G'day mates! Got ya backpacks ready everyone? Right then-we're all set!
BE WARNED: You are about to encounter sizzling deserts and tropical rainforests;world class cities and golden beaches.All this in one country.So let's dive right in and experience life in the Land Down Under...
AUSTRALIA is a multicultural nation of many races and religions.It is the sixth largest country in the World and neighbours Indonesia,one of one of the biggest Muslim countries.The Population stands around 19.5 million people, of which approximately 1-1.5% are Muslim(around 300 000).And how did the Muslims initially make their way to this Unique country?
The exact date when the first Muslim arrived in Australia has not been ascertained so far. However, the remains of settlements and cemeteries of the sixteenth century Makassan Muslim fishermen from the East-Indonesian Archipelago have been discovered in the Southern Coast of the continent.(An Archipelago is a group of many Islands in a large body of water).The recorded history of Islam in Australia dates from 1860 when a camel-handler, Dost Muhammad, arrived in Australia from Karachi. He was a Pathan who originally hailed from Kashmir . He brought with him two dozen Peshawari camels.
During the last half of the nineteenth century several Afghan cameleers were labouring on the Australian soil. They came to be known as 'Ghans'. The Ghans were soon followed by streams of migrating Muslims from around the world,more so after the termination of World War II.
The Muslim population of Australia has been rising steadily over the years. They now constitute the largest minority group in the continent. The majority of Australian Muslims reside in the cities.The first city mosque to be built in Australia still serves the Muslim community in Adelaide, South Australia. It was built between 1888 and the early 1890s by the Afghan cameleers.
Now for the interesting part..we actually get to speak to an Aussie! A hearty 'As Salaamu Alaikum' to sister Aneesa from everyone here at Hidaya.I had a little chat with her and this is what she had to share with me...
ON WITH IT...
Hidaya:Where exactly do you reside in Australia?
Sister: Currently reside in the home of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Sydney
Hidaya:How long have you lived here?
Sister: Almost 5˝ years now.
Hidaya:In a few words,describe the land down under?
Sister: Beautifully scenic and totally multi-cultural...... Manufique!!! (To be totally honest Madinah-tun-Nabi gets a squillion gazillion thumbs up)
Hidaya: could you name us a few popular attractions of this colourful place?
Sister: Well there is the Infamous Opera House, The Harbour Bridge, Luna Park, Darling Harbour, Olympic Park, Auburn Gallipoli Mosque is beautiful (minature replica of the BLUE MOSQUE in Istanbul,Turkey) just to name a few.
Hidaya:And not forgetting the Kangaroos! How easy is it to spot one of these intruiging creatures?
Sister: Spot one?? Please don’t tell me you believe that they are hopping about all over in backyards, frontyards, roads etc??? Maybe in the outback, sure you might spot one easy but in the developed parts like Sydney no way senorita. If you want to see one you have to go to the zoo or animal park.
Hidaya:What do like best about your country?
Sister: Absolute diversity and mixture of cultures and all different array of food... Yummmmmmmm
Hidaya:What dont you like?
Sister: The feeling of hatred targeted against Muslims that is slowly seeping into society because of media portrayal and the ignorance of people who believe all the things they see and read.
Hidaya: Australians are usually thought of as no-nonsense 'lets get on with it' kind of people who can enjoy a good time.Am I accurate here?
Sister: To an extent yes. Just depends on the situation these days.
Hidaya: It is felt by some that there is still considerable tension and intolerance between the different cultural groups in Australia. Do you feel this is more correct or not?
Sister: Yes it is because,unfortunately, when people migrated from other countries they brought their politics with them so you do get clash ups and racial tension.
Hidaya:Is Islam strong in your country?
Sister: Yes. Very strong alhamdulillah and getting stronger with the Grace and Mercy of Allah.
Hidaya: Why would you say so?
Sister: Well I witness living Islam everyday. Sister’s in full niqaab,lots of mosques and Islamic centre’s, associations,and a few Islamic schools, awareness and availability of halaal products, and heaps of Islamic activities organized for the young and old alike and last but not least and the most important are all the reverts that Allah has guided.
Hidaya:Is there freedom to practise Islam in your country?
Sister: Alhamdulillah, at the moment YES.
Hidaya: Is this being taken advantage of?
Sister: Alhamdulilah ,yes it is being taken advantage of.
Hidaya:Is Dawah work active in the Australia?
Sister: Yes, it is. Everyday Alhamdulillah with the grace and mercy of Allah there are reverts that come into the fold of Islaam and others who have a change of opinion by comming into contact with muslims and others out of curiosity.
Hidaya: what is the condition of the Muslim Youth in Asutralia?
Sister: The youth…… well some are lost, some have found their way and others are sitting on the fence still deciding what to do. May Allah guide them and bless them with direction I their life, Inshah’allah.
Hidaya: Post September 11,do you find that the Muslim Youth in general are afraid of expressing their Islamic identity or has this strengthened their faith and encouraged them to critically view their position as Muslims in society?
Sister: Well, in the beginning they were some so called hate crimes committed against a minority especially the females and some of them felt really threathened as they had to travel distances to get to work,school or uni and so they stopped wearing hijab but on the other hand where there is a majority of muslims living in a paticular area well alot of them were shaken from the slumber that they had fallen into and now they are wide awake and are expressing their Muslim Identity. So basically there was a negative impact aswell as a positive one.
Hidaya:What is the general relationship between The Muslims and Non-Muslims Of the Australia? Is there an awareness of Islam among the non-muslims?
Sister: Well after 911 there was a very strong negative impact and alot of muslim sisters were scared to come out of their homes etc. but now that it has fizzled out and only surfaces a little when the media blow things out of proportion. Alot of Non-Muslims have changed their attitudes positively after all the 'bugger ups' by the USA,Uk and Australians Goverments and since all their lies about WMD'S etc have been exposed, muslims get asked alot of questions about Islam and sadly to say alot of these are questions are HUGE misconceptions dealing with Islamic Law. On a good note its good that they ask these questions beacuse then muslims get a chance to clear these misconceptions up. So basically there is an awareness of Islam amongst Non-Muslims and the relationship is improving as the days go by Alhamdulillah.
Hidaya:Do you think that many of the Muslims of Austalia are well informed about the state of the Muslim Ummah around our troubled globe?
Sister: Well in Australia there is an awareness and you get alot of peace activists voicing their thoughts on the policies of the Goverment. Some of them have even gone to the troubled areas to be "Human Shields" and this has created further awareness.
Hidaya: Do you think that the Muslims of Australia are active enough in taking a stance against the injustices committed against our brothers and sisters ?
Sister: Well,for the most part they do try their best but staying within the bounds of the law of the country.
How objective would you say is the Australian Media when it comes to reporting on Muslims?
Sister: Objective? It’s more like SUBJECTIVE. Everyone has an agenda against Islam and Muslims these days.
Hidaya: What do you think the Muslims Australia can change to contribute towards a progressing Ummah inshAllah?
Sister: Well firstly to stop the inner-bickering amongst the muslims themselves and learning to be tolerant and have respect for one another. That is the only way the ummah will progress. This applies to the ummah as a whole.
Hidaya: What do you think that you, as a Muslim citizen of Australia, can do to increase the awareness of Islam in your country?
Sister: By being tolerant of people’s ignorance, being approachable and not building a barrier so if a person is curious they will come up and ask you and air their views, opinions and misconceptions that they have. By knowing learning and equipping oneself with the knowledge so that one can defend one’s belief.
Hidaya: Last but not least-there are many people from all over the globe who are reading this,insha Allah,what would you like to say to them as a fellow muslim sister?
Sister: Well basically everyone needs to learn tolerance and respect for each other and the only way the ummah can have peace is to utilize THE DIVINE SCARED LAWS OF ALLAH to establish THE DIVINE SACRED LAWS OF ALLAH "PEACEFULLY". For us all to progress we need to go back in time and history to the first 3 centuries of islam because this is when Islam was practiced in its purest form.
(1) Narrated Imran bin Husain: "Allah's Apostle said, 'The best of my followers are those living in my generation (i.e. my contemporaries). and then those who will follow the latter" 'Imran added, "I do not remember whether he mentioned two or three generations after his generation, then the Prophet added, 'There will come after you, people who will bear witness without being asked to do so, and will be treacherous and untrustworthy, and they will vow and never fulfill their vows, and fatness will appear among them." (Book #57, Hadith #2)
Would like to sum it all up by saying "May Allah save us from the evils within us and around us and may He accept those prayers that are good for us and may He bless us with the best in this world and the aakhirah and may He keep us smilin and shinin all the way to Al-Firdous...Aameen Ya Rabb ~
Jazakillahu Khairan to Sister Aneesa for sharing her time and valuable input.I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope you did too.Remember to stay tuned to the link that keeps you insync..
Bint Abdul Khaliq
As Salaamu Alaikum
Map of Australia:
The Great Barrier reef-an aerial view:
Here's an opportunity to Take a Virtual Dive and Explore the Great Barrier Reef(and wonder at the Marvel of Allah's creation!):
Beautiful Aurburn Gallipoli Musjid Masha Allah ( replica of the Blue Mosque-Istanbul):
A FEW KANGAROOS LOOSE IN THE TOP PADDOCK..
Kangaroos are Australia's best-known animals. When Australia's first European Explorers saw a strange animal as tall as a human leaping around like giant grasshoppers they couldn't believe their eyes! They asked Australia's original inhabitants -the Aborigines - "What are these animals?" They replied "kangaroo." Now to the Aborigines, this meant "I don't understand you." The Europeans thought they were referring to the big-footed hoppers, so they named them...Kangaroos.
Cairns Rainforest-quite refreshing Masha Allah:
The Australian Outback-roughing it out:
A regular suburban street in Australia's capital-Canberra:
Fact Sheet: AUSTRALIAN MUSLIMS:
The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils:
The Federation of Australian Muslim Students and Youth:
Last but not least- A Dictionary of Aussie slang!
Hope you enjoyed the tour.
on April 24, 2005 7:14 PM
Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabaraktu,
Jazzakum Allah Kull Khair sister for your efforts to map the globe for us and bring us closer to our Muslim brothers and sisters.
I've actually seen through so many nature and Animal shows someof the (masha Allah) wonderful creations Allah has created in Australia. In one region it is complete deserts where you can find camels who actually eat up the dirt because of its mineral richness. In another part you will find rainforest and in its very high point a place where you can find a whole bunch of amethystine pythons.
A little note, one of my old dreams was to buy this island off the coast of Australia:
It is now bought. But for a price of 1.25 million and 8700 acres it was a really good deal. I actually spent a night with my friends (years ago) just planning out the laws and constitution for our new country(It's not easy to plan and share a nation) and planning how we would divide the costs and how many people we would need to buy it.
But the dream was about simplicity and self-sufficiency, with minimal mainland trade if needed. Of course we understood that the order and peace we dreamt about and would work to build (insha Allah) would eventually turn sour with the coming generations because having been born not knowing what's going on in the outside world they will not share the same dream. War, power struggles, overpopulation, and people migrating to the mainland to get close to city-life would eventually occur. There really is no Jannah in the dunya. Allah (subhanna wa taala) has created the Jannah only for the afterlife and it is the only place to be at rest forever with no trouble or toils. Even living on a beautiful Island with all that you need it still will not be perfect and in an instan a hurricane, tsunami, etc can come and blow it all away.
fyi, if no-one has ever heard of the country of Sealand I recommend you read this article about two people who actually bought an Island and declared it a nation. It is very interesting.
If any of the hidaya writers/readers want to get together and plan out buying an Island I'm all for it. It can be called 'The People's Republic of Hidaya'or simply 'The H'.
Waslaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatuon April 25, 2005 12:42 AM
Ukhti, as usual, a solid informative report from your desk...Hey you forgot to ask the sister what is the favorite sports in Australia? Mo its not soccer, no its not field hockey, nor is it cricket (even though they are the world champions). Its plain old Rugby!
Well thats what one Australian told me.
Brother Rami, you thought of buying an island, I like it!
Only thing is that all men should know how to fish and all women should know how to weave good fishing nets...and everyone should love to eat Sushi!!!!
Did someone say pathan? My fiance is a pathan! Yay pathans!
(I am only posting this so that I can show him after marriage and he can be proud of me for doing a cheer for his people)on April 25, 2005 1:38 AM
Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,
A very good article for all who are interested:
"Well, I've looked at heaps and piles of facts about what the deranged leaders of this nation are willing to do to the men and women who wear the US military uniform, and I've come to two conclusions. This country's most expendable commodity is its children and, with few exceptions, Americans appear to be both senseless and blind. "
Wasalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu
on April 25, 2005 6:33 AM
As Salaamu Alaikum
Austrailia summed up in one word would have to be 'Adventure' Masha Allah.
'It is now bought. But for a price of 1.25 million and 8700 acres it was a really good deal'
Wow-not bad.I had no idea that there were islands for sale as well,Subhanallah..Blue Lagoon Island in Fiji looks good too-but at US$ 23 million its abit on the steep side..oh well.
"Hey you forgot to ask the sister what is the favorite sports in Australia? Mo its not soccer, no its not field hockey, nor is it cricket (even though they are the world champions). Its plain old Rugby!
Well thats what one Australian told me."
Probably it is rugby,but Cricket is quite big too.For some reason South African's are not all that fond of Australia's Cricket Team.
sis Justojo,Masha Allah,im sure he'll be really proud! lol. Once again may Allah bless your nikaah.Ameen
The South African Team dont like the Australians because they have been bush-wacked each time they have played in the past year or so.
And it probably also has to do that the SouthAfricans are mostly from Dutch background, while the Australians are mostly of English background. And I dont think the Dutch and the English have great esteem for each other...Now if we only had a German Cricket team in the mix!!!
Aussie Rules Football is the most popular sport over here by far: www.afl.com.au
Also if anyone is interested in seeing a tv show made by young Australian Muslims you should check out http://www.salamcafe.com.au/ where you can download some episodes.on July 5, 2005 4:08 AM
Indeed, the akhira is for al muttaqeen.
We ask Allah to release our prisonerz, whether they are in al quds or cuba,
We ask Allah to destroy the enemies of the deen
We ask Allah to set our hearts firm upon the deen
We ask Allah to make us of the taai'fa that will give honour and victory to this deen,
We ask Allah to let us relive the battles of Badr, Mu'tah, and Yarmuk.
We ask Allah to aid our brothers in sheeshan, kashmir, filastin,afghanistan, iraq and in every corner of the world.
We finally ask Allah to make us of those who do not fear death,for verily, those who do not fear death, NEVER DIE