The Nizamuddin Markaz backlash

Editor,

It was irresponsible on the part of the Tablighi Jamaat to have gone ahead with their pre-scheduled programme, considering the highly contagious nature of Covid19. I think it was not necessary or even mandatory for believers to visit a place of collective worship, or participate in a religious congregation, for one’s prayer to be accepted by God under the present circumstances . And the necessity hold true especially when a lethally contagious disease breaks out and when participants in a collective prayer not only run the risk of catching the contagion but also of passing it on to others in the vicinity. It is incomprehensible that this should happen when the country is under lockdown and the Government is fighting a relentless war against a monstrous pandemic.  These violations are contrary to what we can understand from Islamic teachings. We find examples of the Prophet  Mohammad (PBUH) excusing sick persons from attending Friday prayers (Al-Sunna al-Saghir: 241).  He advised people that if they hear that a plague has broken out in a land they should not go there and if it breaks out in a land where they are present they should stay put in that place. ( Sahih Al- Bukhari :5730) .

Unfortunately, the debate over this episode has taken an ominously communal turn, with some TV channels, and many diabolical and high-decibel voices on social media, commenting on it as if it was a pre-planned conspiracy to super-spread the corona virus across the country.

 

Time has come for our Muslim societies to discover a contemporary meaning and significance of Islam as articulated by Allama Iqbal which is, “to approach modern knowledge with a respectful but independent attitude and to appreciate the teachings of Islam in the light of that knowledge.” It is never possible for any society, more so a religion, to entirely forget or reject its past. And there is no doubt that in the years succeeding the Prophet’s death, Islam and Islamic history can indeed boast of a glorious era. What is equally true is that Islam, particularly India’s Muslims, have to free themselves from the ignorant mullahs and embrace more contemporary attitudes. The Quran has to be understood for its inductive reasoning and a revolt against traditions and speculative philosophies. The dynamism of debate to make a serious attempt at reasoned struggle and rethinking to reform Islam must be reignited. One thoughtless action – the markaz has harmed the Muslim cause considerably.

  Yours etc.,

  Advocate M.Haque.

  Shillong -6

From the heart

Editor,

Confined to our homes, we feel frustrated and bored and many of us may say, “We are tired of this situation- when will it end”.  But in comparison to countries that are ravaged by the corona virus ( I do not want to put a capital letter to the name of this virus) we here in Meghalaya, are, if I may say so, fortunate that we have not yet been invaded, by this enemy of humankind. Yesterday, I received on WhatsAap, an old Italian song that I have also posted on Facebook, which is a tribute to the human spirit especially the medical professionals in Italy who refuse to be conquered but visualise instead a rebirth from this stormy time and stars shining again for them, when all this is over. As I listen to this heart rending song of the 70s, I am overcome with nostalgia, because it brings back fond memories of my experience with the health care system in Italy. It was in the summer of 2015 during my two weeks holiday in this fascinating country that I met with an accident, where I fractured my foot just at the beginning of the holiday. The owner of the Bed and Breakfast establishment where my daughter and I stayed, sent us to a Medical Center in Verona, where I was treated by sensitive young Italian doctors, who understood my predicament and prescribed practical suggestions that enabled me to continue with my holiday throughout. What’s more, the whole medical treatment was free of cost! I guess this was the National Health Policy of that country, where cases admitted through the emergency unit are not charged.

When I think of the health care professionals shown in Rinascero, Rinascerai (the name of the song video I posted earlier), some of who may have died by now, my heart breaks and I pray for their souls that will be reborn, as the chorus of the song goes.

Assured that my leg would heal, I continued with my travels through Italy, and thereafter across Europe on a wheelchair aided at every railway station by Sala Blu, a reference point for disabled customers in railway stations and coordinated across stations in Italy. At each station I was carried in a lift to my compartment and when I arrived at my destination station, a team of Sala Blu were waiting for me with a lift. I was elated and felt like a queen, carried in a palanquin.

I salute all emergency services personnel in all countries, including mine, for the efforts made to counter this virus and join hands in contributing in whatever way that I can, to fight and survive.

Yours etc.,

Darilyn

Via email

 

Delhi Police takes care of senior citizens

Editor,

Delhi Police deserves all compliments for its ever-caring attitude towards senior citizens registered with it even though all the personnel of Delhi Police are tirelessly working as Corona-warriors performing 24×7 duty risking even their lives. It was a pleasant surprise when beat-constable Deepak of Delhi police from Chandni Chowk (Kotwali) police-station knocked at our door on April 4 for ascertaining our well-being and asking us if we needed anything to be brought from the market. The personal visit of beat-constable Deepak was followed by a courtesy-call from the land-line of the police-station offering any type of assistance required from Delhi Police.

We are indeed grateful to dutiful soldiers of Delhi Police

Yours etc.,

Subhash Chandra Agrawal,

(Guinness Record Holder & RTI Consultant)

Delhi – 6 

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