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By Inam Abidi Amrohvi, Copy edited By Adam Rizvi, TIO New Jersey: My first personal contact with Dr. Kalbe Sadiq happened while I was still in school. He was visiting my maternal uncle and his good friend, Maulana Hamidul Hasan.
I remember his friendly demeanor as my uncle introduced me. This along with a deep understanding of human society was the hallmark of the great man.
The first time I sat through an entire lecture of Dr. Sadiq was in the common room of Hadi Hasan hostel, Aligarh Muslim University. This was probably 1992-93. He started exactly at the scheduled time and shared wonderful insights on Islamic teaching. This was a welcome change for young impressionable minds. It gave us a new perspective.
Dr. Sadiq understood the fundamental problem ailing the Muslims in India, or for that matter any underprivileged society. It was a lack of education. He stressed it in his Muharram lectures, the Friday sermons, and on television debates
The several colleges he founded are a living testimony to this effect. I think he was also lucky enough to see such efforts bear fruits in his lifetime.
There are few people who can carry multiple identities with ease, Dr. Sadiq was certainly one of them. in a 2013 visit to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living International Centre in Bangalore, India, he narrated an old incident about a group of clerics from Iran. They were visiting India to meet a few Hindu holy men, to understand the guiding philosophy of their religion. As part of this trip, they all went to Varanasi. Dr. Sadiq talks about their astonishment when the Persian translation of Sanskrit verses on a mandir matched certain verses in the Quran. In the very next instant, he talks about how the Quran says that anyone who kills an innocent person (be it of any faith), can never be a Muslim. He created a bridge, reached the other side, and came back.
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The last time I met him was probably in 2017 when he visited my uncle’s home. I was at the door and after my salutations said, “Aap ne humay pehchaana nahin!” (You didn’t recognize me!) He touched my chin, smiled, and replied, “Hum badmaashon ko nahin pehchaantey!” (I don’t recognise mischievous people). And there were smiles all around.
Lucknow will miss you, Sir!
Compiled & Curated by Humra Kidwai