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?”

The Career Fest 2012 to be held next month

THE Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) is organising yet another edition of the ‘The Career Fest’.  The main event is to be held on the 15th and 16th of December, 2012. The Fest seeks to bridge the gap between the professionals in society and the young brilliance who look up for guidance from them.

The AMP is a platform for all Muslim professionals, and volunteers to share their knowledge, intellect, experience and skills for the overall development of not just the Muslim Community but the society at large.

Organised by AMP and supported by many social and educational organisations in Mumbai, the Career Fest was first organised in 2009. The Fest attracted more than 20,000 visitors in 2011. This year workshops and lectures will be organised for students in prominent colleges of the city divided in 7 different zones. Special workshops will also be conducted for teachers in different zones over the entire week. The event will feature more than a 100 high profile speakers and participation from more than 150 schools in Mumbai. A host of competitions have already started for students, teachers and parents, as part of the event.

The organisers claim the event to be the biggest in India in the educational sector.

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Sir Syed Day celebrated in Maharashtra

THE 195th birth anniversary of the revolutionary Muslim leader and scholar, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, was recently celebrated in Mumbai.

The Aligarh Muslim University Alumni Association (AMUAA) of Maharashtra held their annual Sir Syed Day event at Alkesh Dinesh Modi Hall, Mumbai University on October 17, 2012.

Kuldeep Nayar, an eminent Journalist, was the Chief Guest on the accassion. He emphasised on the role of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in revolutionising Education. He called on Muslims of India to wake up and don’t consider themselves as minority, “There is no minority or Majority in the country, India belongs to all who live here.” He was of the opinion that Indian Muslims can become a force to reckon with if they take up education seriously. Continue reading “Sir Syed Day celebrated in Maharashtra”

The Sir Syed model of Muslim empowerment

THE name Sir Syed Ahmad Khan evokes considerable respect from people in India, especially Muslims on either side of the border. A man of vision, he thought of progressive Muslim education on a scale rarely attempted earlier and against formidable odds. It is important to understand what drove him to bring in modern education as a savior of Muslims.

The Prophet of Islam [PBUH] said, “There are two persons that one is permitted to envy: The one to whom God has given riches and who has the courage to spend it in search for truth; the other to whom God has given knowledge and wisdom and who applies it for the benefit of mankind and shares it with his fellows.” Sir Syed belong to the second group. Continue reading “The Sir Syed model of Muslim empowerment”

Giving them wings to fly

THE Flying Birds Group established in early 2005 at AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, has been trying to empower the youth of economically, socially and educationally backward areas of Delhi by teaching and promoting innovative use of new media tools and technologies.

Young women members of the group have been producing short documentary films on real life issues affecting them, such as girl child discrimination, need for adequate health care and education, eve-teasing, domestic violence, and changing gender roles. Most recently, they made films highlighting the need to conserve art and cultural heritage at various levels of society. Continue reading “Giving them wings to fly”

Seminar highlights challenges facing Indian muslims empowerment

AAGHAZ Foundation, a community-driven organisation working to eradicate illiteracy among Indian Muslim, organised a seminar on ‘Education and Empowerment Challenges Facing Indian Muslims and the Way Forward’ at Lucknow on September 16th. Academicians, muslim clerics, scientists, professionals, and businessmen turned up for the event at Umanath Bali’s J.S. Prasad auditorium. Maulana Saed-Ur-Rahman Azmi, Principal of Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulema, was the chief guest.

The President of the foundation and Dubai-based journalist, Mazhar Farooqui, made a power point presentation on the educational and economic status of Muslims in India.  He gave an overview of Aaghaz Foundation’s zero-expense model and its efforts in rooting out illiteracy from the community. Continue reading “Seminar highlights challenges facing Indian muslims empowerment”

Literacy initiative bearing fruits

THE Lucknow Guidance and Counselling Centre (LGCC) set up by the Aaghaz Foundation, a community-driven organisation working to eradicate illiteracy among Indian Muslim, in 2011 is showing encouraging results.

After the success of seven students who cleared a key banking exam, underprivileged Muslim students counselled/coached at LGCC are finding their footings in other fields too. These are some latest success stories –

1) Aiunul Hasan has been selected for a lucrative job at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)  in Gurgaon.

2) Kalbe Ali has ranked 448 in UPSEE (competitive exam for management and technical course), and has got a seat at Galgotia College of Engineering and Technology, Greater Noida. The college is among top 10 colleges of UP and has an exceptional placement record.

3) Farwa Naqvi has been selected for B.Sc. Agriculture at Aligarh Muslim University. Initially, her parents wanted her to join a relatively lesser known college in Rae Bareilly. But after a counselling session with the centre changed their mind.

4) Bhupendra Kumar has been selected in JNU All India competitive exam for M.Sc. Biotechnology. He was allotted a seat at Allahabad University but has instead chosen Banaras Hindu University to pursue M.Sc. Biochemistry.

Besides, around 35 second batch students preparing for various competitive exams, dozens of poor Muslim students visit LGCC daily for counselling.

Aaghaz Foundation is likely to announce a course for armed and defence forces too, starting next month.

Aligarh movement to be revived

A MEETING was organised by Aligarh Muslim University Alumni Association of Maharashtra (AMUAAM) on July 15, 2012, in Mumbai, to discuss the revival of ‘Aligarh Movement’, State’s lukewarm response to AMU Campus in Aurangabad, building of ‘Syed House’ in Mumbai and other pertinent issues.

The former Vice Chancellor, P.K. Abdul Aziz, with a direction from central government had decided to open five campuses of AMU in different parts of India, and Maharashtra was one of them. The site had been finalised by the university officials a long time back and the indication of the same had been forwarded to the state government to allot the site to University. The state government has so far shown no interest in expediting the process because of which campus construction has yet to start. AMUAAM  has decided to put this issue on its lists of priority and to take it up with the state government. A committee has been formed to address the same. Continue reading “Aligarh movement to be revived”