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Featured Sport News Man City to visit Umrah Trading officers find mixture of pork in donner Malaysia for first time Diary Blog

Issue: 50

May 2012

OLYMPICS SECURITY MISSILE PLANS UNVEILED

The UK’s Ministry of Defense (MoD)’s plan to deploy surface-to-air missiles at five sites across London during the Olympics has sparked outrage among residents, local media reported. The MoD said surface-to-air missiles could be deployed at five sites across London during the Olympics. Potential sites include the Lexington

Building in Tower Hamlets and the Fred Wigg Tower in Waltham Forest, both in east London, according to the MoD. Blackheath Common and Oxleas Wood, both in south east London, plus William Girling Reservoir in the Lea Valley Reservoir Chain in Enfield and Barn Hill at Netherhouse Farm in Epping Forest are other possible sites.

Residents in the private, gated flats in Bow, east London, have received a leaflet warning them that a team of 10 soldiers and police will be stationed at the building - home to 700 people - for the duration of the Games. The (MoD) leaflet says the missiles will only be fired as a last resort, said resident Brian Whelan, a journalist.

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Passion Islam

thePassion

By Shakir Ahmed

Our Passion remains the same How Passion Islam set out to be different and give a unique voice in the mainstream media world by the grace of Almighty we have achieved our goal, we celebrate 50 issues this month a milestone for Passion Islam, from only 500 readers for the first issue now reaching 210,000 readers across the UK, the largest Muslim publication readership online Nationally.

I May 2012

For the first time we have launched the Passion Islam Media Business Awards to give back to organisations who really make a difference and sustain the British economy, a professor from a London University said that if it was not for the Muslim business contribution to this economy we would be in a allot more bother than we are now under the economy crisis.

Extracts from Press TV News

Passion Islam Media Business Awards 2012 categories include: Travel Agent of the Year Retailer of the Year Manufacturer of the year Charity of the Year Law Firm of the Year 2012 Entries close 4th of June 2012, email us your choice to info@passionislam.com

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


Thugs who attacked Kingston Mosque are jailed Passion Islam

I May 2012

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Three men who joined a hooded and masked gang to attack Kingston Mosque with sticks and bottles have been jailed. Judge Geraldine Kent overturned their pleas for leniency after hearing that all three men still denied being involved in the attack on November 21, 2010. David Morris,21,bought the bacon later strewn over the mosque and caught out when he photographed co-defendant Alfie Wallace holding a stick. He was sentenced at Kingston Crown Court to six months imprisonment for racially aggravated criminal damage. Racist Alfie Wallace, 19, was sentenced to a total of 12 months in a Young Offenders Institution for religiously aggravated criminal damage and violent disorder. The court heard he had shouted out “I’m being arrested by a black

man” in connection with another earlier offence. Martin Pottle,24, was sentenced to a total of 14 months in prison for religiously aggravated criminal damage and violent disorder. He had lied to police to try and pretend he was nowhere near the mosque before admitting during the trial that he was. CCTV from a mosque camcorder identified him as among the fleeing gang by a distinctive streak in his hair. He was on bail for affray when he joined the attack. Some of their acquitted former co-defendants in the trial, Paul Abley, Jordan Ellingham, Adam Khalfan and James Stacey watched from the public dock. The court heard from Morris’ defence counsel Mr Robertson that he was polite and helpful and said it was a borderline case for prison.

Wallace’s counsel Miss Macatonia said he was only 17 when the attack took place and he had a scheme connected with the Olympics to help young people with right-wing views. And Mr O’Toole representing Pottle said since he completed a six month prison sentence for affray he had a child with his girlfriend and wanted to turn his life around. But delivering her verdict Judge Geraldine Kent said: “You had no legitimate reason to go to the mosque at all. “This is not a case of a legitimate protest that spiralled out of control. “The attack on the mosque was an unprovoked attack against innocent people inside the mosque and it frightened members of the public who should be able to go about their daily lives in a residential street without fear.”


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I May 2012

Yorkshire Dales Occupy ‘spy base’ for US surveillance centre

Menwith Hill, the largest intelligence gathering and surveillance centre outside the US, in the heart of the UK’s Yorkshire Dales, is surrounded by protesters demonstrating against America’s planned missile defense system. The local residents, often camping outside, have been joined by members of the global Occupy movement, supporting ongoing local efforts. “Its completely unaccountable, run by the NSA [National Security Agency], which is one of the most shadowy organizations in the world. Its not even accountable to the UK government. The capabilities at

Menwith Hill are worrying for our civil libertiesTheres whistleblower testimony that shows that what goes on there isnt just political espionage, but commercial espionage too. And thats before you even consider its implications on our civil liberties, that they can listen to our phone calls, intercept our emails,” said Helen Alexander of the Occupy Leeds branch. To keep up with new types of warfare, billions of dollars has been invested in Menwith Hill over the last decade. It has enabled the base to remain a vital component of the global US surveillance network. Comprised of 33 satellite

dishes housed inside large golfball structures, the site has the technology to intercept telephone calls, faxes and emails from around the world. Menwith watcher and author of the 65-page report “Lifting the Lid on Menwith”, Dr Steve Schofield believes it is providing information for special operations in around 100 countries which he dubs an unprecedented level of intervention. “The UKs providing a facility here thats involved in drone attacks that we know, from independent assessments, are killing and injuring thousands of civilians, and because of the covert nature of that warfare, its very difficult to provide information and accountability through the UK parliament. And yet these are acts of war. And normally when we have war, parliament should normally inform people that were involved in those. And were not being informed. Were kept entirely in the dark about them.” In his report, Dr Schofield also challenges the assertion that the US presence provides significant economic benefit to the local area as being “grossly exaggerated.” He claims that any such benefits must be measured against the costs to the UK of servicing American bases like Menwith. passionislam.com

Terrorists can use stolen MoD equipment British ministers have expressed fears that some of the most dangerous equipment stolen from Britain’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) could fall into the hands of criminal gangs and terrorists. Last year, the MoD referred 361 cases of theft to the British police. Among the equipment stolen from MoD buildings and bases between March 2011 and January 2012 were catalytic converters worth £32,000, tools worth £35,000, radio equipment costing £15,000, night vision goggles worth up to £4,000, generators worth more than £7,000 and weapons sights valued at more

than £8,000. Whitehall sources have said British ministers fear the stolen equipment could end up into the hands of gangs and even terrorists as items are available to buy on sites such as eBay, reported The Independent. Moreover, The Guardian reported that during 2010, almost £700,000 worth of MoD equipment was reported stolen. “I couldn’t believe the amount of stuff that could be stolen across MoD sites. Put together it could be used to cause some serious damage,” The Independent quoted

Labour MP Luciana Berger as saying. Berger also said the equipment stolen from Britain’s armed forces were enough to “launch a small coup”. “There’s enough military equipment to launch a small coup. The list went on and on, and the one I asked for was restricted to those items worth more than £100, so it is likely that many other things were stolen,” said Berger after she asked for the details of equipment stolen from the armed forces. passionislam.com


Charity Reg. No. 1000851

SYRIA EMERGENCY APPEAL More than 7,000 Killed

Tens of thousands have been displaced. The country is now sliding into civil war. The city of Homs - the resting place of Khalid Bin Walid Radiallahu ‘anhu - and its people are being shelled every day. Ummah Welfare Trust is working inside the country, providing dry food rations to widowed and orphaned families in Homs and Damascus.

PLEASE DONATE GENEROUSLY Muhammad Salallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said: Allah will aid a servant of His so long as the servant aids his brother - Muslim

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I May 2012

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Cambridge University holds seminar on Shahadah

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A unique seminar on Shahadah (la-ilaaha-illallah - there is none to be worshipped except Allah) was held last month at Lady Mitchell Hall, Cambridge University. It was addressed by Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi Dr Nadwi elaborated on profound aspects of the shahadah as well as understanding the Shahada for true

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servitude to Allah. Non-Muslims and new Muslims participated in the event which was for free. The entire humankind has been created for this purpose. The shahadah is ingrained in every human being as well as in every other living and non-living creation around us. Yet because of the special status of man Allah sent Prophets and Messengers to remind mankind about this purpose and to inform that success and happiness depend on how truly one lives by it. It is unfortunate today that people, including Muslims, have lost track of this purpose. Instead of the servitude and the worship of Allah they have become so engaged in

worldly pursuits that these pursuits themselves have become the purpose of their life. On the other hand many have misunderstood the shahadah like the previous nations did and ended up violating the rights of Allah by violating the rights of the shahadah. Without a doubt the most powerful and profound words require a deep understanding. A very superficial understanding of the shahadah is all what many of us possess. This is reflected in our thinking (mind), our feelings (spirit) and in our actions (body). How do we then acquire a deep understanding? The only way is through the Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophets and Messengers. This is the way Allah chose to teach people

UK Fuels Anti-Islam Extremism: Report Islamic Bank launches Shariacompliant electronic money transfers A recent study by an anti-racism campaign group has revealed that the UK plays a leading role in the growth of anti-Islam groups that were behind Norway’s mass murder. A new report by anti-racism group ‘Hope Not Hate’ showed that the UK is one of Europe’s most active countries with regard to the spread of anti-Islam extremism, with 22 antiIslam groups now operating in the country, reported the Guardian. The report was released one day before the trial of Anders Behring Breivik, Norway’s anti-Islam mass murderer who has confessed to slaying 77 people. In July last year, Breivik killed 77 people in a bomb and gun attack in the Norwegian capital Oslo and a nearby island. Despite having confessed to both attacks, the Norwegian mass murderer has reject

criminal guilt saying the massacre was necessary to protect Norway from being overrun by Muslims. An hour before committing the massacre, Breivik emailed leaders of far-right extremists in Britain saying the killing was to protect Europe from being “overwhelmed by Islam”. The findings of researchers at ‘Hope Not Hate’ come as London mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone said it was “Muslims’ turn now” to be discriminated against asserting “Right-wing politicians pander to bigotry”. English Defence League (EDL) has been identified by the report as one of the key figures fueling antiIslam extremism. Last month, a study showed that EDL and other far-right groups in Britain believed it was legitimate and inevitable to take up arms against religious minorities.

Birmingham-based Islamic Bank of Britain has launched a new Shariacompliant electronic International Money Transfer Service. The service, the first of its kind, operates from the bank’s branch in Coventry Road, Small Heath. The bank said it guaranteed all the funds would be handled and transferred in the proper manner. The transfer service is aimed at bank customers who want to transfer money electronically from their IBB bank account to the bank account of a foreign beneficiary.


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I May 2012

LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

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Trading standards officers find mixture of pork in donner kebabs

Beware the next time you order a lamb kebab - as consumer watchdogs have discovered that every one they tested contained a concoction of other meats. An investigation by trading standards officers has revealed that none of 20 lamb kebabs tested contained just lamb - while four lamb curries out of 19 did not contain any lamb at all. Lamb is the most expensive meat consumers regularly buy, followed by beef and pork, with chicken being the cheapest. Trading standards officers wanted to check that consumers were getting what they expected - and paid for. Yet incredibly, none of the 20

lamb kebabs sampled contained just lamb. They all contained a mixture of lamb together with either pork, beef or poultry. Trading standards officers say they understand that some restaurants may be knowingly using chicken in their lamb kebabs as it helps to ensure the meat sticks together around the skewer during cooking. Of 19 lamb curries tested, only three contained just lamb. Again, most contained a mixture of lamb together with either beef or poultry. But four lamb curries didn’t contain any lamb at all.

London mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone has called on the Londoners to be united after stressing that it is the Muslims’ turn to be discriminated against. Livingstone, who is competing to take back his former post from Conservative mayor Boris Johnson, said that Britain’s “right-wing politicians pander to bigotry.” He insisted that in 1906 Daily Mail’s front pages mostly covered the headlines about “Jews bring crime and disaster to Britain.” However the headlines then were about the blacks, Irish and later the lesbians and gays.

He accused the right-wing politicians of aiming to show that there has always been an enemy in the society. “I remember the deputy leader of the Tory group at the GLC, when we launched our lesbian and gay policies, said to me ‘Every time I make a homophobic speech in Ruislip-Northwood I get an extra 1,000 votes’. It is the Muslims’ turn now. Don’t be divided,” he said. “No Muslims ever came to me and said ‘I want homosexuality banned’. Muslims came to this city to flee oppressive culture. They came here so their children could

These were then tested to see what meat they actually contained and to check for high levels of artificial colourings - which can affect people’s health and trigger hyperactivity in children. Although none of the curries were found to contain high levels of colourings, 70 per cent of the kebabs tested did. One contained levels of artificial colouring that were 18 times higher than permitted, another was 13 times higher. This may be due to human error in preparation of the marinades used by the restaurants and take-aways to give the kebab colour. Officers from Warwickshire County Council trading standards visited 20 restaurants and takeaways, at random, in Stratford upon Avon, Leamington Spa, Nuneaton and Rugby and purchased 39 lamb curries and lamb kebabs. Warwickshire trading standards will now be contacting every restaurant and takeaway involved. Further investigations are to be carried out and advice will be provided to retailers and the wholesale trade.’

Muslims being discriminated in UK

have democracy, that they could achieve their best.” Meanwhile, while visiting Finsbury Park Mosque last month, Livingstone promised to turn the capital into a “beacon” for the words of the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him.) he considered Prophet’s last sermon as “an agenda for all humanity.” He insisted that he wanted to spend the next four years ensuring that “every non-Muslim in London knows and understands [its] words and message.” passionislam.com

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UK minister Straw sued over Libya torture claim

A Libyan military commander is suing former British foreign minister Jack Straw for authorising his illegal transfer to Libya where he faced years of torture in Muammar Gaddafi’s prisons, a lawyer for the commander said. The action against an ally of former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s ups the stakes in a debate over Britain’s role in helping the United States to spirit suspected Islamist fighters across borders, often to face torture or ill treatment.

Lawyers acting for Abdel Hakim Belhadj, once a Libyan rebel fighter on the run who went on to help topple Gaddafi in 2011, say recent evidence indicates that Straw authorised British spies to allow Belhadj to be sent back to Libya without due legal process, something known as rendition. “A letter of claim, the precursor to formal legal proceedings was served,” Belhadj’s lawyer, Sapna Malik, told Reuters. “The allegation is that he made the authorisation of the rendition of our client,” she said, adding that the letter had been served by email. Belhadj says he was arrested in 2004 with his pregnant wife in Malaysia and then transferred to Thailand where agents from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency took them into custody and sent them back to Libya to face years of torture. Now a powerful man in Tripoli, Belhadj says the United States was acting on a tip off from Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, and that the CIA used the British

island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to refuel during the flight. Belhadj is already suing the British government, the intelligence services and Sir Mark Allen, the former MI6 head of counter terrorism operations. British ministers have denied knowledge of sending anyone to face torture abroad and London police are investigating whether Britain illegally sent detainees to Libya, though there has been no firm denial from the British government. But the allegations have reopened a debate in Britain about the alliance with the United States and how far ministers in Blair’s government went in helping the United States to track down Islamist fighters after the Sept. 11 attacks. A report in the Sunday Times quoted sources as claiming Straw, who as foreign minister is formally in charge of the foreign spy service, had personally authorised Belhadj’s rendition to Libya. Blair said this month he had no recollection of the Belhadj case but the legal action has tested even the steely nerves of Britain’s spy chiefs who now have to ponder whether their decisions will one day be the subject of legal action.

Salah leaves Britain after winning legal battle Sheikh Raed Salah, the Palestinian activist, has left Britain a free man after winning a legal battle against the British government’s decision to deport him from the country. Salah, the most influential Palestinian political leader in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, arrived at Ben Gurion Airport after 10 months in the UK and was greeted by about 300 members of Islamic Movement. He was invited by a research institute, the Middle East Monitor (MEMO), for a 10-day speaking tour in Britain to highlight the plight of the Palestinians in the occupied Palestine, and the threat to the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. However, he was then arrested at his hotel room in London last June as UK Home Office insisted a banning

order had been placed on him. Salah, a former democratically elected Mayor of Umm al-Fahm in occupied Palestine, was then subjected to an Exclusion Order issued against him by the Home Secretary Theresa May. Nevertheless he won his appeal against deportation order. “All of the Zionists’ attempts have failed. I traveled to Britain and carried on my shoulders the al-Aqsa plight and the Palestinian people’s dream of a country of their own,” salah said while speaking before his supporters at the airport. “I returned like any other Palestinian soldier. The Zionists put pressure to get me deported from Britain but I resisted,” he added. The MEMO considered Salah’s victory as a victory for the whole

Palestinian community and the Muslim community, and that it was a blow for the pro-Israel lobby, which according to the judge “misled” the Home Secretary through its “evidence” against the Palestinian leader. His supporters condemned Israel and Britain’s move to arrest and deport Salah, believing The British fell into the Israeli trap, and did Israel’s dirty work. Analysts claimed Salah’s case showed that Britain, who has long been supporting Israel and hosted the suspected war criminals, is against the pro-Palestine activists, and failed to notice that Salah was invited to the country to speak about building peace and justice in Jerusalem. passionislam.com


US to stand by Afghanistan for 10 years after pullout

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Washington has pledged in a newly agreed strategic pact to help defend Afghanistan militarily for at least a decade after the country formally takes control of its own security, an Afghan official said. The draft agreement signed also says the US will only take such actions with Afghan agreement. The United States also pledged it will not launch attacks on other countries from Afghan soil, according

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to sections of the accord read out in parliament by Afghan national security adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta. Afghan officials had previously said that they would not allow their country to be used to launch drone attacks into Pakistan or other neighbouring countries after the deadline for most foreign forces to withdraw by the end of next year. “Considering that stability in

I May 2012

Afghanistan would be stability for Central Asia and South Asia, the United States emphasises that any kind of interference in Afghan affairs would be a matter of concern for the United States,” Spanta said, quoting from the Dari language version of the agreement. “If any interference occurs, the United States, with the agreement of both countries, will give a proper response, including diplomatic means, political means, economic means and even military means.” He stressed that any such actions would be taken only with Afghan approval. The most contentious issues between the Afghan and US government were resolved in separate memorandums of understanding governing the conduct of night raids and control of detainees ahead of the strategic partnership pact. The agreement as read out by Spanta is broad, addressing a mutual commitment to the stability of Afghanistan and to human rights.

CIA plans expanding terror drone attacks in Yemen: US media The CIA is seeking to expand its covert drone attacks in Yemen, despite the fact that the airborne strikes mostly result in civilian casualties. If President Barack Obama’s administration gives the CIA permission to use “signature strikes” in Yemen then the agency would be allowed to hit targets based solely on intelligence and without knowing the identities of those who will be killed, the Washington Post quoted US officials as saying. The report comes as the number of US assassination drone strikes in Yemen has already hit a record. Critics of the drone program believe that more innocent

people will be killed if US strikes are expanded in Yemen. US assassination drone strikes killed at least 64 people, mainly civilians, in southern Yemen over a period of only three days in March. The CIA has been flying drones in Yemen since last year from a secret base in the country. Last year, two American citizens, Anwar al-Awlaki and his teenage son, were also killed in US drone attacks in Yemen. Their deaths sparked strong criticism against Obama administration’s targeted killings of civilians across the world, including American citizens without any judicial procedures. Leading academic Professor

Noam Chomsky has also condemned US policy of targeting terror suspects in foreign countries using unmanned aerial vehicles, saying the tactic amounts to ‘’state terror’’. The CIA proposal for the “signature strikes” is awaiting a decision by the National Security Council and officials from the White House and the CIA have declined to comment. The practice of “signature strikes” has been a core element of the CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan for several years. Thousands of Pakistanis have been killed in US assassination drone attacks. vans. passionislam.com


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I May 2012

US urges UN sanctions, arms embargo against Syria

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called on world powers to push for tough UN sanctions, including an arms embargo, against the government of President Bashar al-Assad. “We need to start moving very vigorously in the Security Council for a Chapter Seven sanctions resolution, including travel, financial sanctions, an arms embargo,” Clinton said during an address to the envoys of 12 anti-Syrian countries that gathered in Paris. A Chapter Seven resolution permits foreign powers to militarily intervene in a country which is considered a threat to peace. “Now, I’m well aware that at this point such an effort is still likely to be vetoed, but we need to look for a way to keep pressing forward,” Clinton noted, adding, “Next, we have to keep Assad off balance by leaving options on the table.” On February 4, Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed anti-Syrian draft resolution at the UN Security Council, describing the draft document as “unbalanced.” Moscow and Beijing had previously vetoed a European-drafted UN Security Council resolution against Syria on October 5, 2011. The foreign-backed armed groups fighting against the Syrian

government have called for military intervention in the country even without the approval of the UN Security Council. This comes as the Syrian government has announced it would continue to respect and implement the peace plan brokered by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan. Syrian Foreign Ministry announced that Syria and the UN have signed an agreement outlining the functions of an observing mission and Damascus’ responsibilities regarding the implementation of ceasefire in the country. Despite relative calm in most areas of Syria following the April 12 ceasefire, some Arab governments -- like Qatar and Saudi Arabia -- are pushing to send weapons to armed opposition groups in the country. Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including numerous security forces, have been killed in the turmoil. Syria blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist gangs for the unrest in the country, asserting that it is being orchestrated from abroad. The West and the Syrian opposition, however, accuse the Syrian government of killing protesters. passionislam.com

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In Case You Missed It

Hindu artist who paints Quranic verses In Hyderbad Anil Kumar Chowhan, an artist by profession, has been offering his services to paint Quranic verses and supplications in mosques for more than a decade. While the sanctity of temples and mosques in Hyderabad was violated, he carried out his job with single-minded devotion. In the last decade-and-a-half, Mr. Chowhan has done calligraphic work in almost 100 mosques in Hyderabad, Secunderabad, and nearby districts. A huge frame containing ‘Sura Yaseen’, the 36 chapter of Quran, written by him, adorns the a mosque in Hyderabad. He has painted the 99 names of Allah and the Prophet as well. Interestingly, he doesn’t charge anything. But if people do offer something, then he accepts it. His foray into calligraphy started when he began painting signboards and banners in Urdu. He mastered the Urdu script perfectly, and then writing Arabic was relatively easy. There was initial scepticism regarding his writing Arabic verses in mosques. But Mr. Chowhan approached muslim scholars in Hyderabad and was given permission to write. “I was asked to remain clean and do ablution before writing,” he says. Though he can’t read Arabic, he writes the verses from the Quran perfectly. “I do take care to see that the dots and strokes accompanying the Arabic letters are correct,” he says, even as he works on a new frame. While people fight for religion and even die for it, Mr. Chowhan lives for it, in the true sense of the word.


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OIC envoys for free trade amongst Islamic nations

The Ambassadors of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries have renewed the call for removing all barriers to trade among member states. They said that creation of free trade amongst the member states, in order to ensure increase in trade between the Islamic nations with active participation of its private sectors. The Ambassadors were speaking at OIC Ambassadors Conference, organized by the Lahore Chamber

of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) at Bhurban, a tourist spot northeast of Islamabad. The Ambassadors said that the world was facing several challenges including poverty, hunger, terrorism, global recession, and natural disaster. They said that Islamic world is not immune to these challenges, and should come together to tackle these issues in the Islamic world by encouraging. passionislam.com

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I May 2012

Quran in Sign Language distributed in Jordan Digital copies of the Holy Quran in sign language were distributed in Jordan’s Rasifa Province. The distribution last month in a ceremony held at Al-Isala Hall, the office of Jordan’s Quran Protection Society announced, according to a report carried by As-Sabil daily. Aiman Raba director of the province’s development office officiated the ceremony. The copies, that are designed for the hearing-impaired, feature Quranic verses in sign language as well as pictures related to the content of the verses. They are given to the hearingimpaired in CD format. Sign language is a language which, instead of acoustically conveyed sound patterns, uses hand shapes, orientation and movement of the hands, arms or body, and facial expressions to convey meaning.

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Belgium’s Muslims unite behind a single prayer calendar Islamic associations and mosques in Belgium have ended a dispute over prayer timings in the country and have an agreed on a unified prayer calender. Dr. Khalid Al-Ibri, director of the Islamic and Cultural Centre in Brussels, in a statement Saturday, said a meeting of Belgium’s Muslim prayer leaders, mosques and Islamic organizations had been organized to discuss the issue of differences in prayer timings. “The participants took a historic decision on the adoption of the calendar that was prepared and

approved by the Islamic Fiqh Council in the Muslim World League in Makkah. It is a sound calendar issued by the legitimate scientific committee with the participation of elite Islamic scholars and astronomers,” noted the statement. Al-Ibri said belgium’s Muslim leaders took the step to end the differences in prayer timings which, even in the city of Brussels, differed by one hour and created problems

among Muslims in particular during the fasting month of Ramadhan.

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Conversion to Islam growing dramatically in Austria

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Malaysian government repeals Internal Security Act

Official records suggest a dramatic growth in conversions from Christianity to Islam, in the predominantly Christian European country of Austria, Press TV reports. “We see that people have spiritual longing that they feel there is something missing in their lives, if there is no dimension, no horizon as to the hereafter, or where am I? Why am I here?” Says Mr. Bagajati, an Austrian convert to Islam. Austria is a predominantly Catholic Christian European country of over eight million people with strong and deep historical roots in Christianity. Many Christians express that they were disillusioned and had lost their faith in Christianity, and of course the recent recurring sexual scandals of Catholic Church has played a major role in their exodus,

which at the end led to many of them convert to Islam, where they could find comfort. Most non-Muslim, European citizens have always been presented with an ugly and awful image of Islam, linked mainly to extremism and fundamentalism, by the Western culture. Meanwhile, Ms. Bagajati believes that it is the “perfect time” for Islam to show its “peaceful nature” to nonMuslims, in a time when the United Nations has expressed concerns over growing religious discrimination and violence against religious groups. Estimations show that almost half a million Austrian Christians have converted to Islam since roughly two years ago, with the numbers of conversions keeping thriving. Photo shows; Masjid in Telfs, Aus

The Malaysian government has repealed the country’s controversial Internal Security Act (ISA) which legalized indefinite detention without trial. “We welcome the amendment to the Internal Security Act and the Police Act, but we really feel that there is a lot of room for us to improve the current situation. We are really serious about improving human rights in this country…” Amnesty International’s Nora Murat said. The new Security Offences law allows 28 days of detention without trial. Malaysians say the new law still allows abuse, as detainees are not given access to a lawyer for the first 48 hours of detention. During the leadership of current Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his predecessor Abdullah Badawi, the ISA has been mostly used to track down militants. The ISA was introduced during the nation’s British colonial era in the 1950s. It became dominantly used for political purposes, mostly against social activists and political opponents under the leadership of Malaysia’s fourth Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Islamic education for youth discussed in Ukraine

A national conference on educating the younger Muslim generation in Islamic thoughts was held on April 12 at the University of Engineering and Teacher Training in Simferopol, Ukraine. According to IQNA’s branch in Europe, the program was called

“spiritual and moral education of the youth using innovative educational programs in kindergartens, schools and educational institutes”. It was attended by some 200 eminent scientific figures, experts, lecturers and teachers from Ukraine and its neighboring countries.

Heydar Ismailov, deputy of the Mufti of the region, a number of experts of the National University of Trainers in Kiev, and lecturers of the University of Psychology in Moscow and the National University of Simferopol made speeches at the program.


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I WORLD NEWS

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Two US-Israeli spy cells discovered in Egypt

A senior Egyptian security official announced that the country has discovered and disbanded two spy cells trying to collect intelligence about the country’s conditions, Fars News Agency reported. Kuwait’s Arabic daily, Aljarida, quoted Head of the Egyptian National Security Apparatus General Majdi Abd Al-Ghaffar as saying that his forces have discovered two spy cells

operating in Egypt and arrested its members this afternoon. He announced that the spy cells included 4 Americans, one ‘Israeli’, one Moroccan and a Norwegian, and added that the detainees have been handed over to the relevant authorities for further investigations. According to Fars, Abd al-Ghaffar said the spy cells were trying to collect information about the latest

developments in the country. Post-revolution Egypt is scheduled to hold presidential elections next month. Late in February, a trial which shook up Egypt’s 30-year alliance with the US began in Cairo when a court was told 16 American workers with non-governmental organizations were CIA spies. Forty-three foreign and Egyptian workers from NGOs - including the son of the US Transport Secretary - were accused of receiving illegal funds from abroad, carrying out political activities unrelated to their civil society work. The case underscored tension between the US and the generals who took power when President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown. Washington has said annual military aid to Egypt, worth $1.3bln, is under threat due to the trial of the American spies. Judge Mahmud Mohamed Shukry said the trial would resume on 26 April and the defendants could stay out of jail until the next hearing.

Saudi Arabia launches circling zone expansion project in Makkah

Constructions started in the project of expanding the circling zone around holy Ka’ba to elevate its capacity by 130,000 pilgrims per hour instead of only 52,000, it was announced. The project is launched upon the instructions of the Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, including eight new ventures in the courtyards of the Holy Makkah Mosque, like developing the toilets, and construction of new courtyards, Okath Saudi daily reported. It would also include establishing roads network for vehicles, completely separated from pedestrian walkways, besides pedestrian tunnels that meet all standards of security and safety. The expansion will start from the section between the gates of Al-Safah and Al-Fateh, and constructions will start by a gradual removal of the Ottoman Corridor.

The ground floor of the project opposite to Al-Fateh and Al-Omrah gates will finish by (Sha’ban)-June, allowing 200,000 pilgrims to perform prayer. The implement of this project would not affect the flow of pilgrims and prayer performers during the next 75 days, the newspaper quoted

a security official as saying. The expansion of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz is considered the largest in the history of the Two Holy Mosques, costing SR 40 billion (USD 10.6 billion), and would allow the Holy Makkah Mosque to welcome two million prayer performers at the same time.


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Rights group slams Europe’s ‘discrimination’ of Muslims

Amnesty International says European countries discriminate against Muslims who openly demonstrate their faith, especially in education and employment. In a new report, the rights group urged European governments to put in more effort to challenge widespread negative prejudices against Muslims. In particular, it says that Muslims are excluded from some forms of employment and attending school while wearing religious dress. “Muslim women are being denied jobs and girls prevented from attending regular classes just because they wear traditional forms of dress, such as the headscarf,” said the group’s discrimination

specialist, Marco Perolini. “Men can be dismissed for wearing beards associated with Islam.” “Rather than countering these prejudices, political parties and public officials are all too often pandering to them in their quest for votes,” he added. The report focused on Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland, where Amnesty International has already raised issues on public bans of full-face veils worn by some Muslim women, as well as restrictions on places of worship Amnesty International cited the prohibition of minarets on mosques in Switzerland in 2009 as such an example. Amnesty International also said that Belgium, France and the Netherlands have failed to implement legislation prohibiting discrimination in employment. Employers had been allowed to ban religious or cultural symbols on the basis they would annoy clients, colleagues and or impact a company’s corporate image, the report highlighted, despite this conflicting with EU law.

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In Case You Missed It

Islamic University Opens in India An Islamic University titled “Hamidiyyeh” was inaugurated at a ceremony on April 6 in Fatehpur District in Uttar Pradesh State of India. The university has been opened for women with the purpose of promoting Islamic principles in the country. It was opened by Shah Mazaheri, Indian preacher and director of Riyadh-ol-‘Ulum School and a number of religious and political dignitaries. Addressing the opening ceremony, Shah Mazaheri said that the university plans to offer courses as to history, the holy Quran and Islamic Sciences and support women’s activities particularly the programs for Muslim women of the region. Also speaking at the opening program, Ghasemi, chancellor of the university, elaborated on the objectives and the educational system of the university.

Muslim World Media play crucial role in Palestinian cause Muslim world media should take a closer look at the role of the information in supporting the Palestinian cause, a senior officer of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said in Liberville, Gabon. OIC’s director of information department Dr Isam Salim Shanti said it was necessary for the media to reveal Israel’s aggressions against Al-Quds Al-Shareef, particularly the Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as the regime’s assaults and human rights violation against the Gazans. He also highlighted the need to handle Islamophobic campaigns by some Western parties through counter-media efforts to show the real principles of Islam as a tolerant and peaceful religion. In his speech, Dr Isam also hoped for a fruitful

discussion at the Senior Officials Meeting of the Ninth Session of the Islamic Conference of Information Ministers (ICIM), specifically on the issue of cooperation and coordination among journalists and broadcasting agencies in the Muslim world. “We hope to see the best outcome in this session to benefit members of this organization,” he said at the session. The session got underway in the City of Democracy, in Libreville, Gabon, with the Senior Officials’ Meeting in preparation for the ministers’ meeting. The meeting opened with the statements by the eighth and ninth sessions’ chairmen and the representative of the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, followed by the election of bureau

members and adoption of the agenda and work program. The agenda of the meeting included discussing the role of the OIC in supporting the causes of Al-Quds Al Shareef and the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque, developing an integrated information plan to communicate with the non-OIC member states, and launching an Islamic TV Satellite channel under the name of the OIC. The new items on the agenda this year include establishing an OIC Muslim Journalists Union, preparing special information program on Africa to project and promote its place and role in the Muslim world, and the progress made pertaining to the establishment of the OIC Broadcasting Regulatory Authorities Union.


Airborne prayers problem solved for tech-savvy Muslims

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As a frequent flier and devout Muslim, businessman Abdalhamid Evans always comes up against the same challenge in the air: when to say his prayers. Muslims are required to pray five times a day at certain hours, but this schedule becomes complicated when crossing various time zones at thousands of metres above sea level. “I usually don’t pray when I am in a plane,” said Evans, the Londonbased founder of a website that provides information on the global halal, or Islam-compliant, industry. “But lately I have been thinking that it is probably better to do them in the air than make them up on arrival,” he told AFP. The problem may be solved for travellers such as Evans thanks to an innovation called the Air Travel Prayer Time Calculator, developed by Singapore-based Crescentrating,

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a firm that gives halal ratings to hotels and other travel-related establishments. Launched earlier this month, the online tool takes data such as prayer times in the country of origin, the destination city and in countries on the flight path and uses an algorithm to plot exact prayer hours during a flight. Current programmes only allow Muslims to find their prayer hours according to their position on land, and the absence of any tools that can be used to calculate during a flight has compromised many travellers . “I knew there was lot of frustration among the travellers on this issue, but nobody had really attempted to solve it,” Crescentrating chief executive Fazal Bahardeen told AFP in an interview. Before embarking on a trip,

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a Muslim traveller can now go to the online calculator in the Crescentrating website and input their departure airport, time of flight and destination. The calculator then comes up with the prayer times set either in the local time of the airport of origin, the destination city or the country that the aircraft is flying over, which the traveller can then email to themselves to access later. Fazal said his team plans to develop a mobile app that will also point users in the direction of the Islamic holy city of Makkah, to which Muslims must face when they pray, based on the flight path. Muslim travellers have welcomed the tool. “It’s good for long-haul travelling,” said Shiraz Sideek, a vice president at the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank who travels almost a dozen times a year. “When you cross different times zones in an airplane, you have a problem of timing when to pray,” he told AFP from Abu Dhabi. “The application sounds like a very unique thing and very useful.” While it is still early days for the Air Travel Prayer Time Calculator, potential customers say mobility is important. “If it becomes a smartphone app .. it could prove to be a popular idea,” said Evans.

German minister caught in Muslim study leak lie Germany’s Interior Minister was forced to admit that his ministry had leaked a controversial study on young Muslims in the country to populist Bild newspaper – despite initial denials. Hans-Peter Friedrich and the tabloid newspaper both presented the study as showing that young Muslims were not integrating into German society – infuriating the authors who said their presentation was a gross distortion of what they actually said. The study, released at the end of February, was led by Wolfgang Frindte of the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, who spoke of

his team’s “despair” at the way the complex 760-page study was spun by the government and Bild. Islam scholar Armina Omerika resigned from the Islam conference currently taking place in Berlin over host Friedrich’s handling of the study. Revelation, in a Süddeutsche Zeitung report, suggests there was some collusion between the ministry and the paper over the timing of the study’s release. Bild reported on the study on February 29, a day before the Interior Ministry posted it on its website. There was immediate suspicion that it had been leaked, but Friedrich told state broadcaster ZDF at the time,

“This study was not given out from my ministry.” State secretary Christoph Bergner repeated this claim to the German parliament later. But following an official information request from the socialist Left party, the ministry has now admitted that its press office did give Bild an advance copy, in preparation for an interview with Friedrich. The Left party’s Sevim Dagdelen, who made the official request, condemned Friedrich, of the Christian Social Union, as a “Minister of Lies,” and called on him to apologize to the study’s authors and give an explanation to parliament.


India penalizes Israeli military firm over graft

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The Indian government has confiscated the bank guarantees of a blacklisted Israeli military company following an Indian defense ministry probe into the Israeli firm’s “murky” arms deals. The Indian ministry has penalized the Israeli Military Industries (IMI)

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by cashing its $70 million bank guarantees for “violating an integrity pact” in a contract to set up a plant to produce bi-modular charge systems, a propellant for 155 mm guns, at Nalanda in Bihar in eastern India. The IMI signed the contract with the Indian OFB-Ordinance Factory

Delhi decides to provide funds to Madresas To reach out to minority votes ahead of the Delhi assembly elections in 2013, the Congress-led government asked the state minority commission to facilitate the registration of eligible Madresas which could be provided financial assistance for imparting “purposeful” education. The decision came in the wake of absence of authentic data on the number of Madresas in the capital which is the basic requirement to grant assistance to the seminaries. This was decided at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who underlined the need for better education for more people belonging to the minority category. “The Delhi Minorities Commission has been asked to facilitate registration/identification of eligible Madresas. It has also been decided that the

Education Department will call for applications for registration through advertisements in daily newspapers,” said a statement from the chief minister’s office. “The Madresas with enrolment of at least 50 students and already registered under the Societies Registration Act, Waqf Board and National Institute of Open Schooling will be considered initially for grant of assistance under a scheme for providing quality education in Madresas,” added the statement. Eligible Madresas will provide a per month salary of Rs.6,000 for graduate teachers and Rs.12,000 for post-graduate teachers. Further, the eligible Madresas will be allotted a onetime grant of Rs.50,000 for library books and teaching aids and another Rs.1 lakh for science and computer labs.

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Board to build ordnance factories in Bihar for manufacturing bi-modular charges for the Indian Army’s 155mm howitzers. The $260 million contract contained an “integrity pact” covering a commitment to abstain from “malpractice.” Delhi says the IMI forfeited its guarantee as it was “involved in the offer of a bribe” to the former director general of OFB in 2010. The IMI was among six firms banned by the Indian defense ministry over corruption charges. The Indian defense ministry hopes that the Nalanda plant, crucial for the army, would start functioning by the end of this year. The project has been jinxed right from the point it was conceived in the 1999. The first contract was awarded to South African company Denel, which was banned on allegations of corruption. The contract, which has resulted in cost over-runs, was then awarded to IMI, which again got into trouble.

World’s tallest building finished in 2017 Jeddah’s Kingdom Tower, set to become the world’s tallest building, will be completed midway through 2017, according to the chairman of one of the major shareholders in the project. In a statement, Kingdom Holding’s HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal said that the 1,000m high skyscraper in the Red Sea port city would be finished “in 63 months”. Kingdom Tower will form part of the wider Kingdom City project. On completion, Kingdom Tower will trump Dubai’s 830m Burj Khalifa to become the tallest freestanding structure in the world. It may not hold the record for long however, with an Azerbaijani firm recently announcing plans to build a 1,030m structure in the Caspian Sea nation’s capital Baku.


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UAE investors ‘in talks’ with French football champions

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Wealthy investors in the UAE are currently in talks to buy top-tier French football club Lille, it has been reported. According to British tabloid

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The Sun, “friends” of Abu Dhabi royal Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan are in talks with Lille chairman Michel Seydoux. Sheikh Mansour is the current owner of English Premier League heavyweights Manchester City. Lille, the current champions of the French league, would cost in the region of £30m to £40m, the newspaper says. The club are in the process of moving into a new £260m, 50,000 capacity stadium in the northern France city. The development is a publicprivate partnership between the club and the local municipality. Under its tenancy terms, the stadium will be

owned by the municipality and leased back to Lille for GBP6m per year. If any deal goes through, Lille would be the second top-tier team in France with Gulf backers. Paris St Germain, the only major team based in the French capital, saw its previous US owners Colony Capital sell off a 70 percent stake in the club to Qatari investment vehicle Qatar Sports Investment (QSI) in May 2011. QSI bought up the remaining shares in the team earlier this month. While financial details were not disclosed, it was widely reported that the deals valued Paris St Germain at €100m. passionislam.com

Zahra Lari, the ‘Ice Princess’ in the Hijab

The 17-year-old not only became the first figure skater from the Persian Gulf to compete in an international competition but the first to do so wearing the hijab, an Islamic headscarf. “In my country women don’t do much sport and even less figure skating,” the quietly-spoken teenager told us after competing alongside skaters from 50 countries in the European Cup. A practising Muslim, her black headscarf and sober costume, stood out among the flashy orange tutus and fluorescent pink tights. “I skate with the hijab, my costume is in line with Islam,” she explained. “The other girls are very nice to me. I think they accept me very well. I haven’t had any problems, people are open. It’s not a question of an exhibition, but of sport and my father is in agreement.” Lari explains that her love of the ice began when she watched a Disney movie at the age of 11. “I watched The Ice Princess over a 100 times, I loved it! I said to

myself ‘That’s what I want to do’.” Three years later she realised her dream when she pulled on her first pair of skates at the Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi where she met her coach Noemi Bedo. “Promising skaters usually start aged 3 or 4 years,” explains Romanian Bedo. “But she’s very talented, she’s very powerful and jumps higher than the others. I also believe in the Olympic Games,” added Bedo, of Lari’s dream of competing at the Winter Olympics. “This has been an incredible learning experience and I am happy to have been able to show what I have learnt in the last few years,” she said. “For Sochi (2014 Winter Games) I’m giving 100 percent, I can do it. Otherwise I’ll try for the 2018 Games,” she said. She certainly has the determination, getting up six days a week at 4:30 to practice before her day begins at the American International School. “I’m on the ice until 7:30 and at

16:00 I’m back skating for an hour and a half. It’s not difficult, I love that, and I want to succeed.” Apart from wanting her own success, Lari added: “I want to encourage girls from the Emirates and the Persian Gulf to achieve their dream too and not to let anyone tell them not to do sport, not only figure skating but all sports.”

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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 picomp@passionislam.com by May 18th 2012 or post: PO BOX 159, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 1AD

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Man City to visit Malaysia for first time In Case You Missed It

Manchester City will visit Malaysia for the first time in July, marking the English Premier League club’s only stop in Southeast Asia, the event promoter said. The club will meet a select squad of Malaysian League players on July 30 at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium on the outskirts of the capital Kuala Lumpur, promoters ProEvents said in a press release. Manchester City will come to Kuala Lumpur after playing English Premiership rivals Arsenal in Beijing on July 27, it said. “This visit is hugely exciting for Manchester City,” the club’s interim chief executive officer John MacBeath was quoted in the release. “It is clear that there is significant appetite for the Premier League in Malaysia, and we are very excited to (be) taking our talented squad there to put on a sporting spectacle for our fans in Southeast Asia,” he added.

ProEvents said it expected fans from Malaysia, as well as neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia and Thailand to throng the 87,000-capacity stadium. Malaysia has hosted several top English Premier League clubs in recent years as those have increasingly courted Asia, keen to nurture a fan base and to help attract sponsors. Earlier this month, Arsenal announced they would hold an open training session in Kuala Lumpur on July 23 and a match against Malaysian League players the next night. The Gunners then travel to China to play Manchester City in Beijing, followed by a match in Hong Kong against local side Kitchee on July 29. Arsenal already visited Malaysia and China last year. Other top European clubs who came to the region included Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United.

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Trust & Reliance should only be in Allah

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Everything that happens is from Almighty Allah and only from Him. Human beings, whilst having the will power to do things, have no power to change the outcome or the end result. It is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an: “Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us.” [9:11] The Prophet expressed this very same sentiment in the following manner: “Whatever has befallen you was not meant to escape you, and whatever has escaped you was not meant to befall you.” [Tirmidhi] You will never completely feel at ease until you firmly believe that Allah has already pre-ordained all matters. Therefore, do not feel remorse over that which is not in

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your hands. Do not think that you could have prevented the death or sickness of someone, the accident that happened, the imprisonment of a loved one or the fight or argument that resulted in devastation. You could not have prevented these things, whether you wanted to or not. In times of ease and comfort one tends to build expectations on individuals and institutions upon whom one can turn to in times of need hoping that they can be one’s saviour. However, experience has shown that those very same means upon whom one has attached so much reliance fail to materialise in the hour of need. Not only that, but many a times those very same ‘friends’, apart from walking away in

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the midst of one’s sufferings, prove to be injurious and detrimental to ones interest. This demonstrates the reality of all those expectations and hopes apart from Allah, testing times define the real from the false and the good from the bad. If you are afflicted with trials and tribulations remember Allah, call out His name, and ask Him for help. Place your forehead on the ground and mention His praise, so that you can obtain true freedom. Raise your hands in supplication, and ask of Him constantly and abundantly. Cling to His door, have good thoughts about Him, and wait for His help – you will then find true happiness and success. If you remain persistent and


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sincere in your calling Him, you will achieve freedom from worry and anxiety. All ropes are cut loose save His, and all doors are shut save His. He is near; He hears all and answers those who supplicate to Him. Almighty Allah says: “…invoke Me, I will respond to you” [Qur’an – 40:60] Remember well, if you have found Allah, then you have found everything. And if you lose your faith in Him, then you have lost everything! Dealing with Trials & Tribulations Trials and tribulations are in no way a criterion on defining success and failure. The Prophet said: “No one was subjected to the amount of difficulties I was subjected to.” [Tirmidhi] The underlining criterion is by evaluating ones relationship with His Lord, Allah in all situations. If during ones suffering, a person terminates his relationship with his religious obligations and looses hope in Allah – he is at a loss. On the other hand, if one in the midst of distress holds firmly to his Deen, repents from sins and strengthens his bond with His Creator he is the successful one. Now consider these saying of the pious servants of Allah regarding trials and tribulations: Junaid Baghdadi (Allah have mercy on him) said: “Hardships are a lamp for the divinely enlightened ones; a warning for the doubters and a disaster for careless people.” Ali bin Bindar (Allah have mercy on him) said: “The foundations of this worldly abode are hardships and difficulties. Therefore, life on earth without effort is not possible.” Ibn Ata (Allah have mercy on him) said: The truth and falsehood of a servant becomes manifest at the time of hardship. During good times he remains stagnant. He refrains from thankfulness and does not progress in worship. When he bewails his lot in hardship, he displays his falsehood.” Compare the following insults and difficulties which the great Prophets (peace be upon them): were subjected to: • Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him): He is astray! He should be pelted to death • Prophet Hud (peace be upon

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him): A fool and a liar indeed he is • Prophet Lut (peace be upon him): Expel him from the community • Prophet Salih (peace be upon him): He and his companions are bad luck! • Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him): A criminal! Burn him alive! • Prophet Musa (peace be upon him): A mad man he is! • Prophet Isa (peace be upon him): It is compulsory to kill him! • Maryam (peace be upon her): She is unchaste! The scholars and saints of Islam, being the inheritors of the Prophets (peace be upon them) were also subjected to similar trials. • Imam Jafar Saadiq (peace be upon him) was branded a madman. • Imam Zainul-Abidin (peace be upon him): He speaks like an idol worshipper! • Imam Abu Hanifa (peace be upon him): was imprisoned by the ruler of the time and his food was rationed People abused him and called him an enemy and shaytan of the Ummah. Open calls were made that ‘assassinate him and you will earn more virtues than performing seventy Jihads!’ • Imam Malik (Allah have mercy on him): was whipped and dragged in the street. He was unable to perform Salaah with Jama’ah and even prevented by his enemies and oppressors from leaving his house for performing Jum’ah. • Imam Shafi’i (Allah have mercy on him): was given the title “More harmful than Iblis”. He was cursed and sworn at! • Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (Allah have mercy on him): was imprisoned and whipped daily until he would fall down unconscious. In addition to this, he was repeatedly smacked and spat upon. • Imam Bukhari (Allah have mercy on him): was hounded, called a non-Muslim and to even sit in his company was considered sinful. He was banished from his home city on four occasions following theological disputes and died whilst in exile. • Imam Nasa’i (Allah have mercy on him) was beaten so severely for giving a Khutbah in praise of Ali (Allah have mercy on him) that resulted in his death.

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• Imam Ghazzali (Allah have mercy on him): his books were burnt in public, and this was considered obligatory just as it was considered an act of reward to curse him! • Imam Ibn Taymiyyah (Allah have mercy on him) was imprisoned for 36 months and his assets were confiscated by the state. • Shah Waliyullah (Allah have mercy on him): was imprisoned and his hand was amputated to stop him from writing. He was forced to migrate and he passed away in Delhi. As history has demonstrated in the case of those mentioned and many others alike that, despite the apparent suffering inflicted upon them, they were ultimately successful and their lives are admired and their legacy lives on till this very day. It is reported about the great saint Junaid Baghdadi (Allah have mercy on him) that when people insulted him and criticised his work, he would mostly remain silent, but occasionally he would say, “The accounts are always made up at the end of the day. Lets us see, when a sufficient space of time has passed, whether it is our work which is remembered or the names of our critics.” Transforming Challenges into Opportunities Circumstances of pure evil do not exist, and in all situations one can find goodness, benefit and reward from Allah. A believer should always ponder and look at the other side of any tragedy or hardship. Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur’an: “And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and it may be that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” [42:27] It was this very reason that the Prophet was compelled to leave Makkah, but rather than quit his mission, he continued it in Madina – the city that took its place in history with lightning speed. An intelligent and skilful person endeavours to transform challenges into opportunities and losses into profits; whereas, the unskilled person aggravates his own predicament, often making two disasters out of one. Two brilliant poets were


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imprisoned - one was an optimist, the other was a pessimist. They both squeezed their heads through the bars of their cell windows. The optimist then stared at the stars and laughed, while the pessimist looked at the dirt of a neighbouring road and wept. Now consider the response of these eminent personalities of Islam in the face of hostilities and aggression. • Imam Abu Hanifah (Allah have mercy on him) was whipped by the ruler of the time in the open bazaar. The whipping was so severe that the lashes left impressions on his body - blood would flow down his feet. On being whipped he would weep and make Dua abundantly to Allah. Whilst in captivity in a foreign land, when death drew near, the Imam fell in prostration and passed away therein. Despite this persecution and torture he emerged as Imam Azam – the Great Imam. His Madhhab (school of Jurisprudence) spread across the globe and his followers outnumbered everyone else. • Imam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal (Allah have mercy on him) was severely tortured and flogged and yet he emerged triumphant from that ordeal, becoming the Imam of the Sunnah. • Imam Ibn Taymiyyah (Allah have mercy on him) was imprisoned for 36 months during which he completed reciting the Qur’an 80

times. He would put his head on the floor in prostration from Isha until Fajr (all night long), repeating the supplication, “O Allah! Help me to remember You, be grateful to You and to worship You with excellence.” During imprisonment, his books, pen and paper were confiscated; despite this, he continued his writings with pieces of coal - he emerged an even more accomplished scholar than he was before. • Imam Sarakhsi (Allah have mercy on him) was held as a prisoner, kept at the bottom of an unused well; he managed therein to produce twenty volumes on Islamic Jurisprudence. • Ibn Athir (Allah have mercy on him) became crippled, after which he wrote Jam’i al-Usool and Al-Nihayah, two of the most famous books in the Science of Hadith. • Imam Ibn al-Jawzi (Allah have mercy on him) was banished from Baghdad. Then through his travels, he became proficient in the seven recitations of the Holy Qur’an. • Mujaddid Alfi Thani (Allah have mercy on him) was imprisoned; he continued his propagation work in prison and successfully converted all the non-Muslim inmates to Islam. Therefore if you are afflicted with a misfortune, look on the bright side. If someone was to hand you a glass full of squeezed lemons, add to it a handful of sugar. And if someone

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gives you a snake as a gift, keep its precious skin and leave the rest. Remember, eating follows hunger, drinking follows thirst, tears are followed by a smile, fear is replaced by comfort, anxiety is overthrown by serenity, sleep comes after restlessness, and health takes the place of sickness. The lost will find their way, the day will follow the night and one in difficulty will find relief. Almighty Allah says: “Verily, with hardship, there is relief.” [Qur’an 94:6] Remain patient, steadfast and sincere in your relation with your Lord and await Allah’s promised relief and assistance. The following quote very nicely articulates these sentiments: “Life is a book with many chapters. Some tell of tragedy, others of triumph. Some are dull and ordinary, others intense and exciting. The key to success in life is to never stop on a difficult page, to never quit on a tough chapter. Champions have the courage to keep turning the pages because they know that a better chapter always lies ahead, because with Allah all things are possible. And the last chapter of a book is always the best.” And our last call is that all praise is for the Lord of the worlds and peace and blessings be upon the Master of the Messengers, his family and his companions.

“A friend who does not benefit at the time of hardships, Is close to an enemy on the scales, The friend does not remain, during all times, Nor does the brother, except for consolation. I searched the days, with all my strengths for a brother to trust, but my search was fruitless, The lands and those who live them were barren, As though its people were not people I wanted them to be.”

From the Poems of Imam Shafi’i (Allah have mercy on him)

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I May 2012

SPECIAL FEATURE

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Diary Blog H A R M U

I really did not want to go in a huge detail of all the things that happened on my first Umrah trip but more than anything wanted to let the photos tell the story. First things first, my two weeks in Makkah and Madinah was awesome, the best experience ever and a place may the Almighty takes everyone at least once to this beautiful place that is everything that we are and more. Now a few misconception going around my friends circles that I got lost on the first day, well I would not say I got lost more I got sidetracked by the beauty of Makkah, I did actually wait for my sheikh who was my guide also outside the entrance that we came into but obviously he forget which entrance we entered, so with no phone and not really sure exactly where my hotel was and not remembering the hotel name I asked this wonderful Palestinian brother to lend me his phone to ring the tours group leader Mr Yusuf Kayat of Kayat Tours who then contacted sheikh Munir to the gate I was waiting at, on a serious note it is very easy to get sidetracked and lose your companion or group so please always try to have a mobile with you, SIM cards are very easy to purchase and are not that expensive. I was very lucky that I went with an excellent travel agent, Kayat Tours, Brother Yusuf Kayat was fantastic but more amazing was his volunteering team Moulana Sulaiman Makda an excellent source of spiritual inspiration, Sheikh Munir the guy who lost me on the first day, he was lucky that I forgive him, well I had no choice as I was at a place where forgiveness was paramount lol, Yusuf bhai from Sheffield for his endless hospitality and advice and not forgetting our own Saudi resident Zara who shared the room with Yusuf Kayat and Moulana.

Some of the events that took place should be left in Makkah and Madinah as even though I can try to explain it if you believe it is another matter, what I can reveal is, when we travelled 6 people in one Taxi, Zara always sat in front in Moulana’s lap and Yusuf Kayat on Sheikh Munir lap, we were invited to a wedding which was an experience, I wished someone warned me before that food is served at 2am in the morning in between we were given dates and some really strong brown tea. We were fortunate to meet Sheikh Muhammed a direct descendent of our Prophet (PBUH), we had beautiful meal with him at one of the hotels in Madinah. If you have seen it, touch it, smelt it then you have experienced Makkah and Madinah and if you haven’t then you haven’t seen nothing, everything that we are and what we believe in Almighty has given us the opportunity to visit this incredible place, I cried whilst in Maghreb and when I left Madinah and Makkah, even if you have the hardest of hearts the tears will flow. May the almighty give everyone this opportunity to go to this amazing place.


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I May 2012

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Passion Islam May 2012 Issue  

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