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News Sport Spying on people to Hull KR sign Muslim RL Star cost £1.8 billion

Pilgrims ilgrims to win payouts for flight delays

Issue: 52

Featured Month of the Quran

July 2012

Hajj and Umrah pilgrims will be compensated if their flights are delayed or cancelled, according to new guidelines issued by the kingdom’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA). The move has been welcomed by the Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK (ABH) which said the directive to airlines was “long awaited”. Under the new guidelines, airlines will be responsible to give compensation for delayed and cancelled flights. The amount of compensation decided by GACA will have to be paid by the respective airline within a month, ABH said in a statement. If they fail to pay the compensation within the specific time, they will have to

pay the air travellers SR1,500 extra for each delayed day, the statement added. The compensation includes flight delays, loss of baggage and other violations. Passengers will be provided with free accommodation and meals in case of flight delay. Airlines have been asked by the Saudi authorities to cut down on the number of cancelled flights and inform passengers about any cancellation as early as possible. Khalid Pervez, general secretary, ABH, said: “This was a long awaited directive from the GACA which is extremely vital to address the chaotic situation seen specifically during the Hajj period where

every year thousands of pilgrims suffer extreme pain, misery, and mental anguish due to delays and cancellations of flights, poor management, and other violations by some airlines.” The association also urged Saudi authorities to investigate and address the issue of “severe exploitation” of Hajj/ Umrah pilgrims by some airlines. “These airlines and their appointed travel agencies are specifically targeting Hajj/Umrah pilgrims and force them to pay extortionary prices for their airline tickets compared to travelling the same distance to any other destination in the world,” the statement said. Photo: Shakir Ahmed - Makkah 2012

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I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

Passion Islam

thePassion

I July 2012

By Shakir Ahmed Editor

This Ramadhan, Let’s Change for the better

First of all as the Editor of Passion Islam I would like to say Ramadhan Mubarak to Muslims across the world, this is a great opportunity for all of us to reflect on the year and recharge our Imaan. So many people are suffering without food and clothing, Ramadhan is a time when our generous nature should come out, help the poor please Almighty by doing good deeds. This month is also a chance for our brothers and sisters to deliver Dawah to our non Muslim brothers and sisters, let them

know how decent law abiding the religion is, invite them to talks, shower them with literature so they can understand the true religion, remember that every Muslim is an ambassador of Islam and is our duty to spread the true teachings of Islam through the Quran and the Sunnah, it’s time for us all to do more, we have this wonderful beautiful religion within us and we need to show others how wonderful beautiful it is, We should thank Almighty for this great religion given to us. I also send out special greetings

to our Brothers and sisters who have embraced this great religion, welcome and may almighty give you strong imaan, this might be your first Ramadhan, I humbly request that everyone support them. And finally make a promise to yourself that Almighty please remove any proud and stubborn nature I have within me, please accept my fast, my charity my salaat and let my intentions and actions please you and only take me when you are please with me. My humble prayers are with you Always.

Write to: Editor, Passion Islam, PO Box 159, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 1AD or email: info@passionislam.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 -

Views expressed in the Passion column are of the contributers and not Necessarily of Passion Islam


Britain introduces law to hide torture

Passion Islam

I July 2012

The UK government has introduced its new secrecy law in Parliament, which, if enacted, would mean details of the emerging torture scandals would be hidden forever. If the Justice and Security Bill becomes law, Ministers will be able to demand secret hearings, and to prevent the victims from ever seeing evidence about their claims. Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Mercer, the chief British Army lawyer in Iraq during the 2003 invasion, has said what went on in the secret prison network amounted to ‘war

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crimes’. He said it was his part of his job to monitor the treatment of prisoners taken by British Forces and the conditions at detention facilities. But he was kept ‘totally in the dark’ about the secret network’s existence. “This prisoner facility operated entirely outside the normal chain of command,” said Lieut Col Mercer, who has left the Army. “I find it remarkable that I knew nothing about it at the time. What is clear now is that, if the Justice and Security Bill does become law, the truth may never come out. These are alleged war crimes, but what Britain did may never be disclosed. Indeed, the Bill may be specifically designed to prevent such allegations ever coming to light”. Senior Conservative MP David Davis said the Bill seemed to be

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‘tailored to produce a cover-up’. “I find it astonishing that the military authorities responsible for the legality of prisoner detention were not even notified about these secret camps. If these allegations are substantiated, they amount to a serious blow to the rule of law. The Bill, if passed, would be another, giving Ministers the power effectively to instruct judges to withhold evidence in court cases”, he said. The pending action will be taken by solicitor Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers, whose earlier work brought to light details of the murders of the hotel worker Baha Mousa and other Iraqis detained by British troops. The new focus is on a number of almost simultaneous incidents at two black site locations. It is thought there were at least two more.


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Protest Over Olympic Missiles Scheme 4

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In Case You Missed It

Britons residing East London have staged demonstration to stress their opposition to the government’s plans to install surface-to-air missiles on rooftops for added security during the Olympics. According to campaigners more than 1,000 people signed a petition to censure the government’s scheme to install surface-to-air missiles on at least six sites, some of them in residential districts including Bow and Leytonstone. The Ministry of Defence said the safety of the Games was paramount and a “broad range of community engagement” had taken place. The sites, chosen from an original list of 100, include the Lexington Building in Tower Hamlets and the Fred Wigg Tower in Waltham Forest, east London. The four other London sites identified as suitable for Rapier missiles are Blackheath Common; Oxleas Wood, Eltham; William Girling Reservoir, Enfield and Barn Hill in Epping Forest. The proposals have yet to be confirmed. “We don’t believe they will add

anything to security. If they are going to be used they will explode over some of the most densely populated areas in London”, said campaigner Chris Nineham. “I simply don’t believe that since 9/11 a security system hasn’t been put in place to protect Canary Wharf and east London”, he added. When a major security exercise took place in April standing joint commander General Sir Nick Parker explained there must be a plan that could deal with “the unlikely but very serious threat” that might exist to the Olympic Park. “It’s an air threat, really categorised in two ways, the sort of 9/11 threat everyone knows about, and also for the lower, slower type of target which might pop up closer to the Olympic Park, which we would need to intervene”, he explained. Residents of Fred Wigg Tower, Leytonstone, have launched legal proceedings in the hope of preventing the installation of missiles on their building’s roof during the Olympics. www.passionislam.com

Passion Islam

I July 2012

Aiming to feed a Million this Ramadhan

Hunger crises continue to unfold across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. With more conflicts, droughts and price rises, an increasing number of families in the developing world are being pushed into hunger and despair. With Muslims preparing for Ramadhan once more, Ummah Welfare Trust is launching a ‘Help Feed a Million’ campaign. Unprecedented in its 11-year history, the charity plans to provide food to one million poor Muslims this Ramadhan. The month of Ramadhan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. During this month, able Muslims are obligated to fast from dawn till dusk and increase their worship. Increased almsgiving and feeding the poor is also encouraged as was the practice of the Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him. Donors can help the aims of this year’s project by donating towards Iftaar packs. Packs have been prepared to last the entire month and contain provisions specific to each recipient country. These packs will not only feed poor people but importantly will enable them to fast. One Iftaar pack costs £50. Iftaar packs will be distributed to families in Albania, Pakistan, Burma, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Gambia, Gaza, Jordan (to Iraqi, Palestinian and Syrian refugees), Haiti, India, Niger, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Malawi and the Philippines. Ummah Welfare Trust is appealing for the support of its donors - who have given so generously in past appeals - and hopes they can help feed a million this Ramadhan.

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Qatar’s QIIB mulls sale of UK Islamic lender Passion Islam

I July 2012

Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB), parent company of Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), is considering the sale of the UK’s only shariacompliant retail lender as it struggles to gain scale in the UK market. IBB confirmed it had received an approach by QIIB, which currently owns a controlling 88.41 percent stake, to take over the remaining shares with a view to a possible sale as it considers the strategic future of the UK bank. Masraf Al Rayan, the biggest Islamic bank in Qatar, said on Monday that it had begun negotiations to acquire a 70 percent stake in IBB, with the remaining 30 percent stake to be bought by the Qatar government. “QIIB has also indicated that it has begun initial, non-binding discussions with certain potential third party purchasers, which include Masraf; there has been no approach by Masraf to IBB,” IBB said in a statement. Founded in 2004, IBB was the

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first standalone Islamic retail bank in the UK with a high street presence with five branches and around 50,000 customers, offering financial services that adhere to Islamic principles such as a ban on interest. IBB’s founding shareholder QIIB took full control of the bank in 2011, in a deal valued at the time at around £25m ($38.65m), as part of a plan to develop an international banking business compliant with sharia laws. But the sharia lender has struggled to turn a profit since inception, reporting a full-year loss of £8.9m in 2011. Speaking to Reuters in April, Sultan Choudhury, managing director at Islamic Bank of Britain, said he was confident the bank could gain traction and become profitable within the next three years. QIIB has until July 5 to make an offer under UK financial regulations. IBB said it will make a further announcement on the matter in due course. No details of the size of the possible deal were disclosed. The UK is the largest Islamic

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finance centre in Europe, accounting for $19bn of $1.7trn in global assets and is home to five fully shariacompliant banks, data from the UK Islamic Finance Secretariat (UKIFS) estimates. The close ties between the oil-rich Gulf and the UK has led to a flurry of activity aimed at capitalising on the two-way traffic. Britain’s largest standalone sharia bank, Bank of London and the Middle East (BLME), is awaiting regulatory approval to start operations in the Gulf this year, while Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank , the second-largest Islamic lender in the UAE, opened its first branch in London in May.

Your chance to make a real difference this Ramadan

A Lancashire-based global children’s charity this week launches a national appeal to provide vital help to young people and their families in some of the world’s poorest countries. Tauheedul Relief Trust (TRT) works to transform the lives of children and young people living in the poorest communities across the globe. It was established by Blackburn based TIFECT, an organisation that

provides outstanding educational opportunities for thousands of young people in the UK, which promotes community-led social and economic regeneration, and funds educational, health and disaster relief for those most in need throughout the world. Recent projects undertaken by the charity include the Save the Children of Syria campaign, which involved a TRT team visiting the country to oversee the relief efforts that benefited thousands of victims of the crisis. One of the team members spoke about their time in Syria: “It was immensely humbling to see the small donations of each and every person in the community bring some joy to a terrified child, soothe the pain of an ailing mother or provide some succour to a father struggling to provide for his family.” As the Trust consolidates its

relief and development projects, Kam Kothia, Chair of the Trust and Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire, said: “Today, we are launching our Ramadan appeal to communities across the UK and hope everyone joins us in this noble cause. Our vision is to operate a global charity that transforms the lives of young people, through the work of other young people. As a charity, we believe that all of our children are treasures through whom we can inspire a new, brighter future for all of our communities and our wider world. We firmly believe that our children are our future.” To support the registered charity’s projects and help those most in need around the world, call the donation hotline on 01254 674952 or visit www.tauheedulrelief.org All money donated goes directly to those in need.


Passion Islam

I July 2012

LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

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Spying on people to cost £1.8 billion

The Government is to spend £1.8 billion giving police, security services and tax officials access to details of people’s phone calls, emails and internet usage. The price tag for what critics call the “Snooper’s Charter” was disclosed today as Home Secretary

Theresa May published draft legislation for the contentious plans. The costs include equipping internet and telephone companies to retain and store data on behalf of the police, the security services, the Serious Organised and Crime Agency and HM Revenue and

Customs. The Home Office said the expected benefits from the outlay would be in the region of £5 billion to £6.2 billion, including from reducing tax fraud and seizing criminal assets. Mrs May also compared the average £180 million-a-year cost of the plans with the annual policing bill of £14 billion. ”This communications data is vital for catching criminals,” she said. ”If we don’t do this, if that money isn’t spent, then we are going to catch fewer criminals.” Amid criticism from civil liberties campaigners that the Communications Bill heralds an unwarranted intrusion into people’s privacy, she insisted the innocent had nothing to fear. ”The only people who have anything to fear from this are the criminals,” she said.

British Muslims named in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours List The Muslim Council of Britain congratulated all those named in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. They are recognised for their outstanding achievement and service across the whole of the United Kingdom. he Muslim Council also congratulated the following British Muslims honoured, underlining once again the many positive contributions Muslims make to British society. Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) Ms Zaha HADID, CBE For services to Architecture. Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) Professor Ashraf JAWAID Deputy Vice Chancellor (External Relations), University of Bedfordshire. For services to Higher Education. Kamal HANIF

Headteacher, Waverley School, Birmingham. For services to Education.

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) Muhammad ASIM Member, Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board. For services to Inter-Faith Relations and the community in Leeds. Abdulkarim FATEHI Managing Director, United Corporation Ltd. For services to International Trade. Mustafa FIELD For services to Ethnic Cohesion and the community in London. Moosa GORA Muslim Chaplain, HM Prison Full Sutton. For services to Faith and Diversity in the Prison Service. Ashuk HUSSAIN, JP Grade C1, Ministry of Defence. Walayat KHOKHAR For services to Muslim Aid.

Mamun Ur RASHID For services to the community in the East End of London. Councillor Waseem ZAFFAR, JP For services to the voluntary sector in Birmingham.

Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) Sufyaan Mustak PATEL For services to the community sector in Blackburn, Lancashire. From the Diplomatic Service OBE Reza AFSHAR First Secretary Political, UK Mission to the United Nations, New York MBE Mrs Hima ABDULLAH Personal Assistant to the Chief Executive, British Council Parvais JABBAR Executive Director, the Death Penalty Project. For services to international human rights

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47 Europeans embraced Islam at Muslim World League

Passion Islam

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Top UK charity calls for ban on illegal Israeli goods

As many as 47 European nationals embraced Islam at a ceremony held at the office of the Makkah-based Muslim World League (MWL) in London. In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency, Director of the MWL Office in London Dr. Ahmed Makhdoom said that the new converts included four men and the rest of them were women aged between 19 and 77. “Most of them are Britons in addition to some other European nationals. They have different educational levels and are employed in varied professions,” he said.

According to Makhdoum, It was a great occasion for the MWL office. “This was the largest number of people who embraced Islam in a single day since the opening of the office in 1982,”he said. Makhdoum noted the office is exerting great efforts to spread the message of Islam through various means, including lectures, seminars, study classes, distribution of books, translations of the Holy Qur’an and CDs. On their part, the new converts expressed their delight in the blessing of God that enabled them to revert to the divine religion.

Christian Aid and Quakers have urged the British government to boycott goods from illegal settlements that have been produced on occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank. In a Parliamentary briefing on June 19, they called on the coalition government to introduce legislation against the import of products from illegal Israeli settlements. “Settlements are illegal under international law, a major cause of poverty amongst Palestinians and an obstacle to peace,” said Christian Aid Policy and Advocacy Officer William Bell. Earlier in April, Britain’s fifthlargest food, the Co-operative Group, extended a boycott of goods from illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank.

Team GB Muslim Olympians launches Ramadan Iftar 2012 Iftar 2012 was launched at The Islamic Cultural Centre (ICC) in Regents Park, London. Shaukat Warraich Director of the Iftar 2012 project and Chief Executive of Faith Associates said: “The Iftar 2012 Celebrations will give Olympic visitors a chance to experience Ramadan with local British Muslim communities. Mosques will provide great hospitality and the cultural mix of Muslim communities in London and around the UK; including a huge range of culinary dishes from Asia, Africa, Europe to the near and far East will east at different mosques.” Iftar, the evening meal that breaks the Muslim fast during the holy month

of Ramadan, is a time of celebration that traditionally includes the hosting of guests and travellers. This year, for the first time, the Olympics (27 July to 12 August 2012) will take place during Ramadan (20 July to 18 August 2012) and in the spirit of collaboration and friendship mosques across the UK will open their Iftar celebrations to neighbours, visitors, Muslims, non-Muslims, officials and Olympic athletes from across the world. Hockey star Darren Cheesman (Silver Medal hockey winner at the 2007 Olympics) of Team GB coached young people from the Scouts Association in the mosque grounds.

After he said: “I am delighted to be part of the Iftar 2012 celebrations... To have the Olympics in your hometown is just amazing, but to be able to share an experience of your faith with others as part of these celebrations is just fantastic... I hope people will keep an open mind and come along to a local mosque. They will be warmly welcomed and boy will they be well fed.” A programme of speakers including mosque and faith leaders lent their support to Iftar 2012. www.iftar2012.com will provide across all the Olympic venues details of participating mosques of the Iftars they will be hosting.


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Cantona: Israel is Racist and it Violates Human Rights

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UN report condemns US use of drones

Soccer legend Eric Cantona has co-signed a letter with other international figures to call for the release of Palestinian player Mahmud Sarsak, who is on hunger strike in an Israeli prison. In a letter sent to UEFA President Michel Platini, the former Manchester United star said Israel should be subjected to the same scrutiny faced by Euro 2012 hosts Poland and Ukraine. “Why are these same groups silent when Israel is to host the UEFA Under 21s competition in 2013? Racism, human rights abuses and gross violations of international law are daily occurrences in that country,” the letter said. “It is time to end Israel’s impunity and to insist on the same standards of equality, justice and respect for international law that we demand of other states,” Cantona continued. The player participated in a Beach

Soccer tournament in Israel five years ago. Also joining the campaign to release Sarsak is former Seville striker Frédéric Kanouté. The player called to grant Sarsak “the right to a fair and independent trial.” A great supporter of Palestinians. Frédéric Kanouté (Photo: Reuters) The Palestinian Football Union Association has asked UEFA to bar Israel from hosting the 2013 European Under-21 Championship over its detention without trial of Palestinian players. In a letter to UEFA President Michel Platini, PFA President Jibril Rajoub pleaded with him not to give Israel the honor of hosting the Competition. The Israeli Football Association officially responded: “We are certain that FIFA and UEFA will not mix politics with football, and that the under 21 event will be held next summer in Israel as planned.”

Saudi Arabia reopens Iraq pipeline to bypass Gulf shipping lanes

Saudi Arabia has reopened an old oil pipeline built by Iraq to bypass Gulf shipping lanes, giving Riyadh scope to export more of its crude from Red Sea terminals should Iran try to block the Strait of Hormuz, industry sources say. The UAE has built its own pipeline to bypass the strait, which is due to start exporting from the Gulf of Oman next month. The Iraqi Pipeline in Saudi Arabia

(IPSA), laid across the kingdom in the 1980s after oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf by both sides during the Iran-Iraq War, has not carried Iraqi crude since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990. Saudi Arabia confiscated the pipeline in 2001 to compensate for debts owed by Baghdad and has used it to transport gas to power plants in the west of the country in the last few years.

A UN investigator has condemned the use of deadly drones by the United States, questioning the legality of such attacks that have led to the death of thousands of people. Christof Heyns, a UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial summary or arbitrary executions, said that the US should clarify its policy of drone assassinations and targeted killings. In a report to the UN Human Rights Council, the UN official urged the Obama Administration to abide by international laws and ensure accountability and justice for victims of the attacks. “Disclosure of these killings is critical to ensure accountability, justice and reparation for victims or their families,” he said in a 28-page report. “The (US) government should clarify the procedures in place to ensure that any targeted killing complies with international humanitarian law and human rights and indicate the measures or strategies applied to prevent casualties, as well as the measures in place to provide prompt, thorough, effective and independent public investigation of alleged violations,” he said. The report also refers to an alarming increase in the use of drones over the past three years. Thousands of people have been killed in 300 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, the report said, adding that at least 957 Pakistanis lost their lives in such attacks in 2010 alone. The US has conducted numerous strikes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Washington claims the drones are only targeting militants but fatalities and causalities from such strikes have mostly been civilians.


U.S. adds first Boko Haram members to ‘terrorist’ list

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The United States named three alleged leaders of the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram as “foreign terrorists,” the first time it has blacklisted members of the Islamist group blamed for attacks across Africa’s most populous nation. The State Department identified the three as Abubakar Shekau, who it called the “most visible” leader of the group, and Abubakar Adam Kambar and Khalid al-Barnawi, who it said were tied both to Boko Haram and to al Qaeda’s north African wing. “Under Shekau’s leadership, Boko Haram has claimed

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responsibility for numerous attacks in northern Nigeria, its primary area of operation. In the last 18 months, Boko Haram or associated militants have killed more than 1,000 people,” the State Department said in an announcement. “These designations demonstrate the United States’ resolve in diminishing the capacity of Boko Haram to execute violent attacks,” it said. The action by the State and Treasury departments, first reported by Reuters follows growing pressure on the Obama Administration to take stronger action against Boko Haram,

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U.S. officials say the decision to list individual Boko Haram members, rather than apply the more sweeping “Foreign Terrorist Organization” label to the group as a whole as some U.S. lawmakers have demanded, reflected a desire not to elevate the group’s profile. The action freezes any assets the three men have in the United States, and bar U.S. persons from any transactions with them. The United States has signaled growing concern over Islamist extremist groups operating in Africa, particularly al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which has expanded its influence in the lawless Sahel region and funds operations by collecting kidnap ransoms or siphoning off the drug trade. The United States has also sought to curb the influence of alShabaab, the militant group which has seized control of large areas of south and central Somalia and has been blamed for attacks elsewhere in east Africa. Both AQIM and al-Shabaab are already on the official U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations, which makes them key targets in the U.S. anti-terrorism campaign. www.passionislam.com

French appeals court approves construction of a large mosque in Marseille A French appeals court granted permission Tuesday for the building of a mega-mosque in the southern city of Marseille that has been touted as a symbol of Islam’s growing place in France. The court overturned an October ruling by Marseille’s administrative tribunal that cancelled the project’s construction permit for supposed failures to meet urban-planning requirements. A community association led by a local butcher had filed a complaint against the building permit, saying the mosque project did not fit with the

surrounding urban environment. The project was granted a permit in September 2009 but construction was suspended following complaints from local residents and businesses. The 22-million-euro ($28-million) project would see the Grand Mosque, boasting a minaret soaring 25-metres (82-feet) high and room for up to 7,000 worshippers, built in the city’s northern Saint-Louis area. Muslim leaders in the Mediterranean city had hailed the approval of the project as a key step in recognising the importance of Marseille’s large Muslim community.

France’s second city is home to an estimated 250,000 Muslims, many of whom flock to makeshift prayer houses in basements, rented rooms and dingy garages to worship. Home to Europe’s biggest Muslim minority, estimated at between five and six million, France has for years been debating how far it is willing to go to accommodate Islam, now the country’s second religion. The appeals court in December also rejected complaints against the mosque project filed by France’s National Front (FN) party and another far-right group.


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CIA recruits 6000 element of“Black Water” to commit massacres in Syria Aslanoghlu pointed that fighting for your country is acceptable, but dying for money is not understandable and it is the lowest form of human exploitation. He considered that imperialist countries are looking for people who would sacrifice themselves; he also added that the Justice and Development Party leader is a supporter of the West.

Lack of Quran Teachers in Indonesia

The Vice-President of the Turkish Labor Party, Bulent Aslanoglu, confirmed that about six thousand people from different Arab, Afghan and Turkish nationalities, have been recruited by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to commit terrorist acts in Syria. Aslanoghlu said in an article published by Turkish TV (Olossal) that the participation of some of the Turks fighting and dying in Syria on behalf of the United States, and committing crimes against innocent people is unusual behavior by the

Turks pointing out that Blackwater U.S.is paying huge sums for its elements to fight in Syria. He pointed that the Zionists are the ones controlling the U.S. capital, which means that the fight between Syria and Turkey is considered a war in the name of “Zionists and rich Jews.” The Turkish army will carry the same tasks of Blackwater, refusing to change into an army that fights for money but one that preserves its character as an army that fights for freedom and the people.

Some cities and regions in Indonesia are facing lack of Quran teachers. One reason for the problem is government negligence and insufficient salaries for those who choose the job. The country’s Religious Affairs Minister Suryadarma Ali has promised to implement a plan for training qualified Quran teachers and raising the salaries of those who teach Quran. He said Quran teachers should be paid enough so that they can make all-out efforts for teaching the Quran. Suryadarma Ali also called on the government to take steps to tackle the problem. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world.

US Mosque, Church share prayer space In a historic move, a North Dakota Protestant church decides to sell its building to a local Muslim group to establish their Islamic center, agreeing together to host the Christian worshippers on Sundays and alternate days. “We went from rentee to renter,” Don Medal, the Council Chairman of Grand Forks’ most liberal Protestant Christian church, United Church of Christ, told Grand Forks Herald. Cooperation between the church and the Muslim community started several decades ago. It started by the move of UND’s Memorial Union and in the Lotus Meditation Center, a private nonprofit group on campus, to host Muslim Friday prayer.

Over the past year, the Muslim group has been renting the UCC space for Friday prayers. A month ago the decision was taken to buy the space. The deal was brokered by Nabil Suleiman, an assistant professor of civil engineering at UND and the spokesman for the group that has agreed to buy the UCC building. The church decision was taken in a trial to find other sources for the church which older and more established members have passed on in recent years to be replaced by younger members. Collecting rent the past year from the Muslim group helped, but wasn’t a long-term answer. “Budget-wise we could not afford

the building and it was much more important to stay together as a congregation and keep the pastor than to keep a material thing like the building,” Medal added. Mills will continue to pastor the UCC congregation, as well as its yoked parish partner, Zion Congregational UCC in Manvel, ND. US Muslims are estimated at between six to eight million. Finding a solution for both congregations, either the mosque or the church, few changes were urged to the building to accommodate them both. “We felt it was a big plus to have it continue to be a place of worship, versus being torn down and turned into housing,” Medal said.


Saudi’s Islamic finance assets at $94bn 16

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In Case You Missed It

Saudi Arabia, one of the main contributors to the global Islamic finance industry, has an estimated $94bn in Islamic finance assets, Deloitte has said in a new report. The Deloitte Middle East Islamic Finance Knowledge Centre (IFKC) report said Saudi Arabia’s asset represent 26 percent out of total GCC Islamic finance assets and 8.2 percent out of total global Islamic finance assets. It said Al Rajhi Bank was the

largest of four Islamic commercial banks operating in Saudi Arabia with assets of $58.8bn. Bank Al Jazira has assets of $10.3bn followed by Alinma Bank ($9.8bn) and Bank Albilad ($7.4bn). The report said the sukuk (Islamic debt) market in Saudi Arabia was considered to be the third largest in the world after Malaysia and UAE with total issues of 25 worth $17.1bn up to December 2011. The single largest Sukuk issue

ever was issued from General Authority of Civil Aviation in Saudi Arabia in January 2012 with an issue size of $4bn, it added. Many Islamic finance forecasts predict that Saudi Arabia and South East Asia will dominate the sukuk market in 2012. The report presents new findings in the practice of Islamic finance risk management that offer guidance to boards in managing risk in troubled times. It is based on a survey and group of case studies developed during the second half of 2011, on 20 leading Islamic Financial institutions from the Middle East and South East Asia, with aggregate assets of more than $50bn. Dr Hatim El Tahir, director of the IFKC, said:“Greater pressure has been placed on financial institutions offering Islamic financial services to galvanise risk exposure and governance capabilities. “Global and regional jurisdictional regulatory reforms are continuing. How this regulation will affect the Islamic finance sector and the role of IIFS in the economy is yet to be seen,” he added.

More Muslim blood spills in Myanmar The situation in Rakhine state of Myanmar is pretty precarious where anti-Muslim riots have left over sixty people dead. There is no hope of improvement in the situation as both the Myanmar Government and the international community have almost closed their eyes to the plight of the Muslim minority there. Rakhine, also known as Arakan is home to about 800,000 mostly stateless Muslim Rohingya, who according to the United Nations are subject to many forms of “persecution, discrimination and exploitation.” These include forced labor, land confiscations, restrictions

on travel and limited access to jobs, education and healthcare. A torrent of Rohingyas has tried to flee Rakhine into impoverished Bangladesh, but most are being pushed back and left to the mercy of Budhist majority. Muslims are facing extreme discrimination which is evident from the fact that even the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar is doing little to help the Muslim minority. Political leadership of Rohingyas complained that democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi last week urged “all people in Burma to get along with each other regardless of their religion and authenticity” but she

has remained “tight-lipped” about the Rohingya. Rohingyas have centuries-old lineage in Rakhine but the government regards them as illegal migrants from neighboring Bangladesh and denies them citizenship. The situation is fast deteriorating and there are fears that in a highly discriminatory and charged atmosphere there could be Gujaratlike massacre in Rakhine. We would, therefore, urge the UN SecretaryGeneral, UN Commission on Human Rights and OIC to send their fact finding missions to Myanmar and encourage resolution of the conflict through dialogue.


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15,000 American forces stationed in Kuwait

A US Senate report indicates that the United States has now nearly 15,000 troops in three bases across Kuwait- triple the average number of American forces in the Middle Eastern country before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee released the report considering how to promote the US interests in the Persian Gulf region after the American forces left Iraq last year. According to the report, having the military bases throughout the region is a “lily pad” model to allow for a rapid escalation of military forces. The Kuwaiti bases “offer the United States major staging hubs, training ranges, and logistical support for

regional operations,” the report said, adding, the “US forces also operate Patriot missile batteries in Kuwait, which are vital to theater missile defense.” US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has recently said there are roughly 40,000 American troops in the area to respond to the region’s possible conflicts. The American forces have also been stationed in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby had said, “The secretary (of defense) has been very clear that while we do this shift in focus to the AsiaPacific, that the Central Command area of responsibility will still remain a high priority.”

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The truth about far-right violence in Europe The Institute of Race Relations has published an important study by Liz Fekete, Pedlars of Hate: the violent impact of the far Right. The report “documents patterns of violence, from the peddling of hate online and the drawing up of lists of ‘national traitors’, to violence, arson and murder on the streets, and the stockpiling of weapons in preparation for ‘race war’”. The IRR points out that Islamophobia is just one element in the rise of violence on the part of the European far right. While Muslims are the far right’s principal targets in western Europe, in eastern Europe it is the Roma who are the main victims, while anti-black racism and antisemitism are also on the increase. Another worrying development is that “attacks on Social Democrats, Left politicians, academics and journalists that report on the far Right around Europe are intensifying too”. The report can be downloaded from www.irr.org.uk

Hamas ready to resume truce with Israel In Case You Missed It

Hamas, who rules in Gaza Strip said it was ready to restore a truce with Israel under Egyptian mediation, provided it is reciprocal. This came after three days of violence in the Gaza Strip and its surroundings. “Responding to Egyptian efforts to try to stop the aggression against our people, we, the Ezzedine al-Qassam, and all resistance factions declare our commitment to stop this round of clashes if (Israel) agrees to stop its crimes, “said the Hamas military wing in a statement. A Palestinian official in Gaza who

requested anonymity had earlier said that Egypt “increasing efforts towards Palestinian movements and Israel to restore calm,” noting that the Palestinian factions were willing to do if Israel does the same. The armed confrontation between Israel, Hamas and other factions has killed eight Palestinians in the past 72 hours as a result of Israeli airstrikes on the Palestinian enclave. The Palestinians reacted by firing over 100 rockets and mortar shells toward Israeli territory, which injured four soldiers and damaged property.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility for firing 96 rockets and nine mortar rounds against Israel. In recent months, Hamas had observed a de facto truce with Israel, staying out of hostilities between other armed factions in Gaza, like Islamic Jihad, and the Israeli army. “Our confrontation with the enemy remained at a minimum level of fire and response. This is a message that the (Israeli)leaders should fully understand,” warned the armed wing of Hamas in a statement.


Nato Airstrike kills Innocent civilians

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Eighteen people killed in a Nato air strike in eastern Afghanistan were all civilians, president Hamid Karzai said. Mr Karzai said: “This is unacceptable. It cannot be tolerated.” He criticised Nato for not being able to provide an explanation for the vans piled with women and children’s bodies that villagers displayed to reporters. Nato has so far said it has no records of civilian deaths from the

pre-dawn strike on a house in Logar province. The Nato and Afghan troops were going after a local Taliban leader when the international coalition says they came under fire and called in an air strike on the house. Nato confirmed only militant deaths from the strike but has sent an assessment team to investigate allegations that civilians were killed either alongside or instead of insurgents.

Major Martyn Crighton, a spokesman for the Nato force in Afghanistan, said: “The reason this team has been dispatched down there is because there is such a discrepancy between what our operational reporting indicates and what Afghan officials on the ground are saying happened.” Villagers displayed 18 bodies at the provincial capital yesterday, including five women, seven children and six men. Afghan officials said then that some or all of the dead men were militants. Since no government officials have visited the site of the attack, it is not clear if there might be additional dead. last month was a particularly deadly day for Afghanistan as a trio of suicide bombers killed 22 people in the busy marketplace of Kandahar city. Mr Karzai said in the statement that he was cutting short his trip to China because of the attacks in Logar and Kandahar. He is expected back in Kabul tomorrow, said Syamak Herawi, a spokesman for the president

Google removed 640 videos from YouTube in the second half of last year amid fears they promoted terrorism. The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) made a request for five user accounts to be closed for allegedly promoting terrorism. Google agreed and deleted the 640 videos. Details were released in the internet giant’s latest Transparency Report which reveals requests by international authorities to remove material. Though Google agreed with Acpo’s request, it repeatedly refused to comply with others. Canada’s Passport Office asked

for footage to be removed of a Canadian citizen urinating on his passport and then flushing it down the toilet. Google refused and also would not bow to a request from Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Technology to delete six videos satirising its army and senior politicians. However, the search engine did take action at certain times. A German court order resulted in the removal of 898 search results linking to forums and blogs containing statements about a government agency and one of its employees that the court determined were not credible. Google also received a request

to remove 70 YouTube videos for allegedly violating the German Children and Young Persons Act. Google acceded to a request to block more than 100 YouTube videos in Thailand allegedly insulting its monarchy - which is a crime in the country Google terminated four YouTube accounts responsible for videos that allegedly contained threatening and harassing content after complaints by different US law enforcement agencies. Hungary, Russia and Turkey had 0% of their requests partially or fully complied with where as 93% of America’s requests were successful according to Google’s figures. www.passionislam.com

Google removes ‘terror’ videos


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Bosnia gives longest jail terms “Islam and to soldiers over massacre Christianity” Course Planned for French Clerics

Four former Bosnian Serb soldiers were handed the longest jail terms yet by the Sarajevo war crimes court for their role in the mass execution of hundreds of Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica during Europe’s worst atrocity since World War Two. The men were jailed for up to 43 years each for crimes against humanity for their part in the 1995 killings of about 800 men and boys at a farm during the 1992-1995 Bosnian War. “On July 16, 1995, they executed summarily around 800 male civilians, of whom some were under 16-years-old and some over 80years-old, from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. at the Branjevo farm,” Judge Mira Smajlovic said, reading the verdict. The massacre was part of the systematic slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys after Bosnian Serb forces captured the U.N.-protected Srebrenica enclave in July 1995. Stanko Kojic was jailed for 43 years, Franc Kos and Zoran Goronja for 40 years each, and Vlastimir Golijan for 19 years because he was under 21 at the time. The maximum jail term is 45 years. All the men shot their victims but the judge said Kojic had carried out the slaughter in a crueler manner than the others and then boasted about the number of people he had killed. The soldiers had served with the Bosnian Serb army’s 10th commando unit. Kos led the unit’s First Bijeljina Platoon, and the other three were regular soldiers. They were acquitted of genocide charges due to lack of evidence about their intention to commit

genocide. During the attack on Srebrenica, Bosnian Serb troops commanded by General Ratko Mladic separated men and boys from women. Many of the men and boys tried to escape through woods but were hunted down, captured and slaughtered at several locations. Hundreds of Muslim men, some with hands tied, were bussed to Branjevo farm from a nearby school where they had been kept in inhuman conditions. They were then lined up in groups with their backs to a firing squad who shot them with automatic rifles and guns, Judge Smajlovic said. To expedite the process, the soldiers also fired from a machine gun, leaving many victims wounded. Kos and Kojic then searched for those who were still alive and shot them in the head, she said. “They conducted the killings in a cold-blooded and systematic manner, clearly intending to kill these men on discriminatory grounds - because they were Muslims,” Smajlovic said, adding the soldiers had taken a lunch break between the killings. The only two victims to have survived the killing acted as witnesses in the court case. Bodies of the massacre victims had been first buried in a mass grave but later dug out with bulldozers and transferred to other locations to cover up the crime. The Bosnian war crimes court has jailed dozens of former Bosnian Serb soldiers over the Srebrenica massacre. In May, two were jailed for 35 and 30 years each, previously the longest terms handed down.

An educational course on “Islam and Christianity” will be held for French Catholic Clerics from July 4 to 11 in Orsay, France. According to Saphirnews website, the program has been planned by the National Association of Islamic Relations affiliated to the Catholic Church in France. It will be held with the aim of introducing Islamic teachings to Christian clerics and promoting the culture of interfaith dialogue. Having issued a statement, the church has announced that clarification of Christian viewpoints on making relations with other religions particularly Islam and Muslims is also among the objectives of the course. Various cities of France have been playing host to the educational courses since 1980, following the establishment of the association. Some of the participants at the courses have been selected as representatives of Christianity to hold a dialogue with Muslims. The church also plans to hold another educational course on “Christian-Jewish dialogue” in MidJuly in cities such as Nantes and Luzon.

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UAE politicians join calls for dress code law

The Arab world’s most expensive city revealed

The UAE’s main public advisory body has backed a call for a dress code banning tourists and residents from wearing revealing clothes in public, saying it will press for stronger measures to discourage immodest dress, it has been reported. The Federal National Council (FNC) backed the proposal after the country’s culture minister Abdulrahman al-Owais showed support to efforts being made on emphasising traditions in the conservative Gulf state, reported the Associated Press. Several members of the FNC

Djibouti has been ranked the Arab world’s most expensive city for expatriates, according to a new survey by global consultant Mercer. Declining property prices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai pushed both cities down on Mercer’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2012, ranking third and fourth in the Arab world and 76th and 81 among 124 cities. The annual survey, based on a basket of everyday items including the price of a cup of coffee, one litre of petrol and the cost to rent a two-bedroom apartment, ranked Beirut third most expensive city in the Arab League and 67 globally. Tokyo was awarded the top spot as the world’s most expensive city followed by Luanda in Angola, Osaka, Moscow and Geneva. At the other end of the list, Karachi remained the cheapest for the second year running, behind Islamabad (123) and Managua (122).

have asked for fliers advising tourists on how to dress to be handed out at immigration, among other publicity campaigns to raise awareness on of the issue. The council does not have the power to make laws, as final say on any legislation lies with the country’s ruling families. The proposal follows a recent campaign by two Emirati females on social networking site Twitter aimed at encouraging more modest dress among expats in the UAE. The campaign, known as UAEDressCode, currently has more than 1,800 followers on the site.

Amsterdam to host International conference on Islamic Education International Conference on Islamic Education will be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on July 25-26, 2012. International Conference on Islamic Education aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results about all aspects of Islamic Education, and discuss the practical challenges encountered and the solutions adopted. Topics of the conference include Innovation and Excellence in Islamic Education, Education of Muslim Children - Challenges and Opportunities, Islamic Educational Sciences and Engineering Education, Distance and E-Learning in Higher Education: Muslim

Responses to New Challenges, Higher Education Reforms in Muslim Countries, Synthesizing Traditional and Modern Knowledge: Sharing Experiences in the Muslim World, Islam and Higher Education in Muslim Countries and Islam and Higher Education in Muslim-Minority Communities. Youth Educational Psychology from Islamic Perspectives, Islamic Educational Systems, Higher Education Policies of Muslim countries, Higher Education and Human Life and Thought, Higher Education in Muslim Countries and Globalization & Internationalization, Islamic Institutions of Higher Education, Higher Education and Islamic Perspectives of Knowledge, The Role Model University from Islamic Perspectives, Higher

Education and the Roles and Responsibilities of Teachers and Students, Islamic Educational Networking Opportunities for Scholars, Experts and Researchers, Islam and the Idea of a Role Model University and Islamic Social Media and Online Education are other subjects that will be discussed in the conference. ICIE 2012 has teamed up with the International Journal of Social and Human Sciences for publishing a Special Journal Issue on Advances in Islamic Education. All submitted papers will have opportunities for consideration for this Special Journal Issue. The selection will be carried out during the review process as well as at the conference presentation stage.


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Hull KR sign Muslim Aussie Rugby League Star 22

Hull KR has signed North Queensland Cowboys back-row forward Cory Paterson on a two-year deal from 2013. 24-year-old Paterson, who is a Muslim reverted Islam few years back and was criticized by some for fasting through Ramadhan in a NRL last season though his performance on the pitch, was unaffected. Paterson’s conversion came when he transferred from Newcastle Knights to the Cowboys after hiring

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new manager Khoder Nasser, a devout Muslim who manages rugby stars Quade Cooper and Sonny Bill Williams. Paterson who has a British passport, played under Rovers coach Craig Sandercock for Newcastle Knights. “Cory is a great acquisition,” said Sandercock. “He is a young player who has already achieved a lot in the game at a young age. He brings all the

Muslim female cricket coach gets award A Muslim female cricket coach has been presented with the RBS Asian Woman of Achievement in Sport Award for her brilliant work at Warwickshire and Worcestershire County Cricket Clubs. Salma Bi, from Bordesley Green, was honoured for her hard work in raising the game’s awareness among girls with disabilities. Ms Bi, 26, a nurse and Olympic volunteer, was praised by judges for ‘her remarkable ability to not only balance two polar opposite careers,

but also her ability to succeed in both, showing extraordinary commitment and dedication’. Nine other Asian women were also recognised from a shortlist of 52 candidates at the ceremony, which took place at the London Hilton, Park Lane. Theresa May, Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, said: “The winners of the Asian Women of Achievement Awards are truly inspiring.” passionislam.com

qualities on and off the field that we are looking for. “Cory is coming to Rovers for the right reasons and I am really excited to be able to work with him again.” The 6ft 5in, 16st Paterson represented Australia at schoolboy level in 2005 and has also been a member of the Indigenous team in the annual All Stars match for the last three seasons. He said: “I’m really excited about my move to Hull KR. I’ve been following the club for a while since Sandy and a couple of my old team-mates, Con Mika and Shannon McDonnell, went there. “I’m lucky I’ve got a British passport and playing in the Super League was always something I wanted to do so when the chance came up to play for Hull Kingston Rovers, I couldn’t resist. “The timing is right for me and my young family to make the move. We’re all keen to get over there and experience a different lifestyle and culture and for me to play some good footy.” Paterson will join up with his team-mates ahead of pre-season training in November. Watch video on Cory Paterson and how he dealt with fasting www.passionislam.com/video. php?video_id=7

Footballer Senderos converts to Islam The Swiss professional footballer, Philippe Senderos who plays as a defender for the Premier League club Fulham and previously played for Arsenal has embraced Islam. He declared his faith in Islam in Manchester. Philippe, a theology graduate, showed much interest in world religions and spent most of his time outside football reading up on religious matters before he embraced Islam.

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Man of the Match award champagne to be droped Passion Islam

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The Premier League are to drop champagne as its Man of the Match award. The move follows an awkward moment when Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City’s Muslim player Yaya Toure snubbed the traditional prize after his side beat Newcastle in a match. The Sun newspaper said sponsors Barclays are behind the decision. “The bank is all over the bottle, so Barclays wonder whether it is acceptable to give alcohol, given that so many nationalities are in the league,” the newspaper reported. Website Goal.com said the English Premier League had already considered altering its policy on the grounds of cultural sensitivity. “We sought advice from religious groups before concluding that the champagne was treated as a highly coveted award,” a spokesman in a

statement. Shakir Ahmed Director of Passion Islam Media said “It would be very sensible and wise to drop the Man of the Match champagne prize as not only does it disrespect the Muslim player whose receiving it but also alcohol itself is a something which should not be exposed / advertised in high profile sports like football which has a good percentage of young viewers” “Alcohol is all over the sport scene, if society instil an image to young people that alcohol is acceptable then they find this as the norm, organisations should think carefully of the effects it has” “I would welcome a ban on Alcohol Champagne”. Champagne is given to the outstanding player in any tv game, a tradition that’s been in place ever since the Premier League was established. www.passionislam.com

Simon Long appointed as LTA Commercial Director The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has appointed Simon Long as Commercial Director, to lead the LTA’s commercial programme, and the delivery of its world class tennis events. Simon is the former CEO of North One Sport, where he oversaw the global promotion of the FIA World Rally Championship, with a worldwide television audience of over 600 million viewers, 4 million spectators attending the live events and over 5 million unique users on WRC.com. Simon said of his appointment: “This is

a hugely exciting new role in a sport which has so much potential for significant growth in Great Britain. I’m really looking forward to working with our commercial and media partners and the tennis community as a whole in a collective effort to broaden the reach and appeal of tennis both to existing and new fans and players.” LTA CEO, Roger Draper, welcomed the appointment: “Simon is a business leader, and he will bring additional expertise and value to the Commercial team as we build for the next chapter of our work to grow and

sustain British tennis, with particular emphasis on promotion and marketing the sport.” Simon will work closely with Lawrence Robertson and Adam Mason, who

will continue to deliver the LTA’s Major Events and Commercial programmes in their roles as Head of Commercial and Head of Sponsorship respectively.

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Month of the Quran

24

I SPECIAL FEATURE

Ramadan has a special relationship with the Qur’an, of course: “The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Qur’an was sent down, a guidance for mankind, clear proofs for the guidance, the Criterion; so whoever amongst you witnesses this month, let him fast it.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:185) The word ‘so’ (fa) in this ayah leads to the following paraphrase of one aspect of its meaning: “Fast this month because it is the one in which the Qur’an was sent down”. Ibn ‘Abbas narrates “that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam – may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was the most generous person, and he would be at his most generous in Ramadan because Jibril would come to him every night and he would rehearse the Qur’an with him.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Eng. trans. 6/486) This hadith contains recommendation of the following: * Studying the Qur’an in Ramadan; * Coming together for this purpose; *Checking (one’s memory/knowledge of) the Qur’an with someone who has preserved it better; * Increasing recitation of the Qur’an in Ramadan; * That the night time is the best time to recite, when other preoccupations decrease and it is easier to concentrate, as in Surah al-Muzzammil 73:6. Further, Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated from her father (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who told her that Jibril would rehearse the Qur’an with him (in Ramadan) once every year, and he did so twice in the year of his death. (Bukhari 6/485) After mentioning the above aspects of the Sunnah, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali talks about the situation of the Salaf (the early Muslims) during Ramadan: “... Some of the Salaf would complete reciting the whole Qur’an during the night prayer of Ramadan every three days, others every seven days e.g. Qataadah, others in 10 days e.g. Abu Rajaa’ al-Atardi. “The Salaf would recite Qur’an in Ramadan in Prayer as well as outside it. “Al-Aswad would finish the Qur’an

Passion Islam

every two nights in Ramadan; Ibrahim an-Nakh’I would do likewise in the last 10 nights specifically, and every three nights during the rest of the month. “Qataadah would regularly finish the Qur’an in seven days, but in three days during Ramadan, when he would study the Qur’an especially, and every night during its last 10 days. “Al-Zuhri would say when Ramadan began, ‘It is recitation of the Qur’an and feeding of people.’ When Ramadan began, Imam Malik would cease narrating Hadith and sitting with the people of knowledge, and stick to reciting the Qur’an from its pages, while Sufyan al-Thawri would leave other acts of worship and stick to reciting the Qur’an. ‘Aishah would recite from the pages of the Qur’an at the beginning of the day in Ramadan (i.e. after dawn), until when the sun had risen, she would sleep. “Zayd al-Yaami would bring copies of the Qur’an when Ramadan began and gather his companions around him. ...” Ibn Rajab later continues, “The forbiddance of completing recitation of the Qur’an in less than three days applies to this being made a regular practice, but as for favoured times such as Ramadan, especially the nights in which Laylat al-Qadr is sought, or favoured places such as Makkah for the visitor, it is recommended to increase reciting the Qur’an to avail the time and place. This is the view of Ahmad, Ishaq and other Imams, and the practice of others indicates this too.” The purpose here is not to discuss whether or not the latter view is correct or not, since that is purely academic for most of us, as we do not get anywhere near reciting the whole Qur’an in three days! However, the practice of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), his Companions, and those who followed their path, should be clear enough. As a further example, Al-Bukhari (3/79) quotes from the noble Companion Zaid bin Thabit who answered the question, “How much time was there between the pre-dawn meal and the Dawn Prayer?” by saying, “Enough

I July 2012

time to recite fifty ayat”; since the practice of the Arabs was to measure time in terms of everyday actions, this shows that the Sahabah were preoccupied with the Qur’an, especially in Ramadan. Compare all this with our sad state, when we talk so much about establishing Islam, implementing the Qur’an, etc. and yet have such little contact with it, maybe not completing its recitation ever at all since childhood, or perhaps never! Hence we become imbalanced in our understanding of Islam, because there are ayat which we rarely or never hear or think about; we repeat only certain selected ayat over and over again; we lost the context of the verses, the overall flow, argument and balance of the Qur’an, all of which is beautiful and miraculous. ecause of this ignorance we go astray from the Straight Path, split up into sects, lose the blessings of Allah... “We took a covenant from those who said: we are Christians, but they forgot part of the message with which they had been reminded, so we ingrained amongst them enmity and hatred until the Day of Judgment...” (Surah alMa’idah 5:14) In Sahih Al-Bukhari (6/521), there is an amazing piece of advice from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace): “Recite the Qur’an as long as your hearts agree on it; if you disagree about it, stop reciting it (for the time being)” – studying the Qur’an should bring people together! In Surah al-Mu’minoon (23:53), there is mention of the people before us (in whose footsteps we would follow), who broke up their Deen into sects (zuburan), each party rejoicing in what it had. “One understanding of this, from the word zuburan meaning literally ‘books’, is that each sect left the Book of Allah, and concentrated solely on the books of its own sect, so “they split their Deen up into books”! The most twisted, ridiculous, shallow ideas, innovations and superstitions are propagated amongst Muslims when they are away from the Qur’an, because any little knowledge


Passion Islam

I July 2012

of the Qur’an would be enough to dispel them. Hence, O slave of Allah, leave aside secondary books and concentrate on studying the Blessed Book of Allah in the Blessed Month (use a good translation/commentary if needed), for it is the source of all Knowledge in other books, and keep away from wasting time, especially in futile discussions and arguments which

SPECIAL FEATURE

lead nowhere, for that is a sure sign of being misguided, as the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Whenever a people went astray after they had been on guidance, they were given to argumentation (jadl).” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah – Sahih al-Jami’ al-Saghir, No. 5633) Finally, remember that the Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) will complain to

I 25

Allah on the Day of Judgment that his people neglected the Qur’an (Surah al-Furqan 25:30). Neglect of the Qur’an is of different levels, as Ibn al-Qayyim writes: Not reciting or listening to it; Not studying and understanding it; Not conveying its message; Not judging by it in personal and communal matters, at all levels of society; Not believing in it. All Praise is due to Allah

Fasting of the Spider There are many types of spiders in the world. Spiders have eight legs, mandibles converted into poison fangs, two feelers, and a large unsegmented abdomen bearing several spinnerets that produce the silk used to make nests, cocoons, or webs for trapping insects. Spiders have six or eight eyes on the back of the cephalothorax, the upper part of their body. There is a Surah in the Noble Qur’an called “Al-Ankabout”, meaning “The Spider”. There Allah says: “The likeness of those who choose other patrons than Allah is as the likeness of the spider when she taketh unto herself a house, and lo! The frailest of all houses is the spider’s house, if they but knew.” [Al-Ankabout 41] Spiders played a great role in hiding the Prophet (peace and blessings be

upon him) and his Companion Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) when they were in the Cave of Thawr on the way to Al-Madinah during the course of the Hijrah (the Prophet(saw)’s emmigration from Makkah to Madinah). Spiders spun a great web across the entrance of the cave, and this misled the polytheists who were seeking Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his Companion. They thought that the spiders had spun their web years before Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was born. Spiders fast during the period of laying eggs and incubating them. At that time they do not have any sort of food. Female spiders spin nests and coccoons and lay their eggs. Then they remain there all the time

to protect the eggs till the young emerge. The length of incubating varies from one species of spider to another. But in all cases, this term is spent without any food, which makes the spiders very weak. From specific glands the spiders release some liquids that are necessary for feeding the young, who are not able to seek their food by themselves until they grow up. So they take these juices until they are able to hunt their food from the surrounding environment. At that time mother spiders break their fast and return back to their normal life. This is another demonstration of Allah’s Power manifest in His creatures. Chance has nothing to do with such demonstrations of Allah’s Might. Rather it is the ultimate truth of creation.


26

I SPECIAL FEATURE

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I July 2012


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I July 2012

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