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The Islamic Bulletin

Issue 4

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The Islamic Bulletin

Issue 4

Assalamu alaikum

Dear Editor:

We read your Islamic Bulletin

and were pleased with its clear,

informative style. We hope this

bulletin, along with other Islam-

ic activities, will help promote

the Islamic movement.

Unfortunately, with hope there

is also frustration and some-

times even anger over the slow

progress of the Islamic move-

ment. Many Muslims feel that

our respective scholars are the

creators of this frustration and

act as obstacles to the Islamic


This is caused by the fact that

the majority of Islamic schol-

ars, who reside in California,

are incompetent with the English language. This incompetence

produces a negative impact on the American Muslim population,

and the devastating results may carry on to our future generations

if nothing is done to correct this problem.

A good American Muslim friend of mine once said, “I am reluctant

to come to the local masjid, because the Imam doesn’t give an

English translation of his sermon, and I don’t understand what he’s

saying.” Don’t you think it’s about time we understand what our

Imams are screaming about?

N. Akhtar



Assalamu Alaikum

Dear N. Akhtar:

First of all, I would like to thank you for writing and state that you

have a very valid point. I do believe that in order to further the

Islamic movement here in the United States, we do indeed need

our Imams to speak English and to give sermons in English.

But on the other hand, we need to give our Imams credit for being

so learned (hafiz) in the Quran. It is not their fault if they happen

to be of Pakistani, Arab, and Indian descent and therefore, their

knowledge of the English language is not fluent.

It would be ideal for our Imams to be fluent in English so that many

new Americans could learn about Islam. Since that is not always

the case, however, we must work with the current situation.

For example, here in San Francisco, we have a large number of

American Muslims who regularly attend the Friday prayers. Since

they obviously do not understand the Khutba, which is delivered

in Arabic by the Imam, we have a solution for this.









There is an English talk given by one of the knowledgeable En-

glish-speaking people before the actual Khutba. In this way, Amer-

ican Muslims attending feel happy to be a part of this program and

look forward to Friday prayers where they can pray in congregation.

One of the ways Islam was propagated in the world was through

Muslims good qualities. From the beginning of Islam, non-Arabic

speaking Muslim scholars like Abu Hanifa, Bukhari, Muslim, etc.

grew to become Muslim scholars and leaders of the whole Muslim

world in general.

So hopefully history will repeat itself. We are waiting for the day to

see Americans who will have the zeal and knowledge to lead the

ship of the United States to Islam.

Please do not feel embarrassed to explain to your Imam the need

for an English talk to be included. God willing, we will also talk to

your Imam in Stockton and explain to him this need.

There are many Americans interested in Islam who are turned-off

by the illusion that Islam is for Arabs only. That is not the case.

Islam is the religion for all people of every color and nationality.

Oldest Printed Copy of the Holy Qur’an

Venice - A 16th century copy of the Holy Qur’an, believed to be

the first printed copy, was discovered from the St. Michele Library

in Venice, Italy. The copy of the Holy Qur’an was found among

other old books that were kept without officials knowing about it.

Professor Sergio Noia of the Arabic language and literature at Mi-

lan University said the Qur’an was probably printed in 1537 by

an individual named Peganino Dei Peganini in Venice. Before this

discovery, the oldest printed copy of the Holy Qur’an dated back

to 1604, printed in Hamburg, Germany.

World Muslim Population Crosses the Billion Mark

Cairo - The world Muslim population has reached 1,225 billion,

according to an official at the International Islamic Center for Pop-

ulation Studies in Al-Azhar University of Cairo.

Dr. Imam Abdurrahim said about 800 Muslims were living in Asia,

approximately 309 million in Africa, 16 million in Europe, 5 mil-

lion in America, and about 1.5 million in Australia. - Reported by

Ashraq Al Aswat.







Web Address:


Editor, Islamic Bulletin

P.O. Box 410186

San Francisco, CA 94141-0186, USA

2645 Embrace Islam in Riyadh

Jeddah - A total of 2645 people from 39 different countries

embraced Islam during the last four years, according to a study

conducted by the faculty of Social Science at the Imam Mu-

hammed Ibn Saud Islamic University.

Of the sample survey conducted, 83% were Christians before

embracing Islam. The remaining 17% consisted of Hindus,

Buddhists and other minority religions.

The survey also reflected, 41 % embraced Islam through col-

leagues, 34% embraced through one of their friends who them-

selves embraced Islam at some point in life and 12% embraced

Islam through one of their family members.

Reading Islamic books led to the embracing of Islam by 40%,

while scenes of the prayers at mosques and performing of the

pilgrimage at Mecca observed on television convinced 13%.

Seminars and lectures conducted by the Islamic organizations

all over the world led 30% to Islam.

- Reported by Al-Muslimoon.

And Here in the US.....

Muslims in America Fight Stereotypes

It is unfortunate that some teachings of Islam have been dis-

torted and misrepresented in the West and the Communist


The main distortions relate to the status of women, marriage,

divorce, Jihad (holy war), the authenticity of the Prophethood of

Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), and the distinctions

between the Holy Qur’an and the Ha’dith.

Shabbir Mansuri, a Muslim educational reformer from Califor-

nia, is working diligently in conjunction with other Muslims to

change the image of the Muslims in the United States.

Muslims are misrepresented by stereotyping them as terrorists,

as Bedouins, and quite other negative images in the American

school books, movies, newspapers and the marketplace.

Such negative images are fueled not only by the main events,

like the gulf war, but also by an abiding ignorance of the Muslim


Scott Easton of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Com-

mittee in Washington D.C. said, “We are concerned now

about more subtle forms of discrimination that have been

there all along, like the anti-Arab jokes on the radio. The

25,000 member civil rights organization marked the start of

the holy month of Ramadan by petitioning the U.S. Secretary

of Education for a task force on the treatment of Islam and

the Arab world in the elementary and the secondary school

system in United States.”

Former teacher Audrey Shabbas of Berkeley believes the war

opened a “window of opportunity” to learn more about Islam

and the Middle East. Books on the Middle East are selling briskly,

enrollment in a UC-Berkeley class on Muslims in America is 50

percent, and calls requesting information flood in to nonprofit

groups like Arab World and Islamic Resources in Berkeley and

Muslim mosques like our Islamic Center.

See also The S.F. Examiner Sunday March 31, 1991 Page




One of the factors that stimulated geographical research among

the Muslims was the annual pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mec-

ca (Hajj). The Muslims conceived Mecca as the central point

of the world and tried to find easily accessible routes, and the

distances and directions of different cities and towns from the

central point. It was also necessary to find the correct direction

of each place from Mecca so that Muslims could offer their daily

prayers facing the direction of Mecca.

As the Muslims influence and faith spread to far distant places

in the north, east, west, and south, efforts to find direction and

location of each region from Mecca became all the more nec-

essary. This led to the determination of points of longitude and

latitude of hundreds of towns and cities with greater exactness

and accuracy than before. The invention of the compass was

also made possible by this urge to find the correct direction of

Mecca from different parts of the world.

Again, the daily prayers necessitated the proper timing of each

prayer and proper times of fast. This urge to worship God at

the proper times and to fast for His pleasure during the correct

timing of the day in the different parts of the world led to great

efforts and research into these subjects.

Philop K. Hitti, “History of the Arabs”, rightly admits the influence

of worship and the Ka’bah in stimulating scientific studies by the

Muslims in the field of geography.

“The institution of the Holy Pilgrimage, the orientation of the

mosques towards Mecca and the need for determining the

direction of the Ka’bah at the time of prayer gave religious

impetus to the Muslims’ study of geography. Astrology, which

necessitated the determining of the latitudes and longitudes of

all places throughout the world, added its scientific influence.

Muslim traders between the 7th and 9th centuries reached

China on the east both by sea and by land, attained the island

of Zanzibar and the farthest coasts of Africa on the south, pen-

etrated Russia on the north and were checked in their advance

westward only by the dreaded waters of the ‘Sea of Darkness’

(the Atlantic).”

The main stimulus to acquire knowledge of everything, including

geography, came from the Quran and the Hadith of the Prophet,

which led the Arabs to find knowledge from the four corners

of the world. In this search they found instruments and tools in

Greek literature which proved very useful to them in their quest

for geographical knowledge.

As they advanced in geographical knowledge, these tools en-

abled them to make their studies more systematic and scientific.

But this in no way means that their geographical studies were

stimulated by the Greeks, because the stimulus to knowledge

had already been provided by the Revelation which encouraged

them to acquire all the existing knowledge through translating

useful works of other peoples.

However, they continued their studies of different regions and

lands and discovered new fields of geographical knowledge

unknown to previous nations, including the Greeks and the