MWL Demands Return of Jerusalem
New Forum for Muslim Women
Minorities Dev. Corpn. to set up Vocational Centres
Rare Dewan of Ghalib in New York Library
New Book on Tipu Sultan
16 More Galleries at Salar Jung Museum
Muslim Schools Perform Better
Girl in Hijab wins Union Poll
Deccani Urdu Dictionary
MWAK Completes 10 years
New Bill for Womens Voting Rights in Kuwait
Unauthorised Places of Worship in Mumbai
Personal Law Board to Meet in Bangalore
Hira Centre housing the headquarters of Jamaat-e-Islami, Kerala Zone,
its dawah unit, medical relief unit, media unit and offices of various official
organs was inaugurated in Calicut on June 4. The centre is located in the
heart of the city. (This news item was carried in July issue of Islamic Voice.
The photo arrived late.)
MWL Demands Return of Jerusalem
Makkah : The Muslim World League (MWL) has opposed shifting of the United States embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in the Israeli occupied area of Palestine. In a hard-hitting statement League chief Dr. Abdullah Saleh Al-Obeid stressed that it is a gross injustice to regard Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and that the attempts by some governments, led by the United States, to transfer their embassies to Jerusalem threatens the credibility of the US stance toward the peace process.
Addressing the International Seminar on Jerusalem, the MWL secretary-general Dr. Obeid appealed to the international community to adopt stands that are compatible with historical facts, and expressed the hope that the US President and his government would take into account their relations with the Muslim world, and the interest of the American people that are derived from the Muslim world, which, he added, are many. It may be recalled that US President Clinton has hinted at the shifting of the US embassy in Israel. This has been interpreted as a gesture to woo the Jewish votes in New York from where his wife Hillary is seeking election for the US Senate.
Dr. Obeid called upon the international community to respect international laws and the UN resolutions, which forbid the occupation of other people’s land by force. Dr. Obeid added that Jerusalem should be restored to its Muslim, Christian, and Jewish citizens, so that peace and security could prevail.
A. B. Masoud
New Delhi: A handful of Westernised Muslim Women here have launched Muslim Women’s Forum to act as a ‘pressure group’ in order to get the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986 revoked and to give credence to the liberal interpretations of Women rights enshrined in the Quran and the Shari’at.
The Forum, in its fist panel discussion, recently held here at the India International Centre, has called for codification of Muslim Personal Law and a ban on triple, instant talaq. However, the issue of (alimany) maintenance was the main topic of discussion.
Intiating the debate, Dr. Syeda Saiyaidain Hameed, co-ordinator of the Forum, said, ‘it is high time for Muslim Women to participate in all discussions that have a direct and proximate bearing on their lives and destinies. Welcoming the Calcutta and Bombay High Court’s recent judgement’s on maintenance, Dr. Syeda a former member of the National Commission for Women, said, the Shah Bano judgement was reversed by the passage of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986, and Muslim Women were exempted from section 125 of the Cr P.C. Since then, the Act has been subjected to divergent interpretations, from the very restrictive to the broad and benevolent, including the interpretation of the Iddat clause as well as the clause pertaining to maintenance for children. Revealing the true colour of the forum, she said the Forum would make an all out effort to challenge the enactment of Muslim Women Act 1986, in the Supreme Court which is expected to take up all petitions including Danial Latifi versus the State of India, pertaining to Muslim Women’s maintenance very shortly.
Commenting on the amount and duration of maintenance (alimony) payable to a divorced wife and her children, Mr. Anees Ahmad, a supreme court lawyer, said, “the Indian courts were seen as practising a law, which is neither right nor in keeping with the spirit of the Islamic Law. In fact what “passes off” as Islamic Law here is an “erroneous interpretations” based on commentaries and translations rather than the Shari’at, done by the British judges.
Explaining the divergent interpretations of the Shah Bano case, he said, there was a ‘misconstruction’ of the Islamic Law in the Indian Courts, which had created a “legal chaos”. In all this legal chaos, Muslim Women’s plight has come into sharper focus, he added. The National Commission for Women’s public hearings of Muslim Women held throughout the country in 1998-99, have revealed that by and large, these women receive very little relief under the 1986 Act. and they continue to suffer as before.
The Forum felt that the provision for maintenance (alimony) in the 1986 Act beyond the period of “iddat” were vague, imperfect and often th reason behind the destitution of Muslim Women.
Though most of the participants agreed that Islam is a gender-friendly religion and one, which has made adequate provisions for women. It was also one, which was the first to give property rights to women. But when this correspondent pointed out, what they were asking for, is against the teachings of Quran, they said, the various provisions of the Quran, have been deliberately misinterpreted to the detriment of women. Extending open invitation to the ulema to debate the various provisions of the shariat, they said that they were determined not to accept anything less than what the religion provides for them.
The Forum proposed the setting up of a committee, comprising lawyers, intellectulas and all categories of women to formulate a code that defined their rights and role as conceived by ‘shari’at’.
It is to be mentioned here that among the 25 odd participants, three Burqa-clad (but well-educated) ladies were not given enough time to put forward their views on the issue. Talking to the Islamic Voice, Mrs. Hasna Latif, Principal of a private school, said, “these so-called women had no clear perception of Islam and its concept of equality”. If these women are allowed their way, it would also give birth to westernised way of living-in relationship among the Muslims, she quipped.
Taking exception to the speech of noted journalist Seema Mustafa, another lady Miss Sibghat Fatima said such women have no right to talk about Muslim women. She has married a non-Muslim and has forefeited her right to plead on the behalf of shariat.
Besides Forum’s president Begum Khurshid Alam Khan, Dr. Sughra Mehdi, Mrs Shahid Mehdi (wife of Jamia-Millia vice chancellor) Mrs. Sona Khan (who along with Late Danial Latifi, first challenged the 1986 Act in the Supreme Court), Prof Seema Alvi and Mrs. Sameena Mishra, Ms. Rafiqa Hussain were notable participants in the discussion.
While demanding the ban of the verbal triple talaq and registration of mariages to be made compulsory, the Forum felt that Education was the only solution to the problems, plaguing Muslim Women.
New Delhi: The Minority Financial Development Corporation will start vocational training centres at Muslim educational institutions in 15 states. This was stated by the new chairman of the Corporation Qari Muhammad Mian Mazhari, who was till recently the editor of a non-descript monthly Qari which is now defunct. He was appointed last month.
Mazhari said madrassas will be preferred for the purpose of vocational centres. He also indicated that development needs in six district known for Muslim artisanship in Uttar Pradesh will receive more focus. These are Ferozabad (glass work), Saharanpur (wood carving), Lucknow (chikan embroidery), Aligarh (lock making), Bhadohi (carpet) and Muradabad (brassware). He said allocation for UP will be increased from Rs. 10 crore to Rs. 20 crore.
He said 50 NGOs will be invited for a consultation in New Delhi during September to seek advice for minority development schemes.
According to Mazhari, the Prime Minister Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee told him to initiate development schemes for Muslims and to leave the question of funds on him (the Prime Minister). Mazhari also met the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Mr. K. C. Panth and requested him for allocation of more funds.
Hyderabad: A rare poetry collection of Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib printed in 1863 (Ghalib died in 1869) is preserved in the New York Central Library. This rare copy of Dewan e Ghalib is preserved in a casket since 1932 and carries the catalogue number 579120A. Nobody has opened the casket during the last 67 years.
This is disclosed by Dr. Syed Taqi Aabidi in an article in Urdu Daily Siyasat in one of its issues in August. Dr. Aabidi writes that the Dewan is mistakenly catalogued under Indian literature. It was purchased in Agra and carries the signature of one Mr. Trauss dated December 4, 1930. It was catalogued by the New York Central Library in 1932.
According to the Siyasat report, the Dewan was published by Matbaa Mufeed-al-Khalaiq of Agra after the press owner Munshi Sheo Narain sought Ghalib’s permission to print it. It carries a 22-line Muqaddima (foreword) with specific request to the publishers not to add to Dewan his other and miscellaneous couplets found elsewhere.
The Muqaddima records the following : “This poet is known as Mirza Asadullah Khan, alias Mirza Nousha and has taken the pseudonym of Ghalib. I am a resident of Delhi and aspire to be buried in Najaf Ashraf (in today’s Iraq)”.
The Dewan preserved in a good condition, comprises 146 pages and each page has 15 lines. It carries a total of 1795 couplets.
It may be recalled that Ghalib’s Dewan was published five times during his lifetime and this Dewan was perhaps the last among them. And Ghalib was hardly ever satisfied of the production quality of his Dewans.
(Note : This news item is a translated version of Mirza Taqui Aabidi’s article in Siyasat Daily of Hyderabad.)
Bangalore: Sunset at Srirangapatam by former Karnataka minister Mohammad Moeinuddin has been released by Orient Longman. The book running into 275 pages sketches the history of plunder, pillage and gore by the British army at the historic fort town of Srirangapatam near Mysore after Tippu Sultan was martyred on May 4, 1799.
Moeinuddin has dug out rich historic material from libraries, archives and museums throughout the world to go into the systematic loot and destruction of the capital which enabled the British to pay off their huge debts and ward off the threat of insolvency. Moeinuddin is also the former chairman of the Tippu Sultan Wakf Estate at Srirangapatam which controls the Tippu’s tomb, the Lalbagh Garden around it and the associated mosques. The book is the outcome of Moeinuddin’s ten years of painstaking effort which took him to several cities in the world.
More in Store: Moeinuddin told the Islamic Voice that he is now busy writing another book on Tipu Sultan titled Tipu Sultan and Shrines: Religious Policy, an Analysis. According to him, the book will present in detail Tipu’s generous donation to run the shrines, maintenance, land donation, expenses for lighting of lamps and feeding of Brahmins. Of the 110 shrines mentioned in the book, 95 are Hindu temples.
Moeinuddin contests the claims of a lobby of historians that Tipu was a religious bigot, a tyrant and a destroyer of temples. It is likely to run into 250 pages and will be publish next year.
Moeinuddin can be contacted at: Tel: 080-6340018, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bhatkal: Dr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan, founder Al-Ameen movement in Bangalore urged the Anjuman education Trust to expand its activities outside Bhatkal. He was speaking on “Institution building” here on Aug. 9 in connection with the platinum jubilee of Anjuman Hami-e-Muslimeen, Bhatkal. Complimenting the Anjuman, he said it is good to know that a good number of beneficiaries are non-Muslims. Dr. Mumtaz averred that a conductive educational atmosphere is being created in Muslim concentrated areas and it is time to take advantage of it. Prof. S. Sadique, ex-vice-chancellor, Madras University dwelt on `employment orientation to education with emphasis on vocational and professional training’. He called upon Muslim institutions to take note of emerging vocational courses. Prof Abdul Kareem, ex-principal, Nehru Arts, Science and Commerce College, Hubli, also shared his thoughts. Mr. Syed Khaleel, president, Anjuman Hami-e-Muslimeen presiding over the seminar said unless we give importance to education Muslims will remain backward for ever. He added that it is high time parents realise the significance of education.
Papers on Mr. J.H. Shamshuddin, Haji S.M. Syed Mohiddin and Mr Kazia Muhammed Hasan, the three visionaries, were read out by Messrs Mr Syed Abdul Azeem, K.M. Muneer and Sadique Pilloor resp.
An all-India Muslim educational Conference will be held at Bhatkal from Nov. 11 to 13, 2000.
Hyderabad: The Salar Jung Museum here plans to add 16 more galleries to the existing 35 galleries displaying the artefacts known to be the “ Biggest collection of decorative art pieces east of Suez.”
The decision to add more galleries has been taken on the eve of 50th anniversary of the Museum established by Salar Jung III Mir. Yousuf Ali Khan (the prime minister of Nizams of Hyderabad carried the title of Salar Jung).
According to Museum Director Dr. A.K.V.S. Reddy, the 35 galleries currently display 11,500 objects while the addition of 16 galleries will allow another 8000 objects to be on display. He said more than 24,000 artefact of antique value are currently stored in the safe cellars because of inadequate space for display. He informed that the Museum will prepare the directory carrying the photographs of all the artefacts of the museum and will also set up a gift shop to sell these directories.
New Delhi: Muslim students put up a better performance in the 10th Board examinations from five Muslim high schools in Calcutta and Howrah. But at the same time the total number of students came down this year. The high schools are in Howrah Hat, Alam Bazar, Dhan Kheti, Howrah and Bengali Bazar.
Last year 293 students appeared from these schools and 205 or 70 per cent came out successful. This year (2000), 281 took the exams and 212 passed the same.
The success was 75 per cent. However, the decline in number of students from 293 to 281 is an issue of concern, says Ahmed Rasheed Shervani of Bharat Seva Trust which monitors the performance of Muslim high schools in North India.
Mumbai: Saba Ansari, a Hijab donning girl created a history in the 70-year old Ismail Yusuf College here by winning the general secretary’s post defeating three male candidates. No girl had ever been a candidate earlier. The students union elections were held on August 9.
Daughter of an advocate, Saba aspires to appear for the UPSC examinations.
Chennai (Madras): Niamath Science Academy here will hold an international conference on Unani System of Medicine on October 28 and 29. It will coincide with the birth centenary celebration of Dr. Syed Niamathullah, former mayor of Madras. An exhibition on herbal medicine will also be the part of the seminar. More information can be had from Dr. Syed M. M. Ameen, organising secretary, Niamath Science Academy, 136 Jani Jehan Khan Road, Chennai-600014, Phone: 044-8583231, 8589281 or Email: email@example.com
New Delhi: The National Bureau for Urdu Promotion will prepare a dictionary of Deccani Urdu. Prof. Syeda Jaffer, former head of the department of Urdu, University of Hyderabad has been appointed the Project director.
The Deccani Lughat will provide insight on the origin of each entry besides explaining its meaning.
Deccani Urdu, as spoken in South India and part of Maharashtra, is district from the North Indian Urdu in accent and usage. It marvellously shortens sentences and provides pragmatic substitutes for long words.
Trivandrum (From Kayamkulam Yoonus): The Muslim Welfare Association of Kerala has completed a decade of service in helping Muslim students. Established by philanthropist Channakara M.P. Kunju, the MWAK offers scholarships to all poor Muslim rank holders (with 90% and above marks) in the SSLC exams. It also distributes textbooks, uniforms etc. among village students.
It has also organised medical camps in villages and distributed free spectacles to those with defective vision. It has also organised marriage of poor girls in cooperation with Masjid Jamaaths in villages. Mr. Kunju now plans to set up a permanent coaching centre for education of marginalised youth in Trivandrum on the eve of completion of the 10th year.
Kochi: The Amir of Kuwait plans to introduce another bill in the Parliament to give voting rights to women. This was disclosed by Kuwait’s ambassador to India Abdullah Ahmad Al-Murad at a function got up by Kaswah Charitable Trust here on August 5.
He said following failure to get Parliament’s endorsement to this effect last April, the Amir will be presenting another bill in November.
Mr. Murad said Indians based in Kuwait provide investments to the tune of One billion dollar to their country. He said Kuwait supplies oil worth $ 2 billion to India and 70 per cent of the foreign workers and 50 per cent of the Asian workers were Indians.
Later in an interview with The Hindu, Murad said there were 3 lakh Indian workers in Kuwait and Kuwait does not intend putting visa restrictions against unskilled workers. He said there are now more Indian workers in Kuwait than before the invasion of Iraq.
Calcutta: American Federation of Muslims from India (AFMI) will confer the “Pride of India” award on West Bengal Chief minister Jyoti Basu. State food minister Kalimuddin Shams will be conferred an honorary award. The awards will be given away at Detroit during the annual convention of AFMI on October 7-8.
Inquilab Daily, Mumbai, August 6, 2000.
New Delhi: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board will hold its next national convention at Bangalore on October 28 & 29 this year, said a press release from the Board.
Khandwani Appointed Minority Chief
Mumbai : Mohammed Ameen Khandwani is the new chairman of the Maharashtra Minority Commission. He will hold the post for three years. Khandwani had earned a name for efficient administration as chairman of the Central Haj Committee and had been instrumental in construction of the 21-storey impressive building of Baitul Hujjaj in Mumbai (Which was opened only three years ago).
The Minorities Commission has just been revived in the state after it was wound up in 1995 by the former BJP- Shiv Sena government. The High Court has then upheld the decision of the High Court while ruling on a private petition.
The Commission in its former tenure had summoned Bombay Police Commission S.K. Bapat raising question about the legitimacy of the action.
Khandwani was a corporator in Bombay Municipal Corporation between 1957 and 1978 and was later an MLA in Maharashtra from UmarKhadi constituency. He had opposed the singing of Vande Mataram in municipal schools when it was made mandatory in 1972 despite his being the leader of the Congress Party in the Corporation. Khandwani has demanded statutory powers for commission and announced his plan to conduct a survey of minorities in the state.
Muslim Girl Scientist
Malegaon (Maharashtra): Dr. Zubaida of Pune University has been appointed lecturer and research officer at the Inha University in Seoul (Korea). Rising from a humble social background, Zubaida completed her Ph.D in physics from Pune University, says Daily Inquilab from Mumbai.
She was the only Muslim and Indian scientist to represent the country in the International Conference at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in March 99. She presented a paper titled “Transmission based LPG Sensors.”
Zubaida’s education was frequently interrupted because of weak financial status of the family. However she was assisted by Malegaon Education Society.