Jeddah – Rabi Al Akher 04, 1428/ April 21, 2007 – Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, the largest Islamic organisation in India, is attaching great significance to the myriad problems facing India’s common masses. “Our appeal is to the entire people of the second most populous country in the world. We are striving hard to serve the public’s interests,” said Prof. Siddique Hassan, the Jamaat’s assistant secretary general for social services.
“Jamaat also shuns violence, extremism and sectarian strife, and is keen to settle down to the task of building a righteous society on stable and abiding foundations,” he said in an exclusive interview with the International Islamic News Agency (IINA).
Prof. Siddique Hassan, who was recently on a visit to the GCC States, spoke at length about a wide variety of activities being carried out by the organisation in the fields of Islamic propagation, uplift of the Muslim community, financial assistance to the weaker sections and relief works for the victims and survivors of natural calamities, communal riots and the like.
Jamaat-e-Islami was founded in the Indian subcontinent by the world-renowned Islamic scholar and thinker Maulana Syed Abul Ala Maududi in 1941. Maududi was unanimously elected as its founding amir (president). It is noteworthy that Maulana Maududi was the first recipient of the prestigious King Faisal International Prize for Islamic Services. After achieving independence from British Colonial rule and partition of the country into India and Pakistan in 1947, Maulana Maududi moved to Pakistan. Subsequently, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind was formed in 1948 and Maulana Abul Lais Islahi Nadwi was chosen as its first amir.
Ever since its inception, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, said Prof. Siddique Hassan, continues to play an active role in introducing Islam as a complete code of life for the entire mankind and a panacea for all the problems facing the modern world. “It persuaded people to study and understand religion as it was professed, practised and preached by its original messengers, the Prophets, rather than as interpreted and distorted by the so-called Ulema in accordance with their whims and fancies,” he noted.
The objective of the organisation is Iqaamat-e-Deen, the real motive of which is solely the achievement of God’s pleasure and success in the life after death “We are carrying out our mission in a peaceful, democratic and legitimate way, strictly adhering to the principles of the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet’s Tradition. Also, we are keen to avoid anything and everything that is detrimental to the peaceful coexistence or leading to sectarian strife or causing destruction in India’s pluralist society,” he said.
According to Prof. Siddique Hassan, any Indian citizen can have membership of the organisation if he fulfils the conditions stipulated in its constitution. Spelling out the major achievements of the Jamaat, the assistant secretary general said that its main focus is on the propagation of Islam in the proper manner among the non-Muslims, who constitute more than 80 per cent of the one-billion population of India. “Our achievements include translation of the meanings of the Holy Qur’an and its interpretation into almost all the major Indian regional languages. We are publishing and distributing them among the public,” he said adding that the organisation has established publishing houses in various states of the country with the objective of spreading the true message of Islam among Muslims and non-Muslims alike besides introducing Islam as the divine religion that was revealed as a blessing and panacea for all the problems facing mankind. With a view to remove misunderstandings, and introducing Islam and Islamic movement properly, suitable literature is published in different languages and distributed widely.
The Jamaat also established a large number of schools, colleges and institutes that provide both modern and Islamic education in various regions of the country. “All these institutions are playing a vital role in bringing up a new generation of Islamic Da’awah workers and those having proficiency in various branches of Islamic and modern education. One of the major goals of these institutions is to spread the Islamic culture and preserve the religious identity of every Muslim individual,” he said.
Referring to the Da’awah work among non-Muslims, Prof. Siddique Hassan noted that a large number of non-Muslims, especially the untouchables among the Hindu majority community, who are denied of justice and are being exploited and oppressed by the members of the upper caste, are coming forward to embrace Islam en masse. This was more evident in the case of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. “One of the major achievements of the Jamaat in the Da’awah field is the establishment of special education centre for new Muslims in the state where the number of non-Muslims, both men and women, who have converted to Islam in a year ranges between 1000 and 1500. The education centre conducts a two-year religious course for these converts,” he said adding that there were also similar centres in various cities across the country, including exclusive ones for women.
Regarding Jamaat’s relief works and social services, Prof. Siddique Hassan, who is in charge of the Social Service Wing (SSW) of the organisation, said that more than 200 million people have so far been benefited from the relief works and humanitarian assistance extended by the organisation. “The volume of humanitarian assistance extended by SSW amounted to over 10 billion Indian rupees. Within the last ten months we have also built some 2817 houses and renovated another 4463. A total of 10 hospitals and 74 polyclinics as well as seven orphanages have also been built by the organisation,” he said. The number of people benefited from the Zakah and Sadaqah funds accounts for 18,252. The Jamaat also established some 331 interest-free funds and the total amount of money spent in Zakah and alms amounted to 12,57,0100 rupees. It was also instrumental in getting married 5229 poor women through its marriage bureaus, he said.
Referring to the relief works carried out by the Jamaat to alleviate the suffering of the survivors of the communal carnage that rocked the western state of Gujarat in 2002, Prof. Siddique Hassan said that about 190,000,000 Indian rupees was spent among 159,000 victims. “A total of 18,000 Tsunami victims have been benefited from the assistance worth 38 million rupees distributed by the organization,” he said adding that humanitarian assistance worth 20 million rupees was distributed among some 20,000 families hit by the devastating earthquake in the Kashmir valley.