From The Editor’s Desk – August 2016
Greetings of Peace to You All! Charlotte Happenings ..................................................... 06 Khutba Recap ......................................................... 08,10,11 Muhammad Ali .......................................................... 14,15 My Ramadan ............................................................... 16,17 August -2016, Volume 2, Issue 8 ISSN 2377 - 9624 Publisher & Editor-in-Chief: Mohamed Haroon Sait Editor: Duston Barto Design & Layout: Mubin M.K. All content Copyright ©2016 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 Submission: Editor@MuslimAmerican.com Advertising inquiries: Ads@MuslimAmerican.com Muslim American 400 Arrowhead Dr East Charlotte, NC 28213
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Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, even if he is an unbeliever, for there is no barrier between it and Allah.” Who are the oppressed? They are those who have no voice of their own or their voice is silenced by a system over them. They are the war-torn and the homeless. They are the victims of racism, victims of injustice. They are the women who face sexual harassment. They are the men who are ridiculed for being “sissies.” One of the most disgusting things that I see my fellow brothers and sisters in Islam doing is judging non-Muslims because of their sins. When we judge a person who is oppressed by society then we are contributing to the oppression. You don’t have to agree with a person’s way of life to recognize that he or she has the right to live as they want in a free and multicultural society. As a Muslim, we should want for our non-Muslim neighbor what we want for ourselves: Liberty to persue happiness as we feel directed. So long as a person is not causing harm to another then our society should not oppress him or her. If it does, the Muslim should be the front line of defense against that oppression. Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Support your brother whether he is an oppressor or is being oppressed.” It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, we help the one being oppressed but how do we help an oppressor?” The Prophet said, “By seizing his hand.”
May God’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you all,
Editor, Muslim American magazine
Charlotte Happenings July 2016
Charlotte Muslims celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr on 06 July. Prayer was held at the Cabarrus Arena and Convention Center.
Imam Osama Salhia left Charlotte for this home town in NJ. Charlotte Muslims gathered to give him a warm farewell on 14 July 2016.
Haroon Sait (Publisher) with Imam Osamah Salhia on the Farewell dinner day.
Friday Sermon / Khutba Recap Ramadan Has Made us Better Imam Abdul Azziz ( Masjid Ash-Shaheed - July 1, 2016 ) “O mankind, indeed the promise of Allah is truth, so let not the worldly life delude you and be not deceived about Allah by the Deceiver. Indeed, Satan is an enemy to you; so take him as an enemy. He only invites his party to be among the companions of the Blaze.” - Qur’an 35:5-6 There is a guidance that we have to develop in Ramadan. Through the other 11 months, we get torn down by the world, then Ramadan comes as a mercy from Allah to build us back up. For 11 months we are saturated with news media and entertainment and all the other distractions of the world. They give us false guidance and false information, but when Allah brings us to Ramadan, He basically tells us: Let me give you the true guidance and real knowledge and build you back up so that when Ramadan is over, you can go out and continue to re-shape the world! In case you didn’t notice, the Qur’an tells us that the world needs us. That is what this mission is about. Not about what Trump says, but what we say. Not about what Trump does, but what we do. We are accountable to Allah for what we do and say. Trump doesn’t have what you have, so he isn’t accountable in the same way. We must reflect on things in this manner. We see this message in the response from Muhammad (SAWS) when he encountered friction at Ta’if. When the angel came to him, our Prophet Muhammad wasn’t concerned with punishing the people of the town or destroying it. Instead, he was focused on whether or not he was on the right path and whether or not he was doing the right thing.
us back on the right path after being messed up by media from outside all year long. Has Ramadan made us better? Has it improved us for the mission? Has it repaired us so that we can go out and do the mission that we have been charged to do? For the 11 months since last Ramadan, we have been puffed up with our own arrogant pride and we disassociate with other Muslims because we don’t agree with them on everything or because of our own petty thoughts and egos. But if you read the Qur’an then you’d know that this is defiance of Allah’s plan. We have to get into the Qur’an and soften our hearts toward one another as fellow Muslims and as fellow human beings. We look at the impact that this message had on the life of the Companions, but we still distance ourselves from that.
Why? Don’t you know that if it were not for them, that none of us would be here? Don’t you know that every mission, every battle, every struggle they fought for was for you! When you think of Muhammad (SAWS) and his Companions you need to think of them as your relatives, as your blood and kin. You have got to put aside your ego and emulate the Companions in the way that they would shut up their opinions when Muhammad made a matter clear through his own instruction or through the revelation The month of Ramadan helps to of Qur’an. clarify us in the mission and to set 8
During Ramadan we read about Allah’s mercy, His wrath, His commands. We read about how to conduct business with one another and how to treat our brothers and sisters. We read about the prophets and their trials and tribulations. We read about the beauty and excellence of community life and how Shaytaan affects that. We have been reminded and instructed in the proper way of life by the Qur’an. Getting all of Allah’s guidance in our life and our business for an entire month. All of this to do what? To develop into who Allah wants us to be. Allah says that he only created us to serve. How do you serve Allah in a society that needs Allah? You serve Him by serving others. By evolving your Islam beyond just having a Muslim name; by being known as someone who happens to be Muslim. You come out of Ramadan as an evolved individual who has impact on others, who positively impacts the community, the workplace, the neighborhood and who becomes known for trustworthiness, honesty, decency. You become one who stands firm for justice and righteousness and one who stands against injustice and corruption. You become who Allah wants you to be, who He has told you to be in the Qur’an and through the example of his Messenger Muhammad (SAWS)
Islam Rejects Extremism Sheikh Bassam Obaid ( June 15th, 2016 ) “And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you.” - Qur’an 2:143 (partial) Our focus in the faith of al-Islam is to be in the middle, the natural state of a Muslim is moderation because on the extreme ends we find what Allah has prohibited. What is Halal and Haraam is clear; in between is the unclear area. For example, if you let your sheep eat at the very edge of your property, it is easy for him to eat on your neighbor’s property. Therefore we keep with what is clear in the middle path so that we do not accidentally fall into the extreme sides. This is the nature of the message of Islam; the path is different from those of other religions. We have been ordained by Allah (SWT) to stay in the straight way and to avoid all nature of extremism.
(graded authentic by Imam Bukhari) The stories of the prophets in the Qur’an are full of nations whom Allah had destroyed because of their extremism. They were too strict or they were too loose, they were too harsh and cruel or they were not serious enough. The extremes are all outside of Sirat al-Mustaqim. Another example is that the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) told Abdullah ibn Abbas to get stones for the jammurat. When Abdullah returned and Muhammad saw that he had selected small stones he replied “yes, like this. All things in faith should be like this.” This tells us that we should not go to extremes in picking huge boulders to stone the jammaurat, but it also tells us that everything to do with our faith must be done in a logical and manageable method.
this is in the method of warfare. In our religion, it is forbidden to kill any innocent person for any reason whatsoever. When Allah gave us the instruction to make war as a principle of Islam, He created strict guidelines for this. To kill innocents is not part of jihad. Some are saying “they are committing sinful acts” So what? it is not permitted to punish them, to kill them, this is not our job. The Prophet Muhammad would turn his face away when people came to confess their sins, he would avoid giving out punishments for sin because that is Allah (SWT) to do. How can we arrogantly claim that we should do Allah’s job?
The Prophet (SAWS) stated, “None Keep moderate your faith and make makes the religion difficult except that dua to remain on the middle path of it overcomes him. So, aim for what is right, stick to the moderate way.” One of the most stark examples of Sirat al-Mustaqim.
Preparing for Departure Osama Salhia ( July 8, 2016 ) Abu Hurayrah relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah says: ‘Every deed of the child of Adam is for himself, except for fasting. It is for Me and I shall reward it.’ Fasting is a shield, so if it is a day of fasting for any one of you, then he should engage in no obscenity or shouting. If anyone belittles him or fights with him, he should just say ‘I am a person who is fasting’. I swear by Him in whose hand is Muhammad’s soul, the smell of the fasting person’s breath is sweeter to Allah on the Day of Judgment than that of musk. The fasting person has two occasions for joy, one when he breaks his fast because of his breaking it and the other when he meets his Lord because of the reward for his fast.” - Recorded by Imam Muslim and Bukhari as authentic. Since we have just ended Ramadan, and have departed this holy month, it should cause us to reflect on our departure from this world. Eventually all things on this world will pass away 10
and only Allah (SWT) will remain.
adequately prepared for the time that we will leave?
Our loved ones may depart, our friendships may end, our wealth Consider what will happen to your may disappear tomorrow. Have we children if, Allah forbid, you passed www.MuslimAmerican.com
away today. Will they lose their connection with Islam? Will they stop praying? Will they be lost in life? Will they be dependent on others? Will they be fighting with each other over the inheritance? Beyond family, consider if a key person is removed from the masjid because he or she moves away or passes away? Will everything collapse? Will the functions of the community come to a standstill because all of the responsibilities were placed on a single person? Some people claim that this is an aspect of the unknown and that we shouldn’t labor over this. They will say that Allah will take care of things. Allah will provide for their kids, etc. However this is misguided thinking. This is against the example of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). Our righteous predecessors excelled in life by
preparing the environment that they Muhammad said to Umar,”Be in this are in so that if they were taken away, dunya as if you were a stranger, simply passing through. Count yourselves things would continue. among the people of the grave.” We must, therefore, condition ourselves and our communities in such This is not a gloomy attitude, this is a way. We cannot function with all a proactive and productive view! If responsibilities of either a household we think about how things are going or a community centralized around to be when we are gone, then we can just one person. We must raise our better plan our time here to ensure children to be able to be independent that those we leave behind will be in both religious and worldly affairs. able to take care of themselves once we are gone. The absolute worst thing a parent can do is raise their children to have Treat those around you as if you are absolute dependence on the parents. leaving today. We see far too many children that grow into adulthood, into their 20s What influences, what memories do and even into their 30s with no sense you want to leve behind? of responsibility, with no ability to There are many people who have provide for themselves or to take passed away through the ages who care of things without the parents. have been forgotten, many who have This is not the way of Islam. This is been despised and many who have something that we have been warned been praised for centuries. Which against. will you be?
Faith and Divine Law in Islam Kamran Arshad ( July 8, 2016 ) Our divine religion can be separated into two primary components, faith and divine law. The difference between the two is stark and important for the believer to understand. First of all, Allah has put this religion on all of humanity, not merely the Muslims, this is made evident by the fact that Allah (SWT) addresses the readers of the Qur’an with “O you who believe” rather than “O you Muslims.” The starting point of this deen is the faith. For anyone to be inside Islam, he or she must have faith. The aspect of faith is required to have an understanding of what is required of the believer as a Muslim. Then the management of that faith are the divine laws. 704-597-5424
As we reflected on reading the Qur’an in the month of Ramadan, we were filled with the divine laws and elements of the faith. What have we achieved after reading or listening to the Qur’an? Have we taken it to heart and studied it? Have we made our lives better? Yes, you will be rewarded for completing the Qur’an and for We were created from Allah’s infinite attending the Taraweeh; but has it wisdom. Each one of us with a fixed made a difference in your life? timeline of our life. We have the intellect, the scholarly knowledge of Did you move one bit from the point the ages and the perfect Qur’an. Why you had before Ramadan? The Divine do we then have confusion about the Law must be known to fulfil your divine laws that Allah has set out for faith. Learn it from the Qur’an and put it into practice. us? Allah has told us in the Qur’an that he has only created mankind and jinn to worship him. Therefore, it is the only purpose for our creation and we must submit to that worship and learn about the details of the divine laws in order to worship Allah successfully. We do this by the examples and teachings of the Prophets. The best of whom was the last Messenger, Muhammad (SAWS).
How We Should Remember Muhammad Ali
Adapted from a speech given by Imam Rahman Khan of Masjid Ash Shaheed “Allah is the Arabic term for God. Stand up for God, fight for God, work for God and do the right thing, and go the right way, things will end up in your corner.” - Muhammad Ali Allah has brought home our brother, our champion Muhammad Ali. May Allah be pleased with him, forgive his sins and grant him the highest station of paradise. Allah chose to bring him home at a time when Muslims were in dire need of positive attention. For well over a week, Muhammad Ali was on every TV station, every media outlet. You couldn’t turn around without seeing a remembrance of Muhammad Ali. His Janazah was flooded with over 15,000 people who came from all over the world to pay respect to Muhammad Ali. The world paused and reflected on the man, the athlete, the legend, and the humanitarian that we had lost.
at the very center of Ali’s being was Islam. Islam was both a source of his strength and the sustainer of his sense of mission. About this there simply can be no doubt. But beyond what Islam did for him, Ali did something for Islam, especially in America. Ali did more to normalize Islam in America than perhaps any other Muslim in this history of this country. Of course, Ali was not a theologian, a shaykh or an Imām. And because of this, some might think that I am overstating my case here.” No one who knew Muhammad Ali would think this an over-statement.
So it was no surprise that millions of people all over the world were tuned in to see Muhammad Ali’s janazah. Millions of people got that impact of being reminded that he was unapologetically Muslim. Imam Dr. Sherman Jackson said, “As a cultural icon, Ali made being Muslim cool. Ali made being Muslim dignified. Ali made being Muslim relevant. And all of this he did in a way that no one could challenge his belongingness to or in this country. Ali put the question of whether a person can be a Muslim and an American to rest. Indeed, he KO’d that question. With his passing, let us hope that that question will now be interred with his precious remains.”
He was called the People’s Champ and he was well known to be a giver. My own memories of Muhammad Ali are when he was in our home growing up. My father and Muhammad Ali Dr. Jackson also said, “As for his were business partners and we got religion, there can be no doubt that the chance to see him as children. I 14
know first hand that Muhammad Ali’s graciousness to everyone was unparalleled. He spoke to everyone equally; the guy on the street, the guy working in the hotel, the guy who owned the hotel. Everyone. He was never one to say an unkind word to anyone... well, except maybe Joe Frasier. Everyone else though, he was very nice to. He was a gentle man that we should know and respect. We should teach our young people about the sacrifices that he made for all of us and how he eventually came out on top. He did not just make sacrifices for us as Americans or for us as Black people; he made sacrifices for us as Muslims and that is something that we should all pay a sincere respect to. This is why we joined many other mosques in performing a Janaza al ghaib in his honor. When he was named Athlete of the century that made a huge impact. Now he got this honor, not because he could box around the ring as Cassius Clay or the Louisville Lip! It was to give him the honor for his great service to humanity. He made the name “Muhammad” prominent. he made people SAY the name in the 1960s when it was not popular, when being Black was hard and being Muslim was hard. He gave up everything for his principles, including giving up up boxing to protest the unjust war. We have to give tremendous respect for him as a humanitarian. www.MuslimAmerican.com
Allah (SWT) wanted Muhammad Ali to win. Why do I say this? Because I think Allah knew that his voice as a world champion would be a powerful position for him to speak the truth of Islam and have a major humanitarian impact and do the work outside the ring that Muhammad Ali has done since then. So many people spend too much time focusing on his boxing career. He made a reputation for himself by telling you what round he’d knock you out in. He beat Sonny Liston, Joe Frasier, George Foreman, etc. All of whom the officials said that he’d never beat. When Muhammad Ali had been out of the ring for many years after protesting Vietnam he got in the ring with George Foreman. George Foreman was the most powerful heavyweight fighter that the sport had seen and he was the favorite going into the match. I believe that
Muhammad Ali was conscious of his position and his ability to use that position to help everyone.
Even when his health took his voice and he could not speak; Muhammad Ali continued to help people all around the world. He contributed money, established charity and through his work, Muhammad Ali helped people He was a giving human being, he was to see Muhammad (SAWS) through one who helped people when they this generosity. were down, and would lift the highest people up. He was in the ear of people We have this same opportunity to be who made decisions. Global leaders! humanitarians. He would greet people with “as- We have this chance to be like our salaam alaikum, peace be unto you.” brother, to give like our brother in Even though he was soft spoken, he both public and private life. To be would remind people with statements generous. We have the opportunity to like, “well, you know us Muslims remember our brother’s example of don’t believe in that,” giving this sort living the way Prophet Muhammad of gentle dawah constantly. He was (SAWS) showed us. Generosity at all always open about being Muslim and times and in all ways. he spoke out against injustice as often as he spoke positively about Islam.
A Funny A Thing on theonWay to Eid funnyHappened thing happened the way to Eid.... Tammy Little Each year in the days leading up to the beginning of Ramadan, my children start what they call “the kindness list.” It’s a list of nice things they want to do for strangers during Ramadan, such as donate toys, books, and clothes, open a door for someone, or simply give someone a compliment. Among things on their list this year was, “feed the cat in the backyard.” . . . . There’s a cat in our backyard? Soon enough, Ramadan began and the “donate pile” of toys and books started to build in the living room. A few days later, we loaded up these items and dropped them off at a local women and children’s shelter. After doing this, we stopped to get our car washed. As we sat in the waiting area, I noticed a woman looking at me from across the small room, so I smiled at her. “Are you a nun?” she asked. My children giggled quietly. “No, M’am,” I replied. “Excuse me, I don’t mean to be rude,” she continued. “But what are you?” She pointed at my hijab.
her face was priceless. When the children came out “You too,” I replied, smiling. from getting their teeth cleaned, they said, “Weren’t We’re not bad people. you wearing another hijab earlier?” I The next day, my children had dentist laughed and said yes. appointments. While I waited for them, a lady told me she loved “the On the way home, I stopped at a traffic scarf on my head.” I thanked her. But light where a woman was holding up she kept talking about it. She loved a “homeless” sign. As I started to dig the color, the texture, the design, and in my purse for a few dollars to give asked where I had gotten it. I told her her, my youngest daughter asked me that a friend bought it for me when if she could give the woman the gift she visited India last summer. She bag that the dentist had just given her. said, laughing, “Well, I’ll never get “It’s got toothpaste, a toothbrush, and floss in here.” I told her that was a one now, will I?” great idea. My older daughter donated an apple, and my son said, “There’s an unopened bottle of water back here.” So aside from the money, we handed her the other items. When I reached out to her, I noticed that her sandal was broken. “Your shoe is broken,” I said. She said, “Yes, but it gives me something to stand on at least.” My oldest daughter removed her sandals. “Give these to her,” she said. to get some fresh-picked corn. When my car was ready, I stood up to go. She took my hand and said, “It was so nice to meet you.”
I smiled again and said, “I’m a Muslim.” Then I don’t know why, but “You can have this one,” I said. “I before I could stop myself, muscle have plenty more.” memory took over as I blurted out, She said, “Are you joking? Are you “And we’re not bad people.” sure? I couldn’t take such a beautiful She said, “Well, honey, I know that.” scarf from you! Would I have to wear Before I knew it, she had gotten out it on my head?” of her chair and was walking toward me with her arms out. “Can I give you “No.” I said. “You can wear it any way a hug?” she asked. How could I say you like. My friend would want you to have it.” no to that?
“I can’t take your shoes!” she said to my daughter. “Please take them,” she said. “I have more at home.”
Ramadan wore on. The list of kindness grew in ways we never expected. One day we were traveling down Woodlawn Road, on our way to Jummah Salah, when we encountered an elderly man whose car had stalled in traffic. I pulled up beside his car and said, “I have two teens in the car. Then we chatted about our children, I went to my car and changed hijabs. Would you like some help pushing our cars, the price of gas, and where When I gave her the scarf, the look on your car out of the road?” He said, 16
“I’d love the help!”
and ask that everyone reading this into a new house, we even donated a skateboard ramp to a skate park. article to do the same.
I know I would like if someone stopped and helped me in a crisis like The kindness continued. One day we were stuck in a long line of traffic that. when two big guys on big motorcycles The state of hunger was replaced pulled up beside our car. I was hot, by a sense of selflessness, of giving tired, and hungry and the sound of without thought, without a list to go the rumbling bikes lulled me. I hadn’t by. It was as if Allah had a list of His realized I’d been staring at the black own for us, ways we were intended to bike closest to us. The driver looked give that we hadn’t thought of before. at me. Then I did the only thing I One hot afternoon we were walking knew to do. I smiled. To my surprise, into Lowe’s when a man pulled up he smiled back and tapped his friend beside us in a white jeep. He rolled on the arm and motioned toward down his car window. Being a single me. His friend turned and smiled Muslim woman with children, too. The light turned green and they who lives in a small town outside both flashed me the peace sign as they Charlotte, I’m always a little leery in drove away. certain situations. He said to us, “The doctor said I have cancer. Since all our prayers go to God, will you pray for me?” I said I would. My oldest daughter said later, “We should pray for Allah to ease his fear.” So we did,
This year, Ramadan became more than just giving, more than just a list of nice things we could do. It became a part of who we are, the people we want to be in Allah’s eyes. Not bad people. Better people. As I sat with my many brothers and sisters on this Blessed Eid, I looked at my children, and thanked God for the experiences we’d had over the past month. Long after the heat of summer is gone, and we forget about how hungry, thirsty and tired we were; we’ll remember how it felt to open up our lives and give, give, give - from the heart, where it truly matters. We will take time to remember how Allah built our list Maybe they know we’re not bad of everyday charity with those funny people. things that happen from the first of We gave tomatoes and dates to our Ramadan all along the way to Eid. neighbors, we dropped books off to Now, about that cat in the backyard . . . a prison, we helped a friend move
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