BY ASHRAF PADANNA
18 Sep 2009
MALAPPURAM: More than 500,000 Muslims gathered in this Kerala town to take the pledge against terrorism and pray for peace on the Laylat Al Qadr, the holiest night in the month of Ramadan, overnight on Thursday.
Billed as the largest annual gathering of Muslims in India and one of the largest outside the holy places of Makkah and Madina, the prayer meet ended gracefully at Swalath Nagar here with believers staying up late into the holy night.
Organisers said going by the count of food packets distributed, the total number of devotees attended the prayer meet could touch 600,000.
The holy night of boundless blessings is believed to fall on the eve of 27th day of Ramadan and is considered greater than a thousand nights in sanctity and rewards from Allah.
Sayyid Ibrahimul Khaleelul Bukhari, chairman, Ma’dinu Ssaquafathil Islamiyya led the mass pledge against terrorism and the participants expressed their solidarity with fellow citizens, society and nation.
They pledged that they would restrain from all activities that jeopardise the unity and social harmony of the country.
Food was served for the attendees who arrived from far-flung areas at Ma’dinu Edu-Park.
Apart from the main venue, people were accommodated in other 10 grounds, spread across 10 kilometres on either sides of the highway. Of these, five were were reserved for women.
The mass prayers were telecast live by television channels while special video-screening were held at centres in Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi in India and major cities in the Middle East.
Several people abroad joined the congregation utilising the online video streaming, live telecast and screening facilities, making it truly global.
The believers took the oath to respect other religions and not to associate with any activities that pose a threat to the unity and integrity of the country.
They stayed awake throughout the night chanting prayers for peace and forgiveness and took the oath to “eradicate the menace of terrorism and work for world peace” in the wee hours just before the morning prayers.
The focus of the congregation last year was also world peace and religious extremism as Khaleel Bukhari made a fervent appeal for showing “mercy to your fellow beings; then, God will be merciful to you” and “an extremism of love and not hatred and terror is what we needed.”
The prayers reach a crescendo when the crowds swing in spiritual ecstasy, chanting “there is no God but Allah” a thousand times and seeking forgiveness from the Almighty with hands raised towards the heaven and tears swelling in their eyes.
The local authorities and police, as well as the Hindu families in the areas, lent their active support for the uninterrupted conduct of prayers and speeches.
A special committee of 5555 members with 2222 specially-trained volunteers made the preparations perfect. The prayers went late into the night as people continued to pour in.
Traffic along the NH 213 between Malappuram and Valluvamburam was diverted and a strong police force was posted along the way as believers who came from different parts of the country literally thronged the Ma’dinu campus where the meet was held.
The organisers had a tough time preparing for their prayers and arranging food for them.
The prayer congregation led by distinguished leaders lasted till 3 am.
The function got underway at 4pm with the speeches of scholars and spiritual leaders and it went till the grand Iftar meet in the main venue attended by several dignitaries, including Inspector-General of Police BS Mohammed Yasin, District Superintendent of Police M. Patmanabhan, local legislator M. Ummer and Malappuram municipal chairman Kiliyamannil Yakoob.
Kanthapurm AP Aboobacker Musliyar, the general secretary of All India Jamiyyathul Ulema inaugurated the function that was ceremoniously presided over by Thajul Ulama Sayyid Abdurahman Al Bukhari, president of Samastha Kerala Jamiyathul Ulama.
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Sea of humanity at Swalat Nagar
Mass Iftar held in the evening | Pledge to serve humanity
MALAPPURAM: The Swalat Nagar at Melmuri near here turned into a sea of humanity on Wednesday evening as thousands of Sunni believers gathered there anticipating the blessings of Lailathul Qadr, the holiest night of the Hijra year. The prayer meeting, organised by the Ma’dinu Ssaquafathil Islamiyya as part of its Swalat anniversary, is billed as one of the largest Muslim gatherings across the globe. The evening witnessed a mass Iftar on the Ma’din grounds as hundreds of people who came from distant places broke their fast at the call of Magrib prayer by the azan from the minarets of the Ma’din Grand Mosque. The organisers claimed it to be the largest mass Iftar in the country.
Several dignitaries, including Inspector-General of Police (north zone) B.S. Mohammed Yasin, District Superintendent of Police M. Patmanabhan, M. Ummer, MLA, and Malappuram municipal chairman Kiliyamannil Yakoob, attended the mass Iftar. The day’s programme began with an Ihthiqaf jalza (staying in mosque) in the morning. Hymns of Badr Maulid were chanted, followed by a special prayer after Zuhar at midday.
Qasidah Burdah, a poem by Hasan-al Busairi extolling Prophet Mohammad, was recited in the afternoon. As the sun began to dip, chorus of Thasbeeh rose from the Ma’din grounds. A mass Janaza prayer, Thasbeeh and Awwabeen prayers followed the mandatory Magrib prayer. The crowds began to swell by the time the Ishah, Tharaveeh and Vithr prayers were held. A.K. Abdul Hameed, programme convener and former chairman of the State Haj Committee, welcomed the gathering. Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musliar, general secretary of the All India Jamiyyathul Ulama, inaugurated the function. Sayed Ali Bafaqui Thangal led the inaugural prayer.
Sayed Abdurahman Al Bukhari, president of the Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama, presided over the function. He led the Nariyyath Swalat, Naseehath, and the prayer. Sayed Umerul Farooq Al Bukhari made the introductory remarks for the Haddad Ratheeb. Sayed Husain Shihab Atakoya Thangal and Sayed Yousuful Bukhari led the prayers that followed.
Sayed Ibrahim Khaleel Bukhari, chairman of the Ma’dinu Ssaquafathil Islamiyya, delivered the keynote address. Tens of thousands of people chorused as Mr. Bukhari administered a pledge to serve humanity.
The prayers went late into the night as people continued to flow to the Ma’din grounds. Traffic along National Highway 213 between Malappuram and Valluvamburam was diverted. A strong police force was posted along the way to control the crowds.
As many as 10 grounds were prepared to accommodate the people. Six of them were exclusively for women. Extensive parking arrangements were made. Over a lakh food packets were distributed for dinner. THE HINDU 17/09/2009
Lack of faith is the cause of all problems, says Kanthapuram
MALAPPURAM: People’s indifference to righteousness and lack of faith in God are the reasons for the world’s problems, said Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musliar, general secretary of the All India Jamiyyathul Ulama. He was inaugurating a prayer gathering at Swalat Nagar, near here, on Wednesday evening.
He said that the light of virtue would be visible to the humanity only when people purge their minds of bad thoughts. By asking people to fast in Ramzan, Islam attempts to achieve this goal, he said.
Kanthapuram called upon the people to embrace tolerance as a basic tenet for virtuous life. Quoting the Koran, he said that if anyone took the life of another without justice, it was equivalent to taking the lives of the entire humanity. “This is the best message of tolerance,” he said.
Delivering the keynote address, Sayed Ibrahim Khaleel Bukhari, chairman of the Ma’dinu Ssaquafathil Islamiyya, called upon the people to return to the fundamentals of respecting the elders.
“Without respecting and loving your parents, teachers and elders, you can never aspire to win in this life and the next,” he said. He said Ramzan was giving the message to eradicate evil qualities like enmity, envy, and greed.
“Love should replace those qualities,” he said. He called upon the people to show mercy to fellow beings. “Only then God will show His mercy on you,” he said. THE HINDU 17/09/2009