Flashes from the Muslim World

INDIA

Prominent Scholar Remains Missing

One of the pilgrims who has been missing since the stampede happened in Mina is Mufti Mohammed Farooq, a senior religious scholar from Meerut, India. He is a very prominent religious scholar who often travels the world spreading the peaceful message of Islam. He is also the founder and principal of Jamia Mahmoodia in Meerut, India, which has been running for over 25 years and has over 700 students on its roll.

Indian Scholar Calls for Patience

A leading religious figure from the south Indian state of Kerala has advised Muslims to exercise patience in the face of difficulties. Sheikh Aboobacker Ahmed, who commands a large following, spoke to Arab News after visiting the injured at various hospitals in Mina. He prayed to Allah to grant the best place in Paradise to those who died. “May Allah provide complete and immediate recovery to the injured,” he said. He said the lesson that one needed to learn from the tragedy was: “We should listen to and abide by the directions of the authorities.”

CHINA

14,000 Chinese Muslims Performed Haj this Year

Chinese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Li Cheng Wen, has said that about 14,000 Chinese Muslims came to Saudi Arabia to perform Haj this year, and more than 20 million Chinese Muslims celebrated Eid al-Adha with their Muslim brothers and sisters all over the world. He further said that “as a Muslim myself, I would also like to extend my sincere congratulations to all Muslims who completed Haj this year and express my thanks to King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, to the government and people of Saudi Arabia.”

INDONESIA

Hopes for Boon in Islamic Banking

Indonesian teacher, Nina Ramadhaniah, hopes for “blessings from Allah,” by opening a Shariah bank account – the sort of pious customer the world’s most populous Muslim majority country is praying for, as it launches an Islamic finance drive. Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, has a Muslim population of around 225 million, but this huge number of faithful has not translated into success for Shariah banks, institutions required to do business in line with Islamic principles. Nevertheless, Islamic banks have proven popular in recent years, with the sector expanding on average more than 40% a year between 2008 to 2012.

BAHRAIN

ICD Honored in Manama

The CEO of Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Khaled Al-Aboodi, was awarded the prestigious Islamic Finance Personality of the Year for his outstanding contribution to the development of the Global Islamic Finance industry. The honor came at the 5th Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) 2015 in the Gulf Convention Center, Bahrain.

SAUDI ARABIA

Kingdom among Top 20 Donors

Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel Al-Jubeir, said that Saudi Arabia joined the list of the world’s 20 largest donors of development aid and ranked sixth overall last year, according to UN statistics. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia stressed that the Kingdom retains full sovereign rights to oppose any implementations and recommendations that contradicts the principles of Islam and its legislation.

Projected Haj Spending Reaches SR17 Billion

The volume of spending expected during the current Haj season is approximately SR17 billion, according to Maher Saleh Jamal, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He also said that spending is expected to increase during next year’s Haj season once the expansion plan of the Holy Mosque in Makkah is completed. According to Mr. Jamal, all sectors related to Haj have suffered over the past three years due to the expansion project of the Holy Mosque.

Friday Sermon at Prophet’s Mosque to be Translated

The Agency of General Presidency for the Prophet’s Mosque Affairs has appointed six interpreters to translate Friday sermons into French,English, Urdu, Chichewa, Turkish and Hausa. The translated version of the sermons would be broadcasted on various FM radio frequencies. Abdullah al-Hattab, director of the translation department at the Prophet’s Mosque said that the project will enable a vast number of worshippers from diverse backgrounds to understand the important message.

Unique Mosques deliver a Message of Light

Many mosques in the Islamic world are similar in terms of features and shapes, but the mosques where the holy rituals are performed are different. They are closed all year round due to their location away from population centers,until their doors open for days and nights on end without being closed at all during the Haj season. The most famous mosques among them include Namirah Mosque, al-Khaif mosque and al-Baiaa Mosque. Namirah mosque, with its majestic minarets, is one of the most important mosques and is situated in Arafat, a few kilometers from Makkah. Every year more than 450,000 worshippers perform noon and afternoon joint prayers in this mosque. The historic Al-Khaif Mosque stands out with its brick red color in Mina. It is also called the 30-day Mosque because it is open for about 30 days throughout the year. Al Baiaa Mosque is located in the eastern part of Makkah. It still carries the historical shape. At the place where Al Baiaa Mosque stands, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) concluded an allegiance pledge with the twelve leaders of two great Arabian tribes, the Al Aws and Al Khazraj who came from Madinah.

Ten Million Cubic Meters of Water Used

The National Water Company (NWC) revealed that the total volume of water distributed during the Haj season this year exceeded ten million cubic meters with a daily consumption of 770,000 cubic meters in Makkah and the holy sites. The company declared its success for the sixth season in managing Haj this year thanks to its electronic system, operational plans and follow up on quality work.

When the Faithful Missed Friday Prayers

Worshippers at a mosque in Hail had to offer regular prayer on Friday noon instead of the weekly Friday prayer because the Imam in Al-Borj failed to show up. After waiting for the Imam, the worshippers decided to offer regular Dhuhr prayer. The Imam, it was found out, had overslept and that it was too late to find a substitute by the time he woke up, according to Al-Sharq daily. The muezzin at the mosque led the worshippers for the noon prayer without a Friday sermon. Worshippers voiced their displeasure about missing the Friday prayer.

Makkah–Jeddah Train Every Ten Minutes

There would be trains between Makkah and Jeddah every ten minutes once the Al-Haramain high speed railway project is completed. Trains between Makkah and Madinah will be available every 30 minutes, an official working on the project was quoted as saying by an online publication. The 35 electric trains, which will travel at speeds of about 300 km per hour, were manufactured by Talgo, a Spanish manufacturer of intercity, standard and high speed trains.

Kingdom Job-Seekers Paradise

The Eastern Province, Riyadh and Jeddah are among the most sought after locations for job seekers in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, a new study has found. The three locations ranked seventh, eighth and ninth in a survey conducted by Bayt.com, the biggest employment website in the Middle East, in coordination with an international market research firm, a local publication has reported. Most respondents said the three locations had little bureaucracy, and paper work, easy access to funding, market readiness to accept new ideas, the ability to find and employ local talent, and reasonable fees and taxes.

Riyadh among Top Ten Destinations in OIC states

Riyadh was ranked among the top ten destinations within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for Muslims travelling for shopping purposes, according to a report. The report was released by MasterCard and CrescentRating just ahead of the upcoming Global Islamic Summit to be held in Dubai. Dubai, in the UAE, took the number one spot with a weighted score of 79.5 out of 100. Manama in Bahrain was the second highest ranked destination in the Arab world. Doha in Qatar followed closely as the third ranked shopping destination in the Arab world. Sharjah in the UAE ranked fifth.

EGYPT

Swindler confesses to cops after Haj

An Egyptian man, feeling guilty after performing Haj, returned home and immediately went straight to the police for confession. The man who owns a construction materials company, told police he had defrauded 22 people for 13.3 million Egyptian pounds (SR 6.3 million) and that he wanted to turn himself in, according to Al Arabiya TV Channel. Just after he returned from Haj, he went to the police station and surrendered

KENYA

Lauds KSA’s Haj Efforts

Hussein Shariff, the Vice Chairman of the Kenyan Haj Mission, has highly praised the efforts made by the Kingdom during this Haj season, and for the good organization and management of all Haj operations since the arrival of the guests of God to the holy sites. He further added that some had exploited the accident in Mina and have now used it outside of its correct context. Such accidents happen everywhere in the world. We pray to God to bless the souls of those died in the accident, Shariff concluded.

TUNISIA

Expects Economy to Grow 2.5%

Tunisia expects economic growth to recover next year after slowing almost to a halt in 2015, when two attacks nearly wrecked the tourism industry. Tunisia now will need USD1.53 billion, or three billion dinars in external financing for 2016 and intends to cut its budget deficit to 3.9% next year. Tunisia expects next year to launch a delayed Sukuk Islamic financing bond for one billion dinars. Since its 2011 revolution, Tunisia has made a transition to democracy, an achievement for which a quartet of organization won the Nobel Peace Prize recently. But international lenders want more economic reforms to match its political progress.

ZAMBIA

IIROSA to Launch Aid Projects

The International Islamic Relief Organization, Saudi Arabia (IIROSA) plans to launch several initiatives in Zambia to help that nation’s poor and needy. This includes education, health, economic empowerment, leadership development and other humanitarian assistance. It is reported that the work of the organization has had a significant impact on the lives of millions of people, including some in African countries.

FRANCE

Le Pen on Trial Over Anti-Islam Comments

France’s far  right National Front party leader, Marine Le Pen, said the government was using the judiciary to persecute her as she went on trial for comparing Muslim street prayers to Nazi occupation. He was convicted several times of inciting racial hatred and his daughter has made efforts to distance herself from him. But in a meeting in 2010, Le Pen whose party thrives on concerns over immigration and radicalism – criticized Muslims praying in the streets when mosques are full.

RUSSIA

Putin Opens Huge Mosque

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, in Moscow opened one of the biggest mosques in Europe, warning against the lure of militants as the government frets over its citizens fighting for the Daeshgroup. Turkish leader,RecepTayyip Erdogan and Palestinian President, Mahmud Abbas, were the guests of honor at the unveiling of the 20,000 square meter mosque in the Russian capital. “This mosque will become an extremely important spiritual center for Muslims in Moscow and the whole Russia,” Putin said in a televised speech. It will be a source of education, spreading humanist ideas and the true values of Islam. The turquoise domed mosque can host over 10,000 worshippers and is one of the largest in the country that will help to serve Russia’s estimated 20 million Muslims.

Compiled by: Syed NehalZaheer