The first MBN Dinner/Talks
sessions for the year kicked off on Tuesday at the
Brisbane Abruzzo Club with author of Networking
Exposed, Lisa Butler, leading the charge.
Ms Butler drew on her extensive
research on the subject to explain why one should
surround oneself with a well-developed,
sophisticated support network and how to build a
successful networking lifestyle.
A lively discussion on
effective networking strategies followed a generous variety of
dishes ranging from Indian to Italian.
kept entertained through the night with MBN's
Secretary, Rubana Moola, serving as the
Master of Ceremonies, comedienne and
putting their new found skills to the test
were (left to right) Fozia Peer,
Sharnam Cassimjee, Rashida Khan
and Sushil Sami.
It was also
announced that the MBN Annual General
Meeting will be taking place on 17 February
and nominations for 5 positions on the
Executive are being sought. Contact the
firstname.lastname@example.org for the details.
Haj 2007: By Yusuf
Hajji Yusuf Hussein
There is undoubtedly a vast difference performing Hajj
at present, than performing Hajj in 1992.
Even though my first Hajj was 15 years ago, I still
remember each and every day of it.
In 1992, I performed Hajj with my wife, sister and
brother-in-law. Back in those days, going through an
agent was not compulsory and we had to apply for our own
Hajj visas, find our own transport as well as find our
own hotel accommodation.
Once we landed at the Hajj terminal in Mecca, we were
waiting for a few hours before we were cleared. On my
most recent Hajj trip, we cleared immigration and
passport control in less than 20 minutes!
The authorities there in Mecca didn’t have to ask us if
we had found our hotel accommodation, as they did in
1992, because all hotel accommodation, transport and
visas were organized for us by our Hajj packages. We
opted to book through Labbaik Travel. They were very
professional in the way they conducted the Hajj.
Upon arrival at the Mouasas Office in Mecca last year,
we were given wristbands which listed our Mina camp
number and bus number. This illustrated to us very early
just how organized and efficient everything had become
as compared to 15 years ago.
Another very obvious difference was the crowds. In 1992,
after completing our Umra, we found hotel accommodation
quite easily and in addition, it was very close to the
Haram. We even managed to make arrangements with the
hotel to have that room for the whole Hajj season.
Whilst in Mecca, we performed Tawaaf whenever possible.
The crowds back then were manageable and depending on
the time, we even managed to kiss the Hajre-Aswad.
The crowds when going for Hajj today are incomparable to
what they used to be so this time, unfortunately, we
were unable to kiss the Hajre-Aswad.
One very apparent difference one would notice when going
for Hajj today is the fact that there are a lot more
wheelchairs, but not enough wheelchair facilities to
cater for this dramatic increase.
Another thing that got our attention was the fact that
the entrance to the Zam Zam well was now closed. Back in
1992, we were able to go down underneath and actually
see the well.
Labbaik Travel organized our trip to Medina and we spent
ten days there. On the 7th of Zil Hajj, we put on our
Ihraam and proceeded to Mina. We arrived in Mina at
Once we decided to go to Medina in 1992, we had to go
back to the Mouasas Office to book ourselves onto a bus.
We had to be there two hours before our departure for
Once we arrived, we proceeded to look for accommodation.
Again, we managed to find hotel accommodation not far
from Masjid-al-Nabawi. After ten days in Medina, we then
booked to go back to Mecca with a few days to spare
before Hajj began.
We put on our Ihraam for another Umra and proceeded by
bus to Mecca. Upon arrival, we noticed that the crowds
were building up as Hajj was drawing closer. On our
second Umra in 1992, we were unable to kiss the
In 1992, on the 7th of Zil Hajj, we were asked to be at
the Mouasas Office after Fajr on the 8th of Zil Hajj.
We arrived there at 2am, knowing there would be an
enormous amount of people scrambling for the buses to
get to Mina, as back then, we had to organize our own
transportation. Following Fajr prayers, we boarded a bus
which took us into Mina.
On arrival, we noticed our tent had a pedestal fan and a
container of iced water. We were the only ones in our
tent; thus making it quite spacious. The toilet
facilities nearby were reasonably clean too.
The next morning, after Fajr, we headed to Arafat by
bus. Back then, our bus driver had no idea where he was
going but finally managed to get us to Arafat in time
for Zohr Salaat. These days, it is much easier going
along with a group, because when it was our turn to
board the bus to Arafat, we were called and arrived
there at about 8:30 am. We were able to stay the whole
day in Arafat, as compared with 1992. The routes taken
by the buses seem to be somewhat more organized too.
After Maghrib Salaat in 1992, we advanced onto Muzdalifa.
Our bus all of a sudden just stopped in the middle of
nowhere! But as our driver was also performing Hajj, we
decided to spend the night by the bus. After Fajr the
next morning, we left Muzdalifa and proceeded to Mina.
Our driver drove around in circles trying to get us to
the Jamaraat. Although it was only 3kms away, due to the
crowds it was nearly impossible to get there.
Finally, at about Zohr time we arrived by the Jamaraat.
We pelted our pebbles and then went to Mina. Once we got
confirmation of our Qurbani, we then removed our Ihraam
and shaved our heads. The next day, we were able to get
a taxi to Mecca and performed our Tawaaf-Ziyarat. We
then got a taxi back to the Jamaraat to pelt.
The Hajj terminal
In 2007, we arrived in Muzdalifa at about 9:30 pm. This
time we were allocated an area in Muzdalifa which was
extremely crowded. A distinct change was the number of
toilets. In 1992, there were no toilet facilities around
us whatsoever; however in 2007, there were adequate
toilet blocks stationed nearby.
After sunrise when we decided to catch our bus to Mina,
it was much too chaotic and thus decided to walk to Mina
instead. We then proceeded from our camp in Mina to pelt
The Jamaraat is now one way, has three levels and it is
much bigger - thus making it safer, more orderly and
easier to pelt.
The next day we decided to go to Mecca to perform our
Tawaaf-Ziyarat but were unable to get a taxi to go to
Mecca. We then decided to walk to the Jamaraat and then
walk to Mecca and back to Mina.
It can be seen that Hajj in 1992 and Hajj in 2007 both
had their ups and downs - the major ones being the
difference in crowds and it being compulsory nowadays to
travel with a group. Nevertheless, both times, I came
back home to Australia with a sense of inner peace and
calmness. Hajj is the most joyful and most spiritual
experience one can have.
League: Organizational Profile
The International Dateline passes the Island of Taveuni
This not only makes Fiji see the sun rise first, but
also the first country to offer Fajr Salaat (pre-dawn
The Muslims in Fiji originated from the Indo-Pak
Sub-continent. The British Government brought these
workers in groups, under a system of indentured
labourers to work in the country's sugarcane farms.
The first group of immigrants left India from the port
of Calcutta on 28th February 1879 in a ship called "Leonidas".
They reached the Levuka Harbour on 14th May 1879. Of the
498 passengers, 92 were Muslims.
A regular flow of immigrants continued with a total of
86 voyages from 1879 to 1916. Today 7% of Fiji's
population is Muslim.
The Fiji Muslim League (FML) [a religious and social
organization] was established in the year 1926. The
organization is working particularly for the welfare and
development of the Muslims.
Achievements of Fiji Muslim League to date include the
establishment of the following:
• 17 Muslim Primary Schools
• 5 Muslim Colleges
• A tertiary institution for higher education
• Masajid / Prayer Centres (Markaz) in the country
Through these institutions, generations have excelled in
secular as well as religious education and have
maintained their Islamic identity in a multi-religious
The Board of Consumer Affairs plays an important role in
advising the Muslim community on consumable items. The
board has members from the field of Food, Science and
Nutrition and Islamic Scholars (Ulama) to resolve issues
of this board.
The vision of the Fiji Muslim League Board of Consumer
Affairs is to promote Halaal Food consumption for the
Muslim community in Fiji. As the availability of
processed foods in the food market is increasing, there
has been a greater need to investigate the authenticity
of the so called "Halaal" foods in the market. It acts
as a Halaal regulatory body and offers Halaal
Source: South African National Halaal Authority
e-Bulletin 23 (Muharram 1429 - January 2008). To
subscribe to the SANHA e-Bulletin send an email to
As a result of the consultation with various persons in
the Muslim Community it was identified that many youth
are not aware of the process when dealing with police
officers. Therefore, in order to create a stronger
relationship of mutual respect with the Muslim Community
the Queensland Police Service will be holding an
of the QPS/MUSLIM YOUTH REFERENCE GROUP, the aim is to
inform the Muslim Community of the process regarding the
submission of complaints concerning unprofessional
conduct by members of the police service. This
Information Evening is designed to teach the community
about the Queensland Police Service Complaints Process
and following up complaints submitted.
speaker will be Inspector Jerry Costello, Professional
Practice Manager (PPM) of the Metropolitan South Region
Wednesday 13th February 2008
ADDRESS: QLD Police Service Regional Office,
Level 1, 1993 Logan Road, Upper Mt Gravatt (next door to
Qld X- Ray)
This invitation is open to all members of the Muslim
community however is designed for Muslim Youth.
If you need
any more information contact Sergeant Jim Bellos:
Applications open for
$3.5m Community Celebration Fund
A second round of community funding for Queensland's
150th Celebrations, which will provide up to $3.5
million for community groups across the State opened
last week to help communities celebrate Queensland's
150th birthday in a way that was significant to them.
The grants, which range from $2,000 to $10,000, are
available to community groups, as well as local
councils, educational institutions and incorporated
Applications are being accepted now for the second round
of grants, with submissions closing on 13 April.
Successful applicants will be announced in June.
The third and final round will open in July 2008.
Submissions close in September.
Details on the grants program are available from the
Queensland's 150th Celebrations website -
2009 marks the 150th anniversary of Queensland's
separation from New South Wales. The anniversary
celebrations, which will run the entire year, will
express the vision - "Reflect on our past, imagine our
future" - and be shaped around four themes - history,
people, places and future.
The CCN Cultural
Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi died on December 17,
Men of five faiths followed his bier.
That night was named Sebul Arus (Night of Union). Ever
since, the Mevlevi dervishes have kept that date as a
The day I've died, my pall is moving on -
But do not think my heart is still on earth!
Don't weep and pity me: "Oh woe, how awful!"
You fall in devil's snare - woe, that is
Don't cry "Woe, parted!" at my burial -
For me this is the time of joyful meeting!
Don't say "Farewell!" when I'm put in the
A curtain is it for eternal bliss.
You saw "descending" - now look at the
Is setting dangerous for sun and moon?
To you it looks like setting, but it's
The coffin seems a jail, yet it means
Which seed fell in the earth that did not
Why do you doubt the fate of human seed?
What bucket came not filled from out the
Why should the Yusaf "Soul" then fear this
Close here your mouth and open it on that
So that your hymns may sound in Where-
Schimmel, Annemarie. Look! This Is Love: Poems of Rumi.
Boston, Mass.: Shambhala Publications, 1991.
Cast and Crew take a bow
Thumbs up for local play
A group of part-time actors, stage hands
and technicians from Sydney flew into Brisbane yesterday
morning (after having just completed two successive
performances in their home town) and put on a most
entertaining and professional play to a relatively small
but very appreciative audience at the Logan
Entertainment Centre last night.
With all the humour, drama and pathos of
a Shakespearean styled production, Vidhata demonstrated
that Indians don't just dance and sing, but can shine in
serious method acting with the best of them.
The Hindi script, delightfully executed
by actor/director Vipul Vyas and his team, told of a
mentally challenged girl, unfulfilled love, hope,
despair and death by poison interspersed with dramatic
lighting and song and voiceovers
A poor grasp of the language did not
diminish this reviewer's ability to keep on track with
the storyline, but it did give him time to admire the
exquisite wardrobes of saries and punjabis that changed
as often as the scenes.
If white men can't dance (or so the movie
title goes) then Vyas and his actors amply demonstrated
last night that brown men (and women) can act!
Reviewer: CCN's Man about Town
We offer our condolences to FaiselEssof and his Family on the passing away of his
mother, Mrs. Amina Ismail Essof, in Zimbabwe
during the week.
lillah hi wa Innaa ilay hi Rauji'oon''
To Allah do we belong and to Him is our return
Forgotten champion of
Islam: One man and his mosque
A crumbling house in Liverpool conceals a curious
secret: the vandalised remains of Britain's first
mosque. Now, finally, the city is set to restore it -
and to honour the eccentric lawyer who created it.
Michael Savage discovers his remarkable story
Front of No 8 Brougham
There is little to suggest that
No 8 Brougham Terrace is anything
special. But underneath the dust and
the mould is a building of
extraordinary historical and social
significance. This was Britain's
first true mosque.
And following years of neglect,
it could finally be about to receive
the restoration treatment that,
given its place in the nation's
history, it surely deserves. The
Bishop of Liverpool has called for
action. The Saudi and Kuwait
governments are interested in
helping to fund a project that would
With Liverpool gearing up to be
European Capital of Culture next
year, the plight of the forgotten
mosque is attracting attention
again. That, in turn, has shed light
on the astonishing character who
founded it on Christmas Day 1889.
William Quilliam was a solicitor.
But in late 19th century Britain
there was no other solicitor quite
like him. He is said to have
appeared in court wearing Turkish
ceremonial dress. Others claim he
travelled through Liverpool on a
white Arab horse, or that he was
descended from a first lieutenant
who fought with Nelson at Trafalgar.
Such stories may well be
apocryphal, yet Quilliam was a man
whose life needs no embellishing.
Few religious figures have
championed their faith the way the
man who became Sheikh Abdullah
Quilliam did. He did so despite
often facing hostility from his own
countrymen. He was made the Sheikh
of Britain by the last Ottoman
emperor, converted hundreds to his
religion, and was honoured by the
Sultan of Morocco, the Shah of
Persia and the Sultan of
Afghanistan. The mosque at 8
Brougham Terrace was his crowning
in 1856, Quilliam was the son of a
wealthy watchmaker, and became a
solicitor after training at the
Liverpool Institute. But life as a
lawyer took its toll on Quilliam and
in 1882 he travelled to the south of
France to recover from stress. While
he was recuperating, he decided to
cross the Mediterranean to Morocco
and Algeria and it was there that
his fascination with Islam began. At
the age of 31 he converted to the
religion, changed his name to
Abdullah and bought a marmoset as a
"He never went anywhere without
that monkey," said Quilliam's
granddaughter, Patricia Gordon. "It
used to sit on his shoulder. He had
a little fez made for it and would
even take it to the British Museum
when he was studying there. He was
an old Victorian eccentric. He was
his own man and he did what he
wanted to do all his life. When he
walked into a room, everyone would
go quiet. He was a very colourful
Click on image to enlarge
His love of exotic animals turned
his home into a zoo - he reportedly
kept a jackal, a wolf, a fox and
even a crocodile.
For Quilliam, his own conversion
was just the start of his loud and
proud association with Islam. He
soon found he had the knack of
convincing others of its merits. He
first began holding lectures on his
new religion and then founded the
Liverpool Mosque and Institute in
the small semi on Brougham Terrace,
West Derby Street, in 1889.
Within 10 years of his return to
the city, he assembled a following
of about 150 Muslims, almost
entirely made up of British
converts. Scientists and
professionals were among Quilliam's
group, along with his sons and his
mother, who had spent most of her
life as a Christian activist. He
also produced two journals, The
Crescent and The Islamic Review, on
a printing press in the mosque's
cellar. Both were circulated
But Quilliam's misssion did not
stop at publishing. He set out to
help ease Liverpool's social ills,
founding the Medina Home, which
cared for illegitimate children and
found them foster parents. He set up
the Muslim College, a weekly
debating society and also wrote a
book of Muslim hymns in English.
still found time to write a book.
The Faith of Islam was published in
1899 by a small local printer and
was translated into 13 languages,
with three editions published.
Quilliam proudly said that it had
been read by Queen Victoria and the
ruler of Egypt.
But not everyone appreciated
Quilliam's vigour. Soon after he
converted to Islam, he was evicted
from his house by his landlord, who
took exception to his rejection of
Christianity. The timing of his book
on Islam compounded the vitriolic
hatred that some in the Christian
community felt for him. "The ongoing
conflict with Sudan meant that the
very mention of Islam in Britain was
like a red rag to a bull," says
Professor Humayun Ansari, an expert
in British Islamic history from
Royal Holloway College, London.
Quilliam was never one to go
quietly and launched a series of
attacks on the British government.
When the Prime Minister, William
Gladstone, was due to give a speech
in Liverpool urging action against
the Ottoman Empire for its treatment
of Armenians, Quilliam leapt to the
emperor's defence. He gathered his
congregation at the mosque to make a
rival speech, during which he
declared the West was quite happy to
ignore "Christian atrocities"
"An American explodes a bomb in
the crowded streets of
Constantinople and slays innocent
women and children and, because he
calls himself a Christian he is
extolled in England as a hero and as
a patriot!" Quilliam wrote. "An
Afghan fights for his fatherland in
the Khyber Pass, and because he is a
Muslim he is denounced as a traitor
and a rebel."
According to Professor Ansari,
Quilliam paid a price for his
stance. "Of course, he was
lampooned, but it showed that he was
a courageous man, as well as a
controversial figure. Although other
English people had converted, they
tended to keep a low profile.
Quilliam on the other hand was much
more forthright and challenging,
making him a high-profile public
figure in the process."
Back of No 8 Brougham Terrace
developed a difficult relationship
with the press. The Liverpool Review
described his quest to convert the
city to Islam as "silly and
unwelcome". He became a regular
contributor to the letters pages,
attempting to right what he saw as
the incorrect popular view of Islam,
derived from myths dating back to
He wrote: "When we consider that
Islam is so much mixed up with the
British Empire, and the many
millions of Muslim fellow subjects
who live under the same rule, it is
very extraordinary that so little
should be generally known about this
religion. And consequently the gross
ignorance of the masses on the
subject allows them to be easily
deceived, and their judgement led
His outspoken stance also made
his mosque a target of abuse. During
one confrontation, a crowd of 400
protesters gathered outside the
building, hurling mud, stones and
rotten vegetables at those leaving
the prayer hall. In 1895, a group
threatened to burn Quilliam alive.
His efforts to promote Islam
brought him praise and powerful
friends throughout the Muslim world.
The Shah of Persia made him a consul
to his country. In 1894, Sultan
Abdul Hamid II, the last Ottoman
emperor, gave Quilliam the title of
"Sheikh al-Islam of Britain", leader
of British Muslims. The Sultan of
Afghanistan gave him a £2,500
"personal gift", to help him
continue his good works.
By the turn of the century,
Quilliam had developed ambitious
plans to build a mosque from
scratch, complete with a dome and
minarets. But true to his eccentric
character, he took a sudden decision
in 1908 to leave Britain,
mysteriously heading back to the
east and not returning until shortly
before his death in 1932.
Back of No 8 Brougham
When Quilliam left Britain, he
took with him the energy that had
sustained his one-man mission so
successfully. Without him at the
helm, the institutions he had set up
declined, including the mosque. It
eventually ended up in the hands of
Liverpool City Council. When the
authority moved out, it fell further
into disrepair, "probably because
water got in after thieves took the
lead from the roof", said Galib
Khan, a leading member of the group
attempting to restore the mosque.
Mohammad Akbar Ali, chairman of
the Abdullah Quilliam Society set up
to campaign for the restoration,
added: "Quilliam officially opened
it on Christmas Day in 1889 with a
special breakfast for 130 of the
A fundraising meeting earlier
this month was attended by the
ambassadors of Saudi Arabia and
Kuwait. But for Mr Ali, there is a
wider principle behind finding
British money to restore Abdullah
"Part of the problem faced by
young British Muslims now is that
they have no Islamic heritage they
can truly call their own," he said.
"When Muslims born and bred in the
UK want to revisit their Islamic
roots, they go back to the countries
of their ancestors like India,
Pakistan or Saudi Arabia. But
Quilliam is proof that Britain has
its own Islamic heritage. Repairing
his mosque with British money,
either from the Government or the
Muslim community, would act as a
powerful symbol of British Islam. It
is a religious heritage that all
British Muslims can be proud of."
The Bishop of Liverpool, the
Right Rev James Jones, is now patron
of the fundraising campaign. He
admits that being asked to take up
the cause presented a "theological
challenge" to him, but he was
compelled by Quilliam's example.
"One of the challenges in today's
world is concentrating on the best
examples of each other's religions
and finding common ground," he said.
"Quilliam was a man who did a huge
amount of good work that all
religious leaders should appreciate
and the campaign to restore his
institute is worth supporting, both
nationally and locally."
(Repeated from last
week - correction re closing date)
Multicultural community organisation. Part-time
position (3 days /week).
Applicants must identify with the Muslim faith.
Multi-region project based at Logan,
aims to support unemployed and underemployed Muslim
people. Licence essential.
Selection criteria available from ACCES Services
Inc. - 3808 9299. or Sushil
Applications close on
now a word from this week's sponsor.......Nazima Hansa
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Q: Dear Kareema, I injured my ankle and elbow in a
fall and haven't been able to do any weights for some
time. How long can my body go without weight training
before it starts to break down the muscle I built up?
A: Unfortunately, you'll start losing muscle almost
immediately. The key to retraining as much muscle as
possible is to remain as active as you can (considering
your injuries), so your muscles are still being
stimulated in some way, without delaying the healing
process and putting yourself at further risk.
Quite often, doing nothing actually delays the recovery
process. The best thing to do is find a way to exercise
around your injury, or at the very least, stay active!
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