By M Tariq Ayubi
Aligarh: Meet Furqan Nadwi. He was in the first batch of my students. He, along with some noble souls in Hathras—Hindus and Muslims both—has been helping needy people during the lockdown with food distribution.
Although, during this service he has had several pleasant and unpleasant experiences, I will restrict myself to narrating to two-to-three incidents.
Brother Furqan Nadwi has distributed food to hundreds of needy Hindus and Muslims during the lockdown. Majority of beneficiaries include the Hindus though.
Today he took some fruits to two centres where 32 people have been quarantined. Of these only four are Muslims while the rest are Hindus. But the Godi Media claims that only Muslims suffer from Coronavirus.
Along with providing the much-needed service, Furqan Nadwi does not miss an opportunity to mitigate the misunderstandings [and counter the anti-Muslim hatred and prejudice created by the Godi Media].
Today when he was distributing food in a mohalla, a temple priest approached him and requested for help. Furqan Nadwi told him with utmost respect: ‘Pundit ji, this would be very disrespectful if we gave food to you like this; nor would it behove you. Please go to the temple and we will bring the food for you there.’ He then went to the temple with essential items, sat with the priest and talked to him at length on several issues.
Sadly, Godi Media has converted Coronavirus to Islam because of which anti-Muslim hatred has spread far and wide in villages and cities.
One of Furqan Nadwi’s partners in this social work is a Hindu gentleman, Sharmaji. Sharmaji has built a residential colony [and is an influential figure there].
A Muslim vegetable vendor used to sell vegetables at the gate of the colony and Sharmaji was one of his customers. One day Sharmaji asked him to go inside the colony as well and sell vegetables there.
But the residents of the colony asked the watchman at the gate of the colony not to let the vegetable vendor come inside the colony for ‘they [the Muslims] spread coronavirus.’ So the poor vendor stopped going in the colony.
One day, out of the blue, he went to Sharmaji’s house. Seeing him Sharmaji’s wife enquired about the reason why he had stopped coming to the colony. He narrated the story to her. When Sharmaji learnt about this incident, he confirmed it with the watchman.
Sharmaji then asked the vendor to restart selling vegetables in the colony and report back to him, should anyone object.
Bear in mind that this is about Hathras, a Hindu majority district that has a special religious importance to the Hindus.
Furqan Nadwi, a brave and energetic young man, runs a madarsa about two-kilometre from the city. He has been doing this social service with great courage.
I hope the readers will get a positive message from this story: take advantage of the goodness in and positive attitude of good human beings in the country and spread love and positiveness. We need to counter media’s negative propaganda by publicising the good work being done to serve the humanity.
Tariq Ayubi is a social activist and Principal of Madrasatul Uloom Al Islamia