Archive for February, 2012

Hajj exhibition at the British Museum

February 26, 2012

Bismillah. This is THE event of London 2012, far more important than a sporting event or a diamond jubilee. It is a unique & historic occasion when the Ka’bah, symbol of the centre of our hearts, has in a sense come to Central London.

The exhibition is brilliant. Go and see it, and take your families & friends (kids go free). A particular connection with the UK is the story of Thomas Cook as Hajj travel agent from 19th-century British India. A “Thomas Cook Hajj travel ticket to Mecca” and pilgrim guidebook are on display. Perhaps Thomas Cook should look into this again: the barakah (blessings) may save their ailing business.

Also worth seeing is the “Church of the Holy Sepulchre” temporary exhibit (on the right as you enter the museum). This includes a brief history of Jerusalem and some details about the Ottoman edict that split the church building amongst six different churches (sects).

Relatedly, you may wish to see “The Journey of Love,” Imam Ibn al-Qayyim’s poem about the Hajj, an extract from his Qasidah Mimiyyah, elsewhere on this blog.


Israel/Palestine at the CoE General Synod

February 25, 2012


Earlier this month, Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg and I addressed a fringe meeting on Israel/Palestine at the CoE General Synod, Church House, London.

We spoke in our capacities as Patrons of the Parents’ Circle, Friends of the Bereaved Families’ Forum (Ali Abu Awwad, Robi Damelin, etc.). The Bishop of Truro chaired & the Archbishop of Canterbury made time to attend our session. We discussed peace-building and improving Muslim-Jewish relations in the UK & abroad.

I noticed a dome above the Church House reception, with an inscription from scripture in English around the inside border of the dome, which reminded me of the dome above Mount Safa at the Grand Mosque in Mecca. The inscription began, “The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord …” This reminded me of the Islamic saying, “Ra’s al-hikmah makhafatullah (The height of wisdom is the fear of God).” The latter is often attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, but may actually be a teaching of his cousin and son-in-law, Caliph Ali.

The Gospel of Barnabas & the Daily Mail

February 25, 2012

Bismillah. A comment about yesterday’s Daily Mail story (

The so-called Gospel of Barnabas contradicts the Qur’an, which affirms that Jesus was the Messiah, not the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. It also contains the story of Adam’s prayer invoking the name of Muhammad, which is found in a disputed hadith, probably spurious (mawdu’). The “Gospel of Barnabas” would thus appear to be a Muslim fabrication.

Muslim Aid community presentation today at Masjid al-Tawhid, God-willing

February 17, 2012


Muslim Aid community presentation on Relief Work Around the World (especially regarding the Horn of Africa famine)

with speakers including Sir Iqbal Sacranie (Trustee of Muslim Aid) & Sheikh Dr. Suhaib Hasan (Trustee of Muslim Aid & Chairman, Masjid al-Tawhid)

Masjid al-Tawhid, Friday 17th Feb, 7-9pm insha’Allah
80 High Rd, Leyton, London E15 2BP

All welcome

ECFR Fatwa on a Muslim inheriting from non-Muslim relatives

February 1, 2012


The Council [European Council for Fatwa and Research] holds that Muslims should not be prevented from inheriting from their non-Muslim relatives.  This does not contradict the authentic hadith, “A Muslim must not inherit from a disbeliever, and vice-versa,” since the latter is to be understood as applying to a harbi or disbeliever who is at war with Islam.  It should also be noted that during the early period of Islam, Muslims were not prohibited from inheriting from their non-Muslim relatives.

Amongst the Companions [of the Prophet, peace be upon him], the following took this view: Mu’adh bin Jabal and Mu’awiyah bin Abi Sufyan, as did a number amongst the Successors [of the Companions], including Sa’id bin al-Musayyib, Muhammad bin al-Hanafiyyah, Abu Ja’far [Muhammad] al-Baqir and Masruq bin al-Ajda’.  This is also the view of Sheikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah and his student, Ibn al-Qayyim.

(Sheikh ‘Abdullah bin Bayyah, Sina’at al-Fatwa, p. 395)