Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Shaban / Ramadan 1423 H
November 2002
Volume 15-11 No : 191
Camps \ Workshops

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Community Roundup


3-Vol Urdu-English Dictionary is now ready
Tradition of Saifee
Iqra in Bangladesh
Seminar on Prophetic Medicines
A Step towards the Quran
Seminar on Madrasas
Dawn of Technology
Indian Muslim Kids in Dubai
With Blessings from the Andamans!
Valley Of Peace in Pink City
Urdu Press in Doldrums
Badlapur in Flames over Petty Quarrel
Computer Applications Course From Crescent
People


3-Vol Urdu-English Dictionary is now ready

By Maqbool Ahmed Siraj

Yakoob Miran Mujtahedi busy with his workHyderabad: The voluminous Urdu-English Dictionary compiled by Yakoob Miran Mujtahedi here has been completed and is under printing. The 3-volume Dictionary is likely to be available to Urdu and English users by January 2003.

Syed Hashim Memorial Foundation in Hyderabad has undertaken its publication. It will be priced at Rs. 3,000 and for overseas buyers its price will be $ 200.

Mujtahedi, former Deputy Director of Translations in the Andhra Pradesh Government had begun the work in 1971 and compiled nearly 300,000 entries in Urdu, their meaning and proximate translation in English, phrases, proverbs, etc. It is claimed to be the most comprehensive Urdu-English Dictionary and will greatly facilitate the translation from Urdu to English. Carried out single-handedly, the monumental dictionary took 30 years to complete.

Mujtahedi who spoke to Islamic Voice, said the dictionary was necessitated, as the last of the Urdu-English dictionary was compiled by Baba-e-Urdu, Dr. Abdul Haq in 1934 and nearly one-third of the words had become obsolete. He said the rapid changes in science and technology, humanities, administration and trade and commerce had added a whole new litany of words which needed latest skills to approach the English substitutes.

A self-made lexicographer, Mujtahedi began building Urdu vocabulary way back in 1971 and painstakingly found their English translations.

The dictionary would be put on the Digital Dictionaries of South Asia website for non-commercial use and can be accessed on dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries. Digital dictionaries of South Asia is a project of the South Asian Languages and Area Centre that is run in conjunction with Columbia University and the Triangle South Asia Consortium. An agreement was signed in this context between James H. Nye, Director of the Centre and Mujtahedi.

For more information contact: Yakoob Miran Mujtahedi, Dictionary House, 16-3-80 A, Chanchalguda, Hyderabad-500024, Phone: 4577172.

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Tradition of Saifee

The tradition of mass marriages financed by the community, comes as a boon to the Bohras

By Mohammed Hanif Lakdawala

Mumbai: In keeping with an 85-year-old tradition, 250 couples from the Dawoodi Bohra community tied the knot in Mumbai in the presence of their spiritual leader Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. The pageant-like ceremony called the Rasme Saifee (Tradition of Saifee), is an annual feature in the Bohra social calendar and has been named after Syedna Taher Saifuddin who started it. Bohra families from all over the world arrived in the city to take part in the ceremony that took place at Raudat Tahera, mausoleum of the late Syedna. From the mausoleum, a large procession of bedecked horses carrying traditionally attired bridegrooms moved to Bhendi Bazaar’s Saifee Masjid where the marriages were solemnised by the Syedna. The tradition of mass marriages financed by the community was initiated for the benefit of the Bohras who could not afford a lavish wedding.

However, the annual festival has now become so popular that even well to-do families opt to marry off their children in the fete. “It has the pomp and glamour of a traditional wedding,” says a community member. Ceremonies similar to the one in Mumbai will be held during the year in many other cities in India and abroad. But the ceremony in Mumbai is considered most important. The Syedna himself solemnised the marriages and blessed the couples.

It is thus a privilege for families of the couples who take part in the custom,” says Qureish Raghib, a member of the Syedna’s office. This is why Murtuza Pachorawala (23), a manager working in Iraq, also married his fiancée Zainab at the ceremony.

“Regular marriages are held all the time. But this is one occasion when the Syedna and his father bless your marriage. It is a nice way of getting married,” he said. Murtuza’s elder brother will get married in a similar ceremony at Surat next month. Preparations for the marriage ceremony begin months earlier, when families meet and arrange marital alliances with the help of special committees set up for the occasion.

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Iqra in Bangladesh

The Iqra curriculum of Islamic education created on modern scientific lines by Iqra International Educational Foundation, Chicago (USA) and initiated in over 40 countries, will now be extended to Bangladesh, according to Uzma Naheed, Executive Director, Iqra Education Foundation. As the syllabus is compiled on the lines of techniques used in the USA and Europe, the teachers require training which Iqra Foundation provides free of cost. The training programme will be conducted in January 2003 in Dhaka and Chittagong.

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Seminar on Prophetic Medicines

Bangalore: It was all in praise of honey, dates, miswaak, zam, zam, olive and mehendi! Bazm-e-Sualihaat, recently organised a Seminar on Prophetic Medicines with the objective of creating awareness about the merits of products like honey and dates which normally are consumed by people as “just another food item” According to Dr Ruqaiyyah Jaferi Siddique, President of Bazm-e-Sualihaat,” most of the people are not aware that these items were loved by Prophet Muhammad and he recommended them as medicines for a number of ailments. Students from various schools and colleges were roped in to elucidate the utility of oranges, vinegar, antimony (surma) and black cumin too. Chashm-e-Shifa (in English), a book on Prophetic Medicines is available at Bazm-e-Sualihaat, 103, Banjara Summit, Wheeler Road, Frazer Town, Bangalore-5. Ph; 5300708.

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A Step towards the Quran

Bangalore:Quranic Quiz”- A Step towards the Qur’an compiled by Moulana Syed Mohammed Tasdeeq is now available for those who wish to know more about the evolution of the Qur’an. Released here recently, the book also comprises a series of questions based on the Qur’an. For further details, contact: Ameed Publishers Pvt. Ltd, Post Box No-5189, Bangalore-560001. Ph: 5562429. Email:smtasdeeq@yahoo.com

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Seminar on Madrasas

New Delhi: Eminent Muslim educationists, scholars, diplomats and intellectuals have stressed the need of modernising Madrasas so that they could impart contemporary education, apart from religious studies. At a seminar, ‘Syllabus in Indian Madrasas,’ here, they appealed to the educated sections of the Muslim community to take the initiative to correct the misconception about the teachings in Madrasas. The seminar was jointly organised by the Jamia Cultural Committee and Iran Culture House.

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Dawn of Technology

Bangalore: Khader Nawaz Sharief Institute of Technology set up by Congress MP C.K. Jaffer Sharief was inaugurated here. It offers courses in Electronics and Communications, Information Science and Computers and Instrumentation Technology. The Institute has been named after Jaffer Sharief’s son. For details, contact 8565494/8563494.

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Indian Muslim Kids in Dubai

Indian Muslim Kids in Dubai

Indian Muslim kids in the Gulf have the best of the education along with religious ambience. The Dubai Indian Islamic Centre (DIIC) organised the inter-school competitions in connection with the Meelad Fest 2002 for the UAE school students and English Medium School, Dubai bagged the overall Championship in these competitions. Students from 23 schools from all over the UAE participated in the competitions which included Qur’an recitation, debate and impromptu speeches. Children debated on many topics that included, “Is Internet advisable for teenagers,” “Should human cloning be banned,” “Should force be used to protect human rights,” “ Should nuclear weapons be abolished”, and “ Teenagers are a spoilt lot.” For an insight into the activities of DIIC, contact: Dubai Indian Islamic Centre, P.O. Box 27744, Dubai-United Arab Emirates.
Email: diic@emirates.net.ae

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With Blessings from the Andamans!

Port Blair: There is more to Andamans than the beach and the shells. Recently, the message of Islam was sent clear and loud here with an Inter-Faith Meet on “ Concept of God in Major Religions” organised by the Islamic Centre Andamans, Stewart Gunj. While Dr. Zakir Naik, President, Islamic Research Foundation gave the keynote address, Swami Amritarupananda of the Ramakrishna Mission spoke on the oneness of God from the Qur’an and Vedas. The Question and Answer Session triggered a series of questions on Islam which was tackled by Dr Zakir Naik. According to A. P. Mohammed, Chairman, Islamic Centre, Andamans, this was a path-breaking event considering the fact that the Islands are far removed from the Indian mainland. For an insight into dawah activities in the Islands, get in touch with Islamic Centre, Andamans, Stewart Gunj P.O. S.Andaman-744107, India.

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Valley Of Peace in Pink City

By A Staff Writer

Jaipur: A three-day State-level convention of the Jamat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), organised here last fortnight, warned against political parties inciting violence to serve their divisive agenda and pointed out that this was one of the dangerous results of the misuse of religion for political ends. The central theme of the convention, which was held after a gap of 14 years, was "Let us move towards peace, progress and salvation". The venue of the meet- the Karbala ground in the centre of the city was named Wadi-e-Aman (Valley of Peace) and it was attended by over 15,000 delegates, including 7,000 women. The participants included a large number of non-Muslims as well. The convention was inaugurated by the national president of Jamat-e-Islami, Maulana Sirajul Hasan. Prominent among those who addressed various sessions of the meet were the Shankaracharya of Prayag Peeth, Swami Madhavanand Saraswati, Congress Working Committee member, Manishankar Aiyar, president of Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawrat, Syed Shahabuddin, social activist and recipient of the Magsaysay Award, Sandeep Pandey and noted Jaipur-based Sarvodaya leader, Siddhraj Dhaddha.

A special session on women's issues was held on the second day and was addressed by Muneera Khanam, organiser of the ladies wing in Jih Maharashtra, Nasira Khanam, Shaista Rafat and Dr. Fazlurrahman Fareedi, member, JIH central advisory council.

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Urdu Press in Doldrums

By Andalib Akhter

New Delhi: Even as 60 new newspapers were added to the already existing 2,844 Urdu newspapers last year, the state of the Urdu Press in the country is pathetic. They are yet to come to terms with the modern needs of common people. The Urdu readers believe that the standard of Urdu newspapers is deteriorating day-by -day particularly in the Urdu belt. And the readership base is decreasing constantly as the number of people who read the language is also falling. The latest report by the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) says the Urdu press comprised 2,906 newspapers in 2001 as against 2,844 in 2000. It was the fourth largest Press in the country, after Hindi, English and Marathi. Among the dailies, with 534 newspapers, Urdu ranked second, next to Hindi. There were 21 weeklies, 377 fortnightlies, 533 monthlies and 72 quarterly journals.But these numbers cannot conceal the fact that the Urdu Press is in the doldrums. The RNI also notes that the circulation of Urdu newspapers fell to 5.1 million copies in 2001 from about six million in 2000, a decline of about 900,000 copies. According to Md. Wasimul Haque, chief editor of the Urdu daily Akhbar-e-Mashrique, the RNI report does not reflect the ground reality of Urdu newspapers. There are hardly 20-25 newspapers in India that have some circulation. “Most of the papers are printed just to maintain the record and get advertisements,” he says. In fact, it has become a good profession for the proprietors to earn money by getting benefits in the name of journalism. “The situation is not very conducive for Urdu press and they lack good professionals,” says Javed Akhter of UNI Urdu service. Says senior journalist, M. A. Kazmi who runs an Urdu feature agency: “not only the standard of Urdu Press, but also the circulation has been decreasing over the years. Urdu newspapers hardly pay remuneration to the contributors”.

There are many reasons for it- Urdu is losing its popularity in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, which were the centres of the language. People may speak Urdu, but few read it. “The new generation reads either English or Hindi,” says Moin Aijaz of All India Radio. The RNI report says, Jadeed-in-Dinon, a daily from Delhi, was the largest circulated in 2001 with 76,400 copies. But many in the Capital, say such projections could have been manipulated as it is hardly ever seen being read or sold on the news stalls.

“My children cannot read Urdu. It is the older generation that buys Urdu newspapers out of sheer love for the language. I am sure Urdu newspapers will not come to my house after my death,” says Saghir Hussain, an avid newspaper reader.

On the other hand, many youngsters who can read and write Urdu wonder what Urdu newspapers can offer them. “Urdu newspapers are mostly cut-and-paste journalism. There was a time when the Urdu press had an impact on society” says Roshan Ali, a student of Aligarh Muslim University.

“ Urdu papers are pushing stereotypes. They just rake up old issues that are now non-issues and create a fear psychosis among the Muslim community. They are yet to open their minds and see the larger developments in the world,” says Noorullah Khan, head of Urdu section in press Information Bureau.

For many, Urdu journalism is more of a mission rather than a profession. It is to be seen how long this mission survives.

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Badlapur in Flames over Petty Quarrel

By A Staff Writer

Mumbai: The mini-riot which broke out in the town of Badlapur, about 50 kms from Mumbai recently appears to have been the fall-out of a minor altercation between youngsters of two communities. Police say they are yet to determine the exact cause of the riot in Vanali village which has left 13 persons injured including the driver of a police wireless vehicle. Prominent members of Hindu and Muslim communities too are ambiguous on how this silent neighbourhood was unexpectedly hit by clashes. Each community is blaming the other for the problem. According to local residents, there was a skirmish during the Navratri festival which resulted in the clash, and tension had been brewing between the youngsters of both communities for a fortnight. The story goes that few youngsters from the Hindu community had ventured into the Konkani Muslim locality and had an argument with a youth there. The ‘’trespassers’’ were taken to the police station for harassing some women. Though they were taken to the police station to be charged for eve-teasing, they were booked with more serious offences. The fight was converted into a communal riot, leaving 16 people injured. Stones were hurled, shops burnt, and the flames spread from Badlapur to the Bhiwandi railway station, and Katrap, 10 kms from Badlapur.

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Computer Applications Course From Crescent

Bangalore: The Crescent Educational Institutions managed by the Crescent Association has been in the field of education for the past three decades providing study courses in the academic, religious and computer technology in a professional ambience. With the focus on job-oriented education, the Crescent Institute of Technology has introduced the one year course in Diploma in Computer Applications and Multi-lingual DTP which is initiated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India from October 1st. The one year course was inaugurated by Dr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan, founder, Al-Ameen Movement. While Dr Yameen M. Farooqui, member of National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language was the chief guest, Mohammed Zahedulla Meccai, president of Jamia Masjid-e-Islamabad presided over the inauguration. For further details, get in touch with Mohd Rashid Mecci, General Secretary, Crescent Association, Mosque Road, Basavanagudi, Bangalore-560004, Ph: 6563356/6574215

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People

IBS Honours Hamdard Scientist

Head of the Botany Department at Jamia Hamdard, Muhammad Iqbal

The Indian Botanical Society has honoured Professor Muhammad Iqbal, Head of the Botany Department at Jamia Hamdard, Delhi with its prestigious Prof. V.Puri Gold Medal which is awarded in recognition of quality research and publication in the field of Developmental and Structural Botany. Professor Muhammad Iqbal has investigated developmental aspects of trees in relation to their age and analysed the effects of seasonal climatic changes and environmental pollution on processes of radial growth and wood formation in some tropical trees of India.

Resigns

Sami Khateeb, renowned industrialist and social worker resigned from the post of secretary of the Anjuman Islam, the leading Muslim educational body in Mumbai. Khateeb said he was resigning for personal reasons and would associate himself with Anjuman in all its endeavours to uplift the community socially and educationally.

Sentenced

Shihabuddin Ghauri, the former JNU student whose arrest in 1993 led to the busting of the infamous Hawala scam was sentenced to two years in prison for violating Foreign Exchange Regulations Act (FERA). Shihabuddin Ghauri spent eight years in prison following his arrest from the JNU Hostel after he was found sending money to militant organisations in the Kashmir Valley. But the arrest spilled greater number of beans about the Indian political establishment. The Jain brothers who were supplying money to Ghauri were found to have arranged money transactions for bigwigs of the Congress(I), then in power, opposition BJP and all other parties. The dairy entries however just recorded the initials such as AS, LKA, MJA, MRS etc which did not constitute sufficient proof in the court. Altogether, 53 heavyweights were found involved. The case was later withdrawn by the CBI causing jubilation across the establishment. But by then, Ghauri had spent eight years in detention. He too had to released. But the FERA violation case went on and Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Delhi, V. Maheshwari pronounced the judgement last month finding him guilty of violation of Foreign Exchange Regulation Act. The court also levied a fine of Rs. 20,000.

Arrested

Abu Bakar Bashir

Abu Bakar Bashir, the leader of Jamaah Islamiah in Indonesia was arrested on October 19, by the police. The arrest came after Jewish controlled Time magazine carried a piece hinting his links with Al-Qaeda, the current US bugbear conjuring up chimerical vision of threat from Islamic organisations in Indonesia and accusing President Megawati of appeasing the Islamic lobby. The bearded cleric heads the powerful Nahdatul Ulama with a 40 million membership.

Haj Committee Membership for Islamic Voice Executive

Mohammed Munawar Chand, executive of Sam Communications for Islamic Voice, has been selected as a member in the Andhra Pradesh State Haj Committee for the next three years. Munawar Chand,28,is the son of Mohammed Jani Miya and is a resident of Musheerabad in Hyderabad. He is also the Vice-President of the Telugu Desam Party (T.D.P), Bholakpur, Musheerabad division.

“Best Constructive Worker Award” goes to Malika Mistry

“Power of knowledge helps in discarding myths and fighting ignorance,” believes Malika Mistry. Mistry, a lecturer at the Poona College of Arts, Science and Commerce was recently awarded the Ba-Bapu Award for “ the Best Constructive Worker for the Year 2002” by Gandhi Smarak, Aga Khan Palace, for her work on promoting national intergration and secularism. Mistry is a trustee of the Muslim Samaj Prabodhan Sanstha, an NGO at Sayyad Nagar, Hadaspur, working for the empowerment of Muslim women and children. She is also honorary consultant for Rehami Foundation, Mumbai, an NGO working for the educational and economic upliftment of the community.

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