Dr Asif Mahmood Jah
RENOWNED poet Alexander writes, “What oft was thought, but ne’er so well express’d. Expression is the Dress of Thought.” In this respect, in his book, “Journey Towards Allah”, which is in fact a travelogue, Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah, while performing his own Hajj rituals, expresses his personal experiences and those of other pilgrims so brightly and clearly that the readers feel as if they are themselves accompanying the author and are performing the pilgrimage.
The book shows the excited emotion of love of the author for God and the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The author explains, “A true Muslim feels real pleasure in his life when he presents himself before Allah in Masjidul Haram or before the last Holy Prophet (PBUH) in his mausoleum in his city (Madinatul Nabi).” In this regard, every moment of this spiritual experience was unique and enthusiastic, while Dr Asif Jah was full of commitment and devotion towards Kaaba and the holy Prophet.
Dr. Asif Jah describes various stages of the Haj—the seven rounds of Kaaba, his journey towards the Ghar-i-Hira (Cave of Light), way to the Cave of Light, entrance and return from the Cave of Hira, the Cave of Saur, including other sacred places and rituals of Hajj so vividly and skillfully that the book appeals to the mind and heart of the readers. The author noted that during the Hajj occasion, at least three million pilgrims visit the holy places in Makkah and Madina. It is commendable that men from Police and Armed Forces control the Hajj system efficaciously. Showing realistic approach, he also indicated the psyche of the people, belonging to various Muslim countries.
Dr. Asif Jah has enumerated the difficulties encountered by the pilgrims during their stay in Makkah and Madinatul Nabi. During his service to God, he did not ignore his service to mankind. While, expressing his personal experiences and those of other pilgrims, he mentions, particularly about cold and flu, bronchial diseases and the stomach diseases. Being a medical practitioner, he provided free medical treatment to the affected pilgrims, and distributed medicines amongst them.
Besides, he has also pointed out the conduct of tour operators and travel agents who are the exploiters and want to earn money only and do not perform their duties properly during the Hajj days. During Haj, Asif Jah prayed for all the Muslims who at the moment, are passing through various crises and difficulties. Undoubtedly, Dr Asif Mahmmod Jah’s travelogue is a matchless book which is worth-reading by the intending pilgrims of the future, as it shows his power of observation, farsightedness and in-depth study of feelings related to the Hajj pilgrims.