Thursday, January 4, 2007

Human Development


Human development, i.e., individuals and organizations committed to uplift the ones in ditches and giving them a hand in bringing them back on a level playing field. Catholic Charities is one of the earliest organizations to take on the role of helping people help themselves. Jewish, Hindu, Parsee (Zoroastrian) names pop in the mind immediately along with The Carnegie endowment, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and many great institutions are out there to do the work. The ones that have made news recently, may God bless them and bless more of them are: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Warren Buffet Foundation.

The most known foundation among the Muslim Community is the Aga Khan Foundation. There are many a great foundations out there, unfortunately not all of them are listed. The Prophet's (pbuh) had recommend that if you help some one with one hand, the other hand should not even know about it. There is a deep wisdom in it. This is to avoid humiliation of the receiver. There is a great story to share, narrated by my friend Mr. Davendra Dev Maini.

Where one Raheem ( A Muslim seer) was well known in India for his devotion to help every one. It was said that no one went empty handed when they knoced on his door for help. He would give
food, clothing and monies to people.

The people who received the help could not figure out why Raheem always lowered his eyes when he gave, as if he was embarassed to do it. So one day some of them went to his contemporary Tulsidas, the man who wrote the Ramayana legend and wanted to understand why this man kept his eyes lowered with humility when he gave.

Tulsidas wrote a quartet and sent with the men to give it to Raheem
It read:

  1. Aisi deni dain jo
  2. Kit sethay ho sain
  3. Joon Joon kar oonchay kariyo
  4. Choon choon nechay nain.
In essence, Tulsidas asked Raheem, whenever you give, you gave well, instead of feeling tall, why do you lower your eyes?

So the folks go to Raheem with Tulsidas's note to seek an answer. Raheem looked at it and understood that it was coming from one of the greatest writers of the time; Tulsidas. He responded with another quartet.
  1. Den haar koi aur hai
  2. Bhejat jo din rain
  3. log bharam ham per karien
  4. taso neechay nain.

He put his belief into the above 4 lines, which said. the giver is some one else, God is the giver, and when people give me the credit, I am embarrassed so I keep my eyes low.

If we want to maintain a continuous equilibrium in the society, we have to help every one that needs help. I have never looked to it as either Charity or Noble work. It is simply one side of the happiness transaction. Giving is the best ingredient of happiness.

By the way, Dr. Mohammad Younus was recognized for his effort in helping the ordinary people come up in life with a simple thing like micro credit in his native Bangladesh. He is a proud Nobel Prize winner in 2006.

In this forum, we will highlight the Muslim development net works. Personally, I am reluctant to use the word Charity, as it denotes obligation. Please send me information about other organizations like IRC and the ones by the Ahmadiyya and other group.

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Mike Ghouse

Gates gives $5.5m for Aga Khan project


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given a grant of $5.5 million to Aga Khan Foundation USA (AKF-USA) for a microinsurance initiative in Pakistan and Tanzania.

The five-year initiative aims to improve the economic stability of microentrepreneurs and other poor families by reducing their vulnerability to loss of savings and income as a result of catastrophic events such as long-term hospitalisation, business or crop loss, or death of the head of a household. The initiative intends to develop a model for the provision of microinsurance that will be viable and financially sustainable in multiple socio-economic and cultural contexts.

AKF-USA will work with the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM) in implementing activities, first in Pakistan – where the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has well-established institutions and a long history of innovation in financial services, insurance, social development and poverty reduction.

In 2007, AKAM will begin programme activities in Tanzania, where AKDN has also had a long-term presence.
The initiative is designed to create a replicable model for extending and deepening the impact of microfinance by providing affordable, comprehensive insurance products to poor and very poor microfinance clients.
It offers the opportunity to test how microinsurance services could become a powerful and cost-effective tool complementing micro-lending and savings.

The programme will bring together high-level international expertise, market research, pilot studies and the use of modern technology to demonstrate how microinsurance services can be delivered cost-effectively to the poor. AKF-USA will also work jointly with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to disseminate learning about the impact of microinsurance services on the poor.

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Voice of Moderate Muslims

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Moderate Islam Speaker

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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.