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SAUDI KING DENOUNCES ISRAELI RAIDS ON GAZA
Whilst international eyes focus on what is happening in Libya, Israel has been pounding the Gaza Strip with air strikes. Over the last couple of weeks, whilst the world has been watching the revolutions in the Middle East, Israel has been pounding the Gaza Strip with air strikes. Saudi Arabiaâ€™s Council of Ministers have denounced the Israeli airstrikes on residential areas in Gaza, killing innocent people and urged the international community to take immediate action to stop the continuous Israeli aggression against the Palestinians. In a cabinet meeting, chaired by the custodian of the two Holy Mosques
King Abdullah, also called for greater coordination among Arab countries to confront the consequences of new developments in the region and ensure their unity and stability. Furthermore the cabinet urged the international community to stop Jewish settlements in occupied Palestinian territories. The UN Security Council should move quickly to stop Israelâ€™s dangerous violations and provide protection to unarmed Palestinian civilians, it said, adding that Israel should be forced to respect UN resolutions.
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I April 2011
By Gareth Peirce Lawyer Birnberg Peirce and Partners
The Gaddafi connection A full, open inquiry is needed to discover why so many Libyans were subject to control orders. During the past week academic institutions have expressed contrition at past links with Libya and parliament has debated whether control order legislation should continue. Yet there has been total silence as to why it was that Libyan dissidents came to form a significant block of those made subject to control orders, and to a second highly contentious measure: deportation to a country that practised torture. Following the bombings in London on 7 July 2005, known within a day to have been carried out by young British nationals, Tony Blair said: “The rules of the game have changed.” Within weeks he had initiated an agreement with Colonel Gaddafi on the deportation of Libyan dissidents who had sought asylum and whose presence, he claimed, constituted one of the gravest threats to the security of this country. As to why this small group required such urgent and extreme attention, parallel chronologies provide some clues. In 2005 Libyan oilfields were made available for public auction. Might there have been a two-way accommodation? You give us oil, we give you your dissidents? In order to achieve the men’s removal to Libya, a country whose leader had a grim record of eliminating opponents, the government had created new mechanisms: memorandums of understanding (MOU), whereby regimes known to practice torture might sign up to an unenforceable promise that they would not torture deported individuals. Gaddafi was evidently a man who could be trusted, but for good measure an independent organisation would monitor the wellbeing of the men deported to Libya: the Gaddafi
Foundation, headed by Gaddafi’s son Saif. The government presented its assessment to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), the court created to hear secret evidence in national security cases. Deportations would almost certainly have been ordered on the basis of the MOU had not the government’s expert witness ventured one observation too many: when asked whether the men would enjoy a fair trial in Libya, the witness replied of course, Gaddafi would personally intervene to ensure that the judges delivered just that. When SIAC refused the deportation, waiting in the wings was a second best: control orders, which impose severe restrictions on the individual affected. In the case of the Libyans our government and intelligence services had thereby ensured for Gaddafi a neutralisation of one small manifestation of dissent to his regime. It is hardly surprising if this is not generally known. The appeals of those subject to deportation or to control orders on the grounds of national security are heard almost entirely in secret (in the Libyan cases we can guess that key evidence undoubtedly emanated from Libya itself). However, the existing record, albeit of only the puny “open” sessions of the Libyan cases, provides an insight into the self-deceiving blindness that determined the relationship of the last government and Gaddafi. One aspect of the government’s “expert” evidence to SIAC given by its witnesses – retired diplomats – was undoubtedly correct: “The speedy conclusion of MOU negotiations in response to the prime minister’s conversation with Colonel Gaddafi demonstrates Libya’s commitment to working constructively with the United Kingdom on deportation of terrorist suspects.” Considering
his Gaddafi’s current claim that all Libyan dissidents are members of al-Qaida, one can see how the two countries’ agendas so readily aligned. Silent as to any connection between the proposed deportation of the Libyans and the signing of a Shell oil agreement in 2005, a government witness explained: “Recent developments in UK-Libyan relations demonstrate the extent to which the Libyan authorities have begun increasingly to look to the UK for help in bringing about the changes needed to enable them to improve the lot of Libyan people”. The witness continued: “The expectation is that the direction taken by Libya has permanently changed, and the steady normalisation of both the country’s external relationships and its internal situation will continue.” The government’s terrifyingly wrong-headed assessments of the Libyan body politic would have led by February 2011 to the probable death of the dissidents had they been deported; after all the Libyan penalty for membership of their organisation was death – and the British government in the MOU had committed itself only to “considering asking Libya to commute that sentence” if imposed after the individuals’ return. Of the urgent steps that should be taken as a result of this appallingly deluded adventure, at the very least the present government’s still ongoing policy of deportations with MOUs to torturing regimes, its continuing imposition of control orders and its reliance on secret courts should be frozen pending proper scrutiny of the Libyan affair: an open, transparent inquiry, ruthlessly conducted until a clear picture is available. Only then could the direction our own body politic took under the last government be said to have changed.
Write to: Editor, Passion Islam, PO Box 159, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 1AD or email: email@example.com - www.passionislam.com This Magazine contains Ayaat of the Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet (SAW), please ensure you handle it with respect & care - Sukran -
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Libyan war about oil U.S. lawmaker says Passion Islam
I April 2011
One of the primary reasons for the U.S. military intervention in Libya is because of the dependence on foreign oil, a Democratic lawmaker has said. U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., the former chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, told MSNBC, however, that a primary reason for intervention was oil. “We’re in Libya because of oil,” he said. “And I think both Japan and the nuclear technology and Libya and this dependence that we have upon imported oil have both once again highlighted the need for the United States to have a renewable energy agenda going forward.”
Markey earlier said U.S. President Barack Obama was right to back the Security Council resolution permitting the use of force in Libya. This, he said, was consistent with U.S. commitments to helping the people meet their political aspirations. “But it all goes back to the 5 million barrels of oil that we import from (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) on a daily basis,” he told MSNBC. The International Energy Agency said it could be “many months” before Libyan crude returns to the market. Libya before the war was responsible for slightly more than 4 percent of the OPEC’s output. passionislam.com
Allah appears in Arabic on ‘miracle’ egg shell
Visitors have been coming from around the country to look at a “miracle” egg in Nottingham Asim Taj, 24, and his family saw the word Allah in Arabic written on the egg’s shell when they were about to cook a meal. Since then, he has shown it to people living nearby and people have come from Dewsbury, Luton and Birmingham to his house. And an independent expert at the University of Nottingham has confirmed the letters
can be recognised as reading Allah. “We were shocked and surprised. It is a miracle. Everybody is talking about it,” said Mr Taj. “I have heard stories like this from back home in Pakistan but I have not heard of it here.” The lettering appears darker than the rest of the shell. He said: “The box was normal. It’s not something that can be written on, it’s in the shell itself. “People smile when they see it. They can tell straight away what it says.”
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LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Poll: UK lacks goals in Afghanistan
In Case You Missed It
... The survey comes after a separate poll found that just one in three Britons were in favour of a decision to intervene militarily in Libya. A majority of Britons believe the government’s strategy in Afghanistan is not working well and the UK lacks clear goals in the country, a recent poll shows. The survey, You Gov Afghan poll, carried out by eight organizations, found that only one in four Britons believe the current strategy would end up a success in Afghanistan, while 58 percent of the public said they were uncertain what the UK government was going after in the war-weary country. According to the survey, some 83 percent believe it was unlikely that peace and stability would be established in Afghanistan by the time UK combat troops are scheduled to leave the country. Prime Minister David Cameron announced last year that British troops could start withdrawing in 2011 and that he wants combat troops to leave Afghanistan in 5 years.
Britain has the secondlargest foreign troop contingent in Afghanistan after the United States, with around 9,500 troops, the bulk of which are based in southern Helmand province. Britain’s military’s death toll in the Afghan war has topped 360 since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001 with hundreds of others injured while in combat or other causes. The aid groups -- that include Oxfam, CARE, Christian Aid and Afghanaid -- said they had joined forces to launch the awareness campaign, “Together Afghanistan”, calling for a new initiative aimed at securing a lasting peace in the impoverished country. YouGov interviewed 2,595 adults online between March 14 and 15. The survey comes after a separate poll found that just one in three Britons were in favour of a decision to intervene militarily in Libya.
I April 2011
Ummah Welfare Trust (UWT) Half a million for millions in Libya
As the world watches the geopolitical events unfold in Libya, a Lancashire based relief organisation has launched a £500,000 appeal to aid the victims suffering in the ensuing humanitarian crisis. Ummah Welfare Trust (UWT), with its headquarters based in Bolton, has worked in over 20 countries around the world since its inception in 2001. Most recently, it was part of the huge emergency relief effort in Pakistan following last July’s devastating floods. After launching an appeal, the charity raised over £5 million in just a few months for the flood victims. The charity is now hoping for a similar response from the UK’s donors to an equally difficult, albeit different, humanitarian crisis. Following assessments on the ground, they are stressing an immediate need for clean water and medical supplies. Two of the charity’s representatives, Shoyeb Adat (Project Manager) and Adam Patel (UK Fundraiser) have flown out to oversee the charity’s operations and are hoping to provide a live account of the relief efforts taking place.
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I April 2011
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Labour minister says Tories ‘want Muslims out of London’ Passion Islam
Karen Buck, the shadow work and pensions minister, has launched an outspoken attack on the Government, claiming that Tories do not want Muslims in central London. The Labour frontbencher said controversial plans to cut housing benefit were designed to force “black women, ethnic minority women and Muslim women” out into the capital’s poorer suburbs. Her comments immediately prompted calls for her dismissal. Baroness Warsi, Conservative Party Chairman and Britain’s first Muslim Cabinet minister, described them as “deeply offensive”. Ms Buck, who was speaking at a public meeting in Islington, north London, also accused the Tories of being “deeply hostile” to the idea of lower income families having children, according to the Independent. In comments that will raise alarm within the Labour leadership, she said: “(The Government) do not want lower-income women, families, children and, above all, let us be very clear – because we also know where the impact is hitting – they don’t want black women, they don’t want ethnic minority women and they don’t want Muslim women living in central London. “They just don’t. They want people
to be moving out of anywhere that is a more prosperous area into the fringes of London and into places like Barking and Newham. I have nothing against Barking and Newham. The problem is they are already full of people who are quite poor.” She went on: “The Government is one that is deeply hostile to middleand lower-income women having children. “When you listen to the Tories speaking in Parliament, there is an arrogance and an ignorance that I have never known in my 13 years in Parliament: basically, thinking that anyone whose income is below the top rate of tax shouldn’t have children.”
Baroness Warsi said the remarks proved that reactionary politics was “alive and well in the Labour party”. “For Karen Buck to use race, religion and class for political point-scoring is deeply offensive and irresponsible,” she said. The plan to cap housing benefit at £400 a week, which comes into force next month, has prompted a furore with many suggesting it will lead to social segregation. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, warned that the “draconian” reforms could lead to “Kosovo-style” social cleansing and has called for Londoners to be exempt from the cuts. - Telegraph passionislam.com
Voices against Islamophobia reports published The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) published two timely reports on the nature, impact and campaigns against Islamophobia across Europe. ‘Islamophobia and progressive values’ This unique report draws attention to the specific role that a discourse on progressive values is playing in shaping Islamophobia. Dr Sabine Schiffer (Institute for Media Responsibility, Erlangen), Murat Batur (Kanafani Inter-Cultural Initiative, Vienna), Nadia Fadil (Centre for Sociological Research at the Catholic
University of Leuven) and Marwan Muhammad (Collective Against Islamophobia in France) outline the general parameters of hatred towards Muslims. They examine the combination of intellectual currents - from the extreme-Right to those of the liberal intelligentsia - which are creating a closed circuit of thought and ensuring that Islamophobia is now the respectable face of European racism. ‘Islamophobia, human rights and the anti-terrorist laws’ This report reveals how Islamophobia serves a function
as propaganda for war. But anti-terrorist policies and emergency laws have also had the effect of turning Muslim communities all over Europe into ‘suspect communities’. Asim Qureshi (Cageprisoners) and Luk Vervaet (Committee for the Freedom of Association and Expression) consider the relationship between Islamophobia and the war on terror, focusing particularly on the ways in which the human rights of Muslim communities, refugees and migrants are being breached by counterterrorism measures.
I April 2011
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
UK expected to approve plans to limit arrest of Israeli war criminals The British government’s controversial plans to limit the risk of Israeli leaders being arrested for war crimes when visiting the UK is expected to be passed by parliament despite opposition by more than 120 MPs. Labour backbench MP Andy Love criticised the devious way the amendment to change universal jurisdiction, which comes under the Justice Ministry, has been hidden away as an additional clause in a contentious Home Office Police Reform bill and as a result has received little attention. “It is a very inappropriate way of developing legislation in this area to tack it onto such a controversial bill and will make it very difficult to have a proper discussion of the issue around universal jurisdiction,” Love told IRNA in an interview. The bill, which has a total of 157 clauses, has reached the reporting stage ahead its third and final reading in the House of Commons after completing its committee stage last month. Love, who chairs the council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding (CAABU), a proPalestine parliamentary-led advocacy group, said that there were “lots of controversies” on police reforms and there had been “no serious debate” on universal jurisdiction. “While there is so much in the bill to be discussed when comes back to report stage, it will slice up the amount of time and the part on
universal jurisdiction will probably be limited as was in the committee stage,” the 61-year old MP said. Love is among more than 120 MPs, who have already signed a parliamentary Early Day Motion (EDM), declaring that they will “oppose any legislation to restrict” universal jurisdiction. “It will be hard and depend upon all the people who have signed the EDM” which include 32 Liberal Democrats, as well as the official position of the opposition Labour Party. He believed it will be “difficult” for the Liberal Democrats to negate the change, being in coalition with the Conservatives, which made an election pledge in the Jewish Chronicle last year to restrict the arrest Israeli leaders for alleged war crimes. His prediction was that it was unlikely that Clwyd’s amendment as it stands will succeed and suggested that opposition could switch to seeking safeguards about the intervention by the DPP. “We are anxious to get on record to put ministers under pressure on how it will operate,” Love said. Opponents to the change have expressed alarm that the new requirement will lead to delay in issuing private arrest warrants,
allowing alleged war criminals to escape justice, as well as the DPP being politically influenced by his boss, the attorney general, being a government minister. After the final reading in the House of Commons, which is due imminently although no date is yet fixed, the bill is then sent to the House of Lords for possible revision before being passed into law. Universal jurisdiction is a principle in public international law (as opposed to private international law) whereby states claim criminal jurisdiction over persons whose alleged crimes were committed outside the boundaries of the prosecuting state, regardless of nationality. The state backs the claim on the grounds that the crime committed is considered a crime against all, which any state is authorized to punish, as it is too serious to tolerate jurisdictional arbitrage.
Birmingham City Council faces Muslim boycott threat on halal food
News sources revealed that a high profile meeting between the representatives of Birmingham Jame Masjid and Birmingham City councils legal department to address the growing concerns about halal
food in the public sector procurement and to alleviate the fear of non halal being served to city’s Muslims under the banner halal. The delegation was informed that the Birmingham EHO were
unable to assure the Muslims delegation that the food being served in council house, schools or the public sector, whether it was halal or not, as along it was accompanied by halal certificate the responsibility of EHO ends
there. As a result of the meeting a strong warning has been issued by the mosques. Stating “do not eat any food served by Birmingham City council regardless of the label saying its halal”.
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I April 2011
UK gave tacit approval for torture, says Musharraf 10
Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said he believes Britain gave Pakistan “tacit approval” of its interrogation techniques on terror suspects. In a program broadcast, the BBC asked Musharraf if he remembers being told by the British government that Pakistani intelligence services should not use torture on British subjects. Musharraf, who was president of Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, responded “Never, never once. I don’t remember it at all.” He added: “Maybe they wanted us to continue to do whatever we were doing; it was a tacit approval of whatever we were doing.” Human rights groups claim Britain colluded in the torture of terrorism suspects overseas. An exGuantanamo Bay detainee, Binyam Mohamed, who is of Ethiopian origin and became a British resident when he was a teenager, alleges Britain
was aware he was beaten, subjected to sleep deprivation and had his genitals sliced with a scalpel while he was held in Pakistan in 2002. Former UK security and intelligence co-ordinator David Omand, told the BBC that Britain does not practice torture and expects that its partners also respect that. “I am very clear we are not and
have not been complicit in torture and I’m in no doubt that all the countries concerned, including Pakistan and the United States, were very well aware of what British policy was, which was we don’t do this and we don’t ask other people to do it,” he said. passionislam.com
UK resumes Iraq deportations despite UN warnings In Case You Missed It
The British government has resumed its controversial policy of forcefully deporting failed Iraqi asylum seekers after a six month lull despite warnings from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that the country was unsafe. The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR), which monitors removals, said the resumption of charter flights had been done at a time when attention was focused on Libya. ‘The UK government, while it is saying how much it supports democracy and human rights in Libya, continues to support the corrupt governments in Iraq and Kurdistan,’ an IFIR spokesman said. ‘Now it is deporting people, many of whom left to flee this same
government violence, into the middle of it. It is a criminal hypocrisy and must be stopped,’ the spokesman warned. The first group of Iraqis for six months left on a flight from Stansted airport, north of London, organised by the UK Borders Agency in conjunction with the Swedish government and the EU border agency Frontex. Last-minute appeals on behalf of other failed asylum seekers prevented several others from being forcibly repatriated. It is not known how many deportees from Sweden were on board. Charter flight removals to Baghdad were temporarily suspended last October after the European court of human rights ruled
that a surge in sectarian violence and suicide bombings made Baghdad and the surrounding area too dangerous. The Home Office since pledged to ‘continue to undertake’ deportations but acknowledged that, in cases where the Strasbourg court supported petitions from individuals demonstrating that they were at risk, it would not enforce removal. The UNHCR has criticised European states, including the UK, that have sent Iraqis back to the five central governorates, or provinces, including Baghdad, saying there has been a “deterioration in security” and the situation for minorities is “very precarious..’ passionislam.com
Islamic Bank of Britain taken over Passion Islam
I April 2011
The Islamic Bank of Britain is being acquired by the Qatari International Islamic Bank in an unconditional cash offer. Under the terms of the deal, shareholders in the Islamic Bank of Britain can receive one penny in cash for each share. The terms of the offer value its fully diluted share capital at £25,464,700. The directors of the Islamic Bank of Britain have said that the terms of the offer are fair and reasonable.
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Its chairman, Robert Owen, commented: “In the absence of access to alternative additional sources of funds, the Board believes that it will be difficult for IBB to achieve the necessary asset growth to achieve profitability and therefore the Board welcomes the offer from QIIB which will provide all shareholders the opportunity to exit their shareholding should they desire.” Sheikh Dr Khalid Bin Thani Bin Abdullah Al Thani, Chairman of
Qatar International Islamic Bank, said: “We are delighted to formally announce our firm intention to make an unconditional offer in cash, for the issued share capital of IBB that we do not already own. “Our long-term strategy is to build an international Sharia-compliant banking business and we believe that our extensive experience in Sharia banking will allow us to develop and integrate the IBB business into the QIIB group”.
Taxi drivers say Pendle council’s dress code is racist Taxi drivers are claiming racial discrimination by a council which has proposed a dress code that will outlaw traditional Asian clothing. Hackney cab drivers in Pendle, Lancashire, say they will no longer be allowed to wear the shalwar kameez, a tunic with loose-fitting trousers. The borough council wants a strict dress code to smarten up the drivers. Tracksuits, shorts, football and rugby tops, beachwear, short skirts, short dresses and flip flops would all be banned, as well as dirty or ripped clothing, and items with “offensive” or “suggestive” words or graphics. Taxi drivers say Pendle council’s dress code is racist. The majority of Pendle’s taxi drivers are Asian men, and many feel the rules would discriminate against them. Nineteen out of 25 taxi and minicab operators sent a questionnaire were against the introduction of a dress code. In a report to a meeting considering the plans, the council said: “Whilst Pendle council does not wish to impose such standards by way of conditions to any licence, we expect, however, that such standards will be maintained at all times.” Sajjad Karim, Conservative MEP for the North West of England and a
former Pendle councillor, described the proposals as ludicrous. Mohammed Akram, chairman of Pendle Private Hire Association, said drivers were extremely unhappy with the plans. He said: “A lot of them are saying it would be discrimination because it would take away their rights.” The drivers also objected on financial grounds as running costs spiralled. Pendle council said the code would require male drivers to wear smart trousers, shirt and shoes and women to wear long trousers, knee-length skirt and blouse or kneelength dress. The policy had been designed to raise and maintain the profile of the
taxi trade, it said. Neighbouring Rossendale council recently rejected a similar proposal for discriminating against Asian drivers. Glen Bulcock, the chairman of Rossendale Taxi Association and owner of GB Taxis, said “90%, if not more, of all taxi drivers in Rossendale are Asian and you can’t force Asian people to adhere to a code that doesn’t include their national dress”. He said: “One or two councillors found it laughable that it was being introduced, and eventually our council did see sense and it was removed from the policy. As long as the taxi drivers look smart and are hygienic there shouldn’t be a problem. I hope they kick it out in Pendle.”
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I April 2011
Muslims doing well in New Zealand
Despite an increase in reports of discrimination towards Muslims, a researcher at Victoria University says Muslims in this country are doing comparatively well in other measures. The research project, conducted by final year PhD student Jaimee Stuart from Victoria’s Centre for Applied Cross-cultural Research, compared the experience of Muslim young people in New Zealand and the UK. The study examined wellbeing, psychological symptoms, behavioural problems, discrimination and immigration stress in about 300 Muslim youth (aged 16-27 years) in both countries. Ms Stuart says that the findings
revealed that Muslim youth in this country demonstrate more positive outcomes on almost all indicators. “Importantly, Muslims in New Zealand experience lower levels of discrimination and immigration stress, even though they have stronger religious identities and practice their religion more than those in the UK.” The study also found that perceptions of living in an inclusive, multicultural society were higher for Muslims in New Zealand and that this was related to better outcomes. “This may be an important indicator that social cohesion has direct and positive impacts on the adjustment of immigrants in New Zealand,” says Ms Stuart.
Russia party leader urges Muslim world to support Gaddafi Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of Russia’s LDPR party, called on the Muslim world to unite and support Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi. “LDPR turns to all the people of the Muslim countries and urges them to unite and show solidarity with Muammar Gaddafi. The leadership of these countries should make a joint stand against NATO’s military efforts in Libya,” a statement by Zhirinovsky said. “Do not ditch Libya face to face with the juggernaut of the North Atlantic bloc. Do not allow NATO to crush the democracy in Libya, especially with regard to the fact, that this country does not threaten anybody. Do not do the shortsighted oversea politicians’ bidding,” the LDPR leader said. The tumult in Libya should be brought to stop as any other Muslim country could face the same situation, Zhirinovsky said. “The West is aggressive and resolved. They have not drawn a lesson from the negative experience of military intervention to Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Japan quake victims surpass 25,000 The March 11 quake is now considered Japan’s deadliest natural disaster since the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, which killed more than 142,000 people. More than 25,000 have been killed or gone missing as a result of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan’s northern coast 12 days ago. On March 11, an 8.9-magnitude earthquake, off the northeast coast of Japan’s main island, unleashed a 23-foot (7-meter) tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks for hours. Japan’s National Police Agency said 9,487 people had been
confirmed dead and 15,617 officially listed as missing -- a total of 25,104. The March 11 quake is now considered Japan’s deadliest natural disaster since the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, which killed more than 142,000 people. Another crisis threatens Japan as last week’s quake and tsunami triggered a nuclear crisis by knocking out power to cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Workers were able reconnect all the reactors at the plant to external power. The Japanese government has ordered the evacuation of about
200,000 people living in a 20kilometer (12.4-mile) area around the plant, and told people living between 20 kilometers and 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from the plant to remain indoors. Reuters reported that Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan ordered the shipment of a range of farm products from Fukushima Prefecture to halt as radiation has been detected in vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, cabbage and cauliflower. Meanwhile, Tokyo’s Metropolitan Government has also announced that the level of radioactive iodine detected in tap water has exceeded the limit for infant intake.
I WORLD NEWS
I April 2011
Southwest Airlines apologises to Muslim passenger In Case You Missed It
Southwest Airlines has apologized to a Muslim woman who was removed from a flight from San Diego because of her Islamic headscarf and South Asian background. “We sincerely apologize for the
customer’s inconvenience, and we regret that she was unable to travel as scheduled,” the airline said in a statement issued after Irum Abbasi, a U.S. citizen originally from Pakistan, demanded an apology.
Abbasi, a 31-year-old mother of three, was traveling to San Jose, when she was escorted off the plane. A crew member thought she was acting suspicious, and had said “It’s a go,” in a cell phone conversation. Abbasi claims she actually said “I’ve got to go” because the plane was about to take off. “She was an emotional wreck. She was crying,” said Edgar Hopida, a spokesman for the San Diego chapter of the Council on AmericanIslamic Relations. “We need to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else. Southwest gave Abbasi a ticket for the next flight to San Jose, and a travel voucher “as a gesture of goodwill.” A Southwest spokesman said the airline was investigating the incident, but that it was against company policy to discuss whether any employees will be disciplined.
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revives Muslim woman’s headscarf lawsuit A federal appeals court unanimously reinstated a lawsuit filed by a Muslim woman who accused Southern California jailers of violating her religious freedom when they ordered her to take off her headscarf in a courthouse holding cell. An 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also said in Khatib v. County of Orange that plaintiff Souhair Khatib had the right to wear the hijab, or headscarf, unless jailers could show it was a security risk. Khatib filed the lawsuit in 2007 against Orange County. She had been jailed for several hours in November 2006 after a judge revoked her probation for a misdemeanor welfare fraud
conviction. A federal trial court judge and a three-judge 9th Circuit panel previously dismissed the lawsuit, saying holding cells aren’t covered by the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, a federal law that among other provisions, protects the religious practices of prisoners. Those courts held that it was impractical in transitory settings such as a holding cell to honor religious practices normally allowed in more permanent institutions such as prisons. But the 11-judge 9th Circuit panel rejected that argument while allowing the case to proceed. The court did say the county can
still argue that security concerns required Khatib to remove her headscarf, if it can prove the order “was the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling government interest.” Khatib and her husband had appeared in Orange County Superior Court to ask for an extension of a deadline to complete community service, which was a requirement of their probation. They were jailed in a cell adjacent to the courthouse. During booking, jailers ordered a tearful Khatib to remove her headscarf, and she spent the rest of her time in the cell covering her head with a vest. Probation was reinstated later the same day.
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Poll: US, Israel Turkey’s main enemies Passion Islam
I April 2011
In Case You Missed It
The people of Turkey regard the United States and Israel as their main enemies, the results of an opinion poll suggest. A total of 2,000 Turkish people took part in the opinion poll conducted by Ankara-based MetroPOLL Strategic and Social Research Center. The results were published last month. Forty-two percent of the respondents saw the United States as Turkey’s number one enemy, and 23 percent of them singled out Israel as the main enemy of the Eurasian nation. Six percent of those polled said Greece was their country’s main enemy. Four percent singled out Iraq’s Kurdistan, and a tiny three percent picked Armenia. Eight percent of the respondents chose other countries as Turkey’s number one enemy, while 14 percent
had no opinion about their country’s worst enemy. Turkey’s differences with Greece are mainly over the ownership of a few islands in the Mediterranean Sea as well as the issue of Cyprus. Both countries are members of NATO alliance.
The Turkish people also regard Iraq’s Kurdistan as a threat because it can set a precedent for Turkish Kurds, the research center said. Armenia also has age-old difference with Turkey because of the alleged “Armenian Genocide” during World War I - Press tv
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime urges increased efforts to fight threats of crime, terrorism
The Executive Director of the(UNODC) Yury Fedotov called for increased cooperation and a stepping up of efforts in fighting the twinned threats of crime and terrorism. Speaking at an international meeting to look into the growing connections between terrorist acts and global crime, Fedotov pointed out that criminal profits are increasingly finding their way to support terrorist acts: “Today, the criminal market spans the planet, and in many instances criminal profits support terrorist groups. Globalization has turned out to be a double-edged sword. Open borders, open markets, and increased ease of travel and communication have benefited both terrorists and criminals. Thanks to advances in technology, communication, finance and transport, loose networks of terrorists and organized criminal groups that operate internationally
can easily link with each other. By pooling their resources and expertise, they can significantly increase their capacity to do harm.” The executive director’s comments come at the opening of the UNODC-organized Terrorism Symposium in Vienna. Attended by more than 250 representatives from nearly 90 countries, the event comes on the back of the ever-evolving modus operandi of terrorists, and their increasing presence in the world of criminality. Drug trafficking, transnational organized crime, the movement of illicit firearms and money laundering have become integral parts of terrorism. While these criminal components in many cases sustain terrorist groups, they present increased threats and challenges to global security on a number of levels. In Afghanistan, the Taliban’s terrorist efforts are boosted through the
production of opium – a key cash source; similarly, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia – FARC – are able to carry on operating through the cultivation and trafficking of cocaine and kidnapping for ransom. With criminals and terrorists alike exploiting regions and countries weakened by poverty, war and corruption, many already perilous situations are worsening. Acts of terrorist violence endanger the physical security of individuals and communities, sowing fear and panic, and having a devastating impact on economic activities. A sometimes overlooked aspect in the fight against terrorism is that of the victims. With criminality and terrorism increasingly working in tandem, it is ultimately victims who pay the price, a press release issued by the UN Information Center (UNIC) said.
Hezbollah denounces Bahrain invasion 16
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In Case You Missed It
The Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, has condemned foreign military intervention in Bahrain, and said the move eliminates chances of reaching a solution in the Arab nation. “In light of the recent developments in Bahrain regarding the military intervention of neighboring Arab countries and the use of violence, which has caused deaths and injuries, Hezbollah can only voice concern and strong condemnation targeting peaceful civilians,” Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said after a statement released by Hezbollah. “Military intervention and the use of violence against a peaceful and popular movement will … only complicate matters and eliminate chances of finding a solution,” it added, The Lebanese resistance movement also called the US stand on the recent developments in Bahrain “suspicious.” Six people were killed and more than 1,000 others injured in clashes between anti-regime protesters and Bahrain’s security forces. Bahraini police killed at least five protesters and injured dozens more as they assaulted a peaceful protest camp in Manama’s Pearl Square. The attacks came after Saudi
Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar dispatched their armed forces to crisis-hit Bahrain to quash antigovernment protests in the tiny Persian Gulf state. Foreign military intervention in Bahrain has concerned UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who has called for a meaningful and broadbased national dialogue. The UN chief also urged Bahrain’s regional neighbors and the international community to support a dialogue process and an environment conducive for credible
reform in Bahrain. Bahraini opposition groups, including the main bloc al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, denounced the move as an invasion of the kingdom. The United States, which has its Fifth Fleet based there, has refrained from calling the troops’ move into Bahrain an invasion. Bahraini demonstrators maintain that they will hold their ground until their demands for freedom, constitutional monarchy in the Persian Gulf sheikhdom and a say in the government are met.
Uruguay recognizes Palestinian state The Republic of Uruguay has recognized a free and independent Palestinian state on the lands occupied by Israel in the Six Day War. In a statement the Uruguayan foreign ministry said the decision to recognize a Palestine state showed the country’s firm commitment to the Middle East peace process, Reuters reported. Uruguay’s decision is in line with international support for United
Nations resolutions demanding the end of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. The international community backs Palestinian demands for a state in most of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem) -- all territories Tel Aviv occupied in the 1967 Six Day War. Israel has persistently continued constructing settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds despite
the United Nations’ condemnation of the action. Over 100 countries have endorsed the Palestinians’ 1988 declaration of independent statehood. Among them, several Latin American countries, such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela, have recognized an independent Palestinian state.
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International press body urges Yemeni President to protect journalists The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has written to Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh calling for his personal intervention in ending systematic attacks on journalists and violations of their rights, amid on-going antigovernment protests in the country. The IFJ in a statement said it was reacting to the latest incident in which a “group of thugs” stormed the offices of the Yemeni Journalists’ Syndicate (JYS), an IFJ affiliate, threatening to burn it down. “During the last few weeks journalists have been violently assaulted by security officers and pro-government supporters while attempting to cover demonstrations and protests,” said IFJ President, Jim Boumelha in his letter to Saleh. The IFJ urged the Yemeni
President to launch an investigation into the violence against journalists with a view to punishing those behind it, and to order security forces to ensure journalists can work freely and in safety throughout the territory of Yemen. In a separate statement, the IFJ expressed concern over what it said was a “new media crisis” in Bahrain, after photographer Mohammed Al-Moukhraq was assaulted by security forces while covering anti-government protests in the capital, Manama. The Al-Wasat newspaper headquarters was also attacked, noted the IFJ. “These incidents
illustrate a crisis for media and democracy in Bahrain,” said Boumelha. “The government must give guarantees that journalists will be able to operate freely and safely despite the ‘Declaration of a State of Emergency’,” he added. The IFJ represents more than 600,000 members in 125 countries.
Israel approves new Jewish Earthquake settler homes in West Bank shakes Turkey
Israel has approved the construction of hundreds of homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank. Officials said the decision was agreed by a ministerial committee. An Israeli government official said the construction would take place in settlements that Israel expects to retain control of in any possible peace agreement with the Palestinians. Palestinian officials condemned the move. “This decision is wrong and unacceptable and will only create problems,” said Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. An Israeli government
spokesman said the construction move had been planned for some time. The latest development comes as peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians have ground to a halt. US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians stalled last year over the issue of Israeli settlement building. Palestinians have refused all direct contact with Israel until construction is frozen. Nearly half a million Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. They are held to be illegal under international law.
A moderate 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey on last month. According to National Earthquake Monitoring Center (NEMC), Bogazici University, there were no damage or casualties; however, it aroused panic among citizens who came out of their homes, which Turkish television networks revealed. There is an active movement near the seas surrounding Turkey, it said, adding that seismic activity began moving in different directions all the way to central Anatolia, signalling possible severe earthquake, Turkish television quoted experts as saying. Turkey experiences almost daily small and moderate earthquakes. The country witnessed, in 1999, an earthquake that killed 20,000 people and inflicted massive damage.
CIA contractor released from jail in Pakistan
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A CIA contractor was released from jail after a compensation was paid to the families of the two men he killed. US media reported that USD 2.34 million was paid to the families to defuse a dispute that strained relations with Pakistan and to secure the release of Raymond Davis who has left Pakistan now after being in jail in Pakistan since January. US officials declined there was any deal between Washington and Islamabad or the talk about “blood money,” maintaining that this decision was taken by the Pakistani government. US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter said that the families of the victims “have pardoned Raymond Davis” adding that “I am grateful for their generosity; I wish to express, once again, my regret for the incident and my sorrow at the suffering it caused.” Davis maintained that during the January 27 shooting the two men he killed tried to attack him while driving in Lahore and the US Justice Department has opened an investigation on the incident.
The US administration sought to release him on the grounds of diplomatic impunity while courts in Pakistan could not rule whether or not Davis has diplomatic impunity as a CIA contractor. CIA spokesperson George Little praised in a statement the agency relation with the Pakistani intelligence saying “when issues arise, it is our standing practice to work through them.” “That is the sign of healthy partnership, one that is vital to both countries, especially as we face a common set of terrorist enemies,” Little added. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry also
Sarkozy fires advisor over Islam debate
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has sacked one of his Muslim advisors for his call on Muslims to quit the governing UMP party. Abderrahmane Dahmane, who served as Sarkozy’s diversity advisor, is opposed to a planned UMP debate on Islam. The debate — scheduled for this
month — is on the compatibility of Islam with the rules of the secular French Republic. Dahmane said Muslim members of the UMP should not renew their party membership unless the debate is cancelled, AFP reported. Dahmane compared the situation of French Muslims to that of Jews during World War II and said the debate had been planned by a “handful of neo-Nazis.” He also called UMP leader JeanFrancois Cope a “plague for Muslims.” Dahmane, a former UMP official, was appointed to his post only in January.
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released after the release of Davis saying that “this was a very important and necessary step for both of our countries to be able to maintain our relationship and remain focused on progress on bedrock national interests, and I am deeply grateful for the Pakistani government’s decision.” “We deeply regret the loss of life that led to this difficulty in our relationship and the demonstrations on Pakistan’s streets, but neither country could afford for this tragedy to derail our vital relationship. We look forward to working with Pakistan to strengthen our relationship and confront our common challenges”, he concluded.
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I April 2011
Muslim educational institutions in India launch umbrella body Aiming to modernise the communitys educational centres, including the madrasas (religious schools), the Jamat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) launched an association of the management bodies of Muslim educational institutes. The new Federation of Muslim Educational Institutes (India) will be an umbrella body of these institutes. Jamat-e-Islami Hind is a prominent Muslim body that works for the welfare of the community, especially in the field of education, though it is sometimes criticised for its conservative views. The idea is to improve the quality of education and make it uniform to match the modern day needs. Besides, there are a lot of government schemes for the welfare of minorities that the managing bodies usually are unaware of,? JIH spokesperson Mujtaba Farooq said.
The federation will also provide training to teachers serving in madrasas and schools to equip them with modern education, he said. About 2,000 NGOs running schools and colleges in various states have already registered as members. However, among the leading madrasas, only Jamiatul Falah in Azamgarh has come on board. Other leading madrasas, including Darul Uloom Deoband and Nadwatul Ulema in Lucknow, did not attend the meeting even though they were invited. Niyaz Farooqi and Abdul Hameed Nomani from Jamiat Ulema and someone from Nadwa were supposed to come. They did not turn up, but the federation has their blessings,? said a JIH source. Modernisation of madrasas is a part of this programme not its only aim, he added.
US drone strike kills five in Pakistan
A non-UN sanctioned US drone attack has killed at least five people and wounded several others in Pakistanâ€™s northwest tribal area of South Waziristan, intelligence officials in the region say. The five were killed on when a US drone aircraft fired two missiles at a vehicle in Azam Warsik, a militant hotbed on the Afghan border, a Press
TV reported. Meanwhile, locals said US predator drones were still hovering over the South and North Waziristan tribal regions The attack comes two days after two US drone attacks killed at least six people and wounded several others in North Waziristan Province near the border with Afghanistan.
The US frequently carries out such attacks on Pakistanâ€™s tribal areas. Attacks by unmanned American planes have left dozens of people dead in the volatile region over the past weeks. Nearly 1,200 people were killed in 124 unauthorized US drone attacks in Pakistan in 2010. The aerial attacks, initiated by former Republican US president George W. Bush, have been escalated under Democratic President Barack Obama, who had promised major changes in the American militaristic policies . The United States claims the raids target Pakistani militants. But Pakistani officials say many civilians are also killed in the attacks. Meanwhile, Pakistani sources have stated that the US drone strikes kill 50 civilians for every one militant. Islamabad has frequently slammed the US over the drone strikes, saying they violate its sovereignty.
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Commission to unify national halal standards in Philippines
Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) has started creating a unified system for various existing halal standards to aid government intervention in developing appropriate products for the market, the agency said in a statement. Bai Omera D. Dianalan-Lucman, the commission’s corporate executive officer, signed Order instructing Datu Tahir S. Lidasan, NCMF external relations and halal technical and accreditation unit director, to lead such project in consultation with local
and foreign halal stakeholders. “The NCMF envisions a system whereby government agencies can effectively contribute their expertise in developing our capacity to produce globally competitive halal products,” Mr. Lidasan said. He said that improving local halal standards involves coordinated efforts among three government offices, the Agriculture department takes charge of creating standards on abattoir, ruminants, and meat, while the Trade department is
responsible for marketing halal products. Meanwhile, he said the Bureau of Food and Drugs under the Health department will design processes on how to analyze both food and nonfood halal products. The government has long expressed interest in transforming the country into a competitive exporter of halal goods in an effort to capture part of the $1.2-trillion global halal market, which grows by $500 billion yearly.
Facebook rejects Saudi King’s 150 million dollar offer In an effort to quell anti-monarchy protests, Saudi Arabia has offered to buy the Facebook page of youth organizers of the ‘Day of Rage’ protests but the offer was rejected. Some reports suggest that the kingdom has offered USD 20,000 for the page. However, News. am reported that Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has offered to buy Facebook entirely for USD 150 billion. This is while the social networking website is worth an estimated USD 50 billion. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has turned down the offer. The ‘Day of Rage’ rally was
planned for Friday but Saudi authorities deployed hundreds of police in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, and other main cities ahead of the event, the Associated Press reported. Despite the heavy security presence across the country, about 500 protesters showed up in the cities of Hufuf, Qatif and Awamiya. At least ten people were arrested. Saudi police opened fire on a protest rally in the eastern city of Qatif, injuring more than four Shia protesters and one martyred. Witnesses say police also beat demonstrators with batons. The protesters are calling for
the release of forgotten political prisoners, who they say are being held unjustly, without charges. More than 37,000 people had backed the ‘Day of Rage’ protests on Facebook called for March 11. Facebook has been credited with helping the popular revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.
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Egypt wins squash World Cup Passion Islam
Egypt fulfilled all expectations by brushing aside defending champion England 2-0 to win the squash World Cup. World No. 2 Ramy Ashour beat No. 4 James Willstrop 11-8, 11-7, 117 in the opening match of the best-ofthree final, then Raneem El Weleily sealed the contest with her first win in five meetings over the women’s No. 2 Jenny Duncalf 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-1. “This win is dedicated to the people of Egypt,” an emotional Ashour said. “It’s a proud moment for us. It’s the moment that we all have been waiting for,” he said referring to the recent political instability in his country. Former No. 1 Ashour started strongly, wrong-footing Willstrop on several occasions as he used his trademark backhand crosscourt drop shot to set up winners.
“We expected it to be a tough match,” Ashour said. “It’s usually not easy to play against England. Raneem’s win was unexpected and she should be given a lot of credit for that.” Willstrop was philosophical afterwards. “It didn’t go our way,” he said. “I had chances but I didn’t play well in crucial times in the end. That’s how it is at times.” Weleily pulled off a second upset in two days after defeating former world champion Rachael Grinham of Australia in the semifinals of the mixed team event. Weleily won the opening game but Duncalf, who retired in the semifinals against Malaysia after injuring her groin, won the second. The third game ran close before Weleily finished it off with two delicate drop shots.
“Of course I took a lot of confidence from the win over Rachael, but this was the final and the pressure is a lot different,” Weleily said. “I’m sure Karim would have played well to win it for us but I am happy I did not allow it to go that far.” Australia beat Malaysia 2-1 in the match for third place.
Tunisian Tennis Players “Islam Comes First” In Case You Missed It
An exciting second day at the BNP sponsored Tennis Davis Cup match between Great Britain and Tunisia ended in a defeat for Tunisia, on day one of this Europe/ Africa Group II meeting it was all square at one match all but Slim Hamza and Malik Jazeri who fought hard, had no answer for the Great Britain pair of Colin Fleming and Jamie Murray. Tunisia eventually lost the Davis Cup tie 4 matches to 1. Passion Islam caught up with Slim Hamza the unranked 19 years old and the No1 in Tunisia Malik Jazeri. “Islam is very important to us and we have travelled the world playing in many countries and I have never had any problems, being Muslims is a something I am very proud of and I encourage more young Muslims to play the game and make a difference” said Jazeri. To watch the full interview log onto www.passionislam.com
The Four Poisons of the Heart 22
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Par t One
From the works of Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Ibn Al-Qayyim alJawziyya, and Imam Ghazali.
“And keep yourself (O Muhammad!) patiently with those who call on their Lord (your companions who remember their Lord with glorification, praising in prayers, etc., and other righteous deeds, etc.) morning and afternoon, seeking His Face, and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter the life of the world; and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our Remembrance, one who follows his own lusts and whose affair (deeds) has been lost.” The Holy Quran: 18:28. You should know that all acts of disobedience are poision to the heart and cause its sickness and ruin. They result in its will running off course, against that of Allah, and so its sickness festers and increases. Ibn al-Mubarak said: I have seen wrong actions killing hearts, And their degradation may lead to their bcoming addicted to them. Turning away from wrong actions gives life to the hearts, And opposing your self is best for it. Whoever is concerned with the health and life of his heart, must rid it of the effects of such poisons, and then protect it by avoiding new ones. If he takes any by mistake, then he should hasten to wipe out their effect by turning in repentance and seeking forgiveness from Allah, as well as by doing good deeds that will wipe out his wrong actions. By the four poisions we mean unnecessary talking, unrestrained glances, too much food, and keeping bad company. Of all the poisons, these are the most widespread and have the greatest effect on a heart’s well-being.
Unnecessary Talking It is reported in al-Musnad, on the authority of Anas, that the Prophet (s) said: “The faith of a servant is not put right until his heart is put right, and his heart is not put right until his tongue is put right.”1 This shows that the Prophet (s) has made the purification of faith conditional on the purification of the heart, and the purification of the heart conditional on the purification of the tongue. At-Tirmidhi relates in a hadith on the authority of Ibn Umar: “Do not talk excessively without remembering Allah, because such excessive talk without the mention of Allah causes the heart to harden, and the person furthest from Allah is a person with a hard heart.” Umar Ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “A person who talks too much is a person who often makes mistakes, and someone who often makes mistakes, often has wrong actions. The Fire has a priority over such a freqent sinner.” In a hadith related on the authority of Mu’adh, the Prophet (s) said, “Shall I not tell you how to control all that?” I said, “Yes do, O Messenger of Allah.” So he held his tongue between his fingers, and then he said: “Restrain this.” I said, “Oh Prophet of Allah, are we accountable for what we say?” He (s) said, “May your mother be bereft by your loss! Is there anything more than the harvest of the tongues that throws people on their faces (or he said ‘on their noses’) into the Fire?” What is meant here by ‘the harvest of the tongues’ is the punishment for saying forbidden things. A man, through his actions and words, sows the seeds of either good or evil. On the Day of Resurrection he harvests their fruits. Those who sow the seeds of good words and deeds harvest honour and
blessings; those who sow the seeds of evil words and deeds reap only regret and remorse. A hadith related by Abu Huraira says, “What mostly causes people to be sent to the Fire are the two openings: the mouth and the private parts.” Abu Huraira also related that the Messenger of Allah (s) said, “The servant speaks words, the consequences of which he does not realise, and for which he is sent down into the depths of the Fire further than the distance between the east and the west.” The same hadith was transmitted by at-Tirmidhi with slight variations: “The servant says something that he thinks is harmless, and for which he will be plunged into the depths of the Fire as far as seventy autumns.” Uqba ibn Amir said: “I said: “O Messenger of Allah, what is our best way of surviving?’ He, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, replied: “Guard your tongue, make your house suffice for sheltering your privacy, and weep for your wrong actions.” It has been related on the authority of Sahl ibn Sa’d that the Prophet (s) said, “Whoever can guarantee what is between his jaws and what is between his le guarantee him the Garden.” It has also been related by Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Let whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day either speak good or remain silent.” Thus talking can either be good, in which case it is commendable, or bad, in which case it is haram. The Prophet (s) said: “Everything the children of Adam say goes against them, except for their enjoining good and forbidding evil,
Passion Islam I April 2011 and remembering Allah, Glorius and Might is He.” This was reported by at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Ma’jah on the authority of Umm Habiba, may Allah be pleased with her. Umar ibn al-Khattab visited Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with them, and found him pulling his tongue with his fingers. Umar said “Stop! may Allah forgive you!” Abu Bakr replied; “This tongue has brought me to dangerous places.” Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said: “By Allah, besides Whom no god exists, nothing deserves a long prison sentence more than my tongue.” He also used to say: “O tongue, say good and you will profit;desist from saying evil things and you will be safe; otherwise you will find only regret.” Abu Huraira reported that Ibn al-Abbas said: “A person will not feel greater fury or anger for any part of his body on the Day of Judgement more than what he will feel for hi tongue, unless he only used it for saying or enjoining good.” Al-Hassan said: “Whoever does not hold his tongue cannot understand his deen.” The least harmful of a tongue’s faults is talking about whatever does not concern it. The following hadith of the Prohet (s) is enough to indicate the harm of this fault: “One of the merits of a person’s Islam is his abandoning what does not concer him.” Abu Ubaida related that alHassan said: “One of the signs of Allah’s abandoning a servant is His making him preoccupied with what does not concern him.” Sahl said, “Whoever talks about what does not concern him is deprived of truthfulness.” As we have already mentioned above, this is the least harmful of the tongue’s faults. There are far worse things, like backbiting, gossipying, obscene and misleading talk, two-faced and hypocritical talk, showing off, quarrelling, bickering, singing, lying, mockery, derision and falsehood; and there are many more faults which can affect a servant’s tongue, ruining his heart and causing him to lose both his happiness and pleasure in this life, and his success and profit in the next life. Allah is the One to Whom we turn for assistance.
Unrestrained Glances The unrestrained glance results in the one who looks becoming attracted to what he sees, and in the imprinting of an image of what he sees in his heart. This can result in several kinds of corruption in the servant. The following are a number of them It has been related that the Prophet (s) once said words to the effect: “The glance is a poisoned arrow of shaytan. Whoever lowers his gaze for Allah, He will bestow upon him a refreshing sweetness which he will find in his heart on the day that he meets Him.” Shaytan enters with the glance, for he travels with it, faster than the wind blowing through an empty place. He makes what is seen appear more beautiful than it really is, and transforms it into an idol for the heart to worship. Then he promises it false rewards, lights the fire of desires within it, and fuels it with the wood of forbidden actions, which the servant would not have committed had it not been for this distorted image. This distracts the heart and makes it forget its more important concerns. It stands between it and them; and so the heart loses its straight path and falls into the pit of desire and ignorance. Allah, Mighty and Glorious is He, says: “And do not obey anyone whose heart WE have made forgetful in remembering Us- who follows his own desires, and whose affair has exceeded all bounds. (18:28)” The unrestrained gaze causes all three afflications. It has been said that between the eye and the heart is an immediate connection; if the eyes are corrupted, then the heart follows. It becomes like a rubbish heap where all the dirt and filth and rottennes collect, and so there is no room for love for Allah, relating all matters to Him, awareness of being in His presence, and feeling joy at His proximity-only the opposite of these things can inhabit such a heart. Staring and gazing without restraint is disobedience to Allah: “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and quard their modesty; that is more purifying for them. Surely Allah is aware of what they do. (24:30)” Only the one who obeys Allah’s
SPECIAL FEATURE I 23 commands is content in this world, and only the servant who obeys Allah will survive in the next world. Furthermore, letting the gaze roam free cloaks the heart with darkness, just as lowering the gaze for Allah clothes it in light. After the above ayah, Allah, the Glorious and Mighty, says in the same surah of the the Qur’an: “Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth: the likeness of His light is as if there were a niche, and in the niche is a lamp, and in the lamp is a glass, and the glass as it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is well nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it. Light upon light. ‘Allah guides whomever He wants to His Light. Allah strikes metaphors for man; and Allah knows all things. (24:35)” When the heart is a light, countless good comes to it from all directions. If it is dark, then clouds of evil and afflictions come from all directions to cover it up. Letting the gaze run loose also makes the heart blind to distinguishing between truth and falsehood, between the sunnah and innovation; while lowering it for Allah, the Might and Exalted, gives it a penetrating, true and distinguishing insight. A righteous man once said: “Whoever enriches his outward behaviour by follwing the sunnah, and makes his inward soul weathy thorugh contemplation, and averts his gaze away from looking at what is forbidden, and avoids anything of a doubtful nature, and feeds soley on what is halal-his inner sight will never falter.” Rewards for actions come in kind. Whoever lowers his gaze from what Allah has forbidden, Allah will give his inner sight abundant light.
Too Much Food The consumption of small amounts of food guarantees tenderness of the heart, strenght of the intellect, humility of the self, weakness of desires, and gentleness of temperament. Immoderate eating brings about the opposite of these praiseworthy qualities. Al-Miqdam ibn Ma’d Yakrib said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (s) say: “The son of Adam fills no vessel continued next month
Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) (A.S.)
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In the prison two young men also joined Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.). One of them was a bar tender to a king and the other a kitchen officer. They were sent to the imprisonment by the king for some offence. One day both of them told their dream of the previous night to Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.). One of them said, “I saw in my dream that I am preparing wine.” The other added, “I also saw a dream I dreamt that I have some loaves on my head and birds are snatching at them.” After having described their dreams, they said to Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.), “You seem to a nice man, please tell us their interpretation.” Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) replied, “I will tell you their interpretation before you get today’s meal. My Lord Has endowed me with this knowledge. In fact, I have given up following those who have no faith in Allah and refuse to accept the truth of the Hereafter. I have accepted the Deen of my forefathers Hazrat Ibrahim, Hazrat Ishaq and Hazrat Yaqub (Alaihimas-Salaam). We do not associate anyone with Allah. It is His mercy that He showed us the Right Path of Deen, made us His servants and relieved us from the clutches of others. Those who refuse to be Allah’s servant are compelled to serve others. Most of the people are the servant of Allah alone and, therefore, tend to serve others. “O my jail-mates, just think whether to serve and fold hands before many masters is better than serving one master who is One and All-Powerful. You have forgotten Him and serving others who are no more than that they have been named by you and your forefathers and you have started worshipping them as gods and goddesses. What ever you
say or do bears no proof from Allah. “Do not forget that Allah is the Sovereign. He is the Ultimate Authority. It is His command not to worship a one else except Him. This is the right course of leading life but many people do not know this.” “O my jail-mates, now listen. The dreams you saw the other day means that one of you will offer wine to his master i.e. the king of Egypt. The other will be hanged to death and birds will eat away his head. You fate has been decided.” This is what Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) talked to his jail-mates and how he taught them the lesson of the Oneness of God and the Hereafter. For us too, there is a lesson in it. Then Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) turned to the man who was to offer wine to his king and said, “When you go to the king tell him about my condition.” But he forgot to do so and Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) had to remain in jail for several years. One night the king saw a dream. He told it to his courtiers, “I saw in my dream tonight that seven fat cows and that seven ears of corn are green while another seven are dry. O my ministers, now tell me if you can, what does it mean.” They replied, “It is a dream about which we know nothing.” But one of the two prisoners who were with Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) in jail, and was present there, recalled him. First he mentioned everything about then said, “Send me to Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.). I will tell you the meaning of your dream.” The king sent him about the meaning of the king’s dream and said, “I hope that after hearing this they will come to know how noble and good man you are.” Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) said. “You people will have a good harvest for first seven years.
During these seven years you should eat only what you can and save your entire produce and leave the grain in the ears of corns, Because after those seven years there will be very little harvest and you will have to eat what you would have saved during the first sever years’ After those hard seven years, you will have enough rain for one season. Your crops will be very good and sufficient.” When the king heard this, he asked to bring Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) to him. But when the king’s people went to Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.), he said, “Go back to your master and ask him to first make it clear why I have been put into the prison. In this regard, those women who had cut their hands should be interrogated. Although my Lord is aware of their hypocrisy, you should also know what had actually happened.” After hearing this message of Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.), the king enquired about the whole thing and asked those women, “How did you find Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) when you tried to flirt him.” All of them said in one voice, “By God, we saw nothing wrong is Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.). When Aziz’s wife Zulaikha came to know about the enquiry, she also had to say, “Now the whole thing is open. In fact, when I tried to flirt him round, he and bring him proved to be totally true and innocent,” After hearing this Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) said, “What I actually meant by this enquiry was that Aziz should also know that I did not deceive him. I know Allah does not make the attempts of deceivers successful. Although I do not claim that I am entirely a pious man. A man’s self instigates him to commit evil deed, but he can certainly abstain from evil if he is blessed by my Lord. My Lord
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is All Forgiving and Most Beneficent.” The king replied. “Bring Yusuf (A.S.) to me, I want him to assign some of my special tasks and make him my special man.” When Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) went to the king and had talk with him, the king said, “We respect and trust you fully. Therefore, we want you to take charge of the country’s food system in your hands,” Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) replied, “All the treasure of the country should be handed over to me and let me do what I want, I can look after the country as well as the countrymen. I also know how to carry out this task.” The king agreed to it Thus Allah granted him the reigns of the government of Egypt and he was authorized to do whatever he wanted in the entire country. This is how Allah gives. He gives to whom he wants and whatever, He wants. In fact, He never disappoints the pious people. As far the reward of the Hereafter, which in the true reward for Momin, it is very good for those who have faith in Allah and follow His orders abstaining from his displeasure. When Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) took over the administration of the entire country, he raised sufficient crops in the first seven years and reserved the food grain. After those years when drought hit the country, no crops grew and the reserved food was utilized. Lakhs of people were saved from dying. People from far off placed also used to come to Egypt to take the food grain. One day the brothers of Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) also come there in search of food grains. Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) immediately recognized them but they did not know that the king of Egypt was their brother Yusuf (A.S.). The father of Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) had kept his second son Bin Yameen at home. Everyone was given a measured quantity of food grains by the government and no one could get more than that. Similarly the brothers of Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) also got the food grains for ten persons. After receiving it, they demanded the shared of their old father and the eleventh brother. Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) accepted their demand but asked them to bring the eleventh brother the next time. If the father cannot
come due to old age, then he be left behind, he said. On the other hand he directed his servants to conceal in their food grain what they had brought with them for payment. This he did because he was very impatient to see his brother and wanted them to return along with him shortly after coming to know about this deed. On their return home, they told father everything and said they would get the food grain next time only when they took Bin Yameen with them. They also asked him to send Yameen with them and assured to look after him. Their father replied, “I wonder if, I can trust you any more because I trusted you in the case of his brother. Any way, the real protector is Allah, who is the Beneficent and the Merciful.” As soon as they opened their stuff which they had brought from Egypt, they were amazed to see that their own stuff had also been returned. They said to their father “Look father, they have returned our stuff also. What more should we want. We will now certainly go and take Yameen also. We will be responsible for his security.” “I will not do so unless you affirm and swear by God that; you will certainly bring him back. It will be a different matter if you all get entrapped somewhere,” their father replied. When the affirmed, Hazrat Yaqub (A.S.) said, “we hold Allah as our witness in this matter. My son when you go to the capital or Egypt, do not enter if from one gate but disperse and use separate gates. I can, of course, not save you from what Allah wills because He is the real king. I have put my faith in Him and everybody should do the same.” Do you see that a Momin makes plans but trusts Allah alone. The brothers of Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) followed their father’s direction and entered the capital through different gates. But their scheme failed and Allah’s will prevailed upon. A momin tries his best but believes in Allah. He knows that his efforts cannot alter Allah’s orders. When these people went to Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.), he called his brother Bin Yameen to him and said, “I am your brother and live with me. Do not worry and forget what these stepbrothers have done to you so far.”
When their stuff was loaded and the time of their departure came, someone quietly put the king’s precious bowl into the stuff of Bin Yameen. After they had departed, the search for the bowl began. The worried servants chased them for it. Finally, the approached them and cried out, “You are thieves,” Surprised, they asked them, “What have you lost.” One of them replied, “The bowl of the king has got lost and anyone tracing it will get a camelload of food grain, I guarantee that it will be rewarded.” All the brothers said, “You know, we had not come here to spread mischief and we are not thieves. The king’s servants said, “Well, if you are found guilty, what will be your punishment.” “According to our custom, they replied, the one from whose baggage your bowl is discovered should be held back here as punishment.” After this their goods were searched and at last the bowl was discovered from the stuff of Bin Yameen. Accordingly he was alone to be held back. In fact Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) did not think it proper at all to punish his brother according to the royal laws of Egypt. He belonged to the family of prophets. What was therefore, Proper for him was to act pay upon Islamic Shari at and Allah also helped him. Allah made the royal servants to ask the punishment for a thief from the caravan people. This helped Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) as he did not have to follow the un-Islamic law of not he inhabitants of Egypt; there was enough excuse for a different regulation for them instead of the Egyptian one. It is true that Allah is Most Merciful, Most Benign. He confers His mercy on who is over He wills. He is All-knowing, All-wise. When the brothers saw all this, they tried to save their face and said, “No matter if he committed a theft; his brother was also a thief. “Hazrat Yusuf (A.S.) was agitated over this allegation but kept silence and uttered no word. He thought how bad those people were to call him a thief on face. Allah is aware of everything including what they were talking, he thought. Continued next month
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