December 20, 2012

Thousands in India ready ‘The Infinite Light' contest

Approximately 110,000 people in India are preparing to enter a contest in which they will be asked questions about “The Infinite Light,” one of the most popular books authored by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

The Messenger of God: Muhammad by Fethullah Gulen
Gulen's book has been
translated into many languages
“The Infinite Light,” a five-volume series, describes the life of the Prophet Muhammad and has been translated into dozens of languages.

Participants in the contest will be asked questions from the English, Hindi and Urdu versions of the book.

The contest is being organized by leading Muslim scholars in India. There will be two stages: In the first stage, high school and university students will answer questions on “The Infinite Light” on Jan. 15. They will move on to a final round of questions on Feb. 9.

Owner of the Adam Books Publishing Company, Sacit Ali, whose company printed 110,000 copies of “The Infinite Light” in just two months, said he is very proud to participate in such a project.

Ali said there are many books about the life of the Prophet Muhammad in India and that he had expected “The Infinite Light” to sell between 5,000 and 10,000 copies initially, but added that the entire first printing of 110,000 books has already been sold out due thanks to the promotion of the contest and the interest shown by young people. He added having printed more of the books, they continue to sell on a daily basis.

A Turkish teacher in New Delhi, Haydar Ali, told Today's Zaman that students, above all, like the simplicity of the book and that it is this simplicity which makes it so popular.

Fakruddin Muhammed, an official on the organizing committee of the contest, said the committee unanimously selected “The Infinite Light” because they considered it a book that would explain the life of the Prophet to young people in the easiest way and also engender a love for the Prophet.

Rector Shaykh Maulana Mohammad Salim Qasmi of Darul Uloom Deoband, an Islamic school in India, said he very much appreciates the contest, which aims to introduce the Prophet Muhammad to younger generations.

Qasmi's deputy, Sufyan Qasmi, said he and a delegation examined “The Infinite Light” and were very impressed with the book.

The questions for the contest have been prepared in English, Hindi and Urdu by a team of people including academics from leading universities in India, theologians and bureaucrats at the Indian Education Ministry.

The winners of the contest will be presented with awards during the Week of the Holy Birth, which marks the birth of the Prophet Muhammad.

Published on Today's Zaman, 19 December 2012, Wednesday