Muslims have always been a minority group within the Indian sub-continent, compared to the larger Hindu majority, but what is new in recent times is the Muslims absence from political power. Whenever a nation of people have migrated to India they have been engulfed by the powerful nature of its culture.
The religion of Islam was first introduced to the Indian sub-continent through the efforts of Muhammad bin Qasim Al Thaqafi and other pious men, who struggled and died to take Islam to the distant corners of the globe. The spread of Islam in the region led to its establishment as a political and social order through the implementation of Shariah, this in turn led to massive leaps in the progression of the Indian civilisation and culture.
Islam does not regard culture as intrinsically haram (forbidden). Indeed Arab culture is not necessarily Islamic culture, and Islamic culture is not necessarily equal to Arab culture. There is no identifiable concept as Islamic culture, rather the Shariah of Islam lays down the parameters of what is permissible and what is forbidden from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of Muhammad , sallalahu alaihi wassallam. Anything that does not contravene this can be taken as an acceptable culture. Bearing this in mind we can see it perfectly acceptable for a Muslim to eat an Indian curry or a plate of fish and chips, providing they are Halal. These are two icons of different cultures yet both are perfectly within the parameters of Islam.
When Muslims live side by side with non-Muslims the interaction of the two groups will indeed lead to the exchange of ideas, habits and even rituals. If not safety catches are put in place then over a period of time there is the serious danger that eventually there will be little distinction between the two groups, before long mixed faith marriages, the adoption of festivals, habits, beliefs and even worship will take place and the general lack of religious foresight will lead to a completely new âmutatedâ community of pseudo-Muslims and their counterparts.
The threat of cultural integration and the loss of Islamic identity is so dangerous that the Messenger of Allah drew our attention to it on many an occasion. That is not to say Muslims should isolate themselves or retreat into ghettos , on the contrary it is an essential requirement to deliver the message of Islam to non-Muslim communities and this in itself must be undertaken with beautiful manners, amicable relations and the finest of speech, and of course all this requires interaction. But the concern that needs to be at the top of the agenda is that of the preservation and confidence in the creed and practice that Islam embodies. It is when the Ummah adopts Islam as a way of life and fulfils its mission that Allah grants it authority on the Earth
There are many complexities to living as Muslims in this day and age. Many factors are at play in the world around us, strings are pulled and flutes are played, the overall effect on our daily lives is tremendous. What is more frightening is the lack of insight and consciousness we as Muslims seem to possess. In most instances we only appreciate the reality of our circumstances and depth of our condition after we have tasted its bitter fruit.
Many of you (I hope) will be unfamiliar with the nature and power of the âBollywoodâ film industry and the great impact it is having upon Muslims globally, I will now endeavour to shed some light on the area in a hope that it will make us reflect and help us reconsider our current neglect. The Indian film industry has been in operation for over fifty years and during this period of time it has been able to extend its large tentacles to every corner of the globe. Indeed where there is any substantial number of people from the Indian sub-continent ( that includes Bangladeshis and Pakistanis) you will find the long and murky shadow of Bollywood. Before the era of satellite dishes and cable companies, people would satisfy their craving for an Indian movie via the local video shop, and in the absence of these then there was always the radio and magazines at hand. Through television the access is immediate.
Depravation has led to Muslim involvement in the industry at every level and throughout its history. From the directors of the movies to the local video hire shop Muslims are in it âwaist highâ. From the likes of the legendary actor Dilip Kumar (his original Muslim name was Yusuf, it was changed to assist integration) who had his first appearance in 1944 and Waheeda Rehaman ( a Muslim lady who ran away from home to become an actress and went on to marry Hindu actor Guru Dutt) (???) to the melodic Mohammed Rafi (source of many a love song), down to the modern day Salman Khan ( Indian Romeo of the 90âs and icon for many young Asian boys) and the infamous Amir Khan. All these and many more are part of the machinery to propagate ideas and notions about the world around us. The plot of almost every film is based on the story line of âboy meets girlâ, the film spirals the viewer into a realm of indecency that would put Hollywood to shame. The unfolding story lines usually marked with their lack of reality expose the naĂŻve Muslim family to every thing that is wholly unislamic. The many Muslim actors and actressâs are not only involved in the encouragement of fornication, bigamy, rebellion to parents but even idol worshipping, roles which they are only too happy to play. Even though Allah says :
âAllah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgives anything else, to whom He pleases; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin most heinous indeedâ (4:48)
The Messenger of Allah said: âWhoever imitates a people is one of them.â Indeed it is the saying of the companions of the Prophet (SAWS) : âWhoever imitated the idol worshippers will be raised with them on the day of Judgement.â
âBoy meets Girlâ
There is a constant barrage of accusations against Islam based on the myth that the Shariah is unfair to women, yet there appears to be a deafening silence at the gigantic level of exploitation of women by Bollywood. Women are always shown as being nothing more than objects to be jeered and wooed by âwannabe Romeosâ. The most a woman is capable of achieving is to be able to dance in a park for any prospective âCasanovaâ, it is a most despicable and deplorable representation of the female. The high level of exposure to such role models to our younger generations of boys and girls has led to the current trend of irresponsible behaviour. Young boys practicing irresponsibility and young girls dreaming of an Amir or Salman to sweep them off their feet and take them to the park or library (What? Did you really think they are all studying?)
Muslim parents to this day still remain bewildered as to the reason why their children have been corrupted and the reason for their sons and daughters running away from home. The Bollywood Love story is a sick dream that is being pushed, its only reality is the nightmare of the break up of Muslim families. The average Muslim family will refuse to prosecute the criminal, the source of their family being dishonoured. Amazingly enough Muslim parents would be more likely to prohibit their children watching mild English films but on the other hand would have no problem exposing them to indecency of Indian movies, Why?? Simply due to the fact that the latter is morally justified because it is of Asian origin, and what is culturally correct must be morally and ethically correct. This is a clear reflection of the absence of understanding the parameters that Islam has enjoined upon Muslims and whenever such parameters are disregarded no matter how strong the cultural attachment, they lead to horrendous consequences. Not convinced? Just reflect upon the current trends amongst Muslim youth and you will soon add it up. Modesty and indecency come from the Adhab (manners) of Islam not from an ethnic or indigenous culture. As Maulana Maudoodi once said : âIf you are going to sow the seeds of a lemon tree, you are not going to eat the mangoes.â
It may surprise you to learn that the Indian film industry churns out more films in one year than any other on the planet, including the head of the âsnake of entertainmentâ: Hollywood. Indeed it was this amazing achievement that led to the Indian film industry being crowned, âBollywoodâ.
When considering the western film industry we have a mild form of reassurance that comes from knowing what certificate a film has been awarded. This system does not exist in most Bollywood films and even if it did it would probably be disregarded. The end result is films that show all that would undoubtedly be regarded even by western audiences to be wholly unsavoury stuff. Bollywood does not even stop at encouraging youngsters to be rebellious to their parents and discard moral decency, it goes further to shake and jeer at the very foundations of Islamic belief ; that of the sovereignty of Allah, by its constant promotion of idol worshipping and reverence of man made images.
Allow me if you will to narrate to you a true story that may bear some light upon my accusations. The story at hand concerns a Muslim family consisting of a young mother and father and their nine and half year old son. This family living in the UK had their origins in the Indian sub-continent, and like many Muslims from any given part of the western world they were in the habit of watching excess amounts of television, and what is specifically a trait of a substantial number of Muslims from the Indian sub-continent is the deep seated need to watch movies from an Indian origin. The family did not even give regard to the possible effects it was having upon their child. On one unfortunate day the mother of the family fell prey to a serious illness and was immediately taken to hospital, on the brink of life and death. After taking his wife to the hospital and returning home it was the fathers job to inform his young son of his mothers illness, a gruelling task indeed. No matter how the father tried to soften the blow the child was understandably distraught at the news of his mothers serious illness. After a long and arduous evening both father and son retired to sleep. Several hours into the night the father was awoken by the sound of noise coming from the living room, leaving his bed he decided to investigate with caution and entered the living room, the scene which he saw shocked him beyond expression. In the living room he found his child transfixed to an image being projected by a scene from a Bollywood film, the image was that of a stone idol, and his Muslim son pleading to it to make his mother better again. You may find this a far fetched story but that does little to change its reality. The child had unknowingly been taught to worship others besides Allah by being exposed to large doses of idol worship in Indian films. The father saw the error of his ways and vowed to remove the films for good.
Do not for a moment think that the problem effects only Asian Muslims, it has taken to our Arab brethren , where Bollywood films are shown with Arabic subtitles, shocking really to imagine that the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) spent 23 years along with his successors, to remove idol worship from the Arabian peninsula, and yet today it has been brought back to the sacred Hijaz via satellite, little regard is given by Muslims to what Allah has ordained to keep idol worship out of this area and all that is associated with it.
Betraying your Brothers and sisters
You may think that this would be enough incrimination, but no the crimes continue. The nature of the Kashmir problem is quite straightforward; India has occupied this land that is overwhelmingly Muslim, a population which has categorically refused to be ruled by the dictatorship of an Indian regime. Over the years Kashmiri Muslims have engaged in a noble Jihad to liberate their land from these oppressors, the Indian government has responded by destroying Mosques, hospitals, and school, it has also undertaken to killing thousands of Muslim civilians and raping Kashmiri women by its armed soldiers.
Bollywood assists in this systematic genocide by filming love song scenes in the same valleys of Kashmir where the killings and raping occurs. Further to this a percentage of profits made by the industry are contributed directly to the killing fields. The truth is Muslims are renting and subscribing to films which financially contribute indirectly to the murder and rape of Kashmiri Muslims. Bollywood has made various films portraying the Mujahideen of Kashmir as terrorists and criminals, and their own villainous soldiers to be angelic. Such political propaganda is being fed into the minds of millions of naĂŻve Muslims. It will not surprise you to learn that there have been Indian Movie stars who have moved to become political candidates for the fascist anti-Muslim, Babri Masjid destroying party of the BJP, actors such as Shatrughan Sinha.
Yet still Muslims cannot get enough of watching garbage. The erosion of Muslim independent identity and confidence in the Islamic way of life has led to Muslims allowing integration to take place, this disregard for the tenants of Islamic belief has led to the doors of indecency and depravation being open to our community, we have invited the snake into our house by opening the door to him, and we stand idle as it bites and injects poison into our children and family members.
It is perfectly acceptable for Muslims from the Indian sub-continent to be proud of their cultural heritage, and indeed Muslims from any part of the world can do like wise, the only problem comes when we begin to give more reverence to culture over and above the commands of Allah, cultural diversity is a blessing from Allah, it is not however on the same level as the Shariah and laws of Allah.
When we make the mistake of elevating our ethnicity and cultural origin to a level where it governs what we consider to be right and wrong we are heading for real trouble.
The above mentioned are mere snowflakes on the tip of the ice-berg, as to the real extent of damage that Bollywood has done, Allah alone only knows, but you can be sure it is massive. If you would like to prevent your children from growing up with a Shaytaan as a baby sitter â boycott Bollywood! If you would like to respect your Islamic creed and the sovereignty of Allah â boycott Bollywood! If you cannot help the suffering Kashmiri Muslims then at least do not arm their enemy â boycott Bollywood!