السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ
Hope all are well. Let’s talk about ‘Malta’ today.
In 2018, a delegation, which included the Mufti e Āzam of India, Mufti Aḥmed Khānpuri Ṣāḥib مدظله العالی, and his travel companion Mufti Maḥmūd Bārdoli Ṣāḥib مدظله العالی, visited the Balkans. In 2019, they both expressed their desire to visit Malta, the Island where Shaykh ul-Hind Mawlānā Mahmūd ul-Ḥasan رَحْمَةُ الله عليه had been imprisoned for 4 years.
The intention of the visit was to meet the Muslims of Malta, understand their needs, and provide them further guidance. At the same time, it was the desire of our honourable guests to see the prison where Shaykh ul-Hind was incarcerated.
We wanted Shaykh ul-Islām Mufti Muḥammad Taqī Usmānī Ṣāḥib مدظله العالی to travel with us as well, but his visa did not come through in time. This resulted in my colleagues and I making 2 trips to Malta in very quick succession مَا شَآءَ الله, both very enjoyable and beneficial visits اَلْحَمْدُلِلّه. One of my colleagues had made all the necessary arrangements on both occasions.
Malta is a beautiful island on the Mediterranean coast. The royal blue colour of the sea surrounds this cluster of 7 small islands, out of which Malta is the largest, and Gozo, the second largest.
Mufti Aḥmed Khānpuri Ṣāḥib addressed the Jumu’ah congregation of Friday 7th June 2019,v at which over a thousand musallī of various nationalities were present. It was a remarkable sight مَا شَآءَ الله.
Another colleague travelled to Malta later on and visited Fort Verdala.
According to my colleague’s research, the prison where Shaykh ul-Hind was kept was not being used as a jail anymore. We went to the Verdala school thinking it to be the prison. Later on we found out that the prison was in Fort Verdala, not Verdala school.
We visited the Turkish Cemetery, wherein rests one of the companions of Shaykh ul-Hind رَحْمَةُ الله عليه by the name of Hakim Nusrat Ḥusayn رَحْمَةُ الله عليه.
The Ottoman special agent, Eşref (Ashraf) Bey رَحْمَةُ الله عليه, also deserves a special mention . His biography gives a lot of detail about the location and conditions of Fort Verdala, and states “sometimes he [Eşref] would converse with a religious figure named Mevlana Mahmud Huseyni” (probably Shaykh ul-Hind رَحْمَةُ الله عليه).
We took a spectacular cruise across the Mediterranean to Gozo, and offered our Ṣalāh in the only Masjid on the Island.
On 9th July 2019, the ex-president of Malta came to meet Mufti Muḥammad Taqī Usmānī مدظله العالی. She was fascinated with Mufti Ṣāḥib’s explanation of the interest free Islamic banking system. She was accompanied by Neville, who was working in the Prime Minister’s office and had kindly supported this whole tour with Mufti Muḥammad Taqī Ṣāḥib.
We also visited the only purpose built Masjid in Malta, Maryam al-Batūl Masjid, which was financed by Libya.
We had two memorable trips with two memorable personalities مَا شَآءَ الله.
Our driver was from Liverpool. I asked him why he moved to Malta. He replied ‘It is such a safe place to live. Hardly any crime or violence. You can leave your mobile in your car with your windows open and no one will touch your mobile. The weather is spectacular throughout the year, living costs are low. Jobs are plenty, with nice salaries‘.
We benefited immensely from the oceans of knowledge of our two esteemed guests مَا شَآءَ الله, and also our local hosts Shaykh Badr and Shaykh Muwaffaq.
You can read my colleague, Mufti Yūsuf’s, account of this trip at https://islamicportal.co.uk/visit-to-malta-and-cyprus-with-shaykh-al-islam-mufti-muhammad-taqi-usmani.
May Almighty Allāh safeguard the Muslims of Malta, ease the circumstances for them and keep them, and their generations, steadfast on Islām, Āmeen.
جَزَاكَ اللَّهُ خَيْرًا
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وَالسَّلَامُ Hanif Dudhwala