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Who is Ghulam Azam and what does he stand for?

Written By: salmanalazami
14/06/2013 16:39
BD War crime trial


There is no doubt that the name Ghulam Azam leads to divided opinions in Bangladesh, though his reputation internationally is overwhemlingly positive. In Bangladesh he is revered by some and hated by  some leaving many people confused. The majority print and electronic media in Bangladesh are politically biased and have been carrying out endless campaigns of character assasination for years without ever being able to substantiate their claims. Therefore to many Bangladeshis the question remains – who is this man and what does he stand for?

Those who are interested to know his biography can read the following link What I can say is that if you have not met him or read his works and are the one who often believes in what is printed or shown on TV then you have no idea who this man is and what he stands for. I will give you some evidences below to show what Ghulam Azam stands for.

Ghulam Azam stands for patriotism. Yes, it is his patriotism that led him to believe at that time that separation from Pakistan would not solve the problems of the people, but rather transfer power from Rawalpindi to New Delhi. He was a patriotic Pakistani until 16th December after which he became a patriotic Bangladeshi. He did not run away from the problems, but tried his best to help innocent Bengalis caught up in the war as much as he could. He was a leader of a small political party, so he had little influence over the Pakistani soldiers, but whatever political influence he had, he used it to save innocent people – contrary to the allegation that he was involved in killing innocent lives. After independence he was living in exile as Sheikh Mujib cancelled his citizenship (because of his political role, not anything else; that’s why he never even file a case against him). He successfully lobbied Saudi Arabia to recognise Bangladesh after secularism and sociolism were removed from Bangladesh’s constitution. He could have lived a comfortable life abroad, but his patriotism led him to return to Bangladesh and live as a ‘foreigner’ in his own motherland for 16 years until the Supreme Court restored his Bangladeshi citizenship. He never held power, never held any position, never lived a comfortable life. Yet, he never stopped working for the betterment of his beloved country. 

Ghulam Azam stands for democracy. As a student and teacher of political science he was able to discover the concept of ‘caretaker government’ to oversee general elections. This concept was later on accepted by all parties and Bangladesh saw through smooth transition of power for four consecutive elections before the current fascist government removed it from constitution. He always believes in democratic practices and felt that Islam can only be established when the people want it and the transfer of power should always be through peaceful electoral system.

Ghulam Azam stands for consistency. You will rarely find a politician who is consistent between his or her public and private life. Ghulam was is an exception who has never been pretentious, rather everyone knows his straightforwardness and simplicity both in his public and private lives. We as family members can tell you that we never saw him preach that he never practised. You can ask any person who knows him personally. Ask the people who work in our house; ask the person who worked with him in his chamber and took him to the Mosque every day; ask the neighbours who prayed regularly with him in the Mosque whether they ever found any inconsistency in his behaviour.

Ghulam Azam stands for piety. My father is a deeply pious man. He doesn’t have a conventional madrassah degree, but he studied Islam extensively and has written more than a hundred books abot Islam and Muslims. He wanted to cater for those people who are not highly educated and wrote about Islam in a simple language for easy understanding. He also translated Maulana Maududi’s famous tafsir into easy Bangla for common people to understand the Holy Qur’an. All he taught us in our whole lives is how to lead a pious life. For him our life has no other meaning but to serve Allah’s deen. I was lucky enough to spend most of my boyhood closer to him. He taught me duas for every sphere of life and made me understand that the meaning of Islam is compassion, honesty, truthfulness and above all humanity. He never condoned any type of aggression or violence and tried to lead his life the way the Prophet (SM) taught us.

These are some of the attributes I wanted to share with my readers about Ghulam Azam as a person. One may argue that I am his son, so I would say these. No, I wouldn’t! There is not a single untruth or exaggeration in my writings. It is not only I, there are millions of people around the world who respect him, pray for him, shed tears for him. Why do they do that? He no longer is the chief of the party. The only reason is that they know what type of person he is.

If you knew him and witnessed what Ghulam Azam stands for you would never believe the politicians or the media. Allah has given every individual the ability to think and use logic. I would urge my readers to do the same and not fall prey to the media propaganda.

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About salmanalazami

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  • Name: Salman Al-Azami
  • From: Manchester, UK
  • Nationality: Bangladesh
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    Son of an oppressed islamic leader; an outright academic; an ardent lover of sports; politically conscious, but not active; a loving husband and father; a patriot British Bangladeshi; a simple man

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