By Er. Izhar Khan
Religion is a way of life but of personal choice. Islam Manifestly declares that; “There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion” [Quran 2:256]. A country is governed by different group of people from time to time having different beliefs and ideology but as a human being it is the responsibility of the group in power to protect the rights of other groups that is each individual should be freely allowed to choose, preach and practice its religion whether Hindu, Muslim, Jew or Christian. It is fundamental responsibility of all governments around the world to guarantee this freedom to everyone.
Last year in 2014, in India the right wing Hindu government came into power and since then it has been trying to push its Hindutva agenda to take legislative form. Sometimes times by banning cow slaughter or by lobbying anti-conversion law. Recently one of their activities Ghar Wapsi (i.e. Home return) was reported in news in India when a Hindu organisation tried to convert a Muslim family to Hinduism. Since then it has become a campaign in India and top priority of few Hindu organisations such as RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), Abhinav Bharat, etc. They believe that originally all Indians are Hindu therefore Hinduism is their true religion and we have all right to reconvert them to Hinduism. They say India was under slavery for last 1200 years under Muslims and British as described by Honourable Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi; “”Barah sau saal ki gulami ki maansikta humein pareshan kar rahi hai”.
There are ideological and political motives responsible for this. Statistics show that Ghar Wapsi Agenda could be also due fear that Hindu population will decrease and other religious communities will strengthen in India. According to reports minorities in several Indian states are growing faster than Hindus, In Manipur from 1991 to 2001 Hindu’s population grew only by 5.2 per cent whereas Muslim’s population grew by 42.4% and of Christian’s by 50.6%. According to Indian Express, Muslim population increased 24.4 per cent to 171.8 crores from 13.8 crores during 2001-11. Muslims were 13.4 per cent of the total population in 2001.
Minorities see this as infringement of their rights guaranteed by constitution of India specially targeted at Muslims and Christians. How can they think not when extremist organisations such as Dharm Jagran Samiti(DJS) openly said that they will free India from Muslims and Christians by 2021.These problems are fretting the minorities in India and poses threat to the their very existence. Christian leaders were reported saying in Media that –“there has not been an effective response to the threat that minorities in India were currently facing” and “the silence of Prime minister was not very comforting”.
Let it be clear that if this is an attempt to suppress Islam then they should know that growth and protection of Islam is guaranteed by constitution which fair and just. Quran makes it clear that No matter how much effort they put to suppress Islam it will prosper since it is a promise of Allah in the Quran; “And say, “Truth has come, and falsehood has departed. Indeed is falsehood, [by nature], ever bound to depart” [Quran 17:81].
For Muslims the history stand as a testimony to the fact that they have never used force to propagate their religion and tried to convert the minorities to Islam at the point of sword. That is the reason that even western historians were compelled to accept the truth and admit that it was not sword but Muslims strict adherence to teachings of Quran that led to spread of Islam throughout the world. De Lacy Evans O’Leary in his book “Islam at the cross road” (Page 8) says that: “History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myth that historians have ever repeated.”
For those who have read the Seerah of Prophet (pbuh) know that, Ghar Wapsi is not a new tactic adopted by enemies of Islam but this has existed since time of our beloved prophet ﷺ when he started preaching the message of Islam to Mushriks of Mecca. When they realised that people are becoming attracted to the message of Islam and are converting to Islam they feared that they will lose their leadership and their identity will be stolen by this new movement. Then to curtail this movement they adopted tactics to bring the new Muslims back to the religion of their forefathers which can be now called as “Ghar Wapsi”. Having fully perceived that this wave cannot be stopped Safi ur Rehman Mubarak Puri gives the four tactics used by Quraish for reconversion;
- Scoffing, degrading, ridiculing, belying and laughter-instigating cheap manners,
- Distorting Muhammad’s teachings, evoking ambiguities, circulating false propaganda
- Contrasting the Qur’an with the mythology of the ancients in order to distract people’s interests from Allah’s Words.
- In an attempt to dissuade Muhammad (Peace be upon him) from his principled stand, Quraish invited him to compromise on his teachings.
The above four tactics are still used by Non-Muslims in general and Hindus in particular in India to discourage the people from learning the true message of Islam and few Muslims are also responsible and contributing to this cause knowingly or ignorantly. Muslims are framed as Terrorist, Anti-Secular, Medieval, Extremist, fundamentalist, Anti-Feminist, Non- Progressive, Hate mongers and so on so forth. No matter what they name them these things should not deter Muslims from following their religion as Allah says in Quran; “They wish that you would soften [in your position], so they would soften [toward you]”Quran [68:9].
Beauty of Universal brotherhood in the Kingdom of Adam’s son lies in practicing and preaching what you believe without infringing others right to practice and preach what they believe irrespective of your status. People should take notice of such extremism in our society and take legal action against these groups for spreading hatred among communities. All religious minorities should get together and file case to sue the perpetrator of this extremist movement. And fight till justice is granted and these real hate Mongers should learn lesson that whoever ever tries to disturb the peace of this country should be behind the bars and should not be able to raise their heads again.