Recently, I got a chance to look at the following beautiful video about the growth of Islam in Japan. Some of Japanese Muslims expressed their views about how they perceived Islam and how they decided to choose Islam as their faith.
Just a few short steps away from the famed Tokyo Masjid and in the adjacent street, lies a seemingly unimpressive building on the left side of the street. This is Yuai International School which has been imparting education to Muslims and non-Muslims alike from all creeds and nationalities for the past few years now.
The design of the building may not attract visitors. However, it has played an important role in providing a soft image of Islam to the Japanese community by offering courses on Arabic language, Islāmic studies, Calligraphy etc. for some time now. For the time being, the school offers only weekly classes to their students on various topics of interest. But, it has grandoise plans to expand in the future once they are able to gather sufficient number of regular students
Due to the proximity of the school from the Tokyo Masjid, and, of course, from the nearby Yoyogi Uehara Station as well, it attracts large number of students who come here to seek knowledge and to understand Islamic culture.
The school also hosts various cultural and social events for Muslims living in the Tokyo Metropolitan area. occasionally, it organizes summer camps and other cultural activities. The school is being managed by Islāmic Center Japan, the oldest Muslim organization in Japan.
Now, Alhamdulillah, again, it is the time to start preparing for the upcoming Ramadan in Japan and elsewhere. This time of the year can be a life-changing experience for all of us if we really strive hard enough to do so.
To celebrate the occasion properly, most of the mosques in Japan are already planning to offer free Iftar dinners not only to the local Muslim community but also to our brethren from other faiths.
Tokyo Gamii or Turkish Mosque in central Tokyo, offers one such occasion whereby Muslims as well as non-Muslims are offered free Iftar dinners every day in the festive month.
Most of the Muslims in Japan change their attitudes towards their lives dramatically during the month of Ramadan. They start praying on time. They start visiting nearby mosques more frequently. They also tend to be less quarelsome during that time.
However, the Eid Day brings to them a time for freedom – Now, they feel free to do whatever they had been doing before Ramadan started, many of us fail to translate this positive attitude into a life lasting change in our spiritual and physical lives.
Note: Just to give you a glimpse of how Ramadan looks like in Japan, please watch the following video documentary. Beware though, it is in Japansee only.
As you may know we have been distributing free copies of the Quran in Japanese language plus few other Islamic books in the language, lot of people from all over the world benefited from the free service. They included not only Muslims but non-Muslims as well who wanted to know what Islam was all about.
However, these days, we are sad to inform you that, for some time now, we have not been receiving such requests. That is very unfortunate. To help spread the word about Islam and the peaceful message it offers to people of all faiths, we need your active support.
Please help us spread the word about the beautiful message of Islam by talking to your friends of friends of friends or whosoever you think may need these books and, can actually read and write the Japanese language like a native speaker. For detailed info about our free offer, please check this link.
So, guys and gals! please come up with some creative suggestions on how to make this campaign more successful as all of us need to know, understand, and, then act upon the commandments Allah has given us.
Please let us know in the comments below what your favorite marketing technique is to give Dawah to not-yet-Muslim brethren, and how you use that to convey the message to not-yet Muslims. If you have any ideas that you use to do so, please don’t hesitate to share that. It is quite possible that that very idea you share with us in these lines may change one`s life forever.
Alhamdulillah, we are glad to report to our readers that our website which had been down for the last few days is back now with most of the data we originally had on it. You can view all the data intact.
Please feel free to browse through the various pages and posts and let us know what you would like us to improve on the site. Inshallah, we will be happy to do whatever it takes to make our most important stakeholders- you more informed about the topics both you and we care about.
One of our sister in Islam is going to organize an online seminar on the topic of `Romance in Islam` To some of our readers, the topic may sound a bit too radical. However, we believe that we should be able to address any issues we confront in our daily lives.
The details of the seminar are given below. Please inform your sisters to attend the online seminar to get a better of appreciation of what Islam has to say on this topic.
In the wake of recent events, we find it necessary to write upon a Japan-specific news that has been circulating in social media and local media. Apparently, a manga is ready to be published, in the coming days, on the Holy Book, Qur’an.
East Press writes about this Manga de Dokuha series on the Qur’an:
The Koran is the foundation of the daily life and ideology of people who believe in the teachings of Islam. The name Islam is often heard in the daily news, but because we Japanese aren’t usually familiar with it, a perverted image [of Islam] as abstemious or linked to terrorism is liable to persist. So what kind of teachings do [Muslims] actually believe in? What are they thinking about? To understand the modern international community and Islam, let’s try to experience the scriptures where all that is written down.
With the freedom of speech fanaticals (and I choose to use that word not without reason) this paragraph by East Press seems very ingenuous. If it was really the intention of these Manga producers to understand what teachings Muslims believe in, would they not have contacted Muslims themselves to understand their beliefs? If someone, and particularly a Muslim scholar, has been approached before the making of this Manga, then of course this Team Banmikasu will be coming up with an accurate portrayal of the true beliefs of Muslims. But if that is not the case, then it is as clear as day that what they are coming up with will not reflect Islam’s true teachings at all. In fact, we can expect anything from them. It will be a surprise, apart from a relief, if it is not full of misinterpretations. But I would rather that we are surprised, and that this article proves redundant, rather than the other way around.
It should be noted, that the science of the book, Qu’ran, which according to Muslims, is the Word of Allah, as opposed to the Bible, for example, which has had so many editions that no one can deny that there have been changes, man-made, in the original scripture that was in Hebrew. Whatever exists today is its translation. The Qur’an has never changed; it still exists in the same language it was revealed in. In this Pristine form, it is a book that is simple and straightforward, yet deep and transcendental. There are ayahs (verses) that talk about the dos and don’ts. There are others that are very spiritual. There are those that need an in-depth background and contextual information (which the Muslims get from the second source of religion- the hadith) Hadith itself has been recorded, sifted through, and developed through an intricate system of two sciences within itself- that of the chain of narrators and that of the text (matn). Each narrator has been graded and categorized in a multitude of books. Each text, with any change in narrator or text (even if it is a word) has been categorized in detail. Using this extensive methodology, the Muslims use the life of the Prophet (s), his words, recorded in Hadith, and understand this book of God.
There is an understanding of the book that you get as a layman, and there is a deeper understanding that you get the more and more you go deeper into the science of Qur’anic interpretation.
If Team Banmikasu portrays an entire ideological system without sufficient and authentic knowledge, then any thinking, pondering, true person will realize that this is just a joke. Under the guise of freedom of speech, which we would rather call freedom of insulting, led by a radical passion of freedom itself, is a need for reassurance that they are free to think and speak of others as they wish, even if they do so with complete and utter ignorance and lack of even wanting to understand something from another perspective.
But we wish to act differently, and we know that our Prophet (sallAllahu alaihi wasallam) acted differently. We will see things from their perspective, when they deny seeing it from ours. We find that this same East Press has come up with various editions of the Bible as Manga. In 2010, the Word of Buddha was also released by the Manga de Dokuha series. The Manga on Adolf Hitler, published in 2008 by the Manga de Dohuka series, remains banned to this day in Germany. In other words, this love for so-called freedom in actuality is a freedom to loiter close to verbal abuse and insult of other people, beliefs and ideologies.
Whenever a person holds something dear, and someone attempts to spit at it, malign it, make fun of it, it hurts. It hurts deeply. But that said, the beauty in this scenario is that within our belief system, within the beautiful Sunnah of our Prophet (sallAllahu alaihi wasallam) that we hold SO dearly, we find that insults, taunts, and even physical persecution, were dealt with the Prophet (s) in the most beautiful of ways.
The most hurtful of times to the Prophet (as he recounted in years to come when he told his wife Aisha (radiAllahu anha) that years have passed and I still feel the hurt of Taif) was when he travelled alone to Taif (maybe on foot, or maybe with just one camel) It is a very hard way to those dry hills, but he thought perhaps these people would believe or at least grant the Muslims shelter and refuge – (it had been 10 years since the Quraysh had been persecuting the Muslims). Not only did they not believe him, but they did not even welcome him. They did not even let him enter a house, let alone say a few words to them at all. He was ridiculed and thrown pebbles at by adults and even little children who were told to do the same.
But this is when he made the most beautiful dua ever:
He sought refuge in a garden just outside Taif and under the shade of a tree said these words:
“Oh Allah, I complain to You alone of my weakness, of the lack of my resources and of my insignificance in the eyes of the people. O, Most Merciful of all those who show mercy, You are the Rabb of the weak, and You are my Rabb. To whom are You to going to entrust me? To a stranger who would scowl at me? or to an enemy to whom You have given control over my affairs? If You are not angry with me, then I do not care ; for Your Favour is of relief to me. I seek refuge in the Nur(Light) of Your Face(Countenance), by which all darknesses are removed and every affair of this world and the next are set right, lest Your anger or Your Displeasure Descend upon me. I desire to Please you, till You are pleased. There is neither any strength nor any power except with You.”
From weakness to strength…
So what should our reaction as Muslims be? Very Simply, salaam. Peace. Practically, do not go even near this Manga. You do not want to “see” for yourself what they have written or come up with. If you want to know, you can ask the hundreds of non-Muslims that will read this manga. You do not want to read something that may even slightly disrespect your beloved Prophet (s). You want to stay away from it. Do not click on any link that has the manga in it. Yes, that is our love for our Prophet (s). I will not face any person who I know may verbally assault my beloved parents. And the Prophet (s) is more beloved to us than our parents.
And if, we somehow do happen to read or see something that hurts us, then we will have the most beautiful patience. Just think: these people do not know the most beautiful human being that walked this earth! Feel sorry for them. Pray for them: “we pray that they open their hearts to the beauty of this most beloved man on earth.” It is their ignorance of the kind of man he was that results in their actions. So we will let it go. There is no anger. No hatred from our side. Our beloved Prophet (s) was such a human, that if we only became a true ummati (person of his nation/follower) of this Prophet (s), people would see the beauty that he brought in this world for themselves.
So it is time we stopped bothering about what people who have no knowledge say and do. It is high time we strove to increase ourselves in knowledge and action, in prayer and devotion to Allah.
“And those who strive in Us, we shall surely Guide them to our ways.” (Quran 29:69)
Muslim residents of Japan on Sunday expressed their deep sorrow for the murder of journalist Kenji Goto and said they were angry about the Islamic State group’s barbaric actions.
“We are very, very sorry about this bad news and I am telling the Japanese people that we are very, very sorry,” said Mohamad H. Loghmani, a 44-year-old Iranian resident of Tokyo.
He said the Islamic State group has non-Islamic aims: a hunger for money, power and blood. He said he does not consider its fighters to be Muslims.
“I am telling the Japanese people that Muslim people in the world . . . like Japanese people because they are kind and friendly people,” he said. Loghmani was speaking at a charity bazaar at the Iranian ambassador’s residence in Tokyo on Sunday to raise funds for victims of natural disasters in Iran.
Another visitor to the bazaar was Iranian Nader Mansouri, 52. He, too, was disgusted by the actions of the Islamic State extremists.
“I don’t recognize them as Muslims; I don’t even recognize them as humans,” Mansouri said.
He said he despises the way the extremists threaten others and suggested that if they are so sure of themselves they should ditch their masks and anonymity.
The Islamic State group released a video on the Internet Sunday of Goto’s apparent execution that appeared to show his headless body.
After spending decades covering the Middle East, Goto was captured in Syria while trying to negotiate the release of his friend and fellow hostage Haruna Yukawa.
Japanese Muslim Shigeru Shimoyama, 65, said by phone that he had been praying for Goto’s release every day with fellow Muslims.
“This is truly unfortunate,” Shimoyama said.
He said Goto’s reporting had focused on critical social issues, such as poverty and civil strife, in the places like the Middle East and Africa. He said people worldwide must think seriously about solving such problems in order to pass on what Goto was trying to convey.
He also said people need to develop a greater appreciation of different cultures so such a tragedy will not be repeated.
“There are prejudices and misunderstandings about the Muslim religion. Those things could lead to the next crisis.”
Originally published on www.japantimes.com
Today, Islamic Circle of Japan held the annual Seerah Conference at in Funabori, Tokyo. It was attended by large number of Muslims living in and around Tokyo.
For more than two decades since its establishment, Islamic Circle of Japan is organizing Seerah Conference in Japan every year and this is one of the important programs of the Muslim Community here in Japan. Large number of men, women and children from various parts of Japan participate in this conference being held in the month of Rabi-ul- Awwal.
Following is video speech done by Mr Syed Kamal Rizvi