82Sharia News Watch 82
- Nov 10, 2003Sharia News Watch 82 : a collection newsquotes on Sharia, for
research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
The Sharia Newswatch provides a weekly update of news quotes on
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Organ Transplants and the Opinion of the Islamic Sharia and the Law
http://www.aps.dz/an/pageview.asp?ID=50860 - 08 Nov 03
Dr. Beloucif also touched on the positions of the various religions
which tolerate ending the life of clinically-maintained patients and
consequently the possibility to use their bodies, and the position of
other religions which reject this idea. Referring to the Islamic
Sharia, which allows this operation, the Islamic Case Law Council,
meeting on October 16th, 1986, allowed to disconnect intensive care
devices if death has been certified by a doctor.
Pr. Cherif pointed out that the issue of organ transplants has
resulted in a serious polemic in Arab countries, especially Islam's
opinion and its reliability, given these countries lagging behind in
terms of medical technology. The speaker put forward the positions of
the supporters and opponents of this technique, quoting Koran verses
to reach "Fetwa" authorising organ transplants under certain
conditions and legal rules.
Repeat telecast of Ramadan programme - 09 Nov 03
The popular Malayalam channel Kairali TV will show a repeat telecast
of its much-sought-after Ramadan programme Shaharu Ramadan due to
public demand. The programme telecast at 11pm UAE time will be
telecast again the next day at 7pm UAE time from Monday to Friday.
"This is the first time that we are using an English title song in our
programme produced by the London-based Mountain of Light, an
organisation of Yusuf Islam. The title song is very popular among the
children from the Gulf region and from India," said a Press statement
from the Pan Arabian Network, the producers of the programme on
The Egyptian Controversy Over Circumcising Girls by B. Chernitsky
http://www.memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=IA15203 - 07 Nov 03
The Marriage Market - 10 Nov 03
In the marriage market, the forces of supply and demand are visibly
distorted: men who have both the means and desire to marry are in
short supply, while women from their early 20s to early 30s search
anxiously for their prince charming in a sea of unemployed,
financially immobile and frustrated young bachelors. Informal marriage
statistics indicate that the number of couples getting hitched is, in
fact, declining, with 452,000 marriage contracts signed in 2002
compared to 592,000 in 2000.
Nevertheless, any observer of or commodity on the marriage market
is well aware that, while a single man can expect to be introduced to
plenty of potential arousas (brides), the market for an arees (groom)
presents much slimmer pickings. "There is a critical shortage of
grooms on the market we have felt it in our home," related Mona
Feris, one of seven daughters living in a lower middle-class
neighborhood in Giza. Feris, 24, is already married and has one
daughter. But five of her sisters are still waiting for Mr. Right
fully aware that the clock is ticking. After reaching 24 or 25 years
of age, the women of this community few of whom have much formal
education are popularly considered less desirable to would-be
husbands. "We need a groom of the same class and financial status, who
is from a good family and has a job. But there are few such men
around," observed Feris.
While the reasons may differ, women in the upper and upper-middle
classes are also hard pressed to find satisfactory suitors. These
women generally more educated and often professionally driven tend
to enjoy greater independence from the traditional household gender
roles. This, according to Malak Rouchdy, a sociologist at the American
University in Cairo, leads them to demand more from marriage and
society. "There are women of marriageable age who are not willing to
compromise on their choices. For instance, many women now are not
willing to abandon their jobs, for reasons of security," Rouchdy
For most men, though, it's the size of their wallets, rather than
their egos, which confines them to the matrimonial sidelines. In the
West, the notion that professional doctors and lawyers represent the
best "catches" has become a cliché. But, according to Rouchdy,
marriage constitutes "suicide" for their Egyptian counterparts
thanks mainly to monthly salaries of around £E 500 [EUR 70,-] or less.
But even mid-range salaries are seldom enough to envisage marriage in
the short term. Ibrahim El Toukhy, a 31-year-old sales executive with
the French-owned Accor hotel chain, brings in something in the
neighborhood of £E 1,500 [EUR 210,-] monthly. Nevertheless, El Toukhy,
a thirty-something graduate of economics and political science, isn't
planning on getting married anytime soon. To start a family while
maintaining his current standard of living, he said, he must earn a
salary of at least £E 3,000. "Of course I can't afford to start a
family with the income I'm getting now. This is the problem these
In all social classes, well-developed familial and social networks
serve to facilitate marriage. Membership at the neighborhood social
club, or nadi, for instance, provides a perfect courting ground for
young people of similar social standing. Once a potential match is
identified, the groom and the bride's father must mutually negotiate
the terms of the marriage contract, as well as a written timeline for
complying with each clause. The first and generally most important
obligation for the groom is to purchase an apartment.
For those who don't have this option, however, buying an apartment at
current market prices even by installment can take years. But
since most Egyptian families frown upon rented apartments, especially
the furnished kind (generally considered the preserve of rootless
expats and vacationing Gulf Arabs), they are given little choice.
Another important marriage-related expense that must be borne by the
groom's side is the mahr, a sum of money paid to the bride's family
for the purpose of furnishing the newlyweds' home. Going prices for
the mahr differ based on the financial status of the families
involved, but they usually start in Cairo, anyway at about £E
10,000 [EUR 1.400,-], the bear minimum needed to furnish an urban
flat. Sometimes, however, in lieu of the mahr, families agree to split
furniture expenses between them. The groom is also expected to buy a
shabka, or a token gift of gold jewelry, which he presents to the
bride-to-be amid the oohs and aahs of family and friends. The bride's
family may request a shabka worth anywhere from £E 3,000 for a
wedding band, two bracelets and a necklace with a pendant to more
than £E 50,000 for a high-grade diamond jewelry set.
Ever pragmatic, the possibility of divorce in also considered before
the nuptial is forged. The ayma, for one, is a legal document included
in the marriage contract listing the legal possessions of the woman,
while the mu'akhar is a promise of payment to the bride in the event
that the groom divorces her. The mu'akhar generally ranges from £E
5,000 to £E 20,000 in lower and middle income groups, and can reach up
to £E 50,000 or more in the upper classes or in cases where the
groom has divorced previously.
Those of a lower-income bracket, meanwhile, tack their prestige to the
youm el-farsh ('day of the furniture'), which occurs about a week
before the official wedding party. On this day, families conspicuously
display all the newlyweds' furniture, often towing it on the backs of
pickups or horse-drawn carts to give the entire neighborhood a chance
to appreciate the openhandedness of the groom's family. A growing
number of more affluent Egyptians, however, are becoming more cynical
about traditional marriage customs, likening them to auctions rather
than celebrations of mutual love. "The customs, I think, are silly.
It's not a business deal. A lot of girls aren't really interested in
all these things," insisted Amira.
The price of gold, linked to the price of the dollar, has risen
enormously: from about £E 45 per gram at the end of 2002 to £E 68 in
mid-October of this year. "More and more families are agreeing to buy
only two rings for the bride and use the extra money to buy something
essential for the apartment instead, such as a washing machine," Abd
According to Ahmed Mohamed, the 31-year-old owner of a workshop in
Haram that sells wood to local furniture builders, modest-income
couples that could fully furnish their homes for £E 10,000 before the
devaluation now must shell out an additional £E 5,000 for the same
mobilia, or furnishings. This, he explained, is due to a 30- to 60-
percent increase in the price of wood, which is imported from places
such as Russia, Finland, Indonesia, Sweden and Romania. .. Other
essential building materials, including paint, are also imported in
whole or in part. The price of painting a 100-square-meter apartment,
therefore, has jumped in price from £E 800 to £E 1,200, according to
Fayez Said, owner of El Yosr paint store in Giza.
French Bishops Oppose Headscarf Ban - 07 Nov 03
At a gathering in Lourdes, French Bishops jointly expressed their
opposition to the law banning headscarves. "I am not sure that this
solution will contribute to social peace," said Cardinal Philippe
Barbarin in a statement to the Agency France Press (AFP). He added
that France was a country of human rights where everyone practiced
their religions freely. Stressing that Muslims were French citizens
like everyone else, Bishop Jean-Luc Brunin underlined that the law was
intended for an "imaginary and general" perception of Islam.
Pointing the Car Toward Mecca - 10 Nov 03
Frank Deworetzki, an inventor for Mannesmann, in Frankfurt, offers a
solution. Two weeks ago Mr. Deworetzki patented a navigational system
for automobiles that not only shows the driver where he or she is
headed but also shows the direction of Mecca at all times. Moreover,
the system can be programmed to play prayer calls at the appropriate
times. During Ramadan, the month of daytime religious fasting, which
begins today in the United States, the system alerts drivers to the
time of sunrise and sunset, wherever they may be. Mr. Deworetzki could
not be reached for comment, and the system does not seem to be
available yet. It is patent No.6,633,813. David M. Thimmig, the patent
lawyer who shepherded the application through the patent office for
Siemens, which owns Mannesmann, said the patent was much broader than
simply a way to know the location of Mecca. ''You can use this
technology to know where your grandmother's house is at all times if
you want to,'' said Mr. Thimmig
Abdelhamid I. Sabra, a professor in the department of the history of
science at Harvard, said historically religious authorities often
opposed innovative thought in the Islamic world. From the 9th century
to the 14th century, however, Islamic mathematicians were obsessed
with figuring out how to calculate the position of Mecca from
different locations. In the course of this quest, they proposed a
variety of novel trigonometric solutions. For a medieval historian
like Professor Sabra, the new technology puts a modern gloss on
age-old knowledge. ''Mathematically, this problem was solved centuries
ago,'' he said.
[Jammu & Kashmir] Man's ears slashed for drinking during Ramzan
http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_454150,0008.htm - 10 Nov 03
Late Sunday, a group of unidentified persons barged into Lone's house
in Naidihal village near Bandipore town, 40 km from here, dragged him
out and slashed both his ears. .. He was attacked because he was a
habitual boozer. He would often come home in a drunken state and start
shouting," said a neighbour. Lone's defiance of Islam's ban on
alcohol, and that too during Ramzan, appears to have evoked the wrath
of his attackers, the police said.
Hip mullahs - 09 Nov 03
Ramadhan stampede kills 3 - 08 Nov 03
A rush for free gifts at a charity event marking the Muslim fasting
month of Ramadhan ended in a stampede, killing three elderly women and
leaving one in a coma, a government official said Friday. The stamped
occurred when a rich Indonesian family was handing out traditional
Muslim gifts and cash to around a thousand poor people outside their
house in a south Jakarta suburb, said Wahyu Hidayat, a local
government official. The three women were killed when people at the
back of the crowd surged forward because they feared the gifts would
run out, he said. Jakarta's rich, who often live in palatial mansions
bordering on slums, often give food and money to their neighbours
during the fasting month. Charity is one of the five pillars of Islam,
and it is viewed as especially meritorious during Ramadhan.
Two million to leave Jakarta for holiday - 10 Nov 03
More than two million people are expected to leave the Indonesian
capital in an annual exodus that marks the end of the Muslim fasting
month this year, a newspaper report said Sunday.
Indonesians traditionally prefer to spend the festival with family and
friends. This leads to a massive movement out of urban centers in the
weeks leading to the end of the fasting month that falls on November
26 this year, testing the limited transport network.
Island bans all daylight eating during Ramadan - 07 Nov 03
The government on Bengkalis island, in the Malacca Strait south of
Singapore, has ordered inspectors to patrol street restaurants, called
warungs, to ensure no one is eating during the holy month. "Officers
of the district (carry out) regular checks on who eats at these
premises during fasting time," local author Isma Selamat said. He said
for local Muslims the order was unprecedented, and several people were
arrested late last month as the holy month got underway. "In the past,
until recently, the people who did not fast could be seen eating and
drinking at restaurants," he told the website Islam Online. The ruling
was ordered by the local mayor with approval from the governor of the
in Bengkalis, Selamat said some people were also arrested for gambling
at the start of Ramadan after they were caught playing cards. "The
whole thing is a process of educating those who normally would not
fast ...that they cannot defy others by eating in public," local mayor
Rozali Saidun said. "It will also teach them that in this auspicious
holy month, Muslims of age must engage totally in the sacrifices of
Ramadan." Resource-rich Bengkalis has a population of half a million,
with 90 per cent Muslim and the rest mostly ethnic Chinese.
Most of the oil and gas are found on smaller islands in Riau. One such
island is Bengkalis, recently visited by IslamOnline as part of a trip
to Muslim dominated areas in the South East Asian Region, or ASEAN.
The island of Bengkalis has strategic and political importance in the
Malacca straits and is seen as a launching pad for the Islamization
drive in Riau. Run by Syamsul Rizall, the administrator of the
island, Bengkalis is currently gearing itself for more integration
towards Islam and its socio-economic and political principles.
Mosques on Front Line of Battle With U.S. - 10 Nov 03
It was Friday prayers at Haibat Khatoun mosque, and the imam faced
worshippers to deliver a fiery sermon accusing American troops of
insulting the Muslim holy book and trampling the honor of women.
"It's not enough for them to defile the land, they also wanted to
defile God's book and then violate the sanctities of Muslims,'' the
preacher shouted, his words carried into the street by loudspeakers.
"The grandsons of monkeys and pigs, who don't know their mothers or
fathers, trespass on the book of God!''
Some mosques in Mosul have become channels for anti-American rhetoric,
drumming on Muslim resentments over perceptions of Western dominance
and painting the occupation as a religious struggle. While arguing
that many clerics espouse pro-occupation views, American officials say
they are keeping an eye on mosques that could be fueling resistance to
the coalition administration. But they say local Iraqi authorities
have removed only one imam in Mosul for anti-U.S. speeches.
The preacher at Haibat Khatoun talked about an Oct. 21 incident in
which U.S. soldiers sparked outrage when they tried to use a sniffer
dog to search the handbag of a female employee at the Oil Ministry in
Baghdad. The woman's bag contained a copy of the Quran, and Muslims
consider dogs to be dirty animals. Witnesses said that when the woman
resisted the search, the soldiers threw the Quran on the ground and
arrested her. Military officials have had no comment on the incident.
The imam also said "the forces of the infidels'' went to arrest three
people in the Khaldiya area but took away their wives instead when
they didn't find the men. In traditional societies like Iraq's, men's
honor is linked to what happens to the women of their families.
A group of Sunni clerics in Mosul, the Association of Muslim Scholars
in Iraq, issued a statement Friday warning people against cooperating
with U.S. forces. "Beware of supporting the occupiers and know that
contacting them, without a legitimate necessity, is sinful,'' it said.
Iraqi cleric tones down anti-U.S. rhetoric - 09 Nov 03
Muqtada al-Sadr's new tone may have more to do with fear of arrest
than any decision to abandon his quest for leadership of Iraq's Shiite
majority, coalition officials believe. Nonetheless, it's a radical
departure for the 30-year-old al-Sadr, whose fiery anti-American
sermons raised fears of a new front in the battle against the American
occupation. In a rapid rise to prominence this year, backed by young
clerics and mostly poor, urban Shiites, he challenged the religious
elders of Iraq's Shiite leadership.
During last Friday's sermon in the ancient city of Kufa, al-Sadr
chanted "No, No to colonialism" and thousands of young worshippers
squatting on straw mats, rugs and cardboard pieces across the sandy
courtyard of the city's main mosque repeated after him with a
deafening noise. There also were shouts of "No, No to Israel," but,
significantly, not "No, No to America." "Colonialism" is a thinly
veiled reference to the U.S. occupation of Iraq, but the fact that the
United States was not mentioned by name was further evidence that
al-Sadr was at pains not to provoke Iraq's new master. In an
English-language open letter to the American people - distributed in
his movement's publication, al-Sadr wrote, "Iraqi people love and
intend no harm to you." "There is no enemy of Iraq but Saddam the
destroyer and his cronies, whom we denounce until Judgment Day and
they are in immortal hell," he wrote.
Despite Ramadan, Arab Book Fair does great business - 08 Nov 03
Despite falling in the middle of the month of Ramadan, the 47th Arab
Book Fair in Expo Beirut attracted a high number of visitors,
according to the fair's sponsors. "We were surprised to see an
increase in the number of visitors and in the number of book sales."
Ramadan still follows older traditions in Tripoli - 07 Nov 03
in Tripoli, as in Sidon, technology hasn't yet extinguished what once
was. The musahher (a young boy with a drum) still beats his drum every
day at dawn, to wake people up and mark the beginning of a new day in
the holy month. Most of the time, the people are already awake because
Tripoli's streets and shops are full of life until way past midnight.
Restaurants and shops keep their doors open. At sunset, the cannon
blasts, again, indicating that it's time for prayer and iftar.
The meal usually includes soup, fattoush, fatteh, kebbe nayeh as well
as the main dish, which is usually rice with meat. As for the drinks,
there's a wide variety to choose from. Kharnoub, jallab, raspberry and
licorice are favorites in Tripoli, but there are also juices such as
apple, orange and carrot. Then, dessert is served. ward al-sham
(baklava stuffed with achta, or cream) and basma (also known as
ismaliyeh) are Tripoli's specialties, and usually, they can be found
only during Ramadan.
Mosque plans put on hold - 10 Nov 03
Plans are now on hold for a Saudi charity with alleged al Qaeda links
to help fund projects at a Christchurch mosque. Last month community
leaders wrote to the government concerned over a proposed deal with
[Saudi] al Haramain. Its Bosnian and Somalian branches have been
blacklisted by the United States, which claims they were funding
terrorist activity. The SIS and the police are still investigating the
claims made in the letter. But the mosque is now considering an offer
from the Kuwaiti government for funding to promote Islam.
[Kaduna] Sharia: Two Convicts to Be Amputated - 10 Nov 03
All is set for the amputation of the limbs of two men convicted by a
Sharia court in Zaria. The convicts are currently being detained at
the Zaria Central Prison. The Kaduna State Grand Khadi, Dr Maccido
Ibrahim, who announced this at a Ramadan fast-breaking ceremony at the
palace of the Emir of Zauzzau, Dr Shehu Idris, said the judgment
signalled the effective take-off of the Sharia legal code in Kaduna.
He described critics of the Sharia law as ignorant people who are
uninformed about the islamic code of jurisprudence. Although the grand
khadi neither gave details of the court that handed down the
amputation judgment nor the persons involved, he announced the
constitution of a three-member panel of judges to study the judgment
of the court. He said the panel would begin sitting this week.
The grand khadi said it was misleading to think that the enforcement
of the sharia law in Kaduna was not possible. He explained that
"government does not believe in celebrating the punishment of any
offender and government does not have to call the press to announce
the punishment of an offender for his bad deeds. This would amount to
celebrating bad deeds." He advocated an overhaul of the emirate system
in the north, to reflect what the grand khadi described as islamic
fundamentals in governance.
Kaduna has an almost equal number of indigenous Christians and Moslems
who occupy the southern and northern parts of the state respectively.
Alliances, loyalties rule in Pakistan border area - Jaish-e-Mohammed
Pakistan paper notes "puzzle" of UK national's disappearance - 07 Nov
.. [Daily Ausaf in Urdu]
Tariq's friend Rizwan told the family in London that the FIA [Federal
Investigation Agency officials] had arrested him and Tariq in
Islamabad on 4 October. Later, Rizwan was deported, but Tariq is still
under arrest. Therefore, the family contacted their relatives. It was
learned that no one was aware of Tariq's whereabouts. That is why the
family came to Pakistan. Some people told them that newspapers had
published a report that Tariq Mahmood had been arrested on the
suspicion of having links with the Al-Qa'idah. Tariq had grown beard
as the Shariat [Islamic jurisprudence] had ordained. To be a bearded
person is obligatory for the Muslims, but Tariq's disappearance in
such a way is not in conformity with the norms of humanity.
Unique Hafiz-e-Quran boy fascinates reception - 10 Nov 03
An Iranian boy (11) who learnt the Holy Quran by heart (Hafiz-e-Quran)
by the age of six, fascinated people at a reception arranged by
Iranian Consulate General Muhammad Khodadi. .. The child
Hafiz-e-Quran Mahyar Hussain Pur and another Huffaz-e-Quran team who
were invited to the reception are on tour in Pakistan. .. The unique
child displays a special skill in learning the Holy Quran by heart. He
has learnt the Holy Quran of recognized publishers Usman Taha and he
can tell the people which verse of the Holy Quran was printed on which
page and line.
Notices issued in Shia marriage row - 08 Nov 03
The Federal Shariat Court has issued notices to Attorney General of
Pakistan and advocates-general of provinces to assist the court if the
family court has powers to dissolve the marriage of Shia couples.
The petitioner, Ali S. Sheikh, stated before the Federal Shariat Court
that as per Fiqh Jaafria, a marriage could be dissolved only through
pronouncement of Talaq by reciting of "Seeghas" in the presence of
wife or her representative/s and two witnesses, and the family court
had no jurisdiction to pass a decree under the Dissolution of the
Marriage Act, 1939. The petitioner's wife has obtained a decree of
dissolution of marriage from the family court by filing a suit for the
dissolution of marriage. The petitioner stated that the power of the
court to dissolve the marriage, was in violation of the holy Quran and
He further said that the judges of the family court were ordinary
civil judges and not religious scholars and thus they could not
pronounce the dissolution of marriage of a Muslim couple. He further
stated that a woman could not claim divorce just by deposing in a
court that she was not prepared to live with her husband. He prayed to
the court to declare that the dissolution of marriage by the family
courts under the Dissolution of Marriage Act, 1939, as repugnant to
injunctions of the holy Quran and Sunnat.
Accused facing blasphemy charges acquitted - 07 Nov 03
Additional Sessions judge Muhammad Amjad Pervez has acquitted an
accused facing the charges of blasphemy. The blasphemy case was
registered by city police Toba. As soon as the accused was exonerated,
he bowed his head before Almighty Allah. SM Sadiq, the accused was
standing in a Photostat machine shop and taking Photostat copies of a
book entitled " criminals of Islam" written by Dr Shabbir Ahmad.
Certain sacrilegious words were used against the last prophet Hazrat
Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), Four Caliphs, Ummahat ul Mom-e-Neen and
Ehl-e-Bait in the book. The court dismissed the charges levelled by
the prosecution observing that the writer has quoted references from
certain religious books. The book is aimed to reform the society by
pinpointing the objectionable references. The writer has not added
even a word from his side. The court regretted over registration of
case remarking that police authority has demonstrated extremely
irresponsible attitude on a religion specific matter.
NCSW divided on stoning to death punishment - 08 Nov 03
The Special Committee of the National Commission on the Status of
Women (NCSW) on Hudood Ordinance is divided on whether Rajam (stoning
to death) punishment comes under Hadd or Tazeer. However, members of
the committee have agreed that the issue needs detailed study and
should be further discussed. The special committee, which has
recommended repealing of Hudood laws in its final recommendations
during its deliberation, could not decide about Rajam, as to whether
it is Hadd or Tazeer punishment.
The committee reviewed and discussed the punishment of 'Rajam' as
prescribed in the Offence of Zina Ordinance. This punishment is
mentioned in Sections 5(2)(a) and 6(3)(a) of the Ordinance that
defines and prescribes Zina liable to Hadd for Mohsin and Mohsina, and
Zina-bil-Jabr along with the prescribed punishments for both. The
discussion was held in the context of inclusion of Rajam as a
punishment under Hadd in the offence of Zina. The subject of debate on
this issue was raised over the fact that the punishment of Rajam is
not derived from the Quran, but is in fact a punishment implemented
through Sunnat as a customary punishment of those times for such
It was agreed that for the Offence of Zina the prescribed punishment
in the Quran is 100 stripes as given in Surah Noor verse 2. In
addition to the Quranic prescribed punishment of 100 lashes/stripes,
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) also inflicted the punishment of
stoning, though selectively, in a case where a married person
committed the offence of adultery. Nevertheless, there were instances
where even a married person was not awarded Rajam. Hence, the
punishment of Rajam was awarded in some cases and waived in others.
Noor Mohammad Shahtaj and Dr S.M. Zaman were of the view that Sunnat
was an equally significant source of legal interpretation of laws and,
hence, its value must not be undermined even in cases of Hadd.
Dr Farida Ahmed supported this view and stated that since the holy
prophet had awarded punishment of Rajam in case of Zina (Hadd), Rajam
should be considered as a Hadd punishment. Rahila Durrani also
supported the view that Sunnat could not be differentiated from the
Quran for the purposes of interpretation for the offence of Zina.
The arguments raised in this context was that Rajam; (a) could not be
considered as Hadd within the accepted meaning of that term because
Hadd is a fixed penalty for a fixed crime under fixed conditions, and
therefore, cannot be remitted or dropped, and (b) it is not a
prescribed punishment in the Quran. The verse of Surah Noor mentioning
the punishment for the offence of Zina is general and does not even
distinguish between married and unmarried adulterers. Rajam was
carried out as an additional extra-Quranic punishment in view of the
aggravated situation arising from the marital status of the adulterer,
and was therefore Tazeer.
However, Syed Afzal Haider, another committee member, suggested that
this issue needed further research and study in which; (a) the timing
of the revelation of Surah Noor and the carrying out of Rajam be
determined in order to find out the underlying principle applied in
this punishment, and (b) the number and exact circumstances in which
the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) had awarded Rajam be determined
to verify whether it was inflicted as an exception or as a rule.
Therefore, the committee agreed that these points required detailed
study and needed to be discussed further.
Pakistan encourages Islamic schools to diversify - 06 Nov 03
Pakistan's Islamic seminaries, often hotbeds of fundamentalism, are
signing up to a scheme to extend teaching beyond religious subjects in
an effort to root out extremism, Pakistan's foreign minister said on
Thursday. Mian Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri said Pakistan was encouraging
the seminaries, or madrassahs, to accept state cash to teach more
subjects, in a drive to limit the appeal of the radical Islamic
Taliban and other extremist groups.
"The only way you can tackle such beliefs is by education," Kasuri
told a conference in Brussels. The government scheme encourages the
madrassahs to teach subjects besides religion, such as English,
computers and Pakistan studies. "If they do that, we help them with
salaries of teachers and in various other ways. About 20 percent, I
think, have registered so far and we are encouraging others to do so."
Socialites turn to Islam in Pakistan - 08 Nov 03
A new breed of Pakistanis is turning to Islam inspired by a scholastic
approach to the religion the educated female elite. Women like Dr
Farhat Hashmi are bringing a contemporary perspective to the teaching
of the Quran. It appeals to followers like Naila Shahid, who always
wanted to study Islam in greater depth but balked when hearing the
preachers talk of heaven and hell and the purdah (veil).
To teach the aspiring students, the new breed of women scholars uses
modern methods. One such teacher, Huma Hassan, addresses weekly
informal gatherings at a private residence in Karachi. The women who
attend are mostly socialites. Hassan translates and explains Quranic
verses with the help of multimedia presentations projected on to a
screen. But it isn't just the modern methods that appeal - the
teachers do too. Bushra Kausar, a regular at Al Huda, says: "Dr Hashmi
relates the Quran to everyday experiences."
About 1,200 women signed up for Dr Hashmi's year-long course on
Quranic translation in Karachi last year. Such was the scholar's
renown that the last session, open to the public, drew almost 10,000
women from all over the city. "It's very difficult to give a reason
for this trend," says Farah Moazzam, a journalist who heads Al Huda's
mass communication department.
Hudna, resistance and war on Islam - 12 Nov 03
.. [Graham Usher met Ahmed Yassin, the Hamas founder and spiritual
leader, in his house in Gaza's impoverished Sabra district] ..
Qataris shy away from Imam's job - 09 Nov 03
Several young religious Qataris interested in taking up jobs as Imams
and Khateebs at mosques have blamed the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic
Affairs for not helping them enhance their qualifications and
knowledge. Qataris form only around six per cent of the total number
of Imams in the country. According to ministry officials, out of 700
Imams who lead the daily prayers, only 41 are Qatari, while out of the
total of 340 preachers (khateebs) in the country, only 31 are
nationals. Many young Qataris interviewed by The Peninsula yesterday
said the ministry did not show interest in supporting them to gain
enough skills in the field of Da'wa. They said the meagre salaries
offered for the post of Imam (around QR1,000 per month)[EUR 240,-]
and Khateeb (QR2,500 to QR3,000)[EUR 600 - 716] is another reason
pushing young Qataris away from the profession.
According to the Dean of the Faculty of Shariah, Law and Islamic
Studies at Qatar University, Dr Abdul Hameed Al Ansari, the faculty
has graduated 1,913 students during the past 25 years. Among them 116
Qataris specialised in Islamic studies, and most of them did not join
the field of Dawa and presentation of Islam. In recent comments to an
Arabic daily, he said most of the expatriate Khateebs are not familiar
with the needs of the Qatari society. "We need Qataris, who understand
the social, cultural and religious ethos of this country, to deliver
the Friday sermons," he said. Mohammed, a Khateeb in Doha and a high
school teacher, blamed the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs for
not having a proper programme to adequately train Khateebs. "The
ministry focuses on seasonal lectures at the Da'wa Department. This is
not enough for interested young Qataris to be in a position to deliver
sermons. A few of them are sent to the university in Ras Al Khaimah,
UAE," he said. Also, he said, the ministry gets "readymade" Khateebs
from other Muslim nations, so it is not too serious about developing
Qatari youths. He called upon the ministry to allocate more funds to
increase the salaries as well.
2 Militants Blow Themselves Up in Mecca - 06 Nov 03
Twelve to 17 militants were involved in the shootout [in a Riyadh
neighborhood], according to residents and a police officer on the
scene. Members of the religious police stopped an AP reporter from
finishing interviews with male onlookers because she was "shamelessly
mingling with men." In Saudi Arabia, men and women are allowed to mix
only if they are related.
Saudi authorities deploy 5,000 Saudi police - 10 Nov 03
At least 5,000 Saudi police and soldiers have been deployed in Islam's
holy city of Mecca to protect an estimated 2.5 million pilgrims during
the last two weeks of Ramadan, a security source said Monday.
.. About two million foreign pilgrims and 500,000 Saudis are expected
to throng Mecca over the last 10 days of the Muslim fasting month of
Ramadan, which was at its half-way point on Monday.
Singer N'dour records Islam album - 10 Nov 03
Senegalese singer Youssou N'dour has released an album devoted to
Muslim religious figures. N'dour said he wanted to show a positive
view of Islam at a time when his faith was being misinterpreted.
The album - Sant Allah (Homage to God) in Senegal's Wolof language -
marks a departure for one of West Africa's most popular artists.
The album includes tributes to Muslim leaders such as Sheikh Amadou
Bamba, founder of Mouridism, Senegal's Muslim brotherhood. N'dour,
best known to western audiences for his 1994 hit Seven Seconds with
Neneh Cherry, first made his name outside Africa working with Peter
Gabriel in the 1980s. It is not the first time the Senegalese
superstar has made political statements. In March he postponed what
should have been the biggest US tour of his career to protest against
the war in Iraq.
31 killed in Sudan stampede - 09 Nov 03
Thirty-one people have been killed and 46 others injured in a stampede
for charity donations in Sudan. Health Minister Sadik al-Milaik said
scores of poor rushed to collect "zakat" - or Islamic alms - being
distributed by an association of benevolent businessmen on Saturday in
the northeastern city of Port Sudan. He said the place was too small
for the crowd of poor people, many of them beggars, and the crush
resulted in 31 people dying of suffocation. Among the dead were 16
women and 10 children.
Swedish Imam says Islam forbids female circumcision - 10 Nov 03
Female circumcision, or female genital mutilation, is forbidden under
Islam, a dominant religion in countries where it is practised, a
leading Swedish Muslim leader told an international conference on
Monday. .. "I as Imam would like, with my colleagues, to turn to the
Islamic world, particularly in Africa, and inform people that female
genital mutilation is prohibited," said Sheik Omar Ahmed. "It is a
matter of abuse and violation of the female body and is quite clearly
forbidden according to Islam," he told delegates from 13 African
countries, Sweden and international bodies such as the World Health
Organisation. Imams, whose role as mosque prayer leaders gives them
great influence in Muslim communities, differ in their interpretation
of Muslim teachings. .. Sweden staged the two-day conference to
coordinate action against genital mutilation in its own immigrant
community and overseas, with the aim of total eradication by 2010.
Turks must fast again after imam's false call - 07 Nov 03
A Muslim cleric has mistakenly forced an extra day of fasting for the
Ramadan holy month on people in a Turkish town by reading the call to
prayer five minutes early, officials say. Veysel Mat, the imam in the
Black Sea town of , apparently miscalculated the time of sundown on
Thursday and read the prayer early, causing people to break fast five
minutes too soon. He read it again after realising his error. But
those who accidentally broke the fast must now refrain from eating for
one more day at the end of Ramadan, provincial mufti Kemal Turksoy
told Reuters on Friday.
"I was one of the people who had just sat down for the evening meal
when we heard the call to prayer again five minutes later. It was very
distressing," local administrator Ali Uslanmaz said. Turksoy said it
was not clear how many people had been affected by the false call.
There are 10 mosques in Akcakoca, a town of 25,000 people, and they
are linked by a central broadcasting system.
Fantasy queen mistaken for Prophet's wife - 10 Nov 03
First, the picture's caption described it as depicting one of the
wives of the prophet Mohammed. It was a concept that many Muslim
visitors condemned as an act of blasphemy - since the Muslim faith
prohibits human representations of the prophet, his wives or
relatives. But when, having rebuffed a number of complaints, the
gallery conducted some historical research, it discovered a second
gaffe: the painting of Ayesha was never intended to show one of
Mohammed's wives at all. The woman was more likely to have been Queen
Ayesha, a character from She, the classic novel by H Rider Haggard.
In a letter to complainants and the Muslim Public Affairs Committee,
the Tate's director, Stephen Deuchar, said the picture was first
exhibited in 1887 at the Royal Academy, and had been on display in
Britain many times since. Mr Deuchar wrote: "Our new research
indicates clearly that this portrait was not in fact intended to be a
representation of the prophet Mohammed's wife, and that the
unsubstantiated suggestion that she was derives from speculation made
in our picture records some decades ago. Many branches of Islam see
the making of images of the prophet's family as an unacceptable
imitation of actions only God can perform.
Aaffreen Khan, speaking for the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, said
that the campaign was a good example of the Muslim community in
Britain being pro-active: "We are delighted that our campaign against
the false label of the painting has borne success. The idea of a
painting of the prophet Mohammed's wife was absurd. It just shows the
level of ignorance there is about Islam and its practice"
'Muslims using Christianity for back-door entry into Britain' - 08 Nov
Muslim asylum seekers could increasingly use a ''back door'' entry
into Britain by converting to Christianity once they arrive, a High
Court judge has warned. Following the case of an Iranian Muslim,
Farshid Shirazi, who initially failed to gain asylum but succeeded in
having his case reconsidered after he was baptized into the Church of
England, and claiming that he could face execution in Iran for
abandoning Islam, Lord Justice Sedley said yesterday that the case
would create a ''back door to asylum''.
UK Sport deny insensitivity in Ramadan row - 07 Nov 03
British anti-doping chiefs have stressed they are sensitive to
athletes' religious beliefs after becoming embroiled in a row over
testing a footballer during the Muslim holy month of Ramadam. UK
Sport's chief executive Richard Callicott said on Thursday that no
athlete would be forced to compromise their religious beliefs after
Manchester City manager Kevin Keegan said one of his players,
Christian Negouai, had been forced to break his fast earlier this
week. Keegan said the defender, a Muslim, had been "very upset" at
having to drink liquids in order to provide testers with a urine
sample and the former England coach said he wanted to discuss the
matter with UK Sport.
Frenchman Negouai has been targeted by the authorities for more
frequent testing after being found guilty of failing to take a test
last season. The Frenchman was fined 2,000 pounds ($3,350) after
admitting he had forgotten to meet testers on that occasion and is now
regularly screened for drugs. Keegan said that, despite the player's
religious beliefs, he advised the 28-year-old to give a sample because
of the scrutiny currently surrounding drugs in football.
Pack in fags for good at Ramadan - 08 Nov 03
Members of the Muslim community in Warwickshire are urged to improve
their health by stopping tobacco use for good during the holy month of
Ramadan. Warwickshire Stop Smoking Service said Ramadan - where
Muslims stop eating, drinking, smoking and chewing tobacco during the
hours of daylight - is a chance to give up for good.
Free Warwickshire said: "Many Muslims chew tobacco. People who chew
tobacco products are over five times more likely to develop oral
cancer as a result.
[Viginia] 3 Men Sentenced in Jihad Paintball Case - 07 Nov 03
Three men accused of practicing military tactics at a paintball field
outside Washington were sentenced to prison Friday for their roles in
a Virginia jihad network that trained members to support a Pakistani
terrorist group. .. They were part of a group of 11 men accused of
training at the paintball field to support Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, a Muslim
extremist group trying to oust India from the disputed region of
Kashmir. They were accused of training from early 2000 through last
May in the Washington suburbs and other locations.
Seeing opportunity, Hallmark targets Muslim market - 07 Nov 03
Single cards and a multi-pack have been issued this fall to celebrate
Eid al-Fitr, a day of rejoicing among Muslims to mark the end of the
month-long fast of Ramadan. .. "It was just a strong, strategic
business decision,'' says Deidre Parkes, a spokeswoman for the
greeting card giant based in Kansas City, Mo. She added that the early
reaction has been overwhelming, with many venues immediately selling
out of the cards.
One place this new marketing trend is most noticeable is in children's
products. NoorArt, a Livonia, Mich., company, specializes in taking
Western-type children's items and adapting them to be religiously
appropriate. The company now offers a talking school bus that teaches
Arabic. It also has a board game called Race to the Kabah which is
modeled after Chutes and Ladders and teaches the 99 names of Allah.
It's biggest seller, though, is the Razanne doll. There are several
versions of the doll, available in a variety of outfits, most with
veils. While sometimes called the :Muslim Barbies,'' the Razanne dolls
actually have pre-teen bodies rather than the curvy Mattel version.
U.N. ban on cloning blocked - 07 Nov 03
The Bush administration suffered a setback yesterday in its campaign
for a global ban on all forms of human cloning, as key European allies
and dozens of Islamic states that support therapeutic cloning blocked
consideration of the issue at the United Nations until the end of
2005. The action yesterday drew expressions of relief from the medical
and scientific community's advocates, who warned that a total ban
would stifle progress in the development of life-saving medicines. It
elicited criticism from conservative U.S. Christian groups that
believe cloning violates the sanctity of life.
It also exposed the deep political and religious differences between
the United States and the Islamic world, which does not recognize that
life begins at conception and opposes prohibitions on "therapeutic
cloning," which involves the medical and scientific use of human
embryos. "Therapeutic cloning is acceptable universally by all the
Shia and the Sunni Muslims," said Abdulaziz Sachedina, an expert on
the ethics of cloning in Islam at the University of Virginia's
Department of Religious Studies. "Embryos don't have the same sanctity
(that they do in the Christian faith). They are not regarded as a
person in any sense."
The evangelicals who like to giftwrap Islamophobia - 10 Nov 03
.. [The world's largest children's Christmas project has a toxic
agenda] .. US evangelicals employ a selective biblical literalism to
support a theology that systematically confuses the kingdom of God
with the US's burgeoning empire. It is no coincidence that the mission
fields most favoured by US evangelicals are also the targets of
neo-conservative military ambition. To use Jesus as the rallying cry
for a new imperialism is the most shameful reversal of all, for he was
murdered by the forces of empire. The cross spoke of Roman power in
just the way Black Hawk helicopters speak today of US power.
[Hedge funds] Islamic Finance Moving Into a New Phase - 10 Nov 03
[Bangladesh] IBBL holds meeting on Ramadan - 10 Nov 03
.. [The Independent - Dhaka]
A discussion meeting on 'the Role of Mahe Ramadhan in Purification of
Wealth and Soul' was organised by Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited on at
its own premises in the city yesterday.
The necessity of Islamic economic order is tremendously being felt to
ensure human welfare, since the traditional economic system has been
failed. .. Moreover, distribution of wealth on equity and social
Justice are prerequisites of Islamic economics. They stressed on the
implementation of education policy on the basis of Islamic Shariah.
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