Indian Muslims are today faced with two very serious problems. One is related to their existence and the other to their role as dayee. Existential problems were earlier also, however, with the forces of Hindutva in power their seriousness has increased manifold because these forces which have been publicly declaring their hatred for Muslims for last so many decades, are now using their political power to achieve their cherished goal. In Gujarat and last year in Delhi, they demonstrated as to the extant they can go to achieve their objective, and now they are using democratic tools in undemocratic ways to make Muslims live as second-class citizens.
Existential threat being an immediate one, we are tempted to be withdrawn, and naturally so, to take immediate measures. But however intense the physical threat may be, we can in no way do away with the problems we are facing today in presenting Islam relevant to 21st century. We firmly believe that both these problems have urgency and need to be simultaneously taken up. Not only this we are also of the opinion that both are so interrelated and inter-dependent that healthy action taken for addressing one, will facilitate our attempts for other, and will be mutually beneficial.
To further the discussion let us elaborate the two problems i.e., the problem of threat and problem of relevance and see what is on the anvil in both.


There is no doubt that the party in power is bent upon taking every possible step to set aside Muslims in particular, and other minorities and weaker sections of our society in general, isolate them and deprive them of their fundamental rights of a respectful living. To achieve this, they are trying to bring about constitutional changes by any possible means and use these changes ruthlessly. This looming threat can be ignored only at our own peril. The next three years are very important for the Hindutva forces as well as for those who are trying to stop the onslaught of fascism in India. However, in view of our position as dayee, we are to be extra careful in designing the strategy and in no way let our position be compromised. Measures of our safety should not be counterproductive and should represent our humanitarian approach and concern. Coming to real measures, we must realise that a community which is internally strong in knowledge, wisdom and skills and is capable of enhancing these qualities on its own without becoming a liability on others can’t be uprooted and isolated easily. And this will become increasingly difficult if the strong community humanely shares its success and gains with other communities, even with the opponent communities. Muslim community’s strength or any community for that matter, is driven from its economy, education, intellectual fitness, and internal system of care (Zakat and Khidmat-e-Khalq, etc.), and Quranic injunction of Fastabiqul Khairat (measures to make common man’s life easy and comfortable). In some of these areas Muslim community is not that weak, but in some others, it is, and appears to be a liability.
Following measures may be undertaken depending upon availability of human and material resources. We are not suggesting to launch a new organization or set up another platform; instead, we are asking individuals to take up as many of the following measures as they can easily handle based on their own capacity and the availability of both the human and material resources. One person can influence ten, and ten can reach out to 100, and so on. We also do not anticipate that everyone will agree to or participate in all the items listed below. Choose the one you feel comfortable with, then do your best to enhance the scope of it and involve as many people as possible. All of the following action plans can be implemented under the theme of “Save India, Save Indians.”

Making effective and strong alliances with other groups, NGOs and communities which are being threatened is a key to safeguarding our interest. Although such alliances are now surfacing, their concretization is needed. Alliances are meaningful only when all the constituents have a common purpose and are willing to work together with shared resources. Today we find a number of NGOs and civic organizations working to protect the constitution, democracy, civil liberties and civilian rights. Many such organizations are also challenging the autocratic and undemocratic measures being taken by the Central and various State governments. Muslim’s presence in such NGOs is minimal. We should make a list of all such NGOs, groups and individuals and recruit volunteers from among Muslims and persuade Muslim organizations to join such NGOs and organizations.

Political mobilization, guidance and direction is another key area to be considered. The fascists are taking upon one state at a time. It was Bihar and now they are aiming at West Bengal. They use hatred, fear, false narration of history and money to win or topple governments such as in Madhya Pradesh and Puducherry. Muslims are either being exploited or misinformed and misguided. We should recruit volunteers and train them to work during the elections to support a certain candidate and/or educate, inform and mobilise them for voter registration and participation.

Most mainstream media are creating havoc. Social media are used to further mislead and inflame the masses. We should effectively use as many social media platforms as possible to disseminate constructive and positive news and boost the morale of the people. A detailed media strategy could be created to deal with the challenges in this area.

Effective and strong da’wah measures are needed for offsetting the imbalance and this is to be done on as large a scale as possible. Strategy should be, for example in education field, in addition to establishing their own institutions wherever possible, encourage and facilitate Muslims and also the other downtrodden communities to enrol in the existing educational institutions. Innovative institutional structures like Shaheen Foundation of Bedar are wonderful examples.

In the area of “Social Justice” we can collaborate with other non-Muslim groups and NGOs and participate in efforts aimed at eradicating injustices against weaker sections of society as well as initiate, wherever possible, such efforts for the benefit of all Indians. In areas of common relevance which serve to strengthen our community’s relations with other communities, programmes can be proposed and planned. For example, in case of economy, Janseva and Islamic Chamber of Commerce are examples of worth consideration. Considering these as models, many similar efforts may be initiated in various parts of the country. A third example may be identifying various communities and develop them into model communities by involving people in cleaning up, medical clinics, civic responsibilities, setting up of small-scale educational centres, and interest free cooperatives. Increasing the frequency and the intensity of Khidmat-e-Khalq and likes, will improve social bonding and trust between Muslims and Non-Muslims. Exploitation of common people through interest, increasing impact of drug addiction, dowry system, breaking of family system, unjust distribution of parental property and uncared for jail inmates are some of the areas which are of common concern. Health related issues are also of great concern in which common man’s exploitation is quite obvious. Carefully carved NGOs for addressing such issues can be a legitimate, public protected and time-tested format which we can dependably propose.

Along with all the above, even more important is a mechanism for documentation i.e., collection of data relevant to threats for and violence against Muslims and other weaker sections of the society. Keeping in view the fact that verifiable and provable data and information play an important role in raising issues at national and international platforms. An NGO exclusively for data collection is a need of the hour. We may collaborate with existing measures and establish more such centres if needed.

Problem of Relevance

Relevance of Islam for the world we live in is under great scrutiny today. Unfortunately, whatever is being said and written on Islam today is only for the internal consumption of Muslims. Platforms raised fifty years ago for the purpose of presentation of Islam have lost their sheen and no longer attract the attention of young intellectual and even common people. Around eighty years ago when western civilization and socialism were in great demand, having almost vanished from the global scene today, Islamic movement has done little to realise and produce newer arguments. In India the situation is not different and Muslims have been reduced to an ethnic group rooted in Islam. Their response and reaction exhibit protective and defensive mentality. Their portrayal as a liability both at ethical and cultural level, is finding increasing takers in the Indian populace. Unfortunately, in this portrayal, conspiracy theory has little role. In fact, Muslims’ conduct during the last few decades is responsible for the current situation. Muslims have failed to articulate Quranic response to human beings relations with the material world they live in. This domain which shapes our response to manmade problems remain outside contemporary Islamic consciousness. Harping on personal individual conduct and social relation is the best pas time of the scholars, academicians and even the enthusiasts. Institutional building has been the greatest causality. However, the most important factor contributing to this situation is total failure of the Islamic Movement on political front. As a result, their basic narrative based on intrinsic relation of Islam and power, seems to be fast shattering and facing internal criticism. Despondency is natural but most unfortunate thing is that Muslims seem to be unaware of Islam’s potential and its intellectual power to address the fast changing nature of challenges. Absence of fresh air is causing suffocation for those who think, which is in total contradiction to the mindset the Quran created and prophet Muhammed very successfully demonstrated in his time. Interaction of people with the Quran was so intimate that it fundamentally and permanently changed people and the world they lived in. And interestingly this change survived with glory and pomp for more than one thousand years. The Quran is still the same but it needs individualistic creative studies and Prophet Muhammed is to be looked upon afresh. It is high time to take initiative and think on the following issues.

Islamic world view is required to be articulated keeping in view the increasing deterioration of man-universe relation as evident from the global weirding. Anthropocene, anxiety, new dark ages and surveillance capitalism.

The speed of change, its scope, scale and simultaneity are immensely changing people’s behaviours, relation and the shape of collective social activities e.g., education, commerce, etc. Islamic movement has to intervene with its critique and interact with the agents of change in order to realise the veracity of change and propose alternatives.

Newer forces of zulm embedded in scientific achievement e.g., health care and medical system are required to be realised and understood. Islam being against Zulm, the knowledge based zulm is to be taken up seriously and urgently by the Islamic movement.

Islam is to be presented in the context of the Quran and not in the context of its 1400- year history.

It is high time to present the Aqaid of Islam i.e., Tawheed, Risalat and Akhirat in the context of their contemporary widening and deepening relevance.

Highlight the position of women, Muslim feminist view on various issues related to society, knowledge and the Quranic wisdoms.

In the middle of deteriorating family system, exploitation through interest and significance of interest free loans, increasing use of chemicals in food and agriculture, etc. and resulting fasad fil ard. Islamic movement cannot be a mere spectator.

In principle the Quran address all human beings but it gives special reference to ahl-e- kitab. By this analogy our addressees should be all those who have book(s) as their reference point. Our approach should be reflective of this.

Islamic Movement

There is no dearth of sincere and talented people outside the Tehreek-e-Islami and it is also equally true that in Tehreek-e-Islami mediocrity is not rare. However, as an organisation it still accommodates people who excel in their character. They can discuss any issue and patiently listen to any kind of criticism. These traits, and also because of our intellectual proximity with them, qualify it as our preferred addressees. It being Prophet’s tradition to be at par with opponents’ skills in matters related to safeguarding dignified living and physical existence, Tehreek-e-Islami must make it mandatory to acquire necessary knowledge and skills for its associates and adherents and emphasise it to the generality of Muslims.
We earnestly believe that all such organisations which aim at introducing Islam as saviour of the planet and work for a dignified living of Muslims in India must adopt and bring about changes according to what has been discussed under Threat and Relevance. These changes will on the one hand improve the image of Muslims as benefactors of India, will on the other hand strengthen and capacitate them to face the threats being mounted to their physical existence.
If accepted in principle detailed programmes can be formulated for all the areas of interest as mentioned keeping in view the potential of human and material resources available, Inshallah.