Mwenyezi Mungu S.W.T. na Mtume Wake S.A.W. wametufundisha jinsi ya kutekeleza adabu za kuomba dua wakati Mwislamu anapotaka kuomba dua ili ile dua yake ipate kujibiwa. Kama ifuatavyo:
1.NYAKATI TUKUFU ZINAZOKUBALIWA DUA.
Kuna nyakati maalum ambazo Mwislamu anatakiwa atekeleze ili dua yake ipate kukubaliwa kama vile:
a) Kuomba dua kila baada ya Sala ya Faridha
b) Kuomba dua saa katika siku ya Ijumaa
c) Kuomba dua wakati wa nusu ya usiku au theluthi ya usiku
d) Kuomba dua wakati mtu kafunga na wakati wa kufungua kwa mtu yule aliyefunga
e) Kuomba dua wakati vinapopiganwa vita vya Jihadi kati ya Waislamu na makafiri
f) Kuomba dua wakati inaponyesha mvua
g) Kuomba dua wakati wa kuona L-Ka`aba.
h) Kuomba dua wakati wa kusafiri
i) Kuomba dua wakati Waislamu wamekusanyika katika vikao vya kumdhukuru Mola
j) Kuomba dua wakati wa kunywa maji ya zamzam huko Makka.
k) Kuomba dua wakati wa kutufu (kuizunguka) L-Ka`aba
l) Kuomba dua siku ya Arafah
m) Kuomba dua kwa mtu anayehiji au anayefanya umra.
n) Kuomba dua wakati wa kusimama kwenye Ssafaa na Marwa
o) Kuomba dua katika Laylatul Qadri
p) Kuomba dua kwa mtu aliyedhulumiwa
q) Kuomba dua wakati anapowika jogoo
r) Dua ya mtoto mwema anapomuombea mzazi wake
s) Dua ya mzazi anapomuombea mwanawe
t) Kuomba dua wakati wa kumfumba maiti macho yake
u) Kuomba dua baada ya kutupa mawe kwenye jamra mbili ya kwanza na ya pili.
v) Kuomba dua katika mkusanyiko huko Muzdalifah, baada ya Sala ya Alfajiri
w) Kuomba dua baada ya Adhana
x) Dua ya mtu Mwislamu akimuombea nduguye Mwislamu nyuma ya mgongo wake naye hayupo.
2.KUELEKEA KIBLA NA KUNYOOSHA MIKONO.
Muombaji wakati anapotaka kuomba dua anatakiwa aelekee upande wa kibla na anyooshe mikono yake miwili. Kama alivyosema Mtume S.A.W. katika Hadithi iliyopokelewa na Salmaani L-Farsy R.A.A. na iliyotolewa na Ttirmidhi, “
‘‘إِنَّ اللَّهَ حَيِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ يَسْتَحْيِي إِذَا رَفَعَ الرَّجُلُ إِلَيْهِ يَدَيْهِ أَنْ يَرُدَّهُمَا صِفْرًا’’
Maana yake, “Hakika Mwenyezi Mungu Hai, Mkarimu anaona haya ikiwa mtu atamnyooshea mikono yake airudishe tupu.”
Muombaji akimaliza kuomba dua yake aipanguse mikono yake usoni mwake.Na wala muombaji asipandishe macho yake mbinguni. Kama alivyotukataza Mtume S.A.W. katika Hadithi iliyopokelewa na Abu Huraira R.A.A. na iliyotolewa na Muslim, “
‘‘لَيَنْتَهِيَنَّ أَقْوَامٌ عَنْ رَفْعِهِمْ أَبْصَارَهُمْ عِنْدَ الدُّعَاءِ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ أَوْ لَتُخْطَفَنَّ أَبْصَارُهُمْ’’
Maana yake, “Waache watu kupandisha macho yao mbinguni wakati wa kuomba dua au sivyo yatanyakuliwa macho yao.”
3.KUNYENYEKEA NA KUOMBA DUA KWA KHOFU BILA YA KUPAZA SAUTI..
Muombaji anatakiwa asipaze sauti yake wakati wa kuomba dua bali iwe kati na kati. Kwani Mola S.W.T. si kiziwi, anasikia maneno yote yanayosemwa na kila mtu na anaona kila kitu. Na hata anajua nia ya mtu moyoni mwake kabla hata hajaomba dua. Kama alivyosema Mwenyezi Mungu S.W.T. katika Suratil A`araaf aya ya 205, “
وَاذْكُرْ رَبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ تَضَرُّعًا وَخِيفَةً وَدُونَ الْجَهْرِ مِنْ الْقَوْلِ بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالآصَالِ وَلا تَكُنْ مِنْ الْغَافِلِينَ
Maana yake, “Na mkumbuke Mola wako nafsini kwako kwa unyenyekevu na khofu, na bila ya kupiga kelele kwa kauli, asubuhi na jioni. Wala usiwe miongoni mwa walioghafilika.” Pia kasema katika Suratil Anbiyaa aya ya 90, “
إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَيَدْعُونَنَا رَغَبًا وَرَهَبًا وَكَانُوا لَنَا خَاشِعِينَ
Maana yake, “…Hakika wao walikuwa wepesi wa kutenda mema, na wakituomba kwa shauku na khofu. Nao walikuwa wakitunyenyekea.”
4.KUWA NA TUMAINI YA KUKUBALIWA DUA.
Muombaji anatakiwa wakati anapoomba dua asiwe na shaka nayo au wasiwasi kwamba labda atakubaliwa au labda atakataliwa. Bali awe na yakini moyoni mwake kwamba Mola atamsaidia na atamkubalia dua yake. Kama alivyosema Mwenyezi Mungu S.W.T. katika Surat Ghaafir aya ya 60, “
وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمْ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ...
Maana yake, “Na Mola wenu anasema: “Niombeni nitakujibuni (nitakuitikieni)…”
5..KUTOKATA TAMAA NA KUTOKUFANYA HARAKA KUJIBIWA.
Muuombaji anatakiwa asikate tamaa bali aendelee na kuomba dua na wala asilalamike kwa kusema, “Mbona nimeomba dua lakini sikujibiwa?” Bali awe na subira. Kama alivyotufundisha Mtume wetu S.A.W. kasema katika Hadithi iliyopokelewa na Abu Huraira R.A.A. na kutolewa na L-Bukhari, “
‘‘يُسْتَجَابُ لأَحَدِكُمْ مَا لَمْ يَعْجَلْ يَقُولُ: ‘‘دَعَوْتُ فَلَمْ يُسْتَجَبْ لِي’’
Maana yake, “Anakubaliwa mmoja wenu (dua yake) ikiwa hataharakisha kwa kusema, “Nimeomba lakini sikujibiwa.”
6.KUFUNGUA DUA KWA KUMDHUKURU MOLA.
Muombaji anatakiwa aanze kwanza kumtaja Mwenyezi Mungu Mtukufu, kisha amsalie Mtume S.A.W.., halafu amuombe Mola haja yake na amalizie kwa kumsalia Mtume S.A.W.. Kama vile kusema: “(1)INNA LLAAHA WAMALAAIKATAHU YUSALLUWNA `ALA NABIYYI YA-AYYUHA LLADHIYNA AAMANUW SALLUW `ALAYHI WASALLIMU TASLIYMA: (2)ALLAAHU MASALLI WASALLIM WA BAARIK `ALA SAYYIDINA MUHAMMAD. “(3)RABBANA GHFIRLIY WARHAMNIY INNAKA ANTA TAWWABU RRAHIYMU. (4)WASALLA LLAAHU `ALA SAYYIDINA MUHAMMAD WA`ALA AALIHI WA-AS-HAABIHI AJMA`IYNA
11.DUA YA KUOMBA KUTENGENEKEWA DINI NA DUNIA NA AKHERA.
Mwenye kutaka kutengenekewa na dini yake, na dunia yake, na Akhera yake, na maisha yake na mauti yake, basi aombe dua ifuatayo. Kama ilivyokuja katika Hadithi iliyotolewa na L-Bukhari na iliyopokelewa na Abu Huraira R.A.A. kasema, “Mtume S.A.W. alikuwa akiomba dua ifuatayo, “
‘‘اللَّهُمَّ أَصْلِحْ لِي دِينِي الَّذِي هُوَ عِصْمَةُ أَمْرِي ، وَأَصْلِحْ لِي دُنْيَايَ الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَاشِي ، وَأَصْلِحْ لِي آخِرَتِي الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَادِي ، وَاجْعَلِ الْحَيَاةَ زِيَادَةً لِي فِي كُلِّ خَيْرٍ وَاجْعَلِ الْمَوْتَ رَاحَةً لِي مِنْ كُلِّ شَرٍّ’’
“ALLAHUMMA ASLIH LIY DIYNIY LLADHI HUWA `ISMATI AMRIY, WA-ASLIH LIY DUN-YAAYA LLATIY FIYHA MA`AASHIY, WA-ASLIH LIY AAKHIRATIY LLAATIY FIYHA MA`AADIY, WAJ`ALI L-HAYAATA ZIYAADATAN LIY FIY KULLI KHAYRIN WAJ`AL L-MAWTA RAAHATAN LIY MIN KULLI SHARRAN.”
Maana yake, “Ewe Mwenyezi Mungu! Nitengenezee dini yangu ambayo ndiyo yenye mashikamano yangu, na unitengenezee dunia yangu ambayo ndiyo yenye maisha yangu, na unitengenezee Akhera yangu ambayo ndiyo marejeo yangu, na ujaalie uhai kwangu wa kheri zaidi, na ujaalie mauti kwangu yawe ya raha kutokana na kila shari.”
January 31, 2010
Mwenyezi Mungu S.W.T. na Mtume Wake S.A.W. wametufundisha jinsi ya kutekeleza adabu za kuomba dua wakati Mwislamu anapotaka kuomba dua ili ile dua yake ipate kujibiwa. Kama ifuatavyo:
Sheikh Hyder el-Kindy was a Swahili political leader whose autobiography, Life and Politics in Mombasa, has a number of great Kiswahili proverbs:
"Kweli ikidhihiri, uwongo hujitenga" meaning when truth comes, falsehood disappears. This was said in relation to Sheikh Hyder's story of standing up to a brutal overseer while on a prison chain gang.
"Mtambua ndwee ndiye mganga" meaning he who diagnoses a disease is the physician. This was related by Sheikh Hyder after the installation of the new Tamim of the Thelatha Taifa (Three Tribes) a group of Swahili clans in Mombasa. He afterwards was appointed deputy Tamim.
"Kinolewacho hupata" meaning that Anything that is sharpened becomes sharper. This was said in relation to Sheikh Hyder's ambivalence about translating subservive Kiswahili political texts for the colonial police,(he worked as a translator), which implicated his grandnephew as an anticolonial agitator.
Sheikh Hyder relates many other stories about the social and cultural history of the coast. His memoirs are a valuable source for understanding the tension between "Arabs" and "Swahili" in the colonial era, the relationship between nationalism and Islam in Kenya, colonial political agitation, and some of the attitudes of postcolonial African leaders in Mombasa.
In the discourse on Islam prevalent in the popular media and academia, one frequent Manichaen dichotomy one finds is that between so-called 'liberal' Islam and 'radical' or 'Islamist' Islam. This dichotomy is predicated on a superficial understanding of Islamic philosophy and Islamic discourse, in which the theological and philosophical bases for categorization are rarely revealed. If they are, the categories are those of Western liberal discourse, which whatever their virtues as 'universal' values cannot help but operate under particular blind spots and presumptions when it comes to Islamic philosophy.
I view Dr. Sherman Jackson's intervention in Islam and the Problem of Black Suffering as an intervention aimed to correct that ignorance. As such it is one of the best books I have read that attempts the work of cultural translation: that is interpreting Islamic philosophers from the Classical period (8th-12th centuries) in a manner which respects their philosophical positions and imbues their positions with meaning and relevance for the current era.
Dr. Jackson's book is structured as a response to another theological work, Is God a White Racist? by William Jones, which argues that traditional black theodicy overprivileges the idea of redemptive suffering, and that by implication they create the idea that God favors whites. In point of fact, Jones intellectual inspiration is more rooted in Camus and Sartre than any specific theologian from the Christian tradition.
To counter this bold and controversial statement, Jackson lays out the theological positions of the major Islamic theodicies: Mutazilite, Ash'arite, Mutiridite and Traditionalist. After an introduction and first chapter dealing with black theodicy and the problem of evil, he starts by outlining the basis of Quranic interpretation and the development of classical Islamic theology. He then systematically explains the arguments of the major schools over the basis of reason for interpreting truth, the real nature of God, the problem of free will, and God's omnibenevolence vs. God's omnipotence. At the end of discussing each school of thought, Jackson addresses the points of agreement and disagreement between their approach and Jones's.
This book actually works on two levels. Even if one does not have an interest in the various currents of black theology and theodicy as such, the book is one of the best explanations of classical Islamic philosophy I have read in English. It is simultaneously extremely erudite and accessible, a difficult balance pulled off by the author through his clear prose and consistent re-explanation of previous points in order to contrast them. He is passionate about taking the reader on a journey through these beliefs yet ultimately agnostic on his own preference, leaving that to the discerning reader. He does however, urge that blackAmerican Muslims equip themselves with the philosophical and conceptual tools to in order to shape the character of the Muslim community in America. His book is meant as a tool towards that end.
If I have one critique of this book, it is that Dr. Jackson does not historically situate many of these theological debates. Nor does he problematize to any great degree significant anti-black tendencies which inhere in the writings of some Arab scholars and poets. He writes of the hypocrisy of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington owning thousands of slaves, but he does not see fit to question or criticize a great number of Islamic scholars who operated under similar conditions. This brings us to the question of the links between race and slavery in the Islamic world, an uncomfortable topic for many. And it points to the gaps between idealist conceptions of a belief or religion (for example Islam's teachings on slavery) and the actual practice of Muslims in societies with great numbers of slaves (for example 19th century Zanzibar). For more on this debate, Hishaam Aidi has an interesting article. I won't say more because the debate is complex and a bit of a rabbit hole, but suffice to say that Jackson finessed his approach in discussing these provocative issues.
For example, in one footnote Jackson argues that although there is a presumed opposition between "Islam" and "the West", there is no presumed opposition between Islam and blackness. While this is in part true, it ignores significant historical events where in fact the two did conflict (i.e. the Zanzibar Revolution). Jackson does not engage at all with Bernard Lewis's discussion of race and Islam in Race and Slavery in the Middle East. Even if one disagrees vehemently with Lewis's political stances and often reductive writing about Islam, the sources he presents bear engagement and critique with, especially if Jackson's point is to be strengthened. In the end, Jackson's analysis points to a difficulty Jackson himself raises: how in particular cases of overemphasis "blackness" or "Islamic" become neologisms, with more meaning to the person who uses them than a common agreement about their provenance and direction.
I don't necessarily see these omissions as faults per se. They nevertheless point to the need for a historical engagement with these issues. Jackson's book is a work of theology, and in this dimension is is a skillfully argued plea for Islam as a religion capable of meeting the challenge of black suffering as well as a clear explication of Islamic theodicy. It remarkably succeeds in both the academic register and as a sustained personal plea.
January 30, 2010
Pambazuka - Africa: Google moves into Swahili
Google has sponsored a contest to encourage students in Tanzania and Kenya to create articles for the Swahili version of Wikipedia, mainly by translating them from the English Wikipedia, according to an article appearing in the New York Times. Swahili, because it is a second language for as many as 100 million people in East Africa, is thought to be one of the only ways to reach a mass audience of readers and contributors in the region.
January 27, 2010
A song belonging to the Somalia-born artist who now resides in Canada, K'Naan, "Wavin' Flag" has been chosen as the anthem song for the 2010 World Cup.
The tune will be released in 150 countries and played during every match of the month-long tournament due to starts on June 11 in South Africa.
Oliver Musembi and Kenneth Ogosia
25 January 2010
The government spent more than Sh40 million to deport radical Jamaican Islamic preacher Sheikh Abdullah al Faisal.
Immigration and Registration of Persons minister Otieno Kajwang’ gave the figure on Monday as it emerged that two officers had been suspended for clearing the preacher to enter the country.
Without specifying the amount, the minister said it was “in excess of Sh40 million” but defended the expenditure as warranted.
“It is the responsibility of the State to ship back the likes of al Faisal and this was necessitated by the fact that some deportees turn violent. This makes commercial airlines uncomfortable with such travellers,” said Mr Kajwang’.
Sheikh al Faisal, whose arrest and subsequent deportation triggered fatal demonstrations by Muslim youths in Nairobi, was deported last week.
The government had to hire a private jet to fly him to Jamaica after airlines declined to transport him and various other countries denied him access.
An earlier attempt to deport him two weeks ago failed after airlines refused to take him on board from Nigeria to the Gambia.
Sheikh al Faisal entered Kenya on December 24, last year, from Tanzania through the Lunga Lunga border point. He had been to Nigeria, Angola, Mozambique, Swaziland and Malawi.
Sheikh al Faisal served four years in a United Kingdom prison after being convicted of calling for the murder of Jews and Hindus.
On Monday, it emerged that two Immigration officers had been suspended for sanctioning the entry of the Islamic hate preacher.
The two, the officer in charge of the border point and his junior, who stamped the preacher’s visa, are likely to face tougher action since the region’s principal immigration officer has been asked to prepare a report on the entry of Sheikh al Faisal.
by Ali A. Mazrui
There are different levels of Pan-Africanism, varying in degrees of sustainability. Sub-Saharan Pan-Africanism is a quest for the unification of Black people in Africa below the Sahara. Then there are two possible versions of Continental Pan-Africanism.
The Sub-Continental version would seek the union of Black States while excluding Arab Africa. This idea has been floated from time to time, but it does not seem to have much political support. More triumphant has been Trans-Saharan Pan-Africanism which formed the Afro-Arab basis of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU,) and its successor, the African Union (AU).
Another version of sub-Saharan Pan-Africanism is sub-regional rather than sub-continental. The sub-regional variety has produced organisations like the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) which in recent years has been more activist as a peacekeeping force than as a vanguard for economic change.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has also received a new lease on life since South Africa became a full member in the post-apartheid era. In December 1999 Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania finally succeeded in reviving the East African Community since its collapse 22 years earlier.
But by far the most ambitious idea floating around in the new era of intellectual speculation is whether the whole of Africa and the whole of the Arab world are two regions in the process of merging into one. Out of this speculative discourse has emerged the concept of Afrabia.
Two tendencies have stimulated the new thinking about African-Arab relations. One tendency is basically negative but potentially unifying: The war on terrorism. The new international terrorism may have its roots in injustices perpetrated against such Arab people as Palestinians and Iraqis, but the primary theatre of contestation is blurring the distinction between the Middle East and the African continent.
In order to kill twelve Americans in Nairobi in August 1998, over 200 Kenyans died in a terrorist act at the United States Embassy in Nairobi. Four years later, a suicide bomber in Mombasa, attacked the Israeli-owned and Israeli-patronised Paradise Hotel. There too, three times as many Kenyans as Israelis died.
Independently of the war on terror, Islam as a cultural and political force has also been deepening relationships between Africa and the Middle East. Intellectual revival is not only in the Western idiom. It is also in the idiom of African cultures and African Islam. Hot political debates about the Shariah (Islamic Law) in Nigeria constitute part of the trend of cultural integration between Africa and the Middle East.
The new legitimation of Muammar Gaddafi as a viable African leader has contributed to the birth of no less a new institution than the AU. It is sometimes startling how much more Pan-Africanist than Pan-Arabist Gaddafi has become in recent years. At least for the time being, Gaddafi is out-Africanising the legacy of Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser.
The fourth force that may be merging Africa with the Middle East is political economy.
Africa’s oil producers need a joint partnership with the bigger oil producers of the Middle East.
In the area of aid and trade between Africa and the Middle East, the volumes may have gone down since the 1980s. But most indications seem to promise a future expansion of economic relations between Africa and the Middle East. In the Gulf countries of the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman the concept of Afrabia has begun to be examined on higher and higher echelons.
It was initially Trans-Saharan Pan-Africanism which gave birth to the idea of Afrabia. The first post-colonial waves of Pan-Africanists like Kwame Nkrumah, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Sekou Toure believed that the Sahara was a bridge rather than a divide.
The concept of Afrabia now connotes more than interaction between Africanity and Arab identity; it is seen as a process of fusion between the two. While the principle of Afrabia recognises that Africa and the Arab world are overlapping categories, it goes on to prophesy that these two are in the historic process of becoming one.
But who are the Afrabians? There are in reality at least four categories. Cultural Afrabians are those whose culture and way of life have been deeply Arabised but have fallen short of their being linguistically Arabs. Most Somali, Hausa, and some Waswahili are cultural Afrabians in that sense. Their mother-tongue is not Arabic, but much of the rest of their culture bears the stamp of Arab and Islamic impact.
Ideological Afrabians are those who intellectually believe in solidarity between Arabs and Africans, or at least between Arab Africa and black Africa. Historically, such ideological Afrabian leaders have included Kwame Nkrumah, the founder president of Ghana; Gamal Abdel Nasser, arguably the greatest Egyptian of the 20th Century; and Sekou Toure, the founding father of post-colonial Guinea (Conakry.) Such leaders refused to recognise the Sahara Desert as a divide, and insisted on visualising it as a historic bridge.
Geographical Afrabians are those Arabs and Berbers whose countries are concurrently members of both the African Union and the Arab League. Some of the countries are overwhelmingly Arab, such as Egypt and Tunisia, while others are only marginally Arab, such as Mauritania, Somalia and the Comoro Islands.
As for genealogical Afrabians, these are those who are biologically descended from both Arabs and Black Africans. In North Africa these include Anwar Sadat, the former President of Egypt who concluded a peace treaty with Israel and was assassinated for it in 1982. Anwar Sadat’s mother was Black. He was politically criticised for many things, but almost never for being racially mixed.
Genealogical Afrabians in sub-Saharan Africa include Salim Ahmed Salim, the longest serving Secretary-General of the OAU, and the Mazrui clan scattered across Coastal Kenya and Tanzania. It should be noted that Northern Sudanese qualify as Afrabians by both geographical and genealogical criteria. These four sub-categories of Afrabians provide some of the evidence that Africa and the Arab world are two geographical regions that are in the slow historic process of merging.
About The Author:
Professor Ali A. Mazrui is the Chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology: http://www.jkuat.ac.ke/
Article Source: AfroArticles.com - Article Marketing Directory
January 24, 2010
Former Tanzanian Vice President - Rashidi Kawawa
During the Presidency of Julius Nyerere, Rashidi Mfaume Kawawa was Vice President of Tanzania. He was nicknamed “the Lion of War” during the country’s Independence struggle. He also served as Prime Minister and was once the Secretary General of the Chama cha Mapinduzi. In an official statement, Tanzania’s current President Jakaya Kikwete said that the late Vice President died at 9.20 am on December 31, 2009 at Muhimbili National Hospital, where he was admitted three days ago in a low blood sugar-induced coma.He was a diabetic patient and that led to liver complications that eventually led to a heart attack that killed him.
The Country’s national flag will fly at half mast as a sign of respect for the VP’s death. Kawawa, was the effective ruler of the country from January to December 1972 while Julius Nyerere toured the countryside. Kawawa was a strong advocate of economic statism. After his retirement, Kawawa remained a behind-the-scenes influence in Tanzanian politics. The son of an elephant hunter and the eldest of eight children, Rashidi Mfaume Kawawa was born in the Songea district of Tanganyika (now Tanzania) in eastern Africa. After primary schooling in Dar es Salaam, he finished his formal education at Tabora Government Secondary School (1951-1956), the alma mater of Julius Nyerere, leader in the fight for Tanganyika’s independence. Kawawa refused the opportunity to continue his education at Uganda’s Makerere College, thus enabling his father to use the family’s limited resources to educate his siblings.
Kawawa’s first job was as a Public Works Department accounts clerk. This was a most difficult period for the young man. With the death of his father, he assumed the responsibility of supporting his younger brothers and sisters. In 1951 Kawawa realized a long-standing dream of becoming a social worker. He had actually inaugurated this career by organizing a literacy campaign for adults while a student in Dar es Salaam. On his new job Kawawa joined a mobile film unit engaged in government literacy programs. When it was decided to use the unit for educational filming, he was chosen as the only Tanzanian leading actor. He also served as a scriptwriter and a producer. Perhaps the most important aspect of Kawawa’s social worker career occurred when he was sent to central Tanzania (1953) to work among Kikuyu detainees held because of the Kenyan Mau Mau movement. He later described his successful work there as the “greatest challenge of my life.”
Kawawa joined the Tanganyika African Government Services Association, becoming its assistant general secretary in 1951 and its president in 1955. His main task was securing rights for government employees due them under Tanganyika’s laws. Realizing the advantages of a nationwide organization, Kawawa helped found the Tanganyika Federation of Labor (TFL) and was elected its first general secretary in 1955
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January 21, 2010
In this impressively published tome from Brill Press, Hussein Ahmed has taken on some of the original assumptions of scholars of Ethiopian Islam such as J.S. Trimingham and tested them against a detailed study of the highland region of Wallo, Ethiopia. Ahmed argues, among other things, that Trimingham's model of conversion, in which converts essentially adopt the outward signs of Islam without practicing it or comprehending its doctrine, is inadequate to account for the diversity of ways in which the Islamic message was propopagated in central Ethiopia. Ahmed also argues for a greater role for the ulama in spreading Islam, working in concert with traders and merchants.
Ahmed does a superb job handling some difficult material, and the book is well written, if at times aimed at the specialist rather than the general reader. Of special interest is Ahmed's biographies of the major Sufi sheikhs of Ethiopia. Accounting for Sufism's popularity and importance, Ahmed emphasizes the account of one of Sheikh Muhammad Taj al-Din, who observed:
"the tariqa teachers, while recognizing the importance of academic excellence, also emphasized the obligation of carrying out one's religious duties as laid down in the Qur'an and the Sunna. They argued that instead of studying exotic and prestigious subjects, a Muslim must recite the dhikr, read the Qur'an and perform the intercessory prayers. A believer must submit his entire body and mind to the rigours of intense reflection and meditation in order to demonstrate his submission to the will of God. They also instilled in the minds of the affiliates a profound sense of brotherhood and communal lifestyle...one of the factors for the success of the mystical orders was the tact and skill with which their local propagators were able to introduce and establish them, and their recognition of the deep roots and persistence of traditional values and customs."
Wallo is unique precisely because it stands at a geographical and political crossroads between faiths and peoples. Wallo became a center of Oromo migration in the last quarter of the sixteenth century. For the Oromo, According to Ahmed, Islam played an important role historically for the Oromo, helping them to shape their identity vis-a-vis Amharic nationalism. However, this point goes largely unexplored.
If I have one critique of the book I felt Dr. Ahmed missed a chance to compare and contrast the impact and development of Christianity and Islam and their attitudes toward each other in theoretical terms.There is some great material in Chapter Six on this point, but it is confined to a discussion of the mid-nineteenth century and the attempts by the Christian emperors Tewodoros II and Yohannes IV to subdue Wallo.
If you are interested in more contemporary issues of Islam in Ethiopia and Muslim Ethiopians, here is a website for Ethiopian Muslims in Europe. If you click through there is a biography of Shaykh Talha bin Ja'afar, one of the principal figures, who waged an armed struggle against the armies of emperor Yohannes and did much to propogate Islam in Wallo.
January 17, 2010
Over 100 storeys, it boasts the world’s highest swimming pool and perhaps as expiation also the world’s highest mosque. Its golf course requires over four million gallons of water a day. Last week, amid much fanfare, the legendary tower finally threw open its majestic doors to the public.
Previously known as Burj Dubai the structure was renamed Burj Khalifa in honour of the Abu Dhabi ruler and UAE president who had bailed out struggling Dubai with a sum of billions of dollars. Envisioned and designed by a Chicago firm, the Burj is said to have been inspired by the vision of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s Sky City which was to be built in Chicago. However, it was never realised as it lacked both the funds and labour. Neither of these were seemingly a problem in the construction of the Burj which employed thousands of labourers from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh for several years for its construction.
According to reports, the vast majority of these workers have never even been to the top of the building they spent years constructing. But not seeing the view from the top is hardly the biggest problem faced by those who constructed the Burj; there are allegations that many have died in the construction of the Burj. Such construction projects take a huge toll. Records kept by the Indian mission for only one year showed that nearly 1,000 Indian workers had died, more than 60 in accidents on the site. The Pakistani and Bangladeshi missions do not keep records of the many labourers who have died possibly deterred by the criticism of the UAE authorities. Based on estimates the total number of workers killed in such construction projects is believed to be well into the thousands.
STORY CONT'D BY CLICKING ON TITLE LINK
January 16, 2010
January 14, 2010
All in all the ads reflect an old Western preoccupation (detailed in the excellent book Imperial Encounters by Peter Van der Veer) with India as an idealized Orientalist paradise of true and original religion.
Aravind Adiga's debut novel, The White Tiger, angrily explodes that fairytale image with a gritty and darkly humorous look at the "other side" of idyllic India--a world of gated communities, caste discrimination, rampant inequality and worm-eaten civic institutions. In interviews, Adiga stated that one of the inspirations for his book was Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, as well as the work of James Baldwin and Richard Wright, and the influence is marked. The White Tiger is an arresting mashup of Crime and Punishment and Native Son, a gritty true crime story told from the perspective of a brilliant and determined murderer.
When we meet him, Balram Halwai is writing a letter to the Chinese Premier Wen Jibao from his office in Bangalore, and the novel unfolds as a series of letters to Jibao in which Halwai relates his improbable rise to prosperity in the Indian middle class.
Born a servant to a family of sweetsmakers ("halwa" means sweetness in Arabic, and I'm assuming it has the same meaning in Hindi), Halwai nevertheless grows up in poverty in the northern Indian village of Laxmangarh, with his father pulling rickshaws to make ends meet. As Halwai introduces his life, we are given vivid snapshots of the events that define him as a character--his early intelligence, his female relatives, the horrific act that defines the heart of the novel, even his fear of lizards. As a literary voice, Halwai's character is unmatched by almost any character I've read in modern literature. The unnamed narrator of Invisible Man of course comes to mind, as does the protagonist of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Telltale Heart."
I cannot do justice to the book in this review. Suffice to say that, in my humble and rather uninformed opinion, Adiga has really gone deep into the Indian postcolony--probing its faultlines, showing the complex relationship between caste and class, and even illuminating the ties between the rural and urban areas of India. I thought his description of the relationship between master and servant accurately captured its tension and its alternation between paternalism, cruelty, servility and small acts of resistance, that I have personally witnessed in my travels.
I have two questions for our readers. One, have you read the book? If so what did you think? Two, what kind of reception has this novel received in India?
January 13, 2010
LAMU, Kenya — The evening call to prayer here is like a summons, for everyone on the island. As the sun dives toward the ocean, the Muslim residents stream into the mosques, little boys wearing impossibly bright white skullcaps, their mothers in diaphanous, black head-to-toe gowns. The last of the bikini-clad tourists pick themselves up from the beach, dust off the powdery sand and head back to the hotel for a drink.
Lamu is one of the last outposts of pure Swahili culture.
Lamu has been like this for decades, a historic seafaring place where modernity has been gracefully folded into traditional culture without completely spoiling it. The snaky alleyways of the island’s old town (which the United Nations recognizes as a World Heritage site), the omnipresent smells of donkey dung and sweetly rotting fruit and the crescent-sailed dhows plying the sea make the island feel like a glass museum case — one with a living culture inside.
But all that may be about to change.
To the dismay of many residents and tourists, the Kenyan government is planning to build the biggest port in East Africa here. It is an ambitious, multibillion-dollar project that could transform trade in this region and knit together Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, eastern Congo and southern Sudan as never before.
Pipelines, rail lines, highways, airports, an oil refinery and extra-deep berths for 21st-century supertankers are all in the blueprints, though it is hard to imagine such infrastructure rising up along this long-neglected stretch of the Kenyan coast, dotted by crumbling ruins and impenetrable mangrove swamps.
The Chinese government, one of the most aggressive investors in Africa, is backing the project and has already begun feasibility studies.
“This is real,” said Chirau Ali Mwakwere, Kenya’s transport minister. “We’ve made tremendous strides toward the realization of what you might call a dream.”
Not a historian’s dream, however.
Lamu is one the last outposts of pure Swahili culture, a throwback to the days of cannons, slaves, spices and sultans who were a mix of Arab and African blood and who ruled the East African coast for hundreds of years. Because it is a small island, reachable only by a short airstrip or a very bumpy road and a ferry, it has been spared the big hotels and development that have swept the port city of Mombasa, Zanzibar and other tourist hotspots in the region.
People here say they are not especially well suited for the mechanized world. There was only one car on the island until recently (the district commissioner’s); now there are just 10. Most things are carried by donkeys, who plod through the alleyways or along the beach with heavy loads and blank, accommodating eyes. This is why many of Lamu’s elders say they think that the port will bring more trouble than good.
“People in the street think they will get jobs,” said Mohamed Athman, who leads a small marine preservation group. “What jobs? We don’t have drivers or crane operators.”
The biggest worry is the environment. Fishing is a lifeline for many of Lamu district’s 85,000 people, and the Kenyan government does not have the greatest record of preserving its natural resources, with raw sewage dumped into Lake Victoria and countless trees chopped down in the Rift Valley. Lamu fishermen fear that the planned dredging of the port will ruin fish breeding grounds.
“They will break the rocks where the fish hide,” said one angler, Mohamed Shabwana. “They will destroy everything.”
Omar Mzee, a former member of Parliament from Lamu, worries about pollution from the port and possible oil spills.
“This is going to be a total mess,” Mr. Mzee said. “The government is thinking of the national G.D.P. This will not benefit Lamu. It never has.”
Lamu has been marginalized for decades, Mr. Mzee said, kept down because the people here are Muslim and coastal, while Kenya, since its independence in 1963, has been ruled by Christian politicians from the highlands. There are few roads out here and few schools. The way residents describe it, Lamu was left to bake in tropical obscurity until tourists started flocking here in substantial numbers in the 1990s, precisely because the area was so underdeveloped and environmentally and culturally pristine. The villages around the island are studies in poverty. There is no electricity and no running water. The houses are built from mud, sticks and string. Malaria is rampant. Many of the children sitting idle in their homes or clutching saggy soccer balls on the beach have their feet chewed up by chigoes, the tiny fleas that lay eggs under people’s toenails.
“The government doesn’t take us seriously,” Mr. Mzee said.
The government says that in this case, it does not have much of a choice. Kenya’s growing economy desperately needs a bigger port, and Mombasa, the current one, cannot be expanded because of natural limitations on the harbor.
Ever since a Swiss firm in the 1970s identified the Lamu area as the best spot in Kenya for a new port, because it is deep and sheltered by a string of islands, the Kenyan government has been trying to raise the money. Now the geopolitics of the region seem to be working in its favor.
Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi are all landlocked, with growing economies, and interested in reinvigorating the East African Community. At the same time, southern Sudan is gearing up for independence from northern Sudan in 2011, and southern Sudan’s capital, Juba, is far closer to the Kenyan coast than it is to Sudan’s main port on the Red Sea.
“The Kenya side has a lot of reasons,” said a Chinese diplomat in Kenya who asked to be identified simply as Mr. Liu. “The relevant Chinese companies are now looking into this.”
The proposed site for the port is a few miles away from Lamu island on a desolate stretch of the mainland. But residents of Lamu town fear that the blast radius of the port — the crime, the pollution and the overall seediness — will reach them. Kenyan government officials admit, when pressed, that Lamu and its traditional Muslim culture will be affected.
“Of course it will change,” said Mahmoud Hassan Ali, a port official. “Lifestyle will change and whatever. But if you have faith, you have faith, my friend.”
January 12, 2010
CAIRO - Muslim groups in Malaysia are offering their help to prevent any further attacks on Christian places of worship amid a spree of attacks on churches in the multi-ethnic, Muslim-majority Asian country, The Star reported on Sunday, January 10.
"This is an offer of peace and goodwill," Nadzim Johan, the executive secretary of the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM), told a news conference.
"We don’t want our Christian brothers to be in danger."
PPIM is one of 130 Muslim NGOs that vowed to become the "eyes and ears" of the government to shield churches against attacks.
Seven churches have been fire-bombed or vandalized since Friday in an escalating row over a court ruling allowing Christians to use the word "Allah" as a translation for God in their publications.
The High Court overturned two weeks ago a government ban on the use of the word "Allah," stirring protests by many Malay Muslims.
The NGOs would be offer volunteers who would be on the look out for any suspicious behaviors and alert the authorities.
"What is important that these people know that they are watched," insisted Nadzim.
"This has got to stop."
The initiative would begin in the capital Kuala Lumpur and the state of Selangor, but could be expanded to other states with the help of more NGOs.
Christians make up around 9.1 percent of the population in Muslim-majority Malaysia, including a Catholic population of nearly 800,000.
The church attacks were condemned by all sections of society.
Seeking to quell the tensions, the government will be sponsoring an interfaith dialogue, reported the Malaysian Insider.
"My department would be holding closed-door interfaith dialogues or discussion," Koh Tsu Koon, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, told reporters.
The government had already met religious groups separately but will soon hold a meeting with the different leaders privately.
"We will hold closed-door meetings among the leaders first because it is important to arrive at certain common denominators of understanding."
Apart from the government efforts, other faith groups like the Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia (Ikim) led by former premier Abdullah Badawi has already started a religious dialogue of its own.
The government said the vehement condemnation the church attacks drew from all sections of society showed they do not represent the majority of Malaysians.
"The way that the vast majority of Malaysians [have] responded actually gives us great hope," Koh said.
"It is very often in the times of trial like these that we discover our true commitment."
Controversy over the use of the word Allah in Malaysian churches
Muslims denounce church attacks
January 8, 2010
Divorce Rate Falls in Oman
MUSCAT // The rate of divorce in Oman has fallen as a result of a trend in which men are increasingly taking second wives while keeping their first to prevent the break-up of their families, marriage counsellors say.
According to statistics from the ministry of religious affairs, the divorce rate in Oman dropped by 12 per cent in 2008 from the previous year. At the same time, the number of men taking second wives increased by more than 20 per cent.
“It is a way of making compromises… between men and their first wives,” Fatma Fallahy, a 74-year-old marriage counsellor, said. “Men say: ‘I will keep the first family as a dutiful husband, but I need to marry a second wife to keep my libido up’.”
In Islam, men can have up to four wives, provided they can afford to treat them equally, both emotionally and financially.
But when men decide to marry again, their first wives’ emotional well-being is usually the last of their concerns. “It is good that there are fewer divorces now; that prevents family break-up, but women still don’t understand why their husbands would want to add another wife when things are going well at home,” Ms Fallahy said.
For Aisha Suleimany, a 46-year-old bank supervisor, her married life does not have the same meaning now that she shares her husband of 24 years with a much younger woman. Her 51-year-old husband married a 22-year-old woman six months ago.
“What did I do wrong? I slaved in the house and at the same time go out to earn a second living and what do I get? Some woman to share my marriage and the fortune I helped to provide for our children. Half of it now goes to the new wife who came in with just a bag of clothes,” Ms Suleimany said.
Ms Suleimany said she and her husband took a joint bank loan before he married again to build a second home.
“The second home that he now lives in with his second wife is partly my effort,” Ms Suleimany added. “I understand Islam allows men to have two wives, but it is hard for most women to accept that when the only reason is just to get a younger model.”
Other marriage counsellors have little sympathy for first wives. “In my opinion, women have only themselves to blame for letting themselves go. They need to look after themselves and stay attractive,” Safiya Suleiman, a 58-year-old marriage counsellor, said.
Ms Suleiman said men in their 40s and 50s are more likely to marry second wives than any other age group.
“They want to revive their youth and stay young, and a very young second wife is just the thing for them,” Ms Suleiman said.
But many ask why young women would accept a marriage proposal by married men twice their age.
“Middle-aged men are usually well-off financially. Some young women don’t want to struggle with men of their own age. Another reason is that it is difficult in our society for women to land a husband after the age of 25. They become a prime target for middle-aged, wealthy men,” Ms Fallahy said.
But Ms Suleimany dismissed Ms Suleiman’s suggestion. “That is stupid advice and I am surprised that, as a woman, she would say that. It is biologically impossible to retain one’s youthfulness as one ages. Besides, women look beyond wrinkles, can’t men do the same?” she said.
Nasser Kindy, a 56-year-old businessman who took a second wife two years ago, refuted the popular belief that men who take second wives simply want to boost their libidos.
“Far from the truth… most men with two wives do that because their first one turned the house into sheer hell,” Mr Kindy said. “At my age, I want peace of mind and not constant nagging all day long. The home of my second wife is an escape route when the first wife starts to blow the roof.”
But Mr Kindy conceded that polygamy is not always an enviable lifestyle.
“Children from the first wife can be rebellious, causing constant friction… And your two families can never be close, virtually becoming lifelong enemies,” Mr Kindy said.
Clerics say the practice often leads to disputes over inheritance.
“Usually, the children of the first wife, being much older than the second wife’s children, tend to take more than their share after their father’s death, resulting in bitter court lawsuits,” Sheikh Salim al Amry, imam of a mosque in Muscat, said.
Many second wives also say they often have contentious relationships with their co-wives. “We are called ‘husband snatchers’ by first wives. If anything, it is their fault for not satisfying their husbands,” Khadija Marhoon, 33, the second wife of an army officer, said. “Yes, there are problems… I personally don’t care as long as I get what I need.”