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From The Editor’s Desk – September 2015

Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh, A Hillbilly Muslim in Carrol Mitchem’s Court .............. 08,09 Become a Peace Partner ........................................................ 06 Green Burial ........................................................................... 07 Muslim American Innovation ........................................ 12,13 Shahada Stories ...................................................................... 10 The Sunnah of Vinegar ......................................................... 05 September -2015, Volume 1, Issue 9 ISSN 2377 - 9624 Publisher & Editor-in-Chief: Mohamed Haroon Sait Editor: Duston Barto Design & Layout: Mubin M.K. All content Copyright © 2015 Muslim American, Inc. except where otherwise noted. Please contact the editor or publisher directly to obtain reprint permission and guidelines. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the advertisers or individual contributing writers and not necessarily those of the editor or publisher of this magazine. This magazine is published monthly. Article submissions are welcome, email: Editor@MuslimAmerican.com Advertising inquiries should email: Ads@MuslimAmerican.com

Muslim American 400 Arrowhead Dr East Charlotte, NC 28213

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Phone: (704) 597-5424 FAX: (704) 597-9310 Email: info@MuslimAmerican.com

As our children go back to school, we are reminded of how important knowledge is. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, God will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge. The inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and (even) the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man. The superiority of the learned over the devout is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave (no monetary inheritance), they leave only knowledge, and he who takes it takes an abundant portion.” - Sunan of Abu-Dawood, Hadith 1631 We should seek wisdom on all topics from religion to science to politics and issues of the day.

May Allah’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you all,

Duston Barto

Editor, Muslim American magazine Subscribe to our upcoming digital edition at:

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The Sunnah of Vinegar Tori Dominski

known is the benefits vinegar has for people with Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes makes it difficult for a person’s cells to accept insulin (a hormone) that helps absorb and process the sugar from the foods they eat into energy. When the cells do not accept the insulin, sugar becomes saturated in the bloodstream and this can, over time, lead to nerve damage. However, a small amount of vinegar (5 teaspoons mixed with water) taken by individuals with type 2 diabetes a couple minutes before a meal seemed to make the cells more accepting of the insulin and lowered the previously high As reported by Jabir: “I entered the amounts present in their bloodstreams house of the Prophet with him and before. there was some bread and vinegar. The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Eat; what a Thanks to its high acid content, vinegar good condiment is vinegar.’” (Sunan an- also can help women and the lactoseintolerant to absorb more calicium from Nasa’i 3796) calicium-abundant dark greens without putting dairy products into their systems. Long before modern medicinal research proved its benefits, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) heralded vinegar as a food that was preferable and good for us. In small amounts, it can be taken as a digestive cleansing agent, as an aid for those living with diabetes (it can increase sensitivity to insulin and facilitate its release into the body), and can be useful in many other ways. Again, Prophet Muhammad informed us hundreds of years ago about the goodness of vinegar before any tests or studies were conducted by medical professionals!

add vinegar to your diet is amazing, alhamdulillah. It is a better low-calorie alternative to mayonnaise for flavor in several dishes. You can also add some on vegetables and salad for taste instead of relying on other dressings with unnecessary fats and calories. So generally, for anything you would like to dip or drizzle over another food, vinegar could be a much healthier option! The sunnah of vinegar is a simple yet very beneficial habit to adopt. If you have any medical conditions or questions about adding vinegar to your diet, please consult a doctor, inshaa’Allah, before making any changes to ensure that the vinegar will not interact negatively with your condition or medications you are currently taking. Otherwise - happy eating!

Despite its benefits, vinegar should not be ingested in large amounts due to its previously mentioned high acidity. Drinking large amounts of vinegar could cause heartburn to intensify and could also damage the enamel of the teeth. It is best to mix or dilute the ideal amount of 1 to 3 teaspoons of vinegar by mixing them with a slightly greater amount of water.

There are many uses for vinegar as remedies or supplements for specific ailments, but this list is inconclusive and not always backed by scientific research or studies. Here, we will focus on what has been documented and researched. The ease with Perhaps the newest and most well- which you can To advertise call (704) 597-5424

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Become a Peace Partner Naomi S. Feaste

is Domestic Violence against women than just hate it; we must become better where, in the USA, a woman is beaten agents of change. every 15 seconds by a current or former intimate partner. [US Dept. Justice Statistics, 2006] Become a Peace Partner in your own way on September 21st. This state of affairs is unacceptable as it insults individual human dignity and threatens the future and well-being of humankind. For this reason, Cultural Enrichment Services, Inc. of Raleigh is calling on everyone (especially community The U.N. International Day of Peace is an leaders) to pause on September 21st annual event that reminds us that peace is and acknowledge the importance of a fundamental state of being desired by peace. The best way would be to publicly all human beings. address violence and promote peace The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states, “no country is immune to the devastating physical and emotional effects of violence. Each year it results in over 1.6 million deaths worldwide; over 90% of which occur in [developing] countries. It is the leading causes of death in all parts of the world for those ages 15 to 44.” One example of this violence

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among your community on a regular basis. Take action in your community! Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) tells us,

“Whosoever of you sees an injustice, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then speak against it with his voice; and if he is not able to do so, then hate it with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” Let’s do more

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Green Burial: the Last Good Deed Linda “iLham” Barto

Say, “Truly, my prayer, my service of sacrifice, my life, and my death are for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds” (Surah 6: 162).

Recently my husband Tom and I visited a green burial, wildlife preserve. Ramsey Creek Preserve in South Carolina is the first of its kind in the USA. Not only are burials natural, but also the forested preserve supports native plants and wildlife, including bears, deer, raccoons, bobcats, and opossums. It is 120 acres that include hiking trails, a creek with a water fall, a picnic area, and an interfaith chapel. It is a unique place where death is celebrated with life. The human body, as with all living bodies of creation, was designed to return to the earth in a beautiful continuation of energy. A green burial respects the natural process of decay and emphasizes the “dust to dust” aspect that is often heard in funeral speech but seldom taken as a directive. Embalming, cement vaults, metal caskets, and elaborate headstones

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are not allowed. No body is robbed of its blood and filled with formaldehyde, locked in a metal box, and then placed deep in a cold vault, without the comfort of the earth’s embrace. In a green burial, the body of the deceased is washed and shrouded and then put into the ground with or without a biodegradable coffin. A natural stone may be engraved as a marker.

are interested in a green burial, search for sites that are purely green and not just a part of a cemetery unconcerned with the carbon footprint. Ramsey Creek Preserve is in the process of creating a Dr. Billy Campbell, founder of Memorial small, green burial, nature preserve in Ecosystems, explained, “What we’re Asheville, NC. As the trend grows, we doing is basically land conservation. By can hope for more fully green efforts. setting aside woods for natural burials, At Ramsey Creek Preserve, there is a we preserve it from development. At Jewish section, and years ago, when I first the same time, I think we put death in wrote about green burials, Dr. Campbell its rightful place, as part of the cycle of said, on behalf of Ramsey Creek Preserve, life. Our burials honor the idea of dust “…we are very interested in working with to dust.” Muslims to establish burial grounds,” and In recent years, several green burial sites he indicated his willingness to establish have been established in North Carolina a Muslim section. Muslims, let’s not be and South Carolina. Some of these are deadheads and let this opportunity get called ‘hybrid green burials,’ which usually buried! Islamic burials should be green means that they are only a small part of burials. May our lives and our deaths be a modern, non-green cemetery. If you for Allah!

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A Hillbilly Muslim in Carrol Mitchem’s Court Duston Barto

Though it may be hard to fathom, I don’t go picking fights. I leave hornets nests alone and even feed raccoons and opossums on purpose. Basically, I try to be passive and go with the flow. I don’t compromise or hide my religion, but I don’t see the need to shove it in front of everyone. That being said, I will actively stand up for the rights of Muslims when they are violated or threatened, and I will especially speak out when an elected official makes bigoted comments about Islam and Muslims. The first week of May this year found me in such a situation. As a born-andraised resident of Lincoln County, I had to speak out when County Commission Chairman Carrol Mitchem spewed hateful words against Muslims to a local journalist. It all started when local Rowan County commission came under legal pressure for consistently praying “in Jesus name” and referring to Jesus (AS) as “Saviour” while preventing other faith traditions from providing an invocation. Lincoln Times-News reporter Adam Lawson merely asked Chairman Mitchem about his thoughts. “A Muslim? He comes in here to say a prayer, I’m going to tell him to leave,” Mitchem said. “I have no use for (those) people. They don’t need to be here praying to Allah or whoever the hell they pray to. I’m not going to listen to (a) Muslim pray.” He continued by explaining that he didn’t care for “changing rules on the way the United States was founded, Constitution was founded,” Mitchem said. “I don’t need no Arab or Muslim or whoever telling me what to do or us here in the county what to do about praying. If they don’t like it, stay the hell away.” He finally punctuated, “I’m very adamant about that. I’ll do everything in my power to make sure that happens. We’re going to pray as usual.” As usual, for Lincoln County Commissioners, meant praying an 8

be united in thought and in governance. I further stated that I didn’t blame Chairman Mitchem for his ignorance of what we Muslims believed, that I blamed myself and others for not reaching out to tell him. In order to set that straight, I offered him a Qur’an and some brochures from the Charlotte-based American Islamic Outreach Foundation. He refused to take those items from me and directed me to leave them with the secretary of the commission. At the close of the May 18th meeting, the commission adopted a policy which would allow any appointed leader of any faith group to come and give an invocation. Problem was, there is no exclusively Christian prayer delivered mosque, synagogue or temple within by local preachers or, when they are not Lincoln County, so once again nonavailable, by commissioners themselves. Christians were excluded. While the ACLU and Americans United threatened lawsuits, I penned a simple This led to a brainstorming session letter to local media outlets and to the with others who represent minority commissioners themselves entitled, religions, and we decided collectively to “No, we Muslims won’t ‘Stay the hell form the Foothills Interfaith Assembly away,” and in doing so, entered a much in order to make sure that minority religions were no longer excluded from larger stage than I anticipated. public dialog. While the trigger point My goal was simple: to express disgust to join together was the exclusion at the fact that a local elected official is from county invocations, Foothills saying hateful things about the citizenry Interfaith Assembly quickly decided he is supposed to govern and to include that we needed to be ready to defend Islam in the dialog of local religion. the liberties of individuals in many Lincoln County is not a huge Muslim parts of the rural areas surrounding We framed the American population center, but I Lincoln County. mission statement so that it matched the personally know of over a dozen Muslim families in the county, so it stands to declaration of the commission and filed reason that there are between 50-100 our petition to make invocation as soon Muslims in the county. We are spread as the opportunity came available, and out, and as such we travel to neighboring we had met enough times to qualify for cities for worship in established Masajid. “regular and periodic meetings within On May 18th, 2015, I stood before the the county.” county commission, and I told them that to remove the presence of faith, the On August 3rd, 2015, I went to give the core of morality, from the presence of invocation as the members of our group government would be a tragedy. I also unanimously voted that since Muslims proposed an interfaith prayer which were the target of Mitchem’s hate, did not name God and did not make Muslims should be the first represented reference to names which represent only in interfaith dialog. The invocation was one faith, so that our community could a clear English translation of Surah Al Fatihah along with a du’a for guidance in www.MuslimAmerican.com


governance from God to the leadership commissioners resulted in the county of our county. [Full text of the invocation commission deciding to remove prayer entirely from the commission meetings. will appear on MuslimAmerican.com] This was not my intended goal; but, During the invocation there were many there are ripple effects to everything that shouts of “Amen” from the assembled has happened. Today if you Google which brought back memories of tent “Lincoln County Prayer,” there are over revivals from my childhood. I was 750,000 results. If each page was read strengthened in my resolve because by only 20 people then over 15 Million of the presence of many members of people would be reading that Muslims Masjid Ash-Shaheed who had come out will not be silent as our rights are taken in support of defending Muslim rights away. That’s not even counting the radio for equality in governance. Brothers and television interviews that I’ve done made the hour-long drive from their over the past few months. homes in Charlotte to stand by me and We must be prepared to stand up and stare down bigotry. speak out in order to defend our liberties Chairman Mitchem, however, had and stop any effort that will force one chosen to turn his chair around and view as superior while silencing others. leave the room a few minutes before As Muslim Americans we must defend my invocation was to begin. This the rights for all citizens to be able to action prompted Commissioner Patton be represented equally by our elected to publicly chastise him before the officials as defending liberty for others end of the meeting and denounce results in defended liberty for us. It the disrespectful way he conducted does not compromise Islam in any way himself. This argument between the to demand for justice and equality in

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governance. I encourage everyone to be educated in the liberties that should be secured. Pay attention to your elected officials, especially at the local level, to ensure that they are not espousing ideologies that would lead to stripping your rights away. Our American ancestors fought for liberation from the oppression of England, liberation from the oppression of slavery and for civil rights legislation to ensure that all Americans are treated equally by government without regard to race or religion. Do not be afraid to stand up for those liberties.

“The constitutional freedom of religion [is] the most inalienable and sacred of all human rights.” – Thomas Jefferson, 1822

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Islam is featured on the news almost daily. However, most of those stories aren’t told by Muslims. Shahadah Stories is a live production which expresses the reality of being Muslim and coming to Islam. It’s an opportunity for Muslims to take control of the narrative and express why we bear witness! Sometimes it is a story about a non-Muslim finding Islam, sometimes it is a story about reaffirming belief in Islam. Whatever the story, all in attendance are sure to leave with a renewed sense of purpose and focus toward Islam. Shahadah Stories is a family friendly presentation. The first presentation of Shahada Stories was on April 18th to a packed house at Spotlight Performing Arts Theater in Charlotte. The next presentation will be on September 26th in Raleigh. Keep informed at facebook.com/shahadahstories 10

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Muslim American Creates Digital Simultaneous Translation System From NAZTEC Press Release

with Shaikh Abdul-Rahman Al-Sudais, President & Grand Imam of Masjid Al Haram & Masjid Al Nabawi. This revolutionary project finally got the approval from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

During the contract signing at General Presidency of Haramain, Makkah. Left to Right: Mr. Saeed Algarni, Mr. Waleed Alsagabi Translation Department Head, Mr. Mohamed Salahuddin President & CEO NAZTEC- Florida , Dr. Shaik Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais –President & Grand Imam of Masjid Al Haram & Masjid An Nabawi, Dr. Al-Khuzaim Vice President General Presidency of Haramain, and Mr. Ali Algarni.

Four years ago while making Ummrah, Mohamed Salahuddin, president & CEO of NAZTEC-USA, recognized a serious problem for himself and other visitors of the two holy Mosques. Over 70% of those visiting the holy places of Islam cannot speak or understand the Arabic used for the Khutbahs at Masjid al Haram or Masjid An-Nabawi.

system for installation at the tall minarets of the Masjid Al Haram” explains Mr. Salahuddin. All of the equipment was designed and manufactured inhouse and tested at the Florida facility of NAZTEC before being sent for installation in Mecca.

Nearly a full plane-load of equipment was required for the translation and broadcasting system. Mohamed Salahuddin and a team of engineers from Florida worked in Saudi Arabia for 60days of non-stop work at both the holy places! Mohamed explains, “We started the installation at Masjid Al Haram in Makkah with too many technical and administrative challenges at the holy site.” In order to meet these challenges; they created a brand new, sophisticated control room from scratch and installed the antenna system in record time, taking only 40 days at Masjid Al Haram and 20 days in Masjid Al Nabawi. After installation, the team was on hand for verifying the reliability and coverage for the system through 3 Jummuah services in both locations.

As a Scientist, Engineer & Industrialist, Mohamed worked on a dedicated solution to this problem along with his team of product designers & engineers at NAZTEC Florida. For three years they worked tirelessly toward creating a world class, state of the art, first of its kind technological solution. The result was a digital simultaneous live translation system for installation at both holy places. The design involved complex and critical innovations to create a system capable of simultaneously translating the Friday Jummuah Khutbahs into 35 different languages.

Mohamed and his team started designing the system on the basis of his recognition of need, with no contract or promise of permission to install. “We were knocking at every single possible contact in Saudi Arabia and could not reach or contact anyone,” says Mohamed. “We did not give up - made several trips to both the holy places to put forward the idea and Alhamdulillah the breakthrough camein during 2014, when I was fortunate to meet one of the haram directors for a short while and presented my idea!” This led to introducing the concept to individuals who were able to create new translation departments for both Mecca and Medina in 2014.

The new innovations would result in registering new invention patents with the United States Patent & Trademark Office. “We invented a new Antenna

Alhamdulillah, early this year NAZTECFlorida was able to fulfill the dream Custom Antenna for the Translation services of helping those in the holy places installed at Masjid Al-Haram, Makkah by when Mohamed Salahuddin met up NAZTEC – Florida.

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Now non-Arabic speakers can enjoy high quality coverage within both the holy masjids and covering a radius of over 30 kilometers around the masjids. They can tune in to the channels in hotels and cars via FM broadcast or listen in on smartphones and some custom devices which are available via vending machines. In the near future there will be many other digital methods of listening to the translations.

visiting [Muslims] for generations to come at Masjid Al Haram & Masjid Al Nabawi!”

State of the Art Custom designed Control Room for

The commercial applications of such an innovative automated translation system are limitless and could open new doors for mass communication that will benefit humanity for many generations to come. Yet another great invention that Muslims have contributed to the world!

Phase 1 of the project which the Translation services installed at Masjid Al-Haram by Established in the State of Florida in 2004, NAZTEC is a leading source launched this year provides 6 NAZTEC-Florida for Information Technology Consulting, language translations: English, Urdu, Other than translation of the Jummuah French, Turkish, Indonesian (Malay) & Khutbahs, the system will be used Election Products manufacturing & Custom Hausa (an African dialect used by many of for tafsir of the Holy Qur’an during Engineering Project installations worldwide. those employed in Mecca and Medina). Ramadan, important announcements NAZTEC is the nation’s leading voting in multiple languages during Hajj, booth manufacturer and supplies its election Phase-2 of the project is likely to start Ramadan, Fridays, and other special products to 33 different states and over 100 in next few months to add additional occasions. Mohamed exclaims, “We government clients nationwide. NAZTEC also channels. The ultimate aim is to thank Almighty Allah to have blessed us installs hurricane alert broadcast terminals for commission the 35-language system in and given this great life time opportunity NOAA. NAZTEC can be reached online at both the holy places. to make a lasting difference to all the naztecgroup.com

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Muslim American Magazine September 2015  

All content Copyright © 2015 Muslim American, Inc. except where otherwise noted. Please contact the editor or publisher directly to obtain r...

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