Friday, April 20, 2012

Book Review: Tahzeeb ki Kahani

Tahzeeb Ki Kahani  by Dr. Mubark Ali
Tahzeeb ki Kahani is a history of civilization written by Dr. Mubark  Ali - an eminent historian and a RUHR Ph.D.

The book is in Urdu and contains many pictures illustrating the different phases of civilizational progress. The history starts from early Stone Age and ends up at Iron Age.

The book answers many questions. For example, Why do men and women wear cloths? When did men started to cultivate and why? How has fire changed the framework of human life? Why did the Indus civilization met a downfall? The book also covers the  rise and fall of Roman civilization.

The ancient city of Mesopotamia is also visited by the author. The architecture, and the administrative division in this ancient world allowed human to survive all along the ages.

The book discusses about the great Persian king Koresh. Koresh was a great figure in the ancient world. He changed the perspective of how a ruler should rule. The document presented by Koresh can be called the First Deceleration of Human RightsKoresh, although a Persian king, ruled over the Arabian people. He never tried to forcefully implement Persian language over the conquered. This makes him a peculiar man in ancient history.

The Indus valley civilization is a peculiar civilization in ancient history. Historical digging sites reveal interesting information about the lifestyle of this civilization. No big temples are found nor are religious structures in abundance. Neither are mansions excavated from the digging sites. No murder is reported in the criminal records of the civilization. With all these traits the civilization triumphed from 2600 BC to 1900 BC. Historical records are spread out from Mehar Gahr, Balochistan to Rajaistan in India. This shows that wars aren't necessary for a civilization to survive. Neither is a centralized king necessary nor any Authoritarian federal system. Records also provide evidence for existence of trade between Mesopotamia and Indus Valley Civilization.

The Egyptian civilization is also discussed by Dr. Mubark. A new perspective is elucidated on the Egyptian pyramids. Rather than seeing these structures as marvels of human architecture, we should see them as an epitome of forced labour. Thousands of men, women, and children were killed during the construction of the pyramids. Slaves were forced to death through starvation, and no stipends were given for the construction of the pyramids. The priest had a central role in the Egyptian civilization. Pharaohs used to take their advices on important matter. Hence, it can be said that the Egyptian system of government wasn't secular as the Indus Valley. The priest also had a central role in the burial ceremony of the Pharaohs. It was only the priest who knew the exact position of a Pharaoh's grave as only he was allowed to return back once the burial ceremony ended. All slaves were killed by his holy decree. The killing of slaves fulfilled two purposes:

  1. It allowed the grave to remain a secret. As gold and silver was buried with the Pharaoh, secrecy was kept so that no thief could steal it.
  2. According to Egyptian religious order, the slaves who are buried with the Pharaoh would remain his slaves even in the after-life. Hence, this killed would allow Pharaoh to have slaves even in the world hereafter.
The rise of Roman civilization is attributed to the use of iron. The Romans were able to set up a senate, which was a quasi-democratic system. The story of Remulus and Remus is an interesting read. It is the oldest piece of world literature and a story of love which is beautifully summarized by Dr. Mubarak Ali.

The Greek and Chinese civilization are also discussed. Many inventions are attributed to Chinese, e.g. paper, compass, and ship construction. Unfortunately, the civilization remained a closed civilization for many centuries. Confucius was an eminent figure in Chinese civilization. He introduced civil examination system for the first time in history. Confucius has the same stature in Chinese civilization as St. Augustine in Christian Civilization. 
                      On the other hand, democracy is a system developed by Greek world. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are the great men of this civilization. 

To sum up, Tahzeeb Ki Kahani  is an excellent book for anyone who interest in history. It contains intriguing details and summarizes the evolution of civilization over time. One message which the book give oft-repeatedly is that humans have always opted for progress when given a choice between progress and regression. In this sense, we can always hope for a better tomorrow.

5 comments:

  1. i want to download this book, how i can?

    ReplyDelete
  2. i want to download this buk , where from can i get it free?

    ReplyDelete
  3. you may get it from http://www.pakbook.us/products/Tehzeeb-Kai-Khani.Pethar-Ka-Zamana.3Vol-Set,-BY%3A-Dr-Mubarak-Ali,-9789695620151.html
    :P

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