«What Islam Means to an Ordinary Muslim in India
I am an Indian of 50 years old, nickname Mirza Ghalib, an ordinary Muslim. I was made to pray 5 times a day by my parents from the age of seven. There is a custom amongst all Muslims in India that every child should complete reading the “Arabic’ Quran, whether they understand it or not. I am one of them. The local Arabic teachers, a mullah, who taught us Arabic, knew nothing about its meaning. None of us has the time to read and investigate Islam in our own language. Whatever we know about Islam is from the bluffing of our imaams and mullahs, and we were afraid to raise any questions to these mullahs. Usually our mosques are run and mentored by the old-age illiterate, ignorant and lazy people, and those, who don’t want progress in their worldly life.
It is compulsory for the very young children of the pious Muslim families to pray 5 times a day and I’m amongst them. In Friday qutbaas (sermons), we were brain washed and made to believe that Muhammad was a kind, merciful, generous and divine person. With this thought, I have lived my 30 years as a true, innocent Muslim.
The only fortunate thing that happened during those 30 years of my life is: I have completed my engineering studies successfully. And, this has nothing to do with Islam. Instead, it was because of my neighbours, who were Hindus and Christians. They inspired me in my studies. Usually Indian Muslims prefers to live among their closed Muslim community, where most of them are illiterates. Knowingly or unknowingly, my parents made this “mistake” to live among the “unbelievers”, which enabled me to complete my studies and think about the religion in later days.
In the year 1990 at the age of 30, I went to the sacred Islamic country, Saudi Arabia, with my family for a job as an engineer. This visit opened my eyes. My strong believes about Islam and my utmost respect toward Islamic Holy Land perished day after day in Saudi Arabia. Due to short space, it is not possible for me to explain here the terrible experiences that I and my fellow expatriates faced there; it needs at least 1000 pages to explain. Definitely I will write a book on my Saudi Arabian experiences in future.
Prior to my visit to Saudi Arabia, I was thinking myself as a perfect Muslim with praying 5 times a day and fasting 30 days in Ramadan. Actually, I was wrong. It was revealed to me by my Saudi Manager (a Muthawwa – religious person) and some of my Saudi colleagues that my activities were not Islamic, because I mingle with my Hindu and Christian colleagues, showed my sympathy toward them, shared my lunch with them, invited their families to my house and took my family to theirs, as usually I do in India as a normal human being. I was teased and torched by the Saudis’ for my every humanly act as “un-Islamic”, and they advised me to read the Quran and hadiths.
As I said, my parents taught me the Quran in “Arabic” at the age of 7, but without understanding the meaning of a single word. This is how we all Indian Muslims say, we “know” the Quran. I realised the fact for not being studied the Quran with meanings. So, in my very first vacation to India, I purchased the translations of the Quran in English, Urdu, Hindi and Tamil, which I can understand.
On my return to Saudi Arabia, I read these translations seriously. In the very beginning of 2nd sura (Al-Baqra), we are told, the perfect Muslim is he, who believes everything as it is in the Quran. This made me laugh; I felt that this Quran is not for a sane human being.
Then, I read the biography of Muhammad, which made me feel ashamed that I was the follower of him for the past 30 years without knowing the truth about him, because we were not taught the complete biography of him. In India, what we know about Muhammad is only the positive part of his “made-up” good stories. All negative part of his life—such his life as a pirate, about his number of wives (around 15), having sex with many captive girls, having sex with his wife’s maid Maria, claiming his rights to have sex with those married Muslim women, who were ready to offer them to him by their own will, banning the benevolent Arab custom of adoption to justify his marriage with the wife of his adopted son Zayd, his wars on innocent tribes and brutal killing of his opponents etc.—were censored. (...)»
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Leitura complementar: Jihad na Índia.