MUSLIM WORLD

AND THE INDIAN

MUSLIMS

There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world. Muslims have surpassed the Roman Catholics in numbers. Every fifth person who walks on this beautiful earth is a Muslim. Politically they are divided in three groups. 60% (sixty percent) Muslims live as majorities in the so called 56 independent, sovereign Muslim majority states. 35% (thirty five percent) Muslim population live as minorities. There are 77 countries (out of 200) in which the Muslim population is two or more than two percent. The third group consists of the five percent of Muslim population, through they are a majority, their political status is still unsettled. One million Chechens, two million Kosovans (they recently declared independence), three million Palestinians, thirteen million Kashmiris, and thirty three million eastern Turkistan in China (xin-kang). It is interesting to know about Muslims in Europe and the USA. A student of history knows that at first Muslims tried to enter Europe from the South in 732 A.D. Muslims reached a place called Poiters, 40 miles south of Paris. Contd…2

:: 2 :: Everybody knows what happened in Spain. After another 600 years, Muslims tried to enter Europe from the east and had reached the heart of Europe. Vienna was under siege of the Ottoman Turks. Not once, but twice. One might say, that Muslims invaded Europe from the South and the East. The fact of the matter is, in the second half of last century, (1950-2000) for the first time, Muslims arrived in Western Europe and England by invitation. After second world war, England, France and Germany with some other countries needed labour. Muslims came (with others) from India and Pakistan to England, from Northern Africa to France, from Turkey to Germany. Today there are 13 million Muslims in Western Europe and England alone. 5% of the Belgian Population is Muslim. Islam is the second largest religion in Europe after Christianity. Story of USA is a little different. Historians record that 1/3 rd of all the slaves who were brought to the shores of USA were Muslims in 18 th and 19th Century. In mid sixties of last century USA needed skilled labour. Highly educated Muslims came with others to USA from 65 different countries. Today there are 4-5 million Muslims (40% indigenous and 60% of immigrants) in USA. Islam is the third largest religion in USA after Christianity and Judaism. Contd..3

:: 3 :: The biggest Muslim minority lives in India. In terms of numbers, Indian Muslims are (150 million); rank the third in the world. First is Indonesia (190 million), second is Pakistan (160 million), 12 to 15% of Indian population is Muslim. They are found in all the states. The maximum are in Assam, 30%. There are four major cities in India where Muslims are in majority. They are Malegaon in Maharashtra, Garden Reach in West Bengal, Rampur and Muradabad in Madhya Pradesh. 80% of Indian Muslims were born after 1947. 60% of Indian Muslims are below the age of 30. Almighty Allah bestowed five blessings on Indian Muslims. One blessing is common to all Muslims of the world from Morocco to Malaysia; the remaining four are unique to Indian Muslims. The one which is common is the family life. The family life is intact in the Muslim world, because of the controlling position and the practice of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the unique authority of Qura’an. In western societies, the family life is shattered (in USA six million couples live together without marriage, 26 million families are single parent families, in England every fourth child is an illegitimate child.) India is the only Non-Muslim country where Muslim family life is protected by Muslim Family Personal Law. Indian Muslims (IM) should appreciate this and be thankful for this and the remaining four privileges, which are unique to IM.

Contd…4 :: 4 ::
1) Democracy. India is the World’s largest democracy. By no means

it is a perfect one, when one sees how the minorities are treated, but it is true democracy in the sense that all sorts of political parties of any size, shape and shade are allowed to participate as compared to the USA where communist party is banned to participate. Indian Muslims should not loose hope in the Indian Democracy. It takes years and years for a democracy to mature. Take the example of USA again. The USA declared

independence on July 4, 1976 and made a lofty proclamation that, “All men are created equal.” The constitution of USA became the law of the land on March 4, 1789. But it took 81 years for the Afro-Americans (black) to get the voting rights. Fifteenth amendment to US constitution gave them the voting rights in 1870 A.D. (It took another 90 years for its full implementation, which was done in 1960s). It took 131 years for the American women to get the voting rights. It was the 19th amendment of US constitution which gave them voting rights in 1920. (36 years before the implementation of Indian Constitution in January 1956). Indian constitution has a feather in her cap that right from its inception on paper and practice, gave the right to vote to every

Contd…4 :: 5 :: man and woman irrespective of their religion. Survival of IM goes hand in hand with the survival of Indian Democracy. There is no true democracy in the 56 independent Muslim majority states. 600 million Muslims are deprived of a true democracy. 2) Freedom to practice one’s religion unrestricted. Muslims of majority Muslim states have problems in doing so. A few examples :•

Turkey : Muslim Majority State : (95% Muslims), in 1920s abolished Khilafat, Shariah Law and changed the script of the Turkish language. A few years ago an elected female Muslim member of parliament was thrown out of Turkish parliament because she was wearing hijab. Even today the wife of the Turkish Prime Minister cannot attend the Turkish

Government’s official functions, because she also wears a hijab. • Albania : A Muslim majority State : (90% Muslims), in 1930s President Hoxa of Albania declared that Albania is an atheistic state and ordered the citizens not to keep the Muslim names. Instead keep Aalerian names. Contd…6

:: 6 :: • Tunisia : A Muslim majority State : In 1960s President Boraqiba banned fasting in the month of Ramadan on the pretext that it reduces that productivity. Islam is not a religion per se, it is a “Deen”, A Way of Life. If an Indian Muslim chooses to live that way of Life, there are no hindrances in doing so. The question is how many Indian Muslims want to live that way of Life?
3) Freedom of Expression (through speech, press and other media):

Indian Muslims are free to speak their mind and for that matter everyone is. Today, the Friday sermons all over the Arab Muslim World are censored. Nobody can speak or write against the rulers. Print Media, by and large is fair in India. When the Babri Masjid was demolished, Hindu paper’s front page was printed all in black. The caption red “Today India Hangs her Head in Shame”. It was independent TV Channels who brought the atrocities of Gujarat Government and the genocide of Muslims to the forefront. 4) Independent Judiciary specially at Supreme Court and presence of a good number of fair and secular minded people (like Harish Mandir, Kuldeep Nair, Desai) in the majority community. Contd… 7

:: 7 :: Indian Muslims indeed, should be thankful to Almighty Allah and be grateful to Indian Democracy for providing these privileges and make a good use of them. For a Muslim, inspire of all these shortcomings, IM have a lot to do. Allah Helps those who help themselves. The question is, how can IM help themselves ? It is high time that IM stop complaining and start contemplating. Stop fighting pointing fingers at others and start pondering about them and see what has gone wrong with them secularly and spiritually. On the secular front, Muslims are failing individually and collectively. It is the story of the failures of learning and leadership. The mother of all the failures is the failure of the Muslims to educate their children. There is no thirst for knowledge in young Muslims. But they have a voracious appetite for making a quick buck. There is a scarcity of honest and sincere leadership. Muslim organizations / institutions at National Level and at the state levels are all divided. The organizations / institutions which are not divided are led by leaders who have become old and are on the verge of senility. They do not want to leave the chair. Contd.. 8 :: 8 ::

They do not train and groom the younger generation and hand over the reign to them. There are influential Indian Muslims who are opening institutions of learning in the name of minorities. It is not known as to how many poor downtrodden Muslim students are benefited, but the personal coffers of them are bulging. Muslims of India do not compete and participate in each and every walk of life. How many Indian Muslims join the Indian Arm Forces? On the top of all these, as soon as an IM attains an ability to do something, leaves the country, never to come back. In the spiritual sphere the conditions are not any better. Out of 150 million IM how many are fulfilling there obligations towards their Creator, their Lord Almighty Allah ? How many pray 5 times a day ? How many give Zakat (Alms Due) properly ? How many fast in the month of Ramadan ? Apart from all these, the question of the most fundamental importance is, how many IM do really believe that there is no Allah but One Allah ? One is compelled to ask this question when one sees rampant grave worship. This practice is not discouraged but rather promoted. Contd…9 :: 9 ::

There is no difference, whatsoever, between a member of a majority community, going to a temple and worshipping an idol and a Muslim going to “Dargah” and asking for help. It is outright “shirk”. These Muslim grave worshippers, do they not know what advice Luqman gave to his son, “O my son ! Join not in worship others with Allah, joining others with worship with Allah is a great tyranny indeed. (31:13) The story does not end here. The other day, I was at a Muslim wedding reception. The things which are saw there, I could not believe. Some “Sajjada” (custodian of a dargah) arrived. People started to kiss his hand, touch his feet and one gentleman came and put his head on his feet. The astonishing thing was that, that “holy” man did not stop them, rather relished all that; forgetting that the companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) each and everyone of them, could have given their lives for him, they never touched his feet or put their heads on his feet. He would have never allowed. He was so full of humility and humbleness that in the company of his companions, he never sat on a prominent place. This practice of grave worship and personal adoration has to be condemned in no uncertain terms. This must be stopped. Contd…10 :: 10 ::

See what, not only the Indian Muslims but the Muslims world over, did with their sacred book – Quran-ul-Hakeem. They gave it a unique distinction. These days it is the most widely read book, without being understood ! So where is the question of acting on it ? What Indian Muslims have done with their Masajids (Masjids) ? Made it a place of rituals and on the top of it, kept 55% of Muslim work force, women folk, out from most of them, forgetting that at the time of Prophet (PBUH) women use to go to his Masjid and he never stopped. Indian Muslims point fingers, as the majority community for their cast system and created our own. The shias, the sunnis, the Sufis, the sayyed, the sheikhs, the boharas and the baigs.. so on and so forth. Are the IM fulfilling their obligations towards other Human beings? Are the Indian Muslim have become their real force in inviting towards good and forbidding evil. Are the IM taking care of their neighbors? Are the rich IM feeding hungry, clothing the naked? Shelting the unsheltered? Contd…11

:: 11 :: Qura’an repeatedly commands Muslims to give (apart from Zakat, which is compulsory) to take care of poor and downtrodden. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) emphasized the rights of the neighbor so much that the companions feared that he might give them some rights of inheritance. And when the Qura’an does not say to give and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) advices about the neighbor, the Qura’an nor the Prophet said “Poor Muslims, Poor Neighbors” That poor and that neighbor can be a Hindu, a Sikh, a Christian, a Jew, a Buddhist or an atheist. But the Rich Indian Muslims are busy in the shameful and vulgar show of their wealth, especially in Hyderabad. In a nutshell, the situation of Indian Muslims is pretty grim. Islam teaches cohesion. IM are chaotic. Islam teaches discipline, IM are disorderly divided. Islam teaches dominance, IM are dormant. Islam teaches dynamism, IM are docile. Islam is a constant struggle, IM are in a eternal slumber. Contd…12

:: 12 ::

What is to be done?
Indian Muslims have to struggle and strive in two spheres. i.e. secular and spiritual. I call it an external and internal struggle. In the secular domain successive Indian governments have deprived the IM of their sense of belonging. IM must tell loud and clear, to the powers to be, that we belong to India and India belongs to us. We are born here, we will live here and we will die here. This is our home, and we will make it a better home. We are the sons of the soil and part of the Indian soil. If we sink, India sinks. Indian Muslims (IM) should continue to demand for their due rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. Fredrick Douglas said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand, it never did, and it never will.” Indian Muslims should participate in each and every walk of life. Be, it business, or bureaucracy, politics or professions, civil service or ordinary service. Contd…..13

:: 13 :: IM must educate their children in every sphere of education, be its economics or engineering, liberal arts or architecture or army service, politics or police service. Muslims who went abroad should come back and retire here to guide the younger generation. Muslim youth is restless. More than the external, the internal struggle is the need of the hour. Absolutely essential, and most vital. Each and every Muslim should try to become a better Muslim. Contd… 14 :: 14 :: Manu has beautifully said, “There is nothing noble or being superior to some other man. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.” The essence of Islam is the development of a God Conscious, Allah-fearing personality. A good Muslim, a devout Muslim cannot be melted in a melting part. He can become part of a mosaic. He adds a beauty and grace to that mosaic. A devout Muslim is a true secularist. A good Muslim is a best citizen of any country and is an asset to any community to any country. To become devout, one has to struggle with himself. When returning from

Hunayn Expedition, the Prophet (PBUH) had declared, “We are back from the lesser Jihad to the greater Jihad.” A companion asked, “What is the greater Jihad, O Messenger of Allah?” He answered, “It is fighting the self (ego).” In these days of murder and mayhem it is good to know about the expeditions which were carried out by the Muslims under the leadership of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). “Qitaal” i.e. “Killing” took place in only 9 expeditions out of some 80 expeditions over a period of 10 years. Only 270 persons were killed on enemy side and only 110 companions were martyred. It is to be noted that all the killings took place on the battlefield, none in the city or the city centre. Contd..15

:: 15 :: No non-combater, or a women or a child was killed. Prophet (PBUH) participated personally in 27 out of 80 expeditions. Coming back to Indian Muslims, IM have to embark on a massive Jihad-e-Akbar to become better Muslim because Noble Qura’an does not talk in terms of majority or minority. The Noble Qura’an gives the Muslims, the glad tiding of vicegerency. If there are

hundered thousand Muslims with the degree of honesty and integrity of persons like Abul Kalam Azad, Zakir Hussain, Lal Bahdur Shastry, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam or Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the majority community will say to them, “You run the country” It is the promise of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, “ Allah has promised to those among you, who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety grant them succession (to the present rulers) in the Land.” (24:55) IM have a tremendous task ahead of changing themselves spiritually in this global village a call has come from the only Super Power of the world – USA. This call for change was made by President Barack Hussain Obama. This call for change is resonating and reverberating the world over. Contd…16

:: 16 : Indian Muslims must remember the reminder of the One and the Only One Supreme Being – Almighty Allah who says, “Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (13:11)

Are the Indian Muslims ready for a change?

Syed Habeeb Asharuf
Doctor of Medicine Ex Sqn Ldr. I.A.F. Attending Physician in Emergency Medicine at Siani Hospital of Baltimore, MaryLand, USA. Ex President of Islamic Society of Baltimore E-mail shashruf@yahoo.com

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