News

UMAH-IPS’ 12th batch gets grand graduation ceremony

The UMAH International Primary School held its 12th Graduation Ceremony at the Yuen Long Town Hall on 11th July, 2010. It was the first time that the school held the annual graduation ceremony outside the school premises.

The principal, Ms. Amarie Teodosio, was excited to bring a school activity outside the campus.  “We decided to hold the graduation ceremony at Yuen Long Town Hall because we want to be closer to our community,” the principal said adding that the ceremony was open to anyone interested in watching the event.

Primary 6 adviser, Mr. Samuel Moyani Jr., was proud to present the 13 graduates of Primary 6 for they have been an excellent and a well-disciplined class.  “I am truly proud of our graduates and I am excited to hear them sing their graduation song,” Mr. Moyani said during the event, referring to the theme “Reach Out for the Skies”.  “Reach Out for the Skies”, a reminder and challenge to the graduates to always pursue their individual goals in life, was chosen by the teachers of UMAH-IPS for its simple and straightforward message.

Mr. Mohamed Ayub Din, son of the late chairman Mohamed Alli Din, gave the welcome address and an inspiring message to the graduates while Dr. Jason Yuen who designed the Sheung Shui Mosque, gave a thoughtful tribute to the late Mr. Din. For the graduates’ side, Haroon Shahid delivered the graduation speech.

Piraya Khotsombat received the highest honour for being the top of her class. Aside from the 13 graduates, outstanding students from Primary 1 to Primary 6 were recognized for getting high grades during the 2009-2010 school year.

Important guests like Dr. Jason Yuen, Dr. Angel Ramos, Vice Consul (Malaysian Consulate in Hong Kong) Mrs. Umi Kelsom Talib, Mr. Ng Tze Ka, Mr. John Fisher, Mr. Roderick Miller, Police Sgt. Chow Kin Man and Inspector Yiu Chun Ho, Erictony graced the event. Mrs. Rita Lama Din, Mr. S.J. Raghbi and Mr. Javed Shahab were also present.

The graduation ceremony was followed by a Literary Musical Show which showcased favourite and winning performances from past UMAH events like the Arts and Culture Programme and the Literary Musical Competition.
Hosted by UMAH-IPS alumni Ms. Afshan Kanwal and Ms. Shrijana Pun, the ceremony was held at Yuen Long Town Hall from 2:30 to 5:00 PM. An estimated 200 people attended the successful event.

__________________________________________________________

UMAH AGM gains support

The Annual General Meeting of the United Muslim Association of Hong Kong held last 7th February 2010 at the UMAH International Primary School brought forward an estimated 80 members of the organization.
The first quarter meeting was the first general assembly since the beloved UMAH Chairman Mohamed Alli Din passed away on December 4, 2009.
The annual meeting formed the new council members of the organization through an election.
Muslim members showed their support to the organizing committee which will spearhead the organization and continue the smooth operation of existing services like the Haji Omar Ramju Sadick Care and Attention Home and the UMAH International Primary School.
Mr. Mohamed Ayub Din, manager of Haji Omar Ramju Sadick Care and Attention Home, UMAH, assured the ongoing, uninterrupted service of the institutions to ethnic minorities. “I will do my best to serve my father and continue his legacy,” Mr. Ayub Din said adding that he is grateful to his brothers and sisters in Islam for their support during a difficult time.

_____________________________________________________________
UMAH-IPS Parents’ Day: more meaningful than ever

The annual Parents’ Day celebration of the UMAH-International Primary School has always been a meaningful event because it was celebrated during the late Mr. Mohamed Alli Din’s birthday month of February. This year, because of recent unfortunate circumstances, Parents’ Day was moved to April.
Last 18th April, 2010 UMAH-IPS students, together with their parents, headed to Tai Tong Country Park for a barbecue picnic.
The mood in the bus was somber as parents exchanged fond stories of Mr. Din. When the group arrived at the park, everyone started to unwind and relax in the cool fresh air. By lunchtime, each family has a barbecue pit smoking out some choice cuts of Halal chicken and fish balls. The atmosphere was fun and the students bonded with their parents.

Relay games and a raffle draw followed and the lucky ones went home with some prizes for the family.

As the day ended, past parents’ day activities were remembered and all seem to agree that despite Mr. Din’s passing, his dream of a united ethnic minority family has remained.
_____________________________________________________________________

Mohamed Alli Din, MH GCA EM (In Memoriam)

On Friday, December 4, 2009, Mohamed Alli Din, MH GCA EM passed peacefully into the arms of Almighty Allah at Tuen Mun Hospital after a brave and heroic battle with cancer. Beloved husband to Amina Norman Din and loving father to Mohamed Ramzan Din, Jamilah Din and Haroon Mintz, Mohamed Ayub Din and Ayesha Din, Rasida Din, the late Mohamed Hussain Din, Mohamed Islam Latif Din and Hamida Cheung.
He will be greatly missed by his grandchildren Kalifah Jan Din and Leung Tik Pong, Zahara Wong, Hussina Din, Zareena Wong, Mohamed Lukman Din, Mohamed Hakim Din and Mohamed Hafiz Din and great grandson Wahid Leung.
Chairman of the United Muslim of Association of Hong Kong, Mohamed Alli Din, was laid to rest at the Muslim Cemetery in Chai Wan. A recipient of the Medal of Honour and the Good Citizen Award, M.A. Din lived the last decades of his 80 years serving the ethnic minorities and his Muslim brothers and sisters through his non-profit institutions like the Haji Omar Ramju Sadick Care and Attention Home and the UMAH International Primary School.
As Mohamed Alli Din joins his creator, he leaves his legacy—the ongoing Sheung Shui Mosque and Islamic Centre—to his family, members of the organization and the Muslim community in Hong Kong. His mission and vision will forever live in the hearts of many as his organization continues to grow even in his absence and the lives he touched will carry on his dream of a united Muslim community and brotherhood among ethnic minorities.
May Almighty Allah grant him eternal peace and everlasting happiness.

________________________________________________________________UMAH Represents Hong Kong in 3rd ICIS in Jakarta

Mr. Din at the 3rd ICIS held at Jakarta (29 July - 1 Aug, 2008)

Mr. Din at the 3rd ICIS held at Jakarta (29 July - 1 Aug, 2008)

United Muslim Association of Hong Kong Chairman Mr. Mohamed Alli Din represented Muslims in Hong Kong and China in the recently concluded 3rd International Conference of Islamic Scholars in Jakarta, Indonesia last July 29, 2008.

Mr. Din was invited by the Central Board of Nahdlatul Ulama Dr. KH. A. Hasyim Muzadi to the three-day International Conference. Indonesia President Dr. H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad and Prime Minister of Malaysia Abdullah Ahmad Badawi were among the invited guests to the convention on Upholding Islam as Rahmatan Lil Alamin.

This year’s theme is “Peace Building and Conflict Prevention in the Muslim World” and some of the topics discussed were Peace and Harmony for Humanity in the Islamic Perspective, Case Studies of Conflicts in some areas in Sudan, Thailand, Indonesia, The Philippines and the Middle East, and the discussion of possible solutions to these conflicts.

The conference concluded with the establishment of the Ulamas Sans Frontiers—a multi-national council

who, in behalf of the ICIS assembly, shall bring and enforce the message of peace to the Muslim world and

mediate conflicts and other issues through peace-building efforts.

Mr. Din with former Philippine Senator Santanina Rasul at the 3rd ICIS in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Mr. Din with former Philippine Senator Santanina Rasul at the 3rd ICIS in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Mr. Din was the only representative of Hong Kong (SAR, China) in the conference that listed over 350 participants, guests and observers from different countries. It is the first time that a delegate from Hong Kong was handpicked by the organizing committee.

The 3rd ICIS, held at Borobudur Hotel, Jakarta from 29 July to 1 August, 2008, is considered a grand celebration of harmony and unity amongst Muslims and a significant endeavor in the promulgation of peace and solidarity through intellectual exchanges among brothers in Islam regardless of race, culture or political standing.

_____________________________________________________________________

Brother Seymour Bux — In Memoriam

The United Muslim Association of Hong Kong, its chairman, Mr. Mohamed Alli Din, its members and affiliates are one in remembrance of the passing of Sheik Suleyman Seymour Bux—a colleague, an ally, a friend, a brother.

Sheik Suleyman Seymour Bux lived a life of dedicated and selfless service to the Muslim community. A civil servant for over 40 years under the urban council high post, Mr. Bux was awarded the MBE by the British Government of Hong Kong.

He spent the last years of his life as the secretary of the fund raising committee of the UMAH Sheung Shui Mosque and Islamic Center project and has been the trusted travel companion of Mr. Din in the project’s fund raising campaigns in Malaysia and the Middle East.

Sheik Suleyman, who died on May 22, 2008, has been a strong supporter of UMAH and has stood by UMAH’s ideals and goals. It was his dream to see the Mosque project before he departs this world. Mr. Bux will be truly remembered and his efforts be eternally honored.

We extend our sincerest condolences to the family of Sheik Suleyman Seymour Bux. We pray to almighty Allah to receive him in His paradise for the good deeds he has done in this earth.

( UMAH/June 7/2008 )

————————————————

UMAH Website Updated

After a couple of months’ hiatus, umah.wordpress.com finally got an update. A new page was added to accommodate any news items or announcements. The News / Updates page will soon also feature the latest development in the Muslim community in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the rest of the pages in the website was also updated and some new photos added.

_______________________________________________________

UMAH Chairman Stirs Crowd at Islamic Banking and Finance Forum

HONG KONG—United Muslim Association of Hong Kong Chairman, Mr. Mohamed Alli Din, MH, generated a mixed reaction when he raised a question regarding the financing of UMAH’s Sheung Shui Mosque and Islamic Center project at the Islamic and Finance Forum at the Islamic Union conference hall, yesterday.

Mr. Din, a recipient of the Medal of Honor and a highly respected and notable figure in the Muslim community, asked speaker Dr. Obiyathulla Bin O. A. Ismath Bacha of the International Islamic University of Malaysia if UMAH is eligible for Islamic finance, pointing out that UMAH is driven to find other sources due to the lack of participation from the local community adding that Muslims in Hong Kong are not united.

The statement stirred the room’s diverse audience ranging from smiles to shock and a few mumbles. But the question at hand revealed a promising answer from Dr. Ismath Bacha explaining that the project is eligible for finance under the Islamic Financial system provided that UMAH’s project shall have the necessary resources to repay the bank after the project has been funded.

Mr. Din then clarified that the project will in fact house a 200-bed old age home, a Halal restaurant, and a Hostel, all of which shall engage in Halal business and are set to generate income intended for the repayment of any loans incurred. The speaker reaffirmed that there should not be a problem if such was the case.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ismath Bacha discussed a variety of topics concerning banking under the Shariah law including the basic structure of the Islamic Financial System, the brief history of Islamic banking, and the different products available in Islamic banking and finance like Takaful (Islamic insurance), Mudarabah contract (a risk-sharing policy), and Murabaha (short-term loan). Most of the subjects emphasized the essence of Islamic Banking and Finance—fair and honest banking—through fair banking procedures that stems from shared risk and shared profit and loss.

The free forum ended with positive responses from the audience who were generally eager to know more about the feasibility of Islamic Banking and Finance in Hong Kong.

As of now, despite banks like Citibank and HSBC offering some Islamic Banking products, there is still no financial institution in Hong Kong offering full coverage of Islamic banking and finance which remains to be a growing demand among Hong Kong’s Muslim community.

___________________________________________________

A Forum on Islamic Banking and Finance

Fair and honest banking—this is the essence of Islamic banking and finance and also the recurring theme in the Forum on Islamic Banking and Finance held at the Islamic Union Conference Hall on March 24, 2008.

Dr. Obiyathulla Bin O. A. Ismath Bacha of the International Islamic University of Malaysia spoke in front of a diverse audience on a variety of topics concerning banking under the Shariah law including the basic structure of the Islamic Financial System, the brief history of Islamic banking, and the different products available in Islamic banking and finance like Takaful (Islamic insurance), Mudarabah contract (a risk-sharing policy), and Murabaha (short-term loan). Most of the subjects discussed emphasized fair banking procedures that stems from shared risk and shared profit and loss.

The speaker also touched on the issue of eligible businesses in compliance with the Shariah law which promotes Halal products and services.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the United Muslim Association of Hong Kong, Mr. Mohamed Alli Din, MH, was invited to the event where he raised an important question concerning UMAH’s Sheung Shui Mosque and Islamic Center project.

When asked whether the project was eligible for finance under the Islamic Financial system, Dr. Ismath Bacha readily replied yes, with the provision that UMAH’s project shall have the necessary resources to repay the bank after the project has been funded.

Mr. Din then clarified that the project will in fact house a 200-bed old age home, a Halal restaurant, and a Hostel, all of which shall engage in Halal business and are set to generate income intended for the repayment of any loans incurred. The speaker reaffirmed that there should not be a problem if such was the case.

The free forum ended with positive responses from the audience who were generally eager to know more about the feasibility of Islamic Banking and Finance in Hong Kong.

As of now, despite banks like Citibank and HSBC offering some Islamic Banking products, there is still no financial institution in Hong Kong offering full coverage of Islamic banking and finance which remains to be a growing demand among Hong Kong’s Muslim community.

_______________________________________________________

BUILDING THE SHEUNG SHUI MOSQUE AND ISLAMIC CENTER:

A PLIGHT OF THE UNITED MUSLIM ASSOCIATION OF HONG KONG (UMAH)

The United Muslim Association of Hong Kong is a non-profit making organization devoted to the welfare and development of the Muslim community in Hong Kong and the rest of the ethnic minorities. Through the years, UMAH has seen the growth of the Islamic community in Hong Kong and has existed to provide the people with very practical services like the Haji Omar Ramju Saddick Care and Attention Home and the UMAH International Primary School. Both projects are running smoothly and have continued to enrich the lives of the ethnic minorities for more than a decade now. However, a growing community has growing needs, and now, the need for a Mosque in the New Territories in Hong Kong has inspired UMAH to spearhead this noble project—the Sheung Shui Mosque and Islamic Center.

Since its early years, UMAH has already envisioned a place of worship that would truly honor and uphold the light of Allah (SWT). There are thousands of Muslims in the New Territories but until now there is not one single Mosque where devotees could show their reverence to Allah (SWT) in the holiest way.

Five years ago, the Sheung Shui Mosque and Islamic Center project was formally conceptualized. Complete with a feasibility study, land prospect, building design, floor plan and scale model, the Sheung Shui Mosque project stood as the shining hope for the community. The project complex will stand on a 2,046 sq. m lot and will house the Mosque, an all-purpose Islamic Center, and a 200-bed old-age home. The complex shall be open to community. With the exception of the Mosque and the Islamic Center which shall be operated by UMAH, the old-age home will be operated in partnership with interested private companies.

Since the release of the formal plans, the core team of UMAH has searched all over neighboring countries, particularly the brothers in Middle East states, for their good graces to sponsor the project. Out of all the pledges, only Qatar Charity in Doha, Qatar has shown genuine interest by helping UMAH secure the land in the New Territories where the Mosque is to be built.

UMAH thought that the project would run smoothly from then on, but after the initial dole-out of Qatar Charity, a long delay followed. It has been two years since, and until now, the land is left untouched, construction is way behind the timetable, and the government is threatening to retrieve the land unless construction begins. This is UMAH’s plight:

  • Unexplainable Delay from Qatar Charity

In all due respect, UMAH is very grateful to Qatar Charity for securing the land for the project. Qatar Charity has agreed to sponsor the project until its completion but they did not follow through after their first donation in securing the Land. This puts UMAH in a predicament since the land would have to be given back to the government unless the construction starts. UMAH has tried several times to keep in contact with Qatar Charity but there were no updates as to their plans and involvement with the project. A mediator for UMAH who is based in Doha, Qatar, Dr. Sayed El Tilib, is the sole contact that bridges UMAH and Qatar Charity, and he is hard to reach and if and when he is contacted, there is still no clear answer from the part of Qatar Charity. This leaves UMAH in the dark with a lot of questions. Is the communication from UMAH going through to Qatar Charity? Is Dr. Sayed El Tilib holding up information? Is Qatar Charity still willing and interested to help in the project? While these questions linger, UMAH has no choice but to look for other resources in order to finance the project.

  • Lack of Positive Action from Other Muslims / Muslim Organizations

One unfortunate truth that UMAH gathered since the project started was that, Muslims like the idea of having a Mosque in the New Territories, but they are not actively participating in the financial aspect of the project. UMAH Chairman Mr. Mohamed Alli Din, MH, has traveled to a number of countries, bringing the project proposal with him in search of sponsors. He has received positive response from high ranking sheiks and influential people in the Middle East, but none have dared step out of their way and lend their hand in financing the project with the exception of Qatar Charity.

  • Time Factor

As they say, time is of the essence. After the payment of the government land premium, the Hong Kong Lands Department gave UMAH five years to complete the project, with the provision that UMAH strictly follow the timetable submitted to them. Two years since securing the land, construction has not started yet. Contractors and engineers have not even been signed yet due to the lack of financial resources to fuel the project. Aside from this, Mr. Din cannot travel the world in search of a generous heart because of his health condition. For now, UMAH relies on phone calls, post and Emails to reach its contacts, and time is running out.

UMAH is in dire need of help in order to finance this project of goodwill. Mr. Din and the rest of the members of the organization only have good intentions for the community and the hope of glorifying Allah (SWT). This Mosque shall stand through time, establish the presence of the Islamic community in the New Territories in Hong Kong, encourage devotion from Muslims and interested converts, and secure the spiritual upbringing of future generations of Muslims in Hong Kong.

The Middle East has hundreds of Mosques, some are even only a few kilometers apart. In Hong Kong, there are only five, and none in the New Territories. Time is not a luxury, and we need any help we could get. We need more than sweet words. We need action and a strong financial support from willing companies and / or organizations. Is something that would benefit the community so hard to come by in this time and age? This is the plight of UMAH.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: