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“...Light upon light! Allah guides to his light whomsoever he pleases, and Allah sets forth parables for men, and Allah knows all things full well.” [Holy Qur’an]

ISSUE 1

VOLUME 14

RABI AL-AWWAL 16, 1430 — MARCH 13, 2009

Contact Us! Ple a s e s e nd yo ur cr e a tiv e s ub m is s io ns , c o m m e nts , a nd s ug g e s tio ns to m s a .nur @ g m a il.c o m o r v is it w w w .m s a um d .o r g

THE NEWSLETTER OF

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

al-Nur the Light

THE MUSLIM STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION AND THE MUSLIM WOMEN OF MARYLAND

Not Just Any Old Member by Sanjana Quasem You may have seen him flyering for Palestinian Solidarity Week with an unmatched enthusiasm. You may remember him from the Stamp Out Hunger food drive as the gung-ho turkey. You most likely have heard him after Jumuah prayers in the Musallah reminding the brothers that they were playing a sport or eating out that night. It is possible that you even saw him specially appear as Super DC MIST Man at the MIST’s Got Talent show. Either way, there is no doubt about it, brother Adam Kareem is everywhere. Starting this past February, the MSA has started a new initiative called the “MSA Member of the Month.” We hope to recognize an outstanding brother or sister each month for their hard work and dedication towards MSA projects. For the month of February, we have awarded Br. Adam Kareem with this distinction to recognize his contribution as the MSA Social Coordinator and an active member. It seems to be unanimous amongst the brothers that Br. Adam, with the help of Br. Omar Elnabawi,

History Founded in 1969, the Muslim Students' Association is an organization dedicated to serving the Muslim students on campus and educating the campus community about Islam and Muslims. We carry out Islamic activities, sponsor social, community service, and charity events, and strengthens relations and understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims.

has revitalized, not only the brothers’ social activities, but the sense of community among all, this semester. Having started “Flavor of the Month,” he calls the brothers together once a month to enjoy each other’s company and eat some delicious food! In addiAdam Kareem tion, he plans a few February Member of the Month!! special activities for the all members every few weeks, such as the ski trip and go-kart racing sponsored by the MSA in the past. Just take a look at the MSA calendar on the website and you will notice activities like bowling, (Continued on page 2)

Inside this Issue MSA Events Page 2

Personal Experiences Page 8

Quran & Spiritual Reflections Page 4

Hadith/Duaa of the Week Page 10

Creative Writing Page 11


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MSA events Life and Islamic Activism: The Post-MSA Experience by Sami Zaharna It is a tradition of Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’ala) on this earth that the spiritual revival of faith comes from within the ranks of the youth. In the story of the people of the cave mentioned in the eighteenth chapter of the Qur’an, Allah narrates to us a story of a group of youth who were the cause in giving Allah’s religion victory. In Suratul Buruj, Allah (swt) mentions the story of a young man who was the reason behind an entire villages’ Islam. Many of our beloved Prophet Mohamed’s (peace be upon him) companions who sacrificed their blood and sweat for the sake of Allah (swt) were youth. Indeed,

the youth of our ummah played an important role in reviving our religion. Similarly, today’s youth, particularly in Universities, continue to play an important role in a global spiritual revival that we have witnessed in the past couple of decades. In a study conducted at the University of Maryland in 2007, results showed that among students who are active in student -led religious groups (such as the Muslim Students’ Association), 73% of the students said that their spiritual beliefs grew stronger in University. In other words, three out of every four of us (myself included) first tasted

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Not Just Any Old Member (cont’d) (Continued from page 1)

Ultimate Frisbee, and Flavor of the Month scheduled each and every Friday. His concerted efforts have reinforced that community which is the backbone of the MSA. Br. Adam states, “The main thing that I’ve been trying to stress with these activities is getting rid of these social barriers and circles that we’ve allowed ourselves to create… It’s more important that we do what we can to make everyone feel welcome, included, and accepted for us to build a strong community. Without this, we’re not the Muslim Students’ Association so much as a bunch of Muslims in a student organization.” While his efforts as MSA So-

cial Coordinator are most definitely heralded, it is his commitment and diligence as an active member that makes him known amongst brothers and sisters alike. He is present at most MSA meetings and helps foster open dialogue and discussion. He is well known for his infectious laughter and genuine personality. He assists in the up-keep of the Musallah regularly. Most importantly, he is always seeking to learn more to help his deen and encourages other to do so as well. JazakAllah Br. Adam for your hard work and dedication. The MSA truly appreciates your efforts. To end, here are what fellow MSA-ers have to say about Br. Adam:



“MashAllah Adam is a great person to have on the team. He is always so encouraging and his attitude and laughter are contagious.” -Sana Javed



“Adam Kareem defines the meaning of a true friend. He is someone who changed my life just by being part of it. Adam always strives to do his best to unite the MSA brothers for the sake of Allah no matter how busy, sick, or tired he is. Alhamdhulillah, I am very blessed to know Adam because true friends are hard to find.” -Omar Elnabawi


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MSA events Life and Islamic Activism (cont’d) (Continued from page 2)

the feeling of Islamic brotherhood/sisterhood in University and how sweet a taste it is! The ability to pray all your prayers in congregation and constantly be involved in da’awah (outreach) related activities is truly a beautiful feeling. However, like all good things in life, University will come to an end (for most of us, I hope!) and with it comes the end of this wonderful MSA experience. The question then arises: does Islamic work and activism end at the University MSA experience? This is an important question that we should all deeply reflect upon. From my personal experiences, I have found that the majority of people who were heavily involved in the MSA but did not ask themselves this question took a downward spiral in their faith after University. They did not prepare themselves for life in the real world, and when they were faced with challenges from peers, family and the work environment, they did not have a Musallah across from the Stamp Student Union to take as their place of refuge. It is a sad story that has repeated itself too many times. It is a bitter reality that life in Islamic activism outside the MSA is entirely different than the MSA experience. Not everyone is a college student that thinks on the same wavelength as you. Opportunities of leadership are not available as they are in an MSA. The politics of leadership at our mosques is even more dramapacked than MSA elections! It is definitely a challenge for the MSA graduate to deal with these issues when seeking to be active in his

community. However, there are only two ways to deal with this problem: either the MSA graduate rolls up his sleeves, purifies his intentions and continues his Islamic activism despite all the challenges, or he gives up and decides to withdraw from the Islamic scene all together — resulting in the downward spiral of faith mentioned earlier.

In conclusion, I’ve listed a few things to keep in mind while looking to be involved in Islamic work outside of the MSA: 1- Pray at the Masjid: The first and most important factor is to begin praying at the Masjid. This is the easiest way to get to know the community and find opportunities to be involved. Think of it this way: if you didn’t come to the Musallah on campus, you probably wouldn’t know what’s going on! 2- Attend a halaqah (study circle): Be involved in a weekly study circle. Over time, you will start to know the people in the halaqah very well.

The Prophet (pbuh) tells us in a beautiful hadith, “I advise you to stick to the community of Muslims, for indeed the wolf can only attack the stray sheep.” It is very important to realize that if we do not become active with our mosques and Islamic organizations after our MSA experience, then we will be the stray sheep about which our Beloved Prophet (pbuh) speaks. Every Muslim family needs to be plugged into an Islamic framework or community — and the MSA can only offer this framework for the four or five years that University lasts.

3- Get involved in Islamic activism: There are plenty of things to be involved in outside praying at the masjid and attending a halaqah. You can volunteer to help with a environmental project, attend Islamic seminars, help with Sunday School, join the local masjid youth group, help one of the many Islamic organizations such as CAIR, MAS, ISNA, ICNA and many more. 4- Drive out fear: Finally, don’t be afraid of the community. Some communities are very harsh and unwelcoming — this is true. However, know that Allah (swt) is on your side. Indeed He is one who says, “And those who strive in our cause, we will indeed guide them to our paths, and know that Allah is with those who perfect their actions.” And Allah knows best.


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quran & spiritual reflections Salat Al-Istikharah: Some Misconceptions by Anonymous There seems to be a lot of misconceptions regarding Salat alIstikharah, so insha'Allah this will clarify things up. I am merely conveying (after translating) something that a scholar has said, so none of this is actually mine: 1) Some people think that Salat al-Istikharah is offered when a person is hesitating between two things, and this is not true, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “If any of you intends to undertake a matter...” and he did not say, “if any of you is indecisive or hesitant.” So if one intends to do something, then one should do an Istikharah for that. The same thing applies if one decides not to do something or go through with it; one should do Istikharah for that. However, if one has several choices to choose from, then one must first decide on one option (after seeking advice from those that he/ she trusts), and then once he/she intends to undertake that choice, he/she should do an Istikharah. 2) Some people think that the Istikharah is only for certain matters, such as marriage and traveling and other major things, but that is not accurate. The companion narrating the hadith said, “He (peace be upon him) used to

teach us (to do) Istikharah in all matters..” 3) Some people think that Salat al-Istikharah has a specific or separate 2 rak'as for it. This is not accurate, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to pray 2 voluntary rak'as. The word voluntary means it is general, and it includes Salat Adduha, Sunnat alWudu', the sunnahs before or after the obligatory prayers, and any of the other sunnah prayers. So one can pray any of these 2 rak'a voluntary prayers, and then after it one should make the supplication/duaa of Istikharah.

4) Some people think that one has to feel at ease and comfortable with doing something after performing Istikharah. There is no proof for that, because in reality, doing Istikharah means submitting your issue to Allah, even if you

hate that matter. As Allah says in the Quran: “But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.” (2:216) This actually makes a lot of people confused and leaves them more hesitant even after doing Istikharah. Some even repeat the Istikharah over several times, only making them even more hesitant and confused, especially if one doesn't feel at ease with the issue for which he/she is doing an Istikharah. In fact, the purpose of Istikharah is to remove hesitation, doubt and confusion. 5) Some people think that after doing an Istikharah, one has to see some sort of a vision or a dream that points out the right thing to do. They keep waiting for this dream and as a result, do not go through with the action. However, it is not so, but rather after one performs Istikharah, he/she should go ahead and do the thing they had intended and submit their issue to Allah. If it happens that he/she has a good dream about the issue that indicates the right thing, then that is good, but otherwise, one should not wait for that dream or vision to go ahead and do what he/she has intended to do. Allah knows best.


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quran & spiritual reflections “Judge” Me! by Abdullah bin Muslim One of the problems in our Ummah that has become wide spread among many Muslims is the confusion about “judging” other people. While one group of Muslims goes to one extreme by over-reacting to the wrong that they see around them and sometimes even going to the extent of declaring some Muslims as disbelievers and sending them to Hell because of a minor sin, the other group of Muslims go to the other extreme by not doing or saying anything to correct the wrong that they see — they do not want to “judge” the person that is doing the wrong action. Unfortunately, many Muslims belong to the latter group, whereby they seem to equate giving advice, enjoining the good, and forbidding the evil to “judging” others. There is a key point that many seem to miss. Yes, we are not supposed to “judge” other people’s intentions because we do not know what is in the people’s hearts and we can not assume things about their intentions for doing things. For example, if I see a brother giving a lot of money in charity, I can’t accuse him that he is donating to show off in front of others, because I don’t know the intention in his heart, and any assumption I make about that would be based only on conjecture. {And most of them do not follow (anything) but conjecture; surely conjecture can by no means take the place of truth. Lo! Allah is Aware of what they do} (10:36) However, we can and we should “judge” the wrong actions

that people do on the outside based on the commandments of Allah. If Allah has made something impermissible or Haram, it is our duty to say that it is wrong when we see a fellow Muslim committing that sinful action, and give him/her advice in an attempt to forbid the evil. Enjoining the good and forbidding the evil has a lot of reward in it, and is one of the most beloved good deeds to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is an obligation on every Muslim, and it is a recurring theme in the Qur’an and the Hadith. {And from among you there should be a party who invite to good and enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong, and these it is that shall be successful} (3:104) {You are the best of the nations raised up for (the benefit of) men; you enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and believe in Allah} (3:110) It is this that makes us the best of nations, and if we leave our duty of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, then we will be on the path to be among the worst of nations. That is one of the reasons why those who went astray from the Children of Israel were cursed, because they never forbade the sins and evil being done among them. {Those of the Children of Israel who went astray were cursed by the tongue of David, and of Jesus, son of Mary. That was because they rebelled and used to transgress. They used not to forbid each other the wickedness

they did; certainly evil was that which they did} (5:78- 79) Allah describes prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the Qur’an: {...He (Muhammad) will enjoin on them that which is right and forbid them that which is wrong...} (7:157) The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Whosoever of you sees a Munkar (an evil or wrong) let him change it with his hand, if he could not, then let him change it with his tongue, if he could not, then let him change it with his heart, and this is the weakest of Iman (faith).” [Saheeh Muslim] The companion Abu Saeed Alkhidri (may Allah be pleased with him) who narrated the above hadith mentions an incident where a man named Marwan started with the Khutba (sermon) before the prayer on the day of Eid, so a man stood up and said, “Oh Marwan, you have opposed the sunnah by starting with the Khutba before the prayer on Eid,” so Abu Saeed Alkhidri said, “This man has fulfilled his duty,” and then he narrated the above hadith. If we don’t change the wrong we see around us, then we are in danger of being punished by Allah for neglecting this obligation. It is narrated that Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) made a speech. He said, “Oh people, you are reading this verse and misinterpreting it — {O you who believe! take care of your own souls; no hurt can come to you from those who go astray if (Continued on page 6)


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quran & spiritual reflections “Judge” Me! (cont’d) (Continued from page 5)

you are guided} — and I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say, “If the people see the wrong and they do not change it, Allah will cover them with a punishment from him.” [Recorded by Ibn Maja, Ahmad, Tirmidhi, and others; Authenticated by Al- Albani] Another wording of the above hadith: "Any people in which there are sins done among them, they can change the evil and they do not change, Allah will cover them with a punishment from him." [Recorded by Abi Dawud and authenticated by Al- Albani] If a person has the audacity to commit a sin in public without feeling any shame, then why is it hard for us to say the truth and forbid the evil? Why when we see a person whom Allah blamed, then we do not say about him what Allah has said about him? Has our level of Iman gotten that low? Or is it the fear of how people might react? The companion Ubadah bin Assamit may Allah be pleased with him reported: “We swore allegiance to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) to say what was right wherever we were, and not to fear from anyone's reproach.” [Bukhari & Muslim] The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “By Allah, you shall enjoin good and you shall forbid evil, or Allah will send punishment over you, then you will call upon Him and He shall not respond to you.” [Recorded by Tirmidhi; Authenticated by Al- Albani] Ibn Taymiyah said, “Ordering people to follow the Sunnah and

forbidding the innovations is enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, and this is from the best of good deeds.” [Minhaj Assunnah] When we see some one doing wrong, we should not say, “Who am I to judge,” and keep quiet. In addition, when some one gives us advice to fear Allah and correct the wrong we are doing, we should not say, “Who are you to judge me?!” This is something that Allah does not like. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “The most hated speech to Allah is when a man says to another man, 'Fear Allah!' and he replies, 'Worry about your own self!'” [Authenticated by Al- Albani in Silsilat Al-Ahadith As-Sahiha] Giving other people advice when we see them doing something wrong is very important and one of the basic foundations of Islam, to the extent that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The Religion is sincere advice, to Allah, His Book, His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and the general people.” [Saheeh Muslim] Many of us have become reluctant to give our fellow Muslims advice when we see them doing something wrong, because unfortunately, many Muslims don’t take advice well anymore. Imam Abdullah bin Almubarak (who died in the year 181 Hijri) may Allah have mercy on him, was asked: “”s there anyone left to give (people) advice?!” and so he replied, “Do you know anyone who accepts (advice)?”

If that was the case back then, centuries and centuries ago, then what about our times? Why has it become hard for us to accept advice? Why do we take things so personally? Correct me if I am wrong here, but our main goal in life as Muslims is to go to Jannah (heaven), right? So we should help each other out to do good and stay away from the bad to be able to achieve our goal. None of us is perfect, and we all have our own sins and shortcomings, and that is exactly why we need each other to be able to stay on the right path. {The Believers, men and women, are guardians of each other: they enjoin what is good, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practice regular charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise} (9:71) {And help one another in goodness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and transgression} (5:2) Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that, “The believer is a mirror for his brother, if he sees something wrong in him he fixes it.” [Authenticated by Al- Albani in Saheeh Aladab Almufrad] That is how we should be, looking out for each other, making sure that we are doing good deeds and staying away from doing wrong. None of us believes until we love for our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters what we love for ourselves. We love for our(Continued on page 7)


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quran & spiritual reflections “Judge” Me! (cont’d) (Continued from page 6)

selves Jannah, so we should also love it for them too. That is why we should enjoin the good on one another and forbid the evil — to help each other get to Jannah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded us to give victory to our fellow Muslims when they are oppressed. If they are oppressing, then we should stop them — this would be like giving them victory. This includes situations when we see a Muslim oppressing himself by doing wrong or sinning; we give him victory by giving him advice and helping him stop the wrong that he is doing. {And continue to remind, for surely the reminder benefits the believers} (51:55) By forbidding the evil and giving others advice, it also helps us in becoming better Muslims. If you are struggling with trying to stop doing something that you know is wrong, like listening to music for example, then if you start telling other people that music is Haram and that they should stop listening to it, this will help you stop as well. Because if you don’t, then that will make you look like a hypocrite, and no one wants to be a hypocrite. So you also benefit from giving other people sincere advice. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "A man will be brought on the Day of Resurrection and thrown in the (Hell) Fire, so that his intestines will come out, and he will go around like a donkey goes around a millstone. The people of (Hell) Fire

will gather around him and say: “O so-and-so! What is wrong with you? Didn't you use to order us to do good deeds and forbid us to do bad deeds?” He will reply: “Yes, I used to order you to do good deeds, but I did not do them myself, and I used to forbid you to do bad deeds, yet I used to do them myself.” [Bukhari & Muslim] Now, before we all go out to enjoin the good and forbid the evil and give each other advice, we should learn the proper way to do so according to the Quran and the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). {Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in the best and most gracious manner} (16:125) Allah reminds the Prophet (peace be upon him) and us, to not be harsh and rough because that turns people away. {Thus it is due to mercy from Allah that you deal with them gently, and had you been rough or harsh-hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you} (3:159) Therefore we should be gentle with each other, and give sincere advice in the best of manners with softness and gentleness. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Allah is gentle and loves gentleness in all matters.” [Saheeh Bukhari] {Then speak to him (to Pharaoh) a gentle word, that he may heed or fear} (20:44) If Allah ordered Musa and Harun, peace be upon them, to be gentle when reminding an oppres-

sor, such as Pharaoh, who has transgressed all boundaries, then what about our own Muslim brothers and sisters? We should be very gentle and kind when giving them advice, and in all our affairs with them. {Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves} (48:29) Our aim should not be to go around looking for people who are doing wrong, or to wait for a specific brother or sister — watching their every move, waiting for them to slip and do something wrong so we can forbid the evil. We should forbid the evil if we see it or encounter it as we go about our own business, but we should never follow other people’s faults purposefully. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “O you who believe with your tongues, yet Iman has not entered your hearts. Do not backbite the Muslims, nor follow their faults. For he who follows others’ faults, then Allah will follow his faults, and he whom Allah follows his faults, then Allah will reveal them and disgrace him even if he is in his own house.” [Recorded by Abu Dawud and authenticated by Al-Albani]

TO BE CONTINUED! Make sure to follow the rest of the article in the next issue, InshaAllah!


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personal experiences Advice & Resources for Future Leaders by Tubah Sultan Our Ummah needs our generation to be visionary leaders, who adhere to the Quran and Sunnah, who uplift our sisters, brothers, families and the society around us to prosperity, and who stand up for justice everywhere. We are a generation that has grown up in the dot.com era. Through the abundance of resources such as the internet, we have a greater access to information 24/7 and a greater opportunity to connect with people all over the world. I strongly encourage you to be a prominent factor in defining our generation of Muslims – physicians, politicians, businessmen/ women, teachers, health professionals, engineers, computer programmers and so on — who will change this world for the better. We need to realize that we are here for a greater purpose — to serve Allah (swt) and in doing so to better ourselves and the society we live in. Our economy, as all of you know, is in a recession; the darkness of greed, fraud and other unethical traits that led to this recession also permeated countries all over the world. Just by picking up a newspaper, the deception and injustice that has spread throughout the world we live in is blatantly obvious. But there is reason to be hopeful — Islam. As Muslims, we are the carriers of the message of Islam that has been passed onto us by past generations — we carry the light and high ethical standards because of the knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah that Allah (swt) has be-

stowed upon us. After concluding Palestinian Solidarity Week, we need to realize that we should not hesitate to become involved in standing for justice. And we should work towards being leaders who spread knowledge. I have begun to look into what it takes to be a leader in a world where it’s so easy for us to get distracted. Here is some insight to help you stay focused (some of which are from my own experiences or things that I have

Program is now accepting applications  Recruiters are everywhere. Now is the time to find a great Summer Job: www.indeed.com & www.simplyhired.com  Careers4Terps – Use Advance Search to find jobs in your area  LinkedIn – Start a Profile to keep in touch with business contacts

come across that I would like to share). What I have highlighted below are current things that you can do NOW that can help you define and/or work towards your vision and goals in your life.

2) Research  You can start your own Research by contacting Faculty that you want to work with  Maryland Center for Undergrad Research: www.ugresearch.umd.edu  Become a Student Research Assistant — View Opportuni-

Taking Yourself to the Top 1) Jobs & Internships  The White House Internship

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personal experiences Advice & Resources (cont’d) (Continued from page 8)

ties from all the Colleges: (ww.ugresearch.umd.edu/ programs/facdirectory.html  Key Benefit — You are not restricted to your area of study — you can work in research in any department you choose  Check Out: MD Undergrad Research Day: April 22nd, 2009, McKeldin





Hinman CEOs Program (Living learning entrepreneurship program for all majors) MTECH (Geared towards Technology Start-ups)



4) Be a Risk Taker  Do something no one’s done before.  Have an idea? Make the connections, form a team and start making a difference. It’s not easy; but the earlier you start bringing together the pieces the closer you will get to defining your vision.  Entrepreneurship is highly valued at our University. (All you need is an idea & you can Launch into Something Extraordinary)  Dingman Center (Provides funds and can help you launch an idea)





3) National Scholarships UMD National Scholarships Office www.scholarships.umd.edu  Check out the site for Public Service (Washington D.C) Opportunities  The American Public Health Association is Now Accepting Internship Applications  Scholarships for Science/ Engineering/ Math Minority Students



5) Always be on the Lookout for Opportunities  Check out the Campus Events Calendar (www.umd.edu/fyi)  Find Freelance Work — www.guru.com or Non-Profit Work - www.idealist.org  Get involved with your Local Masjid  Be in the moment so you don’t miss something. Recently I found out that there’s a Minor in Leadership Studies (mucho amazing!) 6) Be Innovative: Ideas to Change the World  Brainstorm a list your favorite hobbies — see if you can turn it into something bigger

Blog about something you care about Write a book  Literature is powerful — it’s a part of our culture and it can move society.  Self Publishing Made Easy www.cafepress.com/cp/ info/sell/books.aspx & www.lulu.com Create a Documentary  Start off small — For ex ample participate in the Linktv Contest www.linktv.org/onenation

7) Ways to Make a Difference on Campus  Become a Leader in a Campus Organization  Support MSA/MWM Outreach  Join the Da’wah Committee  Become an active member of the SGA — maybe even the next President!  Write for the Newspaper  Work on-campus We usually humble ourselves when it comes to mentioning things we have achieved or received recognition for. We also shy away from sharing our aspirations. I see college as a dynamic setting where we can learn from one another. I believe that we are all leaders in our own unique ways. And leaders thrive not only on self-motivation but also by the inspiration they draw form those around them. Share your happiness with those around you. Who knows — inshaAllah you might inspire the brother or sister next to you to reach new heights.


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hadith / duaa of the week Five Rights Hadith submitted by Susan J. Shatila Abu Huraira reported Allah's messenger Muhammad, sallalahu 'alaihi wa sallam, as saying: "Five are the rights of a Muslim over his brother: responding to salaam (salutation), visiting the sick, following the bier at one's funeral, responding to invitation, and saying "yarhamuk Allah" when anybody sneezes and says alhamdulillah." [Sahih Bukhari]

Who Are You? Quote submitted by Eman Haggag A journalist once asked Imam Shaheed Hasan Al Banna, one of the Islamic Revivalists of the previous century: “Tell me, who are you?” The Imam responded: “I am a traveler seeking the truth, a human searching for the meaning of humanity and a citizen seeking dignity, freedom, stability and welfare under the shade of Islam. I am a free man who is aware of the purpose of his existence and who pro-claims: 'Truly, my prayer and my sacrifice, my living and my dying are all for Allah, the Lord of the worlds; no partner has He. This, am I commanded and I am of those who submit to His Will.' This is who I am. Who are you?”

MSA & MWM Office Hours!


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creative writing The Ceramic Miswak: Satirical Articles Fake News Briefs "These geese were obviously flying of their own volition," says CIA operations head, "They were Hudson Plane Crash Work not just used as tools...they were of Al-Qaeda part of it." Terrorists could have easily Investigations of the New turned these native birds against York Flight 1549 that crash-landed the West by appealing to their into the Hudson River late last month continue, as authorities have at last come to a horrifying conclusion. Though initially reported as an accident caused by an unnumbered flock of Canadian geese, a Homeland Security spokesperson released a statement yesterday confirming terrorist involvement. "We are only grateful that the brave crew of Flight 1549 was able to prevent any casualties," he said. "And though the terrorists did not succeed this time, incidents such as these remind us that we must always be vigilant." Federal officials suggest that the geese were in fact trained by Al-Qaeda operatives, working from sleeper cells within Canada. The CIA and Canadian government are currently investigating covert activity near Toronto and sense of indignation at the U.S.' Ottawa. destruction of their natural habitat The use of animals in terror- creating home-hatched terrorism has been seen before. In ists. New surveillance suggests 2004 of the Iraq War, insurgents that the New York birds have been used donkeys strapped with exusing seasonal migratory patterns plosives to attack US checkpoints; to disguise their attendance of Althe donkeys were soon known as Qaeda-operated training camps, 'weapons of ass destruction'. likely located north of the CanaHowever, while Iraq's dondian border. keys were, literally and figura"These birds have become tively, mere mules for insurgency disillusioned with Western society, groups, officials fear something and given their newfound alliance much more sinister is at hand in with one of our most powerful the Hudson case. enemies, they have certainly beby Mehreen Rasheed

come a lethal force," says a Senior Analyst in Terrorism Studies at the Prairie College of the Applied Arts and Technology* in Moose Jaw*, Saskatchewan (*reports confirm, this is a real place). In the wake of this great shock, both U.S. and Canadian authorities promise to take extreme measures to ensure safety from this new airborne threat. The recently passed Avian Act restricts all birds' freedom of migration, and even allows both governments to reserve the right to inhibit their use of flight. As many as fifty flocks have been raided and randomly searched. On the Canadian side, any goose suspected of terrorism is subject to immediate detainment without a warrant, evidence, or right to representation. "This is for their own protection, and the protection of Canadians and Americans everywhere," says CIA insider, alias 'Mother Goose.' "It's a patriotic duty to sacrifice one's rights for safety." Despite minor protests from animal and civil rights activists (i.e. the "Honk for Geese" Campaign), a statement from the geese has yet to be released.


al-Nur

Volume 14, Issue 1

Page 12

creative writing Five Little Girls (For the Children of Palestine) by Ibn Bashir I wish that I could tell you more than simply what's being said That the onslaught turned itself around when the mortars heard you didn't make it; that everything ceased; That somehow they left a tear in the midst of all the confusion cultivated decimation yet christened retribution That serenity was left to boys and girls like you But explosives don't harbor souls like they cart destruction and today I'd be lying to you if I said I thought humans are any different I can't sum up the courage it takes to be a liar I won't cosign or bolster one sidedness Nor entice you with an apology to your family; these never suffice. Or passively pontificate about life after babies born into, now buried along rocketed dilapidations ...Kids who used to cling to swings, musallahs, and schools And maybe even salvation I can not sweep it over Not today; No, today I can't be man And I am not even sure I'm to apologize for man anymore what I can report is that you are not alone you are not abandoned but truth be told I am just as much your loneliness as I am your perpetrator I did not fire this rocket nor muffle your sister's and brother's screams simply ask why it took five of you to bring me here and you will see that I am no innocent, there is no nobility to be found What shakes a man from apathy; Teaches him to crawl again? Is there any justification for a soul with no reason when you were given full purpose, or shall I take my 99 deaths in your stead? If they handed me the gun would that make my search any more sanctified? Justify my own sins? Could the poorness of my spirit be shooed away clean with the remnants of a richer Palestine? Tell me if this is what my shoulders should bear as I look to you for lessons neverminded in academia; it is today that I am learned of your blamelessness and weary of the damage wrought on by ego today I'm scholared in the ritual of remorse, fervor, and passion Today, I want to cry out that I appreciate with subtle indulgence that the succulence in freedom is conceived on the embrace of Khadijah The caress of Halimah, The trust of Aishah And the innocence of five little girls‌


al-Nur

Volume 14, Issue 1 Page 13

creative writing Five Little Girls (cont’d) (Continued from page 12)

Democracy is more than legality; it is a shared sentiment And love is more than an emotion, it is a capacity; Without that capability we too lie in wait for rescue under the rubble of broken understanding and archetypal contemplation If they handed me the camera would that numb the coldness of the bullet? Stave the direction of chastisement? Am I now the illustration of your collateral damage What would make me prouder than to one day stand in front of you all with the response to this testimony!!! No you are not alone young tender… I am no man… Only the resilience of a child The blossoms of a future's rose The echoes in the myriads of grace and patience The remembrance of the beginning Retribution's first opera And the smile and applause at the end All I ask is that one day you share your front door With the withered souls Who are still not safe from the reign's rain. They need the home you covet where silence is a measure of faith and ended dread And I need daughters and sons to name in your wake; in exchange… I should change dear Tahrir, Or mire me in shades of blood and cinder ash; I want change brave Ikram, Or drown me in fear and absence's suggestions; I can change sweet Samur, Or leave my affections for a witch's heart; I will change precious Dina, Or share with me a supplication's suffocation; I am change beautiful Ayah, Or bury me under the footsteps you never intended to give away.

Ibn Bashir can be contacted at: thelight1984@aol.com


al-Nur

Volume 14, Issue 1

Page 14

creative writing The Art of Stick Figuring:

THE MUSLIM STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION University of Maryland, College Park Box 44, Stamp Student Union College Park, MD 20742 [ umcp_msa@yahoo.com ] [ www.msaumd.org ]

Fasting on Mondays and Thursdays by Hena Shami

President: Ridwanur Rahman VP: Abdul Saboor Khan VP Sis’ Aff.: Nadia El-Hillal Masjid Aff.: Mouhamad Diabate PR: Sana Javed Secretary: Tubah Sultan Treasurer: Adam Stephenson

President: Eman Haggag VP: Sanjana Quasem Secretary: Manaar Zuhurudeen Treasurer: Kadiatu Bah PR: Reem Dughly SGA Liaison: Shabnom Khan .

Newsletter Staff Editor-in-Chief Zeynep Özer Co-Editors Eman Haggag Susan J. Shatila Manaar Zuhurudeen Staff Writers: Ibn Bashir Eman Haggag Abdullah bin Muslim Sanjana Quasem Mehreen Rasheed Hena Shami Susan J. Shatila Tubah Sultan Sami Zaharna The views and opinions expressed in al-Nur are solely those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the editing staff or of the MSA.

Al-Nur: Volume 14 | Issue 1  

VOLUME 14 RABI AL-AWWAL 16, 1430 — MARCH 13, 2009

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