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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

C M Naim: A REVIEW ESSAY - The Mothers Of The Lashkar

by Umm-e-Hammad
Dar-al-Andulus, Lahore
381, 377, 262 pages

The book is titled Ham Ma’en Lashkar-e-Taiba Ki (‘We, the Mothers of Lashkar-e-Taiba’); its compiler styles herself Umm-e-Hammad; and it is published by Dar-al-Andulus, Lahore. Its three volumes have the same garish cover, showing a large pink rose, blood dripping from it, superimposed on a landscape of mountains and pine trees The first volume, running to 381 pages, originally came out in November 1998, and was reprinted in April 2001.

The second and third volumes, with 377 and 262 pages, respectively, came out in October 2003. Each printing consisted of 1100 copies. Portions of the book—perhaps much of it—also appeared in the Lashkar’s journal, Mujalla Al-Da’wa.

Here is how the publisher, Muhammad Ramzan Asari, describes the book’s contents and purpose.

The book at hand, Ham Ma’en Lashkar-e Taiba Ki, is a distillation of the tireless labor and far-flung travels of our respected Apa (‘Elder Sister’), Umm-e-Hammad, who is in-charge of the Lashkar’s Women section, and also happens to be an Umm-e-Shahidain (‘Mother of Two martyrs’)…. [I could be misreading the text, for I found no reference to any of her sons except one, whom she described as a very much alive mujahid.] Her poems are on the lips of the mujahdin. Numerous young men read or heard her poems and, consequently, set out to perform jihad, many of them gaining Paradise…. Our workers should make this book a part of the readings for the ladies at homes to awaken the fervour for jihad in the breasts of our mothers and sisters. (I.13.)...


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