A community’s missed chances

India’s Muslims must ask themselves some hard questions. And acknowledge that education and economic empowerment is the way out

Written by Fauzan Alavi | Updated: July 7, 2017 1:05 am
Letter to Indian Muslims, muslims reform, madrasa education, Quran, Prophet Mohammad, Islamic education, Indian express, India news, latest news A graduate from a respectable madrasa is not even paid a salary of Rs 10,000. We should understand the real meaning and motive when the Quran speaks of giving zakat. (Representational)

As a community, we have been in the eye of the storm globally ever since 9/11. We have been justifying our stand as good Muslims — but is it actually making any difference?

I write this piece to Muslims in India.

Several commissions and reports have found that, as a community, we are the worst off on a lot of social parameters and indices. Who is to be blamed? All the governments since Independence till date? If not, then I want to know which government and party took us to a different level apart from providing Urdu teachers and funding for madrasas and the yearly, symbolic iftars.

How many times have we sat and thought about the future — of coming generations — without playing victim?
What have we done to take our youth out of the madrasas and bring them to the mainstream?

A graduate from a respectable madrasa is not even paid a salary of Rs 10,000. We should understand the real meaning and motive when the Quran speaks of giving zakat. The Quran is asking us to earn a respectable living not only to support our respective families but also to provide financial assistance to the poor and downtrodden.

Now imagine a student from a madrasa who began his education with an amount raised through zakat and ends up earning his livelihood through zakat. I personally know of several madrasas in Delhi who, due to the delay in payments from various boards, call and ask for help. Is this the society we want to make?

The importance of a Hafiz-e-Quran (one who remembers the Holy Quran by heart and implements it) is mentioned with the highest honour and reverence in both the Quran and Hadiths. Now, what is the average salary of a Hafiz — not more than Rs 10,000 plus food through tiffins.

Is this right? What have we done to change the status of the madrasa student who became a Hafiz?
The Prophet (PBUH) has spoken about cleanliness but one can see the condition of Muslim neighbourhoods from afar. It is the same case when it comes to the respect and equality of women. Recently, we made a mockery of ourselves on the issue of triple talaq. The Quran does not prescribe it, so why could we not say it’s wrong and the nikahnama (marriage contract) can be modified? Instead, our so-called intellectuals suggested a “social boycott”. But just how does the board propose to enforce a social boycott in this day and age? Will they cancel passport/Aadhaar/PAN? Or will they prevent people from entering a marketplace?

Now, to education and becoming a part of the mainstream. There are schemes worth many hundred crores available for the education of minorities. How many of our leaders have gone and made sure that these are availed of? We say the ruling party has been instrumental in keeping us in the dumps. Agreed, but would they have been able to do so without the help of our leaders and the clergy?

After Maulana Azad, I wonder if there has been a mainstream Muslim leader with a selfless agenda. Our so-called leaders in the so-called “secular” parties are there for everyone to see. What are their contributions in the real sense except playing politics and securing their seats? And the 2017 Uttar Pradesh election has made matters worse. The BJP’s 312 seats have made us electorally insignificant. All the maulanas who support their favourite parties must take a minute to reflect. We Muslims were supposed to be the king-makers in UP, West Bengal and Assam but has any “secular” party made a member of the community home minister or deputy CM?

There are still many Muslims from humble backgrounds, who, instead of playing the victim card, choose to work hard. These people pray and observe Ramzan as well. It is time for us as a community to sit together and introspect on what has gone wrong — be it the education system, triple talaq or modernisation of the madrasa system and many more issues.

Only then will the government or the larger society give us what we rightly deserve. Education and economic empowerment is the only way forward. Let us follow the teachings of Holy Quran and the Prophet (PBUH) before we blame PM Modi or CM Yogi.

The writer is a director of Allanasons Ltd

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  1. B
    Bhawani Cheerath
    Jul 8, 2017 at 9:30 am
    Well said. But, is anyone really listening or bothered. The stranglehold of the clerics seems to be on the increase. In places like Kerala there is lot of money being pumped in from the Middle East countries and unfortunately it finds its way into regressive measures. Unfortunately the clerics are blinkered to the extent that they do not acquire knowlege in any of the subjects that call for average level of knowledge about what is happening in the world around. Perhaps, if all of us Indians irrespective of religion kept our faith to ourselves and restricted it to our homes and places of worship, to some extent the bitterness and rancour in the name of faith and belief systems could be capped.
    1. D
      deepak kumar
      Jul 8, 2017 at 8:11 am
      Well said, but Indian Muslims r busy in celebrating Pak win over India​ .. 90 percent of Muslims of our country are unable to think logically, but they will explain terrorism logically...they r digging their own grave without the help of anyone
      1. S
        Jul 8, 2017 at 8:06 am
        Thanks sir for your introspective article. As for selfless muslim leaders other than Maulana Azad there was Arif Mohammad Khan of UP who resigned from Rajiv Gandhi's cabinet after the Shah Bano case. It is best if reforms come from within any community be it hindu or muslim. The Quranic concept of Zakat is the same as paying taxes in modern society. After all everything each individual possesses belongs to nature and is meant to be enjoyed by all. We must pay taxes and pay a living wage to those who work for us like maids, drivers etc irrespective of the minimum wage. In India we have learnt to ignore the poor completely.
        1. F
          Jul 8, 2017 at 5:35 am
          Vary correct what Mr. Fauzan Alavi has written for Muslims India. Any of the prominent muslim leader goes on fast unto death on "lynching episode "?
          1. S
            Jul 8, 2017 at 3:30 am
            One of the most unrecognized problems of Islam is this - At the very core of Islam , is the belief of religious supremacy . Every moslem considers himself superior , holier and more pure than non-muslims. And religious supremacy is no less despicable and dangerous than belief in Racial supremacy. No wonder that many extremist Islamic organizations are no different than racist organizations like the Neo- s and the KKK.
            1. P
              Jul 8, 2017 at 4:39 am
              It w'd have still been OK, if muslims only wanted to feel superior. Lethal problem arises when their belief of supremacy faces two more facts (1) their doctrines want them to rule over all non-muslims but they find that non-muslims are more advanced, intelligent and powerful (2) they find facts telling them that they are inferior, whether it is philosophy, science or mathematics they start finding that they were inferior to other civilization all along and except for Persians whom they converted to Islam and who contributed to science owing to their original intellectual culture that eventually gave way to islamist mindset of deceit, world over muslims created bad cultures A great urge to turn the world islamic and realization that they are not superior in anyway, leads them to suicidal style elimination of non-muslims, which gets some significant support from their texts... and then the problem becomes dangerous.... That is where deceit, propaganda, conversion, terrorism all start
              1. P
                Jul 8, 2017 at 4:47 am
                .......Note that if muslims were at young age tutored in secular vision of world and then later you try to teach them fundamentalism, they won't take it. But when at young age they are taught fundamentalism, irrespective of IQ, irrespective of their current actions, they get fundamental seeds now and a lot of ideological support in texts, in such a case even when you turn such a person into an engineer or doctor, the seed or impression of young age cannot be removed, it can easily be a terrorist doctor, because the impressions of young mind become part of subconscious that can defy reason and individuals protects these impressions... .muslims are unfortunate that to keep their iden y they have to kind of lose their existence.. and so many muslims leaders are keeping them in their trap of protecting muslim iden y, instead of meaningful existence.. eventually, the worst enemy of muslims in this case will turn out to be their iden y and psychology that this iden y/ideology creates
            2. M
              Jul 8, 2017 at 3:23 am
              I am fortunate that i was able to reject Islam at a young age . I had a tendency to always question and think rationally . That is why i rejected the Quran , the prophet and the silly Arabic fairy tale of "allah". But i did not convert to any other religion . I became an ATHEIST. I encourage all youngsters to READ books by Stephen Hawkings , Richard Dawkins , Bertr,a,n,d Russel , Christopher Hitchens , Sam Harris ...and many others . Religion is merely a tool for the Elites to control and ENSLAVE the minds of the common folk . Only science , logical and critical thinking can LIBERATE the human mind. Allah , Jesus , Ram , Shiva , Spiderman , Batman , Superman ....are all childish Fairy tales for immature , undeveloped minds. I also realized that most Muslims have never read the Quran or understood it. They spend their entire lives like zombies without applying their brain .
              1. A
                Jul 8, 2017 at 3:12 am
                I will be printing a list of all the Muslim attacks in Europe from today to show that Muslims can never live in peace and would not allow humanity to live in peace. 24 May 2014 Belgium Brussels, Belgium Jewish Museum of Belgium shooting A Muslim man opened fire in the Jewish Museum in Brussels, leaving four people dead. On 30 May, Mehdi Nemmouche, who in 2013 had fought for Islamist rebels in the Syrian Civil War, was arrested at a bus station in M illes and admitted to the shooting. 8 Oct 2014 Denmark Kvissel, Denmark Kvissel murder On 8 October 2014 Tine Rømer Holtegaard was stabbed to death by her daughter Lisa Borch in her sleep.Borch was radicalized by her boyfriend Bakhtiar Mohammed Abdullah.
                1. A
                  Jul 8, 2017 at 4:41 am
                  ha ha , sanghi coward spotted by real Antony ! even doesnt have the courage to use your own north indian dirty toiletless state name to comment ! how much you get paid 300 Rupees per day? typical RSS deception !
                2. A
                  Jul 8, 2017 at 3:06 am
                  Europe’s denial of Islamic terrorism threat perplexes security specialists By Rowan Scarborough - The Washington Times - The Manchester massacre underscores complaints from counterterrorism analysts that Europe has fallen into denial about the threat of Islamic terrorism.For instance, London Mayor Sadiq Khan is on record as saying terrorism is “part and parcel” of urban life. Furthermore, London police said in March that they could not assign a motive to a vehicle attack in which a Muslim British citizen followed the Islamic State tactical playbook by driving an SUV over pedestrians on crowded Westminster Bridge.
                  1. A
                    Jul 8, 2017 at 4:42 am
                    ha ha , sanghi coward with fake christian ID spotted by real Antony ! even doesnt have the courage to use your own north indian dirty toiletless state name to comment ! how much you get paid 300 Rupees per day? typical RSS deception !
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