Citizens will get to know about the humanity of Prophet Mohammed, not through his followers, but by Hindus in the city. As part of the 'Prophet for All' drive to clear the misconceptions about the Prophet, and to disburse information that syncretic tradition continues to live on, around eight Hindus will be reciting naats (praises of Prophet Mohammed) at the Islam Gymkhana.
“Since the time of Aamir Khusro, shairis have been part of the culture. Muslim poets have written on Rakshabandhan, Holi and Diwali. There is no Hindu festival they have not written about. Similarly, there are a number of Hindus who have written naats on the Prophet. In the present atmosphere, we wanted to show that the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb is still alive,” said Farid Khan, conceptualiser and in-charge of Naatiya Mushaira. A naat is like a bhajan and is written in praise of Prophet Mohammed.
Dr Sagar Tripathi, who is known to have written many such texts, said, “I am participating in this to keep this Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb alive. In our village, we had only one Muslim family. But when they had to make a taziya, the entire village would be part of it,” said Tripathi, who considers himself a Hussaini Brahmin.
Tripathi learnt Urdu when he went to study in Prayagraj. “Back then Firakh Gorakhpuri was my guardian. I would keep hearing Urdu. It has makhmali ehsas (velveti feel) and komalta (softness). We like to use words and beauty of the language increases. I started getting interested in shairi after that,” said Tripathi.
Besides Tripathi, the mushaira will have three women reciting naats. “I will be reciting a naat in Marathi and Hindi. The idea is to tell about the love and the humaneness he had towards people,” said Anushka Nikam, a scriptwriter by profession.
Dr Laxman Sharma, who goes by the pen name Wahid in mushaira circles, said that the program was important to tell about the “insaniyat (humility), khulus (simplicity), honesty with which the Prophet lived”.
“The only reason I am part of this is that the quami yak zehati (Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb) has to be kept alive. The hatred that is going on is not going to serve anybody. It will only increase rifts. We should instead pass on the message of brotherhood. Through my naats, I will be telling about the kindness and humaneness of the Prophet, which he spread through his life,” said Dr Sharma.