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Ramadan 4 ,1434/July 13, 2013 # 29
Obama: We want Clemency for Lynne Stewart
On July 12, Jamaat al-Muslimeen participated in a rally in
Washington DC at 14th street and Park Road, calling on the
government to release the People's Lawyer Lynne Stewart on
the basis of clemency. She is dying of cancer in a prison in
Ft. Worth, Texas.
The Jericho Movement was well represented at the rally along
with a number of other groups. It was good to meet Br. Jihad
Abdul-Mumit again. Sis. Lucy Murphy sang in Spanish about
the struggle of Lynne Stewart. The husband of Lynne, also an
activist, has decided to go on hunger strike in front of the
[Info via Nadrat Siddique.]
[Lynne Stewart defended the Blind Shaikh Dr. Omar Abdel
Rahman, for free, but was herself imprisoned.]
Jamaat al-Muslimeen urges the government to release all
Islamic political prisoners.
It is a shame that the
government is breaking the hunger strike in Gtmo by force
feeding the 104 Islamic prisoners who are striking.
Let's see what the government will do about the 30,000
prisoners who are going on hunger strike against indefinite
solitary confinement in California's prisons.
Please scroll down
Breaking News: #1 In Syria: July 5-12. Mujahideen of
al-Nusra have beaten back Syrian army attacks on Aleppo. In
a struggle with secularist opponents of Assad, al-Qaida
Islamics have taken complete control of two villages in the
northern corridor to Turkey. In Latakia province, a Free
Syrian Army commander, Kamal Hamami, member of the Supreme
Military Council which is seeking weapons from the US, was
killed by elements of the Islamic State in Iraq, an al-Qaida
group.[July 11] Earlier, there were explosions in Assad's
ammunition depots in Latakia which is the Alawite
stronghold. The Afghan Taliban have set up a research unit
in Syria to study how to counter Hizbullah and Iranian
forces fighting for Assad. Asad's tank column has
successfully broken into the Khalidiya district of Homs
which is defended by armed civilians. More than a thousand
civilians are lying injured in the ruins of Homs after
ongoing artillery and air bombardments by Assad's forces.
Various parts of Homs are in the hands of army defectors
opposing Assad and others in the hands of Alawite armed
civilians supporting him. Hizbullah from Lebanon are
spearheading the Assad advance into Homs. Also, on July 10,
Hizbullah's stronghold in Beirut was hit by a car bomb with
heavy casualties. Looks like the mujahideen supporters in
Lebanon got through in spite of tight security.
Breaking News #2: July 12. Egypt: Tens of thousands
Egyptians rallied at several points in Cairo as well as in
Alexandria, Giza and other cities. They want democracy
restored and President Morsi released. The Muslim
Brotherhood was attacked on July 8 after Fajr prayers by the
military. At least 51 worshippers were killed. With so many
unarmed martyrs, the military thought the Islamics would
scatter and run. Instead they rallied ever more strongly.
It is now evident that America bankrolled the demonstrators
against President Morsi and then America's puppets in Saudi
Arabia and Kuwait pledged $8 billion and $4 billion
respectively to the coup group and its supporters. [We can
send readers the lengthy report on USA's bankrolling the
America's dilemma is that the Muslim Brotherhood did not
run. After so many martyrs, mujahideen might retaliate
against the military and then the gates would be open for
al-Zawahiri and al-Qaida. America is now telling the army to
hold back and to release President Morsi. The sit in by
thousands of Morsi supporters, including thousands of women,
has become permanent at Masjid Rabia al-Adawiya in Cairo.
Travelogue: Eyewitness Account of Secularized Egypt before
the revolution. Superb photos of historic mosques,
Much religion but little relevance to the issues.
Please scroll to end.
The Qur'an's Concept of Power
by Syed Qutb [shaheed]
To the believer in Islam, human power falls into two
categories: a rightly-guided power that recognizes God and
abides by His directions, and an arrogant, rebellious one
that does not admit to God's sovereignty and authority. A
Muslim is required to support and endorse the former, no
matter how weak or disadvantaged it may be, and to reject
and oppose the latter, regardless of its strength or
dominance. The Qur'an says: "Many a small band, by the grace
of God, has vanquished a large one." (2: 249) Such victory
of the apparently weaker host could only be achieved when it
relies on God, the source of all power." [From Fi Zilal
al-Qur'an, vol. 1]
Idol Breaking is central to Islam: Iqbal's "tafseer" of the
Qur'an in Poetry
"Yeh Daur upnay brahim ki talash main hay
Sanam kada hay jahan, la Illaha il Allah"
[ Zarbe Kaleem by Iqbal.]
[This era is searching for its Ibraheem
This world is a temple of idols, [but] there is no God but
[Comment by Kaukab Siddique: Iqbal's Urdu poetry is very
difficult to translate because underlying it is the entire
spectrum of Islamic concepts. The Qur'an narrates the story
of Abraham, pbuh, who smashed the idols of his nation, many
of them crafted by his own father. Later, hadith tells us
that Muhammad, pbuh, smashed the idols of the oppressors who
ruled Makka. In our era, we have the "idols" of power,
wealth, status, military superiority, male dominance,
nationalism, materialism, tribalism and racism. These are
the "gods" of our era. Following the line of Abraham, pbuh,
and Muhammad, pbuh, we say to each one of them, there is no
God but the One God Allah..]
July 8 was the anniversary of Fatima Jinnah, great Pakistani
woman , the founder's sister, who tried to save Pakistan
from military control. She almost did. Maulana Maudoodi
supported her. [Surprise!?]
Please scroll to end.
After a British soldier was killed in London by a Nigerian
Muslim, British racists went on the rampage and attacked 16
mosques, a shop and a school. [The Muslim News, UK, June
28.] British troops have occupied parts of Afghanistan.
British women have a very different view of Islam than do
The Miracle of Islam: Meet 4 of the more than 5,000 British
women who embraced Islam last year.
Amazing photos. With thanks to Sis. Gulshan in Canada.
Please scroll way down.
Personal from Kaukab Siddique
Obituary: Learning from the passing of a great Muslim.
Asim Hussain's Lonely Struggle for Truth: We talked almost
He Read New Trend Regularly. He was betrayed by ICNA.
Dr. Asim Hussain who lived most of his life in Michigan
passed away just before Ramadan on July 8. May Allah bless
him and grant him a place in Janaat al-Firdous.
Asim bhai, as we called him, lived every day of life in the
last 30 years I knew him permeated with the wisdom and
knowledge of Islam. He was so generous and influential and
loving that leaders of Jamaate Islami would stay with him on
their visits to America. Meetings of Halqa-e-Ahbab-e-Islami,
when I was Secretary General, were often held in his home.
His wife, Rafia, may Allah bless her soul, was a great cook
and her food was part of the enjoyment of the meetings.
During his last years, Asim bhai used to call me to discuss
the tragedies of the Muslim world. He discussed the most
sensitive issues. ThIs became a weekly event, sometimes
twice a week, till the government picked up the calls and
bothered his son. After his wife passed, he became very
lonely and this became worse as his hearing and speech
weakened, but he was always firm in his faith in Allah.
His main concerns were:
Understanding how the Qur'an links faith and spirituality
with political transformation and revolution. He got this
from Tafheemul Quran, the commentary on the Qur'an by
He used to urge me to contact Jamaate Islami leader
Munawar Hasan and tell him to go to the masses and work for
the distribution of wealth.
He said, we must understand the difference between the
despots we read about in Muslim history and the modern
dictators and Kings. The despots of history worked for the
benefit of the Ummah once they had gained power. The modern
tyrants don't care at all for the ummah. Even after gaining
power, they only do what their foreign masters tell them to
He understood why I gave up Jamaate Islami after being so
close to it for so long. However, he was shocked when I
criticized Maudoodi but then regained his friendship with
He was 100% anti-Israel and pro-Palestine.
ICNA, which once supported Jamaate Islami, became a total
puppet of the US government. Asim Hussain was deeply
disappointed but was too kind to openly criticize ICNA. His
dilemma was that even his sons had joined ICNA. The mosque
he used to go to in Canton, Michigan, in his final years was
a total sell out. Siraj Wahhaj, the bearded traitor who
helped put the blind Shaikh in prison for LIFE and 65, came
to the Canton mosque to collect funds. Asim bhai was
outraged but couldn't say anything in public as his wife had
passed away and his health was declining steeply.
I don't like hypocrisy so I must protest ICNA leaders trying
to claim Asim bhai as one of themselves after he left this
ICNA has not supported Jamaate Islami for 30 years. Asim
bhai thought JI was central.
After 9.11 ICNA prostrated before the White House and
even gave up remembering Maudoodi's anniversary.
ICNA did not speak out even when Israel attacked GAZA
ICNA was silent about the occupation of Iraq and
Then it came out that Zahid Bukhari, the outgoing
President of ICNA, was working with the US State Department
and had proudly placed his connection with the Zionist
regime on his resume.
Finally, Naeem Baig, one of the biggest ICNA hypocrites,
revealed that ICNA had been in bed with the FBI for 20
years. [The letter Baig issued was identical to that issued
by CAIR.] Naeem Baig is now President of ICNA.
ICNA dared not say a word against Israel. For such
cowards to claim thar Asim bhai was one of them is a
It is indeed immoral behavior on the part of ICNA leaders,
Yunus and Baig, to claim that Asim bhai was part of ICNA.
Hypocrisy should not be tolerated, especially not in
Palestine: The New Generation Continues to Defy Israeli
Wadi Maswadeh being led to an Israeli army jeep July 11:
Wadi Maswadeh, 5 year old, was arrested in "Hebron"
[Occupied Al-Khalil] for throwing stones at Israelis. Later
he was released after a Jewish group of lawyers said that
those arrested should be at least 12 years old.
Celebrities, Whistleblowers Lead Petition to Ecuador for
Snowden's Political Asylum
SUBMITTED BY ROBERT NAIMAN ON 1 JULY 2013 - 4:05PM
Petition Has Over 23,000 Signers
Contact: Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy, (202)
Washington, D.C. - Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, John Cusack,
Amber Heard, Shia LaBeouf, Roseanne Barr, and musician Boots
Riley have joined Vietnam War whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg
and Iraq War whistleblower Joe Wilson, author Noam Chomsky
and many other prominent whistle-blowers, activists, former
intelligence and military officers, academics and others in
calling on Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa to grant
whistle-blower Edward Snowden political asylum. The full
letter and list of prominent signers was circulated by the
organization Just Foreign Policy and is posted on the
The letter is here:
The petition is here:
"We're proud to stand with patriotic American whistleblowers
like Dan Ellsberg, Coleen Rowley, Joe Wilson and Thomas
Drake in appealing to President Correa to grant political
asylum to Edward Snowden," said Robert Naiman, Policy
Director of Just Foreign Policy. "For democracy to work,
Americans have to be able to find out what our government is
doing. Unprecedented government secrecy and an unprecedented
crackdown on whistleblowers are threatening the ability of
Americans to control their government. If President Correa
grants asylum to Snowden, all Americans who love freedom
will be in his debt."
The actors, directors and musicians were joined by author
and journalist Naomi Klein, professor and Middle East expert
Juan Cole, "The Young Turks" co-host Cenk Uygur, Thomas
Drake (the former NSA Senior Executive and whistleblower),
Coleen Rowley (retired FBI agent & former Minneapolis
Division Legal Counsel, and one of three "whistleblowers"
named Time Magazine's "Persons of the Year" in 2002), Jacob
Appelbaum (developer of The Tor Project), Medea Benjamin and
Jodie Evans (Cofounders of CODEPINK), Ann Wright (retired US
Army Colonel and former US diplomat), and Ray McGovern
(Former U.S. Army officer and former senior CIA analyst)
among many others.
Over 23,000 others have joined in signing the petition as it
has circulated on the internet. The Ecuadorean government
first reported it had received a political asylum request
from Snowden on Sunday.
The letter states that Snowden has revealed "severe abuses
of the basic constitutional rights of U.S. citizens and the
rights of people in other nations. Yet rather than focusing
on the danger to citizens' freedom and privacy exposed by
these revelations, and what reforms are necessary to protect
citizens' rights, the Obama administration, the U.S.
Congress and much of the media are again focusing their ire
on the messenger" - Snowden, whom it terms a "brave
The letter states that the Obama administration has charged
Snowden under the Espionage Act even though Snowden "clearly
did not commit espionage," and that the Espionage Act
charges are "arbitrary" and "evidence of political
persecution." It notes that the Obama administration "has
charged more than twice as many whistle-blowers under the
Espionage Act than all previous presidents combined."
30,000 California Prisoners on Hunger Strike to oppose
Indefinite Solitary Confinement
& Collective Penalties
An estimated 30,000 California prison inmates have begun to
refuse meals in what could be the largest prison protest in
state history.Inmates in two-thirds of California's 33
prisons, and at all four out-of-state private prisons,
refused both breakfast and lunch Monday, the Los Angeles
Times reports. In addition, 2,300 prisoners did not to go to
work or to their prison classes, either refusing or saying
they were sick.
The corrections department does not acknowledge a hunger
strike until inmates have missed nine consecutive meals.
The protest is organized by a small group of inmates at
Pelican Bay State Prison near the Oregon border. The
priority on their list of demands is to get relief for
inmates held in indefinite solitary confinement because of
their ties to prison gangs.
"We are presently out of alternative options for achieving
the long overdue reform to this system and, specifically, an
end to state-sanctioned torture," the group wrote in a
statement released Monday by the Prisoner Hunger Strike
Solidarity Coalition. "Now we have to put our lives on the
line via indefinite hunger strike to force CDCR [California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation] to do what's
"We are certain that we will prevail.... the only questions
being: How many will die starvation-related deaths before
state officials sign the agreement?," the statement
continued. "The world is watching!"
The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition is planning
protests in solidarity with the inmates. About 75 people
rallied in solidarity in downtown LA Monday, and dozens of
demonstrators gathered in front of the King County Jail in
Seattle on Monday.
Prisoner demands call for state officials to:1) stop
punishing groups for the actions of individuals 2) stop
rewarding those who provide information on others 3) improve
nutrition 4) institute constructive programs for those in
solitary confinement 5) end long-term solitary
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
spokeswoman Terry Thornton told the LA Daily News that
reforms made in October have already met the demands of
prisoners and strikers. In part, she was referring to the
state's new Step-Down Program, which allows inmates to earn
placement in general housing without relinquishing
membership to a gang.
The California prison system currently holds over 10,000
prisoners in solitary confinement units, with dozens having
spent more than 20 years each in isolation, according to the
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition.
In 2011, inmates staged a series of hunger strikes over the
same issues that drew international attention. About 12,000
prisoners in at least a third of California's 33 prisons
participated in that strike, making the current strike
almost three times as large.
Factual Information about Ramadan by Imam Ali Siddiqui in
There is a special night called the Night of Power, which is
mentioned in the Quran
(Chapter 97), as a night of peace, mercy, and light.
Worshiping during this night is better
than the worship of 1,000 months. During this night,
Muhammad was chosen by Allah,
as the Messenger of God, and Quran was sent to the 1st level
of heaven. During this
night, Allah, God Almighty, sends down an army of special
angels, under the leadership
of Archangel Gabriel, who go to every nook and cranny of the
earth to pray for the
mercy of Allah, God Almighty, and salvation of the
Unlike common calendar, which is Solar based, Islamic
calendar is Lunar based. It does
not mean that Muslims worship moon. It is another way to
count days of the month and
the year. Like all Islamic months, Ramadan, 9th lunar month,
begins after sighting the
Crescent, but not the new moon. The probability to see the
Crescent for Ramadan is on
July 9, 2013 just after the sunset on the western
All healthy Muslim adults including homemakers, school-going
kids around the age of
13, factory workers, businessmen, and others among them will
be fasting. Your Muslim
neighbors will be getting up very early to take their
sahoor, a pre-dawn meal before
starting their fast. So, don't get alarmed if you hear lot
of noise next door. Summer
School staff has to show understanding and consideration
towards Muslim students
who may be fasting during the month of Ramadan from July 10
to August 7, 2013. They
should be assigned alternate activities instead of strenuous
Physicians should also understand that their patients might
be fasting. They should
prescribe the medicine in a way that they could take it with
their pre-dawn or after
sunset meals. However, if the patients' life may be in
jeopardy, explain it to the patients
or seek help from a Muslim Medical Chaplain at a local
hospital or an Imam/director
of a local Masjid/Islamic Center. According to Muslim
physicians, there are some
physiological benefits from Muslim Fasting (total abstention
from food and liquids)
including lowering of blood sugar, lowering of cholesterol,
and lowering of systolic blood
At the completion of month of Fasting, Muslims all over the
world celebrate their
holiday of Eid al-Fitr. It is the biggest Muslim holiday. It
is a true thanksgiving for a
Muslim believer for having the opportunity to obey Allah,
God Almighty, by observing
Fasting. It is celebrated on the 1st day of 10th lunar
month, Shaw'waal. This year,
it will be on August 8, 2013. The holiday begins with
Muslims putting on their best,
preferably new clothes and going to the Eid congregation.
Eid congregations are very
large gatherings of Muslim men, women, and children across
the country. You can
also witness these gatherings by simply finding out through
Web, newspapers, radio,
and TV. Afterwards, people greet each other with hugs and
handshakes. The children
receive gifts of money and toys. After the congregation,
Muslims visit each other at their
homes and hold lunches or dinners for family and friends.
Don't be surprised if you are
invited to an Eid dinner or Eid celebration by your Muslim
neighbors or friends. Please
do accept such an invitation. The hospitality, friendliness,
and variety of international
Muslim cuisine will pleasantly surprise you.
Greetings of Ramadan, Ramadan Karim!
P.S. Muslims should call their local Masjid for the
beginning and end of Ramadan.
Additional information can be acquired through e-mail:
About the author:
Imam Ali Siddiqui with 40 years of service, is a Friday
Khatib, Islamic teacher, Muslim Chaplain, youth advisor,
counselor, educator, poet, and writer with a vision who has
been involved in the teaching Islam, history,
religion, contemporary issues to Muslims and non-Muslims. He
is actively involved in the community service including
spiritual/educational development, service to the sick and
the incarcerated; and the interfaith work. His work has
been successfully building bridges between faiths and
communities. Presently Imam Siddiqui serves the North
Muslim Community, CA including Muslim Institute for
Interfaith Studies & Understanding, Santa Rosa, CA;
Bay Jewish Muslim Dialogue; Marin Interfaith Council, Santa
Rosa Interfaith Ministerial Association, American Civil
Liberties Union of Sonoma County, Japanese American Citizen
League, and Khatib at North Marin Islamic Center
and Muslim Society of Napa. For additional information about
the author, please Google: "Imam Ali Siddiqui". For
speaking engagement: email@example.com.
A Brief List of Imam Siddiqui's Articles:
Please post on your website or mail to your lists including
your local newspaper. Editing and
MIISU, 1841 Vermillion Way, Santa Rosa, CA 95403;
Ramadan - the Month of Fasting
Zakat al-Maal - the right of the Needy
Eid al-Fitr - A TrueThanksgiving
The Significance of Eid
Combat Islamophobia with Interfaith Engagement
About Ramadan - A presentation for schools
What Do You Need toKnow about Islam and Muslims?
Muslims in Americas and Their Contributions: 889 AD to
Present - A Brief History
Published by Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies &
Understanding as a public service.
"Bridging the gap of understanding between Muslims and the
community through teaching about Islam, Muslims, and
Civilization and developing the understanding of other
religions, cultures, and civilizations through interfaith
With thanks to Sis. Gulshan in Canada
I wasn't looking for a religion ... I just fell in love
Meet four of the 5,000 Brits who become Muslims each
Devout ... PCSO Jayne Kemp
More than half of those who make the switch are white - and
75 per cent are women.
But what would make someone want to change their lifestyle
so dramatically? Police Community Support Officer Jayne
Kemp left her Catholic roots behind after "falling in love"
with Islam while helping victims of so-called honour
Here EMILY FOSTER, JENNA SLOAN and EMILY FAIRBAIRN speak to
Jayne and three other women about why they decided to
PCSO Jayne, 28
JAYNE KEMP patrols her beat wearing a traditional hijab
headscarf and even works extra time after shifts so she can
attend Friday prayers at her mosque.
Devout Jayne converted to Islam last April and even plans to change her name to Aminah.
The single mum, who patrols Eccles, Gtr Manchester, as a
Police Community Support Officer, says: "I thought Islam
was all about women being forced to slave away in the
kitchen — but I found out it was about being generous with
your time, and patient and respectful of others.
"As I looked into it, I saw similarities with Catholicism
and noticed values such as looking after your neighbours
and cherishing the elderly, which is something older
people say younger people don't do any more.
"I wasn't looking for any religion at the time but for every
question I had answered about Islam, I had five more. I
think I fell in love with it."
Prayer ... a group of Muslim women pray wearing the
Devoted Jayne even missed out on celebrating Christmas with
her son, nine, and daughter, seven. She sent them off to
their dad's and cooked her own meal so it would be halal —
the meat slaughtered in the manner prescribed by Sharia
And despite the drastic change, Jayne says colleagues at
Greater Manchester Police and her family have been
supportive. She is now helping to design a regulation
police hijab and tunic — as one has never been needed
Jayne says: "I was worried about what my colleagues would
think but they have been so understanding.
"People in Eccles have been great too — most don't even
mention it. If my children had struggled with me covering
my hair I wouldn't have done it.
"They have both asked a lot about it but I would never push
Islam on them and they will be brought up Catholic.
"I just hope by speaking out I can show it is OK for a
Muslim woman to work in the police force and change
negative Islam stereotypes.
Respectful ... Jayne says she found similarities between
Islam and Catholicism
"My family, in general, are supportive. If I'm happy,
they're happy. My sister said I'm the happiest she's ever
Jayne was inspired to convert to Islam after chatting to
other Muslims on Twitter.
Muhammad Manzoor, who runs Muslim Twitter account Local
Masjid from his home in Whalley Range, Manchester, helped
her make the transition.
He said: "I was humbled Jayne was asking me these questions.
"She has found this religion for herself and hopefully it
shows Muslims can mix in society without compromising
Student Alana, 21
ALANA BLOCKLEY, a media student who lives in Glasgow,
converted to Islam after meeting her husband Abdul on
holiday in June 2010. She says:
My family are all travellers and we live on a caravan site.
I was baptised as a Christian but church and religion were
never a big part of my life.
I was 18 when I decided I wanted to go out to the Canaries.
I wanted to work as a club rep and have the experiences
people say you should when you're young.
I arrived in Fuerteventura and after a couple of days, a
hotel maintenance man offered to take me out for a coffee.
He was Abdul, a Muslim from Morocco.
Preaching to the converted ... Alana, right, and pictured
wih her husband Abdul
When I got home he asked me to come back and visit him - and
after three visits we knew we wanted to be together.
I started to research Islam because I wanted to know more
about his life.
I decided I wanted to convert. I was worried about telling
my parents and burst into tears. Mum thought I was
pregnant and my dad thought I'd crashed my car.
I started to wear the hijab last summer. We got married in a
Muslim ceremony earlier this month in Fuerteventura.
I miss eating Parma ham but I don't miss alcohol.
I celebrate Eid now, but I compromised with my parents and
we all had a halal Christmas dinner.
I hope I'm going to heaven now and I like the rules of
Jobseeker Claire, 24
CLAIRE EVANS converted to Islam last July after researching
it following a break-up. Claire, from Bridgend, South
After my heart was broken by a Muslim man, I wanted nothing
more to do with the religion - I thought it was cruel and
But my mum started looking up more about Islam and pointed
out the way this man had behaved was contrary to the
I read up on it and discovered that Islam actually promotes
tranquillity and peace.
Heartbreak ... Claire converted to Islam after breaking up
with a Muslim man
I wasn't religious before I converted. I didn't really
believe in God. I now cover my hair and wear a hijab,
which was a big decision. My dad doesn't like it, though,
and I don't wear the hijab when I'm with him.
At first I got some stares and nasty comments but in the
past six months I've grown in confidence. Now I go to the
mosque once a week and I pray every day.
I also took a Muslim name, Safir, but I still use my old
name of Claire too. I have a new partner too, who is a
Muslim, but we're not settling down just yet.
Islam has made me calmer and, for the first time in my life,
I feel accepted.
There's not much I miss about my old life, except the odd
sausage roll - I can't eat pork now.
Model Ayesha, 24
AYESHA OLUMIDE, from Edinburgh, is a model who works under
her original name of Eunice. She converted to Islam in 2009
while at university. She says:
Before converting to Islam I was a Christian - but where my
family is from in West Africa, Islam and Christianity are
both practised. But it wasn't until I started studying
philosophy at university that I began to learn more about
At first I was worried it would be too extreme but when I
studied the Koran it blew my mind. The theories about
nature and science appealed and I felt enlightened. You
can't always explain everything in a scientific way and
Islam helps me with that.
Model behaviour ... at first Ayesha found it hard to
'square being a Muslim with being a model'
I was first scouted as a model while a 15-year-old tomboy.
I was into football and athletics - but a career in
fashion is all about looks. Converting to Islam made me
realise how much we value people if society thinks they're
At the mosque, women cover their head and dress modestly, so
no one is judging you on what you look like. At first I
found it hard to square being a Muslim with being a model.
But I spoke to a Muslim sister and she said Islam is not
an extreme religion, so if it felt too extreme to me it
probably wasn't right.
Now I cover my hair for 99 per cent of the time but if I
don't want to when I wake up one day, I don't. And I don't
do any bikini or underwear shoots.
I don't have set days at the mosque but I do go often and I
pray every day. I would like to start a family in the
future but don't think I'd marry a non-Muslim.
With thanks to Syed Abdul Bais
Miss Fatima Jinnah
(Fatima Jinnah ; July 30, 1893 — July 8,
Fatima Jinnah was the younger sister of Muhammad Ali Jinnah,
the founder of Pakistan and an active political figure in
the movement for independence from the British Raj. She is
commonly known in Pakistan as Khatun-e Pakistan ( "Lady of
Pakistan") and Mader-e Millat ("Mother of the Nation.") She
was born in Karachi, (in the part of British India that
later became Pakistan). She was an instrumental figure in
the Pakistan movement and the primary organiser of the All
India Muslim Women Students Federation. After the formation
of Pakistan and the death of her brother, she remained an
active member of the nation's politics. She continued to
work for the welfare of the Pakistani people until she died
in Karachi on July 8, 1967.
Early life and career
Fatima Jinnah was born in Karachi, British India on July 30,
1893. Jinnah's parents, Poonja Jinnahbhai and Mithibai
Jinnahbhai, had seven children: Muhammad Ali, Ahmad Ali,
Bunde Ali, Rahmat Ali, Maryam, Fatima and Shireen. Of a
family of seven brothers and sisters, she was the closest to
Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Her illustrious brother became her
guardian upon the death of their father in 1901. She joined
the Bandra Convent in Bombay in 1902. In 1919 she got
admitted to the highly competitive University of Calcutta
where she attended the Dr. R. Ahmed Dental College. After
she graduated, she opened a dental clinic in Bombay in
Mr.Jinnah lived with her brother until 1918, when he married
Rattanbai Petit. Upon Rattanbai's death in February 1929,
Jinnah closed her clinic, moved into her brother Muhammad
Ali Jinnah's bungalow, and took charge of his house. This
began the life-long companionship that lasted until her
brother's death on September 11, 1948.
Paying tribute to his sister, Ali Jinnah once said, "My
sister was like a bright ray of light and hope whenever I
came back home and met her. Anxieties would have been much
greater and my health much worse, but for the restraint
imposed by her.
During the transfer of power in 1947, Jinnah formed the
Women's Relief Committee, which later formed the nucleus for
the All Pakistan Women's Association (APWA). She also played
a significant role in the settlement of Muhajirs in the new
state of Pakistan.
In the 1960s, Jinnah returned to the forefront of political
life when she ran for the presidency of Pakistan as a
candidate for the Combined Opposition Party of Pakistan
(COPP). She described her opponent, Ayub Khan, as a
dictator. Her early rallies nearly 250,000 people turned out
to see her in Dhaka, and a million lined the 293 mile route
from there to Chittagong. Her train, called the Freedom
Special, was 22 hours late because men at each station
pulled the emergency cord, and begged her to speak. The
crowds hailed her as the mother of the nation.
In her rallies Jinnah argued that, by coming to terms with
India on the Indus Water dispute, Ayub had surrendered
control of the rivers to India. Jinnah lost the election,
but only narrowly, winning a majority in some provinces. The
election did not conform to international standards and
journalists, as well as subsequent historians, have often
suggested it was rigged in favour of Ayub Khan
Presidential election 1965
Fatima Jinnah, popularly acclaimed as the Madar-i-Millat, or
"Mother of the Nation" for her role in the Freedom Movement,
contested the 1965 elections at the age of 71. Except for
her brief tour to East Pakistan in 1954, she had not
participated in politics since Independence. After the
imposition of Martial Law by Ayub Khan, she once wished the
regime well. But after the Martial Law was lifted, she
sympathized with the opposition as she was strongly in favor
of democratic ideals. Being the Quaid's sister, she was held
in high esteem, and came to symbolize the democratic
aspirations of the people. The electoral landscape changed
when Fatima Jinnah decided to contest the elections for the
President's office in 1965. She was challenging the
incumbent President Ayub Khan in the indirect election,
which Ayub Khan had himself instituted. Presidential
candidates for the elections of 1965 were announced before
commencement of the Basic Democracy elections, which was to
constitute the Electoral College for the Presidential and
Assembly elections. There were two major parties contesting
the election. The Convention Muslim League and the Combined
Opposition Parties. The Combined Opposition Parties
consisted of five major opposition parties. It had a
nine-point program, which included restoration of direct
elections, adult franchise and democratization of the 1962
Constitution. The opposition parties of Combined Opposition
Parties were not united and did not possess any unity of
thought and action. They were unable to select presidential
candidates from amongst themselves; therefore they selected
Fatima Jinnah as their candidate.
Elections were held on January 2, 1965. There were four
candidates; Ayub Khan, Fatima Jinnah and two obscure persons
with no party affiliation. There was a short campaigning
period of one month, which was further restricted to nine
projection meetings that were organized by the Election
Commission and were attended only by the members of the
Electoral College and members of the press. The public was
barred from attending the projection meetings, which would
have enhanced Fatima Jinnah's image.
Ayub Khan had a great advantage over the rest of the
candidates. The Second Amendment of the Constitution
confirmed him as President till the election of his
successor. Armed with the wide-ranging constitutional powers
of a President, he exercised complete control over all
governmental machinery during elections. He utilized the
state facilities as head of state, not as the President of
the Convention Muslim League or a presidential candidate,
and didn't even hesitate to legislate on electoral maters.
Bureaucracy and business, the two beneficiaries of the Ayub
Khan regime, helped him in his election campaign. Being a
political opportunist, he brought all the discontented
elements together to support him; students were assured the
revision of the University Ordinance and journalists the
scrutiny of the Press Laws. Ayub Khan also gathered the
support of the ulema who were of the view that Islam does
not permit a woman to be the head of an Islamic state.
Fatima Jinnah's greatest advantage was that she was the
sister of the Founder of Pakistan. She had detached herself
from the political conflicts that had plagued Pakistan after
the Founder's death. The sight of this dynamic lady moving
in the streets of big cities, and even in the rural areas of
a Muslim country, was both moving and unique. She proclaimed
Ayub Khan to be a dictator. Jinnah's line of attack was that
by coming to terms with the Republic of India on the Indus
Water dispute, Ayub had surrendered control of the rivers
over to India. Her campaign generated tremendous public
enthusiasm. She drew enormous crowds in all cities of East
and West Pakistan. The campaign however suffered from a
number of drawbacks. An unfair and unequal election
campaign, poor finances, and indirect elections through the
Basic Democracy System were some of the basic problems she
Fatima Jinnah lost the election of 1965 and Ayub Khan was
elected as the President of Pakistan. It is believed that
had the elections been held via direct ballot, Fatima Jinnah
would have won. The Electoral College consisted of only
80,000 Basic Democrats, who were easily manipulated. The
importance of this election, lay in the fact that a woman
was contesting the highest political office of the country.
The orthodox religious political parties, including the
Jamaat-i-Islami led by Maulana Maududi, which had repeatedly
declared that a woman could not hold the highest office of a
Muslim country, modified their stance and supported the
candidature of Fatima Jinnah. The election showed that the
people had no prejudice against women holding high offices,
and they could be key players in politics of the
Matloobul Hassan Syed deposed that Fatima Jinnah's faith
became clear to him when he accompanied her to Mardan in the
NWFP in her election campaign against General Ayub Khan.
When local Shia leaders told her that they would vote for
Ayub, she contended that she could represent them better as
she was a Shia.
Fatima Jinnah died in Karachi on July 8, 1967. The official
cause of death was heart failure, but rumours persist that
she was murdered by the same group who killed Liaquat Ali
Khan. In 2003, the nephew of the Quaid-i-Azam, Akbar
Pirbhai, reignited the controversy by suggesting that she
The following are excerpts from some of her statements.
1963 - Madar-i-Millat's Message to the Nation on
"The movement of Pakistan which the Quaid-i-Azam launched
was ethical in inspiration and ideological in content. The
story of this movement is a story of the ideals of equality,
fraternity and social and economic justice struggling
against the forces of domination, exploitation, intolerance
1965 - Madar-i-Millat's Message to the Nation on Eid
"Let us sink all our differences and stand united together
under the same banner under which we truly achieved Pakistan
and let us demonstrate once again that we can, united, face
all dangers in the cause of glory of Pakistan, the glory
that the Quaid-i-Azam envisaged for Pakistan."
1967 - Madar-i-Millat's Message to the Nation on Eid
"The immediate task before you is to face the problem and
bring the country back on the right path with the bugles of
Quaid-i-Azam's message. March forward under the banner of
star and the crescent with unity in your ranks, faith in
your mission and discipline. Fulfill your mission and a
great sublime future awaits your enthusiasm and action.
Remember: 'cowards die many times before death; the valiant
never taste death but once.' This is the only course of
action which suits any self-respecting people and certainly
the Muslim Nation."
The Founder with his sister on his birthday - 25 December
Travelogue: Before the revolution
Lots of Religion in Egypt but Separated from the Issues of
Life and Society.
CAIRO, AL-AZHAR AND THE IMAM HUSAIN MOSQUE
By asqfish April 11, 2010
The Imam Husain Mosque: Cairo
It all started over a cup of tea at a retreat in a game
reserve in South Africa. It was after the dinner break and
my co-retreater had just told us (V and me) that she had
been to Jerusalem in a Middle East tour.
Jerusalem, Al Aqsa a remote impossible dream fraught with
dragons and monsters that guarded its gates.......and yet
this petite woman, told us as she fastidiously sipped her
tea with a great deal of finesse, that she had prayed in the
Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and was planning on going
again.........and the rest is history. Many thanks to the
sister who inspired us, and to V whose tenacious follow up
made this dream a reality.
Five countries in fifteen days. What was different was that
it was an educational tour, this time it was not an ABC
tour......i.e. another B church, but different, very
The first country was Egypt, where I had last been thirty
years ago as a young bride with my hubby.
"Cairo is a city of 2000 mosques," said the guide, the same
line I had heard thirty years ago. The city has grown to 14
million people but the mosques have remained the same. Thus
providing one musallah for 7000 people. Something was wrong
in this math, but it turned out to be true.
I took a cab to the Imam Husain mosque in the heart of the
city flanked on one side by the honorable University of Al
Azhar and the souks of the Khan e Khalili on the other.
Nowhere else is religion more clearly divided in practice
versus way of living as I found in and around the Imam
I had arrived one hour before Jumma prayer and yet as I
stood outside the entrance the sway of the crowd of women
told me that the inside was packed. It was reminiscent of
going to see the Rowda of Prophet Muhammad peace and
blessings be upon him. The desire of the women to pray in
the mosque was intense and determined. I too had made up my
mind that though I was not going to push but I was indeed
going to pray jooma inside
Standing in line I glanced back as a shimmer of sequins
sparkled in the sun. The shop at the mosque entrance was
selling belly-dancing costumes. Nothing could had been more
inappropriate and yet it did not seem unusual to the locals
who went about their business defining a succinct separation
between prayer and daily life with nothing connecting the
I did get into the mosque and managed to pray, salaat ul
juma. I noticed that the Egyptian women reflected the
microcosm of their population that I see in the American
mosques. They talked while the adhan was called and
continued to talk while the khutbah was given and after
finishing prayer, pulled out their little bags of food and
started feeding themselves and the children in the musallah.
A relatively affluent woman was distributing bread with
something green and cheese to the rest of us and earning her
I decided that the Imam Husain mosque was not where the
affluent women of Eygpt went to pray.
As I came out the belly dancing costume sellers looked at my
black abaya and my scarf, which I discovered is a Saudi
style, and left me alone as they heckled others.
In the mosque was a grave and supposedly the body of Imam
Husain is buried there, women went in to pay their respects
give money to the man sitting at the door and went out their
duty done towards God and his representatives.
My next stop was the Khan e Khalili, I remember it
fleetingly from thirty years ago where the guide had ushered
us quickly to one shop and then taken us back without
letting us imbibe the atmosphere. This evening, I could do
that at leisure. As I walked the narrow lanes, people
stepped aside respectfully and some disinterestedly, no one
heckled me, I was neither white, nor an obvious tourist, and
my abaya spoke volumes.
The shopkeepers had hard eyes, had seen many a thing, and
struck many a bargain. It was impossible to tell the
Christians from the Muslims, they were alike in their
behavior. I came upon a shop of Tasbeehs made of the most
exquisite stones engraved and set with mother of pearl and
other semiprecious stones. It was a joy!
The next stop was the bookshop run by a Coptic Christian
lady. I found prints from long time ago of Jerusalem and the
Sinai, I relished looking at them for that is where I was
Al Azhar mosque
Walking to Al Azhar, I have never felt safer and more
respected in my life, clad in my black abaya and my black
Saudi styled hijab.
As I stepped over the threshold of the masjed, I felt
honored to join all the scholars of this University who had
stepped over this threshold. In the secular climate of Egypt
I am told that Al Azhar has lost its shine and its dignity
for many reasons, which are unclear to me.
Inside, the peon of the Imam, shows me around, and then
indicates the women's prayer area. Inside the women's
musallah, the women are ready to pray, some have been there
a while and some like me have come in from shopping.
Looking out at the sunlight through the women's musallah
In the cool slightly darkened musallah I pray Asr with them.
After salah a young woman approaches me talking to me in
Arabic, I feel like an imposter with my abaya and mute in
We talk in the international language of sisterhood of the
Ummah and I realize that she is studying at Al Azhar and
then she gives me the students tour, and we go into the
inner sanctums where the imam is giving the post Asr lesson
and as usual we have some women talking during the
lesson.........reminding me of our masjed at home.
The class after Asr: the main musallah at the AL Azhar
This is my first day in Cairo.........
2013-07-13 Sat 21:23:50 cdt