Asslamo Allaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,
I came across a tweet of Shaykhul-Hadeeth (Maulana) Abdur-Raheem Limbada (HA) today about Shaykh (Maulana) Ghulam Ahmad Wastnavi (HA)’s impending visit to UK. I remember reading something about the sacking (firing) of Shaykh (Maulana) Ghulam Ahmad Wastnavi (HA) so I double-checked and sure enough there is a site purporting to have an official press release from Darul-uloom Deoband stating that he was sacked!
I was corrected by Shaykh (Maulana) (HA) that he was not sacked, rather he stepped down. This was confirmed to me by another Indian Muslim brother.
I then read the personal signed statement of Shaykh (Maulana) Ghulam Ahmad Wastnavi (HA)and it also did not mention anything about sacking (unlike the press release).
I then found dead links to some other contradictory press releases of Darul-uloom Deoband.
So the fact of the matter was that there may been some disagreement amongst Ulamah (fair enough) but entire media stories, press releases have been FAKED!
During my research I also found that Indian Media has spread disinformation about 3-4 prominent Indian Ulamah supporting the Butcher of Gujarat Narendra Modi, the names of some of the these Ulamah are as follows:
- Shaykh (Maulana) Ghulam Ahmad Wastnavi (HA)
- Shaykh (Maulana) Asad Madani (RA)
- Shaykh (Maulana) Mehmood Madani (HA)
- Shaykh (Maulana) Salman Hussaini Nadwi (HA)
All of these Ulamah have denied these reports categorically.
I then came across FAKE facebook pages where names of these Ulamah have been mentioned with vile insults, disrespect and rumour. It appears that the easiest way to discredit Ulamah in India is to start a FAKE story about them and then the social media and Indian Rumour Mill takes over!
No doubt that there are some disagreements amongst Ulamah but fuel is being poured on the fire by genuine and orchestrated disinformation campaign complete with FAKE pages, sites, blogs and press releases.
One of the solutions is to have a coherent, media strategy to nip the evil in the bud! However, I find information dissemination from Indian Ulamah and institutes lacking behind. Every month I try to update moon sighting information from around the world, the information from India is extremely difficult and usually always late. There is no coherent and organised Jamiat (in India) coordinating this throughout the country so disinformation about other matters is also likely to take hold.
I have been told that by Indian Muslims that the situation (particularly) during the election campaigns are particularly dire with disinformation flowing from every corner.
May Allah (SWT) help the Indian Muslims and particularly the Ulamah and Islamic institutes (Ameen).
There has to be a solution and things simply CANNOT carry on the way they are, the damage being done (even to an outsider like me) is catastrophic, all someone has to do is start a rumour about an Alim supporting Narendra Modi or some other explosive issue (like Fatwa for Cash etc) and immediately decades of work for the Deen of Allah (SWT) is forgotten and the Alim goes onto the back foot, trying to salvage his reputation!
If you are aware of this issue then SIMPLY agreeing with it won’t solve the problem! Positive steps need to be taken to control the issuance and dissemination of news regarding Islam, Ulamah and Islamic institutes. In today’s connected world you can start with something simple and ensure that the counter narrative is put out for the public to ascertain the truth.
Sitting back on our heels and not doing anything will be criminal. We CANNOT afford to let disinformation hunt down our religion, our Ulamah and our institutes. The same goes for us in the West but the situation in India appears to be pretty dire!