Tag Archive | Muslims

Shab-i-Barat: The Night of Forgiveness*

Shab-i-Barat: The Night of  Forgiveness*

Faithful on Thursday night observe “Shab-i-Barat” with great religious reverence and fervour across the country.

With the setting of the sun, the faithful started gathering in mosques to offer special prayers for peace, progress, and prosperity of the country besides seeking forgiveness for their sins.

An illuminated view of Badshahi Mosque decorated with colorful lights on the eve of Shab-i-Barat.

 

Women release oil lamps and candles in the water of Ravi river, seeking forgiveness and repentance.

 

The people also organised several gatherings and Mahafil-i-Naat to achieve Allah Almighty’s blessing in the world and the life hereafter.

Religious scholars in their sermons highlighted the teachings of Islam and various aspects of the life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) so that the followers could lead their lives in line with the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Family members light lamps and pray at a grave of their relative. —AP

 

A woman reads the holy verses besides a grave of her relative at a graveyard in Karachi. —AP

 

Special prayers were offered to get rid of the menace of terrorism besides showing the right path to disgruntled people, playing in the hands of anti-state elements.

On this occasion, houses, streets and especially mosques were decorated with colorful pennants and bunting whereas at night these were well illuminated by means of electric lights, candles or even oil lamps.

People read holy verses near the graves of their relatives to mark the night of forgiveness. —AFP

 

Besides, people visited graves of their near and dear ones, seeking Allah’s blessings for the departed souls.

Special security arrangements were made for peaceful observance of “Shab-i-Barat”.

People attend a sermon at a mosque in Karachi.

 

Source*

Related Topics:

Layla-tul Bara’at

Prophet Muhammed (SAW) on Ramadhan

Ten Ways to Prepare for Ramadhan From Now*

Ramadhan Journey Across the Desert of the Sinai*

Freedom in Ramadhan*

Working and Staying Sane in Ramadhan*

Iran State TV Declares Rouhani Winner for 2nd Term*

Iran State TV Declares Rouhani Winner for 2nd Term*

Iran’s president casts his ballot during the presidential elections in Tehran, Iran May 19th – Reuters

 

Iran’s state television declared incumbent President Hassan Rouhani the winner of the country’s presidential election on Saturday, giving the 68-year-old cleric a second four-year term to see out his agenda calling for greater freedoms and outreach to the wider world.

State TV offered its congratulations in a brief statement Saturday, based on vote tallies. The latest election tallies released by the Interior Ministry showed Rouhani with a commanding lead of 59 percent, with 38.9 million votes counted.

Deputy Interior Minister Ali Asghar Ahmadi told journalists in a televised news conference earlier in the day that more than 40 million Iranians voted in Friday’s election. That puts turnout above 70%. In 2013, Rouhani won the presidential election with nearly 51% of the vote. Turnout for that vote was 73%.

As Rouhani appeared close to victory, some female drivers held out the V for victory sign and flashed their car lights on highways in Tehran’s affluent north.

Iran’s president is the second-most powerful figure within Iran’s political system. He is subordinate to the supreme leader, who is chosen by a clerical panel and has the ultimate say over all matters of state.

Election officials repeatedly extended voting hours until midnight to accommodate long lines of voters, some of whom said they waited hours to cast their ballots. Analysts have said a higher turnout would likely benefit Rouhani.

Friday’s vote was largely a referendum on Rouhani’s more moderate political policies, which paved the way for the landmark 2015 nuclear deal that won Iran relief from some sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

Women cast their ballots for the presidential election at a polling station in Lorzadeh mosque, Tehran

 

Rouhani has come to embody more liberal and reform-minded Iranians’ hopes for greater freedoms and openness at home, and better relations with the outside world.

His nearest challenger was hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi, with 15.5 million votes. He is close to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, who stopped short of endorsing anyone in the election. Raisi ran a populist campaign, vowing to fight corruption and fix the economy while boosting welfare payments to the poor.

Many of Raisi’s critics pointed to his alleged role condemning inmates to death during Iran’s 1988 mass execution of thousands of political prisoners, and feared a victory for the hard-liner could worsen human rights in Iran and put the country on a more confrontational path with the West.

The two other candidates left in the race, Mostafa Mirsalim, a former culture minister, and Mostafa Hashemitaba, a pro-reform figure who previously ran for president in 2001, respectively have 455,000 and 210,000 votes each.

Hashemitaba was among the first to predict an outright win for Rouhani as he offered his congratulations Saturday morning.

“Rouhani will apply his ever-increasing efforts for the dignity of Iran” in his next term, the reformist said.

Although considered a moderate by Iranian standards, Rouhani was nonetheless the favorite pick for those seeking more liberal reforms in the conservative Islamic Republic.

He appeared to embrace a more reform-minded role during the campaign as he openly criticized hard-liners and Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary force involved in the war in Syria and the fight against Islamic State militants in neighboring Iraq.

That gave hope to his supporters, who during recent campaign rallies called for the release of two reformist leaders of the 2009 Green Movement who remain under house arrest. The two figures, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi, both endorsed Raisi, as did Mohammad Khatami, another reformist who served as Iran’s president from 1997 to 2005.

Iran has no credible political polling to serve as harder metrics for the street buzz around candidates, who need more than 50 percent of the vote to seal victory and avoid a runoff. But what scant data that was available before the vote showed Rouhani in the lead.

The position of president is a powerful post. He oversees a vast state bureaucracy employing more than 2 million people, is charged with naming Cabinet members and other officials to key posts, and plays a significant role in shaping both domestic and foreign policy.

All candidates for elected office must be vetted, a process that excludes anyone calling for radical change, along with most reformists. No woman has ever been approved to run for president.

Ahmadi said the Interior Ministry expects to announce final results later Saturday.

Source*

Related Topics:

Russia, Iran, Turkey Reach Consensus on De-escalation Zones in Syria*

U.N. Praises Iran’s Exemplary Leadership in Hosting Refugees*

Iran Sticks to Nuclear Deal in Spite of Threats from Warmongers*

Iran Finally Ditched the Dollar: Here’s Why It Matters*

Macron an American Trojan horse in the Elysee Palace*

One Corrupt President Ousted*

A Sufi, a Sikh and Their Message of Love — A Journey from Lahore to Amritsar*

A Sufi, a Sikh and Their Message of Love — A Journey from Lahore to Amritsar*

By Taimur Shamil

Sufi music and architecture has always fascinated me. Consequently, I have taken it upon myself to explore the tribal areas of North Pakistan and the remote areas of Sindh to learn as much as I can about the Sufi culture.

During recent travels, I happened upon the shrine of renowned Sufi saint Hazrat Mian Mir of the Qadariyyah Sufi order in Lahore.

Pigeons are attracted to the serenity of shrine. —Photo by Abdullah Khan

 

The mosque area attached with the shrine. —Photo by Abdullah Khan

 

The shrine is situated in what T.S Eliot calls, “streets that follow like a tedious argument”.

The saint’s life history, however, contains clear messages of peace. His times were soon to be followed by cultural degradation and “insidious intents”.

Surrounded by a populated area, the shrine is home to many poor people to whom it provides free shelter, and food on Thursdays.

“Thursday evening is considered to be a Mubarak day for Sufis,” explained Ghulam Fareed, a Qawwal vocalist.

Him, along with other Qawwals, have been regular visitors at this shrine. He sings here because he feels the act gives him a sense of belonging.

“This shrine has given us an identity.”

Devotees at the shrine. —Photo by Abdullah Khan

 

Singing qawwalis here also helps them make a living. After interacting with a few Qawwals, I realised that it’s not just mere appreciation and money; these Qawwals spoke with a sense of purpose as well.

To them, Sufi singing is a way to spread the message of unity and harmony, and they take immense pride in it.

Here, every Thursday, Qawwals sing in the courtyard of the shrine, while men and women clap and sway to the rhythm. Some men dance in ecstasy, some sing along, while others pay their tributes to the saint by bowing in front of his grave.

The air is filled with the mixed scent of roses and locally-made incense. Salvers of sweets and other food items are distributed among the crowd, both inside and outside of the shrine.

There are certain food items that are specific to the Sufi shrines in Lahore and can be found around Mian Mir; for instance, Qatlaammay (desi pizza) and Doodh Badam (milk with nuts).

Vendors selling food. —Photo by Abdullah Khan

 

On the outskirts of the shrine, vendors swarm the place. They sell dahi baray, chaat, sharbat and samosas to the visitors.

One of the samosa vendors, Akbar Shakir feels he doesn’t belong in the posh areas of Lahore, only here in the street next to the shrine.

“Quality is not ensured at these rairrhis but is it ensured at the hotels?” questioned Aleem Khan, a visitor to the darbar.

“After seeing what’s going on in expensive food chains that people dine in, I think we are better off over here,” he added, pointing to the samosa carts close by.

A woman lighting up a chiraagh — a ritual mostly seen at Sufi shrines in the sub-continent. —Photo by Abdullah Khan

 

Women constitute a huge number of devotees here.

“I was sick for the last two years,” said Sakeena, 32.

“I went to many doctors and hakeems but no one knew what my problem was. I took medicines but nothing worked. Then one day, my mother asked me to go to the shrine and pray for myself. I am much better since then. I believe that Awlia (friends of God) have the power to make things work for you,” she added thoughtfully.

Women at the shrine. —Photo by Abdullah Khan

 

People reciting the Qur’an inside the shrine. —Photo by Abdullah Khan

 

Historically, I learned, Mughal royals and nobility would frequent the Shrine of Mian Mir religiously.

According to local and British historians, Dara Shikoh had given orders to build the mausoleum of Mian Mir Shikoh. He was a Mughal prince with Sufi and mystical inclinations. He strongly believed in social harmony and a peaceful co-existence.

Shikoh authored several books on Sufism, and wrote a treatise on Bhagavad Gita (a sacred book on Hinduism). His book Sakinatul Aulia is dedicated to the life and works of Mian Mir.

Shikoh’s intellectual pursuits made him strive for a heterogeneous culture and harmony in the subcontinent — an important ingredient that was much needed in the 17th century as much as it is required now.

Students of history, who are proponents of a pluralistic society, mourn the execution of this philosopher prince who was killed by his puritan brother Aurangzeb Alamgir. Many modern-day historians are of the view that Shikoh was the bearer of the legacy of King Akbar whose stance was Sulh-e-Kul (Peace with all) — a stance that Sufis, too, have taken.

On my most recent visit to the shrine, I met many Sikh yatris who had come to pay homage to this great saint. Many of them were from Pakistan, while some had come from India. Mostly Sikh Yatris come here during the birthday celebration of Guru Nanak.

What makes the Sikhs visit the Shrine of Mian Mir? I was curious to know. I met a group of Sikhs and asked them.

Mian Mir’s grave covered with flowers while people recite the Quran. —Photo by Abdullah Khan

 

“To us, Mian Mir Sahab is as divine as the saints of Sikhism,” replied Diljeet, who came to visit the shrine from Ferozepur, India.

Sufis and Gurus, and their message, transcends geographical and cultural boundaries. “They are the beacons of light,” added Gursavek, another devotee.

The Golden Temple. —Photo by Fatema Imani

 

Mian Mir was an icon of unity, tolerance and love during and after the Mughal era. According to Sufi as well as Sikh traditions, Mian Mir laid the foundation of, what is now known as, the Golden Temple Amritsar, also known as Harminder Sahib.

Mian Mir is said to have travelled from Lahore to Amritsar on the invitation of Guru Arjun Dev, the fifth Guru of Sikhs, who asked Mian Mir for his blessings.

The story goes that Mian Mir was revered by Guru Arjun Dev. Both were divine figures of their respective religions, had mutual respect for each other and also had a similar notion: respect for humanity.

The goal of human life, according to Sufis, is to realise the divinity within; irrespective of cast, creed and religion. Harminder Sahib, in this sense, is more of a cultural hub for the people of Punjab; it is a place where self-actualisation is promoted. It is also marked as a Gurdawar — literally meaning Lord’s door or the door of the Guru.

On these grounds. Mian Mir laid the foundation of a worship place of a nascent religion.

It is noteworthy that Garanth Sahab, the holy book of the Sikh faith, includes the kalaam (poetry/works) of renowned Sufis like Baba Fareed of the Chishtiyyah Sufi order.

And hence, aptly, the kalaam of popular Sikh poet Ravidas jee resounds at the Shrine of Mian Mir in Lahore today as a reminder of humanity and tolerance, echoed by this shrine’s existence.

In today’s era of chaos and war, such places of religious and ethnic harmony always manage to leave the heart at peace, if only for a little while.

Source*

Related Topics:

My Experience as a non-Muslim going Undercover with Britain’s Sufi Muslims*

Sufism Healing the Soul in Gaza*

The Love of Spring Equinox, Nowruz and the First Male Convert, Sufi Style*

The Symbols of the Whirling Dervishes of the Mevlevi Order*

China Increases DNA Testing of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang Region*

Prophet Muhammed (SAW) on Ramadhan

Living in the Moment and Our Duty to Serve Creation

pThe Centre of Consciousness is One’s Heart*

China Increases DNA Testing of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang Region*

China Increases DNA Testing of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang Region*

China has began the logistical groundwork for the mass collection of DNA from Uighur Muslims of the Xinjiang region, human rights observers have said.

Police in the Muslim-dominated Xinjiang region confirmed to The Associated Press that they are in the process of buying more than $8.7 million worth of equipment to analyse DNA samples.

Human Rights Watch observers said they have witnessed evidence of almost $3 million in extra purchases related to DNA testing.

They added that such a collection programme could be used for authorities to justify increase their political control.

The decision comes after Chinese authorities allegedly required Xinjiang residents to submit DNA samples in 2015, as well as voice records and fingerprints.

Chinese authorities who are determined to counter “Islamist extremism” among Uighur Muslim have implemented very draconian measures to fulfil their political objectives.

Policies included banning women from wearing the hijab and niqab, prohibiting men from keeping beards, forcing Muslims in the public sector not to fast in Ramadan and mandatory satellite tracking devices for vehicles.

Source*

Related Topics:

Modern Day Colonnialism: The Uyghurs versus China*

China orders Muslim Businesses to Sell Cigarettes and Alcohol*

Islam and Martial Arts: China’s Hui Muslim Tradition*

China punishes Uyghur’s for Studying their Religion Outside State Control*

China Criminalizes 25 more Uyghurs*

The West’s Engineered Buddhist-Muslim Conflict in Thailand*

U.S, U.K., Israel, China, Saudia behind Myanmar’s Rohingya Genocide*

China Continues to Repress Ramadhan*

Muslims Arrested for Joining Terror Group That Doesn’t Exist*

 

Muslims Launch the World’s First Islamic Sign Language Book*

Muslims Launch the World’s First Islamic Sign Language Book*

Did you know nine out of ten deaf children are born to hearing parents? Well, meet Zakariyya, a 19-year-old deaf teenager who was also born to hearing parents. For many children like Zakariyya, although he grew up in a loving and supportive home his communication and language barriers have affected his ability to enjoy a normal life.

Zakariyya attended primary specifically catering for his needs who supported him with much of his language development. However at his first secondary school, like with many other deaf and hard of hearing children, had very low self-esteem and confidence. Zakariyya was often a sadly a victim of bullying and it was unfortunate that his peers would tease him, run away with his hearing aid or simply wind him up knowing that he could not verbally respond and react.

Zakariyya also had additional learning needs, which his first secondary school could not fully cater for. Though he had a chance to integrate in mainstream school with his hearing peers, his parents made a conscious decision to send him to a specialist deaf boarding college to meet his tailored learning needs.

However, although now he was settled, interacting with fellow deaf peers and his learning needs were now being catered for at the boarding school, Zakariyya unfortunately severely lacked many of his core social skills. Like many others, he would be taken and brought home in a special school bus arranged specifically for students with special needs.

This is the case for many deaf children and adults, as they have grown up only experiencing limited interactions beyond their own communities. Thus many tend to grow up feeling isolated, neglected, and frustrated with limitations on many aspects of their everyday lives and in fact eventually suffer from depression, anxiety and other similar conditions.

Alhamdulillah it was fortunate that Zakariyya, through his local council disability service was paired with a family link supporter named Aminul Hoque who was trained in BSL (British Sign Language). Aminul was responsible for delivering stimulating play and social activities such as football and bowling, as well as introducing new ‘first time’ life experiences to Zakariyya, like travelling by train, going shopping and eating in public restaurants. His parents were so happy with the impact this had on their son: 

“We are grateful for such encounters, which have enormously contributed to the progressive development of Zakariyya’s routines, behavior and positive interactions at home and school.”

However many children across London and the U.K. don’t have access to such services due to Government funding cuts. Four in ten parents (38%) said their disabled children ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ have the opportunity to socialise with non-disabled children. (Source: Scope & Mumsnet)

Aminul continued to mentor Zakariyya and maintain relations with his family, as Zakariyyah and his sister Suraiyah were chosen to feature in a ‘deaf-friendly’ special campaign video by Amin & Yasmin.

ABOUT AMIN and YASMIN

Amin and Yasmin themselves are also brother and sister, whom many years ago both embarked on the pursuit of learning British Sign Language (BSL). During their journey and interactions with members of the deaf community and their families, they realized the growing concern and limited access globally for deaf friendly Islamic educational resources.

They have launched an incredible campaign to raise funds for the World’s first Islamic Sign Language Book series in BSL along with a digital app and other educational resources.

They want to empower Deaf Muslims and improve family bonds through fun, interactive ‘deaf-friendly’ resources and bridge the communication and social skills gap between communities.

YOU are invited to support this awesome campaign by following this link;

  • Contribute & Donate – Sponsor part of the campaign even if just one book, with a generous donation today!
  • Gift a book to child, sibling, parent, cousin or nephew/niece.
  • Share – Please spread the word about this unique project through your personal social media and in conversations with family, friends and colleagues.

Source*

Related Topics:

The aql is not Reason – it’s Consciousness*

The Healing Power of Fasting*

Ramadhan a Beacon of Light in Jerusalem*

Slow Ramadhan Foods: Health Benefits of Yoghurt

Muslim Schoolboy Rejects £5mn from American Investors for Money-Saving Website*

Austrian President calls on All Women to Wear Hijab in Solidarity with Muslims against Islamophobia*

New Licenses Awarded to Muslim Radio Stations*

New Licenses Awarded to Muslim Radio Stations*

New Licenses Awarded to Muslim Radio Stations*

Broadcast regulator Ofcom has awarded community licenses to two Muslim radio stations in London.

Radio Minhaj, which will be run by the Minhaj-ul-Quran International organisation, will provide a community radio service for black, Asian and other ethnic minorities in Newham.

And Nomad Radio will provide a community radio service for the Somali community in Hammersmith and Fulham.

Community radio offers thousands of volunteers the chance to get involved in broadcasting across the UK. The last decade has seen the number of community radio stations increase from just a handful to more than 250 stations, each reflecting the local needs and interests of its audience.

Ismail Sethi, of Radio Minhaj, told 5Pillars that the new radio station has been given two years of planning and a five year license to operate from the time it launches.

He added: “It’s early days at the moment and we are in the planning stage but we obviously plan to launch before that two year deadline. And we may not even operate under the Radio Minhaj name. In terms of content we will aim to provide mostly Islamic entertainment and knowledge as well as build bridges with others for the sake of community cohesion and demolishing barriers.”

Mr Sethi said the people behind the new station would broadcast in Ramadan as Ramadhan FM 2017.

Source*

Related Topics:

How Social and Popular Media is Desensitising our Youth*

Media Blackout as Millions of Muslims March against ISIS in Iraq for Arbaeen*

Founder of George Soros backed Media Matters Caught Conspiring with Facebook and Google to Shut-down Independent Media*

The West’s Engineered Buddhist-Muslim Conflict in Thailand*

Over One Third of Nice Attack Victims Were Muslim*

A Muslim Chaplain Explains What It’s Like to Be American Today*

Teacher Fired for Yanking Hijab off Student’s Head*

Teacher Fired for Yanking Hijab off Student’s Head*

A New York City teacher was fired after allegedly removing the religious garment of an 8-year-old student. Safa, a Muslim girl, wears a hijab, a traditional head covering. When her substitute teacher at P.S. 176 in the Bronx, Oghenetega Edah, reportedly ripped it off of her in class, she was distraught,  and reported the incident to her father and the school. She says the teacher also injured her eye when he forcibly removed the hijab.

“I said you can’t because if you did, I will tell the principal,” Safa told WPIX.

“And he just started laughing and he took it off.”

Safa’s father left work right away and went to the school. He also called the police. While Edah was not arrested, he was fired, according to a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Education.

 “This individual was removed from the school immediately and his employment has been terminated,” the spokesperson said, calling the alleged action “completely unacceptable.”

“I was like, for why are we coming to school, for learning, or … to start taking hijabs off of Muslim girls,” Safa said.

Safa said she’s proud of herself for standing up for her beliefs.

“I feel so proud of myself that I handled myself up. Even though the teacher took off my hijab, I didn’t go to school without my hijab. And I’m proud of my religion,” she said.

Source*

Source*

Related Topics:

First U.S. Female Muslim Judge Found Dead in Hudson River*

Trump is About to Release His ‘Religious Freedom’ Order, and It’s Looking Awful*

U.S. Students form Protective Wall around Praying Muslim Classmates*

How Many Muslim Countries Has the U.S. Bombed Or Occupied Since 1980?*

U.S. Opposed to Sovereignty of Muslim Nations*

Legal Advocacy Groups Sue DHS for Info on Treatment of Muslims at Border Stops, Airports*

U.S. Embassy in London Insists on Interviewing Three Month Old Terror Suspect for Visa*

New Settlement Aims to Protect Muslims from Discriminatory NYPD Surveillance*