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Auto Drivers Now Turn ‘Divine Couriers’

Syed Hamid Mohsin (in blazer), Chairman, Salaam Centre, with auto drivers.

Salaam Centre launches unique scheme to gift copies of Quran and other Islamic literature through 50 autorickshaws in Bangalore

Shoaib Shaikh | KMNN

Bangalore. July 26, 2012. Autorickshaw drivers in Bangalore do not enjoy the best of reputation. People rather detest them for their behaviour bordering on arrogance and a lack of concern for the hapless commuters.

Which is why even a small act of virtue such as polite conduct by auto drivers makes the news. But wait, here’s an example which would surely make you change your opinion about auto drivers.

Salaam Centre, a City-based NGO known for its ‘Quran For All’ programme, has launched a unique scheme to introduce Allah’s message and the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to non-Muslims.

In the past, the NGO distributed free copies of the Quran at High Court of Karnataka as well as at courts in Ramanagar, Belgaum, Hubli-Dharwad. Copies of the Quran were also distributed  at State police headquarters, State intelligence headquarters, and police commissionerate, Bangalore.

After a successful campaign through outdoor hoardings and participation in various book fairs including the International Book Fair at Delhi, Salaam Centre has now set out on a mission which should certainly be praised for its creativity. The NGO is using auto drivers as a liaison to spread the word of Allah to non-Muslims.

THE ‘DIVINE COURIER’: Nisar Ahmed poses with the box containing Islamic literature in his autorickshaw.

To begin with, it has fixed scientifically designed metallic boxes right behind the driver’s seat in 50 autos. These boxes contain leaflets on such topics as the Oneness of Allah (Tawhid), introduction to the life story of Prophet Muhammad (saws) (Seerah), Life After Death (Akhirah), Hijab, Islam and terrorism, etc. A book on removing common misconceptions about Islam is also provided. The topics of literature keep changing every month.

Passengers are encouraged to pick the leaflets during travel. Syed Hamid Mohsin, Chairman, Salaam Centre, says the response has been “amazing”. “We are tempted to believe that it’s a simple yet affective way of removing misconceptions about Islam and bringing Muslims and followers of others religions closer,” Mr. Mohsin said.

Passengers who show interest in reading more on Islam are given a Quran gift box that contains a copy of the Holy Quran, ‘Follow me’ – a biography of Prophet Muhammed (s), and another book on Islam. The gift box is delivered to their address after they fill a simple form.

The scheme was formally launched by Mr. Mohsin at the Richmond Road branch of Salaam Centre on July 22. “The Indian society is in desperate need of a communication between the two communities. Non-Muslims are eager to know about Islam and the life of Prophet Muhammed (saws),” he explained.

At the launch programme, Salaam Centre also screened a documentary on the response of non-Muslims recorded at various ‘Quran for All’ pavilions.

Nissar Ahmed, an auto driver from D.J. Halli, was the first to support the initiative. His friends soon joined. Their spirit is commendable. Mr. Ahmed already boasts of an award. The Commissioner of Bangalore City police presented him the award of the most honest auto driver.

Mr. Ahmed lost his father while his mission was in progress. But he didn’t lose sight of his objective, according to Akbar Ali, President and CEO, mPower.

Syed Hamid Mohsin, Chairman, Salaam Centre, addresses auto drivers at a training programme in Bangalore.

One day, Mr. Ahmed was with Mr. Akbar busy in this mission. They finished the work at 10.30 pm. The next morning, Mr. Akbar found him in the graveyard. He learnt, only to his surprise, that Mr. Ahmed’s father died at 7.30 pm the previous day when they were at work! Mr. Ahmed knew the fact but preferred Allah’s work to his father’s funeral. He reached his house only after the work was completed. “We all need to salute him for his commitment to Allah’s cause,” Mr. Akbar said. “It was time we compared our commitment with his. Dawah requires sincerity, dedication and devotion of the highest order.”

Khader Basha is another auto driver who has wholeheartedly supported the endeavour. He says the initiative is benefitting him more than his passengers. “It has actually helped me to be upright in my daily life. Now many a time I feel ashamed to fleece customers,” he said.

These ‘divine couriers’ have many interesting anecdotes to narrate. Hafiz Mohammed Sadiq, another driver, recalls a Hindu priest once boarded his three-wheeler. During the travel, he read the pamphlets and was impressed. “Today I happened to take an auto as my car broke down. I am amazed by the way you are spreading the message of Islam,” he remarked and sought a copy of the Kannada translation of the Quran.

Mr. Basha has a similar story to narrate. A man boarded his auto from Hebbal to be dropped to a far-off place. He also picked many leaflets during the travel and quickly glanced at them. He evinced interest in reading more. He had a few questions for Mr. Basha and asked him if he could deliver a copy of the Quran.

Mr. Basha was more than happy to oblige him the very next day. When he reached the man’s house, he was offered Rs. 1,000 which he declined. “Sir, let me take the reward in the Hereafter.” The man was stunned by Mr. Basha’s reply. “My only request to you is to read and understand it and convey its message to your family and friends. I’ll be more delighted if you introduce this Quran to your friends and give me an opportunity to gift a copy to them as well,” Mr. Basha told him.

Mr. Ahmed was once followed by a police patrol vehicle and had to stop his three-wheeler at Vellara Junction. A thousand worries struck him. He went up to the policeman in the patrol vehicle and asked about the matter. The policeman replied. “Nothing. I just wanted a copy of ‘Tappukalpanegalu’ (a book on misconceptions about Islam). I had once seen it while on VIP duty. I’ve since then been looking for it. When I saw the book in your auto, I started following you.”

The efforts of these auto drivers and Salaam Centre should be emulated all over the State. Other Muslim NGOs can also adopt this simple yet effective way of introducing Islam to non-Muslims.

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66 Responses

  1. Maasha Allah, what a wonderful idea!!!. May Almighty Allah bless all of them with the best for coming up with this great deed during this holy month.
    May Almighty Allah reward them for their effort to spread the message, which is the need of the hour. I feel proud of the fact that such an initiative has started in my city – Bangalore. Looking forward to see these Autos in Bangalore during my visit next month.

    • Subhan Allah , May Allah swt reward all those who introduced the idea to spread the awareness and clarify the mis conceptions, and also to all brothers who are in field doing these job – masaha allah. it should be done all over India – this is a good concept – probably good coordination among the muslim communicties in all cities to come forward and support these initiative….

      If anyone is interested we can probably do the same in Bombay, I am from bombay and willing to contribute my efforts personally and financailly what ever I can.

      jazakallah wa khair

      • Assam alikum o Rahmatullah

        Brother thou myself born and broughtup in Bangalore,Allah s w t thy witness just today i came across this paper and browsing the same read your comment.Don’t know why but thought to script this note to ask is your kindself really interested to fund such noble causes and the needy?

        Kindly reply….AllahHafeez

  2. May Allah reward these auto driver brothers for taking such a noble mission of spreading message of peace among non Muslims. I met one of the auto driver and asked how did he start this? He said a thought occurred while he was thinking of how to pass message of peace – Islam to fellow non Muslims indian brothers and sisters. He later approached organizations like Jamat I islami , CIS for pamphlets support. And salaam center for Quran and book on misconception. All organizations appreciate this innovative concept and supported nisar ahmed (auto driver, who started this mission and got team of 50 auto drivers ) unconditional. May Allah reward these auto drivers and people supporting them, Aameen.

  3. real its great job & I appreciated for the creativity of the organization for utilizing the sources, I wish it has to be done in all the areas so that the message of ISLAM can be spread from every individual….May ALLAH reward you for every single act ……..JAZAKALLAH KHAIR

    • brother ajaz what is your openion about sir iqbal. it is our habbit thay when ever a person does good things we search negative points in him. till how long we do this.

      • Best among us is the one who is critical on ones act. This act though should not be to find faults but for constructive purpose. One somebody ask Hazrath Ayisha (R.A), how would you describe Prophet’s PBUH personality, the reply was read Quran and see in practice.
        Without undermining the effort of Bro Mohsin, it is a pleasure to see him in action, may Allah grant him great rewards but nevertheless people see us in action not in books to make judgement.
        Long back George Bernard Shaw commented “the best religion in the world is Islam and worst people are Muslims” do we think that he was less read and learned than us…then why did he not convert to Islam.
        Let us accept that it is practice and not theory that will influence all of us.
        Do we think if other religions also start distributing their religious books that will change the hearts of the people, who read.
        I would still repeat a great and commendable effort but at the same time will humbly suggest let us bring Quran and Hadiths teachings in us that will Insha Allah make us benevolent for us and the others.

  4. Assalamu Alaykum,

    Alhumdulillah, this is a FANTASTIC INITIATIVE. Inshaa Allah, such gestures need to be replicated everywhere!

    Alhumdulillah, KM such a wonderful website with its fast and factual news reporting!

  5. Thank u sister for appreciating our efforts.We need your support to popularise this portal and make it succes. Jazakallah

  6. It is wonderfull effort by Hamid Uncle . It is really great that you are standing with autorikshaw drivers. May Allah reward you

    • May Allah accept our good deeds and reward us in both parts of world and hereafter, Ameen!!!

      Jazak’Allah Khair Fid Da’aren, Ameen!!!

  7. Fantastic Job Brother Syed Hamed Mohsin. May Allah give you Rewards for this Initiative…. and One Request with you Plz follow the Sunnah by keeping the Beard of your face this will make Allah Happy..

    Praise be to Allaah.
    Shaving the beard is haraam because of the saheeh ahaadeeth that clearly state this, and because of the general application of texts that forbid resembling the kuffaar. One of these reports is the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar who said that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Be different from the mushrikeen: let your beards grow and trim your moustaches.” According to another report: “Trim your moustaches and let your beards grow.” There are other hadeeth which convey the same meaning, which is to leave the beard as it is and let it grow long, without shaving, plucking or cutting any part of it. Ibn Hazm reported that there was scholarly consensus that it is an obligation (fard) to trim the moustache and let the beard grow. He quoted a number of ahaadeeth as evidence, including the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) quoted above, and the hadeeth of Zayd ibn Arqam in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does not remove any of his moustache is not one of us.” (Classed as saheeh by al-Tirmidhi). Ibn Hazm said in al-Furoo’: “This is the way of our colleagues [i.e., the Hanbalis].”
    Is it haraam (to shave it)? Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The Qur’aan, Sunnah and ijmaa’ (scholarly consensus) all indicate that we must differ from the kuffaar in all aspects and not imitate them, because imitating them on the outside will make us imitate them in their bad deeds and habits, and even in beliefs, which will result in befriending them in our hearts, just as loving them in our hearts will lead to imitating them on the outside. Al-Tirmidhi reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “He is not one of us who imitates people other than us. Do not imitate the Jews and Christians.” According to another version: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad) ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab rejected the testimony of the person who plucked his beard. Imaam Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said in al-Tamheed: “It is forbidden to shave the beard, and no one does this except men who are effeminate” i.e., those who imitate women. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had a thick beard (reported by Muslim from Jaabir). It is not permitted to remove any part of the beard because of the general meaning of the texts which forbid doing so.

  8. Masha Allah. Hats off to Janab Mohsin for this wonderful initiative. It is heartening to note the reactions of the priest and the police man. It shows that there is a vast sea of humanity there without knowing anything about Islam and the Quran.
    The spirit and enthusiasm displayed by the auto drivers is laudable. Alhumdulillah

  9. Jazak Allah brother, very innovative initiative.

  10. “Incredible innovation to spread the Message of Islam ,We should be thankful to all those who are working for this cause ”
    We also should try the similar things like putting an advertisement and hoardings at the other public services like BMTC buses ,Bus stand and Bus station and now metro ..

    Jazak Allaha

  11. Mashallah, very good initiative and Salaams to Salaam Centre! May Allah s.w.t reward everyone in this task. Hope to catch up on some of these autos during my trip to Namma Bengaluru next month.

  12. mashaAllah very good effort to spread islam
    Almighty Allah will support you/your team further in all the ways

  13. Masha allah. very good idea. everybody should initiate such job in their local place. May Allah reward you and your family in this world and ahirath.

  14. Mashallah. The auto drivers are doing real jihad. They will be most vulnerable during communal riots. Can our Muslim drs. & other professionals also do the same at their places of work.
    I suggest instead of people filling forms, let them take the literature with them right from the auto . These poor people will not even have space in their houses. May be they pick up from the Salam centre as the stock diminishes.
    Ali Azam
    New York

  15. Good News….

  16. Definately good news,, and i am very proud as i traveled in one of the autos just a day before i saw this info is fb…………maashaa-allah:):)

  17. Subhan allah jazak allah kher we muslims are proud of you all you are doing great Job..Thanks to almighty allah

  18. Astonishing & Heart touching way of preaching Islam, May Allah guide us in wright path of Islam, Ameen!!!

  19. Masallah, good job, Allaha hum sab kay saath hai, i

  20. My dearest brothers
    As-Salam Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,
    ALLAH AZ-ZAWWAJJAL guides to whom HE likes.
    Very very remarkable initiative. Extremely highly
    beneficial initiative. Actually this is the very purpose
    of our life. ALLAH AZ-ZAWWAJJAL will surely
    strengthen it for a very wider benefit. If auto drivers
    can be a source of conveying the message of ALLAH
    AZ-ZAWWAJJAL then what is the responsibility of
    myself and all other activities we are involved in ???
    Insha ALLAH, let us beg to ALLAH AZ-ZAWWAJJAL
    with very strong will power to make it easy for us too,
    to as many people as we can, then, on the DAY of
    JUDGEMENT, we are free, having delivered them

  21. Mashallah, you are doing a wonderful job Mohsin bhai.
    May Allah bless others with your thinking.

  22. Masha Allah this is one of the best way of spreading of islam. and i request with the organisors the important thing is those drivers doing this job try to impliment quran and sunnah in their life so this dawah work will effect more so kindly my request with salam organisors should arrange some classes of this drivers weekly , or monthly as depend on thier capacity.then inshallah this religion of peace spread throught the world.

  23. Assalam Alaikum,

    Jazak Allah Khair….

    A very very commendable job…May Allah accept your work and reward you and your family accordingly. Ameen.

  24. Alhamdulillah, a very good initiative…

  25. Br. Hamid Mohsin, I wish i would have been in Bangalore and took part in such lively activities. What big name Organisations could not come up with such lively projects Allah is taking work from simple individuals Alhamdulillah.

    Let us take the example of lone individuals who took up the task of spreading the message of our Lord i.e. Peace, Love & Success and make a commitment from today that we will also be lively and active in our lives like brother Hamid Mohsin inshallah.

  26. MashAllah ….Saaalam to our Bangalore Auto Drivers….May Allah SWT bless them the highest places in both the worlds….Ameeeeen!!!

  27. MashAllah ….Very Good Work

  28. Assalamalaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatahu…Jazakallah khair for such a wonderful idea for spreading the word of Allah…I live in Hyderabad and would liketo initiate this activity here…i would really appreciate if I could get info on the scientifically designed metallic boxes.
    Jazakallah Khair

  29. Sure brother. I can help you with box design. Please share your email, I will send you the design.

  30. Wow……What a novel idea……..!!!! The efforts of Salam Center are highly commendable, this is just a softy way of delivering Allah’s message to our Non-muslim brothers. May Allah (swt) bless Mr. Syed Hamed Mohsin and his entire team for their efforts in the path of peace & prosperity. Ameen.

  31. Masha allah… a great work indeed. . Sir can we start such a campaign in chennai as well. we need assistance and guidance. Please let us know how to get in touch with salaam center

  32. Masha Allah very good work. May Allah accept our good deeds and reward us in both parts of world and hereafter,


  34. Masha Allah. May Allah reward Syed Hamid Mohsin and his team for spreading the word of truth in very unique / innovative way. Brother Syed Hamid, some our like minded brothers would like to contribute so that many more people get benefitted out of it. Please give your contact details and enable us reach you at the earliest.

    Jazakallahu Khairan

    • Brother Farooq, I am one of dawa workers. would like to connect with you, can you share your contact details. I visit SAudi Arabia often and can connect with you.

    • Dear Brother please contact us in these Numbers:

      +91 9945177477 / +91 9945188488

  35. Masha-Allah! May Allah Bless (all my fellow brothers for their initiatives) with the best of this world and the here-after. Ameen.

  36. Its a simple and effective concept. We should start our local chapter. just a suggestion.

  37. Excellent and effective idea, may Allah accept your sincere efforts to spread the message of peace. Aameen

  38. Hope you train (advise / guide / educate) these rickshaw drivers,
    Holding books on back does not make them dayee……..
    (they should remain and act as a Muslim on duty with passengers).
    May Allah reward all of them.

  39. An innovative outstanding and heartouching way of Dawa and introducing Islam. keep going on. May Allah help you more and more.

  40. maashaa allaah, all muslims must do da wa, allah bless all

  41. MashAllah!.
    May Allah SWT reward all those who involved.
    Let us all make an effort to spread the Deen of Islam
    to humanity. No matter what happens we should
    have our feet grounded and convey the true
    message of Islam. Jazak Allah Khair.

  42. subhan allah all praises to ALLAH alone……. great job and a very unique as well as very effective way to convey the message of ALLAH to all …….. this is going to be a long lasting step in the field of dawa……… may ALLAH reward you all and also guide us all on straight path… and make us also a dawee to islam.

  43. You are doing great service to Islam dawa let other districts foolow it

  44. Masha Allah! this can become one of the best concept regards awareness of Islam , Every Muslim is Daayee be it the president of the country or Auto Driver respectively, he/she can perform the duty of Dawah , of which everyone in this Ummah,anywhere every where.
    Positive approach is not only the need of hour,but shall be used permanently.
    Let us all take the example of lone individuals who took up the task of spreading the message of ALLAH,.May Allah SWT bless them the highest places in both the worlds….Ameen!!!

  45. Masha Allaah…. This is Amazing May Allaah reward you here and here after Ameen..

  46. Masha Allah – It is really fabous job, Allah (SW) will definately give Ajur to all people,
    It will be good, if you share a softcopy of all Islamic books and holy Quran.
    So that we share same to our non-muslim brothers and sisters who are working in IT companies.

  47. Mashaallah this is good, what I can see is people specially women can feel safe to travel in autos in day or night.

    Keep up the good work

  48. Great job. May Allah give more strength to you.

  49. May Allah help you in your endeavors to spread the message of Islam..

  50. Masha-allah … unconventional … :)

  51. Salam wrb.,

    Ahsan, alhamdulliah, a unique n innovative effort by the Salam Centre,
    The da ees involved in this effort apart from displaying the literature should also display the Islamic culture i.e, establish Salah, always speak the TRUTH,help people of all faith n follow sunnah. Allah will definitely reward u in this world n hereafter. The effort of Mr. Tanvir saheb(KM) is equally commendable 4 giving due publicity. Jazakumallah qairan fiduniya wal aqira, Aameen.

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