12 Day tour of Balkans

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 10th July 2018 15:09
The following is an account of a 12 day tour of The Balkans in the company of Mufti Taqi usmani and Mufti Ahmed Khanpuri.

12 Day Tour of the Balkan States
12-day tour of the Balkan States in the company of Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, Mufti Ahmed Khanpuri, Mufti Shabbir Ahmed and other scholars

In the name of Allah, the compassionate the merciful

Day 1 – Wednesday 20 June 2018

Woman accepts Islam in the air

It has always been my ardent desire to visit the Balkan countries. For several years, my colleague Shaykh Hanif Dudhwala of Muslim Welfare Institute (MWI) and his colleagues have been insisting on visiting Albania where the charity has been operating various education and charity programmes for over two decades. The suffering of our brethren in this region due to decades of communism and the massacres in Bosnia in the 1990s are other reasons for wanting to visit this region. Through the mercy and blessing of Allah Almighty, a few months ago our beloved Mufti Ahmed Khanpuri, the Grand Mufti of the Indian state of Gujarat, who visits the UK every year after Ramadan agreed to visit the Balkan states with MWI. As the programme was being developed, our beloved Shaykh al-Islam Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani also agreed to join the visit and travel directly from Pakistan to the region. The purpose of this trip is to understand the needs of the Muslims in the region and also be part of the charity’s current and future efforts.

Our journey begins at 5am in the morning as I drive Mufti Ahmed Khanpuri Sahib and his colleagues from Blackburn to London Luton Airport. It has been a hectic three days with over thirty programmes across the country. Today is no different. Our first stop is Darul Uloom Leicester where the commencement of Sahih Bukhari takes place. This is followed by a similar programme at Bury Park Educational institute in Luton. From here we head to Luton Airport. Joining us in this journey are thirty scholars and businessmen including Mawlana Ebrahim Pandor, Mufti Shabbir Ahmed, Mufti Abdussamad, Mufti Mahmood Bardoli, Dr Mahmood Chandia, Mufti Ebrahim Raja, Shaykh Muhammad Ahmed of UWT and Haji Afzal Memon from India. We found out later that this is the first time such a large group of scholars and prominent Muftis are visiting Macedonia.

Our three-hour flight to Ohrid is scheduled at 3pm and eventually the flight does take off notwithstanding the unprofessionalism of the airport staff and the disorganised management. During the flight, I discuss several issues with Mufti Ahmed Khanpuri, including the permissibility of performing Nafl Salah after Eid Salah without restricting it to the house, a restriction not mentioned by Imam Muhammad, Allamah Sarakhsi, Allamah Kasani, Allamah Ibn Mazah or Imam Qadi Khan. Mufti Sahib suggests that in principle Fatwa will be given on what Imam Muhammad has written and one should look at the origin of the restriction in terms of whose view it is and which era it originates from (when I asked Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani a few days later, he suggested that it is possible the restriction was implicitly understood from the earlier texts because Salah is not normally performed after Eid Salah in the Musalla al-Eid). Mufti Ahmed Sahib adds that when he studied the Ifta course in Deoband, there was only one and half bookcases of books. The books that are available now were not available then. In response to another question, Mufti Sahib suggests that whilst teaching Sahih Bukhari, he frequently uses Lami al-Dirari and al-Abwab wa al-Tarajim of Shaykh Zakariyya Kandhelwi and suggests the latter is very useful and suffices from other commentaries. In relation to the supplications when travelling, Mufti Sahib suggests that there is no need to repeat the general travel supplications during the journey after a break, except for the Subhanalladhī Sakhkara Lana supplication as that is for whenever a person rides a mount or similar.

The highlight of our flight is a Macedonian lady accepting Islam whilst in the air at the hands of Mufti Sahib. Some colleagues who were sat next to her explained to her the purpose of our trip and the personality of Mufti Ahmed Khanpuri Sahib. During the conversation, they mentioned to her an incident of Mufti Sahib when he was once travelling to South Africa, an air hostess asked Mufti Sahib’s colleague, what makeup he uses. The colleague replied, he does not use any make up. It is the nur (light) of faith and good deeds. The lady who had a military background having served in Afghanistan was moved by this encounter. She said she feels peace when she is with Muslims. She expressed a desire to become a Muslim at the hands of Mufti Sahib. Mufti Sahib said there should be no delay. She came to the back of the plane to ask some questions and accept Islam. Mufti Sahib explained the Kalimah as well as Iman Mufassal and answered her questions in Urdu. I translated. One of the points Mufti Sahib said was “Janna Alag Hey, Manna Alag Hey” (to know is one thing, to believe is another). Mufti Sahib alleviated some of her concerns including what someone had told her about not being able to accept Islam except in a mosque. She also asked regarding reciting the Quran in Sajdah as she was informed it is a sin. Mufti Sahib explained this not a sin although it is better to avoid. Mufti Sahib extends his congratulations to her adding that all her sins have been wiped away. In return she expresses her gratitude. May Allah Almighty grant her steadfastness. This is an excellent and positive start to our journey and unique in that she accepted Islam whilst flying in the air. The Prophet (leave and blessings be upon him) said, “That Allah guide through you one person is better for you than red camels” (Sahih Bukhari).

Read the rest of the article in the following link. t.co/bcUftgeqWK
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