New Delhi; Stating that the chief message of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) is the “worship of One God only”, JIH president Syed Sadatullah Husaini has said that the primary responsibility of the JIH is to work for the welfare of the nation and convey the message of Islam to fellow human beings in the country. “We cannot escape from this responsibility”, he said during an interaction with senior media persons at the JIH headquarters here a few days ago.
The interaction was organised to mark the completion of the 75th year of the JIH’s establishment. One of the prominent Muslim organisations in India, JIH was established on April 16, 1948, after India became Independent.
All human beings are creation of One God only
Pointing out that the JIH is an ideological movement, he said, “The summary of its call is inviting all to worship One God, which we call Allah. He is the Creator of all human beings; Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Dalits, Adivasis, North Indians and South Indians etc. Therefore, we should worship only Him who is called by different names.” He added, “Success for a human being is that all of us worship Him and follow His guidelines, be it in individual or collective life.”
All human beings are equal
JIH’s central message, he said, is the “worship of only One God”. He elaborated, “As One God has created all human beings, all of us are equal, there is no discrimination on colour, caste, class, wealth, place, ethnicity and nationality, etc.”
“So, with the Oneness of God, JIH’s message is the unity of humankind. All human beings should get complete justice,” argued the Jamaat chief.
He said, “JIH is of the view that only a life spent according to the will and guidelines of God and His fear would be a successful life. Only then can peace be achieved, and justice would be done.”
He argued that laws, values and ethics had certain limits.
He opined, “Until the conscience of a human being works and fear of God is instilled, one cannot live a responsible life. Without those two things, one cannot treat all persons equally.”
“Hence, it is important that a spiritual and ethical change happens in the country,” he said.
Stating that the Jamaat has been working with this backdrop, he said that JIH wanted that justice for all be the main foundation of all policies and programmes of this country.
JIH on Commercialisation, Criminalisation and Communalisation of politics
He complained that three Cs- Commercializaiton, Criminalization and Communalization- are ruining our politics.
“Commercialization of politics is the biggest crisis in our political system”, stated the JIH chief adding that it was being rapidly commercialized. He said that the commercialization of politics superseded ordinary people’s and the country’s interests.
Expressing the need for moral values in politics, the JIH chief came down heavily on the criminalization of politics. “People accused of murder, rape and fraud are rampant in politics.”
He said that communalization of politics is also a matter of major concern. He said, “Those who spread lies, misunderstandings and hostility are also criminals. Hate speeches are so frequent. All such persons are being promoted in politics who are enemies of humanity and country.”
JIH chief reiterated, “Our political struggle in the country has been about these concerns and moral values. We wish that people who believe in and practise moral values should join politics. Those who work for the people, have a good character, and don’t indulge in hate and discrimination should be promoted in politics.”
Speaking about economic justice, he emphasised the need to create wealth and its proper distribution.
However, he lamented that wealth was concentrated in a few hands only. After the US, the top billionaires in the world were in India. The number of billionaires in India exceeded that in the UK, Japan, France, and other countries. Yet, it is also a fact that India accounts for 50 per cent of the poorest people in the world. And this happened because of the lack of a proper wealth distribution system.
Suggesting that the government formulate taxation and budget policies to ensure proper distribution of wealth, he said that the wealth should flow from the rich to the poor and not vice-versa to ensure economic justice in the country.
He wanted education must be based on moral values.
Highlighting achievements of his organisation in the last seven and a half decades, he said the most significant challenge before JIH after its establishment was to bring down the communal tension after the Partition.
“Entire nation was engulfed in communal riots after Partition. People on a large scale were migrating. Muslims, who were left behind, were in a state of fear. They felt it was impossible for them to live in India with their Muslim identity. In this situation, JIH tried to allay this fear and instil confidence among them. JIH explained the future course through the writings of the then-Jammat chief and other leaders. They met both common Muslims and non-Muslims and their leaders to bridge the communal gap,” the JIH chief explained.
Muslims must stay in India with Islamic identity
“We told Muslims that you have to stay here in India. This is because Allah Taala has given you birth in this country and hence, it is your responsibility to live here while practising Islam,” Mr. Husaini said, adding that “it is the primary responsibility of Muslims to work for the welfare of the nation and convey the message of Islam to fellow human beings in the country. And we cannot escape from this responsibility.”
He claimed that JIH succeeded to a large extent in its endeavour.
While creating confidence among Muslims to live with their Islamic identity, the JIH chief said that the Jamaat generated awareness among the Muslim masses that “Islam is not the name of a few rituals. It guides us in all walks of life. Therefore, while practising Islam in their individual and collective life, they must also spread its message to all human beings in the country.”
JIH promotes moderate thinking
He says JIH promotes “moderate thinking” among Indian Muslims and its ardent critics also accept this. Explaining it, he said there are chances of people taking to extremism when facing tough times. “Muslims of India have faced very tough times, yet they have been free from extremism, terrorism and other evils to a large extent. And Jamaat had a significant role in it as JIH followed a constructive approach.”
“Our methodology is clearly explained in the JIH Constitution.
It says that JIH will follow constructive ways only to achieve its aims and objectives and will not take any path that creates anarchy, class conflict, communal hatred, and law and order problem.
Come together on consensual points, ignore sectarian differences
He said that Muslims must unite based on the teachings of the Quran and the Kalimah, meaning that “There is no God, but only One God and Muhammed(peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah.”
“We should give importance to consensual points, not the ones that divide the people,” the JIH chief said, asking people to ignore sectarian differences based on trivial matters in the interest of unity.
He said that JIH tried to create an environment of harmony among various communities through interfaith dialogues.
Religion a unifying factor for humanity
Regarding some people advocating to limit religion to personal lives only because they have only seen the misuse of religion, particularly in politics, to divide people for political gains, the Jamaat chief argued that religion did not divide people or generate hatred.
“The root cause of the problem is the misuse of religion. Religion must be a unifying factor for humanity. We must follow our own religion, conduct dialogues and debates with each other in a friendly atmosphere. Therefore, JIH invites religious leaders from other faiths, like Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity, etc., to its programmes. This is the constructive role of religion,” he stated.
Country needs interfaith dialogues
He said the “country today needs dialogue among various faiths to create an atmosphere of harmony and brotherhood.”
The JIH president said Jamaat has a history of serving people in disasters such as riots and earthquakes.
Jamaat has its student wing called SIO (Students Islamic Organisation) and GIO (Girls Islmic Orgnaisation). It has also established a Dharmic Jan Morcha comprising religious leaders of all faiths.
Around 1200 Sadbhavna Manchs are working with Jamaat for communal harmony. Jamaat has several interest-free micro finance institutions. It has set up more than 2000 educational institutions all over the country.
It publishes several magazines and periodicals in different languages.