Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

Shaban 1424 H
October 2003
Volume 16-10 No : 202
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Muslim Community Series Part - 5


Let's Talk About Charity!
Beware of these "Mis-Guides"

Let's Talk About Charity!

The Jama Masjid of Durban built by the Memons

While the Memons are kind-hearted, generous and charitable, the Kerala Muslims have worked round-the clock to build educational institutions. Mohammed Hanif Lakdawala throws light on the philanthropic activities of various Muslim communities.

Islamic Voice, in coordination with Trend Research and Analysis Center (TRAC) conducted a random survey amongst the Muslim executives, professionals and businessmen to come up with the top Muslim communities. In the Muslim community series 2, we had covered the contribution of various Muslim communities in the field of entrepreneurship and education. In series 3, we covered the penetration in the power structure. In series 4, social and cultural field and in this series 5, we cover their humanitarian and philanthropic activities. The Bohras have been historically a well-knit and cohesive community. The spirit of brotherhood has united them. A Bohra would always give preference to a Bohra while selling or purchasing. The Bohra community has also benefited from the interest-free loans from a slew of community trusts. The largest of them, the Burhani Qardan Hasanah Trust was established by Dr Syedna Burhanuddin, spiritual head of the community. These loans are offered for new business ventures or for expansion and diversification of the existing one. These economic endeavours have provided the opportunity to many Individuals to successfully venture into trade, business and commerce and in the process become self-reliant. Memons are by nature generous, kind-hearted and charitable people. Not only do they support their less fortunate community members by monthly maintenance allowances, scholarships and other necessities, but also help humanity at large by establishing hospitals, maternity homes, orphanages, schools, colleges, industrial homes and other humanitarian activities, whose benefits are traditionally open for all without distinction of caste, colour or creed. All large nation-wide funds start with the donations of Memons and generally they are among the topmost donors. Wherever the Memons have settled, they first built a mosque and madrassa, and if in considerable numbers, also established a Jamaat. Many mosques built by Memons have become outstanding architectural landmarks of their particular cities. Such mosques include Zakaria Masjid of Calcutta, Minara Masjid of Bombay. New Memon Masjid of Karachi and Baitul Muqarram Masjid, Dacca. Memons have also built large mosques in countries spread from Japan to South Africa. The Jama Masjid of Durban built by the Memons, is the largest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere. The Memon Community has established innumerable madrassas, schools, colleges and technical institutes whose benefits are open to all Memons and non-Memons alike. Few years back, one of the largest educational campus in Pune, the Azam campus was funded by late Hussain Allana. A Memon philanthropist, Sir Yousuf Ismail established a "NAUTICAL & TECHNICAL INSTITUTE" at Nhasa island near Bombay in 1910 to train Indian youth in Marine Technology, which was until then a monopoly of the British. This institute was later developed into a Marine College, which was the first and only college of its kind for some decades. Sir Yousuf Ismail also established the Ismail Yousuf College in memory of his great uncle at Bombay in 1930 at the cost of Rs 30 lakh. This college is counted among the best colleges in India. .Mohammad Haji Sabu Siddiq, who died at the young age of 25 years, established the Sabu Siddique Technical High School in Bombay in 1920 which was the first non-government technical high-school of its kind in Bombay Presidency. This high school has now flowered into a big Technical Institute. The overall progress of the Kerala Muslims is aided by Gulf employment, reservations in education and higher rates of literacy achieved through sustained application. Farook College at Calicut in the Malabar region, from its humble beginnings in 1947-48, generated constructive movements of modernity and progress among the Kerala Muslims- it has been called 'the Aligarh of the south.' Along with other voluntary agencies, the Muslim Educational Society, founded in 1964, promotes primary, secondary and higher education. By 1960, 46.3 per cent of school-age Muslim children were attending school and by 1970, Mapillas accounted for 30 per cent of college students in Malappuram and Calicut districts. At the beginning of 1974, about 700 lower and upper primary schools and 36 high schools flourished under Muslim management. In the state as a whole, there were nine first-grade Muslim colleges and several technical institutions. There are innumerable individuals and groups from a slew of Muslim communities who were great philanthr-opists. But sadly, their efforts are not documented.

(The writer can be reached at mhl@rediffmail.com)

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SHOCKERS

Beware of these "Mis-Guides"

For college students, Guides seem to come as a blessing to prepare themselves for their exams. But Guides with misleading information are bound to corrupt these young minds. Here is just one sample from “Outlines of World History-for P.U.C 1 Year”, published by M.C.C Publications, No 3, 16th Cross, 3rd Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore 560011.

Under the question-Describe the spread of Islam.

Answer: Islam is a militant religion. Mohammed himself called all his followers to a holy war against non-believers in which he promised that all who died fighting would go straight to heaven. After his death in 632 A.D, the war was carried on by his successors known as Caliphs. Fortunately the Muslims were led by Caliphs like Abu Bakr, Omar, Osman and Ali. Between 635 and 650 A.D, under their leadership, the Muslim army overran Syrai, Iraq, Palestine, Egypt and the entire Persian Empire. The advance of the armies was so rapid that they had no time either to convert people or rule over them. Then they conquered all parts of North Africa. In 711 A.D, the Muslims under Tariq landed an army in Spain and invaded France. But Charles Martel defeated the Muslim army at Tours in 732 A.D. The defeat of the Muslim army saved Europe for Christianity. Thus within 100 years after the death of Mohammed, his followers controlled all lands from the Atlantic eastwards to the Indus.

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News Community Roundup Editorial Readers Comments Muslim Community Series Amanath Bank Episode Opinion Face to Face Muslim Perspectives Colours of Harmony Islam and Science Children's Corner Quran Speaks to You Hadith Our Dialogue Zakir Naik Interview Question Hour Guide Lines Islam And Astronomy Living Islam Success Stories Islamic History Journey To Islam View Point Matrimonial
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