Flashes from the Muslim World

PHILIPPINES

Muslim Filipino nurses needed in Makkah

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has announced that the Saudi Ministry of Health’s Hospital Operation Program is in urgent need of qualified Muslim applicants to be assigned to different hospitals in the Makkah region. The statement announced the availability of 500 nursing positions for Filipino nationals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Filipino nurses are in high demand and are sought worldwide.

OMAN 

A walk through time in Adam

Adam is of immense heritage importance for the country. Keeping the old as good as gold is an art Oman is learning to master. A visit to Adam, 295 km from Muscat, beyond Nizwa, testifies to this fact. Adam is an example of the growing awareness of heritage in the country. In one of the mud neighbourhoods is a mosque which has already been restored, although no prayers are offered here. The mosque has an elegant Mihrab (niche where the Imam leads the prayers) and arches. An archaeologist with the Ministry of Heritage and Culture is currently doing a research on the Mihrabs of Omani Masjids. There is another mosque in the Wilayat of Adam which is enshrouded in mystery. The people of the region differ as to when it was built, or by whom, or how, as there is no trace of building material. The mosque is aptly named “Bani Rahu,” – the mosque which was built by itself: an enigma in itself.

SAUDI ARABIA

Makkah’s Islamic sites to be preserved

Experts have called on the government to protect various ancient sites and mosques in Makkah because of their religious and historical importance. An Islamic antiquities expert said that the buildings include mosques built during the Ummayyad period and the house of Khadeeja, the first wife of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This site is thought to be on the square close to the Marwa hillock. He said that the protection of these mosques would help preserve the country’s Islamic history. He said that researchers have identified several sites of major archeological importance in Makkah.

OIC asks member states to sever ties

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will ask member states to sever diplomatic relations with states that recognize Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem or move their embassies to the historic city during the upcoming Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting. The Secretary-General said that a special session on Jerusalem would be held on the sidelines of the ministerial conference. It is also reported that a delegation would visit Myanmar. The visit will include meetings with ministers and high-level government officials and Muslim members of parliament, as well as a visit to Rohingya camps in Rakhine and a meeting with their community leaders.

International conference on Prophet Muhammad (saws)

The Madinah Islamic University had organized an international conference on Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The conference aimed to ensure universal respect for the Prophet by highlighting the humanitarian values promulgated by him. The event focused on the efforts made by the Prophet to formulate a universal Islamic personality and identity. The conference also discussed how to lay down an international charter to accord respect to the Prophet and to all other Prophets.

Faithful told to reflect on their deeds

An Imam at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah urged believers to reflect on their deeds as the current Hijri (Islamic calendar) year draws to a close. Meanwhile, in an another development, it has been reported that more than 10,000 carpets  have been laid inside the mosque and in surrounding squares, covering an area of 265,000 square meters, while drums containing Zamzam water were distributed at numerous locations. More than 10,000 ablutions points were made available in three floors.

King Fahd Printing Complex

The King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an distributed 6.85 million copies of the Holy Qur’an in 59 languages between 1st January and 5th October 2013. It put the number of daily visitors to the complex during the period between 2,500 and 4,000. Visitors are allowed to see various phases of the printing of the holy book and are presented with copies of the publications. The complex also participated in 22 exhibitions of which fourteen were conducted abroad. Another remarkable achievement of the complex during the period is the completion of the second phase of the preparation of a commentary of the Holy Qur’an in the sign language.

Interfaith dialogue

The Education Ministry and the Vienna-based King Abdullah Dialogue Center plan to review academic curriculums to ensure students have a better understanding of other faiths. This initiative also aims to develop greater understanding and awareness of other communities and create a new world of peace and tolerance. Experts from various countries spoke at the forum about promoting dialogue and praised the Saudi government’s initiatives.

Scholars renew call to shun extremism

The 21st conference for the Council of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA) reiterated recently the need to renounce extremism and promote moderation based on the recommendations of the 3rd Islamic Summit in Makkah in 2005. The five day event, jointly organized by the OIC and IMIU, concluded recently in Riyadh, reiterated its call issued earlier at the Makkah Summit, urging participants to intensify their effort to achieve progress in the field of Islamic jurisprudence. A total of 62 research papers were submitted at the conference. IIFC remains as the source of jurisprudence reference for the Muslims across the world.

Al-Shaibi given new Ka’aba key

Makkah governor handed over the new keys of the Holy Ka’aba (House of God) to Sheikh Abdul Qader al-Shaibi, its chief guardian. The newly-built lock was fixed on the Ka’aba following the ceremonial washing of the House of God. The lock and key were made of nickel and polished by eighteen carat gold. The Muslim testimony to faith is written on the front side of the lock and an attribution of donation to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques on the back. The old lock and key would be preserved at the Two Holy Mosques Exhibition.

OIC wants direct talks with Myanmar

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is keen on opening direct channels of communication and dialogue with Myanmar, and as the official representative of Muslim world, is in a position to cooperate and contribute to the socio economic development programs in Myanmar, the OIC Secretary-General said in Jeddah recently. Leading a seven-member delegation to the country, he also emphasized the need to promote human rights and expressed concern over the violation of Rohingya and other Muslim rights. He also stressed the need for clarifying misconceptions and misunderstandings on both sides and for building mutual trust and interfaith community harmony.

 

[Compiled by: Syed Nehal Zaheer]