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  • Writer's pictureAslam Abdullah

AFMI's Islamic Heritage Project

Updated: Jul 21, 2021

Millions of historical sites in mosques, gardens, shrines, schools, hospitals, inns, temples, churches, and monuments built over a thousand years' presence of Muslims in India offer a living testimony of their love for the motherland. Wherever you travel in India, you can spot a ruin or a building associated with Muslims and Hindus who participated in their construction and preservation. These sites are the national heritage of India, as they are the heritage of Muslims. India and the Muslims of India are not inseparable from each other. We know about the Red Fort, Taj Mahal, Lodhi Gardens, Agra Fort, Mathura Temples built under Akbar and Jahangir, the Qutub Minar, and the Shish Mahals throughout the country. Still, little do we know about millions of other buildings constructed to offer public service buildings by Muslims. These buildings or their ruins are present in all 29 states, and nine union territories spread over 700 districts. The description of some of them is available in books, manuscripts, or state gazetteers. However, this information is in the form of scattered pieces. There is no single book or site that offers comprehensive information on such sites. The newly launched American Federation of Muslims of India project, the Indian Islamic Heritage, focuses on consolidating the scattered information and preserving every monument digitally through the internet. It is a progressive project as it would require continuous updates and new entries. AFMI is a philanthropic charity formed by American Muslims of Indian Origin in the year 1989. AFMI strives to improve the socio-economic status of the underprivileged Indian Muslim minorities through education. Since its foundation, AFMI has remained committed to achieving 100% literacy amongst Indian Muslims. The AFMI has already got a website developed for this purpose. In addition, several sample entries are already part of the new venture, with each entry has its short history, address, longitude, latitude information, a pic, and a video. AFMI hopes that those interested in seeing such sites preserved would participate in the project by submitting their entries. The website site has the provision of accepting people's submissions with photographs and videos. In addition, the site has the details on how to submit. The technology available at the mass level makes it possible for an average person to join the project voluntarily. AFMI hopes that the project will one day accomplish its goal of preserving any site with Muslim imprints in India. The project has multifold purposes. It will document everything, past and present, associated with Muslims in India. It will preserve history. Not only that, but it will offer resources to schools and educational institutions to impart information on such sites. Furthermore, it will help people become aware of the historical sites in their areas. It will also promote history tours to these sites. Based on the information, it might increase people's interest in further research. It will also help people to preserve these monuments if they are in dilapidated conditions. The website also lists halal restaurants and hotels for those who plan to visit the sites. AFMI will launch the site on August 15, the day India achieved independence from British colonial rule. The organization will update the launch time and Zoom address with further details of the project on August 8, 2021.

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