When a Prodigal searches for God amidst religious terrorism

Editor | Fiction
What does it take to find God in all cultures and religions?
In these fratricidal times, the devout yet reasoning soul of Akbar Ali Samandar explores the irrationality of extremist tendencies in Pakistan, the problems of Western impositions on tolerant and liberal Islam as well as the ways in which these misunderstandings can be transcended for a better understanding of humanity.
Akbar has felt his unusual connection to God from an early stage of his life. These visitations continue through his questioning of extremist practice and abusive behaviour to children, brewing in a madrasa in Pakistan.
Questioning this orthodoxy in Karachi while living in the select residence of his father, who is Chief Justice of the High Court, leads him to a scholarly quest for the discovery of tolerance in Islam in the famous Islamic research centre of Dar-ul Aman in Taliban-controlled FATA region of northwest Pakistan. A brush with a friend-turned-extremist, then finding real love and twins out of the marriage in Dar-ul Aman are not able to hold back Akbar in his quest for tolerance and understanding among people of different religions.
Fate takes him to Trinity College in Cambridge where he is finally able to bridge the scholarly with the experiential and feel proximity to God’s love. And just then, his world gets thrust into the unfurling hatred of extremist terrorism. Akbar is left to negotiate the terror of religious violence through his belief in love and humanity.
About the author
Noted as a theatre critic and a social activist, Irshad Abdul Kadir finds a strong spiritual connection with the universal message of humanity while writing fiction. Irshad has graduated from Cambridge university.
He is also a Barrister-at Law and a lecturer in legal studies, specializing in common law traditions and reasoning. Several articles written by him on socioeconomics, governance and politics have appeared in newspapers and journals. His interests are big game observation including Gir lions and leopards in Junagadh, tigers in Bhopal, cheetahs in Manavadar and crocodiles in the Indus; and documentary film making. His documentaries — ‘The Dancing Girl of Mohenjodaro’ and ‘The Parsis, from Persepolis to the present’ — have received citations. He is the author of Clifton Bridge (2013) and The Deriabad Chronicles (2018). The Clifton Bridge stories are currently under negotiations for a TV series.

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