Recently, I was asked to do a 1-minute clip asking my co-religionists to warn them of the medical hazards of the congregational prayers as still in many villages and towns, such prayers are held. Though I don’t believe in the Hindu-Muslim syndrome, stunning news came from Telangana that of the 62 COVID-19 positive cases, 58 were Muslims; hence, this call for introspection.
Let us start with the Tablighi Jamaat issues. Many Muslims, on behalf of the ‘Tablighi Jamaat’ visit various counties and after coming back, they mingle with their families and social circles, especially while praying five times in the mosques as per the Islamic tenet. This process can easily spread the Virus likeCOVID-19 is a common sense.
These days the Tablighi Jamat Markaz at Bangleywali Masjid, Nizamudin has been under fire owing to the criminal negligence of continuing with the congregations in the wake of world health emergency of Coronavirus. The travesty of the situation is that the entire community has been in support of the Markaz.
Maulana Saad has done the biggest disservice to Muslims by inciting the unassuming devotees by blabbing that the government has tried to lock mosques, wanted to divide them by not sitting together. His utterance that let them better die in mosques and that let them be treated only by Jamaat doctors has misled them. Maulana Saad escaped like a criminal. The way Muslims are thrashing health workers and police Muslims, they may be hated owing to being provoked by these clerics. The truth is that the curve in India that was somewhat flattened has now risen.
The Muslim community, not only in India about the world over, must know that the Prophet (PBUH) instructed the community to stay at home in case of emergencies like this. Once when a deadly contagious disease broke out among the camels, he also instructed that the healthy camels shouldn’t be allowed to mix with the affected ones. Had Muslim followed him in letter and spirit, they and Islam might not have been under the scanner and hence the remark by HG Wells that Islam is the best religion with worst followers!
In spite of the three major imams of India and many other mosques announcing that praying in Jamaat (congregation) may spread the COVID-19 Virus, they are still praying together. Their logic is the sahabas were prayed in the mosques even under the threat of enemy’s swords, why are they being scared of the petty enemy, Coronavirus! They know not that this unseen enemy is deadlier than the nuclear holocaust even! The problem with today’s Muslims is that they are ready to give or take life for anyone spiting the name of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH); however, they won’t follow on his footprints.
It is time for us Muslims to mend ways and cooperate with Modi and the government to fight the deadly Coronavirus lest it should be too late.
In Islam, loyalty to the nation is considered nisf-ul-imaan, that is half of the Islamic tenets and value system. Our Corona infected numbers are still manageable. If it is not arrested, the death toll could go in million.
When I compared our Prime Minister Modi’s very humane and life-saving ‘Lakshman Rekha’ message aired from all the TV channels to be that by an angel, I faced the brickbats demonizing me as the stooge of the PM and RSS. Perhaps, they missed the point that PM Modi was not delivering this lifesaver dose only for the BJP, RSS or the non-Muslims, but for all, discovering that the lockdown may break the COVID-19 chain and hence save millions of lives.
Not just Muslims, but some others from the opposition parties behave in such a manner as if their normal breathing hampered if they won’t speak against Modi and his government. They have brainwashed Muslims against Modi to the extent that they are not going to trust him even when he assures them saying a couple of times that he wants to see in each Muslim’s right hand the holy Quran and in the other, a computer. The so-called Muslim representatives have ruined their followers emotionally, economically, socially, religiously and above all, educationally by picking on sensational issues like the Shaheen Bagh now and triple talaq, Shah Bano, Babri Masjid, Taslima Nasreen etc. This strategy has misled the common Muslims by apparently tightening their stranglehold by diverting the attention of real bread and butter issues.
The need of the hour is to fall in line with the instructions of the government, without giving any communal tinge to the Markaz issue. It is high time that the Muslim community comes out of the clutches of their so-called messiahs who are actually like the wolves in the sheep’s skins and instead of being critical, must support them in these testing and trying days! If only the Muslim community responds amicably to the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ request of Modi, things will augur well for them.
(The author is Chancellor, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad and grandnephew, Bharat Ratna, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad)