- Ancillary Topics
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.
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.
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.
Oxford University Islamic Society was honoured to have hosted Sheikh Hamza Yusuf Hanson (Zaytuna Institute, USA) and Professor Tariq Ramadan (Oxford University, UK) to participate at this ground-breaking conference.
The conference addressed the phenomena of how, in the post 9/11 world, it has grown to be an axiomatic truth that Islam needs to reform. Whether it is Western policy-makers seeking to protect themselves from Muslim extremists, humanitarian activists fighting to liberate silenced Muslims, or Muslims themselves responding to new paradigms faced in the 21st century, all are agreed that something within Islam needs to change. The question though, is what, and perhaps more pertinently, how?
The distinguished guest speakers are well placed to answer. Invitations for this event extended to ministers, policy advisors, think tanks, journalists, theologians, scholars and other public figures with an interest in the field of Islamic Reform.