Many people are reverting to Sanatan fold. In this background, T Satisan, Organiser Correspondent, Kerala, spoke to O Sruthi, author of the book title ‘Story of a Reversion’. Here, she narrates her story from converting to Islam to reverting to Dharma. O Sruthi, while speaking on her learning at Maunath- Ul- Islam Sabha, said, “Ideologically they taught us anti-national and anti-Hindu ideas. According to their teaching Bharat is a Hindu nation. It is the place of Kafirs. Muslims are meant to live in places like Saudi Arabia, where prophet Muhammed’s body was born and dead. They said very bad and vulgar about Hindu Culture. All their teachings helped increase my liking towards Islam and hatred towards Hinduism and Bharat.” Excerpts:
Where did you go after leaving your home and parents? Why?
Nine years back, I was profusely influenced by anti-national Islamic ideology. I had completed my graduation in a Muslim management college and majority of my batch mates in English Literature were Muslim girls. Their targeted ideological questioning and degrading Hinduism finally created some sort of inferiority complex in me and it gradually pushed me to the thought of leaving “Swadharma” and study Islam. Thus with the support of my classmates and later of my colleagues I studied Islam for five years. I accepted and practised Islam strictly for one year. I offered Namaz, took Roza. My appearance and way of behaviour and everything changed. I turned a real Muslim woman. In order to be a true Muslim of Iman, there are some regulations to be followed. If Allah has to accept my Namaz and prayers and I had to observe rituals religiously, I had to convert myself legally to Islam, and compulsorily wear the burqa and hijab. I enquired about conversion centers through the Internet and friends. I found that there were only two legal conversion centres in Kerala; Therbiyathul Islam Sabha in Kozhikode and Maunath-Ul-Islam Sabha in Ponnani. As I followed Sunni way of Islam, I chose Maunath-ul Islam Sabha in Ponnani for converting myself to Islam legally.
Your experience in Maunath- Ul- Islam Sabha, Ponnani? Were you happy there?
I was undoubtedly bold then. Those were uncertain moments. I could enter inside the Sabha without any hindrance. Since I was alone, they did not accept me at first. I told them that I did not have any place to go at dead of night and abandoning a lady who had reached there seeking Allah and Deen was not justifiable for a person of Deen. The Ustad told me that there were people from various places inside, hence I shouldn’t take any valuables inside. So, they kept copies of all my certificates, my ornaments, my money (including the coins) and even literature related to Islam with them. (Later, my father had to seek police help to retrieve them). Then I was sent to the women’s section. When I reached inside, I observed, there was a teacher. I can’t recollect her name now. A girl had escorted me inside and to that teacher: A skinny woman but, anger registered on her face. “What? Is she new?” she asked the girl. She nodded in affirmation. “Then, take away her bag ”, she had ordered. I was wondering at that was happening and bent down to take my bag back slowly in her presence with hesitation, she shouted, “Quick, we are busy with our jobs”. It hurt me. Besides my father, brothers, and my teachers, no stranger had ever spoken so rudely to me ever. Yet, I endured it for Allah. She pulled out everything from my bag (including clothes, comb, and sanitary pads) and put them on the floor. They were checking me. She took away the books that were in my bag, a health magazine and a book describing Hell, along with sanitary pads and the originals of my certificates.
“Pads are not allowed here, only pieces of cloth. Read only the books we provide here. Leave the rest here”, she said. She collected ornaments saying that there were people from other lands. When she said that certificates should be kept there, I was doubtful whether these would be safe there”, I asked her. “If you have no trust, get out of here right now. Don’t stay”, she said in a raised voice. How cruely are these advocates of Islam behaving with a girl who is a complete stranger to the place and its people, who left behind everything only for Islam and Allah! For a moment, the faces of my father, my mother, and all my beloved ones flashed through my mind. I felt like running away. But, Islam, Allah, and Prophet had influenced me so deeply, that they held me back. I suppressed the fear and pain that rushed to my mind. I decided to continue there.
What did they teach you there?
Ideologically they taught us anti-national and anti-Hindu ideas. According to their teaching Bharat is a Hindu nation. It is the place of Kafirs. Muslims are meant to live in places like Saudi Arabia, where prophet Muhammed’s body was born and dead. They said very bad and vulgar about Hindu Culture. All their teachings helped increase my liking towards Islam and hatred towards Hinduism and Bharat. I took an oath of spreading knowledge of Islam, Allah, Prophet. I felt that I became more pressed than a believer by then.
How cruelly are these advocates of Islam behaving with a girl who is a complete stranger to the place and its people, who left behind everything only for Islam and Allah! For a moment, the faces of my father, my mother, and all my beloved ones flashed through my mind
They explained about five pillars of Islam. They taught us how to do Namaz, one god concept, and the importance of Roza (fasting). When they taught about Zakath, they criticized Hindus. They said that Islam was teaching people to support one another. The rich should help the poor, especially the Muslims. They taught us that Hindus always ignore the poor. Once a teacher teasingly said that Hindu men and women go to temples and holy places not to pray but to get mingled with and get sadistic pleasure out of it. My earlier studies on Islam, speeches of Muslim preachers especially Zakir Naik, speeches emphasizing jihad and the classes in conversion centre had turned me into a woman jihadi by then.
How did you manage to come out from Mounath- Ul- Islam Sabha, Ponnani?
During the course of these events, my parents filed a complaint with the Police that I was lost. Since they were clueless about my whereabouts, they followed my mobile phone IMEI number with the help of the Police. With those bits of information, coupled with the doubts which arose in the minds of my natives due to my suspicious behaviour, they were able to conclude that I might have ended up in Ponnani. With the help of Badiadka Police, Ponnani Police, and Hindu organizations, my father and brother reached Ponnani to take me back. One night, on the eve of Vijayadassami, they came. I still remember that day when I spoke to the Police in the office room, clad in a black Burqa and Hijab, as if that happened only yesterday. I was audacious that I was in an Islamic centre. I was firm on the decision that I would never forsake Islam and fight for Din and Allah, come what may. The Police showed me a copy of my father’s complaint and the Court Order asking me to appear in Court. The ASI from Kasargod said that the women police had also come; so I must go with them.
Despite the words of the institutional authorities saying “We will bring her there. You can’t take her away at night”, the Police emphasized “Magistrate has ordered us to bring her along with us.” The Ponnani police also echoed the same. So I had to agree to accompany them. As per the advice of Usthad I wrote a leave letter seeking leave of two days and promising of my return to Sabha. Wearing a scarf and holding my luggage I came out of the Sabha. There was a large crowd to encourage me. Then the Ustad told me, “Don’t be afraid. Allah, Din and all of us are with you. Go and come back bravely. Your family and Hindus will perform black magic on you. They will try to change your mind. Never give in. Even if they ask you to tie threads sanctified by chants around your wrist, do not agree. Tell the Court firmly that you want to come back here. Your parents might pretend that they are fainting. There are chances that they may get hospitalized. Come what may, don’t budge. Din is before everything else. Allah is the only God. I’ve arranged accommodation for you in my friend’s house when you return. You must come back. It is wise to get married to avoid further complications. A suitable boy for marriage is ready. He has come seeking Din. We will perform the Nikah as soon as you return. Then no one can do any harm.” I am not someone who went to Islam for marrying a Muslim. But, I was ready to do anything to maintain my Din.
How did you get in contact with Acharaya Manoj ji and Aarsha Vidya Samajam?
From the Magistrate’s residence, my parents and some Hindu organization people took me to Karnataka. I heard Vishwa Hindu Parishad workers telling my parents that when I talk to Acharya, all my problems and doubts would get reasonable answers. “Manoj?” I wondered whether the Yogacharya Suresh Sir mentioned before and this person was the same. However, I decided to fight back from this point. I was fed up. I decided to begin my Islamic indoctrination from this point and stopped pretending that I had changed.
When the people in the Centre had talked to me about Manoj ji, I had a different image of him in my mind. I was picturing someone with long hair or hair tied into a knot, beard, clad in saffron, doning Rudrakash garlands, and a lean body. But he was a stout man in ordinary clothes, sans beard, knotted hair, or the look of a Sanyasi. He was unassuming and extremely poised.
How and Why did you become a Sanatani again?
It was the debate with Acharya KR Manoj ji that opened my vision out of noxious slumber and I could leave Islam. Having been convinced of the islamic philosophical discrepancies which I have explained clearly in my book “Oru Paravarthanathinte Kadha (Malayalam) and English translation of the same (A Story of Reversion) with verses from Quran, I started studying Sanatana Dharma earnestly. Since Sanatana Dharma that forms and firms up the basis of the highest knowledge such as Yoga Vidya, Tantra Vidya, and Vedanta is not reaching every nook and corner of the world, spurious religious ideologies are winning acceptance around the world. Aarsha Vidya Samajam is committed to propagate Sanatana Dharma to the world with a “Missionary Spirit and Zeal”.
As I learnt more about Sanatana Dharma, and the greatness of its originator Sri Parameswara, and the Guruparamparas, I felt culpable, as I had been disgracing God who is so compassionate, so generous, that he always showers and bestows blessings on His children (all creatures) so as to lift them up to His greatness. I had abused Him. He was the same God upon whose thought I had once spat. In a state of religious stupor, I had no sense of what I was doing, thinking, or saying.
After accepting discipleship from Acharya K.R, Manoj ji, I started my life as a Sadhika. I decided to do Prayaschitha (atonement) for my wrong doings. For me, who had set forth on a mission to propagate a spurious ideology throughout my life, I could not shy or stay away from my duty when I realized the truth. Most of the people whom Aarsha Vidya Samajam has brought back to Hindu Dharma, and their relatives, prefer to keep their experiences unrevealed. They are least interested in rescuing others. But, I resolved that no one else should undergo those bad experiences which I was subjected to and misguided. I decided that I would work to bring back those who have converted because of misconceptions, and those on the verge of conversion, to the right path, my life being a live example to them. God has given us such a great Dharma, yet, we are not able to understand its greatness, because we have not learnt and we don’t have a system in place to teach this. This is called Swadhyaya Rahityam (lack of self-study).
For me, who had set forth on a mission to propagate a spurious ideology throughout my life, I could not shy or stay away from my duty when I realised the truth and righteousness
When comparing and studying a religion or spiritual science, it’s the Ishwara Darshana and Jeevitha Darshana that should be examined most. They are most reasonably explained in Sanatana Dharma. Other religions have a very limited concept of God and a dangerous outlook on Jeevitha Darshana. Besides these philosophies must be consistent with scientific truths. These should be beneficial to the individuals and society. It should not be against a faction and should not discriminate on the basis of country, race or gender. These philosophies must imbibe an essence of humanity. There should be a commitment to the environment along with this. One must have compassion for living beings.
All this is included in Panchamayajna, that is said to be the essence of Sanatana Dharma. Duties to God, Guruparamparas and Sanatana dharma, duties to great men who enlightened this world, which also includes duties to knowledge, culture, nation and tradition, duties to parents, ancestors, our lineage, duties to humanity extending to individual, family, community, nation and world as well as to species below man in the evolutionary hierarchy like flora and fauna, duties to nature and environment, everything is included in this great vision. These are things that need to be studied in detail. Since this is an interview I can’t explain each and every aspect of it. But I have only cited a few hints of it. If anyone wants clear ideas you can join our classes.