A magnum opus ‘Moderate Meditations’ is written by a person who has gone through two migrations in his life, besides facing painful experiences from distress to success. He has borne the hardships through his journey of freedom for his motherland. A phenomenal man shot by a bullet, miraculously survived to hate the hatred, prejudice and discrimination. He moaned, grieved, sighed, but never complained. Rather, he sustained his passion to move on to accomplish the masterpiece.

In “Songs of Humanity,” he sighed:

“My heart was a vessel of stress and strife,

From Kashmir to Pakistan, then to America,

Two migrations resulted from a life of pain,

But the hand of fate fashioned this saga,

What a contrasting mixture of loss and gain.”

The eminent, multilingual scholar of literature and philosophy, Dr Maqsood Jafri is passionately in love with language. Author of more than two dozen books of poetry and prose in English, Urdu, Kashmiri, Persian and Punjabi languages is a pure humanist and rationalist. Moderate Meditations written by Dr Maqsood Jafri is a combination of intense feelings and farsightedness. A person with a meticulous healing pen power rejects fascism, monarchy, feudalism, extremism, and terrorism. He mends imbalance with his wisdom and intuition.

Moderate Meditations contains ninety one articles,  one act play (Before Dinner), press releases, mission statements, comments, speeches, reviews and opinions on books (poetry and prose), professional correspondence and published columns.

Socrates said, “The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.” The author of Moderate Meditations has experienced a variety of disciplines like philosophy, history, literature, ethics, religion, spiritualism, and politics. He cognitively opted a canvas of human rights issues, need for interfaith dialogue, harmony and social justice. He emphasised democratic culture and focused on Islam, Palestine and Kashmir issues.

Being a student of English literature, most of Dr Jafri’s columns are in essay form. Technically, the author preferred also to write opinionated, question and answer columns, politics, specialized and personality columns. His theme of columns ranges from God, love, logic, Sufism, beauty, sex, science, legislations to taboos of society.

The first essay of Moderate Meditations is on “Some Historical Facts about Kashmir” where the cruelty of Dogra Rule had led the ‘heaven on earth’ into the ‘hell of blackest era’ that caused destruction of Kashmir. The author quoted the comments of Sir Walter and Aldus Huxley about Kashmir (the land of poets) who had called it the ‘Era of Plight and Pillage.’

Dr Jafri deduced, “More than seventy thousands have been killed at the hand of the savage Indian Army. India claims to be the largest democracy in the South Asia, but these tall claims are not more than a din of empty drums. It is merely to cast dust in the eyes of the world. It is a mirage, a deceit, a delusion and a deception.” In his opinion, “Kashmir: A Way Forward,” the author has provided solutions to the Kashmir dispute and wanted to see India, Pakistan and Kashmir sans fear, sans poverty, sans illiteracy.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah said, “Democracy is in the blood of the Muslims, who look upon complete equality of manhood, believe in fraternity, equality and liberty.”

One act play titled “Before Dinner” is multilogue between a general and a business man, the social worker and a politician. The core concept is freedom and equal rights. It is well said by Victor Hugo when dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right. In ‘Moderate Meditations’, the author has proved this fact in his play that democracy is a charming form of government that dispense rights to everyone for decision making and selecting the right person for the social and economic development.

In ‘Stray Reflections,’ there is a dialogue between Aslam and Salima on traders and military rule, the role of men and women and comparison of Eastern and Western lady. As a born leader Dr Jafri believes that the world will not accept dictatorship and domination any more.

Confucius opined, without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more. According to Dr Jafri, the literature close to life impresses and survives. In the Moderate Meditations, the author has unveiled the secret force of words by giving opinions and reviews on eight  renowned writers’ books written by Benazir Bhutto, Mumtaz Hussain, Shakeel Anjum, Parvin Shere, Sadaf Mirza, Safia Maryam, Dr Syed Saeed Naqvi and Khawaja Ashraf on the subjects of democracy, love, liberty, social dogmas and dilemmas.

Being a poet, Jafri has beautifully expressed his love for Sufi poets and supported the mission of equality and right of freedom. He is inspired by Allam Mohammad Iqbal because of his vision and intuition.

The author of Moderate Meditations as an orator delivered speeches and addressed the audience at the national and international level. He wrote letters to Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, Asif Ali Zardari and King of Morocco. In ‘Moderate Meditations’, liberty, peace and respect for other’s faith are common among his all correspondence. His words breathe in letters.

The author, in his writings inculcates his motto of life that his upcoming generation must live in a nation where they will not be judged by their sects or religion, colour and credo but by the content of their character and morality.

                       –The book review is written by Hayam Qayyum.