Thursday, February 21, 2019 | ePaper

Social reformer Munshi Mohammad Meherullah

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Mohsin Hussain :
unshi Mohammad Meherullah, (1861-1907) religious leader and social reformer, was born in his maternal grandfather's home in Ghopegram under Kaliganj thana of Jashore district 10th Magh 1268 BS. His paternal home was in Chhatiantola of the same district.
Meherullah received his religious education from Moulvi Mosharuddin of Jessore, and he learned Arabic, Persian and Urdu from Moulvi Mohammad Ismail. He had never been to any educational institution. He received education privately. He was well versed in the Holy Quran and Hadith. After a short stint in government service, he received training in tailoring and started a tailoring shop in Jashore. When Christian missionaries tried to malign Islam and Hazrat Muhammad (Sm), Meherullah protested through his speeches and writings. He was engaged in a number of public debates with missionaries. Gradually he devoted himself to spreading the message of Islam and soon became popular as an orator.
Speaking on the glorious past of Islam at several religious
functions in Assam and Bengal, Munshi Mohammad Meherullah tried to inspire the frustrated and morally debilitated Muslim society. He was able to bring back to the fold of Islam many Muslims who had been converted to Christianity. With a view to spreading the teaching of Islam, he established Madrasaye Karamatia and Islam Dharmottejika Sobha (1889) in Manoharpur village in Jashore.
He used to contribute regularly to newspapers like the Sudhakor and the Islam Procharok published from Kolkata. His notable books on religion and society are Khristiyo Dhormer Osarota (The hollowness of the Christian religion) (1887), Bidhobagonjona O Bisadbhandar (Sufferings of Widows, 1894), Meherul Islam (1897), Hindu Dhormo Rohosyo O Debolila (1898, two editions) and Mussalman O Christian Torkojuddho (Muslim and Christian Debates, 1908; two editions).
The government confiscated Bidhobagonjona O Bisadbhandar, which described the sufferings of Hindu widows, and Hindu Dhormo  Rohosyo O Debolila, which criticised the various superstitions of Hindus, on charges of indecency and communalism.
He died on 7 May in 1907.

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