Flashes from the Muslim World

INDIA

136,020 to Arrive for Haj

A total of 136,020 pilgrims from India will be arriving in the Kingdom to perform Haj this year, with the first flight landing in Madinah from Delhi on 16th August. The first flight will depart from Jeddah on 28th September for Mangalore. The Haj Committee has got the lion’s share of the quota of 100,020 pilgrims, the remaining 36,000 have gone to private sector. The highest number of Indian pilgrims will be from Uttar Pradesh 23,091, followed by West Bengal 10,248.

NEPAL

Seeks Bigger Haj Quota

A substantial number of pilgrims from Nepal performed Umrah during the just concluded the holy month of Ramadan and the country has sought a raise in the Haj quota. Ambassador said that the embassy has requested the Ministry of Haj to increase its quota from 1,000 to 1,500 considering the number of Nepalese Muslims which now touches about 1.5 million. He said that quotas on the number of pilgrims have been imposed due to expansion work in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

KUWAIT

A Melting Pot of Cultures

Kuwait is one of the most exciting countries to visit in the Arabian Gulf region. The city is a beautiful blend of cultures, food, modern architecture and historic sites and is home to some of the world’s finest shopping centers. It is one of the smallest countries in the world in terms of land area. It lies on the northwestern shore of the Persian Gulf. The Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in the state of Kuwait. The mosque can accommodate up to 10,000 men in the main prayer hall and up to 1,000 women in a separate hall. The architecture inside the mosque is wonderful and elegant. A tour of the mosque can easily consume 90 minutes. Women must cover, but they do provide abayas for you.

SAUDI ARABIA

Reserving Space in Haram un-Islamic

Reserving places at the Grand Mosque by members of the public is not allowed in Islam, a senior scholar said recently. The practice is bid’ah, a heresy, said Saleh al-Luhaidan, legal and scientific adviser to the International Society for Mental Health. He said such practices are acts of vanity and pride. Turki bin Ali Al-shareef, Director-General of a committee that monitors this situation, said officials have been sent out to ensure that worshippers do not engage in this behavior.

Madinah Calling

The holy city of Madinah Al-Munawarrah has its very special place in history. It is where the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) migrated to and was welcomed with open arms by the inhabitants of the city. Hundreds of years after the Prophet’s migration the city is still as welcoming to everyone as it has ever been. Families that are originally from the beautiful city tell of family gatherings, neighborhood festivities, visits to historic sites and so much more. Madinah has been a keen interest for many khalifas during the numerous Islamic dynasties in the past, taking care of the city has always been a priority. It has always been an important city in Islam, the second holiest city after Makkah al-Mukarramah, and for centuries the city has expanded around Masjid al-Nabawi and protected by four beautifully constructed historical gates. The city loved the Prophet (saws) and which he, in turn, loved, the care of the city was always a priority for the caliphates, the Saudi government and the residents of the city for years.

New App helps Pilgrims

The Grand Mosque is now providing pilgrims with  a mobile phone app that can keep track of their rounds during the tawaf or  circumambulation of the holy Kaaba. The app is available through the  Goodgle Play Store and can be down loaded and connected to the mosque’s system. It uses an alert when the pilgrim completes the seventh and last round.

Philanthropy is a Personal Responsibility

Philanthropy is personal responsibility which I embarked upon more than three decades ago and is an intrinsic part of my Islamic faith, says Prince Waleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC). Prince Al Waleed made these remarks when he pledged his entire fortune to the tune of USD 32 billion to charitable projects.  His pledge came during the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims are encouraged to give charity and help the needy.

Current Crisis Worst Human Disaster Since WW II – WAMY

The World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) is a major player when it comes to relief work in countries wrecked by human tragedies, Secretary-General Saleh al-Wohaibi said recently. He was addressing some 700 guests at the 13th annual Iftar party sponsored by WAMY at the Riyadh Intercontinental Hotel. More than 100 diplomats, including 55 ambassadors attended the ceremony. He lamented that the region had gone through critical times resulting in genocide and massive displacement of people. The crisis amounts to the worst human disaster since World War II.

Al Shafi’s Mosque in Jeddah

Al Shafi’I Mosque stands from ancient times to tell old stories about Islam. Parts of the mosque are dated to the time of Caliph Omar bin Al-Khattab’srule, that is 1,381 years ago. Now, one of the oldest  locations in Jeddah, has a unique historic value that led it to be listed on the World Heritage List. The mosque is located on Mazloum lane in Jeddah and is considered one of the  main historical sites in the city. The mosque’s design shows that it was built during the first three hundred years of Islam.

MOROCCO

Casablanca – Hassan II Mosque

It is the largest mosque in Africa and the 7th largest mosque in the world. Its minarets are the world’s tallest at 210 meters. The Mosque was designed by Michel Pinseau and was finally completed in 1993.The prestigious mosque overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, you can see the sea bed through the glass door of the building’s hall. The walls of this majestic mosque are made of handcrafted marble and the roof is retractable. The mosque has a capacity of 105,000 worshippers who gather together five times a day for prayer – 25,000 people inside the mosque and another 80,000 pray outside the mosque.

NIGERIA

Medical Screening Mandatory

Gearing up for Haj 2015, the Nigerian Haj  commission made medical screening mandatory for their pilgrims in order to qualify them to travel to Makkah and Madinah.  The Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board (MPWB) has made elaborate medical arrangements for the  compulsory screening in order to assess the  pilgrim’s fitness. Those  who have applied for Haj 2015 have been informed that they must undergo a compulsory medical screening, said sources at the Nigerian Embassy in Riyadh.

ARGENTINA

Thanks for Hosting Pilgrims

The Argentine government has thanked the Kingdom for previously hosting it Umrah pilgrim for free. The invitation was a gift. All expenses were paid and the pilgrims stayed for about a week in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. The Saudi Embassy in Buenos Aires had made the arrangements with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. There are over 50,000 Muslims in Argentina, which has a population  of 40 million people.

HUNGARY

Plans Halal Slaughterhouses

Hungary is seeking to set up halal slaughterhouses so that it can sell livestock in the Saudi market. Saudi business people should invest and oversee these facilities said Levente Magyar, Minister of State for Economic Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He said Hungary has a USD130 billion food products market. “We would like to see Saudi financed slaughterhouses in Hungary for lamb and other animals that can be sold on Saudi markets.” He said the Hungarian agricultural and food sectors are lucrative because they cover 70% of the country’s area. This includes animal husbandry and growing vegetables, fruits and grains.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

High School Girl Shatters Stereotypes about Hijab

The Students of Clifton High School picked Abrar Shahin as the best-dressed girl. A hijab-wearing Muslim of Palestininian descent, Shahin wears a black skirt and skinny jeans, ankle-high boots and a cropped white blazer in her yearbook photo. Her make-up is perfect, capped with plum toned lipstick. And there is one more fashion accessory that makes Shahin stand out: a black, white and blue green patterned scarf a hijab that wraps around her head and drapes around her neck. Shahin blends tradition with modern trends to create her style. She wears a hijab and modest clothing with long sleeves and pants, according to Muslim customs. Clifton High School sets an example of how acceptance of Islamic traditions has grown in US schools and how people have started looking beyond the labels.

[Compiled By: Syed Nehal Zaheer]