'Faith is beyond attire': MP Nusrat Jahan refuses to toe the line of clerics

Agencies
June 30,2019

Kolkata, Jun 30: Newly elected MP and actor Nusrat Jahan has said no one should comment on what she chooses to wear as "faith is beyond any attire", refusing to toe the line of hardline Muslim clerics who criticised her for wearing vermilion and mangalsutra.

A section of Deoband-based clerics reportedly also issued a 'fatwa' (diktat) against the Trinamool Congress lawmaker. The first-time MP from West Bengal's Basirhat came to Parliament on June 25 wearing vermilion and sporting a 'mangalsutra', and said 'Vande Matram' after taking oath.

Jahan, 29, married businessman Nikhil Jain at a ceremony in Turkey earlier in June and took oath a few days later.

The clerics claimed Jahan disrespected Islam by marrying into the Jain religion and called her attire "un-Islamic".

"Muslims can only marry Muslims and are only allowed to bend before Allah. Islam has no place for Vande Matram, mangalsutra and vermilion and they are against the religion," claimed Mufti Asad Kasami of Jamia Shaikh-ul Hind.

Responding to the criticism, Jahan on Saturday night tweeted, "Paying heed or reacting to comments made by hardliners of any religion only breeds hatred and violence, and history bears testimony to that."

Affirming that she represents an "inclusive India...Which is beyond the barriers of caste, Creed and religion," she said, ".....I still remain a Muslim....And none should comment on what I choose to wear.....Faith is beyond attire."

She commented on her tweet that faith "is more about believing and practicing the invaluable doctrines of religion."

Many people have come in Jahan's support, including women leaders of the ruling BJP at the Centre.

Comments

abdulla
 - 
Monday, 29 Jul 2019

She is digging her own grave by following parth of Iblees.  None can stop her if she does so coz there is no compulsion or force in Islam.   Islam or Muslims will not lose anything if she selects hell fire.  May Allah bless her with right way of thinking.   

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Faithful begin Hajj pilgrimage under strict Covid-19 measures

Agencies
July 29,2020

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Dubai, Jul 29: Muslim pilgrims on Wednesday begin the annual Haj, downsized this year as the Saudi hosts strive to prevent a coronavirus outbreak during the five-day pilgrimage.

The Haj, one of the five pillars of Islam and a must for able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lifetime, is usually one of the world's largest religious gatherings.

But this year only up to 10,000 people already residing in the Kingdom will participate in the ritual, a tiny fraction of the 2.5 million pilgrims from around the world that attended last year.

"There are no security-related concerns in this pilgrimage, but (downsizing) is to protect pilgrims from the danger of the pandemic," said Khalid bin Qarar Al Harbi, Saudi Arabia's director of public security.

Pilgrims will be required to wear masks and observe social distancing during a series of religious rites that are completed over five days in the holy city of Makkah and its surroundings in western Saudi Arabia.

Those selected to take part in the Haj were subject to temperature checks and placed in quarantine as they began trickling into Makkah at the weekend.

State media showed health workers sanitising their luggage, and some pilgrims reported being given electronic wristbands to allow authorities to monitor their whereabouts.

Workers, clutching brooms and disinfectant, were seen cleaning the area around the Kaaba, the structure at the centre of the Grand Mosque draped in gold-embroidered cloth towards which Muslims around the world pray.

Haj authorities have cordoned off the Holy Kaaba this year, saying pilgrims will not be allowed to touch it, to limit the chances of infection.

They also reported setting up multiple health facilities, mobile clinics and ambulances to cater to the pilgrims.

Saudi authorities said only around 1,000 pilgrims residing in the Kingdom would be permitted for the Haj. Some 70 per cent of the pilgrims are foreigners residing in the Kingdom, while the rest will be Saudi citizens, authorities said.

All worshippers were required to be tested for coronavirus before arriving in the holy city of Makkah and will also have to quarantine after the pilgrimage as the number of cases in the Kingdom nears 270,000.

They were given elaborate amenity kits that include sterilised pebbles for a stoning ritual, disinfectants, masks, a prayer rug and the Ihram, a seamless white garment worn by pilgrims, according to a Haj ministry programme document.

"I did not expect, among millions of Muslims, to be blessed with approval," Emirati pilgrim Abdullah Al Kathiri said in a video released by the Saudi media ministry.

"It is an indescribable feeling... especially since it is my first pilgrimage."

The Haj ministry said non-Saudi residents of the Kingdom from around 160 countries competed in the online selection process but it did not say how many people applied.

Despite the pandemic, many pilgrims consider it safer to participate in this year's ritual without the usual colossal crowds cramming into tiny religious sites, which make it a logistical nightmare and a health hazard.

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Pilgrims converge on Mount Arafat for peak of hajj

Agencies
July 31,2020

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Mount Arafat, July 30: Muslim pilgrims converged Thursday on Saudi Arabia's Mount Arafat for the climax of this year's hajj, the smallest in modern times and a sharp contrast to the massive crowds of previous years.

A tight security cordon has been erected all around the foot of the rocky hill outside Mecca, also known as Jabal al-Rahma or Mount of Mercy.

Pilgrims, donning masks and observing social distancing, were brought in buses from neighbouring Mina, state television showed, as Saudi authorities impose measures to prevent a coronavirus outbreak.

They were subject to temperature checks and attended a sermon -- which state media said was translated into 10 languages -- before they set off on the climb to the summit for hours of Koran recitals and prayers to atone for their sins.

The scene was strikingly different to last year's ritual when a sea of pilgrims ascended Mount Arafat, marshalled by tens of thousands of stewards in a bid to prevent any crushes.

After sunset prayers, pilgrims will make their way down Mount Arafat to Muzdalifah, another holy site where they will sleep under the stars to prepare for the final stage of hajj, the symbolic "stoning of the devil".

It takes place on Friday and also marks the beginning of Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice.

The hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam and a must for able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lifetime, is usually one of the world's largest religious gatherings.

But only up to 10,000 people already residing in the kingdom will participate in this year's ritual, compared with 2019's gathering of some 2.5 million from around the world.

"You are not our guests but those of God, the custodian of the two holy mosques (Saudi Arabia's King Salman) and the nation," Hajj Minister Mohammad Benten said in a video released by the media ministry on Wednesday.

Security cordon

A security cordon has been thrown around the holy sites to prevent any security breaches, an interior ministry spokesman said.

Riyadh faced strong criticism in 2015 when some 2,300 worshippers were killed in the deadliest stampede in the gathering's history.

But this year, those risks are greatly reduced by the much smaller crowd.

The pilgrims have all been tested for the virus, and foreign journalists were barred from this year's hajj, usually a huge global media event.

As part of the rites completed over five days in the holy city of Mecca and its surroundings, the pilgrims converged on Mount Arafat after spending the night in Mina.

A district of Mecca, Mina sits in a narrow valley surrounded by rocky mountains, and is transformed each year into a vast encampment for pilgrims.

They began the hajj on Wednesday with their first "tawaf", the circumambulation of the Kaaba, a large structure in Mecca’s Grand Mosque towards which Muslims around the world pray.

The Kaaba is draped in a black cloth embroidered in gold with Koranic verses and known as the kiswa, which is changed each year during the pilgrimage.

Pilgrims were brought inside the mosque in small batches, walking along paths marked on the floor, in sharp contrast to the normal sea of humanity that swirls around the Kaaba during hajj.

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Mosques in Ayodhya promoting peace and harmony ahead of Ram temple’s 'bhoomi pujan'

coastaldigest.com news network
July 27,2020

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Ayodhya, Jul 27: With days to go for the August 5 "bhoomi pujan" ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, the mosques adjacent to the demolished Babri Masjid premises are spreading the message of a peaceful coexistence of Hindus and Muslims.

There are eight mosques and two mausoleums located close to the 70-acre Babri Masjid premises mandated by the Supreme Court for a temple of Sri Ram.

Azaan and namaaz are offered in the mosques and the annual "Urs" is held at the mausoleums without any objection from the local Hindus.

The eight mosques located near the upcoming Ram temple premises are Masjid Dorahikuan, Masjid Mali Mandir ke Bagal, Masjid Kaziyana Achchan ke Bagal, Masjid Imambara, Masjid Riyaz ke Bagal, Masjid Badar Paanjitola, Masjid Madaar Shah and Masjid Tehribazar Jogiyon ki.

The two mausoleums are Khanqaahe Muzaffariya and Imambara.

"It is the greatness of Ayodhya that the mosques surrounding the Ram temple are giving a strong message of communal harmony to the rest of the world," Haji Asad Ahmad, the corporator of the Ram Kot ward, said. The Ram temple area is situated in Ahmad's ward.

"Muslims take out the 'juloos' of Barawafaat that goes through the periphery of Ram Janmabhoomi. All religious functions and rituals of Muslims are respected by their fellow citizens," the corporator said.

Asked for a comment on the presence of mosques near the upcoming Ram temple premises, the chief priest of the temple, Acharya Satyendra Das, said, "We had a dispute only with the structure that was connected to the name of (Mughal emperor) Babur. We have never had any issue with the other mosques and mausoleums in Ayodhya. This is a town where Hindus and Muslims live in peace."

"Muslims offer namaaz, we perform our puja. The mosques around us will strengthen Ayodhya's communal harmony and peace will prevail," he added.

Both Hindus and Muslims have accepted the Supreme Court verdict over Ram Janmabhoomi, Das said, adding, "We have no dispute with each other."

Sayyad Akhlaq Ahmad Latifi, the "sajjada nasheen" and "pir" of the 500-year-old Khanqaahe Muzaffariya mausoleum, said Muslims in Ayodhya are performing all religious practices freely.

"We offer prayers five times a day in the mosque at Khanqaah and hold the yearly 'Urs'," he added.

"What a scene would it be -- a grand Ram temple surrounded by small mosques and mausoleums and everyone offering prayers according to their beliefs. That will be representative of the true culture of India," Mahant Yugal Kishore Sharan Shastri, the chief priest of the Sarayu Kunj temple adjacent to the Ram Janmabhoomi premises, said.

Reacting to the presence of mosques and mausoleums near the Ram Janmabhoomi premises, Triloki Nath Pandey, the decree holder of the land as the "first friend of Ram Lalla" as mandated by the Supreme Court, said, "We do not have any objection to either those mosques or any other mosques. We will not trigger a dispute regarding any structure, Ayodhya must live in peace and communal harmony."

Mahant Raju Das, the priest of the Hanumangarhi temple, said, "The presence of the mosques tells the story of Ayodhya's communal harmony. A Ram mandir will be built and there will be no objection to the mosques or religious practices of Muslims."

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