India is a land of miracles! Many great Sufis and yogis performed miracles which have been documented or form a part of folklore. The Maharashtra political crisis took a spiritual turn on social media. According to people wishing anonymity, ‘the Hindutva hothead Uddhav Thackeray presided over the last cabinet meeting as the chief minister to bare his poisonous fangs and bite the memory of the mighty Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and His Exalted Highness (HEH) Mir Osman Ali Siddiqui Khan Bahadur, the Nizam VII of Hyderabad. Aurangabad and Osmanabad were renamed after lesser-known but polarizing figures.’
The renaming of the cities was a last-ditch effort by Uddhav Thackeray to cement his Hindutva credentials amidst a successful coup by Eknath Shinde, a one-time confidant, and muscleman of Udhhav, who hijacked the Shiv Sena. The political drama for power was closely followed and commented on the social media. One can love or hate Aurangzeb, but one cannot ignore him. Aurangzeb is still relevant to Indian politics even after more than three centuries after his passing away.
Though some of Aurangzeb’s policies can be debated there is no debate about Aurangzeb’s piety and humility. The mighty Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb did not take a single rupee from the royal treasury even though he was an absolute ruler. He earned his own living by writing copies of the Holy Quran and stitching skull caps. These traits of Aurangzeb make some believe that he was a pious man. They ascribe miracles to him. The suffix ‘May Allah have mercy on him’ after his name. Uddhav’s men particularly Sanjay Raut have the Enforcement Directorate (ED) going after them for the alleged corruption and multi-crore scams.
A short-tempered retired journo, who still writes for a local vernacular, picked up a fight on social media after the respectful mention of Aurangzeb. London-based former Intelligence Officer, researcher, and a self-confessed Salafi, Ahmed Sharif Askander counseled for moderation. He mentioned that ‘May Allah have Mercy on him’ can be used for Aurangzeb. The old journo seemed to be pacified by Askander’s wise explanation. The double-standard and alleged extreme Salafi had previously defended the existence of temples in a Muslim graveyard and targeted the people who raised the issue. But, at most times, he tries a cloak of secularism. But the truth is he harmed his community and licked Sanghi’s boots during his service. He hopped from newspaper to newspaper for a few financial crumbs.
Aurangzeb went to extremes sometimes even with the Muslim saints too. Why single out Aurangzeb’s treatment of the revered Sikh Gurus and spread hate from the Red Fort? Why do the bigots forget or conveniently try to hide the fact that Aurangzeb ordered the execution of Sufi Sarmad on the steps of Jama masjid? He was an absolute ruler and lived like that. Pretenders living in democracy have presided over genocide and pogroms. Aurangzeb was not a democrat but never carried out genocide or a pogrom!
Historian M Safiullah narrates an interesting anecdote about the kind of respect and authority Aurangzeb still enjoys in the present times. It is said that once HEH the Nizam VII Mir Osman Ali Siddiqui Khan Bahadur visited the final resting place of Aurangzeb in Aurangabad. The caretakers there told Safiullah that there used to be an announcement before anybody could go near Aurangzeb’s grave and offer Fateha that so and so royal has arrived there to enter the premises. The humble Nizam stopped the announcement taking place that the Nizam had arrived as was the royal protocol. He himself stood there humbly and sought permission from Aurangzeb that the ‘Subahdar of Deccan seeks permission to enter!’ It may be recalled that Aurangzeb had appointed the Nizam I Qamaruddin Ali Siddiqui as the Subahdar of Deccan. The Nizam I had willed and instructed his descendants to be always loyal to the Mughals. The Nizam VII carried out the instructions of his ancestor and paid his respects to Emperor Aurangzeb accordingly.
The Hindutva bigots have been fed poison against Aurangzeb and HEH the Nizam VII since generations. Some of those who wished for anonymity and who believe Aurangzeb to be a powerful spiritual personality commented that it is the miracle of Aurangzeb that he kicked out from the power, ‘the disgraced Maratha chieftain Uddhav Thackeray within hours of renaming Aurangabad and Osmanabad cities.’ Aurangzeb’s miracle beamed on the national television channels breaking news! Uddhav had chickened out, retreated, and resigned as the chief minister of Maharashtra.
Muslims seem to be wearing the labels – Salafi, Tablighi, Sufi, Shia, this, and that on their sleeves. When a saffron knife sears through the intestines or if somebody is lynched the denomination or class is not asked by the bigots. It is time to bury the hatchet and live like one united family. It is enough to be a real Muslim without labels!
Whether we believe in miracles or not, let our countrymen perform a miracle of bringing peace to our country! Fight hunger, poverty, and illiteracy, but not fight among ourselves!!