Literature has a profound effect on every society. It shapes the way people look at things and how they feel about what different aspects in life. After all, the Prophet Muhammad(SAW) said in a hadith that some words are magic. In other words, they change the way people think and act. This is especially true with masterpieces and other revered types of literature. After all, the goal of any author(not including children's storybook ones) is to make its readers accept what it is saying. This has been the case and continues to be the case with American society as well as other societies. Pakistani society is no different.
Pakistani society has been in the past been extremely dependent on literature. After all, it was the writers and poets who through the will of Allah helped uplift Muslims in the subcontinent and bring a positive change in society. Even today, these writings are revered greatly and are looked to for inspiration. Unfortunately, they have reached such an extent that they are thought of in a Godly manner.
Whether what the writer is saying is right or wrong, he has been given unwavering veneration. Though at many times this is beneficial, it also extremely detrimental as well. This has been the case with many Sufi poets. Their Aqeedah is extremely messed up (I mean belittling Allah and open Shirk) but their writings are still held in high esteem. Only in extreme cases do people actually criticize what they say.
Urdu Class-February 1st, 2007
I am taking Easy Urdu in Intermediate(11th & 12th) in Pakistan but I often hear lectures of Normal Urdu as well. Anyway, this was in response to a story and lecture I heard today.
The name of the story was Hajj-e-Akbar. It was about a little boy who had a nanny who loved him very much. His mother, though kind-hearted, was constantly suspicious and jealous of the nanny. One day she fired her in one of her bouts of anger. The boy who who had a lot of affection for his nanny, missed her and constantly cried. His mother and father could do nothing to stop him. After a week or so, he became sick out of constant sadness. His parents tried all they could but couldn't help their son. For the last 2 days he didn't even open his eyes.
Meanwhile, his nanny was jobless for 2 weeks and finally decided to go Hajj. When she was on the car to go to Makkah, she saw the boy's father running towards her. He told her that her son was sick and was missing her alot. She couldn't stand it any longer and came back to the boy. He almost instantly after seeing her became better. Later, she worried that she wasn't able to make her Hajj. The boy's father instantly assured her that her staying with the boy was more important and his name was Hajj-e-Akbar.
Teacher's Comments and Notes
Now the story isn't all that bad until the last part where they talk about the importance of Hajj. Hajj is an essential part of our deen and few things can surpass its importance.
This story, as I said before, is one of those literary works through which many people take inspiration from. And so my Urdu teacher said that (in Urdu) "A lesson we can derive from this is that the Rights of People are many more times more important than the Rights of Allah."
Now this just might be my(misguided) teacher's opinion but this is what the book says in explanation of the story(again in Urdu) : A Sufi poet has said that every deed where one helps a person in need out is Haj-e-Akbar. So that's the main point of the story.
One of the main problems with this belief is that it leads to many wrongs and neglect of many Rights of Allah. These include basic pillars of Islam and many other Faraid. My Urdu teacher, who holds this belief apparently, wears jeans, a blatant show of modernism. (It's not a big deal elsewhere but in Pakistan, its REAL big.)
Another problem is that we belittle Allah. We come to think of him as less important than humans. After all, according to this belief Allah's rights are not as important as others'.
Why all this?
There is a Hadith quite common in Pakistan,
"If a person does not have mercy on Mankind, Allah does not have mercy on him."
Unfortunately, many common people in Pakistan tend to practice a Hadith to such an extreme extent that they derive many fatwa and rulings all from a single Hadith. They even go beyond the limits set by Allah and use it to go against Quranic rulings and other Ahadith.