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Newsletter Al-Mawrid (Jan-Mar 2003)
Education
Compiled by Jhangeer Hanif

 

Background

Al-Mawrid is the custodian of the rich intellectual heritage of the Muslim Ummah. At the beginning of the fifteenth century hijrah, this unique institution owes its establishment to the perception that the process of attaining the true understanding of Islam is being carried out in our Ummah in a very injudicious and inappropriate manner. Unfortunately, the bearers of this message have either lost their way in the rivalries of power politics or have succumbed to the menace of sectarianism. Others have been overcome by foreign ideologies and have tried to interpret Islam from a particular angle. The true message of Islam, on the basis of only the Holy Qur’ān and the Sunnah, has become alien to Muslims.

The Holy Qur’ān, which is the basis of Islam, is only being used for recitation and committal to memory. No longer does it play a role in the moral reformation and intellectual development of the Ummah, and we have been deprived of the tremendous driving force which could have been obtained only from it. In the institutes of religious education, disciplines which were to be taught to enable the students to understand and appreciate the Holy Qur’ān have become an end in themselves. The entire corpus of Hadīth has been isolated and severed from its basis in the Holy Qur’ān and the Sunnah, and the real stress of the existing syllabi is placed on teaching the principles of particular sects and on proving their superiority over others.

It was felt that the urge to know and understand the faith of Islam is increasing everyday among the intelligentsia. They are troubled by the intellectual enigmas of the modern age. The modern man is in real need of Divine Guidance. But, at the moment, he is unable to find any solace in the interpretations and answers put forth by the existing religious order.

Al-Mawrid has been established to redress and reform this sorry state of affairs. Its foundations were laid in 1983 by Javed Ahmed Ghamidi (b:1951), a pupil of the great exegete of the Holy Qur’ān from the subcontinent, Amin Ahsan Islahi (d: 1997). As a result of many years of hard work, a team of scholars has emerged who have been educated and trained purely on the basis of the guidance provided by the Holy Qur’ān and the Sunnah. It is hoped that the institute will insha’ Allah succeed in breaking the shackles of intellectual stagnation and reviving the process of original inquiry into the two fundamental sources of Islam.

Ever since its inception, the institute has been run by a Board of Governors, which consists of a group of devoted philanthropists fully committed to the development of the institute. All affairs of the Board are conducted in a democratic manner: elections for the office of the Chairman and Secretary General are held every year.

Objective

The objective of the institute is to conduct and facilitate academic work on Islamic sciences and to educate people on its basis through all available means.

Strategy

The salient features of the strategy employed to achieve the objectives of the institute are:

Research and Development

I.  Fellowships of the institute are awarded to established intellectuals, who have demonstrated excellence in scholarship and are accredited with academic work of original and seminal value, and whose personalities and works are widely acclaimed across the board among scholars.

II.   Project based affiliation is awarded to personnel considered equal to the project(s) identified by the institute or proposed by the personnel themselves and considered appropriate by the institute.

III. Provision of necessary environments to facilitate the work of fellows and scholars, including maintenance of library and other requisite logistics.

Education and Training

I.    Arrangement of short courses, seminars and workshops.

II.   Development of distance learning courses for online education.

III. Training fresh apprentices, assistants, and scholars.

Communication and Dissemination

I. Publishing Islamic Research Journals in Urdu, English and Arabic.

II.   Hosting websites of the institute in Urdu, English and Arabic.

III. Publishing creative works of the institute’s academic staff and producing lectures, etc. in audio/video cassettes and also on compact discs.

IV.  Introducing, on an extensive basis, the scholars and researchers associated with the institute and also their works.

V. Concentrating special efforts on the widespread introduction of the institute and its objective.

 

Regional centers of the institute function under the banner, Danish Sara.

Academic Staff

Fellows

Mr. Javed Ahmad Ghamidi

Associate Fellows

Mr. Abdul Sattar Ghauri

Mr. Manzoor ul Hassan

Mr. Moiz Amjad

Mr. Muhammad Rafi Mufti

Mr. Sajid Hameed

Mr. Shehzad Saleem

Mr. Talib Mohsin

Assistant Fellows

Mr. Aslam Najmi

Mrs. Kaukab Shehzad

Editors

Mr. Muhammad Bilal

Mr. Muhammad Sami Mufti

Mr. Jhangeer Hanif

Board of Governors

1. Founder President: Mr. Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, Fellow, Al-Mawrid Institute of Islamic Sciences.

2. Chairman: Mr. Muhammad Rashid Farooqi, Director, Sheikh Wilayat Ahmad & Sons, Karachi.

3. Vice Chairman: Mr. Shehzad Asghar, Director, Style Textile (pvt) Ltd., Lahore.

4. Secretary General: Mr. Shakeel-ur-Rehman, Director, Snowhite Dry Cleaning Industries, Karachi.

5. Secretary Finance: Mr. S M Saeed Allahwala, Director, Kohinoor Chemical Industries Ltd., Karachi.

Other Members

6. Mr. Altaf Mahmood Chaudhry, Director, Altaf & Company, Lahore.

7. Mr. Parvez Hashmy, Chief Executive, Creative Group, Lahore.

8. Mr. Muhammad Anees Mufti, Director, Watt & Volt, Metal Farming Group of Companies, Lahore.

9. Mr. Shehzad Alam, Chief Executive, Unitech Electronics (pvt) Ltd., Lahore.

10. Mr. Muhammad Nisaar, Director, Bilal Enterprises, Karachi.

11. Mr. Nasir Usman Kalia, Director, K B Sarkar & Company (pvt) Ltd., Karachi.

12. Mr. Mukhtar Ali, Manager Purchase, Kakasian Group of Companies Karachi.

13. Dr. Muhammad Farooq Khan, Psychiatrist, Mardan.

14. Dr. Agha Tariq Sajjad, Director, Suffah Welfare Centre, Lahore.

15. Mr. Muhammad Hanif, Director, H.M Hanif & Co., Karachi.

16. Mr. Muhammad Ali Durrani, Director, Wise Education Society, Lahore.

17. Mr. Muhammad Saleem Safi, Bureau Chief, NNI, Peshawar.

18. Mr. Muhammad Yunus Zindani, Proprietor, Swiss Gold Jewelers, Karachi.

19. Mrs. Tariq Rehman, Chairperson, Executive Committee, Fatimah Memorial Hospital, Lahore.

20. Mr. Abdul Quddus Alvi, Director, Standpharm Pakistan (pvt) Ltd., Lahore.

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Zakah Seminar

A seminar was arranged at Al-Mawrid on 15 January 2003 to discuss the application of Mr. Javed Ahmed Ghamidi’s point of view regarding Zakah that he has presented in his seminal work Mīzān. After an incisive inquiry into the issue of Zakah, what he has come up with may be summarized as follows:

First, there is no basis in the Holy Qur’ān and the Sunnah for the condition of Tamlīk (exclusive personal possession) imposed by our jurists for making payment of Zakāh.

Second, industrial produce of all forms, production of all forms based on various skills, rent income and salaries or fees earned should be liable to Zakāh on the principles of rates specified for land produce.

Third, on leased-out assets and rented properties, the same rates of land produce should be levied and if they have not been rented or leased out, Zakāh rates for wealth should be imposed.

Fourth, the Nisāb for all items of production or income which are analogously linked with the original items liable to Zakāh may be fixed by the state, if need be by extrapolating on the Nisāb of the original items.

This seminar was arranged in the form of a discussion forum. Almost fifty scholars and economists participated in the discussion. The points that occupied the attention of the participants regarding application of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi’s standpoint are as follows:

· Valuation of assets for the purpose of Zakāh.

· Valuation of non-depreciable assets.

· Valuation of production.

· Cost/sale price.

· Zakāh on donations and transfer payments.

· The status of bank account with reference to the law of Zakāh.

· Zakāh on investments.

· Zakāh on the share of a sleeping partner.

 

All the participants contributed to the lively discussion and openly commented upon the viewpoint presented. The names of some of those who actively took part in the discussion include Mr. Sheikh Afzal Ahmed, Managing Director; Al-Hamd Textile Mill Ltd., Mr Rashid Farooqi, Director; Sheikh Wilayat Ahmad & Sons, Dr. Khalid Zaheer, Assistant Professor, Lahore University of Management Sciences; Dr. Munir Ahmad, Director; StandPharm Pharmaceutical (Pvt) Ltd., Mr. Moiz Amjad, Associate Fellow of Al-Mawrid, and Dr. Farooq Ahmad Khan, Psychiatrist.

 

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Does Islam permit

Drawing Images of Animate objects?

Muhammad Rafi Mufti’s research in the light of the Holy Qur’ān and the Hadīth Literature

The religious validity of visual arts has remained a thorny issue among Muslims. Muhammad Rafi Mufti, Associate Fellow, Al-Mawrid, addresses the question in his research work Taswīr kā mas’alah (The question of picture images). He argues on the firm basis of the Holy Qur’ān that the Prophet Solomon (sws) had in his palace a number of Tamāsīl (Mural paintings of both animate and inanimate subjects). He has incisively examined the arguments in favor of the received opinion of medieval scholars that prohibits all types of images of animate objects. These arguments, he presents, draw strength from the Hadīth literature which contains a number of prohibitory statements. He shows, by collating all such reports, and citing the interpretation of the famous companion ‘Abdullāh Ibn ‘Abbās (rta), that the proscription mentioned in the Hadīth literature is confined to pictures carrying pagan beliefs. Polytheism found its strongest representation in images and the art evolved mainly to prop up the ascendancy of various deities, superstition, animism and ancestor worship. The Companions (rta) of the Holy Prophet (sws) therefore tolerated animate pictures, without traces of pagan influence, on their buttons, rings, etc. as they thought that only pagan drawings had been censured by the Holy Prophet (sws) and not the others – provided they also lacked moral indecency, which is in itself a clear anathema in Islam. Muhammad Rafi Mufti’s work, in Urdu, extends to more than eighty pages and is currently under print.

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Now Islamic Education on the Internet

The internet has revolutionized the field of communication. With its advent, the concepts of space and time have become immaterial as far as transmission of knowledge is concerned. The number of people to which data can now be transmitted is incredible - the speed even more so.

Realizing this opportunity, Al-Mawrid, Institute of Islamic Sciences has embarked upon a program to disseminate Islamic education through the internet. Efforts are underway to rebuild and reconstruct the institute’s site in which courses prepared by its various Associate Fellows shall be launched.

Initially, six courses have been launched under the title ‘Understanding the Qur’ān’ by Shehzad Saleem, an Associate Fellow of the Institute. These courses introduce the participants to some very important areas of study regarding the Holy Qur’ān. Efforts are underway to launch two other courses: ‘Understanding Islamic punishments’ and ‘Understanding Islamic Political Directives’. Both courses have been designed in order to help students of Islam understand the purport of the Qur’an about both these important topics.

Understanding the Qur’an

         Courses                                         Modules

I. Revelation of the Holy Qur’an                    2

II. History of the Holy Qur’an                        5

III. Theme of the Holy Qur’an                       2

IV. Arrangement of the Holy Qur’an               2

V. Language of the Holy Qur’an                     4

VI. Interpreting the Holy Qur’an                    5

 

Understanding Islamic Political Directives

Module 1

1. The Basic Principle

Module 2

2. The Real Responsibility

3. Religious Obligations of an Islamic State

Module 3

4. Citizenship and the Rights of Citizens

Module 4

5. The State System (I)

Module 5

6. The State System (II)

 

Understanding Islamic Punishments

 

Course I: The Penal Law

Module 1

         I Introduction

         II The Prescribed Punishments

                     1. Muhārabah

Module 2

         II The Prescribed Punishments (Continued)

            2. Murder and Injury

                        a. Intentional   

                        b. Unintentional  

Module 3

            II The Prescribed Punishments (Continued)

                        3. Fornication   

                        4. Qadhf   

                        5. Theft   

Course II: Misconceptions

Module 1

            I Misconceived Punishments

                        1. The Punishment of Drinking

                        2. The Punishment for Apostasy

                        3. The Jail Punishment   

Module 2

            II Misconceived Notions

                        1. The Connotation of Diyat

                        2. The Law of Evidence

For more details please visit: http://www.studying-islam.org

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