The Rational Way of Welcoming Ramadan

Muhammad Abdullah Javed
April 12, 2021


With the advent of Ramadan a glittering change all around can be witnessed, as if darkness in the ambiance has experienced a precipitous illumination. Ramadan is a spring month that nourishes virtues in the heart as rain helps vegetation grows from the earth.

It’s a month of the Quran, a Book that leads human kind from the depth of darkness (ظلمات) to the light of guidance (نور), beyond that….rejuvenates the human life itself. It’s the month of fasting that helps realize the bounties (نعمہ) of the Creator and overcome the weaknesses. It’s the month of awards and rewards, the fasting, the prayers, the remembrance of Allah, the alms and charity…all have their own multifold rewards as compared to what one gets in normal days. It’s the month of mercy, love, and feeling ones’ pain, as fasting demands abstinence from food, water and sexual desires. 

Being conscious of pains and problems, the Muslims form a versatile relationship with the human beings. It becomes moral and religious responsibility of each and every one to fulfill the need of any person who experiences hunger and thirst. If one goes with this spirit of Ramadan, the progress can be seen both at individual and societal planes.

The blessed month Ramadan revolves around the dignity and reverence of the Quran. Just look at the sequence, the Quran was revealed in the month of Ramadan (Surah Al-Baqarah: 183), it’s a month of fastings, the fastings have been prescribed to cultivate piety (تقوی) and piety has been made obligatory to understand and get acquaint with Quranic guidance.

The one, who gets to depth of its spirit, tries for self-purification and understanding of the Quran is truly blessed. Just ponder, is it possible to reach to desired levels of understanding the Quran through prayers, fastings (صیام), standing in the night (قیام اللیل) and recitation of the Quran (تلاوت) ? For a fair understanding of the Book, try and find perfect answers for the following: 

(1) How the Quran deals with its subject “man” - and what is its view point about the society?

(2) How the Quran formulates the tenets of faith along with expressing the ideas and views that are essential for a man?

(3) How this Holy Book explains the principles of moral and ethical values for the purpose of social and familial existence?

(4) What is the message for humanity that the Quran conveys?

(5) What is the outlook of the Quran regarding the world, universe, life and death?

(6) How it elaborates the concepts of success and failure?

(7) How it elucidates the conceptual details pertaining to virtues and vices?

(8) What criteria and standards should be used to judge the authenticity and genuineness of the Quran?

(9) What are the Quranic ideas of propagation of virtues and eradication of evils?

(10) How Quran can be a Book of Guidance for the entire humanity?

If given serious thought to these queries and ensure a regular sitting for individual and collective studies of the Quran, a vibrant and lively relation with the Book is bound to happen. Recitation, memorization and application of the verses help understand the distinguished features of the Quran. With its unique style of proclamation, admiration, negation and addressing the human intellect, the Quran stands tall as the only source of guidance for the humanity. Its teachings help understand that the Quran:

• Introduces the Creator through His creatures.
• Describes the Blessings of God.
• Cultivates both fear and love of the Creator in the heart.
• Introduces those whom God loves.
• Introduces those whom God does not like
• Presents the words of God that help understand the forms of worship.
• Provides means to obey the Creator with intense love.
• Refreshes thoughts and keeps the hopes alive.
• Inspires to be good and do good.
• Develops personality with a balanced approach for nourishment of the traits.
• Offers guidance for the business and transactions.
• Tells how to behave with parents, children, and neighbors.
• Unveils the secrets of happy married life.
• Helps society scale heights of peace and progress.
• Inculcates a burning desire for promotion of virtues and eradication of evils from the society.
• Presents solutions for the burning issues.
• Suggests methods for fulfilling the necessities of life.
• Teaches the secrets of success and failure.
• Reveals hard realities of life.
• Carries the readers along with the discussion to be its part.
• Puts analytical discussion to distinguish between true and false god.
• Poses questions.
• Develops a sense of superior being in every individual.
• Invites to think over the self and the entire universe.
• Discusses the lives of the Prophets with emphasis on the behavioral attitudes of their followers.
• Takes on a journey of the past.
• Explains the rise and fall of the nations.
• Prepares for the next life.
• Explains the ways of admission in paradise.
• Suggests ways for protection from hell.

Gear up for an absolute understanding of the Quran this Ramadan. Ensure that the queries and the distinguished features accompany you and become a part of your intellect, should create interest while reading the Book and inspire to be an ardent follower of its teachings, all the way, all the time.


The author is the Director of AJ Academy For Research and Development, Raichur, Karnataka. He can be reached at [email protected]


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News Network
September 13,2023


Udupi, Sept 13: Karnataka police have arrested hardline Hindutva activist and rabble-rouser Chaitra Kundapura for allegedly cheating an industrialist of crores of rupees after promising him a BJP ticket to contest in the recently-held Assembly election.

The special wing City Central Branch (CCB) if Bengaluru police arrested her late on Tuesday night in Udupi following a complaint in this regard. 

According to police, accused had promised a BJP ticket to Govinda Babu Poojari from Baindur constituency in Dakshina Kannada district claiming that she knew leaders from the RSS who could get the ticket for him.

Govinda Babu came to Bengaluru whenever he was called. Kundapura also organised meetings with a group of people introducing them as the decision-makers at the level of the high command. The accused woman had allegedly taken Rs 4 crore from Govinda Babu. However, when Babu failed to get a ticket, he asked Kundapura to return his money.

In his complaint, Babu had claimed that the accused had refused to return his money and cheated him. The CCB police arrested the girl in this connection and launched an investigation. She is popular among right wing activists and Hindutva followers. FIRs have been lodged against her in connection with delivering hate speeches. 
Babu had identified himself as a social worker and leader of the Billava community, which is influential in the coastal Karnataka region. 

The police have also arrested Gagan Kadur, Srikanth Nayak and Prasad, all associates of Chaitra in connection with the case. Chaitra and Nayak are being interrogated at an undisclosed location.


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News Network
September 22,2023


Canadian tourists, business travelers and even some former Indian citizens are rushing to change flights and inquire about their trip deposits after India abruptly suspended visa applications in the country amid an escalating diplomatic row.

A day after the Indian government warned its citizens in Canada to “exercise utmost caution” and hinted that their safety is threatened, BLS International — an agency that processes visa requests in Canada — posted an online notice saying services have been “suspended until further notice.”

“This shouldn’t happen for the innocent people,” said Jothy Ilangovan, standing in line outside the BLS office in Toronto. She was there to help her brother, a Canadian citizen who has lived in the country for 33 years, obtain a visa for a Hindu pilgrimage back to India. He had already booked his vacation time from work and feared the trip would be canceled. “We want to go to the temple and pray, that’s it.”

Ties between Canada and India are at their lowest point in decades after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused the Indian government of orchestrating the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian activist who was pushing for an independent Sikh homeland in the Punjab region. 

India has denied the allegation, calling it “absurd” and hitting back with measures aimed at curbing travel between two nations.

Montreal-based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., which now operates under the brand name of AtkinsRéalis, has limited travel to India for Canadian employees to “essential reasons only” until further notice, the firm’s spokesperson, Laurence Myre Leroux, said in an email. There hasn’t been any impact on operations so far, she added, but the situation is being monitored “closely.”

India’s move means most Canadians won’t be able to travel there if they don’t already have a visa. Travel agents said e-visa applications online were also not being processed for Canadians. And while Canadians who previously held Indian passports are eligible for Overseas Citizen of India cards — which allow visa-free entry — many do not hold them.

“This is going to impact Canada, and its trade and economy, where India has played a big role,” said Unnati Oza, a Toronto-based travel agent. “I used to work with a client who used to go there twice a year for business — to Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. Where are Canadians going to go after this?”

It’s not just business travel. The visa suspension is also hitting leisure travelers: Canadians made 280,000 tourist arrivals in India last year, according to Indian government data, making it the No. 5 source of such visitors.

“I already have four or five people calling me this morning. They’re due to go in October and November for eight to 10 days of sightseeing. Now, they’re worried because the tours are non-refundable,” said Ottawa-based travel agent Lalit Sharma, who specializes in India. “If they don’t have the visas, they can’t go.”

At the BLS office in Toronto, a sign told visitors that visa services were suspended for “operational reasons.” Most of the people in line on Thursday morning were there to renew their Indian passports, but others were trying to get advice on the visa suspension.

Mithun Ganguly’s prospects were better, having come to the BLS office to renew his passport. A recent arrival to Canada, he said he doesn’t feel unsafe in the country, regardless of the current Indian advisory. 

“Canada is a nice country to stay in, as well as India, so I think we should talk,” he said. “The tensions are not good for either of the countries.” 


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News Network
September 21,2023


New Delhi, Sept 21: There is a 'steady' and 'alarming' erosion of fundamental rights, particularly of religious and other minorities in India, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issue has told the USCIRF.

During a hearing on Wednesday, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issue Fernand de Varennes told the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) that the situation in India can be summarised in three words -- 'massive, systematic and dangerous'.

The USCIRF had announced that it would hold a hearing on religious freedom in India on September 20. India has previously rejected USCIRF reports that alleged violations of religious freedom in the country.

Appearing before the USCIRF for the hearing on policy options for advancing religious freedom in India, de Varennes alleged there is a 'steady' and 'alarming' erosion of fundamental rights, particularly of religious and other minorities in the country.

'India risks becoming one of the world's main generators of instability, atrocities and violence because of the massive scale and gravity of the violations and abuses targeting mainly religious and other minorities such as Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and others. It is not just individual or local, it is systematic and a reflection of religious nationalism,' he said.

The hearing comes on the heels of two successful bilateral meetings between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden -- the official state visit of the Indian leader here in June and a bilateral meeting in New Delhi in September.

USCIRF chair Abraham Cooper claimed Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Dalits and Adivasis are experiencing 'increased levels of attacks and acts of intimidation' in India.

'The national government has continued to suppress minority voices and those advocating on their behalf through surveillance, harassment, demolition of property and detention under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. These trends and their implication for the US foreign policy should not be ignored,' he said.

Cooper alleged that for the past several years, religious freedom conditions in India have deteriorated, capturing international attention and highlighting the need for continued discussions and engagement on policy options for advancing religious freedom in the country.

The USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan US government advisory body created by the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). Its recommendations are not binding on the US government.

On May 2 this year, India rejected as 'biased' and 'motivated' a report by the USCIRF that alleged 'severe violations' of religious freedom in the country.

'The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) continues to regurgitate biased and motivated comments about India, this time in its 2023 annual report. We reject such misrepresentation of facts, which only serves to discredit USCIRF itself,' the Ministry of External Affairs had said.

'We would urge USCIRF to desist from such efforts and develop a better understanding of India, its plurality, its democratic ethos and its constitutional mechanisms,' it had said.

Modi's state visit to Washington in June reflects the close bilateral relationship between the United States and India, the USCIRF had said last week.

'However, over the last decade, the Indian government has enacted and enforced discriminatory policies targeting religious minorities, including anti-conversion laws, cow slaughter laws, legislation granting citizenship preferences based on religion, and restrictions on foreign funding for civil society organisations,' it alleged.

'Recent trends include the eruption of violence between Hindus and Muslims in Haryana in July and targeted attacks against Christian and Jewish minorities in Manipur, highlighting the need for new strategies to mitigate violence against religious minorities in India,' it said.

Since 2020, the USCIRF has recommended that the US Department of State designate India as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC).


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