Thursday, 28 July 2016

Obituary - Mohamed Haniffa Mohamed - Founder Member of Rabita Al-Alam Al-Islami

Mohamed Haniffa Mohamed
(15 June 1921 – 25 April 2016)
Founder Member of the Constituent Council
of Rabita Al-Alam al-Islami

Dr. Mozammel Haque

Mohamed Haniffa Mohamed was born on 15 June 1921 to an illustrious family of Sri Lanka. He spent his long life for the service of Islam and his community of Sri Lanka. I had the opportunity to meet this great leader of Sri Lanka so many times when he used to come to attend the meeting of the Constituent Council of the Muslim World League (Rabitat al-Alam Al-Islami) in Makkah Al-Mukarramah.

I used to meet and interview him about the Muslim situation in Sri Lanka as well as about his viewpoint on world Muslim situation as an editor of the Muslim World League Journal. I still vividly remember those days when I used to sit long long hours at his room in Hilton Hotel Makkah and also in Safa Palace Makkah. I enjoyed my meeting with him when we were sitting and discussing about interfaith activities at Safa Palace during the First International Dialogue Conference in Makkah initiated by the then King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

M H Mohamed was a versatile dedicated leader of the Muslim community. I want to divide his activities into three categories –international Muslim Ummah, religious and Muslim Affairs and political activities. So far his national political activities are concerned; he held most of the important political positions in the Government of Sri Lanka. Mohamed Haniffa Mohamed, Municipal Councillor, Member of Parliament, Minister who held several portfolios (although at different times), and one time Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament. 

Mohamed Haniffa Mohamed - Ancestry
Amongst Such early migrants from the Peninsular Arabia during the rule of the Sinhala Monarchs - That is, long before the South Indian Kings and the Catholic Portugues invaded Ceylon - were the ancestors of M H Mohamed. One such person was Saint Al Quthub As Sheikh Ismail Moulana Al Yemeni Seilani As Zebeedi wal Abbasi (Nasab) wa Siddique (Hasab), known as Arabi Appa, who migrated from Yemen together with Seyyed Abdul Qadir Moulana and settled down in Ceylon.  

A great Islamic and Arabic scholar and a widely respected theologian. Arabi Appa was direct descendent  of Seyyidina Abbas (RA), who was an uncle of Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as well as Seyyidina Abu Bakr Siddique (RA), the first caliph of Islam. His immediate ancestors were As Seyyed Sheikh Shaoosi Ar Rabahiyyi Zebeediyil Abbasi wa Siddiqui, as Seyyed Salih Abdullah, As Sheikh Salih Moulana and Sheikh Izzadeen Moulana.  

M C Raheman's fifth child, Abdul Azeez, the maternal grand father of  M H Mohamed, married Yeha Umma, a grand daughter of As Sheikh Abdul Azeez Moulana, who was one of the sons of As sheikh Ismail Moulana Yemeni (Arabi Appa).

The Abdul Azeez Yehya Umma Couple had one daughter and their only daughter Ummu Hafeera was given in marriage to N M M Haniffa Proctor and Notary Public..

First in so many respects
Because of his ancestral background and heritage, M H. Mohamed has devoted himself to the cause of Islam and to the service of the Muslim community both nationally and internationally. He was the first in so many respects in the history of Sri Lanka. He won the Ward in the Colombo Municipal Council and on 12 January 1960-63 was elected the first Muslim Mayor of Colombo. He was in the Colombo Municipal Council from 1947 to 1965.

Again he was the first to hold the portfolio of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs in J.R. Jayewardene’s government.

Membership of Motamar Al-Alam Al-Islami
(World Muslim Congress)
Mohamed Haniffa Mohamed was member of international Muslim organisations, such as Rabita Al-Alam al-Islami (Muslim World League) and Motamar Al-Alam Al-Islami (World Muslim Congress). Mr. Mohamed Iqbal wrote about this: “My late father and others in the 1950s and early 1960s with the YMMA attending Islamic meetings. The reawakening of the World Muslim Congress in Karachi, Pakistan by the sole and dynamic efforts of the late Dr. Haji Inamullah  Khan and the late Grand Mufti His Holiness Amin Al-Hussaini was one such meeting and my late father introduced my uncle to Dr. Haji Inamullah Khan when he visited Sri Lanka.”

 “The Late Dr. Haji Inamullah Khan appointed my uncle to the World Muslim Congress and both of them were also inducted as founder members of the Muslim World League (Rabita) in the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” mentioned Iqbal.

Founder Member of Muslim World League
(Rabita Al-Alam Al-Islami)
RabitaAl-Alam Al-Islami was launched under the patronage of King Faisal bin Abdulaziz in 1962 in Makkah al-Mukarramah. M H Mohamed was associated with this organisation from the very beginning and was its Founder-Member of the Sri Lankan chapter of the organisation. He was a Member of the Constituent Council of the Rabita Al-Alam Al-Islami, the highest decision making body of the international Muslim organisation.

His Religious Activities:
Hajj Pilgrimage for Sri Lankans
Coming from a deeply religious family, M H Mohamed did not neglect his religious functions, associations or activities. He was the first Muslim minister in the Sri Lankan cabinet. He was entrusted with the cabinet portfolio of Muslim Affairs. Being Minister in Charge of Muslim Religious Affairs in J.R. Jayewardene’s government, he addressed the issues of the Hajj pilgrimage of Sri Lankan Muslims in the most efficient manner. Writing about this Hajj delegation, Mohamed Iqbal, his nephew wrote: “It became my task to assist him to draft documents on the performance of Holy Hajj by Sri Lankan faithful and their visiting both holy cities of Makkah and Madina in Saudi Arabia. The Hajj Committee of the YMMA and other bodies were duly recognised and formalised.

The first Hajj delegation proposed by M H Mohamed received the approval of the Government of Sri Lanka in 1965.This Hajj Committee set up by M H Mohamed is still in existence.

National Hijra Council
He was appointed by the Government as chairman of the National Hijra Council, which worked not only for the welfare of Muslims, but also contributed towards establishing communal harmony. Towards this, he organised two international seminars in Sri Lanka on the "Universality of Islam" and arranged a dialogue between Muslims and Christians, with top delegates from international Muslim organisations represented at these events. M H Mohamed, through the Islamic Centre in Maligawatte, which he was credited to have established, periodically invited Ulemas, Buddhist, Christian and Hindu clergy for events intended to promote communal harmony, mentioned Dr. M. Haris Z Deen.

Islamic Centre in Maligawatte
M H Mohamed established Islamic Centre in Maligawatte, Colombo in 1965. Through this centre, he invited periodically Ulemas, Buddhist, Christian and Hindu clergy for events intended to promote communal harmony. Besides Islamic centre, he has established many Jumah Mosques, Muslim orphanages, Muslim Ladies Arabic College, Islamic Centre for physically handicapped Girls School and  college and Arabic school.

“Besides the Islamic centres, the following few stand out as iconic; construction of the Dewatagaha Jummah Mosque, Kataragam Mosque, Kirulapana Jummah Mosque and various other development projects undertaken including Naleemiya Institute at Beuwela, Muslim Orphanage at Makola, Kal eliya Muslim Ladies Arabic College, Islamic centre For physically handicapped at Thihariya, Zahir College Colombo, MICH Colombo, Madrasuthul Falah Kattandudy, Al-Hijrah and Khairiya Girls school, Zahira College Kalmuni and Ghaffooriya Arabic School in Maharagama,” wrote Nissther Annis, former President of Sri Lankan Islamic UK Association. 

IDB Scholarships for Muslim education
M H Mohamed initiated many projects for the education of Sri Kankan Muslims through the Islamic centre. He was behind the arrangement for the educational scholarships for the education of Sri Lankan Muslims from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). It is learnt from his son, Azahim Mohamed who lives in London that more than 150 students went for higher studies with this scholarships in two years and this IDB scholarship is still in existence and Sri Lankan Muslims are benefitted from this. “The number of Muslim doctors, engineers and other graduates, qualified and in the process of qualifying who assembled in the UK and conducted Janaza prayer for him in his absence bears testimony to the "generosity in silence" that Marhoom MH initiated for the education of Muslims through the Islamic Centre, mentioned Dr. Haris.

Musalla for Indonesian Hajis
 The Musalla (place of prayer) constructed in Katunayake, in honour of the Indonesian Hajis who died in the air crash, is also an initiative by M H Mohamed. These will remain as monuments to the eternal memory of Mohamed Haniffa Mohamed the versatile charismatic politician.

Political Life of M H Mohamed
M H Mohamed was a household name in Colombo politics. “a former Speaker and onetime a stalwart member of the United National Party, entered into politics and remained in that enterprise during that ‘golden era’. After entering the Colombo Municipal Council in 1947, after his father Proctor Haniffa bade adieu to his lively political career, M H Mohamed contested the same Ward, Maligawatte that his illustrious father represented up to then. After a vigorous campaign for which Mohamed had built a fairly reasonable reputation, M H Mohamed was victorious as an independent candidate and entered the exalted corridors of power in the prestigious Colombo Municipal Council, wrote Dr. Wickrema Weerasooria in his write up M H Mohamed – a Muslim icon of a bygone era.

Writing about the political achievements of M H Mohamed, Dr. Weerasooria mentioned, “Mohamed’s political achievements are simply unique. From a mere Member of the Colombo Municipal Council to end up as the First Citizen of Colombo (Mayor) and then go on to win a parliamentary seat and hold many Cabinet portfolios under both Dudley Senanayake and J R Jayewardene and then end up as the Speaker of the House of Parliament when R Premadasa was the President of the country are no mean achievements. Only those who have so succeeded know how difficult the road was! By any conventional standard, Mohamed was an overachiever. But the humility with which he accepted all accolades and praise held him good stead in good times as well as in bad times. As the Speaker of Parliament, the exemplary manner in which he undertook to handle the “infamous” impeachment motion against the then President Premadasa will go down in our parliamentary history.”

M H Mohamed
First Muslim Mayor of Colombo 1960 - 1963
Member of Parliament of Sri Lanka 1965 - 2010
Sri Lanka Cabinet Minister 1965 to 1970, 1977 to 2010
Including the first to hold the cabinet rank as Muslim and Cultural affairs.
Chairman Islamic Centre
Chairman World Mosque Council
President Asian Islamic Council
Senior Vice President Motamar Al Alam Al Islami
(World Muslim Congress), Karachi
Member, Constituent Council of Rabita Al Alam Al Islami,
(Muslim World League) Makkah
Member, Scholarship Programme Committee for the Asian Region of the 
Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah

Mohamed Haniffa passed away on 25 April 2016 at his home in Colombo, Sri Lanka, at the age of 95 years.

M H Mohamed lost his wife, Noor Naseema early, and two of his children Shaha preceded him. Sadly, his son Haniffa succumbed to a heart attack a week after the demise of MH. His surviving children Mohamed Hussain Mohamed, Hassan, Ummu Haniffa, Azahim, Thufa and Shaul Mohamed and the number of grand- children and Great Grand- children will certainly miss him. May Allah Grant Him a Special Place in Paradise.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Sheikh Al-Sudais Delivers Friday Sermon at the Islamic Cultural Centre London

H. E. Sheikh Dr. Abdul Rahman Sudais delivers Friday
Khutba (Sermon) at the Islamic Cultural Centre, London

Dr. Mozammel Haque

His Eminence Dr. Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, Head of the Office of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, came to the United Kingdom, on Friday, the 15th of July 2016. During his stay, the Chief Imam of the Masjid al-Haram, Makkah al-Mukarramah, Sheikh al-Sudais, met HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Ireland, visited Preston, where he inaugurated Masjid and Madrasah and he also attended the official Opening ceremony of the Masjid Ali in Birmingham.
The head of the Presidency of the Haramain, Sheikh al-Sudais, also met the community leaders, religious scholars at the Islamic Cultural Centre, London; he also met Lords and Baroness, Peers of the House of Lords of the British Parliament in another meeting. Sheikh al-Sudais also attended a reception meeting at the Library Hall of the Islamic Cultural Centre, on Thursday, 21st of July, 2016.

Friday Khutbah (Sermon)
At the Islamic Cultural Centre, London
The Head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosque, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, delivered Friday Khutbah (Sermon) at the Islamic Cultural Centre, London & Regents Park London Central Mosque, on Friday, the 22nd of July 2016.

His Eminence Sheikh al-Sudais began his sermon praising Allah Subha nahu wa Taala, “All praise All praise be to Allah, we thank him, we seek help from him, we ask forgiveness from him, we repent to him, we seek refuge in him to protect us from the evils of ourselves and bad actions.

“Whomsoever he guides no one can misguide him and whomsoever he misguides no one can guide him. Oh Allah! To you is praise befitting your glory, greatness and might.  I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that our prophet Muhammad is the slave and messenger of Allah who conveyed the message, fulfilled the trust, counselled his Ummah and strove in the path of Allah. Peace and blessings be upon him, his pure family, his righteous migrants and helpers companions, the following two generations (Tabe’en and Tab’e At-Tabe’en) and upon those who followed them until the end,” he said.

Greatest Favour of Allah is the gift of Islam
HE Sheikh al-Sudais mentioned about fear of Allah and the greatest favour of Allah. He said, “Oh servants of Allah, I would like to counsel myself and every one of you with the God consciousness because it is the greatest advice which was given by Allah to all his early and late servants.  Allah, the Almighty said: [And verily, We have recommended to the people of the Scripture before you, and to you (O Muslims) that you (all) fear Allah.] Surah Nisa, verse 131.”

He also said, “Oh servants of Allah, the greatest favour of Allah upon us is the gift of Islam which is a comprehensive, perfect and complete religion.  [This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion] Surah Maidah, verse 3.”

Monotheism (Tawheed)
Then the Imam of the Haramain spoke about monotheism and quoted verses from the Holy Qur’an. He said, “The greatest emphasis of Islam is on actualising the monotheism (Tawheed) and worshipping Allah, the only Lord of the Universe. [‘We only worship you and we only seek help from you’]  - Surah Al-Fatiha, verse 4

[‘We have not created mankind and jinn for nothing but to worship me.’]  Surah Adh-Dhariah, verse 56.

[‘Say (O Muhammad): Verily, my prayers, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the universe.’] - Surah Al-An’am, verse 162

Islam emphasizes unity and solidarity of Muslims
And prohibits disunity and division of Muslims
Then the head of the office of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques said:  “Amongst great emphasis of Islam after the monotheism is the unity and agreements of the Muslims and their bonds of brotherhood.” Then he quoted verses from the Holy Qur’an: Allah, the Almighty said: [‘The believers are nothing else than brother.’] Surah Al-Hujurat, verse 10.  He referred to another verse: [‘The believers, men and women, are helpers, supporters, friends and protectors of one another.’] Surah Tawbah, verse 71.”

Sheikh al-Sudais also mentioned, “While Islam emphasises on the unity and solidarity of the Muslims it also prohibits division, disunity and excessive disagreements amongst themselves.”  He quoted from the Qur’an: Allah, the exalted said: [‘and hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e. the Qur'an and Sunnah), and be not divided among yourselves.’] - Surah Al-Imrah, Verse 103.  He also quoted another verse: [‘And do not dispute (with one another) and if you do then you will lose courage and your strength will depart, and be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are patients.’] - Surah Al-Anfal, verse 46.”

Sheikh al-Sudais said in his Friday Khutbah, “It is extremely important for Muslims to unite upon the Islamic Monotheism and adhere to the Qur’an and Sunnah in this current climate which is full of crisis and challenges. Also, we must be very cautious of arguments, divisive attitudes for the sake of desires, personal interest, personal opinion, groups or sects because the brotherhood of Islam is far above the effects of individuals, sectarianism, tribalism and groupism and it bring all the Muslims together under the great banner of Islam which is The Kalimah “There is none worthy of worship except Allah, and Mohammed PBUH is the messenger of Allah””
Islam Religion of Mercy and
its Prophet Mercy to the Universe
His Eminence Sheikh al-Sudais then mentioned about Islam the religion of mercy and its Prophet peace be upon him mercy to the Universe. He said, “Oh Muslims, indeed Islam is religion of mercy and prophet PBUH was sent as a mercy to the universe.” Then he quoted from the Holy Qur’an: Allah the Almighty said: [‘And We have sent you (O Muhammad) not but as a mercy for the mankind, jinns and all that exists.’] - Surah Al-Ambiah, verse 107.

He also referred to another verses of the Holy Qur’an: [‘And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you; so pass over (their faults), and ask forgiveness from Allah for them; and consult them in the affairs. Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust in Him.’] - Surah Al-Imran, Verse 159.”

Prophet PBUH the exalted standard of character
Head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, Sheikh al-Sudais then spoke about the excellent behaviours and wonderful mannerism of Prophet’s character. He said, “The noble prophet (peace be upon him), who was the blessed role model and great example for the whole universe implemented these beautiful qualities through his excellent behaviours and wonderful mannerism which caused incredible amounts of people to embrace Islam.” He then quoted verse from thee Holy Qur’an: Allah, the Almighty said: [‘And verily, you (O Mohammed) are on an exalted standard of character.’] - Surah Qalam, verse 4. “

Islam a Religion of safety, security
harmony, peace, love and co-existence.
Sheikh al-Sudais mentioned in his Friday Khutbah that Islam is a religion of safety, security, harmony, peace, love, dialogue, tolerance and co-existence. He said: “Indeed, the aspect of character, values and beautiful qualities in Islam is very vast and extremely important and it is the practicality and reality of faith. Islam is not about name, fame or false wishes rather it is an ideology based on a solid creeds, beautiful character, good qualities and great values. It is absolutely vital for Muslims to understand the reality of Islam which is a religion of safety, security, harmony, peace, love, dialogue, tolerance and co-existence.”

Sheikh Al-Sudais said, “Our noble prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) said on the day of conquest of Makkah to his enemies [‘Go (Oh disbelievers) you are free.’] even though they persecuted, punished and harmed the prophet in every possible way. What a great mercy, character, mannerism and qualities of Islam! People from all walks of life have lived with this based on the Qur’anic Verse: [‘O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that believer who has the fearfulness of Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing and All-Aware.’] - Surah Hujurat, verse 13.”

Followers of the Prophet of Allah
Should imitate him
Sheikh Al-Sudais said: “The noble prophet PBUH never harmed anybody neither through his actions nor through his words rather he was a mercy because his Lord sent him as a great bounty for mankind and a great mercy to be followed. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him.”

“It is absolutely vital for the followers of Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) to imitate him at a time when crisis and challenges have intensified and Islam has been defamed by two groups of people. A) People of extremism, exaggerations, violence and terrorism and B) the people who have abandoned their religion, gave up their principles, lost their identity, lost their confidence and became completely hopeless,” he mentioned.

Muslims are the ambassadors of their religion
His Eminence Sheikh Al-Sudais mentioned in his Friday Khutbah that Islam is in between extremism and rejection as Allah, the Almighty said: [‘Also, we have made you (Muslims) a balanced and moderate nation, so that you be witnesses over mankind.’] - Surah Baqarah, verse 143.”

Imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah al-Mukarramah said, “The Muslims must understand in every era and place, especially in this country that, they are the ambassadors of their religion and they represent its mercy, moderation and averageness. The Muslims are the delegations of their religion in this country which needs the cooperation of Muslims in order to preserve its safety, security, stability and help to continue the great production, development and advancement of this society.”

“Indeed, the excellent character and good behaviour played vital roles to make Islam a universal religion with an extraordinary feature of brotherhood which can be witnessed in the era of Prophet Mohammed PBUH and in the era of his companions, may Allah be pleased with them. The companions of Prophet Mohammed PBUH understood the religion perfectly and implemented it correctly,” Sheikh Al-Sudais mentioned.

Sheikh Al-Sudais mentioned, “Subsequently, some Muslims started to misunderstand their religion and started to lose their identity which let them to be a means of terrorism, subject of violence and many of them became the tools representatives of terrorists groups and networks which exercise violence and shed blood. The Shariah (Islam) came to protect the religion, soul, intellect, wealth and dignity.”

He quoted verses from the Holy Qur’an: [‘Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.’] - Surah Al-Maidah, verse 32.”

Islam is far away of any
Kind of violence killings
His Eminence Sheikh Al-Sudais said, “Islam is free from the accusations of terrorism which is caused by these different types and styles of terrorist groups. Islam is far away from any kind of violence, killings and carrying weapons which is completely unacceptable in any society. It is prohibited in a Non-Muslim society let alone in a Muslim society. The Muslims are representatives of their religion in relation to their character, good qualities and adherence to their religion.”

Muslims can play a vital role
wherever they live
“They respect the system and laws of their country especially the laws and regulations which do not go against the religion of their Lord because the religion came to maintain the goodness of public and it prohibits anything which cause the harms and dangers for public,” Sheikh Al-Sudais said and added,  “Oh servants of Allah, indeed, the Muslims can play a vital role in relation to the values of citizenship in whichever country they live in and they should abide by the beautiful teachings of their religion which include the good behaviour amongst the Muslims, bond of brotherhood, cooperation and solidarity.”

The head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, Sheikh Al-Sudais said, “Islam should not be presented in this country as a religion of some individuals and associations rather it should be presented as a religion of all Muslims which unite the Muslims under the banner of Qur’an, Sunnah and traditions of predecessors even though they are a people of different colours, backgrounds and races. Also, Muslims should behave with Non-Muslims in beautiful manner which include peace, harmony, safety, security, co-existence, dialogue and tolerance and they must avoid any kind of violence with Non-Muslims.”

Sheikh Al-Sudais then quoted verses from the Holy Qur’an, Allah, the Almighty said: [‘Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity.’] - Surah Mumtahinah, verse 8.”

The Imam of the Masjid al-Haram Al-Sudais said, “This great responsibility of excellent character, good qualities and good behaviour which can be demonstrated through kind words, truthfulness, trustworthiness, fairness, justice, wisdom and truth. This is the best method to defend Islam in face of those who defame it and accuse it with terrorism. The accusation of terrorism should not include all the Muslims due to the heinous acts of few ignorant people or groups.”

Muslims always were the promoters of
peace,  love, safety and security
“By the grace of Allah, Muslims always were the promoters of peace, love, safety and security throughout the whole of history and the evidence can be found in the action of second Caliph Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, who recognised and approved the freedom and rights of people of all religions on the day he conquered Jerusalem,” Sheikh al-Sudais mentioned and said, “This is the right approach which must be adhered to in a time when Islam is being fought from all directions and it is being blamed for terrorism whereas Islam has no connection whatsoever with terrorism. It is permitted to seek the legal rights under the criterions of Shariah as there is a huge difference between terrorism and seeking the legal rights. The legal rights can be demanded through wisdom, intellect, self-restraint, public good and by protecting people from evil.”

Sheikh al-Sudais prayed for the
rectification of  the Muslim situation
His Eminence Sheikh Al-Sudais said, “Oh Servants of Allah, be careful of some promoters of division, chaos and disunity amongst the Muslims whereas Allah, the Almighty united their hearts through the Qur’an and Sunnah.” He quoted verses from the Holy Qur’an: [‘Always turn in repentance to Him (only), and be afraid and dutiful to Him; and establish the prayers and be not of the disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, polytheists, idolaters, etc. Of those who split up their religion (i.e. who left the true Islamic Monotheism), and became sects, and followed their vain desires, each sect rejoicing in that which is with it.’] -Surah Ar-Rum, verses31-32.”

“May Allah rectify the situation of Muslims all over the world and grant them the understanding of religion. Indeed, he is the most kind and generous. I seek forgiveness from Allah the majestic for myself, you and for every Muslim. Seek forgiveness from him as he is the most forgiving and most beneficent,” Sheikh al-Sudais made the above supplication.

In the Second part of his Friday Sermon, Sheikh al-Sudais praised Allah the Almighty and said, “All praise be to Allah, the one who sent his messenger with guidance and true religion so that he makes it superior over other religions and Allah is all sufficient as a witness. I bear witness that, there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) is the slave and messenger of Allah. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon his messenger, companions and upon all of his followers.”

Fear Allah
The Imam of the Haramain Sheikh Al-Sudais said, “Oh servants of Allah, fear Allah as Allah said: [‘And be afraid of the Day when you shall be brought back to Allah. Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.’] - Surah Baqarah, verse 281.”

“And know that, the best words are the Book of Allah, the best guidance is the guidance of Prophet Mohammed PBUH, the worst matters are the innovations and all the innovations are misguidance. Everyone must stick with the vast majority Muslims as the hand of Allah is with them and whoever splits away from the Muslims will fall into the fire,” said His Eminence Sheikh Al-Sudais and added, “Oh Muslims, positiveness, hope and optimism are the path of Muslims regardless of their critical condition, crisis and challenges at this time because Allah, the Almighty is the protector of his religion, promoter of his Kalimah (Faith) and comforter of his friends. If anyone looks into the history of Muslims will see that all tests and tribulations were followed by the aid and help from Allah.”

Sheikh al-Sudais quoted verse from the Holy Qur’an: [‘They were reprieved until, when the Messengers gave up hope and thought that they were denied  by their people, then our help came to them, and whomsoever we willed were delivered. And Our Punishment cannot be warded off from the people who are criminals.’] - Surah Yusuf, verse  110.”

Praising the immense Dawah activities
While appreciating the great Dawah activities of Muslims, Imam of the Haramain said, “By the grace and mercy of Allah there are Muslims in every part of the world who cater their mosques, run their Islamic institutions, train themselves, train their children, train their families and their women according to way of true Islam.  There are Muslims putting immense efforts in the field of Dawah activities, cultural programmes and safeguarding the centres of Islam such as this great centre of Islam and other centres (London Central Mosque) which gathers and accommodate the significant number of Muslims. They are the ones who will make the future of Islam brighter by the permission of Allah. This brings so much hope and happiness to our hearts and put smiles in our faces. The bond of brotherhood, beautiful cooperation, love, affection, unity, kindness and mercy can be observed in this massive crowd. Blessed are the ones who strive in the service of his religion. To Allah belong the blessed hosts.” ” He quoted verses from the Holy Qur’an: [‘And none can know the hosts of your Lord but he.’] Surah Muddathir, verse 31
“They fill-up the mosques and whole universe with the worship of Allah, they train themselves, train their children and their families according to this true path. So praise and gratitude to Allah. Remain firm and steadfast on your religion. Also, you must keep your Islamic identity and remain united under banner of The Kalimah (Faith). Be happy, hopeful, and good as this Ummah is aided by Allah, the Almighty by the grace, help and mercy of Allah,” Sheikh al-Sudais admired their activities.

Negative impression of Islam by bad actions
Sheikh al-Sudais also mentioned that they are some people who gave negative impression of Islam by their bad actions. “Oh a servants of Allah, there is no distinguish between words and actions in this religion. Some people give negative impression of Islam by their bad actions. How can someone be a true Muslim while he gives up his faith, he plays around with the safety, stability and innocent souls of people. How can someone be a good Muslim while he harms other Muslims, doesn’t refrain from steeling, disloyal to the system and become alcoholic and drug addicted?” he raised these questions and added, “These undesired actions of Muslims always gave a bad name of Islam.”

A word of advice for all the Muslims
Head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, Sheikh Al-Sudais gave a word of advice for all the Muslims. He said, “A word of advise for all the Muslims wherever they are to fear Allah, the Almighty who knows the secret and what is hidden, to practise their religion and they must know the fact that they are the ambassadors of their religion and character. So they must represent their religion appropriately and avoid everything that is evil as they are the Ummah of Prophet Mohammed PBUH. The safety of the Muslims is the great requirement of this time as the Muslims always promoted safety, security, peace, harmony, love and affection.”

His Eminence Sheikh Al-Sudais also said, “The country of Two Harams (Makkah&Madinah) is a land belonging to all Muslims. It is their Qiblah and the place of the revelations. This holy land is playing very significant roles relentlessly in establishing peace all over the world. Every Muslim should pay extra attention to the safety and security of the holy land which is the land of Hajj, Umrah, Qiblah and sacred visits. The safety of this land is the safety of all Muslims.”

“So let’s safeguard the safety and stability of our Ummah, our countries and societies so everyone can live in peace and harmony. May Allah bless the efforts of the people who are working hard to run this centre and all other centres across the country. May Allah even give more abilities to endeavour more in the service of Islam. Send salam and salutations to our beloved Prophet Mohammed PBUH,” Sheikh concluded his Khutbah by supplicating to Allah the Almighty.

Eid Mubarak to You All from the Masjid al-Haram

Eid Mubarak to you all from the Masjid al-Haram
Words of Peace from the Land of Peace

Dr. Mozammel Haque

Makkah al-Mukarramah: I wish all of you a happy Eid Mubarak 2016 from the Masjid-al-Haram in the Balad al-Ameen.

The Saudi Royal Court announced that Wednesday has been declared as the first day of Eid-ul-Fitr, a celebration marking the end of fasting in Ramadan. The declaration was made by the Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia. Thus, the joyous Islamic festival Eid-ul-Fitr comes at the end of the month of Ramadan and it came this year 2016 on Wednesday, the 6th of July, throughout most of the countries. Muslim brothers and sisters are enjoying and celebrating their Eid on the same day in Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom and other places.

It’s my pleasure to extend my Eid Mubarak and good wishes to all my Muslim brothers and sisters all over the world on the occasion of the celebration of the Eid after the conclusion of full 30 days of fasting in the blessed month of Ramadan. I pray to Almighty Allah for all the benefits and the rewards.  I am in the Haram and I would like to pray to Allah the Almighty for myself and for you all, May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala accept our fasting, our prayers, our worship and all our good deeds done in the blessed month of Ramadan. 

Comfort for the Pilgrims
After a month-long fasting comes the most auspicious and happy occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr when Eid messages are sent all over the world from the leaders and heads of states of the Muslim world as well as the Muslim minority countries, especially from the Asian, European, American and the African continents.

When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) received revelation from Allah the Almighty, at the very first day only two members from his family, one woman, his wife Khadijah and a young boy, Ali, believed him and immediately embraced the religion, Islam and now there are more than 1.6 billion Muslims throughout the world and all over the continents believed in the Oneness of God (Tawheed) and followed Islam. This year, there were 5.2 million Muslim worshippers at the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah during the last ten days and nights of Ramadan praying together for world peace and prosperity, Muslim unity and joyous life.

Though this year Ramadan was during the hottest months of the year in Saudi Arabia, June-July, the arrangement was made to keep both the Masjid al-Haram and its courtyard and the surroundings cooler. Worshippers enjoyed the coolness through the water cooler spraying cool waters.

The pilgrims felt the necessity and understood the demands of the expansion of the area of the Haramain in order to accommodate the ever increasing number of worshippers. I also personally felt how important it is to expand and develop the praying area of the Haramain with the rising numbers of the visitors. 20/25 years ago the Haramain expansion programme taken by the former King Fahd that requires now another expansion.

The present head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques is Imam Abdul Rahman al-Sudais who has taken special care for the arrangement of the Haramain during this Ramadan. Lot of special Ramadan plan in place to ensure millions of worshippers and Umrah pilgrims was made for the comfort and welfare of the pilgrims; such as considering the increase in space thanks to the ongoing expansion Grand Mosque Expansion project of the Two Holy Mosques, allowing over 200,000 people to pray on the ground floor where water coolers were installed; the Mosque’s open areas were cooled by water and basements air-conditioned. There were 150 air-conditioners at the basement of the Haram. Wheelchairs were provided for free and electric ones were available to rent. Below the Muqabbarah (below the Azam area) was also air-conditioned where pilgrims who were in Itikaf spending their nights in Zikr and recitation and Ibadah.

Eid Messages from all over the continent
After the month-long fasting come the Eid-ul-Fitr and leaders and heads of states from all over the continents sent Eid Messages, the messages of peace and happiness and prosperity.

Eid Messages from the Haramain
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Tuesday vowed to hit back with an “iron fist” at religious extremists who target the country’s youth, in a speech marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

“The biggest challenge facing the Islamic nation is to preserve real wealth and hope for the future of the young who face the risk of extremism and malicious calls pushing them to abnormal behaviors and practices…” Salman said. “We will strike with an iron fist those who target the minds and thoughts and attitudes of our dear youth,” the King added.

The speech was given in Salman’s name by the information minister and carried by the official Saudi Press Agency on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr on Wednesday. The holiday is celebrated by Muslims worldwide to mark the end of the holy.

The King addressed the citizens and Muslims everywhere on the occasion of blessed Eid Al-Fitr. “I wish you a happy new year and appeal to Allah Almighty to accept our fasting, worship and good deeds. We thank Allah Almighty to have graced us with the divine religion of Islam; the religion of moderation, amicability and peace. We also thank Him to have enabled the Umrah performers who made their way to the Grand Mosque (in Makkah) and the visitors who made their way to the Prophet’s Mosque (in Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah) to easily and peacefully perform their rituals and to have enabled us to complete the fasting and worshipping in the holy month of Ramadan.

“Furthermore, we thank Him to have honored us to serve the two holy mosques and the worshipers. We thank Him, also, for the grace of the blessed Eid Al-Fitr as a manifestation of solidarity, kindness and sympathy among the sons (and daughters) of the Islamic nation (Muslim Ummah), an expression of their unity despite different places and languages. We appeal to Allah Almighty to complete our jubilance by clearing the clouds of dispute, difference and sedition looming over the Muslim nation and the disappearance of their ordeals and pain.”

The King, in his address, said: “The differences and sedition witnessed by the Muslim world today, necessitate that all of us exert the utmost efforts to unify our ranks and work together to solve the problems of the Muslim nation so as to achieve victory for its causes. However, the biggest obstacle and challenge facing our Muslim nation is how to keep its youths, the real wealth and hope of future, away from the dangers facing them, particularly extremism and violence and keeping them away from the followers of the misleading evil calls that cause them to behave oddly and strangely.”

King Salman said, “Such conducts contradict the upright innate character, the principles of our Islamic religion and the pillars and values of our Islamic societies. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is determined, God willing, to strike with an iron fist whoever targets the minds, ideas, thoughts and trends of our (dear) youth. The society should be aware that it is a partner of the State in its efforts and policies to counter this deviant thought, as we, all of us, follow the teachings and instructions of our Islamic religion which forbids bloodshed and makes public funds inviolable.”

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques said,  “We are honored to serve Islam and stand by the Muslims , noting our position in the heart of the Muslim world, our graced role of serving Islam and supporting Muslims all over the world, particularly their legitimate causes foremost of which is the Palestinian cause.”

King Salman said: “On the eve of blessed Eid Al-Fitr, I call upon all of you to remain optimistic and hopeful on a bright and better future and a better tomorrow, thanking Allah Almighty for the hidden and visible bounties and blessings. We appeal to Him to lead us to do deeds for the good and betterment of our Ummah, to protect our country and all Muslim countries from harm and evil and have mercy on the souls of our martyrs, who sacrificed their lives for the sake of their religion and nation. We also pray for mercy upon the souls of all dead Muslims. And wish all a happy new year.” — Al-Arabiya English/ SPA

Eid Messages from the American continent
US President Barack Obama has issued a message on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr congratulating all Muslims around the world. In a statement posted on the website of the White House, the US President Obama said: “"Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world as they celebrate Eid-Al-Fitr.

“Upon the arrival of a new crescent moon, Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Eid al-Fitr in the United States and around the globe.

President Obama said, “For Muslim Americans, Eid is an opportunity to reflect on the 30 days spent fasting and to recommit to values of gratitude, compassion, and generosity. In neighborhoods and homes across the world, this special occasion begins in the early hours of the day when families dress in their finest attire in preparation for prayers and festivities. Homes are decorated with ornaments and lanterns. Gifts are wrapped and envelopes of money are prepared for kids. Above all, Eid is a time to gather and celebrate with loved ones."

US President said, “Muslim Americans are as diverse as our nation itself—black, white, Latino, Asian, and Arab. Eid celebrations around the country remind us of our proud history as a nation built by people of all backgrounds, our history of religious freedom and civil liberties, and our history of innovation and strength. These legacies would not be possible without the contributions of Muslim Americans that make our country even stronger.

President Obama mentioned, “This past month, our country and the world endured challenges and senseless violence that broke our hearts and tried our souls. Our prayers are with the hundreds of innocent lives, many of them Muslim, taken during the month of Ramadan in places like Orlando, Istanbul, Dhaka, Baghdad, and Medina.

The American President mentioned, “Here at home, we’ve also seen a rise in attacks against Muslim Americans. No one should ever feel afraid or unsafe in their place of worship. Many Americans have shared in the experience of Ramadan by volunteering in community service efforts to assist those in need and even fasting a few days with their fellow Muslim American co-workers. In the face of hate, it’s our American values and strength that bring us together to stand in solidarity and protect one another-thereby, making our Nation stronger and safer.

The American President also said, “Muslim Americans have been part of our American family since its founding. This Eid, we recommit to protecting Muslim Americans against bigotry and xenophobia, while celebrating the contributions of Muslim Americans around the country, including one of our finest, the People’s Champion Muhammad Ali, to whom we bade farewell this Ramadan. Later this month, Michelle and I will host an Eid celebration at the White House and we look forward to welcoming Americans from around the country to celebrate the holiday.”

US President Obama concluded his Eid Message saying, “From our family to yours, Eid Mubarak!”

Eid Messages from the European continent
British Prime Minister David Cameron issued an Eid Message on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr wishing the Muslim communities all over the world a very happy and peaceful Eid. In his Eid Message, British Prime Minister said: “Eid is a time for families and friends. A time for joy and happiness. As families and friends come together in celebration, I want to recognise the immense contribution that British Muslims make to our country.”

“As the presents are wrapped, the food is prepared and the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end.

British Prime Minister said, “I want to send my very best wishes to Muslims at home and around the world celebrating Eid.”

David Cameron said, “I look at the things people are doing in Britain for the occasion – putting on special brunches for the lonely, giving presents out at children’s hospitals, holding street parties that will bring communities together and I see the very best of British values – of unity, of tolerance, of thinking of others before ourselves.”

“We need those values more than ever before, because we live in troubling times,” mentioned British Prime Minister.

David Cameron, M.P. also mentioned, “This last month alone, we’ve seen hatred take hold; from an airport in Istanbul, to a nightclub in Orlando, to a cafĂ© in Dhaka and this week’s horrendous attack in Baghdad.”

British Prime Minister also said, “And we’ve seen it closer to home, too. Too many victims have suffered abuse and intolerance on our streets and one woman – an inspirational MP, Jo Cox – lost her life as she served her constituents.”

David Cameron, M.P. also said, “As we come together this Eid – friends, families, neighbours, colleagues – I want us to restate our commitment to the values we share, to all the things that make Britain the most successful multi-ethnic, multi-faith democracy on earth.”

British Prime Misler David Cameron concluded his Eid Message by saying, “So once again, let me wish you all the best – Eid Mubarak.”

Eid Messages from Canada

The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, issued on 5th of July 2016 the following statement on Eid al-Fitr:

Canadian Prime Minister said, “Today, Muslims in Canada and around the world will gather to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan and to give thanks for the spiritual renewal and many blessings received throughout the holy month.”

Justin Trudeau mentioned, “Eid al-Fitr is a time to strengthen family ties, renew friendships, and show compassion and humanity towards those in need both in local communities and around the world.”

He also said, “To mark this important occasion, Muslims attend special morning prayers, exchange greetings and gifts, and share a special celebratory meal - their first daytime meal in a month.”

The Canadian Prime Minister also said, “On this day, let us thank Canada’s vibrant Muslim community for its tremendous contributions to the shaping and building of our great nation. Our cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths, and a source of pride.”

“On behalf of our family, Sophie and I extend our best wishes to all those celebrating Eid al-Fitr in Canada and around the world,” said the Canadian Prime Minister.

“Eid Mubarak!”

Eid Messages from Dr. Abdullah Omar Naseef
I had also the opportunity to interview the great Dawah worker, the scientist, the educationalist, the leading player of social welfare and interfaith dialogue, Dr. Abdullah Omar Naseef, the former President of the Jeddah-based King Abdulaziz University and the present Secretary General of the Cairo-based International Islamic Council for Dawah and Relief (IICDR). He wants to convey his Eid Message to the Muslims all over the world. Dr. Naseef said in his message: “The Ummah is still in a very miserable situation and we hope that in every Ramadan change will come through people spend their time worshipping Allah Subhanahu wa Taa’la with concentration but we don’t lose hope we should belief more to Allah the Almighty.”

“At one time He (Allah the Almighty) will give the people and they will come out from their misery and difficulties. But usually during this time of the year I advice people to keep in mind that Ramadan has gone but Allah is there and we have to be the same; i.e. we should worship Him with the same intensity and concentration as we did in Ramadan. So the number of people who will do that will increase; will be more than usual and I hope that the Ummah will face a huge new life style after Ramadan,” said Dr. Naseef, the President of the World Muslim Congress (Motamar al-Alam Al-Islami) and added, “This is our hope and Allah Subhanahu wa Taa’la is Great.  He will grant us the guidance; sustenance, patience and also strong will to continue, Insha Allah, towards His Orders and Commandments and the Traditions of the Prophet (peace be upon him).”

Makkah al-Mukarramah

6th of July 2016