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UK to complement US ‘Drone Wars’ Issue: 48
Britain is to play a leading role in the manufacturing of Europe’s assassination drones in order to complement the US ‘Drone Wars,’ despite Pakistan’s warning over the attacks, which use the aircraft. Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are discussing plans to build a new assassination drone by 2020, The Independent reported. This comes as Britain’s assassination drones will begin their missions over Afghanistan over the coming months completing the atrocities committed by US drones in Pakistan. The decision by the British government
See page 21 for further details
is made as Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Britain Wajid Shamsul Hasan warned Britain to help put an end to the US drone wars. In an exclusive interview with the Sun earlier this month, Hasan expressed his concerns over the loss of over 500 civilian lives by the US assassination drones and called on Cameron to condemn the attacks which he described as ‘war crimes’ and ‘little more than state executions.’ “Patience is definitely reaching exhaustion levels,” said Hasan. Nevertheless, Cameron is discussing plans with Sarkozy at a summit in
Paris considering the details of their collaboration to manufacture Europe’s assassination drones. Britain’s current assassination drones are US-made and are operational over Afghanistan. However, the new British drones are to be manufactured by 2020 and replace piloted fighter planes. Furthermore, the two leaders are to discuss anti-Syrian plots on how to assist Syria’s West-backed rebels and fuel the bloody battle on Syrian civilians. The increase in the Anglo-French assistance to Syria’s armed rebels will most probably be in the form of military advice and the provision of arms.
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I March 2012
By Shakir Ahmed
Extracts from Arab News
Makkah meet calls for panel to unify lunar calendar A conference of experts in Makkah called for the formation of a committee of astronomers and Islamic scholars that would try to unify the beginning of lunar months in Muslim countries. The committee would consider Makkah as the center for astronomical observation and issue a unified Hijri calendar. Organized by the Islamic Fiqh Academy, an affiliate of the MWL, the conference emphasized the importance of sighting the moon to determine the beginning of lunar months of Ramadan and Dul Hijjah. However, the conference said that Islam has no objection to making use of modern technological
means to sight the moon. It pointed out that air pollution as well as an increasing number of aircraft and satellites have made it difficult to sight the moon with the naked eye. The conference urged Muslim astronomers to provide correct information related to moon sightings to relevant authorities in a country. It also urged the public not to cast doubt on moon sightings after approved by the authorities. Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheik emphasized the significance of determining the start of the lunar month on the basis of the sighting of the moon. “Islam has defined that the beginning and ending of the fast depends on the
sighting of the crescent and there is no difference of opinion on this,” he said. The grand mufti reiterated Shariah principles should be upheld when calculating lunar months. “We are not waging a war on astronomy. But we don’t want to cross the boundaries of Shariah when making lunar calculations,” he said. An important issue which affects all muslims across the world but more importantly in the UK, This exciting news shows the effort that all parties are making in tackling this very vital and important cause, may the Almighty make it easy and give us all the knowledge and wisdom to unite in the name of the ummah.
Write to: Editor, Passion Islam, PO Box 159, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 1AD or email: email@example.com - www.passionislam.com
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Views expressed in the Passion column are of the contributers and not Necessarily of Passion Islam
Al-Shabab vows to counter London decisions on Somalia Passion Islam
I March 2012
Somalia’s al-Shabab fighters have pledged to “counter” the decisions agreed upon during a conference in London on the future of the African country. A statement released by alShabab press office read that the group “vows to confront and counter, by any means possible, all the outcomes of the London conference and the concerted Christian Crusade.” “We will not under any circumstances allow any form of foreign intervention to be used as an instrument to subjugate the Muslims of Somalia,” the statement said. Al-Shabab also called upon all Somalis to join hands in rejecting the proposals made at the conference. The one-day conference, which now has ended was hosted by the British government, claimed its goal was to end the violence and instability that has plagued Somalia
for nearly 20 years. Several Somali lawmakers and political leaders also disagreed with the stated aims of the conference and argued that the British government was searching for ways to impose its colonial authority on the Horn of Africa country. “The British government will always do things that are contrary to religion of Islam and the people of Somalia,” Lawmaker Dahir Abdulkadir Muse told Press TV. The UK is pursuing a plan in Somalia to “achieve its goals and take away the resources of the people of Somalia,” Muse added. Meanwhile, Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali has warned that the country has reached a “critical juncture” due to years of
violence and chaos and that it therefore needs more international assistance. The UN Security Council passed a resolution increasing the number of AU troops in Somalia by 5,000 to more than 17,000. Somalia has been without an effective central government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. Al-Shabab has for years fought against the Western-backed government of Somalia.
I March 2012
Regional cybercrime hubs launched across England 4
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Three police cybercrime teams have been launched as part of a £6m regional effort to combat growing threats Yorkshire and the Humber, the Northwest and East Midlands will each get its own dedicated unit. They will work alongside the Metropolitan Police Centre e-crime Unit which deals with national online security. The funding is part of £30m targeted at bolstering e-crime prevention nationally over the next four years.The new centres will
consist of three members of staff - a detective sergeant and two detective constables. The initiative was announced at the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) e-crime conference in Sheffield. A training period is required before the hubs will be fully operational, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Janet Williams, who heads ACPO’s e-crime efforts, said. “These three additional policing units are going to play a critical role in our ability to combat the threat,”
she added. “It is anticipated the hubs will make a significant contribution to the ‘national harm reduction’ target of £504m.” Harm reduction is calculated using a “harm matrix” - a system which factors in costs such as how much the criminal stood to gain, how much money was invested in the crime, and the potential cost to the victim. “In the first six months of the new funding period alone we have already been able to show a reduction of £140m with our existing capability,” Ms Williams said. Britain’s e-crime efforts were exposed after a conference call in which Met officers discussed operations against hackers with the FBI was itself intercepted by hackers. Details about active investigations into hackers who identified themselves with the activist collective Anonymous were posted online. At one point in the tape, a British detective can be heard saying: “We’re here to help. We’ve cocked things up in the past, we know that.” The move to increase funding and reach of e-crime prevention efforts has been praised by security professionals.
Britain failed to adjust Libya goals A British parliamentary report says the UK government failed to reconcile ‘apparent conflict between the military and political objectives’ in Libya. The report from the defense select committee said the UK government failed to make it clear whether the aim of the senseless war was to protect Libyan civilians or to remove Muammar Gaddafi from power. The report also raised concerns about the costs of such adventurism, saying that the British government needs to be much more transparent
about how it calculates the cost of such operations. The 100-page report singled out pressure on the Royal Navy and highlighted how important tasks, such as counter-drugs operations, “were not able to be carried out due to meeting the Libya commitment.” MPs argued that confusion over the interpretation of the UN resolution, which allowed for the protection of civilians, but not for the removal of Gaddafi. “Although it is difficult to see how the mission could have been successfully completed without [his]
losing power, we are concerned that this, rather than the protection of civilians … came to be seen by some countries as an integral part of the mission,” according to the report. The apparent conflict between the military and political objectives meant that the government failed to ensure that its communication strategy was effective in setting out the aims of the operation.
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Once the beating heart of the Muslim Ummah, Iraq is now seen as a symbol of suffering. A legacy of sanctions, conflict and neglect has led to a situation where at least a million women have no husbands, millions of children have no fathers, and countless mothers have no sons. In a time when people have forgotten about this poor nation, UWT asks you to extend your hand once again and help the people of Iraq. ‘If a dog dies hungry on the banks of the River Euphrates, Umar will be responsible for dereliction of duty.’ - Umar (Radiallahu’anh) WIDOW SPONSORSHIP (And her children)
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I March 2012
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Intelligence operatives investigate Nigerians Boko Haram in the UK
British security agencies are investigating Nigerians living in the United Kingdom for possible links with fundamentalist Islamic sect, Boko Haram. Investigators were seeking to determine if the sect had sleeper cells or members that could launch attacks on the UK, particularly, during the forthcoming Olympic Games. The number of Nigerians living and working in the UK is not currently known because of the presence of thousands of illegal Nigerian
immigrants on British soil. However, experts say that the Nigerian community in the UK is a little over 250,000. A source in the British security establishment who pleaded for anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the case told the a Nigerian press that the UK domestic intelligence agency, the M15, had commenced the investigations recently. The source added that the
British were determined not to leave anything to chance, preparatory to the influx of tourists during the Olympics. In the British intelligence community there are suspicions already that operatives of the sect could travel to the UK under the guise of attending the event. “It is certainly the case that Britain’s security services are concerned about Boko Haram and the possibility that it might link up with Nigerians living in the UK. The fear is that Boko Haram could find supporters here to ignite an attack on the UK,” the source who is familiar with the investigations said. The source further told that immediately after Boko Haram’s attack on the United Nations office in September last year, the UK took steps to better understand the sect and protect its cities against terror attacks. “I think the threat to the UK is seen as medium term amid fears that Boko Haram is proving highly active and will probably develop,” the source said. Already, Britain has pledged to help Nigeria tackle the Boko Haram menace.
Bad press dents Brit interest in UAE property Press headlines of stalled projects and investor groups who have lost their money has put UK investors off buying in the UAE, according to the results of a study by an independent UK-based property portal. The UAE was one of the most high profile regional markets hit by the global downturn, with property prices dropping by up to 60 percent and nearly half of projected put on hold or canceled. With hundreds of investors who bought into offplan developments still waiting for construction to start, or news on the whereabouts of their money, the emirates has suffered a drop in confidence. According to the latest rankings from TheMoveChannel.com, a UK-based independent website
for international property, the UAE dropped ten places to 22nd on the list, behind other emerging markets such as Bulgaria, Turkey and Thailand. “There is no avoiding the number of horror stories that have circulated about the UAE property market, from incomplete projects to developers sitting on funds. These have severely impacted demand,” said Dan Johnson, managing director of TheMoveChannel.com. ““Egypt and Morocco have both fared better. The property boom in each country was comparatively less strong, which makes any subsequent loss of confidence in their property markets less steep. As established tourist locations, they also benefit from familiarity with buyers, which
makes them a more reassuring prospect for investment,” Johnson said. With more than 400,000 listings in over 100 countries around the world, Johnson also believed other Gulf regions had failed to spark interest among British investors. Qatar, which was awarded the hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and is set to invest billions in infrastructure investment, does not even feature in the top 40 rankings at all. “Other countries in the region, such as Jordan and Qatar, have not seen a concerted push to promote them as property destinations. As a result, there is a lower level of interest,” he said. passionislam.com
I March 2012
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Prince hails Hajj exhibition ‘remarkable’
The Prince of Wales hailed a new exhibition about the Muslim pilgrimage to Makkah as “remarkable”. Charles was welcomed to the collection at the British Museum in central London by Prince Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia and Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, the Saudi ambassador, before being given a 20-minute tour of some of the key exhibits, which include one of the oldest known copies of the Quran, dating from the 8th century. Hajj: Journey To The Heart Of Islam is the first major exhibition dedicated to
the spiritual journey, which is central to the Muslim faith. The collection of both historic and contemporary objects and artworks explores the pilgrimage’s importance for Muslims and looks at how it has evolved throughout history. It is laid down in the Quran that it is a sacred duty for Muslims to make the journey to Makkah spiritual centre of Islam, at least once in their lifetimes. The pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islam, takes place during the last month of the Islamic year, known
as Dhu’l Hijja. He described one particular exhibit, an intricately embroidered mahmal - a cover traditionally carried on a camel during the journey to Makkah from Africa - as “beautiful”. After looking round the exhibition, Charles gave a short speech describing it as a “remarkable collection of treasures”. He said: “I cannot tell you what a pleasure it is to have been asked to open this splendid exhibition celebrating the Hajj, one of the five Pillars of Islam and thus of the greatest possible significance to the spiritual and temporal lives of Muslim people across the entire world.” Referring to the physical undertaking of the pilgrimage, which is carried out by 25,000 from the UK alone every year, he added: “But it also speaks of the spiritual journey to one’s own heart. “It is this integrated vision of our existence, the combination of a literal and a metaphorical pilgrimage, which joins all people of faith, reflecting the timeless nature of our creator. “I can only pray that this exhibition will be, for all who see it, a source of education, of understanding and of delight. “It therefore gives me the greatest pleasure to declare the British Museum’s Hajj exhibition open.”
Journalist says some British papers spread anti-Muslim propaganda
A former Daily Star journalist has repeated accusations that a number of British daily newspapers put pressure on journalists to fabricate anti-Muslim stories. Richard Peppiatt, who worked as a full-time freelance journalist at the Daily Star for two years, claimed that editors forced journalists to fabricate news that suggested Muslims and immigrants were threatening national security. He said the fabricated stories were mainly related to Muslims, depicting them as a threat to British society. The defamatory stories became more widespread after the bombings in London on June 7, 2005 -- often referred to as 7/7 -- and the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the United States. “Especially since 7/7 and, to a degree, since 9/11, Muslims have certainly been painted as the ‘cartoon baddy.’ Definitely in the tabloids. Someone always has to be blamed,
you can’t just leave it up in the air when something happens; somebody always needs to take the blame. Sadly it’s the Muslims that have been chosen to be portrayed as the ‘baddies’,” he told Today’s Zaman in a phone interview. Peppiatt noted that it was not possible for Muslims to take action against the publication of derogatory articles because it is only possible for an individual who has been mentioned by name to make a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), the regulatory body for UK magazines and newspapers. However, if a group or a religion is targeted it is difficult to file a complaint. He also noted that statistics about immigrants in the country were being changed to present a negative picture of them. “[There was fabrication in the Daily Star] regarding the number of jobs immigrants are taking and the numbers
arriving in Britain. It is in stories about that where the statistics were decontextualized and sensationalized to make the scenario look much worse than it actually it is. They will mention how many come and not how many have left. There have been cases in which there has been a net drop in immigration figures, but that was never mentioned as it did not fit the narrative of painting immigrants in a bad light. There was no fair perspective and no consideration that immigrants are trying to get a better life. This was done on purpose, as the editors wanted to present a negative perspective on immigration,” he said. Regarding the reasons why he made the confessions, Peppiatt told Today’s Zaman that for a long time he had not been happy about the stories he was asked to write. “The only way to combat what the sensationalists were writing was to be sensationalist myself, to embarrass them publically.
Grievance and guilt drive radicalisation Passion Islam
I March 2012
Grievance, guilt and capability drive violent radicalisation, hate preacher Abu Hamza has said. The radical cleric, who is being held in the maximum-security Belmarsh prison in Woolwich, southeast London, said British foreign policy was a key reason behind radicalisation. Hamza, 53, who was jailed for seven years in February 2006 for inciting murder and race hate, spoke to MPs from the jail as he fights extradition to the United States on
LOCAL & NATIONALI 11
terror charges. Members of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee visited Hamza at the prison on November 28 last year. Their report on the roots of violent radicalisation said: “Abu Hamza believed the drivers of radicalisation to be grievance, guilt and capability. ”Grievances were driven by British foreign policy (relating to Palestine and Afghanistan) and a sense that the Prophet was being mocked.”
It went on: “He did not believe that unemployment was a source of grievance, and considered that groups who suggested it was were ‘blackmailing’ the Government for funding. ”Guilt was driven by a feeling that you were safe but your brother was not and you could not help him.” The report also said that Hamza denied that his sermons contributed to radicalisation. ”He believed it was enough for people to watch the news to be radicalised and in any case he condemned the ‘wrong kind of violence’, where third parties were injured or killed,” it said. ”He told Muslims to express their grievances and guilt through lobbying, donating money and educating people.” The report went on: “In terms of radicalisation in prisons, Mr Abu Hamza noted that prisons were a good environment for contemplation and that it was usual for prisoners to seek to re-evaluate their lives.”
New charity established to settle multi-faith and intra-faith disputes
BIMA (Belief in Mediation and Arbitration) is a new charity established to provide crucial multifaith dispute resolution services throughout the UK, led by apanel of highly experienced dispute resolution specialists. Founded by Dr Zaza Elsheikh and Prof Mark Hill QC, BIMA comprises a panel of 11 experienced mediators, hand-picked for their expert knowledge and skills. The charity is committed to promoting the use of mediation and arbitration within and between faith communities for conflicts where religious belief is relevant to any of
the parties. BIMA Panel members work in pairs, to guarantee their clients are provided with the requisite impartiality alongside genuine empathy with their conflict and its impact upon the lives. BIMA Panel members are nominated asMediators or Arbitrators for particular disputes based on the nature of thedispute, their commercial dispute resolution experience, religious faith and any language requirements of the parties. Dr Zaza Elsheikh commented: “BIMA is a pioneering multi-faith initiativeestablished to meet a very pressing need in dispute resolution. In high conflict situations, people are
often influenced by their religious and cultural beliefs, and may also feel a strong urge to revert to using their first language, which may not be English. The key to unlocking deeply entrenched disputes is the mediator’s capacity to empathise with the parties at their deepest and most personal levels of thinking.” Examples of intra-faith or multi-faith disputes that have been mediated include property, employment, trusts, family, business and internal church affairs. For more info about BIMA and its panel of specialist mediators and arbitrators, visit www.bimagroup.org,
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I March 2012
India’s largest mosque’s foundation stone laid in Kerala In Case You Missed It
India’s largest mosque is coming up in Kerala. The foundation stone installation ceremony held at Karanthur, outskirts of Calicut city of Kerala. The ceremony saw a mammoth audience and active presence of Sunni Islamic scholars from various regions on Muslim world. The mosque will have a builtup area of 250,000 sq. ft., far outsizing the 17th century mosque commissioned by Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan in the capital. The mosque will be set up in a 500-acre self-contained township Markaz Knowledge City
accommodating a centre for Islamic learning, an information technology (IT) hub, a medical college, an engineering college, schools, hospitals, shopping malls and various other institutions, besides residential complexes. “The mosque will reflect the universal brotherhood and spiritual enlightenment that Islam stands for. There will also be a library for Islamic research and a conference hall where both Muslims and nonMuslims can come in pursuit of knowledge,” said Abu Bakr Ahmed alias Kanthapuram Aboobacker Musliyar, who heads the group
of Islamic institutions, Markazu Ssaqafathi Ssunniyya. Musliyar heads the popular social, charity and educational organization which has in the past three decades educated more than 30,000, including a large number of children from the displaced families of Gujarat and Indian part of Kashmir. The Sha’ar-e-Mubarak Grand Masjid is planned on a 12 acre plot of which eight acres have been set apart for landscaping a Mugul-style garden and the entire structures in the township will be environmentfriendly with a lot of open space and greenery. “We are planning to start work in 250 acres already acquired for the project in five months and the mosque will be ready in two years. The entire project will be complete in another five years,” said Riyaz Mohammed, the architect of the project. The mosque with an opensky courtyard is expected to be completed at a cost of Rs. 400 million while the entire township project will cost around Rs. 12 billion. It will accommodate 25,000 people for prayer at a time.
Hamas calls for defending the Al Aqsa Mosque
Hamas warned the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) of persisting in its attempts to storm the Aqsa mosque and protecting Jewish settlers, describing the Aqsa as a “red line”. The movement said in a statement on Sunday that any tampering with the Aqsa mosque would be tantamount to declaring war on all Arabs and Muslims. Hamas hailed the Palestinians in 1948 occupied Palestine and in Jerusalem who stood up to the Israeli storming attempt, urging the Palestinian people to stand united to
protect the Aqsa mosque. Hamas asked the Arab and Muslim masses to assume their responsibilities and to back the steadfastness of the Jerusalemites. The Israeli occupation forces have been encircling the Old City of Jerusalem since Saturday morning to pave the way for Jewish fanatics to storm the holy site on Sunday, an attempt which was foiled by Palestinians stationing in the holy compound. Meanwhile, the league of Palestine scholars appealed to the
Islamic Umma to hurry to the rescue of the holy site, the third holiest shrine in Islam. Dr. Salem Salama, the head of the league, told a press conference on Sunday that the Muslims worldwide should not remain arms folded in face of Israeli desecration of the holy site. He urged Jerusalemites and Palestinians in 1948 occupied Palestine not to let the Aqsa mosque empty at any time by day or night and to remain stationed there 24 hours a day.
UN slams Israeli settlement
I WORLD NEWS
I March 2012
In Case You Missed It
A senior United Nations official has criticized a recent Israeli approval for the construction of even more illegal settlement units in occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank. In a statement, Robert Serry, a UN coordinator for Israeli-Palestinian talks, described as “deplorable”
the decision by the Israeli regime to authorize the building of 500 new illegal units in the West Bank settlement of Shilo. Serry added that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had previously “reiterated” that the Israeli settlement activity is illegal and “will not be
Obama seeks $770mln for MENA plans US President Barack Obama’s administration has asked Congress for a $770 million fund for Middle Eastern and North African countries in political crisis The new fund is part of a $51.6 billion package for the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development in 2013, the US State Department said in a statement issued. “The fund will incentivize longterm economic, political and trade reforms -- key pillars of stability -- by supporting governments that demonstrate a commitment to undergo meaningful change and empower their people,” the statement added.
US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters that it was at this point unclear how the money would be allocated and that possible destinations for the funds are Syria, Yemen, Tunisia, and Morocco. The new funding will boost the financial assistance currently provided by the United States to certain Arab countries, officials said. US Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides has said the money will provide Washington with the necessary tools and flexibility to fund its initiatives in Arab countries.
recognized by the international community.” Israeli officials announced that more than 200 settler homes built “without a permit” by the Tel Aviv regime in the West Bank would also be “legalized.” “Today’s announcement by Israel to approve a large number of new units deep inside the occupied Palestinian territory in the settlement of Shilo and retroactively legitimize hundreds in a nearby outpost is deplorable,” Serry said. On February 6, Ban Ki-moon emphasized that the illegal Israeli “settlements and their infrastructure severely restrict access to land and natural resources by the Palestinian people.” Nearly 500,000 Israelis live in more than 100 settlement units built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Muslim World Tour Launched A new weblog introducing Islamic countries and Muslims around the world was published by a French Muslim. Gibran Hasnaoui, is doing a 2-year Muslim world tour and publishes online videos and photos of the life styles, prayers of Muslims in various countries. Episodes and photographs of the trip are released weekly on the blog MuslimWorldTour.com. He started his trip from the UAE and now he is Dubai. Next summer (July 2012 ) he will fly to the southern part of the Philippines, in Sulu islands. He is going to spend the holy month of Ramadan there, and then he continues his trip to more than 50 countries. At the end of his journey he plans to perform the Hajj pilgrimage in Makkah.
I March 2012
China to build Museum to preserve Quran copy A county in northwest China will spend four million Yuan (around $635,000) to build a museum for the preservation of a 1,000-year-old copy of the Quran. Officials from Dongxiang county in Gansu province said the money will be used to build an 800-squaremetre museum with exhibition halls and digital display systems. The ancient copy of the Quran, written in Arabic and comprising 536 pages, was discovered in Dongxiang in 2009, Xinhua reported. Experts from China, Britain and Japan have analyzed the document and said it was likely created between the 9th and 11th centuries. The museum will use advanced methods to preserve the ancient copy of the Holy Book and slow down its deterioration. Construction on the museum is scheduled to start in April and will finish by the end of the year. “The copy has been classified as a cultural property under national
protection and is likely to be one of the earliest copies of the Quran in existence,” said Imam Ma Qingfang, a local religious leader. Ma said he has refused outside offers for the document, believing it to be priceless and referring to it as the “book of soul” for the people of Dongxiang. “The document is of great significance for the study of the history of Dongxiang`s ethnic groups, the history of Islam in China and Chinese civilization,” said Chen Hailong, deputy head of the county.
First Islamic Museum to be built in Australia The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu inaugurated the first Islamic Museum in Australia at a special ceremony. The ceremony was held at the site where the Islamic Museum of Australia (IMA) will be built. It was attended by a large number of community members and government representatives including the Premiere of Victoria State, the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, and the Special Envoy to the OIC Ahmed Fahour who is the co-founder of the Museum. The Museum will focus on Muslims’ history and contributions in Australia as well as Islamic history and civilization in general. It is seen
as a space to reflect and learn and assist in the cohesiveness of the multicultural community the State of Victoria, particularly the city of Melbourne, is known for. In his address as the guest of honor, the Secretary General said that Islamic civilization has contributed to other civilizations, its art and culture is rich and diverse and it is founded on the principles of tolerance and peace. He added that the Museum will enhance Australian’s understanding of Islam and help build bridges of communication. The Secretary General said that the OIC supports this important initiative and will provide financial and cultural support through its organs at a later stage. The Museum is expected to open in two years.
Islamic Art Extends Bridges in Utah Extending bridges between different cultures, Islamic art from around the world has been exhibited in Brigham Young University’s Museum of Art, offering visitors a walk through the centuries-old art and culture of Islam. Titled “Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture,” the exhibit opened February 14 and runs through Sept. 29. Defining Islamic faith, culture and creativity, the exhibition offered its visitors a step back in time to walk through the art and culture of Islam. At BYU University, the exhibit stretches over 16,000 square feet. It gathers works from the seventh century, from 10 nations and more than 40 private donors have been brought together to create an atmosphere of “Beauty and Belief.” Visitors pass from one area of the exhibit to another through arches or bridges. Each room has different colors, signifying different ideas, like light, which leads to knowledge. It features masterworks from the al-Sabah Collection at Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyya in Kuwait, unique manuscripts from the Royal Library in Morocco and works from collections across the United States. “When we have an occasion, we can bring people together, so we can understand each other and we are in one world, and we live together and this friendship is very important,” said His Excellency Mohamed Rachad Bouhlal, Moroccan ambassador to the US. The exhibit is not the first by BYU University, known for its Islamic translation series and for teaching Arabic. It is part of a bigger wave, which is the groundwork that BYU has done in the field of Islamic texts, Al Khemir said. Last December, a similar exhibition was hosted by Utah Mormons to celebrate the Islamic culture and show how religious beliefs can parallel each other. The United States is home to an estimated Muslim minority of nearly eight million.
I WORLD NEWS
I March 2012
Egypt to sell $2bn worth of Islamic bonds
The Egyptian government, seeking to head off a funding crisis, is preparing to raise about $2bn through its first issue of Islamic bonds, an Islamic scholar familiar with its planning said. “The Egyptian government is convinced that a foreign currency sukuk will fund the country’s development projects and can also bridge the gap in its currency reserves,” Sheikh Hussein Hamid Hassan told Reuters. “The sukuk will be in dollars or euros or maybe a combination. It will be around $2bn, issued in several tranches targeting mainly Egyptians
living outside Egypt.” Sheikh Hussein is one of the leading scholars in the Islamic finance industry, which is built around religious principles such as the avoidance of interest payments. Based in Dubai, he chairs a series of boards which evaluate Islamic financial instruments. He is not an official adviser to the Egyptian government but has been discussing the possibility of a sukuk issue with it. Sheikh Hussein said he had proposed four structures for the sukuk and the government would
Video shows US-led warplanes drop cluster bombs in Afghanistan New footage has emerged showing US-led warplanes dropping cluster bombs in war-torn Afghanistan, Press TV reported. The US-led forces have used cluster munitions since their invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. The bombings have caused huge loss of life and property damage. Apart from the civilians who fall victim to such bombs during the raids, other people continue to be killed by bomblets that do not detonate
upon impact. International rights groups have often called for a global moratorium on the use of cluster bombs, citing the large number of civilian casualties. They argue that unexploded bomblets also remain a deadly hazard. The US and Israel are the world’s top producers of cluster bombs. Washington and Tel Aviv have refused to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions which has been in force since 2010.
choose one. Asked when the debt might be issued, he said: “The date of issue is not final yet but Egypt is in urgent need of funding.” Hit by declines in foreign investment and tourism, the Egyptian central bank’s foreign reserves fell $1.77bn to $16.35bn in January and are down by more than half since the uprising which ousted Hosni Mubarak in February last year. That threatens a sharp slide in the value of Egypt’s currency. The government is also grappling with a large budget deficit that it is financing at high cost by issuing short-term Treasury bills to local banks at yields above fifteen percent. Last month Egypt said it was asking the International Monetary Fund for $3.2bn in emergency loans; a deal could encourage other foreign donors to aid Cairo. But the IMF said it expected talks on an agreement to take two or three months. Islamic finance was not encouraged under Mubarak’s secular government but it is expected to grow in Egypt after Islamist parties won well over half of the seats in parliamentary elections. The government has drafted legislation that would facilitate issues of sukuk.
NATO Apologizes following desecration of the Quran US General John Allen commander of international troops in Afghanistan apologized to Muslims. Allen also stressed that he has ordered an investigation into the incident, France’s Lemonde daily reported. He released a statement apologizing to President Hamid Karzai and the Afghan people and government. “We are thoroughly investigating the incident and are taking steps to ensure this does not ever happen again,” Allen said in the statement. “I assure you, I promise you, this was not intentional in any way.” Afghans protested against the improper disposal and burning of the copies of the Quran and other Islamic religious materials at an American air base in Bagram, north of Kabul.
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Bin Laden told his children to live in peace in the West Slain Al Qaida chief Osama Bin Laden urged his younger children to go live peacefully in the West and get a university education, his brother-in-law said in an interview. Zakaria Al Sadah, the brother of Bin Laden’s Yemeni fifth wife Amal, told Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper that the militant believed his children “should not follow him down the road to jihad”. “He told his own children and grandchildren, ‘Go to Europe and America and get a good education,’” Al Sadah told the Sunday Times. Al Sadah said Bin Laden told them: “You have to study, live in peace and don’t do what I am doing or what I have done.” Bin Laden was killed in a commando raid in May 2011 by US Navy SEALs at a house in Abbottabad, northwest Pakistan. Al Sadah said that in November he had seen his sister for the first time since she was shot in the knee during the raid and had since
been allowed to have a number of meetings with her in the presence of guards. He said the three wives and nine children who were in the compound — some are Bin Laden’s children and others are his grandchildren — have been held for months in a three-room flat in Islamabad. They are guarded by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency, he said. The Sunday Times published what it said was the first photograph to show some of the young children from the compound: two sons and a daughter, and two grandsons and a granddaughter. The children were still traumatised after seeing the raid in which Bin Laden died, Al Sadah said. “These children have seen their father killed and they need a caring environment, not a prison — whatever you think of their father and what he has done,” he said.
Qatar named world’s richest country in new rankings
Qatar has been ranked as the world’s wealthiest country in a new list compiled by US magazine Forbes, with the UAE placed sixth. The Gulf emirate of 1.7 million people topped the list as the world’s richest country per capita thanks to a rebound in oil prices and its massive natural gas reserves. Adjusted for purchasing power, Qatar booked an estimated gross domestic product per capita of more than $88,000 for 2010, Forbes said, compared with $47,500 for the UAE. Kuwait was placed 15th in the list. Qatar, which will host the 2022 World Cup and is also in the running for the 2020 Olympic Games, has been a high-profile investor in recent
times. The government is pouring money into infrastructure, including a deepwater seaport, an airport and a railway network, all with an eye to making the country a better host for businesses and the 2022 World Cup, Forbes said. In second place on its list was Luxembourg, with a per capita GDP on a purchasing-power parity basis of just over $81,000. In third place was Singapore, which thrives as a technology, manufacturing and finance hub. To rank the countries, Forbes said it looked at GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power for 182 nations. It used International Monetary Fund data from 2010. Norway and Brunei rounded out the top five positions in the list followed by the UAE, the US, Hong Kong, Switzerland and the Netherlands. A trio of politically and economically fragile African nations were listed as the poorest countries Burundi, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Call for Setting Up Central Organization of Muslims in Switzerland
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) called upon Islamic organizations in Switzerland to form a coalition and set up a Swiss Muslims central organization. According to Saphirnews website, the OSCE asked the Islamic organizations of the country to set up a united organization to fight with racism and right-wing extremists. Issuing a report about Swiss Muslims’ conditions, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) announced that unity and solidarity are the best ways to stop violation of Muslims’ rights in the country. The report says that members of the OSCE have visited the country and investigated Muslims’ conditions there and concluded that issues related to citizenship rights, employment and Hijab of women are some of the problems the Muslim minority are facing. The Union of Swiss Islamic Organizations and the Central Council of Muslims in Switzerland have decided to hold an election in 2013 to select members of Muslims Central Organization and form the Swiss Ummah Organization.
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I WORLD NEWS
I March 2012
US federal agencies seek software to monitor social media
The US government agencies are looking for digital tools that can extract information from social media to predict everything from future terrorist attacks to foreign uprisings. According to requests posted online by the US federal law enforcements agencies are looking
for potential contractors to build a software that can monitor the entire universe of social media. The Department of Defense, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Federal Bureau of Investigation are among US agencies that are looking for ways to
Pakistanis rally against US drone strikes
protesters held burning US flag in the city of Multan, during protest against US drone attacks in the Pakistani tribal region. Hundreds of Pakistanis have took to the streets in the eastern province of Punjab to voice anger over the US assassination drone strikes in the northwestern tribal belt of the country, near the Afghan border. The demonstrators staged a protest rally in the city of Multan, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) southwest of the Pakistani capital Islamabad, condemning the US drone attacks in the remote tribal region. The rally was staged hours after five people lost their lives after a US drone aircraft fired missiles in Miranshah - the main town in the North Waziristan tribal region of northwest Pakistan. Intelligence officials and Pakistani Taliban sources said that
Badar Mansoor, a senior militant commander with links to the terrorist group al-Qaeda, was one of the fatalities in the strike. US President Barack Obama publically confirmed for the first time late last month that drone aircraft have struck targets inside Pakistan. “We are of the firm view that these are unlawful, counterproductive and hence unacceptable,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said. He added, “Our view has always been very clear and position principled.” Sixty-four US missile strikes were reported in Pakistan’s semiautonomous tribal belt last year, down from 101 reported in 2010, according to AFP tallies. The aerial attacks, initiated by former US President George W. Bush, have escalated under President Barack Obama. passionislam.com
automate the process of identifying emerging threats and upheavals from social websites. “Social media has emerged to be the first instance of communication about a crisis, trumping traditional first responders that included police, firefighters, EMT, and journalists,” the FBI wrote in its request. “Social media is rivaling 911 services in crisis response and reporting,” the request added. The proposals have raised privacy concerns among advocates who worry that such monitoring efforts could breach user’s privacy. The FBI says their proposed system is only meant to monitor publicly available information and words that relate to criminal activities. The software sought by the Defense Department’s would track information posted by the social media to identify threats that could affect US soldiers in the battlefield.
Indian state ordered to pay for rebuilding mosques The top court in India’s Gujarat state has ruled that the government must pay for the repair or reconstruction of 500 temples and mosques damaged during religious rioting in 2002. The court found that local officials were guilty of “negligence,” failing to protect religious minorities and their houses of worship. The court was responding to a petition by Muslims seeking compensation for the losses they suffered in the rioting. The violence that swept Gujarat in 2002 began when a minority group attacked a train carrying Hindu pilgrims. In retaliation, Hindus attacked Muslim sites. More than 1,000 people died in the riots.
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France inaugurates first official Muslim cemetery
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France inaugurated its first municipal Muslim cemetery in the city of Strasbourg, a move hailed by Islamic leaders as a step in recognizing one of the country’s largest faith. Local officials and Muslim leaders attended a ceremony in the northeastern French city to launch the cemetery, which has space for about 1,000 graves. Mohammed Moussaoui, the head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, hailed the cemetery’s opening as a “historic” moment for Muslims in France and said it was “an important symbol of belonging”
for the community. “If a religious community is to feel entirely at home in a city, it must be helped in building places for worship and for the burial of its believers,” Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries told AFP. France’s 1905 law on the separation of church and state forbids the building of municipal cemeteries restricted to only one religion. But the Alsace-Moselle region, which includes Strasbourg, operates under different basic laws dating from its reversion from German to
French control after World War I. Home to western 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 country has come under fire from Muslim groups for a series of measures authorities say are aimed at protecting France’s secular tradition, including a ban on wearing full-face veils such as the Islamic niqab and the burqa. passionislam.com
German Bank offers Islam friendly Investment to its customers
The German bank WestLB has introduced a new “Islam-compliant” investment product named the Islamic Strategy Index Certificate. The reduced-risk certificate has been listed on the Frankfurt and Stuttgart exchanges. The value of the certificate is based on the value of the WestLB Islamic Deutschland Index, consisting of shares of ten German firms “whose business activities are consistent with the ethical rules of Islam.” The WestLB product prospectus explains that the Islamic Strategy Index Certificates “are certified by the Central Council of Muslims in Germany as Islam-compliant [Islam konformes] investment.” The Central
Council of Muslims in Germany is an umbrella group of twenty-two Muslim organizations. The prospectus goes on to explain that “for the selection [of stocks] it is in principle not permitted that the business activity of the chosen firms involve interest-bearing financial services or derivatives, insurance, alcohol, tobacco, pork, armaments, gambling, gold and silver hedging transactions, or the entertainment industry.” The firms making up the Islamic Deutschland Index are some of the biggest names in German industry, including the sporting goods manufacturer Adidas, the engineering group Siemens, the software maker SAP, the chemical giant BASF, the
pharmaceutical company Bayer, and the energy companies E.ON and RWE. Deutsche Post, of which the German state remains the principal shareholder, also forms part of the index. In addition to providing postal services in Germany, Deutsche Post is the parent company of the international package sender DHL. To protect investors from serious loss, WestLB has built an “airbag” into the certificate. If a closing rate on the Islam Index is at least 8% lower than opening price or closing rate of the last adjustment, then on the following business day all capital is moved to a no-interest money account. Only when the level of the back reference price is again reached does the capital flow back into shares. If rates hover at modest levels for a longer period of time, full investment takes place at the latest during the six-month check. In any event, WestLB’s Islamic Strategy Index Certificate, thanks to its strict selection criteria (subject to a few small reservations), is designed to be a sustainable investment. passionislam.com
Newcastle striking force do sajdah
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Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse of Newcastle, celebrated Cisse goal in fashion earlier last month with a sajdah to show that everything and anything is only down to the Almighty and no one else, great ambassadors for football and for sport not only in the UK but across the world, Demba Ba in Ramadhan fasted throughout the month without approval from his manager Alan Pardew but later Pardew had to admit that Ba became stronger as player.
Pakistan RL Moves Step Closer
The establishment of Rugby League in Pakistan and South Asia has moved a step closer thanks to the efforts of former England RL international and British Asian Rugby Association (BARA) founder Ikram Butt together with officials from the British Asian Trust, diplomats and MP Greg Mulholland, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group. The latest round of talks took place in January at the Pakistan High Commission in London with the major focus being on how to show continuing support for the Prince of Wales’ Pakistan Recovery Fund
aimed at assisting with rebuilding the large parts of the country devastated by the 2010 flooding as well as launching the new Pakistan playing jersey. Ikram explained: “We met at the Pakistan High Commission in London and talked about our support of the charity and the development of Pakistan Rugby League. “We also discussed other objectives such as bridging the gap between British Pakistanis and Pakistanis living abroad.’ “We view the development of Pakistan Rugby League as a catalyst to further develop the sport in India and across the whole of South Asia. There’s clearly an appetite for it and we need to ensure that the right initiatives and planning are put in place.” “We have a number of objectives with a second official Pakistan RL international planned for Dubai in the near future courtesy of our sponsor Air Blue. “Watch this space!” said Ikram,
recently awarded a Doctorate in Sport Science by Leeds Metropolitan University for his pioneering sport development initiatives within the UK and abroad.’’ Greg Mulholland added, “By focusing on sport, physical activity, education and cultural exchanges we can, together, create a more harmonious society and go some way to combating the dual threats of Islamophobia and fundamentalism.” The new official Pakistan RL playing shirt features the Pakistan Recovery Fund on the chest with the Leeds Rugby Foundation’s logo also included on the sleeve. The Pakistan Recovery Fund, whose patron is HRH Prince of Wales, was set up in response to the ongoing humanitarian effort still required in Pakistan in wake of the 2010 floods and is convened by the British Asian Trust and managed on behalf of the Prince of Wales by Knighton White who campaign for philanthropic causes around the globe.
SPORT I 21
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A CHANCE TO WIN A SIGNED LIVERPOOL FC TOP To celebrate the launch of LFC Egypt Academy, LFC and Passion Islam has teamed up to giveaway a signed liverpool top, all you have to do is answer this question. Q: Who is the current Liverpool Manager? Answers emailed through to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 15th 2012 or post: PO BOX 159, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 1AD
View the comp through
UK Residents Only
RFL commits to tackling discrimination The RFL has launched a new game wide ‘Tackle IT’ Equality and Diversity programme which aims to increase awareness of issues such as racism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination and prejudice within Rugby League. The ‘Tackle IT’ campaign features seven promotional posters and a promotional DVD which will be made available to all professional and community clubs in the UK. The campaign sees the RFL become the first UK sports governing body to produce a resource that simultaneously tackles and celebrates all six key equality strands of; race, sexuality, gender, disability, age and religion. The campaign is fronted by famous names from the sport of Rugby League such as former St Helens and Hull KR star Anthony Sullivan, whose father Clive became the first ever black captain of a British sporting side when he led Great Britain to World Cup glory in 1972, and Sarah Bennison, who became the first female ever to referee a game in the professional ranks in July 2011 when she took charge of Norway versus Germany. RFL Chairman Richard Lewis said: “We are committed to making Rugby League one of the most open and friendly sports in the UK and the Tackle IT campaign is the latest step aimed at ensuring we can achieve that goal. “The RFL has worked very hard in
recent years to improve our equality programmes and encourage people from all walks of life to get involved with the game and we hope that this latest initiative will continue to boost the successes we have seen over the past few seasons. “However, the challenge now is for us not to rest on our laurels but to continue working hard at improving our pathways and equality initiatives at all levels.” The unveiling of ‘Tackle IT’ follows a successful 12-month period for Rugby League that began with the RFL becoming the first sporting organisation ever to enter the Stonewall Top 100 Equality Employers Index in 2011 before rising 40 places to reach 53rd position in the index in January 2012. Co-operative Championship club Sheffield Eagles broke new ground when they became the first UK sports club ever to wear a strip displaying an anti-homophobia message in March and they were joined by all 14 Super League clubs in signing up to the Government’s Charter Against Homophobia in Sport in April. The Government’s Equality minister Lynne Featherstone said: “The drive to tackle inequality in sport ultimately has to come from within sport itself and I am delighted to see the RFL leading the way. The ‘Tackle It’ programme will help everyone who loves Rugby League unite to kick prejudice out of the game. “I applaud the RFL for being
one of the first bodies to sign the Government’s Sport Charter when it launched last year. It’s a rallying cry for fans to tackle abuse and discrimination, particularly that faced by LGB&T people. It’s great to see the RFL taking such positive steps to make the game welcoming for everyone.” Building on this recent success, the RFL is also in the process of developing an educational resource to complement the ‘Tackle IT’ campaign which will be distributed to schools throughout the UK later this year. To view the ‘Tackle It’ DVD visit http://www.therfl.co.uk/quitydiversity/ tackle-it
Sources of Finance
I BUSINESS FEATURE
What does the term ‘sources of finance’ mean to you? Think on a personal basis – what sources of finance do most people have to be able to purchase a treasured and most likely expensive item? The answer to this question will vary from individual to individual. Some may opt to save up whilst others may seek alternative methods such as mainstream loans, credit cards, overdrafts. As Muslims, we would rather save up and source the item ourselves, from friends and family investment, or look for available and viable Islamic financing options. In this article we take a closer look at the sources of finance available in the mainstream and at what stage of your business you are likely to secure it. It is imperative to keep in mind, that any such sources of finance for Muslims are generated through halal means. I highly recommend researching the entire market and eliminating non-halal options. Awareness of all sources of finance is vital to make such a decision. In its lifetime a business goes through a number of stages. Sometimes, stages end up being repeated due to factors such as strategic changes for the business, due to market forces, or an increase in competition amongst others. As the business goes through each stage of its life cycle, its funding needs also keep changing. A start-up business needs seed funding also referred to as set-up costs. A business in early stage of the life cycle may seek funding from banks whilst a business enjoying growth may seek funds through business angel investment or venture
capital. Sources of finance can be categorised as sources of finance internal to the business and external to the business. Internal sources of finance are personal sources, retained earnings, and share capital invested by the management team of the business. External sources of finance are loan capital (bank loan or overdraft), business angel investment, friends and family investment, venture capital, and floatation on the stock exchange (when a private business lists on the stock exchange and opens its shareholding to the wider public). In case of a floatation, the business must have successfully manoeuvred through formative years proving its business model. The intricacies of a floatation deserve a separate article all together, hence for our purpose, suffice it to realise and recognise the floatation option as a source of finance. Internal sources of finance are required at start-up. At this stage the business goes through its riskiest phase due to an unproven business model. Furthermore, investment at this stage should come from the management team as it not only shows commitment but also shows that the management believe in their business. External backers will not expose themselves to such a high level of risk. There is still a lot to prove before the business becomes a sound profitable entity and is able to retain their interest. Please note that the risk to reward ratio becomes relevant in the early stage of a business rather than at start-up. A business steering through its
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early stage remains highly risky to finance. However the ability of external backers to profit from the success of a business at this stage also increases. Here, a high risk high reward ratio becomes a consideration for backers. It can be said that a business in its early stage of development, has reached a point where it has no option but to seek external sources of finance, without which it will not grow. Internal resources of finance can also be used during the early stage if they’ve not been fully utilised to date. External backers will either expect internal sources of finance to be fully exhausted or at least for internal sources of finance match equally the funding amount sought from external financiers. A finance injection at this stage will assist the business to leap into a growing business, thus increasing its profitability and simultaneously minimizing costs. A growing business is an attractive proposition for both internal and external sources of finance. These businesses are now on the path to becoming examples of success for new businesses. Even so, they may still require external sources of finance. It is at this point that businesses can confidently approach Venture capital finance. Now you know the mainstream sources of finance, it is important to identify the acceptable halal sources from amongst these sources. So what stage is your business at? Have you identified how to access relevant finance for your business? What are you waiting for? Have a go! About the Author Passion Islam Business Articles series as published since October 2011, have been submitted by Aisha Ejaz, Director, Noor Business Services Limited. For further information, Aisha can be contacted at Aisha@noorbizservices.co.uk Islamic Disclaimer Islamically, it is every Muslim’s duty to ensure that their income is halal and is obtained through halal means.
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Three Talaaqs (Divorce)
Is it permissible to give three talaaqs at once? - part 2
Imam Nasaai in proof that three talaaqs given simultaneously take effect narrates the incident of Fatimah Bint Qais in which it is mentioned that her husband gave her three talaaqs. In addition to the above, if analysed rationally in accordance to Islamic jurisprudence, it is clear that three talaaqs should take effect and count as three. Alaamah Qurtubi writes (the summary of which is): In Nikah, freeing of slaves and other transactions, the ruling is that “three counts as three”. For example, if a guardian was to say to someone, “I marry you to these three women” then the nikah of all three will take place. The ruling is the same in the case of freeing slaves. If a man was to say in one instance, “This slave of mine is free, and this one and this one” then all three will be considered to have been freed. Someone might argue that in the case of Qasm (taking an oath) if one said, “By Allah, I take 3 three qasms” then this counts as only one qasm and therefore talaaq should be the same. In response, it would be said that in the case of talaaq, the maximum limit is three and pronouncing three talaaqs is the same as one saying “ I divorce you the maximum number of talaaqs” whereas in taking an oath there is no maximum limit, hence it is not correct to compare to the two. Finally, Hafiz Ibn Hajr (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) has mentioned that Ijma’ (consensus) of the scholars had taken place in the time of Hadhrat Umar upon three talaaqs
taking effect. He writes, “Anyone opposing this, is considered to have discarded the consensus and the majority of scholars are agreed upon the invalidity of the opinion of anyone expressing opposition after the consensus of the scholars. Hafiz Ibn Hajr came after Ibn Taymiyah and Ibn Al-Qayyim. He had full knowledge of their views. Hence, it seems that he is referring to their view by saying it is against the Ijma’ and should never be considered. These days some people go around giving fatwa that “three is one” and the couple then stay together. Please note here that Faqeeh Abu-Laith Samarqandi (Rahmatullahi alayhi) has written in Tanbeehul-Gafileen that, “The worst type of zina is when a person divorces his wife three times and then stays with her for fear of disgrace in the eyes of the people. Do they not fear the Day of Judgement when all secrets will be brought into the open? The humiliation on that day will be much more harder to take.” (p.358) Another misconception among people, which has appeared due to taking talaaq lightly, is that they give three talaaqs which they think are counted as one Raj’ee talaaq. They make Ruju’ (start living together again) and then think that with the passing of time, the one talaaq is also dissolved. So if they give talaaq again after a few months or years and again after some time then there is no harm and they think they can keep doing that. This is exactly what used to
happen during the era of Jahiliyyah. A person would divorce his wife and before the iddah finished, he would take her back. Then again he would divorce her and take her back. He would keep doing this, as a result of which the lady would neither be a married woman nor would she be a divorced one. She would just be hanging in the balance all the time. It is for this reason Allah revealed in the Qur’an, “Talaaq is twice. Thereafter hold on in a reasonable manner or release with kindness.” Then Allah went further and said, “If he again divorces her then she will not be halaal for him after this until she marries another husband.” Therefore, if a person gave one Talaaq-Raj’ee and then revoked that by taking back his wife, this will be counted as one talaaq. If this happens again then the talaaq will add up and become two. And finally after the third time they will be separated for good. The Shariah will say that they are not compatible for one another, and that is why she is ordered to find another husband. No matter how much she may love the first husband, she still has to find someone else; maybe the second one can keep her with more dignity and respect. The same ruling goes for giving three talaaqs in one sentence. May Allah s.w.t give us all the correct understanding of His deen and grant us the tawfeeq to practice upon His commands. Aameen. Written by Asif Saleem,checked & corrected by Hadhrat Maulana Abdur Raheem Sahib
I SPECIAL FEATURE
BASICS FOR A SEEKER
Reaching the Destination The objective of Muslim’s life is to acquire the pleasure of Allah ta’ala. The acquisition of the pleasure of Allah is a Muslim’s true destination. In order to travel to the destination the traveller will need to tread a fixed path. This path is known as the Sirate-Mustaqeem. If a person veers from this path then he will stray onto a side street and thus ultimately lose his way. The one who desires to reach Allah ta’ala is known as a Mureed. This is an Arabic term which means the one who desires. In order to reach his destination the Mureed will need a guide who is familiar with the way. The guide aids the traveller by providing directions and instructions on how to avoid pitfalls and dangers during the journey. Such a guide is known as a Shaykh. The similitude of the Mureed is like a person wanting to travel from Madeenah to Makkah. In order to reach Makkah he will have to take a taxi driven by an experienced guide. The driver is the Shaykh. He
knows the route well, and he is well aware of where to stop, and where to continue. He knows where the traveller will be able to acquire refreshment and he has knowledge of where the traveller can attain rest. Finding a Guide This is where, many people, unfortunately make mistakes. Firstly they don’t know how to choose a Shaykh and secondly they are not familiar with what Bay’at means. As with all things in life, we must first and foremost understand what we are undertaking and then adopt the correct method of accomplishing it. One should think rationally when selecting someone as a guide. It is imperative that a person does not select someone as a Shaykh due to someone else’s influence or as a result of an upheaval of emotions. An individual should only select someone as their guide once they have a basic understanding of what a Shaykh is and what the relationship with a Shaykh entails. After acquiring this basic knowledge, one should endeavour
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to utilise the following criteria, highlighted by our pious predecessors, in order to find a guide who is authentic and reliable: • The Shaykh should be from the masha’ikh haqqah. Thus he should be from amongst those who possess the right aqeedah and the necessary knowledge of the Shariah. • The Shaykh should have received khilaafat (a recognition of expertise) by a Shaykh superior to him. • His company should direct your attention towards Allah ta’ala and the hereafter whilst simultaneously decreasing your love for this world. • The contemporary mashaaikh (plural of Shaykh) should hold the Shaykh in high esteem. •The majority of people around the Shaykh should be those who are striving to reform their lives and practice Islam in totality. But as with any journey it is important that a person ensures that the guide they select is the best for them personally. In order to ascertain this a person should consider three things. 1. You should have confidence in and
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admiration for the person whom you wish to select as your Shaykh. 2. The Shaykh should be a professional in the field. 3. There should be a good degree of compatibility between yourself and the Shaykh. This is extremely necessary. If this is not present then the Shaykh may not be able to understand your difficulties or you may not be able to understand the Shaykh’s advices and guidance. It is important to remember that the Shaykh does not have to be the most renowned in the world. What matters is that the Shaykh needs to be the most beneficial for a person in that person’s particular situation. What is Bay’at? Bay’at is defined as an allegiance
and agreement between two parties. In the agreement with the Shaykh the Mureed makes a promise of repentance to Allah ta’ala and resolves that he will tread the straight path to reach Him. The Shaykh acts as a witness to this oath. The Mureed agrees that he will, to the best of his ability, follow the guidance of the Shaykh. The Shaykh also agrees that he will guide the Mureed to the best of his ability. The Shaykh will then, from time to time, issue instructions aimed at helping the Mureed progress spiritually. The guidance given by the Shaykh will be in light of the Shariah, and tailored to meet the Mureed’s personal circumstances. Thus the Shaykh will treat each Mureed
differently. After Bay’at Following Bay’at the Mureed should maintain constant contact with the Shaykh and inform the Shaykh of his spiritual condition either verbally or by letter/email. This is done so that the Shaykh can provide appropriate and comprehensive guidance. The Mureed should endeavour to follow fully any advice that the Shaykh gives. The one who desires Allah will only be able to reach his destination if he strives to complete the journey. Only then will the Shaykh be able to aid the Mureed in purifying his inner self and acquiring the pleasure of Allah ta’ala.
Makkah NOT Mecca The holiest city for the Muslims is Makkah-tul-Mukarramah. It is not “Mecca”. Saudi Arabia had officially changed the spelling of the name of this city to “Makkah” a few years ago after realizing the derogatory usage of the word by the Western media and Western authors. And that is the way it should be. We do not like it if our own name is misspelled or mispronounced. How can we then allow it when the same is done to any of our most important icons? Unfortunately many people, even some Muslims are still careless about it. It is increasingly being observed with a degree of concern that all kinds of businesses are (mis-)using the name “Mecca”. “Motor-Mecca”, “The Mecca Group”, etc. It should be respectfully pointed out to such persons that the usage of the word “Mecca” to name their
businesses is offensive. A billion and a half Muslims the world over, hold this holy city in the highest regard and veneration. To desecrate the name of this holy city by abusing it in this fashion is not acceptable. Recently, The British Rank Corporation, which owns a chain of gambling and entertainment shops under the name of “Mecca”, removed the name from its shop fronts as a result of protests from British Muslims. Muslims of Luton in the UK had protested against the defamatory use of the name of this holy city. In most cases it is done out of ignorance, not deliberately. If pointed out politely but firmly, most companies respond favorably by changing the name. Muslims should also be encouraged to adopt the proper
spelling of Makkah, rather than the old, incorrect “mecca” version. Madinah should rather be spelled as Madinah than being spelled as “medina”. Principals and educators of educational institutions such as Madrasahs, Islamic Schools, academies, Muslim writers, authors, researchers, scholars are to be encouraged to use the correct spelling. Muslims have a duty to be vigilant and decisive in acting against anything that may be deemed sacrilegious, blasphemous or disrespectful to Islam or Muslims, all over the world. Every town, city, province, country should have a dedicated and committed group of people to fulfil this important “watchdog” role for the sake of the Ummah and Islam. By Abu Atiyyah, South Africa
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