Archive for the 'Contemporary Issues' Category

What is American Islam? by Dr. Musa Maguire

This is a pretty well written article by Dr. Musa Maguire on what people can mean when they say American Islam and how people view it, and in what respect it is being called ‘American’.

What is American Islam?
By Dr Musa Maguire

Director of Community Relations, MA’RUF

There is a lot of talk and enthusiasm these days about “American Islam”. As Muslim communities take root in the United States and confront unprecedented social, political, and cultural realities, we are faced with difficult decisions about how to define our identity and practice our faith in this land. Despite its popularity, however, the exact definition of American Islam remains unclear.

In this discussion, it is fair to say that there are two absolutes. Continue reading ‘What is American Islam? by Dr. Musa Maguire’

Imran Khan: A Sound of Reason on the “War of Terror” and “Pakistani Taliban”

BismiAllah arRahman arRaheem

Interesting talk by Imran Khan on the War and Pakistani politics. He seems to lay out what is going on in Afghanistan (more or less). Somethign that most of the World leaders(those waging this war) don’t seem to understand, or if they do aren’t making the right decisions.

They probably aren’t willing to find a non-violent way to resolve this because, well – “We don’t negotiate with terrorists!”

Frontline’s report on the War in Afghanistan entitled “Obama’s War” is really informative as far as what the situation is over there from a mainstream US media source. You can watch the entire show here.

May Allah aid the oppressed and have mercy on our souls.

Allah All-Mighty Knows best.

Babar Ali: ‘Youngest Headmaster in the World’

Bismillah arRahman arRaheem

Interesting story. Ask yourself, how have you helped humanity?

Around the world millions of children are not getting a proper education because their families are too poor to afford to send them to school. In India, one schoolboy is trying to change that. In the first report in the BBC’s Hunger to Learn series, Damian Grammaticas meets Babar Ali, whose remarkable education project is transforming the lives of hundreds of poor children.

At 16 years old, Babar Ali must be the youngest headmaster in the world. He’s a teenager who is in charge of teaching hundreds of students in his family’s backyard, where he runs classes for poor children from his village.

The story of this young man from Murshidabad in West Bengal is a remarkable tale of the desire to learn amid the direst poverty.

Babar Ali's students

Babar Ali’s ‘school’ has some 800 students

Babar Ali’s day starts early. He wakes, pitches in with the household chores, then jumps on an auto-rickshaw which takes him part of the 10km (six mile) ride to the Raj Govinda school. The last couple of kilometres he has to walk.

The school is the best in this part of West Bengal. There are hundreds of students, boys and girls. The classrooms are neat, if bare. But there are desks, chairs, a blackboard, and the teachers are all dedicated and well-qualified.

As the class 12 roll-call is taken, Babar Ali is seated in the middle in the front row. He’s a tall, slim, gangly teenager, studious and smart in his blue and white uniform. He takes his notes carefully. He is the model student.

Babar Ali is the first member of his family ever to get a proper education.

“It’s not easy for me to come to school because I live so far away,” he says, “but the teachers are good and I love learning. And my parents believe I must get the best education possible that’s why I am here.”

Raj Govinda school is government-run so it is free, all Babar Ali has to pay for is his uniform, his books and the rickshaw ride to get there. But still that means his family has to find around 1,800 rupees a year ($40, £25) to send him to school. In this part of West Bengal that is a lot of money. Many poor families simply can’t afford to send their children to school, even when it is free.

Chumki Hajra is one who has never been to school. She is 14 years old and lives in a tiny shack with her grandmother. Their home is simple A-frame supporting a thatched roof next to the rice paddies and coconut palms at the edge of the village. Inside the hut there is just room for a bed and a few possessions.

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Chumki Hajra, a pupil at Babar Ali’s school, describes her day

Every morning, instead of going to school, she scrubs the dishes and cleans the homes of her neighbours. She’s done this ever since she was five. For her work she earns just 200 rupees a month ($5, £3). It’s not much, but it’s money her family desperately needs. And it means that she has to work as a servant everyday in the village.

“My father is handicapped and can’t work,” Chumki tells me as she scrubs a pot. “We need the money. If I don’t work, we can’t survive as a family. So I have no choice but to do this job.”

But Chumki is now getting an education, thanks to Babar Ali. The 16-year-old has made it his mission to help Chumki and hundreds of other poor children in his village. The minute his lessons are over at Raj Govinda school, Babar Ali doesn’t stop to play, he heads off to share what he’s learnt with other children from his village.

At four o’clock every afternoon after Babar Ali gets back to his family home a bell summons children to his house. They flood through the gate into the yard behind his house, where Babar Ali now acts as headmaster of his own, unofficial school.

Lined up in his back yard the children sing the national anthem. Standing on a podium, Babar Ali lectures them about discipline, then study begins.

Babar Ali gives lessons just the way he has heard them from his teachers. Some children are seated in the mud, others on rickety benches under a rough, homemade shelter. The family chickens scratch around nearby. In every corner of the yard are groups of children studying hard.

Babar Ali was just nine when he began teaching a few friends as a game. They were all eager to know what he learnt in school every morning and he liked playing at being their teacher.

Without this school many kids wouldn’t get an education, they’d never even be literate
Babar Ali

Now his afternoon school has 800 students, all from poor families, all taught for free. Most of the girls come here after working, like Chumki, as domestic helps in the village, and the boys after they have finished their day’s work labouring in the fields.

“In the beginning I was just play-acting, teaching my friends,” Babar Ali says, “but then I realised these children will never learn to read and write if they don’t have proper lessons. It’s my duty to educate them, to help our country build a better future.”

Including Babar Ali there are now 10 teachers at the school, all, like him are students at school or college, who give their time voluntarily. Babar Ali doesn’t charge for anything, even books and food are given free, funded by donations. It means even the poorest can come here.

“Our area is economically deprived,” he says. “Without this school many kids wouldn’t get an education, they’d never even be literate.”

Seated on a rough bench squeezed in with about a dozen other girls, Chumki Hajra is busy scribbling notes.

Her dedication to learning is incredible to see. Every day she works in homes in the village from six in the morning until half past two in the afternoon, then she heads to Babar Ali’s school. At seven every evening she heads back to do more cleaning work.

Chumki’s dream is to one day become a nurse, and Babar Ali’s classes might just make it possible.

The school has been recognised by the local authorities, it has helped increase literacy rates in the area, and Babar Ali has won awards for his work.

The youngest children are just four or five, and they are all squeezed in to a tiny veranda. There are just a couple of bare electric bulbs to give light as lessons stretch into the evening, and only if there is electricity.

And then the monsoon rain begins. Huge drops fall as the children scurry for cover, slipping in the mud. They crowd under a piece of plastic sheeting. Babar Ali shouts an order. Lessons are cancelled for the afternoon otherwise everyone will be soaked. Having no classrooms means lessons are at the mercy of the elements.

The children climb onto the porch of a nearby shop as the rain pours down. Then they hurry home through the downpour. Tomorrow they’ll be back though. Eight hundred poor children, unable to afford an education, but hungry for anything they can learn at Babar Ali’s school.

Source: BBC

BBC: Egypt cleric ‘to ban full veils’

Bismillah arRahman arRaheem

La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah. It’s unfortunate.

Egypt’s highest Muslim authority has said he will issue a religious edict against the growing trend for full women’s veils, known as the niqab.

Sheikh Mohamed Tantawi, dean of al-Azhar university, called full-face veiling a custom that has nothing to do with the Islamic faith.

Although most Muslim women in Egypt wear the Islamic headscarf, increasing numbers are adopting the niqab as well.

The practice is widely associated with more radical trends of Islam.

The niqab question reportedly arose when Sheikh Tantawi was visiting a girls’ school in Cairo at the weekend and asked one of the students to remove her niqab.

The Egyptian newspaper al-Masri al-Yom quoted him expressing surprise at the girl’s attire and telling her it was merely a tradition, with no connection to religion or the Koran.

Source: BBC

I dont understand. Even if he was to consider this a cultural practice, how does it mean it should be banned?

May Allah Guide us and Keep us on the straight path.

Allahu ‘Alam

Be the Brothers and Sisters no one expects us to be……

asSalaam’alaykum wa Rahmatullah

Here is an awesome heartfelt article by popular Muslim comedian Azhar Usman on his thoughts about Black-American Muslims and the passing of Imam WD Muhammad.

I strongly recommend everyone to read this article.

This was sent to me by a friend and he first saw it here : http://rickshawdiaries.wordpress.com/2008/09/13/be-the-brothers-and-sisters/

The article is reproduced below. (please comment on above website)

Here is a picture story by SaqibSaab on the funeral of the Imam: http://www.saqibsaab.com/2008/09/12/thoughts-after-attending-the-janazah-of-imam-w-d-mohammed/

Continue reading ‘Be the Brothers and Sisters no one expects us to be……’

Yasir Qadhi: Q&A from Practical Steps to Seek Islamic Knowledge in America (Audio)

asSalaam ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah,

Like I promised earlier in this post that I would have the Q&A up within a week insha’Allah. Well here it is! I split the Q&A into different tracks so people can choose which answers they wish to listen to and I have also included a summary of the question asked right above each audio segment.

THE LECTURE AUDIO: Click Here!

Question 1: Advice on going overseas to study Islam for a period of time. Recommended to go and study what?

Question 2: Traditionally students would stick with one teacher for long periods of time. Would you think that listening to different teachers give you a disadvantage in your Islamic Studies?

Question 3: How would you recommend one to prioritize one’s studies? Should we leave what we have started or finish it and then start?

Question 4: Advice on how to determine who to take knowledge from realizing there are many different groups out there.

Question 5: Manners and Etiquettes of the beginner Student of Knowledge

Question 6: Increase and Decrease in himma. Switching form CD Set to CD Set and Book to Book

Question 7: Higher Levels of Seeking Knowledge like Western Academia and Secular Institutions

Question 8: Other Options besides alMaghrib to Seek Islamic Knowledge with a High Calibre

Question 9: Advice on Acting Upon the Knowledge that you Seek
Question 10: Advice Regarding Someone who asks Useless Questions that don’t Necessarily have Answers or Benefit
&
Question 11: Advice on Someone who wants to Translate Classical Islamic Texts as their goal.

Question 12: Advice on Options for Single Sisters to study Islamic Sciences abroad.

Question 13: Advice on Encouraging others to take an Extra Step to Seek Knowledge

Question 14: Advice on Memorizing Verses for Quoting it to get Points Across

Question 15: Advice on Studying Arabic a Priority or Other than it

THE LECTURE AUDIO: Click Here!

Yasir Qadhi @ ISNA ’06: Intelligent Faith: The Role of Reason and Intellect in Islam

asSalaam ‘alaykum wa Rahamtullah,

Yes it is finally on…it is finally on Google Video. I attended this talk at the ISNA 2006 Conference this past September ’06 by Yasir Qadhi. This was an awesome lecture masha’Allah. It was actually done at the MSA Executive Leadership Conference which ran parallel to the ISNA and MSA National Conferences. Also to note that a similar topic was presented by Yasir Qadhi at TDC ’06 as well but in a much more detailed manner, alhamdulillah. I had taken notes on both but didn’t get around to posting this up on my blog. But I have another surprise for everyone by Yasir Qadhi soon, possible from the ISNA ’06 conference *hint* *hint* (for thsoe who were there). Notes for this lecture from what I remmeber can be found here at nuqtah’s blog, I don’t think I have seen any other blog with notes on thsi talk. Allahu ‘Alam. Until then enjoy!

Related Links:
TDC06: Moderation in the Theology of Ahl us Sunnah: Yasir Qadhi (Lota Enterprises)
TDC06: Making Progress with the Progressives: Yasir Qadhi (Lota Enterprises)
TDC06: Animal Rights in Islam: Yasir Qadhi (Lota Enterprises)
TDC06: Relationship Between Reason and Revelation: Yasir Qadhi (nuqtah)
TDC06: Relationship Between Reason and Revelation: Yasir Qadhi (anonymous)
TDC06: Milestones in Da’wah: Ibrahim adDremali (Lota Enterprises)
TDC06: Khutbah Workshop I: Mamdouh Mohammad (Lota Enterprises)

Related Posts:
Biography of Yasir Qadhi
Audio: Explanation of Kitaab atTawheed by yasir Qadhi
Video: Western Xenophobia and Muslim Reaction by Yasir Qadhi at GPU ’06
Video: Reply to the “Dispatches: Undercover Mosques” Documentary
Video: TDC ’06: Islam: A Light for the Ages – Final Session

Article: Advice From an Older Brother
Article: Yasir Qadhi’s words on Discerning Truth Amongst Groups
Book Summary: What is Dua? (Dua:Weapon of the Believer by Yasir Qadhi)
Book Summary: Dua and it’s Relationship to Aqeedah (Dua:Weapon of the Believer by Yasir Qadhi)
Book Summary: Du’aa is a form of Worship. (Dua:Weapon of the Believer by Yasir Qadhi)


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Fiqh As Sawm

Islamic Rulings Surrounding Ramadhan and Fasting. Based on “Manar As Sabeel Fi Sharh Ad Daleel” Of Shaykh Ibraheem ibn Duwaiyan (d. 1353 AH) as explained by Br. Salim Morgan. Transcribed and Edited By Ibn Al Hyderabadee

Prologue Introduction

Chapter 1: Fasting in Ramadhaan
1. A pillar of Islam 2. Obligation of Fasting 3. Sighting of the Moon for start of Ramadhaan 4. One reliable witness' presence is sufficient 5. Conditions that make Ramadhan Obligatory for an Individual 6. Expiation for the inability to fast due to age or illness 7. Requirements of a valid fast 8. Obligations to fulfill during fasting 9. Recommended acts of fasting

Chapter 2: Permissions and Prohibitions

1. Impermissible to break fast during Ramadhan 2. Prohibited to fast for a woman in her menstrual or post-partum bleedin 3. Obligatory to break it when it is required to save a person’s life 4. Recommended to break fast for one who is ill and fears harm from fasting. 5. Recommended to break fast when one is traveling 6. Permissible for one to break fast who begins a journey while fasting 7. Permissible for a pregnant or nursing (breast feeding) woman 8. Change of condition of a person doesn’t obligate one to refrain from eating and drinking the rest of the day. 9. Prohibited to fast a voluntary fast instead of an obligatory one.

Chapter 3: That which Invalidates Your Fast

1. Intentional Intake of anything into the abdomen 2. Intention to break fast 3. Fluctuating Intention to fast 4. Vomiting intentionally 5. Menstruation or Post Partum Bleeding 6. Masturbation 7. Marital Relations 8. Cupping for both parties 9. Death 10. Apostasy 11. Above are Exempted in some cases

Chapter 4: Repayment
1. Missing a day of fast in Ramadhan
2. When does one make up a missed fast
3. If missed fast are not made up until few dats before next Ramadhan
4. Missed fasts first or voluntary?

Chapter 5: Recommended, Disliked, and Impermissible Days of Fasting
1. Recommended Every Other Day Sawn Dawood
2. The three white days of every Islamic month
3. Six days of Shawwaal
4. Month of Muharram and the 10th
5. Ten days of Dhil Hijja and that of Arafat
6. Disliking of the month of Rajab
7. Disliking of the day of Friday
8. Disliking of the 30th of Shabaan
9. Impermissibility of fasting on the two Eids
10. Completing of a voluntary fast is not Wajib

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