Sunday, June 25, 2017



BY V. M. Khaleelur Rahman 

Eid-ul-Fitr or Ramadan Eid is celebrated as a day of thanksgiving to God after successful completion of the month-long fasting from dawn to dusk during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and on sighting the crescent moon of the 10th month called Shawwal. Ramadan is meant for fasting, worship and charity, and also for self-introspection for the purpose of purification of one's soul and body by giving up bad and attaining good things. The Holy Quran says, "Fasting is prescribed to you as it was to those before you so that you may learn self-restraint." Fasting brings people together and creates a sense of camaraderie among them. It inculcates in them righteous conduct, to be good people and brotherhood of man by eradicating evils such as anger, greed and malice.

Prophet Mohammed (Sal-am) has said, "Do not belittle even the smallest act of kindness even if it is no more than meeting your neighbour with a smiling and cheerful face. We should not consider any charity small or not worth doing. Charity, big or small, should be given in a pleasant manner without hurting the feeling of its receivers and with the thought that we are only discharging a religious duty from the wealth God has given us." According to Islam even our day-to-day acts, like being kind to others at home and outside, are charity and it makes a big difference in our relations with them.

Once when Prophet Mohammed (Sal-am) was on his way to Idgah for Id prayers, he saw a poor boy about five-years-old sitting on the pavement sadly. He went near him and asked, "Why are you alone here, my dear boy?" The boy started weeping and said, "I am an orphan with nobody to care for me." The Prophet could not bear the pathetic words of the poor boy and consoled him saying, "From now on you can look to me as your father and Ayesha as your mother," and returned home with him. When his wife Ayesha fed him and dressed him well for Id prayers the Prophet lifted him on his shoulders and said, "Ayesha, this is the happiest Id for me. I experience true happiness at the happiness of this little orphan boy." He was a great benefactor of humanity and his mission right from the beginning to end was to see that every individual maintained his self-respect free from any sort of slavery.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Zakat can make Indian Muslims self reliant



One-fourth of India’s beggars are Muslims and out of these Muslims, there are more women than men. This sad truth was made public in the report of a survey published on 30 July, 2016.

On December, 2014, Veernagar, Agra, came in the glare of media. Many poor Muslims, who were rag-pickers, rickshaw-pullers or manual labourers from Bengal and Assam were lured into converting to Hinduism by some communal organisations. The poor Muslims were converted on the strength of money. The conversion was named ‘ghar-wapsi’.

Don’t these incidents prompt the general Muslim population of India to do something about the community and find a solution? At least 14.5% of Indian population is Muslim. But they form the poorest of the poor.

The report by Sachar Committee in 2004-2005 (page 237 of Chapter 12), “Our analysis shows that while there is considerable variation in the conditions of Muslims across states, (and among the Muslims, those who identified themselves as OBCs and others), the Community exhibits deficits and deprivation in practically all dimensions of development.”

National Council for Applied Economic Research has also revealed many surprising finds after its surveys. It states that in urban areas three out of ten Muslims are below poverty line.

Nobel Laureate Dr Amartya Sen prepared a report on the poor conditions of Muslims in West Bengal. The report called Social Network for Assistance to People was prepared with the help of his Pratichi Institute and Guidance Guild. In the report, Dr Sen expressed urgency at the condition of the people surveyed. He pointed out that a large part of population in West Bengal is Muslim and they are deprived of the most basic amenities for development. They are in need of urgent attention.

According to the ‘Living Reality of Muslims in West Bengal’, data collected through primary research revealed that 47% of Muslims are manual labourers who earn their living through daily wages and form the lowest rung in the economic ladder. Thirty-five per cent of Muslims do not have easy access to any medical facility and have to walk at least 4 kilometres to reach a health centre. They are especially devoid of basic living amenities like clean drinking water, LPG and drainage facility in their locality. The writer of the report stated that they need urgent attention of affirmative action from authorities for improvement in standards of living.

It has been stated that one must ask Allah for protection from the worries of famine and poverty. And the well-off part of society should actively try to get rid of poverty in their part of society. It is because the worry of famine and poverty deviates the mind from faith and belief in the Almighty.

In a Hadīth, as recorded by Abu Dawood and Ahmad, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) has prayed to be saved from the worry of famine in the following duas:

O Allah I seek your refuge from kufr and famine.

O Allah I seek your refuge from famine and scarcity and humiliation.

Islam has not forsaken the poor and the helpless. Allah has named for them a fixed part of the wealth of the well-off people. This is a duty on the part of the rich, which is called Zakat. The sole purpose of zakat is to end the poverty and helplessness of the poor. The poorest have first right to get zakat. In some places the Blessed Prophet states that the sole purpose of Zakat is to spend it on those stricken with lack of food and on the helpless. When sending Maaz bin Jabal to Yemen, he had ordered the collection of Zakat from the rich in the society and distribution of the same among the poor of the society there.

According to Imam Abu Hanifa, the purpose of Zakat is nothing more than helping the poor and needy. It is noteworthy that as long as Islam took care of the needy and poor through the process of Zakat, there was no difference in the society between the rich and the poor. And neither did any group feel the need to raise its voice for its rights.

There is a famous Hadīth in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, that states that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) said, “Islam stands on five pillars. The first is the testimony of faith in the unity of Allah and that Muhammad is His prophet. The second is maintenance of daily five prayers (Salat). The third is giving Zakat. The fourth is fasting in the month of Ramadhan and the fifth is Hajj when finances allow.”

The third pillar of Islam is Zakat through which Allah has given the responsibility of taking care of the poor and needy to the rich and well off section of the society. This is the way to ensure all sections of the society are taken care of.

Today, if we look at our society, we will see that Muslims are trying to strengthen their faith and in upholding the first pillar of Islam. Muslims are trying to maintain the daily five prayers and they are finding ways in society to make it more practicable in the practical life. Not just the five obligatory prayers, but even the optional nawafil are being practised. Not only are people fasting throughout the month of Ramadhan, but they are also observing the six fasts of Shawwal and fasts of Ashura. The will to perform Hajj has also increased and a record number of Muslims are now going for Hajj every year.

Unfortunately, the third pillar is still mostly ignored. The primary third pillar is not that the strong among the followers of Islam, which are making the foundation of Muslim society weak. No wonder the society is teetering on the edge of collapse and backwardness.

It is time to realise that Zakat is the right of the poor, the salvation of an Islamic society, the key to their development and without it Muslims do not even begin to follow the basic five tenets of Islam. This is the reason the Muslim society is weakening and Muslims are being lured in the name of ‘ghar wapsi’ or they are converting to Christianity or Qadiyaaniyat. Sadly, a major part of the Muslim society is not even aware of this basic principle that holds the key to most travails of the Muslim society.

It is very clear from the study of the Qur’ān and Hadīth that Muslims have been made the protectors of Salat and Zakat. It is our responsibility to maintain these two in our lives. It indicates a deeper relationship between Salat and Zakat. And a Muslim becomes practising only by maintaining these two things in his life.

Salat is the pillar of Islam. One who lets it crumble demolishes all the constructions of Deen in his personality and Zakat is the bridge that leads him to safety and deliverance. Whoever deviates from the bridge of zakat falls into the abyss of failure.

Abdullah bin Masood states, “You have been ordered to practise Salat and give Zakat. Who does not give Zakat, his Salat is not accepted.”

Some companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) used to say that Salat and Zakat have been made obligatory together. No difference has been made between the two. Then they recited the 11th verse of Surah Taubah,

“However, if they repent, establish Salah and pay Zakat, then they shall be your brethren in Deen (faith and way of life based on Divine guidance).” Then they added that the Salat of a Muslim is only accepted if he has been giving Zakat. The first Caliph Abu Bakr declared, “By Allah, anyone who differentiates between Salat and Zakat, I’ll declare a war on him!”

In the last few years a positive change is being observed and Muslims are becoming more aware about Zakat and trying to do more in the name of Zakat. People are becoming aware of how the system of Zakat was a community effort during the times of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) . People are also finding out and becoming aware of the system of Zakat collection and distribution during that era. And it is also being noticed that how, during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr, the four rightly guided Caliphs had waged a war against those who were not giving Zakat, even though they had accepted and believed in the Kalimah, the Oneness of Allah and believed in the Prophet as His messenger.

The community system of Zakat was carried on even during the four rightly guided Caliphates and then during the Caliphate of Abbasids and Umayyads. The system of community Zakat was discontinued by the 7th century (Islamic calendar post Hijrah) when the Tartars attacked Islamic countries and it became very difficult to maintain the bait-ul-maal (community treasury) and practise community system of Zakat in the now invaded society.

Zakat is not very wisely practised by Muslims in India. The management system for Zakat is elementary. Even now the public opinion is that it is enough to hand a few kilos of flour or some length of cloth and a few hundred rupees is what should be given to beggars and relatives in need. And after a month or so the poor are again left begging and helpless. According to one wise person, in this situation Zakat becomes like the painkiller that gives relief to the helpless for a limited period of time, but it is not like the medicine that cures the illness for good.

Zakat should be used in the rehabilitation of the poor and helpless, not just to feed and clothe him for a short duration.

According to Imam Abu Hanifa, “The poor and helpless should be given as much Zakat as is sufficient to take him out of penury and need, and to help him establish his livelihood on his own.”

It means that the needy should be given whatever is required in taking care of their needs forever. It can be any kind of help in establishing a long-term and durable source of livelihood and helping him to rebuild his collapsing business.

Besides, Islamic scholars have argued in favour of the use of Zakat as a sure means of eradicating poverty and famine from a society. For example, if a poor person possesses a skill like an artisan, he should be given as much money required to buy equipment pertaining to his skill and expertise to make him self-reliant. Similarly, different scale of the amount of Zakat has been established for the needs of small time businessmen of different levels. They can be given Zakat according to the needs of their business to make them independent. This system was developed from the wise policies that second rightly guided caliph Umar bin Khattab brought into practice during his Caliphate.

The Rightly Guided Caliph has said, “When you give to a poor, then give so much that it ends his need.”

A narrative from a Hadīth states that once a very poor man came to Umar bin Khattab and asked for help. He was given three camels by the wise Caliph to get over his penury. At that time a camel was considered the most lucrative and useful animal.

Announcing his policy for the helpless, Caliph Umar said, “I will give to the deserving poor again and again, even if this way they collect a hundred camels from me.”

Such was the instruction of the most successful Caliph regarding Zakat.

Renowned Fiqh scholar and glorious follower of Islam Ataa states, “If a person takes care of just one deserving needy Muslim family and provides them enough to take care of their needs, then this action is the most favourable in my eyes.”

Abu Ubaid, who is considered a great figure in the field of Islamic financial policies, considers this statement by Ataa most important and worth emulating.

Some other scholars are of the opinion that a deserving needy and poor person should be given so much money that it is enough to take care of his and his immediate family’s all basic needs. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) himself had been reported in various Sahih Hadiths to have gathered provisions sufficient for one year for himself and his immediate family.

Another important purpose of Zakat is that deserving poor people are able to live a decent life, which is the right of humans and which satisfies the basic sense of humanity. A decent life requires the meeting of basic needs like food, clothing, housing, medical facilities and marriage.

These days, efforts are made in Malaysia and South Africa to establish a community-level Zakat system. The receivers of Zakat are divided in two groups. The two groups are named productive poor and non-productive poor. The non-productive poor are the aged, widow and handicapped and the terminally ill who have no way to earn and are poor. These are given continuous help. On this group is spent about 20 to 25% of the total Zakat collection.

The remaining 80 to 75% of Zakat collection is given to the productive poor. This group contains men and women who cannot start their own business because of lack of funds. They can become self-sufficient after receiving one financial boost that aids in starting up their business or livelihood. So this group soon becomes self-sufficient enough to give Zakat themselves after a very short time.

The system of Zakat is the first law towards providing an organised social security for all. The purpose of this system is that the basic needs of food, clothing, housing and marriage of all deserving, needy and poor in the society and their immediate family members are taken care of.

Today, the Muslim community in India is full of the needy, destitute and helpless who do not have the basic amenities of life. They are in an urgent need to raise their standard of living above this current level which is way below the level of humanity. Just like the efforts to make Salat, a common practice among Muslims, a movement is required to make Zakat a common practice. The initiators of this movement need to be scholars, thinkers, leaders and torchbearers of the Muslim society.

The movement needs a deliberate step towards making the youth aware of the purpose, importance and correct practice of Zakat in Islam. It is high time to study and propagate the policies and methods of the rightly guided caliphs (Khulafa-e-Rashideen) and their system of community Zakat.

Even if one-third of the total population of 15-20 crore Muslims in India is self-sufficient, then they can help build a community treasury worth thousands of crore of rupees. A deliberate and goal-oriented socio-economic survey of the Muslim community can be done and then, keeping in sight the examples of Malaysia and South Africa, the wealth of the community treasury can be distributed among the deserving poor of the society.

The division template of Malaysia and South Africa can be followed to make the skilled and productive poor self-reliant. And the standards of living of non-productive group can then be brought up with regular support.

Those who are already well to do and can spare something after fulfilling their and their immediate family’s needs, they need to step forward and contribute to the establishment and maintenance of the community treasury that will aid in uplifting the whole of Muslim society.

It is the promise of the Almighty that those who give to help their fellowmen will be richly rewarded, and the rewards will be beyond our imagination.

“That (Mercy) I shall ordain for those who do right, and practise regular charity, and those who believe in Our Signs”. (Surah Al A’raf 156)

“Alms are for the poor, and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to the Truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of Allah; and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by Allah, and Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.” (Surah Tauba 60)

[Translated by Nabila Habib for ViewsHeadlines. H. ABDUR RAQEEB is General Secretary Indian Centre for Islamic Finance and member of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s Central Advisory Council]

(Courtesy: Radiance Weekly)

Friday, June 2, 2017

Alas Kavikko Abdul Rahman is no more.....Retired Tamil Professor, Islamia College, Vaniyambadi

Otn Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 6:51 AM, Muduvai Hidayath
கவிக்கோ அப்துல் ரஹ்மான் வஃபாத்து : ஈமான் அமைப்பு இரங்கல்

கவிக்கோ அப்துல் ரஹ்மான் இன்று 02.06.2017 வெள்ளிக்கிழமை அதிகாலை வஃபாத்தானார். 
இன்னாலில்லாஹி வ இன்னா இலைஹி ராஜிவூன் 
அன்னாரது மறைவுக்கு துபாய் ஈமான் அமைப்பு இரங்கல் தெரிவிக்கிறது. 
மேலும் மறைந்த கவிக்கோ அப்துல் ரஹ்மான் அவர்களது ஹக்கில் அனைவரும் துஆச் செய்திட கேட்டுக் கொள்ளப்படுகிறார்கள்.  

கடந்த 2008-ஆம் ஆண்டு நவம்பர் மாதம் அவர் ஈமான் அமைப்பு நடத்திய சமுதாய மேம்பாட்டு விழிப்புணர்ச்சி நிகழ்ச்சியில் கலந்து கொண்டார். அதற்கு முந்தைய ஆண்டுகளில் லூத்தா ஜாமிஆ மஸ்ஜிதில் நடந்த நிகழ்ச்சியிலும் கலந்து கொண்டார். 

சென்னை: கவிக்கோ அப்துல் ரகுமான்(80) உடல் நலக்குறைவு காரணமாக இன்று(ஜூன் 2) அதிகாலை காலமானார்.
சாகித்ய அகாடமி விருது வென்ற ‛கவிக்கோ' அப்துல் ரகுமான், மூச்சுத்திணறல் காரணமாக காலமானார். சென்னை பனையூர் வீட்டில் இன்று அதிகாலை 2 மணியளவில் அவர் உயிர் பிறந்தது.

வாழ்க்கை குறிப்பு:

'கவிக்கோ' என்று போற்றப்படும் தமிழ்க் கவிஞர் அப்துல் ரகுமான், மதுரையில் 1937ம் ஆண்டு பிறந்தார். இவரது தந்தையும், தாத்தாவும் சிறந்த உருது கவிஞர்கள். கல்லூரியில் தமிழை சிறப்புப் பாடமாக எடுத்துப் பயின்று, இலக்கண, இலக்கியங்களை கற்று, கவிதை எழுதத் துவங்கினார். தமிழ், ஆங்கிலம், அரபி, உருது, பாரசீகம், இந்தி ஆகிய பல மொழிகளிலும் புலமை பெற்றிருந்த இவர், சமஸ்கிருதமும் பயின்றவர். இவரது முதல் கவிதை தொகுப்பு ‛பால்வீதி' 1974ம் ஆண்டு வெளிவந்தது. தொடர்ந்து பல இதழ்களில் கட்டுரைகள், கவிதைகள் எழுதினார். 

சாகித்ய அகாடமி:

வாணியம்பாடி இஸ்லாமிய கல்லூரியில் தமிழ்துறை தலைவராக 20 ஆண்டுகள் பணியாற்றினார். தமிழில் கவிதைக் குறியீடுகள் குறித்து ஆராய்ந்து முனைவர் பட்டம் பெற்ற இவர், 1999ல் 'ஆலாபனை' கவிதைத் தொகுப்புக்காக சாகித்ய அகாடமி விருது வென்றார். கவியரசர் பாரிவிழா விருது, தமிழன்னை விருது, பாரதிதாசன் விருது, கலைமாமணி, கம்பர் விருது, உமறுப்புலவர் விருது உள்ளிட்ட பல விருதுகளையும் வென்றுள்ளார். 

முதுவை ஹிதாயத்

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Cattle Ban Notification Upsets Tanners & Farmers


The notification issued by the Government of India recently banning sale of cows, buffaloes, bulls, bullocks, steers, heifers, calves and camels for slaughter has shocked farmers, tanners, social activists, media persons etc.

Industrialists feel that the ban would serve as a major blow to the world renowned leather industry of Tamil Nadu which accounts for 40% of about $ 6 billion leather export market of the country. Leather units located in places like Ranipet, Erode, Ambur, Mel Visharam and Pallavaram are worst sufferers. Most of the tanneries in these places rely on imported and locally sourced cow and buffalo hides. Their survival will be difficult if raw hides are not available to them for tanning.

Many national newspapers have also editorially criticised the notification as retrograde law. The Times of India came out with a powerful editorial saying “the environment ministry introduced rules to regulate cattle trade will effectively kill the buffalo meat industry. This will be the immediate impact. Subsequently it will increase already high levels of stress on agriculture as livestock trade – on which draconian restrictions will be placed – is an essential component of the agrarian economy. This law will have a harmful impact on farmers and industries which use livestock products as input. In addition, it undermines federalism as it encroaches on the domain of states”.

India’s leather exporters have pointed out the ban could very much hit the industry which is struggling to realise its share of leather exports in the highly competitive world market.

According to many sources, exporters are planning to request the environment ministry to allow trading of buffaloes at livestock markets as in the case of goats and sheep.

Mr. M. Rafeeque Ahmed, President of All India Skin and Hide Tanners and Merchants Association, has said that the ban would not only reduce export earnings but also hit farmers’ interests if the livestock fairs are taken away from cattle trade.

It is also reported that the ban has hit business everywhere in the country. In a century-old cattle market in Poigai in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu farmers and livestock merchants were reportedly nervous at the weekly market on Tuesday fearing reprisals and legal complications and business concluded was less than 50%.

(Writer’s email id:

Chennai Leather Market - June 2017


V M Khaleelur Rahman

There was not much business in the Chennai leather market. It seems some regular business has taken place at unchanged prices in tanned goat and sheep skins. However tanners are quoting somewhat higher prices as they feel that prices may go up due to the notification of the union government banning sale of cattle for slaughter.

Quotations of tanners are at around the following prices:

E.I. Tanned Goat Skins

Grain selection:

4/6 sq. ft. Run/V/IF/LIF combined Rs.60
5/8 sq. ft. Run/V/IF/LIF Rs.95/80/70/60                                     

Suede Selection:

4/6 sq. ft. All Suede Rs.46
5/7 sq. ft. All Suede Rs.50

Lining Selection:

4/6 sq. ft. ABC combined Rs.39
5/8 sq. ft. AB combined Rs.48 and ABC combined Rs.44

Mesh selection:

5/8 sq. ft. Rs.26


3/8 sq. ft. Rs.18



All prices are per sq. ft.

F/C sheep leather (for export)

4/6 sq. ft. All Suede JY 200, LIF Suede JY 165, Rejection Suede JY 110

6/9 sq. ft. All Suede JY 210, LIF Suede JY 175, Rejection Suede JY 120

Offers of exporters are at around the following prices:


Size/sq. ft.
Price US$ per sq. ft. C&F
Goat upper leather
0.6/0.8 mm
Goat milled leather
0.6/0.8 mm
Goat suede leather
0.6/0.8 mm
0.6/0.8 mm
All Suede
Goat lining leather
0.5/0.7 mm
0.6/0.8 mm


Price US$ per sq. ft. C&F
Sheep Cabretta leather
0.6/0.8 mm
Sheep Cabretta leather
0.8/1.00 mm
Sheep lining leather
0.5/0.7 mm
0.6/0.8 mm
(Writer’s email id: