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  • Sri Lanka has locked up this Muslim lawyer without charge for nearly five months
    The prominent Sri Lankan Muslim lawyer, Hejaaz Hizbullah, is being described by human rights groups as the latest victim of Sri Lanka’s draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act.

    On April 14, Hizbullah, 40, got a call from the Ministry of Health saying they were worried he may have contracted COVID-19 and advised him to remain at home.

    A day earlier he and others had written to the Sri Lankan president about his government’s decision to ban Muslims from burying their dead, forcing them to cremate their remains instead – a violation of their right to freedom of religion, as protected by Sri Lanka’s constitution and its international obligations.

    Hejaaz Hizbullah was a lawyer at the Supreme Court and worked as a state counsel for the Attorney General’s department. Beyond his legal work, he was involved...
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  • “කවදා හෝ යුක්තිය ඉටුවේයැ’යි බලාපොරොත්තු සහගතව ජීවිතය ගෙවනවා විනා වෙන කිසිවක් කළ නොහැකි වීම ගැන මට ඇත්තේ නොදැරිය හැකි වේදනාවකි”: මගේ මල්ලි හිජාස්
    හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා මගේ බාල සොහොයුරා ය. අගෝස්තු 25 වැනි දිනට එළඹුණු ඔහුගේ 40 වැනි උපන්දිනය ඔහුට ගත කිරීමට සිදු වුයේ පාස්කු ඉරිදා ත්‍රස්තවාදී ප්‍රහාරයට සම්බන්ධ බවට අභූත චෝදනා එල්ල කරමින් අයුතු ලෙස අත්තඩංගුවට පත්ව අපරාධ පරීක්ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ රැඳවුම් භාරයේදී ය. හිජාස් පිළිබඳව මට ඇති පැරණිතම මතකයන් අතර බොහොමයක් කළුබෝවිල සිට...
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  • Hejaaz Detention: Fort Magistrate Orders CID To Submit All Statements Obtained In Investigations


    Following submissions by Defence Counsel that the Criminal Investigations Department is selectively reporting facts to the Magistrate in order to malign Hejaaz Hizbullah, Fort Magistrate today ordered the Criminal Investigations Department to submit a report of all statements obtained by them from persons relating to the investigations of Hizbullah.
    When the case was taken up today. Counsel for the Defence informed Court that the Criminal Investigations Department had obtained statements from all persons of the Save the Pearls Charity and the Teachers and Board of Management of the Al-Zuhriya Madarasa.

    However, none of those statements had been produced to date.
    They said that the statements would reveal that all the allegations made by the CID are a fabrication and were made in order to malign Hizbullah and...
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  • Hejaaz Hizbullah: Symptom and symbol
    What made him more enigmatic was that unlike most others in his profession who shield their lives beneath a calm facade, he taught exceptionally well Apparently he called the Easter attackers “fools who died as fools.” I can picture Hejaaz saying that   There’s an image of Hejaaz Hizbullah I return to over and over again. It’s an image of him holding a placard at a protest in 2018. The placard reads, “Asilachaara parliamenthuwak wenuwata seelachara parliamenthuwak” (“A cultured parliament in place of an uncultured parliament”). The reason why it resonates with me is that, even in the ecstatic way he holds it, he is quite unlike the Hejaaz Hizbullah I once knew. But then I realise that the Hejaaz I once knew couldn’t have been the real guy. 
    I first encountered the man in 2013 at my law school. He didn’t...
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  • Niqab Ban In France Violates Human Rights Of Muslim Women: UN Human Rights Committee
    The United Nations Human Rights Committee said France’s niqab ban violates the human rights of Muslim women and risks “confining them to their homes.” Women in France can be fined up to 150 euros for wearing the niqab, a full-face...
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  • Rathana At It Again; ACJU Is The Punching Bag For Everyone
    By Mass L. Usuf Mass Usuf Let this column begin with a Disclaimer. It is only an analysis and the writer is not holding a brief to defend or protect the All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulema (
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  • Democracy Threatened: Impunity, Political Patronage & Rollback Of Devolution
    By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole – R. Sasilan: Assistant Commissioner of Elections Today we are opening new living quarters for our Election Commission’s man-in-charge in Batticaloa. I am so glad because R. Sasilan is a man I am proud of. He stands up for what is right without fear or favor. When a minister distributed gifts in elections some years ago, he confiscated a gift pack and filed a complaint with the police. The police, as often happens, disappeared the evidence. Sasilan sent a report to the Commission and that too disappeared....
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  • Coronavirus funerals: Sri Lanka's Muslims decry forced cremation
      Image copyrightEPA Image captionSri Lankan Muslim women wait for a Covid-19 test. Some in the community are fighting cremation rules Sri Lankan authorities are insisting on cremation for coronavirus victims - a practice forbidden by Islam. The nation's minority Muslim community says they are using the pandemic to discriminate, writes BBC Sinhala's Saroj Pathirana. On 4 May, Fathima Rinoza, a 44-year-old mother of three from Sri Lanka's minority Muslim population, was admitted to hospital with a suspected case of Covid-19. Fathima, who lived in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, had been suffering from respiratory problems and the authorities feared she had caught the virus. On the day she was admitted to hospital, the family was "set upon" by the authorities, her husband Mohamed Shafeek said. "The police and military along with...
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  • ජිනීවා මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයේදී රටවල් 5කින් ලංකාවට චෝදනා
    පාස්කු ප්‍රහාර සම්බන්ධයෙන් සැකපිට අත්අඩංගුවට ගෙන සිටින නීතිඥ හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා රඳවා තබාගැනීම, විශේෂ බළකායේ සැරයන් සුනිල් රත්නායකට ජනාධිපති සමාව ලබාදීම ඇතුළු කරුණු ගණනාවක් පදනම් කරගනිමින් එක්සත් රාජධානිය ඇතුළු රටවල් 5ක කණ්ඩායමක් එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයේදී ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට චෝදනා එල්ල කර ඇතැයි ජිනීවා තානාපති...
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Keeping the Right Friends

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'Who we keep company with is reflective of who we are'

For as far back as I can remember, my parents would always admonish me and my siblings to keep good company. My Dad specially had a favorite saying, "Show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are."

Needless to say, I was always very conscious, and careful about choosing the right people to surround myself with. In Islam it is doubly true and essential to surround yourself with righteous companions, because they will help to keep your feet planted on the straight path, while doing otherwise may lead you astray.

It was Ahmad ibn Harb, rahimahullaah, who said, "There is nothing more beneficial to a Muslim's heart than to mix with the righteous and to watch their actions, while nothing is more harmful to the heart of the Muslim than mixing with sinners, and watching their actions." No matter who you are, or how strong or independent you may feel, no man, or woman, is an island, and you can't make it through this life alone. This is why Islam so stresses the Jama'ah, or the congregation. The sayings that there is strength in numbers and that it is the lone sheep that gets devoured by the wolf are true.

Therefore we need to adopt correct manners, in that we try ardently never to do an action or to befriend anyone without knowing whether the pleasure of Allah Ta'ala is in it or not, and never loving and hating for worldly reasons. For the Prophet of Allah Ta'ala, sallallahu alayhi wassalaam said, "Whoever loves for Allah, and hates for Allah, gives for Allah and withholds for Allah, has completed his faith." (Abu Dawud) So who should be our companions?

First of all they should be good Muslims, who believe in Allah and His Messenger. For Allah Ta'ala says in the Qur'an, "And who so obeys Allah and the Messenger [Muhammad, sallallahu alayhe wassalaam], then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqun (those followers of the prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them), the Martyrs, and the Righteous. And how excellent these companions are." [4:69]

 

Secondly, being around them should make you want to increase in good deeds. Allah Ta'ala says, "And We have sent down to you [O Muhammad, sallallahu alayhe wasallam], the Book [this Qur'an] in truth, confirming the Scriptures that came before it and Mohayminan over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging away from the truth that has come to you. To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way. If Allah willed, He would have made you one nation, but that may test you in what He has given you; so strive as in a race in good deeds. The return of you is to Allah; then He will inform you about that in which you used to differ." [5:48]. By aligning ourselves with people who do good deeds, we are then prompted to compete with them in this regard, and thus improving the character and the religion of everyone involved.

Lastly, but by no means the least, our companions should help us to remember Allah Ta'ala. For Allah Ta'ala says, "O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. And whosoever does this, then they are the losers." [63:9] .In this time of hustle and bustle, it is very easy for us to get caught up in the pursuit of worldly gains. This is why it is increasingly important to surround ourselves with people, who will encourage us to think of Allah Ta'ala, in every instance of our lives.

The superiority of the remembrance of Allah was explained by the Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu alayhe wasallam, who said, "The example of the one who remembers his Lord, in comparison to the one who does not remember his Lord, is that of a living creature compared to a dead one. (Bukhari)

So let us take stock of the people we spend our time with. Do they fall into the above categories?. If our friends aren't doing these things, then what does being with them say about us?. We should strive to love those who love Allah Ta'ala, and to hate those who hate Allah Ta'ala, and what He has sent down of guidance for humanity. For the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wasallam said, "Whoever possesses three things will find the sweetness of eman. For Allah and His Messenger to be more beloved to him than anything else; to love a person for Allah's sake alone; and to hate to return to disbelief the way he hates to be thrown into the fire." (Bukhari)

Sumayyah bint Joan

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