The global magazine for Muslim women
مجلة المسلمات الجميالت الملتزمات
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Volume II Issue I
In every Issue Editor's Letter……………………….……….....….Page 4 Words Explained for the non-Muslim..........…......Page 10 A little R&R: Family Ties……...……………….......Page 14 Harun Yayha: Islam Encourages Freedom of Thought and Denounces Oppression and Compulsion…...Page 16 Habibi Halaqas…………………………………….Page 20 "Hakim and Leila"………………………………...Page 24 MHK: East Coast Recipes……..………………….Page 38 Ramadan Ready for a Productive Ramadan?...........................Page 6 Ramadan Special * For our French Readers….......Page 11 The benefits of Fasting…………………………...Page 28 10 Tips for School during Ramadan……………..Page 34
Poetry Poem: “The MBM”………………………....……...Page 3 Poem: "the killers wear no disguise"……………..Page 17 Poem: "Worship"………………………………….Page 18 Spotlight Features Interview with Return to the Deen……………... Page 22 Ifanca Press Release……………………………...Page 26 Interview with Asma Ahmad…………………….Page 59 Quran/Islam Qur'an Challenge………………………………...Page 46 Tafsir……………………………………………....Page 49 Islam and Science…………………………………Page 54 © Copyright Modest Beautiful Muslima Magazine 2009-2010. Reproduction or redistribution of anything from MBM requires proper credit to be given. 2
By Fida I.
â€œThe MBMâ€? modest beautiful muslima what you got today... full of strong, informative messages like a breath of fresh air, something every girl likes to read.
BIO: Fida is a multicultural poet and chocoholic. She also blogs at http://fida17.wordpress.com/
Photograph: Ioana Grecu | Dreamstime.com
Bism Allah Al-Rahman Al-Raheem. In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatu. May the peace & mercy of Allah Subhana Wa Taâ€™ala be on you. Dear MBM Readers, InshaAllah, I hope you all enjoy this special *Ramadan* anniversary issue of MBM. A little over a year ago, MBM was not even an idea. The only place in which it existed, was in Allahâ€™s infinite knowledge. Over the past year, MBM has surpassed its original goals by flying colors, alhamdulilah. This could not be possible without the will of Allah SWT. Nor could it have been possible without *each and every* contributor to this magazine. May Allah SWT bless you all. As we finally near the special month of Ramadan, let us make this issue of MBM an inspiration to our goals, as well as a motivation to completing those goals. Let us also work towards doing those two things as humbly as humanely possible. It is very easy to get caught up in something such as an accomplishment. At a moment of self-admiration, one must pull themselves back and realize that everything given in this life is solely by the will of Allah SWT. This is not to say that hard work is not important. It most certainly is very important.. However., as we continue to accomplish things, we must never forget Allah SWT, inshaAllah. Any good from this issue, is from Allah SWT, and any bad, is from me. Please continue to send E-mails, comments, and messages, as they are all very helpful in constructing a magazine to suit YOUR needs. If you do not feel your voice being represented in MBMuslima, then MBMuslima is not fulfilling its core mission and vision statements. However, MBMuslima cannot represent you, if we do not know what you stand for. =) So please be proactive, interactive, and critical thinkers. But also remember not to put all of that ahead of the sheer guidance of Allah (SWT). JazakAllah khair. Enjoy the issue. Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatu, Sister Yasmin 4
Editor This editorâ€™s letter will be posted to the MBM blog on August 5, 2010 for you to comment on! http://www.mbmuslima.com/blog
This article will be posted to the MBM blog on August 7, 2010 for you to comment on! http://www.mbmuslima.com/blog
Ready for a Productive Ramadan? Do you ever find yourself feeling tired during Ramadan or even falling asleep in the middle of the day, just because youâ€™re fasting, and your sleeping patterns are all messed up? Even worse, have you been seriously considering not fasting because you canâ€™t hack the working day? If you answered YES, then ProductiveMuslim.com is here to help you! Launching a brand new site THIS Ramadan called ProductiveRamadan.com. Our vision is to inspire the Ummah to be productive again during Ramadan and to fight the stereotypes of Muslims being lazy and unproductive during Ramadan. With Ramadan just around the corner, we must maintain our productivity during Ramadan. ProductiveMuslim.com is suggesting a 2 fold answer: 1. Time Management Healthy Diet.
Time-Management It's funny how our day to day plans go haywire once Ramadan starts. We can't do much during the day because we're hungry or have spent the previous night in the shopping malls or with friends for one of those "Ramadan nights". So we promise ourselves that we'll work in the evening. Evening comes, and we overkill it at iftar, that we can't move for at least 2 hours, and thanks to our "well-targeted" media, our 2 hour lay is encouraged with the 20 must-see Ramadan series on TV. Before we know it, we rush to the mosque, and after an hour or so of some spiritual food (or so we hope), some of us want to go shopping for next day's iftar (or for Eid even). Then comes suhoor time, followed by for Fajr. Afterwards, we get ready for work in the morning. And no work is done.
Sound familiar? I know people who have a phobia against Ramadan, saying that during Ramadan they can't do anything! And I'm amazed at how far from the Sunnah we've drifted and ended up in such a mess. Brothers and sisters, it's time for change. We've wasted enough opportunities during past Ramadans, continually repeating the above scenario on a daily basis, and it must stop this Ramadan! With only a few days left before Ramadan, let us draw a schedule that will maintain our productivity and keep us up to speed with our day to day work, so we can ultimately combat unproductivity in this blessed month.
Steps to Prepare for Ramadan Physically & Spiritually
Time Management For most people, shopping is a great priority during Ramadan and can be a time killer. First step to take, do all your Ramadan & Eid shopping BEFORE Ramadan starts. That's right, don't do it during Ramadan when opportunities for Laylatul Qadr and extra ibaadah can be missed out. Ramadan Sales are tempting, but for the sake of sanity and maintaining the Ramadan spirit, finish up all your shopping for Ramadan and Eid before Ramadan starts. You‟ll find that one day‟s worth of trawling the shopping mall is better spent in fulfilling time
with Allah swt. Plan your iftars well in advance: Know what you'll cook on each day and follow the health diet suggested below for a healthy and delicious Ramadan iftar experience. By doing this, you will save hours each day by not having to think and plan what to eat. It is a great idea to take into consideration what types of food will be better suited to help you maintain energy and spirit to perform your acts of worship with focus. Biryanis really ought to be banned at iftaar! Have suhoor before Fajr, NOT at mid-night. This will help you maintain your productivity levels throughout your working day, instead of your body craving for food by midafternoon. Choose a light but wholesome meal for suhoor. The Prophet (pbuh) advised us that there is blessing in the suhoor and having a light but carbohydrate filled foods will start your day off on the right foot! Start working after Fajr. Remember the post about waking up for Fajr and boosting productivity? Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) made dua that Allah blesses this Ummah in the early hours. So seize these early hours to get the most work done, especially as you'll be energized with suhoor. Your boss would be particularly impressed to see you achieve so much before the day even starts! Perhaps he might offer you the opportunity to go home early when you're hungry and feel less productive in the later part of the day. Don't waste those 2 hours between iftar and taraweeh in front of the TV. Use them for reading, spending time with family, visiting anyone who is sick, following up important e-mails, listening to recitation, or any productive activity. Plan your day the night before, to ensure that you do at least 3 important tasks the next day. When you set yourself such goals, you'll be geared towards maintaining them regardless of how hungry you are and it will become your habit to eat those 3 frogs each morning! [Not literally of course!] At times when you feel particularly hungry or worn out, do mundane tasks that don't require much thinking, e.g. administrative tasks, cleaning, typing up information.etc. You can also focus on taking time to reflect, especially
if you are at work in a busy office environment. ď‚ˇ Finally, the MOST important Time Management advice for Ramadan is to make sure you schedule in time for Allah (SWT). Remember, Ramadan is a once a year bargain for attaining good deeds, a chance to have all our sins expiated and guaranteed Jannah with sincere faith inshaAllah. We sometimes forget in our day to day running of the virtues and benefits of this month. Don't waste it for worldly deeds unless it's crucial. I know of a brother who saves his paid holidays off work so that he gets all of Ramadan off. He then spends it in the mosque praying, reading Quran, and remembering Allah. Don't be caught at the end of Ramadan with regret that you haven't done much during Ramadan. Being able to accomplish your goals during these blessed 30 days will inshaAllah set you in for a productive year.
son, some brothers/sisters who organize collective Iftar (especially in Mosques) have this bad habit of laying out ALL the food before iftar time (in the 10 minutes between Adhan and Iqama of Maghreb). An unwritten food competition begins on who can swallow the most kebabs and samosas! That's all well and good, until prayer time starts, and you hear a symphony of burping brothers during salah! On the other hand, for those organizers who are reasonable enough to delay the main meal till after salat Al-Maghreb, I urge you to look into the Iftar you bring in daily to the brothers/ sisters. Rice + Meat + Curry on a daily basis can get tiresome after a while, and you need to convince your donors not just to bring in variety, but to think of healthy alternatives as well.
2. Healthy Diet
Where should I start with the diet of Muslims today during Ramadan? My local Imam used to be amused by watching families stock up for Ramadan. One would think a war or famine is coming and there'll be no food for at least 6 months! At home, a state of emergency is declared in the kitchen, and a long list of "Ramadan dishes" are drawn up for poor Mom to cook. It is a terrible to burden mothers each Ramadan for hours to prepare such dishes for Ramadan. Instead of her spending time reading Quran and praying, she's enslaved to cook for her ever-demanding husband and children. Be considerate of this throughout Ramadan. What about those of us who have Iftar in the mosque? That's another issue. For some rea-
Visit ProductiveRamadan.com for More Productivity Tips to ensure you get the best out of your Ramadan. Sign up to our mailing list for reminder articles, daily tips, and much more! www.productiveramdan.com 8
Words Explained for the non-Muslim InshaAllah Simply translated from Arabic to English, InshaAllah means „God willing‟. This is a very commonly used phrase, as Muslims believe God has power over everything. MashaAllah Simply translated from Arabic to English , MashaAllah means 'Whatever Allah (God) wills'. Often, it is used as an expression of delight or achievement. JazakAllah khairan Simply translated from Arabic to English, jazakAllah khairun means „May Allah reward you for the good”. This is commonly used to thank someone or to acknowledge someone‟s effort. SubhanAllah In Arabic, SubhanAllah means „Glorious is Allah”. This is used when praising God. It is also commonly used as a exclamation like “Wow!”. Masjid The Masjid is simply the Arabic word for Mosque. Many Muslims refer to the Mosque as a Masjid. Masjids are primarily used for Salah (Prayer) Jummah prayer The Friday prayer services that Muslims attend weekly. SWT: Subhana wa‟ta3la Arabic Praise used after the name of Allah meaning „glorious and exalted is He” Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raa‟jiun: Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return'. This is part of the Quran Surah (Chapter) Al Baqara. It is part of Ayah (Verse) 156 Hijab Headscarf prescribed to Muslim women for modesty purposes Shahadah Declaration of Islamic faith. Photograph: Charles Shapiro | Dreamstime.com
A Litte R&R: Roles & Relationships
Photograph: Milous Chab | Dreamstime.com
By Tayyaba Syed If there is one thing I hope to give to my daughter, it is a sister. She already has a little brother with whom she has a beautiful bond, alhumdullilah. I pray that they always remain close and connected throughout their lives, inshaAllah. I also want my daughter to experience the blessing of having a sister one day. That is a relationship like no other. I, myself, am grateful to have two sisters. I could never imagine my life without them. One is ten years older than me, while the other is two years younger. We live in three different states, living three different lives, yet we never feel apart. We talk on the phone numerous times a day even if we have nothing to talk about. We feel like second moms to each others‟ kids and treat them like our own. We meet a few times a year and before separating again, we seek each others‟ forgiveness. It is important for us to keep our bond solid and in tact for the sake of Allah.
“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day let him maintain the bonds of kinship.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
Maintaining family ties is not an easy task. It is one of the many tests of this dunya. Islam places a high regard for keeping good relations with family (silatur-rahm). Silatur-rahm has been defined as politeness, kind treatment, and concern for all of one‟s relatives, even if they are distantly related, corrupt, non -Muslim, or unappreciative. According to AlBukhari the word rahm (family ties) is derived from Ar-Rahman (The Compassionate One). There needs to be a constant level of mercy and compassion when dealing with family. We tend to take each other for granted and disregard each others‟ feelings and importance. We assume our family will always be around including our spouse and children, so we treat them however we want. We are not as patient with our family members when it comes to accepting each others‟ faults and differences. We can hold on to a grudge for long periods of time against relatives. A key to sustaining family ties is learning to not just forgive and forget but also to let go. If we do not learn to let go, then it may cause us to separate from our loved ones or cut off ties with them.
Allah states in the Holy Qur‟an, “And those who break the covenant of Allah, after its ratification, and sever that which Allah has commanded to be joined (i.e. they sever the bond of kinship and are not good to their relatives) and work mischief in the land, on them is the curse, and for them is the unhappy home.” (Ar-Rad 13:25)
Shaitan likes to break bonds especially between family members. We can not let him or our nafs control how we handle relations with our family. It is easy to let our emotions take over and interfere with our relationships. The bond of blood is strong yet fragile at the same time. It needs to be handled with care at all times. By keeping our family ties tight, we will earn the pleasure of Allah and gain the reward of Jannah inshaAllah. “Allah‟s mercy will not descend on people among whom there is one who severs ties of kinship.” (Baihaqi, Shuab Al-Iman)
This article will be on the MBM blog on August 5, 2010 for you to comment on! http://www.mbmuslima.com/blog
Tayyaba S. Syed A wife, mother, and writer. She is also a certified substitute teacher and teaches on a part-time basis. She has written for numerous publications including the *Chicago Crescent Newspaper*, *Azizah Magazine*, and *Muslim Quarterly Magazine*. She has been featured on air with National Public Radio's "Speaking of Faith" program as well as Soundvision's Radio Islam. She also does public speaking on marriage and family for Muslim women. She is a lead volunteer for the Refugee Assistance Program (RAP) as well as Camp Busy Bees in Illinois. She finds inspiration for her work through her wonderful family and community.
Visit her blog at www.tayyabasyed.blogspot.com
â€œthe killers wear no disguiseâ€? By Dr. Bassant Magdy Starting with so much to explain. This isn't some poem to entertain. When life is a nonstop train. People suffering from so much pain. Living their lives in vain. Suffering from other people being insane. Suffering from an evil brain. A misery is happening again and again. And only the devil can explain.
I have been waiting for so long. To write this encouraging song. To fight every wrong.
I want to ask you my friend, How can a broken heart mend ? How can this craziness reach an end ? How can we all face reality, And stop the act " PRETEND" I want to ask why, Why would an innocent child die, In front of his fathers eyes. Yes, this is happening but you just do not realize. Blinded by media, and we never ask how's or whys. And the killers wear no disguise.
I write for the life I want to achieve I wrote for my religion and what I believe. I write to kiss away all fears. I write to stop the tears.
All I am asking you is to stop. Stop, and ask your self "why ?" Why all them people die ? Why their spirits fly in the sky ? Why do we all live this lie? And why must others cry, Until their eyes dry ? And the killers wear no disguise. Spirits are gone, Finding a peaceful place of their own. While their scattered families living alone. Meanwhile their children are fighting with stones. Fighting, fighting, fighting till the dawn.
Let's Fight every day and night. Fight & fight for human rights. Until we find the light. Until things are done right. All I have now is my pen to write.
They sleep on the rhythm of bombs. Instead of sleeping on their mothers songs. I say, lets help them be strong. Our unity will right the wrongs.
This article will be posted to the MBM blog on August 5, 2010 for you to comment on! http://www.mbmuslima.com/blog
By Mariam Al-Kalby
A poem about the many forms of worship because worship does not only mean to pray and fast but to incorporate it in every action that we do because Allah (swt) loves it and we do it for His sake only. It is the things that Allah loves: Whispering Bismillah over a steaming plate of chicken biryani, struggling to brush your little sister‟s tangled black hair, or the charitable goofy smile you spread at another student, whose tears are escaping into her turkey sandwich at lunch time while the wind flaps at the lettuce leaf wilting beneath the layers of tomato and mayo. When you gently pour the milk into your kitten‟s ceramic dish, when you wave to your Qu‟ran teacher after class, reciting Surah Yasin before you do your math homework, and taking out the trash that smells like dead fish for your dad because he broke his leg at the construction site. It‟s saying jazakum allhu khair to your Aunt Layla for baking you a red velvet cake because you memorized the first juza, and going to bed at 9pm before your mother normally drags you to the bedroom while your feet get carpet burns. Photograph: http://pages.intnet.mu/islam/clipart.htm
It‟s washing your dishes and your grandma‟s mug she likes to drink Earl Grey Tea from. It‟s before you go out to kick the soccer ball around after Asr or rearranging the dolls on your bookshelf before Maghrib. It‟s that crisp apple you reach for in the fridge instead of dipping your dirty hands into the cookie jar before dinner, and it‟s eagerly getting up for Fajr before the adhan, stumbling to the bathroom to make wudu, and it‟s you surfing the web for stories of the prophets instead of playing the usual video games that make you resemble a zombie. It‟s saying thank you or making wudu when you are angry, and telling your friends that they should not say that Ayah has big ears. It‟s when your little brother Omar wants your new basketball and with ease, you bring it down and hand it to him and kiss his auburn hair, telling him that he should go have fun. When you say salam to a stranger with a golden hijab, and it‟s when you cautiously carry the silver tray of mint tea and Maria biscuits to your parents‟ guests, and it‟s saying alhumdulliah instead of complaining that Adnan has more comic books than you do. It is watching the red sun melt behind the mountains and having a fear grow like ivy in our hearts as we remember that Allah is All-Knowing and He loves when our everyday actions are for Him only.
Mariam Al-Kalby is a graduate from Cal State Long Beach with a B.A. in English Education and Creative Writing. She currently is a Religion Editor for InFocus News and has also contributed articles to muslimahsource.org. She also likes to create designs and likes to write short stories, poetry, articles, anything that is writing! For more info contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org 19
When you educate a man, you educate a single person. When you educate a Woman, you educate a household!
Habibi Halaqas Online Lectures for Sisters once a week during the evening. -Islamic Knowledge -Life skills specific to Muslim Sisters -Social Psychology -Self Grooming -Parenting
Interview with Return to the Deen
For those who don't know, what is „Return to the Deen"? We are a group of Muslim brothers and sisters who are trying to get resources together to help those who have gotten caught up in the dunya and it's ways. The addictions of the dunya come in many forms: Drugs, Alcohol, Gambling, Harmful Lifestyles, Gangs, Internet, Crime, Institutionalization, Fornication, etc. We firmly believe in the concept of „hiding the faults of your brothers/sisters,‟ however, we also realize that our community is in dire need of a program that is both halal and structured to help them return to the Deen. The dunya is a very enticing and alluring place. Therefore, if we stand by and watch our brothers/sisters fade into the darkness, the people of the book have one on us. They have many facilities and safe homes to help guide their lost back home. We should be at the front line in treating these diseases, not the back -we are Islam!
What do you consider „Return to the Deen‟ as? A project? An organization? Something else? The name „Return to the Deen‟ speaks for itself, in terms of what it means. It is a way to offer an avenue for our brothers and sisters of Islam, as well as the rest of humanity. It gives individuals a way to return to the natural religion and way of life for mankind. We are an organization/ group of people who are taking a realistic look at life in this modern world and offering our community several different avenues of recovery through Islamic values and principles.
How did this wonderful endeavor start? What motivated it?
center and there was not one available at all. Following this, I started a group on Facebook and the rest is history. I then introduced the concept to Brother Arbazz, who also got involved. Next, Brother Mansur joined our team, followed by Kameen Waheed. After that it was on and cracking. We then began production on the videos and submitted the paperwork to become an official non-profit organization. I then became a certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC1). Thank you again Allah!
What has been accomplished so far? We are currently awaiting paperwork in order to establish ourselves as a certified non-profit organization. We began by raising awareness using our videos as well as visiting mosques around Southern California to speak with our community about the organization. More and more people are interested and slowly starting to get involved, alhamdulilah! We have also started an Islamic ‘twelve step’ meeting, Milatti Islami, that takes place every Tuesday at 6pm at Back to the Grind in Downtown Riverside.
Can you share with us the inspiration behind the episodes that have filmed so far? What went into making these videos? The main inspiration for our videos was to tell a raw and realistic story based on situations and scenarios that have happened or could happen to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Also, there are serious cultural issues addressed along with issues of tribalism, nationalism, racism, drug addiction, and premarital sex, etc.
At one point, I [ Brother Tawheed] was looking for an Islamic sober living home or rehabilitation
What kind of feedback did you receive? Actually I have received nothing but positive feedback and support for our cause, alhamdulilah. „Return to the Deen‟ is a tool to speak to the world. These videos are our expression of a truthful reality, and our cry for help. Our team at „Return to Deen‟ have only one purpose and that is to open the eyes of the Ummah (the Muslim community) and the world, inshaAllah!
Who is involved in this? Can you tell us about your team? The people involved in this beautiful cause include everybody in the videos and some behind the scenes supporters. For the most part, we are still a nonprofit organization in the making. Any help, donations, or overall support is greatly needed and appreciated. We still need a facility for the „First Islamic Healing and Wellness Center.‟ The vision we have is a rehabilitation center that treats anything that pulls a person from their Deen, for both Muslims and non Muslims. InshaAllah, we are working on making it a facility that offers the individual an Islamic based program with Islamic principles and values. We want to offer a tool to people who are sick with the disease of addiction or whatever disease they suffer from a way to Return to the Deen!
What struggles have you faced?
serious and as a result, many are afraid or ashamed to admit that even we are susceptible to the temptations of the dunya. One of our major struggles was getting the Ummah as a whole to see the need for a facility of rehabilitation for muslims/nonmuslims based on Islamic principles and values.
What is the ultimate goal / future plans? To acquire a facility and the revenue to staff it and run it. Imagine, The First Islamic Healing and Wellness Center, A rehabilitation facility based on Islam...Alhamdulillah.
What way can our readers help your endeavor? How do they get involved? Your readers can get involved by helping us acquire a facility and by donating revenue/ funds, time, and any resources. This Facility will serve as a center for the healing of the complete soul for muslims and non-muslims alike. Hence the name, Return to the Deen. I [Tawheed] am not an Imam or a Scholar but I am an ex-con and a recovered drug addict and I am a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC I) and all I do is (Insha Allah) offer a program based on the basic principles and values of Islam...the rest is for the Mosques, Imams, and Scholars.
Some of the problems our community faces are
This interview will be posted to the MBM blog on August 5, 2010 for you to comment on! http://www.mbmuslima.com/blog
Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America IFANCA® to Address Fast Growing US Halal Food Market at Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo 2010 in Chicago (July 17, 2010 -- Chicago, IL...) The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA®) will be exhibiting their halal certification and information services from July 17, to 20, 2010, at the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo 2010. IFANCA®’s display booth, #5101, will offer free halal certification consultations to IFT Expo attendees for its entire duration. In the past years, interest in the growing halal markets and halal certification has expanded tremendously. In the past 4 years, Datamonitor Group has noted that the number of global halal product launches has increased by 150 percent from 2005 to 2009. IFANCA® has also witnessed an increased interest in halal – both for global, as well as for the US halal food market. “The interest is higher than anything we have seen in the past 10 years for halal food ingredients.” says Dr. Chaudry, President of IFANCA®. Dr. Chaudry estimates an 80 percent growth from halal certified ingredients and food products since 2005 for US and global based halal markets. This increased interest for US halal market ingredients and products may reflect the overall estimated $170 billion US dollar purchasing power of American -Muslims. Dr. Chaudry has estimated the American-Muslim purchasing strength for food items alone may well exceed $20 billion US dollars. To address this growing interest in halal, IFANCA® will be exhibiting its halal certification services, and giving out halal informational materials during the IFT Expo 2010. Its Food Technology team, at booth #5101, will share specific, halal technical information, and free halal consumer information for both food technology, as well as marketing professionals.
IFANCA Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA®), is one of the world’s leading and well respected not-for-profit halal-certification organizations. Featured in various media such as The Wall Street Journal, Prepared Foods, and CNN; IFANCA has been promoting halal for the past 28 years. IFANCA® was recognized in the Best Halal Related Service Provider Award by the Halal Journal at World Halal Forum 2007. IFANCA® -certified halal products are recognized by Indonesia (M.U.I), Malaysia (JAKIM), Singapore (M.U.I.S), U.A.E. and many other countries. For more information about IFANCA®, visit www.ifanca.org.
For more info, contact Maria Omar: +1-773-283-3708 Ext: 222 email@example.com
The benefits of Fasting By Brother Kyle Smith
A corner stone of Ramadan is fasting. During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims refrain from eating or drinking from sunrise until sunset. As Muslims, we also restrain ourselves from physical desires. Now to an individual who has never fasted before, this may seem like a very difficult thing to do. Some may even see it as unnecessary. Some may question how fasting going to get them closer to God, while some may wonder what the benefits are. As Muslims, we know that whatever Allah (SWT) mandates upon us will benefit us in this life and the hereafter. InshaAllah, in this article I will talk about the various benefits of fasting. Fasting protects against sins. Fasting puts an individual in a state of control. When someone is in control of themselves, while refraining from sins, it is more likely for that individual to do good deeds for the sake of Allah (SWT). For example, we know that marriage is supposed to keep an individual away from zina(fortification). At the time of the Prophet (SAW), there was not a large abundance in the Muslim treasury, as there was in the time of Umar. Therefore, during the time of the Prophet (SAW), it was difficult to sponsor other Muslims marriages. A man came to the Prophet (SAW) saying that he could not afford to get married. So, the prophet (SAW) advised him to do extra prayers, and to fast to keep him away from sin. One of the most important things in Islam is to stay away from the abomination of backbiting. To understand how devastating this abomination is, Muhammad (SAW) related it to eating the flesh of your dead brother. As humans, it is very easy to be caught up in this abomination. This is because the shaiytan whispers to us the justifying of this action. Therefore, as Muslims, we should always refrain from sins such as this. We can do this by fasting. Photograph: http://pages.intnet.mu/islam/clipart.htm
Another benefit of fasting is to be rewarded by Allah (SWT). The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said that “when one fasts purely for the sake of Allah (SWT) Allah will put a riding distance of seven years between his face and hellfire. Therefore, if one fasts purely for the sake of Allah (SWT) during the whole month of Ramadan, his face will be a riding distance of 210 years away from hellfire. Also, anything a Muslim does during the month of Ramadan is multiplied by a minimum of 30 fold, up to a maximum of 1000 fold. Just imagine how far one would be from hellfire just for fasting the whole month purely for the sake of Allah (SWT). Furthermore, when we fast, we please Allah (SWT). Muhammad (SAW) said “every good deed that a human does is for his own benefit, except for fasting—it is for Allah (SWT)”. Just think about how special this is. Allah (SWT) does not need us to do anything for him, but he wants us to fast just for him. As we know, Allah (SWT) is responsible for all the good things that we have in this life, and inshaAllah, by his mercy, he will grant us the ultimate prize of his jannah. So, when we fast, we are doing something that is pleasing to Allah (SWT). This is a great way to thank Him for everything. Since fasting is the only good deed that is for Allah (SWT), it is like no other. As stated before, whatever Allah (SWT) mandates upon us is for our own benefit, whether we realize it or not. Fasting has many health benefits. The first major health benefit of fasting is that it removes toxins from our body. Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of Eat to Live explains how this process works. Dr. Fuhurman explains that, “When you go without eating for more than a day or two, the body enters into ketosis. Ketosis occurs when the body runs out
of carbohydrates to burn for energy, so it burns fat. And the fat is where the body stores many of the toxins it absorbs from the environment". The second health benefit of fasting is that it increases ones life span. Dr. David Sinclair, and Dr. Christoph Westphaul teamed up to create a new drug that prevents the ageing process. In their findings, they discovered that when the Sirtuin gene is active (its normally inactive), it then triggers a survival mechanism that extends life. Dr Sinclair was convinced that something in nature could activate that gene. In his findings, he found that Rezveratrol has the ability to activate that gene. Rezveratrol is found in high concentrations in the skin of grapes. They are now in the process of converting Rezveratrol into an oral medication. They predict that this pill may have the ability to in-
crease a humanâ€&#x;s lifespan by one to two decades. However, they also figured out that there is one other thing that can activate the sirtuin gene in our bodies, and that is long periods of hunger. SubhanAllah, this is equivalent to fasting, which Allah (SWT) already mandated upon us during Ramadan. Fasting is truly a special thing, as it is the only good deed that Allah (SWT) wants us to do for him. However, if we look at the health benefits of fasting, how far it will keep us from hellfire, and how it keeps us in a state of control it is evident that we are benefitting ourselves. So during this Ramadan make our fasts purely for the sake of Allah (SWT). InshaAllah we should all set goals for ourselves to do voluntary fasts after Ramadan inshaAllah.
You can E-mail Brother Kyle Smith at
firstname.lastname@example.org to ask him any questions. Jazakum Allahu Khairun. (May Allah reward you for the good)
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SUCCESS GUIDE FOR THE COLLEGE MUSLIMAH. MBM Colum Inspired by Sister Glory Ali from NJ. JazakAllahu Khair Sister. A new regular column in MBM, The Success Guide for the College Muslimah will feature a top ten in each issue. In this issue, we will be looking at
“School during Ramadan” Future issues will provide tips for Muslimas that are : - High school seniors - Graduating seniors & much more.
This article will be posted to the MBM blog on Auaugst 6, 2010 for you to comment on! http://www.mbmuslima.com/blog
10 tips for school
Get a good night’s rest. Since you won’t be eating during the day, you will need to get a good night’s rest. Especially if you are used to drinking caffeine to stay awake.
Eat a healthy, light suhoor. Eat something that will fill you up, but is not heavy. Also, try to keep it balanced.
Aim to do everything for the sake of Allah SWT. Intentions make or break your actions towards Allah SWT.
Speak up. Ramadan is a great time to clear up misconceptions amongst non Muslims. When the opportunity arises, be sure to answer questions that may come your way.
Stay organized. The more organized you are, the less energy you'll have you use while fasting.
during Ramadan. By Yasmin Essa
This article will be posted to the MBM blog on August 5, 2010 for you to comment on! http://www.mbmuslima.com/blog
Go to iftaars Take advantage of iftaar on campus, if you can’t make it home for iftaar. Focus less on the food, and more on the people.
Love everyone for the sake of Allah SWT. If you want to be one of those people who has Allah’s shade on the Day of Judgment, of course =)
Break your fast with dates. Check out our Ramadan 2009 issue for an article on the benefits of dates. Plus, it’s Sunnah. =)
Exercise and stay active. It’s not easy, but it’s important for you and your body! Check our Ramadan 2009 issue for an article on exercising during Ramadan.
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Recipes By Yvonne Maffei
Cod, Potato, and Red Onion Bake Creamy Clam Soup Lobster Roll
ÂŠ Copyright My Halal Kitchen 2008-2010. No reproduction or redistribution of this recipe is permissible without the express written consent of the Editor of My Halal Kitchen.
This is a wonderfully simple recipe to make when you've got the three main ingredients and are looking for a simple, quick and hearty seafood meal. Great for having guests over or enjoying for the family weeknight dinner. Serves 4
Ingredients • • • • • • • •
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Cod, Potato, and Red Onion Bake
1 tablespoon butter 1 red onion, thinly sliced 2 large baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 1 large cod filet, boneless (approximately ½ lb.) 1 cup heavy cream salt, to taste freshly ground black pepper, to taste fresh flat leaf parsley
Directions 1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When butter begins to froth, add the red onions and sauté until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside. 2. Meanwhile, boil potatoes in a medium-large pot for 5 minutes, or just until soft. 3. Fill a small Dutch oven with water and bring to boil. Reduce heat, add the cod and poach for about 5-7 minutes. Remove from water and drain in a colander. 4. In a large, deep baking pan layer the potatoes on the bottom of the pan. Add the onions. Next, break apart the cod and sprinkle over the onions. Add the cream. Top with salt and pepper. 5. Cover pan with aluminum. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes. 6. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and serve hot out of the oven.
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Creamy Clam Soup
I'm always looking forward to a good clam chowder, but I never realized that a creamy clam soup could be just as delicious when paired with the right ingredients. This is a simple and light soup that can be enjoyed whenever you find the best clams around. Serves 4
2 tablespoons butter 1 stalk celery, diced ½ cup pearl onions, minced 2 large yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced 1 pound clams, shucked (fresh or frozen) 1 cup heavy cream ½ cup whole milk salt, to taste freshly ground black pepper, to taste fresh flat leaf parsley, to taste
1. In a large Dutch oven, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the celery and pearl onions. Sauté until soft, about 1-3 minutes. 2. Add the potatoes and the other tablespoon of butter. Sauté until browned, about 2-3 minutes on each side. 3. Add the clams and stir. Add the cream, milk, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are soft. 4. Top with freshly chopped parsley and serve while hot.
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Lobster Roll Lobster rolls are not only hard to find but can be quite expensive. If you learn how to make your own, you can have it when you want and for much more of a bargain, ensuring you're eating the freshest lobster of the season. Serves 2
1 small lobster, or about ½ pound of lobster meat 1 tablespoon butter salt, to taste freshly ground black pepper, to taste freshly chopped flat leaf parsely hearty rustic bread or sandwich roll mayonnaise red leaf lettuce 1/2 lemon
Directions 1. If using a fresh lobster, cook as directed. Remove meat from tail, claws and all other edible parts. Cleanse thoroughly with water. Pat dry and add salt and pepper to each side of meat. 2. To a sauté pan, add the butter and cook until it froths. 3. Add all of the lobster meat. Cook until well-browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. 4. Warm rustic bread or sandwich roll. Spread mayonnaise on each side. Layer with lettuce. Add lobster meat and squeeze lemon juice on top. Serve warm.
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No computers are required, so you or your children can recite anywhere, at any time in just 3 EASY STEPS! 1. Point the pen on selected verse 2. Listen to the verse being read in high quality voice audio. 3. Recite the verse with ease and confidence! Quran Readpen is a new learning and teaching technology, where voice can be heard from the pen speaker when pointed on the specially printed Quranic pages. The recitation voice is clear, full and beautiful.
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QURâ€™AN CHALLENGE Each issue, MBM will choose one Surah that we challenge our readers to memorize completely within a month's span. This issueâ€™s challenge is Surah Al-Insan On the following page, you will find the Translation and Transliteration of Surat Al-Insan. MBM wishes you all good luck to memorize this, inshaAllah!
Surah Al-Insan (Man) Translation Credit: http://noblequran.com/translation/surah76==104.html Transliteration Credit: http://www.islambasics.com/view.php?bkID=30&chapter=76
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful Bismi Allahi alrrahmanialrraheemi 1. Hal ata AAala al-insani heenun mina alddahri lam yakun shay-an mathkooran Has there not been over man a period of time, when he was nothing to be mentioned? 2. Inna khalaqna al-insana min nutfatin amshajinnabtaleehi fajaAAalnahu sameeAAan baseeran Verily, We have created man from Nutfah drops of mixed semen (discharge of man and woman), in order to try him, so We made him hearer, seer. 3. Inna hadaynahu alssabeelaimma shakiran wa-imma kafooran Verily, We showed him the way, whether he be grateful or ungrateful. 4. Inna aAAtadna lilkafireena salasila waaghlalanwasaAAeeran Verily, We have prepared for the disbelievers iron chains, iron collars, and a blazing Fire. 5. Inna al-abrara yashraboona min ka/sin kana mizajuhakafooran Verily, the Abrar (pious, who fear Allah and avoid evil), shall drink a cup (of wine) mixed with water from a spring in Paradise called Kafur. 6. AAaynan yashrabu biha AAibadu Allahi yufajjiroonahatafjeeran A spring wherefrom the slaves of Allah will drink, causing it to gush forth abundantly. 7. Yoofoona bialnnathriwayakhafoona yawman kana sharruhu mustateeran They (are those who) fulfill (their) vows, and they fear a Day whose evil will be wide-spreading. 8. WayutAAimona alttaAAamaAAala hubbihi miskeenan wayateeman waaseeran And they give food, inspite of their love for it (or for the love of Him), to Miskin (poor), the orphan, and the captive, 9. Innama nutAAimukum liwajhi Allahi la nureeduminkum jazaan wala shukooran (Saying): "We feed you seeking Allah's Countenance only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you. 10. Inna nakhafu min rabbina yawman AAaboosan qamtareeran "Verily, We fear from our Lord a Day, hard and distressful, that will make the faces look horrible (from extreme dislikeness to it)." 11. Fawaqahumu Allahu sharra thalika alyawmi walaqqahumnadratan wasurooran So Allah saved them from the evil of that Day, and gave them Nadratan (a light of beauty) and joy. 12. Wajazahum bima sabaroo jannatan wahareeran And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient.
13. Muttaki-eena feeha AAala al-ara-iki layarawna feeha shamsan wala zamhareeran Reclining therein on raised thrones, they will see there neither the excessive heat of the sun, nor the excessive bitter cold, (as in Paradise there is no sun and no moon). 14. Wadaniyatan AAalayhim thilaluha wathullilat qutoofuha tathleelan And the shade thereof is close upon them, and the bunches of fruit thereof will hang low within their reach. 15. Wayutafu AAalayhim bi-aniyatin min fiddatin waakwabinkanat qawareera And amongst them will be passed round vessels of silver and cups of crystal, 16. Qawareera min fiddatin qaddarooha taqdeeran Crystal-clear, made of silver. They will determine the measure thereof according to their wishes. 17. Wayusqawna feeha ka/san kana mizajuhazanjabeelan And they will be given to drink there a cup (of wine) mixed with Zanjabil (ginger, etc.), 18. AAaynan feeha tusamma salsabeelan A spring there, called Salsabil. 19. Wayatoofu AAalayhim wildanun mukhalladoona itharaaytahum hasibtahum lu/lu-an manthooran And round about them will (serve) boys of everlasting youth. If you see them, you would think them scattered pearls. 20. Wa-itha raayta thamma raayta naAAeeman wamulkan kabeeran And when you look there (in Paradise), you will see a delight (that cannot be imagined), and a great dominion. 21. AAaliyahum thiyabu sundusin khudrun wa-istabraqunwahulloo asawira min fiddatin wasaqahum rabbuhumsharaban tahooran Their garments will be of fine green silk, and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure drink. 22. Inna hatha kana lakum jazaan wakanasaAAyukum mashkooran (And it will be said to them): "Verily, this is a reward for you, and your endeavor has been accepted." 23. Inna nahnu nazzalna AAalayka alqur-anatanzeelan Verily! It is We Who have sent down the Qur'an to you (O Muhammad ) by stages. 24. Faisbir lihukmirabbika wala tutiAA minhum athiman aw kafooran Therefore be patient (O Muhammad ) and submit to the Command of your Lord (Allah, by doing your duty to Him and by conveying His Message to mankind), and obey neither a sinner nor a disbeliever among them. 25. Waothkuri isma rabbikabukratan waaseelan And remember the Name of your Lord every morning and afternoon [i.e. offering of the Morning (Fajr), Zuhr, and 'Asr prayers]. 26. Wamina allayli faosjud lahuwasabbihhu laylan taweelan And during night, prostrate yourself to Him (i.e. the offering of Maghrib and 'Isha' prayers), and glorify Him a long night through (i.e. Tahajjud prayer).
27. Inna haola-i yuhibboona alAAajilata wayatharoonawaraahum yawman thaqeelan Verily! These (disbelievers) love the present life of this world, and put behind them a heavy Day (that will be hard). 28. Nahnu khalaqnahum washadadna asrahum wa-ithashi/na baddalna amthalahum tabdeelan It is We Who created them, and We have made them of strong built. And when We will, We can replace them with others like them with a complete replacement. 29. Inna hathihi tathkiratun faman shaa ittakhathaila rabbihi sabeelan Verily! This (Verses of the Qur'an) is an admonition, so whosoever wills, let him take a Path to his Lord (Allah). 30. Wama tashaoona illa an yashaa Allahuinna Allaha kana AAaleeman hakeeman But you cannot will, unless Allah wills. Verily, Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise. 31. Yudkhilu man yashao fee rahmatihi waalththalimeena aAAaddalahum AAathaban aleeman He will admit to His Mercy whom He will and as for the Zalimun, (polytheists, wrong-doers, etc.) He has prepared a painful torment.
Tafsir of Surah Al-Insan By Sister Fa-izah In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
This is a Makkan Sura (chapter of the Holy Qur'an) full of high meanings as is generally the case with Makkan Suras. Its theme is the contrast between two classes of men (in the generic sense, meaning both male and female), those who choose good and those who choose evil, it describes what is in store for both parties, with special reference to the former.
Verse 1: an undoubted fact put in form of a question; means the world existed long before man came into being, which has well been proven by modern geology. The term ‘Dahr’ is time as a whole, implying; for a long period.
Verse 2: Creation of man from his humble origin, a drop of mixed fluid (fertilization of male sperm cell and female ovum)...In order to try him, he has been given gifts, the faculties for which to receive instruction, symbolized by hearing and that for intellectual and spiritual insight Apart from these gifts, man has been shown the way through revelations through men of high spiritual standing (Allah ‘s Prophets, may Allah be pleased with them). Therefore, his life is for a purpose, and he has been given
a certain amount of free-will, to be grateful or un-
sent life and what will become of them in the
grateful. If he is grateful, he accepts Guidance, be
Hereafter. In V7, vows are taken to mean those
of the Righteous and joins the company of the
vows of spiritual service such as service to hu-
Blessed. On the other hand, if he chooses to be
manity, such as mentioned in the preceding verse.
ungrateful, he burdens himself with sin, putting a
However, vows of the pagan sort, savouring of a
chain round himself and sets a trap for himself
sort of ‘bribe’ to the deity are not approved.
and eventually gets into the place we all dread,
‘Captive’ here refers to the old state of things
the Blazing Fire of punishment.
when captives of war/ prisoners in jail had to earn
Allah knows what is in our hearts, what we
their own food or redemption, they starved
conceal and what we reveal, if deep inside we
unless/ until food was provided for then by pri-
want Guidance, He guides us, InshaAllah and if we
vate friends or from their own earnings.
do not want it (Guidance) then we are taken
Righteous, as described in V9 do good to others
deeper into what we desire. That is to say that
without expecting any form of payment even a
our choice rests on our will.
courteous ‘thanks’; this expresses the true mo-
It is mentioned in Verse 4, that for the Re-
tives of pious and unpretentious charity .The truly
jecters, yokes and chains have been prepared and
Righteous are not self- righteous, they have the
the Blazing Fire – on earth, the yoke(servitude) to
fear of Allah in their minds, they know they are
sin and evil is fastened more and more firmly
humans and fear that they should be found want-
round their necks as against freedom in faith. This
ing in the sight of Allah, so naturally they fear
process receives its climax at the Hour of Judge-
That Day, but Allah in His Mercy has prepared a
ment. The Fire burns the very soul. May Allah pro-
bountiful reward for them, their faces will beam
tect us from the Torment of the Fire, AMIN!
with brightness, beauty and blissful joy.
If you were scared of the above, verses 5 &
Verses 11 and 12 explain the bliss enjoyed
6 immediately comforts one, by telling us that the
by the Righteous because of their patience with
Righteous who have just passed the great Event
His trials and constancy in His remembrance.
of Judgement will be given a refreshing drink
Verse 13 and 14 describe the temperature in The
mixed with Kaf?r which literally means Camphor,
Garden, where there will be no excess of heat or
a seasoning added to a cup of beatific wine,
cold, the temperature will be delightful and
which causes no intoxication but stands for all
agreeable to our sensations as we know them
that is wholesome. In Eastern medicine, camphor
now. The shades will be low and bunches of fruit
is given in minute doses as a soothing tonic.
will be easy reach...
Verses 7 -10 describe the qualities of the
Verses 15 – 21, illustrate the bliss they continue to
Righteous, that is, what they portray in the pre-
enjoy in the Garden; vessels of silver, goblets of
crystal, conveying an impression of rarity, pre-
and be successful in the next.
ciousness and spotless splendor. A cup mixed
In verses 25 and 26, three methods of prayer and
with a refreshing ingredient, Zanjabil, literally
devotion are recommended
meaning Ginger, which gives warmth to the body
a) To remember and celebrate the Holy
and zest to the taste. A fountain called Salsabil is
Names of Allah always, morning and
mentioned. In V 19, youths of perpetual
evening, that is, all the waking hours of
(everlasting) freshness, describes the attendants
who serve in a manner not subject to any moods,
b) To spend part of the night in humble
chances or changes, continually. They are de-
prostration( a visible mode of dedication
scribed as scattered pearls because of the beauty
best done at night, when the soul is alone
they posses, their magnificent and impressive ap-
with God and is free from worldly occupa
pearance and the fact that they move to and fro,
tions.( Abu Dharr al Ghaffari (may Allah be
here and there, a beautiful sight to behold, pure
pleased with him said, ‘‘pray 2 raka’ats in
bliss and a magnificent kingdom. These Righteous
the darkness of the night, in contempla
denizens of Paradise will be dressed as described;
tion of ones bewilderment, loneliness and
a culmination of the honor which they receive at
darkness of the grave’’
the Royal and Divine Banquet and Allah gives a
c) To glorify Him in the long hours of a
speech whish confirms them as the Righteous in-
weary night of waiting and watching,
habitants of Heaven (V 22).
which are no longer weary, but become
As we know, the Holy Qur’an was revealed
full of meaning when we join in concert
in stages, as the occasion demanded, at this stage
with the whole creation (sun, moon, trees;
of the Qur’an, persecution, abuse, and false
everything created by Allah)
Man loves things of haste. For this reason
(S.A.W), but he was bidden to stand firm and do
he pins his faith on transitory things that come
his duty, for he shall be rewarded with an excel-
and go, neglecting the things of lasting moment,
lent reward as depicted in the verses above(12-
which come slowly, whose true importance will
21). In a minor degree, this applies to a lot of us
only be seen in the Hereafter, also, he rejects or
who suffer in the cause of truth (Brother Kyle,
puts away the thought of a Hereafter, a Day that
Keep being patient, may Allah place you under His
will be hard for the easy pleasures of a fleeting
shade, amin). It could also be applied to those of
life. This verse was making reference to the Qurai-
us who struggle with our Nafs to do the right
shi pagans at the time a general reference to the
things. Verse 24; Allah provides us with a lucid rec-
Unbelievers of all ages.
ommendation, its the only way to survive this life
Verse 28 states that Allah not only created
man, He made their frame strong in order to with-
truly the recipients of Your mercy on that Day.
stand the temptation of Evil and stand firmly on
That is the Mighty Victory’ (Qur’an 40:7-9)
the Right Path. In the event that man misuses this power or willfully disobeys Allah’s law, Allah will set him aside and substitute others in his place, with like powers. Allah’s gifts are free but let no one think that he can monopolize them or misuse them, because he will definitely be called to account for the trust. Verse 29 is a clear advice that we must follow in order to succeed. In verse 30, Allah explains that man in himself is weak, and that he must seek Allah’s Grace. Without it, he can do nothing, he is lost. But with Allah’s Grace, he can achieve success for Allah knows all things and His wisdom comprehends the good of all. The final verse, 31, states: According to His Just and Wise plan, He will admit to His Mercy whom He wills. If the will is right, it obtains Allah’s Grace and Mercy. If the will of Man rejects Allah, man must suffer the penalty: a grievous Chastisement. With this, I pray for all of us thus: ‘Our Lord, You encompass everything in Mercy and Knowledge! Forgive those who turn to
You and who follow Your Way and safeguard them from the punishment of the Blazing Fire. Our Lord, admit them to the Gardens of Eden You
wa Rahmatullahi wa
have promise them, and all their parents, wives, children who acted rightly. Truly You are the Almighty, the All-Wise. And safeguard them from
evil acts. Those You safeguard from evil acts are
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In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Islam and Science By Morium Akthar, MD I have met many people in who are wholeheartedly into science, researching, and making great strides in medicine and technology, and at the same time say they have no religion, do not believe in god, and my personal favorite â€œI take the good from different religions and believe in that.â€? Astaghfirullah(we ask Allah(SWT) to save us from that). There are also those who say that religion has no scientific basis, and is purely spiritual, just like others say politics and religion cannot co-exist. However, Islam is a way of life, not just a religion. This means that Islam(the Holy Quran and the Sunnah (the practical enactment of what we should do in our lives))of the Prophet(SAW) guide
and advise us on how we can live our lives in all aspects including: science, politics, socially, spiritually, physically, and mentally. So, the Islamic religion and all of the aforementioned areas can go hand-inhand. In fact, we are advised by the Prophet Muhammad(SAW) to seek education and go on endeavors to increase knowledge in all areas: The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim. (AlTirmidhi, Hadith 74). Acquire knowledge and impart it to the people.(Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 107). I have adapted this article from a lecture given by Dr. Islam Fayoumi, a medical doctor in New Jersey.
Some Quick Background Information In short, Muslims believe the Holy Quran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad(SAW)(the last prophet sent by Allah(SWT)) by Allah(SWT) through the angel Gabriel, over a period of 23 years, through a series of revelations, beginning in the year 610 BCE. Throughout this, these revelations were memorized, checked with the Prophet, and compiled into the Holy Quran, by the Prophet Muhammad’s(SAW) companions just as they were revealed to him over 1,400 years ago, ie, the revelations have not been changed in any way. The Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad(SWT), who did not know how to read or write, but was given the power of knowledge by the Almighty Allah(SWT). He was the last prophet, and came after Jesus(AS) with the same message given to all of humanity throughout time by Allah(SWT). Because they were intended to put some order to the civilizations in the past, it is a way of life, in all aspects of life. The Hadith, are a series of books, which detail the ways, traditions, and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), so we have this to follow as an expansion of the Holy Quran. Why does Allah(SWT) use the words “We,” “Us”? Here is a detailed and clear explanation by Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, found on Islam101.com, and the founders of IslamTomorrow.com. The Qur’an says very clearly that there is only One God, Allah. “There is no god but Allah” is the basic principle of Islam. There is no ambiguity about this fact in the Qur’an and there are hundreds of ayat or verses of the Qur’an that make this point very clear. Belief in more than one God is Shirk (polytheism) and a major sin according to the Qur’an. Whenever in the Qur’an Allah is mentioned in the third person there are always singular pronouns used, such as He, him (Huwa or Hu). Whenever Allah is spoken to in the second person there are also singular pronouns, such as Thou, Thine and Thee (Anta, Ka). How-
ever only in the first person some times the pronouns I, My or Mine (Ana, Iyaya, ya) are used and sometimes We, Us and Our (Nahnu, Na) are used. This is a style of speech. Sometime the speaker says I and sometime says we. We also use that in our conversations. In the Qur’an you will see that often the first person singular such as I or My is used, when Allah speaks about His love, care and closeness and forgiveness for His servants. In a similar way the first person plural is often used when Allah speaks about His power, majesty, glory, great deeds or when He speaks about His anger and wrath for the sinners and criminals. (This is, of course, the general use. Sometime the reverse is also the case, depending on the context of the Surah.) See for example the verses where the first person singular is used: “When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me: that they may walk in the right way.” (alBaqarah 2:186) Or “Verily, I am Allah: there is no god but I: so serve thou Me (only), and establish regular prayer for celebrating My praise.” (Taha 20:14) or “But, without doubt, I am (also) He that forgives again and again, to those who repent, believe, and do right, who, in fine, are ready to receive true guidance.” (Taha 20:82) (From Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi) The term "We" in the Bible and in the Quran is the royal "We" - as an example when the king says, "We decree the following declaration, etc." or, "We are not amused." It does not indicate plural; rather it displays the highest position in the language. English, Persian, Hebrew, Arabic and many languages provide for the usage of "We" for the
royal figure. It is helpful to note the same dignity is given to the person being spoken to in English. We say to someone, "You ARE my friend." Yet the person is only one person standing there. Why did we say "ARE" instead of "IS"? The noun "you" is singular and should therefore be associated with a singular verb for the state of being, yet we say, "are." The same is true for the speaker when referring to himself or herself. We say, "I am" and this is also in the royal plural, instead of saying, "I is." When Allah uses the term "HE" in Quran it is similar to the above answer. The word "He" is used when referring to Allah out of respect, dignity and high status. It would be totally inappropriate to use the word "it" and would not convey the proper understanding of Allah being who Allah is; Alive, Compassionate, Forgiving, Patient, Loving, etc. It is not correct to associate the word "He" with gender, as this would be comparing Allah to the creation, something totally against the teaching of Quran. (From Sheikh Yusuf Estes’ http:// www.godallah.com/index.php) A Miracle When a miracle occurs to a person, he or she is moved by that miracle. But if it is not written down or recorded, as time goes on, it becomes a fable because it is changed. Allah(SWT) states that This Qur'an is not such as can be produced by other than Allah; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book - wherein there is no doubt - from the Lord of the worlds (Surah 10: Verse 37). We believe that Jesus(AS) came with a book, the bible(though we believe that the modern bible has been changed). Some of these changes have been by well-meaning people, who were trying to make ideas clear by injecting their ideas into it, but when you do that you risk changing ideas and meanings because humans are fallible. For example, if you read the bible and the gospel, you’ll notice that they speak of the same things, but in different ways, and
sometimes changing some ideas. This is where the Holy Quran is unique. It is the miracle of Prophet Muhammad(SAW), which is a lasting miracle. Other miracles Muslims believe are the miracles of Jesus(AS), among them which was the ability to cure diseases(during a time when people were trying to cure illnesses), and giving life to inanimate objects(at a time when the Jews refused the idea of a soul) with the grace of Allah(SWT), Abraham’s(AS) being thrown into the fire and escaping untouched, is another miracle, among others. So the miracles of Islam are all of these collectively. You’ll notice that each of these miracles is specific to the people of that time. How do we interpret scientific statements in the Quran? One thing to remember is that the Quran is not a book of science, it doesn’t give you every scientific occurrence, it was not meant to do so. For example if you mention something about geology, and go to the Quran for more information on the subject, that is not the purpose of the Quran. The Quran is for spiritual and practical guidance on different subjects. It has elements in it whose intention is to show that this Book was not written by a human, but by the Creator of the world. Allah tells us In time, we shall show them our signs [ayatina] in the utmost horizons [of the universe] and within their inner selves until it will be manifest unto them that it is the Truth. Doth not thy Lord suffice, since He is Witness over all things (Surah 41: Verse 53). These miracles were done to raise people’s faith, not to prove that Allah(SWT) created the world, nor to prove that the Quran is the word of Allah(SWT) because of these things. It is not essential that you know the scientific things in the Quran, but if you know them, you will be that much more in awe of The Writer of this Book- Allah(SWT). There are no inconsistencies between the Quran and modern factual science, meaning the next scientific discovery will not contradict something in the Quran, and the Quran will not contradict anything, from the beginning of time to the end. In Surah 36:Verse 40, The Quran states It is not permitted to the Sun to catch up the Moon, nor
can the Night outstrip the Day: Each (just) swims along in an orbit. If one says, “this occurs in reality and we have evidence, so the Quran must be correct.” This is not the correct way to think because it is implying the Quran is correct based on what happens- this demeans the Quran. You are saying the Quran is right because science is right. With that, we should also remember that the Quran should not be used to challenge scientific ideas, because the Quran does not detail every scientific idea. Science has made many great strides over years, and it is amazing that the Quran, written over fourteen hundred years ago, still remains congruent with it. The Quran, may not have talked about certain topics, but it never contradicted those ideas. It may not necessarily mean a certain idea exactly, but is consistent with them. In essence, many people call these the “miracles of the Holy Quran.”
Below are examples of consistencies between science and The Holy Quran. Iron is one of the most important metals of the world, 35% of the earth is made up of iron, and most of it located in the earth’s crust. You can’t live without iron. For example you need it to make up your red blood cells. In the Quran, Surah 57 is Al-Hadid, Iron, and the atomic weight of iron happens to be 57g/mol. Some might not find this amazing, but the accuracy is pretty interesting. Allah(SWT) states in Surah 57: Verse 25, We sent down iron. Scientists recently have discovered that iron did not exist during the beginning of earth, and they say that it struck earth in the form of some kind of a meteor or some other phenomenon, during the beginning of time. It takes 4 times the heat of the sun to form iron, so it had to be created somewhere outside of earth, because earth’s atmosphere is to cold for it to be formed here. They didn’t know this over 1400 years ago when the Quran was revealed. Surah21:Verse 30 We made from water every living thing. We know that life also cannot exist with-
out water. For example, when scientists look for signs of life in outer space, they look for water. Years ago, stars meant a lot of people, some worshipped them, and others studied them, because they were always there, night after night. In many places in the Quran, when Allah(SWT) wants to swear(to make a solemn statement, or state something emphatically) in the Quran, Allah(SWT) would say for example, by the greatness of my creation, or I swear by the position of the stars, not by the stars themselves, and would say and it is a great swear if only if you knew. The reason is, and scientists have said that the “stars” that we see are not actually there. The light that is emitted from a star takes millions of years to reach our eyes, and the light that we see now are from stars that existed long ago, which is the stars unchanging position. If Allah(SWT), were to make a statement “by the stars” people would say “by what stars?” because they do not exist. There is no star, so Allah(SWT) says by the position of the stars. Allah(SWT) also swears by the ocean that is on fire which is consistent with the fact that deep underneath the ocean, in the earth’s core is the hot mantle, fire, or lava. Most of the Quran’s words are direct and have one meaning, but some are open to interpretation, but maybe one, two, or three similar interpretations, so fire can mean fire, lava, volcanoes, or something hot, which in the future scientists may know for sure. Surah 27: Verse 88 states: Thou seest the mountains and thinkest them firmly fixed: but they shall pass away as the clouds pass away: (such is) the artistry of Allah, who disposes of all things in perfect order: for he is well acquainted with all that ye do. We know that because the earth moves about its axis, and the clouds move with the earth’s atmosphere, therefore the clouds and mountains, all move together. In Surah78: Verse 6-7, the Quran states: Have We not made the earth as a bed, and the mountains as pegs? This goes with the fact that underside of mountains are firmly anchored deep within the earth’s crust like pegs. Allah(SWT) also states that, we will show them destruction in the earth, directly from what their hands have done, meaning the state of the world will be altered by the negative actions of people, and the earth will show signs of damage. This can
be interpreted in a couple of ways: some say an example of this is global warming, others say it is polluting water and the death of those that depend on it. Allah(SWT) also states in many verses of the Quran that Allah(SWT) created the earth and spread it endlessly. An endless shape is round, or egg shaped, the way the earth is shaped. It is amazing that sailors just found this out a few centuries ago, when this was stated in the Quran over 1400 years ago In addition, scientists have found that the earth is not a perfect circle, but more of an ellipse due to gravitational forces. The Big Bang theory states that the creation of the universe started with a condensed form, and expanded, and continues to expand from some area or center. Modern science does not have an explanation for what occurred before this. Surah 21: Verse 30 states: Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation), before we clove them asunder? This is not to say that the Quran predicted the Big Bang, but the Quran is consistent with science. In the Holy Quran, Allah speaks about the stages of embryonic development. Remember, the Quran was revealed long before modern science knew this. We created man from an extract of clay. Then We made him as a drop in a place of settlement, firmly fixed. Then We made the drop into an alaqah (leech, suspended thing, blood clot), then We made the alaqah into a mudghah (chewed substance)(Surah23:12-14). The embryo at this stage obtains nutrients from the blood of the mother, similar to a leech, which feeds on the blood of others. Another meaning of the word alaqah is “blood clot.” The appearance of the embryo and its sacs during the alaqah stage is similar to that of a blood clot. Also during this stage, the blood in the embryo does not circulate until the end of the third week. Thus, the embryo at this stage is like a clot of blood. The next stage mentioned in the verse is the mudghah stage. The Arabic word mudghah means “chewed substance.” The embryo at the mudghah stage acquires the appearance of a chewed substance due to the somites at the back of the embryo. Seest thou not that Allah makes the clouds move gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a heap? - then wilt thou see rain issue forth from their midst. And He sends down from the sky mountain masses (of clouds) wherein is hail: He strikes therewith whom He pleases and He turns it away from whom He pleases, the vivid flash of His lightning well-nigh blinds
the sight (Quran, 24:43). It is known that before it rains, clouds move, gather, and accumulate into stacks, which can be seen especially during a thunder storm. Or (the unbelievers’ state) is like the darkness in a deep sea. It is covered by waves, above which are waves, above which are clouds. Darknesses, one above another. If a man stretches out his hand, he cannot see it (Quran, 24:40). This goes hand in hand with the way the ocean is laid out- it is made up of layers of waves. Remember, Allah(SWT) tells us to seek knowledge all areas of life. Nothing that science will show, will ever contradict the Quran. Read: In the name of your Lord Who creates - creates man from a clot. Read: And your Lord is the Most Bounteous, Who teaches by the use of the pen, teaches man that which he knew not. Quran Surah 96:Verse 1-5. Quotes from The Holy Quran are in italics SWT: Subhana Wa Ta’ala(Glorified and Praised be He) SAW: Sallallahu Alaihi WaSallam(Peace and blessings upon him) AS: Alaihi WaSallam(Blessings upon him) "O my Lord! Forgive my sins and my ignorance and my exceeding the limits of righteousness in all my deeds and what you know better than I. O Allah. Forgive my mistakes, those done intentionally or out of my ignorance or without or with seriousness, and I confess that all such mistakes are done by me. O Allah! Forgive my sins of the past and of the future with I did openly or secretly. You are the One Who makes the things go before and You are the One Who delays them, and You are the Omnipotent." If you have any questions, relating to this topic, or any other medical topics please feel free to email me: email@example.com References The Holy Quran: 2.913. Quran Viewer by Jamal Al-Nasir http://www.islam-guide.com/frm-ch1-1-c.htm http://www.science4islam.com/index.aspx? act=da&id=105 http://www.islam101.com/tauheed/AllahWE.htm http://www.islamtomorrow.com/ http://www.godallah.com/index.php http://www.muslimheritage.com/timeline/default.cfm
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Interview with Asma Ahmad Board Member, Former Board President, Former Editor in Chief Interview by Mariam Al-Kalby
Give a brief bio about yourself: I was born and raised internationally; I have a background in software engineering, but I have always had a strong interested in journalism and empowering American Muslims through the pen. What made you start the newspaper? In 2005, when we started the newspaper, there was a large void in this community. Southern California is home to hundreds of thousands of Muslims, yet there was not any media source or newspaper catering to this population. A group of Muslim activists began this project to make a difference by empowering the Muslim community with its own media outlet. How did you start it? Realizing the void, a group of activists got together to begin the free monthly publication "Southern California InFocus". The first issue came out in February 2005. I took on the job of editor, which of course for a small business starting out meant I was everything for the organization - accountant, advertising representative, reporter, layout editor, manager, etc. We were able to register the business and the first issue was printed and distributed across the region. What were the struggles? Alhamdulillah, the community responded very well to the IFN and the idea of having our own newspaper outlet. Within a couple of months of starting printing, InFocus was covered in the LA Times, OC Register, and OC Weekly. The challenges of course, as with any other newspaper, initially, was getting enough advertisements to sustain the operation, getting quality Muslims writers who were able to write journalistically, and of course, getting all our work done with limited resources.
What advantages did you gain from starting it? For American Muslims in the area, it provided a voice to record our wonderful history, contributions, and a platform to discuss issues of importance to us in the way that we wanted to - something not provided in mainstream media. For the community at large, InFocus provides a window into the Muslim community right here in Southern California. Who is the newspaper targeted for and whose its main audience? The newspaper is targeted towards both American Muslims and the community at large. Since its inception, it has been sent to a few thousand political leaders, interfaith activists, and media professionals to connect them with who our community really is. How can people support the newspaper and get more info about it? We encourage our community to subscribe, advertise, and get involved in IFN by way of writing, taking pictures, or volunteering any of their time and talents. Alhamdulillah, IFN has a very large readership base, not only in Southern California but across the nation and even the world through our website. To get involved, email us firstname.lastname@example.org. Who else is helping you with newspaper? Currently, IFN comprises of a hired editor and writers who freelance for us. Alhamdulillah, we have the support of large community organizations as well. What kind of aspects does the newspaper cover? As the focus of the newspaper has been Southern California, most importantly, it is serving to document the rich
history of Muslims in the Southland â€“ past and present. Through feature stories, mosque profiles, interviews of individuals who have made a difference, and in-depth coverage of news stories affecting Muslims, InFocus is the first localized effort in Southern California to record the American Muslim experience. How has the newspaper transformed over the years? Alhamdulillah, IFN has grown tremendously since it first came out. We have a much larger writer base, much more name recognition, and through our website, we reach more than a 100,000 readers every month. Alhamdulillah, editors such as Muneer Adhami, Saaqib Rangoonwala, and most recently Roqaya Ashmawey have dedicated time and effort to really produce a quality publication with quailty writing and honest, effective, and professional reporting. What do you hope to accomplish with the newspaper in the future? It has always been our goal to take the newspaper national. Although American Muslims in different US cities might have their own small media outlets, we are at a point in our history where we need a large national newspaper which can be used as a source as mainstream media - where we are able to story like it is, in our way. Any other comments: Our website is at: www.infocusnews.net
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