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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

ISLAM IN SPAIN (TAMIL)

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இந்தியாவை ஆண்ட முஸ்லிம் மன்னர்கள் வரலாறு

1/0: ஜஹாங்கீர்



2/0; ஒளரங்கசீப்


3/0; ஷெர்ஷா



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வட இந்திய முஸ்லிம்களின் வரலாறு -CMN Saleem


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தென் இந்திய முஸ்லிம்களின் வரலாறு - CMN Saleem

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Sunday, 29 May 2011

ISLAMIC HISTORY OF SOUTH EAST ASIA (INDO-MALAY ARCHIPELAGO)

ISLAMIC HISTORY OF SOUTH EAST ASIA (INDO-MALAY ARCHIPELAGO)

Delivered by Dr Carool Kersten (University of London)*

Date: Saturday 25th June 2011
Time: 9am - 5pm
Venue: Birkbeck College, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX

BOOKING DEADLINE: MONDAY 20TH JUNE 2011

It took nearly 800 years for the whole of Egypt to become majority Muslim and when Islam first arrived 674 CE it took only a few hundred years for the whole of the Indo-Malay Archipelago countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philipines, Brunei and Southern Thailand. Today, there are more followers of the Shafi School of Thought in SE Asia than its country of origin and Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country and democracy and whilst Malaysia enjoys an admirable position amongst many Muslims because of its self built economic development model. With up to 250 million Muslims, Islam in SE Asia matters, it is multi-faceted and multi layered with its rich experience.

This short, intensive course aims to cover the following:

01. What and where is SE (South East) Asia ?
02. Brief of region before arrival of Islam i.e. religions and kingdoms.
03. Early arrival of Islam
04. Rooting of Islam and creation of Sultanates
05. Islamization of Southeast Asia and role of the Sufi missionaries
06. Brief on Colonial period and Independance
07. Contemporary Islam in Southeast Asia
08. Culture of SE Asian Muslims - School of thoughts/ groups/politcal
/social/schooling.

..and more

*Dr Carool Kersten is currently a Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Kings College, London. His key research areas include the intellectual history of the contemporary Muslim world, and the history of Islam in Southeast Asia. He speaks fluent Arabic, Bahsa, English and is native Dutch. He is a member of Association of Southeast Asian Studies and Society of Contemporary Thought and the Islamic state World and has written and contributed to many books and articles on the subject. Some recent publications are: 'Indonesia's New Muslim Intellectuals' Religion Compass; 'Cambodia’s Muslim King: Khmer and Dutch Sources on the Conversion of King eameathipadei I, 1642–1658', in Islam in Southeast Asia. The courses are open to all but spaces are limited. Entry is through prior registration only. Prayer facilities available and coffee/tea provided during break sessions.

Costs:
Within the Deadline dates pre-registration £20 - Online payment
After Deadline dates or on the door entry £30 - CASH on the door

Unless the course is cancelled, there are no refunds for non-attendance

BOOKING DEADLINE: MONDAY 20TH JUNE 2011 after which prices to £30

To confirm your places please email us the following details:
Full name:
Mobile:
No of tickets required including yourself:
Town/City:

Once we have recieved the above information, confirmation, payment instructions
and directions will be emailed to you.

For more information please contact:
Tel: 07956 983 609
E-mail: info@islamiccourses.org
Web: www.islamiccourses.org

Wassalaam 'alaikum wa rahmatullaah.

- Islamic Circles



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Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Muslims in China; Past and Present

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I got into a rickshaw in Beijing and my 65–year-old wrinkled driver immediately whizzed me through the hutongs — old, narrow alleyways. He looked at me and talked in Chinese. I turned to my guide.
"He's asking where you are from." "Aygee," I replied in my broken Chinese — meaning "Egypt." He pointed at my headscarf. "Are you Hindu?" "No! Muslim." He smiled and pointed to himself. "Moosleeman."
For many people, it comes as a shock to learn that officially there are at least 20 million Muslims in China- that is a third of the UK's total population. Unofficially, the number is even higher, some saying 65.3 million and even 100 million Muslims in China — up to 7.5 percent of the population.
Regardless of the real figure, the reality is that Islam in China is almost as old as the revelation of Islam unto Prophet Muhammad. Twenty years after the Prophet's death, diplomatic relations were established with China by Caliph Uthman. Trade was followed by settlement, until eighty years after the Hijrah, pagoda-style mosques appeared in China.
A century later, in 755, it became common for Chinese emperors to employ Muslim soldiers in their armies and also as government officials.
Today, the population of China includes 56 ethnic groups, 10 of which are Muslim. Out of these 10 minority groups, the Hui (short for Huizhou) are the largest group at 9.8 million, making up 48 percent of China's Muslim population.
The second largest group is Uyghurs at 8.4 million, or 41 percent of the Chinese Muslim population. The Hui speak Chinese, unlike Uyghurs and five other Muslim ethnic groups, which speak Turkic languages. Overwhelmingly Sunni in belief and practice, the Hui are ethnically and culturally Chinese, virtually indistinguishable from the Han, who make up China's billion-strong community. If my rickshaw driver had not told me he was Muslim, I would have never guessed.
For over a millennium, and across five major imperial dynasties, the Hui have lived in China peacefully, spreading in every province and contributing to every aspect of Chinese life, from the military and economy to arts and sciences.
Thriving in a non-Muslim civilization, the Hui managed to create an indigenous Islamic culture that is uniquely and simultaneously Chinese and Muslim.
Their experience, as Dru Gladney, author of Dislocating China,  puts it, is a "standing refutation of Samuel Huntington's clash of civilizations." No identity crisis whatsoever!
Ethar
Ethar with a group of  Chinese Muslim women.
Harmony
Islam began in an Arab region.On the surface, it seemed to be at complete odds with Chinese traditions and Confucianism, which at the time was the official religion of China.
Ancient Chinese people saw their civilization as the epitome of human development, and had Islam been presented as an alien faith, they would have rejected it completely and seen it as unworthy, with no place in their world.Islam in China would have become isolated, and perhaps as fleeting as Christianity was.
"But this was unacceptable," said the Imam of the Grand Mosque of Xian, the first mosque to be built in China almost 1,400 years ago. Sitting in front of him, trying not to gawp at the incredible architecture surrounding me, I asked him why.
"Chinese Muslims love their country and its people. We are Chinese. We cannot be part of China. There is even a hadith that says, 'Love of your country is part of faith,'" he said.
The Hui scholars therefore searched to find the common ground between Islam and the main faiths of China: Confucianism, Daoism (Taoism), and Buddhism. They became experts in Islamic and Chinese texts, traditions, and practices, and without their efforts, Chinese Muslim culture would have remained alien and foreign, isolated and far removed from the community.
In Western discourse, Dr. Umar Abdullah of the Nawawi Foundation told me, many scholars argue that in order to integrate into the country, Chinese Islam was Sinicized, which means orthodox Islamic faith and practice was made Chinese. The most evident example of how Chinese Muslims created their own unique forms of cultural expressions is their mosques, of which  around 45,000 exist in China.
Stunningly beautiful, the mosques are quintessentially both Chinese and Muslim. My first sight of a Chinese mosque literally took my breath away. On the outside, they are built in traditional Chinese style, with pagoda-like roofs, Chinese calligraphy, and Chinese archways.
On the inside, however, the Islamic influences are crystal clear: beautiful Chinese Arabic calligraphy, an octagonal minaret, and a mihrab, a Chinese Imam lecturing in Mandarin and making supplication in perfect Arabic.
Examples of the fusion of Chinese and Islamic traditions are everywhere.
In Xian, where an estimated 90,000 Muslims live, while wandering through a noisy souvenir market, I came across traditional wall hangings with Arabic hadith written in calligraphy, porcelain tea sets with Qur'anic verses inscribed on them, popular red amulets with an attribute of Allah at the center rather than the traditional Chinese zodiac animal, rosaries with a Name of Allah printed on each bead in Chinese characters, and Qur'an copies printed in both Chinese and Arabic.
Writing
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Chinese Muslims create their own unique forms of cultural expressions through their mosques.
When it comes to language, rather than transliterating Arabic terms into words that might be mispronounced and misunderstood — since the Chinese writing system is not phonetic — the early Hui scholars decided to choose words that best reflected the meanings of the Arabic terms and, at the same time, were meaningful in Chinese tradition.
Their purpose in doing this was twofold: (1) They showed the Chinese community that they respected, believed in, and honored the Chinese tradition, and (2) Islamic concepts, which in Arabic might have seemed inconceivable, were not only relatable, but even similar.
The Qur'an, for example, was referred to as the Classic: The sacred books of China were called the Classics, and as such the Qur'an was psychologically put in the same category. Islam was translated as Qing Zhen Jiao ("The religion of the Pure and the Real").
At the great Mosque of Xian, Chinese characters proclaim, "May the religion of the Pure and the Real spread wisdom throughout the land."
Haroun Khanmir, a 24-year-old Islamic studies student at the Xiguian mosque in Lingxia, has studied Arabic for 4 years. "Being fluent in Chinese and Arabic allows me to appreciate the brilliance of the terms chosen.They have so many nuances that instantly explain the true essence of Islam using main Chinese values."
When comparing Islamic and Chinese traditions, the Hui scholars searched for common ground, coming up with five main principles that both traditions shared. And although they were clear about where Islamic belief deviated from Chinese thought, they did not set out to reject Chinese tradition and prove why it was wrong.
Instead, they showed how Islam added to it. By not painting Islamic and Chinese tradition in binary opposition where belief in the former meant rejection of the latter; they avoided distressing Muslims who were very much Chinese.
"I consider myself 100 percent Chinese," said smiling 18-year-old Ahmed Dong, dressed in a white thobe and turban. "And I don't see why, even with different politics and languages and beliefs, we can't be so; we share the same language, customs, and culture.”
“Our country is so diverse, and yet unity is a value we all wish to have, rather than living separately."
One of the hundreds of students at the Xiguian mosque who come from a number of different ethnic backgrounds and study the Qur'an, Hadith, Arabic, English, as well as computer skills, Dong hopes to continue his studies in an Arabic country, and then come back and do Da`'wah in China, raising awareness of Islam.(Onislam)

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Throughout 1400 years, Muslims in China have gone through many ups and downs, until they reached the state of "harmony" with non-Muslims Chinese.
Muslims in China began as traders and soldiers in the 7th century, therefore instilling in the early Muslim settlers a sense of belonging and legitimacy; they were not a burden on the country, but valuable contributors.
It was only in the 13th century, however, after the Mongols conquered China, that these Muslims who were classified as "foreign guests" were allowed to live wherever they chose and were granted full citizenship.
This started the development of a fully indigenous Chinese Muslim culture. The Mongols, a minority themselves, encouraged Muslim immigration to China and forcibly relocated millions of Muslim immigrants, employing them as government officials and dispersing them throughout China. In the Ming Dynasty, the Hui became the standard title for Chinese Muslims, who then flourished.

Centuries later, during the Manchurian (Qing) Dynasty, specifically in 1780, communal violence between the Han and Hui began and continued for 150 years. It began with the Manchurian's discriminatory policies toward Muslims, forbidding them from building mosques or slaughtering animals, paradoxically at a time when the Hui had become an integral part of Chinese culture.
One of the worst bloodbaths took place between 1862 and 1878 in the province of Gansu, where the population of 15 million was slaughtered down to one million, two-thirds of which were Hui.
The Manchurian Dynasty was overthrown in 1912, although violence against the Hui continued until 1930. But then, less than 20 years later, Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong established the People's Republic of China, a Marxist state that was antagonistic to all religions.
The Hui, with other religious minorities, were prosecuted and killed and had their places of worship destroyed. It was only after Mao's death that things started to settle down.
Realizing the economic potential of the Hui, the government sought to make amends and offered them special accommodations.
Imam Ali Noor El-Huda, Chairman of the Islamic Association in Beijing and imam of the gorgeous 1,000-year-old Niujie Mosque, told me that "the government is no longer repressing faith and allows everyone to practice their religion. It emphasizes respect to everyone. And although in our history there was fighting with the Han, it is mostly peaceful now. And for the most part, there is no ideological conflict between Muslims; we believe in one God and one Book. The differences are only in language, food, and tradition."
Although Chinese Muslims are currently disfranchised from political involvement (the Chinese Communist Party only admits atheists, as I was told by some students during my trip), the political stability of modern China is hopefully a good omen for the future of the Hui.
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Today
Thirty-four years after the Cultural Revolution, Muslims — and indeed followers of other religions too — are in a much better position. Islamic associations, schools, and colleges are being created, mosques are being built, and there is a small but visible Islamic revival.
After years of repression, Chinese Muslims are flourishing, organizing interethnic activities among themselves and international activities with Muslims abroad.
China's one-child policy applies to the Hui, even though minority groups are allowed to have two or even three children, simply because the Hui's numbers are so substantial. The majority of the other Chinese Muslim minority groups, however, are allowed to have two children, and Chinese Muslim numbers are increasing.
"There is also a very small number of converts," says the imam of the Xiguian Mosque after a heartfelt Du`a' under the shade of a 500-year-old tree, the only original thing left in the mosque complex, which was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.
"But what is more interesting is that many people who would not admit to being Muslims before out of fear of harming their livelihoods, like doctors, are now openly saying they are Muslims."
Depending on the city you are in, the practice of Islam is different. In rural areas such as Little Makkah, where Muslims make up almost 60 percent of the population, Islam is evident in the number of mosques, halal restaurants, and women in headscarves.
It is wonderful and yet so strange to walk and hear a dozen Assalamu Alaikums(Greeting in Islam that means: peace be to you) or to hear the Adhan. In cosmopolitan cities like Beijing, however, as in every country of the world, globalization and consumerism affect spirituality.
Abdul–Rahman Haroun, imam of the 300-year-old Nan Dou Mosque, one of Beijing's 72 mosques, elaborated, "Here in the big cities, Muslims have to conform to the dress code. Women do not wear headscarves because they are inconvenient and would be incomprehensible. In the Southwestern parts of China, it is different."
Deea' El-Din, imam of the 85-year-old mosque in Shanghai, smiled when I told him that I am from Egypt and said that the years he spent at Al-Azhar University in Cairo were some of the best in his life.
"Unfortunately, the environment here is not conducive to being religious, and most mosque-goers are older men and women." He excused himself to call the Adhan for Maghrib and led us in Prayer; there were only half a dozen Chinese worshippers.
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The Hui Experience
Muslim minorities around the world have much to learn from the experience of the Hui in China, even though many Muslim minorities today in the West have a millennium-long history of contributing to their countries.
By delving deep into the heart of Islamic beliefs and becoming just as knowledgeable of Chinese beliefs, the Hui scholars found common ground with faiths and traditions that on the surface seemed very different to Islam — but they found the human values that bind us.
The Islamic scholars of today have to do the same with Western traditions, which are much more similar to Islam than Chinese traditions: They share the same Abrahamic values and beliefs, and the two civilizations have histories that were often intertwined.
There are 10 Muslim minority groups in China, but never in the history of the world has there been such an ethnically diverse group of Muslims in non-Muslim countries as there are in the world today. From the example of China, we learn the importance of crosscultural communication.
The Hui experience also demonstrates that it is very possible that Muslims can live in harmony with very different civilizations and at the same time create a viable and unique indigenous culture.
The fusion of things Chinese and Islamic is unparalleled, whether it is in thought or cultural expression.
By expressing their spirituality through architecture, litrary works, calligraphy, and more, the Hui demonstrate to all Muslim minority groups that creating an authentic and genuine culture that is both Muslim and indigenous is not only possible, but beautiful.
My fondest memory of the entire trip is reading the Qur'an in a Chinese mosque, only to find an old Chinese woman dressed all in white sitting next to me smiling hugely, and pointing at the Qur'an. I looked at her askance, and she started pointing at the letters and at me.
I started reading from Surah Ya-Sin, and she read with me. And for the next 15 minutes, we read together.
Islam is truly a universal religion. (Onislam)



Ethar El-Katatney is an award-winning journalist, blogger, and author. She is currently a contributor to Egypt Today, the leading current-affairs magazine in the Middle East, and at its sister magazine, Business Today Egypt. She travels all over the world for conferences promoting dialogue between different religions and cultures.