Indian Muslims! Wake up and unite or you will be eaten up by wolves

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2016-08-09 04:43:58

Indian Muslims! Wake up and unite or you will be eaten up by wolves

There is a famous story that many might have already heard. It is an excellent parable for the Indian Muslims irrespective of their affiliation with different political or social parties, different Islamic groups, different Madhahabs and or their different interpretation of Islam. I would repeat the story here as there are some very important lessons that can be learned from it. The story goes like this: 

There were four Cows. One of them was white and the other three were black. They used to live in a dangerous area surrounded by wolves. The way they protected themselves was that they were always together.

But the three black cows had a meeting one day. And they said, this white cow is giving us away. When we try to hide at night, because we are black no one can see us, but the enemy is able to see the white cow, so why don’t we just let her go. So now from that day on, the three black cows would be on one side and the poor white cow is alone.

The wolf was very intelligent. He was able to detect the disunity that was amongst these cows. So he made his move and he attacked the white cow, and while he was devouring her flesh, the three black cows were doing nothing. But the following night, the wolf attacked the three black cows, why? Because now there was one cow short. So they were not as strong as they were the day before. Now the wolf attacked them and was able to snatch away one of the black cows. And there left two cows. So the following night, it was an even easier thing for the wolf because only two are left, so he ate one of them. And then on the final night there was only one cow left. So the wolf pounced at the cow and grabbed her by the neck, and while he did that and the cow was pronouncing her last words, she made a very important statement, a statement that is a great lesson that Indian Muslims can learn from. This black cow said, while she was dying, “I was eaten, the day the white cow was eaten; I died when I allowed the wolf to eat the white cow”.

This shows the consequences of having disunity. When these cows didn’t stick together, when they allowed the enemy to snatch one of them away, this is what happened to them, they were all defeated.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had given an analogy of the Ummah (nation), Nu’man bin Bashir reported Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) as saying: “The similitude of believers in regard to mutual love, affection, fellow-feeling is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever.” [Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6258]

The above story gives lesson in the light of above hadith that Muslims should be united for their needs irrespective of their differences. If they are only concerned about their individual needs and safety or at the most concerned for their direct family, then there is something wrong. You are not really part of the body that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) referred to. Muslims should be the one body; it doesn’t matter if they are split into different groups, or if they belong to different Madhahabs, as long as they are Muslim.

But Indian Muslims look at it as only me and my group as Muslim. Why? Because he doesn’t follow my Jamaat, he’s not following my way. He does not offer prayer in ‘our’ mosque; his way of offering prayer is different from ours. Nonetheless, they do talk about importance of having Unity today considering the growing hatred between different communities in the country and due to their legitimate demands being ignored by subsequent governments.

But their definition of Unity is different. They presume Unity in terms of having one group, to abandon all the different Jamaats, to get rid of all the different Madhahabs and all just to be the copies of each other. This is how they perceive Unity to be for the Muslims, which is an impossible thing to have.

Conversely, what Unity means in reality is that even though your approach to Islamic work might be different, the Madhhab that you follow might be different; however, you are there to help each other in your need that is Unity. You could have different approaches to work; you could be doing different things, because we need different things today to uplift the community. We have a shortcoming and deficiency in each and every area, therefore we need Muslims to fill those posts, and therefore our approach would be different.

There are many things for which Indian Muslims can come together for a ‘common’ interest, support each other and convert it into a mass movement. These movements should be issue based and then it would become easy to get support from other communities too. No big thing can be achieved without converting your demands into a movement. For example, barring violence in their movements, the unity amongst Patidar and Jat community compelled Gujarat and Haryana governments to provide reservation to their community in the respective states.

These communities had no recommendation from any committee for reservation but they could get it only because of their strong unity. On the other hand, the scene is different with Muslim community. They have many recommendations from various committees for reservation but they are yet to get it on record not because of the lack of government’s interest, a reason cited by Muslims but actually they could not get it because of the disunity amongst themselves in compelling government for its implementation. 

BJP leader Dayashankar Singh was expelled from party for using a foul language against Mayawati and was finally arrested because Dalits united to protest against him, took to the streets and displayed community’s anger with the strength. On the contrary, nothing happened to Yogi Adityanath for his urging to fellow ‘Hindu Vahini’ people to rape buried Muslim woman. He went scot free because Muslims did not express anger against Adityanath with their strength on the streets but remained silent.

So the bad condition of Muslim community in India is primarily not because of the biased governments but because of the lack of cooperation of Muslims amongst themselves. They have restricted the meaning of word ‘we’ to themselves or at the most to their own group having members with similar ideology and approach in following Islam.

Muslims do come on to the streets but their protests too are group specific and hence exhibit poor strength during protests. Inversely, more people were seen in the funeral of Yakub Memon than in any legitimate protests undertaken by Muslims. Never did it occur that different groups came together in protest to raise their common demands.

Similar is an example of Muslims’ thrashing by cow vigilantes. They don’t come to the street to protest when their fellow people are beaten up by cow protection groups. Muslims are the prime target of these cow vigilantes but never did they get united to protest these cruel and illegal acts of extremists. On the opposite, the news of Dalits beating came to the fore for the first time and Dalits united to turn it into a nation-wide movement.

So, the issues are numerous that are of common interest to Indian Muslims that they can get resolved by coming close to each other, by making a common platform and by putting on display their power of unity. But for that what they need to understand is the practical meaning of Unity – how to leave apart the differences and resonate their demands in a one voice. The ground reality, however, is that out of their differences they don’t support each other and instead of coming together either they sit back or join the opposite party assuming that will earn them favor.

Recent example is the Barelvi jamaat in India that has come out denouncing Dr Zakir Naik and joining the vilification campaign against him, demanding his arrest and ban over his organization IRF. This was the great opportunity that Muslims lost to unite considering the unfair attack and an apparent attempt to curtail freedom of expression and freedom to preach religion that is enshrined in the Indian constitution. However, Barelvi leaders considered it an opportunity to demonstrate to the country that even though they are Muslims but they are not united in defending fellow Muslim out of internal differences and thereby sought favor of those who are attacking Dr Naik without any evidence.

This is something that the black cows had thought by abandoning white cow that by doing this, they are securing themselves. They thought they would be safe if they handed over white cow. This white cow was out spoken, it was causing a lot of trouble, it was accused of being a terrorist, so let him go, let him be prosecuted even though it is unjustified, let him go to jail because if he goes then we are safe. But the thing is they don’t realize that it will come to you next. You will be next in line.

This explains how Indian Muslims’ can lose their interests and belongings if they continue to practice disunity. So, O Indian Muslims, if you want to protect your interests, if you want to protect yourself, if you don’t want to be ultimately eaten up by the wolves, then you need to stop that right now, unite with your fellow Muslims or it would be too late.

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