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Published in the 16-31 Aug 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Letters

MG
Thank you for your publication, The Milli Gazette, dated 1-15 July 2004 which I received and read with considerable interest. The informative news, which was authentic and accurate, was of great importance to the nation and its people. Please keep it up. I will be happy to receive your newspaper regularly.
Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, Prince of Arcot
Amir Mahal, Royapettah, Chennai 600014


II
I find Milli Gazette in consonance with the problems the Umma is facing and wish that you reach the larger number of people. I request you to write more about Muslims' education in Milli Gazette.
Mohamed Shari Bubere, Byculla, Mumbai 

Zakat calculation and tax liability
Following is the letter an esteemed reader sent to an enquiry published in the previous issue:

I have seen your querry on Zakath in Milli Gazette (1-15 August, p. 31). Zakath is a religious duty and Niyath for Zakath is as must as niyath for salaath, Hajj or Fasting. If Zakath is paid with intention of claiming I. T. concession then it is not Zakath. You cannot claim benefit both from Allah & State for same amount. We should never think paying Zakath is burden just as saying salath should not be considered bother some or fasting should not be considered a physical strain. Some payments are made to organizations such as a Zakath foundation from which Zakath cannot be paid such as interest received from banks on Saving Bank Account for which I. T. exemption can be claimed. Such amounts are credited by receipients organization to another head of account which is not Zakath A/c. For this you will have to inform them if it is Zakath or Not? Was connected with a organization which had separate bank a/c for Zakath, Mosque & Welfare only contribution to "Welfare A/c" were given 80G certificate for I. T claim.

Secondly people have a wrong impression that entire payment under 80G of I. T, is eligible the total donation for exemption is restricted to 5% of assesses income of the year which will be far less than your liability to Zakath on idle unused wealth with you. I am an accountant by profession so I know what I have written above. Even non Muslims who give donations cannot claim all donations for which they lane get 80G. It is restricted to 5% of assessable income and balance is disallowed. If assesee has not get taxable or files a less return he cannot claim anything at all. But for a Muslim zakath liability is there which has nothing to do with taxable income you will lose sawab of Zakath if you link it to I. T. 

Further there is one more hurdle, the entire donation for which you get 80G will not be allowed. Only 50% of it will be allowed & that 50% should not exceed 5% of assessable income as explained above. Many do not know this and they go on incorrectly asking for 80G thinking they will automatically get full reduction for income tax, it is not so.

I will give you an example, A person is 65 year old; he has Rs. 200,000 lyng in bank a/c for more than one year. Annual income is Rs. 100,000
Tax liability
Rs. 50,000 nil
Rs. 10,000 10% Rs. 1000 
Rs. 40,000 20% Rs. 8000
Rs. 100,000
Total tax Rs. 9000
Less rebate for senior citizen Rs. 20,000
Tax liability Nil.

What is use of 80G to this person? Can you say I do not get 80G benefit so I will not give Zakath? In any case Zakath has nothing to do with Income Tax. It is duty to Allah. It is also an Ibadath. If Muslim charitable organizations owe issuing 80G for Zakath contribution they receive they are making a mistake and should stop it.

M. Z. Chida, Chennai
fawsan@giasmd01.vsnl.net.in

Marriage registration should be optional
This refers to the article of Mr. Tahir Mahmood, "Why fear marriage registration"? He has not referred to the earliest Act on marriage registration namely the Mohammedan Marriage and Divorce Registration Act, 1876. Registration of marriage under the said Act is optional. However, almost all marriages are registered except a few cases under the law by marriage registrars. A few years back the government of West Bengal had proposed to enact a law for compulsory registration of marriages which was opposed by the Muslims. As a result the government abandoned the idea of enacting the law. 

Mr Mahmood has incorrectly commented that All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s stand on registration of marriage and codification of personal laws had always been negative.

Registration of marriages is in vogue in almost all parts of the country by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as Imarat-e-Shariah in Patna. The view of the AIMPLB that the community should not leave a leeway for the government as it may interfere with the personal laws of Muslims is justified. As regards the code of Muslim law as advocated by the author I may point out that such code do exist for the past centuries for example the Hidaya, Fatawae-Alamgiri, Aini Sharah and Durrul Mukhtar. In case the AIMPLB prepares a draft of Muslim laws, as suggested by the writer, to hand it over to the government for enacting a law by Parliament, in all likelihood the government will never introduce the Bill. 

Preparing a draft of Muslim laws and getting it passed by Parliament means offering a chance to communalists to introduce a common civil code. 
Mansoor Ahmed, Kolkata-14

We need another Sir Syed
Muslims must follow religion with sincerity, but a bit common sense. Dependence on theological institutions is wrong. We believe that all the good things emanate from institutions like All India Muslim Personal Law Board, All India Milli Council or Darul Quza.

Now it is widely felt that equivocal interpretation of Quran and Sunnah by the ulema has divided the Muslims into different sects which are hostile to each other. The need of the hour is to liberate the Muslims from the clutches of clerics. In this regard the efforts of some eminent writers as A.G. Noorani and Asghar Ali Engineer are praiseworthy. 

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan had ignored "Fatwa-e-Kufr" against him and went ahead with his mission, urging Muslims to adopt modern education. The benefit is before all of us.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was able in eradicating sati from the Hindu society despite all odds.

We badly need another Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and a Muslim Raja Ram Mohan Roy today.

Masood Ashraf, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi

Maintenance to divorcees
Under the Muslim Personal Law, a husband is bound to provide maintenance to his divorced wife only during three months period of iddat. He is should also pay the amount of mehar and allow her to take possession of all her property. The husband is also obliged to give some gifts like new garments and some money to his departing wife. Muslim women are not entitled to regular maintenance.

Receiving regular maintenance from husband is against the self-respect and dignity of woman. Under Muslim Personal Law the father, the children, the brothers, the uncles, all those in whose inheritance she has a share are legally bound to provide adequate maintenance to a divorced woman or a widow. If there is no one to look after her, then the responsibility of providing maintenance falls on the Muslim society or the Muslim state. There are Muslim Wakfs, Islamic Baitulmals and Zakat administration to look after destitute including divorcees and widows. Islam advises Muslims to marry divorcees and widows. One of the merits of polygamy is to accommodate such women in a dignified manner.

Because of lengthy and time consuming process of getting divorce through courts and the liability of providing maintenance to a divorced wife, some non-Muslim husbands have been burning and killing their wives in our country. 
G. Hasnain Kaif, Azad Ward, Bhandara

Eradicate liqour consumption
Liquor consumption has assumed dangerous proportions particularly amongst politicians, bureaucrats and newly-rich. Intoxication besides being harmful to health leads to vices and renders one insensitive to civilised behaviour. Muslims too have started indulging in liqour consuming quite liberally. Islam strictly prohibits its use. The holy Quran says; "O ye who believe: intoxication and gambling… are abomination, — of satant’s handiwork eschew such (abomination), that ye prosper."

If we observe this Quranic injunction we will definitely find ourselves in a better and sound condition. Since a state earns a substantial part of its income through excise duty on liqour it is reluctant to impose restriction on liquor consumption. Social organisations must come forward to eradicate or at least control this evil.

Obaidur Rahman Nadwi, Nadwa, Lucknow

Truthfulness of Jenny Tonge
The truthful and justice-loving British member of Parliament Jenny Tonge is reported to have said that if she was a Palestinian, she would have considered becoming a suicide bomber. Her truthfulness reminds one of a great police officer DIG Rebeiro. Nearly two years ago he had said that anyone who sees his sister and mother being raped and killed would become a terrorist after losing hope of getting justice. 

Sultan A. Patel, Khanpur Deh-392150

J&K Board must address challenges 
The formation of the J&K Waqf Board is a welcome move on the part of coalition government’ head by Mufti Mohammed Sayeed. People have welcomed the move and attached great hopes with the Waqf Board. 

The board comprise some distinguished scholars. The honourable members of the board have tremendous responsibility to shoulder. They have to provide good education to children and lend a helping hand to the needy and downtrodden segment of the society. 

Madrasa education has to be reshaped and reoriented to make it relevant to the current times. Parochialism and religious orthodoxy has to be shunned away. The concept of ‘Ijtehad’ has to be exercised to find solutions to the emerging problems. Let us put together our efforts to produce people of calibre like Ghazali, Al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, Al-Jahiz, Al-Biruni and Ibn Khaldun .
Nasir Hussain Peerzadah, Malla Bagh, Srinagar

Sterile liberals
The so called "liberal Muslims" like Javed Akhtar and his wife Shabana Azmi have NEVER done anything for the community, even though with their high name recognition and contacts, they have the ability to do so. In fact whenever Muslim groups have approached such liberal Muslims for help, they have told them that working only for Muslims is bad for their "secular" image. They say we work for all Indians. Kaleem Kawaja, Washington DC
kawaja@worldnet.att.net 

Travails of history
Writing of history has been a debatable issue in the past also, but of late it has generated more heat than ever before. Former HRD minister Murli Manohar Joshi was responsible for generating the present debate, for it was during his tenure that the history books started changing colour and became saffron. The unexpected change at the centre halted the process. The new UPA government took upon the issue and tried to revert back to the old books (syllabus prevailing before the saffronisation of the text books). The efforts though in the right direction failed to clear the whole mess. The loser in the process have been the students who are totally confused as to what is there in their syllabus and what is not. History is a topic from which we have to take inspiration and also try to correct ourselves by eliminating the mistakes committed in the past. The common man has failed to derive any inspiration, on the contrary its our politicians who have, but from the past wrong doers, and are now busy accomplishing the unfulfilled agenda of those people i.e of keeping the common man divided on the basis of caste, creed and religion. Today history is used as a tool to divide the people on the lines of religion. Shivaji, Prithviraj Chauhan, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Rana Pratap, Tipu Sultan and other similar great figures of history have seized to be national heroes, they have been converted into heroes of only the communities that they belonged to. Why can't the textbooks highlight the facts that some of the trusted generals and leutenants in Shivaji's army were Muslims even though Shivaji fought majority of his battles against the Mughals, still the great Maratha king never doubted their integrity. Similarly Tipu's main advisor was none other than Purnaiyya Pandit. Why can't we take inspiration from the heroics of Tipu Sultan who for his bravery and valour was called "The tiger of Mysore." He was also the first to use cannons (fire balls) in India against the mighty Britishers. Why do we fail to get inspired by the unparalled courage and bravery displayed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh who took his enemies head on. Why do not we model ourselves on the lines of Shivaji Maharaj, who was a true champion of Hindu-Muslim unity, one has to look at his army and advisors to recognise this fact. 

If today the past is being studied in a twisted and distorted way, which threatens the future of the country, such a subject should be immediately stopped. In my opinion if teaching history in schools is creating confusion and threatening to pollute the young minds, the subject should be totally dropped from the school syllabus.
Abdul Monim, Navi Mumbai
samvashi@vsnl.net


Spark will burn the world
It cannot be ruled out, that the hawkish-stancce adopted by Arial Sharon in Palestine, will destroy the world's peace. Despite UN's resolutions, crual Israel keeps massacring Palestinians. Recently we saw that Israel's soldirs destroyed 2000 homes in Gaza in the name of security, thousand of innocent people were rendered homeless. I feel hurt not as a Muslim but as an human being to hear the massacres of humanity in Palestine. 
Md. Shoaib Gorakhpuri, Okhla, New Delhi 

Choice for India
The fate of the thee Indian hostages, is currently taxing the mettle of India’s seasoned Minister of External Affair, who is yet to come to grips with the new realities of post-Cold World War . 

Under militant Hindutva BJP-led party, India was forced to toe US/Israeli line of strategic alliance that had seriously compromised India’s half a century old status of a non-committal neutral country, not involved in the Great Game. 

However, ambitious opportunists like Advani and Vajpayee were all for offering India on a platter to the US and Israel, without bothering to judge the consensus of India people on the paradigm change that was being imposed on a democratic nation. 

The switchover to US-Israel strategic relationship brought India in the full glare of bad publicity in the Arab and Muslim world that was collateral damage that India has to share, with its newfound camaraderie with the hated villains of the Middle East. Though Arab states who are themselves clobbered into making peace with Israel and America, the people of the Arab world, cannot be so easily converted to a slavish existence. After the fall of communist Soviet Empire, the opposition fell in the hands of the so-called militant Islamists.

The first glimpse of anti-India feelings coming to surface, was the inclusion of eight Indians in the 22 hostages brutally killed by militants in Riyadh. Indian foreign ministry said, the eight Indian were victims of circumstance, not "premeditated targets for attack’. However, official as well as general public could hardly ignore other graphic details that exposed how India’s goodwill that sustained three and a half million Indian workers in Arab Gulf countries is now in serious trouble. 

To make peace with a colonizer, while a second wave of colonizing of Middle East is in full swing, is for India to forget its tragic past. 
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai
ghulam_muhammed2@yahoo.co.in

Israel's cup of tea
Iraq was materially the most advanced Islamic country - until the Gulf War, and the 12 years of UN embargo, and the Iraq War.

Today, Iraq's situation is the effect of Zion's sneaky subversion, it is the racket of Israel's protection. Bush and Blair are the agents of Zion.

The situation is an example of how Zion operates behind the political scenes in Washington, the which is the world's most disingenous political center, lined with monstrous political hype. Alfred M. Lilienthal, Washington D.C., has written about this phenomenon over the last 50 years.

When the agents of Zion (CIA) cultivated al Quaeda in Afghanistan, the diabolical nature of Zionism was inevitable wrapped up with Islamism.

A country like secular Iraq was much more dangerous for Israel than Islamic countries where the morality of priests rules the day, and where materialistic squalour and stagnation prevails.

It is certainly the aim of Zionism (and their American proxies) to incite enough chaos in Iraq for a priest-regime to assume power. A Shii'te theocracy in the south of Iraq and secular Kurdistan in the north will be Israel's cup of tea. If Kurdistan is independent or under the hegemony of Israel's friends in Ankara is immaterial from Zion's point of view. Both will be Zion's clients.

The more the Mahdi Army is incited to fight, with 50 deaths for each dead American, the more political influence Moqtade al-Sadr may obtain in Iraq and the better for Israel. Such is the magic of Zion's diabolical engineers - and the media, of course.
As Henry Ford said in 1921, - "The Protocols of Zion may be false but they fit the events". This is even more evident today. The free press relate the events, but detached from the realities. 
Kaj Krinsmoe, Aarhus N, Denmark
kkrinsmoe@stofanet.dk

A voice from the US of A
Now that the country is listening to all the democrats and their speeches I want to say a few words for my country.

It seems that all of us have short memories and tend to keep forgetting what we are supposed to be about.

We have forgotten that almost all the democrats voted for the war in Iraq when the president presented his case to them.

Now they are all quoting the 9/11 commission. Not one person stood up to the media that proclaimed the, "beauty" , of "shock and awe" over Baghdad. Killing is never beautiful and can never be justified and glorified by a media that has gone LOLLYWOOD, and the whole country follows without so much as a protest. Where are the real politicians? They had a chance to vote and say, lets stay the course with inspections in Iraq, and let the United Nations do their job. We can always go to war. 

Why is it that we are not allowed to hear Saddam's Hueissen's side of the coin. Let him tell about the back stabbing Bush's for lower cost oil so that we don't have to care about becoming conservative with our consumption of oil. The attitude of, to hell with the rest of the world, as long as we get cheap oil and burn it however each citizen sees fit is the democratic way and we will defend our right to do whatever we want so long as we have children to defend us. 

Now the convention of unification of the democrats. Well they voted for the war and the killing of innocent Iraq's and girls and boys of our country. Who is crying for the dead that fill massive graves greater than the mass graves that Saddam created. These graves are our country's responsibility, but no one mentions them. No one dares call our president a killer. Is gassing worse than bombing?

Now we are bringing democracy to Iraq and innocent people there are dying everyday because half of the country doesn't agree with the half that is being set up by these united states as a democratic half. The absurdity of it and we wonder why the, Al Queda network is surviving and continuing to succeed. They too feel the need for unification to fight against a country that is greedy and will stomp on anyone who gets in the way of our need for oil, oil and more cheap oil.

Why, since Saddam Hueissen is our prisoner, are we not allowed to hear him speak the truth as he knows it. Let him come before the media and present his side of the story. Why cann't we hear it? Why isn't he allowed to speak? 
We might learn about the foreign policy blunders of our beloved country. There have been a few voices on the media networks, but as soon as they let out some of our countries indiscreet actions regarding foreign policy they are schussed and never recalled for further discussion.
"Denis Halliday The former head of the UN's humanitarian program in Iraq says an American invasion would be an international crime -- and would make the US even ... "

He was on a news network once. Go to Google and type in his name and read about what he has to say.

What ever happened to the inspectors in Iraq who were from the United Nations? Why don't we hear from them anymore, especially about weapons of mass destruction. The very reason for going to war. 

Why were we allowed just once by mistake given the chance to see the military base outside of Tikrit? A reporter from CNN news showed the base at about one A.M. in the morning Detroit time and it was never shown again. Why?
Kerry," mr. flip flop", of course I will vote for him because I never want to hear or see another Bush in the government, voted for the war. He had a chance to stand up in the senate and speak his mind. 

A republican who has also disappointed me is senator John McCain. He of all people, a prisoner of war, should know how horrible war can be and he voted for the war. Now our great country is divided over this war and no one has the ability to bring back the dead. No one has the ability to look out and see what comes next. No one has the ability to sit down and talk. Thats right, let us all call a general cease fire from the killing and bring all the parties together and talk. If we follow Bush's logic, North Korea is next, and Iran, and Pakistan, and Indonesia, and the Philippines, and on and on.

This is why the United Nations was created. To avoid wars. To sit down and talk.Why cann't the so called terrorists be invited and tell their side. Why is our side holy and not the other side?They too must have reasons for dying for their cause. If we are truly an open society we should listen to all the sides.
Nick Houvras, West Bloomfield, Mich.
yhouvras@comcast.net


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