Archive for the ‘The Way I See It’ Category

Prayers For The Oppressed

On Thursday, 05th September 2013, Seekperfection in Collaboration with the Bilal Muslim Mission Tanzania organised “Prayers For The Oppressed” program, which was aimed at gathering members of the community to pray for the people oppressed around the world.

The program was held at Udowe Mosque, Kariakoo, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania at 8pm. The Chief Guest for the event was H.E The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

To View The Event Pictures, Please Click here

You Can Watch The Event Below:

 

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The Event of Karbala: The Paradigm To Humanity. Part 2/2

Dr Augustus Norton,a professor in department of political science at Boston university writes in his theses that ” the vents of Karbala provide a way of cementing peoples political identification ,and have also secede as a focal point for mass political mobilization in

Br. Husseinali Datoo

Lebanon, Iraq and Iran”. Contemporary Shia leaders shaped Imam Hussein’s martyrdom as preeminent spirit of heroism and sacrifice for all be to emulate in their struggle against oppressors and A standard by which all acts of martyrdom is analogized.

In contemporary form several incidents come to my mind amongst them.

In October 1983, during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon an Israeli military convoy desecrated the Ashura commemoration in southern Lebanon town of Nabatiya. Lebanese Shiite leader Mufti Mohammed Mahdi shams al din issued a fatwa calling on all Muslims to initiate total civil opposition to the Israeli occupation whose oppression was easily cpmpared by Lebanese Shiites with the tyrannical Umayyad ruler Yazid. The Nabatiya incident was a milestone in the resistance against occupation, inflaming their passion and setting off the resistance and subsequent hurried withdrawal from south Lebanon by Israel.

The most important politicization of Karbala occurred in Iran and the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini with the full opposition to the self styled king of kings – The Shah Pahlavi- who ultimately fell from power in 1979 after Islamic revolution. Here again Karbala and the resistance of Imam Hussein was a cornerstone in grouping the masses to topple tyranny.

In Iraq where imam Hussein is buried his shrine attracts millions of pilgrims every year the Shias have high expectations. The removal of Tyrant Saddam has brought a tremendous shift of balance of power in the Middle East and the theme of martyrdom and unjust usurpation of power that was all too evident has once again ignited the theme of Karbala and Imam Hussein’s resistance.

All in all the relevance of struggle of Imam Hussein was an attempt to humanize power, to align it to gentle spirit of humanity. The nature and exercise of power has remained unchanged throughout the centuries, yet the struggle against tyranny an injustice remains unshakable.

A conscious human race today understands on a mass scale the compulsions of fair play and compassion that is why the world today requires a renaissance one that can redefine the culture over power and politics veneering it towards humanism that cuts across all religions and ideologies.

Karbala is little understood but it offers a scholarly insight for theologians and layperson alike that needs to be explored and pondered upon in the present world situation where oppression and injustice is the order of the day.
With the passage of time and centuries down Imam Hussein has come to symbolize, more and more the integral sense of justice and courage of conviction because his martyrdom represents an enduring lesson to humanity and a legacy of initiatives for tolerance and religious pluralism arising from within Islamic tradition.

The supreme sacrifice offered by Imam Hussein is not for specific group; it is for entire humanity and particularly for the oppressed.

And so he came, he fell and he conquered….

The Event of Karbala: The Paradigm To Humanity. Part 1/2

The event of Karbala: The paradigm to humanity.

And so he came, he fell and he conquered….   

Br. Husseinali Datoo

History records that there have been two types of response when a society reaches the brink of moral collapse. The first is the destruction of the whole society- this we have seen during the deluge that overcame the people of Nuh.(A.S). The second is the martyrdom that strikes at the conscience of the society to restructure it on a new ethical foundation as was in evidence in Karbala.

How did the tragedy of Karbala occur and what relevance has it in the present day and Age? The question is on many a mind as this tragedy happened in present day Iraq some 1400 years ago. The tragedy of Karbala, being unique in nature and form has had many causes and purposes for its occurrence. The tragedy of Karbala reflects the collision between good versus the evil, the truth versus
falsehood, the variance of Imam Hussein.(A.S). versus Yazid the tyrant of that time.

Imam Hussein.(A.S). wanted to secure Islam original whilst Yazid ruled as a tyrant who violated every Islamic tenet to rule over the people. More so this is all too evident in the present day world. Arrogance and combative, half truths and domination is the hallmark of the present champion of Human rights. Karbala signifies a collective demonstration of courage and conviction of determination to full dedication to humanity exemplary.

Indeed a final stand had to be made to draw a line against evil if eternal values had to be sustained and saved. It was on the banks of Euphrates that the encounter took place amidst the unshakable force of human will not to surrender to the evil empire of that time that wore Islam as a mask (using it only as a means to power and wealth) and used the Qur’an as a wrapping to conceal their inner corruption.

Martyrdom exists as an active and powerful force in the ideology of Islam and to understand why it has such powerful roots and such symbolic weight, it is necessary to examine the different levels at which the perception itself manifests It is interwoven at the Quranic level and then takes on the active life in Islamic history.

Imam Hussein.(A.S). was quick to realize that giving allegiance of loyalty to Yazid would serve no purpose but to annihilate Islam. To safeguard Islam he would rather face death than submit to outrageous tyranny and the ways of tyrant Yazid.

While there have been numerous examples of tragic massacres and killings in history, no comparable historical episode comes readily to mind of a whole group deciding not in the heat of passing moment, but after due deliberation and choice to court certain death and torture for the sake of a cause, more so the conviction that Karbala saved humanity does not imply that evil forces came to an end. Indeed the forces of tyranny and unjust are as active today as they were during that time. But by challenging the mighty army of Yazid Imam Hussein.(A.S). performed a signal service of distinguishing from all time evil and this unique action has kept alive the pristine spirit and foundation of Islam.

This is what makes the event of Karbala a great institution of Martyrdom and the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.(A.S). is permanent on the larger society as firstly, there is a deep religious, political and moral impact of this tragedy on the oppressed people and still has an inherent potential to generate revolutions.

Secondly imam Hussein(AS) launched a great movement against moral decay and evil trends in society. Yazid’s aim was twofold to uphold the tyranny over freedom, to humiliate the guardians of morality and to usurp power in the hands of few who claimed to be the guardians of Islamic Ummah.(Community).

In the opinion of imam Hussein(AS) it was an unforgivable offence to let it prevail and perpetuate such a situation, ready himself to put at stake all that one can cherish in the material life, expose himself, his family including a six month old suckling baby – Aliasger, John his Christian devoted companion, friends and supporters to every type of mental anguish and torture and physical hardships to save Islam.

Who else than imam Hussein had the unwavering courage and faith like prophet Ibrahim to dare sit on a
volcano and march up to a canon’s mouth!

Use the freedom of speech that the West so much admires….

Use the freedom of speech that the West so much admires….

Br. Husseinali Datoo

A few years ago, the than Mayor of London Ken Livingstone commissioned a research into news coverage of Muslims in one week in the media and it showed that in 91% of the articles in national newspapers, Muslims were portrayed negatively. He described this as “Damning indictment” and urged media houses for more prudence in portrayal of Muslims.

The findings showed a “hostile and scaremongering attitude” towards Islam and Muslims. He added. Only 4% of the 352 articles studied were positive and found that the media is biased and uses the gullibility of Muslims in portraying them as “different” and a “threat” to the “values “of the western culture.

Among examples in the study was a report which claimed that Christmas was being banned in one area because it offended Muslims, which researchers said was “inaccurate and alarmist”. Many news items carried by mainstream media were not true at all and some were exaggerated. More so the report concluded that Muslims in Britain were sometimes depicted as a threat to traditional “British values”.

WINSTON Churchill in his book –The River War writes in concluding:”No stranger retrograde force exists in the world far from being moribund; Mohammedenism is a military and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilizations of ancient Rome

Writing in FOREIGN AFFAIRS (2007) Tony Blair-Ex Prime Minister of UK writes” In my view, the situation we face
is indeed war, but of a completely unconventional kind, one that cannot be won in a conventional way. We will not win the battle against global extremism unless we win it at the level of values as much as that of force. We can win only by showing that our values are stronger, better, and more just than the alternative. That also means
showing the world that we are even handed and fair in our application of those values.”

Pope Benedict also did not spare his thoughts on Islam. Without a doubt, Islam is under attack. Everyone talks about “values”as if Islam has no values. I wonder if Tony Blair has read Risalatul Huqook(Treatise on Rights) by Imam Zainul Abedin . This book could make a good gift to him I believe.

When Rushdie’s book SATANIC VERSES – was released the amount of venom thrown at Muslims is mind-boggling… Day in day out Muslims were hounded with negative attributes in the guise of freedom of speech. This was followed by cartoon issue and now the film that denigrates Islam and the Holy Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). As always with these events unfolding we have seen mayhem on the streets of Muslim nations.

Innocent blood has been spilled and the detractors are amused all the way as to their mission accomplished! Muslims have been portrayed as violent and full of rage.

Yes these media and the latest film as well as Cartoons are really painful and despicable and these can only be done by people who are ignorant or having a passing knowledge of Islam.

In these circumstances we, Muslims have fallen into the trap that we forget to tell the world how beautiful the qualities of Islam and our beloved Prophet are? Our preachers always are full of praise of the Prophet on the Mimbars (PULPITS) in our mosques, but isn’t it time we got out to the larger audience? the Month of Muharram is on our doorstep and we have the internet at our disposal.

The scholars should get together and make as much publicity as we can to explain to the wider audience of the qualities of Islam, Holy Quran, Holy Prophet and his family (Ahlulbayt).
Seminars, lectures must be arranged and the media has to be reminded constantly not to write the untruth.

I am sure the Holy Prophet must be wondering that his Ummah cannot even do this rather than resort to violence that he so much abhorred himself during his life time!…

These events are a wakeup call….It is our duty…. let us wake from slumber.
Let us use the freedom of speech that the west so much admires in benefitting mankind to understand Islam.
May peace prevail..

“Hear Us- Don’t Insult Our Prophet”

“Hear us – Don’t insult our Prophet.”

By: Husseinali Datoo

Human dignity and mutual respect is a fundamental human right, which does not stand alone without Freedom of expression or above other related rights.

Across the Muslim World there is rightly indignation and hurt at the latest deliberate attack on Islam, in the form of the film – Innocence of Muslims-. Unquestionably this resentment is shared by all who believe in human rights and moral decency.

As I mentioned earlier, expression of free speech (FREEDOM OF SPEECH) is a basic human right; but that intentionally incite hatred and spark acts of violence are rightly to be condemned.

The deliberately made film of Prophet Mohammed(Peace be upon Him) contains disgusting dialogue that insults Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H) whom 1.6+ Billion Muslims hold in high esteem- This is a known fact.

This is not the first time that sentiments of the Muslim community have been tampered and countless times we have seen Islam and Holy Prophet denigrated and this action surprisingly is endorsed by the leaders of the free world in the guise of free speech.

Understandably the feelings of Muslims cry out in anger and as before this film has incited widespread protests throughout the World; protests directly triggered by the offensive, degrading film, sadly causing loss of life.

If freedom of speech is to be valued than the making and distribution of this film is not an expression of freedom of any kind as making of this disgusting film does not in any way contribute of value to promote understanding between different religions.

More so all these insults to Islam and the Holy prophet serve no purpose other than to provoke further potential violence, enabling Muslims to be marginalized and demonized once more, constructing some persistent justification for continued causes of hurt and anger to Muslims.

Allowing this film to be shown or not has little to do with censorship and or free speech, and to reduce this issue to such thinking is a convenient diversion, made-up in order to avoid discussing the filmmaker’s intention. Therefore the film breaches international guidelines on free speech, and should be banned, its makers charged and prosecuted.

For the record: Google removed 1,710 videos and closed their affiliated accounts because, as Google put it, ‘a substantial number of those videos concerned Holocaust denial and defense of Holocaust deniers’. Google ‘closed the users’ accounts within 24 hours’ of receiving the complaint by a group that monitored anti-Semitism. While at the same moment surprisingly Google said ‘this video,-Innocence of Muslims- widely available on the Web, is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube’. (Huffingdon Post)

It cannot be further expressed that Muslims through the world know the mischievous intent of the ever increasing insults to Islam and the Prophet and of the intention of film maker’s as well.

If only those who denigrate the Prophet and the- so called supporters of freedom of speech- would care to read about what the Prophet of Islam had actually taught and learn from his attributes surely.

For instance, that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had enjoined upon his followers that, “when the bier of anyone passes by you, whether [of a] Jew, Christian, or Muslim, rise to your feet.”

According to yet another tradition, once a bier passed by him, and he stood up; and it was said to him: “This is the bier of a Jew.” Muhammad (peace be upon him) said something to the effect, “Was he not a soul?”

All of this goes to show how enlightened and humane an approach the Prophet had towards even the Jews and Christians. It would take volumes to write about the attributes of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.(PBUH)

What we, in the Muslim world, fail to understand are the dual standards followed on this issue by the media and writers in the West.
But may be to them freedom of speech mean that religious sentiments are tampered with and expect Muslims to react with an air of resignation?

We need to give encouragement to Muslim scholars to delve into their treasury of wisdom to see what they have there to contribute to the discussion about the future of Islam. A good word of advice to the Muslim community is to think big and inform the writers and filmmakers about Islam and the Prophet Mohammad.( PBUH)

Karen Armstrong in her book Mohammed the Prophet of our time describes him as preaching loyalty to God rather than tribe; reconciliation rather than retaliation: care for orphans and the poor: and in many ways empowerment of women which will be a surprise to some. The Quran gave women property rights. Indeed radical changes at a time when women were traded like camels.
Surely words of wisdom……

This world is a multi-faith, multicultural society and there is no room for hatred but love…..
May peace prevail……

_____________

Husseinali Datoo
The writer is an Optometrist and Writer lives in Dar es Salaam Tanzania

 

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