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Aug 19, 2017
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“We know that there is a perception held by too many Pakistanis that America's commitment to them begins and ends with security,” said Hillary Clinton. "But security is just one piece of this vital partnership.

These were the words of the US secretary of state during her recent visit to Pakistan. Pakistanis are however not deluded by the sweet-talking Hillary Clinton trying to project a multi-faceted relationship with Pakistan.

Clinton’s efforts are seen for what they are. They are part of a strategy for saving face in Afghanistan where the occupation is in quagmire and the war increasingly seems unwinnable.

The recent talks are a gesture rooted in the perception that the ‘insurgency’ in Afghanistan has connections with Pakistani agencies and authorities that have leverage to nudge the Taliban towards a political solution.

Few in Islamabad have an illusion about this Clinton’s aid agenda seen as a dangling of a carrot in front of Washington’s ‘key ally’ in the War on Terror. It is not a new move. Rather, it is part of the implementation of the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill which approved $7.5million aid to Pakistan over five years.

This is however a far cry to what Pakistan has lost by being designated the frontline of War of Terror. According to President Asif Zardari, “Pakistan had suffered a huge loss of over $40 billion during the last eight years as a result of the fight against militancy besides unquantifiable cost in terms of social and human losses.”

Zardari cited the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) commonly called drones which the US has continued to use attacking the frontier provinces where it is believed senior Al Qaeda and Taliban officials have sought refuge.

The civilian toll of these operations has been exacting on Pakistan. Speaking to Clinton when they met in Islamabad, Zardari said that the use of drones “undermined the national consensus against the war on militancy”, a fresh indication of the domestic distaste for the attacks and their political ramifications.

It is estimated that close to 1500 people have been killed in these drone attacks with reports indicating that the Obama administration granted secret permission to the CIA to carry out more indiscriminate drone missile strikes in the country earlier this year.

It remains to be seen whether the mango talks, (Clinton said that she loves Pakistani mangoes) will be matched by actions that go far enough in assuring Islamabad that Washington really cares about the welfare of the people of restive Pakistan.

 

Born in Damascus on the 13th of Dhul Hijja, 1382 AH (1963 CE), Shaykh Sayyid Muhammad Abul Huda al-Yaqoubi is from a noble family of scholars that descend from the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him).

From this household have emerged numerous renowned men of Allah who have taught the sacred sciences for many centuries. Shaykh Muhammad's father, the light of Damascus and master of the Islamic disciplines, Sayyid Ibrahim al-Yaqoubi, was one of the greatest scholars of The Levant in recent times. Shaykh Muhammad's grandfather was a great scholar and Gnostic, Sayyid Ismail al-Yaqoubi; his father's maternal uncle was Shaykh Arabi al-Yaqoubi and his paternal uncle was the famous Gnostic, Shaykh Sharif al-Yaqoubi. Amongst his blessed ancestors, three have held the Maliki Imamate at the Grand Umayyad Mosque in Damascus - may Allah envelope them all in His mercy.

Shaykh Muhammad traces his lineage back to the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) through the great Mawlay Idris al-Anwar who built the city of Fes, a descendant of Sayyiduna al-Hasan the Second, who is the son of Sayyiduna al-Hasan (may Allah be pleased with him), the grandson of the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) and son of Sayyiduna Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah ennoble his countenance). Shaykh Muhammad studied over 500 works with his father, in the sciences of Qur'an, Hadith (Prophetic traditions), Fiqh (Jurisprudence), Mantiq (Logic) and many more. He even wrote a thabat (detailed list) of the names of the books he studied under his father entitled, "The Concealed Pearls". His father gave him full authority to narrate Hadith, to teach and to issue fatawa (legal rulings).

He also received many other ijazat (licenses to teach) from the most prominent scholars of Syria such as: the Hanafi Mufti of Syria, Shaykh Muhammad Abul Yusr Abidin; the Maliki Mufti of Syria, Sayyid Makki al-Kittani; Shaykh Ali al-Boudaylimi of Tlemcen; Shaykh Salih al-Khatib; and Shaykh Abdul Aziz Uyun al-Sud. In the summer of 1973 at the age of 11, Shaykh Muhammad started teaching a regular Qur'an and Tajwid class composed of a group of boys at the Darwishiyya Mosque in Damascus. He began giving public speeches in Ramadan after Asr prayer in the same mosque at the age of 12. At the age of 14, he made his debut as Friday speaker in the mosque known as al-Saadaat, where Sayyiduna Mu'adh ibn Jabal is buried. At the age of 17, he was appointed Friday Imam and speaker and as a teacher of the Sacred Knowledge at the age of 20. Since then, he has been teaching the Islamic sciences to students of all levels from all parts of the world.

Shaykh Muhammad memorized Jawharat al-Tawhid when he was 5 years old, al-Arba'in al-Nawawiyya when he was 6, and later on, dozens of famous didactic odes and poems along with most of al-Qur'an al-Karim. He also memorized considerable parts of al-Mufaddaliyyaat and al-Hamasah of Abi Tammam. The first poem he wrote was at the age of 13, and it was a plea to the Prophet. His collection of poetry is growing, and a few poems in English have been added to it.

Throughout the years of his study, Shaykh Muhammad went through extensive spiritual training in the path of Tasawwuf under his father, who was a great saint and spiritual guide known for his righteousness and asceticism. Shaykh Muhammad studied the major works of Tasawwuf under him. As well as accompanying him, he was his servant, his student and the bearer of his shoes, which he considers the key to the opening he received. The company of his father exposed him to a wealth of light, wisdom and knowledge, an experience that was far beyond what one may attain from books or from occasional meetings with teachers. He is an authority in the science of Hadith; his asanid (chains of transmission) are of the highest amongst scholars of our time. Students and scholars visit him in Syria or when he travels, to hear the masalsalat and take ijaza in narration of Hadith.

In his efforts to revive the tradition of Hadith recitals, he has taught al-Muwatta of Imam Malik, Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Muslim, Sunan Abi Dawud, Jami' al-Tirmidhi and he intends to finish all the main six books of Hadith in the coming terms insha'Allah. He has travelled extensively and participated in conferences, delivered lectures and taught intensive programmes. Additionally, he has delivered Friday speeches in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Pakistan, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, Canada, the United States, Indonesia, Singapore, Morocco and the UK. Over a thousand people have embraced Islam at his hands and many have repented after listening to him. He is a scion of the prophetic household, a torch bearer in this time and a charismatic public speaker in both Arabic and English.

After having accomplished so much, he still felt the need to travel and share his knowledge with the rest of the world. He travelled through Europe and then to the USA where he undertook numerous English classes until he mastered the language within a short space of time. Being able to communicate more freely with the larger community, he soon became the source of many people drawing closer to Deen. Sayyid Muhammad al-Yaqoubi's incredible training at the hands of several luminaries of this ummah, most notably his father, have propelled him to rank among the leading scholars of Islam in the world today. He currently resides in Damascus and is a public teacher at some of the most prestigious institutions there. He teaches Aqida (theology) at the Grand Umayyad Mosque; he holds the position of Jumu'a Khatib (Friday speaker) at the Jami' al-Hasan Musjid (better known as the Musjid of Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi); he teaches from al-Risalah of Imam al-Qushayri and al-Shama'il al-Muhammadiyyah of Imam al-Tirmidhi. Both these classes are well attended by locals and foreigners alike. I had the good fortune of regularly attending his lectures during my brief stay in Damascus last year.

Sheikh is generally apolitical, but when the government-appointed Grand Mufti of Syria made statements unbefitting the status of Nabi SAW a few months ago, he was so overtaken with the love of Nabi SAW that he openly denounced these statements and demanded the resignation of the Grand Mufti. This unfortunately led to Sheikh being dismissed from his position as Khatib of Jami al- Hasan Musjid (all Imams/Khatibs are government-appointed.) Sheikh was due to arrive in South Africa on the 14 July and stay for a period of two weeks delivering lectures and teaching al-Shama'il al-Muhammadiyyah of Imam al-Tirmidhi to some Ulama. Shortly after his arrival in Syria from the UK last week, he was summoned by the Syrian Police and subsequently banned from travelling. His trip was therefore cancelled. May Allah preserve him and his family and save him from possible imprisonment in Syria. Amin

Moulana Yusuf Bemath

 

A six-man delegation of the Jamiatul Ulama’s Taalimi Board has just returned from Thailand where they completed an intensive programme of workshops and seminars in different areas of the country.

Methodology of teaching the Qur’an was the main theme in the workshops. Emphasis was also placed on ways on integrating Islamic education into the in the country’s school programme.

On-going interaction yielding positive results

The delegation also visited rural areas of Thailand, in particular on the Southern end where a supervisors’ workshop was held.

Thailand is one of the countries where the Tasheel Series has been adopted in the madrasa curriculum. The series has since been translated into the Thai language.

The delegation also fulfilled a number of other engagements on a stopover in Hyderabad. Upon the invitation of Azaan International School which offers an integrated curriculum, they shared their experience on the introduction of Islamic education into the school programme.

Unlike in Thailand where language poses a barrier in interaction, the workshops for teachers and a seminar for other role players went on well. More than 30 schools attended the sessions which were followed by question and answers.

At the Maahadul Islam conference which was being held in Hyderabad, Moulana Ayoob Kachwee spoke on challenges facing the ulama.

While in Hyderabad, the delegation was also guests of Brother Yawar Baig at his weekly class session. Here, Moulana Kachwee spoke of the role of the Jamiatul Ulama and Brother Ismail Variawa spoke on Challenges of the media.

The delegation also visited Hyderabad’s Darul Islamiya.

 

Many visitors who have been to our shores recently have a lot to say about the vibrant atmosphere of our country. Save for few incidents, those now returning to their homes have a different tale to tell about the Rainbow Nation.

It is a different tale because they were warned about South Africa. A South Africa they read from their local papers and other media outlets told them of ‘bushes’ in a South African town where venomous still cobras roam, ready to strike at any time.

They were told of machete-wielding tribesmen in perpetual state of war, fighting all the time. They had to take extra caution not to be caught in between while visiting the country.

Our capacity to keep and maintain a level of security that would assure a reasonable degree of safety to all visitors was in doubt. So too was our willingness to welcome the guests to our country.

So far, the myths of Afro-pessimists of the kind have been debunked. The experience of many has been a wonderful one, to say the least. In months and years to come, South Africa will be remembered as a destination of choice to which they will return. At their recommendation, many more will be motivated to visit and experience ‘the world in one country.’

From the horizon, however, this scenario is under threat. Locally-based foreign nationals have been reporting of intimidation which is simmering below the surface. A number of reports suggest ‘planned attacks on foreigners once the World Cup is over.’ It is sad that the calendar for many hardworking and enterprising non-South Africans, in legitimate engagements, has been set to end on July 11, 2010.

Authorities have dismissed these claims and have been at pains to assure that everyone will be protected, now and in future. Nothing should be taken for granted, however. After the ugly and fatal flares up in winter of 2008, the community at large is asked to be vigilant to elements which stoke up hatred of people from other lands.

It is well-known that among those of foreign origin, some live here legitimately. They are those who have actually been naturalised (becoming South Africans), hence compatriots!

Others are refugees fleeing from their troubled lands and many more are engaged in services and professions in which there is short supply of locally-developed human resources such as medicine, science education and other rare skills.

Xenophobic tendencies pull back the clock of the gains we have made as a nation. Unemployment and poor service delivery cannot be solved by xenophobic attacks.

Those in privileged positions such as in law-enforcement and healthcare should be true to their professional pledges and oaths by showing exemplary conduct and not be agents that perpetrate abuse of those at their mercy.

What we have put together as a show for the world should not be just a façade of a nation in crisis. Rather, it should be a stage on which we celebrate our achievements, acknowledge our shortcomings and use appropriate ways and means to confront our challenges.

 

It is a spill that has rocked the Obama Administration. Others have dubbed it Obama’s Katrina in reference to the hurricane that devastated New Orleans attracting a fumbled response from the federal authorities in the US in 2005.

Analysts believe that Obama’s handling of the oil spill disaster, yet-to-be-contained, 3 months after it occurred, threatens his political survival. The on-going spill into the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, its consequences and how the administration handles this mess, will determine, if this president will be re-elected to a second term or not.

How much room is there to manoeuvre for the man in the Oval Office?
Company law allows for the establishment of limited liability entities whose shareholders’ responsibility is limited to the firm’s capitalisation in the form of equity value. The motivation in history was to allow for business to take risks in investment ventures.

This allowance for taking risks has resulted in untold misery around the world where corporations plunder on resources without much regard for the impact in has on sensitive ecological areas. Others have indicated that the mess that is created in the Niger Delta region is much more that what is pouring out into the Gulf of Mexico.

The arrogance and callous attitudes of corporations make the indifferent as the consequences of such disasters do not affect them personally.
Last month, BP’s chief Executive Tony Hayward was quoted by The Guardian saying: "The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume."

Since then, a number of measures taken to contain the spill have dismally failed. We are told that a relief well meant to contain the spill will only be operational in August! Yet, every week, the amount of oil estimated to be draining into the deep sea and threatening the livelihood of the people who depend on the ecosystems around it, is being revised upwards.

In the meanwhile, we hear of the status of the oil giant BP as ‘unprosecutable’. Why should corporate executives who make profit-maximising for themselves and yet risky for the rest of us be above reproach?
It has been hinted by Digital Journal that if BP had simply adhered to the most elementary operational safety standards, then the Gulf would not be a "dead zone" like it is today.

This is time to revisit legal instruments which allow corporations a free hand to mess to be accountable for the misery they cause globally.

The other side of it is the insatiable demand for unsustainable energy resources. Man has to learn to live within modest means. The survival of the planet depends a change in lifestyle.

 

Giving effect to one of its founding objectives of being transparent, SANHA once again hosted it’s Annual General Meeting open to the public on Saturday, 5th June 2010 at the Hartley Road School in Durban.

Much to the delight of its supporters, SANHA officials took to the podium one by one and stood in the spotlight under the full glare of public scrutiny and delivered their reports.

In a feat rarely emulated by other organizations and certifying bodies, SANHA once again presented its report and disclosed its audited financials to the public which were included in the handouts.

Some salient features from the report were:-

5230 inspections were conducted during the year
1140 plants are now certified by SANHA
230 Muslim employees directly and indirectly
46 Abattoirs now approved
R8.5 million expenses were not matched by R8.1 million income.
Workshops were held for Jamiyyathul Ulama, Sri Lanka, American Halaal Advocates and Malawi Halaal Department amongst others.
34 826 queries received in the year.

Professor Syed Salman Nadvi was singled out for a special Community Appreciation Award for his monumental contribution, community activities, encouragement and support of Islamic organizations.

The key note address was delivered by the eminent Moulana Ebrahim Bham, Secretary General of the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa. The focal points were expressing support and joy for progress of others, co-operation with all in the furtherance of Deen and cultivating steadfastness against intolerance.

SANHA appreciates the support it receives from the community and pledges to continue upholding the tradition of transparency and openness, Insha Allah. (God Willing)

Editor

The Council of Ulama Eastern Cape is a Member of SANHA

 

Israel, as was expected, has yet again chosen to ignore the calls for a ‘credible investigation’ into the massacre of civilian activists on humanitarian aid mission aboard a flotilla to Gaza. The suspect-in-chief will investigate herself!

For those who know the Israeli attitude towards world public opinion and her recording of breaking United Nations resolutions, it is not surprising that Israel has taken this route which according to reports, will not even take to task the naval commandos who killed 9 people aboard the Mavi Marmara, shot mostly at close range in international waters.

Israeli forces often investigate themselves for murder of Palestinians and excesses committed whether in battle or against detainees rounded up for their acts of resistance to the occupation.

With a fair degree of confidence, we can even predict the phrases that will make the final report of the current inquiry.

Routinely, these sham commissions of inquiries absolve the Israeli forces. From one probe to another, Israeli forces are found to be the most benign the world over, ‘acting with restraint to provocation’ and killing ‘only in self-defence’ at the hands of stone-throwing children.

As it stands and from an Israeli point-of-view, the narrative of the events that led to the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara is one of Israeli commandos who acted in self-defence to a hostile reception from armed activists who boarded the ship elsewhere after the vessels set sail. According to Israeli authorities, these activists, just like the IHH, the lead organisation in the mission, are actually linked to Hamas, hence terrorists.

The Turkish government will be found guilty for the tacit approval of the flotilla mission and the world will be told that ‘Israel has a right to defend herself’ against the ‘hostile entity’ that is Gaza.

We will be schooled that Israel allows for humanitarian aid to Gaza and does her ‘utmost’ to benevolently minimise the suffering of women and children in Gaza hence no need for breaking the blockade of the territory.

Jason Ditz, writes today: “Whichever story Israel decided to present in its final probe, … the US State Department has promised to be ready with a rubber stamp for it, insisting that the US will “stand by” the Israeli probe as “credible” and “impartial.“”

The difference this time, nevertheless, is that the rest of the world now knows better than before about the true nature of Apartheid Israel.

World powers and governments will keep dragging their feet despite the moral imperative to liberate Palestine. However, people of goodwill and those inclined towards justice are more determined than ever before that they will not be blinded by the smokescreen of an inquiry that Israel has cobbled up.

Israel can arrogantly keep daring the world with impunity as she has. However, military might alone, will not keep even the most of ordinary people from challenging her ways. As it stands, Israel has increased the tally of those who now question their home nation’s unflinching support for her. Elsewhere, bigger flotillas to Gaza are in the making…

How much longer will Israel keep putting out fires set to flare up with increased frequency? Sooner than later, it will dawn on the Zionists that the only sustainable way to peace is through justice by ending the occupation.

 
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2017
Aug

19: Moulana Junaid Kharsany. Masjid Mansoor after Maghrib

Sep
1: Eidul Adha. Subject to sighting of moon

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Halaal Updates
17.08.17

HALAAL RESTAURANTS @ SA AIRPORTS

The following restaurants are certified by SANHA:

* OR Tambo: - Piece A Pizza |
1. Terminal A T5, International Departures | 2. Domestic Terminal
* OR Tambo: - Capello |
Shop T5 Level 2, International Departures
* King Shaka: - Steers & Panarottis

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