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Islamic Voice Logo

AUGUST 1999

MONTHLY    *    Vol 13-08 No:152    *   AUGUST 1999/ RAJJAB 1419H   email: editor@islamicvoice.com

COMMUNITY ROUNDUP


Harassment Campaign Against Muslims
Revolution and Islam
Muslim Women' most Backward
Unity Against Communal Parties Increase in Muslim Representation
Muslims Seek more plus two courses
Islamic Academy to Open Medical College
People
Meelad


In Marxist West Bengal

Harassment Campaign Against Muslims

By A Staff Writer

CALCUTTA: The anti-Muslim tirade that the law enforcing agencies of West Bengal had unleashed after the bomb blast in New Jalpaiguri (NJP) in June this year has now been further intensified with the Special Branch (SB) personnel coming down heavily on the innocent imams.

Muslims from Murshidabad, Nadia, Malda, North and South Dinajpur and Jalpaiguri districts have complained of harassment by the police in the Marxist state. According to the locals in these districts, it’s the bearded Muslims who are mostly being viewed with suspicions by the state police. While the SB has, so far, maintained a mysterious silence over these complaints, the Opposition and the community leaders say the men in uniform from the local police stations who are working at the behest of their bosses in the Writers’ Building are arresting only the law abiding Muslims on the charges of aiding Pakistan’s Inter Service Intelligence(ISI).

The arrests have evoked a widespread criticism from all and sundry. Reacting to the police’s recent exercise against minorities in the state, the Pradesh Congress Committee’s working president, Mr. Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, told the Islamic Voice that this may well endanger the very secular credential of West Bengal. “ I have written to both the state home(police) minister, Mr.Buddhadeb Bhattachrya and Mr. Advani apprising them about the harassment of innocent people from the minority community. It’s indeed a disheartening revelation that the Muslims are being looked as a threat to the integrity of their motherland. No right minded person would object if the real culprits are brought to book. But what is alarming is the police’s communal attitude that is causing sleepless nights to the thousands of innocent Muslims,” Dasmunsi added.

In a major development, the 28 year old imam of the Rishra Jama Masjid, Maulana Zakir Hussain Rizvi was arrested by the state police on July 16 soon after the weekly Friday sermons.

The First Information Report (GR 584/99) against Rizvi reveals that the local police acted on the complaints of the OC of the Murshidabad police station. The Murshidabad OC, Mr. Dhruba Kumar Banerjee has been quoted as “receiving information about the maulana’s anti-national and divisive activities on communal lines for past one-and-a-half year.” However, in the note, forwarding the FIR to the court of SDJM, Serampore, on the same day, one surprisingly discovers additional charges against Rizvi. Here the SI of Serampore police station, Raman Kumar Saha has stated that “ during his (imam’s) stay in Murshidabad, he delivered speeches at different villages amongst the member of Muslim community with a view to incite disaffection towards the government of India especially during the Kargil crisis.”

“ It is also learnt that he (Rizvi) contacted extremist groups of Bangladesh including the assassins of Mujibur Rahman for waging war against government of India,” the FIR added. It is here that one finds manifest anomalies. Says a senior advocate wishing to be unidentified, “the allegations in the forwarding note appears to be the results of afterthought apparently to substantiate the claim for keeping the accused under police remand.”

When told that they ought not to have arrested him in the mosque’s premises, the officials replied that they had ‘authentic’ reports about Rizvi planning to flee the state after the Friday congregation.

Rizvi, during his brief stint as an imam in Murshidabad and Hooghly districts had earned quite a good reputation and as such the charges levelled against him by the police hold no water.

Muslim Progressive Forum’s general secretary, Md. Ashfaque too is critical of the manner in which such delicate matters are being handled by a section of the police. “I remember how the former chief minister, Mr. Siddhartha Shanker Ray would personally verify and check up the authenticity of such allegations. If the present CM, Mr. Jyoti Basu is too preoccupied with other ‘important’ works, he can easily constitute committees comprising of the senior ministers or highly ranked officials of the police to examine such complaints before condemning law-abiding Muslims as anti-nationals. The government should ensure that under no circumstances the innocent persons are subjected to harassment. It is well known that Muslims of West Bengal, as loyal citizens of India, have no sympathy or soft corner for subversive elements,” remarks Ashfaque. Currently Rizvi is in police remand and will continue to remain so until the good senses prevail upon the mandarins of the Left Front government.

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Revolution and Islam

Islam is a revolutionary force for change. It is a clearly defined system or way of life which fosters justice, righteousness, and balance in all areas of human endeavour. It is the rope which Allah, the Most High, stretches out to you. With it He pulls his servants out of the quagmire of despair, destitution and confusion. Allah, the Most High, is the friend that never leaves you. He is the Most Merciful of those who show Mercy and He is the Protector and Defender of those who have faith.

In all of its broad meanings, the word most associated with revolution is change. We live with revolutionary changes every day. The Earth spinning on its axis; the Moon’s orbit around the Earth; and the Earth’s orbit in relation to the Sun are celestial motions demonstrating cycles of revolution in which many observable changes take place. The alternation of the day and the night; the changes of the seasons; tide changes; migratory cycles of animals and the very regulation of time are all phenomena affected or controlled by revolution.

All living things accept this form of revolution as a part of life and beyond control. That part of Creation that is best able to submit to uncontrollable, unstoppable change, has the best chance of survival and success. The leaves fall from trees as the sap goes into the roots in preparation for winter; birds fly south and then back north in migratory cycles; animals’ fur thickens then sheds, adapting to seasonal changes. Indeed, the examples of natural revolutionary phenomena are too numerous to count as is the reaction of life to it.

From the tiniest atom to the grandest galaxy, everything is in flux. The similarities in atoms and galaxies show a oneness in origin and activity. Allah ta ala says in Holy Qur’an: Allah originates Creation and then repeats it. Life begins. It grows and develops, reacting and adapting to the unending changes which affect it. It reproduces itself, and, when it can no longer resist or adapt to revolution, it dies, which is, in itself, another change.

And so, with mankind, we also submit to the natural cycles of revolution: resting our bodies at night in sleep, rising again in the morning, only to lay down in rest the following night; Planting in the spring, harvesting in the fall; wearing warm clothes in the winter, and light clothes in the summer. Revolution is nothing but change. Change from one state or condition of being to another.

Revolution has been used to define great changes within a socioeconomic or cultural structure, such as the Industrial Revolution, the American Civil Rights struggle and Women’s Rights movement; or political upheavals within a social structure or government, such as the American, French and Russian revolutions. These types of revolutions, although signalling great changes, did not necessarily improve the lot of those most affected by it.

The revolutionary actions of people like Ms. Parks, Russel Means and Huey Newton or organizations like AIM and the Black Panther Party reflected a condition of life which could no longer be tolerated and that those affected were willing to risk all in order to bring about a change. It may take weeks, months or years before a condition of being reaches a point of stagnation or intolerance but the defining moment is when a stand is taken that brings about a change in that condition. If revolution is change, then a revolutionary act is the action which attempts to bring about that change. When a man or a woman, out of conviction, accepts Islam, he or she has committed a revolutionary act.

Islam From a Revolutionary Perspective

When a child of Adam (as) takes Kalima Shahada (converts to Islam) out of conviction, he has in fact taken a stand to effect a positive fundamental change in his spiritual being and worldly condition. Allah ta ala says in the Holy Qur’an that He does not change the grace of a people until they change what is in themselves. This is a profound statement of Truth and has enormous impact in its full meaning. To effect true revolutionary change that would improve the human condition, one must first effect a revolutionary change within oneself. To do this, the son of Adam (as) must understand which action purifies the soul and brings it to success and which actions corrupt the soul and brings it to loss.

Islam (submission to Allah) is the process by which a son of Adam steps away from bad actions and embraces good. This revolutionary process is best observed on the front-lines of Da’wah where the defining moment of the preaching of Islam results in Shahada (Declaration). Shahada is, in fact, the point where a child of Adam (as) takes a stand against unbelief and ignorance and takes a step towards Allah ta ala, Who will change the state of his soul and worldly condition. Allah ta’ala describes, in Holy Qur’an this transformation of the human soul from the state of ignorance (jahilia) to the state of Islam as: “...Bringing the living out of the dead...” and: “...that He may lead you from the depths of Darkness into the Light...” (57:9)

Islam is a comprehensive way of life that has been chosen for mankind by the Almighty Creator as the best way to achieve success in this life and in the Hereafter. It is a system of living that provides the best guidelines for the individual and the group; for men and for women; for the old and the young; for all people, regardless of colour, ethnicity, or race. Islam provides: guidelines for economic practices based on fair dealing and justice; a political format for expediting civil needs and responsibilities; and a social practice that gives due consideration to all human circumstances and conditions.

Islam opposes all forms of injustice, oppression and corruption. It is the duty of all Muslims of conviction to oppose these things also. But the first stage of opposition is that he himself, is not unjust to others; that he himself, does not oppress others; that he himself, is not corrupt.

Otherwise, he is nothing more than a hypocrite for Allah ta ala says in the Holy Qur’an: Do you enjoin right conduct on the people yet fail to practice it yourselves? The final stage of revolution comes when the people who have stepped onto right guidance can no longer tolerate injustice, corruption and living in an oppressive state. At that point, steps are taken to stop oppression with the hand, or, if not able to put a stop to it, then to go (Hijra) where there is no injustice or oppression.

Allah ta’ala says in Holy Qur’an: “Indeed Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you that ye may receive admonition”. (16:90)

Islam prohibits all forms of intoxicants and gambling, fornication and adultery, usury. In most un-Islamic societies, these social maladies are lawful. Yet, the damage and misery done to people’s lives are incalculable.

Murder and oppression, maltreatment of orphans and children are some of the many things that are prohibited in most un-lslamic societies. However the law is too weak and the justice system too corrupt and easily manipulated to be effective in enforcement and prosecution. If you have enough money and the right lawyer, the guilty may go free. Conversely, if you are poor and are forced to rely on court-appointed counsel, the innocent may be condemned.

Islam is a revolutionary force for change. It is a clearly defined system or way of life which fosters justice, righteousness, and balance in all areas of human endeavour. It is the rope which Allah, the Most High, stretches out to you. With it He pulls his servants out of the quagmire of despair, destitution and confusion. Allah, the Most High, is the friend that never leaves you. He is the Most Merciful of those who show Mercy and He is the Protector and Defender of those who have faith.

Abu Talut

(Currently, he is the technical advisor for the Islamic post and member of Muslims of the Americas Inc.)

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Mumbai Seminar

Muslim Women' most Backward

By Yoginder Sikand

MUMBAI : The Institute of Islamic Studies and the Minority Research Group, London, recently organised here a seminar on ‘Problems of Indian Muslim Women’. A large number of academics and social activists participated in the event. The seminar was inaugurated by film actress Ms. Shabana Azmi. She stressed the need for concrete steps to be taken to improve the lot of Muslim women in the country. In his opening paper on ‘Islam, Women and Gender Justice’, noted Leftist expert on Islam Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer of the Institute of Islamic Studies said that the basic core of the Qur’anic message was that of justice, a comprehensive concept that included gender justice as well. Hence, he said, injustice to women went completely against the grain of the Qur’an’s teachings.

Economist Dr. Abusaleh Shariff, in his paper on ‘Relative Economic and Social Deprivation in India’, pointed out that Muslims were among the most marginalised communities in the country, and that the position of Muslim women was, pathetic. He made the distressing revelation that over the past few years, the enrolment rate in elementary schools among Muslim females in India has actually been witnessing a considerable decline. Dr. Ramala Baxamusa of the Research Centre for Women’s Studies, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, spoke at length on ‘The Economic Status of Muslim Women in Maharashtra’. Based on official data, she showed how Muslim women are in economic and educational terms one of the most backward groups in the entire state. Thus, in rural Maharashtra, 40 per cent of Muslim households are without any land, and 42 per cent had a holding of between .01 to 1.0 hectares only. Only some 25 per cent of rural Maharashtrian Muslim women are literate, and the drop-out rate among them is particularly high. Dr. Baxamusa provided a case study of two projects that have recently been started to impart education to Muslim girls in Maharashtra, and made an analysis of their achievements. These are the Saboo Siddiq Open University Scheme in Mumbai for drop-out girls and women, started in 1997, and the community project run by the Department of Post-Graduate Home Science Studies and Research, SNDT Women’s University, in Gilbert Hill, a Muslim dominated slum in Mumbai.

Dr. Malika Mistry, a Pune-based demographer, focused in her paper on the economic and educational backwardness of Muslims in India, particularly Muslim women. She noted that while the 34.7 per cent of Hindu women were illiterate, the figure for Muslim women was 52.1 per cent. While only 2.7 per cent of Muslim women had studied beyond high school, the corresponding figures for Hindu, Christian, Sikh and Jain women were 11.7 per cent, 16 per cent, 16.6 per cent and 30.5 per cent respectively.

Dr. Mandakini Pant, also of the SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, presented an interesting paper on the Bandheria of Jaipur. These are a group of Muslim women, belonging largely to the Kaimkhani Rajput Muslim community, who depend for their livelihood on tying knots in cloths for the tie-and-die handicrafts industry. These women, she pointed out, are desperately poor and, having little bargaining power, are at the mercy of unscrupulous middle-men who pay them just a pittance.

Several speakers dwelt on the Qur’anic injunctions that pertain to women and pointed out how despite the rights that the Qur’an had granted women, these have been effectively denied to them. Noted political scientist Imtiaz Ahmed of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, spoke on the issue of unilateral triple divorce. He said that the Qur’an had actually provided for a system of arbitration for divorce, but that this was not being followed in India.

Diane D’Souza, a research student from Hyderabad, spoke on the growing recognition among Muslims today about the right of women to pray in the mosques. This author presented a paper on the role of Muslim women in the Tablighi Jama’at, an Islamic reformist movement. Others who spoke on the occasion included Dr. Mumtaz Ali Khan from Bangalore, Dr. Mahmooda, lecturer in the Department of English, Kashmir University, Srinagar, Sonia Khan, an Ahmedabad-based lawyer, as well as activists of the Mumbai-based Muslim women’s organisation, Awaz-i-Niswan.

Several recommendations emerged at the conclusion of the seminar. Many speakers called for reservation for Muslim women in educational institutions and public sector jobs within the OBC quota. Others stressed the urgent need for preparing model nikah-namahs or marriage contracts to properly safeguard the interests of Muslim women. It was also decided that a regular newsletter will soon be launched to document the efforts of various individuals and groups engaged in promoting social reform and development among Muslims all over India.

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Milli Political Forum urges

Unity Against Communal Parties Increase in Muslim Representation

By A Staff Writer

BANGALORE: The All India Milli Political Forum would strive for increased representation of Muslims in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures and defeating the candidates of parties of communal and fascist nature. This was stated here by Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam, founding member of the Forum formed last year. He said the Forum itself would not participate in elections but could back candidates belonging to secular parties and would guide Muslims and depressed classes to tactically vote as per situation in various constituencies. He said the Forum could talk to various parties and negotiate on the basis of demands and grievances of the Muslims. He said general empowerment of these sections of people was included in the broader objectives of the Forum.

The Forum is headed by Maulana Hameeduddin Hussami Aaqil of Hyderabad. Its general secretary is Kamal Farooqui, a Delhi based chartered accountant. Among its secretaries were Mauji Khan, a former deputy commissioner of Delhi police and journalist Dr S Q R Ilyas. Jamiath Ahle Hadith leader Abdul Wahab Khilji and Maulana Suleiman Sikkandar of Majlis Tameer e Millat Hyderabad are vice presidents. Haroonbahi Hosierywallah of Mumbai is treasurer.

Dr. Alam said the experiment of nurturing Muslims leaders through various parties did not succeed well as parties were averse to choosing grassroots leaders. “They believe in dropping leaders on Muslims through parachutes”, he remarked. He specifically mentioned Muslim activist from Jaipur Abdul Qaiyum Akhtar who he said had been working for educational and economic upliftment of the community for decades and mobilised Muslim votes against communal parties during the last elections but became unacceptable to the party in power there once he began to seek redressal of grievances. He said now an orchestrated campaign was on in the state to malign him at the behest of ruling party. “All this only goes to prove that grassroots leadership was being discouraged by the even the secular parties. It only leads us to unite the community under its own political banner and struggle to secure solution of their problems,” he commented.

Dr Alam told the Islamic Voice the Forum’s central office bearers and the state unit presidents were barred from contesting elections, nor would they accept posts of chairmen or corporations in order to build confidence of the community. He said the Forum believes in encouraging alliances between political parties representing various social groups.

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Muslims Seek more plus two courses

TRIVANDRUM : Muslim educational institutions in Kerala have decided to intensify their agitation against the Left Decocratic Front (LDF) government for their due share of Plus Two courses The Muslim education Rights Protection council , a joint outfit of Muslim organisations and institutions, had already finished the first phase of its campaign. They widely used mosques and other religious venues to educate the masses on what they called the neglect of Muslims and their right to education.

The council alleged that the government had totally neglected the Muslim community while sanctioning Higher Secondary courses. Council leaders said that in 1997-98 the community got only 14 of the 178 Higher Secondary schools sanctioned while in 1998 it got only eight out of 48 sanctioned.

They claimed they had a right to 55 of the 226 newly sanctioned Higher secondary school because the Muslim community formed 25 per cent of the state’s population. The council and other leaders of Muslim organisations have decided to hold dharnas (sit-ins) before the offices of all Deputy Directors of Education .

They said the community observed July 21 as Betrayal Day and all Muslim educational institutions in the state remain closed in protest against the repeated refusals of the government to accept their proposals.

Telegrams will be sent to the governor , chief minister and education minister drawing attention to the ‘discrimination against the Muslim community’.

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Islamic Academy to Open Medical College

By A Staff Writer

MANGALORE: Yenopoya Medical College here has been granted permission by the Union government to start admissions from the current year. The college is being set up by Islamic Academy of Education, a minority institution by the Yenopoya business house which already runs Yenopoya Dental College and Yenopoya Hospital. Mr Y Abdullah Kunhi is the chairman of the Academy.

The campus of the medical college is coming up at Deralakatte on the outskirts of Mangalore and would accommodate 800 students with administrative blocks, lecture halls, modern library, and residential quarters for the staff members. The college plans to begin operations within the Yenopoya Dental College in the central hub of Mangalore at Hampankatta. The intake would be 100 this year.

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People

Obituary

Hamdard Chairman
Hakeem Abdul Hameed Passes Away

NEW DELHI: Chairman of the Hamdard National Foundation and chancellor of the Hamdard University Hakeem Abdul Hameed passed away on the night between July 22 and 23. He was 92.

Hakeem sahib was ailing for some time and was admitted in Apollo Hospital here. He is survived by two sons.

Known as Bade Hakeem Sahib within the huge Hamdard fraternity, Abdul Hameed was the founder of Jamia University in Tughlaqabad on the outskirts of New Delhi which has a Unani medical college, Majeedia Hospital, Institute of Islamic Studies, Rafidah Nursing School, Hamdard Pharmacy School, Hamdard Convention Centre etc. Presiding over the Hamdard Wakf Laboratories, he had stewarded the expansion of this institution which became a known name in unani drugs in the country for three quarters of this century. The income from the Hamdard Wakf Laboratories was being channelled through Hamdard National Foundation to run the string of institutions. In fact the Laboratories were the first of its kind institution which carried out commercial activity but were registered as waqf institutions. A second campus known as Talimabad had come up during the last two decades and had Hamdard Public School and Hamdard Study Circle for the coaching of students for civil service competitive examination.

Hakeem Sahib founded nearly 25 institutions during his lifetime and was meticulous in guiding their full blossoming. He was conferred Padam Shri and Padam Vibhushan by the government of India and Ibne Sina Award by the former Soviet Union government. The Iranian National Science Academy awarded him fellowship in 1995.

He treated a record 7,500,000 patients and modernised the unani medicine and system of treatment by introducing the unani drugs into the market. His brother Hakeem Mohammad Sayeed, who was assassinated during ethnic violence in Karachi two years ago guided the development of Hamdard Laboratories in Pakistan.

Maulana Shams Peerzadah

MUMBAI: Noted Islamic scholar Maulana Shams Peerzadah died here in Ismailia Hospital on July 4 after prolonged illness. He was 70 and is survived by his widow and two daughters. A prominent worker of Jamaat e Islami Hind and its zonal chief in Maharashtra, Peerzada had quit the Jamaat a few years ago. He however was actively engaged in dawah activities of the Jamaat. He was heading Idara Dawatul Qur'an which published Qur'anic commentaries in Marathi, Gujarati and Hindi languages. His books were primarily written with Hindu audience in mind and made a pointed thrust to make them understand the message of Islam. Among his writings were books such as Jawahirul Hadith and Maasharti Masaael, Kya Qur'an ko samajh kar padhna zaruri hai? etc. Peerzadah was the founder member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board and chairman of the Idara Dawatul Qur'an.

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Meelad

Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) message to Mankind    PEACE

Followers message to Mankind                                PIECE

Meelad

FANATICS VS FANATICS: Activists of two rival Sunni sects clash
while marching together to celebrate the birth anniversary of
Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) in Karachi. ( Courtesy Asian age)


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