Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Dr. Zakir Naik honoured with the “Islamic Personality of the year” Award.

By V.M. Khaleelur Rahman

It gives us great pleasure to know that the 47 year old Indian Islamic scholar Dr. Zakir Naik has received the Islamic Personality of the year Award on Monday, 29th July 2013.  He is the youngest and second Indian recipient of the Award. The late great Islamic and Arabic scholar Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi sahib was the first Indian to receive the Award.

Dr. Zakir Naik receiving the Award. 

The Award presented by Dubai International Holy Quran Award comes in recognition of his efforts to spread the message of Islam and promote peace at a global level with his initiatives in education, media and philanthropy. 

According to Khaleej Times, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai honoured Dr. Zakir Naik with the Award at Zabeel Palace and congratulated him for preaching and promoting Islam as a religion of mercy and tolerance.
The cash reward of Dh 1 million which he has received is to be donated to start a Waqf (endowment) fund for Peace TV.

Dr. Zakir Naik is a popular Indian orator on Islam and he is the President of Mumbai based Islamic Research Foundation. He presents Islam in its proper perspective based on the holy Quran and Ahaadees (sayings of Prophet Mohammed - sallallahu alaihi wasallam) He has delivered more than 2000 public talks in India and many other countries in the world.

(Source: Khaleej Times and Photo: Ummid.com) 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Malala Yousafzai's bold and thought provoking address ON EDUCATION at the UN assembly

You can view the speech of Malala delivered at the UN assembly by clicking the following link: 

Young activist Malala's speech

Malala's UN assembly address in text:

Honourable UN Secretary General Mr Ban  Ki-moon,
respected president of the General Assembly  Vuk Jeremic,
honourable UN envoy for global education  Mr Gordon Brown,
respected elders and my dear brothers and sisters: Assalamu alaikum.

Today is it an honour for me to  be speaking again after a long time.
Being here with such honourable people is a great moment in my life
and it is an honour for me that today I am wearing a shawl of the late
Benazir Bhutto. I don’t know where to begin my speech. I don’t know
what people would be expecting me to say, but first of all thank you to
God for whom we all are equal and thank you to every
person who has prayed for my fast recovery and new life.
I cannot believe how much love people have shown me. I have received
thousands of good-wish cards and gifts from all over the world. Thank you
to all of them. Thank you to the children whose innocent words encouraged
me. Thank you to my elders whose prayers strengthened me. I would like to
thank my nurses, doctors and the staff of the hospitals in Pakistan and the
UK and the UAE government who have helped me to get better
and recover my strength.

I fully support UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in his Global Education
First Initiative and the work of UN Special Envoy for Global Education
Gordon Brown and the respectful president of the UN General Assembly
Vuk Jeremic. I thank them for the leadership they continue to give. They
continue to inspire all of us to action. Dear brothers
and sisters, do remember one thing: Malala Day is not my day. Today is the
day of every woman, every boy and every girl who have raised their voice
for their rights.

There are hundreds of human rights activists and social workers who are
not only speaking for their rights, but who are struggling to achieve their
goal of peace, education and equality. Thousands of people have been
killed by the terrorists and millions have been injured. I am just one of them.
So here I stand, one girl among many. I speak not for myself, but so those
without a voice can be heard. Those who have fought for their rights.
Their right to live in peace. Their right to be treated with
dignity. Their right to equality of opportunity. Their right to be educated.

Dear friends, on 9 October 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my
forehead.They shot my friends, too. They thought that the bullets would silence
us, but they failed. And out of that silence came thousands of voices.
The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions.
But nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness
died. Strength, power and courage was born.I am the same Malala. My
ambitions are the same. My hopes are the same. And my
dreams are the same. Dear sisters and brothers, I am not against anyone.
Neither am I here to speak in terms of personal revenge against the Taliban
or any other terrorist group.I am here to speak for the right of education for
every child. I want education for the sons and daughters of the Taliban and
all the terrorists and extremists. I do not even hate the  Talib who shot me.

Even if there was a gun in my hand and he was standing in front
of me, I would not shoot him. This is the compassion I have learned
from Mohamed, the prophet of mercy, Jesus Christ and Lord Buddha.
This the legacy of change I have  inherited from Martin Luther King,
Nelson Mandela and Mohammed Ali Jinnah.This is the philosophy of
nonviolence that I have learned from Gandhi, Bacha Khan
and Mother Teresa. And this is the forgiveness that I have learned
from my father and from my mother. This is what my soul is telling me:
be peaceful and love everyone.

Dear sisters and brothers, we realise the importance of light when we see
darkness. We realise the importance of our voice when we are silenced.
In the same way, when we were in Swat, the north of Pakistan,
we realised the importance of pens and books when we saw the guns.
The wise saying, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” It is true. The
extremists are afraid of books and pens. The power of education frightens
them. They are afraid of women. The power of the voice of
women frightens them. This is why they killed 14 innocent students in
the recent attack in Quetta. And that is why they kill female teachers.
That is why they are blasting schools every day because they were and
they are afraid of change and equality that we will bring to our society. And
I  remember that there was a boy in our school who was asked by a
journalist: “Why are the Taliban against education?”He answered very
simply by pointing to his  book, he said: “A Talib doesn’t know what is
written inside this book.”

They think that God is a tiny, little conservative being who would point
guns at people’s heads just for going to school. These terrorists are
misusing the name of Islam for their own personal benefit. Pakistan is a
peace-loving, democratic country. Pashtuns want education for their
daughters and sons. Islam is a religion of peace, humanity and brotherhood.
It is the duty and responsibility to get education for each child, that is what
it says. Peace is a necessity for education. In many parts of the world,
especially Pakistan and Afghanistan, terrorism, war and conflicts stop
children from going to schools. We are really tired of these wars. Women
and children are suffering in many ways in many parts of the world.

In India, innocent and poor children are victims of child labour. Many
schools have been destroyed in Nigeria. People in Afghanistan have been
affected by extremism. Young girls have to do domestic child labour and
are forced to get married at an early age. Poverty,ignorance, injustice,
racism and the deprivation of basic rights are the main problems, faced
by both men and women.

Today, I am focusing on women’s rights and girls’ education because
they are suffering the most. There was a time when women activists
asked men to stand up for their rights. But this time we will do it by
ourselves. I am not telling men to step away from speaking
for women’s rights, but I am focusing on women to be independent
and fight for themselves. So dear sisters and brothers, now it’s time to
speak up. So today, we call upon the
world leaders to change their strategic policies in favour of peace and
prosperity. We call upon the world leaders that all of these deals must
protect women and children’s rights. A deal that goes against the rights
of women is unacceptable.

We call upon all governments to ensure free, compulsory education all
over the world for every child. We call upon all the governments to fight
against terrorism and violence. To protect children from brutality and harm.
We call upon the developed nations to support the expansion of education
opportunities for girls in the developing world. We call upon all
communities to be tolerant, to reject prejudice based on caste, creed,
sect, colour, religion or agenda to ensure freedom and equality for women
so they can flourish. We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.
We call upon our sisters around the world to be brave, to embrace the
strength within themselves and realise their full potential.

Dear brothers and sisters, we want schools and education for every child’s
bright future. We will continue our journey to our destination of peace and
education. No one can stop us. We will speak up for our rights and we will
bring change to our voice. We believe in the power and the strength of our
words. Our words can change the whole world because we are all together,
united for the cause of education. And if we want to achieve our goal, then let
us empower ourselves with the weapon of knowledge and let us shield
ourselves with unity and togetherness.

Dear brothers and sisters, we must not forget that millions of people are
suffering from poverty and injustice and ignorance. We must not forget that
millions of children are out of their schools. We must not forget that our
sisters and brothers are waiting for a bright, peaceful future.

So let us wage a glorious struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism,
let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons.
One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.
Education is the only solution. Education first.

Thank you.

(Courtesy: The Independent)