Friday, December 29, 2006

Eid ul-Adha Mubarak


Hajj Update

Extract from Times Online article:

Costly new safety measures have been implemented to prevent stampedes such as the one that afflicted the last Hajj, in which at least 345 pilgrims, including three Britons, died during the ritual stoning of a pillar representing the devil.

A Saudi team went to Munich to learn from the Germans’ experience of managing hordes of football fans during the World Cup, and the Kingdom has spent $1 billion (£500 billion) improving safety at the stoning site in Mina.

Times Online - Full Article

Blogging voices from Mecca
  • ‘Today has been a momentous day for many of us as our Hajj has now well and truly begun. It was a great feeling to be doing what Allah has commanded all Muslims do; especially when we were surrounded by so many people from so many different backgrounds, each with the same aim’.
  • ‘In order to seek Allah’s forgiveness we need to be fully aware of our own faults so that we can repent and try and ensure that we change our habits from now on. This is not an easy task, but it is essential if our haj is to be accepted’.
  • ‘I still can’t believe I’m going to haj. I’ve been on cloud nine ever since Dad confirmed the visa. Time doesn’t seem to move — I can’t eat, sleep or concentrate on anything . . . It truly is an invaluable gift, the best thing a father can give his daughter’.
  • ‘Spoke to my brother last night. They were getting ready to set off. Mum and him have not been well and with mum in a wheelchair, it’s a daunting task. Inshallah, Allah will make it easy for them’.
  • ‘The sighting of the Ka’bah was overwhelming. I was awestruck by its magnificence; its beauty cannot be described in any other way except by pure experience of its presence. Tears streamed down my face as I asked for the Razamandi (pleasure) of my Lord’.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all those who are celebrating this day. As with all religious festivals, as well as enjoying the food and everything else, we have to remember the importance of the occasion. I've found a series of articles which look at Christmas from an Islamic point of view. All of the material below is from Sound Vision:

Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him, for both Muslims and Christians represents some of these things: commitment to One God, spirituality, simplicity, humbleness, kindness and generosity.
But Jesus is becoming more and more absent from the Christmas celebration that is meant to commemorate his birth. The articles on this page are written essentially as a guide to Muslims. We, however, believe that an honest criticism based on Islamic as well Christians sources does not amount to disrespect.

Jesus in Islam and Muslim-Christian Relations

The Hajj

As many of us are enjoying the warmth of the winter season, we are aware that our fellow brothers and sisters are on pilgrimage and going through a most amazing experience. Here is an article which discusses a few of the key aspects of this journey...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Art by Hafez


Received an e-mail from Hafez of NYC who has used his artistic skills to present the 99 Names of Allah.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Blair Strikes Again

Mr Blair said:

"If you come here lawfully, we welcome you. If you are permitted to stay here permanently, you become an equal member of our community and become one of us."

"The right to be different, the duty to integrate: that is what being British means."

"And neither racists nor extremists should be allowed to destroy it."

Read Entire BBC Article

Why is it that the British National Party (BNP) has the right to damage what it means to be British? Surely, they are racists?

Tony Blair has been a loser all the time and now he is behaving like a very sore one.

Integration is something that cannot be forced, you can't make people get on well but what you can do is stop making so many hurtful comments (e.g. Tony Blair backing the attempts to limit wearing of veil and questioning the funding of Muslim organisations). Such comments will fuel the tension and make the situation a lot worse than it is. People need time to improve relations and this will only happen if we all behave as normal and it is certainly not normal to start analysing every little aspect of someones religion (e.g. the veil issue) and tell them to change so that they can integrate more. Just be normal and let things get better and they will.

Here is an extract from a Guardian article on the same issue:

Muhammad Abdul Bari, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, told Mr Blair that he could not "agree more" with his positive remarks on multiculturalism and integration. But in a statement he added: "It was disappointing to see that the PM continues to see the phenomenon of terrorism as a clash of values rather than being prepared to examine whether some of our misguided policies in the Middle East have contributed to gravely exacerbating the threat from extremist groups. It was also worrying to see the PM using emotive language such as Britain 'being taken for a ride' or its good and tolerant nature being 'abused'. That can only help reinforce a 'them and us' attitude, when the reality is that there are a tiny group of people - from various different backgrounds - that commit criminal acts and should be dealt with firmly using due legal process."

Read Entire Guardian Article