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TT Prime Minister Eid Message - USe increase spirituality to serve others

PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said all citizens should strive to lead upright and responsible lives.

In her Eid message to the nation, Persad-Bissessar said, “We should all try to emulate the fine example set by our ancestors in this regard.”

Observing that Islam “teaches us how to lead upright and responsible lives, serve our fellow human beings, and render service to humanity,” the Prime Minister said, “Let us use this time of increased spirituality to serve others, to make our neighbourhoods, our communities and our country a better and a safer place for everyone.” Noting that historically members of the Muslim community “have toiled very hard for the development of our beloved country,” Persad-Bissessar said, “In all strata of human development, our Muslim brothers and sisters have stood side by side with the rest of the citizens of this great nation to make it what it is today.”

She added that Muslims in Trinidad and Tobago enjoy many privileges. Persad-Bissessar these include the ability to “to worship freely without interference and to establish schools and places of worship without any hindrance, obstruction, prejudice or discrimination.”

Persad-Bissessar appealed to the population, “Let us use this time of increased spirituality to serve others, to make our neighbourhoods, our communities and our country a better and a safer place for everyone.”

In listing the sacrifices which members of the Muslim community endure during the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Prime Minister noted that one of the benefits of fasting is it “improves our morals, increases our conscientiousness and helps us to be more careful in our treatment of others.”

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Barbados:Three Muslims reportedly attacked

The local Muslim community is being called upon to increase its vigilance after three of its members were reportedly attacked in two separate incidents last night. Secretary of the Barbados Muslim Association Sulieman Bulbulia said that around 7 p.m. one man in Barbarees Gardens was dragged from the driveway of his home and beaten by two men, who demanded money.

Five hours later, the Imam [leader] of the mosque and his wife were attacked in Welches, St Michael by two men who were armed with cutlasses. The victims in both incidents were treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and released.

While stating that he did not believe the community was under attack, Bulbulia is however advising his members to pay closer attention to their security.  “Both incidents happened in a matter of hours and we are obviously concerned about it but we don’t think that it is necessarily targeted at our community. We are obviously advising our community to make more effort at personal security and be on the look out at the surroundings around them.”

The secretary described the timing of the incidents as “unfortunate”, noting that the community was currently observing Ramadan.  “This time is our month of fasting so we fast during the day and in the evenings there are a lot more prayers in the mosque so the mosques are generally fuller than usual and you would find more people going in the day as well. So right now is a time of a lot of activity in terms of prayers and fasting,” Bulbulia explained.  Police are investigating the reported attacks for which there is no known motive at this stage.
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Recent Articles

The Shuttered Bug

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

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.

Moroccans discovering America

Numerous evidence suggests that Moroccans arrived to the Americas at least five centuries before Columbus:


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.

A reading from Sylvaine Diouf’s well received book, “Servants of Allah”: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas. Pg. 150-153.

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.

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