Karim greets Saudi minister
- Published 03/31/2014
TERTIARY Education Minister Fazal Karim received a courtesy call at his office last week from Dr Fahad M Al Dawood, Minister in the Ministry of Justice from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia along with Umar Khan, chair of the Trinidad Saudi Chamber of Commerce (TSCC) and Shazaad Mohammed, chamber president and co-founder.
Noting the two countries’ history in oil and gas Karim suggested that closer ties be developed through the formalising of relationships between institutions of learning and research in both countries contending the diverse opportunities that could culminate with cooperation between a UTT and an institution such as the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.
The pair also discussed the potential for a Saudi investment in Islamic Banking and a training framework to support its development. Dr Dawood is an accomplished author and has drafted several important legislations on Islamic Banking. Both Ministers also agreed to discuss with their respective colleagues and Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the possibility of the establishment of an Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Trinidad and Tobago.
Religious tolerance in Islam
- Published 03/30/2014
Sayyidna Omar was lying in pain because of the wounds inflicted on him by a non-Muslim who had stabbed him with a dagger soaked in poison while he was leading the fajr prayer. It should also be remembered that he was the head of a vast empire, ranging from Egypt to Persia. From normal rulers of his time or ours, we could have expected vengeance and swift reaction. In contrast the enlightened rulers today would rain bombs and missiles on mere suspicion of murder conspiracy in similar situation. From a very forgiving head of state we could have expected an attempt to forget and forgive, and that would be considered noble. But a command to protect the minorities and take care of them?
What is even more remarkable is that for Muslim historians the entire affair was just natural. After all it was the caliph himself who had established the standards by writing the guarantees for the protection of life, property and religion in decree after decree as Muslims opened land after land during his rule. The pattern established here was followed for centuries throughout the Muslim world.
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’.
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.
The Muslim Factor in the Haitian Revolution
‘What the French did not realize was that their most profitable colony, Saint-Dominique (now Haiti), was fertile ground for Muslim maroons and rebels. The island had always had numerous maroon communities, and an average of a thousand runaways were advertised every year. The notices posted by the plantation owners, who listed the disappeared give a measure of the place of the Muslims among the maroons. Although large numbers of Muslims had been forcibly baptized, some had retained their original names, such as Ayouba, Tamerlan, Aly, Soliman, Lamine, Thisiman, Yaya, Belaly, and Salomon who appear in the notices. Female runaways, such as Fatme, Fatima, and Hayda, are also mentioned.
The Africans fled individually and, more usually, in groups. For instance, twelve Mandingo men, aged twenty-two to twenty-six, fled one night in 1783 from their owner’s house in Port-au-Prince. They were all professionals—masons, carpenters, and bakers.
It is not known if some maroon communities were entirely composed of Muslims, but major communities had Muslim leaders. Yaya, also called Gillot, was a devastating presence in the parishes of Trou and Terrier Rouge, before he was executed in September 1787. In Cul-de-Sac, an African Muslim named Halaou led a veritable army of thousands of maroons.