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  • A country obsessed with racial and religious conflicts
    Sri Lanka, as a nation has been wasting time debating sensitive racial and religious issues for the past several years, without gaining anything. Only thing the country has been witnessing as a result is communities distancing themselves from each other, while portraying a false unity among them. 
    The situation seems to have come to a head with people of various communities being emotionally charged over these issues subsequent to the attacks on three Christian churches and three major tourist hotels by the Islamic terrorists on April 21, 2019, which was also the Easter Sunday.
    The terrorist attacks which caught the nation off-guard demanded united action by all communities and political parties to handle the immediate situation and to prevent future recurrence of...
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  • Burqa ban: Security, human rights and male chauvinism
    A few years ago, on a Turkish beach exclusively for women, a bikini-clad woman offered her prayers. The video clip of the woman going through the postures of the Muslim prayer went viral and created a major debate among the Muslims.  Some censured her for not adhering to the dress code for prayers, but others said what mattered was her piety and not the dress.
    Following the release of the Easter Sunday terror attack commission report, Sri Lanka is mulling whether to ban burqa – the Muslim dress that covers a female body from head to toe – and niqab, which only shows the eyes of the wearer, but the issue needs to be looked at from human rights, security and spiritual angles to come to a right decision.
    If at the one end of the spectrum is public nudity, burqa will...
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  • South African Muslim bodies seek intervention over burqa ban in Sri Lanka Foreign Minister of South Africa urged to intervene
    South African Muslim organisations have called on the country’s foreign minister to intervene in the proposed Sri Lankan ban on the burqa and closure of hundreds of Islamic schools. This followed the announcement by Sri Lanka''s minister for public security, Sarath Weerasekera, during the weekend that his country would ban the traditional full-face covering worn by some Muslim women because it posed a threat to national security. This was quickly followed by a statement from the Sri Lankan foreign ministry, which said a decision would only be taken on the proposal after consultations and further discussion. The United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA) has now asked South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Naledi Pandor to intervene in the matter. UUCSA had earlier also called for such intervention when...
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  • Banning Burqas and Madrasas illegal: Fmr MP
    Former MP M.M .Zuhair said yesterday it would be unlawful to ban Burqas and Madrasas. Issuing a statement, he said some observations and recommendations of the Commission on Easter Sunday attacks are invasive of the absolute protection given to every person under Article 10 of the Sri Lanka Constitution. He said the Commission’s report though good in parts, can be seen as an attempted assault on Islam for the heinous crimes of a dozen suicide bombers. The right to the freedom stated in Article 10 is ‘assured to all religions’ under Article 9. No one, not even Presidential Commissions can invite or promote the State or any limb of the Executive or Judiciary to violate the freedom guaranteed under Article 10.This protection is guaranteed notwithstanding any national security concerns, as the law stands today. In this constitutionally...
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  • Pakistan says likely ban on Niqab in SL to serve as injury on Muslims
    The Ambassador of Pakistan to Sri Lanka, Saad Khattak today said the likely ban on Niqab in Sri Lanka will only serve as an injury to the feelings of ordinary Sri Lankan Muslims and Muslims across the globe. In a tweet, the Ambassador said that at today’s economically difficult time due to COVID-19 pandemic and other image related challenges faced by the country at the international fora, such divisive steps in the name of security, besides accentuating economic difficulties, will only serve as fillip to further strengthen wider apprehensions about fundamental human rights of minorities in the country. Minister of Public Security Rear Admiral (Retd.) Dr. Sarath Weerasekera said today that in addition to banning the burqa, the cabinet proposal would also include banning the niqab which covers the face of the wearer except the eyes. The...
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  • යුරෝපයේ රටවල් 8 කින් හිස්බුල්ලාට සහාය
    මානව හිමිකම් වෙනුවෙන් පෙනී සිටින ප්‍රමුඛ නීතිඥවරයකු වන හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා මහතා වැනි මානව හිමිකම් ආරක්ෂා කරන්නන්ට ගරු කරන ලෙස ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජයෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටිමින් යුරෝපීය රටවල් අටක මානව හිමිකම් තානාපතිවරුන් ඒකාබද්ධ නිවේදනයක් නිකුත් කර තිබේ. නෙදර්ලන්තය, ජර්මනිය, එංගලන්තය ස්වීඩනය, එස්ටෝනියාව, ලිතුවේනියාව, ලක්සම්බර්ග් සහ ෆින්ලන්තය...
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  • Eight EU HR Ambassadors raise concern over Hejaaz Hizbullah
    In a statement issued today, Eight Human Rights  Ambassadors of Europe including the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden called on the Sri Lankan government to " respect human rights defenders such as Hizbullah". The statement issued by the Ambassadors of the United Kingsdom, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Estonia and the Netherlands said that after ten months of Detention, Hejaaz Hizbullah was being accused of speech related offences. Prominent Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department on the 14th of April 2020. He was thereafter accused in the media of various activities related to terrorism. He was thereafter produced on the 18th of February 2021 where the Attorney General informed court that the entire case against Hizbullah was to be based on purported statements made by children. Hizbullah...
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  • Circular on burial of COVID-19 victims issued
    The circular containing the guidelines with regard to the burial of COVID-19 victims has been issued, the Health Ministry said. Some key guidelines are as follows, The relatives of the deceased should inform the Director/ Head of the health care institution (Where the death has occurred) of their desire to bury the corpse without delay. The Director of the hospital/ Head of the health care institution should obtain a written request from relatives for burial. The relatives need to provide a coffin in advance. It is the duty of the director/ Head of health care institution to transport the corpse in a coffin provided by the relatives to a designated location in Colombo Institute of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (office of JMO) / BH Welikanda where the corpse will be received by the designated officer. The vehicle transporting the...
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  • Muslims to raise concerns over Iranaithivu burial with global bodies
    A leading Muslim organisation in Sri Lanka will this week send an official letter of concern to the global Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the World Muslim Congress, seeking their intervention to urge the Sri Lankan government to allocate a decent land for the burial of Muslim COVID-19 victims. The Daily Mirror learns that the Sri Lanka Islamic Centre, which is a member of the World Muslim Congress will raise serious concerns with the global bodies and will also send a letter to the World Muslim Congress office in Geneva urging for immediate intervention after the government announced that burials of the COVID-19 dead would take place on the Iranaithivu Island, in the Gulf of Mannar. Senior Muslim officials said they were disappointed at the government’s decision to allocate the Iranaithivu Isle for the burials and instead urged...
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  • Hizbullah and Madrasa School Principal further remanded
    Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah and Principal of Madrasa School Mohammed Shakeel were further remanded till March 18 by the Fort Magistrate’s Court today. They were earlier remanded under section 2 (1) (h) of the PTA and section 3(1) of the ICCPR Act.   http://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Hizbullah-and-Madrasa-School-Principal-further-remanded/108-206945 Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
    Read More...
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Islam, Halal, Haram issues in Sri Lanka - A useful read for knowledge seeking Non-Muslims

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World views...

Each one of us has a world view, the way he looks at the world and understands his place in it. Amongst these competing world views is the religious , agnostic,humanism, aethism views of people.  Obviously, all the available world views cant be true and in order to discern whats  right,  one would need to  ask whether a world view  portrays the truth and is at least reasonable. Secondly, is such a view capable of explaining reality as a whole as we cannot be satisfied if a world view gives answers to only a part of reality. Next matter of concern is if a chosen world view caters to human needs and potential; provide proper values to live by and valid goals to strive for.

Purpose of a Divine Revelation.

Human reasoning alone will not guide a Man in the knowledge of where he came from , what is his purpose  on earth and where he is going to; you need Revelation to tell you that and Islam is the final complete religion based on revelation by the creator of Man, for Man.

 

I cant , and no one can, give you all the answers to all the questions you can put to me; most of them would be beyond anyone ‘s capability; there are some things like the question “ why did God create such a hostile , murderous world , in which people kill each other” ,  the answer to which is completely in the hands of God alone. We are informed by the prophet, that the Arch angel himself asked this question from Allah, and answer was refused.

Who is Allah ?

So, who then is Allah ? Allah is quite simply a Unique Being, Creator of everything we can see and cannot see; master of matter and anti matter and nothing can describe him; Never born, nor begetting children,, always in existence, and always in total command of everything, to the extent that not even a leaf falls from a tree, but He is aware of it;  He reveals Himself to Man through His attributes of which He  has revealed  99 names describing Him. He knows everything manifest and hidden on earth and is very aware of Mans actions, hidden, manifest, and very importantly, his very intentions !

Allah hasn't a need for sleep, marriage, desires, doesn’t need compliments from His creation and whenever He decrees a matter, He simply wills it and it comes into being;  doesn’t take a siesta after creation but is constantly sustaining it.

Allah isn’t a distant Being unable or unknowing of the activities of His own creation. If all mankind that ever lived, should stand on a single platform and all ask of Allah each ones personal plea, in each of the multitudes of languages on earth, each speaking at the same time ; some asking of His favours softly, some loudly , some under their breath and some silently without uttering a word and merely wishing it, the God that Muslims believe , Allah is such a Being who can  understand what everyone says and the nuances of the languages they use, and that’s very easy for this Allah. Absolutely nothing escapes His attention, and everything, every man does is inscribed for a future interview with Him.

Soul.

Islam tells us about the soul. Before we , all mankind came down to earth, we were in a world of souls. Man alone, amongst all other creation, including the mountains, took up an offer to live by his own Choice; and so, a limited range of choice was given to man and sent to earth for a time. Man was caused to forget the meeting with Allah and the Unseen world and sent to earth , to try and live by his own choices , and to decide if he will live according to Allahs Law. In this process, some have been born into muslim households and others to non muslim households. Those born into Muslim families are no more favourably treated than the ones whov’e been born to non muslim families as it’s the purpose of life for a muslim to share his religion with non muslims. Ours is not to convert people , merely to remind people of the favours of Allah to mankind. Choice of opting to Islam is one’s own.

How old is Islam ?

Islam is as old as Man itself as its reasonable to assume that if Man was given the choice of living by Allahs commandments or opt to live according to his free will,, then  divine instructions should also have been given at the outset. Its Islamic belief that over the ages, Allah has sent many guides, messengers to all nations, and it’s quite possible that the historical Buddha was one of them . A lucid narrative of this has been given by Dr Zakir Naik lately. Some of these messengers, also known as prophets  brought new teachings while others came to affirm the old; Jesus, for instance, came to affirm laws given to Moses and brought no new laws.

It follows that the religions of Judaism Christianity and Islam all have the same root in the belief of One Divine; Jews have the same belief  but don’t believe in what Muhammad brought and that’s because they didn’t accept a non jew with the final message; the Christians made God out of Jesus, even though there isn’t a single claim to Divinity by Jesus himself..

Guidance

It’s reasonable to suppose that if Man was put on earth then a handbook of guidance would also have been given; many were the guidelines given to past communities but the coming of the final message and the final messenger was also always conveyed to people; even the Bible, a work of  God in some places and man in most places, still has vivid references to the final message and its messenger.

Quran is the book of the muslims; the Book itself is Unique, claims its from Allah and challenges to this day any number of people to prove it isn’t.. It came down over 23 years in the form of “telegrams” to an unlettered prophet Muhammed, as a guide for solving everyday issues and as a Code of Law  to mankind  for all times.. I am attaching Dr Gary Millers, article on the subject which reading is a  better introduction. Quran is the only divine  revelation available today, totally pure in content, unaltered by even a dot. A simple reading of the text will show it wasn’t authored by Muhammed

Hadith.

Hadith are the sayings of the prophet  and is distinct from Quran, and collected  in book format some years after the prophet; what was a verbal collection became codified later on.   It explains in detail the meaning of the Quran and the second basis of Sharia, the divinely given Law for the muslims.

The method of its collection is also unique in the world as is each hadith account ‘s strength as not only does a single hadith need to be cross referenced and certified correct by other Companions of the Prophet, but the characteristics of each of the narrators to a hadith have been recorded in order to assess the strength of the hadith itself.

Sharia.

Third basis for Sharia is a  consensus of opinion amongst accepted scholars on a matter that’s new and for which direct guidance hasn’t been given before, for example, if smoking and other harmful products are permissible.

Sharia isn’t negotiable; its laws are for all time and its all about justice and equity to all, irrespective whether they are muslim or not !

I also have an interesting research study by our Prof Weeramantry proving that most modern notions of the democratic west have their origins from the Quran, via the interaction of peoples during the crusades… Do let me know if u want to read it.

Attached is a note on sharia. If you want a detailed view of this much maligned system of equitable law for mankind.

So why are muslims living in a mess today ?

A  Muslim has laws and guidelines from cradle to the grave and everything in between; it’s the problem that Muslims don’t abide by the Code of Allah and as long as we continue to do this , we will remain a mess; look around you in almost every Muslim country including Saudi Arabia; Its my opinion that were Muhammed were to live in Saudi today, he may even want to wage a Jihad against the Saudi Govt  !!! And it remains the onus of all Muslims to abide by Islamic teaching and tell people about Islam; else we will in after life be in no better situation than you.

On the other hand if Muslims abide by the Quran, its incumbent on Allah to help them , as was patently evident during and soon after the prophetic period. There has never been in history , a period like this and western historians are so loathe to write about it.. An outward manifestation of Muslims in terms of dress and mosque attendance alone isn’t sufficient to gain the acceptance of Allah; hearts need to be submissive and only Allah can screen the hearts of people.

Halal and Haram ,animal slaughtering  and animal rights.

First is permissible and lawful and the second isn’t. Everything from Living, eating, consuming , looking ,transacting business ,dying, indeed the whole gamut of life itself is governed while food is only an aspect  of a muslims life.

If a person earns from unlawful sources, such as gambling for example, no matter how much he prays while continuing to do so, his food, very flesh and blood is the product of immoral earnings. In such a situation how will one get the  Good Pleasure of Allah ? this is the crux of the matter in terms of a halal food requirement for muslims. In order to have prayers answered, a muslims, food has to be halal, his income has to be halal and his behavior amongst men must also be good.

A note on the sanctity of Life itself is relevant here; in Islam all creation is from Allah and the whole earth is for Man, to enjoy, use but not abuse. So, we muslims can kill animals for food , with special guidelines on the types of permissible animals, its age for,  and the fastest  method of slaughter. Meantime its absolutely haram to harm or distress the animal prior to slaughter and its incumbent to feed the animal too.

If one insisted on not killing anything, then this will include not killing any fish, any plant life, bacteria  we breathe from the air and bacteria infecting one’s own wounds and the wounds on our animals we use in agriculture.. Let’s be fair. 

All game of the sea, is halal and there is no need to slaughter in the way land animals must be.

If a Muslim wants to remain a vegetarian, that’s ok, too but he cannot show disapproval to the rite of slaughter for food.

The Pig is also an animal from Allah, no doubt ! but we are forbidden to eat its flesh ! Christians and jews aren’t even allowed to touch the carcass by Biblical direction !

Quran

Quran speaks about how fleeting this world is and that life is really in the Hereafter, and Life starts with a man’s death. Its speaks of only two permanent abodes, heaven and hell  for Man; that a simple declaration , of Allah as a man’s Lord is enough to get him thru the gates of heaven and a steadfast denial of Allah amounting to ingratitude of all Allah has given Man, will reserve a place for man  in Hell; It’s a complete guide book for mankind and claims to be so. An approach to reading it cannot take the same style as reading a book as it wasn’t revealed in the way it is written in book form. A subject index should provide a good starting point to reading Quran. English is a far too weak a language to capture the original Arabic  of Quran and if u r interested , I could give you a sample Linguistical commentary to show you the Uniqueness of Quran.

Heaven , Hell and the hidden world..

Much has been told us about what Heaven and let me give you a few words from hadith  :-

… Hell is a place for those who refuse to abide by Allah's Laws and live contrary to the Law that Muhammed brought ; as for those who lived prior to Muhammed, they will be judged according to the Divine  Laws given by their messengers during their times. Post Muhammed, only Islam is acceptable to Allah. It’s a horrible place to live in eternity,and every human being consigned to it, will accept  upon evidence , that he deserves no less a place. Allah is full of justice and no man nor animal will get injustice from Him.

As for the people of Heaven, they will be awarded a place greater than they actually deserve, a place whose size the branch of a tree, will excel in beauty all of this earth and everything in it. Human body will be re sized to absorb punishment in Hell and /or pleasure in Heaven. It will never be taken away from him who is a resident ; indeed it will only grow in enjoyment and never recede; indeed the place defies the economic law of marginal utility..

Muslims know that this is their goal; their final destination and it’s our business to invite others to share in the same happy destination. True Muslims will use the world and everything in it merely as a tool , a means , to get to heaven, as this earth, no matter how well its appointed, is only temporal, and will fade away.

Muslim role..

A very short passage from Quran summarizes the role for man, and I paraphrase as follows: Allah swears by Time itself ! ; that Man is verily at a loss, excepting those who believe in Him, and as a consequence of such belief, work good deeds; he needs to proclaim the truth of God Law, and needs to accept with equanimity, with sabr, all that befalls him.

Only such will be successful and how small a number we are !

We have lived in Sri Lanka for centuries and have rarely if ever, shared our faith with our non muslim brethren. How indeed will we  Muslims answer in the afterlife as to our role and how shirked it ?

To each his own destiny; to each his own faith ; let no man force by compulsion or coercion to follow other than one’s own chosen path; but let us share our beliefs, so that we do justice to the faith that we each of us believe in.

 

 

 

 

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