Taking on takfirism will require more than a quick fix
- Published 08/25/2014
A Takfiri (from Arabic: تكفيري takfīrī) is a Muslim who accuses another Muslim (or member of Abrahamic religions) of apostasy. The accusation itself is called takfir, derived from the word kafir (infidel) and is described as when "one who is, or claims to be, a Muslim is declared impure."
The (Middle East) region’s conflicts have shed light on the proliferation of takfirist movements operating in the Arab world and beyond. They are a threat to the people of the region as much as they are to countries and they must be challenged. We all have a collective role in fulfilling this duty. Here are some recommendations which will aid the task.
QURAN RECITATION COMPETITION HELD IN BRAZIL
- Published 08/21/2014
The World Assembly of Muslim Youth, in agreement with the World Organization for the Memorization of the Qur'an staged this competition on the 16 and 17 of August in Sao Paolo, with the participation of young people from 10 to 30 years of age from several Latin American and Caribbean countries who memorized the Holy Quran. Among the participating countries were: Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Panama, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.
Sheikh, Dr Abadallah Basfar, renowned reader of the Holy Qur'an and Secretary General of the World Organization for the Memorization of the Qur'an based in Jeddah, in addition to religious authorities in Latin America and Europe who work at the service of the teaching of the Sacred Quran were in attendance.
The categories in the competition were four with each category having an age limit.
-Memorization of the entire Quran
-Memorization of 10 juz
-Memorization of 5 juz
-Memorization of last juz.
The Caribbean delegation included huffaz from Barbados, in all four categories, Trinidad in 2 of the categories, Suriname and Guyana in some of the categories.
Caribbean huffaz did well in the contest with Trinidad taking first in both the categories they entered in. The full Quran and the 5 juz. Guyana came first in the last juz and the 10 juz and Barbados took second in these categories. All the Caribbean contestants came in the top 5.
The regional Holy Quran competition came at the conclusion of a year long programme of local competitions sponsored in each country by the World Organization for the Memorization of the Qur'an. The winners of the local competitions in each category then went onto the Brazil Contest.
It is the first time for the Latin American and Caribbean region to host such a contest and the sponsors have indicated they are hoping to do this contest every 2 or 3 years in the region.
On the 18th of February 2012, Assembly of Intellectual Muslim (HAKIM) have sent six of their members to a lecture organized by Dar al-Andalus, Suffah Study Circle of Singapore at Orchard Parade Hotel. The lecture entitled “The Meaning and Experience of Happiness in Islām” was delivered none other than Malaysian-based scholar, the honourable Professor Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas.
Right from the start, Prof. Al-Attas had confined his lecture upon two questions raised with regard to the topic of meaning of happiness in Islām as he brilliantly wrote in a monograph and included as the second chapter of his magnum opus – Prolegomena to the Metaphysics of Islam. He mentioned before this topic cannot be elaborated succinctly in 2 hours as it took him one whole semester at ISTAC before to lecture on this in detail and at length. He intended on that day to touch basic matters pertaining to the topic.
The first question touched upon whether is it necessary for the Muslim to understand the Western conception of tragedy before we could understand the meaning of happiness in Islām.
Prof. Al-Attas stressed that though it is not necessary to understand the Western conception of tragedy that flourished in their great works since the Iliad of Homer, Poetics of Aristotle, it is pertinent for the Muslims of today to understand the exact opposite of saʿādah as alluded in Qurʾān – which is shaqawāh rendered into English approximately equivalent of ‘great misfortune’, ‘misery’, ‘straitness of circumstance’, ‘distress’, ‘disquietude’, ‘despair’, ‘adversity’, ‘suffering’.
I speak this evening, in this honourable chamber of the House of Commons, as Chairman of the Caricom Commission on Reparations.
My colleagues of the Commission are tasked with the preparation and presentation of the evidentiary basis for a contemporary truth: that the Government of Great Britain, and other European states that were the beneficiaries of enrichment from the enslavement of African peoples, the genocide of indigenous communities, and the deceptive breach of contract and trust in respect of Indians and other Asians brought to the plantations under indenture, have a case to answer in respect of reparatory justice.
The case of genocide is not only in respect of our decimated native community. It is also important to recognize the genocidal aspect of chattel slavery in the Caribbean.
British slave ships brought 5.5 million enslaved Africans into their Caribbean colonies over 180 years. When slavery was abolished in 1838 they were just 800,000 persons remaining. That is, a retention/survival rate of 15%. The regime of enslavement was crafted by policies and attitudes that were clearly genocidal.
Jamaica received 1.5 million Africans. Only 300,000 remained at Emancipation (20%).
Barbados received 600,000 Africans. Only 83,000 remained at Emancipation (14%).
When she was 12, she got her first camcorder and discovered a world waiting to be recorded. Soon, everyone in the family expected her to be the one taking pictures, recording their gatherings. She edited her first home film then too, and has even done music videos with her cousins.
For Maryam Mohamed, filming has been a passion for exactly half her life—she’s 24—so when she finished her BSc in Sociology with a minor in Psychology, she was thrilled to begin a double major in the Faculty of Humanities at The UWI; a BA in Film Studies and Film Production.
For her dedication and application to her studies—she sounds like a model student—she was given the bpTT Student Award at the just concluded Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, a prize she is careful to point out is not for her short film, “If I could Fly,” but for her “studentship.”
“A group of students from UWI film programme was nominated for the award (based on our GPA) then we had to write an essay stating why they should select us to go to the International Rotterdam Film festival and how will this benefit us personally and professionally. The award is sponsored by bpTT and it’s an all-expense paid trip to Holland for the film festival,” she explains.
Sheikh Ali Mustafa Seinpaal hails from Suriname, South America, a former Dutch Colony; from a Christian, religious family. Sheikh Mustafa embraced Islam in 1966. After meeting Maulana Dr. Fazlur-Rahman Ansari (r.a) in 1969 in Suriname, he went to study at the Aleemiyah Institute of Islamic Studies at Karachi. Sheikh Mustafa graduated from the Aleemiyah Institute in 1974, the same year Dr. Ansari passed away. He obtained the Alim Degree: AD-DARAJAT AL-IJAZAH AL-ALIYAH. Subsequently he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Arts at the University of Karachi majoring in Political Science, Natural Science, English and Arabic. Sheikh Mustafa is also Hafizul-Qur’an and has mastered the Arabic language, Urdu and English. His mother tongue is Dutch and he also studied Spanish and Germany. Sheikh Mustafa traveled around the world and served in Botswana (10-years), Suriname, the United States (New York, New Jersey), Europe (the Netherlands), Trinidad & Tobago and Pakistan. Recently he came from Durban after serving at the Assalaam Institute for 18-months.
A: HISTORIC DOCUMENTS:
1. A Muslim historian and geographer ABUL-HASSAN ALI IBN AL-HUSSAIN AL-MASUDI (871-957 CE) wrote in his book Muruj adh-dhahab wa maadin aljawhar (The meadows of gold and quarries of jewells) that during the rule of the Muslim caliph of Spain Abdullah Ibn Mohammad(888-912 CE), a Muslim navigator, Khashkhash Ibn Saeed Ibn Aswad, from Cortoba, Spain sailed from Delba (Palos) in 889 CE, crossed the Atlantic, reached an unknown territory(ard majhoola) and returned with fabulous treasures. In Al-Masudi's map of the world there is a large area in the ocean of darkness and fog which he referred to as the unknown territory (Americas).
2. A Muslim historian ABU BAKR IBN UMAR AL-GUTIYYA narrated that during the reign of the Muslim caliph of Spain, Hisham II (976-1009CE), another Muslim navigator, Ibn Farrukh, from Granada, sailed from Kadesh (February 999CE) into the Atlantic, landed in Gando (Great Canary islands) visiting King Guanariga, and continued westward where he saw and named two islands, Capraria and Pluitana. He arrived back in Spain in May 999 CE.