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A humble Tribute to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan

(Translated from Urdu “Ezat”)

By: Abbas Ali

“Few people know the truth about “Respect,” and fewer deserve the epithets associated with it. Other people respect some people, and they consider themselves so. Wealth, authority, and outer flamboyance make people respected but in vain. They believe themselves respected, and the people too think so. External qualities, too, are the reason to get respect, making them more respected than their riches. But this respect resembles the gold-plated idol; unless it is of gold, it is worthless. The same is the case with man; he deserves no respect unless his inner persona is not worth consideration. It is challenging, almost impossible, to know the inner persona; therefore, considering someone respectful is not a sufficient argument for him to be a respectful man. Yes, the man is undoubtedly respectful whose heart feels obedient; the phenomenon is Self-respect. If a man presents a lie as a truth, his heart condemns him even though the listener takes it as the truth, but his heart is a witness that he is among the liars and disrespectful.

In the same manner, all human acts are performed only for show-off purposes; although people respect them, they are not worth in reality. Only those acts are worth respect which is considered respectful by heart too. Therefore, to become a real man, all his shows must be based upon the truth and witnessed by the heart. We should not speak anything which our heart nullifies. Neither should we do anything disrespected by our nature. We should not express our friendship to a person our heart does not appreciate in the same terms. Also, we ought not to do anything our hearts hate. Peace in the sense that everyone is in an allusion that we are friends is nothing but the hypocrisy of the highest order. Such a person is a friend of none, and no one is his friend. But if it implies that the person harbors ill will for none, carries no animosity, and does not wish evil for his enemy, he is worthy of praise and appreciation. Man has a single heart where two entities: enmity and love, cannot coexist. The heart is not a structure with two compartments: one for love and one for animosity; therefore, these two entities cannot assemble in a single place for various persons and different situations.

Hence it is incumbent upon a man that except love, he should not allow anything else to creep into his heart, and only such life is the natural and praiseworthy life.”

(Written by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in Urdu “EZAT” Intikhab Mazameen Sir Syed by Anwar Sidiqi pp 17&18)

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