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Latest News
  • 01/08/2018

    I beckon Christians and Muslims to rethink their relationships, since our world is threatened by militant extremism and aggressive materialism, in fact it is on the verge of destroying humanity, how can we stand aloof and watch this spectacle of destruction, we constitute more than half of the entire humanity. The world needs our peace so it too can have peace. I can present many arguments that clearly reveal several points of convergence amongst us:
    We both believe in One Almighty God
    We both submit to the Divine will and surrender before him
    With so much in common, why can we not work together? How can we narrow the ‘us and them gap’? If 22 countries of the Europe Union can work together despite having so many cultural, political and social differences only for their economic betterment. Why can’t the Abrahamic faiths not work together? It is an age-old problem of ignorance, stereotypes and unwillingness to go beyond our preconceived notions of each other and possibly failure to recognise our commonalities. I urge my Christians friends and fellow Muslims to seek a deeper level of fellowship and understanding amongst ourselves so they can be the true advocates of peace in a global village, which is on the verge of severe conflict. As we get to know one another better we will build trust and move beyond accusations and isolated circles and begin to take constructive actions together. This requires a constant and thoughtful dialogue with the aim of:
    Understanding each other and affirming our great moral and spiritual values we hold in common
    Build relationships that can encourage critical self evaluation
    Recognise that our histories have in many ways shaped our negative attitudes towards one another and we must not let our histories restrain our present and future relationships
    Explore the opportunities to work together to build a morally and spiritually healthy society around us
    Babies babble, they make noises, which are un-intelligent however, when baby Jesus speaks it makes a lot of sense not only does it make sense it is full of pearls of wisdom, here is a conversation the glorious Quran narrates about Jesus (peace be upon him) as he vehemently defends the purity and chastity of his mother “he said I am a servant of God, he has granted me the Gospels, made me a Messenger, made me blessed where ever I may be. He commanded me to pray, to give charity as long as I live, to cherish my mother. He did not make me domineering or graceless. Peace was on me the day I was born, peace will be on me the day I die and peace on me the day I am raised to life” (Maryam; 30-33).
    This is a welcome occasion for me to practice and implement a striking verse of glorious Quran:
    “… You will find nearest in affection to (Muslims) are those who say, ‘We are Christians’ since amongst them are priests and monks who are not arrogant. When they listen to that which was revealed to the Messenger, you will see their eyes fill with tears as they recognise its truth” (Maida: 82).
    What a positive message for the entire society and the whole of Britain. And how true was this prediction in later Islamic history when we see excellent relationships between Jews and Muslims and Christians and Muslims. The holy Quran praises the Christian Priests and Monks by describing their friendly character towards the Muslims, the Quran is encouraging Muslims to develop these virtues so that they too can build a harmonious relationships with others. As religious people it is imperative that we develop friendship which grows beyond just a dialogue.
    I would like to commend the World Congress of Overseas Pakistanis (WCOP) for being courageous to organise this dinner to celebrate the coming of Christmas, they have shown maturity of Faith and revealed the depth of their insight into the needs of our time, a scary time of strife and struggle. I believe that such gatherings will encourage many more Muslims and Christians to boldly accept interfaith harmony as a part of our daily life.
    For me interfaith work is not just a talking shop nor a place of mere dialogue but a means of developing human relations, characterised by lasting friendships, partnerships and networks based on trust that creates a truly caring society. Something that should be at the heart of all of us, an organisation that carries out this work very effectively isthe Christian Muslim forum, an organisation that I had the privilege of serving as a president and later as a chairman, the aims of the forum are:
    To weave a web of open, honest and committed personal relationships between leading Christians and Muslims.
    To encourage shared reflections on the spiritual, ethical and practical values of the two traditions in order to offer resources for citizenship in our society.
    To develop channels of communication to help Christians and Muslims together to respond to events which test our relationship by: Musharraf Husain

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  • 01/01/2018

    Allah says “If he comes walking I will come running to him” (Hadith Qudsi). The path of submission and devotion to Allah is a laborious one, strewn with thorns and scarped with potholes. There are vast spaces of arid deserts to cross as well as perilous jungles. It requires enormous courage and bags of enthusiasm to reach the  destination. However, Allah is most Merciful and Gracious, He does not leave the seeker of truth wandering in the wilderness. He comes to every sincere seeker, holds their hand and leads them on the path. The following verses allude to this:

    As for those who strive hard in our cause, we shall most certainly guide them onto paths that lead unto us, for behold God is indeed with the doers of good” (Ankabut: 69).

    This heralds good news for the passionate and enthusiastic believer as it helps to transform the torturous path into a path carpeted with scented roses. ‘Strive hard’ which commentators define as: ‘Jihad’ and ‘Mujahada’ meaning to expend whatever capability one has defending against an enemy. There is an external enemy and an internal enemy. To fight in the battlefield is jihad and to strive hard against Shaitan and the human ego is an even greater jihad, known as Mujahada.

    The preposition ‘Feena’; ‘in us’ or ‘in our cause’ excludes all those whose motives are other than the Divine path. The people who strive to gain Divine pleasure or countenance. A man once asked the Messenger (peace be upon him) about a man who fights in battle but for the name of his people, or his personal gain, he tells him there is nothing good in him, the reward is only for those who have no such ulterior motive. Those who are enthusiastic, passionate and yearning for divine pleasure, “Behold Allah is with such Righteous people”. He is their supporter, helper and guardian who is always with them. What a great honour! Men who spend their every joule of energy in Allah’s way are welcomed with open arms as beautifully described in this Hadith:

    Allah says: “When my seeker draws a hand-span near me, I come an arms length to him, when he comes near me an arms length, I draw near to him two arms lengths. If he comes walking I come running to him” (Muslim reported by Anas).

    With such promises why shouldn’t the true seeker strive? The beloved Messenger (peace be upon him) would stand in the night vigil for so long that his feet would swell and start bleeding. His wife Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) could not bear to see this and would lament, “O Messenger, why do you do this? You are sinless!” He would reply “Why shouldn’t I want to be a grateful servant of my Lord?”

    How much time, effort and wealth do we expend in Allah’s way? We can measure the degree of our relationship with Him by quantifying our struggle. How well do you think you will fair on a scale of 1-10? Where 1 is least effort and 10 the effort of our venerable ancestors. Make this your new year’s resolution to go up a few points.

    The sacrifice of Ibrahim provides us with a beautiful example of serving the Lord. The wish to please Allah at any cost is a real challenge for us in an age of plenty and abundance. Can we control our carnal desires and work for Divine pleasure? May Allah guide us and protect us all.

    Have a happy and prosperous new year!   By Musharraf Husain

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  • 12/14/2017

    The Knowledge Exchange Program will be hosted by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in cooperation with the Arabic Language Institute at King Abdul Aziz University in the State of Japan, which will include a number of students at an intensive Arabic language course from 12 October to 21 December 2017.

    The delegation is divided into two divisions, one for the junior level (A1) and the other for the intermediate level (B1) according to the European language learning framework. The program offers students four language skills (160) hours in six weeks.
    The program also included a number of cultural, social and recreational activities, including a visit to the historic area of Jeddah, the beaches, parks, markets and museums, and the desert where the delegation was acquainted with photos of the life of the desert, as well as a visit to the Shifa region in Taief. The institute also organized a visit to the two Holy Mosques for Muslim students.

    The programs and activities included a tour of the two parts of the university and its facilities, and several social visits hosted by the staff of the Institute. The students expressed their pleasure in participating in the course and their great benefit, in addition to their knowledge of the Arab and Islamic culture. Students also expressed their admiration for Saudi hospitality and hospitality.

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  • 12/13/2017

    The participants in the symposium “The Ethical Approach to Peaceful Coexistence” expressed their appreciation for the prominent role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in sponsoring projects to fight extremism and spread moderation through the institutions and bodies it established.
    In a statement issued at the end of the two-day sposered by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, in collaboration with the University of Wales in Wales, UK, they stressed the importance of the role of Islam and other religions in the positive construction of the ethics of peaceful coexistence. And encourage knowledge exchange among followers of religions and cultures as the best way to achieve understanding and coexistence among peoples.
    And called for the establishment of specialized workshops organized by the Knowledge Exchange Program about cocepts such as Mercy, Justice, stressing the importance of the seminar as the beginning of a long and ongoing relationship between the program and the University of Wales and the Council of Muslims of Wales; to achieve common goals and promote dialogue and exchange of knowledge between Islam and the West.
    They stressed the need to build scientific content on religions, especially the ethical foundations agreed upon by humanity and not to offend the religious and historical symbols of religions and cultures, stressing the importance of the strong relationship between language and culture and the importance of teaching languages ​​to convey and promote knowledge exchange.
    The participants called for the continuation of the KEP programs in the follow-up of the series of seminars, suggesting that the next symposium be on “Human relations in religious texts”.
    Finally, they thanked the Ministry of Islamic Affairs for sponsoring the symposium, the Knowledge Exchange Program, the University of Wales and the Council of the Muslims of Wales for organizing them.
    At the end of the closing ceremony of the symposium, souvenirs were exchanged on this occasion.

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  • 12/13/2017

    The Minister Advisor and General Supervisor of the Knowledge Exchange Program at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dr. Abdullah bin Fahd Al-Lheedan signed a memorandum of cooperation in the fields of translation, printing and publishing studies between the Knowledge Exchange Program and the vice chancellor of the University of Wales, UK.
    The Memorandum of Understanding included the University of Wales’ cooperation in the field of translation and publications in books in Islamic studies as defined by the Knowledge Exchange Program of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.
    The agreement also includes the establishment of joint activities such as seminars, study days and workshops serving the objectives of parties in S. Arabia, U.k or any other country agreed upon.

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  • 12/13/2017

    The Knowledge Exchange Program of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs organized a seminar entitled “Moral Approach to Peaceful Coexistence” on Tuesday and Wednesday 5-6 December 2017 at the University of Wales in the United Kingdom.
    Dr. Abdullah Al-Lheedan, Advisor to the Minister of Islamic Affairs and supervisor of the program of knowledge exchange said: The discussion of the symposium centered on: (Morality and coexistence : Theoretical determination, the role of knowledge exchange in promoting peaceful coexistence and religious coexistence. Islam and The West: challenges and opportunities for peaceful coexistence).
    The most prominent speakers at the symposium were Michael Okton of the University of Wales, Mustafa Seric, former Mufti of Bosnia, Dr. Adel Al-Shadi Professor of Islamic studies of King Saud University in Riyadh, Dr. Angus Slater of the University of Wales, Cartieron Robertson of the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Forum,and Yasser Ba Btain From King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah.
    Dr. Al Lheedan said: Knowledge communication is one of the most important pillars of the definition of civilizations and countries. It leads to communication and building bridges with individuals, groups and institutions, popular and civil and international universities.
    He added that the Kingdom enjoys great weight and prestige at all regional and international levels because it is the most important forces of moderation in the region, its economic strength and moderate policies, and the fact that it is the country of the two Holy Mosques and the heart of Muslims. All these factors make the Kingdom the focus of the Islamic world after God, In addressing Islamic and international issues.

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  • 12/10/2017

    Unlike other world religions, Islam is in an unprecedented focus equally by its apologists and islamophobists. The apologists argue that Islam is a religion of peace (salām) and moderation (wasat), whereas islamophobeists say that Islam is a religion of terror (irhāb) and extremism (tetarruf). The former quote from the Qur’an and the Sunnah to prove their point, while the latter take violent acts carried by some Muslims to prove their case. It seems that no one is winning this quite controversial debate about a religion, which has brought about so much good to the world culture and civilization, but some people seem to be confused about its real message.

    The great Egyptian scholar Muhammad Abdullah Draz (1894–1958) has spared us time and effort proving that there is an Islamic ethics independent from Greek ethical thought. In his master theses “La Morale Koran”, which was prepared in France during World War II, Shaikh Draz has remarkably proven the fact that the Holy Qur’an contains the teachings of ethics and morality in its own right. Indeed, he was awarded for it the degree of Ph.D. in 1947 at Paris-Sorbonne University. This doctoral theses was published in a form of book in French language by Al-Azhar in 1950 and then translated into Arabic in 1973 by Dr. Abd Al-Saboor Shaheen under the title: “دستور الاخلاق في القرآن”. Taking into account theoretical and practical aspects of an Qur’anic authentic ethics and morality, Sheikh Draz dealt with key ethical and moral issues such as the issue of moral obligation (الالزام), moral responsibility (المسؤولية), moral consequence (الجزاء), moral intention and motivations ((النيّة والدوافع, and hard work (الجهد).

    Obviously, our task here is not to dwell on Sheikh Druz’s theses in its entirety but to point out that Sheikh Druz demonstrated that the often cited complaint that there is no an independent Islamic ethical and moral thought except what some Muslim scholars have inherited from the Greek ethical thought has no ground whatsoever. This complaint often starts with the great Muslim ethical scholar Abū ʿAlī Aḥmad ibn Muhammad Miskawayh (d. 1030), a Persian of the Buyid era. Indeed, Miskawayyh was a Neoplatonist, whose book ” تهذيب الاخلاق وتطهير الاعراق“ (“Refinement of Character”) is a reflection of the Greek ethical thought with an Islamic cultural touch. However, the first significant step of departure from the Greek ethical and moral stigma which has been sticked to the Muslim ethical and moral thought had been made by the great Muslim scholar Abu al-Qasim Al-Raghib Al-Isfahani (d. 1108). His book ”كتابالذزيعة إلي مكارم الشريعة“ (“A Path Toward the Ethics of al-Shari’ah”) is unique for the very fact that the great Imam al-Ghazali (d.1111) used to hold it in his packet for consulting it wherever he was going. This book though is not unique only because it had made a significant break through from the mere Greek moral thought, but also because it has introduced a new approach toward ethics and morality in Islam in terms of making the science of ethics and morality the core principle of Shari’ah, the God’s Law as such. The Al-Raghib Al-Isfahani’s statement that all moral actions are worship, but all worships are not necessarily moral action is really fascinating: – Be aware, Al-Isfahani said, the worship is more general than moral action. Hence, all moral actions are worship, but all worships are not necessarily moral action… It is not fitting for man to be God’s vicegerent on Earth, nor to perform his worship properly, nor to build his place on Earth if he is not of a pure soul that is cleaned of its filth and its dirt. For, the soul has its dirt as the body has its dirt. However, the body’s dirt is seen with the naked eye whereas the soul’s dirt is seen only by the eye of insightful mind or intelligence. And the reason why man without pure soul does not fit to be the God’s vicegerent is because vicegerency is an imitation of it as much as humanly possible in terms of acquiring a sort of divine actions… Because the one whose soul is not clean means that his word and his action are not clean either because each man is behaving in accordance with his inner being…

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  • 11/05/2017

    By MOHAMMED ALYAHYA
    The word “Wahhabism” has become a boogeyman in the West, deemed responsible for the radicalization of Muslims around the world. And since Wahhabism is a strain of Islam that has its origins in the Arabian Peninsula and is the dominant religious doctrine of Saudi Arabia, that country is often viewed as the prime culprit in the propagation of violent extremism.
    But blaming Wahhabism and Saudi Arabia for Islamist radicalism is a dangerous red herring. This single-cause explanation distracts from the complex political, economic and psychological reasons people join terrorist groups. In doing so, it impedes our ability to effectively fight terrorism.
    Wahhabism is, in fact, a loaded, anti-Saudi synonym for Salafism, a puritanical strain of Islam that encourages emulating the “salaf,” or predecessors, the first followers of the Prophet Muhammad. Salafism has historically been apolitical and the overwhelming majority of Salafis are not violent.
    Most Islamist militants have nothing to do with Saudi Wahhabism. The Taliban, for example, are Deobandis, a revivalist, anti-imperialist strain of Islam that emerged as a reaction to British colonialism in South Asia. Most members of Al Qaeda follow a radical current that emerged from the Muslim Brotherhood, a movement that defined itself largely in relation and opposition to the West and its values. While some terrorists do identify as Salafi, Islamic sects that are ideologically opposed to Salafism — Naqshbandi Sufis and Shiites, among others — have engaged in violent jihad in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.
    And yet much of the Western news media and far too many pundits put forward a different picture entirely, pinning the blame for terrorism on Wahhabi ideology emanating from Saudi Arabia. These arguments lead one to imagine that European terrorists end up joining the Islamic State by wandering the streets of Paris or Brussels and stumbling upon a Saudi-funded mosque. In this mosque, they read a single book, “The Book of Monotheism,” by Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab, the 18th-century sheikh who founded Wahhabism. A week later, the book’s fundamentalist message inspires them to travel to Syria’s front lines or to plot terrorist attacks in Europe.

    The reality is much more complex. Most of the perpetrators of terrorist attacks in Europe have been petty criminals who were known to drink alcohol and take drugs. Their radicalization has little to do with theology. Some European Muslims reportedly purchased books like “Islam for Dummies” before embarking on journeys to take part in jihad in Syria. What they all have in common is a belief that the Muslim world and the West are locked in an irreconcilable clash of civilizations.
    It is similarly inaccurate to condemn Wahhabism or Saudi Salafism for the jihadist groups that have emerged in the Arab world in recent years. Tunisians account for the largest foreign population in the Islamic State. The group’s top ranks emerged from Iraq. Syria, of course, is a hotbed of jihadists of all stripes. And yet, these countries until recently were ruled by secular dictators, who banned Saudi missionary activities and, in the case of Iraq and Syria, viewed Saudi Arabia as an adversary.
    On the other hand, Saudi Arabia has been engaged in missionary activities in India, building mosques, schools and social service centers. And yet barely any jihadists have emerged from among India’s population of more than 170 million Muslims.
    The revival of a politicized form of radical Islam, which has been taking place in the Arab world since the 1970s, is not driven just by ideology, but by the failure of Arab governments to meet the expectations of their own populations and the brutal reprisals they have employed to quell demands for better, more transparent governance. Like the social and psychological alienation that drives some European Muslims to join extremist groups, this root cause must be addressed in order to truly fight terrorism.
    There is no doubt that while certain strains of Salafism are intolerant, intolerance does not necessarily lead to terrorism. Ideological intolerance is a problem in its own right, one that carries risks and dangers and requires its own treatments. But conflating its dangers with the causes of violent extremism can diminish the effectiveness of serious counterterrorism efforts.
    It is Saudi Arabia — the country accused of promoting ideas that lead to violent extremism — that has effectively harnessed religion to fight radicalism. Saudi Arabia has fought Al Qaeda not only operationally, but also by countering its ideology with religious arguments. Scholars have been mobilized to condemn both terrorist acts and rhetoric. Salafi scholars have been instrumental in the success of the rehabilitation programs for those convicted of aiding and abetting terrorism.
    In the 1990s, Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, Abdul Aziz ibn Baz, issued a fatwa condemning suicide operations. The current grand mufti, Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh, is also on record advocating against Saudis’ joining groups fighting overseas and, in keeping with traditional Salafi teachings, has called on all Muslims to remain obedient to the legitimate leader’s dictates and avoid any form of organized political activism.
    Blaming Wahhabism or Salafism for violent radicalism is not merely an intellectual slip or an injustice to Salafis, it is a distortion that stands to obstruct fighting violent radicalism and understanding its causes. Any religious ideology adopted by radicals is often a mask for other issues. Blaming or even destroying an ideology like Salafism will not end radicalism.
    By The New York Times

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