JUNE 2012 - ISSUE 4
Taqwa: The Essence of Ramadan
Let’s Talk Marriage and Divorce You’re Invited to The BBQ of the Summer!
So Perhaps You May Be Grateful...
www.m ercym ission.ca
Message from National Manager Mercy Mission Monthly Newsletter 4: June
AlKauthar Institute Celebrating Our 6th Anniversary
‘Do the Right Thing’ A Message From Sh. Tawfique Choudhury
Building Communities Upon Knowledge and Action
Let’s Talk Marriage and Divorce
You’re Invited to The BBQ of The Summer!
Taqwa: The Essence of Ramadan
10 So, Perhaps
14 You May Be Grateful…
Get Ready for RamadanTV
Mercy Mission Monthly Newsletter 4: June Bismillah hir’Rahman ir’Raheem Assalamualaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh brothers and sisters,
pray this message finds you in the best of Iman and health insha’Allah.
It gives me great pleasure to present the fourth edition of the Mercy Mission newsletter. Alhamdulillah, the Mercy Mission team has accomplished many objectives in the last month; the Women’s Resource Centre has begun weekly Tafsir sessions, the New Muslim Care team was able to provide over 1000 kits to New Muslims, and the AlKauthar team executed four beneficial courses in four weekends, alhamdulillah! May Allah ‘azza wa jal bestow barakah on the teams’ efforts, ameen! As the blessed month of Ramadan approaches, we are reminded to renew our intentions and be consistent in our good deeds. May Allah ‘azza wa jal accept all the deeds we do for His Sake, ameen! Please continue to support your communities, support the efforts of Mercy Mission, and remember your brothers and sisters of Islam in your Dua’s during the blessed month of Ramadan. JazakumAllahu Khayran, Wassalamualaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
National Manager – Mercy Mission Canada
Building Communities Upon Knowledge and Action When the Muslims fled to Abyssinia during the time of the Prophet alayhi wa-salatu wa-salam, the Quraish came after them and prized their way into the court of the King to make their case to take the Muslims back to Mecca to be persecuted.
By: Kashif Shabir
he King of Abyssinia summoned the Muslims to respond. Jafar bin Abi Talib then spoke his most famous words:
“O King, we were a people in a state of ignorance and immorality, worshipping idols and eating the flesh of dead animals, committing all sorts of abomination and shameful deeds, breaking the ties of kinship, treating guests badly, and the strong among us exploited the weak. We remained in this state until Allah sent us a Prophet, one of our own people, whose lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness, and integrity were well-known to us. He called us to worship Allah alone, and to renounce the stones and the idols which we and our ancestors used to worship besides Allah. He commanded us to speak the truth, to honour our promises, to be kind to our relations, to be helpful to our neighbours, to cease all forbidden acts, to abstain from bloodshed, to avoid obscenities and false witness, and not to appropriate an orphan’s property nor slander chaste women. He ordered us to worship Allah alone and not to associate anything with Him, to uphold Salat, to give Zakaah, and fast in the month of Ramadan. We believed in him and what he brought to us from Allah, and we follow him in what he has asked us to do and we keep away from what he forbade us from. Thereupon, O King, our people attacked us, imposed the severest punishment on us, to make us renounce our religion and take us back to the old immorality and the worship of idols. They oppressed us, made life intolerable for us, and obstructed us from observing our religion. So we left for your country, choosing you before anyone else, desiring your protection and hoping to live in justice and in peace in your midst.” When the Quraish failed to provide a counter argument, the King and his courtiers welcomed the Muslims to practise their religion in their country and offer them the protection they needed.
We look at our communities today and I think it would be fair to presume that such a claim about Islam and Muslims to those in authority would be hard to defend. As Muslims we are failing to add value to the communities we live in.
UPDATES FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE:
Allah has blessed us with a way of life that is pure and just, yet we are known for all the opposites of what Jafar mentioned above. If one of us claimed to describe Muslims in such a manner today we would be ridiculed and given example after example of how we are NOT what it says on the tin. The Quraish could not do that because the Muslims practised what they preached.
Malaysia – BeingME KL sold-out 2 weeks prior to the conference. Women’s shelter now open and taking applications.
The knowledge we learn, in an AlKauthar classroom or from a presenter on Ramadan TV or a speaker at a Being ME conference, should not be empty words. Knowledge itself mandates action that accompanies it, and we want everyone associated with Mercy Mission and its projects to be known for it. ‘Excellence in Knowledge & Action’ is not a marketing slogan, but a driver for everything we do. The Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalaam said: “The foot of the servant will not move on the day of judgement until he is asked about four things; on his life and how he spent it; on his knowledge and what he did for it; on his wealth and where he earned it and how he spent it; and on his body and how he utilised it.” [Tirmithi] Mercy Mission envisions Muslims as being the agents of change in their communities, to benefit humanity. Through our projects and services we want to enable Muslim communities to be Pious, Self-Sufficient, Confident and Selfless. We believe that if we can do this, the world will be a better place for everyone.
Australia – 3 courses delivered in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Cafe 36 now open at the Madinah in Melbourne.
Canada – AlKauthar Canada delivered 4 courses in 4 weekends. First phase of BeingME tickets sales have commenced. India – Admissions for the Guardian School now open. AlKauthar course delivered in Mumbai and representatives from across the country attended. UK – Successful completion of the second annual sisters’ conference earmarked with the delivery of BeingME in 2 UK cities in one weekend. National Zakat Foundation London Shelter confirmed. Bangladesh – Over 450 people signed up for the next course with a seating capacity of 400. School building refurbishing on-going. Tutors’ Choice Coaching Centre set to launch. France – AlKauthar launched in France with its first course scheduled in June. Indonesia – First AlKauthar course conducted recently by Sheikh Tawfique.
Celebrating Our 6th Anniversary One of our most exciting projects earmarking our 6th year of success is our newest city, Jakarta, Indonesia.
t was just 7 months ago at the A to Z of Love and Mercy Course in Penang, Malaysia, that a few brothers approached Sajid Hussain, Mercy Mission Manager for Malaysia, to see if together they could help take AlKauthar to Indonesia. Truly Allah is the Best of all Planners. Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world with a population of 204,000,000, with 80% of its inhabitants identifying themselves as Muslim. As the brothers in Penang explained however, the need for those to represent Islam in its true light in Indonesia is dire. As discussions developed with Brothers Rizky, Aji, and Sister Melita, we soon discovered that the young, working professionals were desperate for an education provider of the deen like AlKauthar Institute, and that the community out there were itching for an AlKauthar experience. During a free lecture tour introducing the
AlKauthar Institute to the Indonesian community, Shaykh Tawfique was met with a very warm reception masha’Allah, and we were able to announce AlKauthar’s first weekend course taking place in Indonesia: Mercy to the Worlds – Seerah of the Makkah phase, on 28th of April 2012 by Shaykh Tawfique. We ask Allah to bless our efforts and help us to help the Muslim community to increase our striving for excellence in knowledge and action. Ameen.
General Manager - AlKauthar Institute
AlKauthar Institute First Course in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Let’s Talk Marriage and Divorce AlKauthar Institute Hosts “A-Z of Love and Mercy” in Vancouver “Today, I’m going to marry you all. Tomorrow, I will divorce you all,” Sheikh Musleh Khan commences on an early Saturday morning. By: Dharra Budicha
ver 100 students from the Lower Mainland registered for A-Z of Love and Mercy, one of the many weekend-intensive, university-level courses the AlKauthar Institute provides across five continents for people seeking to enrich their lives by gaining detailed and
analytical knowledge of various faculties within Islamic Studies. Held on May 26-27, 2012, at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, the course A-Z of Love and Mercy, which specializes in the fiqh of marriage and divorce, was taught by Sheikh Musleh Khan, a Saudiborn, Toronto-raised marriage counselor and AlKauthar instructor. Elaborating on the many elements and principles of marriage and divorce prescribed by the Shariah, Sheikh Musleh Khan steered students in this essential course into learning about the importance of marriage and divorce
A Jurist in the Making Date: 7 - 8 July 2012
in Islam, modern methods and types of marriage (and their rulings), the aftermath of divorce (such as child custody laws), the Islamic manner of divorce and annulment (khula), the rulings of illegal marriage, zina, as well as their consequences, and marriage contracts, conditions, and invalidators.
Location: Toronto, Canada
Sheikh Musleh Khan also delved into the social and cultural issues many Muslims face pertaining to marriage and divorce, and provided an opportunity for all students to ask questions, clear misconceptions, and implement newly acquired knowledge into their daily lives. One student said, “I am so happy that I attended [the] course; I am now equipped with accurate Islamic knowledge on the Fiqh of Marriage and Divorce. Insha’Allah, I will now go into marriage with [an] understanding of the rulings”. The AlKauthar Institute will be hosting its third course in Vancouver in mid-September, Insha’Allah. For more information on the AlKauthar Institute and their courses, visit www.alkauthar.org or email Vancouver@alkauthar.org.
Pillars of Mercy Date: 7 - 8 July 2012 Location: Ottawa, Canada
Taqwa: The Essence of Ramadan To benefit from something, you need to understand its essence, its main objective. Ramadan likewise has its essence, the pursuit of Taqwa.
By: Shahzad Mustafa
s Allah azza wa jal says in the Quran, “O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you as it has been prescribed for those before you, so that you may attain taqwa.”(2:183) Thus the study of Taqwa – its meaning,
its reality, how to gain it and where we stand – should become our focus as we prepare to enter the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is like a school. If we’re not careful, we may pass through this school, attend each class, go through the motions and “graduate” but really miss the true essence of this experience. As the Prophet (saws) said, “Whoever does not abandon falsehood in word and ac-
tion, then Allah the Mighty and Majestic has no need that he should leave his food and drink.” [Bukhari]
Meaning and Importance of Taqwa Taqwa is an intelligent fear of Allah – fear of His punishment and displeasure. The medieval soldier uses his shield to protect him from the blows of the enemy’s sword. Taqwa likewise becomes the Muslim`s shield, protecting him or her from sin, anger and desires. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said, “Fasting is a shield which a servant protects himself from the Fire.” [Reported by Ahmed, saheeh] The attitude of a muttaqi is perfectly illustrated in the following conversation: It was reported that Umar bin Khattab radhiAllahu ‘anhu asked Ubay ibn Kaab radhiAllahu ‘anhu about Taqwa. Ubay said, “Have you ever walked on a path that has thorns on it?” Umar said, “Yes.” Ubay asked, “What did you do then?” Umar replied, “I tucked up my garment and did my best (to avoid the thorns).” Ubay said, “That is taqwa.”
Building Taqwa in Ramadan Ramadan is a focused period of time during which the Muslim refrains from ordinary worldly needs and pleasures, focuses his or her devotion on Allah, practices charity and seeks the forgiveness and mercy of Al-
lah. Is this not symbolic of how our entire lives must be? To make our primary mission in life to seek the pleasure of Allah and eschew materialism? To serve others for the sake of Allah while seeking forgiveness for our sins? Indeed this intense period of training that Ramadan gives us prepares us to lead lives of people with taqwa.
Taqwa Audit Taqwa in practice is a mindset. The muttaqoon prioritize and plan their lives in ways different than others. So think about the following questions: •
What are the areas of my life that I fear will be held to account when I meet Allah?
Where do I compromise my Deen?
What sins do I keep repeating?
Am I improving in my ibaadah? Or am I stagnant?
What aspects of my character do I find distasteful? How can I improve?
Which people in my life are not getting the rights that are due to them? My parents? My spouse? My neighbours? My relatives? My friends?
What commitments and promises am I not honouring?
Start thinking about these questions. Make a list. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wasallam was in the habit of preparing for Ramadan by fasting some of Sha’baan as well. Maybe that’s a good start for us too.
YOU’RE INVITED T O
THE BBQ OF THE SUMMER!
Come on And don’t forget to br e! Come all! ing your family and fr
July 15th 2012 at Erind ale Park, the New Musli m Care Social events tea will be holding a BBQ m inshaAllah! The event promises to be a wond time with lots of deliciou erf ul s food to satisfy all appe tites, and of course, gre at company!
You definitely don’t w
ant to miss out on this
One of the biggest chall enges reported by new Muslims is feeling a se tion. To combat this pr nse of isolaoblem, the New Muslim Care team is working ea wards supporting our ne rnestly tow sisters and brothers, and is utilizing a holistic in caring for them. approach
We host regular commun ity events where new (an d not so new!) Muslims together and socialize can come in a fun, inclusive envir on me nt with an Islamic ethos socials are designed to . These be welcoming to every one inshaAllah, so pleas and bring your family an e co me out d friends too!
We would love to see al l
For more information,
of you there!
and if you’d like to help out, please contact: Ibrahim.Parmar@mercy mission.ca
CHECK US OUT:
http://newmuslimcare .com/ http://www.facebook.co m/NewMuslim Care
So, Perhaps You May Be Grateful… Reflections on the Weekly Tafsir Sessions I sat listening to sister Ghazala today, mesmerized by the explanations of the verses in Surat al Baqarah.
he virtues of Surat al Baqarah are many. Abu Hurayrah narrates that RasulAllah salallahu alayhi wasallam once sent an expedition force and asked them how much Quran they had memorized. He came to the youngest amongst them who stated, “I have memorized such and such surah and also Surat al Baqarah.” RasulAllah salallahu alayhi wasallam responded, “You have memorized Surat al Baqarah?” And he replied “Yes.” To this, the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasallam said, “Then you are their commander.” (Tirmidhi, Nisai, Ibn Majah) This is the surah in which Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is speaking to the Bani Israel. He is asking them to remember His favours upon them. Over and over, Allah reminds them
of different occurrences in which they had no help, and He saved them, blessed, and protected them. When they were enslaved by the Pharoah, it was Allah that took them out from their bondage and split the sea to rescue them; when they were travelling in the heat of the desert, Allah shaded them with pleasant clouds; when they were hungry, they were sent al manna wa salwa from the heavens. Through it all, they continued to disobey Him, and He continued to forgive them, remind them of His blessings and give them one more chance to get it right. Is this starting to sound like someone you know? No, we are not referring to those yahoodis, or that friend you feel sorry for because she has lost her way, or that uncle that cheats and misuses his family and friends. We’re actually speaking about YOU. How many blessings has Allah favoured upon you? How many times
have you turned away from Him? How many chances has He given you? In our class, our teacher reminded us that these verses did not come down for those yahoodis. Rather, these verses are a warning for us. If you think the Muslim ummah today is different from the example of the Bani Israel, think again. In reality, the similarities are actually quite shocking. We have also been given the Furqan (the Quran, which is the criterion that sets right from wrong), just as the Bani Israel were given the Torah. We have also been bestowed numerous blessings and Allah has protected us over and over again, just as He had done so for the Bani Israel. Similarly, we also continue to turn away from His blessing, just as they did many years ago. So dear brothers and sisters, “Don’t exchange what is better for what is worse” (2:61); don’t be so preoccupied with this dunya that you have no time for Allah and the Hereafter. The things we busy ourselves with
every day and work so hard for: our wealth, our jobs and families - do you think this is the purpose Allah ‘azza wa jal sent us to this world? No, these are just a means to a greater end; our real purpose for which we were created is to worship Allah alone, in the manner that He deserves to be worshipped, submitting to His will and spreading His deen to those around us. Allah will ask each one of us about how we used the blessings He has granted us, let’s not be ashamed to face Him on the day when we will have no one else to turn to. Take a minute to be grateful for all that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has given you and realize how much more are His blessings compared to how little is your gratefulness and your worship of Him ‘azza wa jal. Make an intention today to do an extra good deed, an extra act of ibadah and spend some more time working towards your akhirah, an end which is eternal, and focus a little less on your dunya, which is merely temporary.
Weekly Tafsir Sessions is a project of the Women’s Resource Center. They are held every Monday from 11 am to 12 pm at the Madinah Center, and can also be attended online. Don’t be left out! To register and find out more, please visit http://events.mercymissionworld.org/ and view ‘Weekly Tafsir Sessions.’
Ramadan TV is a unique proposition designed specifically for the Muslim viewer in the blessed month of Ramadan.
t is brought to you by Mercy Mission World; a community empowerment organization that works with excellence to pursue the vision of the beloved Messenger of Allah, Upon Whom Be Peace.
Our focus is to see, a world where every Muslim is able to live faithfully to their belief, building an exemplary Islamic community that benefits humanity. The channel is designed to showcase a diverse portfolio of shows, which reach out to a diverse range of Muslims from across the ethnic, social and religious spectrum, and help them increase in god consciousness. The channel is now in its third year, and is one of the most popular channels amongst young people, with nearly 30, 000 supporters on Facebook alone! Join Us for Ramadan 2012. Tune in to www.ramadan.tv to watch online!
Sh. Alaa Elsayed and Sh. Navaid Aziz getting ready for show time.
iERA Called the World Back to Allah.
Uncle Jawad getting in gear for Little Explorers
Sheikh Dr Abdul Majid with brother Akhter.
Hey, top secret!
Behind the scenes. What does this button do?
Uncle Jawad going strong even at 2am to accomodate international viewers.
Wrapping up for Eid.
Weâ€™re Looking! Alhamdulillah, every month the Mercy Mission team releases a newsletter to the public, and weâ€™re looking for innovative and creative minds to join our team! If you are passionate about writing and are looking for a way to platform your creativity, please contact: email@example.com We look forward to hearing from you!
Published on Jun 30, 2012