Rajeev Nair, The Gulf Today, July 11, 2002
Punchy, power-packed and direct-that’s www.jaihoon.com for starters. But it is more: Here?s to the dogged determination of a youngster, Mujeeb Rahman,-IT-savvy, not IT-trained-who explores the untapped potential of the Internet for healthy, positive and meaningful interaction, and in the process helps you discover the roots of a rich cultural heritage, writes Rajeev Nair
Mujeeb Rahman, 24 has a bleeding heart. It pains for humanity. It pains for the hundreds who fall pray to the bullets of the mighty. It anguishes for the helplessness of the wounded, victims of sheer terror. It cries out against the sorrow of bondage-emotional, intellectual and physical.
And the heart sings. Notes that defy tradition. Lyrics that stir up empathy. Notations that bring to your mind a yearning for eternal peace.
Rahman?s instrument is the internet. The HTML links are his notes. His written words are his voice. And in all the humility of a man whose work is his reward, he prefers the anonymity of the adopted name Jaihoon.
A marketing professional, Rahman, a Keralite, regards Sharjah as his second home. Well, he has stayed a good part of his life in this emirate, its cultural heritage inspiring him to excel in undertakings that extend beyond the immediate priorities of day-to-day living. The richness of the emirate?s deep-rooted culture prompted him to mould a motto that is driven by positive thought, and the vision of its rulers goaded him to discover the true glory of recognizing one?s roots.
How else do you expect this BBA graduate of the Sharjah College to develop a niche in the cyberspace that stands miles apart from the ordinary self-promotion and entertainment oriented ramblings of youngsters of his age?
?Jaihoon.com is influenced by the writings of Hazrath Imam Ahmed Sirhindi and Hazrath Shah Waliyullah Dehlavi. Jaihoon is based on the philosophy of Dr. Allama Mohammed Iqbal. It follows the interpretation of Iqbalian philosophy propounded by the renowned scholar Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, and the site has works of Abdus Samad Samadani, ? explains Rahman.
Sirhindi and Dehlavi are renowned for their scientific treatment of Islamic thought. Iqbal is the visionary poet philosopher of the Indian subcontinent, and Samadani is a scholar-orator from kerala.
The root of Jaihoon-a name adapted from a river in Turkistan featured in a couplet of Iqbal-is Iqbal?s message of love and universalism. And Rahman successfully integrates it with the power of information technology. ?Jaihoon is all about integration,? he says. ?The browser, desktop applications, network software, financial packages, communication software, the operating systems-they are all being integrated in IT.? Rahman adds a vital element to it all: Human thought.
A web presence that focuses more on content than on frills, www,Jaihoon.com has been accomplished, says Rahman, ?through a sea of trial and obstacles. But encouraged by his ?parental support and utmost patience,? he trudged on.
Much more than the initially conceived personal home page, www.jaihoon.com has registered some significant first: it beamed a live coverage of a Samadani speech in Abu Dhabi, it introduced updates through mobile alerts, and it pioneered with a title-track for a website (merawatan.)
Apart from breaking news, a photo-gallery and audio clips, Jaihoon.com has an extensive repertoire of articles that shake the collective human conscience. These have been culled in from numerous sources if only to highlight the momentum being gained by positive thinking in a world that is still marred by violence in thought, deed and words.
?I do not see IT as a career. I am not even trained in IT. For me, it is a medium of expression,? says Rahman, who has penned two books, an anthology of poems and essays, and translations of Iqbal?s poems for children.
While www.jaihoon.com is driven by the thought process of the five scholars, Rahman admits ?it is based on a self styled school of thought.? He does not adopt the pompous attitude of a scholar even as he puts across fresh ideas through the web. ?Jaihoon?s mission is peace.?
Driven by a desire to discover his roots, Rahman had set upon a journey through Kerala, collecting information about the early trade and socio-religious interaction between his home-state and the gulf. He met scholars, toured monuments and museums, chanced upon-not-so celebrated facets of an ancient bilateral relation, and later put it all together through his MeraWatan website. ?The journey was a discovery of my roots as well as the essence of the Indian culture. And I believe that essence is communal harmony,? says Rahman, the son of Moidunni Haji, who is in the service of the Ruler of Sharjah His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi. ?Merawatan is an e-documentary on the historical and cultural impact of the Indo-Arab relations,? he sums up.
Rahman?s initiative had indeed found acceptance in the expatriate community-especially the youngsters who could identify with him. He has also been appreciated for the live coverage of the Samadani speech, and he gets feedback from various corners of the world. His home-page on Ezhuthachan, the founding father of Malayalam literature, too fetches immense appreciation.
Defying boundaries, Jaihoon.com has content from poetry, philosophy, technology, history, marketing, politics, current events and multimedia. ?It is not associated with any institution; it does not endorse the views of the organizations that may be partly or wholly associated with the personalities featured in the website,? he says.
While remaining humble about his work, Rahman emphasizes on the philosophy of Iqbal about ?Ego.? ?He had constantly urged people to protect the Khudi (ego). He wrote: ?Destory not the worth of your Ego by imitation; Protect it zealously for this pearl is unique?. For Rahman, therefore, ?Ego? pertains to the collective dignity of humanity through recognition of one?s self-worth.
?I have always been inspired by the poetic ambience of Sharjah and the vision of the Ruler of Sharjah His highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed AL Qassimi. He had said: ?Light a candle instead of cursing the darkness. ? Jaihoon.com is Rahman’s little candle, lit to cast away the shadows of narrow thinking.
Photographs: Supin Sudarsham.