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UIC MSA Presents:

AlBayyan UIC MSA P resents:

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“None of you truly believes (in A—ah and in His religion) until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

Still Growing

many Muslims here, and they all know each other

too! Amazing!” But sadly, that is far from the

Still Growing. Birds, wolves, fish, velociraptors, comic book fans and superheroes. What do all of these have in common? They all taste delicious. Just kidding. All of the above groups establish communities amongst their populations and work in cooperation with other members of the group towards the greater good of

everyone. They may divvy up their responsibilities (you fly on the right, you hunt for food, you go on the roof and shoot arrows at aliens while this green guy smashes everything to dust), but in the end, everyone plays a role in supporting the community and helping it to grow. Are we, as a Muslim Student Association, any different? We have the largest organization at

the University of Illinois at Chicago – over 1,000 people state they are a part of the MSA, or at least know it exists. Where are these people? Why don’t they take part in our community, or even feel like they have a welcome part in our community? To add even more perspective, these 1,000 people are only a fraction of the 3,000+ self-identified Muslims at UIC (yes, that fraction is 1/3 – my math teacher

will be so proud). We might take a glance inside Student Center East and say “Wow, there are so Issue 2


truth. We may look at ourselves or at our group of friends in the Muslim community and feel optimistic, or even pride – we’re all here happily practicing our religion, praying, chilling, and staying away from the immorality and harm that slips into so many other communities and societies worldwide. But who is hanging out with the other few

thousand Muslims on campus, or even the other students at UIC in general (are they not our people too)? Who is there for them when they need help, who is there to lend a hand through the problems of life, who is keeping them out of trouble, away from life-destroying drugs, sex, crazy alcohol-ridden parties, and all of the other unfortunate aspects of our society that can so easily turn one’s life completely upside-down and leave it in ruins? Yes, we have our group of friends whom we love and cherish. Hopefully, we are friends with those who make us better, because no matter how strong of a person you are, you will easily be influenced by your friends. As our Prophet (S) advised us: “A person is on the religion of his companions. Therefore, let every one of you carefully consider the company he keeps.” [Tirmidhi] 2

But we are also told by our Beloved (S): “A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and

a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace.” [Bukhari, Muslim] I cannot speak for anyone reading this, but lungs full of ash were not on my Eid list. And we should want for our brothers and sisters what we want for ourselves, as well as hate for our brothers and sisters what he hate for ourselves! If we don’t make a conscious effort to go out of our way, out of our comfort zone, to bring more people into our MSA family, then we are leaving them out for the wolves. God knows what other families will try adopting them, how they will treat them, or what they will turn them into. We are here, not to

judge, or put others down, but to bring people in and build each other up. That is community. That is family. That is what we strive for. I issue a challenge for myself and anyone reading this: go out of your comfort zone and make a sincere attempt to bring someone into our family. They don’t even have to be Muslim, we don’t discriminate. Whether they be an old friend, a new acquaintance, or someone who you have yet to befriend, bring them to an MSA event such as Project Downtown, our General Body Meetings, a Lecture Series or Fast-a-thon. That is my challenge, and I respect anyone who at least gives it a sin-

cere shot. Let’s all take time to reflect on the condition of our community as well as the condition of our own hearts. No matter how far we have come and how much we have accomplished, we still have a long way to go. Because in life, there really aren’t distinct start points and end points – we are always building ourselves up to reach the next cycle, the next stage, whatever that may be. The journey never ends because there is always a new road to take. It doesn’t matter if we are


fresh sapling or a great redwood tree. We’re Still Growing. -Zamaan Sohel

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Groundwork for Success

their way through the intricate paths of life and dis-

Throughout the multi-faceted stages of life, individuals carry on with their lives consciously, and subconsciously, aware of the expectations of others. In fact, our existence is arguably validated on assuming such assigned roles and developing trustworthy associations that deliver obligations. Credible relationships are thus essentially built upon the foundation of re-

sponsibility. Responsibility is implemented early in life and continues to grow with age and maturation. Children ultimately view their roles as more or less dictated by their elders, however they also assume positions in the family circle and learn to observe expectations through simple tasks. As children mature in age and intellect, they are granted larger and larger

portions of the responsibility previously carried by the surrounding adults. Subsequently, teenagers gradually fall into greater roles through the accepting of the expectations of them when at school, with peers, and with parents. Finally, as young adults untangle

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cover the road that guides them, they find their obligations heightened, for they now come to the realization that the future lies within their hands. Now, the true question – the question that is so basic, yet so often unexplored – is what does this do for us? What benefits does responsibility award those who ardently adhere to its ethical principles? To answer, one has to explore the link between re-

sponsibility and individual gain. W.B. Yeats, an Irish poet granted the Nobel Prize in Literature and recognized for his inspirational poetry, notably declared, “In dreams begin responsibilities”. Dreams are the foundations onto which we build our futures – if, through construction, we maintain trust and responsibility, we would be ultimately laying the path to our success. Simply stated, embrace life’s opportunities, then excel responsibly, and you will find success not far behind. -Neda Khudeira



You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today. -Abraham Lincoln

Dear Ms. Therese, What makes a moment great and memorable? Sincerely, Goat?

Dear Mr. Reese, If there is a train going and there are three people in way of train and you can move train to other track where there is one person, would you move it out of the way to kill just one person instead of three Sincerely, The Train Conductor Dear Train Conductor, First I would do my best to stop the train before it reaches the three apparently suicidal people. If that didn't work, I'd move the train over to kill the one person because killing three people consciously has to be worse than killing one, right? I'm not some kind of scholar of morality but yo, if there was a situation where you could save three people and kill one as opposed to saving one and killing three, then you'd choose the former. Sincerely, Mr. Reese

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Dear Goat?, You know when a moment is going to be great and memorable when you get that feeling in your stomach. The fluttery feeling of excitement and happiness. It can happen at something as small donating to an orphan and knowing you'll be helping make someone's life better. Great moments aren't constructed, they are lived. Sincerely, Ms. Therese Dear Ms. Therese, I've been hearing a lot of rumors being spread about me and it's really pissing me off. We aren't in high school any more! What can I do?! Sincerely, Actual College Student Dear Actual College Student, Don't worry about it. Honestly, even if the rumors are true and people are talking smack about you, forget about them and live your life. What people say about you does not define who you are or your character. The people who actually matter won't care about the rumors. You just dismiss those rumors as they come and let it slide off like water off a duck's back. Besides, you'll be getting their good deeds anyway. If, by chance, your circle of friends continues to spread these rumors and talk smack about you despite you addressing these rumors as false then there is still no reason for you to stress out. As you said, this isn't high school. There are a lot of other people who are at your maturity level and are awaiting your presence. You just have to find them. You have no obligation to hang out with high schoolers. Insha-A---h they'll grow up but in the mean time, you don't need them. You'll always have a mature friend in me. Sincerely, Ms. Therese



The Roots and Stems of Olive Oil He causes to grow for you thereby the crops, olives, palm trees, grapevines, and from all the fruits. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought. (Quran 16:11) A prominent food source mentioned in religious and historical texts, olive oil and its reaping nutritional benefits have been gaining prominence in health and nutrition fields, as it has been proven to be unlike any other oil. The benefits of olive oil range from reducing levels of high cholesterol to the prevention of aging, and even to the healthy build up and maintenance of hair. The emergence of olive oil dates back to early Mediterranean civilization and continues to be a main dietary ingredient for the Mediterranean region as well as around the world. Since all oils are made of fat, many seem to wonder “what makes olive oil so different, and so special?” The answer behind this question is simple, yet astonishing. The notable component of olive oil, that distinguishes itself from other oils, is its fatty acid make up. It is largely comprised of linoleic and linoleic acids, which provide the body with essential fatty acids (fatty acids that cannot be made within the body). The other fatty acids in olive oil are monounsaturated fats, which can be seen as “good fat”, as opposed to saturated or trans fats. Monounsaturated fats help improve one’s health by lowering blood pressure, lowering bad cholesterol, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Olive oil does not contain any trans fats, which is good because trans fat increases “bad” cho-

lesterol (LDL) and decreases “good” cholesterol (HDL), which harms the health of the body. When looking at the break down of olive oil, it has the perfect mixture—it doesn’t have too much of what is bad or too little of what is good. Over the years researchers have made the benefits of olive oil evident, but this raises the questions: why did earlier Muslim civilizations consume it in excess and why did they believe, although they had no evidence, that it was good for their bodies? This answer is traced to the Holy Qur’an, where A--ah (SWT) revealed the blessings of olive trees and specifically olive oil six distinct times. Thus, early on in Mediterranean civilization, olive oil became one of the main components of their diet. Muslims consider this tree and what is extracted from it— olives, olive oil, medicinal olive leaves etc.— all a blessing and gift from God, as He advised Muslims towards things that were good for them before any proof was available. The nutritional benefits of olive oil are truly immense and one can only begin to mention a few of them. Recent studies have shown that populations that consume adequate amounts of olive oil lead longer lives, have decreased risk for disease, and decreased risk for cancer. However, one must keep in mind that although there are numerous benefits to consuming olive oil, it is high in calories. So individuals who are trying to lose weight should not consume it too frequently. The description and mentioning of olive trees and its oil are one of the many blessings and special signs that A--ah (SWT) has put in the Quran for us. May we be given the ability to ponder on the signs that A--ah has blessed and guided us with.

- Aya Qutub Issue 2



We are happy to welcome the new year, 1435 Hijri. Muharram, the lunar month that starts off the Islamic calendar, is a very sacred month. Here is a list of facts we should know about this great month.

Fasting during the month The Holy Prophet (s.a.w) has said: "The best fasts after the fasts of Ramadan are those of the month of Muharram." The day of Ashrah Although the month of Muharram is a sanctified month as a whole, yet, the 10th day of Muharram is the most sacred among all its days. Blessings of Muharram The meaning of the word:- The word "Muharram" means "Forbidden." Even before Islam, this month was always known as a scared month in which all unlawful acts were forbidden, prominently the shedding of blood. A blessing of Muharram:- There are many bounties of this month, especially the tenth of Muharram. Two of the many virtues of the 10th of Muharram: 1. On this day he who spends more lavishly for the sake of his family members, A---h will bestow blessing upon the sustenance of the following year. 2. Abu Qataada has related that the Prophet (s.a.w) has reported to have said, “It is my thought that by fasting on the 10th of Muharram A---h will pardon the sins of the past year.� (Tirmizi)

The AlBayyan crew would like to wish everyone a year full of blessings and reward.

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We Are Responsible Take out the trash, change the baby sister's diaper, walk the dog. Then one step higher. Get to work on time. Study for the exam. Pay for gas. Then one step higher. Pay wedding costs. Care for your elderly parents. Feed the baby. These vary for each of us. We have completely different responsibilities that each of us must attend to. Besides those responsibilities that are different and unique, what about the responsibilities that are the same? What about the responsibilities that we all have in common 100%? Are there even any responsibilities like this? Is there anything out there that we each need to feel responsible for that is equal for all of us? "Have you considered him who belies religion? Such is the one who treats the orphans with harshness, and does not urge (others) to feed the needy."Holy Qur'an (107:1-3) In an imperfect world, an orphan should be taken care of by their Ummah. In an imperfect world, they should know that we are bringing them their food. That we are helping them. That our duas are for them. That our hearts are with them. In a perfect world, there would be no them. - Sumaya Aman

First Day He almost made it, almost won the lottery. "When I get out, there is no stopping me. I'm going to be an outstanding citizen, live life responsibly. Not everyone gets the chance, but I'll live life properly. But now it seems like they're going to let me rot in here. Their guilt builds up, nobody can stop their tears. I can't be free, because they're locked in fear. Rot here alone, and not with my peers. Bickering back and forth about whose choice, So loud, and I'm muted by everyone else's voice. Step back and look at all the lives it destroys, Our lives bringing pain, instead of blessings and joys." -Umayr Ahmad

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Pure Soul Even through my punishment, I found His Mercy. Allowing me to have a second chance, all I felt was tranquility. Guilty conscious, All Praise is due to Thee! Guiding me through my mistakes, I am most undeserving, surely. My obedience to He is my responsibility. To be closer to my Lord, For my heart to be secure, Less sins, more pure, What more could I ask for? -Poetic Rosa

The Place of Happiness I put my head to the ground And suddenly I am at rest Because now it’s just me and my Lord And only love for Him resides in my chest I let the pride, the ego, the arrogance fall low Because I know this will please the Most High Suddenly a wave of peace enters my heart And I think to myself, what if this is the last sujood before I die?

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Nothing else is more satisfying Than knowing our Rabb hears our pleas And He has ordained five time salaat So we can remember him and Insha A---h feel heaven’s breeze So let us remember that no place in the world Be it the mountains or the skies Is higher than the state of prostration When on the ground, our head lies -Fazila Vhora


Thumbs up To sponsoring orphans... Enough said. To Breaking Bad...Best show ever. To Fast-A-Thon volunteers. You guys rock. To MSA Bake Sales…

Thumbs down To overpriced shoes... They ain't even comfortable To contact lenses and sticking our fingers in our eyes every morning To the new lounge couches… Why fix something that isn't broke?

To the freshmen… Calm down To the Fast-A-Thon wristbands…

Alternative Meanings to Islamic Phrases: Assalamu Alaikum - "Hi" or "Bye" or "Peace out bro" Masha'Allah - Use this for cute babies or when someone is bragging about their MCAT scores. Insha'Allah - "No" Astaghfirullah - " Use this when you want to sound judgmental about someone's religious practice. SubhanAllah - The thing you repeat every five minutes when watching a nature documentary

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Fast-a-Thon Edition 2013