By M. Zajam,TwoCircles.net,
It was sort of coup pulled off by Shiekh Abdul Kaleem, when he made Aseemanand change his heart. Heart which was filled by hatred against the community Abdul Kaleem belongs.
Aseemanad a.k.a Naba Kumar Sarkar was born in Kamaarpukar village in Hooghly district in West Bengal. Aseemanand completed his BSc In 1971 and then went to Bardhman district to pursue a master’s degree in science. He came in touch with RSS during schooling but became active member only during his Post-graduation. In 1977, he started working full-time with the RSS-run Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram in Purulia and Bankura districts. In 1981, his guru Swami Parmanand rechristened him as Swami Aseemanand.
He toured across India to deliver sermons on Hindu religion among the tribals. In 1997, he settled down in the Dangs district in Gujarat and started a tribal welfare organisation called Shabri Dham. Aseemanand was known in the area for his extreme anti-minority speeches and his relentless campaign against Christian missionaries.
Aseemanand has always been close to RSS leadership. Leaders like Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, former RSS chief KS Sudarshan and current chief Mohan Bhagwat have attended religious functions organised by him at Shabri Dham.
While Aseemanand was known for his venomous anti-minority positions, according to his confession, after the attack on Akshardham temple he started planning his terror attacks on Muslim. In 2003, Aseemanand came in contact with Sunil Joshi and Pragya Singh Thakur.
Aseemanand is the key accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast that killed nine people.
How did Abdul Kaleem manage to change a heart, which was filled with so much hatred?
Abdul Kaleem was picked up, tortured and jailed for Mecca Masjid blast. He was lodged, fortunately or unfortunately in the Chanchalguda Jail, Hyderabad along with Aseemanand.
Sheikh Abdul Kaleem
Abdul Kaleem, a sober young man with humble background use to look after old Aseemanand and bring food and water for him. He had high regard for this elderly inmate. One day jail warden informed Aseemanand about Abdul Kaleem that he had already spent 18 months in Jail for Mecaa Masjid blast case. This made Aseemanand more curious about Abdul Kareem. Abdul Kaleem narrated his torture and ordeal he and his family had gone through for the crime he never committed. It made Aseemanand cry and he felt bad for all innocents who are languishing in the jail for Mecca Masjid blast case. He started asking Abdul Kaleem about Islam and prophet. Kaleem narrated Prophet Mohammed’s Taif journey, a place near Mecca. When the Prophet reached Taif with the message of Islam, he was stoned by the pre-Islamic pagan tribe living there. As the Prophet started bleeding profusely, angel Jibreel (Gabriel) came and told Mohammed that, if the Prophet so willed, he would crush between two mountains the people who had stoned him. But the Prophet forgave his tormentors, prayed for them, hoping that truth would prevail one day. This had a great impact on Aseemanand.
Kaleem’s akhlaq and attitude towards Aseemanand in spite of knowing the fact that he was in jail because of Aseemanand, really moved a man who was involved in plotting and executing plans to kill few more like Kaleem.
What Abdul Kaleem did, sound extraordinary but it is expected from every Muslim. It is our duty to behave well even with the enemy as instructed by Quran and Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
Islam has stressed upon rights of each individual and Muslims have religious duty to honour those. Prophet teaching always focused on man’s obligations towards his relatives, neighbors, friends and society. Islam gives great emphasis on Haqooq ul-Ibad (rights of other living beings as it is Allah’s creation).
A famous Hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) says “All creatures are God’s family or children who are dependent on Him for their life and survival. Among all these creations, the dearest to Him is one who behaves gently with His creatures.”
Neighbours’ rights were given paramount importance. As per a Hadith, Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said,”Jibril kept recommending treating neighbours with kindness until I thought he would assign a share in inheritance”.
If Muslims start practicing strictly what Allah has asked them to do, world would become a different place altogether.
Allah promises those among you who believe and lead a righteous life, that He will make them sovereigns on earth, as He did for those before them, and will establish for them the religion He has chosen for them, and will substitute peace and security for them in place of fear. All this because they worship Me alone; they never set up any idols beside Me. Those who disbelieve after this are the truly wicked. (al-Nur 24: 55)
We have forgotten what Allah has sent for, Quran says “You are indeed the best community brought forth for mankind: you enjoin the doing of right and forbid the doing of wrong, and you believe in God” (Al Imran 3: 11O)
Our Akhlaq should set best examples. Our character should be impeccable. We should do everything possible to keep promises. Our dealings should be honest. Our courtesy should make co-passengers journey memorable. Our behavior should make us best neighbours. Our honesty should be vouched upon. Lying should be absolutely no-no. We should think twice before indulging in immoral acts. We should be very particular about our source of income to be halal. Our friendship should envy others. Our loyalty should make us most sought after. Our way of treating guests should be the point of discussion. Abuse, this word should not be in our dictionary. Our feelings for poor and needy should be able to move anyone. Backbiting and name calling, we do not wander around them. Uttering slander, we never used it. Care for parents, none can match it. Our respect for elders and love for young ones, no one can beat us. Relatives, we cannot live without them. We take pride in not being proud.
These are the signs of the best. Are we among the best? Allah demands us to be the best.
“Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.” [Al Nisa 36]
Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “He will not enter Jannah whose neighbour is not secure from his wrongful conduct”.
Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day let him not harm his neighbour; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day let him show hospitality to his guest; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day let him speak good or remain silent”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Others will judge Islam and Muslim by looking at us and our akhlaq, our dealings, our behavior rather than our salat, roza, zakat, haj and tilawat we perform. Islam’s image is in our hands and it is our duty to improve it as it has taken severe beating off late due to extensive propaganda.
The Great Divide
Apart from failing in our duty to be the best, we have also divided ourselves in many sects and busy fighting our petty issues. This divide is running right from top to bottom. It has reached such a level that now we look for our Masjid instead of Allah’s Masjid to bow down our head. We have turned our strengths into weaknesses ready to be exploited by others.
Our religious leaders should take initiative to bridge these gaps before it is too late. With One Allah, one Quran and one Prophet Mohammad as unifying factor, it should not be a difficult task.
It is regular occurrence where political parties with opposite political spectrum come together to form coalition government for the sake of a country. Recently in UK, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats joined hand to run the government. Both parties had contested this election on different manifestos and issues but when result did not throw up clear winner. They came together with some Common Minimum Program for the sake of country. Can we not have a Common Minimum Program for the sake of Allah?
Recently we saw a path breaking initiative on similar lines in Bihar. Under the banner of Silsilah, Khanqah Munemia Qamriya, Patna brought all sects and organisations together to agree on the timing of salat, sehri and iftar during the month of Ramazan. This process has been continuing for past few years. This is just the beginning, we have miles to go. We need to move forward and sort out all our differences sooner than later. There can be no issues or differences greater than Islam.
Allama Iqbal famous couplet sums up the present conditions of Muslims.
“Waize-qaum ki woh pukhta-khayali na rahi
Barq tabai na rahi, shola-maqali na rah
Rah gai rasm-e-azan, rooh-e-Belali na rahi
Falsafa rah gaya, talqeene ghazali na rahi.
(There is no substance in what the mentors preach. No lightning flashes enlighten their minds. There’s no fire in their speech. Only the ritual the call to prayer; the spirit of Bilal has fled. There is only a philosophy left. Ghazali’s discourse is no longer present).”
If, Abdul Kaleem could change the man, full of hatred and spitting fire, just by being righteous. We can also do our bit. Now it is in our hand to deny recruits to these organisations which propagate hatred. We have duty to improve image of Islam which has taken a hit in last couple of years by being righteous and showing our good behavior to all around us.
To regain the past glory, we have to mend our way and start living prescribed life. Stories like Abdul Kaleem show us the light in the dark tunnel we are currently travelling through. There cannot be any doubt that success will only come through the way Prophet Mohammad has shown. Prophet Mohammad behavior can inspire a person ready to kill people but it does not move us anymore. Better future is awaiting us. We just need to be true Muslim.
Photo: Peace Posters