Ancillary Topics

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    Coffee A Shared Legacy of Muslim Culture


    Western historians and commentators generally trace the beginnings of globalization to the second half of the 20th century. However, globalization is neither a very recent nor an absolutely unique phenomenon. The distinguished economist and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen argues that globalization’s history spans several centuries and that the active agents of globalization have sometimes been located quite far from the West. He points out that around 1000 AD, some of the most important technological inventions and innovations such as the clock, magnetic compass, paper, printing, gunpowder and the wheelbarrow were invented by the Chinese and subsequently spread across the world, including Europe.

    Three points about the genesis and antecedents of globalization are note-worthy. First, one needs to look at globalization not as an isolated phenomenon that emerged in the West in recent times, but as the outcome of historical, social and cultural processes that took place in many non-Western contexts and that preceded contemporary globalization by many centuries. In other words, we should look at globalization from the perspective of social and cultural history and as the product of a process of cumulative progress and development. Second, a distinction needs to be drawn between contemporary globalization and proto-globalization or incipient globalization. Third, the current discourse on globalization, which is manifestly Eurocentric or West-centric, needs to be deconstructed and decentred.

    Some historians, like A. G. Hopkins and Christopher Bayly, have used the term proto-globalization to describe the phase of increasing trade links and cultural exchanges that characterized the period from 1600 to 1800, which preceded modern globalization. It may be pointed out that the span of proto-globalization or incipient globalization needs to be extended beyond the 17th century. Proto-globalization or incipient globalization should not be looked upon as merely an earlier phase of globalization, but as an important precursor or forerunner of globalization which significantly impacted processes and linkages that have become a hallmark of contemporary globalization.

    Three Jamaican  Christians tell their stories on Ian Boynes' Religious Hardtalk TV program about how they entered Islam and how it has changed their lives.

    The Indian Presence in Trinidad and Tobago 1845-1917 done by Premiere Video Productions

    Origins of Muslims in India

    We have one of the oldest and India's first masjid called the Cheraman Jama Masjid exists at Kodungaloor in Kerala. As inscribed on the masjid's stone-plate, (where this writer has been after the historic Tsunami in 2004), it was built about 1400 years ago in 9 Hijra or 629 CE). Kodungaloor was the capital of the kings of Kerala, and in 622-628 CE (Hijra 2 to 9) the ruler was a great savant, by the name of Cheraman Perumal Bhaskara Ravi Varma. In those days, the seniormost of the rulers of Kerala was called as Cheraman Perumal.

    “This madrasa is not merely an educational institution but a fort for protecting Muslims’ religious and civilizational treasures,” said Shaikhul Hind Mahmoodul Hasan regarding Darul Uloom at Deoband. Mahmoodul Hasan [1851-1920] was the first student of Darul Uloom Deoband and later to become a prominent force in the Deoband movement.

    But it is not true that Darul Uloom Deoband was the first of its kind. People like Shaikh Ahmad Sirhandi, Shah Waliullah, Shah Ismail Shahid or institutions like Farangi Mahal of Lucknow and Makhdoom’s Madrasa at Ponnani, Malabar served the cause of Islam in India but none had success like Darul Uloom.

    Darul Uloom Deoband was a response to the British hegemony over India by a section of ulema but instead of retreating back to their cocoon this was a forward-thinking step by people without political patronage. Realizing that it is not possible to beat British by armed conflicts, some ulema who had studied British system of governance and education went about creating an educational system that will take the best of the British system but keep the Islamic spirit alive.

    "Is in danger of being run over by Islamic extremists?" This is the question posed to Imam Hydal of the Ahmadiya Muslims in Trinidad, by Clevon Raphael of the Trinidad Guardian.  Imam Hydal made some interesting comments in the interview.  Read the full interview below.


    The living tradition of Tarim nestled in Yemen's Hadhramaut valley and the glorious legacy of Granada meet for the first time.

    In this special documentary feature film, Habib Umar bin Hafiz travels to Spain, visiting Muslim communities in Madrid and Granada. Accompanied by journalist and commentator Fuad Nahdi and Muslims from the Spain, Yemen and the UK, From Tarim to Granada chronicles a remarkable journey.

    This is the story of new communities and ancient legacies. Of enduring faith and the burden of history. Of renewing the connection between East and West. Of finding a new convivencia for our times.

    This paper is the first installment of a new Nawawi Foundation series titled “Roots of Islam in America,” bringing to light the largely unwritten but surprisingly rich history of Muslims in the Americas over the centuries. Turks, Moors, and Moriscos in Early America focuses on the first British colony in the New World, the so-called “lost colony” of Roanoke (1585-1590). Roanoke was established for the primary purpose of attacking Spanish ships bearing large amounts of gold and silver from Spain’s American colonies to imperial Spain, which, at the time, constituted England’s primary military, political, and religious rival. On his way to Roanoke in 1586, Sir Francis Drake led a large fleet of British privateers against the Spanish in the Atlantic and Caribbean and freed hundreds of Muslim galley slaves, who had been forced to serve in the Spanish navy.

    Historical sources identify these galley slaves as “Turks” and “Moors.” But the galley slaves probably included Moriscos as well. The Moriscos were former Spanish and Portuguese Muslims (Moors) who had been forcefully converted to Christianity after the fall of Muslim Spain and often ran afoul of the Spanish Inquisition and were condemned to the galleys. As the article shows, Drake definitely had this large contingent of newly liberated Muslims with him when his ships came to the Roanoke colony in 1586. We know that many of the “Turks” were repatriated to the Ottoman Empire, which had friendly diplomatic relations with England at the time. What became of the hundreds of other former Muslim galley slaves remains an intriguing mystery. It is possible that some of them stayed or were left behind and became the ancestors of the Melungeons, Lumbees, and other enigmatic indigenous American populations who trace their origins to the Roanoke colony and have long claimed to have “Portuguese” and “Moorish” roots.

    My Hajj Diary

    Khalim Ali

    This diary contains my notes about my experiences of Hajj. This is my first Hajj and it is being undertaken in company of my dear wife, Rasheeda. The Hajj (Arabic: حج‎ Ḥajj) is the annual pilgrimage to Makkah, Saudi Arabia. It is currently the largest annual pilgrimage in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so. The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to God (Allah in the Arabic language). The pilgrimage occurs from the 8th to 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar.

    In a historic and stirring speech at the Global Peace and Unity Conference [GPU], Dr Tahir ul Qadri removed the incorrect perceptions of Jihad and placed it in its proper text and context within the Islamic paradigm,  GPU was held in London at the Excel Centre on the 23rd and 24th October.  Dr Tahir analyzed the concept of Jihad from its dictionary meaning, its text and context in the Qur'anic teachings and the example of the Prophet Muhammad [s].  This forceful speech brought the thousands assembled to their feet on several occasions. You can listen to the full speech here.

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