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Monday, November 4, 2013

Forty Ahadith RegardingMarriage By A Student Of Darul Uloom, Bury,U.K.

Marriage Is A Basis For Blessings
1. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, "Marriage is the basis for blessings and children are an abundance of mercy." 
(Al-Kabaair Lith-thahabi)

Complete Concealment Of Women
2. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, "A women is in complete concealment. Shaytaan endeavours to glance at her when she leaves the home. In another Hadith it is related, " A women is in complete concealment, restrain them within the home."

The Many Forms Of Punishment For Women
3. Hazrat Ali radiyallahu anhu has stated, "I arrived at the blessed presence of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam with Hazrat Fatimah radiyallahu anha only to find him uncontrollably crying. I asked ‘ May my parents be sacrificed for you, oh Prophet of Allah, what ails you to cry?’ The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam stated, ‘Oh Ali, the night I travelled the heavens I saw the women from my followers being punished in numerous ways, and upon seeing their intense punishment, I began to cry.’ The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam then described the various methods of punishment. Hazrat Fatimah radiyallahu anha stood up and asked, ‘My dear father, and the coolness of my eyes what crimes did these women commit to warrant for such punishment?’ The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam replied, ‘My beloved daughter, the woman who was hanging from her hair did not keep it covered from other men. The woman who was hanging from her tongue used to distress her husband and the woman who was hanging from her chest soiled her husbands bed meaning she had illicit relations with other men. And the woman whose feet were stretched and bound to her chest with her hands bound to her forehead, and who had snakes and scorpions set upon her, was the woman who did not keep her body cleansed of janabat (pollution), haidh (The menses) and who ridiculed Salaah. And the woman who had the head of a pig and the body of a donkey was a woman who lied and spoke ill of people behind their back. And the woman whose face resembled a dog and who entered the mouth of a fire and came out of the back, was a jealous woman and one who spoke and boasted of favours conferred."

Curse On Women Who Cause Suffering To Husband
4. It has been narrated by Muaaz Ibn Jabal. He relates that the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam had instructed, "When a woman causes her husband suffering his wife, amongst his celestial brides (Hooray-Ayn), curses, ‘May Allah also inflict pain on you. Don’t cause your husband suffering.’ And Oh my beloved Fatimah, reproach awaits the woman who disobeys her husband."(Ibn Maajah and Tirmidhi)
At the end of this narration there are also the words, "May Allah also inflict pain on you. All men are merely your guests. Soon they will leave you and come to me."

Rights Of Both Wife And Husband
5. It has been narrated by Amr Ibn Akhwas. He relates that it was commanded by the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam "Be kind towards your women. Take heed! You have rights over your women and your women also have rights over you. Their rights over you are that you provide food and clothing for them in good faith. Your rights over them are that they do not allow and nor do they give permission, for people to trespass into your house whose presence you dislike."

Angels Derision With Impure People
6. It has been narrated by Hazrat Ali karamallahu wajhahu that the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam stated, " The Angels do not enter homes that have dogs, pictures and of those men and women who, due to indolence, are in an impure state."
(Abu Dawud)

Lamenting Upon Husband’s Death
7. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, "They are not of us (meaning Muslims) who lash at their faces, tear their garments and speak words of ignorance (due to the death of someone or due to some calamity)."
(Bukhari: Narrated by Abdullah b. Masud)

Penalty For Parading Oneself In Husbands Absence
8. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam stated, "There are three people who will be asked nothing in regard to themselves. I. A person who separates himself from his brotherhood and disobeys his religious leader and caliph. II. A slave who absconds and meets his death whilst still in the state of disobedience. III. A wife who, in her husband’s absence, adorns and displays herself before others behind her husband’s back, though he has left her ample provisions."
(Khadhaala b. U’bay)

Punishment For Fornication
9. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam stated, "Khamsun Li Khamsin (five for five)." The companions of the Prophet requested, "Ma Khamsun Li Khamsin?" Meaning, what are the five sins that are the cause for five punishments. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam replied, " (1) Allah T’aala allows those people to be conquered by their enemy who become negligent and free of care. (2) Poverty becomes rampant among those people who do not rule according to the shariah, as sent down by Allah. (3) Allah will certainly send down the plague among those people who indulge in fornication. (4) Harvest is restricted and famine becomes prevalent on those people who are dishonest in their dealings. (5) Rain is restricted from those people who refrain from giving zakaat (alms).

Penalty For Trying To Cause Your Spouse Harm
10. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam stated, " If a man or a woman were to spend seventy years in obedience of Allah T’aala, but at the time of death attempt, in a bequest, to cause each other harm (man to woman or woman to man), hell becomes compulsory upon them. Abu Hurairah recited the following verses:
After payment of legacies he (or she) may have bequeathed or debts, so that no loss is caused (to anyone). (4:12)
(Abu Dawud:Abu Hurairah)

An Immoral Divorce
11. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, " The greatest sin amongst all sins in the eyes of Allah, is of a person, who marries a woman and divorces her once his needs have been fulfilled and also usurps her dowry in the process. Secondly, is a person who after having employed somebody usurps their pay. Thirdly, is a person who kills animals for no apparent reason."
(Al-Hakim and Al-Bayhaqi:Ibn Umar)

12. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, "A person who speaks insolently towards his father is distanced from Allah T’aala’s mercy. A person who speaks insolently towards his mother is distanced from Allah T’aala’s mercy." And finally he stated, "A person who behaves in the manner of the people of Lut, meaning commits sodomy, is distanced from Allah T’aala’s mercy."
(Imam Ahmad: Ibn Abbas)

The Need For Secrecy Among Married Couples
13. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, " A person who after having intercourse with his spouse, reveals their secrecy, will be in the lowest rank on the day of Judgement in the eyes of Allah."

Respect For A Mujahideen’s Family
14. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, " The respect of a Mujahideen’s (Those that fight in the Path of Allah) wife upon a non-Mujahideen wife resembles respecting one’s mother. If a person, among those who have not fought in the path of Allah, were to breach the trust of a Mujahideen’s family, he will be stopped on the Day of Judgement and the Mujaahid will be given permission to take this person’s good deeds at the extent of his will, until the Mujaahid will have taken so many deeds, so as tol be satisfied."
It has also been further narrated in Nasai, "Are you of the opinion that the Mujaahid will leave him any good deeds?"

15. It has been narrated by Hazrat Thawbaan radiyallahu anhu, " The fragrance of Jannat is unlawful upon that woman who asks her husband for a divorce for no apparent reason."
(Imaam Ahmed, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah and Haakim)

Prohibition Of Meeting A Woman Alone
16. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, "Under no circumstances should a man have intercourse or remain alone with a woman. And under no circumstances should a woman undertake travel except in a situation, whereby a Mahram (e.g. Spouse) is with her." A person requested, "Dear Prophet, my name has been enlisted for such and such a battle though my wife is going for Hajj." The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam replied, "Go with your wife and perform Hajj."
(Bukhari, Muslim:Abu Hurairah)
 17. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, "After today, under no circumstances, should a man go to see a woman whose husband is absent, unless there is another man with him, or another two men."
(Ahmad and Muslim:Ibn Umar)

Angels Derision With Impure People
18. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, " Angels do not even come close to three types of people. Firstly, the body of a Kafir (Infidel) secondly, a person who has applied feminine perfume and thirdly, a person who is in an impure state, excepting the fact that they have at least performed wudhu (ablution)."
(Abu Dawud:Ammar Ibn Yasir)

Penalty For Wearing Perfume Amongst Public
19. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, " If a woman was to apply perfume to herself, then leave her home and wander past people who were to catch her fragrance, she would be sinful of adultery and she would also be sinful of adultery for every glance she received." (Ahmad, Nasai and Al-Haakim:Abu Moosa Al-Ashari)

Penalty On A Woman For Applying Perfume To The Masjid
20. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, " If a woman made her way to the masjid having applied perfume upon herself, her salaahs would not be accepted until she had bathed herself." And it has been further related in a Hadith that she should perform her ablution in the manner that she was taking an ablution for janabat (Impurity). (Ibn Maajah: Abu Hurairah)

Prohibition For Women To Travel With Out Mahram
21. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, "It is not lawful for a woman, who has firm faith in Allah and the Day of Judgement, to undertake a journey for three or more days (forty-eight miles or more) unless she is accompanied by her father, son , husband, brother or a Mahram."
(Ahmed, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah: Abu Saeed Al-Khudhri)

Prohibition For Sharing A Single Sheet
22. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, "No man should lie down with another man wrapped in a single sheet or cloth and nor should a woman do the same with another woman."

Women’s Hijaab (Veil) From Men
23. Umme Salmah radiyallahu anha narrates that she was in the presence of the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam along with Hazrat Maymunah radiyallahu anha when Abdullah Ibn Umme Maktoom radiyallahu anhu came in, this incident took place after the command for Hijaab had been revealed, the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam immediately ordered us to conceal ourselves from him. We asked: "Oh Rasoolullah, is he not blind! He can not see us and nor can he identify us." The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam replied, "Are you also blind! Do you not see him ?"
Note: This order is related to taqwa and not fatwa.
(Ahmad, Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi: Umme Salmah radiyallahu anha)

Satar (Parts Of The Body Necessary To Be Concealed)
24. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, "A man should not look at the satar of another man and nor should a woman look at the satar of another woman. Also, no man should lie down with another man wrapped in a single sheet or cloth and nor should a woman lie down with another woman wrapped in a single sheet or cloth. They should sleep with separate sheets or coverlets."
(Sahih Muslim: Abu Saeed Al-Khudhri radiyallahu anhu)

25. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has cursed the eunuchs (castrated men) amongst men who choose to imitate women and amongst those women who wish to become like men. He has also cursed those unmarried men who refuse to marry and also those women who live alone and refuse to marry.
(Imaam Ahmad: Abu Hurairah)

Increase One’s Family Lineage 26. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam commanded, "Be married and extend your family lineage. It will be through you that I will have a reason to be proud over all the other Ummats (followers). Even though it may be through a miscarriage or due to a premature birth.

Imitation Of Females In Male Attire And Vice Versa
27. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam stated, "A woman who dons male clothing is distant from Allah’s mercy, as is a man who dons female clothing." (Al-Kabaair Lith-thahabi)

Punishment For Trying To Drive A Rift Between A Married Couple
28. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam stated, "A man who attempts to distance a woman from her husband is distant from Allah T’aala’s mercy."
(Al-Kabaair Lith-thahabi)

Leaving Home Without Husband’s Consent
29. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam stated, "A woman becomes distant from Allah’s mercy when she leaves the home without her husband’s consent." (Al-Kabaair Lith-thahabi )

30. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam stated, "There are four people who awake at dawn with Allah’s anger upon them and who greet dusk with Allah’s displeasure." The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam was questioned as to who they were, he replied, "Those men who choose to imitate women and those women who choose to imitate men. Also a person who fulfils his physical desire with an animal and the one who commits sodomy." (Al-Kabaair Lith-thahabi )

Reward For Returning Home To The Children
31. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, "Your walking towards the Masjid and returning home to your children, holds the same merit in reward." (Al-Ifsah Ibn Hajr Haitha mi )

Allah’s Pleasure In Pleasing One’s Wife
32. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has Stated, "Allah is pleased when a husband plays with his wife, due to this he fixes thawaab (good reward) for them or he establishes halal rizq (lawful sustenance) for them."
(Al-Ifsah Ibn Hajr Haithami)

Command For Marriage Regarding Children
33. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam commanded regarding children, " If they neglect salaah at the age of seven, then reprimand them, at the age of nine separate their beds (do not let two of them sleep in the same bed) and at the age of seventeen get them married. Once the father has carried this out he should place his child before him and say, ‘ May Allah not make you a cause for my testing and trial." 
(Al-Ifsah Ibn Hajr Haithami)

Behest For Walimah
34. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, "Bid your brides farewell for shabbe zufaaf (consummation with husband) and at mid-day have the walimah (marriage feast)."
(Al-Ifsah Ibn Hajr Haithami)

Foremost Type Of Intercession
35. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, " The foremost type of intercession (sifaarish) from the many methods of intervening is when an intercession is made for someone for marriage."
(Al-Ifsah Ibn Hajr Haithami)

Purity Increases Through Marriage
36. It has been narrated by Zaid Ibn Arqam that the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam stated, "Oh Zaid! Be wedded, for your purity will be further increased."
(Dailami: Imaam Abu Hanifa)

Allah Ta’ala’s Assistance Is Compulsory For The Bridegroom
38. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has stated, "It is compulsory upon Allah to assist four types of people (i.e. Allah has promised to do this) i. A Judge; ii. A person who gets married (with the intentions of remaining pure); iii. A slave buying his freedom; iv. A Haaji (one has performed the pilgrimage).
(Ahmad, Tirmidhi)

The Reward For Foregoing Hajj For Marriage
39. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has said, "To get married is Hajj e-Akbar (Supreme Hajj). Whosoever spends his money for Hajj on his marriage, Allah will also reward him with the virtue for Hajj. Marriage is like an armies fort."
(Dailami, Munawi: Hafiz Ibn Hajar)

The Prophet’s sallallahu alaihe wasallam Malice
40. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has said, "I severly dislike that woman who puts her cloak on and leaves the home in order to complain about her husband."
(Tabrani, Haithami)

Islam, the Only Way

All Praise is due to Allah, peace and blessings be upon all the Ambiyaa and the Final Messenger, Muhammed May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, peace and blessings upon his companions who accepted and propagated this Deen (religion) throughout the entire world.
The Question arises why is Islam the perfect way of life? The Answer can be understood from the following:
Four blind persons were brought to an elephant. They touched it, each one at a different place. The one touching the stomach said that this was a huge round drum. The one who held the trunk said that it was a curved stick. The next, who gripped the leg, said that it was a pillar and the last one, who felt the ear, said that it was a huge leaf. Each one of them thought that what he had felt was a whole elephant, until someone who could see informed them that what they had felt collectively was the elephant and that each of them had felt one part of the whole elephant.
Similarly, many people who can see will not be able to give the correct information if they are placed in a pitch black room. The blind person's inability to give proper information is because he lacks the internal capacity to see. A person, who has sight, cannot do so if there is a lack of external light. (i.e. darkness)
From this, we understand that for correct, valid and total information to be gained, both internal and external light is essential. Similarly, two beacons are essential for spiritual guidance:
Islam recognises that intelligence will always be guided by inspiration and not vice-versa, because Deen (religion) is based on Wahi (inspiration) and not on intelligence alone. There are so many other reasons and aspects as to why Islam is the only way. For example, Islam and the family; by protecting each member of the family, Islam safeguards the family unit. This in turn makes society safe, secure and stable. A child develops emotionally, socially, mentally and physically within the family unit. Divorce is highly disapproved of and so is the intermingling of different sexes and indecent dress which reveals parts of the body and leads to illicit relationships and permissiveness. Islam classifies the role of the wife as a mother and not a female for commercial enterprise. Islam liberated the female from slavery, while the commercial world has plunged her into becoming a slave of materialism and for the satisfaction of whims and fancies of the lustful. The modern world has turned her into a commercial commodity and still demands her dedication in her role as a mother.
In non-Islamic or irreligious cultures, the equation is:
Alcohol + drugs + female nudity = illegitimate offspring + divorce + homeless children + aids
The Islamic equation for a well balanced society is:
No intermingling of sexes + no drugs + no alcohol + no female nudity = stable marriages + legitimate offspring + healthy society
Islam employs the above measures to generate the true father and true mother without the psychological health of a child being in jeopardy. Today we look at society being corrupt full of evil, where disunity fails. If Islam was implemented and practiced upon then this beautiful religion will eradicate, erase and wipe out all evil and differences in society. I will mention a few points, which if practiced upon, would inevitably lead to order within society:
(1) Prayers – Muslims are urged to pray regularly, collectively and in the Masjid. This makes the Muslim sociable. Furthermore, the following directives from Prophet Muhammad May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him explain the importance of social harmony:
(a) “Your Imaan (faith) is not complete until you desire form others what you desire for yourself.”
(b) “Smiling at your brother is an act of charity.”
(c) “A Muslim is a brother of a Muslim; he does not wrong him nor lets him down.”
(d) “Allah will help you if you help other brethren.”
(e) “You are not a believer if you harm your neighbour.”
(2) Obedience to parents – Parents are so high in the social structure that even if they are non-Muslims, they are to be accorded with respect and mercy. They are to be obeyed in every command as long as it does not contradict the laws of Allah. The reward for looking after the aged is so great that Old Peoples Homes (Care Homes/Institututions) are not heard of in an Islamic society. How ironic is it that when they are young, active and busy they are surrounded by their families, but no sooner do they reach the age when social company becomes as precious as a breath of air, they are discarded into loneliness.
Islam abhors this treatment of parents and the Aged and teaches tolerance and patience as the treatment/response for the irritations of infancy. Islam is a code of life which governs every aspect of our lives, the spiritual life, intellectual life, personal life, family life, social life, economical life, political life and international life.

Sunnats of what to wear and what not to

Nowadays, the Muslim youths are obsessed with what they wear. It has to be some designer label. Commercialism is just as much a part of the Muslim's life as it is in everyone elses. Wearing a Kurta or Jubbah is not seen as suitable attire. Amamahs are almost non-existent; all you see are caps, bandanas and the like.

But this was not always the case.

The Prophet May Allah send peace and blessings upon him would always wear a Kurta or a Jubbah. The sleeves would not be overly narrow nor wide; they would reach his wrists.

He would wear a lungi. Under the Kurta the front of the lungi would be slightly below the navel and the back slightly higher up. The Sahabas were always properly clothed.

The Prophet May Allah send peace and blessings upon him would also wear a cloth over his shoulders, 9ft long and 5ft wide which he would sometimes wear over his left shoulder and under his right arm.

He would only keep the clothes he wore; he never kept any unused clothes lying around.

The Prophet May Allah send peace and blessings upon him disliked the wearing of red garments (for men), and preferred to wear white clothes. Sometimes he would wear green (his favourite colour).

He would also wear an Amamah upon his brow, letting the back of it hang between the shoulder blades.

The Prophet May Allah send peace and blessings upon him would also wear shoes similar to sandals, and a ring of silver facing inwards on the little finger of his left or right hand.
Hazrat Shaykh Zakariyya (nawwarullahe markadahu) includes in his commentary of The Mubarak Ring of Rasulullah (peace and blessings be upon him) in Shamaile-Tirmidhi that the research of the Hanafi 'ulama (may Allah Increase their number and accept their efforts) in this matter, according to the saying of 'Shaami' is, that it is sunnah for the kings, judges, trustees and those who need a seal. Besides them it is permissible for others, but better not to use it.

These were the Sunnahs of our Holy Prophet May Allah send peace and blessings upon him. So why do we not follow them?

May Allah Taa'la grant us the guidance, wisdom and ability to follow the Prophet May Allah send peace and blessings upon him's example and act upon what he has showed us and what he has told us. Ameen. Detailed information is included in Shamaile-Tirmidhi

Pakistan calls Mehsud drone attack (murder of peace effort)

A hardened warrior, Sajna lacks proper educational and religious credentials.

Published — Sunday 3 November 2013

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government Saturday accused the US of sabotaging peace talks with domestic Taleban fighters by killing their leader Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone strike.
The drone strike that killed Mehsud in the North Waziristan tribal area came a day before the government was to send a three-member delegation of clerics to the region with a formal invitation to start peace talks, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said.
Khan called the drone attack “murder” of the peace effort, but hoped the process could continue. He said he warned the US ambassador previously that American drone strikes should not be carried out while Pakistan was trying to hold peace talks and no Taleban leader should be targeted.
The government later summoned the US ambassador to complain. When asked whether he thought the US was trying to deliberately scuttle the peace process, the minister responded: “Absolutely.”
“The efforts have been ambushed,” the minister said. He did not say what he felt the US stood to gain but questioned: “Why do they want us to be insecure?”
Another prominent political leader, Imran Khan, whose party controls the government in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, threatened to block trucks carrying supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan over the strike.
He said he would push the provincial assembly to adopt a resolution to block the supplies and would do the same nationally.
“Dialogue has been broken with this drone attack,” Imran Khan said.
The interior minister said as soon as Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif returns from abroad, a national security meeting will be convened to discuss US-Pakistan relations and cooperation.
Taleban commanders said they wanted to replace Mehsud with the movement’s number two, Khan Said, who is also known as Sajna.

Top architect to assist in Madinah expansion

HONORED GUEST: Mayor of Madinah Khalid Taher presents a book to Paolo Portoghesi. (AN photo)

Published — Friday 1 November 2013

A top international architect is currently visiting Madinah to provide advice on the expansion plans for the Prophet’s Mosque and surrounding area.
Paolo Portoghesi is an Italian architect, theorist, historian and professor of architecture. Khalid Taher, the mayor of Madinah, had invited him to visit the city.
Portoghesi designed the Grand Mosque of Rome, the Grand Mosque in Strasburg, France, and various buildings in Italy, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom.
Taher told Arab News recently that Al-Amanat, the company overseeing the development, wants to draw on the experience and skills of world-class architects to work with Saudi consulting firms.
Taher said there are huge investment opportunities in the city for local and regional investors. He said there has been a steady flow of investment into the city for years.
“Portoghesi’s visit is very important for us because he is a renowned architect who admires Islamic culture. He has proposed an overview of the architecture in Islamic countries,” the mayor said.
He said such exchanges of expertise and visits would help planners add to the city's “architectural diversity.” He said Portoghesi’s work blends classical and modern styles.
“We had a discussion on various matters with special reference to the grandeur of Islamic architecture.” He said the Saudi government wants to ensure the expansion meets the needs of visitors.
The mayor said his office works closely with various government agencies to ensure projects are completed on time and meet quality standards. He said there would be financial compensation for the owners of buildings making way for the expansion.

Pakistan seeks amnesty extension

 Aftab Khokhar

Published — Tuesday 2 November 2010

The Pakistani Embassy and consulates are working round-the-clock to rectify the status of their nationals, but paperwork of hundreds of Pakistanis is yet to be completed before the end of the amnesty period on Sunday.
Almost all the diplomatic missions are requesting the Saudi government to look into these matters as the workers need more time to rectify their status.
Pakistan Consul General Aftab Khokhar told Arab News that the number of Pakistani nationals who have prepared their documents to travel but are yet to be fingerprinted was in the region of 5,000 to 6,000.
“The Amnesty scheme, which ends on Nov. 3, has been the most humanitarian gesture of Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah,” he said. “The Pakistan community has benefited from this opportunity. The Embassy of Pakistan in Riyadh as well as the Consulate of Pakistan has been working as a partner with the Saudi authorities to implement the rules and guidelines of the Saudi government.
We acknowledge and appreciate the hard work of Saudi officials. They have performed their duties very diligently. However, there are cases pending before both the passport department (Jawazat) for transfer of sponsorship (naqal kafala) and at Tarheel for final exit.”
He said these individuals had fulfilled their legal obligations and were ready to travel under the amnesty scheme. Some of them have only emergency passports without any record of their entry in the Kingdom. They are waiting for fingerprinting at Tarheel.
“The Saudi authorities have been formally requested to extend the Amnesty to Jan. 31. This will enable Saudi officials to complete the pending work and also provide relief to the remaining Pakistanis and other nationals to leave the Kingdom without being arrested. We make a humble submission to the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to extend the deadline on humanitarian grounds,” said Khokher.

Saudi education catching up with world’s best

The revamped national curriculum in the Saudi public education system has rattled schools, with significant changes taking place over the past few years.
These reforms are the biggest in education since the establishment of modern Saudi Arabia. The changes have affected over five million students across the country.
The re-written national curriculum addresses the long-held criticism of Saudi public education for its rote nature of teaching. This has become obsolete in a more challenging era of economic and technological prosperity, proliferation of information and competitiveness.
Hussein Al-Oufi, co-author of the new Arabic language courses, told Arab News that it had taken five years of dedicated work before the Ministry of Education approved the revised Arabic curriculum now taught in elementary and intermediate schools.
“Teachers are no longer the only source of information for students,” he said. The old image of the teacher in the classroom has changed. The teacher’s new role is that of a facilitator of learning, as the students engage in a more collaborative learning environment with textbooks as just one tool for gaining knowledge, he said.
Major learning objectives for Arabic language lessons were simply packaged in a more language communicative approach balancing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, he said.
This was in a sharp contrast with the old Arabic language fragmented, skill-based curriculum that focused on memorization and repetition drills, which added a cognitive load to students, he said.
“The change allows students to acquire skills such as conception, practice, critical thinking, innovation and creativity, helping Saudi students to be more competitive with pupils abroad,” Al-Oufi added. The new education policy in the country has taken the "constructivism learning theory" as a base for modernizing education through discovery, practice, experience and collaboration.
Subject matters such as history and geography are also introduced in a more relevant and cohesive approach in one single textbook, and best of all, in a more appealing fashion, he added.
Ibrahim Al-Ghamdi, a school principal, said it was a step in the right direction with a more balanced and integral curriculum that helps students connect the dots and make the connection of the knowledge acquired in each subject.
“It does not only meet the students’ needs, but also the requirements of the national development plans,” he said.
Al-Ghamdi added that the new curricular changes could provide learning skills that students need to acquire knowledge and search for information wherever it may be. They also reinforce Islamic and national values and principles, such as moderation, tolerance, loyalty to the homeland, and preserving its accomplishments, he said.
“Unless we take the initiative to develop our educational system, we would surely pay the cost,” said Ahmed Jarallah, a high school teacher. “We can consult curricula in developed countries, without compromising our Islamic identity,” he said.
Nawaf Khazmari, a high school student, said that he and his classmates were happy to see the curriculum delivered with interesting topics, art and illustrations that make it easier for students to digest. “They know we would love visual aids,” he said.
“Evening homework is more fun now with the new textbooks, but we would love the next step for the homework to be digital” said Ayman Jamal, another high school student.
The Ministry of Education has gradually, over the past three years, introduced a university-like system, converting high schools into mini-campuses. The new system follows a semester-based university system, including admission and graduation requirements, two specialization tracks of science and humanities, and a study plan of 200 required credit hours.
Mona Al-Ghamdi, a high school teacher of Islamic studies, said: “A good student can finish high school in less than three years.”
The proposed changes have sparked a push back, however. “Everything seems in order regarding curricula, but where are the educational aids that can help us make the classroom environment more interesting?” asked a high school teacher who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The government has allocated some SR9 billion for the Tatweer (development) project, which began in 2008. “We can’t yet feel that development in our working environment and classrooms,” he said. “With such a big sum of money, we thought our schools would be like castles in the sky,” he added.
“It seems that the Education Ministry is determined to make a real change, but this will not happen unless it provides the teachers with all educational aids they need, including the professional development of teachers,” he said.
Teachers are hopeful to see their students getting rid of their heavy backpacks with textbooks. “All the students needs can be downloaded on a laptop,” he said.
The Ministry of Education has earlier pledged support to make the new system work. With 786 high schools across the country thus far implementing the new system, the ministry will provide these schools with the necessary human, academic, financial, technological and technical resources, said Kahled Al-Sabti, deputy minister of education.

Published — Monday 4 November 2013

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