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CALLING ALL YOUNG MUSLIMS Want to get involved in activities and change the way people think, then this is the opportunity for you, we are looking for young muslims to be part of a group which will contribute and deliver various projects.

Interested call us on 07506 466385 or email us on info@passionislam.com

MUSLIMS Issue: 07

October 2008

MAKE UK

SAFER Britain’s security chief praised Muslim’s for helping to make the nation safer from terrorism. Admiral Lord Alan West said: “Extremists are now being given away by the Muslim community. Lord West was appointed security minister 15 months ago — on the day of an attempted bomb attack at Glasgow airport. He revealed in an interview with a tabloid newspaper that Britain was now safer from terrorists than it was then. But he warned that the threat of an atrocity was still severe. Lord West said a massive breakthrough came when Muslims started coming forward with information about suspicious activities of other members of their faith. He went on: “I think the Muslim population now understand how this tiny proportion of extremist terrorists are damaging one of the world’s great religions and our entire society. “We are now beginning to see them saying they don’t like it and beginning to tell us about these terrorists. “They see themselves as British and don’t want to

inside this month issue

UK Identity card unveiled

see their country attacked. “Our biggest worry is there are British-born Muslims who have become terrorists and we need to find out why.” Lord West was appointed by Gordon Brown to co-ordinate Britain’s security forces in the battle to beat Al-Qaeda. He said: “Overall, the message I would give is that a huge amount has been achieved. “I believe that we are safer than we were 15 months ago but the threat is still very, very high.” He said CCTV was a valuable weapon against extremist. Lord West added: “There is often a great shout about liberty but using what we’ve got is a fantastic way of stopping terrorism.”

Senior Muslim woman officer in race claim

Muhammad most popular name in Brussels


2

I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

the Passion

Passion Islam

I October 2008

Zero tolerance of religious discrimination Both Islamophobia and antisemitism have gone up in Europe. The media must shoulder some of the blame Last month publication of the annual Pew survey of global attitudes has found that both Islamophobia and antisemitism are on the rise in Europe. Hostile attitudes towards Jews have increased in all European countries, except for one: Great Britain. The report said: Great Britain stands out as the only European country included in the survey where there has not been a substantial increase in antisemitic attitudes. As for attitudes towards Muslims, well: Opinions about Muslims in almost all of these countries are considerably more negative than are views of Jews. The report does not look into why this

could be. Is it all to do with the threat of terrorist attacks? I am not so sure. That would not explain, for example, why there is increasing anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe – we are not facing terror attacks by Jewish extremists. I have written several pieces for Cif where I have given examples of what I believe are regular and quite deliberate attempts on the part of some of our national newspapers to incite anti-Muslim prejudice. I wrote about how Douglas Murray, director of the Centre for Social Cohesion and a regular interviewee on BBC TV and radio had in a 2006 speech entitled “What are we to do with Islam?” demanded that: All immigration into Europe from Muslim countries must stop … Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board: Europe must look like a less attractive proposition. This campaign to vilify Muslims has not gone unnoticed by the British National party, whose leader, Nick Griffin,

has openly argued that: We should be positioning ourselves to take advantage for our own political ends of the growing wave of public hostility to Islam currently being whipped up by the mass media. On a slightly more hopeful note, the Pew report does the make the following two observations: Older people and those with less education are more antisemitic and anti-Muslim than are younger people or those with more education … AntiMuslim and anti-Jewish opinions are most prevalent among Europeans on the political right. As a society it is noticeable we have all moved quite some way in recent years towards regarding prejudice and discrimination based on gender, race or sexual orientation as being unacceptable. The challenge now – for all of us, including British Muslims and Jews – must be to treat religious prejudice and discrimination as being equally abhorrent. By Inayat Bunglawala is a well-known Muslim activist

tel: 07506 466 385 or write to us at: Textile Hall, Hick Lane, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 5HW email: info@passionislam.com - www.passionislam.com

Man cleared over Rasool & Co Solicitors ‘terror library’

01924 439106

IMMIGRATION SPECIALISTS

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A man has been cleared of possessing items of use to a terrorist. Imad Shoubaki, of Raynes Park, south London, was accused of seeking to amass a library about making explosives They said he collected “practical, step-by-step instructions” for anyone interested in founding a “worldwide Islamic state” on violence. Jurors at Southwark Crown Court cleared him after the 32-

year-old said he did not own the items found in his house and did not know how they got there. Mr Shoubaki was cleared of two counts under the Terrorism Act 2000, claiming he possessed records “containing information likely to be of use to terrorists”. In January, charges against Mr Shoubaki and Adam Mohamed of Chessington - of conspiring to possess money for terrorist purposes - were dropped.

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This Magazine contains Ayaat of the Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet (SAW), please ensure you handle it with respect & care - Sukran


Complaints rise in stop and search incidents

Passion Islam

I October 2008

LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

The number of complaints made about “stop- and-search” incidents carried out by the police has risen by nearly a quarter, according to figures published last month by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). The IPPC reported it had received 536 complaints about stop-and- search against police forces in England and Wales in the last financial year ending March 2008, up from 434 in 2006/07. But of the stop-and-search grievances, only 169 needed to be investigated, the commission said in its annual report. Some 88 per cent was said to have been unfounded. Defending the figures, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said the number of complaints needed to be seen “in the context of over 950,000 stop-andsearches carried out annually in England and Wales.” Figures released earlier this year by the Ministry of Justice showed police carried out nearly one million stop-and-

searches in 2006/07, up by 9 percent. Black people were shown to be seven times more likely to be stopped as white people. Opponents of stop-and-search, which has increased under terrorism legislation that gives the police more powers, have criticized its use as unfairly targets minority groups. “Stop and search is one tool of policing but use it as a bludgeon not a rapier and you alienate far more people than you protect,” said director of Liberty civil rights group Shami Chakrabarti. “Formal complaints about stop-andsearch are inevitably the tip of the iceberg, as the young and most vulnerable lack the confidence to complain,” Chakrabarti suggested. The IPPC report showed that the overall number of complaints against the police remained steady in 2007/08, after rises in recent years. The 43 forces received 28,963 complaints, ranging from impoliteness

to assault. Most concerned failures to investigate crime properly or abusive language or behaviour. There was also a 9% increase in the number of complaints from Asian people. But out of the number, the watchdog completed only 3,592 valid appeals, the overwhelming majority against the outcome of a police investigation. While more than one in four appeals were upheld by the IPCC, nearly half of completed allegations were resolved at a local level, without the need for a formal investigation. Of the 14,558 allegations, 11 per cent were substantiated, the same as the year before. The remaining complaints were withdrawn, discontinued or officially dispensed with. The IPCC has overall responsibility for the police complaints system. It has 15 commissioners, whose independence is guaranteed by law in that none can ever have served as police officers. www.passionislam.com

COMMUNITY ADVISOR • UP TO £72,500 • BASED LONDON The threat of terrorism is a real one that comes from a tiny minority of people, whose tactics often involve befriending and influencing vulnerable members of society. But countering this threat requires positive engagement with all our communities to prevent violent extremism from taking root. We are now looking for someone already actively involved in community work, voluntary or otherwise, and who knows how to get out and meet the right people. You will be the key point of liaison between communities and the Government’s counter terrorism efforts. You will help deliver a shared approach to resisting the threats that affect us all. You will have an awareness of, and willingness to work in the area of Counter Terrorism, with the ability to engage positively with the

The Home Office is dedicated to promoting equality, fairness and respect. We will create a working environment where diversity is recognised, valued and celebrated.

I3

community and senior stakeholders – particularly at the Department of Communities and Local Government and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office – at a range of levels. Senior Ministers will listen to you; the community will trust you and this relatively new organisation will depend on your contribution to have a significant impact on Counter Terrorism efforts. For further information please visit our dedicated microsite at www.stopterrorism.co.uk or for an informal, confidential discussion please contact our advising consultants Michael Dobson on 020 7017 0961, Nancy Scott on 020 7017 0915 or James Greengrass on 020 7017 0931.

Closing date: Monday 13th October 2008.

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UK Identity card unveiled

Passion Islam

I October 2008

Building on the Government’s commitment to begin issuing the first ID cards to foreign nationals from November 2008, the card’s design was revealed for the first time. The new credit-card sized document will show the holder’s photograph, name, date of birth, nationality and immigration status. A secure electronic chip will also hold their biometric details, including fingerprints, and a digital facial image. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said: “Today shows we are delivering on our commitment to introduce the National Identity Scheme in order that we can enjoy its benefits as quickly as possible. “ID cards will help protect against identity fraud, illegal working, reduce the use of multiple identities in organised crime and terrorism, crack down on those trying to abuse positions of trust and make it easier for people to prove they are who they say they are. “ID cards for foreign nationals will replace old-fashioned paper documents, make it easier for employers and sponsors to check entitlement to work and study, and for the UK Border Agency to verify 297x210_COMBINED_PASION ISLAM_3304_english.ai 14/05/2008 18:16:14 someone’s identity. This will provide

LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

identity protection to the many here legally who contribute to the prosperity of the UK, while helping prevent abuse.” Compulsory identity cards for foreign nationals will kick start the National Identity Scheme, with the first applicants having to apply for cards from 25 November. Within three years all foreign nationals

applying for leave to enter or remain in the UK will be required to have a card, with around 90 per cent of foreign nationals in Britain covered by the scheme by 2014/15. To ensure the benefits of the programme are felt from the start, the UK Border Agency will start with categories that have been targeted by those wanting to abuse our immigration system, including

NO HIDDEN CHARGES!

students and people seeking leave to remain on the basis of marriage. The introduction of the first card supports the Government’s tough new Australian-style Points Based System for managed migration. To earn and retain their licence as a sponsor businesses and education providers must keep records of the migrants they have sponsored including, in time, a copy of a migrant’s identity card. Businesses found employing illegal workers face fines of up to £10,000 per person. The introduction of cards for foreign nationals will be followed by the first ID cards for British citizens, targeting workers in sensitive roles and locations like airports from 2009. Then from 2010 ID cards will be available to young people who want them and from 2011/12 cards will be available to the general population. The introduction of ID cards will provide a convenient and secure means to protect identity by locking it to one person using their fingerprints. Allready 2.8 million visa applicants have been fingerprinted, 3,500 cases of identity swap in the UK have been identiifed and dealt with; and over 12.5 million biometric e-passports have been issued in the past two years.

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Senior Muslim woman officer in race claim

6

I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

A senior Muslim woman in Britain’s largest police force is poised to bring a race discrimination claim, it has been reported. The Metropolitan Police’s head of diversity Yasmin Rehman is set to launch an employment tribunal case claiming she has suffered racist bullying and victimisation. It comes just days after the most senior Muslim officer in the Met and 2012 Olympics security chief, Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, was suspended over his own race discrimination claims. Ms Rehman is a civilian worker at the Met but is understood to have won the backing of the Metropolitan Black Police Association (MBPA), which is also representing Mr Ghaffur. Neither Ms Rehman nor the MBPA were available for comment. Ms Rehman, the force’s Director of Partnerships and Diversity, is believed to have been on stress-related sick leave for a year. A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We

Passion Islam

I October 2008

Mr Sir Ian Blair has resigned from his post

have not received any notification of any action.” Head of the Society of Black Lawyers, Peter Herbert, said of the latest reported race case: “It is of serious concern, particularly if it indicates that a pattern is developing. “If black and minority staff are bringing a series of legal actions that would suggest there is a failure within the organisation.”

within hours of the Met announcing his suspension, Mr Ghaffur, 53, accused the force of committing “wilful acts of victimisation” against him because of his complaints of racism against the force. Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said the suspension of Mr Ghaffur was a response to his “personal conduct” in holding a televised press conference and had nothing to do with the decision to take the force to an employment tribunal.


London’s Olympic Park toilets to turn away from Makkah

Passion Islam

I October 2008

LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

Toilet facilities are being built at London’s Olympic Park so Muslims will not have to face Makkah while sitting on the loo. The Olympic Delivery Authority has said it wants to produce an ideal venue for people of all cultures, faiths, ages and abilities for the 2012 Games and beyond. The Islamic religion prohibits Muslims from facing the Qiblah - the direction of prayer - when they visit the lavatory. An ODA spokeswoman confirmed that a ‘percentage of general toilets would not face Mecca’ out of sensitivity. She could not say how many toilets would turn away from the East. Also as part of the design, special washing facilities will be linked to Islamic prayer rooms. ODA chairman John Armitt said it was about making the London Olympic venue the ‘most accessible and inclusive public park’ for future generations. Other design measures earmarked for the park include: Gentle slopes into the venue with wider pathways with smooth surfaces and seating and resting places at regular intervals for wheelchair users; Accessible toilet facilities including special areas where older disabled people can be helped to change by their carers; and Baby changing areas and buggy

stores at toilet facilities. Vice chairman of London Olympic Organising Committee’s Sports Advisory Group and Paralympic champion Dame Tanni Grey-Thomson said: ‘London 2012 is aiming to go further than any previous host city to ensure that both the Olympic and Paralympic Games are accessible for everyone. ‘After the Games, world-class sporting venues and the largest and most inclusive park in London will be left to help inspire a new generation of Olympic and

Paralympic athletes.’ London Mayor Boris Johnson welcomed the commitment to inclusive design saying ‘it is clear that accessibility must continue to be at the core of our work’ in developing facilities in the Park. ‘I welcome the ODA’s commitment to inclusive design and while I’m determined to provide taxpayer value from the 2012 budget, that commitment will not be compromised and remains a top priority for me as we prepare London to host the 2012 Games.’

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£600,000 payout for solicitor in race claim

8

I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

A Muslim solicitor who was suspended from work by the Crown Prosecution Service after joking at Bradford Magistrates Court she was a friend of Osama bin Laden has been awarded a record £600,000 payout for racial discrimination. An employment tribunal found that there was “not a shred of evidence” to support the treatment of Halima Aziz by the CPS and ordered it to reinstate her and issue a full and unequivocal apology, according to documents seen by Channel 4 News. The seven-year battle has cost the taxpayer an additional £500,000 in legal costs, said the programme. Ms Aziz said she would have accepted a simple apology after the initial incident and was “100% certain” she would have been treated differently if she was not Muslim and of Asian origin. The lawyer was working at Bradford Crown Court in October 2001 - a month after 9/11 - when she was accused of blaming the terror attacks in the US on “Jews”. Ms Aziz denies making this comment, saying that in fact she joked, as she was going through a security check at the court, that she was being treated like a friend of Bin Laden. She was suspended from duty while a complaint from the court was investigated. She was cleared of all allegations in 2002. Now the Employment Tribunal has found that senior officials at the CPS were guilty of racial discrimination for the way they handled her case and that a previous inquiry run by chief executive Peter Lewis

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was a “whitewash”. Its judgment stated: “This would be a completely unacceptable response on the part of any employer, but for a public body like the Crown Prosecution Service it can only be regarded as astonishing.” Ms Aziz’s lawyer Mark Emery, of Bindmans solicitors, called for an independent inquiry. “According to this judgment, serious questions have got to be asked at chief executive level and it is possible that questions have got to be asked higher up the chain,” he told C4N. “It does ask questions about public confidence in the CPS’s ability to handle very sensitive race-related prosecutions if, at the heart of the CPS - at the senior echelons of the CPS, there is such wilful failure to comply with race relations legislation. “I think the public is entitled to ask how can the CPS properly prosecute these kinds of cases.” Ms Aziz said: “(The CPS) still haven’t given me an apology for what they have done. If they had apologised to me right at the beginning words would have been enough. “I am 100% certain this would not have happened unless I had been a Muslim and Asian.” She said she was hoping to use the payout to build an orphanage in Pakistan. The case was not about money but “about getting my job back and saying what (they did) was wrong”, she said. In a statement, the CPS said: “The CPS accepts the recommendations made by the Employment Tribunal and will be

I October 2008

implementing them as a matter of priority. We offer a full apology to Halima Aziz. “The CPS decision to contest this matter was made in good faith after having taken independent legal advice and this advice was borne out by the decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal which ruled in the CPS’s favour in 2005. “As the Employment Tribunal judgment makes clear, the judgment relates solely to the ‘very particular circumstances’ of this one case. It does not question the overall approach and policies the CPS has pursued in the field of equality and diversity. “The CPS takes equality and diversity very seriously, both in relation to its employees and the public. Our positive progress since 2001 has been recognised by a number of outside bodies. “The CPS is committed to securing a workforce that reflects the communities it serves, at all levels, and is succeeding in this. Of the most senior prosecutor group within the CPS, chief crown prosecutors, currently over 13% are from ethnic minority backgrounds, as are over 13% of the total staff. This profile is exceptional within the public sector. “The CPS has an on-going commitment to providing a working environment that ensures all its staff are treated with dignity and respect.”

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I October 2008

LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

I9

UK government urged to forge ‘fairness’ agenda with Muslims

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The British government was urged to reconnect with the country’s two million Muslim community and forge a ‘fairness’ agenda. “An effective agenda to provide opportunity and tackle extremism across all communities must go beyond a narrow approach to security, by forging a progressive response on inequality,” said Muslim Labour MP Sadiq Khan. Khan, who is a junior member of Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government as an assistant whip, warned that the ruling Labour Party can “no longer take Muslim votes for granted” as it has in the past and that “rebuilding bridges will be difficult after Iraq.” In a pamphlet for the Fabian Society, the UK’s oldest think-tank where he is vice chair, he argued that the government “must learn lessons” from Muslim disillusionment. His ‘fairness not favours’ approach was to help “forge a new agenda on inequality and life chances, public engagement in foreign policy, an inclusive Britishness, and rethinking the role of faith in public life.” “The argument which must underpin an effective agenda for citizenship and integration is this: we can only get it right for British Muslims if we get it right for everybody,” said Khan, who is also a human rights lawyer. The 95-page pamphlet draws on a

year-long research project, in which he challenges the government’s “revolving door” consultations policy with Muslim groups which he said lack credibility and was doomed to fail. “Its now time for Labour to start making real and meaningful alliances, which are not predicated on towing the party line but are based on a real, open and honest relationship with a wide spectrum of Muslim individuals and groups,” the assistant whip said. His criticism comes after the government ended its regular consultations with the umbrella Muslim Council of Britain and other leading organizations and instead started to promote groups that it helped to create that supported its policies. “We have been often completely bypassing, and even needlessly aggravating, some national groups and their spokespersons, because of disagreements with the policies and views they are perceived to hold,” Khan said. “We have ended up trying to re-invent the wheel, causing huge offence to those neglected Muslim organisations and at the same time failing to effectively connect with individuals or organisations properly,” he warned. Fabian’s vice chair said the government “cannot let how we win votes, or how we tackle terrorism or extremism become the primary factors when we consider

how best to reconnect to constituencies that are often disillusioned, disengaged and disadvantaged. “Instead our priority must be to address the major obstacles that prevent many Muslims becoming fully active participants in mainstream civic society, while helping individuals to climb the social ladder and take up new opportunities,” he said In his call for social justice, the MP also urged Muslim communities to play a part, saying that while the government should act against religious discrimination, domestically Muslims need to recognize “childcare is as important as Kashmir.” Khan, who is of Pakistani parentage but was born in the UK, also stressed the advantages of learning good English, saying it was a “passport to participation in mainstream society - jobs, education and even being able to use health services.” “A failure to deal with the inequalities of British Muslim women flies in the face of any attempts to build a socially just and fair society,” he said, while also urging all mosques to take gender equality seriously. As well as calling for measures to tackle Islamophobia in the workplace, the Labour MP suggested that there should be a programme to improve the achievement by Muslim boys in schools and for more ambassadors and diplomats to come from more diverse backgrounds.

Drugs smear case shows weakness of UK laws The Muslim News has criticised the weakness of recently passed British laws on religious incitement following the failure to prosecute the BNP over a leaflet which blames Muslims for the heroin trade. “It just shows that incitement to religious hatred legislation is inadequate and the BNP members use the loophole to target Muslims.” said The Muslim News Editor, Ahmed J Versi. “If the leaflets were targeted at other ethnic communities like the Jews and Black people then the perpetrators would have been charged for incitement. Muslims, in contrast, are free for all,” Versi said. “Such incitement language results in attacks against Muslims and mosques as the leaflets blame all Muslims for drug peddling.”

His criticism comes as Muslim police officers were demanding an explanation as to why the police had not provided adequate advice to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) which led to no action being taken over a leaflet, which was distributed by the BNP members since June to hundreds of addresses in parts of Lancashire, Cumbria and Yorkshire. It smears Muslims as being “almost exclusively responsible” for the heroin trade 95% of which it says comes from the Afghanistan and Pakistan region. It also suggested “naming and shaming” Muslims to tackle the problem. The National Association of Muslim Police (NAMP) said the CPS had effectively allowed the people in question to continue distributing the material. In a statement to The Muslim News

Deputy Chief Constable for Lancashire Constabulary Mike Cunningham said: “Whilst we understand that this advice is based on established case law, we roundly condemn the contents of these leaflets and those distributing them” Cunningham said it was “inflammatory in nature” and that the police were “obviously concerned that their distribution in Lancashire could damage community cohesion.”


Islamic Finance set to soar in troubled market

10

I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

The unprecedented market volatility could spark renewed vigour in Islamic banking and Shariah compliant products, BDO Stoy Hayward says. The accountancy and financial adviser firm claims investors will seek alternative financial products with less risk in markets it describes as the most volatile since the 1930s. Dan Taylor, head of banking at BDO Stoy Hayward, says: “As the risk profile of Islamic banks is generally lower than conventional western banks, this presents a more solid option for both retail and institutional investors and suggests that dealings with Islamic financial institutions will grow dramatically as people switch to more secure products in this environment. “Further growth of Islamic banking in

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the UK will also be attributed to their more conservative approach to financing, as the risks are shared with the investor, much like the private equity model. In addition, it is more difficult for Islamic financial

institutions to use leverage; therefore their risk profile is naturally lower.” According to the firm, Islamic banks are among the few financial institutions that still have significant sums of money available to finance individuals and

I October 2008

corporations. In contrast, it claims, their Western banking counterparts hit hard by the credit crunch continue to constrict their lending policies. Currently 20 major international banks operating in the UK have set up units to provide Islamic financial services and have been joined by five stand alone Islamic banks. There are five Islamic financial institutions in Switzerland, while France and Luxembourg each have four. “In light of the market turmoil, we could expect the number of stand-alone Islamic financial institutions present in the UK to double over the next three years, further reaffirming London’s position as the pre-eminent centre of choice for the provision of Islamic Finance,” adds Taylor. - IFAonline

Two-thirds of UK media portray Muslims “a threat” research finds

Two thirds of newspaper stories in the UK portray British Muslims since 2000 as “a threat” or “problem,” according to new research. A forty-page report, entitled Images of Islam in the UK, showed that the press in the UK increasingly utilize negative and stereotypical imagery about Muslims. The authors, the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, found that British tabloids and broadsheets sought to engage with the “routine, everyday coverage of British Muslims” over and above the coverage which occurred around key events. Coverage of British Muslims was also shown to have increased significantly year on year, and by 2006 had reached a level twelve times higher than that in 2000. The authors describe how such a coverage generated a momentum all of its own, “lasting well beyond and independent of” newsworthy events. At the same time, the report found that the context in which British Muslims were portrayed was of a consistently negative nature. The main focus for a third of stories on British Muslims was either terrorism or the ‘war on terror.’ Eleven per cent of all stories focused on Muslim extremism, while in stark contrast, only 5 per cent covered “attacks on or problems for British

Muslims.” The notion of Islamophobia was said to have “scarcely featured as a news topic” in 2001 and 2005. A significant yet subtle shift in stories involved a steady increase in the proportion which focus on religious and cultural differences, to such a degree that by 2008 these stories had overtaken terrorism as the single largest subject matter. It was argued that this change in focus reflects the shift in British government policy, under the cloak of its “community cohesion” framework, which quietly insinuates that ‘British’ and ‘Muslim’ are mutually exclusive identities. The consequence was that coverage about anti-Muslim racism and attacks on British Muslims has vastly reduced from 10 per cent in 2000 to only 1 per cent in 2008. In comparison with four of the five most common story threads associating Islam and Muslims “with threats, problems or in opposition to dominant British values,” only 2 per cent suggested “that Muslims supported dominant moral values.” In particular, the report highlighted a number of articles which frame Britain as “becoming a place of Muslim-only, ‘nogo’ areas, where churches were being

replaced by mosques, and Sharia law would soon be implemented.” The perception of Islam as a threat or a problem was further enhanced by the choice of descriptive language in the articles surveyed. The most common nouns employed in relation to Islam or Muslims were ‘terrorist’ or ‘extremist’ whilst the most widely used adjectives included ‘fanatical’, ‘fundamentalist’, ‘radical’ and ‘militant.’ Overall, “references to radical Muslims outnumber references to moderate Muslims by 17 to one” and was consistently used by both broadsheet and tabloid newspapers.

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I October 2008

I 11

Migrant numbers to be tightened

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LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

An unprecedented coalition of public figures called for a limit on migrant numbers settling in the UK. The group of MPs and peers, including a former Archbishop of Canterbury, want a policy of ‘balanced migration’. Only around 20,000 non-EU economic migrants would be allowed to stay permanently each year. The rest would have to go home after four years. Immigrants queuing in Calais. The allparty group call for balanced migration into the UK The campaigners, led by former Labour Minister Frank Field, say their system would produce a UK population of around 65million by 2050 - compared to projections of 78.6million under Government policies. Net immigration is currently estimated at more than 300,000 a year, though not all will stay permanently. An opinion poll last night showed a large majority of voters in favour of the all-party group’s proposal - but Labour effectively ruled it out. Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said the Government’s new points-based system would be better than ‘made up quotas’ for bringing in migrants with the skills needed by our economy. The aim of balanced migration is to

keep the number of foreigners settling here permanently at around the same as the number of Britons who leave. The group calling for it, headed jointly by Mr Field and Tory MP Nicholas Soames, also includes Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Ahmed, one of Labour’s leading Muslim politicians. Labour MP Frank Field is leading the cross-party parliamentary group on balanced migration, Mr Field said the recent wave of immigration had been unprecedented - 25 times higher than any for nearly 1,000 years. It had ‘undoubtedly brought gains’ to some sections of the community. But the former welfare minister added: ‘One group that has disproportionately borne the cost of such immigration, through pressure on wages, longer waiting lists for decent housing and increased demand for public services, has been lower-paid black and white Britons. ‘This group has also often experienced a transformation of their neighbourhoods from settled working-class communities to societies they can barely recognise.’ The MPs and peers, who also include Lord Bill Jordan, former president of the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union, Field Marshal Lord Inge and

economic historian Lord Skidelsky, asked the campaign group Migrationwatch to prepare ‘ constructive’ proposals for balancing migration. It publishes a 56-page report setting out a framework for controlling numbers without harming the economy. The document suggests no limit or changes to the rights of genuine asylum seekers, who make up only three per cent of foreign migration. There would also be no major changes to marriage rules which confer settlement rights, or any attempt to limit free movement within the EU. Instead, the proposals focus on economic migrants. They would still be allowed to obtain work permits, using the points-based system to ensure the economy is not left without vital skills. But workers would be expected to return home after four years. Only a limited number of the best-paid or highestskilled - around 20,000 each year - would be allowed settlement rights. When this 20,000 is added to those granted settlement rights through marriage, asylum and other routes, the total number of foreigners allowed to remain permanently each year would be around 130,000. It would be balanced by the 125,000 British citizens who emigrate, giving a net increase of only 5,000.

Many Muslim and Jewish parents living in the UK say they feel resigned to their children facing discrimination, according to new research by the University of Derby. The report, compiled by international faith-based schools’ expert Professor Marie Parker-Jenkins, looked at life in Jewish and Muslim faith schools in the United Kingdom.

As part of the study, entitled Terms of engagement – Muslim and Jewish school communities, cultural sustainability and religious identity, researchers spent time in nine schools. They found many parents say it is inevitable their children will face Islamophobia or anti-semitism in their lives. The researchers also found children

are more vulnerable than adults to such discrimination. Professor Parker-Jenkins said: “This study will provide food for thought to politicians and those in education about what is happening in Muslim and Jewish faith schools.”The findings will be sent to central Government to help decision makers shape education policy and will form the basis of a future book.

Faith discrimination is ‘inevitable’ in the UK

Police unite in Ramadhan Muslim police officers marked the holy month of Ramadhan with a special celebration in Prestwich - and they invited non-muslim colleagues to join in the fun. The event, held last month at the police training college, off Bury New Road, Sedgley Park, was organised by Greater Manchester

Muslim Police Association, and was attended by assistant chief constable Rob Taylor amongst others. Guests observed prayers, listened to speeches about Ramadhan and the work of Muslim police officers, and ate a traditional meal.

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Muhammad tops most popular name in Brussels

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Muhammad, the name of the Prophet, was the most popular name for new-born boys in Brussels in 2007, according to a report released by the Belgian statistics office. The boys’ names Amin (sixth most popular), Ayub and Mehdi (seventh), and the girls’ names Aya (third), Yasmine (fourth) and Salma (seventh) also made the top ten in a further confirmation of the European Union capital’s multiculturalism. Muhammad was also the seventh most popular name nationwide, beating traditional Belgian names such as Mathis (ninth) and Hugo (tenth) - although it lagged well behind the most popular names: Nathan, Lucas and Noah. Belgian society is deeply divided between the Dutch-speaking region of

Flanders in the north and the Frenchspeaking Wallonia in the south, with Brussels an officially bilingual island in Flanders. Since World War II the country has seen large-scale immigration, especially from North Africa, with Brussels and the port town of Antwerp attracting the bulk of the arrivals, DPA reported. That division was reflected in children’s names, with Milan and Wout (boys) and Lotte and Emma (girls) pre-eminent in Flanders, and Nathan, Lucas, Lea and Clara most popular in Wallonia. Lina and Sarah were the most popular girls’ names in Brussels, with Adam second only to Muhammad among boys’ names. But perhaps most striking were the oneoff names given to children by parents apparently wearying of the traditional

approach. Belgium is now home to boys called Arafat, Euro, Jazz and Okay, and girls called Alaska, Cozmo, Marvelous and Elf. They look set to start school alongside the boys Harley-Davidson and Mel-Gibson and the girls India-Summer, Bambi and Winter. And spare a thought for one young lady who might face considerable confusion in later life. She is a little girl called Man.

The Roman Catholic Church wants to pursue inter-religious dialogues that discuss theological differences openly and to avoid polite meetings that simply lead nowhere, Pope Benedict said. Visiting the Lourdes shrine in southwestern France, he told French bishops that interfaith dialogue was a vital necessity in a globalized world but not all efforts at it were worthwhile. Inter-religious meetings have multiplied in recent years, especially between Christians and Muslims. In November, Benedict will meet Islamic scholars promoting dialogue to overcome misunderstandings between the world’s two largest faiths. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia has launched a parallel initiative and hosted a large interfaith meeting in Madrid in July, which was attended by Muslims, Jews and Christians, including the Vatican’s top official for dialogue with Islam. “Goodwill is not enough,” Benedict said, a reference to the many efforts in recent decades-especially with Muslimsthat have not produced much progress in overcoming tensions because participants usually avoided the most difficult issues.

“One must follow closely the various initiatives that are undertaken, so as to discern which ones favor reciprocal knowledge and respect as well as the promotion of dialogue, and so as to avoid those which lead to impasses,” he said. “I believe it is good to begin by listening, then moving on to theological discussion, so as to arrive finally at witness and proclamation of the faith itself.” Inter-religious contacts have grown in the 40 years since the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) opened the Catholic Churchthe world’s largest-to dialogue with other faiths. But many Christian-Muslim efforts hardly get beyond polite conversation. The September 11 attacks in the United States prompted renewed efforts for mutual understanding, but Benedict’s 2006 Regensburg speech implying Islam was violent and irrational convinced Muslim intellectuals that more work was needed. Last October, 138 Muslim scholars urged Christian leaders to discuss what they said was the common belief of both faiths that love of God and neighbor is the path to salvation, The Peninsula daily reported. The Vatican’s top official on Islam

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran said discussing theology with Muslims was impossible because they do not analyze the Quran critically, a comment that prompted Muslim scholars to say he did not understand Islam. “Tauran made it sound like the Vatican was not interested in theological dialogue, but the Pope has now put it back in play,” said one French priest who asked not to be named. At a July meeting with “Common Word” scholars, evangelical Protestants were unsure they would be able to proclaim their faith in Jesus to a hall half-filled with Muslims-a condition they, like Benedict, put on any serious dialogue. This can be tricky, because both Christianity and Islam are missionary religions dedicated to preaching their message around the world. This competition for souls, especially in Africa and Asia, leads to tension and sometimes violence. By the time the conference at Yale University in the United States had ended, senior evangelical leaders said both they and the Muslim participants had spoken openly about their differing beliefs and that the dialogue was worth pursuing.

Pope calls for more open interfaith talks


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Leading Australian Mufti says embrace Aussie culture Muslims should embrace Australian culture by playing footy, going to the beach and having barbecues, the nation’s most senior Islamic cleric says. Sheik Fehmi Naji el-Imam, the Mufti of Australia, says Australians are blessed to live in a country that is “a bastion of hope” and a “free and open” society. He said Muslims were increasingly playing roles in wider society, citing Essendon footballer Bachar Houli and SES volunteers as examples. Speaking as the trial of would-be terrorist Abdul Benbrika and his followers concluded last week and as the Bali bombers await a date for their executions, he told the Sunday Herald Sun terrorists and would-be terrorists should be dealt with under the law. Refusing to comment on the trial,

Sheikh Fehmi said: “Extremism has no place in Islam and people who take innocent lives in name of God are outside the fold of Islam.” In his first wide-ranging newspaper interview, he also said: AUSTRALIA faced a disturbing crisis of faith and rising materialism. THE Rudd Government was more inclusive than the Howard administration. FIGHTING climate change was a religious duty. THE nation needed to be vigilant in condemning and abolishing racism. “Sheikh Fehmi, who was involved in establishing Victoria’s first Islamic Society, in 1957, said he was confident about Australia’s future. Australia is a peaceful society if you look in comparison with other countries,” he said.

“It is a blessing that everyone who was either born here or chosen to come and live here should be thankful for. “I am confident that Australia will continue to prosper as a free, open, democratic society.”

Deutsche Bank to launch sharia hedge fund platform Deutsche Bank AG’s prime brokerage business is preparing to launch a shariacompliant hedge fund platform within the next month, as part of its Middle East expansion plans, a senior official said. Deutsche Bank will expand an existing service on a selective basis, regional head for Middle East Structuring Geert Bossuyt told Reuters, and the platform - or range of financial products -- will offer techniques for hedge funds to adjust to Islamic investment rules. ‘It is a bit like the case of the chicken and the egg, you will never have demand if there is no offer. So Deutsche Bank, and others, offer product,’ he said. Deutsche will target existing hedge funds who want to run sharia strategies alongside their ongoing investment activities. It will follow the launch of Barclays

Capital’s Al Safi sharia-complaint platform in June and the launch last year of a similar product by Newedge, the broker platform joint venture of Credit Agricole’s Calyon and Societe Generale. Sharia-compliant transactions demand transparency throughout the investment process. Short selling is banned because it amounts to selling an asset not owned and risk management must accommodate the exclusion of certain types of derivatives because of their speculative nature. Bossuyt said the platform will offer ‘conceptual solutions’ to hedge funds, advising on techniques to replicate traditional shorting, as well as screening of underlying equity and derivative transactions. The service has been approved by the sharia board of investment company Dar

Al Istithmar, which is 55 percent owned by the German financial group. The Islamic hedge fund industry is still at least two years away from reaching the tipping point where the product offering is large and sophisticated enough to make costs and returns very similar to its mainstream counterpart, Bossuyt said. My estimate of the immediate flow is that it is not going to be great at the beginning. We are in a learning curve phase,’ he said. www.passionislam.com


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German government condemns Islamophobic confab in Cologne

The German government condemned an international Islamophobic conference in the western city of Cologne. Addressing a press briefing, a spokeswoman for the German Interior Ministry “condemned all extremist actions” related to the so-called ‘Anti-Islamization Congress’, hosted by the far-right group ‘Pro Koeln’. Gabriele Hermani stressed the farright confab would negatively impact on efforts to promote peaceful co-existence between the German state and its Muslims citizens. Tens of thousands of people were expected to take to the streets of Cologne to protest against the three-day Islamophobic meeting. A wide spectrum of nationwide civic groups, among them labor, student,

church and anti-racism groups, were due to join the protests and mass blockades. Initial media reports pointed to a tense situation near the conference site, as counter-demonstrators were hoping to disrupt the anti-Islam meeting. Efforts to ban the event failed because of legal reasons, according to Cologne Police President Klaus Steffenhagen. Under surveillance by Germany’s domestic Verfassungsschutz intelligence agency,`Pro Koeln` has invited around 1,000 right-wing extremists to the disputed meeting in Cologne, among them leading far-right politicians from the US, France, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Spain and Italy. A major focus of ‘Pro Koeln’ has been its controversial opposition to the planned

construction of a central mosque for Cologne’s nearly 150,000-strong Muslim community. `Pro Cologne’ has five seats in Cologne’s 90-member city council. There are 3.5 million Muslims living in Germany of which 2.5 million are Turks www.passionislam.com

Islamic commerce course excites Indians in Australia The first ever masters degree in Islamic commerce to be offered at an Australian university has some overseas Indian students excited about future prospects in this fast-growing segment of global finance. ‘I am very excited that La Trobe University will be offering a course in Islamic banking and finance (IBF). By learning about Islamic commercial laws, I can help the people of my community in their development,’ Mohammed Rizwanuddin, who is originally from Hyderabad, told IANS. He is nearing completion of a two-year masters in professional accounting at the university. The Islamic commerce course will commence in February 2009 and will cost Australian $17,000 per annum for the one or two years required to complete it, depending on prior study and experience. The eight subjects include legal and Islamic jurisprudence, Islamic commercial law, Islamic banking, Islamic insurance and Islamic financial markets and general areas of finance. ‘As the concept of ‘interest’ is considered ‘haram’ (prohibited) in Islam, there are many Muslims who need financial support for their progress. I feel that Islamic commercial law can overcome this problem,’ said Rizwanuddin, who would like to return to India and help the Muslim community despite good job prospects in Australia and the Middle East. According to The Banker global

report, in the next five to 10 years, Islamic finance will require an estimated 50,000 employees to run the industry. The Islamic banking and finance market is growing at an annual rate of 15 to 20 percent and there are more than 260 Islamic financial institutions operating worldwide. The industry is likely to capture the savings of 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, a figure that is estimated to grow to 2.5 billion within the next decade. ‘Such immense growth has brought Islamic finance to the attention of the international banking community, prompting major banks to set up Islamic financial windows to take advantage of the demand for Shariah compliant finance,’ Ishaq Bhatti, associate professor in the department of economics and finance and co-founder of the course, told IANS. The master’s course is aimed at meeting the demand for trained professionals in Islamic banking and finance sectors. ‘Islamic banking is a community activity based on equity and security between lender and borrower. It seeks to encourage distribution of wealth. Profit and loss is shared by stakeholders on a proportional basis and there is no unnecessary exposure to risk and no ambiguity in the contract,’ explains Bhatti, emphasising that ‘maximising profit is not the major objective of this system’. It is a growing sector in Australia with several local banks - National Australia

Bank, Kuwait Finance House, HSBC and Muslim Community Cooperative of Australia (MCCA) - active in the field. Bhatti says the masters programme will appeal to international students from the subcontinent and other countries in Asia wanting Islamic financial training in English. ‘In Iran and Saudi Arabia, more than 95 percent of all retail banking transaction is done through Islamic banking institutions. It is expected that Islamic finance will be the mainstream finance in the rest of the Gulf region in a couple of decades,’ Bhatti says. ‘In Pakistan, Islamic finance is booming; in Bangladesh, microfinance is moving on Shariah compliance. According to The Banker’s November 2007 issue, in Malaysia, Islamic institutions are expected to capture 25 percent of the market share of assets owned by 2010,’ adds Bhatti. Hayat Khan, a lecturer and cofounder of the course at La Trobe, said: ‘The new course is designed to meet a very real need. The course merges Western and Islamic finance with modern techniques. Islamic banks will account for 40 to 50 percent of total savings of Muslim populations worldwide in 8-10 years.’ In 2007, India was the second largest source of overseas students with 63,604 students enrolled in Australian educational institutions. Of the top 10 source countries, the strongest growth since 2006 was from India at 63.9 percent. www.passionislam.com


Quran contains scientific truths about universe Passion Islam

I October 2008

WORLD NEWS

Muslims should not only recite the Holy Quran on a regular basis, but also deeply reflect over its verses, observed the renowned Egyptian scholar and professor Dr. Zaghloul El Naggar. The scientific discoveries mentioned in the Holy Quran more than 1429 years ago, and the miraculous aspects of the Holy Book reflect its credibility and uniqueness, stressed Dr. El Naggar, Earth Sciences Professor, Fellow and Head of Scientific Miracles in the Holy Quran Section in the Islamic Academy of Sciences. The professor was speaking at the cultural program of the Dubai International Holy Quran Award. Present at the lecture were Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin

Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai’s Culture & Arts Authority, and Ibrahim Bu Melha, Chairman of DIHQA organizing committee. “Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said the sun and the moon will be rolled on the doomsday. It has been proven recently that the moon is moving away from the earth 3-4cm every year,” he said. “This means there will be no more gravity to keep the moon orbiting the globe, and the sun will fully swallow it. They shall then become one unit like a ball, and this means the end of the world.” “Modern science has proved that all stars have a life cycle. They first lose their shine and then become totally dim. When all

King Fahd Qur’an Complex wins Dubai Holy Quran Award

stars die or become dim, it means the end of the world,” he said. “Who taught the Holy Prophet these recently-discovered, fascinating and scientific facts? He is the One, God Almighty,” he said.

King Fahd Qur’an Complex in Madinah has won this year’s Dubai International Holy Qur’an award. It was announced at a ceremony held at the cultural and scientific association in Mamzar last month. Gulf News reported. The 1 million Dirham award is given for contributions and achievements in the Islamic World. The Dubai International Holy Qur’an award is now in its 12th year and is held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid AlMaktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai. This is the second time that an organization has been awarded this honor. Earlier, Al Azhar won it in the sixth year.

Jordan’s mufti issues fatwa against electronic currency trading

AmmanJordan’s top religious official issued a fatwa (judgement) that bans electronic trading of currencies owing to the ‘financial risks’ involved in such a type of business. ‘Trading of currencies is a taboo and illegal from a religious viewpoint, given the financial risks involved in such transactions,’ Grand Mufti Nouh Salman said. Earning profits from the

trading of money, which is not seen as an asset under most interpretations of Islamic law, is frowned upon by many Muslim religious scholars. ‘Such transactions are tantamount to gambling,’ Salman said, alluding to a large number of Jordanians who reportedly have incurred severe losses and been obliged to sell their real estate and their wives’ jewellery. The Jordanian government

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recently enacted a new law regulating the trading of currencies on the internet after scores of citizens went bankrupt, suffering big losses in currency trading with foreign markets. However, Jordan, which follows an open-market economic policy, is not expected to adopt the mufti’s recommendations in this respect, financial analysts said.

Islamic college opens in Stockholm

The Islamic Center of Stockholm in Sweden has established an Islamic Studies College. The growing trend of conversion to Islam among the Swedes has made the establishment of such research centers necessary. A number of other Islamic institutes in the country are also planning to launch Islamic colleges. Currently, there are some 120000 Muslims residing in Sweden, making Islam the second-largest religion in the country after Christianity. Islam is a recognized religion in the Scandinavian country and students in public schools learn about Islamic beliefs.


Imam Muslim (RA)

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NAME AND BIRTH His name was Abul-Hussain Muslimbin-Habaj al Nishapuri. He was born in a distinguished family of Arab Muslims in Khorasan which. was a famous town of Russia. Imaam Muslim was born in 817 A.D. corresponding to the Islamic year 204 A.H. His forefathers occupied prominent positions during the time of the four Caliphs. He travelled to many places with the object of learning Hadith, and after completing his studies in the various centres of learning, he settled at Nishapur. He spend the rest of his life teaching Hadith. EDUCATION Imaam Muslim started his studies at the very early age of fourteen years. In the year 218 A.H. the atmosphere in Nishapur, his birthplace, was of a religious and knowledge type. Nishapur had great personalities in this period such as lmaam Rahiwe and lmaam Zohri. After travelling widely in search of Hadith, he settled in Nishapur as mentioned above. Imaam Muslim was much impressed by the vast knowledge of Imaam Bukhari (R.A.), in the field of Hadith and the deep insight he possessed on this subject. He therefore attached himself to Imaam Bukhari (R.A.) up to the end of his life. Imaam Muslim was also an admirer of another great teacher of Hadith, Muhammed bin Yahya al Dhuli. He attended his lectures regularly. He visited Baghdad several times and had the opportunity of delivering lessons

there. His last visit to Baghdad was two years before his death. IMAAM MUSLIM’S TEACHERS Imaam Muslim (R.A.) apart from attending the lessons of Imaam Bukhari regularly, also attended the lectures of lmaam Ahmad bin Hambal, Abdullah al Qarri, Qutaiba bin Said, Abdullah bin Maslama and other great Muhadith. IMAAM MUSLIM’S STUDENTS Imaam Muslim (R.A.’s) most noted students are Hatim Razi, Ahrnad bin Salmah, Abu Isa Tinnizi, Abubaker bin Khuzaima and other great scholars. CHARACTER AND KNOWLEDGE Imaam Muslim R.A. adhered strictly to the path of righteousness. He was in fact a great saint of a very high calibre. His excellent character can be well judged from the simple fact that he never ever indulged in backbiting, a very common human failing. He had a remarkable memory. Ishaq bin Rahwi said of Imaam Muslim; “ I wonder what this person is going to be?” This was said in his youth. Ishaq Kausar once addressed lmaam Muslim (R.A.) and said; “Your presence in the Muslim community will always keep it in the good. “ Abu Saimah who was a colleague of lmaam Muslim was so attached to him that while lmaam Sahib was busy compiling the Sahih Muslim, he remained in lmaam Sahib’s company for fifteen years. He never told a lie nor did he

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ever use vulgar words. MASLAK Sheikh Abdul Latief says Imaam Tirmidhi and Imaam Muslim were followers of the Shafee school of thought, although they were both Mujtahids. Moulana AbdurRashid says that Imaam Muslim was a Maliki. The fact is what was said by Sheikh Tahir Jazari that Imaam Muslim is not a Maliki nor a Hanifi nor a Shafi, but his compilation of the sahih Muslim shows that he was more inclined towards the Shafee 000school of thought. SAHIH MUSLIM Allamah Nabawi (R.A.) says that the Ummat have accepted the Bukhari Shareef and Muslim Shareef as the Kitabs, which follow the Quraan, in authenicity although the Bukhari is regarded as holding a higher position than the Sahih Muslim for specific reasons, the sequence applied in the Muslim is much better than that of Bukhari. It is known as Al-Jamah as Sahih because it contains the eight different subjects on Hadis. AL-JAMAH AS SAHIH MUSLIM Imaam Bukhari (R.A.) concentrated his efforts on compilation of authentic hadith as well as deduction of Laws from Hadith. This is the most difficult part to understand in the Bukhari. How he deduced Laws from the Hadis, Imam Muslim concentrated his efforts only on compilation of authentic Hadith. - Darul-Uloom Bury


Which

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SPECIAL REPORT / WORLD NEWS

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Way

Now?

Are you sitting comfortably? Then let us go for a stroll into the deep chambers of the mind and heart. Hopefully, you will be refreshed so soon after Eid, and this may be the ideal time for such a trip. In fact, it may be long overdue. Right now, we are standing at the tail end of a particularly blessed part of the year. Ramadhan is over, and Eid is behind us for another year. What now? The same old routine or something different? With the memory of the dynamic and glowing Mosque atmosphere still fresh in our minds, let it be something different. Let us hope that when we left the packed Mosque building after the Eid prayer, we returned home with something and not empty-handed and empty hearted. The year ahead stretches before us, as uncertain as the horizon on a misty day at sea. We know little of the future and no body knows how long they have left. The best thing to do then, is to stop worrying about the future, stop groaning or being nostalgic about the past, and, yes, start living in the present. How do you live in the present? Aren’t we doing that anyway? Valid questions, but the answer is simple. Living in the present means making the best of what we have. That may be time, or health. It may be wealth or youth. Living in the present means seizing the present with all its opportunities and using it to full potential. So far, so good, but what is it we should be striving to achieve? What should the goal be? Does using opportunity to full potential mean having a good time while

you can? Does it mean laying the ground for a good education, then a brilliant career, and then a comfortable retirement? Does using the present in the best way mean something else? Actually, our destination is hidden from view. It lies around the corner or over the top of the hill. Yes, it lies beyond death itself. Some may say that life begins at fifty, in the hope that this will keep their morale high and help them ignore the reality of death for longer, but our motto is that life begins after death itself. As you sit, grasping your copy of ‘Subulas Salaam’ in your hands, notice that your heart continues to beat. Rather obvious, you may say, but you have no control over it, and if it were to stop, you could not restart it. The beating of your heart is in somebody else’s control, and He also knows what emotions and states this heart experiences. If there is any goal in life worthy of pursuit, it is to befriend One with such power. If success is in being wealthy or powerful, then Allah’s friends are both wealthy and powerful. If happiness lies in being with a good friend, Allah is the best friend. If there is an ideal goal, Allah Himself is that goal. If Ramadhan has a purpose, this is the purpose. “A man is known by the company he keeps”, and those who are closest in company with Allah Ta’ala are the Prophets. From amongst the Prophets, the closest to Allah Ta’ala is our Noble Prophet, Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi wassallam. To develop a strong bond

with the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam is not only the essential part of our faith, it is also the only way to befriend Allah Ta’ala. Without a powerful connection between ourselves and the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam, there is no way of attaining Divine pleasure. The first step towards self improvement is a change in attitude. So much is possible and so many improvements are just waiting to be made. Most of what we do wrong can be easily corrected. Most crimes are obviously crimes and you do not need to have a huge amount of knowledge to understand this. Everybody has the opportunity to make a resolution, and the way to do this is not to sit and think or to take pen and paper, or even to go and read a new book. The best method to get to your destination is to get up and start walking. So what are we waiting for? Together, let us start this journey. Let us begin now. This journey to Allah Ta’ala Himself. A blessed journey indeed. Be warned though. In the path of devotion and love, there are always difficulties. The challenge is to enjoy such difficulties and consider them to be an honour. If you learn to do this, even fire will not burn you as it did not burn the Prophet Ibrahim Alayhis salam. If it does, it will do so with a promise. The promise of safety after death and Allah’s pleasure. These are lofty aspirations indeed. May Allah Ta’ala Himself accompany us with His help along the way. Ameen.


Pride & Arrogance the greatest downfall of the human

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It is mentioned in the ayaah of the Quraan that, ‘’Allah does not lovethe arrogant people. ‘’And in the hadith it is also narrated that the Holy Prophet , ‘’Whosoever has a small amount of pride in his heart will not enter paradise. Whether one likes it or not, the truth is that every human being excluding the Prophets alaihimus salaam has pride in their heart, may it be a large amount or a small amount. Even though this is an attribute which specifically refers only to Allah, and the attributes which are particular with mankind are those that one has forgotten such as; humility, humbleness, modesty and submissioness. For this reason it is important that every human considers himself the sufferer of this disease called pride before he commences in his purification and cure. Especially those people who are fulfilling the visible commands of Islam with punctuality trying to gain faith, truth, kindness and wisdom to the highest degree, just for the pleasure of Allah, and who wish to create some weight and spirit in their actions. These loved ones should always keep in mind the fact that Allah’s council chamber is of the utmost cleanliness and is pure from every fault, therefore the path leading to his meeting will be highlypure and clean, and he who is full of dirt of sins is not fit for Allah ‘s chamber. Maulana Rashid Ahmed Gangohi rahmatullahi alaihi states that in the old days the saints tried to get rid of their bad habits so that reaching Allah became easy, but the present days saints, especially the saints of our chain, have adopted the increasing of zikr (remembrance of Allah) to such an extent that the bad habits become conquered beneath the effects of zikr, and the zikr remains the conqueror. Bad habits are plentiful, but the scholars have shortened them down to ten, and the extract of ten is pride. If this goes away then the rest go away themselves. May Allah save this lowest of the low form from this killer disease because he

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is trapped in this disease more than his respectedbrothers. The first reason for writing these words is for thecorrection of one’s own self, then we pray to Allah that from his own divine power and from his ample mercy he makes these words highly profitable for others. THE DISGRACE OF PRIDE Hazrat sheikh ul Hadith states in his book ‘’Shariat and tariqat’’ (The religious law and the customs) that not only in my view, but in the commandments of the Qur’aan and hadith pride is the harshest disease of all, and in the customs it is killer. Imaam Ghazaali rahmatullahi alaihehas written a separate chapter about pride with utmost urgency. He writes, “Pride and conceit is one of the diseases of the heart and it is such a critical disease that its cure is very difficult. Pride literally means that one feels great and superior, along with this he looks down upon others in a despicable and contemptuous manner. When this bad habit penetrates into the heart properly, then it effects are expressed by the tongue-that he starts to remark- I am like that and he creates a firm background of his praises and compliments. He also wishes the others praise and eulogise him - the same way when iblees proclaimed, ‘’I am better than Adam (alaihis salaam).’’ The second effect is that wherever he goes, he remains in search of honour and high position and he walks ahead of everyone wherever he is. If anyone advises him or directs him towards stopping his bad habits in a correct way, he feels ashamed and disgraced in accepting his counsel. But if he advises or admonishes anyone, he does it in a harsh and cruel manner. If he positively has this belief that he is greater than others, then he will be termed as a mutakabbir(arrogant).Rather on the contrary, he should have the belief that the righteous person is the one who is superior in the eyes of Allah ta’ala and this matter will be truly manifested in the hereafter. Instead of regarding himself as superior, he should regard everyone else superior to himself. If he sees and

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immature child then he should think this child has never committed a sin, and I am a sinner- verily he is better than I .If he confronts an elder, he should think that he has worshipped Allah ta’ala more than I, therefore I am no match for him. If he meets an Aalim(scholar) he should think in this manner that he possesses, verily he is superior to me. If he looks upon an ignorant person, he should imagine that he has disobeyed Allah on the basis of ignorance and unawareness while I am committing sins knowingly and consciously, so therefore Allah has more proof to put me under punishment. Even if the person is a disbeliever you should consider him greater than yourself because you do know what his state will be at the time of death. Numerous Muslims used to look down despicably at Hazrat Umar before he embraced islam. These people were unaware and ignorant concerning his fate and the high rank and status which he was to be elevated to. This pride and conceit will not be eliminated from the heart until you do not realise and believe that every individuals position and status is based and according to his final hour, and this is a matter of the unseen. It might well be that the person who we regard as pious, his death is a tragedy, while one who we regard as evil, his final moment is so good and he reaches the state of piety. So if a person perpetually has this thought burdened on his mind - he will never have these bad habits. May Allah save all of us from this very dangerous disease which is so widespread.


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The Power of the Youth An Untapped Resource

Do you feel violated? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Life has changed so much in such a short time in recent history. Throughout history human change comes somewhat slowly but the 20th century contained so much change. Some people call it development others call it environmental and social disasters – but anyway, things have changed but how have things changed for you? Are you being swept along by all these changes? Our education, lifestyle, and thinking has been inundated by slogans and messages spread across the media. The youth often live on the edge of society and they often miss out on a good quality education and access to jobs. They often suffer from low self esteem because they have been made to think that their isolation is their own fault instead of the society’s inability to accept and respect all its members. So the entity of the youth is being violated by slogans of racism, media taunts, generalizations, and the right of authorities to arrest and detain on suspicion – so young people are walking targets of derision. Violation can take place not just physically but also through words, suspicion, threats, and undermining the individual’s entity and identity. The idea of ‘if you’re not like the rest of us, you’re no good’ prevails. On the one hand the society will say they stand for freedom, rights for all and so on whereas on the ground, the young people feel that many of their rights are not protected and that they, as individuals are not respected for their beliefs, cultural background and what they are able to contribute to society. Often if a young person chooses to dare to be different; to have his/her own identity and course in life they run the risk of being labeled. They could be labeled a terrorist or an anarchist, but they will always be considered ‘the other.’ And with this comes the inner choice each young person must make. Will he/she prove their ‘innocence’ against these accusations (of being different) or steer their own course in life and live and contribute and add positively to society in their own way? If the individual wants to exonerate himself from being the guilty party he has to be willing to ‘completely obey’ the worldwide hegemony and willingly jump into the melting pot and thereby lose his individuality and personal entity and so

the beauty of true diversity will be lost forever Remember Allah said in the Qu’ran that He made us into nations and tribes that we might know one another. How boring life would be if we were all the same! Young people today are under two levels of violation. The first one is that which affects the whole community of which he is a part. This applies to most of us. Things like wealth being monopolized, access being prevented and made conditional upon entering the melting pot for example, if a young Muslim woman

wants to work in a certain career she has to ‘remove her hijab’. If Muslim youth want to work at certain places it is not allowed for them to take time off to pray. These kinds of policies shackle the young people to contribute in a positive way. There is also a kind of mass psychological pressure. It is a pressure to conform even though the catch cry of modern society is ‘freedom.’ It comes with a threat; if you don’t conform – you won’t be included. At the same time, there is still space for young people to have their voice and make positive changes in a positive way. An extension of the violation of the youth is the way their awareness of themselves and life in general has been tampered with. It is becoming more and more difficult for Muslim youth to calmly and comfortably abide by religious standards and beliefs because these beliefs and standards have had their meanings twisted by use of taunts, bias, inaccurate definitions, and generalizations. So the young people are being made to understand that if they want the care and protection of the mainstream society they must submit and obey their concept of ‘freedom’ and ‘morality’.

What a bind to be in! But the answer is…….. not violence, not revenge, not aggression, not isolation, not bigotry, and not prejudice against those who put forward this way of thinking – the answer is: Get your own life in order, meaning make sure your words and actions are according to the Quran and Sunnah. Make any necessary changes in order to do this vital first step. Ask Allah the Almighty to guide and direct you and your society to success in this life and the next and hope for goodness for yourself, your community, and those who appear to be your enemies today because tomorrow they could well be your friends and allies in justice and equality. Remember that Allah is Just and He loves justice. Learn the ways of the society you are living in. Seek to develop yourself through gaining knowledge and expertise in practical skills so you can access the mainstream society and be a fruitful member. This might mean upgrading language skills, learning about computer and technology, taking a keen interest in what is going on in the world today. This of course, alongside gaining more and more knowledge and understanding of every field of Islamic studies and life. Get involved in your community. Spread a feeling of enthusiasm and dignity. Advise people to get their lives in conformity with Islam because Allah promises to change our condition (environment) when we change what is within ourselves. Get involved in charitable work and if there is nothing going on, then be the one to start and initiate some kind of program, activity. Consult with others who are wise and experienced in such things and get something going. Remember, if society doesn’t seem to want you or need your contribution don’t take that as a final answer. Sometimes mankind doesn’t know what he needs. So just get in there and be active – first by fixing up your own life, then by trying to have a positive effect on those around you. Be a voice in your country – a voice for justice, equality, and peace. Keep on being that voice and one day, for sure, you will be heard. Allah Willing. By Latiefa Achmat Latiefa Achmat is an Islamic counselor and social worker in Cape Town South Africa.


It’s not worth the gamble

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Part1

Gambling has unfortunately become an acceptable practise in Muslim Society due to its wide scale promotion by the media. A large number of good Muslims are also caught in the web, not realising that they are gambling and that the earnings from the gambling are haraam. The following is a translation of a scholarly article by the late Mufti Muhammad Shafi rahmatullahi alaihe which is being published to make Muslims aware of the different forms of transactions and other items which are classified in Shar’iah as gambling.

THE DEFINITION OF GAMBLING Every transaction in which gain and loss is obscure is known as Qimaar’ and ‘Maisar’ in the Shar’iah terminology, and as ‘Juwa’ in the Urdu language. For instance, if two people compete in a race with the following conditions, that if you surpass me, then I will give you a thousand pounds and if I surpass you then you will have to give me a thousand pounds. Or if someone says, ‘If it rains today you will have to give me a thousand pounds and if it does not rain then I will give you a thousand pounds.’ Likewise if some packed boxes are being sold for a fixed price, for example four pounds per box and some of the boxes have contents with a value of five pounds with others containing a value of two pounds, then the purchase of these boxes will be Qimaar. Because of the obscurity of the gain and loss. There are numerous methods of gambling and in every age and region, gambling has been played in different forms and methods. There was a certain procedure amongst the Arabs for gambling. There would be ten arrows, each with a special name, all having different shares allocated to them, for example, one share, two shares, three shares, etc. There would also be some without a share at all. They would then jumble the arrows and ask someone to pick an arrow for each person. Whichever arrow was picked out for a person, that would be his allocated

share and thereafter would be considered the owner of it. On the other hand, whosoever happened to acquire a shareless arrow he would receive nothing at all. The custom, which went hand in hand with this, was that a camel would be slaughtered and distributed according to the shares entitled to them by the arrows. A person who was unlucky would not only be deprived of the camel meat but he would also have to pay for that camel. This kind of gambling has been labelled Maisar and Azlaam by the Qur’aan. Maisar is that particular camel which is slaughtered and distributed because of gambling and Azlaam are the arrows that are used to define the amount of the shares in gambling. Apart from this, gambling was prevalent in trade in different forms. They were known as Mulamasa and Munabaza, etc., the prohibition of which is present in the Ahaadith of the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam. Before the advent of Islam, gambling was not only customary but also taken to be a cause of pride, nobility and honour. For excessive show of pride, these people would distribute their share of the winnings amongst the poor.

THE PROHIBITION OF GAMBLING As Islam plays a moderate role in worship, similarly it plays a role in economics and social orders. How can Islam, the moderate way of life, cope with a state where one can take possession of somebody else’s property without any valid reason, due to which, the latter gets poorer and his state diminishes and the former, without working, gathers the wealth equivalent to that of Qaroon (Korah, a kaafir whom Allah bestowed with great wealth at the time of Musa alaihis salaam)? Alternatively, without any religious excuse, a great amount of wealth is taken from the poor people’s pocket and a single person is made to own it. Therefore, it was vital for Islam to prohibit these unfair ways of taking possessions. For this reason the open mindedness of the all-encompassing

religion, Islam, took consideration and concern of the human passions. When alcoholic drinks and gambling were intended to be banned, their prohibition was not revealed immediately, but firstly all the disadvantages concerning them were made clear. Once these were totally engraved into their hearts, then the laws of prohibition were revealed. In the early days of Islam the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam was questioned regarding the permissibility of gambling and alcohol. The first verse that was revealed regarding this, is in Surah Baqarah which is as follows: “They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say, ‘In them is great sin and some benefit for men; but the sin is greater than the benefit.” (Qur’aan 2:19) In the above aayah, the permissibility and non-permissibility of wine and gambling is not clarified. Soon after understanding the tone of discountenance in the verse, the highly ranked companions of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam abstained from them. On the other hand, Muslims in general were still involved in them and the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam had not said anything that indicated their prohibition, until Allah revealed the following verse: “O believers! Intoxicants and gambling, worshipping stones and divination by arrows are impure, of shaytan’s handiwork: refrain from such abomination that ye may prosper. “ (Qur’aan 5:90) In this verse, the total prohibition of alcoholic drinks and gambling has been clearly revealed. Its prohibition has been mentioned with such assurance that Imaam Razi rahmatullahi alaihe states as follows: “Firstly, the Arabic word ‘innama’ has been placed in the beginning of the verse. In Arabic, this creates emphasis on what is mentioned afterwards. Secondly, these prohibited things have been classified as being ‘rijs’ (impure), from which natural disposition abstains. Thirdly, they have been branded as satanic acts. Fourthly,


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their severity has been categorised in the same level as idol worshipping (shirk) in the sense that they all are links of a single chain.” After mentioning that these all are ‘rijs’ (impure), Allah Ta’ala orders: “Keep away from them.” Allah Ta’ala does not terminate the subject here, but He carries on mentioning their religious and worldly harm in the following aayah. Allah, the Almighty states conclusively that shaytaan wants to ruin our worldly life and the life of the Hereafter. These forbidden things, (alcohol and gambling), lay the seeds of hatred and hostility between human beings. These evil outcomes are innumerable. Their habit distracts a man from obligatory duties such as salaah and the remembrance of Allah. May Allah protect all the Muslims from their evil. THE NOBLE SAHAABAH’S SPIRIT OF OBEDIENCE AFTER THE ORDER OF PROHIBITION Generally, habits and old customs that become part of a person’s temperament are almost second to human nature. This was a time of great trial when, up to now, these sinful acts were part of their life and nobility, but today, they became expressly prohibited. This period is of a great importance for the Muslim Ummah in Islamic history. It is amazing that, on one hand, there was the concern of human feelings and habits in the Shari’ah, and on the other hand, there was a great desire in the Ummah to obey the revealed commandments. After the revelation of the above mentioned verse, Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam sent out a caller to proclaim:

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“Behold, alcoholic drinks (intoxicants) have been made haraam.” It was the cry of the caller or perhaps a lightning which immediately changed their habits and feelings. Intoxicants were very popular among the Arabs. They were manufactured and imbedded almost in every home and to drink had, so to speak, become a mark of advancement in culture. As soon as the announcement was made, the people who were greatly addicted to it and who regarded it a virtue and sign of social and cultural eminence and who would spend lavishly in the state of drunkenness from which the poor and needy profited. These very same people now in a short span of time were ready to forsake and sever any ties they may have had in regards to alcohol which had, for years played a major role in their lives. Those who held goblets in their hands immediately threw them on the ground. Many others who were in the act of drinking, spat the contents out. Sounds of pitchers and jars being smashed up were soon audible from neighbouring houses. Wine was running to such an extent that the streets of Madinah were overflowing. Hazrat Anas radiyallahu anhu, an eminent companion of the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam narrates that some friends including Abu Ubayda ibn Jarrah, Abu Dujahna, Mu’az ibn Jabal and Sahl ibn Bayzah radiyallahu anhum had gathered at the house of Abu Talha. Alcohol was flowing and I was acting as the cup-bearer when suddenly the cry of the announcer reached our ears. None of us considered it necessary to go out and investigate the m a t t e r. Instead, the

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containers and jars were smashed to the ground and the wine thrown onto the streets of Madinah. After performing wudhu and ghusl we proceeded towards the Masjid where upon our arrival we found the blessed Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam reciting the aforesaid verse. Hazrat Buraidah radiyallahu anhu also narrates a similar account wherein a group of Sahaabah were busy consuming liquor when the announcement was made. The words no sooner reached their ears that the cups were thrown to the ground. Others who were about to swallow the alcohol immediately spat it out, numerous barrels were also destroyed in the process. (Ibn Kathir vol2 p95) This is not the occasion for a lengthy discussion regarding the prohibition of alcohol, nonetheless, due to the fact that the prohibition was revealed at the same time to that of gambling, it was necessary to give an example of the Sahaabah’s habitual obedience, courage and passion. From these incidents it can be imagined just how difficult the situation had become for the Sahaabah. Likewise it can be conceived as to how much hardship they must have endured when the prohibition of gambling was also revealed. Therefore, history itself is a witness that after the revelation of the aayah, the Companions refrained from associating with anything that was even minutely related to gambling. In an authentic hadith of Bukhari the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam is reported to have said, “If one person says to another, ‘Come lets gamble.’ (regardless of whether he acts upon it or not) then he shall be liable of committing a sin; and the compensation for that sin will be to give Sadaqah.” It is a disgrace that today’s Muslims, despite the fact that severe and grave warnings have been given in the Qur’aan and Ahaadith relating to gambling and alcohol, lead a life of complete ignorance and unconcern. It seems that they no longer have faith in the Qur’aan and Ahaadith, Allah save us! It is not only the illiterate who are involved, but the sad fact is that those who hold lofty positions in society and who are regarded as religious, because they perform their fasts and salaah, have also fallen prey to its evil clutches. Hence for the benefit of those who are unaware or not acquainted, a few forms of gambling are being mentioned that are currently prevalent. Darul Uloom Bury


Belief in the Noble Qur’an

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The Muslim believes that the Noble Qur’an is the Book of Allah revealed to the best of His creatures, the most eminent of His Prophets and Messengers – our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) as He revealed the other Books to the previous Messengers. He believes that the rules in the Noble Qur’an abrogated the rules and regulations of the previous Divine Books. He also believes that Messengership ended with the Message of Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). It is the Book that comprises the most comprehensive Divine Law. Allah guarantees happiness in this life and in the Hereafter for those who adhere to its commandments. He threatens those who turn away from it with wretchedness in this life and the Hereafter. [This is based upon Allah’s saying: “Whoever follows My guidance, then he will not stray.” 20-123] The Noble Qur’an alone is the Book that Allah guards against additions and omissions, alterations and distortions. It will last intact until this life ends. This belief rises from the following textual and rational proofs:Textual Proofs Allah the Almighty said about the Qur’an: “Blessed is He Who sent down the Criterion (of right and wrong, ie the Qur’an) to His slave (Muhammad) that he may be a warner to the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinn).” (25:1) And: “We relate unto you the best of stories through Our Revelations unto you, of this Qur’an. And before this, you were among the heedless, those who knew nothing about it (the Qur’an).” (12:3) And: “Surely, We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) the Book (this Qur’an) in truth that you might judge between men by that which Allah has shown you, so be not a pleader for the treacherous.” (4:105) And: “O People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Now has come to you Our Messenger explaining to you much of that which you used to hide from the Scripture and pass over (ie leaving out without explaining) much. Indeed, there has come to you from Allah a light and a plain Book (this Qur’an). Wherewith Allah guides all those who seek His Good Pleasure to ways of peace, and He brings them out of darkness by His Will unto light and guides

them to the Straight Way.” (5:15-16) And: “Then whoever follows My guidance, he shall neither go astray nor shall he be distressed. But whosoever turns away from My Reminder, verily for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.” (20:123-124) And: “And verily, it is an honourable wellfortified respected Book. Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise (Allah).” (41:41-42) And: “Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (the Qur’an) and surely We will guard it.” (15:9)The statements of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) to whom the Noble Qur’an was revealed: “Indeed! I have been given the Book and the like of it along with it.” (Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, and Ad-Darimi) And: “The best among you is he who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.” (Abu Dawud, At-Tirmithi and Ibn Majah recorded it and it is Hasan) And: “There should be no envy except for two men: A man whom Allah has taught the Qur’an and he recites it during the hours of the night and during the hours of the day, and a man whom Allah gave wealth and he spent ii (in good) during the hours of the night and the hours of the day.” (Al-Bukhari) And: “There was no Prophet among the Prophets but he was given some signs that would cause humanity to believe in him. The one given to me was what Allah revealed to me, so I hope to have more followers than them on the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim) “Had either Musa or Jesus been alive, he would have no choice but to follow me.” (Recorded by Abu Ya’la with different wording.) The belief and certainty of billions of the Muslims that the Noble Qur’an is the Book of Allah and His Revelation to His Messenger – along with their recitation and memorisation of it, and their adherence to its rules and legalisation. Rational Proofs In spite of the Prophet (Muhammad) being an unlettered man who never

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read, wrote, or joined a school, the Noble Qur’an comprises (unquestionable) facts related to various branches of knowledge, like astronomy, history, legislation and law, the sciences of war and politics. The presence of such various knowledge is a strong evidence that it is the Word of Allah revealed by Him. Reason rejects the idea that an unlettered man could know all of these branches of knowledge. The challenge of Allah, the One Who revealed to mankind and the jinn to produce the like of it. As He said: “Say: if mankind and the jinns were together to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they helped one another.” (17:88) The Noble Qur’an has been challenging the fluent and eloquent of the Arabs to produce ten Surahs, or even one Surah similar to its shortest Surah, but they failed to meet the challenge. This is the most obvious proof and the clearest evidence that it is the Word of Allah, not the speech of mankind. The Qur’an foretells many events of the unseen, some of these events already took place as informed without discrepancies. [Among these is the case of the Roman victory over Persians. During the time of the revelation about it, the Romans appeared to have no chance to outdo the Persians. But no more than two years passed before the Romans defeated the Persians. Allah says: “AlifLam-Mim. The Romans have been defeated in the nearer land. And they will, after their defeat, be victorious within (three to nine) years.” – 30:1-4] As long as Allah the Almighty has sent down Books other than the Noble Qur’an to the Messengers other than Muhammad, such as the Tawrah to Musa, the Injil to ‘Isa, it should not be denied that Allah has sent down the Noble Qur’an likewise. Does reason reject or deem impossible the notion of sending down the Noble Qur’an? Nay, reason implies that it would be revealed. All the prophecies of the Noble Qur’an came true as they were foretold by the Qur’an. All of its information and narrations were (carefully) scrutinised and found to be non-contradictory. All of its rules, regulations, and laws were tried and proved the security, dignity, and glory they were designed for. By Abu Bakr Jabir al-Jaza’iri


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Islam and Earthquakes What does Science say about Earthquakes? Earthquakes are caused by the motion of tectonic plates – Individual sections that make up the Earth’s crust like panels on a football. Immense strain accumulates along fault lines where adjacent plates meet. When the rock separating the plates give way, sudden ground shaking movements occur. The Earth’s crust on which we live is made up of 12 individual plates. Below the sea, they can measure 3 to 6 miles thick, and under land this increases to 20 – 44 miles. Radiation from Earth’s core heats the surface below the crust to temperatures over 5000’c. This makes hot liquid rise displacing cooler liquid which makes the plates we live on move constantly. Of course, they creep along very slowly – roughly the same speed your finger nails grow. Even at this sub snailpace, the effects can be devastating. The combined annual force of earthquakes is equal to 100,000 times the power of the atomic bomb. Oh enough of the science; I know what you are thinking at this moment, but I just wanted to draw your attention towards the scientific cause of an earthquake and what Islam has to say about its causes. What does Islam say about Earthquakes? Islam deems these scientific observations as external views which ultimately lead to the search of the internal causes of how forces and matter actually originated are controlled and the identity of the controller. The search for the internal cause leaves science and man with

many answers/theories unproven and many questions un-answered. In the end you have theories, signs and faith. Islam provides the answer where by drawing our attention to His revelation and the Ahadith (Traditions) of the most perfect human created, our Prophet Muhammed. They killed the she-camel and defied their Lord’s command and they said, “O Salih! Bring to us that punishment which you promise us if you are from amongst the Messengers”. The earthquake seized them and they became faced down laid in their houses. (Surah 7:77-78) The earthquake seized them and they became prostrate on their knees in their homes. Those who rejected Shuayb (alayhis’ salam) seemed as though they never lived in those homes and those who rejected Shuayb (alayhis’ salam) they were the losers. (Surah 7:91-92) In ahadith it is stated: “Anas says, “I went into the presence of Aishah whilst someone else was seated with her. The person asked, ‘O Mother of the believers, relate to us regarding earthquakes (as to their cause)’ She turned her face away. I (Anas) asked her, ‘Relate to us regarding earthquakes, O Mother of the believers!’ She said, “O Anas, if I were to inform you thereof, you will live a sorrowful life and you will die in this state of grief and you will be raised on the Day of Judgement whilst this fear is in your heart.” I said, “O Mother, relate to me.” She then said, “When a woman removes her clothes in a house other than her husbands (an indication towards adultery), she tears the veil between her and Allah. When she applies perfume to please a male other than her husband, this will be a source

of fire and a blemish for her. When the people then begin to commit adultery, consume alcohol and use musical instruments, Allah becomes enraged in the heavens and orders the Earth to shake them. If they repent and refrain, then it is good for them, otherwise Allah will cause it to fall upon them.” I asked, “Is this their punishment?” She said, “It is rather a mercy, means of blessings and admonishment for the believers, and a punishment, display of anger and torment for the unbelievers.” Isn’t this narration a wake up call for us Muslims? Aren’t the reasons crystal clear in the above narration? Can any Muslim deny that drinking, music and adultery are not common issues in communities today? How many times have we heard the unlawfulness of these things, but our ears are gradually turning deaf because our hearts are not prepared to accept Islamic advice. Our turning away from Allah simply results in Allah’s anger, and this is why Muslims suffer many calamities. You must remember that Allah warns his people and he gives enough time for his servants to repent, but if they still don’t take heed, then Allah only shows a slight spark of his anger which results into cities and countries left helpless when struck by disasters. These calamities will not be labelled punishments sent by Allah, but only a warning and a test for other Muslims to wake up to the reality. Remember, Allah punishes the disbelievers and he tests the believers. Student from Darul Uloom Bury


Muslims ms in Poland I SPECIAL FEATURE

The first noticeable presence of Islam in Poland began in the 14th century. From this time it was primarily associated with the Tatars, many of whom settled in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth while continuing their traditions and religious beliefs. The first significant non-Tatar groups of Muslims arrived in Poland in the 1970s. Currently the total number of Muslims in Poland is estimated at around 30,000 or 0.07% of the total population. In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (14th - 18th century) Poland had little prolonged contact with Islam until the 14th century with the advent of the first Tatar settlers. Although Muslims were involved in earlier Mongol invasions in the 13th century, these had a purely military character and there are no traces of settlement or conversion of any parts of the Polish population. On the other hand, the first accounts of the Polish state of Mieszko I were written by a Jewish merchant and diplomat of the Caliphate of Córdoba Ibrahim ibn Jakub and later published in an Arabic chronicle of Al-Bakri. Other Muslim merchants, arrived in Polish lands at that time, as can be seen by a large number of Arab coins found in numerous archaeological sites throughout modern Poland. In 14th century the first Tatar tribes settled in the lands of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Skilled warriors and great mercenaries, their settlement was promoted by the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, among them Gediminas, Algirdas and Kęstutis. The Tatars who settled in Lithuania, Ruthenia and modern-day eastern Poland were allowed to preserve their Sunni religion in exchange for military service. The initial settlements were mostly temporary and most of the Tatars returned to their native lands after their service expired. However, in the late 14th century Grand Duke Vytautas (named by the Tatars Wattad, that is defender of Muslims) and his brother King Władysław Jagiełło started to settle Tatars in the PolishLithuanian-Teutonic borderlands. The Lipka Tatars, as they are known, migrated from the lands of the Golden Horde and in large part served in the Polish-Lithuanian

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military. The largest of such groups to arrive to the area was a tribe of Tokhtamysh, who in 1397 rebelled against his former protector Tamerlane and sought asylum in the Grand Duchy. The Tatars under his command were all granted with szlachta status, a tradition that was preserved until the end of the Commonwealth in 18th century. Light Tatar cavalry, used both as skirmishers and reconnaissance troops took part in many of the battles against the foreign armies in the 15th century and afterwards, including the battle of Grunwald in which the Tatars fought commanded by their leader, Jalal ad-Din khan. In 16th and 17th century additional Tatars found refuge in the lands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, mostly of Nogay and Crimean origin. Since then until the 1980s the Muslim faith in Poland

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was associated primarily with the Tatars. It is estimated that in 17th century there were approximately 15,000 Tatars in the Commonwealth[1] for a total population of 8 million. Numerous royal privileges, as well as internal autonomy granted

I October 2008

by the monarchs Polish-Lithuanian o f the Commonwealth allowed the Tatars to preserve their religion, traditions and culture throughout the ages. The most notable military clans were granted with Coats of Arms and szlachta status, while many other families melted into the rural and burgher society. The first Tatar settlements were founded near the major towns of the Commonwealth in order to allow for fast mobilization of troops. Apart from religious freedom, the Tatars were allowed to marry Polish and Ruthenian women of Catholic or Orthodox faith, uncommon in Europe of that time. Finally, the May Constitution granted the Tatars with a representation in the Polish Sejm. General Józef Bem nominally converted to Islam in 1849 after fleeing to the Ottoman Empire. Perhaps the only moment in history when the Lipka Tatars fought against the Commonwealth was during the so-called Lipka Rebellion of 1672. The “Deluge” and the ensuing period of constant wars made the szlachta of central Poland associate the Muslim Lipkas with the invading forces of the Ottoman Empire. This, combined with the Counter-Reformation promoted by the Vasa dynasty led the Sejm to gradually limit the privileges of the Polish Muslims. Although King John Casimir of Poland tried to limit the restrictions on their religious freedoms and the erosion of their ancient rights and privileges, the gentry opposed. Finally, in 1672, during the war with the Ottomans, the Lipka Tatar regiments (numbering up to 3,000 men) stationed in the Podolia region of south-east Poland abandoned the Commonwealth at the start of the Polish-Turkish wars that were to last to end of the 17th century with the Peace of Karłowice in 1699. Although the Lipkas initially fought for the victorious Turks, soon their camp was divided onto the supporters of the Turks and a large part of Tatars dissatisfied with the Ottoman rule. Although after the treaty of Buczacz the Tatars were granted lands around the fortresses of Bar and Kamieniec Podolski, the liberties enjoyed by their community within the Ottoman Empire were much


Passion Islam

I October 2008

less than those within the Commonwealth. Finally, in 1674, after the Polish victory at Chocim, the Lipka Tatars who held the Podolia for Turkey from the stronghold of Bar were besieged by the armies of Jan Sobieski, and a deal was struck that the Lipkas would return to the Polish side subject to their ancient rights and privileges being restored. All the Tatars were pardoned by Sobieski and most of them took part in his campaign against Turkey resulting in the brilliant victory in the battle of Vienna. The Lipka Rebellion forms the background to the novel Pan Wołodyjowski, the final volume of the Nobel Prize winning historical Trylogia of Henryk Sienkiewicz. The 1969 film of Pan Wołodyjowski, directed by Jerzy Hoffman and starring Daniel Olbrychski as Azja Tuhaj-bejowicz, was one of the largest box-office success in the history of Polish cinema. Although by 18th century most of the Tatars serving in the military had become polonized, while the lower classes of the Muslim community gradually adopted the Ruthenian language (the predecessor of the modern Belarusian language), the Sunni and tatar traditions were preserved. This led to formation of a distinctive Muslim culture of Central Europe, in which elements of Muslim orthodoxy mixed with religious tolerance and a relatively liberal society. For instance, the women in Lipka Tatar society traditionally had the same rights as men, were granted equal status and could attend common non-segregated schools. In 20th century Poland By the beginning of the twentieth century, Lipka Tatars had become so integrated into Polish society that they joined their Roman Catholic brethren in the mass migrations for the United States that gave rise to American Polonia and even founded their own mosque in Brooklyn, New York which is still in use today. In 1919, at the outbreak of the PolishBolshevik War, two of the Tatar officers serving with the Polish Army Col. Maciej Bajraszewski and Capt. Dawid JanowiczCzaiński started forming a Tatar cavalry regiment fighting alongside the Polish Army. This unit transformed into a squadron after the war, continued the traditions of Tatar military formations of the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth and became one of the most notable achievements of the Polish Tatar community in 20th century[4]. With the restoration of Polish independence, the Tatar community of Poland numbered around 6,000 people (according to the 1931 national census ), mostly inhabiting the regions of Wilno, Nowogródek and Białystok Voivodeship (1919-1939)s. A large community of the Lipka Tatars remained outside of Polish borders, mostly in Lithuania and Belarus (especially in Minsk, the capital of the Belarusian SSR). Although small, the

SPECIAL FEATURE

Tatar community formed one of the most vibrant national minorities of Poland. The Muslim Religious Association (est. 1917) focused on preserving the Muslim faith and religious beliefs. At the same time the Cultural and Educational Association of Polish Tatars worked on the preservation and strengthening of Tatar culture and traditions. In 1929 a Tatar National Museum was created in Wilno and in 1931 a Tatar National Archive was formed. All the Muslim people drafted into the army were sent to the Tatar Cavalry Squadron of the 13th Cavalry Regiment, which was allowed to use its own uniforms and banners. The Army Oath for Muslim soldiers was different from the one taken from soldiers of other denominations and was sworn in presence of Ali Ismail Woronowicz, the Chief Imam of the Polish Army. During and after World War II, the Tatar communities of Poland suffered the fate of all the civilian populations of the new German-Soviet and later Polish-Soviet borderlands. The Tatar intelligentsia was in large part murdered in the AB Action, while much of the civilian population was targeted by post-war expulsions. After the war the majority of Tatar settlements were annexed by the Soviet Union and only three remained in Poland (Bohoniki, Kruszyniany and Sokółka). However, a considerable number of Tatars moved across to the Polish side of the border and settled in several locations in eastern Poland (esp. in Białystok and nearby towns) as well as in western and northern Poland (esp. in Gdańsk and Gorzów Wielkopolski). Nowadays not more than 400 -4,000 Muslims of Tatar origin lives in Poland and a much larger and active Tatar community lives in Belarus and also in Lithuania. In 1971 the Muslim Religious Association was reactivated and since 1991 the Society of Muslims in Poland is also active. The following year also

I 27

the Association of Polish Tatars was restored. Changes in recent years Apart from the traditional Tatar communities, since the 1970s Poland has also been home to a small but growing immigrant Muslim community. In the 1970s and 1980s Poland attracted a number of students from many socialist-aligned Arabic-speaking states of the Middle East and Africa. Many of them decided to stay in Poland. In the late 1980s this community became more active and better organized. They have built mosques and praying houses in Warsaw, Białystok, Gdańsk (built by the Tatar community), Wrocław, Lublin and Poznań. There are also praying rooms in Bydgoszcz, Kraków, Łódź, Olsztyn, Katowice and Opole[5]. Since the overthrow of Communism in 1989, other Muslim immigrants have come to Poland. A relatively prominent group are Turks and Muslims from the former Yugoslavia. There are also smaller groups of immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and from other countries, as well as a small refugee community coming from Chechnya (about 1,000 persons). Several thousand ethnic Poles have also converted to Islam[citation needed]. Over seven thousand of them have taken shahada online[citation needed] on the Polish Islamic Association website. The exact number of Muslims living is Poland remains unknown as the last all-national census held by the Central Statistical Office in 2002 did not ask for religion. 500 people declared Tatar (rather than Polish) nationality. Typical estimates place the number of all Tatars in Poland at somewhere around 3,000 - 5,000, the number of all Muslims around 30,000. There are two contemporary Polish Muslim religious leaders: Tomasz Miśkiewicz and Jakub Szynkiewicz.

The Tatarian mosque at the village of Bohoniki


Bradford City appoint Muslim scout

28

I SPORT

Passion Islam

Bradford City Football Club has appointed its first Muslim/Asian talent scout. Khalil Hussain has been asked to identify and develop budding soccer stars within the district’s Asian/Muslim communities who are capable of making it into the professional game. Mr Hussain, an inclusion officer at Springwood Primary School, will spend evenings and weekends searching for talent in inner-city areas including Manningham, Girling-ton and West Bowling. Although the Bantams already employ coaches from the Asian community, Mr Hussain is the first to be appointed to a specific scouting role. He said: “It’s a great honour as a Bradford lad. I am a football fan and we now have a realistic way of getting lads through to the club. I am looking for an Asian star of the future. “This is long overdue but it’s credit to the club. The club today is very community-

minded.” Mr Hussain said Bradford harboured a lot of potential talent. “Why should the Premier League clubs come here and sign our best young players?” he asked. “But this is not just about young Asian players. It does not matter whether youngsters are Asian, black or white British – it’s about whether they can play football.” Chris Casper, youth team manager, said the new development was “massively important”. He said: “There is obviously a big interest in the Asian community in football which is great to see. The more members of the Asian community that we can interest in Bradford the better, as it will add to the popularity of the football club. “We are hopefully now in a society where everyone gets a fair crack of the whip. If they can play football we will be interested.”

Lorgat: No great divide in cricket International Cricket Council CEO Haroon Lorgat has dismissed suggestions that cricket is on the verge of split between Asian and Western nations. Cricket appeared to be heading for a major crisis last month after England, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa decided it was not safe to visit Pakistan for the Champions Trophy, while the Asian bloc wanted the competition to proceed as planned. The tournament was eventually postponed until next year, but doubts remain as to whether the ICC will be able to fit it into its already full programme. South African Lorgat insists “there is no great divide in cricket”. “I was very wary of this whole thing when I came to Dubai to take up my post. So

much had been made of the big divide in cricket that I was prepared to tread very warily,” he told Business Day. “But since I have been here, I have not seen any sign of it. I have seen India and England take sides on some issues; I have seen England and New Zealand take sides against the others. I honestly do not believe there is this great divide in cricket.” Lorgat also believe the countries who decided to pull out of the Champions Trophy for security reasons might look back on their decision with regret. “The country did not blow up; it is still there and there have not been any further incidents,” he added. “Perhaps those countries might now look back and think they made the wrong decision in deciding not to go.” www.passionislam.com

I October 2008

Peter Horne, the Bantams’ Centre of Excellence manager, said the club had been active in recent years to get members of Asian communities involved with their community programmes. “It is very important to the club as it’s important to have interaction with different communities,” he said. “It helps break down barriers and there is a lot of talent there to be tapped into,” he said. So far the club has six Asian prospects on their books: Hamzia Khan, ten, Shiraz Khan, Leon Khan, both 11, Abdul Hakimy, 12, and Khalifa Aqueeb, 15

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The carpenter was in a shock! What a shame! If he had only known that he was building his own house, he would have made it better than any other house that he ever built! Our situation can be compared to this carpenter. Allah Ta’la has sent us to this world to build our homes in paradise by obeying His commands. Now, we have to decide how well we wish to build the homes where we will live forever.

or

A highly skilled carpenter who had grown old was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. The employer was sorry to see his good worker go and asked

if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter agreed to this proposal but made sure that this will be his last project. Being in a mood to retire, the carpenter was not paying much attention to building this house. His heart was not in his work. He resorted to poor workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career. When the job was done, the carpenter called his employer and showed him the house. The employer handed over some papers and the front door key to the carpenter and said “This is your house, my gift to you.”

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There is no word as beautiful as Allah. no example as beautiful as Rasulallah no lesson as beautiful as Islam no song as melodious as Adhaan . No charity as meaningful as Zakat. No book as perfect as Al Quran . No exercise as perfect as Namaz . No diet as perfect as fasting and No journey as perfect as Hajj Mariam - Blackburn When earthly help s no avail, There s 1 friend who will never fail. Just lift your eyes, The answer is there,

For nobody knows the power of prayer “Gift” of “SALAM”wrapped with “AFFECTION” tied with “CARE” & sealed with “DUA” 2 keep u safe & happy today & always Zarah, Batley Falling in love with the Lord is the greatest romance; searching HIM, is the greatest adventure;Finding HIM, the greatest achievement; and being with HIM... The greatest source of happiness. Hind - Saudi Arabia

I would like to congratulate your guest editor on a very good editorial in the September issue on Eid as One, I think we as Muslims forget our own beliefs in Islam and get caught up with the society as a whole and draw from the bad point of our community rather than the good ones. I completely agree with the article and I am very please with what’s been happening in Batley, I have myself been told by many people of the criteria of the Moon sighting committee and it really does make sense. Ilyas Mohammed West Yorkshire I regularly read your magazine and I found the front page spot on, very creative, may Allah reward everyone at Passion Islam for the hard work. Muniza Kala London Great issue found it very interesting, should have marriage service within it. Ibrahim Norman Leeds Superb issue guys, keep up the good work A good friend from Batley

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