Friday, December 28, 2007

Funeral Services for Benazir Bhutto...and a word on the religious tenor of the Bhuttos


Just learnt that a Ghayabana Namaaz-e-Janaza is going to be held for Benazir Bhutto after/with Friday prayers at the Masjid-e-Farooq-e-Azam in Concord, California. I am told it is off the Clayton Exit, across from the Safeway and near the BART Station and there will be a prayer meeting (Du'a) at the BART Station afterwards.

Sorry about the late notice, but I just found out.

There will most probably be services in other places around the world. Please feel free to post information in the comments section here to inform others.

For those not familiar with the concept, "Namaz-e-Janaza" is the South Asian name for the Muslim prayer said at a person's bier before he or she is interred. There is a tradition of saying the exact same prayer "ghayabana", or "in absentia", in situations like this where a lot of people not physically present at the burial want to participate (or in cases where a body is not found; but that's another story).

As a matter of clarification, I am forwarding this not because I am a fan or follower of Benazir, her father, or the PPP, but for all their faults and follies, both she and her father were in a tradition of South Asian and/or Muslim leaders going back at least to Akbar, who chose to make at least a public connection with the more folksy interpretation of their constituencies' faith(s).

In my book, she gets credit for being the only Muslim leader I have ever heard invoke Ijma, the Islamic concept of consensus as a source of community self-governance .

The discussion on KQED about Benazir's passing and it's aftermath went well and the audio archive is available at:

http://www.kqed.org/epArchive/R712280900



Photo is an AP image taken off the BBC website.
Cross-posted on the iFaqeer, Wadiblog, ProgressiveIslam.org, and Pak Tea House blogs.
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