Crisis of Identity
Useful Hajj Supplement
THIS is with reference to your staff writer’s report (Islamic Voice, Dec.2000) on the AFMI meet at Calcutta, in which he says that ‘rewarding community students with monetary incentives seems to be the new mantra of AFMI’. I wish this were true, but unfortunately it is not. All that the AFMI does, to my knowledge, is to give away medals and certificates to top rankers.
Certificates or medals may motivate students to do better, but that should not be the be all and end all. Nobody bothers about the awardees’ further progress, whether they continue to maintain their excellence in studies or they fall on the wayside not being able to proceed further due to financial or other reasons. Therefore there should be a monitoring mechanism to follow up the students’ progress and offer whatever help is required to ensure that they reach their set goal. Sadly, this aspect of follow up of the awardees is missing not only with AFMI but also with other organizations. Besides this, the community leaders should do something to enhance the representation of the community in government and other employing agencies which is woefully low.
Said Ali Kutty,
THE Insights of Mr. Maqbool Ahmed Siraj “Identity Crisis” of December issue is very interesting and also very disgusting. In countries like Indonesia and Turkey where the Muslim population is more than 90 per cent, even the non-Muslims are identified as Muslims. Similarly in Pakistan most of the Christian names are like Muslims. But in India most of the Muslims are identified only by name and there is no other distinction by which Muslims can be recognised. The writer’s viewpoint may persuade modern guys and girls to adopt some hi-fi names and get dissolved in the majority community.
Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, on Email
INSIGHT piece on Identity Crisis by Maqbool Ahmed Siraj is timely and needs to be debated. Many a stereotype about Muslims have been spread by fascist outfits due to the parochial understanding of Islam and practices. Mr. Siraj is right in arguing that cultural pluralism broadens the vision, fosters creativity and increases tolerance and builds bridges. This ought to be conveyed to our ulema and pundits who address masses and exert immense control on the popular opinion. Kudos to Islamic Voice for publishing such enlightening pieces.
CONRATULATIONS for publishing the highly informative Hajj Supplement in the January 2001/ Shawwal,1421 issue of your popular monthly. The information is useful because it is based on personal experiences.
For those who are bent upon touching or kissing the Hajr-e-Aswad (Black Stone)even though this does not form a part of the obligatory rituals of the Hajj Pilgrimage- it will be helpful if they carefully and patiently get closer to the Holy Kaabah in one of the Tawaafs (circumambulations) so that they are juxapositioned to it well before the Rukn-e-Yemani and then move patiently in the queue along the wall of the Holy Kaabah. Insha-Allah they shall succeed in Touching and kissing the Hajr-Aswad without jeopardising their or other pilgrims’ safety.
Dr. M. Abdul Jaleel, Bangalore
THANKS for Ms. Jaseela’s letter in the January issue of the Islamic Voice. It was 100 per cent impossible to sight the Ramadan hilal on Nov. 26 evening anywhere in India, even with the aid of telescope as the hilal was still in the embryonic stage and incubating after the newmoon. The various Hilal Committees announcement comes as a proof. The hilal sighted in a small pocket, as reported by you, looks rather strange. The persons who sighted the hilal should have reported the matter to the hilal committee at Bangalore, who could have naturally rejected it as per the sharia rules. Public sighting in majority of the places is mandatory for Ramadan and the Eidul Fitr.
For purposes of moon sighting Kerala and Keralites are affiliated to Saudi Arabia who depend on a notional moon and never ever do a physical moon sighting which is a Fard e kifaya. The Ramadan and the Eids are observed one or two days earlier there which amounts to the fact that Friday prayer could be performed on Thursday itself (refer Quran IX: 36-37). Let Allah protect us from tampering the Islamic calendar. There was only one place in the world where there was possibility of positive sighting on Nov.26 evening and that was in Hawaii.
The usual causes for such discrepancies in Moon sighting are :
- mischievous and false reports of sighting
- illusionary sighting
- sighting some other planet or heavenly body
- sighting one of the artificial man-made satellites orbiting the earth and
- use of binoculars and telescopes.
If you have any more doubts please do not hesitate to write to me.
Dr. S. A. Zahir,
Bangalore, Ph: 6647960.
I am supremely satisfied with the great improvement you have made in the contents and get-up of Islamic Voice which is now eminently readable. Congratulations!
Avadhani Rajgopal, Journalist,