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Maulana Nanotwi Jamboree
Brings People Together
All roads converged to the same place. Everyone who is anyone in the Muslim community was there.. The inaugural seminar on Imam Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi attracted all the big names of the Indian Muslim community. The big auditorium of Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi on 20 May was brimming with thousands of people who had come from far and near to attend the Seminar. Women were no exception. They too had come to share the great legacy of the Imam who had founded the Deoband school.
Maulana Salim Qasmi, Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri, Maulana Nizamuddin, Maulana Rabe Hasani Nadwi, Maulana Sajjad Nomani, Maulana Rafeeq Qasmi, Maulana Abdullah Mughisi, Maulana Burhanuddin, Maulana Waheeduddin Khan etc. were among prominent ualma who had come to pay their tributes to the great reformist of the nineteenth century. Maulana Nanotwi is the person to whom goes the credit of establishing private Muslim religious institutes or madarsa in the Sub-continent. By founding Darul Uloom, Deoband he put forth an example among Muslims of the country to follow him. And literally they did follow him in a big way. The credit of thousands of madarsas that can be found everywhere in the width and breadth of the country truly and rightly goes to Maulana Nanotwi. But the credit for all these thing also goes to Maulana Mahmudul Hasan, who prepared his two disciples, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and Maulana Nanotwi to serve the community in India in particular and whole Indian Sub-continent in general. Maulana pioneered religious education in India at a critical time whereas Sir Syed Ahmad Khan went on to pioneer modern education in the country by establishing Anglo-Mohamedan Oriental College which later developed into Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
The seminar was not just about Imam Nanotwi, speakers raised all the glaring issues of the community. The UP religious bill was discussed in a big way. Other issues, like education and illiteracy, were also given due importance. Maulana Salim Qasmi, the rector of Darul Uloom (Waqf), Deoband, who is also vice president of Muslim Personal Law Board, called Muslims to come together on a single platform by forgetting their differences and collectively face all issues. He said that without coming together we cannot solve a single problem.
It was a good sight to see ulama sitting together notwithstanding their differences. But it also witnessed an unfortunate incident when some goonda elements started raising slogans when Maulana Waheeduddin Khan was asked to speak. The big wigs on the dais could not muster courage to stand up to the goondas. They looked away as if it did not matter to them. A sad commentary on the moral condition of the present Muslim leadership.