Learning English by ulama is a need now

Asian Tribune
Mumbai, 27 August, (Asiantribune.com): ‘Ulama are the real spirit of the Muslim ummah, they have deep knowledge of Islam and they can only lead the Muslim community to the eternal success,’ observed by the speakers yesterday at a Convocation ceremony of Markazul Ma’arif Education & Research Centre (MMERC) at M.H. Saboo Siddique Musafirkhana, Mumbai.

The MMERC Convocation 2008 was chaired by Mufti Azizur Rahman Fatehpuri. Mufti Khairul Islam, Amir-e Shariat Assam, was the chief guest where prominent Muslim scholars and intellectuals from Mumbai city were profusely present.

All India Ulama Council’s general secretary Maulana Mahmood Ahmad Khan Daryabadi said, “It is a great pleasure to attend this convocation for the first time where we see the English language is being Islamized here”. Our ulama never opposed English as a language what they did was opposition of the English culture and their system of education which still we do. “I find this institution (MMERC) more than what I have heard and expected,” he added.

Maulana Mustaqim Ahasan Azmi, secretary Jamiat Ulama-e Maharashtra urged the audience and said that the mission of MMERC is a movement that needs to be propagated across the country. Addressing the graduates who have completed two year Diploma in English Language and Literature (DELL) under MMERC this year, Professor Zakir Ilahi said, “Wherever you go, a sincere service to the society and community must be your first priority, you are first an Alim and then anything else, you bear a heavy responsibility towards the nation”.

Maulana Mohammad Afzal Qasmi, an MMERC alumnus who now teaches English in a college in the UK and Islamic subjects in a madrasa in Blackburn, elaborated his journey from a small village in Bihar to MMERC, to Darul Uloom Deoband and to United Kingdom as a language teacher. He said, “All credits of my success go to none other than Markazul Ma’arif and its founder Maulana Badruddin Ajmal Al-Qasmi”. “I am a son of poor parents from Bihar and an ordinary graduate of madrasa, by the grace of Allah, I succeeded to a label in Deen and Dunya only after being connected with MMERC,” Afzal added.

Marking the farewell speech to the out going MMERC graduates Maulana Burhanuddin Qasmi, MMERC Director, said, “My students and my friends! You are and you will be an entrusted of the ummah. We are happy to consign the most precious gift to the community today– in shape of you young men– who have been equipped with required education and modern skills, and are able to communicate Deen to others”. Maulana MB Qasmi added, ‘but I also feel sorry that we are physically parting from each other today’.

He gave a list of advices to the students and focusing on the mission of MMERC he once again urged that the service of Deen– peaceful propagation of Islam and helping those in need– must be the sole purpose of their lives. MB Qasmi also thanked Maulana Badruddin Ajmal Al-Qasmi and his companions who apprehended the enormity of the situation and started this movement in 1994, later followed by others, which resulted at least a dozen of other institutions in different part of the country today.

Speakers were highly appreciative for the efforts of MMERC in the field of journalism. They applauded regular publication of articles and views from MMERC teachers and students in the mainstream national English and Urdu newspapers. “Gradual progress of Eastern Crescent, English monthly published from the house of MMERC, both in quality and content is a good omen for the Indian Muslims,” speaker asserted. Eastern Crescent, campaigns to be an alternative media and people’s choice began publishing in May 2006.

The inaugural speech in the convocation was delivered by Maulana Atiqur Rahman Qasmi, branch Incharge of Markazul Ma’arif, Jogeshwari. He said, “We tried our best to make these students best examples for others, it’s up to the beneficiaries now to engage them successfully.”

A nine member group of students have staged a play titled ‘Hakim Qabrasthani’, which was selected among the best during creative art competition of the students this year. The drama scripted and directed by one first year student Javed Iqbal was among the most amazing components which captivated the audience and they highly appreciated the students’ creative performance. In the 15-minute long drama a traditional semi-Hakim (neem Hakim) in rural UP and his disciples were acted by the student nicely.

Hifzur Rahman Qasmi, Usama Zakir Qasmi and Muhammad Ismail Qasmi, all students, delivered speeches on various important topics like “Is Qur’an God’s word?”, “God’s promises about Israel land” and “The real purpose of education” respectively.

Hifzur Rahman Qasmi said in his speech that the Qur’an is a pattern of eloquence. How it can be the words of an illiterate man? Usama Zakir Qasmi said that the situation of Israel and Palestine is going from bad to worse, the Muslim world should seriously think and act to resolve the deadlock situation in one of Islam’s most holy places. ‘The real purpose of education is the good upbringing of the children’ said Ismail. He said during his speech, “The Prophet (saws) had said that the best present from parents to their children is the teachings of good morals.”

MMERC research trainees Razi Ahmad Qasmi and Anwar Ahmad Qasmi threw a light on their topics– ‘Contemporary Media and Muslim Issues’ and ‘Islamic Movements Through the Ages’. They informed the audience that they are about to submit their thesis on their respective assignments by the end of August.

Students were rewarded with 17 precious prizes for their best performances in various fields. The best speaker, the best writer, the efficient personality, the social personality, the spiritual personality and the sportsman of the year 2008 were some attractive awards in the function. 22 students who completed two year diploma in English language & literature (DELL) were honored with certificates this year.

The programme was concluded with Dua of Mufti Azizur Rahman Fatahpuri. He said in his presidential address that it is the need of time to learn English language by the ulama and Al-Hamdulillah Markazul Ma’arif Education & Research Centre (MMERC), Mumbai is rendering good services in this field.

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Mon, 2010-06-14 01:40 — editor Mumbai, 14 June, (Asiantribune.com)

“Health is wealth but people still do not care about their health; hence there is a lot to do for creating awareness among people regarding health and hygiene. Ignoring minor diseases and delaying in consulting doctors put lives into trouble and healable infections grow fatal. Let alone the amounts of money required for treatment.

It is needed to organize free medical camps with the objective of helping people especially those economically poor and create awareness regarding health and hygiene.” Director of Markazul Ma’arif Education and Research Centre Maulana Burhanuddin Qasmi said on Sunday expressing his views on a joint free medical camp organized by MHW (Movement for Human Welfare) and MMERC (Markazul Ma’arif Education and Research Centre). Maulana further said we will be organizing such camps in future and hope other organizations will play their role in this humanitarian cause.The camp organized in MMERC compound from 10 am today was inaugurated by Jafar Shaikh, Ghafoor Khan and Doctor Azimuddin, president of MWH who himself being a doctor was one of the physicians participated in the camp. The camp welcoming all people irrespective of religion, caste or gender comprised as consultants Dr. Owais Shaikh MBBS MD (Cardiologist), Dr. Mrs. Tajwar Shaikh MBBS MD (Gynecologist), Dr. MK Zaman MBBS, DTM & HMD, Dr. Shafique Ahmad BUMS and Dr. Amjad Chaudhary BUMS who helped people by their active participation. Besides free psychiatry counseling and distributing medicines the camp had facilities of free ECG, Diabetes and Blood Group checkups through lab expert Javed Akhtar and MHW volunteer Santosh Gupta and Jeet. The camp lasted for five hours about three hundred people benefited by it.Maulana Atiqur Rahman Qasmi, In-charge of MMERC said that the as physical ailments are common when the season changes it was in public interest to help people through such camps. Maulana also thanked all the staff of MMERC who made it successful by their voluntary participation. “I am happy to undergo my ECG check up without spending a penny thanks to the camp. Otherwise it would have cost me a lot” A patient named Abdul Qadir said.

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It’s time for fasting, penance and prayer

The Times of India: Mohammed Wajihuddin, TNN, Aug 12, 2010, 05.18am IST

MUMBAI: With the sighting of the new moon on Wednesday, the Islamic holy month of Ramzan begins on Thursday. Roza, a month of fasting from dawn to dusk, is one of the five pillars of Islam.

Ramzan’s importance lies in the fact that the Quran was revealed in this month. “Ramzan also has a blessed night called shab-e-qadar,” said Maulana Burhanuddin Qasmi, head of Jogeshwari-based Markazul Maarif, an Islamic research centre. “The blessings for every good deed gets multiplied by 70 this month.”

The devout try to spend most of their time in prayers and seeking forgiveness. One of the Ramzan rituals is tarawih, a special namaz where the entire Quran is recited at night. Many Muslims give 2.5% of their annual savings to charity as zakat.

Meanwhile, Muslim pockets like Mohammed Ali Road have been decked up. Muslims and non-Muslims alike come here looking for Ramzan delicacies like malpuas, phirni and kebabs.
Read more: It’s time for fasting, penance and prayer – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Its-time-for-fasting-penance-and-prayer/articleshow/6295634.cms#ixzz10dTqpV4X

Markazul Ma’arif and MHW Jointly Organize Free Medical Camp in Mumbai

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Acknowledging the keepers of Quranic verses

The Times of India: Mohammed Wajihuddin, TNN, Aug 22, 2010, 03.22am IST

MUMBAI: Recitation of the Quran is part of ritual in Ramzan, the holy month of fasting. Now, a unique competition among hafizs (those who have memorised the entire Quran) and qaris (those who recite the Quran in the accents in which the verses were revealed) is being held to celebrate the revelation of the holy book, 1,400 years ago.

Organized by two NGOs, Aqdas Welfare Society and Mumbai Aman Committee, the three-day (August 26, 27 and 28) competition at Haj House will feature over 250 hafizs and qaris from across Maharashtra. The 10 finalists will share a total cash prize of Rs 30 lakh. Some of the winners will be sent on Haj.

“The Quran was revealed during Ramzan. It is the hafizs and qaris who have preserved the holy verses in their original form. No one can pay these exalted followers of Allah for the invaluable services they do. We are just acknowledging it with a token,” said Maulana Mehmood Daryabadi, secretary of All India Ulema Council and the programme’s convener.

While all the participants are from different madrassas in Maharashtra, each of the 16 judges is from outside the state. The contest, the organizers claim, is being held to send out a message to the anti-Quran elements across the world. Recently, a priest in the USA announced that he would burn the pages of the Quran on September 11 to mark the terror attack on the World Trade Center in New York. “By holding such a competition, we want to send out a message to all the anti-Quran elements that you cannot eliminate the words of Allah,” said Daryabadi.

“This competition is a reminder to those Muslims who spend a fortune on things that are mere pomp that they need to do something to preserve the Quran, which was revealed to our Prophet,” said Maulana Burhanuddin Qasmiof Markazul Maarif, a city-based Islamic research institute.

Seeing the response to the contest, the organizers plan to open it to participants from across the country in future.
Read more: Acknowledging the keepers of Quranic verses – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Acknowledging-the-keepers-of-Quranic-verses/articleshow/6389581.cms#ixzz10dSEFMOp

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Muslims appeal for peace — post Ayodhya verdict

Bombay News.Net
Friday 17th September, 2010 (IANS)
Muslim intellectuals and religious scholars Friday urged the Muslim community to maintain peace after the judicial gives its ruling on the Babri mosque title suit Sep 24.

Addressing mediapersons here, activists of the Federation of Minorities NGOs appealed to Muslims not to get emotionally swayed by the court ruling and maintain calm at all costs.

‘The judgement may favour one community or disfavour another. In such a case, both communities have the option to appeal. The road does not end here,’ said Maulana Zaheer Abaas Rizvi, general secretary of the All India Shia Personal Law Board,

Another speaker said neither side should make a public show that offends the other community.

‘My request to both communities is simple: please do not celebrate if the judgement is in your favour or protest if it goes against you,’ said Maulana Mehmood Daryabadi, general secretary of All India Ulema Council.

Other speakers said that individuals who try to create a rift between the two communities must be boycotted.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Maulana Burhanuddin Qasmi, director of Markaz ul Maroof, and Iqbal Memon, vice-president of All India Memon Federation.

Mumbai was engulfed in the worst ever communal riots in its history following the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya. The riots were followed by the March 1993 serial bombings.

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Federation of minorities appeals for peace before Babri judgment

Hindustan Times: Neha Ghatpande Mumbai, September 18, 2010
In light of the Babri Masjid judgment next Friday, the Maharashtra Federation of minorities NGOs has appealed to all Muslim youth to keep peace and not be influenced by external parties. The federation said that if the judgment is against Muslims then they would accept it as they respect the

Indian judiciary and abide by it. If the judgment is in favour of Muslims then they have appealed people not to come out on the street to celebrate the victory. They also said that they expected the same from the Hindu community.

“We know that Muslims won’t cause any problems whatever the judgment may be but we cannot talk about the outsiders who will try to provoke the Muslims to cause riots. We would like to appeal to everybody to keep faith in the judiciary and accept its decision. If any community feels that they have been wronged they can always appeal for further legal action.” M. Burhanuddin Qasmi, director of Markazul Ma’arif education and research center.

The federation also made a point that Commonwealth Games are coming up. The whole world has eyes over us. Indians all together shouldn’t send any wrong message to the world by showing disputes within. The federation of minority’s NGO’s Maharashtra is a federation which includes more than 100 NGO’s related to education, communities and other social issues.

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Don’t use the K word

The Times of India: Sep 20, 2010,

When Prem Chand, a 25-year-old Pakistani Hindu and member of the National Youth Parliament died in the Islamabad air crash a few weeks ago, radical Islamism killed him a second time. The authorities who salvaged the bodies from the crash site painted Chand’s coffin black and wrote ‘kafir’ (infidel) on it in glaring red—an act which raised hackles among enlightened Hindus and Muslims across the subcontinent.

The debate on whether a non-Muslim should be called a kafir or not is not new. Nor is the controversy around the word itself. What has shocked some senior Islamic clerics more is the utter disregard shown by the authorities for a dead person’s dignity. It also betrayed their lack of understanding and complete distortion of a Quranic word.

The Quran uses ‘kafir’ for those who deny the Truth or the unity of God. Indeed, the holy book has a whole chapter named Al-Kafirun (Those Who Deny The Truth) on this; however, it has never asked Muslims to call non-Muslims kafirs. On the contrary, Al-Kafirun ends on a beautiful, conciliatory note often quoted by scholars: “Lakum deenakum waliyadeen (You have your religion and I have mine).”

Maulana Burhanuddin Qasmi, who heads Markazul Maarif, a Mumbai-based Islamic Research Institute, calls this verse the very kernel of Islam’s emphasis on co-existence. “There could not have been a clearer divine commandment about choice of religion,” he explains. “Islam invites everyone to its fold but doesn’t humiliate those who don’t embrace it. Using the word ‘kafir’ to abuse people of other faiths is un-Islamic.”

Scholars maintain that non-Muslims, including Hindus, should not be called kafirs for another reason. “Whether an individual or community denies the truth is a matter of his/her conscience. And since only Allah knows the conscience, nobody has the right to call a Hindu a kafir,” says Maulana Abdul Khaliq Madrasi, vice-rector of the seminary Darul Uloom Deoband (


The obscurantists say Hindus should be called kafirs because, as they claim, Allah never sent a prophet with a divine book to them. Remarkably, the Quran calls all those communities who were sent with divine books, believers.

Scholar Asghar Ali Engineer doesn’t buy the argument that Hindus never got a Prophet or a divine book. “The list of prophets named in the Quran is illustrative, not exhaustive,” he says. “Muslims believe there were 1,24,000 prophets; the Quran mentions just about two dozen. It also says that Allah sent a ‘haadi’ (guide) to every nation. So, if there is no mention of a nation or the book in the Quran, it should not mean that people of that nation or community are kafirs.”

Mazhar Jan-i-Janan, an 18th-century Sufi saint, similarly disarmed those who believed that Hindustan remained devoid of a prophet.

“How can Allah forget a great nation like Hindustan and not send His guide here?” he asked. “Maybe Ram and Krishna were such guides.” Jan-i-Janan also refused to accept Hindus as non-believers or those who hide the truth because “Hindus also call Ishwar ‘Satyam’ (Truth)”.

Engineer refers to Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s heir apparent Dara Shikoh’s scholarly work Majma-al-Bahrayn (co-mingling of two oceans), which draws parallels between Islam and Hinduism. “Hindus call Ishwar ‘Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram’ (Truth, Almighty and Beautiful) , and all these are equivalent attributes of Allah—Haq, Jabbar and Jamil,” wrote Shikoh.

And finally, the disrespect shown to a dead person by calling him ‘kafir’ is also against the Prophet’s own beliefs. Once he saw the cortege of a Jew pass by. Immediately, he stood in honour of the dead person. When a companion reminded him that it was a Jew’s cortege, the Prophet shot back: “Was he not a human being?”

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