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Islamic Voice Logo
MONTHLY    *    Vol 12-01 No:132    *   JANUARY 1998 / RAMADAN 1418H

email: editor@islamicvoice.com

COMMUNITY ROUNDUP


UP Education Directive Draws Flak
Beary Centre for Bangalore
Abdul Sattar : Delhi’s Hero
Islamic Centre Opened in Andaman Isles
Fiqh Academy Nikahnama Receiving Approval
AFMI Sets “100% Literacy by 2005 AD” Goal
Apna Ashiana opened New Concept in Child Upbringing
UP Muslim Schools : Boys Excel in Mixed Schools, Girls in Muslim Schools
Hamzah Malar. TN Urdu Academy Urged
Justice Ahmadi Conferred Al-Ameen Award


UP Education Directive Draws Flak

NEW DELHI : The Jamaat -e- Islami Hind expressed concern at the introduction of compulsory signing of Vande Matram in schools in Uttar Pradesh by the BJP government. It has also criticised the introduction of compulsory teaching of Sanskrit and English and the directive to organise the worship of Bharat Mata. According to Minister for Basic Education, the students would be asked to respond their roll call in the classes by Vande Matram.

In a press release the Jamaat general secretary Mohammad Jafar said the words Vande Matram (meaning “I prostrate before you, O Mother.”) were violative of the precepts of Islam as they convey the meaning of prostrating, something essentially against the article of worships in Islam. It said the Constitution of India enjoins upon the state not to patronise any particular religion. It recalled that the Supreme Court had upheld the right of students from a Kerala school not to sing, the national anthem as per the religious faith of their sect, Jehovah’s witness. The Court had ruled that “Our tradition teaches tolerance; our philosophy preaches tolerance; our Constitution practises tolerance; let us not dilute it”.

The press release said the uttering of Vande Matram in response to roll call was beyond comprehension as patriotism was a natural instinct. It questioned the validity of effort to introduce this song in schools when was it not the national anthem.
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Beary Centre for Bangalore

BANGALORE : The Beary Welfare Association has disclosed plans to build a community centre for this ethnic segment of Karnataka’s Muslim community. The centre to be known as “Souharda Bhavan” (Harmony House) will be located in Banaswadi area of Bangalore on a 7000 square feet plot of land allotted by the city authority. A model of the Bhavan was unveiled at the International Beary Conference held on December 13-14 here.

The Beary community has a population of 500,000, mostly concentrated in the South Canara district of Karnataka. The term ‘Beary’ is derived from Vyapari (business) in Kannada. Most members of the community are engaged in business. However the main element of the community’s identity is Beary language which has no script of its own, and if need be, written in Kannada script. Most members of the community use Kannada for education, an amalgam of Kannada, Tamil, Konkani, Tulu and Malayalam. The community has produced a large number of Kannada writers, novelists, journalists and have served as a bridge between Muslims of Karnataka and Kannada speaking population. Of late, the Beary community has concentrated on education and big business using the remittances of the Gulf-employed offspring.

Inaugurating the conference, the Governor of Karnataka, Khursheed Alam Khan, stressed the ‘unity in diversity’ principle as the bed-rock of Indian life. He said the people should seek common values of each other’s culture for cooperation. Union Civil Aviation Minister Veerappa Moily inaugurated the Beary Prakashana (Beary publications). Several prominent Bearys in various fields were honoured on the occasion.

The following books were released in the International Bearys’ Conference: Tulunadu Musalamana Beary Sanskriti by Prof. B.M. Ichalangoud; Mykal (a book on Mangalore which is known as Mykal in Beary language) by Maulana Ahmed Noorie; Beary Basha Mattu Janapada Kathegalu (Folklore of Beary language) by Dr. Shsheela Upadhayay; Muthumala (Ahdith) by Abul Hassan Moulvi; Kachchada (collection of stories); Moilange (Beary culture) by
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Abdul Sattar : Delhi’s Hero

By Andalib Akhtar

NEW DELHI : Abdul Sattar, the ace swimmer of river Yamuna, who rescued several school children from the jaws of death, has emerged as the hero for the capital’s folk. Though nearly 30 lives were lost in the bus tragedy on November 18, it was Abdul Sattar who appeared as an angel for several families by saving their hopes of future from certain death in the icy cold water of river Yamuna.

Soon after the school bus plunged into the Yamuna, Sattar went into action and dived again and again to reach the bus, and rescued several young lives. But he still rues the fact that he could not save all the lives. “Mujhe afsos hai ki main sabhi bachchon ko nahi bacha saka (I regret that I could not save all the children), he said talking to the Islamic Voice in a choked voice.

Brought up on the banks of Yamuna, Sattar spent his childhood swimming across the river. For him swimming in the flooded river is fun and he enjoyed every moment of it. “I never knew what a tragedy meant in my life. I had never come across such a devastating tragedy. My experience with the river stood me in good stead”, said Abdul Sattar with tears rolling down the cheeks.

“This man emerged as an angel from somewhere. None of us knew how to reach the wreckage of the bus where lay trapped our kids in the middle of the river”, said father of Arun (10) who was rescued by Sattar. Rajkumari Devi and Chanchal Sharma were other lucky mothers. Their sons, Amit, Pankaj and Arun were pulled out of the bus by Sattar. They declare equivocally: “We were helplessly roaming about the river bank, while this man was struggling in the cold, swift-running water to save our children. We shall never be able to repay the debt we owe to this man”. Recognising the heroic deeds of Abdul Sattar , The Times of India group awarded him the “Times Hero Award” for the year 1997 which carries Rs. 51,000, a shield and a certificate. The Times of India instituted this award only after Abdul Sattar’s feat became legend in the capital. In her address at the award giving ceremony, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Najma Heptullah said: “It is equally important to recognize good deeds as doing them”. But Sattar’s words were more memorable: “God could have given me this money on any other occasion. But unfortunately, I became a hero at a moment when many parents are crying for their little kids, who will never come back”.
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Islamic Centre Opened in Andaman Isles

PORT BLAIR : An Islamic Guidance Centre Was inaugurated in the picturesque islands of the Bay of Bengal on December 12 by Mr. Ejaz Ahmed Aslam, of the islands. The Centre has a beautiful Mosque, an auditorium with 400-seating capacity, children’s Home for indigent children, a book shop and a guest house.

Mr. Aslam, addressing a gathering of distinguished citizens, stressed the purpose of life as enshrined in the Holy Qur’an. He hoped that the Centre would carry out dawah activities along with catering to the educational and cultural needs of the Muslims. Presiding over the ceremony, Dr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan, founder of the Al-Ameen Movement in Bangalore, emphasized the need for education for Muslims in order to be better human beings.

Dr. Khan chaired a seminar on “Humanity and Religion” on the second day. Lt. Governor of the Islands, a union territory, Mr. Eswari Prasad Gupta said religion and morality were supportive of the patriotic feelings Dr. Khan outlined the need for cooperation between members of various faiths. Chief Guest, Mr. Ejaz Ahmed Aslam, said the ideals of unity of God, prophethood and the sense of accountability on the day of Judgement were cornerstone for character building and for raising a good society. Chiefs of Ramakrishna Mission and Catholic priest Fr. Patrick Kullu also participated in the seminar. A women’s meet was organised on the third day.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands have a population of 150,000. Of the 570 islands in the archipelago, only 35 are inhabited. Literacy is 74 per cent. People speak Hindi, Urdu, Bangla, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu etc. But Hindi is the commonly spoken language in the markets and public places. The picturesque Island have abundant forests, green mountains, beautiful beaches, blue lagoons and creeks, coconut and arecanut plantations.

The Islamic Guidance Centre was constructed over a period of seven years at a cost of Rs. 20,00,000. The Centre’s Director Mr. P.K. Mohammad Ali has appealed for Islamic books and literature. For more information, contact : Director, Islamic Guidance Centre, Goleghar, Port Blair, PIN 744101, India. Phone : 0091-3192-34741.
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Fiqh Academy Nikahnama Receiving Approval

By Andalib Akhtar

NEW DELHI: The Nikahnama (deed to be signed before Nikah) circulated by the Islamic Fiqh Academy among nearly 1000 Islamic scholars and Ulema, is being generally approved. This was indicated here by Maulana Ameen Usmani, the secretary of the Academy in a chat with this correspondent. He said the Nikahnama aims at improving the status of Muslim women and will reform marriage and divorcee laws.

So far nearly 300 Ulema from all over India have responded to their draft Nikahnama and expressed their opinion on the issue. Most of the Ulema have been unanimous about the need for reform in Nikah and divorce laws. However, a few Ulema such as Maulana Anzar Shah Kashmiri of Deoband, Mufti Habibur Rahman and Maulana Shams Peerzada of Bombay and Dr. Raziul Islam Nadvi of Aligarh Muslim University have completely rejected the draft marriage contract arguing that putting condition on men would make marriages difficult and even challenging.

Most of the Ulema who have responded, have described the Nikahnama as one of the most progressive document in the area of marriage and divorce in the last 100 years. The Nikahnama touched on controversial issues of polygamy. According to the document, though Shariah allows Muslim men to be polygamous, there are certain riders laid down in it, such as the husband must explain reasons to the local panchayath, Ulema, biradari or Shariah court and obtain their consent to have a second wife. “He must provide separate accommodation to the second wife, if the first wife demands so”, said the document.

The Academy had earlier proposed that the husband must take the consent of his wife if he wishes to marry again. But a host of Ulema opposed the clause and agreed after several rounds of discussions that husband should take consent from local panchayath or any influential body and should inform his first wife about the second marriage.

The draft also included the touchy question of talaq (divorce) and Mehr (dower paid by husband to wife on marriage). The Academy proposed to give women the right of separation provided husband indulges in illicit liasons, beats wife or forces wife to have unnatural sex and also if the man suffers from sexual or infected diseases. She can claim for divorce if the husband did not give her alimony for one year. On the question of talaq, the draft stipulates that the husband would not pronounce three talaqs at a time (Talaqul Bain). If indeed, it becomes necessary and all ways to a rapprochement were exhausted, he should pronounce talaq once at a time and that too with the consent of the local Ulema. This clause has been appreciated and accepted by almost all the Ulema, informed Maulana Usmani.

On the issue of Mehr, the draft proposed to set the amount in terms of gold, silver, property or shares which could keep up with inflation and fall in value of rupee.

On the custody of children, the draft recommends that the wife be given guardianship of her children and husband must agree to continue to maintain the wife and children in the manner they have been accustomed to. The Academy also ruled that all articles gifted to the wife at the time of and following the marriage remained her property. The discussions on the draft are still continuing.
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AFMI Sets “100% Literacy by 2005 AD” Goal

BANGALORE : The 2 day 6th Educational Conference of AFMI ended here on December 21, with a call to speed up efforts to increase literacy among Muslims. The Conference set the target of achieving 100 per cent literacy among Indian Muslims by 2005 AD.

Nearly 75 Muslim students who received ranks in SSLC and HSC Board examinations of various states were honoured with awards and medallions by the American Federation of Muslims from India (AFMI).

The conference condemned the recent anti-Muslim violence in Coimbatore and Jaipur and massacre of Dalits in Jehanabad in Bihar and urged the reconstruction of Babri Masjid demolished by fascists on December 6, 1992.

The conference drew 25 delegates of Muslims of Indian origin from various cities of the United States. It discussed the issues such as blending of modern sciences in madrasa curriculum, role of information technology, use of mass media for spread of literacy and women’s education.

Al-Ameen Education Society founder Dr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan expressed optimism over the speed of socio-economic development among Indian Muslims. In response to the refrain of Muslim women’s educational backwardness, Dr. Khan provided statistical data to prove that more Muslim girls were graduating these days than boys. He said this had led to problem of girls not getting proper and educated matches from among Muslim boys. Journalist Kulpid Nayar advised Muslims to take to modern education in order to achieve parity with non-Muslims.

The valedictory session of the conference turned into a political battlefield when Union Aviation Minister C.M. Ibrahim and Railway Minister Ramvilas Paswan began recounting the “contributions” of the United Front Government towards the welfare of the minorities. Mr. K. Rahman Khan MP deplored the tendency to use a non-political forum for political speeches. Former Prime Minister, Mr. Deve Gowda, however obliquely referred to the Congress (I)’s games of destabilising a pro-minority government at the centre. Mr. Rahman Khan questioned the slogans like “100% literacy for Muslims” by AFMI, an NRI organisation and said it was totally unrealistic. He said social workers in India know the realities of India better and AFMI should coordinate with local Muslim organisations for setting targets. Dr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan advised the AFMI to focus on providing scholarships to Indian Muslim students who go for study overseas.
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