Saturday, April 15, 2023

Muslims Are NOT Arabs On Indian Soil

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 15 April 2023 While I respect Dr Anburaj and for that matter, everyone on this forum, I beg to differ with him that Muslims are Arabs on Indian soil. First of all, hardly any educated Muslim considers a Hindu to be a Kafir. Agreed, there're such Muslims who call Hindus Kafir/infidels, but don't exceptions prove the rule? Muslims of India are Indianised Muslims. Since Dr Anburaj is from the southern part of the country, he must be aware that Kerala had the first mosque outside Arab Peninsula when even Muhammad was alive! You should read Kerala's great Muslim writer Vaikom Muhammad Basheer's stories. Years ago, I read one of his short stories translated into Urdu. I don't know Malayalam. So, here's the translation in Urdu. The protagonist says, "Mujhe Is-Se Kuchh Sarokaar Nahin Ke Mere Purkhe Kahan Se Aur Kab Aaye. Meri Paidaish Yahan Ki Hai Aur Sarzameen-E-Hindustan Meri Apni Hai " (I've no truck with my ancestors and I don't care from where they came. I was born here and India is my home). You cannot deny the role and existence of Muslims who've been living here ever since Islam came into being. Too much bitterness is not going to lead us anywhere. One may say that I've started favouring Muslims whom I disliked until yesterday. No, it's not a change of stance with a hidden agenda. It's a conscious change of attitude, if still not a change of heart. To me, all religions, including Islam and your Hinduism, are extremely bad and absolutely useless. I ridicule them and will continue to. But should I hate every Muslim ( or Hindu) I come across? Won't that be like throwing the baby out with the bathwater? Humans evolve continuously and they need to. Yesterday's naked anger mellows into bearable and constructive criticism and that's wisdom. I'm not sermonising and preaching. In these times, when the whole country is polarised and there's a marked binary of Us-and-Them, it's time to rethink and rejig our priorities and perceptions about those we've been condemning for years. Rabid hatred is often implacable. It cauterizes. So, it's time for all of us to shed our bags of prejudices and think beyond religions, books, gods and rituals. Humanity is the greatest religion and mankind is a very big family. Remember, Neil Armstrong's words, " Seeing our earth's speck like existence from the space, I realized that more than our insignificant national and religious identities, it was a boundless universal identity without divisions, demarcations and distinctions that we all needed urgently." Think over his words. ---- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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