Flashes from the Muslim World
Deputy PM Received OIC Delegation
A delegation from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation was welcomed by Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Don Pramudwinai. The OIC delegation was headed by Ambassador Yousef bin Mohammed al-Dobeay, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs. The two sides commended the brotherly relations between the organization and Thailand, which is an observer-state in the OIC. The delegation visited the Halal Science Center at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, where it was briefed on the Center’s role and programs in terms of scientific research, technology and innovation in the halal industry.
First Conference of Asian Ulama in Kuala Lumpur
Participants from seventeen countries gathered in Kuala Lumpur for the first conference of Asian religious scholars organized in Malaysia by the Muslim World League to unite efforts addressing extremist ideologies. The MWL is an international non-governmental Islamic organization founded in Saudi Arabia in 1962 that focuses on promoting and clarifying the worldwide understanding of Islam. It is headquartered in Makkah and maintains offices around the world. More than 1,000 participants arrived from Saudi Arabia and countries including Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.
Inaugurates USD 3.6 billion Bridge
Bangladesh unveiled the largest infrastructure project in its history. The 6.15 kilometer Padma Bridge – which spans the river after which it was named – connects Dhaka to the country’s southern regions, slashing the distance between the capital and Bangladesh’s second largest seaport, Mongla, by 100 kilometers. The bridge cost an estimated USD 3.6 billion to build – all paid for with domestic funding.
Grand Mosque of Makkah
The Grand Mosque of Makkah tops the list of the most expensive buildings on earth built at a cost of USD 100 billion. With a size one million square meters capacity, it can accommodate two million people. Receiving twenty million visitors annually, it is open 24 hours of the day. It has never been completely closed in over 1400 years. Today, it has 1800 cleaners and has 40 electric sanitary cars. The floor is covered with 40,000 carpets which cover a distance longer than the distance between Jeddah and Makkah: 79 Kms. It has 13, 000 toilets. It is cleaned four times every six hours daily. With 25,000 water dispensers, 100 random samples of drinking water are inspected on a daily basis. Excess water from Zamzam well is stored in storage tanks. There are hundreds of air-conditioning units for cooling and also a detailed and highly efficient audio system. Copies of the Qur’an are translated here into 65 different languages. During Ramadan, four million free meals are provided for breaking the fast. 50,00,000 dates are distributed in the mosque every day during the holy month of Ramadan.
When worshippers circumambulate the Ka’aba, they are often mesmerized by Maqam Ibrahim, the footprints of Prophet Ibrahim (asws), kept in an enclosed glass case. Maqam Ibrahim is a stone on which the Prophet Ibrahim (asws) stood when the Ka’aba was being built. The stone is 50 centimeters long on each side and has two foot prints in the middle in the form of two oval pits.
According to historians, when the Ka’aba was being built, the walls became too high and Prophet Ibrahim stood on a stone that miraculously lifted him to build the walls and lowered him so he could collect stones from his son, Prophet Ismail (asws).The Maqam Ibrahim and the Black Stone are the oldest and most sacred landmarks in Islam dating back 4,000 years. It is located in front of the door of the Ka’aba around ten to eleven meters east.
Saudi Reforms Show How to Combat Anti-Semitism
Saudi Arabia’s rejection of derogatory language to describe Jews is an ‘encouraging’ sign of growing change throughout the Muslim world, the US special envoy on anti-semitism has told Arab News. “Jews had been ‘demonized’ in the past, but interfaith dialogue had played a key role in altering the narrative and people now recognize the need for change,” Deborah Lipstadt said. “That’s the first step – recognizing your own shortcomings, whether you’re an individual, whether you’re a community, whether you’re a family or whether you’re a nation, and saying ‘we want to change;’ only an honest person can do that. And I have seen some of that here, and I find that very encouraging.” Lipstadt, 75, the author of several acclaimed books on anti-semitism and the Holocaust, is a Professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
6,500 Km Walk from Britain
A Hajj pilgrim has arrived in Makkah after walking 6,500 kilometers from his home in the United Kingdom. Adam Mohammed, 52, left the town of Wolverhampton in the English Midlands in August last year and walked 6,500 km through the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. A huge crowd of pilgrims, local residents and his two daughters, who had flown in from the United Kingdom welcomed him in the holy city.
She Feels Very Blessed to be One in a Million
A British pilgrim has said she feels very blessed to be among the one million people performing Hajj this year. Sarah Rana, a management consultant and chartered surveyor, has performed Hajj for the first time and said she feels special and honored to be part of the annual gathering, She said that she started thinking about going on Hajj during the pandemic when she started reading the Qur’an more and learning about the life of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
[COMPILED BY: SYED NEHAL ZAHEER]