In an attempt to defy stereotypes and false notions about Islam based on the acts of a few Individuals, the film Ya Rab stresses that no religion expects people to harm others, let alone take the lives of innocent people. The film, which hit theatres on February 7, seeks to explain the true meaning of Islam and serves as an eye-opener for those who resort to violence in the name of religion.
“Islam’s name has been spoilt and people have connected it with terrorism. Post 9/11, there has been a huge wave of Islamophobia across the globe. Through this film, we are trying to protect the name of Islam and to convince people that it does not promote terrorism of any kind,” expressed director Hasnain Hyderabadwala. The filmmaker, who has previously helmed projects like The Killer, The Train and Jashnn, emphasised that the word Jihad is often misconstrued by many as an excuse to promote terrorism.
“The word Jihad is largely misinterpreted across the world. In the holy Quran, Jihad is mentioned 44 times but nowhere does it justify taking innocent lives, the lives of children, bombings and so on. Some people have taken a different meaning out of it and because of the actions of a few individuals, the religion is suffering,” he grimaced.
The film revolves around a revered maulana Jilani (Akhilendra Mishra) who brainwashes young boys to commit attrocities in the name of religion. Dr Mazhar (Manzar Sehbai) with the help of ATS officer Ranvijay Singh (Ajaz Khan) fight against Jilani’s beliefs and counter terrorism in the name of Jihad. Amidst all this, a young couple Imran (Vikram Singh) and Amreen (Arjumman Mughal) get embroiled in a deadly situation.
Ya Rab, however, has had a dull first week at the box office and the collections have been poor. The director feels that this is largely due to the theatre owners, who backed out from releasing the film in fear of a backlash. “We had booked 500 theatres in India for the release of the film. However, only 275-300 theatres screened the movie. A lot of people backed out at the last minute out of fear. Some of the theatres who did release it, did not showcase the banner of the film, fearing protests. Even the police warned them not to place banners in the theatre, saying that if it led to any protests, they would not be responsible. Because of this, the collections took a hit,” said Hasnain.
While clarifying that this film was not made for a commercial reason, the makers are adamant to ensure the movie reaches the audience. In spite of poor collections, they remain optimistic about the film.
“Our aim is to ensure this film reaches every household. The film has been made on a shoestring budget and we have not made it for a commercial reason. All the collections we receive will be donated to charity. We are now releasing the movie overseas, in the UK and the US on February 21. Also, we are planning to dub the movie in seven different languages including Tamil and Telugu,” he added.