Monthly Archives: July 2015

Short Term / Long Term Measures Needed to prevent Devastation by Floods

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The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry (INC)

27th July, 2015, Venue : SKICC Srgr.

Short Term / Long Term Measures Needed to prevent Devastation by Floods

By Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili (Retd. Chief Engineer)

The media report after the September floods stated that “The Jammu and Kashmir government said the State suffered losses of Rs 1 trillion in the floods and 12.5 lakh families were affected.

According to preliminary estimates, the housing sector suffered losses over Rs 30,000 crore while business sector incurred losses worth over Rs 70,000 crores,” J&K Chief Secretary Mohammad Iqbal Khanday said while addressing a press conference here.

Maintaining that State had never witnessed such a disaster before, he said this (flood) was not a disaster of national but international ramifications. “The State has never recorded such flood level in the past”.

He said as per the initial assessment reports on the damages to the private property, a total of 3,53,864 structures have been damaged. “83,044 pucca houses have been fully damaged and 96,089 partially. Similarly, 21,162 kachha houses were fully damaged and 54,264 partially damaged besides 99,305 huts, cowsheds, were also damaged”.

Mr.Khanday said 12.5 Lakh families were affected by flood across the State.

“281 lives have been lost due to floods in the State. 196 people lost their lives in Jammu province and 85 in Kashmir,” he said adding 29 persons are still missing.

Many areas in Srinagar including posh localities of Rajbagh, Jawahar Nagar and Indira Nagar are still under water and flood water has not been drained out completely in last 22 days.

Mr.Khanday said 5,642 villages were affected by the flood across the State with 2,489 in Kashmir and 3,153 in Jammu division. “At least 800 villages remained submerged for over two weeks”.

Referring to the damage caused to roads and bridges, Chief Secretary said, “Over 550 bridges/culverts were damaged. Besides, 6,000 km road network was also damaged by the flood water”.

On disposal of carcasses of livestock, he said, “Over 1500 carcasses have been removed from Srinagar only and scientifically disposed off. Besides, hundreds of tons of garbage is being removed from the city on daily basis”.

Asked whether there was any outbreak of any disease in the flood-hit areas,” Mr. Khanday said, “No outbreak of any disease has been reported from anywhere in the State.”

“The situation is being constantly monitored and 7 lakh children in the age group of 6 months to 15 years have been vaccinated”

  1. Desilting of Jhelum yet to take off (Kashmir Monitor- 29 the April 2015)

Even if a slight rainfall causes the water level to cross the danger mark in Jhelum and revives the dreaded memory of September deluge in public psyche, the Irrigation and Flood Control department is yet to start the “much needed” dredging of the river to increase its carrying capacity, thanks to the lack of approval from the union government.

Official sources told The Kashmir Monitor the IFC department has already sent the proposal to de-silt Jhelum and was expecting to receive the final approval for work andFUNDSearlier this month but the Ministry of Water Affairs has failed to take any decision so far.
“We are awaiting the central ministry approval to start the machine dredging of river. The technical advisory committee of Ministry of Water Affairs could not take a decision on the 7th of the month. They will fix a new date and as soon as we receive the approval we will start the work. They have almost approved it but the final approval andFUNDS are awaited,” Chief Engineer, IFC Javed Jaffar said adding it was a top priority.

“Manual dredging of the river has already begun in some places like Anantnag, Bijbehara but that is possible only when the water level in Jhelum is less. We are hopeful the government would soon approve the proposal of full-fledged dredging of the river so we can start the de-siltation using machines,” Jaffar said.

A report prepared by the department of Environment and Remote Sensing in the aftermath of September 2014 floods had recommended immediate de- siltation programme both for river Jhelum and its tributaries. Officials say after de-siltation, the main Jhelum river can cater to 45,000 cusecs from current 25000-30000 cusecs.

The government is already mulling to construct a new flood channel from Dogripora to Wullar to carry the surplus flood discharge of Jhelum that is expected to cost over Rs 18,000 crore. The official report in the aftermath of September floods had also recommended de-siltation of wetlands across Kashmir.

Experts believe de-siltation in the form of sand mining was the main reason that north Kashmir districts remained unaffected during the September foods. The carrying capacity of outfall channel of River Jhelum from Wullar to Khadinyar Baramulla has been increased by way of excavating 4,00,000 cubic metres of sand since April 2012, according to official documents.

Kashmir again faced prospect of floods last month as incessant rainfall increased the water level in Jhelum causing it to cross the danger mark. The government is yet to remove the silt from Jhelum that had deposited in Jhelum during September floods.

It is now July 2015, eleven months have elapsed and the proposed action to face the imminent floods is yet to begin. We have witnessed that most of the Govt. works are taken in hand in anticipation of allotment of funds in case of emergency, besides also issuing short term tenders or even work orders. An emergency work that endangers lives and property of a large section of people is delayed for unknown reasons. With this state of affairs, people are losing faith in the present set up as justice delayed is justice denied. Same is the case with the promised timely distribution of relief to the flood victims who continue to suffer. It was reported that some scanty relief cheques were distributed among some persons which reminds us about the couplet:

Samandar se mile pyase ko shabnam; khudaya ye bakhili hay ki razaqi.

Besides the much hyped promised aid is yet to come even after 11 months, that reminds us of the promised American seventh fleet to help Pakistan in Bangladesh crises, that never came.

  1. Reconstruction of the Valley

Reconstruction of the flood-prone devastated city areas – these suggestions were presented by me in a seminar on November 9, 2014 organized by Sakhawat Center at Lala Rukh Hotel Srinagar.

Now that the centuries’ worst flood has receded, people shall be rebuilding their damaged houses in their respective sites. Some important points need to be considered to prevent recurrence of such an eventuality in future.

  • There is no guarantee that floods of even worse magnitude may not visit the valley any time again. The global climate change is one of the major factors of this erratic behavior of weather. With the saturated subsoil combined with melting snows, a few hours of frequent torrential rains raises alarm and the affected people become restless with the apprehension of repetition of the last September devastating floods. With the flood absorption basins like Bemina, converted to housing colonies after resorting to an earth fill of over 7 feet and with the choked river cross-section by its beautification measures combined with construction of new bridges in close vicinity, water is bound to overflow its banks. Unfortunately the technical opinion is generally overrlued by a non-technical bureaucrat upheld by a Minister resulting into the catastrophe.
  • Government seems to be contemplating to provide a parallel spill channel on the upstream side of the existing one, but that may be a long drawn affair as it shall involve huge and time consuming land compensation etc. Besides this channel may also get defunct with the passage of time like the present FS channel, for want of its maintenance.
  • The other ideal solution would have been to plan a new city on higher contours along foot-hills from Ganderbal to Harwan, Pandrethan, Khunmoh to Rajpora and on Karewas along southern foot-hills ensuring safety from river floods, proper drainage and fresh mountain breeze but again that may be a herculean task.
  • Immediately the weak spots of the embankments need to be strengthened particularly at curve points, where flood waters hit most. Raising of RCC protection walls need to be considered at such spots.
  • Instead of raising the levels of embankments, time bound dredging and de-silting of the river bed, FS Channel and flood absorption basins need to be resorted to without any loss of time and the process should continue throughout the year as siltation is a regular feature during the floods and in normal flows as well. For this purpose sufficient number of suitable dredgers need to be procured and deployed at pre determined spots to ensure dredging of river from Khannabal to Khadanyar and that of FS Channel besides other wetlands/other water bodies. This process could have been started eleven months back, but the authorities seem to be awaiting another disaster before they will wake up to the situation.
  • Forestation of the catchment area with construction of check dams needs to be taken up in a planned manner.
  • People in present distress cannot wait for the long term measures of flood protection and they will soon resort to the reconstruction of their collapsed/damaged houses.
  • /SMC must come up with the new building norms that are required in the flood prone areas to ensure the safety of lives of the inhabitants.
  • Basement floors could be raised on RCC columns with ceiling level higher than the HFL, leaving the space for car parking etc. In fact such norms already provided for shopping complexes have been violated causing parking problems in the city center. SMC must implement these norms strictly.
  • Life jackets and inflated rubber boats should be stocked by all the house-holds falling in the flood prone area. Young boys/girls need to be taught swimming to face any eventuality.
  • Safe foundations need to be designed as per BIS specifications with the approval /check of SMC. In fact I found a ten story structure was stalled by Muncipal Authorities at plinth level in Abu Dhabi, the reason being provision of lesser steel than the approved/designed one.
  • Due to land hunger possibility of vertical expansion of the city as already advocated by me in GK write ups, be considered seriously to tackle the future housing needs in view of multiplying population besides relocating the families of flood hit/prone areas.
  • The partially damaged structures of the flooded area need to be inspected by an expert team to suggest measures for their retrofitting.
  • Dewatering stations need to be lifted higher than the HFL of 100 year flood for making these functional during crisis.
  • The plinths of all Govt. buildings/establishments in the flood prone areas need to be raised higher than the HFL. The basement floors could be used for car parking etc.
  • Flood plain zoning is useful in reducing the damage caused by drainage congestion particularly in urban area where on grounds of economy and other considerations urban drainage may not be designed for the worst possible conditions and presupposes some damage during storms whose magnitude exceeds that for which the drainage system is designed.
  • The steps involved in implementation of flood plain zoning measures could be as:
  1. Demarcation of areas liable to floods.
  2. Preparation of detailed contour plans of such areas to a large scale (preferably 1:5000) showing contours at interval of 0’3 to 0.5 meters.
  3. Fixation of reference river gauges and determination of areas likely to be inundated for different water levels and magnitudes of floods.
  4. Demarcation of areas liable to flooding by floods of different frequencies like once in two years, five, ten, twenty, fifty and hundred years. Similarly areas likely to be affected on account of accumulated rainfall like 5, 10, 25, and 50 years.
  5. Delineation of the types of which the flood plains can be put to in the light of© and (d) above with indication of safeguards to be ensured.

In the existing developed areas possibilities of protecting /relocation/exchanging the sites of vital installations like electricity substations/powerhouses, telephone exchanges etc. should be seriously examined so that these are always safe from possible flood damage. Similarly the pump stations of tube wells for drinking water supply should be raised above the HFL corresponding a 100 year flood.

Similarly possibility of removing buildings/structures obstructing existing natural drainage should be seriously considered. In any case unplanned growth shall be restricted so that no constructions obstructing natural drainage resulting in increased flood is allowed. In future the following regulations may be stipulated:

  1. Plinth levels of all buildings should be nearly 0.75 to one meter above the drainage/submersion levels.
  2. In the areas liable to floods all the buildings a stairway should invariably be provided to the roofs/attic floors so that temporary shelter can be taken there. The roof levels of the single story buildings and the first floor level in double story buildings should be above flood level of 1 to 100 frequency so that the human lives and the movable property can take temporary shelter there when necessary during the floods.

In the past CWC prepared guidelines in 1873-74 for flood plain zoning which were approved by Central Flood Control Board. CWC also prepared a model draft and circulated it in the Ministry of Irrigation in 1975, to all the states for enacting legislature. However the response from states except Manipur has not been encouraging. Manipur enacted a legislation in 1978 which came into force in 1985.

Flood proofing measures, help greatly in the mitigation of distress and provide immediate relief to the population in flood prone areas. It is essentially a combination of structural change and emergency action, not involving any evacuation. The technique adopted consists of providing raised platforms for flood shelter for men and cattle and raising the public utility installation above flood levels.

In case of urban areas, certain measures that can be put into action as soon as a flood warning in received involve:

Installation of removable covers such as steel or aluminium bulk heads over doors and windows or other openings keeping stone counters on wheels, closing of sewer well, anchoring machinery, covering machinery with plastic sheet, seepage control etc.

Flood proofing also tends to encourage persistent human occupation of flood plains.

Out of the non-structural measures “flood forecasting and warning” is considered as one of the most important, reliable and cost effective methods. CWC organizes flood forecasting at 157 stations in the country, of which 132 are for water stage forecast and 25 for inflow forecast for certain major reservoirs. The Flood Meteorological Offices (FMO) also provide information regarding general meteorological situation, rainfall of last 24 hours for different regions and range of quantitative precipitation forecasts for various river basins to the respective flood forecasting centers of CWC. All the data is simultaneously transmitted to the circle headquarters supervising forecasting works for overall security, monitoring, analysis and compilation. The final forecasts are then transmitted to the administrative and engineering authorities of the state and other user agencies connected with flood protection and management work on telephone or by special messenger/ telegraph/ workers depending upon local factors like vulnerability of the area and availability of the communication facility etc.

The Master Plan 2000-2021 recommendations for river Jhelum were:

  • All Doongas and houseboats be shifted upstream of Padshahibagh or downstream of Chattabal. The tourist oriented houseboats could be shifted to Dal or Nigeen area.
  • Encroachments made on the banks of the river and all three Khuls- Kuta Khul, Soner Khul and Watel Khul be cleared en-masse.
  • Development of river fronts will involve clearance of some sites for development of parks.
  • To stop garbage dumping from Lal-Ded Hospital, incineration plant be installed there.
  • Wherever possible Agriculture department should level the disused brick kiln sites on either side of cement bridge and use the same for growing vegetables.
  • Shikara ghats be constructed at appropriate points, connected with pucca stairs to nearby roads.
  • Inland water transport project be implemented as per project report. This would help to keep the water in turbulence, besides reduce pressure on road traffic and also serve as a tourit attraction. The vessels could also be used to ferry people in flood emergencies.
  • While according permission for building construction on river and nallah fronts, no part of the building is protruded towards the river and nallah boundaries or over their embankments.
  • Problem of river discharge on river Jhelum be solved as it has assumed serious dimensions. Over the past fifty years, river Jhelum and spill channel has heavily silted up. It was understood that the flood control problem was being entrusted by I&FC Deptt. to some consultancy firm, hence the problem of siltation, dredging, gradient, velocity etc. shall be dealt with. Some suggestions included to redesign flood absorption basin from Kandizal to Padshahibagh saving the railway line and Mahjoor nagar area. Beds of river Jhelum and spill channel be deepened to increase the discharge capacity and ensure the minimum draft required for mechanized water transport. Gradient of spill channel be increased up to the permissible limits. Weir at Chattabal be redesigned. Navigational channel of the lock gate at weir site be desilted to make it functional.

However the Master Plan 2000-2021 has also got entangled in the cobweb of red-tape like other similar vital issues which ultimately land us into a chaotic situation like the recent one. The process of reviewing the Master Plan is still in progress even in 2015.

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  1. TWO DAY SEMINAR ON FLOODS OF 2014 HELD AT LALIT GRAND PALACE HOTEL IN NOVEMBER-14

A two day national Seminar on “Retrospective and Prospective of 2014 Kashmir Floods for Building Flood Resilient Kashmir” was held at Srinagar from 15-16 November 2014. The Seminar was organized jointly by the Department of Earth Sciences, Kashmir University and Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation (CDR). The 2014 flood was triggered by the complex interplay of atmospheric disturbances that brought widespread and extreme rains all across the state. The Jhelum waters, that used to be the provider of life and sustenance, suddenly became a monstrously destructive force against the human life and the infrastructure that cohabit its backyards since millennia.

Any future flood strategies for Jhelum Basin shall benefit from our learning from this horrendous experience and the threadbare deliberations held at the two days National Seminar. The September 2014 floods were unprecedented in the flood history of Kashmir and got everyone concerned about the consequences of another such disaster if it recurred. The immediate steps to be taken are to develop a strategy for mitigating floods in the state and that requires realization across the region at the local and the national level. The aim of this symposium was to conduct deliberations with the select group of relevant people who have the expertise to recommend and formulate a long term action plan for flood disaster management and mitigation in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The experts from various central agencies (Central Water Commission-CWC, National Institute of Hydrology-NIH, National Geophysical Research Institute-NGRI, Central Groundwater Board-CGB, National Disaster Management Authority, NRSC/ISRO and National Green Tribunal), India Meteorological Department (IMD) and State Government agencies – Irrigation and Flood Control (IFC), Public Health Engineering (PHE), Rural Development, LAWDA, Srinagar Development Authority-SDA, IMPA, Agriculture Department, academia from Kashmir University, Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee-IIT, National Institute of Technology -NIT-Srinagar, Jammu University, and various segments of the civil society, including experienced professionals, attended the Seminar.

Short-term and Urgent Recommendations:

The following recommendations made at the Seminar need to be taken up on priority immediately and could be accomplished in the shortest possible time to reduce the risk to the public and to property in Jhelum Basin from flooding.

01) Knowledge driven all-inclusive multidisciplinary flood planning needs to be initiated on priority by engaging technocrats with relevant expertise to develop insights into flooding mechanisms in the Jhelum Basin building on comprehensive existing studies.

02) Strengthening the flood infrastructure in the Jhelum Basin to cope up with the probability of next extreme flooding event of the magnitude observed in 2014. This includes the preparation of an integrated DPR for the construction of the alternate flood channel from Dogripora to Wullar, increasing the carrying capacity of the main Jhelum, dredging of the existing flood channel, dredging of the wetlands like Hokersar, Narkara, Nowgam Jheel, and Wullar lake, and strengthening of breached and weak embankments the broad plan of which is before the CWC.

03) The management of the water bodies/lakes and wetlands in the Jhelum Basin needs to be brought under one regulatory authority for their integrated management, being a single catchment area served by the same watershed.

04) The government, with the help of academia/research institutes, must consider undertaking a scoping study to assess the probability of flooding in immediate future based on the understanding to be developed from the interactions of Ground Water, surface water and the glacier-melt in the Jhelum Basin.

05) Urgently operationalising the Flood Early Warning System (FEWS) for Jhelum and Chenab.

06) The State Government must initiate on priority (with the help of leading academic institutions), to undertake transparent flood-zonation and flood vulnerability assessments of people and places at village level so that the flood risk reduction is integrated with developmental planning at village level in all District Development Plans.

07) Government consider assigning proposals for bringing the technical ingenuity of the Irrigation & Flood Control in operationalising of FEWS, basin wide IFM and flood scenario mapping. The identified scientific studies on various aspects of flooding identified above are required to be undertaken on priority by involving Universities, consultants and institutes both national and international.

Urgent Long-term Recommendations:

The following recommendations made at the Seminar need to be initiated immediately and might take a few years to complete for flood risk reduction in the Jhelum Basin.

  • There is an urgent need to institutionalize the disaster management in the state by setting up of a vibrant and structured State Disaster Management Authority with a clear mandate to build the capacity of the state to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all types of hazards, the state is vulnerable to.
  • Strengthening of flood control infrastructure in 4 high gradient streams in the south Kashmir viz., Rambiara, Veshu, Romshi and Lidder, that enormously contribute to the discharge at Sangam using the available techniques, so that the flood peak and concentration time is appreciably delayed by staggering them in the watershed itself before their discharge into the Jhelum at Sangam.
  • Initiating a massive capacity building program for building public awareness and soliciting public involvement in flood risk reduction.
  • In order to arrest the siltation of the watercourses from the catchment, the participants recommended the massive reforestation of the Jhelum catchment under CAMPA, IWMP and other existing governmental schemes.
  • Structural and non-structural erosion control measures in the high gradient tributaries in the south Kashmir viz., Rambiara, Veshu, Romshi, Lidder, Bringi and Aripath.
  • Consolidation of the fragmented data and knowledge into a database so that it is available to everybody for use on understanding the hydrological and meteorological processes and phenomena in the state.
  • Strictly regulating mining of the riverbed keeping in view the river/channel morphology and other required hydrologic and geologic criteria.
  • The flood disaster preparedness at government and community levels need to be strengthened so that there is a well-rehearsed mechanism in place for quick response, despite all the adversities and limitations, to minimize the impacts of flooding on the people and property.
  • Revision of the existing land use policy and building codes is required and enforce strict implementation in order to minimize human and economic loss in the event of natural disaster.
  • Comprehensive community based Disaster risk reduction plans need to be prepared on priority.

Long-term Recommended Measures:

These long term recommended measures are essential for building the necessary flood control

Infrastructure in the basin so that in the eventuality of the next extreme flood event, the loss of life and property is reduced appreciably in the basin

  1. Construction of the alternate flood channel from Dogripora to Wullar
  2. Improving the drainage system in the urban areas of the Jhelum Basin including the restoration of natural drainages wherever possible
  3. The government needs to initiate programs aimed at conservation and restoration of the degraded wetlands in the Jhelum Basin to enhance their flood mitigation, in selected cases even sewage treatment functionality.. Bring city and town planning in the state into consonance with the flood and earthquake vulnerability.
  4. Structural and non-structural measures be initiated under the supervision of I&FC for erosion control in the central and north Kashmir part of the Jhelum basin.

Interpretation of Natural disasters and calamities in light of Quran and Sunnah.

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Interpretation of Natural disasters and calamities in light of Quran and Sunnah.

Interpretation of Natural disasters and calamities in light of Quran and Sunnah

Natural disasters and calamities have been hitting different parts and areas of the world through out the human history .People have different point of views about these disasters.Some people take these disasters as events and accidents which are taking place by chance.Where as many other people take these  disasters as torments and trials of Allah swt.

We need to take guidance from Quran and Sunnah about these matters.When we read Quran and texts of hadiths minutely we can conclude three points:-

1.Natural disasters are punishment of Allah for those people who are either disbelievers or cross His limits

2.Natural disasters are warning for those who are sinners

3.Natural disasters are test for those who are believers.

Now  elaboration of all these points in light of Quran and Hadith is as follows:-

1.Natural disasters are punishment of Allah for those people who are either disbelievers or cross His limits:-

 

 On different instances in Holy Quran Allah swt has clarified this point that natural disasters result from disobedience of Allah swt.Some of these instances are as follows:

1.And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.  (Ash-Shura 42:30)

2. And if Allâh were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving (living) creature on the surface of the earth, but He gives them respite to an appointed term, and when their term comes, then verily, Allâh is Ever All­Seer of His slaves. (Fatir 35:45)

3. Evil (sins and disobedience of Allâh, etc.) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds, etc.), that Allâh may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allâh, and begging His Pardon). (Ar-Rum 30:41)

4. And if the people of the towns had believed and had the Taqwâ (piety), certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth, but they belied (the Messengers). So We took them (with punishment) for what they used to earn (polytheism and crimes, etc.). (Al-A’raf 7:96)

Some times natural disasters are very intense and crush even the innocents living in the affected area.These innocent people will get reward of Allah swt on the day of judgment for the affliction they faced.Allah swt has warned in Quran about such trials and affliction which donot hit specifically disobedient people.Allah swt says:

And fear the Fitnah (affliction and trial, etc.) which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong (but it may afflict all the good and the bad people), and know that Allâh is Severe in punishment. (Al-Anfal 8:25)

Allah swt has also narrated the incidents of different tribes and people who were hit by natural disasters.Some of these incidents have been briefly discussed below:

1.Tribe of Noah :-

 

 Tribe of Noah was indulged in polytheism. These polytheists did not accept the message of Noah aliehis salam as a result they had to face the punishment of Allah swt in form of flood.A brief description of the event is as follow:

The people of Nûh (Noah) denied (their Messenger) before them, they rejected Our slave, and said: “A madman!” and he was insolently rebuked and threatened. Then he invoked his Lord (saying): “I have been overcome, so help (me)!” So We opened the gates of heaven with water pouring forth. And We caused the earth to gush forth with springs. So the waters (of the heaven and the earth) met for a matter predestined. And We carried him on a (ship) made of planks and nails, Floating under Our Eyes, a reward for him who had been rejected! And indeed, We have left this as a sign, then is there any that will remember (or receive admonition)? Then how (terrible) was My Torment and My Warnings? (Al-Qamar 54:9-16)

2.Tribe of Ad:-

 

 People of Ad were also indulged in polytheism and rejected their messenger Hod alieshi salam .They used to claim that they were the super power and said :

“Who is mightier than us in strength?” See they not that Allâh, Who created them was mightier in strength than them. And they used to deny Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, revelations, etc.)! (Fussilat 41:15)

They were punished by Allah swt by wind storm .A brief account of there punishment has been narrated below:

‘Ad (people) belied (their Prophet, Hûd), then how (terrible) was My Torment and My Warnings? Verily, We sent against them a furious wind of harsh voice on a day of evil omen and continuous calamity. Plucking out men as if they were uprooted stems of date-palms. Then, how (terrible) was My Torment and My Warnings? (Al-Qamar 54:18-21)

A different account of the same incident is as follows:

And remember (Hûd) the brother of ‘Ad, when he warned his people in Al-Ahqâf (the curved sand-hills in the southern part of Arabian Peninsula). And surely, there have passed away warners before him and after him (saying): “Worship none but Allâh; truly, I fear for you the torment of a mighty Day.” They said: “Have you come to turn us away from our âliha (gods)? Then bring us that with which you threaten us, if you are one of the truthful!” He said: “The knowledge (of the time of its coming) is with Allâh only, and I convey to you that wherewith I have been sent, but I see that you are a people given to ignorance!” Then, when they saw it as a dense cloud coming towards their valleys, they said: “This is a cloud bringing us rain!” Nay, but it is that (torment) which you were asking to be hastened! a wind wherein is a painful torment! Destroying everything by the Command of its Lord! So they became such that nothing could be seen except their dwellings! Thus do We recompense the people who are Mujrimûn (polytheists, disbelievers, sinners, etc.)! (Al-Ahqaf 46:20-25)

3.People of Sodom:-

 

 People of Sodom were indulged in homosexuality .Prophet Lot aliehis salam invited them to the right path but they did not refrain from their bad habit as a result they were hit by affliction of Allah swt.A brief account of their punishment is as follows:

And (remember) Lout (Lot)! When he said to his people. Do you commit Al­Fâhishah (evil, great sin, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, sodomy, etc.) while you see (one another doing evil without any screen, etc.)?” “Do you approach men in your lusts rather than women? Nay, but you are a people who behave senselessly.” There was no other answer given by his people except that they said: “Drive out the family of Lout (Lot) from your city. Verily, these are men who want to be clean and pure!” So We saved him and his family, except his wife. We destined her to be of those who remained behind. And We rained down on them a rain (of stones). So evil was the rain of those who were warned. (An-Naml 27:54-58)

 

4.Pharaoh :-

 

 Pharaoh was disobedient to Allah swt and denied the clear signs brought by Musa aliehis salam .As a result he was afflicted by Allah swt from time to time but he did not reform himself and as a result he was finally caught by Allah swt and was drowned in water.A brief account of his destruction from one part of quran is as follows.Allah swt says:-

And indeed We punished the people of Fir’aun (Pharaoh) with years of drought and shortness of fruits (crops, etc.), that they might remember (take heed). But whenever good came to them, they said: “Ours is this.” And if evil afflicted them, they ascribed it to evil omens connected with Mûsa (Moses) and those with him. Be informed! Verily, their evil omens are with Allâh but most of them know not. They said [to Mûsa (Moses)]: “Whatever Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) you may bring to us, to work therewith your sorcery on us, we shall never believe in you.” So We sent on them: the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs, and the blood: (as a succession of) manifest signs, yet they remained arrogant, and they were of those people who were Mujrimûn (criminals, polytheists, sinners, etc.). And when the punishment fell on them they said: “O Mûsa (Moses)! Invoke your Lord for us because of His Promise to you. If you will remove the punishment from us, we indeed shall believe in you, and we shall let the Children of Israel go with you.” But when We removed the punishment from them to a fixed term, which they had to reach, behold! They broke their word! So We took retribution from them. We drowned them in the sea, because they belied Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and were heedless about them. (Al-A’raf 7:130-136)

5.Qaroon:-

 

 Qaroon was a wealthy person and was not ready to admit that his wealth was given to him by Allah swt .He thought it was the result of his effort only.He denied the blessing and right of Allah swt in his wealth .Allah swt crushed him with his affliction.A brief account of his punishment is as follows:

Verily, Qârûn (Korah) was of Mûsa’s (Moses) people, but he behaved arrogantly towards them. And We gave him of the treasures, that of which the keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men. When his people said to him: “Do not be glad (with ungratefulness to Allâh’s Favours). Verily! Allâh likes not those who are glad (with ungratefulness to Allâh’s Favours). But seek, with that (wealth) which Allâh has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of legal enjoyment in this world, and do good as Allâh has been good to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily, Allâh likes not the Mufsidûn (those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupts). He said: “This has been given to me only because of knowledge I possess.” Did he not know that Allâh had destroyed before him generations, men who were stronger than him in might and greater in the amount (of riches) they had collected. But the Mujrimûn (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, etc.) will not be questioned of their sins (because Allâh knows them well, so they will be punished without account). So he went forth before his people in his pomp. Those who were desirous of the life of the world, said: “Ah, would that we had the like of what Qârûn (Korah) has been given? Verily! He is the owner of a great fortune.” But those who had been given (religious) knowledge said: “Woe to you! The Reward of Allâh (in the Hereafter) is better for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and this none shall attain except those who are patient (in following the truth).” So We caused the earth to swallow him and his dwelling place. Then he had no group or party to help him against Allâh, nor was he one of those who could save themselves. (Al-Qasas 28:76-81)

6.Polytheists of Makkah:-

 

 Polytheists of Makkah brought a big army  against Prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam and his companions ,Muslims were feeling that would not be able to defeat this army .Allah swt helped Muslims by sending windstorm which pushed back that army and Allah swt helped Muslims in a hidden way.This fact has been highlighted in the following way:

O you who believe! Remember Allâh’s Favour to you, when there came against you hosts, and We sent against them a wind and forces that you saw not [i.e. troops of angels during the battle of Al­Ahzâb (the Confederates)]. And Allâh is Ever All­Seer of what you do. (Al-Ahzab 33:9)

The same fact about the natural disaster has been mentioned in the following hadith:

Narrated ‘Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet), I never saw Allah’s Apostle laughing loudly enough to enable me to see his uvula, but he used to smile only. And whenever he saw clouds or winds, signs of deep concern would appear on his face. I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! When people see clouds they usually feel happy, hoping that it would rain, while I see that when you see clouds, one could notice signs of dissatisfaction on your face.” He said, “O ‘Aisha! What is the guarantee for me that there will be no punishment in it, since some people were punished with a wind? Verily, some people saw (received) the punishment, but (while seeing the cloud) they said, ‘This cloud will give us rain.’ “(Sahih Bukhari : Book 6 , Volume 60 ,Hadith 353)

Same hadith has been mentioned in sahih Muslim with slight change of words:

‘A’isha, the wife of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him), reported: I never saw Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) laugh to such an extent that I could see his uvula-whereas he used to smile only-and when he saw dark clouds or wind, (the signs of fear) were depicted on his face. I said: Messenger of Allah, I find people being happy when they ace the dark cloud in the hope that it would bring rain, but I find that when you see that (the cloud) there is an anxiety on your face. He said: ‘A’isha, I am afraid that there may be a calamity in it, for a people was afflicted with wind, when the people saw the calamity they said:” It is a cloud which would give us rain” (Qur’an. xlvi. 24).( Muslim : Book 4 ,Hadith 1963)

2.Natural disasters are warning for those who are sinners:-

 

 Natural disasters are warnings for those who are sinners.This fact has also has been elaborated in Quran .Some of the instances are as follows:-

1.And verily, We will make them taste of the near torment (i.e. the torment in the life of this world, i.e. disasters, calamities, etc.) prior to the supreme torment (in the Hereafter), in order that they may (repent and) return (i.e. accept Islâm). (As-Sajdah 32:21)

2. See they not that they are tried once or twice every year (with different kinds of calamities, disease, famine, etc.)? Yet, they turn not in repentance, nor do they learn a lesson (from it). (At-Tawbah 9:126)

Allah swt showed his signs to pharaoh in form of natural disasters and calamities before final punishment so that he may reform himself.This fact has been revealed in the Holy Quran in the following manner:-

And indeed We punished the people of Fir’aun (Pharaoh) with years of drought and shortness of fruits (crops, etc.), that they might remember (take heed). (Al-A’raf 7:130)

3.Natural disasters are test for those who are believers:-

 

 According to Quran and Hadith many times natural disasters are punishment for disbelievers and transgressors and warnings for sinners but sometimes they do come to test the believers and pious people.This fact has been elaborated in Quran as follows:-

1.And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sâbirin (the patient ones, etc.). (Al-Baqarah 2:155)

2.Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the Help of Allâh?” Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allâh is near! (Al-Baqarah 2:214)

3.Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allâh will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allâh knows all that before putting them to test). (Al-‘Ankabut 29:2-3)

How to deal with natural disasters and calamities:-

 

 Quran and Sunnah have guided us in all walks of life.Quran and Hadith also tell us the methods to deal with the natural disasters and calamities.Some of these ways are as follows:

1.Piety

2.Repentance

3.Patience

Now the outcome of all these methods will be briefly elaborated in the light of Quran:-

1.Piety:-

 

 When some one becomes pious Allah swt resolves his problems and open doors of blessings for him this fact has been highlighted in the following verses as follows:-

1. And whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). (At-Talaq 65:2)

2. And if the people of the towns had believed and had the Taqwâ (piety), certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth, (Al-A’raf 7:96)

2.Repentance:-

 

 When some one repents Allah swt takes away his torment.This fact has been highlighted in Quran as follows:-

And He will not punish them while they seek (Allâh’s) Forgiveness. (Al-Anfal 8:33)

Allah swt has narrated the incident of tribe of Younis aliehis salam in Holy Quran .When they saw the torment of Allah swt was approaching towards them they seeked forgiveness and Allah swt took aways His torment as mentioned in the Holy Quran as follows:-

Was there any town (community) that believed (after seeing the punishment), and its Faith (at that moment) saved it (from the punishment)? (The answer is none,) – except the people of Yûnus (Jonah); when they believed, We removed from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the (present) world, and permitted them to enjoy for a while. (Yunus 10:98 )

3.Patience:-

 

 This act is beneficial for all those people who are being tested by Allah swt .If they face the calamity and natural disaster with patience than they will get reward for it.This fact has been highlighted in Holy Quran in the following manner:-

And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sâbirin (the patient ones, etc.). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allâh we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” They are those on whom are the Salawât (i.e. blessings, etc.) (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided-ones. (Al-Baqarah 2:155-157)

May Allah save us from natural disasters and save us from His wrath through which He punishes transgressors and give us vision so that we can reform ourselves and help those who are under trial Ameen.

Posts Reblogged- (01) Importance of Salaam, (02) The Untold Story of Crescent moon and star—as islamic symbols (03) IKHLAS)_SINCEIRITY

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1.I expect to pass through this world but once; any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again”..
2.When a slave adopts humility (tawaadhu i.e. I am nothing) for the sake of Allah Ta’aalaa, He elevates him, and when the slave lets pride (kibr i.e. I am something) overtake him, Allah Ta’aalaa disgraces him.”
3.”I wish that mankind would learn this knowledge – meaning his knowledge – without even one letter of it being attributed to me” – Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee4.. Never do I argue with a man with a desire to hear him say what is wrong, or to expose him and win victory over him. Whenever I face an opponent in debate I silently pray – O Lord, help him so that truth may flow from his heart and on his tongue, and so that if truth is on my side, he may follow me; and if truth be on his side, I may follow him. [Imam Al-Shafi’i]

Saturday, July 11, 2015

(01) Importance of Salaam…

http://aboutkashmir.com/news/2008/Aug/1/importance-of-salaam-7.asp

Importance of Salaam

Let’s greet each other the way we should

GREETINGS BY DR FIAZ M FAZILI

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What did you say this morning when you woke up? Did you say “As-Salamu Alaikum” to your parents, your spouse or your child or did you greet them with a “Good morning”, “hello everybody”, or even casual “hai”— a common practice of the pre-Islamic Arabs and the modern West accompanied by a gesture of the hand or the nodding of head, which have no spiritual and moral significance in Islam.
Greeting is a moral act, a way of acknowledging presence, showing respect and courtesy. It is recognized as a norm in all societies and civilizations. It is the first social right at the point of contact and cuts across religious and cultural barriers. All people have the custom of greeting one another, and every society has its own distinctive greeting that distinguishes them from other cultures. The gestures and the expressions of salutations are, therefore, the indicators of the ideals for which a particular society stands. In Arabia the greeting is associated with two or three light kisses. On the Indian subcontinent, the saying of Salaam is often accompanied with an obeisance, performed by bowing low and placing the right palm on the forehead. In Indonesia, greeting is usually accompanied by a kind of two-handed “handshake”. None of these is derived from Islamic custom, but are based in culture. The Arabs used to greet one another with the words “An’im sabaahan” or “An’imu sabaahan”, equivalent to “Good morning” – using words derived from “al-ni’mah”, which means good living after the morning. The idea was that because the morning is the first part of the day, if a person encounters something good in the morning, the rest of the day will be good too.
When Islam came as a comprehensive way of life, it also recognized this norm as a right, and to the extent of specifying how it should be done. Allah, the exalted, the Most Holy, the Peace, prescribed that the greeting among the people of Islam should be, ‘Assalamu alaikum’ meaning ‘peace be upon you’ or more perfectly: ‘Assalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuh’ meaning “Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you”. This on literal comparison is better way of greeting than all the greetings of other nations which include impossible ideas or lies, such as saying, ‘May you live for a thousand years,’ or things that are not accurate, such as ‘An’im sabaahan (Good morning),’ or actions that are not right. The name al-Salaam is a Name of Allah, may He be exalted, and the meaning of salaam (literally, peace) is harmlessness, safety and protection from evil and from faults so the meaning of the greeting of salaam which is required among Muslims is, “May the blessing of His Name descend upon you.” Thus the greeting of salaam is better than all of these, because it has the meaning of safety which is life, without which nothing else can be achieved. Allah the exalted commands us to greet by saying in Quran. “When you enter the houses, greet one another with a greeting from Allâh (i.e. say: As-Salâmu ‘Alaikum – peace be on you) blessed and good. Thus Allâh makes clear from the Ayah to you that you may understand ( An-Nur) .”And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet (in return) with one which is better than it or (at least) return it (in like manner). Indeed, Allah is ever taking account of all things”( An-Nisa ).Prophet of Islam (PBUH) was once asked: “What aspect of Islam is among the best?”. He replied, “Giving food (to the needy) and saying salaam to whom you know and whom you know not”(Mulsim).
Offering Salaam and replying to it is the duty of a Muslim. Prophet (PBUH) said, “When anyone of you decides to offer salaam he should say ‘Assalaamu Alaikum’, because Allah, the most Glorious and Eminent one is As-salaam, for this reason do not commence with anything before saying Allah’s name.” (Abu Yala narrates from Hazrat Abu Hurairah- May Allah be pleased with him). The generally expected greeting is “As sala’amu alaikum” (peace be upon you) and the generally expected reply is “walaikum as sala’am” (and unto you also, peace). Adding “wa rahmatullahi” (and mercy) and/or “wa barakatuhu” (and blessings) is a commendable act.  If someone adds mercy and/or blessings in their salaams to you, you should reply with the same or add more goodness to it (i.e. if someone says “As sala’amu alaikum wa rahmatullahi”, you should reply with “As sala’amu alaikum wa rahmatullahi” or also add “wa barakatuhu”(Bukhari), whoever then responds to salaam, it is for his benefit, and he who does not respond to salaam, is not from amongst us.” (Ibn Sunni)
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “He who says Assalaamu Alaikum (Peace be upon you) ten rewards are written down for him, and he who says Assalaamu Alaikum wa rahmatullah (Peace be upon you and Allah’s mercy) for him twenty rewards are written down and he who says Assalaamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh (Peace be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessing) thirty rewards are written down (for him).”(Narrated by Saalim, May Allah be pleased with him). Regarding the manner of initiating Salaam (who first), Prophet (PBUH) said, “A rider should give salaam to a walking person and a walking person should give salaam to a seated person, a younger person should give salaam to an elder person, and when a small group of people pass by a larger group they (the smaller group) should give salaam.” (narrated by Abu Hurairah- May Allah be pleased with him), but if two walking persons meet each other, then whoever commences salaam first from the two, is superior.”(Narrated by Jabir- May Allah be pleased with him).

Posted by FIAZFAZILI at 6:17 PM No comments:

(02) The Untold Story of Crescent moon and star—as islamic symbols

Islamic  History –Crescent and Star

Do they symbolize Islam?

Untold Story of Crescent moon and star—as symbols, logos or tattoos;

How and when did crescent moon and star become associated with the faith of Islam? An Islamic  history perspective discussed by Dr.Fiaz Fazili.

Throughout the history, people have used symbols to represent their spiritual beliefs. Today, the star and crescent is commonly accepted as a symbol of Islam, and is used in national flags of many Islamic countries e.g., AlgeriaAzerbaijanComorosMalaysiaMaldivesMauritaniaPakistanTunisiaTurkey,TurkmenistanTurkish Republic of Northern CyprusUzbekistan, and Western Sahara. ,cover of magazines , doors of mosques,halal meat shops, wayside restaurants , decorative arts, ceramics and jewelry. Many Muslim scholars consider that this symbol was not used by the Prophet Muhammad(Pbuh) and therefore has no basis in Islam.  What does it symbolize or mean then? Is it a valid symbol for the faith? What prompted me to look back into the Islamic history was, a tatoo,”crescent and star,” inscribed below the right index finger of a fellow devotee which diverted my attention in Tashahhud, during one of  the Friday prayers in ,”masjid nabawi“. At the end of prayers, before I could warn this brother about the permissibility of tattoos in Islam, the man disappeared in the crowd. This incident reminded me of our school day habits, when we  used to draw crescent and star with green ink on the dorsum of our hands, even some of my uncles had crescent and star tattooed on their wrists.Thus began the search for the origin of the crescent and star and its association with Islam. Contrary to popular belief, the symbol is not Muslim in origin, historians say that they were the insignia of the Ottoman Empire, not of Islam as a whole, and its use today is sometimes controversial in the Muslim world, leaving a scope for further debate from Islamic scholars on this subject-How and when did crescent moon and star become associated with the faith of Islam? Does it symbolize Islam? It’s somewhat cloudy even today ,if I ask believers, “What type of logo would they suggest for my forthcoming Islamic publication?”,the majority most probably still will choose the  same , “The crescent moon and star”. But, we as Muslims  have to weigh the things in Islamic perspective. There are no crescent and stars on the doors or walls of two holy mosques, except you see a crescent shape on the minarets. Is there any basis for taking the crescent or star as a symbol of the Muslims in Sharee’ah? The star and crescent was not known at the time of the Prophet (pbuh)), or at the time of the Khulafa’ al-Raashidoon (the first four leaders of Islam after the departure of  the Prophet (pbuh) from this earthly world, or during the time of the Umawis (Umayyad dynasty). It emerged some time after that, and historians differ as to when this symbol was first adopted and who was the first to adopt it. Some say it was the Persians, others say it was the Greeks, and that this symbol was somehow passed to the Muslims. (Al-Taraateeb al-Idaariyah by al-Kittaani). The crescent moon and star symbol actually pre-dates Islam by several thousand years, most sources agree that these ancient celestial symbols were in use by the peoples of Central Asia and Siberia in their worship. In fact, the star and crescent has actually acquired its association to the faith by association rather than intent, beginning / starting with the Ottoman Empire .Some historians, believe that the city of Byzantium (later known as Constantinople and Istanbul) adopted the crescent moon as its symbol. The symbol remained in near constant use, it wasn’t until the Ottoman Turks took over Constantinople (Istanbul), and they adopted the city’s existing flag and the symbol. Since the Ottomans were also ruling Dar al-Islam ,(political head of the faith ,the House of Islam, the community of believers,) and for hundreds of years, the Ottoman Empire ruled over the Muslim world, folks started adapting the crescent moon as a symbol for Islam in general, and began putting it on mosques, minarets, and anything else they wanted to decorate. But they didn’t ever use it for decoration on the holy book Quran, since the Quran was “dictated by the Angel of God to the Messenger of God” and so should not bear any symbol. After centuries of battle with Christian Europe, it is understandable how the symbols of this empire became linked in people’s minds with the faith of Islam as a whole. Based on this history, many Muslim scholars reject using the crescent moon as a symbol of Islam. The faith of Islam historically had no symbol, and many refuse to accept it. Christians, seeing the crescent moon displayed as a battle standard, assumed it was the symbol of Islam, analogous to the cross as the symbol of Christianity, but it’s not the first time that erroneous understandings have taken root. There is some debate in the Muslim community even today about the use of the crescent as a symbol helps to distinguish Muslim establishments from non-Muslim establishments( crescent and star  emblem on meat shops or restaurants  helps Muslims  to identify a halal food outlet)in a non Islamic society. Some scholars believe that since Islamic calendar is closely associated with the appearance of crescent, hence the attachment. Even in UN the Red Crescent is registered as an alternative logo to cross for international relief. In light of Islamic teachings, also  In Quran  as such there is no mention of symbols used in Islam or to represent Islam itself. While reviewing the Islamic history, we understand that the Prophet(pbuh) used flags of different colors in different Ghazwat (campaigns commanded by the Prophet) and Saraya (campaign commanded by any Sahabi)” Islamic armies and caravans flew simple solid-colored flags (generally black, green, or white) for identification purposes. The Prophet,s actual favorite color was green. However banners were used in the time of the Prophet(pbuh)- White banner (plain)- (Al Raheeq alk Maktoom) Green banner (plain)-  Black banner (plain and also with the Tawheed written on it, one flag black on white, on the other white on black , bearing an Arabic inscription inscribed “Nasr um min Allah,” “with the help of Allah.”or Shahadah  “La ilaha ila lalah Muhmamad u Rasulla Allah” “There is no god but Allah(GOD) and Mohammad(saw) is the messenger  of Allah.” In later generations, the Muslim leaders continued to use a simple black, white, or green flag with no markings, writing, or symbolism on it. Some writers have mentioned even using red color on the Muslim banners. (Evolution of the Arab Flag- Hadi).Regardless of its origins, the color green has been firmly cemented in Islamic culture for centuries, the famous dome of our beloved Prophet .s resting place is green and green is my favorite color also,along with crescent and star as logo. This leads to the question, what other “symbol” represents the Islamic faith? Is it necessary to even have a symbol? The only way you could really see the symbols of Islam, in my personal opinion is through the biography of Prophet Mohammad( PBUH),no matter how much people tell you about islam!and no matter how they try to convince you about anything! I think that everything can be seen clearly through this biography! You can see the way He used to act! Try reading daily from the Prophet biography (seerah)! Even if it is one page daily! You will enjoy acquiring the knowledge it! But make sure it’s a good one! That’s best to my knowledge but Allah knows the best. I hope this helps to remove some misconceptions, and adds to the knowledge  about Islamic history ,leaving further a scope for Islamic scholars to guide the ummah correctly on this subject, whether we can continue using these signs. (references from Al Raheeq al Maktoom,and islamic history) For readers -# the aim of this review to know the islamic history in true perspective and anyone having more information than i collected shall be appreciated>)

Posted by FIAZFAZILI at 6:13 PM No comments:

(03) IKHLAS)_SINCEIRITY

IKHLAAS- ROAD TO PARADISE

By Dr Fiaz Fazili ( Al Madinah Munawarah)

The path towards  Allah (st) and road towards paradise  is illuminated when a person recognizes the central place of Allah in his life and strives to develop his self accordingly.Today,Muslims seem to have lost the true spirit, meaning and practice of Islam. Shari’ah  has been forgotten, and man made laws have replaced the Shari’ah in our societies.Disunity and even hatred exists among various Muslim  populations. Some Muslims, for example are falling for the gross materialism of the West.This is not occurring through “trading companies” and colonial Governments but through the hostile  Islam  bashing media. The obligation of applying law of Allah in one’s life and in one’s society  has been  forgotten. There should be a clear message to every Muslim generation, movement and group that the correct belief has to be firmly implanted in the heart before any true fruits are to be expected. It is the true imaan and aqeedah that allows the person to internalize the Quran and apply its injunctions sincerely and properly, by correcting one,s aqeedah or one,s belief system ,establishing the law of Allah and sunnah practices . Has not the time come for the hearts of those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh – Islâmic Monotheism) to be affected by Allâh’s Reminder (this Qur’ân), and that which has been revealed of the truth, lest they become as those who received the Scripture [the Taurât (Torah) and the Injîl (Gospel)] before (i.e. Jews and Christians), and the term was prolonged for them and so their hearts were hardened? And many of them were Fâsiqûn (the rebellious, the disobedient to Allâh). (Al hadeed :016)

One of the main reasons Muslims today find it very hard to master their actions and falls into array is a direct result of lack of serious strive against one’s soul. The Quran teaches us that neglecting to hold the soul to account may lead to serious consequences, the corruption of soul and the heart .Allah (st) has made our souls such that if they were not fought against and controlled they command their possession  to commit evil and obscene, alcoholism and adultery, corruption and fitnas.Hazrat Umar ibnu Khattab (RA) used to say,“ call your souls to account before you are called to account and weigh your actions before you are weighed(on the day ofjudgement) for that will make the accountability easier for your tommmorrow if you call yourselves to account today.”

The term nearest in meaning in self development in the Quranic vocabulary is;tazkiyah.Tazkiyah means purification and refers to the cleansing of human self from all that is unwholesome ,undesirable and welcome.Success and happiness in this world and Hereafter depends on tazkiyah , the purification and nurturing of our personality. The Quran states that the true success is only reserved for those who seek to purify themselves;` Indeed he succeeds who purifies his own self ` [Ash –shams;09] .Today when we are facing technology explosion our youth  has to divide his/her time between TV, videos, shopping malls ,cars ,fashion trends ,cell phones and internet. The youth of today is techno savy – very knowledgeable regarding modern technology ,but is actually illiterate when it comes to knowledge and practice about the Deen or about morality ,ethics, character and spritualty- a modern version of jahliya – a new age of ignorance; Isnt it our moral duty to  put reminders to all our brothers and sisters  by organizing  at least a weekly meeting in our localities ,,involving particularly youth  and prepare  speeches for an  inquiring mind as Allah (st ) says in Quran ,Soorah adh-Dhaariyaat,verse 55,“  And remind (by preaching the Qur’ân, O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]), for verily, the reminding profits the believers.]. The Quran and Sunnah remove the darkness of the world. Knowledge is enlightenment. Verily ,never will Allah (ST) change a condition of a people unless they change it themselves, with their souls. Only thing what we need to develop is “IKHLAAS,’- the quality of performing a deed purely and solely for Allah’s sake. It is obligatory upon everyone and in particular for whether he is calling people – that he intends by his knowledge the pleasure of Allah. This is  particularly true for the one who is considering himself a worker for the sake of Allah- calling others to islam for the sake of Allah ,enjoining good  and prevention of evil for the sake of Allah,usually this point is forgotten as sincere Muslims get so involved in groups and organizations that they begin working and calling it to their group or their group head rather than calling for the sake of Allah.For the believer , the most coveted goal in life is to seek the pleasure of Allah and then the paradise. Our creator has set this goal for us,”And surely paradise—it is the goal-(al naziat-4) indeed the next abode—it is truly the life (Al ankabut20).May Allah (ST) guide us and our youth to the straight path.Aameen!

  

Mirwaiz Family: Their contribution to Kashmir Society

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The author of Tarikh-i-Kabir Molvi Mohi-ud-Din Miskin Saraibali , who was the beneficiary of Mirwaiz family, mentions that he had learnt from his murshid Mirwaiz Moulana Mohammad Yahya that it is written in the biography of Mirwaiz Siddiqullah that “ he was the disciple of Sayid Ghulam Shah Azad Khanyari. Their ancestor had come to Kashmir alongwith Mir Mohammad Hamadani (RA) and had settled in Tral village. This family of Mirwaizs belongs to this Waiz Siddiqullah Trali, who live now at Srinagar near Rajori Kadal instead of Tral. The ancestors of this family were living on agriculture in Tral for a pretty long time. They still have their relatives over there.” Besides this Mirwaiz Moulana Mohammad Atiqullah writes in an article about his family that, “it is a fact that along with Hazrat Shah-i-Hamadan (RA) many Sayids and Sufis came to Kashmir for preaching Islam. After Shah-i-Hamdan left these men of great caliber remained here for preaching of the religion.”

  1. Molvi Siddiqullah Sahib (RA): Late Molvi Siddiqullah (RA) adopted Tral as his residence and remained busy in his ancestral duty of propagation of religion. He established a religious madrasa over here.
  2. Molvi Abdul Salam Sahib (RA): He was the only son of Molvi Siddiqullah, who was bestowed with five sons.
  3. Molvi Abdu-r-Rasool Sahib (RA)- known as Akhond Lasa Baba Sahib. He was the grandfather of the founder of Anjuman Nusrat-ul-Islam Hazrat Mirwaiz Moulana Rasool Shah Sahib. In order to quench the thirst of people Moulana Lasa Baba Sahib migrated to Srinagar and firstly he resided at Mohalla Islam Yarbal near Pather Masjid, later he shifted to Rajouri Kadal near Jamia Mosque. In his house a lamp got lit up, which brightened the Mualims of Kashmir.
  4. Molvi Mohammad Yahya Sahib (RA): Moulana Hafiz Molvi Mohammad Yahya touched the heights of knowledge and was crowned as Mirwaiz (Chief preacher) of Kashmir. He had full hold on Quran and Hadith and had the qualities of a darvesh. Besides preaching and imparting advice, he was adept in teaching lessons of Quran and those of Hadith. He had a deep insight on grammar too. That is why many students got benefitted by him. Along with being a distinguished scholar, he was of kind temper. He would benefit people with the grace of a Qalandar and it was his procedure to guide them to the straight path. He was a frequent visitor to the house of Shaikh Abdul Gani Shah Sayid Suhrawardy Zoonimari. He wrote several books in their domestic mosque at Zoonimar. Later on his son Molvi Rasool Shah was married to one of the daughters of Gani Sahib. A number of chronograms have been written on his death, which itself has been published in the form a book. One poet has written the following chronogram:-ادخل

الله روح القدس جنة العدن تحتهاالانهار

1308 H

5.Mirwaiz Molvi Rasool Shah Sahib (RA):

  1. In this blessed spring a lotus flower bloomed, whose fragrance spread around all corners. This great son who spread the fragrance of the country, creed, maturity, faith and guidance was named Molvi Rasool Shah Sahib (RA). He threw his net on the horizon for seeking knowledge, practice and exaltation and to achieve greater heights. On the directions of his father, he would go to the suburbs for preaching religion, particularly Islamabad, Shopian, Bijbehara, Baramulla and Sopore, where he started a campaign of reformation, sermons and preaching and made the sound of Quran, Hadith, Sunnah and directions of Fiqah reach up to the people. During these visits, many people entered his circle of students and when his father went for Haj pilgrimage, he was appointed his successor. Among his important tasks were:
  2. Along with imparting education, initiate steps for human welfare.
  3. Repair of dilapidated Ali Masjid Idgah and Khanqahi Naqshbandya.
  4. To help the needy and poor children and possible help to the poor citizens and the laborers.
  5. Assistance to the visitors of Khanqahs and Shrines by way of providing hostel facilities and travel expenses to them.
  6. Arrangement for providing free books to the students.
  7. Arrange financial help to the city victims of frequent calamities like cholera, plague and other diseases, besides their spiritual treatment.
  8. Along with solving religious problems, provide the possible guidance for the resolution of worldly affairs of the people.
  9. Since the rulers of the time acknowledged his gentleness, nobility, understanding and skilful discernment; whenever any person would be facing some problem, he would approach the concerned ruler to get it solved.
  10. He laid the foundations of a Primary school in Srinagar in 1317 AH to impart religious and the customary education, which developed later on into Middle and ultimately Islamia Higher Secondary Scool.
  11. He formed a society of some educated and helpful persons from Kashmir and Punjab, which he named “Anjuman Nusrat-ul-Islam” in which even the opponents also joined later on. This madrasa became a high school with the efforts of Mirwaiz Hasan Sahib and was recognized by Punjab University. The establishment of this high school by him is a notable achievement of Mirwaiz Rasool Shah Sahib, which served as the foundation for the development of education and awareness among the Kashmiri Muslims and this institution produced many stalwarts, but due to changing times and conditions, the helplessness of Muslims and to some extent due to negligence, this school could not develop into a full-fledged College/University.
  12. Besides prayers, hard struggle, he would spend time in teaching lessons, writing books, studying books and in ‘awrad’ and ‘wazajf’. His books on the current events are the result of his brainwork, which include “As-saiful Masool Ala min khalif qawli-l-Rasool” السيف المسؤل على من خالف قول الرسول and the Arabic  commentary on Kibryat-i-Ahmer worthy of mention. On his death so many people followed his Janaza in a procession from Rajori Kadal to Idgah, that two bridges got collapsed and hundreds were injured and rendered unconscious. One mile distance was covered in three hours. The funeral prayer was led by his brother Mirwaiz Ahmadullah Sahib offered by over a lakh people. Muslims and non Muslims wrote chronograms in his favor. One faithful wrote as under:—تمكين و تعليم ورضا وعمل،صدق وصفا  هم زينت اهل ذكاء بى سرشدندازبس جفا  1337
  13. Mirwaiz Ahmadullah Sahib (RA): He was a great acetic and pious person. Besides Jamia mosque, he would deliver his sermons often at Hazratbal and would remain absorbed in the love of Prophet (SAW). Those who attended his discourses would say that when he would say salutations to Prophet (Darood-i-Hazur), it would often be felt that as if he is in the durabar of the Prophet (SAW) and as if he presents the gift of “Darood” directly to him. It was the result of his preaching that most of the people who were illiterate had committed to memory many ayat of Quran with translation and Hadith Sharif. On his death most of his followers and lovers received an extreme shock, which could not be rectified.
  14. 06.Mirwaiz-i-Kashmir Moulana Mohammad Yousuf Shah Sahib (RA):
  1. Due to his great contribution in the fields of education, preaching and politics, his name shall be remembered for ever in the pages of Kashmir history and shall serve as a torch-bearer to future generations. His following works shall shine like a lamp post-‘minar’.
  2. Establishment of Oriental College Srinagar –an Arabic and religious darsgah, where the thirsty of knowledge could quench their thirst of Tafsir of Quran, Ahadis-i-Rasool (SAW), Fiqah Islami, Asool-i-Fiqah, Seerat-i-Rasool (SAW), History of Islam, the grammar of Arabic and Persian languages, Arabic and Persian literature (poetry and prose) etc. and prepare trained Imams, Khatibs, Reformers & Preachers to fulfill the general needs of the public.
  3. After completing his education at Deoband in 1924-25, he established the Khilafat Committee – the first political organization in Kashmir in 1926-27, which however remained confined due to ignorance of masses and Government terror. But this Khilafat Committee founded by Moulana Yousuf Shah-“Noor-i-Islam” served as the cornerstone of the political explosion that took place in 1931.
  4. The political movement of Kashmir that started from 1931 has crossed many stages till date and it has grown into a fully fledged tree. The credit for initial planting of this tree and to water and nourish it also goes to “Noor-i-Islam”- Mirwaiz Moulana Mohammad Yousuf Shah Sahib. The first conference held at Khanqahi Mualla in 1931 was also presided by him. He continued to serve as Chairman of the dedicated representatives selected in this conference, which was a herculean task to stand against the Dogra rule.
  5. After 1940 the attitude adopted by Moulana Sahib in different circumstances has remained a chapter of the history. He seconded on behalf of the Muslim Conference the mission of the founder of Pakistan Qaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah on his visit to Kashmir.
  6. The greatest job that shall last till the last day is his easily understood Kashmiri translation of the Holy Quran during his migration to Rawalpindi. It has been republished and released on his anniversary meet at Ali Masjid Idgah on 17 Ramzan 1436 / 05.07.2015 He passed away on 17 Ramdhan 1388-(on youm-ul-Badr).

07. Shahid-i-Millat Mirwaiz Moulana Mohammad Farooq Sahib: After the migration of “Mahajir-i-Millat” Hazrat Mirwaiz Moulana Mohammad Yousuf Shah Sahib, the pulpit of preaching and sermons remained silent from 1946 to 1962 AD i.e. for about 16 years. Although Mirwaiz Atiqullah Sahib could hold this stage, yet because of his old age, seclusion and acetic life, he was not prepared to take this charge. His elder son Moulana Noor-ud-Din Sahib could have been an alternative, but he too followed Moulana Mohammad Yousuf and preferred migration to Pakistan. At last when Mirwaiz Atiqullah died in 1962, the thirsty listeners of sermons requested Molvi Mohammad Amin Sahib, who was bed-ridden due to sickness, to bring forward his son Farooq Sahib to deliver this duty. At last he was tied with the turban of honor when he was only 17 years of age and the sound of Quran and Hadith was heard again from Jamia Masjid and other mosques.

In 1962 on the displacement of Holy relic “Moi-Muqaddas” from Hazratbal, an “All Parties Action Committee” was formed, of which he was elected as the Chairman and he delivered at a young age his assignment amicably till the recovery of the holy relic. Steps were taken under him to improve the surroundings of Jamia Masjid. The publication of the monthly risala, “Nusrat-ul-Islam” was started in 1972. The publishing of Moulana Mohammad Yousuf Shah’s Kashmiri translation of Quran was completed. Being interested in Indian Muslims, he got representation in Muslim Personal Law Board and Majlis-i-Mashawarat. Being interested in writing and composing, he got many books published, which include “Islam ka Afaqi Paigam”, “Islam ke Bunyadi Talimat”, “Islam ka Sandesh”, “Islam ke Ihsanat” etc. Moulana Sahib took active role in politics and remained steadfast till last on seeking the right of self determination for people and in this very struggle he attained martyrdom in the end in 1990.

08.In his place his young aged son Molvi Mohammad Umar Farooq was chosen as his successor, who is following the foot-steps of his father in discharging the duties of Mirwaiz and other political and social activities.