction of such planets, which was not witnessed for the last twenty centuries, would cause disorder in the air and it would bring about big storms, terrible rains and powerful earthquakes. The earth will return to its normal position after several weeks".
The news spread like wild fire. Panic gripped the whole world. Some of the Muslims fell prey to it as well. Mawlana Zafaruddin of Bihar, a disciple and caliph of Alahazrat apprised Alahazrat of such forecast of Prof. Albert. Thereupon, Alahazrat wrote an article belying the forecast tooth and nail brandishing it as baseless and bogus, which was published in the monthly "Al Raza" of Bareilly. This contradictory article too gained equal publicity. Alahazrat was challenging Prof. Albert. A Mawlawi was challenging an astronomer. An Indian was challenging an American. It was towards the middle of November and the people were waiting impatiently for 17th December. In order to allay the fear on the part of his Muslim brethren, Alahazrat rose to the occasion and chose to get his article published. Alahazrat consoled the frightened Muslims and advised them:
"Muslims, be afraid of Allah. Don’t be afraid of Albert. His forecast is false and baseless. It is neither desirable nor permissible for you to pay any heed to it". Interestingly enough, Alahazrat gave as many as seventeen arguments to disprove the said forecast. The arguments advanced by Alahazrat are astronomical and technical. Men of common understanding cannot understand. So, it is of no use to reproduce them in full. However, those who can and those who wish to make a deep study of these arguments, may please go through the booklet "Prof. Albert F. Porta Ki Peshin Goi Ka Rad" published from Maktaba Gharib Nawaz, Allahabad.
However, to present something for a common man, I would like to point out that Alahazrat argued vehemently that the very basis of such forecast was wrong. The forecast was based on the principle that the "sun is stationary and the earth moves around the sun". In the light of the Holy Quran, Alahazrat declared: "The sun and moon do move according to their course. They are sailing within a circle. It is earth (not sun) that is stationary around which the sun and other planets revolve".
According to the working of Prof. Albert, the mutual distance of six planets as on 17th December 1919, worked out to 26 degree, whereas Alahazrat presented a detailed chart depicting the real position of such planets as on 17th December, according to which, such mutual distance worked out to 112 degree. There was such a lot of difference between the two.
Prof. Albert gave all the weigh to Law of Gravitation. Confuting it, Alahazrat argued that the said conjunction did not conform with the Law of Gravitation as well. Either of the two shall have to be discarded then. Have all the planets made a pact to attack the sun alone? Why will they not attack each other, Alahazrat quipped? If the Law of Gravitation is correct, it is bound to affect all – more effect upon what is nearer and sharper effect upon what is weaker. When the attack of six planets can cause such an injury to the sun, then why the Saturn could not be destroyed by the gravity of the remaining five planets, especially when the Saturn is smaller than Sun by thousand times, Alahazrat asked.
Mars is smaller than Saturn. Mercury is the smallest of all. So in this way, these are bound to be shattered into pieces. What an absurd it is to believe that the weaker might not suffer at all and the strongest (sun) will lose the battle, Alahazrat argued. Even on the basis of the Law of Gravitation, there can be no such conjunction of planets, Alahazrat declared. That is Alahazrat beat Albert from both ends.
By and by, the time passed and the crucial day of 17th December arrived. As the sun rose, the panic-stricken people began to take it as Doomsday. The routine life went to standstill. Clouds of horror hovered heavily. Some people laid hope in Albert. Some people laid hope in Alahazrat. The names of Albert and Alahazrat were running on the lips and tips of one and all. By the grace of Almighty Allah, the day went off peacefully. The sun set setting the pandemonium at rest. Nothing untoward took place anywhere. The position of Albert was all burst.
Everybody witnessed that what Alahazrat had observed and declared, came true word by word. It bagged three cheers for Alahazrat. Prof. Albert also conceded the talent of Alahazrat in the field of astronomy.
Alahazrat as a Scientist
The earth moves constantly about its own axis and also round the sun, which is stationary. This theory espoused by Copernicus, Kelper and Galileo, gained popularity all over the world. The theory says that the speed of rotation of earth is 1036 miles per hour i.e. 17.26 miles per minutes i.e. 30389 yards per minute i.e. 506.4 yards per second. Against this theory, nobody could speak. It was Alahazrat who challenged it and declared:
"The Islamic principle is that the sky and earth are stationary and the planets rotate. It is the sun that moves round the earth, it is not the earth that moves round the sun".
in order to substantiate it, Alahazrat put forward two-tier arguments. First, he quoted a number of verses from the Holy Quran and Hadith, the translation of some of which is given below:
(For detailed please refer to "Nuzool-e-Ayat-e-Furqaan Besukoon-e-Zameen-o-Asman" of Alahazrat written in 1339 A.H., published from Raza Academy, Bombay).
It is thus; quite clear that the sun moves and it is obligatory upon every Muslim to believe it because it is what Allah ordains us to believe. In light of the Holy Quran and Hadith, the theory of rotation of earth is absolutely wrong. Such arguments were more than enough for Muslims but for Muslims only. For others, Alahazrat presented a number of arguments based on scientific understanding – technical and otherwise. Alahazrat wrote several books on this subject. In 1920, he presented his book "Fauz-e-Mubin Dar Radd-e-Harkat-e-Zamin", published from Idara Sunni Dunia, Saudagaran, Bareilly. This book contains 105 arguments, dozens of diagrams and lots of calculations in refuting the said theory. Out of 105, I am giving below gist of only five logical and axiomatic arguments which are quite easy and which can be understood by a man of average intelligence.
Need you go yet for further arguments? Go on thinking over plane, gun, cannon, missile and so forth.
Thus, we can come to the conclusion that a person who challenged the great scientists like Copernicus Kelper, Galileo, and Newton etc. must have been a great genius himself. I would like to add that what is required to disprove the theories of these scientists, Alahazrat has done ahead of it but sooner or later its credit will be bagged by someone else who will win the fight in the name of a scientist for, Alahazrat is better known as a Muslim theologian rather than a scientist.
Alahazrat as an Economist
Economics is the science of wealth, as says Adam Smith, who is called the Father of Economics. Adam Smith wrote a book entitled "Wealth of Nations" which was published in 1176. For centuries, this subject was taken as dry and no interest was shown in it. It was only around 1940 that this subject gained popularity, and International depression was the main cause behind it. During the time of Alahazrat (1856 – 1921) economics was a subject, which was not given much importance. Nevertheless, Alahazrat through his book published in 1912, presented four peerless points for the economic development of Muslim brethren. These are:
At the instance Prof. Rafiullah Siddiqui Chairman Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Hyderabad (Sind), has written an article "Fazil-e-Bareillvi Kay Char Ma’ashi Nikaat", published from Maktaba-e-Chashm-e-Rahmat, Balrampur (UP), India. Prof. Siddiqui has beautifully explained all the four points at length; I have had all the appreciation for Prof. Siddiqui and his article.
Through his first point, Alahazrat has propounded the theory of savings. He has realized the significance of savings and has made people to realize it. In most of the underdeveloped countries, the rate of saving varies from 5 to 8 %. Now the economic experts have declared that for economic development of the country, saving to the tune of 15 % of the national income is a must. The importance of savings overshadowed the world in 1936 when Lord J.M. Kaynez of England presented his "Theory of Savings & Investment", which proved successful in overcoming the international depression. In short, according to Kaynez, saving is all. It is equal to investment according to his equation. Thus, more saving, more investment; more investment, more development. For this theory of Saving & Investment, Prof. J.M. Kaynez was honored by England and the most prestigious title of "Lord" was conferred on him. Prof. Rafiullah Siddiqui has so nicely and so rightly quipped that Prof. J.M. Kaynez was honored in 1936 for what was already pointed out by Alahazrat in 1912. Who deserved and who bagged the honor, is thus to be seen. Yet, it may be taken for granted that Alahazrat would not accept such an honor from British even if he were presented one.
Secondly, Alahazrat presented the theory of opening banks. Needless to mention that banks in the eyes of Alahazrat were meant to be interest-free banks. History of banking is known to all of us. Alahazrat suggested and talked of opening banks at a time when banks played no significant role the country. In 1912, there were only a few banks in India, in big cities, and nobody could foresee then that after a lapse of three or four decades, the importance of banks would assume so much proportion. No doubt, it was Alahazrat who was able to peep into future and suggest boosting up the banking industry before hand.
A bank is an institution through which the savings of the masses are deployed over productive investment. It is bank that collects pennies but provides pounds. Banks help the people create tendency of saving. Being a great economist, Alahazrat well realized the hazards of hoarding and advocated for the development of banking industry.
The third point of Alahazrat is that Muslims should purchase each and every thing from Muslims only. Apparently, this point appears to be based on somewhat narrow-minded. But it is not so if we go deep. What Alahazrat says is that Muslims should purchase fro Muslims only. It is not restricted to a particular place, locality or province. It means that Muslims countries should purchase from Muslims countries only. It means that Alahazrat has opposed the free-trade theory as espoused by Adam Smith and suggested Trade Protection so as to withstand the competition in the international market. Fredrick List, a noted German economist has emphatically supported the Trade Protection Policy. Prof. Rafiullah Siddiqui has very much appreciated this point of Alahazrat. According to him, Alahazrat wanted to provide economic protection to Muslims but the Muslims neglected the economic acumen highlighted by their own savant, Alahazrat.
To the misfortune of Muslims, what was pinpointed by Alahazrat for the benefit of Muslims, was utilized by non-Muslims. Second World War had badly ruined Germany, France, and Italy etc. The economy of these European countries was crippled. European Common Market (E.C.M.) consisting of six European countries came into existence. It achieved marvelous success and the entire World witnessed that it changed the entire story. The staggering economy of these countries mustered a sudden boom and the German mark became the powerful currency of the world. After all, what was this E.C.M.? It was a practical shape of the guidelines given by Alahazrat just on the lines that Muslims should make purchases from Muslims only. Even today, if the Muslims countries unite and follow such a policy, luck will smile upon them.
Now come to the fourth point. It is regarding the publicity of Islamic sciences. When theories of economics are going on, how far it is desirable to talk of Islamic sciences or religion. A Mawlawi always remains a Mawlawa-some people may think. Prof. Siddiqui has duly appreciated the importance of knowledge of Islamic sciences but meanwhile he has gone to say that this fourth point is not in regard to economics. With due respect to Prof. Siddiqui, I would like to say that he has hastened to observe like so, perhaps because of is appearance. Prof. Siddiqui has succeeded in realizing the importance of this point but has failed to link it with economic theories.
To my mind, this point is all the more important. Everybody knows that there is lot of difference between theory and practice. Implementation is an upheaval task. The first three points of Alahazrat provide a theoretical approach. The fourth one provides a pragmatic approach. It must be borne in mind that Alahazrat has introduced what we may call Muslim Economics. He has talked of benefit and betterment of only Muslims. From this angle, all the four points are inter-connected. The first point of Alahazrat is regarding mutual settlement of their disputes. The idea is so nice but its implementation is fairly difficult. As says Adam Smith: "man is the born servant of self interest". Everybody wants to gain. Nobody wants to lose. In quest of gain, man runs after the courts headlong. He runs and runs towards the courts till he gets a gain what he call justice. Such a race towards the gain makes the litigation time consuming as well as money consuming. Now Alahazrat speaks of preaching and teaching Islamic sciences to the people. He means to say hat spirit of Islam must prevail upon the Muslims. Alahazrat goes to say hat such an abrupt race of litigation can be controlled only with the spirit of Islam. Under true spirit of Islam, Muslims shall prefer to get their disputes decided only by their Muftis whom they would consider as heirs of the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessing be Upon Him), and regarding the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) the Holy Qur’an declares: "By Allah, they shall not be Muslims unless they make You Hakim in matter of their disputes and unless they accept your decision by heart and feel no hindrance whatsoever there from in their hearts". (Surah 4; Verse 65)
Thus, a true Muslim shall be duly satisfied with the decision of a Mufti regardless of the fact whether he remains a gainer or loser. He would accept the decision by heart. Nor would he take it as point of prestige, as true Muslim wants nothing but what Allah and His Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) want for him. He would not knock at the doors of the court at all. A short meeting with a Mufti can solve a long dispute. Thus, it would be seen that the fourth point advanced by Alahazrat is very much linked with the theory of mutual settlements of Muslims by avoiding litigation with a view to ensuring large savings.
The second point is of opening Muslims banks. Muslims would like to help Muslims only when they are taught to help them in terms of Islamic sciences, that is, in light of Holy Quran and Hadith. Interest is a prize of exploitation. Muslims would refrain from accepting interest if they were told that usury is haram (strictly forbidden) according to Holy Quran and whosoever accepts interest, should be ready to fight with Allah on the Day of Judgment. Only through the injunction of Islamic spirit, which flows from the knowledge of Islamic sciences attained through the study of Islamic books or through the company of Islamic savants, Muslims can agree to opening of interest-free banks and usury can be put an end to. If the rich people open banks out of their riches, the poor people will get rid of their poverty to a great extent. First, the poor will be able to get employment in various projects financed by banks. Secondly, the poor section will be able to secure interest-free loans from the banks, which they would get otherwise at a heavy rate of interest. Thus, the second and fourth points of Alahazrat are well linked together.
Muslims should make purchases from Muslims only – is the third point. It does not purport to say that Muslims should sell to Muslims only. Alahazrat is restricting outgoings only to Muslims. Unless the Muslims are taught their religion, nothing can be achieved in this field. A person, who has no knowledge of Islamic studies, is western-minded, would hardly purchase anything from Muslims. He would be addicted to using foreign goods and would not hesitate to purchase them from any corner. Nowadays, it is seen that those who have craze for using foreign goods, may it be, cigarette, wine or anything like, help the foreign companies to earn a lot of foreign exchange. A Muslim would make purchases from Muslims only when it is impressed upon him that the Holy Qu’an declares:
"Innam Al-Mo’minoona Ikhwatun" (Surah Hujrat, verse 10)
That is "Muslim and a Muslim are brethren". Unless he treats the other Muslim as his brother, he would not extend him a brotherly-treatment. Moreover the teachings of Islam shall bear wide repercussions on the standard of trade. No trader would like to give short weight as it is forbidden in Islam. No trader would make any adulteration of any kind, as it is forbidden in Islam. No trader would try to conceal defect, if any, in his commodity as it is forbidden in Islam. No trader would resort to unnecessary hoarding of stock as it is forbidden in Islam. No trader would allow unnecessary bargaining in price as it is forbidden in Islam. In this manner, under the yoke of Islam, trade will wear a bloomy look. If Muslims undertake to make purchases from Muslims only and if Islamic spirit prevails, then a Muslim will not be able to get wine, because no Muslim would like to sell it as it is forbidden in Islam. In this way, not only the trade will flourish but it will also bring about a flawless society.
So, it is evident that all the four points of Alahazrat are coherent and correlated insofar as Muslim Economics is concerned. As I have been associated with Economics for the last twenty years, I had a right to study Alahazrat in this field and so I did. I have no hesitation to say that before the insight Alahazrat in the field of Economics, I find myself no better than a big zero.