Barrister Rizwana Yusuf, Director Administration participated at a discussion program on occasion of International Non-violence Day and the 148th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on Saturday, October 7, 2017. The Honorable Minister for Cultural Affairs H. E. Mr Asaduzzaman Noor, MP attended the ceremony as the Chief Guest and the High Commissioner of India H. E. Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla and UNDP Bangladesh Country Director Mr. Sudipto Mukerjee joined as Special Guests. On behalf of the Institute of Hazrat Mohammad SAW, Barrister Rizwana presented a paper titled 'Mahatma Karamchand Gandhi - A Leader Years Ahead of His Time'
The Institute is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact. The UN Global Compact believes it is possible to create a sustainable and inclusive global economy that delivers lasting benefits to people, communities and markets. And to make this happen, the UN Global Compact supports organizations to do business responsibly by aligning their strategies and operations with the Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption; and adopt strategic actions to advance broader societal goals, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with an emphasis on collaboration and innovation. The Institute of Hazrat Mohammad SAW supports the ten principles of the UN Global Compact with respect to human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. It pledges to promote the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles and educate a variety of audiences especially persons with disability about sustainability and lend capacity to Global Compact Local and International Networks.
Police Reform Program for increasing women recruits at all levels and establishing gender and violence against women training paradigm should be; monitored and evaluated on set targets and visible achievements both quantitative and qualitative, the basic rights of the police is ensured, mass campaign to highlight their roles and responsibilities launched and punitive measures for any regularity carried out. The reform needs to address the critical issue of creating respect and esteem for the police establishment.
Pluralism is a key conception in Islam. This derives from the essence of Islam; the reality of Allah, the One, the Absolute and the Infinite, the Infinitely Good and All Merciful, the One Who is at once transcendent and immanent, greater than all we can conceive or imagine, yet, as the Holy Quran attests, closer to us than our jugular vein. In the Islamic perspective, the oneness of Allah has as its consequence not the uniqueness of prophecy, but its multiplicity, since Allah as the Infinite created a world in which there is multiplicity and this includes, of course, the human order. Humanity according to the Holy Quran, was created from a single soul, but then diversified into races and tribes. The Holy Quran states, “He created you [humanity] from a single soul” (Holy Quran, 39:6). This implies that there is profound unity within diversity and therefore, religion is based on the message of Divine Oneness and so it cannot be for one segment of humanity. In this regard, this research paper will extensively discuss the role that faith based resolutions and the incorporation of religious leaders can play in constructing a global community and its peace processes. Secondly, it will propose how developed nations can take a more active approach towards constructing a global community of shared moral commitments to constructive conflict resolution by welcoming the inclusion of religious people as equal members of society.
Religion and religious sentiments have been misused in a perverse manner to reach certain selfish, self-centered goals. Political leadership entangled in power craving national politics, with a twisted vision of dictating the rest of the world, instigated further by religious fundamentalists, have led as a reaction to this state of terrorism. Thus, on the one hand, while world views and the United Nations and other smaller institutions have been consolidating their status in the globalized world, the ever increasing close proximity of nations have also been feeding the religiously motivated politicians with the concept of world domination. It is common knowledge that every religion professes peace among all religious creed and followers within any society or nation. It is also known that the basic values taught by all religions are the same, and these all strive to lay the foundation of a peaceful, prosperous society. In fact, the commonality of basic values of life and living should have inspired common views on issues confronting mankind.
.......... This study will examine Islamic Microfinance in light of growing global poverty and its potential to create opportunities for the poor. Today when we find Muslim countries caught up in vicious shackles of poverty, we are faced with the question- ‘whether this is the failure of Islamic financial system or whether it is our own failure to adopt the guidance provided in the Holy Quran and the knowledge left to us by our beloved Prophet Mohammad SAW?’. Perhaps, the reason lies in our failure to utilize the knowledge of the Islamic Financial System which is grounded on the principles of risk-sharing, opportunities for all, socio-economic justice and sustainable peace.
……………………........ This paper will expand on the question, what are the institutions and norms that would be the fabric of media in constituting world peace. Reporting philosophy of moderation over sensationalism, reason over action and temperate voices instead of radical ones are of essence. The core is to develop self-accountability of the media by defining and justifying its own ethical values; Values which are founded on the spirit of nurturing and saving humanity without diverging from the actuality of the rules of the universe. The paper will reflect on the adoption by the media - the noble attributes of Prophet Mohammad SAW towards peace - to gain universal acceptance of its efforts in fostering Global peace.
Migration is one of the most challenging consequences that residents, as well as local and national governments, face due to climate change. Flooding, deforestation, erosion and a rising sea-level are the primary causes of displacing populations. In addition, securing adequate nutrition and managing drought and salt water intrusion, impacts the sustainability of fledgling communities. Their ability to flourish depends on adaptability to a new environment, utilizing resources maximally and the resilience to rebuild their lives after destruction. This paper outlines a legal and institutional framework to respond to climate induced human migration.
Knowledge is freedom that is essentially embedded in education in all its forms; basic to the highest echelons of academics in all the nuances. The advancement of communication technology has decisively bridged the socio-cultural gaps and diminished the geo-physical distance paradoxically, the colossal amount of available information has been conducive in creating more fissures generating the nomenclature of ‘us’ and ‘them’. The leaders, policy decision makers and executing authorities have apparently narrowed down the goal factors for their respective needs to establish ‘power’ disregarding the agenda of peaceful coexistence. Negotiations fail and debates flair up increasing the number of unresolved issues impacting people’s lives in terms of their basic human rights. The global effort of developing the concept of ‘Peace Education’ whereby progressive educators worldwide are teaching the values, standards and principles articulated in fundamental UN instruments is introduced. This paper shall attempt to examine whether there is; a) any imperative for separating ‘peace’ from ‘education’ per se; b) any need for reinventing the wheel through patchwork and vertical reforms towards categorizing ‘peace education’ and c) scope of standardizing the essential elements of peace and harmony within the education systems from primary to higher academics.
Politics today is less dominated by political ideologies; instead it is more an agenda for economic prosperity. Whereas once wars and conflicts were often based on ideological differences and a need to gain dominancy over geographic territories, contemporary politics has been centered around the urgency for cooperation for economic development and a focus on larger collective issues such as global climate change, poverty, health concerns such as HIV/AIDS etc. This shift of processes has been an outcome of globalization and the dominancy over world affairs as seen in recent history such as the Cold War and the events of the era preceding it. With the exception of certain countries and people fighting for freedom and territorial gain, through globalization, territorial boundaries no longer confine people from movement and nor from the access to information. In this regard, the mass media and technology have been key players in the shaping and dissemination of world affairs. Thus, in an age of information technology, the mass media serves as an entity of its own and the global media has the power to be the mediator of conflicts by portraying a balanced and objective perspective of events. Unfortunately, we often witness the media to be contrary to this expected role. This brings us to the question of what are the institutions that promote conflict resolution and social harmony.
Pre-condition of fairness in writing to establish truth and to achieve justice is the authenticity and accuracy uphold by the authors. This is why that intellectual corruption should not go unpunished. Considering the unfair treatment of the Prophet Mohammed (saw) and Islamic history and culture by Salman Rushdie, one wonders how to evaluate and place such intellectual dishonesty and all out war against Islam and Muslims. It is true that the assault against Islam could not do much harm to the rich civilizational legacy Muslims have created in the annals of history. However, for many average people in the streets their writings have proved to be misleading, confusing, and very often a sheer provocation with an aim to insult Muslims in particular and religious people in general. In most Muslim countries a (vast) limited majority of people have been engaging in and challenging to a good number of sacrosanct principles of their religion, culture, and heritage.
The greatest challenge that mankind is facing in contemporary world is that religious identity and emotions are often manipulated to achieve the self centered goals of vested interests. The misuse and misrepresentations of different faiths are being used as means of achieving selfish, disruptive and violent goals. Intense struggle by one part of mankind to prove supremacy over another has often turned brutal with perilous consequences for all. Extremism, terrorism and other forms of violence in the name of religion have nothing to do with the genuine understanding of religion but are a threat to human life for which religion has sometimes been used as a divisive tool. In spite of the said misuse by different vested groups, through out history religion often has played the most important role in salvaging humanity through its righteous guidance.
Masjid (Mescit) is a word meaning 'place for prostration', and was used by the early Muslims for houses of worship, even by followers of other religions. Today the Arabic 'masjid', and the English 'mosque' are used exclusively for religious houses in Islam. While the salat or prayer can be performed anywhere, it is considered more meritorious when performed in the mosque, i.e. together with other people. The Sunna [practices by the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)] states that prayer performed in the mosque is 20 times more valuable than the one performed at home. This emphasizes the unifying spirit of Islam where collective effort in building the society is largely emphasized. Five time prayers create an opportunity for people of the locality to know their neighbors, learn, interact and support in any need. This unifying and collective responsibility of Islam is also reflected in a saying of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) where he stated that ‘He, whose neighbor goes to sleep starving, is not a true Muslim’. Mosques further emphasize and develops the practice of accepting ones leadership. It breaks down the social barriers of race, color or wealth by making everyone stand in a row, shoulder to shoulder in prayer to Allah. Metaphorically, the unity of people symbolizes the Oneness of Allah, to whom all submit in prayer.
This paper aims to review the broad issue of ethical rules pertaining to research in Islamic economics. Toward that goal the specific objectives are ‐ To propose an analytical framework as a conceptual tool to capture what is fully involved in Islamic economics ‐ To identify the priorities, or at least develop a method to prioritize research in muslim countries aiming to achieve economic progress within an Islamic framework ‐ Identifying the right methodology for the selected agenda of research, and ‐ Finding the right way to utilize the results of research for the benefit of a large body of people striving to lead a good life in accordance with the assets of Islam. Finally this review will make some recommendations for research sponsors which could be taken as ethical rules for sponsors of Islamic economic research.
Poverty eradication, acknowledged since WWII as a global responsibility, received increasing attention during 1980s and 1990s, culminating in UN’s adoption of the Millennium Development Goals in 2002. Although microcredit’s success in alleviating poverty has now been recognized worldwide, it has two main weaknesses - high interest rates and, for muslim clients, sharia non-compliance, This has led to a search for Islamic alternatives. Of several approaches evolved so far, two are controversial: reinterpreting microcredit’s interest as sharia-compliant and using zakat/waqf to subsidize MFI’s overhead for reducing interest rates. A third approach using murabaha or bai-muazzal also seems uncomfortably similar to conventional interest-based products. This article suggests a fourth approach, drawing upon universal teachings of Prophet Mohammad (saw), by combining zakat and musharaka investments on an NBFI platform - and using these for selected projects, ensuring a steady stream of dividends and employment income to the poor. It is contended with some empirical data from Bangladesh that the proposed model would provide the fastest route to poverty eradication.
It is surprising that Zakat, an expressly designed poverty eradication tool, clearly prescribed in the Holy Quran and Sunnah, has been completely ignored in all poverty alleviation plans and programmes in Bangladesh, where more than 85 per cent of the population are Allah- fearing Muslims. Also, there is confusion and ignorance about true practices of zakat in the mind of these people, which resulted in lasting benefits not accruing to the traditional zakat receivers. In 2005, the Institute of Hazrat Mohammad (SAW) in Dhaka proposed a new methodology of zakat payment and utilization, to achieve optimal success in poverty eradication, This paper shows, on the basis of some simulation analysis using household income and expenditure data, that following the proposed methodology of converting zakat from a temporary consumption item to investable wealth, utilizing it in both micro projects, like pisciculture in a village, and macro projects such as an IT software company in Dhaka, through a dedicated and professional Islamic institution, poverty can be eradicated in Bangladesh in 10-12 years. This would exceed the MDG by a long shot. It could also pave the way for the existing interest based micro-credit programmes to make a transition to interest free Islamic micro-finance as well as macro-finance.
The world today is plagued by hunger, epidemics, global warming and human rights violations. While several western civil organizations are actively dealing these challenges, Muslims are yet to be identified as global partners associated with peace building. To meet these challenges and to bring the world’s poor out of poverty, we find a strong demand of carefully monetized Islamic Philanthropic instruments. This paper shall discuss the introduction of specifically designed Islamic philanthropic instrument, Cash Waqf Certificate for one of the two major sectors of Islamic endowments, zakat and waqf. It shall elaborate the concept of implementing specialized financial instrument to d eal with the long mismanaged charitable fund of waqf, introduce and enhance opportunities for participation, provide efficient and improved management of endowments, ensure selective investments to maximize the socio -economic benefit and most importantly invest the scattered funds in a productive usage as opposed to current practice of consumerism.
Multi-ethnic states are the norm in today’s world. The traditional nation-state, where a single distinct national group corresponds to a territorial unit, has become a thing of the past. Globalization and the increasing movement of people across borders threaten to obliterate the distinctive borders of homogenous nation states. However, some myths resist reality, and majority or dominant cultures in countries around the world still seek to impose their identity on other groups with whom they share a territory. Attempts to impose cultural characteristics of the dominant majority in multi-ethnic environments often come at the expense of minority rights. To avoid marginalization, minorities often intensify their efforts to preserve and protect their identity. As the struggle between opposing forces intensifies – rigorous attempts at assimilation on the one hand and resistant preservation of minority identity on the other -- can cause increased intolerance and, in the worst case, armed ethnic conflict. In such cases and in order to prevent escalation, the protection and promotion of minority rights becomes essential. Upholding minority rights and addressing minority issues proactively is imperative for sustainable peace to prevail.
The objective of this paper is to discuss and to primarily define the term globalization. Secondly, it will discuss the relationship between globalization and religion, through critically studying the positive and negative interactions and repercussions upon each other. Finally, the paper will conclude by discussing the relationship between both from the perspective of Religion, specifically Islam also proposes recommendations that are crucial for bringing about equality within the process of Globalization.
Civilization covers a wide variety of essential elements which are required to constitute a civilization with its development, refinement and improvement. The elements are not only available but exist in abundance within most of the regions around the world. Those only need to be searched or explored and benefits drawn to the utmost in order to gradually establish a civilization by using our body and mind bestowed by the Creator as the best of all the creations on earth. It takes time to attain any level of civilization in any country or region. It is a slow process which grows with the extent of time given to it and the amount of efforts made on it. There is hardly any standard parameter by which to judge the level or the measure of civilization attained except their standings as projected at the world stage in terms of progress and development.
Hope is a characteristic that is intrinsic in the minds of all human beings; consequently, human beings are able to express and communicate hope in a manner that is unique to other beings. The profound prevalence of Hope in man allows them to strive for survival in dire circumstances. Hope implies a certain level of perseverance. Often in a crisis, communities who are of a certain Faith, religion or spiritual guidance apply their hope in the Divine to find peace and calmness. Human history has unfolded major success of leaders, communities and individuals: none of which would have been possible without the trace of Hope in those accomplishments. Hope has the power to heal and it guides humans through trials and tribulations and gives a sense of optimism in the midst of darkness. This paper attempts to define and elaborate the concept of hope and its many dimensions. It will discuss the sources of hope that human beings are inclined towards. Through examples, it illustrates how hope gives a sense of profound meaning to life and existence and displays its contrasting exceptionality with other beings.
The term ‘Waqf’ is used in Islam to describe certain property which is held and/or preserved for the confined benefit of any philanthropy use and disposition of it outside that specific objective is thus prohibited. The plural of the term is "Awqaf" and "wuquuf". The concept of Waqf was developed by the Holy Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (SAW) and since then it has played a vital role in fulfilling the needs of Islamic civilization. As poverty is a major obstacle in several Islamic countries, this paper will explore the methods in which the concept of Waqf can be utilized to provide better services to Muslim communities and humanity at large. In our attempt to identify the impediments to the growth of Waqf and how the concept can be implemented in the modern economic system, this paper will discuss the development of Waqf and its implementation of it in Islamic civilization throughout centuries. It will also focus on the legal obstacles that limit its expansion.
The term Elite is originally from the Latin, eligere, which means "to elect". The elites are a relatively small dominant group within a large society, which enjoys a privileged status in comparison to other individuals’ status in the society. The word Elite was used in seventeenth century to describe commodities of particular excellence; and the usage was later extended to refer to superior social group. In the English language the earliest known use of Elite, according to the Oxford English Dictionary is in 1823, at which time it was already applied to social groups. In the Treatise on General Sociology (1915-19) Vilfredo Pareto defined elite in two different ways. He began with a very general definition: Let us assume that in every branch of human activity each individual is given an index which stands as a sign of his capacity, very much the way grades are given in various subjects in examinations in school. The highest type of lawyer, for instance, will be given 10. The man who does not get a client will be given 1, reserving zero for the man who is an out-and-out idiot. To the man who has made his millions- honestly or dishonestly as the case may be, we will give 10. To the man who has earned his thousands we will give him 6; to such as just manage to keep out of poor-house 1, keeping Zero for those who get in……….And so on for all the branches of human activity. So let us make a class of the people who have highest indices in their branch of activity, and to that class give the name of elite. (pp. 1422-3).
The Right to Food is a basic human right. Currently 963 million people are malnourished and living in dire poverty across the world. This includes millions of children who may never enjoy a healthy life thanks to stark deficiencies of essential nutrients. Food security is undoubtedly a problem of mammoth proposition and it calls for an integrated solution with the dedicated involvement of the Government, non-government and private institutions. The world witnessed a unprecedented food crisis in 2008. A number of factors have been attributed to this which includes systematic phase-out of agricultural subsidies in developing countries, production of organic materials for biofuels in place of food grains through politically promoted subsidies, increased prosperity in India and China, resurgence of natural disasters, spiraling fuel prices, lack of good governance and reduction in arable land with an ever-growing population. While the share of primary causes may vary from country to country, natural disasters, lack of food stock and lack of policy support on agriculture and support for small productions growers may have been the prime initiator of food crisis in the worst-hit countries.
Contemplating on the subject of the Islam and the West, a series of complex issues and questions arises pertaining to the relationship between the two. First and foremost, a clear definition of the West must be established and secondly, aspects of Islam or Islamic civilizations/societies must be narrowed down and selected to discuss the topic. For, there is no such phenomenon that Islam as solely a political/social /cultural or economic construct. It is a religion that encompasses all of the latter components and much more; it is a way of life based on the guidance of the Holy Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammad (SAW). Due to the universality of these messages, in essence, there exists no disparity between the West and Islam. Furthermore, no violence can be projected to non-Muslims unless it is in retaliation.
Africa is one continent with several worlds. Africa is home to innumerable tribes, ethnic and social groups, some representing very large populations consisting of millions of people, others are smaller groups of a few thousand. All these tribes and groups have cultures which are different, but represent the mosaic of cultural diversity of Africa. When considering any particular issue partaining to Africa it is neccesary to keep these various cultural variations in mind even in its social institutions such as in the case of Marriage. Marriage in Africa has been commonly described as early and universal and this situation has partly been blamed for the persistence of high fertility in the region. However, the region is far from homogenous. Marriage patterns vary across and within countries among different ethnic groups. Such variations could be due to both cultural and socio-economic factors. Although it varies in different African countries, however, the four main marital union can be identified as follows: Custom/traditional marriage, religious marriage, civil marriage and mutual consent union/cohabitation.
From the latter part of the last century to the present context, the world has witnessed the powerful tool of the global media; it has been one of the major sources that questioned and defined cultures, social and political movements and has enabled the world to break through the barriers of differences. Nonetheless, although mass media has particularly played a significant role in the shaping of wars, conflicts and its resolutions, it has also often failed to reflect objectivity. Dominant global media networks have been criticized to have biases towards the political agendas of the “western world” or more specifically, those of first world nations. Examples of Hitler’s Germany can be drawn from history to analyze how the media was utilized as the main tool of their propaganda. Parallel analogies can be made between the blatant manipulation of the media then and that of the media of the present time. Similar references can be made from the media’s role in post cold war and the rise of a new global threat, that of the Islamic terrorists. Since the aftermath of these attacks and the rise of religious militancy, Islam has been the focus of much scrutiny. This has been further perpetuated by the media’s depiction of Islam as a representation of violence. Although many Muslims have attempted to distinguish themselves from these extremist groups that in reality do not represent the 1.4 billion Muslims dispersed around the world, the majority of Muslims are facing the repercussions and blame of these isolated terrorist acts. Moreover, the continued demonization of Islamic clerics and leaders opposing basic rights are the primary images that are repeatedly portrayed through the media. These are some misconceptions which Mulsims are not only subjectetd to at present, but also serves as negative propoganda upon which history will be recorded.
As time seem to pass on at an increasingly feverish speed in an evolving globalize world, there has been emerging new and common challenges facing the whole of mankind, some of dire consequences. Along has been progressing in tandem wider and greater acceptance of the concept of world views amongst people and nations worldwide. The importance and need of cogent and cohesive world views in the face of devastating crisis was felt never before than in the last century. The two world wars and the sacrifice of millions of lives expedited the process of the need of converging world views in the face of disasters. In fact, the two bloody episodes, particularly the second one could be said to be the turning point of modern human history. The First World War led to the League of Nations that failed when the then world opinion surrendered to the whims of great powers. It was the Second World War driven by unbridled ambition and greed that culminated with worldwide demand for the United Nations, thus created in 1947.
This paper will attempt to negate the claim that Islam cannot be in juxtaposition with the processes of globalization. In doing so, it will emphasize on the concepts of pluralism which in essence, is the intrinsic nature of Islam and upon which a viable system of justice and equality can be disseminated. Furthermore, it will discuss how Divine sources such as the Holy Quran are the foundation to a system that is in perfect synchronization with our Creator, Man and Nature. Finally, it will elaborate on foreseeable solutions within Islam that can counter the negative repercussions of globalization. Until and unless people of all religions practice their faith in the manner that is ordained by our Creator and His Holy scriptures, this perfect balance cannot be attained.
As societies and lifestyles are changing, the performance of Ramadan in nowadays modern Muslim societies is changing as well. Muslims in the past definitely performed a different Ramadan as it is done today as ritual is always a reflection of the social, cultural and the political context. This lecture by an anthropologist will reflect positively on the challenges of transitional processes in Muslim societies.
Water is the essence of life and an intrinsic aspect of the constitution and the developments of religion. Firstly, water is an element common to many accounts of the creation of the world and its inhabitants. Religious water is never neutral and passive. It is considered to have powers and capacities to transform this world, annihilate sins and create holiness. Water plays a central role on the major religions of the world such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism; its characteristics are defined to have a symbolic meaning- a sacred element that purifies the spiritual and the physical. Water is perceived in nature as an entity of light in rainfall; and then again, it is a torrid of darkness that avails with floods that so often encountered in religious doctrines. Then, from its deep, dark, and mysterious abyss, it possesses qualities from which life emerges. Water symbolizes the purity that is used when one is born and then used again to prepare the dead by washing their sins so that they return to their Creator in a state of purity. The multitude ways in water is symbolized and used in religion is evident in most religious beliefs and practices. In this regard, this paper proposes to discuss the dimensions and the extensive significance of water in various religions, faiths and practices. In doing so, it will elaborate on the symbolism of water as a gift of our Creator, a source of sustenance, life and our existence.