An Innovative Approach to Hindu-Muslim Dialogue

May 16, 2008

Author: Mudassir Rizwan

Source: Two Circles

55 year-old Syed Abdullah Tariq runs an Islamic group based in Rampur, a town in western Uttar Pradesh, that focuses on dialogue with Hindus. An engineer by training, he was one of the chief disciples of the late Maulana Shams Naved Usmani, a noted Islamic scholar who had also a deep knowledge of the Hindu scriptures.

Tariq collected and published the thoughts and sayings of Maulana Usmani in the form of several books in Urdu and Hindi, the most well-known of these being 'Agar Abhi Na Jagey To', later translated into English under the title 'Now Or Never'. Maulana Usmani and Tariq have been one of the pioneers of a particular Islamic approach to dialogue with Hindus, one that is based on the commonalities that they perceived in Islam and Hinduism.

In a recent meeting in Rampur, Tariq related his own story and his association with Maulana Usmani to Yoginder Sikand, as follows:

Having finished my engineering degree from the Aligarh Muslim University, I was not sure what I wanted to take up as a career. In 1974, when I was in my early twenties, I first met Maulana Shams Naved Usmani in Rampur. I was really impressed by his teachings, his enthusiasm for dialogue between Hindus and Muslims. I decided to stay in his company and to take down whatever he used to say to his disciples. Later, I had these published in the form of several books.