بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔

Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind in the Current Perspective of India

It was about ninety seven years before that the Indian Ulama proposed to set up a strong and effective platform on the instruction of Shaikhul Hind Maulana Mahmud Hasan Deobandi, the father of the Silk Letter Movement, first student of the Darul Uloom Deoband and the founder of Jamia Millia Islami, to free the country from the BritishImperialism.The primary motive of the organization was to launch a shared struggle for independence of the country, apart from solving the religious, social and political problems of the India Muslims. The organization established on November 19, 1919 was named Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind and Mufti Kifayatullah was elected its first president.

The members of this oldest and largest organization of the Indian Muslims exceed millions in number. There are countless state and local branches of this organization all over the country. Jamiat Ulama rendered matchless sacrifices for theindependence of the country till 1947 – that counts a period of twenty eight years. Jamiat Ulama, along with Congress, set the country free from the British in 1947 with joint efforts and sacrifices of Hindu and Muslims. The roll of Jamiat in the freedom struggle is indeed unforgettable.The anti-Muslim and anti-national elements are trying the put the sacrifices of the Muslims and especially Ulama during the freedom struggle under the carpet. It is, therefore, theresponsibilityof the educated people to acquaint the new generation with the sacrifices of the Muslims in thestrugglefor freedom. They should be taught that we have equal right over this country, that it was the Muslims who ruled this country before the British occupation, and that the dream of the freedom of India could not come true without Muslims.

After theindependence of India in 1947, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind refrained from the politics of parliament and assembly and devoted itself to the educational, welfare, reformative and preaching activities. It does not really mean that the Jamiat wanted to keep the Muslims away from the politics. The fact is that the Muslims, after independence and partition of India, remained in minority. So, Jamiat thought that the majority community would unite itself and defeat the Muslims on every frontif the Muslims formed a separate political party like “Muslim League” and participated in the elections. It was, therefore, necessary to ponder over the matter with cool mind and provide the Muslims with religious training as well as educational strength and welfare. Far-sightedness was more prudent than working emotionally, as it would not only make them practicing Muslims but also equip them with modern education. Furthermore, it would give anecessary representation of Muslims in the parliament as well as not let the anti-Muslim elements achieve success in their agenda.

Since theindependence of India, for almost seventy years Jamiat has truly represented the Indian Muslims and always emphasized on apositive approach. The biggest problem of Muslims after partition was to protect their faith, as a considerable number of Muslims had migrated from some states of northern India to Pakistan. On such occasion, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad said: If you successfully protected the faith of Muslims, you really did a great service in India. Thus, Jamiat made every effort to remove the educational decline of Muslims. It did not only pay heed to the religious education of Muslims but also it has been providing the poor students with theopportunity to acquire modern educationin the universities by giving them scholarships.

It constructed hundreds of houses and arranged the living facilities for the victims of communal riots in the rural areas of Muzaffar Nagar and Shamli districts of Uttar Pradesh. Jamiat is always seen in the forefront to help the victims of flood, storm, earthquake or other natural calamities in any region of India. Other welfare organizations of Muslims also make efforts to solve the problems of Muslims in the country. There are hundreds of innocent Muslims behind the barsand without economical facilitates to hire experienced and expert lawyers. But providing counsel to such victims is indeed a matchless service of the Jamiat. There are hundreds of innocent people who got released from the prisons after a long period, thanks to the continuous efforts of Jamiat.

The Indian Muslims faced different circumstances, whenthe BJP took over the country on May 26, 2014. Everyday a new issue is raised so that the Muslims remain caught with those issues and may not tread on the path of success.One day there is the issue of Vande Mataram and the issue of Suriya Namashkar on another day. One day, there is a call to declare the Muslims as terrorists, anotherday; there is the effort to usurp the biggest seat of learning for Muslims by ending the minority status of the Aligarh Muslim University. Sometimes, the clouds of doubt float on the madrasas which undoubtedly played apivotal role in the freedom struggle; some other times, the Muslim youths are arrested on the suspicion of their alleged association with numerous terrorist organizations.

People of all faith, according to the Constitutionof India, have the right to freely practice their religion. It means every person has the right to practice their faith in familyissues like marriage and divorce without resorting to any court of law. But to attain the political benefit in the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and other states scheduled in 2017, the BJP-led-central government, going against the constitution of Indian,wanted tosnatch the religious freedom from the minorities. They did not prepare any draft for the Uniform Civil Code. Even it can neither be applicable in a country like Indianor is its application demanded by the public. In fact, it is not even needed, because everyone wants to practice their own faith and tradition in family issues like marriage and divorce. Muslims solely agree with the Islamic law. Muslims neither demand any change in the Islamic law, nor do the Muslims around the world have the authority to change the verdict of the Holy Quran and hadith. In the family issues like marriage and divorce, the common people practice the books of their religion under the aegis of their religious masters. The central government, on one hand, wants to deprive the Muslim girls of the right to study in the educational institutes like Aligarh Muslim University; on the other hand, it shows sympathy to the Muslim womenin regards to divorce, which is indeed a political gimmick. The Muslims strongly believe that demanding any change in the Islamic law is a heinous crime.

All India Muslim Personal Law Board, which enjoys full confidence of Muslims, played a prudent role and instead of coming in the street protest against the government it decided to do two things; the Muslims should be made aware of the family issues like the marriage and divorce in the light of the Holy Quran and Sunnah and launch a mass signature campaign against the questionnaire of the Law Commission of India. The Muslims showed matchless unity on this issue. All the religious and welfare organizations of the Indian Muslim community opposed the stand of the government and expressed their determination that giving life was easier for them, but they could not endure any change in the Shariah. Jamiat Ulama-e-Hindi also played an important rolein making the signature campaign of the Muslim Personal Board successful to protect the Shariah and the Constitution of India. Despite of some theoretical difference with the renowned Islamic scholar Dr. Zakir Naik, Jamiatstrongly supported him, because the time demands that we should brush aside the sectarian differences and stand to defend Islam and Muslims as a whole.

As said earlier, the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind has no match in its legal fight for the innocent Muslims youths. Very recently, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind (Maharashtra branch) filed a petition in the Bhopal High Court against encounter of eight Muslim youths in Bohpal. The lawyers of the Jamiat declared this police attach as fake encounter and termed it as murder. They raised many questions on this action.

The Ulama should, as it is a dire need of time, lead the Muslim community to the right path instead of spending their precious talents on disputed issues. Along with the religious education, the Muslims should also be trained as muchas possible in the modern educations and their social problems should be solved. If a Muslims youth, Alim, Islamic centre or educational institute is targeted, we should put our ideological differences aside and the strongly confront the anti-Muslim and anti-national elements. The welfare of the Muslims lies in thesecurity of the country. We must always remember that “united we stand, divided we fall”.

In short, the yeoman’s services of the Jamiat for twenty eight years before theindependence of the country, and itssixty nineyears educational, reformative and welfare services after the independence are remarkable.Fighting for the innocent youths behind the bars with the help of expert and renowned lawyers and bearing all the expenses over it is such a unique service of the Jamiat which, according to my knowledge, does not have any example throughout the country. Numerous books have been written on the seventy nine year services of the Jamiat. This short article is too short to cover all those services. The millions of the members of this Muslim organization scattered around the country may defeat the anti-Muslim elements if they organize themselves under the leadership of the able Ulama for the cause of the Muslim Ummah. Since the BJP took over the reign of the country in 2014, it has been felt that the Jamiat needs to have an insightful legal fight against the problems posed by the RSS to the Muslim community. Jamiat feels its duty and is trying to cater to this need. May Allah grant thebest reward to its leadership!

At last, I would like to pray that the leaders of Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind reunite and sacrifice their life, property and time the same way as our elders like Mufti Kifayatullah, Maulana Ahmad Saeed Dehlavi, Shaikhul Islam Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani, Maulana Hifzur Rahman Seoharvi and others did. Maulana Muhammad Ismail Sambhali, great freedom fighter, and grandfather of this humble writer and one of the early spiritual heirs to Maulana Madani also rendered remarkable services under the umbrella of the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind.

Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi (http://www.najeebqasmi.com/)