Islam in Hong Kong
According to the 2016 census, Islam is practised by 4.1% of the population of Hong Kong, or about 300,000 Muslims. Of this number, 50,000 are Chinese, 150,000 are Indonesians and 30,000 are Pakistanis, with the rest from other parts of the world; the vast majority of Muslims in Hong Kong are Sunni. About 12,000 of the Muslim families in Hong Kong are'local boy' families, Muslims of mixed Chinese and South Asian ancestry descended from early Muslim South Asian immigrants who took local Chinese wives and brought their children up as Muslims. Hui Muslims from Mainland China played a role in the development of Islam in Hong Kong, such as Kasim Tuet from Guangzhou, one of the pioneers of Muslim education in the city, for whom the Islamic Kasim Tuet Memorial College is named. In the new millennium, the largest number of Muslims in the territory are Indonesian, most of whom are female foreign domestic workers, they account for over 120,000 of Hong Kong's Muslim population. The history of Muslims in Hong Kong started since the British Hong Kong government period.
The first Muslim settlers in Hong Kong were of Indian origin. From the mid 19th century onwards and more soldiers and businessmen arrived in Hong Kong from South Asia and Mainland China; as the number of them increased, the British Hong Kong government allocated land for them to build their communities and facilities, such as mosques and cemeteries. The British government respected the rights of those Muslim communities by giving them aid. Chinese Muslims first arrived in Hong Kong in the late 19th and early 20th century, coming from southern Chinese coastal areas, where they had lived for centuries prior, they established their community around Wan Chai District. Chinese Muslim influxes occurred following episodes of unrest on the mainland; some Chinese are more recent converts to Islam. As of 2004, the Chinese Muslims account for over 50% of the Muslim resident population of Hong Kong, they play an important role in the Islamic organisations of Hong Kong. Over the past few years, there has been an increasing number of Halal restaurants to cater for Muslim dietary needs, as well as supermarkets selling more and more Halal products.
In 2010, there were only 14 Halal restaurants. As of May 2018, there are 70 Halal-certified restaurants in the region. There has been a plan by HSBC to implement the Islamic finance system in Hong Kong, although the realisation has yet to be waited. In 2007, the HK Islamic Index was established by Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Hong Kong to support Hong Kong's ambitions to develop into an Islamic financial centre. In the same year, Financial Secretary John Tsang announced a plan to capture part of the world's Islamic finance pie, worth around US$1.3 trillion. Hang Seng Bank has issued a retail Islamic fund in November 2007; until January 2010, Hong Kong has 29 Islamic schools, scattered around New Territories. The development of those schools have been remarkably fast, which ranges from kindergartens, primary schools and colleges; some of the Islamic educational institutes: Hong Kong Institute of Islamic Studies, established by the Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry Islamic Kasim Tuet Memorial CollegeThere are various madrasas throughout the region.
In 2018, Hong Kong made a partnership with the online travel platform Have Halal, Will Travel to showcase the Muslim-friendly side of the region. Due to the limited lunch break time on Friday for working-class people in Hong Kong, Friday prayers are held in a short time. Muslims may find difficulties in finding suitable place to pray at work or in school. Due to the absence of mosques in New Territories, Muslims living there may find it hard to go to Hong Kong's current six mosques due to their location in Kowloon or Hong Kong Island; some of them turn them into prayer rooms to serve Muslims living around the area. There are eight flats in Hong Kong being turned into prayer rooms. There are six principal mosques in Hong Kong that are used daily for prayers. Hong Kong's 7th mosque, the Sheung Shui Mosque is under construction in New Territories; the oldest is the Jamia Mosque on Hong Kong Island, built in the 1840s and rebuilt in 1915. The first Imam was Al Haaj Abul Habib Syed Mohammed Noor Shah, from 1914 to 1946.
The Kowloon Mosque in Nathan Road, opened in 1984, can accommodate about 3,500 worshipers. It is the largest mosque in Hong Kong; the Ammar Mosque at Oi Kwan Road in Wan Chai was opened in September 1981 and can accommodate a congregation of 700 to 1,500 people, depending on the requirements. Chai Wan Mosque is located at the Cape Collinson Muslim Cemetery. Stanley Mosque is located in the Stanley Prison. Ibrahim Mosque is located in the Yau Ma Tei was opened in November 2013 Beside mosques, there are many Muslim prayer halls scattered around Hong Kong, such as in Hong Kong International Airport, City University of Hong Kong etc; the Incorporated Trustees of the Islamic Community Fund of Hong Kong co-ordinates religious affairs and manages mosques and Muslim cemeteries in Hong Kong. The constituent bodies of the trustees are the Islamic Union of Hong Kong, the Pakistan Association of Hong Kong, the Indian Muslim Association of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Dawoodi Bohra Association. Charitable work among the Muslim community, including financial aid to the needy, medical care, educational assistance, the provision of an Islamic kindergarten and assistance for the aged, is conducted through various Muslim organisations in Hong Kong.
The organisation is based at the Ammar Mosque. The Islamic Union of Hong Kong is an Islamic charitable and n
Islam in Mauritius
Muslims constitute over 17.3 per cent of Mauritius population. Muslims of Mauritius are of Indian descent. Large numbers of Muslims arrived to Mauritius during the British regime starting in 1834 as part of the large scale indentured labor force from India. Mauritius became independent in 1968 and no official religion is defined in the constitution nor does any religion dominate. Christians make up about a third of the population. Several religious groups including Muslim ones are recognized by parliamentary decree and receive state subsidies according to their percentage of the population; the largest group of Muslims are the Sunnis, comprising around 80 per cent of the Muslims with sub-groups of Salafis, the Sufis, the Tawhidis and the Tabligh jamaat. Shias form a small community with the subgroups of Cocknies, who are believed to have arrived as boat builders from Cochin in India and Creole Lascars, who have intermarried with Cocknies or other communities; some scholars believed that Muslims arrived in Mauritius with Dutch from Arabia as slaves, but the view has been disproved as the fellows with Dutch were most Arabian traders.
Muslims arrived to Mauritius during the British regime starting from 1810. Large scale indentured slaves from India from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal and Kolkota. There were a total of 450,000 immigrants during the period of 1835 to 1907 and after 1909, the immigration was stopped, they were sent from India for a period of five years. Till 1922, only 160,000 returned to India. There were a few families of wealthy Muslim traders from Gujarat who settled along with majority poor working classes; the population of Muslims is rumoured to have been 33% of the total population during 1835, 64% during 1861, but reduced to less than 25% by 1909. Traditionally Sunnis remained a majority, while other groups like Sunni Shafia and Bohra formed around 20 per cent of the total Muslims in the country. Cocknies, Kodjas and Aga-khanities are believed to have arrived in Maurtius during 1910 from East Africa. Tawheed ideology, followed in Mauritius was replaced by Islamic Circle Religious Group which culled out religious practices from India.
The trend was changed after the evolution of oil-rich Arab countries in the 1970s. The largest group of Muslims are the Sunnis. Sunnis are divided among various factions such as the Salafis, the Sufis, the Tawhidis and the Tabligh jamaat. While the majority adheres to the Hanafi school of thoughts, there are other factions that follow the Shafe'i school of thought. There are Muslims who follow Shi'ism. Meimons are a small aristocratic group. Shiaties form a small community of around 3 per cent of the total population. One of the subgroups are called Cocknies, who are believed to have arrived as boat builders from Cochin in India. Creole Lascars are a new subgroup, who have intermarried with other communities. Within the Muslim community, there are three distinct ethnic groups that exist, notably the Memons and the Surtees the "Hindi Calcattias" who came to Mauritius as indentured labourer from Bihar. Creole is the most used language among Muslims other than Arabic and Urdu, while other languages spoken include Bhojpuri, Gujarati.
Mauritius got independence during 1968 and there was no state religion in Mauritius defined in the constitution. The nation had any indigenous tribes or religion; the religious organizations present at the time of independence, Roman Catholic Church, Church of England, Presbyterian Church, Seventh-day Adventist and Muslims are recognized by parliamentary decree. The constitution and other laws protect freedom of religion; the groups recognized by the government before independence receive an annual sum for paying their adherents. The government allows overseas missionary groups to operate on a case-by-case basis, although there are no rules that prohibit proselytizing activities; the missionaries should obtain both residence permit and work permit to operate, provided for a maximum of three years, without any extension. There are lot of government holidays, most of which are religious indicating the heterogeneity of religions; as per the International Religious Freedom report of 2012 published by the United States Department of States, there were no incidence of religious abuses.
The report indicates other religions claim that Hindus have a majority in the government, while Hindus have sought a policy for anti-conversion. As of 1965, there were 65 mosques in the country; the first purpose-built mosque in Mauritius is the Camp des Lascars Mosque in around 1805. It is now known as the Al-Aqsa Mosque; the Jummah Mosque in Port Louis was built in the 1850s and is described in the Ministry of Tourism's guide as one of the most beautiful religious buildings in Mauritius. All mosques are controlled by a board called waqf a form of charitable organization; the Waqf Board in Mauritius was created in 1941 and it supervises the finances and administration of all the mosques. Each mosque has a manager named muttanwalli, elected by a congregation; the board helps imparting education in madraasas and all Islamic ceremonies. Major holidays like Bakrid, Mawlid and, for the Shia only, Muharram are celebrated with floats in the major mosques in the country. Ameenah Gurib, President of Mauritius Cassam Uteem, President of Mauritius Raouf Bundhun, President of Mauritius Abdool Razack Mohamed Parwez Kureemun Islam
Islam in Madagascar
Islam has been well established in what is now known as Madagascar for centuries and today Muslims represent 7% of the population. Vast majority of Muslims in Madagascar practice Sunni Islam of the Shafi school of jurisprudence, with a smaller population of Ahmadis who first established themselves in the country in the 1980s. Beginning in the 10th or 11th century and Zanzibari ivory merchants working their way down the east coast of Africa in their dhows and established settlements on the west coast of Madagascar; the most noteworthy of these were the Zafiraminia, traditional ancestors of the Antemoro and other east coast ethnicities. The last wave of Arab immigrants would be the Antalaotra who immigrated from eastern African colonies, they settled the north-west of the island and were the first to bring Islam to the island. Arab immigrants were few in total number compared to the Indonesians and Bantus, but they left a lasting impression; the Malagasy names for seasons, months and coins are Arabic in origin, as is the practice of circumcision, the communal grain pool, different forms of salutation.
The Arab magicians, known as the ombiasy, established themselves in the courts of many Malagasy tribal kingdoms. Arab immigrants brought their patriarchal system of family and clan of non Islamic civilization rule to Madagascar, which differed from the Polynesian matriarchal system whereby rights of privilege and property are conferred on men and women. Sorabe is an alphabet based on Arabic used to transcribe the Malagasy language and the Antemoro dialect in particular; the Arabs were the first to identify the origin of most Malagasy by suggesting that the island was colonized by the Indonesians. Upon independence from France in 1960, Madagascar began developing close ties with staunchly secular power the Soviet Union; this stifled the development of all religion in Madagascar. However, in the 1980s, Madagascar back towards France. Followers constitute 7% of the population, according to the US Department of State in 2011, or 3% according to the Pew Research Center in 2010
Islam in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is a Muslim majority nation and Islam is official religion of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. Islam is the largest religion of Bangladesh, the Muslim population is around 190-200 million, the third largest Muslim population in the world, constituting 90% of the total population as of 2011. Religion has always been a strong part of identity. Bangladesh although a developing country is one of the few secular Muslim majority countries in the world. Islam was introduced to Bengal in at least 7th-8th century and became main religion coming from by the arrivals of Arab and Persian missionaries and merchants. Syed Shah Nasir Al-Deen was from Iraq but came to Bangladesh to spread Islam. Early Arab Muslims however established commercial as well as religious contacts within the region before the conquest through the coastal regions as traders and via the ports of Chittagong. Arab navigation in the region was the result of the Muslim reign over the Indus delta; the activities of the Muslims were expanded along the entire coast of South Asia including the coasts of Bengal.
The religion of Islam entered the region in many different ways, the Muslim traders, the Turkic conquest and, the missionary activities of the Muslim Sufis. One of the authentications of the Arab traders present in the region was the writings of Arab geographers, found on the Meghna River located near Sandwip on the Bay of Bengal; this evidence suggests that the Arab traders had arrived along the Bengal coast long before the Turkic conquest. The Arab writers knew about the kingdoms of Samrup and Ruhmi, the latter being identified with the empire of Dharmapal of the Pala Empire; the earliest mosque in South Asia is in Lalmonirhat, built during or just after the Prophet Muhammad's lifetime. Between the 8th century and 12th century, the Buddhist dynasty known as the Pala Empire ruled Bengal. During that time, the majority of the population in Bengal were thought to be Buddhists. After the decline of the Pala dynasty, the Sena dynasty came to power; the large scale conversion to Islam continued for hundreds of years.
Conversion was collective rather than individual. The mass conversion resulted in a syncretic religion where Hindu deities begin to be venerated as Muslim pirs. One of the notable Muslim pirs was Shah Jalal, he arrived in the region of Sylhet in 1303 with many other disciples to preach the religion to the people. However, according to a 16th-century biography by Shaikh ‘Ali, a descendant of one of Shah Jalal's companions, Shah Jalal had been born in Turkestan, where he became a spiritual disciple of Saiyid Ahmad Yasawi, one of the founders of the Central Asian Sufi tradition. According to legend, Shah Jalal, came to Sylhet from Delhi with a band of 360 disciples to preach Islam and defeated the Raja Gour Gobinda in a dispute; as a result, Sylhet developed into a region, home to numerous saints and Islamic shrines According to sources, his uncle, Sheikh Kabir, one day gave Shah Jalal a handful of earth and asked him to travel to Hindustan with the instruction that he should settle down at whichever place in Hindustan whose soil matched in smell and color, devote his life for the propagation and establishment of Islam there.
Shah Jalal journeyed eastward and reached India in 1300, where he met with many great scholars and mystics. He arrived at Ajmer, where he met the great Sufi mystic and scholar, Khawaja Gharibnawaz Muinuddin Hasan Chisty, credited with much of the spread of Islam in India. In Delhi, he purportedly met with another major Sufi mystic and scholar. During the stages of his life, Shah Jalal devoted himself to propagating Islam to the masses. Under his guidance, many thousands of Hindus and Buddhists converted to Islam. Shah Jalal become so renowned that the famed Ibn Battuta, whilst in Chittagong, was asked to change his plans and go to Sylhet to visit him. On his way to Sylhet, Ibn Battuta was greeted by several of Shah Jalal's disciples who had come to assist him on his journey many days before he had arrived. On meeting Shah Jalal, Ibn Battuta described him as tall and lean, fair in complexion and lived by the mosque in a cave, where his only item of value was a goat from which he extracted milk and yogurt.
He observed that the companions of Shah Jalal were foreigners and known for their strength and bravery. Ibn Battuta mentioned that many people would visit him and seek guidance. Shah Jalal was therefore instrumental in the spread of Islam throughout north east India including Assam. During the Sultanate period, a syncrestic belief system arose due to mass conversions; as a result, the Islamic concept of tawhid was diluted into the veneration of pirs. Hindu deities became popular pirs: goddesses such as Shitala and Durga were worshipped as pirs as Olabibi and Bonbibi; the British East India Company was given the right to collect revenue from Bengal-Bihar by the treaty of Allahabad after defeating the combined armies of Nawab Mir Qasim of Bengal, Nawab of Awadh and Mughal emperor at the Battle of Buxar. They annexed Bengal in 1793 after abolishing local rule; the British looted the Bengal treasury, appropriating wealth valued at US$40 billion in modern-day prices. Due to high colonial taxation, Bengali commerce shrank by 50% within 40 years.
Spinners and weavers starved during famines. Bengal's once industrious cities became impoverished; the East India Company forced indigo cultivation. The permanent settlement dismantled centuries of joint Muslim-Hindu political, military and f
Religion in Benin
Christianity is the most professed religion in Benin, with 48.5% of the nation's total population being members of various Christian denominations. It plays an important role in shaping the country's social and cultural life. According to the 2013 estimate by the government of Benin, the population of Benin is 27.7% Muslim, 25.5% Roman Catholic, 13.5% Protestant, 11.6% Vodun, 9.5% of other Christian denominations, 12.2% of others or none. There are Christians and adherents of African Traditional Religion throughout the country. However, most adherents of the traditional Yoruba religious group are in the south, while other African Traditional Religion beliefs are followed in the north. Muslims are represented most in the north and southeast. Christians are prevalent in the south in Cotonou, the economic capital, it is not unusual for members of the same family to practice Christianity, African Traditional Religion, or a combination of all of these. Among the most practiced African Traditional Religions in Benin is the Vodun system of belief which originated in this area of Africa.
Other African Traditional Religions are practiced in the Atakora and Vodun and Orisha or Orisa veneration among the Yoruba and Tado peoples is prevalent in the center and south of the country. The town of Ouidah on the central coast is the spiritual center of Beninese Vodun; the Tado and the Yoruba Orisha pantheons correspond closely: The supreme deity Mawu or Olodumare The deity of the earth and smallpox, known as Sakpana, can be spelt as'Shakpata, Shopono and known as Babalu Aye or Obalu Aye. The deity of thunder and lightning, known as Shango; the deity of war and iron, known as Ogun known as Ogoun or Gu. Christianity first reached Benin in 1680. English Methodists arrived in 1843. More than half of all Christians in Benin are Roman Catholic; the Catholic hierarchy in Benin consists of the Archdiocese of the Parakou. There are 440 women in religious orders. Other Christian groups include Baptists, Assemblies of God, Seventh-day Adventists, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses, Celestial Christians, the Unification Church.
Many nominal Christians practice traditional local religious beliefs. Islam, which accounts for more than 27% of the country's population, was brought to Benin from the north by Hausa, Songhai-Dendi traders. Nearly all Muslims adhere to the Sunni Maliki branch of Islam; the few Shi'a Muslims are Middle Eastern expatriates. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is present, who inaugurated a mosque in Benin, the Al Mahdi Mosque in 2006. Many nominal Muslims practice traditional local religious beliefs. Three out of twelve departments have a Muslim majority: Alibori and Borgou. Couffo has the lowest share of Muslims in Benin as Muslims comprise less than 1% of the total population. Other religious groups in Benin include Baha'is; the Constitution of Benin provides for freedom of religion, the government respects this right in practice. The United States government recorded no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious belief or practice during 2007, prominent societal leaders have taken positive steps to promote religious freedom
Islam in Afghanistan
Islam in Afghanistan began to be practiced after the Arab Islamic conquest of Afghanistan from the 7th to the 10th centuries, with the last holdouts to conversion submitting in the late 19th century. Islam is the official state religion of Afghanistan, with 99.7% of the Afghan population being Muslim. 90% practice Sunni Islam, belonging to the Hanafi school of Islamic law, while around 10% are believed to be Shiites. Most Shiites belong to the Twelver branch and only a smaller number follow Ismailism. During the 7th century, the Rashidun Caliphate Arabs entered the territory, now Afghanistan after defeating the Sassanian Persians in Nihawand. After this colossal defeat, the last Sassanid emperor, Yazdegerd III, fled eastward deep into Central Asia. In pursuing Yazdegerd, the Arabs entered the area from northeastern Iran via Herat, where they stationed a large portion of their army before advancing toward northern Afghanistan. Many of the inhabitants of northern Afghanistan accepted Islam through Umayyad missionary efforts under the reign of Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik and Umar ibn AbdulAziz.
In south, Abdur Rahman bin Samara introduced Islam to the natives of Zabulistan, ruled by the Zunbils. During the reign of Al-Mu'tasim, Islam was practiced by most inhabitants of the region, under Ya'qub-i Laith Saffari, Islam was the predominant religion of Kabul and other major cities of Afghanistan; the father of Abu Hanifa, Thabit bin Zuta, was born in the territory, now Afghanistan. He emigrated to Kufa; the Samanids propagated Sunni Islam deep into Central Asia, the first complete translation of the Qur'an into Persian was made in the 9th century. Since Islam has dominated the country's religious landscape. Islamic leaders have entered the political sphere at various times of crisis, but exercised secular authority for long; the remnants of a Shahi presence in Peshawar were expelled by Mahmud of Ghazni in 998 and 1030. The Ghaznavids were replaced by the Ghurid Dynasty who expanded the powerful Islamic empire; the Friday Mosque of Herat is one of the oldest mosques in the country, believed to have been first built under the Ghurids in the 12th century.
During this period, known as the Islamic Golden Age, Afghanistan became the second major center of learning in the Muslim world after Baghdad. After the Mongol invasion and destruction, the Timurids rebuilt the area and once again made it a center of Islamic learning. Shia Islam made its way to southern Afghanistan during the Safavid rule in the 16th century; until Mir Wais Hotak liberated the Afghans in 1709, the Kandahar region of Afghanistan was a battleground between the Shia Safavids and the Sunni Mughals. The first systematic employment of Islam as an instrument of state-building was initiated by King Abdur Rahman Khan during his drive toward centralization, he decreed that all laws must comply with Islamic law and thus elevated the Shariah over customary laws embodied in the Pashtunwali. The ulama were enlisted to legitimize and sanction his state efforts as well as his central authority; this enhanced the religious community on the one hand, but as they were inducted into the bureaucracy as servants of the state, the religious leadership was weakened.
Many economic privileges enjoyed by religious personalities and institutions were restructured within the framework of the state. Abdur Rahman Khan's successors continued and expanded his policies as they increased the momentum of secularization. Islam remained central to interactions, but the religious establishment remained non-political, functioning as a moral rather than a political influence. Islam asserted itself in times of national crisis. Moreover, when the religious leadership considered themselves threatened, charismatic religious personalities periodically employed Islam to rally disparate groups in opposition to the state, they rose up on several occasions against King Amanullah Shah, for example, in protest against reforms they believed to be western intrusions inimical to Islam. Subsequent rulers, mindful of traditional attitudes antithetical to secularization, were careful to underline the compatibility of Islam with modernization. So, despite its pivotal position within the society, which continued to draw no distinction between religion and state, the role of religion in state affairs continued to decline.
The 1931 Constitution made Hanafi Shariah the state religion, while the 1964 Constitution prescribed that the state should conduct its religious ritual according to the Hanafi school. The 1977 Constitution declared Islam the religion of Afghanistan, but made no mention that the state ritual should be Hanafi; the Penal Code of 1976 and the Civil Code of 1977, covering the entire field of social justice, represent major attempts to cope with elements of secular law based on, but superseded by, other systems. Courts, for instance, were enjoined to consider cases first according to secular law, resorting to Shariah in areas secular law did not cover. By 1978, the government of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan expressed its aversion to the religious establishment; this precipitated the fledgling Islamist Movement into a national revolt. Politicized Islam in Afghanistan represents a break from Afghan traditions; the Islamist Movement originated in 1958 among faculties of Kabul University in the Faculty of Islamic Law, founded in 1952 with the stated purpose of raising the
Islam in the Central African Republic
Islam accounts for 8.9% of the population of the Central African Republic, making it the second most followed organized religion in the country after Christianity. The vast majority of Muslims are Sunni of Maliki school of jurisprudence. Most Central African Muslims live in the north-east, near the border with predominantly Muslim Chad and Sudan. Islam arrived in Central African Republic in the 17th Century as part of the expansion of the Saharan and Nile River slave routes. In February 2014, tens of thousands of Muslims fled the Central African Republic for Chad as they felt they were no longer safe in the country. Séléka Arab slave trade