“Before introducing Islam, you have made the heart of others soft and mild. First, show your positive side. Then once the other sides believe that you are their well-wisher and good friend, then we can proceed with Dawah-e-Deen” – Hamid Mohammed Khan, Amir, JEI Hind, Telangana”
The nation woke up to the news of large scale conversion of deaf, dumb and poor children to Islam by Islamic Dawah Centre, NOIDA using inducements and allurements by way of job, marriage or financial assistance. Though it appears to be an isolated act of a few individuals, it is part of a larger, well thought out Islamic propagation launched by Islamic organisations across the country in the last several years. In 2017, a similar instance of poor children from Hindu families lured by lifelong free English education with boarding and lodging came to light in Hyderabad. To the shock of their parents, these children were converted to Islam and were being given Islamic religious education in a Madrassa. Just as in the IDC, Noida case, here also Hindu converts to Islam were used to lure children of poor Hindu families. The infamous ‘love jihad’ grooming of young girls in Kerala by Islamic organisations is also part of Dawah.
However, Islamic organisations have realised that approaching Hindus for Dawah directly through Islamic publicity material was not yielding desired results. The partition of the country in 1947 on religious lies, the resultant death and destruction are still fresh in the minds of the majority of the Indian citizens. The rise of Islamic fundamentalism, the bombing of the World Trade Centre by Al-Qaida, the brutality of ISIS in Iraq- Syria and their wide coverage in mainstream media and social media has made the task difficult for Dawah. Within the country, the series of bomb blasts across the nation and frequent arrests of Muslim youth on charges of terrorism has become a stumbling block for the Dawah programme.
To overcome resistance and obstacles to Dawah, Jamat E Islami Hindu has come out with a new game plan to take forward the propagation of Islam to Hindus. It has set up Hindusthani Samaj Department to implement the new strategy. The activity will be carried out through:
1. Sadhbhavana Forums
2. Dharmic Jan Morcha
3. Forum for Democracy and Communal Harmony
Hindustani Samaj Department will set up Sadbhavana forums in Mohallas, Colonies, and apartment blocks. In addition, there will be occupation wise forums like doctors, professors, teachers etc. Initially, the volunteer of JEI, Hind will not talk about Dawah. They will take up civic issues, highlight social evils, and conduct essay writing competitions for students. Once sufficient goodwill is established, they will start the Dawah programme on the targeted audience.
On August 20, 2020, JEI Telangana launched a 10-day Sadhbhavana Campaign with the ostensible purpose of promoting social harmony and bringing people together with the real intention of Islamic propagation (Dawah) aimed at non-Muslims. The Amir of JEI, Hind, Telangana inaugurating training /orientation programme for JEI workers gave out finer details of the programme. The Amir in the course of his speech said that there are lakhs of innocent people in the country. If each Muslim can approach 5 non-Muslims and convince them about Islam, by 2023, the situation will be vastly different. However, as a result of vicious anti-Muslim propaganda by media and other vested interests, the gap and mistrust between Muslims and non-Muslims have widened and this is a serious obstacle to Dawah-e- Deen, which is a divine commandment of Allah.
Before introducing Islam, Rab-ul-Alameen to non-Muslims JEI workers has to make the heart of others soft and mild. First, the positive side has to be shown. Then once the other sides believe that you are their well-wisher and good friend, then proceed with Dawah-e-Deen.
The search for ‘Abu Talib’:
(Abu Talib was the uncle of Prophet Mohammed. He never converted to Islam but supported Prophet in establishing, propagating and expanding Islam religion)
One of the strategies adopted for pushing Dawah through the Sadbhavana outreach initiative is to search, locate, identify “Abu Talib” amongst Hindu society and include them in the Sadbhavana outreach initiative. In the course of his inaugural speech, the Amir of JEI Hindi, Telangana told the Dawah volunteers that they can find thousands of such well-wishers who are willing to defend Islam and protect the rights of Muslims. He pointed out that the lawyers who fought for the Babri Masjid case, those who returned awards, who write articles in favour of Muslims are all potential Abu Talibs. JEI Hind will provide a platform – Sadhbhavana Initiative for such people to express their support for Muslims and remove misconceptions. JEI, Hind, Telangana has taken initiative to identify such people and bring them together. When media, admin of social media pages/ groups and other vested interests do anti-Muslim propaganda, these Abu Talibs will come to defend Islam and Muslims and call out fake hate propaganda.
The Amir of JEI Hind, Telangana concluding his inaugural address said:
Surely we will be victorious in our objective of Dawah-e Deen… We have to rope in intellectuals, writers, judges, advocates, professors, buddhi jeevi, and social workers to work in our favour. This will lead to an amiable positive atmosphere and help the country to progress. Allah gives us the strength to achieve this. This will give us a serve people through Dawah, as ordained by Allah.
Another speaker of JEI, Sadiq Ahmed who explained further details of the Dawah strategy to JEI volunteers made it clear that despite that moving closely with non-Muslims, they will not compromise on Islamic principles. The volunteers should not participate in any festivals, programmes that involve ‘Shirk’, violate the principles of Sharia. Volunteers ( Sifat) will not lose sight of Akhirat ( afterlife). Volunteers will meet non-Muslims, talk to them about their problems, give them Dawah literature but will not participate in any religious functions of the non-Muslim individual. Friendship with non-Muslims will be purely social and the religious component will be restricted to pushing Dawah on non-Muslims. These sensitive and finer points should be clearly understood by all volunteers. He called upon entire Muslim community to take part in this initiative as JEI Hind alone cannot carry out this mammoth task. Of course, the obligatory bashing of RSS and BJP and their role in disturbing the Mizaan (Balance) established by Allah found its place in the address and volunteers were called upon to restore this balance.
Volunteers were told that the present government of India, BJP and RSS are trying to alienate and dislink Muslims from mainstream life. An attempt is being made to increase the gap between Muslims and Non-Muslims so that all the false propaganda about Muslims will get support in various platforms. The efforts of volunteers will result in the common man countering the above vicious anti-Muslim propaganda.
Ironically, the same speaker in his introductory speech on the launching of the Sadhbhavana Campaign said that ‘India has a tradition of mutual respect for different religious beliefs’ while making it clear that Muslims under no circumstances take part in religious activities of no-Muslims. In other words, while Muslims will preach and propagate Islam to non-Muslims but the latter cannot preach their religion to Muslims and if they attempt to do so, Muslims will have nothing of that.
Implementation of Dawah Mohim:
Despite the ongoing Covid pandemic, the Dawah initiative of JEI, Hind albeit couched in welfare/ literary/ educational activities were rolled out. In a few instances, the support of the government officials was roped in. It is not clear if they were aware of the Dawah game plan of JEI but by participating in such functions, they unwittingly endorsed the propagation of Islam. Details of few programmes are given below.
1) As part of Dawah Muhim, a week-long campaign titled ‘From darkness to Light’ was launched. In one such programme held in the Aurangabad district of Maharastra, the District Collector of Aurangabad participated. The focus was on ‘saving society from darkness of ignorance, hatred and material strife’. But the social media post of JEI made it very clear that this programme was part of ‘Dawah Mohim’
2) In a ‘Get Together’ programme organised by JEI, Hyderabad, in January 2021, at Saroor Nagar, 65 Safai Karmacharis were given blankets and food. Though the social media post did not mention anything about Dawah (Islamic preaching), the banner put in the programme reads ‘Prophet Mohammed – Ideal Life and Message’. There is no doubt that the participants in the programme were subjected to Dawah.
3) Along with the 2021 Calendar and Diary, Dawah kits were distributed by Girls Islamic Organisation in different places in Telangana state.
4) Essay writing competition for girls on the topic ‘Life after Death. The participation was restricted to non-Muslim girls only. The reasons for the exclusion of Muslim girls are obvious- they cannot express their own views on the topic as Islam has put a huge emphasis on Akhirat – Life after death. The concept of Jannath (Heaven), the rewards that await faithful Muslims in heaven- Rivers of wine, honey, 72 virgins, and eternal life are widely preached by Islamic scholars. At the same time, it is essential that non-Muslim girls are made aware of such a wonderful life after death and the painful torture non-Muslims have to undergo in Jahannum (Hell). A series of videos on Life after Death in Telugu language and uploaded on Youtube.
5) Republic Day Celebrations were utilised for Dawah activity. Along with sweets and flags, Islamic literature was distributed at Sangareddy, Telangana.
Using the fundamental right to propagate religion, a systematic and methodical strategy of converting Hindus to Islam has been worked out by Jamat E Islami Hind. The worst fears expressed in the Constituent Assembly debates on the inclusion of propagation as a fundamental right are coming true. It is worthwhile to recall Sri Lokanath Mishra’s words during Constituent assembly debates:
In the present context, what can this word propagation’ in article 19 mean? It can only mean paving the way for the complete annihilation of Hindu culture, the Hindu way of life and manners. Islam has declared its hostility to Hindu thought. Christianity has worked out the policy of peaceful penetration by the back door on the outskirts of our social life.
– K. Sahadev
(Author is Research Associate at ‘Centre for South Indian Studies’, Hyderabad)