Islam is not only for Muslims, says scholar

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Saudi Gazette

ISLAM is not a religion for Muslims alone; it is for the entire mankind, a well-known Indian scholar and preacher has said.

“It is our duty to enlighten followers of other religions on the noble teachings of Islam. Our religion teaches us moderation, tolerance, compassion and peaceful coexistence,” Muhammad Umar Gautam, chairman of the New Delhi-based Islamic Dawah Center (IDC), said at a special function organized by Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (Jeddah chapter) in Jeddah recently.

It is high time to exert great efforts to disseminate the sublime nature of Islam at a time when the image of the religion which preaches peace is tarnished by its own followers, as well as by certain deviant groups, said the preacher who reverted to Islam in 1984.

Formerly known as Shyam Pratap Singh Gautam, Muhammad Umar belongs to an affluent Rajput Thakur family from the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, and is a distant relative of former Indian prime minister V.P. Singh.

He said the best propagation of Islam is strict observance of its teachings by its followers.

Since the very first day of embracing Islam, Gautam embarked on this great mission and it had an electrifying impact on the people and he has succeeded in attracting hundreds of people to the fold of Islam as well as to enlighten hundreds of thousands others to have a proper understanding of Islam and remove misgivings about the divine religion.

Another revert and an active Dawah worker, Muhammad Sufiyan (formerly Saurabh Dutt), narrated the sequence of events that led him to believe in the Oneness of God. “What fascinated me to Islam is the spirit of empathy and compassion that energizes followers of Islam to help fellow human beings. In my case, it was a childhood friend who guided me toward the true teachings of Islam,” he said.

Mufti Mohd Sagheer Qasmi, a close Gautam aide, shed light on the working of the Islamic Dawah Center. There are more than 500 reverts associated with the center. “We focus on four-pronged strategy to rehabilitate the converts. First of all, we go to local magistrate to complete legal procedures, and then Qadi to obtain religious conversion certificate, besides publishing classified advertisements in newspapers for change of name and then gazette the notification,” he said and added: “Our priority is to rehabilitate them. We have full-fledged multistory building for the center where they live and receive training so as to enable them to take up jobs and work in the society. The center is basically meant for the converts and for their education and rehabilitation. We hold full time Dawah training for scholars to equip them for their work, in addition to conducting interfaith dialogue and supporting weaker sections, especially widows and divorcees,” he added.

In this connection, he said the Islamic Dawah Center will be organizing the eighth annual reverts get-together in New Delhi in the beginning of the next month. Speakers at the event will throw light on the importance of Dawah in the light of Qur’an and Sunnah and duties of a Muslim in providing the message of Islam for the guidance of whole mankind.

Bahjat Najmi, well-known Dawah worker in Jeddah and grandson of late Moulana Hifzur Rehman Seoharvi, a famous freedom fighter, member of parliament and noted Muslim personality of India, will be the chief guest at the event, he said.

The Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (Jeddah chapter) also utilized the occasion to bid farewell to senior Alig, Muhammad Mian Sahab, who is leaving Saudi Arabia after serving in various capacities for more than three and half decades in the Kingdom.

Vice president of the association, Nooruddin Khan, paid rich tributes to the outgoing Aligarian recalling his contributions toward the unity of AMU alumni. Muhammad Mian Sahab, he said, acted as returning officer in several elections of the association.

The program was dexterously conducted by Asim Zeeshan, general secretary of the association.


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