Archive for the ‘News’ Category

12th Rabi ul Awwal Mawlid (Milad) Hazrat Mohammad Mustafa Rasul Allah (saw), Medina 11AH/632CE: The prophetic character – The Times of India

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

In February of 2011 Sadia Dehlvi wrote this wonderful article on the character of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). I thought it would be good to repeat the post here on the day of his (saw) birth (mawlid). I hope you enjoy this re-post from her in the Times of India.

The prophetic character

Muhammad – Rasul Allah (saw)

SADIA DEHLVI, Feb 16, 2011, 12.00am India Standard Time

Times of India

I love the month of Rabi ulAwwwal, and look forward to hosting and attending Milad celebrations, marking the birth anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad.

Milads are effective in increasing one’s love for the Prophet whom the Quran exalts, calling him the exemplar for humanity and ‘mercy for all the worlds’.

The twelfth of Rabi ulAwwal, the third month of the Hijrah, Islamic calendar is both the day Prophet Muhammad came into this world and left for the Hereafter. On the same date he arrived in Madinah, the hijrah, migration happened from Makkah marking the beginning of the Hijrah calendar. This month invites reflection on the Prophetic personality.

Rabi ulAwwal, literally meaning ‘the first spring’, symbolises birth and renewal. A time when the Lord splits open the earth to reveal His bounty within, without which His servants could not subsist. More importantly, it is the season of beautiful moderate weather, free of bitter cold or stifling heat, or exaggerated length in its days or nights.It reminds of the Prophetic call to moderation and his repeated warnings of extremism,’Moderation. Moderation! For only with moderation will you succeed.’

Prophet’s (saw) Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia

Prophet Muhammad inspired with the words, ‘I have come to perfect noble character.’ Ayesha, his wife once commented, ‘His character was the Quran.’

Prophet Muhammad said the bankrupt ones are those who despite good deeds of prayer and worship, abuse one another, treat neighbors badly and lack good character.

The Prophet’s character was based on moderation in spirit, generosity, justice, dignity, moral excellence, humility, bravery and firmness in the face of death, good fellowship, sympathy for others, detachment of the world, and constant fear of the Lord. He chose poverty over wealth, sleeping on the floor with a bed made of stuffed palm fibers.

The most forgiving of people, the Prophet never sought revenge despite thirteen assassination attempts made on his life. He told followers not to respond to persecution with aggression, assuring that Allah rewards those who exercise patience. He remained sympathetic to those who had left Islam due to persecution from their families and no sanctions were issued against them. UbaydullahibnJash who migrated to Abyssinia with the first batch of Muslim immigrants converted to Christianity. He abandoned his wife Um Habiba, the daughter of Abu Sufiyan whom the Prophet later married. None of the Muslims took any action against him and he died upholding the Christian faith. When the Prophet settled in Madinah, he made it clear that he wanted relations with the new society to be egalitarian.

When the Prophet entered Makkah, he encountered his staunchest enemies. These people who had inflicted so much suffering on him and his followers expressed their desire to be treated nobly. The Muslim army readied for revenge, but the Prophet did not allow it saying, ‘Today I shall say to you what prophet Joseph said to his brothers, ‘You may leave. No reproach this day shall be on you. May God forgive you, He is the Most Compassionate.’

Laying great emphasis on the heart, Muhammad spoke of it as a repository of knowledge, sensitive to the needs of the body. He said that wrongdoing irritates the heart for it perceives wrong action and is designed to be in a state of calm. In established narrations, the Prophet said ‘When in doubt ask your heart for a fatwa, ruling, for virtue is when the heart and soul are at peace’. Another time he said, ‘ The best Islam is feeding the hungry and spreading peace amongst those you know and those you do not know.’

via The prophetic character – The Times of India.



 

Kul Am Wa Antum Bi Khair!

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

kul am wa antum bi khair

Today marks the first of Muharram 1438. A greeting of happy new year to all!

The wonderful calligraphy depicts the traditional “May you greet every year in good health” In that greeting includes one’s physical, spiritual and psychological health as well as the health of the world’s peoples of all races, creeds, religions and beliefs. As well as the health of our planet and our environment and all the animals and plants that abide here, insha’allah!

We hope and pray for Allah (swt) to guide us in His way and to make us better and better at knowing our place in this world and in being a comfort to our brothers and sisters and all fellow travelers in this world and beyond. Take time soon to make a pledge to do something, no matter how large or small, to make this world a better place to live in for all beings. As the Buddhists say – May all beings be well, may all beings be happy, peace, peace, peace.



 

At World Sufi Forum, Leaders Call For Peace, Condemn Violence

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Four-day World Sufi Forum in Delhi which witnessed gathering of prominent Sufi leaders from across the world made a unanimous call for peace and compassion. At the meet, Sufi leaders from Canada, US, UK, South Africa and Pakistan condemned terrorism and violence.

Source: At World Sufi Forum, Leaders Call For Peace, Condemn Violence

Urs Murshida Fazl Mai Egeling December 27, 1939CE, Arnhem, Netherlands

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

Murshida Fazl Mai Egeling

Murshida Fazal Mai Egeling was born on the 27th of March, 1861, and she lived most of her earlier days in quiet contemplation amidst the tall trees and sleeping waters of Netherlands’ romantic landscapes.
In the later part of 1921 she suddenly awakened to the object of her life’s purpose and swiftly joined the marching lines of those first initiated seen at the dawn of Sufism in the West bringing along many friends and followers, all of whom became leading powers of various Sufi activities…

Murshida Fazal Mai helped and provided Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan with a place to live and more. Here he recounts in his own words…

After twelve years of wandering and homeless life in the West, with a large family to look after, in addition to having my laudable object to carry out, I was provided at last with four walls at Suresnes, thanks to the kind sympathy of my Dutch mureed, Mevrouw Egeling. The purpose was, that when going about to preach in the World, I might have the relief of thinking that my little ones are sheltered from heat and cold under a roof. This saintly soul came into my life as a blessing from above, was called Fazal Mai, which means Grace of God. The house was also named Fazal Manzil, as a hand of Providence, became my backbone, which comforted me, and raised my head upwards in thanksgiving.

Murshida Fazal Mai passed away on 27th December 1939, at Arnhem, the Netherlands, at the age of 79.

And more… (wahiduddin’s website)



 

Islamic climate declaration calls for fossil fuel phase out

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

Source: Islamic climate declaration calls for fossil fuel phase out

Islamic climate declaration calls for fossil fuel phase out

  • 18 Aug 2015, 16:50
  • Sophie Yeo
Mosque in Istanbul | Zaprittsky

Islamic scholars from around the world have endorsed a declaration calling on nations to phase out greenhouse gas emissions and switch to 100% renewable energy.

The Islamic Declaration on Climate Change will be seen as the religion’s major contribution ahead of the UN climate talks in Paris this December.

Released during a two-day symposium on Islam and climate change in Istanbul, the declaration lays out why Muslims should be concerned about the planet, and sets out a series of demands to world leaders and the business community.

It is the second major intervention to have emerged from the faith community this year, after Pope Francis released his encyclical on climate change and the environment in June.

Writing the declaration

The process of drafting the declaration began around six months ago. A team of five Islamic scholars were involved in crafting the initial document.

These were Ibrahim Ozdemir (professor of philosophy and founding president of Gazikent University), Azizan Baharuddin (a professor at the University of Malaya), Othman Llewellyn (environmental planner at the Saudi Wildlife Authority), Fazlun Khalid (founder of the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Science) and Fachruddin Mangunjaya (vice chairman of Center for Islamic Studies at the Universitas Nasional in Jakarta).

Abdelmajid Tribak, head of environmental programmes at ISESCO (the Islamic version of UNESCO), helped to convene environment ministers from around the Muslim world.

Other Muslim scholars were then invited to give their input to the draft, which went through around eight or nine incarnations before it was presented to 60 participants at this week’s symposium, where it was fine-tuned and finalised during a late-night session in Istanbul, says Khalid.

The message

The declaration calls on four separate groups with a series of demands for tackling climate change.

First, it calls on the policy makers responsible for crafting the UN’s climate change agreement this December to come to “an equitable and binding conclusion”. Specifically, the deal should set clear targets and establish ways to monitor them, says the declaration.

It calls on well-off nations and oil-producing states to phase out their emissions no later than the middle of the century, turn away from “unethical profit from the environment” and invest in a green economy.

It calls on people and leaders from all nations to commit to 100% renewable energy and a zero emissions strategy as soon as possible, and to recognise that unlimited economic growth is not a viable option. It adds that adaptation should also be prioritised, particularly for the most vulnerable groups.

And finally it calls on the business sector, which it says should take a more active role to reduce their carbon footprint, also commit to 100% renewables and zero emissions, shift investments into renewable energy, adopt more sustainable business models and assist in the divestment from fossil fuels.

It finally issues a call to “all Muslims wherever they may be” – including the media, education, mosques and UN delegations.

Religion

The messages of the declaration are supported with quotes from the Qur’an. Care for the creation is a fundamental part of the Islamic message, it states, and humans are currently responsible for squandering gifts bestowed by Allah. It says:

“Our species, though selected to be a caretaker or steward (khalifah) on the earth, has been the cause of such corruption and devastation on it that we are in danger ending life as we know it on our planet. This current rate of climate change cannot be sustained, and the earth’s fine equilibrium (mīzān) may soon be lost.”

Around 750 verses – one eighth of the book – reflect on natural phenomena, suggesting that the environment is central to Islamic thought. Furthermore, the declaration points to the example of the Prophet Muhammad, whom it says banned the felling of trees in the desert and established protected areas for the conservation of plants and wildlife.

Influence

Unlike the papal encyclical, the declaration does not have a formal standing within Islam, as there is no single clerical authority in the religion.

Instead, its standing depends on the standing of those who wrote and endorsed the document. The drafting committee is the “cream of the Islamic environmental movement”, Fazlun Khalid tells Carbon Brief. Four of the scholars were involved in the 1998 Harvard conference that spawned the book Islam and Ecology: A Bestowed Trust, which delves into Muslim thinking on the environment.

The hope is that imams and clerics around the world can incorporate it into their services, reaching out to the 1.6 billion Muslim population around the world. Saleemul Huq, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development, who also participated in the conference, tells Carbon Brief:

“Even if we reach a fraction of them, that’s a significant number. In Islam, as a Muslim, I am supposed to interpret the Qur’an and behave according to its tenets myself – I don’t need a Pope to tell me what to do. And we hope this will open the eyes of Muslim individuals all over the world.

“Hopefully some of the leaders of Muslim countries will also bear this in mind and it will affect their policies with regards to fossil fuel investments and dependence.”

Many Islamic countries, such as in Bangladesh and across the north of Africa, are extremely vulnerable to climate change impacts. Others, such as Saudi Arabia, have economies that rely heavily on the production of fossil fuels, and have been accused of wielding a disruptive influence at the UN climate negotiations. Could the declaration have any impact on these leaders? Khalid tells Carbon Brief:

“We can only hope, and there is a lot of work to be done there. It has to be handled quite sensitively. Countries like Saudi Arabia don’t have a fall back position. We need to set in train a series of discussions of how they could cope with what we are proposing, so it’s not that easy.”

Conclusion

Like the Pope’s message to the Catholic Church, the Islamic Declaration keeps the world’s poorest at the heart of its message. Cardinal Peter Turkson, who drafted the first version of the encyclical, welcomed the intervention. He said:

“It is with great joy and in a spirit of solidarity that I express to you the promise of the Catholic Church to pray for the success of your initiative and her desire to work with you in the future to care for our common home and thus to glorify the God who created us.”

Christiana Figueres, head of the UN’s climate body, also welcomed the declaration. She said:

“A clean energy, sustainable future for everyone ultimately rests on a fundamental shift in the understanding of how we value the environment and each other. Islam’s teachings, which emphasize the duty of humans as stewards of the Earth and the teacher’s role as an appointed guide to correct behavior, provide guidance to take the right action on climate change.”

The Islamic world now has three months to digest the declaration, before all nations come together in Paris in December to reach a global agreement on climate change.