One does not need to dig too deep to see how corruption has seeped into the government machinery. Hence, for the audience gathered at Arts Council on Sunday, it was a relief to see the launch of the translation by Muhammad Saleem Butt, Commissioner Inland Revenue, titled ‘Why We Should Not Take Bribe’. The original book, Hum Rishwat Kyun Na Lain, was written 30 years ago in Urdu by Maulana Muhammad Faheem Usmani.
“I have spent years trying to figure out what corruption really is,” said Butt. “I read extensively and found that Maulana Usmani’s book provided the most credible answers.” He said that writing an entirely new book on the matter would be a redundant exercise as Maulana Usmani had already covered almost all aspects in the light of Islamic injunctions. The 97-page book explains the concepts of corruption and bribery with references from the Quran and Hadith. Butt claimed that he had to make many sacrifices in order to remain steadfast in his stand against the culture of bribery.
The book launch was attended by many and most of the speakers talked about how Butt’s struggle against corruption over the years had transformed him. Nadeem Yasin, a taxation officer, said he had witnessed the personal turmoil that Butt faced. “He is part of a department which is notorious for bribe-taking. But he remained steadfast in his resolve to do no wrong.”
Justice (retd) Mujeeb Ullah Siddiqui said the translation will help people understand the repercussions of taking bribes. “I believe that the translation was a difficult task as Butt had to fully comprehend Maulana Usmani’s ideas and recapitulate the complex concepts in a different language.”
For others, the launch of the book was a reminder of the state of affairs in the country. Indus Hospital’s chief executive, Dr Abdul Bari Khan, said that these are difficult times for Pakistan and the public is disoriented. “People are really disappointed about Pakistan’s future. It seems we have reached a stage from where a full recovery is difficult.”
Butt has dedicated the book to caretakers of Masjid-e-Siddique, who he said played a major role in enhancing his understanding of religion.
Published in The Express Tribune, 25th, 2012.
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