I wondered why travel to Sweden, why not stay at Raiwind (tableeghi Jamaat’s headquarters in Pakistan) and get a Master Degree through God
Last year, I was packing my bags for a new experience. It was about the place I had heard of only from the perspective of other people’s experience. This new place was Europe. It was my first time outside of my home country, Pakistan. Therefore, in many ways I was expecting surprises. Also, I was expecting to learn about life and new things. Now I am in Sweden for more than one year.
Initially, I had a chance to live with a Swedish family in Linkoping, a university town bit south of capital Stockholm. It was a practicing Christian family. It was a good experience but at the same time there were things I could not tell them with comfort…things like how most of the Christians are treated in my home country as a minority. I don’t have to go into the details. But they still got a clue!
Later I had to move to a new place to live with Pakistani brothers. At first, it felt as if I was back in Pakistan. Here the rules were strict. Resistance was strong against adopting new things. Sometimes if asked for an explanation with regard to such rigidity, the answer would be: Oye! Tu tou Swedish ho gaya hai…Pakistan ko bhool gaya hai… (You have become Swedish…And you have forgotten your home country, Pakistan) The bottom line is not to adopt but to follow. That depressed me, still does.
I would wonder and wanted to find out how things work within this Pakistani community. How they stay together and most importantly, why they stay aloof and don’t even try to integrate with the host society? The answers would come in bit and pieces.
One cold night while I was in my Pakistani apartment, there was a polite knock on the door. One of my roommates opened the door to welcome two Pakistani students. But it was not a normal welcome I must say. What happened next was beyond my expectations. The unexpected guests began preaching Islam to us. My mind asked me: Is it for real? If Tableeghi Jamaat (Party of Preachers) has such stretched outreach. Yes, it does.
We were invited to Mosque by our preaching guests for “Bayaan” (spiritual speech). They also wanted us to join them for Seh Roza (three-day preaching mission) which they themselves would undertake every month, to another city. They emphasized the importance of Tableegh as ‘our duty’ being a Muslim. ‘We are ambassadors of Islam and after Prophets this burden is upon us, we were informed. My roommates expressed Iraada (intention) to go for three-day mission. The names were noted in a notebook and guests left happy over the success of their visit.
As they left, I asked my roommates if they had no assignments to do on weekends. They replied if we do Allah’s work, HE will do help them out. In reward for their Iraada, I was told, Allah would help them overcome all the hurdles.
I wondered why travel to Sweden, why not stay at Raiwind (tableeghi Jamaat’s headquarters in Pakistan) and get a Master Degree through God.
Being curious, after getting few invitations by those preachers, I once went for a three-day mission. I sacrificed my assignments. We were ten people in the preaching group. We were hosted by a Somali. Somalis are also very active in this preaching movement. All three days were full of emotional sermons. One recurring theme was: “These people [Europeans] don’t know anything. They are very unlucky. We have to tell them the truth. They are in the darkness…”
When we return, every one of us rushed to finish the pending assignments all by ourselves in hurry. No divine help had reached to help us out. Actually there are no such divine promises. It is just another tactic to maintain the culture of obedience among the students even here in Sweden.
Whoever is going on these missions is considered a pious person. Even importantly, these missions serve as confessions in Christian tradition. After all, Satan keeps seducing these students. Often the satanic attractions ‘in the darkness’ are in plenty.
Shopping is an important part of cultural Jihad. I discovered it when I first went with Pakistani friends for shopping. Every time I tried to pick anything, they raised an alarm: “Let us check the E-codes before you buy it”. I thought E-code was some health code. The E-codes were properly searched on cell phones. “There is E-code in this product so you have to take some other,” I was told in many cases. It was pretty hard scanned shopping. Finally, I found out they would not consume anything that contained E-code (fat from pigs).
In a few days time, we were at Job Fair. There were a few companies offering free ice cream. Hardly anybody remembered the E-code thing. All of us were busy consuming as much as we could. I guess it was code-free day.
Last August one of my friends in Stockholm was planning to go back to Pakistan since his study was completed. We were in an Arab shop buying gifts. We went to a candies’ stall and started selecting candies for my friend’s kids back in Pakistan. Suddenly a man hurriedly approached us and said: “Tum log Pakistani ho na” (Are you Pakistani?). When answered in affirmation, he said: “Yar iss mein animal fat hai, yeh mat kharedo. Buhat dehaan kiya karo, haram hai yeh” (This candy contains prohibited animal fat. Don’t buy it. Be careful! It is haraam). After that he happily went off after rescuing us from eating haraam candy. But he didn’t left us as happy as we were before encountering him.
Once one of those practicing, preaching Muslim roommates went to a pub. Yes, pub where it is believed one has the greater chance to date a girl. Swedish food is not kosher. But Swedish girls are definitely halal. While dancing, he rubbed against a guy with a glass of bear. Our preaching Muslim got a small amount of bear spilt on his shirt. He immediately left the pub for a ghussal (shower) to get clean again.
Djinn and jihad
There was a Pakistani roommate working as a hawker. One night he came back, simply out of breath. When asked for an explanation, he said: “You guys will not believe. I have seen a ghost in the district I work.” He ran back home to save his life.
When I contested his claim, I was told by a PhD student (of Physics!) it was heresy to deny the existence of djinns as Quran has mentioned their presence. Heresy is the last thing I want to commit.
One day a Swedish Muslim approached me and my friend at campus. He was already acquainted with my friend. He lectured us on the plight of Muslims said: “Akhi! Don’t you thing we should go for jihad in Afghanistan? This is obligatory upon every Muslim.” I was startled at what he said so conveniently in apost-9/11 period. I was not comfortable neither was my friend. We politely begged the permission to dismiss the conversation. After few days I heard about that guy. He was arrested three times already. I still wonder what his complete story is. Anyway, I have not seen him ever again since summer.
There is another Swedish convert visiting our apartment on the invitation from our Pakistani landlord, Hafiz Sahib. He enlightened us as to how Swedish people thought about us as a Muslim. We were advised to grow beard, wear Islamic dresses and display complete Islamic touch in our personality. ‘Swedish people think we are bad Muslims if we shave our beard and dress like them’, he told us. Besides such on-spot lecturing, e-mail lists also help spread the word of God.
The e-mail preaching
Here is an email sent by a Pakistani student on student email group of University of Jönköping:
Assalam Alaykum WRA
Brothers of Islam please spread this message on other forums and groups.
We are is Europe , does not mean we forget Islam and forget honour of our beloved Prophet Muhammad Sal Allah Ho Alayhe Wasalam.
Although the biggest battle is by Hand, yet what we can now do is to spread awareness and fight ideological war here in Europe to put sense in them and tell them how Shytaan have beguiled and mislead them into the word extreme darkness and frustration and ultimately hell .
Lets us expose this filthy PIG and DOG through writing talking and anyway possible.
Here is a facebook update by a Pakistani student studying in Karlskrona:
“Who will free the Grenada? Who will conquer the Europe and dominate Islam here? Don’t forget the message of Islam”
Dear readers! Do you have an answer?
|Faheem Yousuf is a Computer Science professional. He has Bachelors degree in Computer Science from National University - FAST, Pakistan. Currently, he is doing Masters in Software Engineering and Management from Linkoping University, Sweden. He is the web editor for viewpointonline.|