Monday, 11 June 2012

Shaykh al-Hadith Yunus Jaunpuri (db)

Al Salamu 'Alaykum.
By the efforts and grace of Shaykh al-Hadith Hanif Luharvi and Mawlana Abu Uzair Junaid, this worthless servant had the opportunity to meeting and shaking hands with Shaykh Yunus Jaunpuri (db), Shaykh al-Hadith of Mazahir al-'Uloom, Saharanpur yesterday. A Jalsa was organised in Shaykh Hanif's Madrasa in Kharod, Gujarat for the Khatm-e-Bukhari of the students. Afterwards, despite his obvious ill health, Shaykh Yunus spoke for about 45 minutes to the students. It was a very academic talk, most of which I could not understand. May Allah make the 'ilm of the Deen easy for us and may he lengthen the shadow of the 'Ulama-e-Haqq on us. Thanks are due to Shaykh Hanif and Mawlana Junaid. May Allah bless them with His friendship.
Wa salam.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Hadrat 'Umar: The Best Of Friends.

Al Salamu 'Alaykum.
In old, worn out shabby looking clothes, Amir Al-Mu’minin, Ali Bin Abi Talib, sat saying grace to Allah. Abu Maryam, one of the servants, sat on his knees close to `Ali and whispered: “Amir Al-Mu’minin, I have something to ask of you.” `Ali said: “What is it that you want to ask?”
Abu Maryam said: “That you throw away the clothes you are wearing. They are old and ripped and do not go well with your position.”
`Ali Bin Abi Taleb put the tip of his clothes on his eyes and started to cry until his weeping was loud. In embarrassment, Abu Maryam said: “O Amir Al-Mu’minin, if I knew that it meant so much to you I would not have asked you to take it off.” `Ali said while wiping his tears: “O Abu Maryam, my love for this jacket is increasing. It was a gift from my friend and beloved companion.”
Oddly, Abu Maryam asked: “And who is this friend of yours O Amir?” `Ali said: “ ‘Umar Ibn Al Khattab. He was the best of friends.”
He then started to weep once again until the sound of his suppressed cries could be heard from afar.
"100 Stories from the Life of Ali Bin Abi Taleb" by Muhammad Siddeeq Al Minshawi, Dar Al Fadeela Publishing, 2002.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Use Islamic Injunctions To Establish Just Economy

Hyderabad: A first of its kind open lecture session on Islamic Economics was conducted in Hyderabad by POINTE (Platform for Occidental, oriental and Islamic Networking in studying and Teaching Economics) on 27th May 2012, at the Institute of Public Enterprise, Osmania University Campus, Hyderabad. The topic of the lecture session was ‘Introductory Lecture on Islamic Economics – An Institutional Perspective for Inclusive and Universal Wellbeing’.
Opening the lecture session Mr Shashi Bhushan, General Manager, Institutional Learning exhorted the Muslim community to study the institutions practiced by the erstwhile successful Muslim regimes and strive to be successful rather than be exploited.
He advised Muslims to use the injunctions of the Qur’an to establish a judicious economy.
During his tenure in the World Bank and in his close foundational association with Al-Khair Co-operative Credit Society, Lucknow and Sahulat Microfinance Institution, New Delhi, he found that Muslims seriously lacked in academic and vocational qualifications in spite of having necessary skills and attitude.
He wanted the Muslim community to adopt and use technology for their upliftment.
The main lecture on Islamic Economics was delivered by Dr. Lubna Sarwath, Ph.D.[Indonesia]. Dr. Sarwath is associated with the Trisakti University, Jakarta, Indonesia.
She runs the city-based Shausaa’ Foundation and is the Director of POINTE. Through her power point presentation she explained how the law of unity of knowledge is deduced as the world view from the transcendental concept of Oneness or Unity of God(Tauhid).
Premising on the episteme of unity of knowledge Dr. Sarwath illustrated her categorization of knowledge and de-knowledge or unified knowledge and de-unified knowledge. She defined institutions as a media for reinforcing and giving sustainability to an episteme laden policy.
She suggested establishing of Consultative Participatory Institutions (CPIs) which have substance (theme); organizational form; recursive functional knowledge-building and learning process, evaluation criteria and self-sustainability as the characteristics.
Institutionalizing CPIs would ensure that every other factor or variable would be represented at each recursive policy or decision-making process thus generating unified knowledge. Deunified knowledge formed from institutions without the CPI characteristics is leading to chaos in the society both the human and non-human world systems, she said.
She highlighted various socio-economic institutions from the Qur’an such as Zakat (dues or rich towards poor), Sadaqah (charity), Infaq(spending), Hisbah (Administration), Shura (Mutual consultation), Tijarah (Trade), Riba (taking more than due), Maslaha (wellbeing). She explained that the socio-economic institutional interpretations from the Qur’an are meant for the benefit of the humanity. Achieving wellbeing and translating the Qur’anic injunctions to reality for the wellbeing is more important than using the tag of ‘Islamic’ she clarified.
Taken from two circles.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Muhammad Ismat Tops All-India CBSE Exams.

IMPHAL/GUWAHATI: A Manipuri boy Mohammad Ismat scored the highest marks in the All India Senior Secondary Certificate Examination ( AISSCE) conducted by the CBSE, whose results were declared nationwide on Monday. Ishmat, a student of Imphal's Zenith Academy, scored 495 out of 500 marks.
Though there is no concept of toppers in the CBSE class XII examinations, KK Choudhury regional officer CBSE (northeast region) confirmed that this is the first time a student from the northeast has scored highest in all India level. "It is indeed great. We hope this is the beginning and we get more such brilliant students from the region every year," he said.
Ismat has got 100 marks each in mathematics, chemistry and fine arts while he scored 98 in English and 97 in physics. In his additional subject home sciences he scored 100 marks.
A student of Zenith Academy, Imphal, Ishmat has always been a brilliant student. As the news of Ishmat scoring the highest, the school went into a celebration mode. His success came despite academic calendar every year is disrupted due to bandhs and blockades.
Hailing from a poor Manipuri Muslim family in Lilong Haoreibi village in Manipur's Thoubal district, Ismat's father Md Bashirur Rahman, a government primary school teacher, had struggled to ensure Ismat a good education.
Ismat began his primary education at a local school in Lilong before switching over to Kendriya Vidyalaya, Imphal up to class VIII. He then joined Sainik School Imphal from where he scored 94.2 percent in class X CBSE examination. But, he could not continue in Sainik School as his parent could afford the fees.
"After passing class X with high marks I thought of studying in the best school in Imphal. But I could not due to the acute financial difficulties faced by my family. All is not lost when S M Singh, the management secretary of Zenith Academy accepted my request to study in the school without charging much fees. With his guidance, I have come out with flying colours," Ismat said.
"Impossible is not in my mind and I have the strong conviction that everything is possible when a man determined to do what mankind can do. And this is the only tool for me to top in this national level examination," a jubilant Ismat told TOI minutes after the results were declared.
Taken from:

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Aisha Mustafa Invents Spacecraft Propulsion System!

Al Salamu 'Alaykum.

London: A 19-year-old Egyptian university student has invented a futuristic propulsion system for spacecraft. The invention "leapfrogs" NASA research, and uses a hi-tech quantum effect to drive satellites through space, rather than ordinary rocket engines.Aisha Mustafa's invention generates energy using the Casimir-Polder force, an obscure quantum effect using two surfaces and objects in a vacuum, Daily Mail reported Wednesday.

The force is described as an "invisible rubber band" between bulky objects and atoms that arises from the ever-present random fluctuation of microscopic electric fields in empty space. The fluctuations get stronger near a surface, and an isolated neutral atom nearby feels the force as a "pull". Instead of using nuclear reactors or jets, Mustafa's satellites could generate drive using the panels, the Mail added. NASA had researched a similar idea using the Casimir-Polder force.
Taken from Here

Thursday, 24 May 2012

CIA Agent Sentenced For 33 Years.

Al Salamu 'Alaykum.
PESHAWAR: The political administration of Khyber Agency on Wednesday convicted Dr Shakil Afridi, the man who helped the CIA track down Osama bin Laden, and awarded him 33 years in jail on charges of treason, officials said.
Dr Afridi was accused of running a fake vaccination campaign in which he collected DNA samples, which may have helped the American intelligence agency find Osama bin Laden in the garrison city of Abbottabad.
An official of political administration in Khyber Agency told The News that the court of Assistant Political Agent (APA), Bara, Mohammad Nasir Khan, found Dr Shakil Afridi guilty and awarded him 33 years imprisonment under Section 11 of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) and sections 121-A (conspiracy to commit offence against the state), 123 (concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war against state), 123-A (condemnation of the creation of the state and advocacy of abolition of its sovereignty) and 124 (assaulting president, governor, etc, with the intention to compel or restrain the exercise of any lawful power) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
The APA awarded 10-year sentence and imposed Rs100,000 fine on the accused under Section 121-A PPC, 11-year sentence and Rs100,000 fine under Section 123 PPC, 10-year sentence with a fine of Rs100,000 under Section 123-A PPC and a three-year sentence with fine of Rs20,000 under Section 124 PPC, read with Section 11 of the FCR.
The APA, who was acting as executive and judicial officer at the same time, on the recommendations of the Qaumi Jirga, also announced a fine of Rs320,000 on the accused. Dr Shakil will have to undergo an additional term of three years if he fails to pay the fine. After the sentence, the political administration shifted the convict to the Central Prison, Peshawar, amid tight security. The APA said that Shakil Afridi had been in the custody of political administration and his trial was held under the FCR within two weeks.
On March 29, the Health Department terminated Dr Shakil Afridi from service for organising an unauthorised US-sponsored vaccination campaign in Abbottabad to collect the DNA samples of the people living in the compound where al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden lived with his family. The provincial government acted on a summary received in August from the health directorate of Federally Administered Tribal Areas, which was not authorised to initiate an inquiry against an officer above Grade 18.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department, in its notification, stated that Shakil Afridi had been terminated under the Efficiency & Disciplinary (E&D) Rules for being involved in anti-state activities. Prior to his termination, 15 lady health workers, who were a part of the vaccination campaign, were also terminated from their jobs.
Dr Shakil Afridi was arrested by security agencies in July 2011, about two months after Osama bin Laden was killed by US commandos in Abbottabad, and his whereabouts were unknown to his family members. After his conviction, the authorities in Khyber Agency claimed that he was in their custody.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Mosque That Sheltered Jews.

The Mosque That Sheltered Jews

"Their children are like our own children"

"Yesterday at dawn, the Jews of Paris were arrested. The old, the women, and the children. In exile like ourselves, workers like ourselves. They are our brothers. Their children are like our own children. The one who encounters one of his children must give that child shelter and protection for as long as misfortune - or sorrow - lasts. Oh, man of my country, your heart is generous."
- A tract read to immigrant Algerian workers in Paris, asking them to help shelter Jewish children.

by Annette Herskovits

There is in the center of Paris a handsome mosque with a tall slender minaret and lovely gardens. It was built in the 1920s, as an expression of gratitude from France for the over half-million Muslims from its African possessions who fought alongside the French in the 1914-1918 war. About 100,000 of them died in the trenches.

During World War II, when the Germans occupied France, the mosque sheltered resistance fighters and North Africans who had escaped from German POW camps. (The French recruited 340,000 North African troops into the French army in 1939.) When the French police started rounding up Jews and delivering them to the German occupiers, the mosque sheltered Jews as well, most of them children.

The Nazi program called for eliminating all Jews, of any age. More than 11,600 Jewish children under 16, including 2,000 younger than six, were deported from France to be murdered at camps in eastern Europe. Still, 83 percent of the Jewish children living in France in 1939 survived. Most were "hidden," that is, given non-Jewish identities to keep them out of the authorities' reach. This required massive help from the French people.
Hiding children entailed a complex, extended organization. Rescuers had to get hold of the children, which often meant kidnapping them from detention centers or Jewish children's homes in full view of the Nazi occupiers. They had to procure false papers, find shelter (in foster homes, boarding schools, convents), raise funds to pay for upkeep, and send the payments without attracting attention.

They had to keep records, in code, of the children's true and false names and whereabouts, bring the children to their hiding places in small groups, and visit them regularly to ascertain that they were well treated. Many who participated in this work - both Jews and non-Jews - perished.

Innumerable French citizens provided aid of a less active kind: they remained silent, even when they suspected the children were fugitives. Many of the children were recent immigrants who spoke French with an accent and did not "look" French. A child might disclose his or her true name when surprised - or in defiance. Most at risk were very young children who needed repeated coaching.

I know this because I was a hidden child. When my parents were deported from Paris to Auschwitz in June of 1943, never to return, my 13-year-old sister and myself, just turned four, were in a foster home in the French countryside. With no more money coming for our keep and the danger to people sheltering Jews, our foster parents balked at keeping us. In the fall, I found myself hiding in a shabby Paris hotel room with my 17-year-old brother. My sister became a maid for a French family.

But by winter, thanks to my brother's astuteness and courage, my sister and I were taken in charge by a clandestine child rescue network, a secular organization in which Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and communist men and women participated. The organization saved 500 children, including my sister and me. As for my brother, he survived by his wits.
I learned of Muslims who helped rescue Jewish children only recently, in the newsletter of Enfants CachŽs (Hidden Children), an association of Jews who survived the Holocaust in France as children.

The mosque-based resistance network consisted of people from Algeria's mountainous Kabylia regions. Kabyls are one of several North-African groups who have preserved their Berber language and culture; the Berbers inhabited North Africa before the Arabs invaded and introduced Islam in the 7th century. At least 95 percent of Algerian immigrants to France came from Kabylia. The network's Kabyls communicated in their Berber dialect, Tamazight, making infiltration almost impossible.

The soul of the network was the mosque's rector, Si Kaddour Benghabrit, a man with three nationalities - Algerian, Moroccan, and French - who moved with ease in all three worlds, and whose Islam was tolerant and inclusive.

More than 1,700 people are thought to have found short-term shelter in apartments on or near the grounds of the mosque. Benghabrit set up an alert system that allowed fugitives to disappear swiftly in case of a raid - if necessary to the prayer room's women's section, where men were normally not admitted. He wrote numerous false birth certificates making Jewish children into Muslims.

Access to Paris's sewers directly beneath the mosque's grounds provided an escape path, as did the mosque's proximity to the city's central wine market on the Seine, where barges laden with wine barrels came and went. One woman recalled being taken out of Paris on a barge; a Kabyl at the helm took fugitives concealed in his cargo to the south of France, where they could be smuggled to Algeria or Spain.

The French League against Racism and Antisemitism has asked Israel's Yad Vashem Institute to recognize Benghabrit as one of "The Righteous among the Nations," a title honoring non-Jews who risked their lives to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. Benghabrit would be the first Muslim to earn this distinction.

In these times of mutual hatred, a hatred that is sustained by distorted views of the "other," the story of Muslims saving Jewish children struck me as one Jews and Arabs especially should hear. This history strengthens my sense that mutuality and harmony make up the natural fabric of human relations. Division and cruelty are like torn places in that fabric. Surely, at certain times and places the tearing can be so thorough that it seems the fabric is not there. But that is an illusion.

My friend Mathis Szykowski, also a Holocaust survivor and a hidden child, testifies to this: "It must be said and repeated that in any account of survival, there are many people who will help, at great risk to themselves, people who appear almost mysteriously, whom you trust instinctively. No one can survive such circumstances by themselves. So it becomes obvious that in life as in death, we are all interdependent." A human being whose mind has not been distorted by ideology will instinctively help another in danger, especially a child.
Again and again over the years, I have heard stories of help that appeared unexpectedly, almost mysteriously, during those dark days. A friend recalls that when she was 11, living in Czechoslovakia, her parents were taken away by the Gestapo. By chance, she and her nine-year-old sister had been left behind, so they went to Gestapo headquarters themselves and told the guard they wanted to be reunited with their parents. The guard said "Go away!" several times, speaking softly so as not to be overheard, until they left. Somehow they survived. The SS guard had saved their lives.

Enmities between peoples come and go depending on intricate historical, psychological, and economic forces. Political powers will conceal or twist reality to suit their own ends. For most of the 1400 years since Islam's birth, Jews and Muslims lived in relative harmony in Arab lands.

Like the Christians, Jews were dhimmis (protected people): Islam protected their lives, property, and right to worship. Jews enjoyed no such rights in the Christian world until the French Revolution. To be sure, dhimmis were placed below Muslims - they had to pay a special tax, could not ride horses, etc. - but the application of these restrictions varied; with enlightened rulers, the Jews prospered.

In his book Le Passe d'une Discorde: Juifs et Arabes du VIIe SiŽcle ‡ nos Jours (The Days Before the Breach: Jews and Arabs from the 7th Century to Today), Israeli historian Michel Abitbol writes about "the historical drama which, in less than half a century, ended two thousand years of Jewish life in the Arab countries." And he describes the "resplendent Judeo-Arab civilization, one whose inexhaustible intellectual and religious riches nourished the entire Jewish world until the dawn of modern times."

On July 16, 1942, Paris police set out to arrest 28,000 Jews on orders of the French Vichy collaborationist government. They had in hand names and addresses, obtained from a census of Jews the Germans had ordered soon after they occupied France. That day and the next, the police fanned out through the city, packing the arrested Jews into requisitioned city buses. They found only 13,000 - largely because some police officers had spread the word ahead of time and many Jews had fled. More than 4,000 children aged 2 to 16 were among those arrested.

On the second day, a tract was circulated through the miserable hotels that were home to immigrant Algerian workers. The tract, in Tamazight, was read out loud to the mostly illiterate men: "Yesterday at dawn, the Jews of Paris were arrested. The old, the women, and the children. In exile like ourselves, workers like ourselves. They are our brothers. Their children are like our own children. The one who encounters one of his children must give that child shelter and protection for as long as misfortune - or sorrow - lasts. Oh, man of my country, your heart is generous."
We can't know how much help these men were able to give.

Most of the children captured in that July raid were taken with their mothers to camps near Paris. There, French police used truncheons and water hoses to separate mothers from the younger children, 
taken to Drancy (the French camp from where trains departed for the east) and then deported to Auschwitz. The 3,500 younger children left behind had been taken on the initiative of Vichy's prime minister, Pierre Laval - the Germans had not requested it. The Vichy government waited for Berlin to authorize their deportation. When approval came, the children were packed into boxcars, each with a few adults. All were killed in the gas chambers on arrival.

The thought of such moments of ultimate darkness used to obscure the entire world for me. As I have pieced together the many stories I have heard and read over the years, I became able to simultaneously see light shining in many places. The story of the Muslims who saved Jewish children is one that affirmed that vision.

The words of the Kabyl tract read to poor immigrant men taught me to trust whispers of unity: Those dead children are like myself. They are like my own children. So are the Israeli children killed in bombed-out buses. So are Iraqi children lost as "collateral damage" and the million Palestinian children who every day must struggle with fear - of Israeli soldiers with machine guns, tanks, bulldozers, helicopters, rockets - and the many dead and wounded among them.

Taken from