Flashes from the Muslim World
Unity of Ummah need of the hour
“Unity among Muslims has been, and will remain, an imperative in every age, but it is the need of the hour at this crucial time as the community is divided into groups, which is weakening the very spirit of Islam,” said a well-know Indian public speaker on Islam and comparative religion. “Muslims today are divided among themselves. Such divisions are not endorsed by Islam. Therefore, Muslims in the whole world should unite and keep aside all differences to strengthen the community.” He stressed the need for religious education along with modern education, as both are essential.
80,000 pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque on first day of Ramadan
About 80,000 Muslims attended prayers at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on the first Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. More than 3,000 Israeli police were deployed in the walled old city, where the compound is located, and elsewhere in occupied east Jerusalem. Israeli authorities relaxed usual restrictions on entry to Jerusalem by West Bankers, but limited entry by men to the Al-Aqsa compound to those over 40 years of age. The site houses the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.
Honored for service to Islam
Bahrain’s King Hamad has won this year’s prize for the “Global Personality Best Serving the Qur’an” instituted by the Jeddah-based International Qur’an Memorization Organization (IQMO). The award ceremony was attended by a large number of businessmen, academics, and Islamic scholars. Addressing the ceremony, the Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL), urged Muslims to follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). “We can find the solution for all our problems in the Qur’an and Sunnah,” he said.
Zamzam is best water on earth
Makkah’s Zamzam Well has the best drinking water on the face of the earth. Pilgrims at the Grand Mosque make sure that they drink as much as possible and buy containers to take home to friends and family. There is abundant Zamzam water despite huge consumption by Haj and Umrah pilgrims over the years. The Zamzam Well project, which is located in the Kadi area in Makkah, provides 5,000 cubic meters of Zamzam water and 200,000 plastic ten-litre containers on a daily basis. The plant was built at a cost of SR 700 million in Ramadan 2010 and has 42 distribution points. As a result, Zamzam water containers are available on a 24 hour basis.
Scholars educate pilgrims
The Grand Mosque in Makkah has more than 70 scholars who deliver lectures throughout the day. They include judges, members of the Council of Senior Scholars and university professors. They educate pilgrims and answer their questions during Ramadan. The presidency gives its utmost attention to educate pilgrims and answer their questions by designating a number of top scholars who are devoted to teaching pilgrims and explaining Umrah to them.
World-class pilgrim city in Makkah soon
A full-fledged pilgrim city with state of the art facilities will be set up in Makkah, similar to the one planned for Madinah, as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to extend world-class services to the millions of pilgrims who come for Haj and Umrah from around the world. The city will have offices for all foreign Haj missions in addition to various services required by pilgrims. It will also have housing units, offices of Umrah companies, museums, exhibition centers and heritage markets.
WAMY Chief calls for greater charity work
There is an increasing need for humanitarian work due to natural and man-made disasters, the Secretary-General of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), said in Riyadh recently. He was addressing members of the diplomatic corps and governmental officials at the 11th annual Iftar party at the Riyadh Intercontinental Hotel. He pointed out that humanitarian organizations can be considered as one of the most important achievements of modern civilizations.
Mataf bridge ready to ease
The new Mataf bridge around the Holy Ka’aba is now open for pilgrims. Only disabled and elderly pilgrims will be allowed to use the circular bridge that can hold 7,000 wheel chair borne pilgrims per hour. Around five million pilgrims from within and outside the kingdom performed Umrah during this holy month of Ramadan. Meanwhile the Presidency for the Two Holy Mosques has called on Saudis and expatriates to postpone their Umrah because of on-going expansion works at the Grand Mosque.
WAMY steps up relief-aid
The World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Riyadh-based Islamic Educational organization, has stepped up relief programs for the West African country of Mali. Life in Mali, which was under state of emergency for a considerable period of time, is slowly returning to normal. With the thousands of people displaced and a pre-harvest lean season underway, the relief program has become their main priority. The World Assembly of Muslim Youth, which has established Islamic seminaries in many countries, recently completed renovations in ten madrassas in Pakistan as well.
Saudi dates popular in UK
Muslim communities in the United Kingdom purchase large quantities of Saudi dates during Ramadan. Non-Muslims also purchase dates after learning its health benefits. Saudi Arabia is a major exporter of dates to Europe. The amount of dates imported to the United Kingdom doubles during the month of Ramadan. Saudi dates are known for their high quality. Muslims acquire the taste of Saudi dates during their visits to the Kingdom for Haj and Umrah.
Compiled by: Syed Nehal Zaheer