Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Muharram / SAFAR 1424 H
April 2003
Volume 16-04 No : 196
Camps \ Workshops

News Community Roundup Editorial Readers Comments Capital View Taliking Peace Community Development Muslim Perspectives Men, Mission and Machines Book Review Chennai Diary Trends and Traditions Children's Corner Quran Speaks to You Hadith Our Dialogue Reflection Religion The Month Of Safar Opinion Living Islam Person Of The Month Young Muslim Islamic History Journey To Islam Matrimonial Jobs Archives Feedback Subscription Links Calendar Contact Us

Men, Mission and Machines


Heard of Haroon Bhai?
Fuelling Change in Two-Wheeler Economy

Heard of Haroon Bhai?

Haroon Mozawala is a fine example of an activist winning the hearts of non-Muslims through his dedicated service towards their welfare

By M. H. Lakdawala

Haroon Bhai busy in his time

More than a year has passed after the Gujarat riots. Relief and rehabilitation work is still going on. It is time to do some self-introspection. The need is to understand Islam in the current situation and our strategy and methodology, while dealing with the non- Muslim brothers of this great country.

Muslims have normally been considered Religious Exclusivists, who would not consider people of other faiths worthy of respect. Islam, on the one hand takes a firm position in claiming that its teachings are the true version of reality from God, on the other hand it also calls for genuine respect for all non-Muslims. While they are preaching, believers are expected to show respect to other faiths and behave in a manner that would not tarnish the image of their own religion. In case a non-Muslim (or a disgruntled Muslim) is drawn away from Islam because of a Muslim's poor behaviour, the latter will be held responsible for his misconduct and its consequences. The Quran says: "Call them to the path of your Lord with wisdom and words of good advice, and reason with them in the best way possible. Your Lord surely knows who strays from His path, and He knows those who are guided the right way". (16:125). Politeness, concern, respect, and tolerance are supposed to be part of a Muslim's desired behaviour towards non-Muslims.

The correct Islamic approach towards non-Muslims is to assume that all of them have, as yet, not been properly convinced about the authenticity of the Divine origins of the teachings of Islam. It is for the Muslims to help the non-Muslims to appreciate the truthfulness of the Islamic teachings. That would require not only intelligent preaching on their part, but a behaviour of respect and concern for the fellow human beings, irrespective of their faith.

The absence of the desired behaviour on the part of some Muslims has been an important reason for their failure to present Islam as a message that is worthy of being taken seriously by non-Muslims. It will only be taken seriously by them if Muslims are peaceful, tolerant and respectful towards other faiths while they continue their peaceful struggle to convince non-Muslims politely.

It is clearly held by the scholars of Islam that a non-Muslim may be termed 'kafir' only if he rejects Islam after properly knowing it. Since most non-Muslims simply do not have any clear idea about the teachings of Islam, they cannot be termed 'kafir.'

In Mumbai, there are a slew of individuals and organisations that silently work towards winning the hearts of non -Muslim brothers by sincerely helping them to overcome their socio-economic problems. One individual who is ceaselessly working towards this is Haroon Mozawala, 63, member and trustee of many Muslim organisations. He is devoting his full time for the social cause without expecting anything in return. The cause, which is very dear to his heart, is helping non- Muslims financially for their day -to-day problems related to health, education, housing and even drinking water. In the Gujarat riots, Haroon bhai as he is popularly known, besides arranging relief for riot victims, also worked towards communal harmony between the Muslims and non-Muslims for each other. Haroon bhai surveyed the riot-affected areas and identified the problems of the non-Muslims. Lack of drinking water and proper health care were the two issues and so Haroon bhai made provisions for bore wells and free medical dispensary in few of the riots affected villages. "In those riot affected areas where we had made arrangements for the free medical dispensary and dug up bore wells, the non-Muslims themselves invited back the riot -affected Muslims and gave them protection", said Haroon bhai.

In Mumbai, recently Haroon bhai donated five wheel chairs to the Sarvodaya Hospital managed by Gujaratis. "The response I got was overwhelming. The trustees of the Sarvodaya Hospital could not believe that a Muslim organisation was donating wheel chairs to the non-Muslim hospital", he said. Haroon bhai has donated wheel chairs to the J J Group of hospital, a public hospital managed by the state government. "This will go a long way in improving the image of Muslims and Islam," said Haroon bhai.

Haroon bhai tries to convince his donors to make provisions for the non-Muslims. "In our scholarship and health budget, non-Muslims deserve a substantial share. Islam puts great emphasis on the rights of non-Muslims. Out of the eight categories of Zakat, one is for non-Muslims. Also the rights of non-Muslim neighbours is one of the important teachings of Islam. The need of the hour today is for the Muslims in India to open up their heart to the non-Muslim brothers as Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) taught by example and share their pain and joy and make this world a better place to live," says Haroon bhai.

Top


BANGALORE DIARY

Fuelling Change in Two-Wheeler Economy

A Bangalore mechanic has modified his petrol- run moped into a battery -operated one.

By Maqbool Ahmed Siraj

Haroon Bhai busy in his time

A look at the photograph might suggest this man on the moped is just another petty businessman carrying some merchandise in packets. Nothing usual. Isn't it?

But have a closer look. His TVS moped is without the usual fuel tank. The man, Sajjad Ahmed moves about on this moped that has done away with any kind of liquid fuel. The packets on the mainframe are nothing, but two batteries on which he runs his vehicle.

Sajjad is currently looking for some manufacturer who could borrow the basic idea from him to manufacture battery- operated bikes. "They are cost efficient, noise-free and non-polluting", Sajjad reels out the merits of his improvised contraption. A trader in computer parts, his innovative mind has always been at work. He recently modified his petrol-run moped and now makes it run on the batteries.

"It costs you as little as 10 to 15 paise per km to travel on a battery operated bike against nearly one rupee on a petrol-run bike", claims Sajjad who proposes to apply for a patent. He has already approached the National Innovation Foundation, wing of the Council of the Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in New Delhi for preparatory work.

All that it has taken Sajjad to turn his fuel-run moped to run on the battery is to place two 24 volt batteries and attach them to the motor. The ride is smooth, noiseless and produces no fumes. Once fully charged, the moped can go upto 50 kms before needing a re-charge. Re-charging would require four hours of plugging into power socket at homes during stationary hours of nights and does not consume more than a unit of power.

However, Sajjad admits that at the current juncture, his moped is less likely to be accepted. He is working on miniaturisation and suitable placement of batteries within the vehicle with a view to enhance its aesthetic appeal. Though batteries add weight to the vehicle, some of it is offset by the removal of the fuel tank and kicker. He hopes to find a few takers of his concept for its manufacturing on a mass scale after these are carried out. Sajjad says though necessity to frequently recharge restricts his moped's mobility to 50 kms, production on mass scale would lead to more recharging or instant charging stations on the lines of the petrol bunks, or more powerful battery packs which will add more kilometres to it. Sajjad is also working on solar power driven two-wheelers. One wishes more power to his efforts.

Sajjad can be contacted on : 080-2296009

Top


News Community Roundup Editorial Readers Comments Capital View Taliking Peace Community Development Muslim Perspectives Men, Mission and Machines Book Review Chennai Diary Trends and Traditions Children's Corner Quran Speaks to You Hadith Our Dialogue Reflection Religion The Month Of Safar Opinion Living Islam Person Of The Month Young Muslim Islamic History Journey To Islam Matrimonial Jobs Archives Feedback Subscription Links Calendar Contact Us

Al-Nasr Exports