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Preface to Second (Urdu) Edition
Preface to Fourth (Urdu) Edition
In the name of Allah, the Rahman, the Raheem
The Quran tells us to nurture the up coming young roots, if we want to reclaim or revive a downtrodden nation. If the rationale of our younger generations is properly guided and their desires and motives are channeled in the right direction, then a nation can certainly rejuvenate itself. Keeping this reality in mind, my foremost attention has been on the young generation of the nation. Whatever I have written is primarily for them. In this regard the "Letters to Saleem" are of special importance. Saleem represents our educated youth who are eager to learn but who, through the wrong education which they get in our schools and colleges, in their minds have doubts and suspicions regarding Deen. The letters tried to dispel these doubts in the light of scientific analysis, Quranic truth and rational wisdom. As such, these letters prove to be quite effective and useful. A while ago, a dear friend of mine suggested that like the "Letters to Saleem", I start a separate series called ''Letters to Tahira'', which should especially deal with problems facing women. This suggestion proved so useful that after publishing the first letter, I received hundreds of letters from daughters and sisters all over the country appreciating and praising this new series. One of the advantages was that the questions asked covered a wide range of topics, and the rest of the letters published were then based mostly on these queries.
There had been a demand for some time that a collection of ''Letters to Tahira'' be published, like its predecessor book "Letters to Saleem". This book is thus a response to that demand. First I considered including all these letters in one volume, but later I felt that there are other vital matters that should necessarily form a part of such of collection. When thinking of other material for inclusion in the book, the need of collating all such Quranic directive that particularly concern women, was highlighted. These are now presented in this book, under different headings, so that whenever needed one could easily look up the required reference. I have arranged all these laws for easy reference, but while this has enhanced the usefulness of this collection, it has resulted in a thick volume. I, therefore, have had to divide it into two volumes.
These letters bring forth the trials, tribulations and those vexing problems that the unfortunate and helpless girls of our society have to face today. The solutions to such problems have been presented in the light of the Quran. The solutions to these are obviously applicable to the society does not correct itself, one cannot get satisfactory solutions to these difficulties. In fact, there are two effective ways of making a just society. Firstly, the education in our schools and colleges should be based on the correct lines and secondly, the laws of the land should be formulated in the light of the Quran. For this purpose it is necessary to awaken public opinion to such an extent that the changes can be effected in a constitutional manner.
Through a study of these letters it will be evident that the laws about marriage and divorce, as formulated by the so called Sharia, are often quite contrary to Quranic teachings. Quite often the prevalent Sharia directives, which are sometimes used in legal judgement, contain violations of the Quranic concepts.
We are Muslims and our conviction about the Quran is that it is a complete code of life given to us by Allah. Therefore, anything that goes against the Quran cannot be correct. What we need is to bring our Sharia to completely conform to the Quran, and this can be done by applying the approach mentioned above.
Some letters highlight those maladies that are currently rampant amongst our modern educated class. These are the results of following the 'West' blindly. The nation is gradually being pushed towards destruction, and if the orthodox section of the society needs to change, the modernists, too, are not to be exempted. If the former is a patient of paralysis, the latter has had a stroke. It is imperative that both extremes be brought to the middle path, in the light of the Quran.
Sex is a very important subject because it is deeply linked with civilization and the culture of a nation. Precious little has been written about this subject, and so I want to talk about this in a manner which explains its importance. With this aim in mind, a research paper on this subject has been included in the second part, which explains why the Quran emphasizes chastity and the purity of thought and deed.
It is a fact that women can 'train' a society more easily and effectively than men. Society consists of an aggregate of different families, and it is a woman who can effectively and beautifully set her home right. The publishing of these letters will hopefully initiate the reformation process at home. If this effort of mine can light a few Quranic candles in some homes, I believe my endeavours will have borne fruit.
To those sisters who want to start elementary Quranic education in their homes, I would suggest to them my book "Islami Muaashrat" which is available in English from Tolu-e-Islam Trust, under the title 'Islamic Way of Living'. Children should be made to study it, lesson by lesson, and then be encouraged to practice it accordingly. This book, in an easy and attractive style, portrays Quranic guidance on aspects that concern our everyday life. Thereafter, girls can go on to study "Tahira Kay Naam" and both male and female college students can read "Saleem Kay Naam". These will give their thinking an Islamic foundation.
Finally, I should emphasize that I would love to satisfy any doubt or answer any question regarding any subject discussed in these letters. For me, every girl of our nation is my daughter "Tahira."
January 1957, Karachi
Preface to the Second (Urdu) Edition
The first edition of this book was published in two volumes. This second edition, with changes by the author, is being published in one volume. All concerned aspects have been covered in their entirely.
Nazim, Idara Tolu-e-Islam
April 1969, (Second Edition)
Preface to the Fourth (Urdu) Edition
The fourth new edition of this book includes the last letter to Tahira which Mr. Parwez wrote in June 1984. This brings together the Quranic education, on aspects which our sisters and daughters have to face in their married lives.
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