Ramadhan and Merdeka Wishes

Assalamualaikum,

Dear All,

I take this opportunity to wish all readers of my weblog happy ramadhan al-mubarak. Muslims in the UK will begin the holy month of Ramadhan on 1st September 2008. My sincere and best wishes as well to all fellow Malaysians at home and abroad a very ‘Happy Merdeka Day’. Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!

“The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down, a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion”. [Quran: Chapter 2, 183]

Narrated Sahl: The Prophet said, “There is a gate in Paradise called Ar−Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who used to observe fasts?’ They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it.” Sahih Bukhari Volume 3 Hadith No. 120.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” Sahih Bukhari Volume 3 Hadith No 125.

3.121: ‘Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever gives two kinds (of things or property) in charity for Allah’s Cause, will be called from the gates of Paradise and will be addressed, ‘O slaves of Allah! Here is prosperity.’ So, whoever was amongst the people who used to offer their prayers, will be called from the gate of the prayer; and whoever was amongst the people who used to participate in Jihad, will be called from the gate of Jihad; and whoever was amongst those who used to observe fasts, will be called from the gate of Ar−Raiyan; whoever was amongst those who used to give in charity, will be called from the gate of charity.” Abu Bakr said, “Let my parents be sacrificed for you, O Allah’s Apostle! No distress or need will befall him who will be called from those gates. Will there be any one who will be called from all these gates?” The Prophet replied, “Yes, and I hope you will be one of them.”Sahih Bukhari Volume 3 Hadith No 121.

Best Regard

ZULKIFLI HASAN
UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM

  • With Professor Masudul Alam Choudhury, Professor Rodney Shakespeare and Professor Nur Alam Siddique

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    My Story: August 2008

    Summer Camp 2008

    Last week, my whole family attended Summer Camp 2008 organised by the Majlis Syura Muslimun held at Hartlepool near to the famous beach in Middlesbrough, Seaton Carew. About 40 families from all over the UK including Scotland and Ireland participated in the programme which started on Friday 15th and ended on 17th August 2008.

  • Forum Perdana Ehwal Islam

    In conjunction with the coming Ramadhan al-Mubarak, the Malaysian Society in Durham has organised an intellectual discourse in the form of Forum just like the famous Forum Perdana Ehwal Islam in Malaysia. Two panellists were invited Ustaz Syed Shahadan from Manchester and Ustaz Helmi Saadan from Durham and I moderated the forum under the theme of Isra’ mikraj and Ramadhan Al-Mubarak.

  • Chapter 3 of My Thesis

    Alhamdulillah, I have already submitted my draft chapter three to Professor Rodney Wilson and Dr. Mehmet. Only minor correction and I may proceed with chapter four. Professor Wilson advised me to be more critical and to provide convincing argument which is more realistic and workable rather than mere idealistic. Anyway, I am still on the right track and able to meet the dateline and even earlier than my Supervisors’ expecting date of chapter completion.

    Outdoor Activities

    In line with the famous axiom of “al-aql salim fi jismi salim”, I spend my time for outdoor activities with new hobbies of cycling and swimming. Coincidently, the Durham City Council just launched its new sport complex, Freeman’s Quay and gave a special discount of GBP0.05 per entry. This opportunity enables me to practice all my swimming skills and techniques that I have as a lifeguard at the International Islamic University of Malaysia from 1998-2003. At the same time, I got a racing bicycle via freecycle yahoogroup and a mountain bike at a price of only GBP20. In addition, every Thursday evening, we play badminton at the New College, Durham (just like a community college in Malaysia) and on Sunday we play football at the Bowburn Leisure Park. Sometime, we organise a friendly match with the Malaysian society in Newcastle to strengthen our “ukhuwah” for the sake of “ummah”.

  • Malaysia’s Politic

    Even far from Malaysia, I still follow closely the political environment and its current development. Concerning the issue of an oath taken by Mr. Saiful Bukhari, my book with Ustaz Wan Abdul Fattah entitled Concept of Oath from Shari’ah Perspective may provide an answer and enlighten the issue. This issue should be discussed academically to ensure views without fear and favour. Perhaps, the National Fatwa Council may issue its stand and view to resolve the matter. It should not be politicised either by the opposition or the ruling parties. Beside this issue, people should not be blindly aware on other extreme important matter concerning of our beloved country and the Islamic world such as issue on the recent inflation which reached at 8.5%, world economic recession (eg, Britain may experience zero growth this year), Muslim in Palestin, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, recent war between Georgia and Russia and so on and so forth.

    Wish you all Happy Ramadhan al-Mubarak

    Best Regards

    ZULKIFLI HASAN
    UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM

    Renunciation of Islam: Woman’s appeal dismissed

    Quoted from the Malaysian Insider online.

    PUTRAJAYA, Aug 5 — A woman who converted to Islam failed today in her appeal before the Court of Appeal against the High Court’s refusal to allow her application for a declaration that she had the right to renounce Islam and embrace Christianity.

    Justice Datuk Tengku Baharudin Shah Tengku Mahmud in a 2-1 majority decision said the appeal brought by the 35-year-old woman was incompetent before the court as the person (appellant) named in the originating summons at the High Court stage no longer existed — she had changed her name to a Muslim one.

    Justice Tengku Baharudin, who presided over the hearing with Justices Datuk Vincent Ng and Datuk Sulong Mat Jeraie, dismissed the appeal with no costs.

    In the originating summons at the High Court stage, she had stated her original Chinese name in the application, but the name had been changed to a Muslim name after she had converted to Islam.

    On Feb 15, 2005, the woman in an amended originating summons sought, among others, declarations from the High Court that she had the right to renounce Islam and practise the Christian religion under Article 11 of the Federal Constitution and that she could delete her Muslim name and substitute it with her original name.

    She named the Selangor Religious Affairs Council, Selangor Religious Affairs Department, Selangor government, the National Registration Department (NRD) director-general and Malaysian government as respondents.

    On May 17, 2005, the Shah Alam High Court allowed the respondents’ application to strike out her application on the basis that the High Court had no jurisdiction to hear and decide on the matter, and it also did not hear or adjudicate on the merits of the originating summons.

    The woman in the summons said she embraced Islam in 1992 and changed her name to a Muslim name, and two years later she married a Malay man and was divorced in 1997.

    She contended that after converting to Islam, she did not practise the tenets of the religion and her conversion was purely for the purpose of marrying the man.

    On June 9, 2003, through a deed poll and statutory declaration (SD), she affirmed that she had embraced Christianity and had reverted to using her original Chinese name.

    The woman then applied to the NRD to change the name in her identity card (IC) to her original name (Chinese name). However, the NRD on Sept 18, 2003, informed her that it had no jurisdiction to approve her application unless an order of renunciation of Islam was obtained from the Syariah court.

    At today’s proceeding, Justice Tengku Baharudin questioned the parties on whether the woman’s appeal was competent before the court as two names – the Chinese and Muslim names – were stated in her appeal.

    “The question before us is who is appearing in the appeal. Is it the Chinese name or the Muslim name?” added Justice Sulong.

    Counsel Edmund Bon, representing the woman, submitted that the appeal was competent as the Chinese name and Muslim name were the same person in the appeal.

    “There is no dispute as to the identity of the appellant. There is no confusion because the appellant is the same person as the name stated in the appeal application,” he said.

    Bon submitted that the appellant was a legal and natural person, and a Malaysian citizen who sought a legal remedy in the Court of Appeal.

    Selangor legal advisor Datin Paduka Zauyah Be Loth Khan, representing the state, submitted that the appeal was incompetent because the appellant in her SD had used her Muslim name but when she signed the SD, she used her Chinese name.

    Zauyah said even if the appellant used her Muslim name in the appeal, the appeal was also incompetent because in her SD and deed poll, she stated that she was not going to use her Muslim name anymore.

    Senior federal counsel Arik Sanusi Yeop Johari, for the NRD and the government, submitted that the appellant had produced the documents with two names stated.

    “The right authority to determine her legal entity is the NRD based on her IC. Therefore, the appellant must get approval from the NRD to change the Muslim name to her Chinese name, which was rejected by the NRD,” he said.

    Meanwhile, outside the court, Bon had asked the media not to divulge the name of the woman for safety reasons. — Bernama