Showing posts with label 1. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1. Show all posts

Thursday 18 June 2020

Islam and Life of Muslims in Non Muslim Countries: Honduras

Honduras is the only Latin American country which has the largest population of Arab immigrants outside the Western Hemisphere. although, the majority of these Arab immigrants are of Orthodox and Catholic Christian descent totaling something between 150,000 to 200,000, the Muslims form part a fraction of it, that is between 5,000 to 6,000 including the local converts.

Sarah Souli in her post "A visit to the Biggest Little Mosque in Honduras" says:
The introduction of Islam to Honduras is linked to the waves of Arab immigration, explains Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle, a historian at San Pedro Sula’s Museo de Antropologia e Historia.
“In 1870 the national railroad pact was signed with the British,” Fasquelle said, while giving a tour around the museum’s exhibit of 19th-century artifacts. “It was a great fiasco—it never got past the mountains—but it did connect San Pedro Sula to the coastline. And as the city became an internal port, it became crucial to trade with the outside world.” Goods came, and so did immigrants from Europe, North America, and increasingly, the Middle East. Arab migration came in three waves: from 1895-1915 as the Ottoman Empire suffered a string of crises; from 1925 to 1940 in the wake of the First World War; and again from 1950-1970, after visas became easier to obtain.
In 1984, an Islamic charitable organization was founded, with the main object of taking care of the interests of the Arabs and Muslims in the country, and they have since built a mosque, where they meet and discuss their social and religious affairs, including the education of their children, the most important of which is teaching them the Qur’an and the Arabic language.

For many years there was no mosque / masjid in Honduras. But now there are two masjids: the one in San Pedro Sula, and a smaller one in the capital city of Tegucigalpa. Pakistani factory owners, converted Honduran military generals and Cuban flaneurs are just a few of the people who attend jumu’ah (Friday prayers) in the masjid in San Pedro Sula. Imam Mohammed, a Pakistani who leads the service, says that only around 30 people attend prayers at the mosque on a weekly basis.
Iman Mohammed, who was born in Pakistan, poses for a portrait after Friday prayers.
Iman Mohammed, who was born in Pakistan, poses for a portrait after Friday prayers. 

The revert experiences are unique for the Hondurans, Sarah Souli explains [2]
“I started studying Islam alone, and the path of Allah came for me,” Colonel Orlando Ajalla Gaños told us. Raised Catholic, the colonel has spent the last nine years commuting weekly to the mosque from his home in Tegucigalpa. “I was always happy but since becoming Muslim I am even more happy—you can call me Saif,” he added, referring to his Islamic name as he adjusted his taqiyah (cap).
Arnaldo Hernandez, a Garifuna fisherman, drives three hours from his home in the coastal town of La Ceiba to attend Friday prayers. He converted to Islam from Christianity 26 years ago, though, as he is quick to point out with a huge grin, “we are all Muslims.”
The prayers are spoken in a mix of Arabic and Spanish to serve the mosque's diverse population of worshippers.
Iman Mohammed leads the Friday prayer - the prayers are spoken in a mix of Arabic and Spanish to serve the San Pedro Sula mosque’s diverse population of worshipers.

Honduras’s constitution protects freedom and practice of religion—though the government only officially recognizes the Roman Catholic church; all other religious groups are categorized as religious associations and have fewer rights and privileges. [3]
“We haven’t had any problems with racism,” stated Imam Mohammed who gives the Friday prayer sermon at the mosque in Spanish and Arabic languages.
Hernandez, the Garifuna fisherman expressed that “there’s no distinguishing between race and color. We’re all brothers, that’s the base of Islam. It’s a benediction to have this community.”
The Muslim community has its unity and cohesiveness. There are weekly dinners organized by Mr. Yusuf, a Pakistani Muslim who owns a string of factories and is one of the country’s richest men. Everyone contributes to the mosque’s upkeep—a donation box is passed around after the prayers. In this sky-blue Caribbean mosque, the best parts of Islam—equality, fraternity, love—seem to shine.

Disclaimer: The data for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If any one differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

To know more about life of Muslims in other non Muslim countries, please visit our page: Islam and Life of Muslims in Non Muslim Countries

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
All Photos Credit: EMILY KINSKEY / Atlas ObscuraReferences: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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Wednesday 13 November 2019

Selected Verses from Quran: Rabbana Series - 1

Each and every verse of the Quran is special for the Muslims for every word contains the Divine Wisdom and commandments from Allah.  There are verses, which are in fact prayers / dua which believers should recite much to often so that their sins and errors could be forgiven.

However, there are some verses, that begin with the word Rabbana " رَبَّنَا ". The placement of this word in the beginning is to add a pleading cry by the believer to invoke the many blessings of Allah so that He in all His Mercy, forgives His servants. Not that ordinary believers invoke Allah's Mercy, the prophets too have been calling upon Allah to forgive them, their families and descendants. 

With this post, we are sharing some of the verses starting from the opener "Rabbana -  رَبَّنَا  " which believers should try to remember by heart and recite much too often so that they should be forgiven. The following verse if from Surah 2 Al Baqarah and is attributed to Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him). While we are sharing only this verse, it would be appropriate that a reader may read verses before this so as to be able to reconnect the theme and reference to the context in which this pleading prayer (dua) was made by the revered prophet. In this case, this prayer was made by Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him), when he had just finished laying the foundations of the Ka'abah at Makkah:

رَبَّنَا وَاجْعَلْنَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ لَكَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِنَا أُمَّةً مُّسْلِمَةً لَّكَ وَأَرِنَا مَنَاسِكَنَا وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَآ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

[Rabbana wa-j'alna Muslimayni laka wa min Dhurriyatina 'Ummatan Muslimatan laka wa 'Arina Manasikana wa tub 'alayna 'innaka 'antat-Tawwabu-Raheem]

"Our Lord! Make of us Muslims, bowing to Thy (Will), and of our progeny a people Muslim, bowing to Thy (will); and show us our place for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us (in Mercy); for Thou art the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful." [Surah 2 Al-Baqarah: 128]

Verse 128 mentions that Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him) prayed to Allah "to make" him and his son obedient to His commandments and to His Will. This prayer too proceeds from the same sense of fear and awe, and from the same knowledge. He has, all his life, been performing exemplary deeds of obedience, and yet he prays to "be made" obedient. It is so, because the more one grows in one's knowledge of Divine Majesty, the more one comes to realize that one is not being faithful and obedient as is due. 

It is significant that Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him) included his descendants too in his prayer. This shows that the "men of Allah" who never hesitate in sacrificing themselves and their children in the way of Allah, yet love them deeply. All the same, they know what the proper requirements of parental love are, and how they should be fulfilled. This is something beyond the reach of average men, who suppose the well-being of their children to reside in physical health and comfort alone, and spend all their love and care in providing just this to their family. But those who have received the favour of Allah show a much greater solicitude for the spiritual well-being of their children than for the physical, being. So, the great prophet prayed to Allah to make a group from among his descendants fully obedient to Him. This prayer aims at another advantage as well. Experience tells us that if those who enjoy a respectable position in their community, and their descendants keep to the right path, they are naturally held in esteem, and their conduct inspires others to reform themselves. 

And Allah heard this prayer too, and among the descendants of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him) there has always been a group of people obedient to Allah and firm in the Straight Path. Even in the Age of Ignorance (Jahiliyyah) when the whole world, and Arabia in particular, was lost in the darkness of idol-worship and Shirk, there still remained some men from among his descendants who had faith in the One God, who believed in the other world, and were obedient to Allah - for example, Zayd ibn 'Amr bin Nufayl, and Quss ibn Sa'idah. It has also been reported that 'Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim, the grand-father of the Holy Prophet , shunned idol-worship and Shirk.

We might add an explanatory note about the word Manasik (the plural of Mansik) which occurs in Verse 128. This word signifies the different actions involved in the performance of the Hajj, and also the different places where the rites are performed - like 'Arafah, Muzdalifah or Mina. Both the meanings of the word are intended here, and the substance of the last part of the prayer is that Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) wanted the rites of the Hajj to be explained and their locations to be indicated. The verb which has been employed in this connection is Arina - "show us." Now, seeing is done through the eyes, and also through the heart. So, the different locations of the rites were shown to him through the Archangel Jibraeel (Gabriel) , and the injunctions regarding the Hajj were explained in detail. 

At the end of the verse above, two attributes of Allah ( AT Tawwab and Ar Rahim) have been mentioned. For their detailed explanation, please refer to our reference page: 99 Attributes of Allah.
May Allah help us understand Qur'an and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

Note: The explanation of the above verse is based on the exegesis of the Qur'an by Maulana Mufti Muhammad Sharif, revised by Justice Mufti Muhammad Taqi  Usmani.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'an

You may also refer to our following reference pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran:
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the Sūrahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. 
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given in each page. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Holy Qur'an - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.

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