Thursday, 29 December 2011

Jesus Statue Razed By Lightning.

Jesus statue razed by lightning in Ohio
A 62ft (19m) tall statue of Jesus outside a church in the US state of Ohio has burned down after being struck by lightning.
The frame is all that remains of the wood, polystyrene and glass fibre statue, which was hit on Monday night.
It had stood at the non-denominational Solid Rock Church in Monroe since 2004, and had been dubbed the Touchdown Jesus and the Quicksand Jesus.
Firefighters said no-one was injured in the blaze, near a major highway.
The monument - which had reportedly cost $250,000 (£170,000) - showed just the upper body of Jesus, with arms raised.
The fire spread to a nearby amphitheatre which suffered minor damage, fire chief Mark Neu said.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Gulf Union: A farsighted step.

Call for Gulf union far-sighted: Shoura

RIYADH: The Shoura Council on Sunday described the call by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for a union of Gulf states as a historic step in the progress march of the Gulf Cooperation Council. King Abdullah made the call at the 32nd summit of GCC leaders in Riyadh last week.
The Shoura comments came at a regular session of the council chaired by Shoura Chairman Abdullah Al-Asheikh in Riyadh on Sunday.
Leaders of the six-nation GCC concluded a two-day summit in Riyadh on Tuesday with a vow to support King Abdullah's call to transform the GCC into a single powerful regional entity.
Al-Asheikh said King Abdullah's call came at a time when concerted efforts are needed to face future challenges. Describing it as a far-sighted move, he said this will enable the GCC states to converge their policies into a joint plan of action.
The Shoura chairman urged all consultative bodies in the GCC countries to extend their cooperation to successfully implement these policies. Such a move, he said, would serve the political, economic and social interests of all Gulf countries.
Meanwhile, GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani said the customs union will come into force on Jan. 1, 2015, through the formation of a GCC commission comprising directors of customs from all GCC countries.
'Alaykum Salam.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Bhopal Ijtema.

Saturday December 10, 2011 12:12:08 PM, Pervez Bari,

Bhopal: An aura of spirituality is pervading through the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal, the city of lakes, hills, Masjids and now Mandirs too, wherein the stage is all set for the 64th edition of “Aalami Tableeghi Ijtima” (World Preachers’ Congregation) which begins on Saturday soon after the Fajir Namaz (pre-dawn prayers).

Muslims from all over the globe from India and abroad in Jamaats (Groups of devotees) have descended here. Soon after the Friday prayers they have started converging from the walled city to the tent city at the Ijtima site which is about 15 kms on the northern outskirts of the town at Ghasipura in Eintkhedi village. The three-day Ijtima will be held here from December 10 and shall conclude on December 12 with mass “Dua” (prayer).

Over 300 Jamaatis from Russia, Kazakhstan, France, Indonesia, Malaysia, Zambia, South Africa, Kenya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Ethiopia, Somalia, Turkey, Thailand and Sri Lanka have already arrived in the city and from many more other countries are expected to reach the Ijtima venue soon.

The huge main “pandal” has come up on about 20 acres of land to accommodate the Jamaats from all over India. In the main “pandal” tens of thousands of people will camp for three days listening to the holy sermons of Islamic scholars as how to inculcate the good values in life following the Islamic tenets in order to lead an upright life in this world and thereby be rewarded with Jannat-ul-Firdaus Hereafter.

According to Ateeq-ul-Islam, the spokesman of the Ijtima Organising Committee, the Ijtima is being organised on more than 170 acres of land. Out of this 70 acres are reserved for parking while 25 acre is covered by tents. Small shopping plots meant for eateries spread around the venue cover 35 acres of land. About 5,000 ablutions points for Wuzu, have been made. Venue is spotted with 170 water tanks of 5000 litre capacity. In all 21 tube-wells have been connected to ensure proper water supply. More than 600 makeshift urinals and 900 toilets have been put with a temporary sewage system. A separate closed tent is built for foreign Jamaats wherein separate toilets and washroom facilities have been provided for them.

The organising committee has also announced the Namaz timings at the Ijtima venue. As per the schedule announced the Fajr Namaz would be held at 6.30 am, Zohar Namaz at 2 pm, Asr Namaz at 4.30 pm, Maghrib Namaz at 5.39 pm while the Isha Namaz would held after the sermons are over.

On the second day separate special religious discourses will be held during the conclave for intellectuals, traders, farmers, students etc. and the participants would be asked to follow the Islamic religious tenets in their spirit apart from the message for universal brotherhood. Prominent “Akabireen” (Tableeghi elders) who will address the gatherings include: Maulana Zubair, Maulana Sa’ad, Maulana Yunus, Maulana Ahmed Laat, Maulana Yousuf, Prof. Nadir Ali etc.

Meanwhile, a special feature of the Ijtima is special arrangements for deaf and dumb people who come in Jamaats from all over the country and are housed separately. The sermons from the main “pandal” are translated to them in sign language. Their disability does not come in their way to leave their home and hearth to learn and inculcate the basic teachings of Islam to become righteous Muslims.

Over 400 Nikaahs is expected to performed in a simple manner in the spirit of Islam by the elders of the Tableeghi Jamaat on the first two days of the Ijtima after Asr Namaz. The formalities for the mass Nikaahs have been completed.

Extra security measures are being taken with nothing being left to chance. While within the Ijtima campus Tableeghi Jamaat volunteers will keep a tight vigil on security outside and around the Ijtima venue the cadres of Madhya Pradesh Police will do their job of maintaining law and order. In a bid to boost security in and around the venue CCTVs are being installed at strategic points. Police have set up watchtowers and hundreds of policemen will be present on the spot. Apart from police, the personnel of Rapid Action Force, (RAF), the Traffic police will be in attendance along with hundreds of volunteers of Tableeghi Jamaat to streamline the vehicular traffic. (

US Kicked Out Of Shamsi Air Base.

Al Salamu 'Alaykum.

Pakistan's defence ministry Sunday took control of the Shamsi airbase as the US vacated the facility after the government ordered this following the NATO strikes that killed 24 Pakistani troops last month, Geo News reported.

According to security sources, the officials of Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior were present at the Shamsi airbase, located in Pakistan's Balochistan province.

The decision on whether to hand over the airbase to UAE will be taken later on, the sources added. 

"A cargo plane of the US Air Force arrived at the airbase today to take the US troops to their next destination," Dawn News quoted a senior Pakistan government official as saying Saturday night.

According to sources, about 20 US cargo planes landed at the airbase over the past week to shift sensitive equipment, vehicles and belongings of the US troops who had been using the base for the last 10 years.

Following the 9/11 terror strike in 2001 in the US, then president Pervez Musharraf had allowed the US to use two airbases in the province -- Dalbandin and Shamsi.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Thackeray's Granddaughter Marries "Tame" Muslim.

Mumbai, December 08: Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's granddaughter Neha married a Gujarati guy in Mumbai on December 4, sources said.
Neha is the daughter of Bal Thackeray's eldest son late Bindumadhav. Neha has married Manan, son of an old friend of Bindumadhav and Raj Thackeray. The marriage has further cemented the family’s bond with the MNS leader.
The entire family, excluding Bal Thackeray, attended the wedding at Hotel Taj Lands End. Neha's mother Madhavi Thackeray welcomed guests like Manohar Joshi, Ram Kadam, Ashish Shelar, Gopal Shetty, Nitin Sardesai and wife Swati, Mangesh Sangle, Shirish Parkar, Shishir Shinde and others.
Raj Thackeray, too, attended the reception, along with his wife and sons, reports said.
Meanwhile, there is a speculation in media circles that the Thackeray's son-in-law converted to Hinduism sometime back, but the family has denied the reports.
For us, there is nothing to say except Inna Lillahi wa Inna 'ilayhi raji'oon.
'Alaykum Salam.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Qur'anic Names of Makka al Mukarrama.

Al Salamu ‘Alaykum.

Names of Makka in the Qur’an:
Makka: Sura Fath, v.24
Bakkah: Sura Aal-e-‘Imraan, v.96.
Umm al Qura: Sura An’aam, v.92.
Al Balad: Sura Ibrahim, v.35.
Al Balad al Ameen: Sura Tin, v.3.
Al Baladah: Sura Naml, v.91.
Haram Aamin: Sura Qasas, v.57.
Wadi Ghayr Dhi Zarr: Sura Ibrahim, v.37.
Ma'ad: Sura Qasas, v.85.
Qaryah: Sura Muhammad, v.13.
Masjid Haram.
‘Alaykum Salam.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Ingushetia MPs Seek Ban On Alcohol.

Al Salamu 'Alaykum.
Russian MPs in Muslim Ingushetia are seeking to pass a bill which will ban the sale of alcohol in that region. Unfortunately, the intention behind this admittedly pious act is not to act on the dictates of Islam but to prevent traffic accidents, poisoning and conflicts. Would that Muslims all over the world could purify their intentions so that their deeds become acceptable to Allah(swt).
Wa salam.

"Moscow: In a move to prevent traffic accidents and alcohol poisoning, MPs in Russia's predominantly Muslim region Ingushetia have drafted a bill which, if passed, would ban the sale of alcohol in the state.

The lawmakers Friday began the first reading of the bill, the local government spokeswoman said.

Alcohol sales in Ingushetia are presently allowed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. In neighbouring Muslim-dominated Chechnya region, alcohol is sold just once a week from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Ingushetia will be electing members of the local and central legislatures and the federal Russian parliament Dec 4 together with the rest of the country. The new legislature will vote on the bill, the spokeswoman said, adding that the law would most likely be adopted.

Ingushetia president Yunus-Bek Yevkurov has welcomed the bill as an important move. He called for tougher control over alcohol sales, saying products should be certified and retailers provided with licenses.

"Uncertified people in this business sell dodgy alcohol, which causes poisoning and leads to conflicts," he said

The lawmakers would also have to decide on punishment for violators, he said. Yevkurov cited police statistics that said alcohol intoxication was one of the main reasons behind traffic accidents.

"We are in a secular state and the republic's population is made of a diversity of religions and ethnicities. We cannot stamp on people's rights but we can somehow try to prevent the situation from running out of control," Yevkurov said."

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Cut Off The Mullah's Nose!

"My nose has not been cut off"

Sheikhul Hadeeth رحمة الله عليه describes the reaction of his community to the simple, hassle-free nikah of his two daughters. 

"The nikah was performed but thereafter I had to bear the brunt of all the attacks. People did not know the boys and an announcement had been made that it was my daughters getting married. The two bridegrooms were both handsome young men, still without beards with the Madani turbans around their heads, which I myself had put on for them, while going to the mosque. Here are some of the taunts I received:

a. "What kind of people are those Molvies. They see two handsome young boys and give their daighters away to them."

b. "Two young men from among the rich ones of Bombay arrived at the jalsa. Seeing two rich ones, they gave their daughters away."

c. "They must have known them from before because they would not just see two boys walking along and then give their daughters away to them. These Molvies are no good."

d. One of the pious wealthy men from our mohalla went home and very happily told his wife about the marriage of my daughters. The wife became quite angry (may Allah pardon them both). She said, "The poor mice are jumping all over their house because they cannot find anything to eat. Everyday they send people to our door to beg and borrow. If they did not marry them off, then what else would they have done? You tell me: Allah had given you great riches and lots of wealth. Allah forbid that I have to let my daughters get married like paupers."

Thereafter because this nikah was against the custom of our people and because in the history of Kandhla it had never been performed like this ever, there was a lot of talk this way and that. 

One person's reaction reached me as having said, "Zakariya has cut his own nose and thereby he has brought dishonour to all of us. Is this the way to have a nikah performed?"

I replied, "I have not been dishonoured. My nose has not been cut off."

I told the messenger, "Even you can feel with your hand that my nose is still in place, so you may go and tell them what you have seen. No, my nose has not been cut off and no one else has been dishonoured." 

Taken from aap beeti.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Islam Blooming In Rwanda.

Al Salamu 'Alaykum.
When 800,000 of their countrymen were killed in massacres that began 10 years ago this week, many Rwandans lost faith not only in their government but in their religion as well. Today, in what is still a predominantly Catholic country, Islam is the fastest growing religion.
Roman Catholicism has been the dominant faith in Rwanda for more than a century. But many people, disgusted by the role that some priests and nuns played in the killing frenzy, have shunned organized religion altogether, and many more have turned to Islam.
''People died in my old church, and the pastor helped the killers,'' said Yakobo Djuma Nzeyimana, 21, who became a Muslim in 1996. ''I couldn't go back and pray there. I had to find something else.''
Wearing a black prayer cap, Mr. Nzeyimana was one of nearly 2,000 worshipers at the Masdjid Al Fat'h last Friday. The crowd was so large that some Muslims set their prayer mats on the dirt outside the mosque and prayed in the midday heat.
The Muslim community now boasts so many converts that it has had to embark on a crash campaign to build new mosques to accommodate all of the faithful. About 500 mosques are scattered throughout Rwanda, about double the number that existed a decade ago.
Although no accurate census has been done, Muslims leaders in Rwanda estimate that they have about a million followers, or about 15 percent of the population. That, too, would represent a doubling of their numbers in the past 10 years.
Muslim leaders credit the gains to their ability during the 1994 massacres to shield most Muslims, and many other Rwandans, from certain death. ''The Muslims handled themselves well in '94, and I wanted to be like them,'' said Alex Rutiririza, explaining why he converted to Islam last year.
With killing all around, he said, the safest place to be back then was in a Muslim neighborhood. Then as now, many of Rwanda's Muslims lived crowded together in the Biryogo neighborhood of Kigali.
During the mass killing of Tutsi, militias had the place surrounded, but Hutu Muslims did not cooperate with the Hutu killers. They said they felt far more connected through religion than through ethnicity, and Muslim Tutsi were spared.
''Nobody died in a mosque,'' said Ramadhani Rugema, executive secretary of the Muslim Association of Rwanda. ''No Muslim wanted any other Muslim to die. We stood up to the militias. And we helped many non-Muslims get away.''
Allahu Akbar.
'Alaykum Salam.

Don't Get Mad, Get Even!

Leola Starling of Ribrock, Tenn., had a serious telephone problem. But unlike most people she did something about it. The brand-new $10 million Ribrock Plaza Motel opened nearby and had acquired almost the same telephone number as Leola.
From the moment the motel opened, Leola was besieged by calls not for her. Since she had the same phone number for years, she felt that she had a case to persuade the motel management to change its number.
Naturally, the management refused claiming that it could not change its stationery.
The phone company was not helpful, either. A number was a number, and just because a customer was getting someone else’s calls 24 hours a day didn’t make it responsible. After her pleas fell on deaf ears, Leola decided to take matters into her own hands.
At 9 o’clock the phone rang. Someone from Memphis was calling the motel and asked for a room for the following Tuesday. Leoloa said, “No problem. How many nights?”
A few hours later Dallas checked in. A secretary wanted a suite with two bedrooms for a week. Emboldened, Leola said the Presidential Suite on the 10th floor was available for $600 a night. The secretary said that she would take it and asked if the hotel wanted a deposit.
“No, that won’t be necessary,” Leola said. “We trust you.”
The next day was a busy one for Leola. In the morning, she booked an electric appliance manufacturers’ convention for Memorial Day weekend, a college prom and a reunion of the 82nd Airborne veterans from World War II.
She turned on her answering machine during lunchtime so that she could watch the O.J. Simpson trial, but her biggest challenge came in the afternoon when a mother called to book the ballroom for her daughter’s wedding in June.
Leola assured the woman that it would be no problem and asked if she would be providing the flowers or did she want the hotel to take care of it. The mother said that she would prefer the hotel to handle the floral arrangements. Then the question of valet parking came up. Once again Leola was helpful. “There’s no charge for valet parking, but we always recommend that the client tips the drivers.”
Within a few months, the Ribrock Plaza Motel was a disaster area.
People kept showing up for wedddings, bar mitzvahs and Sweet Sixteen parties and were all told there were no such events.
Leola had her final revenge when she read in the local paper that the motel might go bankrupt. Her phone rang, and an executive from Marriott said, “We’re prepared to offer you $200,000 for the motel.”
Leola replied. “We’ll take it, but only if you change the telephone number.”

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Muslim Gypsies In Romania.

The Muslim Gypsies in Romania

The Islamic community of Romania is concentrated in the Dobrudja, a southeastern province of Romania lying between the Danube River and the Black Sea. The community comprises an ethnic mosaic of Turks, Tartars, Albanians and Gypsies.1 Muslim Gypsies identify themselves as 'Horahane Rroma' - Horahane meaning Turkish in the Rromani language. The Muslim community accepts the Horahane Rroma as belonging to the Islamic religion, but otherwise does not affiliate with them. The great majority of the Romanian population rejects Horahane Rroma because of their adherence to a religion different from the 'national' Orthodox Christianity. For the other Gypsies, they are simply known as 'Turks'.
The official number of the Rroma, or Gypsy, population of Romania is still based upon the 1992 census: 409,723 persons, or 1.8% of the entire population. However, unofficial estimates by Rromani associations amount to approximately 2.5 million people. A very small part of this Gypsy population (10,000-15,000) is estimated to be Muslim, and is distributed over a dozen towns and villages.2 
Because very few written records have survived little is known of the history of the Muslim Gypsies in Dobrudja. It is thought that they arrived in the area in the early 16th century as a sanjak(division) of a specific category of Gypsies serving in the Ottoman army. This hypothesis is sustained by the Special Law for the Gypsies of Rumelia, promulgated by Sultan Suleiman the Great in 1530, and by the Law for the supervision of the sanjak of Gypsies of 1541. Others may be descendants of Gypsies that came from the other territories to the Ottoman dominions that embraced Islam. Muslim Gypsies in Dobrudja have no written culture, but they have a rich oral tradition, which includes fairytales, legends, riddles, charms, and songs. Unfortunately this tradition has been recorded only sporadically thus far and it has not been analysed at all. The study of these cultural expressions would certainly lead to a greater understanding of their history.
Ancestral beliefs and Islam: The Muslim Gypsies in Romania are Sunnites of the Hanafitic rite. Identifying Islam with the Ottoman civilization, some of them proclaim: 'We are Muslims, so we believe in the God of the Turks.' The other Muslim inhabitants of Dobrudja often stress that the Gypsies do not have much knowledge of religion. They name them Allahsiz insanlar, Godless people, because they do not live a manifest religious life. They go to the mosque only on the occasions of great Islamic festivals, such as the Id al-Fitr and the Id al-Adha. Pejorative allusions are sometimes made by other Muslims of Dobrudja to the old dualist religion (Devla-God/Benga-Satan) of the Gypsies. 
Generally Gypsies are capable of adapting, at least superficially, to all sorts of circumstances while maintaining their identity. This phenomenon may also be noticed at the level of religion. In spite of their declared affiliation to Islam, many of their ancestral religious representations, beliefs and practices are still present, such as belief in demons, totemism and divination. Of interest is that the two Islamic categories halal (allowed) and haram (prohibited) have been superposed on two categories of the ancestral culture of Gypsies, namely ujo (pure) and melalo (impure). This taboo system is regulated by rituals, such as the use of charms, and not by resorting to Islamic teachings.
Another illustrative example of the syncretism that characterizes their worldview is the annual Hirdelezi festival, an occasion on which the dead are commemorated. This festival takes place on the 6th of May and is celebrated by all the Muslims in Dobrudja. Fire plays a central role for the Gypsies on this special day. Fires are lit in front of their houses and the members of the family jump over them in order to purify themselves from sins and liberate themselves from bad spirits. This ritual is similar to the Newroz fesitival celebrated by Kurds, Iranians and others. The Hirdelezi festival is sometimes called 'Turkish Easter', because the Gypsies also light candles in their houses.

Linguistic aspects: Name-giving among the Muslim Gypsies reflects the pragmatic and eclectic approach of this small community living in a - sometimes - hostile environment. Often their names are a combination of a Turkish (Islamic) name and a Romanian (sometimes even Christian) name. For example, the name of the bulibasha (community head) in the town of Babadag is Recep Lupu, Lupu being a name from the Romanian bestiary, meaning wolf. The women in the community have at least two names. For example, one of the outstanding women in the community of Babadag is called Maria Rubie. Depending on circumstances, some of them declare themselves Romanians and Christians, making use of the Romanian name only, while at the other occasions they proclaim themselves Turks and Muslims, making use of the Turkish name.
Muslim Gypsies in Dobrudja present a typical case of languages in contact. A number of languages - Horahane (a Rromani dialect), Turkish, and Romanian, as well as varieties of these are widely used in everyday interactions. The choice of using a particular language is governed by social factors. For instance, the Horahane dialect is spoken inside the community, especially by women and children. The type of Turkish used is linked to a whole spectrum of varieties ranging from the Ottoman Turkish, used for the invocation of God, to the everyday Turkish variety spoken in the area. A kind of pidgin Turkish is also used. Classical Arabic is used for the Islamic prayer ritual, the namaz, and some religious expressions derived from Arabic - but with a very specific pronunciation - are part of their spoken language. Romanian, the official language, is normally spoken by the majority of Gypsies. 
A direct result of this situation is the appearance of the phenomenon of code-switching, which is defined as the alternate use of two or more languages in the same sentence or in the same discourse.
Changing lifestyles: Muslim Gypsies, once nomads, used to travel as artisans and seasonal labourers by tilt wagons from village to village offering their services, such as tinning kitchen dishes, in exchange for agricultural products or for money. However, modern industries led to a crisis of the traditional craft practised by the Muslim Gypsies. Taking also into consideration the forced sedentarization policies of the communist authorities, their entire way of life was changed. Without the traditional skills they once had, nowadays the Muslim Gypsies are seeking employment opportunities outside of their community. Attracted by the economic activities of the large cities, a considerable number of them migrated, usually settling in the city outskirts as petty traders, domestic servants and day labourers. Their cities of preference are Constantza and Bucharest in Romania and Istanbul in Turkey. Those remaining in villages are also involved in petty trade and domestic service. One can often find them travelling with their merchandise from one village to the other in the area, by car or sometimes still by traditional tilt wagon.
The Muslim Gypsies can be said to still have close-knit communities. The tradition of 'Hanamic' is a way to construct strong relationships between families: More powerful than blood kinship, the parents vow, before their children are born, that their offspring will intermarry when they have reached the proper age. As of yet, mixed marriages are very rare. This may nonetheless change: It seems that the Muslim Gypsies could lose their distinct identity through assimilation. However, through the strengthening of relations with the Muslim Gypsies in other parts of southeastern Europe, especially in Bulgaria and Turkey, a revival of their ethnic identity indeed belongs to the future possibilities.
1. See also Grigore, George (1999), 'Muslims in Romania', ISIM Newsletter, 3.
2. The towns of Babadag, Harsova, Constantza, and Medgidia, and the villages of Cobadin, Negru-Voda, Dobromir, Baneasa, Lespezi, Valeni, Castelu, Mihail and Kogalniceanu.
Ana Oprisan is a Rromologist working at The Rroma Center for Public Policies 'Aven Amentza', Bucharest, Romania. E-mail:
George Grigore teaches Arabic and Islamic civilization at Bucharest University, Romania. His latest published work is a translation of Holy Qur'an (Coranul) into the Romanian language (Kriterion Publishing House, Bucharest, 2000).E-mail:

'Alaykum Salam.