A couple of months ago, some members of the Tableeghi Jamaat found Shuntoo walking on a street and decided, may God bless them, to try and put some hidayat into him, but they surely got a taste of what jihad actually means.
Here is a part of the conversation between the head of the Jamaat and my dear obnoxious Shuntoo.
Head: Son can we talk to you for a minute?
Shuntoo: I don’t believe I am your son, sir. And I am even surer of the fact that if I say yes, you’ll talk for much more than a minute. You seem like a nice man, why lie twice in such a small sentence, less than ten words. Doesn’t it bother you?
H (taken aback): I am sorry. Mister, can I talk to you for a while?
S: Sure. How can I help you?
H: Our success lies in following the path of God. That is our aim in this life.
S: Sorry, but why are you telling me your aim in life. What makes you think I’ll be interested in knowing?
H: By our, I meant yours and ours. It is your aim too.
S (smiling): And what makes you think you know what my aim is? You hardly know me.
H (a little irritated): Don’t make fun of religion, son! God has said that that is the aim of all humans.
S: So God talks to you? Wow!
H (very irritated now): Do you even believe in God, son?
S (smiling even more): Okay, for the last time, I am not your son, sir. Anyway, what is God? Tell me and I can respond to your question.
H: God created the universe and all of us.
S: I didn’t ask what He did and did not do. I asked who He was.
H: He is the Sustainer of all the worlds, son! The Ever Living.
S: You’re still telling me what He does, Dad! At least have an idea who you are asking people to believe in.
H(extremely annoyed now): Forget it. I just wanted to invite you to the Mosque for evening prayers. We’ll have a talk on how to get to the straight path.
S: Straight path to where?
H: To Jannah.
S: You mean you have found that path. A path on which, all the different sects can agree. Hurray!
H: I don’t care about all sects. We talk about fundamentals of Islam and try to convince brothers like you to join us in spreading the message.
S: So you’re a fundamentalist then?
S: Strange! Anyway, why would you want me to spread the message when I don’t know the message myself?
H: You’ll learn too.
S: So I’ll learn the message and even before I have learnt, I’ll be spreading it. Ok I get it. I’ll be roaming around with you, convincing my brothers to join us in spreading the message.
S: So what is your target? You felt that the Muslims had strayed from the path. So you decided to gather all the strayed Muslims and ask them to guide the other strayed Muslims. Wonderful! And do you aim to achieve a state of affairs where all the Muslims of the world are spreading the message and hardly any of them knows the message. Sounds twisted to me!
H: May Allah guide you son! You are under the influence of the Devil.
S: Some cool strategy for guiding me huh? If I don’t agree in five minutes, start giving pathetic excuses. Ok I have a few questions. Answer and I’ll come to the evening prayers. One, why do we end our fast with the Maghrib prayers when the Quran clearly asks us to fast till night?
H: Stop. Allah save the world from people like you. You misguide people from the Quran.
S: So no point in convincing me to join you, right?
H: Bye son! May Allah bless you.
S: Amen! And you too, Dad!
When Shuntoo told me about this incident, I was shocked. I had always thought he had a religious bone in him and when I asked him why he was so opposed to tableegh, he simply said,
“Opposed? Not at all, they are really sincere people. I just wish they spent some energy in learning what they want to propagate. But, they are great people, God must like them. Such simple beliefs.”
And then he started laughing.