– Md. Sami Ahmad
Naam Ka Musalman is a 10-minute short film with a strong message about following Islam and the consequences of ignoring the teachings of Islam. It discusses how a Muslim family ignores an important Islamic tenet of Fasting and other Islamic teachings which cost them dearly in the end.
This film is produced by The Nasheed Studio, whose Nasheeds and Naats have been popular. Written and directed by Salahuddin Ahmad, this film is getting good traction and within 18 hours it got more than 10,000 views. The film ends with a powerful dialogue, “Ration card aur Aadhar card par Musalman naam likh lene se Allah ke register mein koi Musalman nahin ban jata” (No one gets his/her name as Musalman in the register of Allah by bearing a Muslim name on Ration card and Aadhar card.)
The film starts with the Ramadan moonsighting and congratulations for the holy month. Mohsin, the main character played by AN Khan, is happy that the month of Ramadan has come and the family will start fasting but to his utter shock, his sister Parveen, played by Ekta Singh refuses to fast. Not only this, but Mohsin’s sister says that even the parents will not fast due to their illness. Mohsin says that the illness is not serious and it is just joint pain but to his dismay even his father isn’t ready to fast. Mohsin’s father, played by Nasir Khan, says that he is not comfortable observing fast as he cannot bear the thirst.
This left Mohsin as the lone person fasting in the family. His sister refuses to prepare Sehri ‘for just one person’. Mohsin says he would order online or prepare something himself.
Twenty days later his sister and his parents get ready for the Eid shopping which happens to be the first Shab-e-Qadr. While Moshin tries to convince his sister and parents about the importance of Shab-e-Qadr, his sister seems unimpressed. She says the joy of outing is in those days. She tells Mohsin if he is not interested in shopping, he may choose not to go but she would go. Their mother, played by Archan Singh, says she will try to come back soon and doesn’t stay back.
Just a day before Eid, Mohsin’s sister gets ready for the dishes and calls her friend Payal to come and join the Eid party. She also boasts of her dress. Mohsin drops in, asks about Eid and explains about the Ramadan fasting. When he tries to elaborate on the importance of obeying Allah’s command, his sister makes an excuse and avoids his ‘long lecture.’
In a separate scene, Mohsin’s Phuphi (Father’s sister) calls him and tells him about his father’s unwillingness to share ancestral property. Mohsin tries to convince his father that according to Islam he should give one-third share in the property to Phupi.
Time passes by and one day Parveen doesn’t come down in the morning till the time of dinner. When her mother goes upstairs, she finds Parveen has left home and a message says she has eloped with a non-Muslim man.
This short film seems to be a reflection of what is happening in Muslim society. But it might have done better by focusing on one particular aspect. Bringing in a few issues in just 10 minutes doesn’t do justice to those. For example, elopement is too delicate an issue to finish it off in one scene.