As for the war of Independence 1857 that took place because of the Muslim spirit of freedom struggle and their growing resentment towards the British, “Sir” Syed labeled it as a ‘riot’ and ‘sedition.’ In his pamphlet, ‘Asbab-e-Baghawat-e-Hind’ (Causes of the Hind Sedition), he made it clear that Muslim were guilty of sedition. In this pamphlet, he told the British that the Muslims were in favour of their rule, but rebelled because they had not been given any seat or position in government circles. So, he played along with the British plan to engage Muslims within the British rule, rather than act to uproot it and he himself took a government position.
“Sir” Syed also wrote a book called ‘Loyal Muhammadans of India’. It had three volumes and was published in the years 1860-61. Throughout the book, he proved his loyalty towards the British. In this book, he wrote, “I am extremely angry with the Muslims who rebelled and were defiant against the British and consider them bad because this outbreak by the Muslims was against the People of the Book, the who are our religious brothers, believed in the Messengers, accepted Allah’s rules and keep Allah’s revealed books with them which are part of our fundamental beliefs. Therefore, whenever Christian blood was shed, Muslim blood should have been shed too. And whoever stands against this and are ungrateful to the government, which is not tyrannical, have gone against their religion. They are extremely worthy of being angry with.”
“Sir” Syed seized every opportunity in giving a favourable opinion about the British. After the War of Independence 1857, Queen Victoria appealed to the Muslims for forgiveness and asked them to excuse the British for the mass murder that took place. “Sir” Syed told the Muslims in Muraadabad that it was absolutely necessary to thank her. So a ‘Dargah Hazrat Shah Balaqi’ was suggested and on 28 July 1859, 15,000 people were gathered. To attract more people, food arrangements were made and after ‘Asr Prayer, “Sir” Syed made a collective Dua. Some of the content of this Dua is as follows: “Oh Lord! You have shown mercy to Your people and the people of Hindustan by placing upon them just and equitable rulers and for this we thank You. In the preceding years, we had to face a curse of the absence of such rulers owing to our wicked deeds but now You have compensated it and provided us with such just and kind rulers. We thank You for this blessing of Yours from the core of our hearts. Oh Lord! Accept our gratitude! Ameen! The Indians who were caught into this unfortunate catastrophe, You molded the hearts of our rulers to be merciful to these Indians for the Queen issued an appeal seeking forgiveness just because of Your inspiration. We not only thank You but also pray for the Queen Victoria, wherever, she might be. Oh Lord! Accept our Dua! Ameen!” The cunningness, treachery and deceit against Muslims and Islam is obvious in these words. This Dua is a proof of the loyalty of “Sir” Syed to the British but the tragedy is that such a personality is presented to us as a role model to our Children in School text books while pious personality like Aurangzeb (rahimahullah) are antagonized.
In reality, the decline of the Muslims began with a decline in the comprehension of Islam and its wrong implementation. “Sir” Syed suggested a wrong way to come out of this decline. In his flawed understanding, the Muslims can make progress only by following the British blindly in science, inventions and their thoughts related to life, without adopting the systems springing from the complete Deen of Islam. In fact, we fell behind West, because we did not adopt Islam as a complete way of life. Therefore, if we want to be a progressive Ummah, we must first revive by holding fast onto our Islamic Aqeedah, instead of following the West. Moreover, if science and technology is the only way to success and if Islam mandates that the path to enlightenment is progress and evolution as envisaged by ‘Sir” Syed, then why didn’t Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم spread Islam and conquer through science and technology?? How did the Khulafa-e-Rashideen establish the golden era of Islam without the inventions and discoveries of the Industrial Revolution?? If science was so central to human existence, then wouldn’t the prophets and messengers have been scientists, or at least invented something for mankind??
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