The students of Jamia Millia Islamia organised an interactive session on the life and message of Prophet Muhammad (peace be to him) on March 13. The interactive session was preceded by one short lecture on the life of the Prophet by Secretary Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Iqbal Mulla, and another lecture on the teachings of the Prophet by Professor Dr. Muhammad Rafat.
Iqbal Mulla described the life of the Prophet by citing examples showing the love, affection and care bestowed upon the creatures of Allah, including animals.
Prof. Dr. Rafat talked about the concept of unity of Allah saying that this is the central theme of the message of the Prophet. He described the concept of unity of Allah in different religions and lamented how, with the passage of time, these religions corrupted the original idea.
The interactive session was an open session where the students asked questions on a variety of subjects. It appeared that the students enjoyed asking questions from their teacher Dr. Rafat, who teaches physics in the university. The chemistry between the teacher and the taught was obvious.
The programme was organised in a common room of the hostel and it was full to its capacity. Most of the audience were Muslims whereas some non-Muslims also participated and shared their views. A form for feedback by the students was distributed that was filled by about 60 students, including two non-Muslims.
In the feedback form the students were asked about their opinion on the session and whether such programmes should be organised at regular intervals or not. All the students, save one, liked the session and opined that such activities should be a routine feature.
‘The programme was interactive in nature, and should be organised regularly’, wrote one student. Since iman (faith) ‘needs refreshing impulses, such iman-refreshing sessions should be on a regular basis’, commented another student.
The benefit of such programmes, according to the respondents of the feedback form, was described in different manners. ‘This will help everyone to understand the meaning of Islam and remove the misconception.’ ‘This type of programme would help today’s youth to get close to our Prophet Muhammad.’ ‘The session enriched our knowledge and reminded us about our duty towards family and society.’ ‘We learned about our Prophet, and confusions were removed.’
The lone student who disliked the session wrote. ‘(it was a) highly disappointed session as it had a materialistic approach which lacked the essence of ishq-e-nabawi. Mufti Dr. Mukarram Ahmed (Shahi Imam of Fatehpuri Masjid) should be invited in such programmes.’
Many respondents gave suggestions as under:
It should have a comparative approach and modern image of Islam should be presented.
Different aspects of the life of the Prophet like (i) Prophet as a Father, (ii) Prophet as a Jurist, (iii) Prophet as a Messenger and Rahmat-u-lil-alameen, should be severally discussed.
The programme should be organised in an open space.
Apart from Muslim scholars some non-Muslim scholars should be invited.
The session should include issues related to one’s behaviour in a social life.
Discussions related to the solution to make the divided Ummah united should also be organised.
One of the non-Muslim students wrote in his response, ‘Since all religions have same teachings, the session should also include teachings of other religions, as well. The session should be independent of words such as Muslim and non-Muslim.”
Another non-Muslim student applauded the effort in these words: ‘It was a thought provoking and ecstatic session which provided an optimal solution to uncountable problems. Such programmes should have been organised in the past. Such sessions should have a two-way communication approach and specially a session of the Qur’an should be organised on a weekly basis.’