Have you ever thought what’s life beyond the routine chores? Have you ever tried to listen to what nature wants to tell you?
The story starts with an urban girl who had a broad perspective on life. Her intellect and charisma attracted three males towards her; two her class-fellows Aftab and Qayyum and one her professor; Sohail. But she was mad in love with Aftab and was torn into pieces when Aftab chose another girl over her for marriage. He does what a typical man from a village life would have done at that moment.
Qayyum was also in love with Seemi but never got the courage to tell her and was left with consoling her to come out of grief. Whereas professor Sohail plays smart to get attention from Seemi Shah but remained unsuccessful in his wicked actions. This was the love triangle but the story wasn’t based solely on love. It’s divided into four sections. First is ‘Ishq e Lahasil’ (love without destination).
Second is the concept of ‘Haraam and Halal’ (forbidden and unforbidden things). The third section is the story of pain and the last is awareness of death. Overall, it’s a culmination of love, pain, death, struggles, and sacrifices.
Qayyum was blindly running to get love from all the ladies he met in his life but he forgot the law of the Almighty which says you shouldn’t love anything more than your creator. And in between seeking love from haraam relationships, he was left with nothing but regrets.
The story also depicts the consequences a man has to suffer when he indulges in haraam deeds. It leads the human to run for the things which are beyond humanity and create madness in him. The madness to achieve his desires not caring about haraam or halal. Like the story revolves around a vulture (Gidh) who was thrown out of the forest for her madness.
The forest community thinks that madness arises in vulture because of eating the carcasses of dead animal and if they stayed in the community it will destroy the whole community. And that’s Qudsia’s point as well. When one person engrossed himself in Haraam, le lead the community towards it and these haram acts travel from generation to generation.
Apart from this halal haraam concept, the story also tells the pain of a person who’s continuously rejected and is not left with anything to survive. He finds peace in leaving the world and waits for the death angels to come and take his soul to the hereafter.
Life isn’t a piece of cake, it has a deeper meaning. The pain, happiness, rejections, and the hard times bring us close to humanity and our religion.
Raja Gidh was first published in 1981 and republished in 2015 by Sang-e-meel publications but still, when you read it, you’ll find the similarity with today’s world. Bano Qudsia has penned this book with such a captivating flow that I guarantee you can’t drop this book in the middle. She had drawn a deeper perspective of life in this book. You can also take this book as an answer to the question, Why a person becomes mad?
What Inspires Her to Write this Book?
One day an American questioned her, why you claim that Islam is the best and last religion?
She said because we believe in one God (La ilaha ill al Allah)
The American then said that we also don’t have three Gods, Christianity also has one God.
This confused Qudsia Aapa and she asked time to come back with an answer.
Another day, she cried to Allah saying that she wants to answer his question but don’t know how to defend Islam in this case. Then a miracle happened in her drawing-room where she was standing and weeping to Allah. She realized the tree in her lawn had lights and it was blinking with the words ‘Rizq-e-Hilal’ and Islam forbids ‘Rizq-e-Haraam’
The next day, she returned to the arrogant American and explained to him the logic why Islam is best because it tells you to earn halal and forbids you from the haraam things. This logic of her converted that American into a Muslim and Islam wins the battle. This inspired her to write this book which she had dedicated to Qudrat Shahabullah.
The Bottom Line
Haram isn’t limited to the things we eat only. Haram can be our earning when we are paid to get work but we use that time in other activities, it can be our relationships or things that are forbidden in our lives. The novel, however, is an intense read and you might not get its complete message in one go but I’d recommend you to read it at a slow pace to connect with the messages in depth. F
urther, I’ll leave it on you to explore this book and the beautiful writing of the legendary writer Bano Qudsia.
Lessons Learned from Raja Gidh
- You can bring no philosophies to turn haram into halal, haraam will remain haram no matter how much you convert it into your philosophies. Islam has clearly drawn the line between haraam and halal.
- Haram leads to ‘madness(Pagal pan) in generation whereas halal will also lead to madness but the madness you’ll drive from halal will lead you to the right path, might be in finding your creator and the meaning of your life.
Have you read this book? I’d love to know your views on Raja Gidh.