Mahboob Ali was the Imam of Badi Masjid, Baraut. Having brought up in a religious family, he knew Quran by heart. Since childhood, he was known as an exceptional student. Being a Wahabi (one of the 73 or more sects of Islam that claims to be the only one on path of truth, rest being hell-seekers), Quran alone was his passion, zeal and vision. He knew that the only message of peace is that of Quran. Only Quran could provide solutions to problems of humanity. He was convinced that all that is good in other religions is borrowed from Islam. Islam meant peace, brotherhood, love and compassion.
Inspired by the vision of the Messenger of Peace, he started a campaign to spread awareness about Islam and its message of peace. Since Quran taught him to love all humans, he would enter into peaceful dialogues with scholars of other faiths to nurture a common platform of brotherhood. He believed that such an approach would help spread the true message of Islam among those who knew nothing about it. Each morning, after his prayers, he would walk in his locality singing verses of Quran, joined by others who would sing verses of other religious books, emphasizing peace, brotherhood and compassion. He knew that if he did not help create this awareness, fellow innocent people would enter into Hell forever because of their ignorance. Thus, he was widely respected by Muslims and non-Muslims alike as a saintly figure having only a singular mission of peace and brotherhood. Imam Mahboob Ali was progressing well in his journey towards Heaven forever. Then suddenly something happened…
As part of his campaign to have dialogues with other faiths, he once entered Gurukul Indraprastha. This being an Arya Samaji gurukul, the caretakers had no qualms in inviting a Muslim to stay at their gurukul for as long as he liked. Next day, he met Amar Swami and explained his mission. He recited a verse from Quran that emphasized on peace and brotherhood. Amar Swami smiled and recited another verse from Quran that meant the opposite. Imam Mahboob Ali was surprised to hear such clear pronunciation of Quranic verse from a non-Muslim spiritual teacher. He then recited another verse from Quran on brotherhood. Amar Swami too recited yet another verse with an opposite sense. Now the Imam could not resist his queries. He asked, “Swamiji, How do you know Quran? And why you have provided these examples? Do you hate Muslims and Islam? If so, why I see a smile on your face?”.
Amar Swami replied, “Dear Imam, Hatred is against our principles. I just wanted to know that do you have any justifications for these verses? And if not, how can we have peace if we still believe in them?”
Imam had been exposed to this aspect of Quran for the first time. Though he knew the verses, he never took them so seriously and considered them to be directions in specific contexts. He politely stated, “These are for different contexts.” Soon the two scholars of Islam were discussing the details of Quran. Imam Mahboob knew that he was not talking to an ordinary person, but someone who knows more about Islam and Quran than all the maulvis he had ever met. Imam had to admit that his study was still incomplete and he would need to do more research.
At this stage, Amar Swami suggested him to read a book cover-to-cover, and then seek the queries that have evolved. The meeting ended.
The Gurukul caretakers procured for him a copy of Urdu translation of a book named Satyarth Prakash in Hindi, which translated into “Light of Truth” in English. This book was written by Swami Dayanand Saraswati in 1883. The book has 14 chapters followed by a glossary.
Imam Mahboob Ali stayed in gurkul for next few days, all alone and completed the book cover to cover. Within few hours, suddenly the world, the life, its purpose, its meaning – everything was different for him. He had now witnessed a perspective that he had never imagined before. He tried his best to find credible loopholes in the content of the book, but could not. Imam had to spend next several days in isolation to digest all this and stabilize.
In his desperation, he wrote to all leading scholars of Islam with certain doubts he had. He personally went to meet several of them. But none could provide any answers. Most refused to even utter a word. One said that merely by raising such questions, he has reserved place in Hell. Another abused him of being a manic. He waited for a more reasonable reply, but nothing came.
Imam was left with no options. That one small incident and one book had changed the course of his life forever….
Today, after 27 years of that episode, Pandit Mahendra Pal Arya has now only one mission in life – to spread the message of Vedas. He has brought innumerable people in the vedic fold, has defeated many a scholars of Islam in countless debates, and continues to spread the Light of Truth despite threats.
Being a Bengali Muslim, he knew nothing of Hindi or Sanskrit. However, he first mastered these languages, then studied the original Satyarth Prakash (Light of Truth: http://www.aryasamajjamnagar.org/satyarth_prakash_eng.htm), the Vedas and all other Vedic texts. He lives in his small home in outskirts of Delhi and has issued open declaration to embrace Islam, if one can answer the very questions that made him leave Islam.
In 2002, Dr Zakir Naik mailed him with his views on Islam. Pandit Mahendra Pal replied with his own set of questions. He invited Dr Naik to debate with him in public. The invitation is available on internet as wellhttp://www.scribd.com/doc/8142696/Official-Challenge-to-Dr-Zakir-Naik-by-Sarvdeshik-Arya-Pratinidhi-Sabha-. But since then, Dr Naik has been avoiding him. In 2006, he defeated Abdullah Tariq of Rampur (an eminent scholar of Islam) in a debate at Bulandshahar. Since then Abdullah Tariq has been refusing to have any public discussions with anyone from Vedic background.
If his questions are answered, he is more than willing to accept Islam.
He can be contacted at +919810797056.
His video lectures are here http://www.youtube.com/user/truthwisdom2008
Disclaimer: This post is a factual narration of events in life of an individual to the my best knowledge. Publishing of this post does not necessarily imply that I (yasharya) in any way endorse the individual. Nor do the contents of his writings being published here imply that I (yasharya) agree to them completely. The purpose of publishing this post is no way to demean any person, religion or belief. It merely represents a perspective for further rational analysis.