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Monday, March 10, 2008

Journeying with a group of Tablighi Jamaat members in Train

Railway journeys are always fascinating in India. Due to the long duration, one gets to interact with many different people.

On a recent journey my seat was close to the coupe in which members of a Tablighi Jamaat were sitting. They were probably going down South.

Mostly in India, people do try to help you when you are praying and so when the group started their prayers, the other passengers, shifted from that coupe to the neighbouring seats, to facilitate the namaaz.

Just to make a conversation, a Hindu gentleman told the Jamaat guys--

Passenger: "Haan bhai namaaz to zaruri hai, isi sab se yah duniaa qaaim hai". (Prayers are necessary to keep the world safe and sound)
The Jamat guys--- :(             [Blank Faced, no expression, no reply]

Passenger tries again: Says something about religion protecting people in Kali Yug.
The Jamat guys--- :(             [Again, Blank Faces, no expressions, no replies]

The man, dejected, kept mum thereafter.

Sometime in the night when they had dinner, another newcomer, tries to start a conversation:

*Aap log kahaan jaa rahe hain?
-- one guy mumbles something.

*Kyaa aap log bangalore jaa rahe hain?
--hamein nahin maalum, hamaare amir se puchhiye

[how will he know your hierarchy and that you have an Amir-e-Jamaat, a leader of sorts of the group but does it make you so dumb!]

Ridiculous, I thought. The next morning I asked one of them, weren't they going to Bangalore?

"Actually we are going there for the first time". Oh, I see, so if you are going to a place for the first time, why can't you name the place.

Railway is one of the best places to establish harmony, interact with others and send the message across that you--'the typical daadhi-topi-madarsa man'-- is just like a neighbourhood guy.

But by creating a wall around yourself [for what reason?], you end up harming your image even more. For godsake why can't you be normal yaar. That's not the first time I have seen it though I am writing it for the first time.

[This post doesn't target any particular group. We all know that there are people cutting across all cross-sections and religions, who are not just uncommunicative but also rude and much more.]


mummyjaan said...

It's unfortunate that your co-passengers were so inarticulate; but did you get a chance to communicate your impressions to them or to their Ameer? It can be helpful and constructive to point things out.

indscribe said...

Just when the train was reaching my destination, I tried to communicate but...

حیدرآبادی said...

میں خود بھی اس "جماعت" کے اپنے دوستوں پر طعن کرنا نہیں چاہتا۔ لیکن طالب علمی کے زمانے سے میں اپنے ان دوستوں سے لڑتا آیا ہوں کہ یار ، تم لوگ ذہن کو قفل کیوں لگا رکھتے ہو؟ اللہ تعالیٰ نے تو قرآن میں جگہ جگہ کہا ہے کہ سوچو غور کرو۔ بزرگوں کی بات ماننا اور ان کی نصیحتیں سن کر ان پر عمل کرنا اچھی بات سہی لیکن بزرگ تو بزرگ ہی ہوتے ہیں ، نبی تو نہیں بن سکتے کہ ہم ہر بات پر آنکھ بند کر کے ایمان لائیں۔ آخر انسانی عقل بھی تو کوئی چیز ہے۔

Anser Azim said...

Do you mean group of Tbaleeghi jamaat. I wish they learn the communication skills. They all are nice and harmless people but probably scared to speak out as they set out to improve their understanding of their religion. But their worldly education is equally important. I hope this dawns on them.

Imran Mulla said...

There is lot which these Jamaati bhais need to improve... They are represeting the Islamic way of life to peoplpe of other faiths wheen are travelling in a train or through any other means. They shuold display best characttor of a muslims in their dealing with people around them. Such sensless incidents actually tranish the image of the community as a whole and there is no blame on people id they have this misconception about us. We are the realy culprit for this. We, muslims have to improve our manners of dealing with people in public places.

Cholacherapandian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saif said...

Brother, it is not that they appear defensive.
We are mixing few things are misinterpreting the whole scenario.
They are harmless & polite as Anser says.
It is important to understand , that atleast it is that these people are on a journey to learn the Deen. If not can we imagine the situation?

Zafer said...

I hava observed the same phenomenon myself. It is common with all the Indian muslims in general and Tabligi Jamat in special.
You can observe this at other placees also. There are few/no muslims in social movements of India like "Narmada Bachao Andolan", Anna Hazare's movement for right to information and various dalit movements. Indian muslims simply perfer to live on their own island. This is the reason various movements to bring dalits and muslims, muslims and other minorites etc failed. This is the reason we can't get enough muslim politicians elected in assembly/ parliament etc.

Zafer said...

Posting again(read my prev comment above), It may sound tough but it is reality. If there are 30 percent muslims in a constituency, you still can't get a muslim elected. Don't blame everything on communalism. Only due to this lack of communication. This lack of communication is more evident in places like Malegaon, Bhiwandi, Hyderabad etc where muslims are in majority or near majority.
We must change. Please try to understand that there are other groups in India which are also suffering. Castes like Pardhis and Ghisadi (Lohaar) in Mharashtra have suffered much police attrocities. I bet most Maharshtrian muslims does't know that such castes even existed.

Pink Floyd said...

I accidentally found this blog and I am glad to discover the perspective and balanced view of a practical Muslim on socially relevant issues as opposed to retarded and rhetoric views of insecure Muslims. I am saving your site in My Favorites.

Your writeup made me laugh as I myself had encountered similar situations with namazis with whom I have tried all the tricks in my bag for some sound bytes but all they could say are few monosyllables. Perhaps they innocently believe why waste time on a Kafir. However, I do not hold any prejudice against them as I strongly believe even though they might look socially dysfunctional but what essentially happens is a clash of two different worlds with different beliefs and opinions and they are not sure how to react. India is place of so many worlds and that is why it is marvellous.

Comment for the post “Nepali migrants or okay, not Bangladeshis.” (I am posting it here as you have disabled comments for that blog).

What do you mean "Nepal was not culturally part of India." First of all there was no such concept as India. Before British arrival, the India that we know of today were majorly clusters of small hindu kingdoms with the Mughals occupying the largest seat of power in a majority hindu population. After British annexation, they created the concept of British India for better administrative purpose. British did not annex Nepal as the then kingdom enjoyed good relations with British empire.

Now speaking of cultures with the majority subcontinent population being hindus, there had always been cultural exchanges with Nepal since time immemorial; a mutual trust which stands till today with Nepali citizens even enjoying the right to join Indian Army. I am sure you must have heard of the famed Gorkhas.

Against this backdrop of deep and strong cultural bond, you conveniently implied a Nepali being a criminal by reflecting stray incidents of few Nepali domestic helps being involved in crimes and how Indians (Hindus) are tolerant towards them because they are hindus and how Indians (hindus) are biased towards Bangladeshi immigrant because though he is a apostle of peace but is a Muslim.

I can't believe a man of your intellect holding such stupid argument by giving a religious angle. India is a secular nation and its policies are secular. In the present world order, Bangladesh is fast rising up the chart towards militant Islam and its policies has been increasingly hostile towards India. Almost all North-East militant enjoy a safe haven and many recent bomb blasts in India had its roots in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a big recruitment ground for terrorist outfits like JEM, Laskar to HUJI. Against this new hostile postures from its eastern frontier, India is rightly concerned with Bangladeshi influx indeed being a threat to India.

abdul hameed said...

Every person should read this message be caful and open ears! i am explaining the situation of said peoples you met in the train
1- like these people are mostly convienced by the jamat's old workers and impressed by the speechs and conviencing that you have a end of life and you have to give the caculation of your life , good and bad, halaal and haraam no matter you like that or not, this not depend on your wish. so if you want that you save your self in your grave -after death- and in the resurrection day so prepare your self to be -& being- a good muslim.
so mostly those people are leavs their all bad habits; vin(sharaab), harming others, stoling, haraam works, and all bad habits & works. so they are fears that not any thing happen wrong by them for and to others. some people are in trouble and in war -between their old bad habits and their good hearts-. but in such situation they not show you their pain and presents ownselfs normal faces, so if you watch them blank face or unwarm in meeting and chatting so dont be misunderstand.
i know a boy in my relation, he was very bad boy, for his parents also for his neighbors, but after the meeting from jamaat and out going with the jamat for above 40 days he changed. now, he is not drinks, not advers, only a gentle man.
i advice for you, if you can truly and pure heartly can do.... have a out-going for 40 days, and watch them, what they teachs and learns.
and more now i cant tell any thing ..... for wise-people always enough a hint.