By V.M. Khaleelur Rahman

I was a student in Mazharul Uloom High School when Radiance was launched. It was available in the school library. The late Headmaster of the school N.M. Yahya advised us – students – to read it every week and said with all joy and happiness that “its editor is none other than our A.A. Ravoof”. Mr. Ravoof had served the Ambur Muslim Educational Society (AMES) as its General Secretary from 1952 to 1954 and earlier as its Assistant Secretary from 1945 to 1952. He was soft-spoken, simple, humble and friendly with one and all. He also had community consciousness to a great extent.

Thus I have been a reader of Radiance since my school days. It was in a tabloid form at that time. It was well received throughout the country and particularly in Tamil Nadu as I know it. Mr. Ravoof’s editorials on current topics in simple and sweet English attracted readers. His column “Abracadabra” was also read with great interest. But he could not remain in Delhi and serve the paper for long due to his health problems. However, he continued to contribute his write-ups to the weekly from his native place.

The caravan of Radiance is on the forward march despite many odds without forgetting its aims and objectives. It is a decent magazine for the whole family. It provides necessary guidelines from the holy Quran and Ahaadith. Everyone knows that bringing out a Muslim periodical particularly in English is a Himalayan task. The fact that Radiance is in circulation continuously since its inception in 1963 is itself a great achievement. To my knowledge there is no other English periodical belonging to the Muslim community which has served and echoed the sentiments and feelings of the Muslim community so long.

I have heard elders saying that Mr. Ravoof started writing during his school days as he was immensely interested in journalism though he hailed from a mercantile family. He contributed letters and articles to some daily newspapers and a popular periodical Deccan Times published from Madras, now called Chennai. He joined it as Assistant Editor in 1938 and was named its Editor in 1940 and held this position till it was in publication. After 1945 it could not be continued due to paucity of funds.

It is said that once Mahatma Gandhi wrote on untouchability in Harijan and partly blamed even Islam for it.  Mr. Ravoof replied to it in detail explaining that there is no untouchability in Islam. Gandhiji got convinced and wrote a letter to him from Sevagram in 1940 thanking him for his letter and saying that he was glad that the misunderstanding he had about Islam regarding untouchability had been removed.

Mr. Ravoof authored two books Meet Mr. Jinnah and Nehru, the Man which became popular.
After relinquishing his responsibility in Radiance, he started a weekly Crescent in 1969 on the suggestion of Mr. A.K.A. Abdus Samad. Crescent remained in circulation till his passing away on 22 August 1975.