Pan-Islamism

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Sir Fazl-i-Husain is perfectly correct when he says that political Pan-Islamism never existed. It has existed, if at all, only in the imagination of those who invented the phrase or possibly as a diplomatic weapon in the hands of Sultan Abdul Hamid Khan of Turkey. Even Jamal-ud-Din Afghani, whose name is closely associated with what is called Pan-Islamic movement, never dreamed of a unification of Muslims into a political State.

It is significant that in no Islamic language—Arabic, Persian or Turkish does there exist a phrase corresponding to Pan-Islamism.

It is, however, true that Islam as a society or as a practical scheme for the combination not only of races and nations but also of all religions does not recognize the barriers of race and nationality or geographical frontiers. In the sense of this humanitarian ideal Pan-Islamism—if one prefers to use this unnecessarily long phrase to the simple expression "Islam"—does and will always exist.

Sir Fazl-i-Husain's advice to Indian Muslims to stand on their own legs as an Indian nation is perfectly sound and I have no doubt that Muslims fully understand and appreciate it. Indian Muslims, who happen to be a more numerous people than the Muslims of all other Asiatic countries put together, ought to consider themselves the greatest asset of Islam and should sink in their own deeper self like other Muslim nations of Asia, in order to gather up their scattered sources of life and, according to Sir Fazl's advice, stand on their own legs.