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Published in the 1-15 Apr 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Arab dignitaries hold India in high esteem

By K Hamza, Calicut

The Milli Gazette Online 

During the past two months, February and March, a number of renowned Muslim scholars from Arab countries visited Kerala on the invitation of various Muslim organisations and educational institutes to participate in their anniversary celebrations and convocations in Calicut and Malappuram districts.

The 27th anniversary of Markazus Saquafathissunniya, held at Karanthur on February 24, was inaugurated by the Islamic scholar and advisor to UAE government, Dr Habeeb Ali Zainul Abidheen Al Gifiri. He appreciated the communal harmony amid the cultural diversity and traditions of India and he appealed to other nations to follow this model. He also added that Prophet Mohammed had never forced followers of other religions to convert to Islam. In India Islam was not preached by coercion or persuasion, but it grew through the personal charisma of the proponents of the Sufi movement. The 12th convocation ceremony of the Markaz was inaugurated by Syed Aliyyul Hashmi, advisor to the UAE ruler.

Other dignitaries who participated in the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Sunni Yuvajana Sangham (SYS) included the undersecretary of UAE Islamic Judicial Ministry, Mohammed Jum’a.Salim Al-Muhairi, assistant secretaries Dr.Hamdan Musallam Makdum Al Mazru’i and Ahmed Mubarak Al Kindi and the editor of UAE-based Manarul Islam magazine, Dr Ali Mohammed Al Ajila. On Februray 27, as many as 54 graduates received their certificates from the college of Markazut Tarbiyyathil Islamiya at the convocation ceremony of the first batch. The year-long Golden Jubilee celebrations had been launched at Kalpetta in February,last year.

Shaikh Ikrima Saeed Sabri, grand mufti of Jerusalem and khatib of Al Aqsa Masjid, was a distinguished guest who arrived in Calicut to participate in the 42nd anniversary celebration and convocation of the Jamia Nooriya Arabic College, held on 20 March, at Pattikkad in Malappuram district. Jamia Nooriya Arabic College is one of the leading Islamic higher study centers in south India. Speaking on the concluding three-day event, Shaikh Sabri appreciated India’s support to the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation and atrocities. 

A warm reception was accorded to Shaikh Sabri by the office bearers of Ainul Huda Orphanage at Kappad, a coastal region near Calicut. Shaikh Sabri took special interest to visit this coastal hamlet where the first Portuguese navigator, Vasco da Gama landed in 1498AD and started his nefarious agenda of sowing discord and enmity between Muslims and the rulers of Malabar. The rest is history. Shaikh Sabri and other Arab dignitaries have been impressed by the religious freedom and communal amity that is prevailing in India.

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