The freedom and progress of the Turkestan people have been passionately pursued by the great educator Mahmudhodja Behbudi, who has become a mentor and leader of the nations, demonstrating a model of loyalty. The mourners for Behbudi have attempted to represent his cold tombstone and the sound of his burning fire through a small “Will.”
According to those who have seen or heard the “Will,” it was announced in early 1922 by one of the Jadid activists, Hoji Muin Shukrullo. The article mentions that the original copy of this small “Will” has been lost. It has not been found for so long, and there is no hope of finding it now. The essence of the will is known. It is a firm admonition to those left behind by a person who has understood the temporality of life, to his heirs, beyond his desires and aspirations, about what he considered most important.
Therefore, the “Will” is necessary for us, and it is our duty to fulfill it. By following the saying, “Half of the words spoken in the presence of the wise is a will,” the legacy of our great spiritual representative introduces us to the real “Will.”
For this, reading the articles omitted from Mahmudhodja Behbudi’s “Selected Works” is sufficient. The book includes articles written between 1906 and 1918, a total of 23. If we pay attention, they were written by Behbudi after the age of thirty, when he had gained a certain level of experience and understood the world around him. Therefore, it is appropriate to seek wills from them.
“Rights are taken, not given!” Behbudi’s life coincided with a period of sharp social and political changes in the country. He witnessed three political stages during his lifetime. Therefore, it is not possible to demand uniformity from him. Initially, living in the political and social environment of Khorezm, he fully felt the condition of the Turkestan Muslims in his life, according to what he had experienced, and deeply studied the essence of the political forces active in Russia.
Mahmudhodja welcomed the Turkestan autonomy with great satisfaction. But he knew well that its fragility and strong enemies were about to overthrow it. Therefore, he worked hard to explain and urge that it could only be preserved through the unity of the brave people. This is clearly seen in the articles “Open Letter to Our Kazakh Brothers” and “Sincere Appeal to the Honorable Samarqandis.”
“Brothers! Know that autonomy has been declared for all the peoples of Turkestan now, and you know that rights are taken, not given. Therefore, autonomy is also taken, not given… If we are negligent and the peoples of Turkestan do not unite and strive for autonomy, they will certainly destroy our current paper autonomy as well…” To enhance the impact of his words, the author concludes the article with the words of the “Qur’an”: “Unite in Allah’s rope and do not disperse!”
Analyzing the situation and understanding it well, Behbudi warns about the lack of national unity and the greed and pride of the practitioners, which can destroy the “paper” autonomy, and emphasizes the need to form alliances between different classes and serve it to realize independence.
The above words of the 42-43-year-old intellectual show his courageous appeal to the influential scholars of society – religious leaders, the class of large landowners.
The great educator warns that the freedom given by hand will be regretted by the people for a hundred years, losing their value and suffering significant material and spiritual losses: “My dear fellow citizens, my respected compatriots, all of you must unite as one, unite for the development of the people and religion, abandon the hatreds there, and strive not to waste the freedom bestowed by God in this situation (now) and our inactivity will lose freedom, and others will reduce us to the level of captivity, and we will go on for a hundred years. Our offspring and the people of the world will curse us instead of mercy.”
Behbudi calls these words the right words. He even says that some young people and women may be offended by these words. But “things won’t be right unless you tell the truth.”
The last two years of Allama’s life roughly coincide with the first Soviet period. His knowledge of foreign languages, extensive experience, and extensive knowledge led to his being attracted to various fronts of the “revolutionary” work begun by the Soviets. He was even offered to be sent as a consul to Iran and Afghanistan. But Behbudi refuses, citing his son’s illness. However, he tirelessly urges participation in state affairs more actively, to slowly own his place, his state. “Finally, I regret to say, – he writes, – political, scientific, economic, and military ways the time demands a lot from us… But we have a person who does not work and goes wrong. These opportunities will pass like the past. Then nothing will be left in hand except regret…”