International conference promotes ‘marsia’

marsiya conferenceNEW DELHI. The Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari inaugurated the “International Urdu Marsia Conference” on Friday. Addressing on the occasion he said that marsia can be written and heard by heart only. He hoped that the seminar will help in getting more people associated with marsia.

The word ‘marsiya’ is derived from the Arabic word ‘risa’, meaning a great tragedy or lamentation for a departed soul. Marsiya (or elegy), is nearly always on the death of Hasan and Hussain (grandsons of the Prophet Mohammad [PBUH]) and their families, but occasionally on the death of relatives and friends. It is usually in six-lined stanzas with the rhyme ‘aaaabb’.

The recitation of these elegies in the first ten days of Muharram is a common practice.

Central computing facility for Wakf records inaugurated

NEW Delhi. K Rahman Khan, the Union Minister of Minority Affairs (MoMA) & Chairman, Central Wakf Council, inaugurated the Central Computing Facility (CCF) on Friday. The facility will help digitalise information on about 400,000 acre of Wakf properties.

Khan highlighted the emerging role of the Central Wakf Council in the light of the proposed amendment in the Wakf Act 1995, which provide for greater role of Wakf Institutions in protecting and developing the Wakf properties at various places. He said that Wakf assets are public properties and public is entitled to know and access the details. Computerisation of the records and management of data of Wakf properties spread across various states in an efficient and transparent manner will be very helpful in this, the minister added.

Are women really prohibited from entering mausoleums?

RECENTLY a women’s organisation in Mumbai, Akhil Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Association, conducted a survey and found out that in 18 of the total sufi mausoleums, women are prohibited from entering Astana i.e. sanctum and sanctorum in which they were previously allowed. Prominent among them is Haji Ali Dargah, which is highly popular among non-Muslims also.

The report created a media stir. Everybody wanted to know on what grounds are they prohibited.

When press questioned some clerics about it, they promptly quoted hadiths which prohibit it. Some quote hadith from Imam Bukhari, saying it is prohibited, while other from Sahih Muslim, saying it was prohibited but later on the Prophet (PBUH) allowed it. Our clerics simply quote a hadith while completely ignoring the context. It was for this reason that the Prophet (PBUH) discouraged people from collecting hadith, as he knew it will create problems when he is gone. Continue reading “Are women really prohibited from entering mausoleums?”

Secular forum condemns attack on Agnivesh

agniveshTHE All India Secular Forum has strongly condemned the recent attack on Swami Agnivesh by communal forces in a meeting organised by Garima Abhiyan in Bhopal. The meeting was called to make the members of Balmiki community take a pledge that they will not be carrying the night soil (human excreta) on their heads.

Agnivesh was attacked when he came forward to touch the feet of an old lady from Balmiki Community. The gesture was to recognise the dignity of all the humans being equal. In a way it was to challenge the prevalent practices which derive their origin from caste system.

The government has already come with legislation banning this dehumanising practice, which takes away the dignity of section of society. Agnivesh was attacked as he staunchly opposed this practice. Communal forces led by VHP are believed to be behind it.

From the diary of a hockey legend

sibtainnaqviSAIYED Ali Sibtain Naqvi holds a unique distinction of representing both India and Oman in the field of hockey. During the 2002 Olympic Games at Sydney, Australia, a commemorative postage stamp was issued in his name, being the senior most administrator among the National Olympic Committees. Naqvi is a winner of several national and international honours, including a Lifetime Sports Achievement Award by the Government of Oman.  A short film “Evergreen Ace” based on his life was released in 2007. In a candid interview with MT, he shared glimpses from his life, and the role hockey played in it.

“I was born at Amroha on the 10th of Dec, 1929 (the schools’ records showed the year as 1932). Being a survivor of the 1942 Quit India Movement, I remember how students were used for political purposes. I was a student of class Xth in the Govt High School, Sitapur (UP), when India celebrated independence. Continue reading “From the diary of a hockey legend”