Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

March 2007
Cover Story Stop Press Muslim Heritage Men, Missions & Machines Muslim Perspectives Focus Editorial Opinion Issues The Muslim World Community Round-Up Follow-Up Notes & Nuggets Sidelights Special Report Update People Track Globe Talk Event Diary Quran Speaks to You Hadith Our Dialogue By Adil Salahi Facts & Faith Spirituality Soul Talk Living Islam Women's World Fiqh Health Chart Scholars of Renown Muslim & Money Guidelines From Darkness to Light Children's Corner Book Review Letters Just for the Young Career Guidance Profile What's New Matrimonial Discover Yourself - Workshop
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Making Men and Women Self-Reliant
Akhtar Khannum

My warm congratulations to the staff of Islamic Voice for turning 20, (‘Turning Twenty’, Islamic Voice, January 2007).Accolades to Mr.Sadathullah Khan for his noble intentions to start this publication which is indeed quite a Herculean task.

I was aghast to read, “Indulgent Men, Slogging Women, Marital Mess,” by Mr. Maqbool Ahmed Siraj, in Islamic Voice, January 2007. The article perambulates on various serious issues, but zeroes not on the solutions! I read the relevant articles/feed backs in the February 2007 issue relating to this article. Regarding fighting poverty, Muslim philanthropists should open practical job oriented courses at such slums, like tailoring courses for women and other job oriented courses (for men) like computer software and hardware training, refrigeration, air-conditioning, motor winding, repair of dash board panel meters, repair of televisions, mobiles servicing, servicing of automobiles, tinkering and painting, sheet metal works like making almirahs, chairs, sofa sets, electrical wiring, plumbing, etc, where S.S.L.C. passed/failed unemployed candidates can be trained to become self- employed. If women are trained in tailoring, Bangalore is the hub for garment industries and they can have a decent source of income. The emphasis here is to help both men and women to be on their own financially. Social workers, NGOs, local politicians, philanthropists should come forward to contribute for this noble endeavour.


Muslims and Psychiatrists
Irshad Sultan

Apropos, ‘Mental Depression and Suicide’, in ‘Our Dialogue’, Islamic Voice, January 2007, the answer by .Adil Salahi is of course convincing. But I wish to add a few points here. When people fall ill they consult a physician. This is quite logical and is a positive attitude. I ponder why the same people don’t feel it expedient when mind/ brain falls ill? Brain too is akin to the body and can bear adversities only to some extent and when things surpass the threshold of bearing the limits (like calamities which are beyond a person’s ability to endure-both personal and financial), the brain too needs a psychiatrist like a physician for the body. But it looks like there is a stigma attached in our society if some one sees a psychiatrist! This ignorance and illogical attitude has to go.


Audacious Step
Abdul Alim

This has reference to the column “Muslims & Money” by Dr. Musa R. Kaiser. While we have scholars who forbid all types of interest as being equally forbidden without delving into the details, on the other hand we have contemporary scholars such as Adil Salahi who argues, “In Islam there are some areas, like worship that do not change with time and social circumstances and God has given us detailed guidance that is not subject to change. In other areas, which are subject to change with the development of human society, God gave us guidelines and a framework. He left us free to choose the details of our actions and practices as long as we observe the guidelines and remain within the framework. Economic matters, including finance and banking, are of this latter type.” Likewise Dr. Maher Hathout (MPAC) in March 2006 IV edition argued that modern banking is neither oppressive nor exploitive and sought for a contemporary ijtihad on this issue. One such classical example is the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh that charges interest, but pursuant to a lending programme designed to make credit available to low-income borrowers who would otherwise turn to loan sharks. When such debate and discourse persist in the mainstream Muslim world, I think IV has taken an audacious step in educating Muslims on this subject that is considered taboo by many.


A Conscience for Problems
Dr.Mohammed Shahid Iqbal

This is with reference to the article in Islamic Voice, January 2007, “Mirage of Islamic Family Ethos” by Maqbool Ahmed Siraj. I totally agree with him that a mechanism should come into existence to look into Islamic family ethos. He has referred to the dawah organisation being short on analysis of the socio-economic context of Muslims. I would like to say that all organisations be it AIMPLB, Jamaat-e-Islami, Talighi Jamaat, Sunni Dawat-e-Islami etc, have a conscience for problems of Muslims and they work according to their ways. Sadathullah Khan, Editor of Islamic Voice is conducting “Discover Yourself” workshop since many years and majority of the participants for the workshops are from middle-class, upper middle class and upper classes. It does not mean that Mr Khan does not have concern for the lower class Muslims or slum dwellers.

There are thousands of villages in India where the people do not know how to perform wudu or pray namaz. A “Discover Yourself Workshop”, or a practical campaign by the Sunni Dawat-e-Islami or Tablighi Jamaat will help.


Concept of Time

The article “Tracing Commonalities” relating to Dr Zahir Ahmed, Islamic Voice, February 2007 was mind boggling. I refer specially to a few concepts in the article like the concept relating to ‘Time.’ It is mentioned that Dr Zahir Ahmed had stumbled upon a verse in the Quran which had talked about a “1000 years on the earth being equivalent to a moment in the divine reckoning”. This is true and here we can corroborate it with the Quran and science. God created things by saying just, “Be It. And it is”- according to the holy Quran. Thus the concept of time is divine.


Wake-Up Call
Dr.S.Abdul Kasim

The article “Culture Shock” by M.Hanif Lakdawala, in Islamic Voice, January 2007 is worth reading over and over again by Muslims throughout the world. The evils hidden in the modern culture are exposed vividly with apt quotations from the Quran. Immediate efforts should be taken by Muslim Educational Institutions and the students to suppress Nafs-e-Ammarah (inclination to do wrong to satisfy lust). The concluding paragraph, “So our Educational Institutions must promote the fear of Allah, and teachers must be of great help in activating Nafs-e-Lawqana (repentance) in students and advise them to do good and righteous deeds, ” must be enforced by the Muslim society at any cost.

Bookish Dawah
Abu Hamza

In these times of communal tensions, Islamic Voice should publish Dawah articles by scholars such as Dr. Jamal Badawi and Dr. Taha Jaber Al-Alwani. These scholars are renowned for the depth of their knowledge as well as their wise and pragmatic approach to inter-faith relations. Arrogant and bookish Dawah answers that are lacking in compassion, and are oblivious to the current context have outlived their utility.


Adamant Atheist

The parable, “Conversations on God” in Islamic Voice 2007, was indeed good.

To quote the same aptly (the conversation between an atheist and a believer in God): It is like, after extensive arguments the atheist gives up and says: “I swear on God that there is no God!” Even though the atheist is adamant to prove his point in vain, his own inner self acknowledges the concrete fact that God indeed does exist.


Pak and Population Control
Abdul Wahab

The Pakistan government has decided to distribute contraceptives at mosques and involve clerics in family planning awareness campaigns. It is the prerogative of Pakistan to limit its population. But mosques are not the right places to distribute contraceptives. It can be done at hospitals, petrol bunks or post offices. Instead of involving clerics, social workers and teachers can spread the message of family planning

Vanishing Politicians
Nazir Ahmed

This is with reference to the article “Riot Smudges IT hub,” in Islamic Voice, February 2007. Whoever, for whatever reasons had arranged the uncalled for pro-Saddam protest rally, it was the common Muslims who suffered, they were beaten, their property looted and burnt. The politicians who flocked to Bowring hospital to enquire and pacify the victims of the riot in the glare of television cameras are nowhere to be seen after that.

Derogatory to Urdu
Raheel Ahmed

The letter by Mr Siraj from Bangalore- “Wasting Space for Urdu Poetry” , in Islamic Voice, February 2007, is completely derogatory to Urdu language I wish to tell Mr Siraj, based on my 10 years experience in the Gulf , that the knowledge of Islam of non -Muslims from Gujarat and Rajasthan is much better than that of the Muslims of Kerala and Tamilnadu. Is this is because of the lack of knowledge of Urdu/Hindi? Does Mr Siraj have an answer?