Islamic Voice
Jamadi Ul Akhir 1422
September 2001
Volume 15-09 No:177

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NEWS FROM ISLAMIC WORLD


Islamic Radio Station in Holland
Plea for Abolition of Iddath Turned Down
Marriage to Close Relatives Harmful: Study
Warning against Excessive Swearing
Sudan University Enrolment Up
59 % Pak Women Illiterate
Defamatory Remarks by US Cong'man
First Islamic Expo in Brunei
Study on Muslim Minorities
Islamic Banking Approved in Nigeria
Alexandria Library to Open Next Month
Islam in Check Republic
700 Embrace Islam
700,000 Muslim in Holland
India Invites Azhar Chief

Islamic Radio Station in Holland

Amsterdam, IINA: The Islamic Wakf Organization proposes to set up an Islamic Radio station to cater to Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia, etc. for dawah purposes and introduce Islamic culture in these erstwhile Muslim countries or Ottoman ruled areas. Eng. Abdul Hameed Al Zamil, the organization’s Director-General, said that a number of its Daawa activists are busy spreading the word of Islam in such countries as Bosnia, Albania, Russia, and Kazakhstan, using the locally available media. The Director-General added that a special committee has been set up by his organization to study the broadcasting station project, adding that his organization already has a presence on the Internet, where it puts out material in the Dutch and Albanian languages.

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Plea for Abolition of Iddath Turned Down

Cairo, IINA: Azhar scholars have turned down the recommendations of the women's conference that called for the abolition of the ceremonial waiting or mourning period, known as Iddath, whether it is a result of the husband's death or following a divorce. The conference was recently held in Algeria under the auspices of the Supreme Islamic Council for Relief. The recommendation in this connection calls for a medical examination to confirm whether a divorced or widowed woman is pregnant or not, and if she is not, then she should be allowed to get married to another husband who comes forward. The scholars maintain that the Iddath has other more significant ramifications, such as preserving the woman's modesty, giving consideration to the erstwhile relations, and the like.

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Marriage to Close Relatives Harmful: Study

Cairo, IINA: A scientific study has revealed that marriage between people who are closely related could led to mental retardation, though sometimes the signs may not be so obvious. The study was conducted by a lecturer in human genetics at the National Research Center here, who said that he conducted the study on 100 disabled subjects, and discovered that the disabilities among 76 of them could be traced to marriage between close relatives. Dr. Ashur attributed other reasons for such disabilities, such as the age at which a couple gets married, and also the use of over-the-counter drugs by pregnant woman, without proper medical supervision. He said the only cure for such hereditary disabilities is through the mapping of the genes and isolating the disability causing ones, but added that the diagnosis has to be made well before the disease develops.

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Warning against Excessive Swearing

Riyadh, IINA: Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Alsheikh, has advised Muslims to stick to truthfulness and lessen their swearing in the name of Allah. He that when it becomes necessary for one to swear by invoking Allah's name, then he should be telling the truth. He said one of the commendable qualities of a good Muslim is his minimization of swearing in the name of Allah, warning that he who makes a habit of swearing, eventually reduces his faith in the very things he is saying, and even people will start doubting what he says. It may be recalled that Saudis unnecessarily invoke the name of Allah by swearing even for very minor things. Excessive use of swearing in business matters in Saudi bazaars has almost reduced its value to nothing.

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Sudan University Enrolment Up

Khartoum, IINA: Sudan has reported almost seven fold increase in students enrolment in the five old universities of the country. For the academic year 1989-1990 the total enrolment was 6,080, while for the 1999-2000 the enrolment is 481,170 - an increase of 692 per cent. Since 1990, higher education in Sudan has been taking great strides, to the extent that at the moment there are 26 universities and institutions of higher learning. These institutions enable students to pursue various disciplines, such as medicine, engineering, electronics, statistical studies, and other technical subjects. Another development is that some of these universities have introduced new subjects, such as oil and minerals engineering, computing, aviation, and the like. Girl's education has also been given priority by the government, with their representation rising from 37 to 60 per cent.

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59 % Pak Women Illiterate

Lahore, IINA: A study conducted recently here indicates that there are 80 million women in Pakistan, 59 per cent of whom have no idea about schooling. The study says that illiteracy among women has been the cause of poverty, and women form 74.7 per cent of the poor. The study points out that the women who are educated are able to deal with poverty, and adds that poverty among those with Masters degrees accounts for only one per cent of them, while those with bachelors degrees the poverty rate is 13.2 per cent. The study says that those women with medical qualifications are much better off.

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Defamatory Remarks by US Cong'man

Washington, IINA: The Washington-based Council for American-Israeli Relations (CAIR) has denounced the utterances by American Congressman Tom Lantoz (Democrat-California), by describing the Hudaibiya Treaty concluded by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as deceptive one. The Congressman said while speaking at the US American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, a leading Israeli lobby organisation. Lantoz said that what Arafat was doing by abandoning a peace accord that he never dreamt of, was nothing short of what had happened in 628 AD, which he described as a deceptive one, because the Muslims had no intention of observing it. CAIR has written to the press deprecating the Congressman's remarks, and also to Lantoz asking him to apologize for the defamatory remarks. Nihad Awad, CAIR director also explained to the Congressman that the Prophet did not in any way went back on the Hudaibiya Treaty, as suggested by the Congressman. CAIR asked Muslims everywhere to express their objection to the Congressman's remarks by writing to the ethics committee of the US Congress, whose e-mail address is: www.house.gov/ethnics/.

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First Islamic Expo in Brunei

Bandar Seri Begawan, IINA: Brunei Dar-us-Salam is holding the First International Islamic Expo. The show is being held at the new building of the State Mufti Department. The expo is being held along with the Visit Brunei Year (VBY) 2001, and the Director of Promotion and Tourism Development at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, Sheikh Jamaluddian, welcomed the effort of the State Mufti’s Department in holding the Expo in conjunction with the VYB 2001, and hoped that more such exhibitions would be held to attract tourists to the country. The Expo will be divided into three main activities: Islamic Heritage Exhibition, Islamic Exhibition and Trade Fair, and the International Seminar on Islamic Archipelago’s Resources of Reference.

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Study on Muslim Minorities

Jeddah, IINA: A scientific study highlighting the problems of Muslim minorities and the Islamic Daawa in Europe has been published, and one of its recommendations is that more attention should be paid to the setting up of Islamic schools, scientific institution for them, and the setting aside of a certain number of scholarships in the universities of Islamic countries for the Muslim minorities to take advantage of. The study is by Dr. Tawfiq Abdul Aziz Al-Sudairy, and also recommends the setting up of social institutions in those countries where there are Muslim minorities. The study also recommends the translation of suitable Islamic books and distributing them to those minorities, so that they are aware of the principles and practices of their faith. Dr. Sudairy also calls in his study for an increase in the number of visits made by Muslim scholars to those minorities, and activate the institutions that exist in the countries they visit, so that they could play their rightful and proper role in serving the Muslim minorities in their respective countries. He also called for taking advantage of the existing channels of mass communication, and reach out to those minorities in the various European countries.

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Islamic Banking Approved in Nigeria

Abuja, IINA: The Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Shamsuddin Usman, announced here that the Federal Government has approved the granting of two licenses for the establishment of Islamic banking in the country. The CBN deputy chief explained some of the problems that could face Islamic banks, including the inadequate supply of trained manpower, absence of Islamic accounting and auditing standards, lack of enough analysis of profit and loss schemes, and the difficulties in cash management. He contended that Islamic banking in a mixed economy like Nigeria faced the problem of forfeiting interests on its deposits in the CBN, while the conventional ones would go on receiving such interest.

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Alexandria Library to Open Next Month

Alexandria: The ancient Alexandria Library in Egypt will be officially reopened in October. But a fuller celebration is proposed to be held on April 22, 2002. The entire project has so far cost US$ 250 million. The countries that contributed to the project included Saudi Arabia ($60 million), the UAE ($65 million), and others. The library has a unique architecture, and contains 6,186 rare manuscripts. At the inauguration ceremony, it is expected that 16 heads of state, plus heads of various international organizations, including UNESCO will attend the ceremony. Designed by a Norwegian firm, the 31,000 square feet structure is a combination of shapes of computer chip with those of a cave. Four of the 11 floors are below the ground and the structure looks like sun rising over the Mediterranean.

The library was first set up by Ptolemy I during Hellenic era over Egypt in 289 BC. Soon the collection of books (then in the form of papyrus rolls) grew to seven lakh and began to attract scholars such as Euclid and Archimedes. The library was completely destroyed when Christian rioters, provoked by Emperor Theodosius’ decision in 391 AD to outlaw all religions other than Christianity, destroyed Pagan temples and other establishments. The Library director Ahmed Sirageldin hopes the library would be in full bloom only after a decade with substantial collection of books. Serageldine plans to collect and preserve a rich set of manuscripts decaying throughout Egypt. It has already taken in its possession one lakh pages medieval text of hieroglyphics found in the attic of a Cairo synagogue.

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Islam in Check Republic

Prague, IINA: The Check Republic has not given official recognition to the Islamic religion in the country, and according to a 1992 law, the government requires the signatures of at least 10,000 Muslims. But the Muslims have as yet to come together and present a common request, and the various Islamic organizations in the country are regarded only as cultural organizations.

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700 Embrace Islam

Riyadh, IINA: 742 persons embraced Islam last year in Saudi Arabia, according to a report issued by the Saudi Ministry of Justice. 501 of them were men. Previously, these individuals belonged to faiths such as Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism, and come from countries in Asia, Australia, African, Europe etc. The majority of those who embraced Islam were Filipinos (522), followed by Indians (97), and Sri Lankans (59). Most of the new reverts live in Jeddah, and they belong to professions such as doctors, nurses, engineers, drivers.

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700,000 Muslim in Holland

Amsterdam, IINA: Muslims population in Holland has gone up to 700,000 and the number of mosques has risen to 400. The number of Muslims began to increase with the immigration from from North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. They now have set up at least 30 primary schools.

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India Invites Azhar Chief

Cairo, IINA: Dr. Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, head of Al-Azhar in Cairo, has been invited to India by the the Indian ambassador to Egypt. The Indian envoy handed to the Egyptian scholar an invitation to visit his country. Speaking to IINA, the Indian ambassador said there are 80 million Muslims in his country, adding that they are allowed to practice their religion with full freedom. “There are more than 10,000 Islamic schools,” he pointed out. The ambassador said he invited the Sheikh of Al-Azhar to inaugurate a number of Islamic projects and to see for himself the situation of Muslims in India.

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