Giving dawah in Telugu : Islamic Publications Trust
By Aisha Khan
It is Sunday and the lanes of the otherwise busy Chatta Bazar in old city of Hyderabad sport a sleepy look. The silence inside the colony is broken when a loudspeaker blares the sound of welcome in Telugu [అందరికి ఆహ్వానం (andariki ahawanam)]. From a shamiana (canvas tent) erected in one of the lanes of Chatta Bazar, one could see bearded Muslim men speaking in chaste Telugu, welcoming one and all to the function. It is the launching of the Telugu school of journalism by the Islamic Publications Trust that is operating from this place for the past three decades.
Speaking at this function Syed Hussain of the trust explained that the trust was working since 1978 to dispel the myths about Islam and Muslims among non-Muslim Telugu speaking people in Andhra Pradesh.
As S M Mallick, the manager of the weekly Geeturai puts, “We have certain values and traditions that are most dear to us. We want to promote the same values and traditions through our publications. Hence we felt the need to start this journalism school in order to impart those values and ethos to students who will become good journalists and writers,” he said.
Mr Abdul Basit Anwar of the trust says that the school of journalism will be different from other schools of journalism. “Our students have been selected after a rigorous written as well as oral test. We have taken great pains to select the most suitable candidates for our mission,” he says.
Out of a total of 247 applications received, the trust has chosen only seven candidates. These students hail from different regions of the state where Telugu is the prime language. Shaik Islam is from Tadepalliudem in East Godavari, Shaik Shah Vali is from Anantapur, Shaik Bashir is from west godavari, Mohammed Mujahid from Khammam, Ishrat Parveen from Hyderabad and Srinu naik (a Lambada youth) from Nalgonda.
According to Mr Syed Husain, all the students hold a Masters degree in Telugu literature, besides holding other professional qualifications. The facilities at the new school of journalism include a computer-aided lab, a printing press, staff rooms, well equipped classrooms and a library for reference.
At the same function four books published by the trust were released by the chief guest. The books are:
2. మైసూర్ పులి - తిపు సుల్తాన్ (Mysore puli (tiger) – Tipu Sultan) written by Naseer Ahmed a research scholar with the trust.
Other two books are దాంపతీయ నియమాలు (Dampatiya niyamalu) (rules for couples for a happy living) and prapancha matalu (a comparative study of world religions and islam).
The trust is planning to publish another 27 books in the near future. Also in the pipeline is a project to publish 107 new books on different themes and subjects on Islam.
“We have already published 141 books in Telugu. And plan to do more in future,” Hussain says.
The trust also runs a website www.teluguislamiclit.org which lists the various achievements of the trust and gives updated information on the activities of the trust. The website also serves as a platform for the trust to build understanding and harmony between non-muslim Telugu speaking people and Muslims/islam.
The trust is engaged in several activities aimed towards promoting communal harmony among muslims and non-muslims. “This trust was established in 1977 by the members of “Jamat-e-Islami” to convey the message of peace and brotherhood. We do not believe in making noise. We continue our activities silently. We engage both the communities Muslims as well as non-muslims,” says Abdul Basith Anwar.
The trust also runs a postal library that lends books to readers through post. Once the reading is done, they can return the books to the trust. Similarly a mobile book shop (kanti rekha--- ray of light) was also started by the trust four months back. A van fitted with transparent glass doors and windows in which various books are displayed, moves across the state. This shop has sold books worth 4.5 lakh rupees till now. A majority of purchasers were non-muslims.
Another programme run by the trust includes dawah activity by one of its members Azharuddin among police officers. Azharuddin visits police stations, and other crime branch offices in the state to give informative lecture to policemen on Islam and muslims. He talks to them about Islam, its basic tenets, muslim practices, beliefs, holy Koran etc. The listeners include IPS officers, police commandants, inspectors, constables and home guards. He also shares with them the literature published by the trust.