Throughout the world, we have been passing very hard times. We are being mechanized day by day. The human qualities like love, sympathy, mutual understanding are being evaporated from us. We are living in an age which is full of mistrust and fraudulence.
In this regard, T. S. Eliot said: "Mistrust emerged as the main problem of human civilization in the 20th century." Even in the earlier part of the 21st century, we have been leading our life amid deception and mistrust.
Amongst all these, some people have enlightened our life with their love, humanity, intellect and knowledge. And Hafez Abdul Wahab was that kind of person who gave us a lot but in return wanted nothing. Our society is indebted to him. The book Hafez Abdul Wahab: A Simple Man's Unconventional Life is an exclusive collection of write-ups.
The portrayal of his humanity, his lifelong unbiased viewpoints, and his ways of leading an honest life has made the book exclusive. In the editorial of the book, Harun-Or-Rashid Bhuiyan mentions: "Hafez Abdul Wahab had all the good qualities a good human being should have.
He led an immaculate life. It is our duty to spread his greatness and contributions amid the next generations." Before forgetting I must mention that more than eighty contributors have contributed to this book.
Hafez Abdul Wahab was not highly educated but he was a complete human being who had all the good qualities which a good human being needs to have. He gave religion supreme place in his philosophy and hated fanaticism much. Also, he was not superstitious. He adopted a secular view of life. He chose a very simple life style. He was very conscious about his self-dignity.
This peace-loving man always tried to contribute to establish peace in his village. Though he did not gain institutional education much, he realized the value of it. So, he extended his all-out support to his son Abdul Hai Siddique to be highly educated. Dr. Siddique has tried his best to make his father's dream come true.
Let us see how the contributors of the book evaluated Hafez Abdul Wahab's life and time. At the outset, Dr. Sukumol Barua, through his article, has considered Abdul Wahab a knowledge-seeker. He has regarded him a man of heart. Professor Barua has, finally, considered him a great man who made others great.
Likewise, in his writing, Mohammad Nurul Islam has considered him as an education-lover. Abdul Wahab was a visionary man. In different writings, the contributors have mentioned that he contributed a lot to establish different social and educational institutions in his village. He always tried to implement his dreams.
Hafez Mawlana Tazul Islam has mentioned that Abdul Wahab believed in high thinking, plain living. Fakhrul Hasan, Abdul Wahab's son, tells in his writing: "My father had limited wealth but he was a big-hearted man." He learnt ethics from his father. In his writing, Harun Jamil tells that Abdul Wahab believed in the practices and rituals of Islam. Again Badal Benjamin has mentioned that Abdul Wahab was a torchbearer who enlightened many of us.
In his writing, Mawlana Junaid Haque states that Abdul Wahab completely believed in the motto of Islam: "Islam is a complete code of life." By the same token, Parimal Sutradhar mentions academic degree does not make people great, rather honesty and humanity helps people be great. Hafez Abdul Wahab was that kind person who had a mingling of honesty and humanity.
This review is a simple tribute to Hafez Abdul Wahab's life and time. I never met this person but while reading the book penned on him I have felt his simplicity from the core of my heart. His life can be an example of greatness. If one can follow what he showed one can be an ideal person, no doubt.
Needless to say, he enlightened many people's life during his lifetime and I strongly believe that his philosophy of life will be enlightening us in the days ahead. I must thank the publisher of the Protiva Prokash Publications because he has published the book with love and care.
I also thank the members of the editorial team, who have done a tremendous job in editing the book. Last but not least, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Abdul Hai Siddique who has planned to publish such an unputdownable book. In future, the collection will encourage many more in many ways.
The reviewer teaches English at Central Women's University, Dhaka.
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