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Main » 2011 » January » 4 » Islam in Japan (4)
7:54 AM
Islam in Japan (4)

PERIOD FROM 1980 TO 2009:

In the early eighties King Khalid bin Abdul Aziz donated a land for the purpose of setting a building office for an Islamic Center-Japan. Their Royal Highnesses Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz and Prince Ahmad bin Abdul Aziz sponsored the construction of this magnificent cultural edifice which became a major Islamic source of knowledge frequented by professors, students, journalists, media members and the public at large. The general public visiting center either embraced Islam or enquired about it. The Center still plays its central role and is continuously improving.


His Royal Highnesses Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz visited the Center in 1985 and so did His Royal Highness Prince Ahmad bin Abdul Aziz in 1986. Both of them extended financial and moral support to its various activities. May Allah (S.W.T.) reward them for their efforts.


The greatest development in the history of Islamic presence in Japan started in the mid eighties, namely the massive surge of Muslim emigrants who started coming in Japan, mostly from Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Iran, Afghanistan, Africa, Turkey, and the Arab world. They all came to Japan to earn a living. They married Japanese women after these embraced Islam and were consequently granted permanent residency. Some of them were granted Japanese citizenship and their children were Japanese by birth. These emigrants built Mosques, prayer halls, halal food restaurants and halal products shops and turned their homes and Mosques into centers for enlightening new Japanese converts in Islam and teaching them its sublime principles and practices.


In 1986 Tokyo Mosque was demolished to the dismay of Muslims in Japan, in order to rebuild it in the same site. The construction phase met with a number of obstacles. However, with the help of Allah (S.W.T.) and with Islamic Center-Japan’s continuous efforts and the support of well wishers of Muslims of Turkey and other countries, the construction of Tokyo Mosque was finally completed in 2000, following Ottoman architectural style. This splendid Mosque has ever since been visited by Japanese people who have queries about Islam. The religious Affairs Presidency in Turkey supervised most of the construction work. Islamic Center-Japan with Muslims in Japan and elsewhere had raised about one third of money towards the construction costs, and our Islamic Center-Japan raised most of it.  The Turkish Religious Affairs Presidency is now in charge of running Tokyo Mosque.


An extension was also added to the ancient Kobe Mosque to act as an Islamic cultural center in southwest Japan, and again Dabis family, through Mr. Fuad Dabis, paid for most of the construction costs. This extension virtually represents another source of Islamic knowledge and enlightenment in that part of Japan and plays its role in a most efficient manner.


In Nagoya a new Mosque was built replacing the old Mosque which had been destroyed during the Second World War, and the construction process was supervised by the well known philanthropist Pakistani merchant Mr. Abdul Wahab Quraishi and was inaugurated by His Excellency Dr. Salih bin Abdullah bin Humaid, the general president of the affairs of Two Holy Mosques. This Mosque provided a meeting point of the local Muslims who engaged in matters of Islamic education and worship. Brother Abdul Wahab Quraishi also set up a school for Muslim children not far from the Mosque. May Allah reward him for the services he rendered Islam and Muslims.


Mosques set up by brothers from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Africa are in fact numerous. In addition to the Mosque founded by members of the Tablighi movement in Ichinowari and their other Mosques, we find those built by adherents of  Pakistani Jamaate Islami, Otsuka Mosque which received handsome donations from His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz and inaugurated by His Eminence Dr. Umar bin Abdullah Al Subayel, Imam and orator of the Holy Mosque in Makkah Al Mukarramah, Toda Mosque which used to be a factory, and Isesaki Mosque. We also find many Mosques founded by African brothers. In fact, the Center has a list of all Mosques in Japan and will publish it along with Mosques maps and addresses. Brothers in  Japan Muslim Association received generous donations from His Royal Highness King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz which allowed them to purchase their new headquarters.


In fact, the demolition of Tokyo Mosque was a blessing in disguise for despite the feeling of sadness which resulted from the demolition of this Mosque that used to unite Muslims in Japanese capital Tokyo, Almighty Allah provided better alternatives that encouraged Muslims, whose numbers had dramatically increased, to build more Mosques and prayer halls. The first alternative was Arabic Islamic Institute, Tokyo which provided ample room for worshippers during the five daily prayers as well as the two Eid prayers. May Allah (S.W.T.) reward its management committee members for their efforts. The Indonesian brothers had also taken in large numbers of worshippers in the prayer hall of their embassy and school. The Iranian and Malaysian brothers used their embassies for the same purpose. Indeed, it was the Tablighi adherents who were the first to found new Mosques in Japan, then the rest of Muslims followed suit. As a matter of fact, Islamic Center-Japan had borne half the expenses for renting halls in areas where there were more students and fewer Muslim merchants both in northern and southern Japan. Ebina Mosque in Kanagawa Prefecture whose location is not far from Tokyo represents the most modern Mosque in Japan. Its construction cost one million dollars but Muslims did not raise a single penny outside their prefecture.


One of the last center of Islamic da’wah to be founded in the country was Toheed Mosque which His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud built in Hachioji on the outskirts of Tokyo. This Mosque represents an addition to the series of Islamic projects supported by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, both government and people. May Allah (S.W.T.) reward them for the services they have rendered to Islam and Muslims.


In most recent years, Mosques were newly built in Sendai, Tsukuba, Fukuoka, Kyoto etc. without exaggeration almost every short lapses of time new Mosques are built.  


One of the most important events that took place during this period was the symposium on "the Relations between Japan and the Muslim World and One-Hundred Years of Islamic History in Japan”, which was organized by Islamic Center-Japan (ICJ) in collaboration with the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in Jeddah in 2000 and received generous donations from the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdul-Aziz, Muslim World League, Makkah Al Mukarramah (MWL), Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah (IDB), World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), and International Islamic Charitable Organization, Kuwait. The symposium was attended by about seventy representatives of Muslims in  neighboring and concerned countries, including His Eminence Sheikh Salih bin Abdul Aziz Al Sheikh, the Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, Da’wah and Guidance. The symposium was also attended by a large number of Japanese intelligentsia and noted Japanese professors, Muslim and non-Muslims alike, who contributed invaluable researches. Various delegates also contributed researches and gave speeches, including the representative of Japanese minister of foreign affairs. Representatives from different Islamic societies inside and outside Tokyo also attended it and helped towards its success. The symposium lasted for three days during which time it highlighted the Islamic presence in the country. Japanese officials, especially in Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, warmly welcomed this event and requested the organizers to organize similar activities in order to deepen relations between Japan and Muslim world. On the other hand, Japanese ministry of foreign affairs organized later on almost every year symposium on the relations between Japan and Muslim world. Arabic Islamic institute, Tokyo followed on the same steps.


This period also witnessed annual Islamic camps organized by Islamic Center-Japan in collaboration with World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY). These activities received generous financial assistance as well as moral support from His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud and benefited from the knowledge and guidance of His Eminence Sheikh Saad bin Abdullah Al Borek who represented His Royal Highness on the occasion. In fact, His Eminence Sheikh Saad bin Abdullah Al Borek played a major role during this camp as he revived the wok of the Council of Coordination between Islamic Societies which had been very active for the previous twenty years after its activities came to an end with the death of its general coordinator Professor Abdul Kareem Saito. Indeed, three hundred and fifty Muslim representatives from different parts of Japan signed a document in an effort to revive this council. Mr. Khalid Kiba, the noted Japanese scholar and member of the founding committee of Muslim World League, Makkah Al Mukarramah, and one of the directors of Islamic Center-Japan was appointed general coordinator of the council.


One of the main concerns of Muslims in Japan was the burial of their dead, especially after their numbers had dramatically increased. The cost of one single grave in Enzan graveyard which had come under the supervision of our brothers in Japan Muslim Association was almost fifteen thousand dollars. It was therefore for this reason that Muslims considered purchasing a land in one of the provinces neighboring Tokyo in which they could bury their dead free of charge, and so they started raising donations from members of the Muslim community in Japan. Then help came from the late King Fahd bin Abdul-Aziz donated U.S.$700,000, the amount required for the purchase of the land. The committee members of new Muslim graveyard, particularly its president Mr. Mian Aftab well known Pakistani businessman, among other Muslim businessmen in Yokohama who had also financially supported numerous Islamic projects, requested that the graveyard land be officially registered in the name of  Islamic Center-Japan as the Center was the only religious body officially registered in the country, and given that the official religious body was the only body entitled to request the setting up a graveyard. Islamic Center-Japan granted the request and worked closely with the committee to own the land to set up a Muslim graveyard on it.


The Center also supervised the largest pilgrimage mission which comprised forty three Japanese male and female Muslims at their own expense under the direction of Al Hajj Muhammad Sawada well known Japanese caller of Islam, and sent along with them Sheikh Nimetullah Yurt and Abdur Rahman Siddiqi. It also arranged for the largest pilgrimage trip which was initiated by the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques during the 1999. The last pilgrimage trip organized by the Council was undertaken with the generous financial assistance extended by His Royal Highness Abdul Aziz bin Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. May Allah (S.W.T.) reward them all for their generous help and support. In 2008 two hundred from Japan performed Hajj on their expenses.

Category: Miscellany | Views: 2618 | Added by: pemdatokyo | Tags: world assembly of muslim youth, islam in japan | Rating: 0.0/0
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