Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Divinity of the Qur'an - Read More and More the Qur'an in the month of its revelation

Divinity of the Qur’an:
Read more and more the Qur’an
In its month of revelation

Dr. Mozammel Haque

The Noble Qur’an was revealed in the month of Ramadan (Al-Qur’an, 97:1-3.). The Qur’an was sent down in the month of Ramadan on the Night of Power Lailatul Qadr. (Al-Qur’an, 91:1-3.). It is the month of Ramadan that Allah has honoured by revealing the Qur’an. Because of this strong relation between the Qur’an and the month of Ramadan, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to read the Qur’an to Archangel Jibraeel every Ramadan. I think this is the right place to discuss the purpose and objective of the revelation of the Qur’an, its importance, the campaigns against it and the do’s and don’ts of the Qur’an.

First of all, Allah the Most High, created mankind and gave him the gift of expression. For the guidance of mankind Allah sent Prophets (peace be upon them all) to every single community. In the words of the Qur’an, "There has been no community to which God’s messengers have not come" and "Muslims should make no distinctions between them." So it is the duty of a Muslim to honour all the prophets equally.

The Qur’an represents the culmination of all other earlier Revealed Books. The Qur’an is the last of the Revealed Books. The Qur’an is the first religious book in the world, which requires the belief in other revelations, a part of its Faith. This Sacred Book was revealed to the last Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the month of Ramadan. Allah Himself said in the Qur’an: “Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to Mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong).” (2:185). Allah the Most High has especially mentioned the exact date and month of the revelation: “We have indeed revealed This (Message) in the Night of Power.” (97:1) So the purpose of the revelation of the Qur’an was for guidance of Mankind.

The Qur’an is emphatic in proclaiming that Islam is the religion of Jesus, Moses, Abraham and the Prophets Jesus and Moses were not Jews but Muslims. "Surely those who believe (in that which is revealed to Muhammad Peace be upon him) and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabaeans – whoever believes in Allah, and the Last Day and does good, surely their reward is with their Lord, and there is no fear for them nor shall they grieve." (2:62). "A Guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and judgement (between right and wrong)." This is the most important characteristic of the Qur’an, the Book that Allah has revealed in the month of Ramadan.

It is guidance for mankind. It is clear proof, clear proof of guidance and of judgement. The Qur’an is indeed a great miracle and source of blessing. The month of Ramadan, is a time that many Muslims rejuvenate their faith and take heed of the truth sent by Allah in the Qur’an unto mankind. Allah says; “This is the Book (the Quran), whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqoon (the pious and righteous persons)”(Qur’an- Al-Baqarah, Verse 2)

A true miracle, manifestation of excellence, beautiful composition, wonderful coherence, accuracy in narration in both past and future events...It can only be The Qur’an- The Word of Allah and The Final Testament to Humanity. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: “Certainly there is always a thing in which people take pride and that which is glory and pride for my Ummah is the Qur’an” (Hadith- Hiyah)

The Qur’an is the masterpiece of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala Himself. The Qur'an is miraculous in a many aspects: It’s linguistic perfection and inimitability, its validation by recent historical, archaeological, and scientific discoveries, its prophecies and so on. The miracle of the Qur'an is eternal and many critics have embraced its message after carefully reading it. In fact the like of the Qur’an can never be matched. Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala Himself declares; “If mankind and the jinn were to gather together to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could never produce the like thereof, even if they backed up one another.”(Quran 17:88)

In it is a solution and guidance for all of Humanity. Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala says;
“This is the Book (the Qur’an), whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)”(Qur’an Al-Baqarah 2:2)

Before the revelation of the Qur’an, it was preserved and guarded from corruption in the "Mother of the Book". Allah Himself said: "Nay this is a Glorious Qur’an (inscribed) in a Tablet Preserved" (85:21-22). When Allah wanted to give this Trust to someone, the Heavens, the Earth, and the Mountains, i.e. other creatures of Allah, besides man, refused to undertake this Trust or responsibility. They preferred to submit their will entirely to Allah’s Will, which is All-Wise and Perfect, and which would give them far more happiness than a faculty of choice, with their imperfect knowledge. Allah says in the Qur’an: "We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: but man undertook it: He was indeed unjust and foolish." (33-72).

So it is the human beings who took the responsibility of the Trust without realising its importance. The Qur’an is the revealed book of God which has been in existence for more than four hundred years and the Word of Allah is available in its original form. There has not been an iota of change in this unique historic record. Its originality and authenticity has been guaranteed by no other than Allah the Almighty who challenges in the Qur’an itself.

Allah said, "This Qur’an is not such as can be produced by other than Allah: on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelation) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book - wherein there is no doubt – from the Lord of the Worlds." (10:37). In another verse of the Qur’an Allah challenges, "Or do they say, "He forged it?" Say: "Bring then a Surah like unto it; and call (to your aid) anyone who can, beside Allah if it be you speak the truth!" (10:38). "Or they may say, "He forged it." Say, "Bring you then ten Suras forged, like unto it, and call (to your aid) whomsoever you can, other than Allah! – if you speak the truth!" (11:13).

Allah said in the Qur’an, "And if you are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant then produce a Sura like thereunto, and call your witness and helpers (if there are any) besides Allah, if you are truthful." (2:23) Allah places many verses before you. Can you produce one like it?

The world is challenged to produce a Book like it and has not produced one. It is the only Revealed Book whose text stands pure and uncorrupted today. Allah said, "Say: "if the whole of mankind and jinns were to gather together to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support." (17:88)

Since the revelation of the Qur’an, the enemies of Islam have been trying to distort it. Firstly, they said, it is not revelation, it is written by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Then they started attacking its authenticity and originality. In spite of their conspiracy, the Qur’an has been preserved in its original form.

The Qur’an is the only Book in the world which has remained for the past fourteen centuries pure without any interpolation or change and will remain so till the Last Day as Allah has guaranteed its purity. (15:9).

The purity, preservation and propagation of the Qur’an were maintained by two methods: memorization of Qur’an in Qur’anic schools and the recitation of the complete Qur’an in Ramadan. In the month of Ramadan every year the Noble Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked by Archangel Jibraeel to recite the whole of it twice. It was a Muzakira between the two. Abu Huraira reported that Jibraeel used to repeat the recitation of the Qur’an with the Prophet once a year, but he repeated it twice with him in the year the Prophet (peace be upon him) passed away. The Qur’an was recited in the Taraweeh for the first time during the era of Caliph Omar.

So far as the memorization of the Qur’an in Qur’anic schools is concerned, many Huffaz and Islamic scholars have been killed in different parts of the world at different times. But still there is no dearth of Islamic scholars who can recite the complete Qur’an from memory. Severe campaigns have been launched against the Qur’anic schools, which teach the study, recitation and memorization of the Qur’an. The Qur’an is the main Book of the Muslims; it is the duty of the Muslims to learn Qur’an, which contains their code of life and ethical values whose benefits have been experienced by mankind throughout the ages.

I have already mentioned the objective and importance of the Qur’an and how its originality and purity have been maintained. Our Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions dedicated their days and nights for worship. Their lives revolved completely around the Book of Allah, the Qur’an, reciting it in and out of Salah.

The Qur’an is the basis of the religion of Islam, and on the preservation and propagation of the Qur’an depends the very existence of this Faith. Hence the virtue of learning and teaching the Qur’an is self-evident and does not need further elucidation. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The best amongst you is he who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.” (Bukhari, Daud and Tirmidhi).

A great Islamic scholar wrote in his book entitled Toward Understanding of the Qur’an: “The present arrangement of the Qur'an is not the work of later generations, but was made by the Prophet under God's direction. Whenever a surah was revealed, the Prophet summoned his scribes, to whom he carefully dictated its contents, and instructed them where to place it in relation to the other surahs. The Prophet followed the same order of surahs and verses when reciting during ritual Prayer as on other occasions, and his Companions followed the same practice in memorizing the Qur'an. It is therefore a historical fact that the collection of the Qur'an came to an end on the very day that its revelation ceased. The One who was responsible for its revelation was also the One who fixed its arrangement. The one whose heart was the receptacle of the Qur'an was also responsible for arranging its sequence. This was far too important and too delicate a matter for anyone else to dare to become involved in.”

“Not even the most sceptical person has any reason to doubt that the Qur'an as we know it today is identical with the Qur'an which Muhammad (peace be on him) set before the world; this is an unquestionable, objective, historical fact, and there is nothing in human history on which the evidence is so overwhelmingly strong and conclusive. To doubt the authenticity of the Qur'an is like doubting the existence of the Roman Empire, the Mughals of India, or Napoleon! To doubt historical facts like these is a sign of stark ignorance, not a mark of erudition and scholarships,” he added.

We see that many of the Pious Predecessors exerted themselves in the recitation of the Qur’an. Some would complete recitation of the whole Qur’an in three days. Others would recite it in seven or ten days as they realised its value.

Sometime we are so engrossed in the pursuit of our material objectives that we neglect the recitation of this great source of blessing. In its recitation there will always be benefit whether we truly comprehend the meaning of it or not.

Truly the benefits of reading the Qur’an are immense and in this month of Ramadan we should make a firm decision to make the recitation of the Qur’an a essential part of our daily diet which will Insha Allah pave our path to eternal happiness.

May Allah Ta’ala guide us to recite, appreciate and understand the true wisdom of the Qur’an and may He bless our hearts with the true noor (light) of the Qur’an. Ameen

Zikr and other forms of worship
Besides reading of the Qur’an
No doubt, reading of the Qur’an in the month of Ramadan, the month of its revelation, is the best way but besides that, one can do other way of worship, Ibadah, remembrance of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala. I have seen during the month of Ramadan, many people were doing Tawaaf in Haram or some people were performing Umrah and others were engaged in Zikr or remembrance of Allah the Almighty.

The Angels are remembering Allah the Almighty by saying the third Kalimah. Islamic scholars mentioned the beginning or the originality of the third Kalimah – “Subhanallah(i) Walhamdulillah(i) Wa La Ilaha Illallah(u) Wallahu Akbar Wala Hawla Wa La Quwwata illah Billah hil Aleyeel Azeem.” (There is no Power and Might except from Allah, The Most High, The Great) and up to this day, this kalimah (or declaration of faith) buzzes around the Arsh of Almighty Allah.

Story Behind Third Kalimah
The Third Kalimah has a unique and very interesting story behind it. It all started before Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala created Adam A.S.(peace be upon him) The Angels were trying to move the Arsh (Throne) of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala but it was too heavy and would not budge. So they asked Almighty Allah for help. Allah told them to recite “Subhanallah”. The Angels did as they were told and found that it gave them the power and strength and they were able to move the Arsh. They liked this so much that they began constantly hymning, “Subhanallah,” – (Glory be to Allah)

Then Allah created Adam A.S. When Allah blew life into Adam, the first thing he did was sneeze and say “Alhamdulillah” (All praise be to Allah). The Angels liked this act so much that they added this to their praise and glorification of Allah. Thus the kalimah became: “Subhanallah(i) Walhamdulillah”.

Hundreds of years passed and the Prophet Nooh A.S. (peace be upon him) was now on earth. For nine hundred years he proclaimed the oneness of Allah with the words: “La Ilaha Illallah”. (There is none worthy of worship). The Angels loved this act so much that they added this to the kalimah. Thus, the kalimah  now became “Subhanallah(i) Walhamdulillah Wa La Ilaha illallah.”

The Angels kept repeating this kalimah day and night. Many centuries passed and the Prophet Ibrahim A.S. (peace be upon him) was asked by Almighty Allah to sacrifice his beloved son Ismaeel A.S. (peace be upon him). He was about to slaughter his son and He needed something to give him the courage he needed to do this difficult deed. So he recited: “Allahu Akbar”. (Allah is Great). The Angels loved this act so much that they added “Allahu Akbar” to the Kalimah. Thus the kalimah became: “Subhanallah (i) Walhamdulillah (i) Wa La Ilaha illah (u) Wallahu Akbar.”

More centuries passed. It was the Night of Meraj, when our Beloved Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. (peace and blessings be upon him) ascended to the Heavens with Gibraeel A.S. There Gibraeel A.S. (peace be upon him) told the Prophet S.A.W (peace and blessings be upon him) the story and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) added the final part of the Kalimah: “Wala Hawla Wa La Quwwata illah Billah hil Aleyeel Azeem.”

Thus “Subhanallah(i) Walhamdulillah(i) Wa La Ilaha Illallah(u) Wallahu Akbar Wala Hawla Wa La Quwwata illah Billah hil Aleyeel Azeem.” (There is no Power and Might except from Allah, The Most High, The Great) and up to this day, this kalimah (or declaration of faith) buzzes around the Arsh of Almighty Allah.

Third Kalimah is Tamjeed, this is the Kalimah (the first part) that is recited 33 times after each Farz Salah (Namaaz), and is called Tasbih Fatima.

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) says that if a person recites Ayatul Kursi after every Farz Salah Namaaz then there will be nothing between him and Heaven except “Death”.

There is another Tradition of the Prophet (PBUH) that says third Kalimah is such a great medicine that it cures every disease and the most minor disease it cures is – Sorrow (Gham)

Another Hadith says if a person recites Surah Ikhlaas 10 times a day then Allah builds a palace for him in the Heaven and the last but not the least ALLAH says spread the knowledge whatever you have; it is the duty of every Muslim.

May ALLAH accept our good deeds, especially in this blessed month of Ramadan. Ameen InshaAllah.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Ramadan Mubarak 1438AH and Ramadan Greetings 2017

Ramadan Mubarak 1438AH and
Ramadan Greetings 2017

Dr. Mozammel Haque

Ramadan Mubarak and Ramadan Greetings to all of you, especially to all the readers of this website: May this holy month bring barakah, and Allah's boundless mercy upon the believers and harmony and tolerance for the world.

Muslims almost everywhere welcome the coming of the month of Ramadan on the same day, on Saturday, the 27th of May, 2017 this year. Saudi Arabia, the heartland of Islam, the country of the Two Holy Mosques, the birthplace of Prophet Peace be upon him, is performing Ramadan on Saturday. The Supreme Judicial Council of Saudi Arabia was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Royal court that “27th of May Saturday will be the first of Ramadan for the year 1438H. The Supreme Court confirmed the start of the month of Ramadan following the sighting of the Ramadan crescent, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Friday evening.

The statement further said the Supreme Court held a session to receive testimonies of those who sighted the Ramadan crescent this evening. After looking into the testimonies it received, the Supreme Court confirmed that the moon was sighted in several governorates and rural centres of the Kingdom. As the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that we should start and complete our fasting on sighting the moon, the Supreme Court decided that Saturday is the 1st of Ramadan 1438H corresponding to May 27, 2017.

British Muslims welcome Ramadan: the month of discipline, compassion and solidarity on Saturday, 27th of May 2017. British Muslims join over a billion Muslims all over the world in a month of fasting, charity and solidarity.

The governments of many countries issued Ramadan Message to Muslims in their countries and around the world (see below).

Ramadan Mubarak to you All
I welcome Ramadan, the month of Mercy and Repentance, the month of the Qur’an, of Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Power) and of repentance and forgiveness. Fasting in the month of Ramadan is one of the Pillars of the Islamic faith. It was declared an obligatory duty (Fard) in the second year of the Hijrah upon each and every mukallaf (one capable of carrying out religious duties, i.e. a sane adult).

Allah the Almighty made Ramadan fasting compulsory for Muslims. Allah said, “O those who believe, the fasts have been enjoined upon you as were enjoined upon those before so that you be God-fearing.’ [Surah Baqarah, 183]. Literally, Sawm means ‘to abstain’. In the terminology of Islamic law, Sawm means ‘to abstain from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse: with the conditions that one abstains continuously from dawn to sunset, and that there is an intention to fast.’ Therefore, should one eat or drink anything even a minute before sunset, the fast will not be valid. Similarly, if one abstained from all these things throughout the day but made no intention to fast, there will be no fast here too.

Allah the Almighty said in the Qur’an “…And eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from its black thread…” (Al-Qur’an, 2:187) Literally defined, fasting means to abstain “completely” from foods, drinks, intimate intercourse and smoking, before the break of the dawn till sunset, during the entire month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year.

Fasting in Islam is based on the lunar calendar and is tied to the sightings of hilal, the crescent, or new moon. Allah the Almighty stated: “They ask you concerning the new moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time… (Al-Qur’an, 2:189). And the Traditions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Eat until you see the crescent and break not until you see the crescent. If it is cloudy calculate the period of the month.” (Muslim and others).

Fasting in Ramadan is compulsory upon every Muslim, male or female, who has these qualifications, e.g. mentally and physically fit, adult full of age which is normally fourteen and fairly certain that fasting is unlikely to cause any harm, physical or mental, other than the normal reactions to hunger, thirst etc.

The said qualifications exclude the following categories: children under the age of puberty and discretion; men and women who are too old and feeble to undertake the obligation of fast and bear its hardships; sick people whose health is likely to be severely affected by the observance of fast; travellers may break the fast temporarily during their travel;  pregnant women and women breast-feeding their children may also break their fast and women in the period of menstruation (of a maximum of ten days or of confinement (of a maximum of forty days. They must postpone the fast till recovery and then make up for it.

The holy month of Ramadan is the month of mercy, forgiveness, and seeking release from the Hell-fire. It is the month of repentance and acceptance of prayers. It is the month when the devils are chained, the gates of Hell are looked and the gates of Paradise are opened.  That’s why; Muslims welcome Ramadan each year with energy and happiness, and are saddened only when the month departs. Fasting is for the living, not for mourning.

Ramadan is a month of worship. Muslims should welcome the month with repentance and seeking Allah’s pardon. We should keep away from committing sins; worship Allah sincerely and spending the night and day in prayer, supplication and recitation of the Holy Qur’an.

Fasting is a shield which helps prevent many sins and with which Muslim protects himself from Hell-fire. Fasting is more than abstaining from food and drink. It also means to abstain from any falsehood in speech and action, from any ignorant and indecent speech, and from arguing and quarrelling. Therefore, fasting helps to develop good behaviour.

Fasting inculcates a sense of brotherhood and solidarity, as a Muslim feels and experiences what his needy and hungry brothers feel. This gives Muslim a new sense of togetherness and association.

Allah the Almighty said in the Qur’an: The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (between right and wrong). (Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 185) As Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an, every Muslim should prepare himself to welcome the blessed month of Ramadan by strengthening his relationship with the Qur’an. A Muslim is encouraged to complete one recitation of the Holy Qur’an during Ramadan.

We should engage more and more in the recitation of the Qur’an, in dhikr (remembrance of Allah), perform extra Salah (ritual prayers) at night and renew identity with one another in our obedience to Allah.

Thus Ramadan becomes a blessed month of physical, moral and spiritual renewal through fasting, charity and worship. This is the moral and spiritual gifts of Ramadan. “We can say that Ramadan gives us the great gift of Taqwa (Piety). Taqwa is the sum total of Islamic life. It is the highest of all virtues in the Islamic scheme of things. It means God-consciousness, piety, fear and awe of Allah and it signifies submission to Allah and total commitment to all that is good and rejection of all that is evil and bad,” said Dr. Muzzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).

Islam is a universal global religion. There is 1.6 billion Muslims the world over. Leaders of the Asian, African, European and American continents welcome the advent of the month of Ramadan and sent messages to the Muslims. The 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) welcomed the beginning of Ramadan. On this auspicious occasion, the Secretary General of the OIC issued a welcoming message.

OIC Secretary General’s Message
The OIC Secretary General Yousef Al-Othaimeen, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), has congratulated on Saturday the Islamic Nation on the advent of the holy month of Ramadan. In a press statement, the OIC Secretary General wished Muslims worldwide happiness, prosperity, well-being and peace. He expressed greetings to the Islamic Ummah, or global community of Muslims, on the occasion of the advent of Ramadan.

The OIC Secretary-General also prayed to Allah to shower His blessings and guidance on the leaders of OIC member states and the people of the Muslim world.

Al-Othaimeen drew the Muslim world’s attention to the moral imperative of standing side by side with fellow Muslims in the grip of humanitarian crises. Al-Othaimeen also expressed the hope that the leaders of the Islamic world will succeed during the holy month of Ramadan in boosting Islamic solidarity and establishing peace and anchoring security.

The OIC Secretary-General said that the month of Ramadan is an occasion to better demonstrate the noble Islamic values that include altruism, generosity, moderation, tolerance, mutual co-existence among all humans, rejecting violence and extremism and combating terrorism.

From Asian Continent
King Salman’s Ramadan Message
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques of Saudi Arabia King Salman thanked on Saturday, 27th of May, 2017 in Jeddah Almighty Allah for blessing Muslims with such an august month for worship and contemplation while addressing the people of the Kingdom and Muslims all over the world on the advent of Ramadan 1438H, a month-long compulsory fasting season for all adult Muslims.

At the outset of the speech, which was delivered on King Salman’s behalf by Dr. Awwad Saleh Al-Awwad, minister of culture and information, the King cited a number of Qur’anic verses explaining Almighty Allah’s wisdom behind ordering Muslims to fast during the month-long period.

He also cited a verse of the Qur’an saying that the Holy Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) during the month of Ramadan as guidance to people. The verse also mentions that we should start fasting on sighting the moon. The Prophet said whoever fasts the month of Ramadan seeking recompense (reward) from Allah his sins will be forgiven.

The King prayed that Allah grant us success in fasting during the holy month and performing our prayers. He thanked Allah for honouring this country, as it is the cradle of revelation, the land of the two holy mosques and the Qiblah of Muslims worldwide (that is, Muslims all over the world pray facing the Holy Kaaba in Makkah).

The King prayed to Allah Almighty to grant the Kingdom success to continue serving the two holy mosques as well as pilgrims, performers of Umrah and visitors. The King added that it is an honour “we are proud of”.

King Salman, also, reminded Muslims of the ordainment by our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that Muslims are like one human entity, whenever one part feels pain, all the other parts suffer and share the burden due to the fever, insomnia and fatigue, recalling the role played by the Kingdom since the time of the founder King Abdulaziz to best serve Muslims and to close and unify their ranks, adding that a noble goal will persist, forever.

The King said that Allah Almighty was generous to us and He specified certain times as being of more importance than others, as His mercy descends. Allah Almighty honoured Ramadan, the month of fasting, as His mercy, bounties and blessings descend and sins are forgiven. Those who are blessed with Allah’s mercy are saved from the Hellfire.

In conclusion, the King recalled the recently held Arab-Islamic-American summit as a testimonial of the Kingdom’s resolve to synergize efforts, in order to eradicate extremism and terrorism, in all forms and manifestations, henceforth, saving humanity of their mischief and evils. He added that the inception of a world centre to combat extremist thought is in line with that goal and to prove that Islam is a religion of mercy, moderation and co-existence. – reported Saudi Press Agency (SPA)

From European Continent
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s
Message for Ramadan
British Prime Minister Theresa May, MP, sent her “best wishes to everyone in Britain and around the world celebrating Ramadan.” She said, “Ramadan is a unique and special time for Muslims in Britain and around the world.”

“It is a time for them to renew their faith in God and increase their devotion and spirituality. A time when, despite the long summer days, Muslims across Britain will find strength through devotion to fulfil one of the five pillars of their religion,” said British Prime Minister May.

Prime Minister Theresa May also said, “Ramadan fosters a strong sense of community spirit, reflected in the way mosques open their doors and welcome people of all faiths and none to share in the Iftar meal – something I have experienced in my own constituency of Maidenhead. It is an important chance for people from all walks of life to meet together, discuss and share experiences with their neighbours, and to increase familiarity and foster friendships.”

British Prime Minister May concluded by saying, “This Ramadan, let us celebrate the way in which this festival of peace, reflection and religious devotion brings people closer together. And let us say to Muslims here in Britain and across the world, Ramadan Kareem.”

From American Continent
U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s Ramadan
Message to Muslims
U.S. President Donald J. Trump has issued a statement on Ramadan on behalf of the American people, “I would like to wish all Muslims a joyful Ramadan.”

“During this month of fasting from dawn to dusk, many Muslims in America and around the world will find meaning and inspiration in acts of charity and meditation that strengthen our communities. At its core, the spirit of Ramadan strengthens awareness of our shared obligation to reject violence, to pursue peace, and to give to those in need who are suffering from poverty or conflict,” Trump said in a statement.

“This year, the holiday begins as the world mourns the innocent victims of barbaric terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom and Egypt, acts of depravity that are directly contrary to the spirit of Ramadan. Such acts only steel our resolve to defeat the terrorists and their perverted ideology,” he added.

In his Ramadan message, President Trump mentioned, “On my recent visit to Saudi Arabia, I had the honor of meeting with the leaders of more than 50 Muslim nations. There, in the land of the two holiest sites in the Muslim world, we gathered to deliver together an emphatic message of partnership for the sake of peace, security, and prosperity for our countries and for the world.”

He also said, “I reiterate my message delivered in Riyadh: America will always stand with our partners against terrorism and the ideology that fuels it. During this month of Ramadan, let us be resolved to spare no measure so that we may ensure that future generations will be free of this scourge and able to worship and commune in peace.”

President Trump concluded by saying, “I extend my best wishes to Muslims everywhere for a blessed month as you observe the Ramadan traditions of charity, fasting, and prayer. May God bless you and your families.”

Statement by the Prime Minister of
Canada on Ramadan
The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, issued on 26 May, 2017 from Ottawa, Ontario, the following statement on Ramadan: “Tonight at sunset, Muslims in Canada and around the world will mark the start of Ramadan.”

“Ramadan is a sacred time of the year for the Muslim community, and commemorates the revealing of the Qur'an to Prophet Muhammad. The month-long journey of fasting and prayer encourages spiritual growth, reflection, and compassion for those who are less fortunate,” he said.

The Prime Minister of Canada Trudeau said, “Ramadan is also a time of community, when Muslims gather with family and friends to pray and share iftar, the evening meal. For all of us, Ramadan is a reminder to appreciate the many gifts we are given, and to give generously to others, in our communities and around the world.”

In his Ramadan message, Prime Minister Trudeau mentioned, “This year, as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, let us take the opportunity to honour the many cultures, traditions, and beliefs that make Canada such a wonderful place to live. Muslim Canadians help make Canada the strong, diverse, and inclusive country it is today.”

The Prime Minister of Canada Trudeau concluded by saying, “On behalf of our family, Sophie and I extend our best wishes to Muslim communities here in Canada and around the world. “Ramadan Mubarak!””

Elaborate preparations are in place to
Provide best services to Pilgrims during Ramadan
The chairman of the Central Hajj Committee, Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, has vowed to provide best services to pilgrims and visitors to the Grand Mosque in Makkah al-Mukarramah. In the meeting, also attended by Makkah’s Vice Governor, Prince Bandar bin Abdullah, the government’s preparations for the holy month of Ramadan were discussed, it is reported in Arab News.

The Hajj Ministry presented its operational plan for Ramadan, including the development of the automated system at the King Abdulaziz International Airport and the Jeddah Islamic Port to register shortcomings in onsite performance and report them to Umrah companies. The project will also establish an online monitoring room linked to a control network in Makkah and Madinah.

Ramadan preparations by the General Presidency of the Holy Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque include supervising imams, organizing and recording speeches, coordinating with security authorities, facilitating the entry and exit of pilgrims, opening corridors inside the Grand Mosque, arranging scientific courses in Shariah, language and history, and ensuring that copies and translations of the Holy Qur’an are available. The presidency supervises mosques’ cleanliness, maintenance and facilities, provides Zamzam water, carries out surveillance, guards the mosques’ doors and secures multipurpose vehicles for people with special needs for free, reported in the paper.

It is also reported that The Makkah municipality’s plan includes waste management, insect control, monitoring shops and food for sale. The municipality will also supervise operating and maintaining infrastructure such as roads, tunnels, lighting networks, parking lots, public toilets, public parks and green spaces. The plan also includes increasing the number of cleaning and hygiene workers, extending their work hours and providing additional support teams for labour and equipment to meet any emergencies.

It is also mentioned that the Makkah Health Affairs Directorate will increase staff in medical centres at the King Abdulaziz International Airport by 20 percent, and implement inoculation campaigns against infectious diseases. The Saudi Red Crescent Society (SRCS) aims to provide medical emergency services quickly and effectively, minimize the complications and effects of accidents and emergency medical cases, activate volunteer systems and support relevant authorities in multiple emergencies.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Reception of MWL Secretary General at the House of Lords

Reception of MWL’s Secretary General
At the House of Lords

Dr. Mozammel Haque

The Secretary General of the Muslim World League (Rabita al-Alam al-Islami) H.E. Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Bin Abdul Karim Al-Isa attended a reception at the House of Lords on Thursday, 11th of May, 2017 hosted by Baroness Uddin.

H. E. Sheikh Dr. Mohammed came to the United Kingdom on Saturday, the 6th of May 2017 and left on Thursday, the 18th of May 2017. During this period, he has a very tight schedule and busy programme of meeting ambassadors, representatives of different embassies in London, religious leaders, parliamentarians, academics and senior members of the Muslim communities and attending Mosques, Islamic Centres and meeting members of the wider society at large.

Sheikh Dr. Mohammad al-Isa in Scotland
Sheikh Dr. Mohammad al-Isa went to Edinburgh Islamic Centre and King Fahd Mosque for two days and attended the Board of Trustees meeting on 7-8th of May, 2017. H.E. Sheikh Dr. Mohammed al-Isa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League was hosted by the Edinburg Central Mosque for a good will tour and to conduct the AGM (Annual General Meeting of the Board of Trustees). The Secretary General held an interactive forum with Trustees and the Director of the Mosque, Dr. Naji Al-Arfaj where he addressed an august gathering of the Muslim community in Scotland.

Dr. Ahmad al-Dubayan, Director General of the Islamic Cultural Centre, London & Trustee of the Edinburgh Central Mosque accompanied His Excellency the Secretary General and his delegation during his visit.

Sheikh Dr. Mohammad al-Isa’s Programme in London
On 9th of May, 2017 The Secretary General of Rabita attended the Board of Trustees AGM meeting of the Muslim World League London Office and met MWL London Office staff, Imams and religious leaders. He attended a reception at the House of Lords hosted by Baroness Uddin on Thursday, 11th of May, 2017 where he gave a lecture on integration.

On 12th of May, the Saudi Embassy London arranged a reception for His Excellency at the Saudi Embassy in London. On 13th of May, 2017 His Excellency was supposed to visit the King Fahd Academy, London.

Then, on Sunday, the 14th of May; the Islamic Cultural Centre, London invited him to a reception at the Conference Hall of the Centre where he met and addressed an audience of ambassadors, representatives of different Embassies in London, religious leaders, imams, leaders of the Islamic centres and senior members of the Muslim communities and spoke on integration. Then the Muslim World League organised a day-long Conference on Tolerance in Islam at the Brunei gallery, SOAS, University of London on Monday, the 15th of May, 2017.

On 16th of May, HE The Secretary General of the Makkah-based Muslim World League went to Oxford to inaugurate the new office of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Oxford in the morning and attended the meeting of the UK Board of Shari’ah Council in the afternoon. And on 17th of May, His Excellency Sheikh Dr. Mohammad went to Birmingham to visit different Mosques there. He left for Germany on Thursday, 18th of May, 2017.

Here I am writing a report on the MWL’s (Muslim World League) Secretary General Reception at the House of Lords, British Parliament.

Rabita’s Secretary General’s Reception
at the House of Lords
Baroness Manzila Uddin organised a Reception in honour of the Secretary General of the Muslim World League at the Peers’ Dining Room of the House of Lords, British Parliament on Thursday, the 11th of May, 2017.

Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Abdul
Karim Al-Isa Addressed the Gathering
H.E. Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Bin Abdul Karim al-Isa, the Secretary General of the Muslim World League started by saying, “We meet today with you to renew our resolve and our pledge to work together to achieve the values of tolerance, love and peace in our world. Let us stand against the forces of evil that lead to extremist ideas and material gains, which come at a price and at the expense of human values and rights. Among the ideas that we must strongly confront are the sentiments of hatred that constitute the most important bet of terrorist extremism in its quest to win the moderate region to its ranks through firing up its religious passion and zeal.”

Sheikh Dr. Mohammed mentioned Islamophobia is the terrorists’ lifeline. He said, “The terrorists belonging to Da’esh and al-Qaeeda pin their hopes on Islamophobia which is considered to be their most important and dangerous lifeline. We can but imagine how much the Islamic world with more than 1.6 billion Muslims, has suffered from this hatred, while the carriers of terrorists thoughts rejoice for the misery of others. With this hatred, we are providing free services to terrorism that perhaps surpass any other strategies he wished for.”

MWL Secretary General also said Islam is blameless of this criminal extremism. He said, “After every operation perpetrated by al-Qaeeda and for which they accept responsibility, we must declare our increased conviction that Islam is blameless of this criminal extremism, and that we, along with our Muslim citizens and friends will defeat extremism.”

“Moreover, we firmly believe that once faced with such a conscious, wise and sincere reaction, terrorist extremism will feel deeply disappointed and deprived of the opportunity to perpetuate its wicked activities,” he added.

Sheikh Dr. Mohammed also mentioned that terrorism is the product of a radical thought and it can only be defeated through the eradication of its ideology. He said, “Terrorism has not been established through military power or a political entity, Nay! It is the product of a radical thought; thus, it can only be defeated through the eradication of its ideology.”

Saudi Establishment of a Global Centre
To Fight terrorism intellectually
MWL Secretary General mentioned about the establishment by Saudi Arabia of a global centre to fight terrorism intellectually. He said, “Saudi Arabia has established a global centre to fight terrorism intellectually. It’s the centre for Intellectual Warfare under the umbrella of the Ministry of Defense. The abovementioned Centre has provided a number of intellectual initiatives to a number of bodies, including the Saudi-led Islamic Military Coalition to combat Terrorism. It will also provide intellectual initiatives to the countries of the International Coalition against the US-led actions against Da’esh.”

“The ideology of terrorist extremism is based on extremely flimsy and weak ideas; however, it has expanded in the free space it has found during its confrontation. This ideology focuses on stirring religious emotions and carrying out terrorist acts with hardly any financial costs,” said Sheikh Dr. Mohammed al-Isa.

He said “We need to raise added awareness of Muslim communities against the dangers of extremist terrorist messages, in the countries where they live.”

Sheikh Dr. Mohammed also mentioned that the instigators exploit the suffering. He said, “The instigators exploit the suffering of some community that find themselves in difficult social or psychological conditions. Hence, they attempt to link any of the communities’ final decision to religion. And Da’esh is readily available to find excuses for their actions, and provoke their emotional state of minds towards the hateful and provocative media discourse.”

Sheikh Dr. Mohammed al-Isa also mentioned, “Some of the bombings that were carried out by some criminals who, one night before these terrible acts, were clubbing in night clubs - A matter which is completely contradictory to the teachings of Islam.”

“If we are able to control the funding of terrorism financially, we cannot control its intellectual supply source as easily. It will continue to lure the target audience through its expansion into the virtual world,” he said.

“What makes the things more complicated,” said Sheikh Dr. Mohammed, “is that Da’esh and Al-Qaeeda’s terrorism doesn’t adhere to a particular religious school. Its elements come from 101 countries around the world with different ideas brought together by hijacked emotion to serve a single objective. As a matter of facts, 1,500 fighters have joined Da’esh from Belgium alone.”

Muslim World League, a global
Organisation of Islamic peoples
The MWL Chief then mentioned about the Muslim World League, its vision and activities. He said, “The Muslim World League, founded on 18th of May, 1962 is a global organisation of Islamic peoples based in Makkah. It’s a respected and appreciated by the peoples of the Muslim world. In its new vision, the MWL recognised these dangers and developed programs to raise the consciousness of Muslim communities, and show them the true image of the conciliatory, tolerant, accommodating Islam; carrier of the message of love and mercy. These traits and attributes are explicitly stated in the religious texts and the biography of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.”

“The Rabita has also developed programs to intercept extremist messages launched by Da’esh through websites, and social networking sites in particular,” he said.

Sheikh Dr. Mohammed also mentioned that extremism is not limited by a particular geographical area. He said, “The bitter truth is that extremism is not limited by a particular geographical area, but rather by a virtual world. This blight will never die even if it is militarily defeated at Da’esh’s different locations in Iraq and Syria. The same thing applies to al-Qaeeda; it has not been defeated, it has become more widespread after the fall of its former protector Taliban. The survival of terrorism is closely linked to the survival of its ideas which serve as its nourishing lines.”

Sheikh Dr. Mohammed emphasized “the more we raise our fears about Islam without revealing the moderation ratio which represents 200,000 people compared to one person of terrorist extremism; and the more moderate Muslim communities are provoked against the backdrop of those desperate terrorist attempts that take place every now and then among all daily crimes everywhere in the world; when this happens, we give terrorism great support and a big boost.”

“The more we move towards defeating terrorism,” said Sheikh Dr. Mohammed, “the lesser followers will it have, and eventually will fade into isolation. Then history’s lesson would have been served on its account, the same way it has been served with its predecessors in all religions.”

MWL Chief concluded by reiterating his thanks and appreciation to the host for her hospitality and thank the gathering for their attention.

Baroness Uddin Welcomed
The MWL Secretary General
Baroness Manzila Uddin, Peer of the House of Lords, while welcoming the distinguished guest Sheikh Dr. Mohammed al-Isa, other distinguished and honoured guests, mentioned about the middle of the month of Shaban. She said, “Today is a special day in the Islamic calendar. It is the middle of the month of Shaban popularly referred to as Shab-e-Barat or the Night of Forgiveness. Traditionally it is a day that marks self-reflection and a period of forgiveness that precedes the Holy Month of Ramadan.”

Baroness Uddin also referred to the forthcoming month of Ramadan and what the British Muslims do during this month. She said, “Ramadan is a special time – a Divine gift from God. It is a period of introspection, contemplation, restraint, generosity and sharing; all the things that epitomize the basic teachings of Islam.”

“It is a month where British Muslim joins their brothers and sisters in Islam across the world, not only in intensifying their acts of worship but acts compassion. During this month British Muslims, despite the socio-economic challenges they face, collect millions of pounds in charity to share with those less fortunate around the world. It is an acknowledged fact that we are by far the most generous of communities in giving,” she mentioned.

Talking about the system of alms distribution, Baroness Uddin said, “In Britain our system of distribution of alms is still developing and we need to focus and invest more in basic institutions that are essential for nurturing, creating and sustaining healthy and viable communities across the country.”

Muslim World League and its efforts
Appreciating the global efforts of the Muslim World League and looking forward for fruitful cooperation with it, Baroness Uddin said, “Your Excellency we welcome you and your organisation wholeheartedly and look forward to years of fruitful co-operation. The global efforts of the Muslim World League on the work it does serving Muslim communities as they face the challenges of modernity, relevancy and for supporting infrastructure building is much appreciated. Besides charitable giving the MWL does invaluable work in the field of education and inter and intra faith dialogue. We hope and pray that the MWL under your leadership can further increase its role as peacemakers in a world caught in chaos, turmoil and change.”

Baroness Uddin emphasized “the most outstanding task of our times is to bring people together in an atmosphere of peace and justice.”

Baroness Uddin emphasized the Role of Women
While emphasizing the role of women in this critical endeavour, Baroness Uddin mentioned, “Like most of our sisters across the world, British Muslim women are dynamic, eager for change and in the frontline in the struggle for social engagement and social justice. I daresay that no meaningful change can take place without their partnership, insight and commitment. Thanks be to God we in Britain have no legal issue in the wearing of hijab in public in both private and public places. Our struggle is much more fundamental than dress code; it is about our society lifting the glass ceiling or ‘veil’ that makes it difficult for our contribution in society to be taken seriously and valued.”

“We are weary of excuses and shibboleths that actively deny us the role of being agents of change – in our masjids, our madrassas and even our homes,” she mentioned.

Baroness Uddin also said to the MWL’s Secretary General to fully integrate women in all its work. She said, “Your Excellency, we pray that an organisation like MWL, which has pioneered the art of soft diplomacy, will embrace this challenge of fully integrating women in all spheres of your work which you lead. Muslim women need to be facilitated and empowered to take the destiny of their children, their families and their communities in their nurturing hands, defined by compassion, accountability and ethical behavior.”

“Humanity is caught up in tsunami of conflict, war and suffering and plight, there is much need for peacemakers,” she said and added, “One of the critical component of a peaceful society is the empowered role of women in playing their full part in rebuilding communities, joining hands to build peace with their fellow brothers and sisters and respond collectively to the many challenges of our time.”

Talking about her activities, Baroness Uddin mentioned she first began working in her community thirty five years ago; there were not enough encouragement for Muslim women in the public arena. She mentioned, “Over the past 19 years as parliamentarian I am glad to say we have witnessed some progress.  Your Excellency, you will appreciate it is not enough. I hope you will employ your good office to improve this situation - for there has never been greater impetus for unity for promoting peace and security.”

Baroness Uddin also mentioned about her programmes and projects. She said, “In my small way I continue to work on various programmes to ensure women who wish to work across all the communities, engage on a national platform have access to this House.  Indeed, we can take pride in the immense contribution we and our families have made to making of this nation.  I am currently undertaking one such project which celebrate our heritage and history which I know will provide a powerful message for our young people. I hope you will join hands with us in this endeavour and personally support this programme.”

Dr. Ahmed Al-Dubayan
Dr. Ahmed al-Dubayan, Director General of the Islamic Cultural Centre, London said, “First of all, it is a great privilege for me and honour to stand here to talk to you. I would like to express my deep thanks to the right honourable Baroness Uddin inviting me today actually to speak. As she just said it’s a really remarkable day that we have this biggest figure for us in London and we are so happy and pleased to come together.”

Muslim World League and
Its Secretary General
Dr. al-Dubayan then introduced the Secretary General of the Muslim World League by saying, “The Secretary General of the Muslim world League is a very very important figure in the Islamic world for many reasons. For those who do not know about the Muslim World League allow me a few more minutes, or a few minutes to summarize the facts about this great international organisation. Muslim World League was established in 1962 and since that time this leading organisation working in all continents of the world providing a lot of services, establishing many institutions, schools, centres, mosques etc.”

“The role that they have played are very major and important; serving different fields - relief, education, dialogue, developing Islamic institutions and centres, women care, supporting peace among the communities etc,” Dr. al-Dubayan mentioned.

Dr. al-Dubayan also mentioned about the new dimension which Secretary General of the Muslim World League was talking about. He said, “You have just mentioned I listened to you yesterday the new dimension that you have. The new dimension is the most important thing coming to now; after the stage of establishment. It is time now to start really as you just said yesterday and I hear from you to support really the communities to be connected, to be integrated and to be involved in civil societies in which they live here in the U.K. and in other countries around the world.”

Dr. al-Dubayan also mentioned about our mission to fight radicalisation, fight Islamophobia. He said, “It is really our mission, all of us, is to fight radicalisation, is to fight Islamophobia, Islamophobic feeling.”

Mentioning those many leaders from the Muslim communities along with many friends of Muslim communities in the gathering, Dr. Al-Dubayan said, “We have many VIPs and distinguished guests. I think this is a good chance to open this and put our hands together to have really better future and to have a better chance.”

Speaking about the need of the Muslim communities in the United Kingdom, Dr. al-Dubayan said, “Muslim communities in the UK need lot of things; we have lot of things and we have lot of unaccomplished projects that we have started. We really need support our hands together for better future, for safety and well-being of the society.”

Speaking about the forthcoming month of Ramadan, Dr. Al-Dubayan said, “We have mainly 15 days before Ramadan. I would like to express my congratulations to all of you actually for the coming of the month of Ramadan, the month of peace and the month of worship. It is really the time when all Muslims during fasting go through spiritual experience. For this experience also brings to let them feel they have families of other people; have feeling about the poor, the needy have those who don’t have really find food, all only one month in a year.”