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 Let's Revive the Spirit of Islam!

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PostSubject: Let's Revive the Spirit of Islam!   Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:56 pm

Let's Revive the Spirit of Islam!

Unless and until the Arab world sets its own house in order and inculcates the true Islamic spirit of universal brotherhood, they would remain a sitting duck for the USA.

By. M.Hanif Lakdawala

Many Arab writers and pundits prefer simply not to deal with the cruel realities of the Middle East today: the gap between petro-dollar wealth in the Gulf and uninspiring economic growth elsewhere; the persistence of autocracy and the failure to develop accountable governments; the debilitating enmity with Israel; the legacy of foreign rule; the influence of Western political ideas and the sheer power of the United States. And so they have fled into pan-Arabism instead. Pan-Arabism dates back to the collapse of the Ottoman Turks in World War I, which paved the way for what the Greek Orthodox writer George Antonius in 1938 famously called the "Arab Awakening" the prospect of Arab self-rule. Pan-Arabists sought to unify all Arabs across the artificial borders drawn by the Western empires, hearkening back to the glorious Arab caliphates. Britain and France, who vanquished Turkey in the war, had other ideas, and the emergence of real Arab states was deferred. But by the 1950s and 1960s, the awakening seemed underway, led by Nasser and Egypt.

The problem was that it did not work. The Arab states that arose were uninspiring monarchies or autocracies, and Nasser's grand dream of a united pan-Arab state that included Palestine came crashing down with the Arabs' ignominious defeat in the 1967 Six Day War. But despite Nasser's humiliation, die-hards still cling to his legacy and excoriate those who dare doubt its ultimate triumph.

Thus Arab Nationalism failed too. Arab world has power, wealth and status, but then what is making them sitting duck for the USA? Perhaps answer lies in this hadith of Ibn Majah.

Abd Allah ibn 'Umar said, "The Prophet (Pbuh) came to us and said, 'O Muhajirun, (emigrants from Makkah to al-Madinah) you may be afflicted by five things; God forbid that you should live to see them. If fornication should become widespread, you should realise that this has never happened without new diseases befalling the people, which their forebears never suffered. If people should begin to cheat in weighing out goods, you should realise that this has never happened without drought and famine befalling the people, and their rulers oppressing them. If people should withhold Zakat, you should realise that this has never happened without the rain being stopped from falling; and were it not for the animals' sake, it would never rain again. If people should break their covenant with Allah and His Messenger, you should realise that this never happened without Allah sending an enemy against them to take some of their possessions by force. If the leaders do not govern according to the Book of Allah, you should realize that this has never happened without Allah making them into groups and making them fight one another." (Ibn Majah).

A cursory look at the Arab world makes it clear, that though Islam is visible in every nook and corner of the region, but what is missing is the spirit of Islam. Today, the Arab world has reduced Islam to a mere formality and plain ritual. Arab world thought that oil is their personal property and exploited it for the cosmetic and physical growth of the region rather than the intellectual and economic growth and also for alleviating the miseries of the deprived section of the global society.

Islam is for the entire mankind and the forbearer of Islam must realise this that Allah has given them the resources as the Amaanat to make this world a better place to live rather then just make provision for the luxuries of the ruler and on those living in their narrow geographical boundaries.

Take any field-Social, Political, Spiritual, Economic, Technological, Telecommunication, Space technology, Ethics or Cultural, Marketing, the Arab world is at the bottom as far as research and advance studies are concerned. Where are the research institutes? Does not the Quran encourage Muslims to explore and conquer the unknown frontiers? Does not the Quran appeal to Muslims to learn from the Creator's creations? The Western nation has done so and they have reaped the fruits.

Why the Arabs are not united against USA? Why the rulers of the Gulf countries toe the USA line? These are the questions the common man on the street is asking. The answer lies in the hadith of Sahih Muslim.

Amir b. Sa'd reported on the authority of his father that one day Allah's Messenger (Pbuh) came from a high land. He passed by the mosque of Banu Mu'awiya, went in and observed two rak'ahs there and we also observed prayer along with him and he made a long supplication to his Lord. He then came to us and said: I asked my Lord three things and He has granted me two but has withheld one. I begged my Lord that my Ummah should not be destroyed because of famine and He granted me this. And I begged my Lord that my Ummah should not be destroyed by drowning (by deluge) and He granted me this. And I begged my Lord that there should be no bloodshed among the people of my Ummah. but He did not grant it. (Translation of Sahih Muslim)

What we are witnessing in Iraq and the entire Arab world is not just the plain unauthorised aggression of USA, but also a by-product of the greed of the rulers, fighting amongst the Muslim nations, absence of democracy, suppression and repression of their citizens. Thus unless and until the Arab world sets its own house in order and inculcates the true Islamic spirit of universal brotherhood, they would remain a sitting duck for the super power of the day.

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Islam Gets Official Status in Croatia

Belgrade: The Croatian Government has accorded official status to Islam. Islam would now be recognised as one of the religions practised in the country, which was part of the Federation of Yugoslavia till a decade ago. This was disclosed by the leader of the Croatian Muslims, Shouki Umar Bashiek in an interview with the Makkab based, Alam Al Islam weekly. Muslims make up only three per cent of the population in Croatia. The official recognition would now allow the community to set up its schools, the Muslim marriages would have the legal sanctity, religious and charitable institutions would be exempt from tax, masjid and Islamic centres can come up under due process of law. Muslim citizens would enjoy all civic liberties and religious publications can be set up.

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FBI Reaches Out to Muslims

New York: The FBI is visiting metropolitan area mosques in what officials call an attempt to improve relations with local Muslims. Some Muslim leaders say, however, that while they welcome the agents, they remain suspicious of the federal agency’s motives. “The more people know about what we actually do, the more likely they would be to report information to us, either about being victimised, or information that would be of use to us,” said James Margolin, special agent and spokesman for the New York office of the FBI. Margolin said the agency also wants to counter the apparently widespread notion that the FBI spies on U.S. Muslims. Some local Muslims now say that while they welcome the FBI to their mosques, they remain resentful about what they called a widespread anti-Muslim bias. “Some of our people are afraid now to go to the mosque,” said Zein Rimawi, an activist with the Arab Muslim American Federation, an umbrella group representing a number of mosques in the city.

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Muslims Boycott CRE Media Awards

London: Muslim leaders have accused the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) of being insensitive to Muslim views by continuing to hold their annual media awards during Friday prayers. Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), Iqbal Sacranie and Editor of The Muslim News, Ahmed Versi both boycotted the Race in the Media Awards after having their complaints rejected by the CRE. Dr Abdul Bari, the Deputy Secretary-General of the MCB, described the timing of the awards between 11.45 am and 3.30 pm as “highly insensitive”. It was “no wonder why the CRE is so unpopular with Muslims,” he told The Muslim News. Acting chair person of the CRE, Beverly Bernard at the time of the invitations did not have the courtesy to reply to a letter from The Muslim News. Instead, a response was delegated to chief executive, Daniel Silverstone, who said it was an “oversight” and would take account of this, but only for subsequent events.

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Conference on the Holy Quran

Sharjah: Around 43 Islamic research papers will be debated during a two-day conference on the Holy Quran organised under the patronage of Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah and Prof. Mohammed Al Zohaili, Dean of the College of Shariah and Islamic Studies. The conference is being organised in collaboration with the Holy Quran and Sunnah Association and the support of the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA). Five main Islamic topics will be discussed at nine sessions during the conference and the topics will cover many contemporary Islamic issues such as the use of advanced techniques for teaching Holy Quran, role of Islamic government schools and the interpretations and translations of the Holy Quran.

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Islamic Solidarity Games in Makkah and Madinah

Riyadh: The Islamic Solidarity Games would be held in Makkah and Madinah in 2005 (1426 AH), and will be hosted by Saudi Arabia. The games would include football, volleyball, basketball, handball, swimming, athletics, javelin throwing, horse-jumping, table tennis and several others. The games are aimed at cementing the bonds of friendship between Muslim youth from various parts of the Muslim world, and will be organised by the Sports Federation for Islamic Solidarity, an organ of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), and the Saudi Arabian Youth Welfare Organization.

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Aborigines Embrace Islam

Sydney: Several Australian Aborigines have embraced Islam, most of them in their youth, who said that they took the step after being convinced that Islam was the righteous religion. It is estimated that there already are 1,000 Muslims among the Aborigines. The Aborigines in Australia are the most neglected community, and unemployment is very rampant among them. The Aborigines came into contact with Islam over 150 years ago, when Afghan camel herders were used by the Whites to help them in exploring the central parts of Australia and constructing the railway line. Muslims in Australia have been under intermittent harassment since the explosions that took place in Bali, Indonesia, at the end of last year.

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Oldest Muslim District to be Protected

Beijing: The ancient city of Shaian, in the northwest of China, has approved the implementation of a programme, for the protection and preservation of the oldest Muslim residential district in the city. The landmarks that dot the district date back to the Hun dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) and the Tang dynasty (618 – 907 AD). According to the programme, a commercial area would be confined to the sale of Islamic food, while mosques and other Islamic facilities would also be created. The total area of the locality is 1.8 square km and the total number of Muslims in the whole city is now estimated at 60,000. The project has been granted aid to the tune of US$ 4,000,000 from the Norwegian Government, and the first phase of the project has already been implemented.

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Egyptian Researcher Turns
Desert into Fertile Land

Cairo: At present, 1.1 billion people lack access to clean water, nearly all of them in developing countries. And although there seems to be an abundance of this resource, only 2.53% of it is freshwater, two thirds of which are locked up in glaciers and permanent snow cover. One of the most tremendous strains on freshwater resources is from agriculture, with irrigation of crops in hot, dry countries accounting for 70% of all the water use in the world. In an attempt to challenge this threat to sustaining life on our planet, Egypt’s Soil, Water and Environment Research Institute has made a call to cultivate the desert using sea water. In a recent study, the Institute turned barren desert into fertile land by successfully growing crops in various types of desert soils, using water of very high salinity for irrigation. Muhammad Al-Shathli, assistant researcher at the Institute, conducted the experimental study whereby he successfully grew crops like wheat, rice, corn and sunflower in various types of soil, including sedimentary, sandy, and limed soils, using saline water.

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Exhibition on Veil Offends Muslims

London: The touring exhibition produced by inIVA (Institute of International Visual Arts) that goes on show at the New Art Gallery Walsall, England every year has created controversy. ‘Veil’ consists of the work of 20 international artists, all of whom take up the subject of the veil and its meaning in a global society. The artistic trio known as AES Group is responsible for the censored images. AES is an acronym for the last names of this Russian Jewish art collaboration from Moscow. Tatiana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovitch and Evgeny Svyatsky’s contribution to Veil is a set of two digitally enhanced images entitled, The Witness of the Future: Islamic Project . The first controversial image, New Freedom, 2006, is an altered image of the statue of liberty veiled with a Qur’an in her arm. The second image, London, 2006, features the House of Parliament with the domed roof of a mosque. The Walsall Borough Council felt that the images evoked feelings of tension in consideration of the current political situation. According to a BBC Black Country survey to poll the support of the Borough in the censorship of the artwork, the majority of the comments submitted to the BBC are supportive of the Borough’s decision to ban the works from the exhibition. The images have proven to be offensive to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It seems that the biggest controversy comes from a lack of understanding of the artists’ intent. Are the images critical of Islam or of globalization?

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