THE INDIAN MUSLIMS TODAY
Muslims, in India, are either Sunnis or non-Sunnis. Amongst non-Sunnis are Shias, Bohras, Khojas and Bahais. Amongst Sunnis, some are Wahabis. A smaller percentage amongst Sunnis has embraced one or the other Silsila while the rest have refrained from doing so but go to Durgahs.
Historically speaking, amongst the Sunnis, there are four Silsilas: Naqshbandiya, Shurwardiya, Qadariya and Chishtiya. Add to these the later-on off-shoots like Chishtiya-Nizamiya, Nizamiya, A’bul U’lai, Warsi, Suhagan and perhaps finally, Deobandis and Barelvis.
All the Muslims think that they are lucky to be born of parents who follow Islam. Most of them believe that non-followers of Islam are Kafirs. They have their eyes set on Jannat because they are assured of celestial wine and women (sharab-t’ahoor and hoor).
The question is: if a child born of medical doctors is not a doctor unless it grows and takes a degree in Medicine, how come, a Musalman’s son is Musalman and a Brahmin’s son, a Brahmin? And, is it not funnily astounding for a Muslim who has had a full share of life in this world to still crave for t’ahoor and hoor in Jannat?
If all of them claim to live life in pursuit of God and believe in truth and love (which are the two basic tenets of religions of the world, anyway) why should they choose to quarrel?
After Independence in India, many Muslims thought their place was in Pakistan. Those who could not go because of various constraints had their hearts in Pakistan because their near and dear had crossed over. Some of them chose not to leave the Mother Earth of Birth. Come, what may! I think now, that these people, knowingly or unknowingly, had the heart and mind of Amir Khusro who is the example at the top of those who are faithful to the land, the language of the land and the ruler of the land.
Let’s now look at the lifestyles of Muslims in India these days. Some are very astute and pray five times a day, recite Quran regularly and observe fast during Ramadan. Some of them do it quietly and some demonstrate it. Sunnis, who think they are not Wahabis, go to durgahs. Some durgah-goers have become mureeds, therefore, have a Peer or Murshid. Most Muslims are not properly educated to understand mundane things of life, let alone the basics of religion they follow. It is, therefore, understandable they follow religion only socially and ritualistically. The educated Muslims are either led into blind faith or rigid dogmas because of the literature they’ve read or the company they keep. Some of them do go to durgahs but keep themselves away from Peeri-Mureedi. But they do go to astrologers and/or Alims with mundane problems of life; some of them openly, others, otherwise.
In a situation like this, it is prime time for half-baked, semi-learned Imams, priest heads, peer sahibs and qadims, of mosques, madrasas, halqas and durgahs to exploit the illiterate and semi-literate masses to their own advantage.
In my view there is nothing wrong with any religion but everything seems to be wrong with not all but some of the followers in every religion who represent it to be rigid and dogmatic and thus denying it its very basic value: love. This trend, call it religious activism, is noticed to be very unfortunately growing amongst the youth of all religions. Here, I’ll try to look at the Muslim youth. They are taught to believe that:
Christians are ‘wrong’ because they claim Christ to be the Son of God.
Hindus are Kafirs because they are idol-worshippers.
Most Muslims who go to Durgahs and follow a Peer are Mushriks.
Let’s take Son of God and compare it with similar expressions like the son of the soil or the son of the Mother Earth. If soil or earth is Mother, do you think of the Father? It’s a way of saying, isn’t it? It is certainly not an issue.
And, who is a Kafir? A Kafir is a non-believer, not of Islam but of God. In Quran, in my view, only Firaun(Phaeroah) is a Kafir because he claimed himself to be God.
Who is an idol-worshipper? Don’t we all worship a moving idol in the form of our own body much more than, we think, we worship God, if at all, we worship God? Khudparasti hi butparasti hai, says Hazarat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.
Aren’t we, then, Kafirs and also Mushriks, ourselves? As long as the combination of the animal, the Satan and the Ego is alive in us, aren’t we guilty of Kufr and Shirk?
O God, the most Merciful, forgive us our sins and our ignorance. ASTAGHFIRULLAH! Taubah Taubah Taubah!!!