15 million copies sold? For a few moments, my eyes were transfixed on the statement written on the title page of the book.
The book was in my hand but the mind was baffled. In this age of social media, people read books to such an extent. Do they really exist?
Yes, the nations who are alive, never let the books die and never let their minds rusted. The death of books can only be attributed to those nations who are willing to die before real death. Such death is so terrible that we would have bodies wandering without souls around us.
Books are the source of refining and beautifying souls. The four holy books sent by God justify that books are the food for the soul. Books are so powerful that they are used by our Creator to prove His existence.
The first word revealed on our prophet was ‘Iqra” which means “Read”.Alas, the book in my hand is not the asset of any Muslim country, is not of the nation whose religion is based upon the floor of knowledge.
In fact, hardly 500 copies of a new book are sold in Pakistan and Kashmir. The book reading culture in the youth of Pakistan and Kashmir is dying and totally messed up by social media.
This is a concerning point for us all. Will Facebook and YouTube groom our generations ethically and spiritually?
A particular concern is the references of knowledge shared on these platforms which are not valid. Even the wrong verses of the Quran are forwarded as nobody knows about them.
And nobody bothers to understand the divine book. To study things means to understand them. Whereas, our generation is totally out of it.
Ethics and values are the outcomes of literature. Without literature, we are upbringing a nation that is morally disintegrated and spiritually demoralized. Books create the people of understanding.
Lack of understanding is the core reason for messing up our social relations in society. Books have the power to boost emotional intelligence in order to decorate our lives with peace.
What is left in us?, If we exclude values and ethics from ourselves?
The shameful answer is the animal being ….!This is the bitter truth that without books our generations will take an inhumane form. The form which will be lacking intellectual thinking.
This non-intellectual perspective about life will make our nation the slave of their desires and they will be unable to do any constructive work which can be marked on the map of history. Such nations who are unable to create their identities become the prey of the ruling nations and rolls themselves in chains of such slavery which eradicates their identities from the map of the world.
Standing in a corner of a book store in Canada gazing upon the words “15 million copies sold……! “, I was asking myself: “Can we do any struggle to save our generation from such ethical and spiritual demise?” “Can we be able to revive book culture by gifting books to the kids and youth of Pakistan and Kashmir?” or we will still keep sitting silently watching terrible intimidation of our innocent and beautiful faces whose eyes have a thirst for guidance.
In the future, we can expect a complaint from them that where you have been the intellectual souls? Why didn’t you guide us to the path of intellectualism? Why were you so self-centred?
Can we be able to face the greatest reformer, teacher, and guide of our souls the Last Prophet (SAW) on the day of Judgement who told us that we are the best Ummah raised for calling towards knowledge and truth and forbidding from evil?
About the writer:
Mayeda Shafique is an author, educationist, and novelist. She is the first female novelist of Azad Kashmir. She belongs to an educated family of Abbaspur-a border town located along the Line of Control. She has been writing articles for different English and Urdu newspapers. She has worked as a curriculum specialist and as a teacher trainer with the International University Pakistan. She did her Masters in English Literature and Linguistics from the National University of Modern Languages Islamabad and Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) in Linguistics from the Women University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Mayeda aims to promote book culture to build strong characters in the youth of the Kashmiri Nation regarding faith, morality, and human ethics. She is Pattern of ‘Private Literary Association’ which is a literary forum working in collaboration with private schools in Abbaspur, Poonch Azad’s Kashmir.