Sunday, November 30, 2008

A joint Press Release condemning Mumbai terrorist attacks


Talking with people who do not believe in the same things is not easy, but as concerned citizens, we must use all our combined skills to find a common language of harmony and unite our country with a new inclusive vision of peace and brotherhood.

We represent the moderate majority of our country who are convinced that no cause can be highlighted, much less served, through mindless violence. Terrorism is irrational and anti-life; it can only subvert progress, undermine security and sharpen mistrust.

We strongly condemn the barbaric attacks on our foreign guests and fellow citizens in Mumbai and denounce the sinister intentions underlying this cult of violence. As Indians we stand together united in our resolve to frustrate the sinister intentions of these merchants of cruelty to wound our collective psyche and our oneness as a nation. Terror may make our hearts bleed but it will not break our bonds asunder. The spirit of India is stronger than the arms of terror.

From this desperate and dastardly event, we hear an appeal that comes to us, and to all Indians, loud and clear. We can no longer afford to live the lie that religions are dividing walls. They are brides of brotherhood. The time has come for us that we shall allow none to divide us along the lines of caste or creed. Our Indianness is as dear to as any religion; citizenship is, in fact, the religion we share in common. The duties, loyalties and discipline implied in our citizenship should matter to us first and foremost, if our democratic culture and national unity are to survive. As Indians we are brothers and sisters and, as such, the keepers of each other's life and liberty. We are the proud progeny of Mother India and we shall stay so, no matter what.

We commiserate with those who have lost their loved ones in this carnage and salute those who have laid down their lives in combating the terrorists. We congratulate the security forces, especially the NSG, for a difficult job splendidly done. May peace and good sense prevail. Jai Hind.


1. Valson Thampu - Member, National Integration Council
2. Dr. G.S. Jayasree - Editor, Samyukta, Trivandrum
3. Mini Krishnan - Editor / Publisher, Chennai
4. A. Faizur Rahman - executive committee member, Harmony India, Chennai
5. Usha Jesudasan - Writer, Chennai
6. Vasantha Surya - Poet & Translator
7. Fathima Muzaffer - Vice President, Islamic Information Centre
8. V.M. Khaleelur Rahman - freelance journalist
9. Moulana Abdul Khalique Nadwi - Khateeb, Masji-e-Hira, Chennai
10. Prof. T.M.Zackriah Badsha - Former, Joint Director, Collegiate Education, Chennai

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A letter to Mr. T. Rafeeq Ahmed written on 27.11.2008

Dear Mr. T. Rafeeq Ahmed,

Assalamu Alaikum

I thank you for your invitation to the inauguration of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of T.Abdul Wahid Matriculation and Higher Secondary School and All India Mushaira on Friday, 28th November 2008.

On this happy occasion of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations we cannot but remember the great services of your father Janab T. Abdul Wahid sahib who was responsible not only for the tremendous development of the leather and leather products industry in Ambur but also in making the people, particulary educationally backward Muslims, realize the importance of modern education by establishing this high standard school in Ambur. He was also connected with different educational institutions and welfare associations in Ambur, Chennai and other places.

I know pretty well as my children had the opportunity to study in the school that it is an excellent institution which imparts good education with moral instructions by providing necessary facilities to the students. The Principals and teaching staff are very dedicated.

Many students, thanks to their education in your institution, were able to get admission in different prestigious colleges in Chennai and other places. Your school is instrumental in producing many high professionals like doctors, engineers, teachers, businessmen, etc.

We are sure that the soul of the late lamented visionary Janab T. Abdul Wahid sahib who had the interest of the community and country at heart will be happy to see his institution and foundation under your able guidance doing their best.

At this time also remember the soft spoken gentleman Janab Y. Mohammed Yousuf sahib who managed the institution so efficiently as its Correspondent.

We are also confident that you will take a pledge during this happy time to see your dream of establishing a women’s college at Ambur come true in the near future.

You are in the right position now enjoying trust and confidence of the people and there is no doubt at all that you will receive unexpected big support from all quarters in establishing the college in Ambur. This will be the best commemoration of the silver jubilee celebrations of the institution and a befitting tribute to its founder. The community has pinned high hopes in you.

Thanking you and wishing the silver jubilee celebrations all the best,

Yours sincerely,

V.M. Khaleelur Rahman

Who is our enemy?

Thank God the Mumbai terror incident has come to an end after about 60 hours of fierce gun battle by our valiant soldiers.

We pay our humble and heartfelt tributes to the ATS Chief Mr. Hemant Karkare, NSG commandos and the police officers who lost their lives fighting for the country. Their martyrdom will always remain in our memory. They are the real patriotic sons of our great country India. We are very proud of them and we salute them.

In this terror war about 195 innocent people have lost their lives and over 300 injured. It is impossible for us to forget this ghastly nightmare. The terror episode should not be considered as over till all the anti India forces who were responsible for it are found out and brought to justice with the help of investigating agencies.

Our country has no other go except to empower the concerned authorities to be alert and take strong measures to nip any mischief in the bud in order to avert any such incident in future.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I have all praise and respect for Ms. A. Ameerunnisa of Melvisharam for her excellent article in Urdu (titled "Hamaari shadiyon ka Mas-ala") published in the October 2008 issue of Omeiat Journal) about the importance of conducting simple and austere marriages as per Islamic norms. She has rightly pointed out that although Islam has made Nikah (marriage) easy, we have made it very difficult by our uncivilized and greedy way of conducting it in total violation of the principles enshrined in the holy Quran and the Ahadees (Sayings of Prophet Mohammed -sal-am) The editorial comments about the evils of posh and extravagant marriages are most apt.

I am sorry to say that we Muslims do not conduct marriages in a simple and dignified way. To us Islam means some routine rituals and nothing else. We discuss even small things with all seriousness in and outside the mosques but serious and important issues such as Importance of Islamic marriage without evil dowry are ignored. The Jamaath leaders and Imams do not seem to be interested in reforming the community by bringing in strict rules and regulations for conducting simple marriages and becoming role models for all. If they come together and act honestly, the entire community will have no option but to follow them and thus the evils connected with the marriage will be eradicated. Let them ponder over it and act for the sake of the community which is passing through a difficult period having no leaders worth the name.

There is another way of approaching it also. The have-nots should know their position well and not try to imitate the rich in conducting posh marriages. In the present highly materialistic world one should be very careful particularly the poor because they have no leaders, no ulema, no umara, to guide them. They should become bold enough to face the challenges before them by adopting Islamic codes. Conducting a marriage in a simple way is praise-worthy and dignified.The marriage of the Prophet (Sal-am) is a model to us and definitely not the marriage of any prince.

The ulema and umara hobnob with each other closely for their own purposes. There are a very few ulema who have the interest of the community at heart. Why should the have-nots worry about them and dig their own grave by doing things which they are not capable of ?

The general tendency of the people is to waste money in marriages even by selling properties if they own or getting loans from individuals and banks and landing themselves in trouble. Generally speaking a Muslim family is definitely in no way equal and better to a non Muslim family in financial standing. Only males are the earning members in most of Muslim families consisting of at least 4 or 5 persons whereas in most of the non-Muslim families both males and females are earning members. One can imagine their predicament in discharging their domestic responsibilities in this situation.

Ms. Ameerunnisa rightly says that dowry is demanded according to the status of the prospective bridegroom. Getting dowry is an insult to the bridegroom and our youngsters should make it a point to consider so and abhor it. We read a report in newspapers about a Muslim returning the dowry given to him sometime ago. There is a glimpse of hope now. There are some youngsters inspired by some Movements who do not want to demand or accept any dowry. There are also some instances of some youngsters solemnising their marriages by giving maher and not taking any dowry.

It is usually seen that the maher given by the husband is a pittance in comparison with the dowry and other things received by him. How can it be called maher in the real sense? It violates the Islamic principle. I request you and our ulema to comment on this important issue in a convincing manner.

There is also an urgent need for the Muslim community to empower their women by giving them higher education and making them stand on their own legs for the sake of its progress and prosperity.

The Waqf Board can play an important role in reforming the Muslim community in consultation with the mosque Jamaaths. It should announce every year for some important reform. The coming year 2009 can be made Dowry Eradication Year and every mosque can constitute a committee to make arrangements for enlightening the people by pamphlets and speeches during Juma prayers to consider dowry as an evil and accepting it as a sin. The mosques can also seek the services of different welfare associations for this purpose.

The reforms such as the above should come from within the community to safeguard our identity and Muslim personal law.