Archive for October, 2013

CINEMA-TV – Life of Turkish Sufi Yunus Emre adapted to screen

Friday, October 18th, 2013
The film on the life of Yunus Emre is being shot in 15 different Turkish cities to show the richness of the Anatolian land.

The film on the life of Yunus Emre is being shot in 15 different Turkish cities to show the richness of the Anatolian land.

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency

Turkish Sufi and poet Yunus Emre’s life is being adapted to the silver screen by director Kürşat Kızbaz, who previously made a film about Rumi that received big interest around the world. The film will be released in January 2014 with the title ‘Yunus Emre – the Sound of Love’

A new film will focus on the life of Turkish poet and Sufi Yunus Emre, who made a great contribution to the formation of culture and civilization in Anatolia. The film titled “Yunus Emre – Aşkın Sesi” (Yunus Emre – the Sound of Love) tells of Yunus Emre’s adventure in pursuit of “love.”

Speaking to Anatolia Agency, director of the film Kürşat Kızbaz said that he previously shot the film “Mevlana – Aşkın Dansı” (Rumi – The Dance of Love) and it was screened in 65 countries.

He said this time he was working on a film reflecting the love and peace philosophy of the intellectual Yunus Emre, adding that the preparation and shooting process of the film took more than three years.

Kızbaz said that the film was set to be released in the first month of 2014, adding, “This special project brings together many renowned names. Yunus Emre is played by Devrim Erin, the star of the highest-budget movie of the Turkish cinema history, ‘Fetih 1453’. A very special and experienced team of actors collaborated with him in the film. We will present the unique story of Yunus Emre to audiences on Jan. 10.”

Artists including Burak Sergen, Altan Erkekli, Altan Gördüm, Ahmet Mekin, Bülent Emin Yarar, Sinan Albayrak, Suna Selen, Nesimi Kaygusuz, Tamer Levent and Nilay Cafer are taking on roles in the film, said Kızbaz. “These names will appear as historical characters like Rumi, Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli, Tapduk Emre etc.”

War scenes shot in Van 

Kızbaz said they had set up a big place in the eastern province of Van for the Mongol war scenes, and added, “At the same time, we wanted to show all the colors and richness of Anatolia by shooting the film in 15 cities over four seasons.

“While depicting the life of Yunus Emre, who had an impact on the life of millions of people with his love, tolerance and peace philosophy, we received support from many institutions, including the Culture and Tourism Ministry.”

Noting that making such a film carried big responsibilities, Kızbaz said he was the director, producer and scriptwriter of the film and had undertaken a big responsibility in showing such a significant character to millions.

Since they knew the difficulties of reflecting the life of such a mystic character on the cinema screen, they had worked on the script and shooting preparations for more than two years, according to Kızbaz. He said they received invitations from many countries from India to the United States.

The film was shot in Kartepe, Nallıhan, Erciyes, Cappadocia and Hacıbektaş, said Kızbaz, adding that people living in those regions showed them great interest.

CINEMA-TV – Life of Turkish Sufi Yunus Emre adapted to screen.


No room for terrorism in Islam, says Grand Mufti –

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz

No room for terrorism in Islam, says Grand Mufti

Tuesday, October 15, 2013
From Print Edition

MOUNT ARAFAT, Saudi Arabia: Delivering the Haj sermon from Masjid-e-Nimra, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz on Monday said Islam was a religion of peace and condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

“Hell is the final abode for those spilling the blood of innocent human beings. Islam doesn’t allow terrorism at any cost. Islam condemns violence and terrorism plaguing the world today. Muslims should demonstrate love for peace and unity,” the Grand Mufti said.

He said Muslims throughout the world were going through difficult times and stressed that the global economic crisis could be controlled if the Islamic economic system was adopted. “Muslims should support the community by investing in their businesses,” he urged.

According to the Grand Mufti, Muslims were facing problems because they had forgotten the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). He said the life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) carried a solution to every problem. He called upon the Muslims to remain united, as success lay in their unity.

The Grand Mufti said: “The Holy Quran is the ultimate guidance for the entire humanity which should be implemented and acted upon.”“Oh Muslims be God-fearing, adopt taqwa (fear of Allah), shun earning money through un-Islamic means, hold fast to the rope of Allah and don’t divide into diverse schools of thought, get united against injustice,” the chief mufti urged hundreds of thousands of pilgrims.

Regarding the prevailing world economic crisis, he said Islam had given a comprehensive system of economy and urged the international community to strictly follow the Islamic economic system to resolve the crisis.

The Grand Mufti asked the leaders of the Muslim world to do their duties efficiently in line with Islamic teachings and spend all their resources on the welfare of their nations. He also urged the Muslim states to strengthen their military institutions. — INP

AFP adds: Some 1.5 million pilgrims thronged Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia on Monday for the high point of the annual Haj, praying for an end to disputes and bloodshed.Helicopters hovered overhead and thousands of troops stood guard to organise roads flooded with men, women and children.

Chanting “Labbaik Allahuma Labaik” (I am responding to your call, God), many of them camped in small colourful tents and took shelter undertrees to escape temperatures of around 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). Special sprinklers were set up to help cool the pilgrims.

In his annual sermon, top Saudi cleric Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh urged Muslims to avoid divisions, chaos and sectarianism, without explicitly speaking of the turmoil unleashed by the Arab Spring.

“Your nation is a trust with you. You must safeguard its security, stability and resources,” the cleric, who heads Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body, said in an address to the Muslim world.

“You should know that you are targeted by your enemy… who wants to spread chaos among you … It’s time to confront this.”Attendance is sharply down from last year, due to fears linked to the MERS virus and to multi-billion-dollar expansion work at the Grand Mosque to almost double its capacity to around 2.2 million worshippers.

Governor of Mecca province and head of the central Haj committee Prince Khaled al-Faisal said 1.38 million pilgrims had arrived from outside of the kingdom while only 117,000 permits were issued for domestic pilgrims.

This puts the total number of pilgrims this year at almost 1.5 million, less than half of last year’s 3.2 million, after Riyadh slashed Haj quotas.

Prince Khaled told the official SPA news agency late Sunday that authorities had ousted 70,000 nationals and expatriates for not carrying legal permits and had arrested 38,000 others for performing Haj without a permit.

Authorities have also seized as many as 138,000 vehicles for violating the Haj rules, and owners will be penalised, the prince said.Saudi health authorities have stressed that no cases of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus have been detected so far this pilgrimage.

The disease has killed 60 people worldwide, 51 of them in Saudi Arabia.The pilgrims arrived at Arafat from nearby Mina where most of them spent the night following the traditions of the Prophet Mohammed, who performed the rituals 14 centuries ago.

They had moved to Mina on Sunday from the holy city of Mecca, home to the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest place of worship, which houses the cube-shaped Kaaba towards which all Muslims pray five times daily.

On reaching Arafat, they crowded onto the hill and the vast plain surrounding it to pray until sunset, when they are due to set off for Muzdalifah for a ritual on Monday symbolising the stoning of the devil.

‘End to disputes and bloodshed’“I will pray the whole day for God to improve the situation for Muslims worldwide and an end to disputes and bloodshed in Arab countries,” 61-year-old Algerian pensioner Saeed Dherari said.

“I hope that God will grace all Muslims with security and stability,” said 75-year-old Ahmad Khader, who hails from the southern Syrian province of Daraa.

“The regime is tyrannical and I pray for God to help the oppressed people,” he said, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s embattled government.

Egyptian Ahmad Ali, who is performing Haj for the first time, prayed for peace after hundreds were killed in recent months in fighting between the security forces and the supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

“I pray for Egypt to enjoy security and stability and for the people to reach understanding and reconciliation,” Ali told AFP.The Haj, which officially ends on Friday, is one of the five pillars of Islam that every capable Muslim must perform at least once.


Church attack: Clerics say Taliban portraying negative picture of Islam – DAWN.COM

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Pakistani clerics speak during a press conference. – File Photo

Church attack: Clerics say Taliban portraying negative picture of Islam


LAHORE: The stance of Pakistani Taliban militants regarding attacks on Christian churches was contrary to the teachings of Islam, leading Pakistani clerics belonging to different schools of thought said on Saturday.

“Taliban’s view point that attacks on churches is in line with the principles of Islam is totally wrong and against the teaching of Islam,” said the clerics in a joint-statement.

Taliban were depicting a negative picture of Islam just to defame the peaceful religion, they said.

The spokesperson for the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Shahidullah Shahid, had claimed that a recent attack on a church in Peshawar was carried out in accordance with Shariah laws and that neither the TTP nor any of its umbrella groups were behind the twin suicide blasts.

Nazim-i-Aala Jamia Naeemia Maulana Raghib Hussain Naeemi, Chief of Pakistan Sunny Tehrike Sarwat Ijaz Qadri, President National Mushaikh Council Pir Khawaja Ghulam Qutubuddin, President Khairul Ummam Foundation Pir Karamat Ali, Vice President Tahafuz Namoos-i-Rasalat Mahaz Allama Pir Atthar Qadri and President Islamic Research Council Pakistan were among those who issued the joint-statement.

September 23rd attack on All Saints church in the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, that killed more than 80 and injured at least 130, is believed to be the deadliest ever to target the country’s small Christian minority.

The Ulema urged the government to launch an operation against the terrorists who caused irreparable loss to both Islam and Pakistan. “They (Taliban) don’t deserve any leniency,” said the statement.

The Pakistani government, however, was still keen to pursue dialogue with local Taliban militants despite a spate of bloody attacks in the country’s northwest, Sartaj Aziz, adviser on national security and foreign affairs to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday. He said talks should be given a chance.

The TTP, which has waged a bloody insurgency against the Pakistani state since 2007, has issued stringent conditions for its participation in talks, including the release of its cadres from jail, withdrawal of troops from the tribal areas along the Afghan border and an end to US drone strikes in Pakistan.

via Church attack: Clerics say Taliban portraying negative picture of Islam – DAWN.COM.

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Music has no boundaries, says Pakistani Sufi singer

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Sanam Marvi

Meenakshi Sinha, TNN Oct 3, 2013, 08.46PM IST

NEW DELHI: Sanam Marvi, 27, is a popular Pakistani folk and Sufi singer who sings in Punjabi and Sindhi. Born in Hyderabad in a Muslim Sindhi family, she learnt her music from her father Faqeer Ghulam Rasool and Ustad Fateh Ali Khan of Gwalior gharana. She has travelled around the world and is considered one of the finest Sufi singers around.

Marvi sings compositions of Allama Iqbal, Baba Bulleh Shah, Baba Sheikh Farid, Alam Lohar, Sachal Sarmast and the Sufi mystic from Sindh, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai. She has also appeared in two seasons of Coke studio.

In an interview with TOI sometime back, Marvi spoke on the importance of cultural ties to strengthen bilateral relations between India and Pakistan.

What is it about Sufi music that transcends boundaries?

Sufi music is about spiritual feelings. It teaches love, care and affection and gives us a message of peace and harmony. That’s why everyone loves Sufism. Music surpasses all boundaries. It is loved across the world and is respected the world over. It transcends borders.

When and how did you get hooked to Sufi music?

I grew up on Sufi music. From the age of seven, I started accompanying my father, Faqeer Ghulam Rasool, a Sufi singer to Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai’s shrine. Since then the music has stayed with me.

You also sing folk and ghazals. What are your thoughts on folk music?

I feel really great at the recognition Sufi, folk and ghazals amongst the younger audiences. There’s tremendous appreciation of such music amongst them. Folk music has always been an important form of music because it is based on traditional thoughts and practices. That’s why they are so popular.

Has the popularity of ghazals dipped post the era of Ghulam Ali and passing away of Jagjit Singh?

Ghazal is still appreciated. But the era of Ghulam Ali, Mehdi Hassan and Jagjit Singh was the greatest. Sufi music is my absolute favourite because I get inner peace singing it.

How do you see Indian music scene as compared to Pakistan’s?

India is a huge market compared to Pakistan. Pakistani artists love to come to India and perform here. Performing in India is very important for all the Pakistani artists not only because Indians appreciate good music and good artists, but also because they get wider audience reach here. However, music has no boundaries and no one knows this better than the artists of both countries.

What is the state of music in Pakistan today?

Music is thriving. Sufi-folk music is very popular amongst the teenagers, especially since Coke studio happened. The youngsters in Pakistan like this kind of music a lot. There are dedicated followers.

Have things changed for art, music and culture under the present government of Pakistan?

The government of Pakistan facilitates the youth and artists in every field. Many good things are happening and people are encouraged in every field. Insha Allah, we shall have more friendly relations between the two countries in times to come.

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