Flashes from the Muslim World

INDIA

Da’wah can Bring back Deviant Youth to the Right Path

Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui, a noted Islamic scholar from India believed that only sustained Da’wah work could move the Muslim youth away from the violent path that they have taken to in many countries, causing much bloodshed and giving a bad name to Islam. He referred to these youths as ‘misguided,’ adding that the new century will be an era of Da’wah work. “I think that this is the only solution to streamline these deviant youth; we need to undertake Da’wah work on a sustained level and in a vigorous manner.” Da’wah, the Maulana said, is fundamental to the cause of Islam and is central to the character of a Muslim. He praised India’s large population, dominated by Hindus, and called them the most humble, tolerant and loving people. The people of India are such a nation that even the most hardened of the Hindus get humbled at the offer of Eid Sewaiyan (a sweet dish).

Muslims Must Pool Talent for Ummah

Former Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) scientist and Madinah Expansion Project consultant, Abdul Salam, emphasized the need for centers of national excellence in Muslim countries. He said that these centers would cater to the development of huge human resources and convert them into a diverse talent-pool serving the purposes of the Ummah at large. The Indian scientist-turned-educationist is also the CEO of Markaz Knowledge City, the biggest education focused integrated city in south India near Calicut in Kerala.

No Alternative to Traditional Islamic Education

Youth of the 21st century are in danger of being exploited by unlawful Islamic teachings and easy access to the Internet and social media, according to analysts. With this view, an Islamic convention – which aimed to discuss and rejuvenate the traditional Islamic education system among the youth – was recently organized under the auspices of the Global Islamic Circle of Peace and Unity in association with the Twin Cities Youth Welfare Forum at a local restaurant. Commenting on the current state of Islam, the head of the Islamic Circle, Syed Ali Mahmood, said that Islam is a complete way of life, encompassing spiritual, as well as social and economic aspects, but Muslims continue to be backward despite possessing treasures of rich knowledge which can help them to regain their lost glory and prominence among the nations and tribes of the world. He underscored the importance of traditional Islamic education through the intensive study of the Holy Qur’an which promotes moral, spiritual and intellectual development.

PHILIPPINES

Grand Mosque Imam Visits Manila

Thousands of Filipino Muslims turned out recently in Manila to welcome an Imam of Makkah’s Grand Mosque to their country. Sheikh Maher bin Hamad Al-Muaiqely delivered the Friday sermon at Manila’s Golden Mosque. This is the first visit of an Imam from the Grand Mosque to the Philippines. He has travelled to various Muslim-dominated cities in the country, including Marawi City, Cotabato and Davao city to deliver lectures. The Sheikh also met the governor, mayors and Filipino foreign graduates and scholars. He called on Muslims in the country to return to their strong faith, and showed the real picture of Islam as a peaceful religion. Saudi Embassy officials in charge of religious affairs accompanied the Imam.

BAHRAIN

ABC Islamic Bank’s Net Profit 25% Higher

ABC Islamic Bank has announced that its net profit for the first nine months of 2014 was USD 11.4 million, 25% higher than the USD 9.2 million recorded in the first nine months of 2013. Commenting on these financial results, Naveed Khan, Managing Director of ABC Islamic Bank said, “We are satisfied with the financial results for the first nine months of the year. We are hopeful that the rest of the year will see further consolidation on positive momentum built up so far in 2014.”

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Lists Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist group

The United Arab Emirates has formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood and local affiliates as terrorist groups, state news agency WAM reported citing a cabinet decree. The UAE also designated Nusra Front and the Islamic State, whose fighters are battling Syrian President Bashar Assad, as terrorist organizations, along with other Shi’ite militant groups such as the Houthi movement in Yemen. The UAE has designated Al-Islah group, which is a local radical group banned in the UAE, as terrorist for its alleged link to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.

SAUDI ARABIA

Spreading Evil and Lies through Twitter

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, says that the enemies of Islam are using social networking sites such as Twitter to spread lies about the religion and attack Muslims. Al-Sheikh, who is also the President of the Council of Senior Scholars, made the remarks during a Saudi television show. He urged Twitter-users to ensure that their posts serve the interests of the nation. He called on the Saudis using Twitter to think carefully about what they post. He said that Twitter has become a site that promotes all kind of evil and harm. If people use it for their benefit, it would be better, but unfortunately it is being used for trivial things.

Mataf Expansion Phase III Underway

The third phase of the King Abdullah Project for the expansion of the Mataf, the circumambulation area around the Ka’aba, began this week. Contractors have removed several old structures between the Safa hillock and the central area facing the King Fahd expansion site. The project also includes the installation of Zamzam water supply and automated collection of garbage and removal of dust on all the new floors. The project includes plans to restructure the area between the mosque and the location of the Third Saudi Expansion, providing direct access to the entrance to the Mataf and the wheelchair tracks.

Grand Mufti Warns Against Disunity

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh has urged Muslims to maintain unity amid turbulent times. Al-Sheikh also President of the Council of Senior Scholars, made the remarks during a recent statement congratulating Muslims on the advent of the New Hijri year. He urged Muslims to stand strong in the face of discord. The Islamic nation is going through difficult times, where enemies are trying to create division for political gain, he said. He expressed regret over the ongoing turmoil in Iraq, Yemen and Libya. The Mufti highlighted the importance of cohesion in the face of external factors.

Da’wah Office Says Over 4,000 Embraced Islam

Statistics from the Cooperative Office for Guidance and Community Enlightenment (Da’wah) in Al-Rawda have revealed that 4,219 persons converted to Islam during the last Hijri year. The figure included 1818 men and 2401 women from 181 countries. Sheikh Tawfeeq Al-Sharhan, head of the Cooperative Office, has noted that the majority of  converts to Islam have read about the religion and found it to be convincing. He added that the office provides them with books, pamphlets and recordings in their mother tongue to help them acquire the necessary Islamic sciences.

Urgent Need for Training Bankers in Islamic Finance

With Islamic finance (IF) and Islamic Financial Products (IFP) growing popular worldwide, there is an urgent need for training bankers in IF and IFP, says Azmi Omar, Director-General of Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) and member of the Islamic Development Bank Group. There is lack of awareness of Islamic finance as also skilled manpower shortages for running IF institutions, he said. Islamic finance is not being taught as a subject in our universities, the next level in terms of supporting skills ought to be Islamic finance management, Omar added.   He also added that there is lot of interest in European countries, not necessarily to enter the  Muslimmarket,but also to be an investment hub for Muslim finance.

Madinah Haram Expansion Will Not Affect Other Mosques

The expansion of the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah would not affect other nearby ancient mosques, a senior official from the Ministry of Finance has said. He said that the mosques of Abu Bakr, Omar bin Khattab, Ali ibn Abi Talib, Al Ejaba and Abu Dhar (Al-Sajdah) mosques would remain intact because they are outside the boundaries of the expansion area. According to the source, the rehabilitation of the Al Ejaba and Al Sajdah mosques would begin after the completion of the expansion project.

TURKEY

Blue Mosque

Turkey has emerged as one of the destinations for medical tourism as the country tries to boost tourism revenue.  Turkey is also called a land of castles and mosques. The list of attractions in Turkey includes the famous Blue Mosque. With its six minarets and sweeping architecture, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (or the Blue Mosque) in Istanbul impresses from the outside. While still used as a mosque, the Blue Mosque has also become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Istanbul. It was built between 1609 and 1616 and, like many other mosques, contains the tomb of the founder.

UNITED KINGDOM

Minister Tops in Asian Power List

Culture Secretary, Sajidjavid, has topped a list of the most influential ethnic South Asians in Britain announced recently, beating Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, and One Direction singer, Zayn Malik. Javid, a former banker who rapidly rose through the ranks in Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party, collected his award at a ceremony in London. Judges said Javid earned the title for being the only South Asian voice in the upper ranks of government and for his commitment to opening the cultural doors for all Britons in the UK. Javid said, “Culture is more than a privilege. It’s at the core of who we are and how we define ourselves. Javid’s father, Abdul, arrived in Britain from Pakistan in 1961 with a single British Pound in his pocket.

[Compiled By: Syed Nehal Zaheer]