Mohammed Assad: as a Jew from Lviv became the

Biography 14/12/19 Muhammad Assad: as a Jew from Lviv became the “founding father” of Pakistan

Although the official “founding fathers” of Pakistan revered Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the first head of state, and Allama Muhammad Iqbal, a popular poet and ideologue, a significant role in the creation of this state was played by Muhammad Asad. That its value is not highly advertised should be seen as a tribute to “nativism”. After all, the original name of Muhammad Asad – Leopold Weiss, and he was a Jew from the Western Ukraine.

the Path to fame

Leopold Weiss Ancestors on the paternal side was a hereditary rabbis in Chernivtsi. Father Leopold, Carl, moved to the city and engaged in the practice of law. But young Leopold found the craving for spiritual subjects at the age of 13 he was already versed in the finer points of Jewish theology. At the age of 14, when the First world war, Leopold, moved by Patriotic impulse, ran to the front in the Austrian army, but was spotted by police and returned to his father.

During the war, the parents of Leopold moved to Vienna. He in 1918 he enrolled in the Vienna University, but in 1922, without completing the course, suddenly moved to Berlin to try their hand at journalism.

In the same 1922 happened two important events, making the life of the young journalist. In Berlin he met with the wife of Maxim Gorky and materials conversations with her wrote a series of vivid and heartfelt articles about the famine in Russia with an appeal to all civilized people to help the starving Russian peasants. These articles just made Vissu widely known in journalistic circles.

the Second event, Weiss had received from Jerusalem from his uncle, a Zionist, a famous psychoanalyst Freud, the invitation to visit him. Leopold had a plan to gather material for sensational stories. He signed a contract with the major German newspaper “Frankfurter Zeitung” and in 1923 went in Palestine in company with artist Elsa of Siman, who was 15 years older than him, and her son. Journey together gave rise to love, and on his return to Berlin in 1924 Weiss married Elsa.

conversion to Islam

At the end of his trip in 1924 Weiss has released in Frankfurt am main the book “the Unromantic East.” The book was bribed by the brightness of the descriptions of the contemporary realities of the Middle East and at the same time “opening the soul” unknown to European readers as Muslims. How to write a modern Islamic German journalist Murad Wilfried Hoffmann, Weiss “was in love with all the Arab and romantically involved with him… For him, the Arabs “blessed” and the archetypal noble… Assad is one of those Western people who, with tremendous effort, trying to become a “real Arabs””.

Weiss’s impressions of his trip, and especially meetings with fellow believers – Jews-Zionists and reclaimed Palestine – came to a personal belief in the deadlock and the uselessness not only of the Zionist project and the Jewish faith. The ancient “Jews, thought Weiss, lost Palestine… because they have betrayed their moral values and their God,” writes Hoffmann.

one Can only guess how deep the fracture was to occur in the soul of hereditary grandson of a Rabbi, since childhood, knew the Torah by heart. It is highly likely that so expressed it in a General spiritual crisis of Europe after the First world war. Muslims Weiss saw the opposite of the Europeans, steeped in consumerism and pursuit of material benefits.

“Islam seems to me a perfect architectural building – quoted Weiss “Islamic encyclopedia”, – all its parts organically designed and organically support each other, there is nothing superfluous and artificial.”

the Most important result of the trip was the gap Weiss with the faith of their ancestors. In 1926, in Germany, he converted to Islam. His example was followed by his wife and stepson.

Islamist or agent of the OGPU?

the following year Muhammad Asad (the so Leopold Weiss began to call after arrAmenia to Islam) has performed the Hajj to Mecca. During the Hajj, his wife died, but the newly minted follower of the prophet he is marrying the daughter of a local Sheikh. The Arab nobility had aroused the curiosity and respect that a Jew, fully imbued with European culture, decided to turn to their faith. Assad has used this to establish new useful contacts and to gain credibility among the new believers. At the same time he did not break ties with Europe. His articles on the middle East, calling for sympathy for the national liberation aspirations of the Arabs, was an instant success among the Western public.

the Irony: soon, Germany came to power, Hitler, and all relatives of Assad were killed in Nazi concentration camps, as were Jews. At the same time Hitler tried to use the national movement of the Arabs for their own purposes, and from this point of view, Assad could be useful to him. However, as if anticipating this, Assad in 1932 decided to change the field of activity, and the Arab Middle East, moved to British India.

an interesting detail. In 1928, while serving the Saudi king Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, Assad has excited the suspicion of the British secret service in their possible links with Soviet agents in the middle East.

the Father of modern multiculturalism

the Indian movement against British colonialism from the beginning developed in two directions: as the integration of all the peoples who inhabit India and their separation. Indian Muslims, compactly inhabiting the North-West of the country and Bengal, sought to distinguish itself from the General movement. This was a serious reason: the radical wing of the Indian national Congress claimed that Islam is the religion of the conquerors, and in a future independent India, he should not be.

Arriving in India, Muhammad Asad met with Iqbal, who has previously promoted among Muslims the image of Lenin as the “angel of the liberator”. Soon Assad was a close associate of the leader of the Indian Muslims, Jinnah. As an experienced journalist, Andthe garden proved to be extremely useful in organizing regular press of the Muslim League. During the Second world war he was interned by the British authorities as a citizen of an enemy of Germany, which further added to his popularity in the Muslim community.

After giving Pakistan’s independence, Muhammad Asad wrote the Constitution, and in 1951 was appointed as the first representative of Pakistan to the UN. Being in new York in the diplomatic service, Asad married for the third time – for a young Polish woman, violated her in Islam and sending his aged second wife to her Saudi father. All subsequent life of the grandson of Rabbi proceeded abroad. In Islamic countries it was known as a Professor at the Cairo University al-Azhar, a profound expert on Sharia, and in the West – as a translator of classical works in Arabic and Farsi, the ideologue of Islam as a “religion of peace and love” compatible with Western values of democracy and human rights.

Yaroslav Butakov

© Russian Seven

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