Formation and brief background:
Jamaat-e-Islami was founded on 26 August 1941 at Lahore under the leadership of Maulana Syed Abul Ala Maududi in the undivided India. After the independence of India, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) was officially established on 16th April 1948 at a meeting in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, having its own body of fundamental principles and a separate leadership and structure. 240 members attended the first meeting of JIH in Allahabad and elected Maulana Abul Lais Islahi Nadvi as its first Ameer (President). Initially, the organisation was headquartered in Sarai Meer, Azamgarh District (UP) and later shifted to Malihabad, Lucknow, UP. It was moved to Rampur in 1949 and then eventually to New Delhi in 1960.
Serving humanity is a significant aspect of Islamic teaching, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind since day one has been engaged in social activities like eradication of poverty, sickness, illiteracy, hunger and unemployment. In the same way, JIH plays a prompt and active role in difficult situations like floods, famines, fire-tragedies, earthquakes, man-made or natural calamities, epidemics or communal riots in rescuing and rehabilitating the victims, irrespective of their caste, creed, class, or religion. It selflessly extends all possible support and resources to the victims without any discrimination during these times of crisis. It always motivates its adherents, the Muslim community and everybody to perform individual acts of service as well and utilize the welfare schemes of the government. JIH cooperates with other collective efforts of service and coordinates with various NGOs in India to make the needy and deprived, self-reliant. JIH encourages its cadres for making efforts to solve the problems of poor localities and work for the provision of basic needs in such areas.
WORKS FOR AMITY, BROTHERHOOD AND PEACE
JIH works tirelessly to promote unity and brotherhood across religions. JIH constantly collaborates and interacts with religious heads of other faiths, so that there is discussion and dialogue between various religious ideologies.JIH tries to eradicate social evils and inculcate strong moral values through their collective efforts. JIH is active in inter-faith forums like Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity (FDCA) and non-governmental social welfare groups like Movement for Peace and Justice (MPJ). FDCA and MPJ have played an active role in bringing peace to many violence-hit areas across the country and in protecting civil rights and the democratic values.
After the demolition of the Babri Masjid and communal riots, leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind along with prominent figures of the country such as Justice V.M. Tarkunde, former Foreign Secretary Muchkund Dubey, former Supreme Court Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, Swami Agnivesh of Arya Samaj and journalist KuldipNayyar launched the Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity (FDCA) in 1993 for promoting democratic values and peaceful coexistence among the various communities in India.
JIH leaders played a leading role in forming a national body of religious leaders, gurus and heads of all major religions called the Dharmik Jan Morcha for strengthening communal harmony, conducting interfaith interactions and discussions and protection of human rights and civil liberties in India.
Community development works:
JIH made efforts to ensure the all-round development of the Muslim community especially in the fields of education, economy and health. It extended the necessary support to Muslims to help them solve their problems. Some of their core issues that JIH strived to resolve are education, unemployment, social challenges, and prevailing un-Islamic practices and rituals that had crept within the community.
Focusing on unity and amity within the community, JIH made selfless efforts in establishing a connecting bridge between various Muslim organizations and school of thoughts. JIH leaders played a key role in the formation of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), an apex federal forum of Muslim organizations and institutions, representing all its segments. It was formed in 1964. JIH leaders also played pivotal role in the formation of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), a leading umbrella body of Indian Muslims, representing scholars and leaders of all schools of thoughts and sects. The apex body was set up in 1972 with the primary aim to adopt suitable strategies for the protection and continued applicability of the “Muslim Personal Law” in India.
JIH leaders and cadres were also instrumental in establishing various NGOs to carry out humanitarian and welfare programmes across the country, primarily focusing on healthcare, orphan care, drinking water and publication. In 2006, JIH leaders along with other prominent citizens of the country initiated a comprehensive and long term community development programme to strengthen the community in various walks of life under the multi-domain programme called VISION-2016.
From its inception, JIH is committed to make education accessible and compulsory for the minorities. Realizing the importance of good education and particularly the absence of moral values in our education system, JIH from its inception has taken this task with utmost seriousness. JIH inspired many Muslims to establish educational institutes that can contribute in social and national development. Consequently, JIH cadres established a significant number of colleges, schools, academies, universities, madrasas, technical and research institutes across the country. Not only that, they have also prepared a number of school textbooks in order to upgrade the academic standard of minority educational institutes. Apart from conducting regular teachers training camps, they have prepared syllabus at par with B.Ed. courses, which is a boon for the students of madrasas.
Govt policies and politics:
JIH appreciated and supports those government policies that ensure welfare for the country and benefits millions of its citizens. At the same time, JIH opposes anti-people schemes of the Central or the State governments.
UPS AND downs:
In its long journey of more than seven decades, JIH has seen many ups and downs, faced many trials and tribulations. In 1975 during the emergency and again in 1992, the organisation was banned without any valid reason and the government imposed severe restrictions on it. All the revered scholars and volunteers were incarcerated, yet the hardship did not deter them. They never accepted defeat and continued their journey on the part of truth with the same energy and commitment that they had started with. While the first ban was revoked after the Emergency was lifted, the second ban was reversed by the Supreme Court of India. Issuing the judgement to reverse the ban, the apex court remarked about the organisation that the JIH is “an All India organisation professing political, secular and spiritual credentials with belief in the oneness of God and universal brotherhood”.
PUBLIC OUTREACH PROGRAMMES:
To convey the peaceful message of Islam to the people as well as educate and dispel misconceptions among them, the JIH holds large countrywide conventions and gatherings. It held regional conferences on various occasions in different parts of the country. The state chapters of the organisation also held separate conferences at regular intervals. The first national convention was held at Rampur (UP) in 1951 and then at Hyderabad in 1952, New Delhi in 1960, Hyderabad in 1967, again at New Delhi in 1974 and Hyderabad in 1981. Later, it held regional or state-wise conventions across the country. In 1998-99, JIH organized the regional conferences at five places – Allahabad(Uttar Pradesh), Murshidabad (West Bengal), Mumbai (Maharashtra), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Kozhikode (Kerala) on the central theme “Rush Towards Allah” to inculcate a sense of spiritualityas well as educate the common people. More than two million people attended these conferences.
JIH made comprehensive efforts for all round growth, purification, training, capacity building, and skill development of its members, workers and associates. For their orientation and training, JIH held all India cadre conventions, workshops and week-long or 10-day training classes. Usually, all India cadre convention is held once during its every four-year term, in which all its members participate. These all India cadre conventions were held in 1997 at Hyderabad, in 2002 and 2010 at New Delhi, and in 2015 at Hyderabad.
In order to convey the true message of Islam to the common man, the JIH leaders played leading roles in translating the Holy Quran into 17 other languages, besides Urdu, Hindi and English. JIH leaders and members have made a significant contribution in preparing Islamic literature and books in India. They wrote hundreds of books on the Quran, Hadith, Prophet’s biography, biography of the companions of Prophet, training, personality development, time management, human rights, , autobiographies, memoirs, spiritualism, law, politics, women, academics, children’s literature, school text books and some other topics in Urdu, Hindi, English and other vernacular languages. The JIH cadres set up various publication houses in regional languages across the country.
JIH, from the very beginning inspired its cadres for establishing media houses and newspapers for upholding truth, authenticity, unity and brotherhood in the country. JIH cadres have set up scores of magazines and newspapers in various languages, including news portals, news channels and media houses, some of them are widely respected by the mainstream media.
Works among students and youth:
Realizing the role of youth and their potential in building up an ideal society for nation building and focusing on their upbringing in coherence with Islamic values, JIH established Students Islamic Organization of India (SIO) a platform for the students of schools, colleges and madrasas in 1982. At the moment, SIO is one of the largest student organizations of the country with thousands of volunteers and millions of supporters. SIO has been instrumental in bringing about character development of the youth and has worked on the issues of their concern for the last 30 years. It strives for promoting values in educational system and better academic and moral atmosphere in educational institutions.
The JIH established Girls Islamic Organization (GIO) at the state level in 1984. For many decades, GIO has been active in catering to the girls, students of colleges and madrasas with social awareness programmes, skill development training and inculcating the true values of Islam in order to make them aware and accountable towards their roles and responsibilities. A large number of Muslim and non-Muslim students are availing the facilities of GIO.
JIH is always eager to provide legal help and other support to innocent victims and weaker sections of the society. To implement this vison, JIH encouraged likeminded organizations, along with lawyers and non-profit organizations that sympathize with them. In addition, the workers of JIH coordinated and worked with them in parallel.
ECONOMICS AND FINANCE:
In 2015, JIH leaders were the driving force behind establishing finance institutions for promoting interest free banking and presenting Islamic economics and Islamic financial system as an alternative to the prevailing conventional economics based on free markets and interest-based finance. One of its aims is to develop an institution of research, studies and training at the highest level of scholarship in the field of Islamic economics and finance.
JIH leaders also played key role in forming microfinance societies aiming to provide interest free micro finance options for reducing socio-economic disparities and to achieve justice and equity for educationally and financially backward sections of the public at large.
LEADERSHIP AND Personalities:
Thousands of members, volunteers, and millions of supporters are the real driving force of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind who uphold the sterling ideology of Islam. After the remarkable guidance by a visionary like Maulana Abul Lais Nadvi who was the first president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. The JIH has been fortunate enough to have different laureates as its leaders and presidents. Mentors and Islamic scholars like Maulana Mohammad Yusuf, Maulana Mohammad Sirajul Hassan, Dr. Mohammad Abdul Haq Ansari and Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari, the Jamaat continues its part of excellence under the guidance of renowned author and scholar Mr. Syed Sadatullah Husaini.