Headlines

For fifth year running, Malabar Muslims crack the AIIMS code

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 31 July 2012 | Posted in , , , , ,

By Pritha Chatterjee

New Delhi: For years, the AIIMS entrance examination has been the hunt for the best. But students from the Muslim-dominated northern region of Kerala have been cracking the code consistently for the last five years, improving each year to make it to the much sought-after medical institute.

Of the 72 who cleared the MBBS entrance this year — there were more than 80,000 candidates — Kerala accounted for 27, a healthy 37.5 per cent.

Twelve of the 27 are Muslims. And the majority hail from districts across Malabar — Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, Palakkad and parts of Thrissur. The count of students from Kerala has been increasing steadily at AIIMS — 12 in 2008, 16 in 2009, 14 in 2010, 25 in 2011, 27 in 2012.

Students say the “medicine craze” is a fairly recent phenomenon in the region. Most say they will be the first doctors in their families.

Anshida K, daughter of a businessman from Malappuram who made it to AIIMS this year, said: “For so many years, we produced the highest numbers of nurses from South Kerala. Now, we will give the country doctors as well.”

AIIMS authorities say they are yet to analyse admission data but admit to the growing representation from Kerala. Director Dr R C Deka said: “Of course, they (students from Kerala) are there. It is an open test for the entire country. The most brilliant ones make it. Over 80,000 students took the test, and we believe the best among them made it to AIIMS.”
AIIMS spokesperson Dr Y K Gupta said, “It is a heartening trend to see so many students opting for pure sciences in general, and medicine in particular, for a career not driven solely by money. There are also a lot of girls. This is a welcome change from the perception that girls don’t opt for professional courses. Students from this area must have studied hard to make it here.”

Anthropologist Vinod Krishnan T Y, associate programme coordinator with the Centre for Research and Education for Social Transformation (CREST) — an autonomous institute under the Kerala government — which organised an orientation programme for first-year AIIMS students, said the growing numbers from suburban regions of Kerala is a “remarkable trend”.

He said it could be attributed to the introduction of the OBC quota in the non-creamy layer. “Almost the entire OBC quota is taken by Muslims from North Kerala, a trend which we do not see in other reservations like the SC and ST categories. The aspiration levels in the community are clearly high, and they are capitalising on this opportunity,” he said.

In the 2012 batch, nine of the 19 seats in the OBC quota have been taken by Muslims from Kerala.

A majority of the successful candidates dropped a year after school to enrol full-time at coaching institutes. Unlike the “Kota culture”, the area has not seen a proliferation of coaching centres but three have established themselves in the last few years.

The Brilliant Study Centre in Pala has produced 16 successful candidates this year. From Prof P C Thomas Classes in Thrissur, nine cleared the entrance. The Science Institute in Manjeri, Malappuram accounted for the remaining two of the 27 who made it to AIIMS this year.
Ambareesh M D, one of the successful candidates, said: “I knew people from my neighbourhood who had cleared the AIIMS exam last year. All were from my coaching institute. I want to become a doctor, I want to do research and this is the best medical college in the country.”

Speaking to The Indian Express from the Brilliant Study Centre in Kerala, Director Stephen Thomas said: “Last year, we produced eight successful candidates. This year, it has doubled. Though we get students from all over Kerala, those from the Malabar region are Muslims, and mostly girls. Aspiration levels of the community have been rising like never before, and we can see that in the results. They are motivated and study extremely hard.”

The girls say that being away from home could have been an issue five years ago but now nothing beats attending the “best medical college” in the country.

Fatima Mohammad Ali, who cleared the entrance exam this year from Manjeri in Malappuram, dropped a year after clearing her school boards. She enrolled with the Prof P C Thomas Classes in Thrissur. “If we are clearing AIIMS, where is the question of distance from home? My parents started talking about me becoming a doctor after Class X. Pure sciences were the most coveted courses in North Kerala until five years ago. Now people want their daughters to become doctors,” she said.

(Courtesy: Indian Express)

Fixing the migration 'problem'

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , ,

A national system of work permits allowing Bangladeshis to be legally employed in India is more than a decade overdue

By Nitin Pai

The surge in communal violence in parts of Assam should cause us to ask: just why has the issue of Bangladeshi migrants become a problem in India? The ready answer is that it is a problem because much of the migration is illegal. True, the illegality of it drives the related economy underground, placing it in the hands of organised criminals, corrupt officials and unscrupulous politicians who can exploit the vote banks it creates. It also deprives the central and state governments of sources of revenue they would have enjoyed had migrant economy been above-ground.

This still doesn’t answer the question we started off asking: why is it such a problem that we have made laws prohibiting it?

Consider this thought experiment. Let’s say 20,000 more low-skilled, Bengali-speaking Muslim immigrants enter India. In the first instance, imagine all of them cross the border and concentrate in a single district in one of our states. If this happens, ethnic, religious, linguistic and other divides are likely to be exacerbated to levels that can threaten political and social stability. We end up with a problem.

Now imagine, instead, that the same 20,000 Bangladeshi immigrants are spread across the country, working as farm labourers in rural Tamil Nadu, construction workers in Maharashtra or as domestic help in our growing number of cities. They are less likely to disturb the balance of local societies and, therefore, constitute a much smaller, more manageable “problem”.

What we can conclude from this is that what matters more is the concentration of migrants in a particular region than their flow. India’s geography and population are large enough, and its culture and polity strong enough to be able to handle migrants even in millions. However, different parts of India have evolved social equilibria based on vastly different population compositions, which migration can destabilise. Locals do get resentful of new migrants, and the challenge of politics and policy is to acknowledge and address the resentment as a legitimate – if unseemly – sentiment.

Indeed, local communities are best placed to decide how many migrants they want in their midst. A border district in the north east might not want any, but a labour-starved district in the south might well want several thousands. What is a problem in Kokrajhar district of Assam might not be one in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh. Why not allow districts and states to set their own migrant worker quotas? 

A national system of work permits allowing Bangladeshis to be legally employed in India is more than a decade overdue. Astute analysts like Sanjoy Hazarika have made the case for it since the 1990s. In 2001, a group of ministers (GoM) on national security reforms in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, under the chairmanship of L K Advani, had recommended a work permit system “to curb illegal migration and to begin this with Bangladesh and Myanmar nationals”. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, unfortunately, had other priorities. While it has been “considering the recommendations” of the GoM, it has not even attempted to give a political impetus to the proposal.

The work permit proposal has run into rough weather because of, among other things, strong opposition by political parties in the north east, who fear the influx of additional migrants will threaten social equilibrium. To the extent that their opposition is on such genuine grounds, allowing states and districts the absolute discretion to set work permit quotas can be persuasive. Also, because the corollary to permitting legal migrants is cracking down hard on illegal immigration, there’s something in there for most political parties.

With both Bangladesh and India moving towards providing robust national identification documents to their citizens, implementing a work permit system will only become easier.
According to Bibek Debroy, work permits can transform the nature of migration by encouraging high-skilled migrants and allowing low-skilled seasonal migrants a pathway to return to Bangladesh. “With porous borders, there is no way migration can be checked,” Debroy argues, “and this will be accentuated with environmental refugees. At best, one can ensure illegal migration becomes legal, instead of wishing the problem away.”

Work permits can do better than pretending that border fencing and patrolling are keeping the migrants out. However, like these measures, work permits can only be effective to an extent. Migration is ultimately managed by reducing people’s incentive to migrate. People move in search of greener pastures. The incentive to cross the border will diminish to the extent the Bangladeshi economy enjoys robust growth and improves the life chances of its citizens.

It is in India’s interests, therefore, to ease demographic pressure on its border states by supporting Bangladesh’s development. Given the geopolitics of proximity, this is not easy. While the current government in Dhaka has gone out of its way to rebuild relations with India, the principal opposition party continues to be plainly hostile towards India. Even so, it is absurd to presume that India’s policy responses to migration can be effective if Bangladesh fails to keep pace with our own development.

[The author is founder and fellow for geopolitics at the Takshashila Institution.]

(Courtesy: Business Standard)

Fodder for the current generation

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , , ,

It is regrettable that instead of promoting authentic retelling of Islamic history through a new medium, some Islamic institutions have teamed up with fundamentalists in seeking to deny them that knowledge

By Tariq A. Al-Maeena

The present generation has been weaned on multi-media. From video to graphics to animation or live TV, most of them have used this channel of communication as an oracle of learning and information source. This is the fodder for today’s generation that gets most of its knowledge and news from an instrument held in the palm. Even earlier generations have been swept away in this fast-paced and stimulating medium of information. Plain text books no longer hold the same appeal. It was perhaps with this intent that a Saudi-owned television network — MBC — released a TV series depicting the life of one of Islam’s most central and admired personalities, Omar Ibn Al Khattab, a close companion of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and the second caliph in Islam.

The series, a historical journey of the most powerful and influential caliphs of Islam, was timed for release with the advent of Ramadan this year, the peak ratings season for TV programmes in the Middle East. This television series has set records by virtue of being the largest-ever Arabic television production, with some 30,000 extras and a multi-national production team from ten different countries. It had taken them more than 300 production days to shoot and complete the 31-episode series.

Immediately after its airing, the show stirred up a storm of controversy and criticism as complaints began to pour in from some clerics and fundamentalists who did not appreciate the life-like portrayal of Islamic figures, claiming that such acts violate the principles of Islam. According to the network, thousands of calls jammed the phone lines as viewers across the Middle East called for MBC to cancel the broadcast. Many others also denounced the show and the network on social network sites.

Although there is no clear-cut ban on the visual depiction of Islamic figures, fundamentalists believe that such portrayals must not be allowed to be screened as it could lead to viewers idolising the actors. Their arguments also extend to drawn portraits or pictures that may depict such figures.

And it has not been simply people who were objecting to the series. Islamic institutions also got into the act. Egypt’s Al Azhar University in Cairo, one of the world’s leading centres for Islamic learning, was quick to issue a fatwa against the series, stating that MBC’s depiction of the historic figures is sinful. The Saudi Dar Al Ifta, the country’s Islamic legal research centre, responsible for issuing religious edicts, was not far behind. They joined Al Azhar in denouncing the show and seconding the opinion.

In their defence, the show’s producers have argued that several leading Islamic clerics have “vouched for the historic accuracy of their depiction of Omar Bin Al Khattab and his exploits”. Perhaps with intention, the MBC group had not submitted the show to Al Azhar for prior approval, as is usually the norm for shows depicting religious themes.

An Egyptian television critic said that the continued airing of the series, despite Al Azhar’s flat rejection and denouncement, marks a “defeat for such official Islamic institutions that refuse to understand and integrate technology. Many of these institutions are stuck on their old positions, while other institutions have long ago approved such depictions,’ he said.
Another professional who rose to the defence of the network hit back at critics of the TV series, accusing them of agitation. Khalid Al Musleh, a professor of Islamic law at Saudi Arabia’s Al Qasim University, stated that “the issue of impersonating the Prophet’s companions has always been controversial, with some scholars sanctioning it and others considering it prohibited”.

He defended the network’s right to choose one of two positions on the impersonation of revered Islamic figures and act accordingly. “They choose to go for the opinion that it is religiously permissible to impersonate them. That does not give those who adopt the opposite view the right to start slandering them. The war waged by critics of the series against those who took part in it is like promoting sedition. Those who slam the series and its team are inciting hatred and creating an atmosphere of hostility and conflict.”

Tariq A. Al-Maeena
Today, the media is the best means of carrying out the message and it is unfortunate that some fundamentalists continue to stifle endeavours that promote the message of Islam to a much larger populace than could have been imagined centuries ago. The media is also the most acceptable and appealing way of getting historical events across to a wide audience in all corners of the world.

How many among the audience are non-Muslims, who would like to know more about Islam and its notable figures? How many Muslims would like to see and hear what perhaps they had not understood from text books? It is regrettable that rather than promoting the authentic retelling of Islamic history through a new medium to viewers, some of our Islamic institutions have teamed up with fundamentalists in seeking to deny them that knowledge.

Rejecting a new medium with no authentic religious precedence is indeed of great disservice to Islam.

[Tariq A. Al Maeena is a Saudi socio-political commentator. He lives in Jeddah.]

(Courtesy: Gulf News)

Reflections on Ramadan

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , ,

"A person who can restrain himself, for the love and pleasure of God, deserves a reward from the Creator Himself. The hardship of fasting brings the glad tidings that the fasting undertaken for the sole purpose of pleasing God is sure to be accepted by the Most Merciful Lord."

By Ibrahim B. Syed

O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you, As it was prescribed, To those before you, That ye may (learn), Self -restraint (Fasting) for a fixed Number of days; But if any of you is ill, Or on a journey, The prescribed number, (Should be made up) From days later, For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, The feeding of one, That is indigent. But he that will give, More, of his own free will, It is better for him. And it is better for you, That ye fast, If ye only knew. (Surah 2: Al Baqarah, 183-184)

Islam proceeded step by step and by degrees in the imposition of most of its obligatory duties and Fasting was no exception. The Noble Prophet (pbuh) advised Muslims to observe fasts for three days in a month but this was not obligatory. Then in the second year of Hijra, the Command (2:183) about fasting in the month of Ramadan was revealed. Verse 185 in Surah Al Baqarah was revealed next year. The first Commandment about fasting contained in verses. 183-184 was revealed in the second year of Hijrah before the battle of Badr. The subsequent verse which superseded it was revealed a year later but was inserted here because it dealt with the same matter.

Siyam or Fasting during the month of Ramadan is Third Pillar of Islam. Muslims wait all year long for the arrival of this month of Ramadan. Fasting means that from dawn until sunset eating, drinking and sexual intercourse are forbidden. Ramadan is the month of patience. A person who is ready to be patient, not to eat while he is hungry, not to drink while he is thirsty, not to lean to his lusts, such a person is a noble individual. Such a person will be given paradise by God as a gift, as a merit of award.

To train yourself to abstain from the essentials of life is not an easy act. It needs a strong personality to dictate self-control, self-discipline and self-restraint. Fasting develops self-control and helps Muslims overcome selfishness, greed, laziness and other faults. It is an annual training program to refresh us for carrying out our duties towards God. A person who can restrain himself, for the love and pleasure of God, deserves a reward from the Creator Himself. The hardship of fasting brings the glad tidings that the fasting undertaken for the sole purpose of pleasing God is sure to be accepted by the Most Merciful Lord.
Fast in which the spirit of Fasting is not observed is only an exercise in starvation but not really a Fast at all. The prophet (pubh) said “ whosoever does not give up telling lies, or acting in a false manner, God has no need for his giving up his eating or drinking.”
The basic purpose of Fasting is to suffuse us with the quality of taqwa. The term “taqwa” implies fear and precaution and in Islamic terminology it means fear of God or God Consciousness and avoidance of disobedience to Him. Literally, taqwa means: Godliness, devotees or piety. According to the scientific meaning, it signifies a screen between two things. Thus, if the servant submits himself to God’s will by carrying out all obligatory duties with which he has been commanded and abstains from that which God has prohibited, then his obedient actions have placed a screen between himself and God’s punishment. That is called taqwa.

In our life journey we face innumerable temptations and we must shun them and stick scrupulously to the path of righteousness and truth- that is what constitutes taqwa, and for generating this taqwa. Taqwa is attained through knowledge which is coupled with true faith (iman). If we do not possess knowledge, we cannot really show piety. To obey the commands of God and to carry out His laws constitutes taqwa. Fasting has been made obligatory on us. We are made conscious about the needs and deprivation of those who are more in need than ourselves. This heightening of one’s sense of sacrifice is the opposite of selfishness and of a desire to exploit or oppress someone for the sake of gain. God does not need our hunger, but fasting helps us to develop and refine our reflex about right and wrong, our sense of love and gratitude. Ramadan teaches us how to control our animal passions, how to bring them under discipline. The end result is manifestation of a human personality that loves God and loves His creation, that fears none but God, that draws all its strength from God and God alone.

Ramadan is also the month of the Qur’an, the month in which the Qur’an was revealed. The moral and spiritual climate of Ramadan helps the flourishing of the Qur’anic message which the ambiance is of goodness, humility, righteousness, love for good and aversion for evil.

Benefits of Siyaam

Besides the feeling of hunger and thirst, fasting teaches us to control the love of comfort. It helps us to keep our sexual desires within control. Siyaam builds and nourishes the soul of the fasting Muslim. The fasting person enriches his fasting by the remembrance of God, the recitation of the Qur’an, the night prayers, Zakah, Sadaqah (charity), and by refraining from sins and obscenity. The fasting person lowers his gaze and suppresses his desires. He guards his tongue from vain talk and obscenities. He guards his hands and legs from the prohibitions of God. He employs his hands and legs in the good and various deeds. Siyaam is not the mere refraining from eating and drinking, it is also refraining from vanity and obscenity. Siyaam builds a strong will and nourishes the truthful zeal in the soul. This is achieved when the fasting person struggles to work for his livelihood and resists his desires and temptations. Siyaam builds the strength to bear difficulties and hardship and instills the character of perseverance. The fasting person by depriving himself from food and drink, and other necessities of life becomes capable of controlling his desires, capricious whims, and temptations. The purpose of fasting is to enable a Muslim to control his passions, so that he becomes a person of good deeds and intentions. If one fasts from dawn to sunset, but continues to be abusive to one’s spouse and children, tell lies, swears wrongly under oath, commits zina (fornication), cheats one’s children by not giving them what is duly theirs of nafaqah in the form of care and love and indulges in other wrongful acts, then the objective of fasting has not been achieved. Anger, a common human weakness, can also be brought under control by fasting. A Muslim should keep away from all bad actions during his fast. He should not lie, break a promise or do any deceitful act. Fasting in Ramadan helps one to develop good habits and suppress or eliminate bad habits such as smoking, drinking coffee, tea, etc. One can avoid or cut down on excessive consumption of food.

A fasting person has feelings of sympathy for the poor. The sense of compassion springs from the feeling of pain. Fasting is a practical means to develop compassion for other people’s sufferings. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself was very generous during Ramadan.

Ramadan instills unity and equality among all the members of the Muslim ummah. The Muslims fast during the same month, perform qiyaam al lail during the nights of this month and all seek the night of Qadr. They offer zakat-ul-fitr at the end of the month and celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr together. By doing this together during this month of Ramadan, the ummah becomes like one body living in harmony. The fasting person is alert and cautious not to fall into something that might spoil his or her fasting or seek the wrath of God.

Fasting elevates the person from the material life to a higher spiritual life and helps him or her to approach a spiritual level that of angels who worship God day and night without tiredness.

Fasting builds important Islamic values, such as compassion, cooperation, diligence, firmness, affection, fear of God, trust in God, and many other qualities. Fasting establishes equality among the rich and the poor. It is a compulsory experience of poverty in that it makes all people share an quality, of feeling and to sympathize with one another through a collective sense of pain. Fasting Muslims can really sympathize with the starving people everywhere in the world and see the hardship that they go through every day of their lives. This compassion increases the practical aspect of the unity of Muslims and will reduce the idea of nationality and geographical identity. God is pleased with his servants and answers the duaa of the fasting person, when he supplicates to Him.

During the month of Ramadan, one should visit and offer prayers more frequently in the local mosques. Ramadan is a special time for visiting friends and family and sharing meals with the less fortunate.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “ O people! The month of Ramadan has come with His mercy, blessing and forgiveness. God has decreed this month the best of all months. Its days are the best among days, its nights best among nights, and its hours best among hours. This is a month in which you have been invited by Him to fast and pray. God has honored you in it. Every breath you take in this month has the reward of praise of God. Your sleep in worship, your good deeds are accepted and your invocations answered.

Therefore you must invoke your Lord in earnest, with hearts that are free from sin and evil, and pray that God helps you fast, and recite the Qur’an. Give alms to the poor and the needy. Pay respect to your elders, have sympathy for your youngsters and be kind toward your relatives and kinsfolk. Guard your tongue against unworthy words, and your eyes from scenes that are not worth seeing and your ears from sounds that should not be heard. Understand well that God has promised in the Name of His Majesty and Honor that He will not take to task such people who perform Salaat and Sajda and that He will guard their bodies against the fire of hell on the Day of Judgment.

O’ people! If anyone among you arranges Iftar for any believer, then God will reward him and forgive him his previous sins. (A companion of the prophet (pbuh) asked: “But not everyone among us have the means to do so.” The prophet replied: “Do it even if it be with half a date or some water if you have nothing else.”)

O’ people! Anyone who cultivates in this month good manners will walk over the bridge leading to paradise on the day when feet will tend to slip. Anyone who treats his kinsfolk well in it, God will bestow His mercy on him on the Day of Judgment while anyone who mistreats his kinsfolk, God will keep him away from His mercy. Whoever recites a verse of the Qur’an in this month, his reward will be that of reciting the whole Qur’an in other months.

O’ people! The gates of paradise remain open in this month: pray to your Lord that they may not be closed for you. The gates of hell are closed during this month: pray that they may never be opened for you. Satan has been handcuffed: invoke your Lord not to let him dominate you.”

May God make us become kinder people, better neighbors and set good examples of the teachings of Islam which we present. Ameen!

[Ibrahim B. Syed is President, Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc. (IRFI), Louisville, KY. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Science Editor. He can be contacted at islamicresearch@yahoo.com]

Experiencing Ramadan - Day 10 at Masjid Yaseen, Garland

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , , , ,

By Mike Ghouse

Ramadan day 10 Masjid Yaseen, Garland
Title - Ramadan day 10 Masjid Yaseen,
Date - Sunday, July 29, 2012 | Ramadan10, 1433
Mosque - Masjid Yaseen
Address - Campbell Road, Garland, Tx 75044
Website - www.MasjidYaseen.org 

Masjid Yaseen is perhaps one of the first Mosques in the area that is built 10 years ahead of its time; ample parking and spacious sanctuary space to grow into. The paneling on the Mehrab is full two stories high and looks beautiful with full height windows. This mosque also has great PA system that gives out clear crispy voice of the Imam during the prayer.

Again, the dome of this mosque is first of its kind that is symmetrical, and raised above the roof top to be seen from outside. The builder in me spots things that are unusual; the dome on this mosque is raised high enough to be visible from the parking space and on either east or west, it is the south side that the dome is not visible, as the building itself is about 5 fee above street level. A few other mosques sunk the dome behind jagged edged walls on the outside, no idea why they cannot focus on street scape. However, that is a different design element altogether, the dome of this Mosque is just very pleasant and so is its color. 

I was looking at the name of the organization, “Islamic Association of Arabi” unlike most other Mosques that list the name of the city. But when I browsed through the website I found what Arabi meant; it is a suburb of New Orleans, Louisiana where this tradition of Mosque took root. Their website reads, “The Islamic Association of Arabi began as a small Masjid (Masjid Yaseen) and in only five years, the first boarding Islamic institute in the United States was established. From 1990 to 2005, fifty-five American Muslim children completed memorization of the Holy Quran and another thirteen went on to become Scholars of Islam. Today, Alhamdulillah, it is a sense of great pride that these products of The Islamic Association of Arabi are serving various Masjids and communities all over our nation.”
I was early in the mosque, and searched for the Hilali Khan translation of Quraan, thank God; I did not see it, as it is one of the most dangerous translations of Quraan that fuels Islamophobia. There was a translation in Urdu, and read through the first chapter and it was fine. I am very conscious of the wrong translation and the havoc they play in the society. Sean Hannity at Fox News had mentioned that to me, and I presented him with Muhammad Asad's translation, which is by far the best, but not perfect.

Iftaar - Breaking the fast

It was great to see Brother Mir Yusufuddin in the Mosque. He is one of the earliest Indian Muslims pioneers to have come to the United States. Most of the migration started in mid-sixties, right after the passage of the Civil rights acts. But Dallas was blessed with about 10 families who came in early sixties - among them were Brother Sabu, Dr. Bukhari, Dr. Amanullah Khan, Dr. Afzal and others. I believe Yusufuddin bhai came in around that time. He was on my Radio show in 1996 where we did a talk show series and he shared the story of Dallas then - there was no Halal meat nor any Indian grocery was available at that time. We talked about the history of Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans and others, then Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and others. By the way, the oldest Indian in town is a Jewish man by the name Simon Saragon, who migrated with his mother in 1932! The second one was Ike Sekhon, a prominent Indian Sikh, who came to Dallas in 1956. He passed away a few years ago.

Prayers

The Audible Aameen chorus after Sura Fateha was toned down in this mosque, and at the Noori Masjid, it did not exist, in other Mosques it is vigorous.

After the prayers, it was time for Hadeeth reading. The gentleman, a Medical doctor was reading the Hadiths from Sahih Bukhari - In one Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says to his associates that if you can find a way to remove ill-will towards every one, keep it that way, that is the right thing to do. I was rather pleased to hear that Hadith. He shared a few other Hadiths, and repeated each one three times; I was attentive to see if the narrator of the Hadith was different, it was the same narrator. Later he told me that, it was prophet’s practice to emphasize it by repeating three times.

I wish he had clarified the depth of the words “ill-will towards none” as I have heard a few among us, who understand it be “ill-will towards no Muslim”. It should mean towards any human being. Not sure, if there is a feedback system in place to ensure the kids understood it the same way or the other way. 

Last year, I was the speaker at Diwali celebrations, and told the story of Rama and Krishna to the nearly all white non-Hindu audience, and when the time for feedback came, almost everyone understood the way it was explained to them. Everyone knew Sita and her relationship with Rama. I was surprised at the attentiveness and listening habits, and the president of Hindu Temple was rather pleased to see good feedback, so did Nishi Bhatia, a teacher and an organizer of the event. 

Dinner

The Haleem was extraordinary, unlike the dark colored ones, this one was light , and maybe it was chicken Haleem, if there is a thing like that. Haleem is grinding the meat with lentil and cooking it together, creating a thick pasty pulpy food. It had the Hyderabadi touch to it - bits of cashew added to it made it delicious. I am waiting Ramadan to be over, so I can eat, Bisi Bele Baath, a south Indian vegetarian dish with Lentil, Veggies and Rice cooked together.

Taraweeh

I was stunned with the pace of Quraan recitation in this mosque. One gathering prays in the main sanctuary and the other on the second floor - the second floor guys are doing the Khatam-Khwani; i.e., completing the entire Quraan recitation in Taraweeh Prayers in 10 days! The main floor guys will finish in normal time - 27 to 28 days and these guys will do it three times. You know what time they go home? 12:30 AM! And what time do they get up? 4:30 AM!. That is dedication to Ramadan!

I hope you see the uniqueness of each mosque and will have no ill-will towards others for practicing their own version of Islamic rituals, and some times, very differently. By the time, I will finish writing about Ramadan in28 to 29 days, we all should have a pretty good idea about the uniqueness of each Masjid.

If reading this is offering you an understanding of different traditions within Islam, and is opening your heart and mind to respect other traditions, please feel free to share your comments.

One of the purposes for my visits to different Mosques each day, during the month of Ramadan is to understand various traditions and have the cushion to absorb them all and give full value to each one. I hope, some day, more and more Muslims make these rounds. It is humbling and yet powerful to have the ability to understand the differences and respect them. 

[MikeGhouse is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a professional speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, civic affairs, Islam, India, Israel, peace and justice. Mike is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News and regularly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. The blog www.TheGhousediary.comis updated daily. Mike Ghouse is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Foreign Editor. He can be contacted at mikeghouse@aol.com]

Dr. Vivek Sharma's 75-page booklet "Health is Everything" released

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 27 July 2012 | Posted in , , , , , ,

IMO News Service

Jaipur: Dr.Vivek Sharma, Health Editor of IndianMuslimObserver.com, has prepared a booklet containing articles about health-related problems, causes and precautions to prevent common ailments in growing kids with an objective of educating parents.

Rajasthan Tourism and Environment Minister Bina Kak recently released the 75-page booklet "Health is Everything" written by Dr. Sharma. This booklet is a collection of topics about scholastic and social problems amongst children.

"It is in sole interest to release and distribute for public awareness amongst schools, disability centres, NGOs and concerned parents free of cost," said Dr. Sharma.

The Minister applauded his effort and expressed happiness, and stated that this is important for public betterment and welfare.

Dr. Vivek Sharma also said on this occasion that it would be his sincere endeavor to distribute the booklet free of cost after translation into other regional languages on a nationwide basis.

Indian scientist Javed Khilji redo Albert Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , , ,

His research paper “Intrinsic Laws of Motion Are Invariant” has been published by American Institute of Physics

By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: It has been observed that in the recent years that many scientists are seen raising fingers on Albert Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity. In the midst of this dissatisfaction on the relativity theory an Indian scientist Mr. Mohammed Javed Khilji based at Gwalior, a town in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, has claimed to have redone Special Theory of Relativity. His research paper “Intrinsic Laws of Motion Are Invariant” has been published in Physics Essays (publication of American Institute of Physics), Vol. 24, issue 4, December 2011.

In an exclusive interview to this Correspondent Mohammed Javed Khilji informed that after a two-and-half-years of rigorous peer review, his paper was finally published in the journal on December 19, 2011. He said he has raised some very fundamental questions on the very definition of relative motion and pointed out great flaw in Doppler’s effect. He has redefined relative motion as a synthesis of both real and imaginary motions rejecting the existing definition which defines it merely a direction reversal with real velocities.

Mr. Khilji revealed that he was taken aback to notice as to how an stationary object can be said to be moving with real velocity no matter what the situation prevails, negative and positive only indicates the direction but with real velocity. He emphasized that the stationary frame moving with real velocity is just as beating a dead horse. The stationary object only appears to be moving from moving frame and that too till the moving one remains in motion. So, this appearance can only be associated with imaginary movement but in no way it can be said to be a real motion. And this is the key of his research paper, he added.


Mr. Khilji’s one of the most significant finding is the differentiation between vector and scalar quantities. He proved that vector quantities reflect reciprocity whereas scalars show inverse effect. His theory successfully resolves the twin paradox as his theory clubs time dilation with time concentration which is a new concept put forward in his paper.

Similarly, the new mass-velocity relation very successfully handles infinity catastrophe which is the case in the existing relation when particle touches the optical velocity limit. According to the new relation a particle at optical velocity transforms itself into photons which are the constituents of light. This way it can be found useful in explaining the cause of the GRBs (Gamma Rays Burst ) phenomenon, also the cause of the birth of anti-matters and the nature of cosmic rays and dark matter, Mr. Khilji explained.

Mr. Khilji’s paper seems to be gaining momentum which is clear from the read history of the article in the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) which is a Digital Library portal for researchers in Astronomy and Physics, operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) under a NASA grant. So far the Reads’ number of the paper is found highest among the contemporary research articles of the same issue of the journal. This paper can also be seen on some more popular sites such as National Research Council Canada, High Beam Research etc.

Meanwhile, the Head of the Mathematics Department in Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Prof. Zafar Ahsan, who is among the “Top 100 Scientists of the World 2011” by International Biographical Centre, Cambridge (England), and a recipient of “The International EINSTEIN AWARD (2011), has appreciated Khilji’s work in his comments as follows:-

“The findings of the above paper are new, thought provoking and needs the attention of physicists in general and to special relativists in particular. The investigations of the paper open a new paper, mathematical calculations and relations are correct and precise”.

Prof. Ahsan commented: “In fact, Mr. Khilji has proposed a method to identify the inertial frames of reference and determined the motion of an observer in the universe, which is supposed to be isotropic, without incorporating the third reference point. The reciprocal electrodynamics is shown to be a special case of Einstein ‘a Special Theory of Relativity, and a flaw in the Doppler's effect has been pointed out”.

“The observations about the vector and scalar quantities have also been made by the author in his paper and it is seen that scalar quantities never be reciprocal. The phenomenon of time dilation and concentration, the variation of mass with velocity and other related concepts have been dealt very successfully in the paper”, Prof. Ahsan opined.

Prof. Ahsan is also recipient of “Rashtriya Gaurav Award” (2007), “Shiksha Rattan Puraskar” (2007) and “The Best Citizens of India Award” (2006, 2007, 2008).

Meanwhile, it may be pointed out here that Mr. Khilji’s one more related paper was published under the title of “Modified Field Theory” in an online international journal ‘Journal of Theoretics’ in its Vol. 6-6 in December 2004 (available on its website http://journaloftheoretics.com/second-index.htm URL www.journaloftheoretics.com/Articles/6-6/MOHD%20field.pdf), states that when a material particle attains the velocity of light it transforms itself into light particle photons. It is contrary to Einstein’s prediction of infinite mass which becomes motionless. In this paper he had pointed out how Einstein’s famous mass velocity relation is inappropriate and what could be the possible change that can improve the theory. This paper was solely based on kinematics ground and it was only one case of mass velocity relation.

However, the recently published paper deals all the cases of Special Theory of Relativity such as mass-velocity relation, time dilation, Doppler’s effect etc. and it is based both on kinematics as well as on relativistic grounds.

When questioned about his scientific research inclination Mr. Khilji told this Correspondent that he was initially motivated by his parents for research. He said he went ahead despite the financial constraints and unemployment. He still has no financial support from any institution or government and that is the main constraint in his further researches, he moaned.

Meanwhile, it may be mentioned here that in physics, special relativity is a fundamental theory concerning space and time, developed by Albert Einstein in 1905[1] as a modification of Galilean relativity. The theory was able to explain some pressing theoretical and experimental issues in the physics of the time involving light and electrodynamics, such as the failure of the 1887 Michelson–Morley experiment.

Einstein postulated that the speed of light in free space is the same for all observers, regardless of their motion relative to the light source, where we may think of an observer as an imaginary entity with a sophisticated set of measurement devices, at rest with respect to itself, that perfectly record the positions and times of all events in space and time.

This postulate stemmed from the assumption that Maxwell's equations of electromagnetism, which predict a specific speed of light in vacuum, hold in any inertial frame of reference[2] rather than, as was previously believed, just in the frame of the aether. This prediction contradicted the laws of classical mechanics, which had been accepted for centuries, by arguing that time and space are not fixed and in fact change to maintain a constant speed of light regardless of the relative motions of sources and observers.

Einstein's approach was based on thought experiments, calculations, and the principle of relativity, which is the notion that all physical laws should appear the same (that is, take the same basic form) to all inertial observers.

[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Madhya Pradesh). He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

PEOPLE: Dr. Muhammad Hashim Kidwai -- A Genuine Muslim Nationalist

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By Prof. A.R. Kidwai

Scion of a family of religious scholars

Dr. Muhammad Hashim Kidwai was born in 1921 in Lucknow in a family of religious scholars and civil servants. Both his father, Abdul Majeed and his grand father, Abdul Qadir were Deputy Collectors in the British India. They stood out for their piety, their integrity and their administrative acumen. On the other hand, his uncle and father-in-law, Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi, and his great grandfather, Mufti Mazhar Kareem won acclaim for their substantial contribution to Islamic religious scholarship.

Education

Dr. Kidwai passed his High School from Govt. High School, Sitapur Intermediate from Christian College, Lucknow and earned his B.A. (Hons.) and M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Lucknow. He was awarded Ph.D. by the Aligarh Muslim University for his doctoral study on the early Islamic state.

His teaching career: He joined the Aligarh Muslim University in 1948 as Lecturer in the Dept. of Political Science and was appointed Reader in 1961. It is a great pity that while he served the AMU until 1982 with distinction, he was not elevated as Professor owing to the unhealthy and deplorable campus politics. Destiny however, had reserved higher positions for him. For, in 1984 he was elected Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) in recognition of his active, nay dynamic role in the Freedom Movement.

A genuine Muslim Nationalist 

Since his student days he was drawn towards politics, though his father was part of the British state machinery. He joined the struggle for Independence and, did all that he could as a student activist for freeing his motherland from the yoke of the British. With the same aim he set U.P. Muslim Students Federation at the University of Lucknow. More intriguing, however, was his joining the Congress party in the heyday of Pakistan movement which had captured the imagination of Muslims even in the north India in 1940s. While swimming against the tide he strove with his heart and mind for promoting Muslim nationalism among fellow students at the University of Lucknow and in the wider community. In the then emotionally surcharged and volatile politicized atmosphere it was a seemingly suicidal, self - destructive step. However, he adhered consistently to his ideals of the united India and nationalism and put up with all the hardships in pursuing his mission. Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Dr Syed Mahmud were his mentors during this period. He managed to organize a band of Muslim students wedded to nationalism in the university which was quite an achievement in the face of the frenzy generally evoked by Muslim League. He had close contact with Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, especially from 1940 to 1947.

A Committed Muslim Activist

Notwithstanding being a staunch nationalist, he never compromised on any issue detrimental to the Indian Muslims. Throughout his career he always championed vigorously the causes dear to the Muslims – minority character of the Aligarh Muslim University, plight of Urdu in the Independent India, harrowing carnage of Muslims in communal riots in various parts of the country, Muslim Personal Law, especially in the context of the Shah Bano case and the outrageous demolition of the historic Babri Masjid. On these issues he never toed in a servile way the official party line of the Congress party. All along he expressed and conveyed the wishes of the Muslim community, even at the expense of incurring the displeasure of certain elements within Congress. He never forgave M.C. Chagla and Noorul Hasan for being treacherous to the Muslims in stripping the AMU of its minority character. As he was an M.P. (1984-1990) during the Shah Bano case, days he played a crucial role in persuading Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, to ensure that the new legislation about the divorced Muslim woman did not run counter to any principle and norm of Islamic Shariah. Likewise, he testified before the Lucknow High Court about the existence of the Babri Masjid in which he had offered prayers. His crusade for the Muslim issues is on record – in the form of his numerous pieces published mostly in the English national dailies since 1970s to this day.
His contribution to scholarship: Apart from his pieces on current issues, he has authored several valuable books in both English and Urdu. His book on Rafi Ahmad Kidwai in both English and Urdu is a treasure house of information about the Freedom Movement and the role of nationalist Muslims in national politics. His series of books in Urdu on several topics related to Civics and Political Science has benefitted generations of Urdu-speaking students all over the country. Equally substantial is his annotatied editing of several volumes of the letters of his illustrious uncle, Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi. He made a mark also as a brilliant reviewer. Equipped with his enviable memory and thorough familiarity with the fairly recent Indian history, his reviews on the Freedom Movement and other facets of national life are read with much profit by the specialists and the lay alike. In some of his reviews on the recent Indian history he has pointed out numerous factual errors marring these and exposed the authors’ bias against Indian Muslims. At the AMU too, he criticized both the Muslim communalists and Muslim progressives and communists who indulged in Islam-bashing It is gratifying that a volume containing his more than seventy reviews on Urdu books was released in 2010 by Mr Hamid Ansari, Vice President, who happens to be his student. This volume is a testament to Dr. Kidwai’s sweeping scholarship, his assiduity and his religiosity.

Pivotal role in AMU’s corporate life

Throughout his career he took a very keen interest in the residential life of the AMU. For years he served as Warden, Amin Hostel and later became the first Provost of Mohsinul Mulk (MM) Hall. As Proctor in 1965-1967 he rendered valuable services in restoring peace and cordiality on the campus that had been rocked by indiscipline. For more than two years he performed the twin arduous jobs of University Proctor and Provost, MM Hall. God has gifted him with such remarkable retentive memory that he managed to remember the names of all the students of his hall of residence and of his classes. He was the keeper of the Duty Society, that catered to helping the needy students. He was also elected President AMU Teaching Staff Association in 1978. His love for both his wards and students is immense and selfless. He spent most of his salary on sponsoring the education of even those students whom he hardly knew. His students hold him in much esteem and take pride in maintaining their ties with him even years after they completed their studies at the AMU. His concern, rather affection for students is so strong that he does not approve that any disciplinary action betaken against them. In view of his integrity he was appointed Treasurer of the Relief Committee set up to help the victims of communal riots in Aligarh in 1978.

Amid his varied contributions, his unswerving committment to the cause of Indian Muslims and his crusade for helping the Muslims in getting their due share in national life is the most glittering aspect of his role in pubic life. Indian Muslims stand in need of such selfless, committed mentors for playing their meaningful role in their own motherland, which is regrettably denied mostly to them. Dr. Kidwai’s example, in both word and deed, has been a beacon light amid the all-round darkness. May Allah grant him a long, happy life, enabling him further to keep waging this crucial battle for the Muslim community (Amin)

[Professor Abdur Raheem Kidwai is a Professor of English and Director, UGC Academic Staff College, Aligarh Muslim University. He can be reached at sulaim_05@yahoo.co.in]

(Courtesy: Aligarh Movement)

Taking Islamic Finance Education to the Masses

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IMO News Service

Dubai: Once the reserve of expensive training events, Islamic finance education is now about to become accessible to the common man.

Ethica announced today that it is making the study notes for its award-winning Certified Islamic Finance Executive (CIFE) program freely available to the public as an e-book. Voted “Best Islamic Finance Qualification” at the Global Islamic Finance Awards, Ethica is the only globally-recognized certification institute in the world to fully comply with AAOIFI’s Shariah standards. AAOIFI is the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions and the de facto standard in 90% of the world’s Islamic finance jurisdictions.

The CIFE Study Notes e-book covers major Islamic finance topics including Sukuk, Risk Management, Liquidity Management, Takaful, Musharakah, Mudarabah, Murabaha, Ijarah, Salam, and Istisna. The end of the e-book includes an expansive glossary covering commonly used industry terminology. Ethica’s spokesperson said, “The CIFE Study Notes are designed as an accompaniment to the online training modules and provide Ethica students with a handy reference manual, but anyone can benefit from the examples and concepts explained in the e-book.” The CIFE Study Notes can be downloaded here.

Islamic finance currently suffers an acute shortage of trained and certified professionals. And despite the global financial crisis, Islamic finance continues to spread across the globe. The Dubai-based institute’s clients include large banks like Mashreq Bank which trains 1,000 employees using Ethica, universities like La Trobe, and Dow Jones affiliate Zawya, which offers Ethica to its 750,000 users.

Winner of "Best Islamic Finance Qualification" at the Global Islamic Finance Awards, Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance (www.EthicaInstitute.com)is chosen by more professionals and students for Islamic finance certification than any other organization in the world. With over 20,000 paying users in 44 countries, the Dubai-based institute is accredited by leading scholars and serves banks, universities, and professionals across over 100 organizations.

Holy Qur’an on Jihad -- Striving hard in the way of God

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“Jihad” in Islam does not mean an armed fight, which at best is only a part of it. Jihad, in fact is an incessant struggle to spread what is good and uproot what is evil. The best Jihad, according to Islam is against one’s self.

By Dr. Javed Jamil

Jihad has for long been one of the most talked about subjects throughout the world. Enemies of Islam have been unrelenting in misusing Jihad as a weapon to malign the religion as a supporter and propagator of violence. They have been assiduous in their efforts to attribute the phenomenal rise of Islam to the use of violent means by its followers. Many Islamic scholars, on the other hand, in the face of the virulent propaganda, have taken an unnecessarily defensive, often apologetic, position. I shall discuss the subject in its true spirit.

Islam is not a religion aimed merely at spiritual training of individuals. It is also not there just for social reform. Its area of action encompasses every sphere of individual and collective life, viz. health, education, politics, economics and social affairs, including those at the national and international levels. It is not merely a set of rituals and customs or a way of life. It is a fully-grown system, which, like every other system of governance, needs to propagate its ideology, safeguard its interests, protect its followers and areas of influence and combat any actions of hostility directed against it. It has the right to self-defence like any other country or organisation has. Jihad means struggle; it denotes earnest efforts to achieve Islamic objective of grand peace and safeguard its ideological, political and geographical sovereignty. Under normal circumstances, Jihad primarily involves intellectual, political and social means; in extraordinary circumstances, it does not shy away from adopting military or militant means. What differentiates Islamic method of armed confrontation however from that in vogue in the current international arena is that in Islam Jihad is not for selfish geographical, political and economic interests of a country or a group of countries. In contrast, it is aimed at ensuring peace, rescuing people in duress and fighting the forces of evil, exploitation and injustice. But Qur’an categorically states that fighting should be restricted only for the stated objectives, namely in the event of aggressive intents or actions of a hostile force, infraction of agreement, widespread chaos, exploitation or oppression and to counter excesses. It also makes clear that while during fighting every effort must be made to strike telling blows to the enemy, Muslims must return to the negotiating table as soon as the enemy appears inclined to cease-fire and lasting peace.

The term “Jihad” in Islam does not mean an armed fight, which at best is only a part of it. Jihad, in fact is an incessant struggle to spread what is good and uproot what is evil. The best Jihad, according to Islam is against one’s self. And when this definition is extended to a social level, it again means struggle against forces that exploit human weaknesses or oppress the weak and poor. Jihad through Qur’an is another important kind of Jihad, which also means an intellectual dialogue with the opponents of Islamic system.

Every ideology and system takes all the necessary measures to protect it from external and internal mischief and to consolidate it. Islam is no exception and it has greater right to work in that direction because it aims to establish the rule of God, not an oligarchy. All ongoing struggles in the world cannot be equated with terrorism. To fight against the occupation by external forces, usurpers of land, tyrannical rulers, exploiters, forces of evils and oppressors cannot be regarded terrorism. To sacrifice one’s life in a bid to harm the enemies for a justified cause cannot be condemned as “suicide attacks”; any bombing that is for a justified cause and is aimed at justified targets must be termed sacrificial bombing. There are some Islamic scholars who argue that Jihad can be undertaken only by an Islamic state. They are awfully mistaken, playing in the hands of those who want to reserve all military options open for themselves including pre-emptive strikes and at the same time want Muslims to forego their right to fight altogether. If Muslims can fight only under the command of a state, it means they cannot fight against an occupying force and against a tyrannical ruler. If the government of a state is corrupt, anti-Islamic or oppressive, nobody can deny the people the right to organise into groups and campaign against it. However, deliberate killing of innocents cannot be regarded desirable even if it is in response to killing of innocents by a country or a group. Though Qur’an allows Muslims to transgress against the enemy if it transgresses against them, this is surely the last and not the first option.

Another allegation that is labelled against Islam is that Qur’an calls for killing all the unbelievers. The protagonists of this thesis base their arguments on the verses that call for killing the Unbelievers, forgetting that these verses are war-time-injunctions. “Unbelievers” in these verses mean only the unbelievers engaged in the combat. It is clear also that the injunctions of Qur’an are almost similar in the case of fights between factions of Muslims. It asks its true followers to also fight those Muslims who are unjust.

Jihad in Islam is obligatory. It is an important constituent of the Islamic mission of universal peace and justice. It is in fact incumbent on all the human beings to engage in this mission. But for Muslims it is a divine duty. Jihad is meant for protecting the weak against the mighty; for alerting the forces of evil that their sordid adventures will not go unchallenged; for giving the oppressed sections a voice and wrecking the nerve-centres of the tyrants; and for giving the exploiters sleepless nights. Jihad prepares a person to sacrifice his possessions including his life if required for the cause of God. But Mujahids must clearly know that the objective of Jihad is not to bring certain persons to power, nor to bring theocracies to the whole world through sheer use of force. “Deen”, the system of God does not necessarily mean the establishment of a theocratic government through violent means; it means the rule of justice. Fighting is only the last but an open option in Jihad. If conditions are justifiable for fighting, it becomes obligatory; if conditions do not demand fighting, it becomes aggression. If its objectives are for the welfare of the masses it is desirable; if it is an excuse for selfish ends, it is an unparalleled sin. Jihad through peaceful means must always continue without halt; Jihad through arms must be an aberration. But once the conditions are justifiable, fighting must see no sympathy for the enemy; it must be given a crushing below. Fighting against the wicked is no violence; it is an exercise aimed at minimising violence. Killing bacteria and viruses through antibiotics and antiviral drugs is essential to maintain a healthy life. If microbes are not killed, they will kill the very person who provides them the food for their sustenance.

Islam however does not accept that “all is fair in love and war”. Even in war, all Islamic conditions must be followed in letter and spirit. As soon as the conditions are bright for an honourable settlement, fighting must be stopped without delay; for the ultimate objective is not the subjugation of the enemy but an end to mischief, anarchy, chaos and oppression. The powers that dominate do always try to take the right to fight away from others, so that they can continue to hold reins. They amass massive stocks of deadly weapons, but deny others the right to possess them. They do not hesitate a second to attack or invade the positions of their challengers, but make too much fuss of even the smallest acts of armed resistance. They kill innocents in big numbers and label it as ‘collateral damage’; and lambaste their opponents, through the weapons of words and war, if their actions cause the deaths of even a handful of innocents.

Jihad in Quran

Real Jihad

And We shall try you until We test those among you who strive their utmost and persevere in patience; and We shall try your reported (mettle). (47: 31/A)

Jihad against self

Those who believe, and suffer exile and strive with might and main, in God’s cause, with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank in the sight of God. They are the people who will achieve (salvation). Their Lord doth give them glad tidings of a Mercy from Himself, of His good pleasure, and of gardens for them, wherein are delights that endure. (9: 20-21/A)

Ideological Jihad

Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness with the (Quran)....(25: 51-52/A)

Armed struggle

Fighting is prescribed for you..(2: 216/A)

Against aggression

Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors. (2: 190/A)

Against oppression

And why should ye not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?- Men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!” (4: 75/A)

Against the forces of evil

Those who believe fight in the cause of God, and those who reject Faith fight in the cause of Evil: So fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan. (4: 76/A)

Against the breakers of treaty

But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith: for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained. Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? (9: 12-13/A)

They ask thee concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of God to prevent access to the path of God, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members.” Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. (2: 217/A)

Breach of treaty

A (declaration) of immunity from God and His Messenger, to those of the Pagans with whom ye have contracted mutual alliances:- Go ye, then, for four months, backwards and forwards, (as ye will), throughout the land, but know ye that ye cannot frustrate God (by your falsehood) but that God will cover with shame those who reject Him. (9: 1-2/A)

And an announcement from God and His Messenger, to the people (assembled) on the day of the Great Pilgrimage,- that God and His Messenger dissolve (treaty) obligations with the Pagans. If then, ye repent, it were best for you; but if ye turn away, know ye that ye cannot frustrate God. (9: 3/A)

(But the treaties are) not dissolved with those Pagans with whom ye have entered into alliance and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided any one against you. So fulfil your engagements with them to the end of their term..(9: 4/A)

But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (9: 5/A)

But (even so), if they repent, establish regular prayers, and practise regular charity,- they are your brethren in Faith: (thus) do We explain the Signs in detail, for those who understand. (9: 11-12/A)

Against transgressors

If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, transgress ye likewise against him.. (2: 194/A)

Against treachery

If thou fearest treachery from any group, throw back (their covenant) to them, (so as to be) on equal terms: for God loveth not the treacherous. (8: 58/A)

Conduct when fighting begins

And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. (2: 191/A)

O ye who believe! when ye meet the Unbelievers in hostile array, never turn your backs to them. If any do turn his back to them on such a day - unless it be in a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own)- he draws on himself the wrath of God, and his abode is Hell,- an evil refuge (indeed)! (8: 15-16/A)

If ye gain the mastery over them in war, disperse, with them, those who follow them, that they may remember. (8: 57/A)

O ye who believe! When ye meet a force, be firm, and call God in remembrance much (and often); that ye may prosper: And obey God and His Messenger. And fall into no disputes, lest ye lose heart and your power depart...(8: 45-46/A)

But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks;- except those who join a group between whom and you there is a treaty (of peace), or those who approach you with hearts restraining them from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. (4: 89-90/A)

If they withdraw not from you nor give you (guarantees) of peace besides restraining their hands, seize them and slay them wherever ye get them: In their case We have provided you with a clear argument against them. (4: 91/A)

Preparations

Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of God and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom God doth know. (8: 60/A)

O ye who believe! Take your precautions and either go forth in parties or go forth all together. (4: 71/A)

Martyrs

And say not of those who are slain in the way of God. “They are dead.” Nay, they are living, though ye perceive (it) not. (2: 154/A)

And if ye are slain, or die, in the way of God, forgiveness and mercy from God are far better than all they could amass. (3: 157/A)

Reward for jihad

Those who leave their homes in the cause of God, and are then slain or die,- on them will God bestow verily a goodly Provision: Truly God is He Who bestows the best provision. (22: 58/A)

Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; at length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: until the war lays down its burdens. (47: 4/A)

Fight among Muslims

Whenever two factions of believers fall out with one another, try to reconcile them. If one of them should oppress the other, then fight the one, which acts oppressively until they comply with God’s command. If they should comply, then patch things up again between them in all justice, and act fairly. God loves those who act fairly. (49: 9/Z)

Conditions for cessation of fighting

Be not weary and fainthearted, crying for peace, when ye should be uppermost: (47: 35/A)
..but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression. (2: 193/A)

Therefore if they withdraw from you but fight you not, and (instead) send you (Guarantees of) peace, then God hath opened no way for you (to war against them). (4: 90/A)

Peace for peace

But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in God. (8: 61/A)

Treaties to be adhered to

……with those Pagans with whom ye have entered into alliance and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided any one against you. So fulfil your engagements with them to the end of their term: for God loveth the righteous. (9: 4/A)

Asylum

If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of God. And then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge. (9: 6/A)

Booty

And know that out of all the booty that ye may acquire (in war), a fifth share is assigned to God,- and to the Messenger, and to near relatives, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer... (8: 41/A)

Exempt from fighting

There is no blame on those who are infirm, or ill, or who find no resources to spend (on the cause), if they are sincere (in duty) to God and His Messenger. (9: 91/A)
No blame is there on the blind, nor is there blame on the lame, nor on one ill (if he joins not the war)... (48: 17/A)

No fight against peace loving people

God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God loveth those who are just. God only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong. (60: 8-9/A)

[Dr. Javed Jamil is Executive Director, International Centre for Applied Islamics PEACE, 214- K, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi, India. He can be contacted at doctorforu123@yahoo.com]

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