By V.M. Khaleelur Rahman
Chennai based Sana Nursary and Primary School celebrated its anniversary on 24th January 2010 and its boys and girls proved their mettle by enacting different programmes in English, Arabic and Urdu which were very much appreciated by people gathered there in good numbers. Maulana Mohammed Kaleem Siddiqui sahib was the Chief Guest. I heard his speech carefully and had an interview with him later. As his views are thought provoking, I want to share them with you. He said inter alia:
"A Muslim is bound to possess a thirst for knowledge and acquire it in different sciences including medicine, engineering, astronomy etc. There were great Muslim scientists in the past. The holy Quran asks us to research what is in the earth and on the skies - Tafakkaru fissamawati wal arz. Even learning a language different from ones mother tongue such as English which was neglected and its learning was considered Haraam on patriotic grounds when Muslims were involved in the freedom struggle is necessary now. It is very unfortunate that Muslim community is educationally and economically backward........" The Maulana exhorted the students and the people to seek more and more knowledge packed education. Asked if getting higher education is not necessary for women as sermoned by some ulema, he retorted that getting no education is haraam as it is against the Islamic diktat of "talabul ilmi fareezatun ala kulli Muslimin wa Muslimatin" ( Seeking knowledge is mandatory for all Muslims - men and women).
As regards "baddua" (cursing), he said that it is not permitted and our Pesh Imams should be careful about it. There is no permission in Islam to curse anybody. Sometimes we see our pesh Imams cursing in words like "allahumma shaththith shamlahum, allahumma dammir deyarahum". This is not correct. I have asked many to refrain from doing so."
He also pointed out to a question that putting hurdles in the way of good things being done (as was done in the case of Dr. Zakir Naik's Peace programme in Chennai) is against the letter and spirit of Islam. Difference of opinions can be discussed and sorted out and enmity should not be created among people. He honestly feels that there is no issue which cannot be solved by discussion in the light of the Quran and Ahaadeeth.
All the above and some other issues he discussed were appealing to me except his views on sorcery (sahar, jadoo tona ). A man approached the Maulana with his son and said that "some sorcerer has made his son ill mentally with the result that he behaves differently nowadays and puts us to troubles". The Maulana advised him to do some isthighfar like saying Subhanallah 100 times daily in the morning and evening. I asked him if any sorcerer can harm anybody without any contact just by reciting something or doing things, his hesitant reply was almost in the affirmative. This surprised me. I said if harming others is possible for the sorcerers, there will not be any direct attacks between one country and another and rulers like Bush and Saddam could have sought the help of sorcerers to finish or harm each other. The Maulana had no clear answer. Can anybody throw light on this vital subject and explain why people like me cannot reject the theory of sorcery as practiced now as absurd and fraud on the gullible people and nothing but exploitation to amass wealth?