|Kitab-ul-Taqdeer (Book of Destiny)|
Review: New Times, Rawalpindi, 27th June 1972.
If Iqbal has had any successor on the intellectual plane, it is undoubtedly Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez. What the great poet-philosopher had to say pithily and almost aphoristically, Parwez has expatiated upon, writing as eloquently as Abu-ul-Kalam Azad and documenting it as authentically as Maulana Suleman Nadvi. That is, however, true only so far as the style goes. Analytically he has no compeer amongst the modern writers on Islam. One is simply staggered with the inexhaustibility of his erudition which spans all the gamut of human knowledge; philosophy, science, anthropology, history, philology, economics and other fields of research. Allama Parwez is surely one of the most learned men of our times. But he is not a mere walking encyclopaedia. All this equipment of his is there in an ordered, systematic form; streamlined, so to say according to a highly sophisticated point of view which is derived from the Holy Quran. Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez is the Hazrat Shah Waliullah of our age.
In this book he has tried to tackle according to the same light the problem of human freedom. This is one of those ultimate questions which have interested men in all climes. Parwez sides with the upholders of Free Will. Man may be determined as a product of nature but since he is a member of human society, he has to be treated as free agent. It is Free Will that, according to Parwez, distinguishes man from the rest of nature. His second point is that God, in His mercy, has furnished man with some guiding principles to conduct himself responsibly further. These principles or values are enshrined in the Holy Quran. Since the most important of all the attributes of God is His "rububiyet" or sustainership, only that man or group of men acts in accordance with the divine plan who exemplifies it in its life.
Parwez, a firm believer in the laws of nature and their uniformity laughs to scorn at all those who neglect them. For him Freedom lies in subservience to them. He must manipulate them to attain his ends which must always be directed at the welfare of mankind. It is a bold doctrine. It holds man responsible for whatever goes on in the world. His accountability is, as it were, of a primordial order. This is so because he does not have to discover his values step by step; they have been God-given through the ages, God, in conformity with this line of thought and also according to Iqbal's teachings, is not an autocrat. This, of course, He is in the alam-i-amar, that is, He is free to create anything He might like, but once His creations have made their appearance on the stage, they have to follow certain rules. This goes on automatically in the realm of nature. With man it is different. He can judge the right from the wrong. Parwez's special emphasis is on this: if man is to go about blessed, he must exercise his judgement in strict conformance with the Quran because no where else are His commands to be found in an unadulterated form. Parwez has tried to prove this proposition convincingly in volume after volume of first-rate mature scholarship.