Syria is a war torn country, caught up in a civil war between multiple factions, including the Assad government, Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusra (Al Qaeda), Kurds and Turkish tribes, among others. Whoever has been following the ongoing tragedy that is Syria today, knows this already. The accounts from Syrian mothers in this emotional plea confirm the horror that has overtaken their beloved country.
AoBM is deeply saddened by the mass slaughter, destruction and ongoing erosion of civilisation in Syria, not so long ago among the richest and most peaceful of Middle Eastern cultures. We hope Daesh will soon be defeated, for the violence to stop, and the tentative steps towards a peaceful resolution to strengthen and eventually rebuild Syrian society.
Daesh, along with similar ideological extremists operating elsewhere (for example, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and Taliban), oppose the education of girls and women. In this, they demonstrate how far removed they are from the Islam of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
The Qur’an teaches, “Read, and your Lord is the most generous, who taught by the pen” (The Qur’an 96: 34). Such is the importance of education within Islam – right at the heart of our deen (religion). Even in times of war, the Prophet commanded to free any prisoners who are willing to teach people to read, write, or accomplish other important skills. The Prophet’s wife Lady Ayesha was herself a renowned scholar, who people relied on after the Prophet’s passing for her wealth of knowledge of Islam.
Influential 20th-century American Muslim leader El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) always placed great emphasis on education. He said: “Educate a man and you educate one person; educate a woman and you educate and liberate an entire generation!”
Education is so vital within Islam, that one could say that without it, there is no Islam.
Wishing everyone a happy and blessed Solstice, may the Light shine forth and touch everyone’s hearts as we celebrate the power of its illumination and eagerly anticipate the new year ahead!
Reliable astronomical data from HM Nautical Almanac Office and Crescentwatch.org indicate that in South America it may be possible to see the new crescent moon as early as Thursday evening, 16 July 2015.
On Friday evening, 17th July a naked-eye (unaided) sighting of the new crescent moon will be highly probable in most regions, including the Americas, Africa, Southern Europe and Australia, and in remaining regions on Saturday night, 18th July.
Hence, Eid al Fitr could be as early as Friday, 17th July in South America, will likely be on Saturday, 18th July in most regions of the world, while in the United Kingdom, Northern Europe and much of Asia, Eid al Fitr will be on Sunday, 19th July.
Whichever day you are celebrating Eid al Fitr, the Association of British Muslims would like to wish you a most blessed and joyful Eid!
Paul Salahuddin Armstrong, Co-Director, the Association of British Muslims.