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Muslim rulers worked for a secular India: Prince of Arcot

By Shafee Ahmed Ko, TwoCircles.net,

Chennai: Islam always promoted communal harmony and peace. Although Moguls ruled India more than 500 years they never wanted India to be Islamic. Akbar the Great had a secular India — he introduced Deen-e-Ilahi and married a Rajput woman only to uphold peace and harmony in the land, said Prince of Arcot Abdul Ali at a seminar here on “Islam and non-violence” organized by Forum for Promotion of Moderate Thought in Islam.

A number of scholars speaking on the subject said Islam never perpetrated violence, and explained how Islam taught peace and tranquility.

Left to Right: Zackria Badsha President of the Forum,Faizur Rahman(Gen.Sec)Dr.Asghar Ali Engineer,Prince of Arcot Abdul Ali,Moosa Raza, Andrew T Simkin(Consul Gen USA in Chennai)

The Forum for Promotion of Moderate Thought in Islam hosted eminent scholars Asghar Ali Engineer, Chairman, Center for Study of Society and Secularism, Moosa Raza, Chairman SIET (Southern India Educational Trust, Chennai), Prince of Arcot Abdul Ali, Consul General Andrew T. Simkin and others.

Prince of Arcot Abdul Ali said while recollecting his ancestral rule in South India as Nawab of Carnatac that lands were distributed freely to temples and churches in order to maintain peace and amity, and even today his family is keen to follow the tradition in keeping up religious harmony intact. “My family including me and my children focus on this important aspect,” he said.

He recounted that the highest religious personalities who visited Amir Mahal were chief Imam of Mecca, Kanchee Jayandra Saraswathi, Arch Bishop of Canterbury, and London. He reminisced that although Moguls ruled India more than 500 years they never wanted India to be Islamic. “Akbar the Great had a secular India–he introduced Deen-e-Ilahi, and married a Rajputh woman only to uphold peace and harmony in the land”. He said no religion preached violence and to demolish the place of worship. “If Babri Masjid was demolished, it should be the first and last” he retorted. At the same time he felt that,” We Muslims in India are safe and secure where as Muslims in neighbouring countries are killed by Muslims”

He spoke on the meaning of Hijab and the moderation in dress code. He came down heavily on fleecing medical capitation fees running into Rs.50 lakhs. “You fight for minority rights and get sanctioned educational institutes and suck the blood of minorities only. Where shall they go for such a huge amount,” he asked.

Prince of Arcot created a little commotion when he questioned the organizer of the function: “What do you want moderate in Islam? Do you want to shorten the Quran and Hadis? Not a single full stop and comma (meaning the punctuations in Holy Quran) can be altered.” Looking at the General Secretary of the Forum Faizur Rahman, he asked “Do you try to tamper any thing from Holy Quran and Hadith? In such event, you alone will be responsible (for the consequence)”.

Faizu Rahman stated in reply that the Forum’s objective was only to target extremists’ thought such as Al Qaeda etc. “They too speak on Islam but they are extremists. We only explain how moderate Islam is. In defence Rahman also explained, “The Quran is moderate. I am a Muslim believing Allah and Hadith. I have nothing to deviate from Quran and none can do that.”

Moosa Raza, while addressing the gathering, said that how the very first gesture Muslim responds to his fellow being while one salutes, “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh meaning “Peace be unto you and so may the mercy of Allah and His blessings”.

He spoke in length on the subject and said extremism will lead to controversy and violence. He narrated how a woman who constantly pestered the Prophet of Muhammed (PBUH) by foul acts such dumping camel dung and other wastes on Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) head became true follower only because of his patient and kindness as the said woman did not turn up a day for her regular mischief mongering and Prophet of Allah worried by her absence went to the woman’s house and to enquire about her well being. Raza said in absence of such patience only bitterness would result.

Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer said that non cruelty is the teaching of all religions and “Violence cannot be our end”. He described the five attributes of Allah: Truth, (Haque), Justice (Adal), Benevolence, (Ehsan) Compassion (Rahma), Wisdom (Hikma). These are the names of Allah. Follow these virtues for peaceful living. He also felt that the base instincts of human being such as revenge, greed, anger, desire, all these would bound to lead to violence. History has human actors. Human actors have all these instincts. We have to separate religion from history. When it comes to Islam, they take Islamic history comparing with Hindu values. Why do you compare history of Christianity with the history of Islam? History of Judaism to history of Islam? Why do you compare history of Hindu rulers with Muslim rulers? This is non scientific and unfair. Prophet Muhammad is known as “Mercy of the world-Rahmathul Aalameen” but it is never said as “Rahmathul Muslimeen”

Others who spoke on the occasion included Andrew T.Simkin Consul General of USA in Chennai Natarajan IPS, Shakeel Akhtar IPS.

With the vote thanks by A.Fazur Rahman, General Secretary of the Forum, followed by National Anthem the function came to an end.