‘Turkey where you are not is no different to us from other countries’

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‘Turkey where you are not is no different to us from other countries’

Prof. Dr. Mujahid Ali

Educationist Doğan Yücel wrote about his association with the late Pakistani academic Prof. Dr. Mujahid Ali and his memories with him. Yücel conveyed the insightful words Prof. Dr. Mujahid Ali had told him about Turkey in their last meeting.

I am sad to have learnt about the demise of Prof. Dr. Mujahid Ali, one of the most valuable academics of Pakistan, last weekend (on March 20) after a short illness. I and my colleagues have known him since 2006 or 2007. Even though we couldn’t meet in person for a long time due to being away from Pakistan, we kept in touch with him occasionally. The sadness of not being unable to attend his funeral multiplied our agony. We can never forget the succour he provided to the PakTurk Schools and his caring for the Turkish teachers and administrators in hard times. On this occasion, I wished pay homage to and commemorate him with our precious memories here once again.

A former dean of the Faculty of Law at the Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU), Prof. Ali was fluent in Persian, Arabic and local languages. He used to supervise the graduate and doctorate programs. He also served as the director of the Commerce College with the same university for a while. He also had his own college which taught business and commerce courses.

A devotee of Jalaluddin Rumi and Allama Iqbal

The late Mujahid Ali, a Sufi besides his acumen as an experienced educationist, was deeply devoted to ‘Mevlana’ Jalaluddin Rumi and Allama Muhammad Iqbal. He pioneered the founding and initiation of the Rumi Forum, an intercultural dialogue platform established for bringing people on the common denominator of the teachings of Jalaluddin Rumi drawn from Islam, in Multan. What’s more special is that Konya, which hosts Mevlana’s tomb, and Multan, where Prof. Dr. Mujahid Ali lived, are sister cities.

Bureaucratic procedures generally take a long time in Pakistan. Yet, thanks to the solemn efforts of the late Mujahid Bey, the establishment of the Rumi Forum in Multan was completed in a short time. After the establishment, he served as the chairman and the vice-chairman of the Multan branch, respectively. He endeavoured to attend to every forum-related activity and program. He organized the annual Rumi’s birthday and Shab-e-Arus programs.

He delivered Mathnawi Readings for 3 years

He was the resource person of the Mathnawi Readings, attended by the city’s leading academics and various professionals every 15 days, without interruption for three years. We used to read the Mathnawi from its Persian original, and followed its interpretation from its English translation. He would explain the couplets he read. He meticulously organized and supervised this regular program. At the end of each session, he used to recite the end prayer from the prayer compendium ‘Kulub ud-Daria’, terming it ‘a thorough declaration of Allah’s peace and blessings upon His Last Messenger’

He liked reciting prayers from Kulub ud-Daria a lot. This was why he obtained permission from the publishing house holding the copyrights of the book in Pakistan to distribute it to his acquaintances. He photocopied the prayer compendium and distributed it to his friends. He used to recite from this prayer book regularly. He had also read Fethullah Gülen’s other books translated into Urdu.

We used to visit each other with our families. We became close family friends. Once, he and I could visit the Tomb of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi together. During his stay in Konya, he spent a week repeatedly visiting the tomb and its enclosures. During those times, he used to go to the tomb in the morning and stay in peace until the closing time in the evening, busy with dhikr and worship.

He opened his house to us and said, ‘Stay here with family’

Prof. Dr. Mujahid Ali always remembered the Hizmet volunteers with auspicious remarks and showcased their activities as examples to everyone. He provided financial and moral support to educational services. He always gave morale to teachers and administrators during the phase ended with the usurpation of the PakTurk Schools. In 2018, he did not spare his assuring support while the Turkish teachers and their families faced expulsion from Pakistan. I would like to quote the memory of a Turkish friend about that period: “In those difficult days, he had arranged furniture and household good on the upper portion of his house. He invited us, saying ‘Come and stay here as long as you wish with your family.’ However, we had to leave Pakistan in those days.”

He was a friend of Allah (SWT) who always stood for us and prayed for us by name after daily Prayers. In our last meeting, he had said “Turkey where you are not is no different to us from other countries!”

We pray to Allah to fill his grave with light… May Allah make his eternal abode al-Firdaus in Paradise and his neighbour ‘Mevlana’ Jalaluddin Rumi. We convey our heartfelt condolences to his family and relatives. 

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