From The Editor’s Desk – July 2016
Charlotte Happenings ................................................ 08,09 Islamic Q&A from Imam Osamah Salhia ..................... 11 Khutba Recap .............................................................. 12,13 Will Coley .................................................................... 06,07 July -2016, Volume 2, Issue 7 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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Greetings of Peace to You All!
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Muhammad Ali The moment I heard of our Brother Muhammad Ali’s passing hit me with a wave of disbelief. I had grown up seeing this man who seemed larger than life. A man who made his fame through a violent sport, yet who spoke with peaceful and loving tones. All of the world was impacted by his passing and my own feelings are not unique. Those close to him have shared that he would make time for everyone who came to see him. That his generosity knew no bounds. Last year in our magazine we covered the Muhammad Ali humanitarian awards. An award ceremony that was unfortunately ignored by mass media; but one that typified the kind of efforts Muhammad Ali did. His charitable work was not done for the sake of the camera, but for the sake of Allah. I implore you all to take the time to read and research more into the life of Muhammad Ali, to get beyond the lights, bells and boxing ring. Read about our brother and the stunning example that he gave us all as Muslims. “I’ll tell you how I’d like to be remembered: As a black man who won the heavyweight title - Who has humorous and who never looked down on those who looked up to him - A man who stood for freedom, justice and equality - And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was.” Muhammad Ali
May God’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you all,
Editor, Muslim American magazine
If a Muslim Runs for Office, Will Muslims Make a Sound? The 2016 Vice-Presidential Candidacy of Will Coley by Duston Barto
Hailing from eastern Tennessee, Will Coley is a self-professed redneck. He is also a studious Muslim who has spent over a decade researching the tenets of Islamic law, and he has lectured at the university level. For the last six years he has been an outspoken advocate for Muslim rights to prove that Sharia is wholly compatible with American law. He has taught the foundational elements of the Maqasid al-Shariah to Libertarians who are then able to recognize the direct connections with John Locke’s principles of natural rights. When Will announced that he was running for Vice President on the Libertarian ticket, I wanted to know what motivated him to run. “Well, I was asked!” exclaimed Will. “Basically, someone in the Libertarian Party wanted to have a Muslim voice in the race. I agreed that it was a good idea.” He lamented that current outreach efforts to communicate Muslim positions were clearly not working fast enough. “See, the problem is that we’ve been having the same conversations on the same subjects for the last 16 years which have gotten us nowhere. I wanted to change that at the top levels with major issues like how our foreign policy works with Muslim majority nations and how Islam is addressed politically. Other issues such as war, immigration, etc. have all taken a different tone when Muslims are connected to the discussion.”
these bad immigration policies. I was able to speak from the perspective of someone who has had that conversation with his wife: ‘Honey, the government wants $1500 dollars to let you stay here and I don’t have it; if we can’t find it in 30 days they will send men to our house to come take you away.’ When we shared this story with the masses, they openly wept while applauding.”
Will Coley holding an interview with NowThis! during the New York state Libertarian Convention. (Used with permission)
As a result of the campaign, Will was able to impact Libertarian candidates across the country. “Now we have candidates in every state that are seeking Muslim communication and integration. Now we have a presidential candidate that rewrote his entire foreign policy based on communication with Muslims. Now there is a whole movement to eradicate our flawed immigration policy.” Will says that he got to prove that the policy he’s been promoting for years is the best one: “You get further with presenting the idea of freedom overseas by creating a good example Will shared that he believes one of here than by dropping hellfire bombs the biggest problems with politicians on people’s children.” is that they have no connection to the problems, no real face to put on During the debates, C-Span televised the human cost of bad policies. “We every word that Will spoke, “We put a personal, human connection to got a Muslim candidate on national 6
television to articulate positions from a Muslim position on the issues to humanize the issues. According to the media, I won that debate because every time I spoke, the crowd went insane.” So why didn’t Will get the nomination for Vice President? Will explains, “One of the main reasons why I did not get the nomination is that, although we had a Muslim candidate, Muslims were not interested in showing support. Additionally, we could not get the funding needed to show strength from the Muslim community. The same Muslim community that raised millions to support Obama, even after he’d dropped bombs and killed thousands of Muslim children, could not help me raise a few thousand dollars to go places and campaign properly. “I got endorsed by two of my opponents, one of whom dropped out of the race at the national debate to put full support behind me. NonMuslims were putting their support behind me in very strong ways. ISNA and CAIR both seemed enthusiastic in the beginning, but withdrew support because I had not already won the nomination. We organized a letter writing campaign with hundreds of people writing to ISNA to have me speak in their national convention, and we were denied. Every major Muslim organization I went to shut the door on me because I was running with the Libertarian party. The harsh partisanship and unwillingness to support a Muslim was shocking.” Conversely, Will says, “I am able to make a single phone call to people that I’ve never met before and I can get a position to speak in a national www.MuslimAmerican.com
Libertarian convention in less than 24 Will Coley is working with the Libertarian Party to connect local and hours.” state level candidates with Muslim Will expressed his frustration, “I communities. No press, no cameras, am trying to make outreach efforts no campaigning --just people who are on behalf of a community that genuinely interested in connecting doesn’t even know I exist. We and forming relationships with the (Muslims4Liberty) spent 5 years Muslims in their area. He has also silencing the anti-Muslim speaking been teaching Libertarians about voice out of the Libertarian national Zakat. Libertarians prefer a concept community and we may as well have of private welfare and social services; never even done it, because the they are interested in the concept national level Muslim organizations of Zakat. As a result of Zakat won’t acknowledge our efforts.” information to Libertarians, Will In contrast, Libertarians across says, “This leads to them either being the country rallied to support his directly involved in financially helping campaign. Will explains, “We had these communities or, via the advice, amazing and overwhelming support; setting up their own systems modeled I polled in first place across the board after the Muslim social services and was the man to beat going into program.” the convention.”
Will says that from the top of the Libertarian party to the bottom delegate level there was remarkable support. Will emphatically stated, “Muslims are shut down by Democrats and Republicans alike. Harry Reid himself told a potential Muslim candidate, ‘You’re Muslim, you can’t win; we won’t let you run.’ Conversely, the national chair of the LP contacted me to encourage me, supported the campaign and never once told me that I couldn’t run or couldn’t win.” Will challenges diehard party-liners by saying, “When the party that you identify with will accept your vote but not your candidacy, there’s definitely time to re-evaluate your political identity.” But what about the delegates and voters? “Only about 4 out of 1,000 of the delegates had a problem with me being Muslim,” Will shared. “A few others were concerned because they didn’t think that Americans would vote for a Muslim, especially since the Muslim community as a whole was not supportive of my campaign.” 704-597-5424
Will explains, “Libertarian philosophy fits in line with the sunnah of Medina. The competition in society which Muhammad (SAWS) established was based on competition and contracts rather than by force. Each community had contracts with one another which were built around mutual defense and not initiating aggression against one another. These communities lived on top of one another through voluntary association. That is the purest description of a Libertarian society.” Will continues, “The Libertarian Party is the only party that will openly say ‘America shouldn’t be blowing up Muslim countries,’ the only party to consistently say that invasion of Iraq was wrong and that Israel should not be funded. They are the only ones who support our right to have a Sharia legal system for our communities, who support our right for polygamy and who support our right to have a sharia wedding contract.”
method of commerce as opposed to the current method of currency and exchange which is based on debt and inflation. “The Libertarian party is a safe space for our community. They don’t care about your religion, your race, your accent. In fact, they want 10 Muslims running for office in 10 different offices in 10 different states! This is the plan for 2018 for the Libertarian party.” revealed Will Coley. Does Will Coley plan to run for office again? “Yes, absolutely!” Will eagerly stated, “Four separate caucuses have approached me to create an exploratory committee to raise $100,000 to run for the presidential nomination in four years. The Freedman PAC - The PAC who raised money for the Rand Paul 2016 campaign, will also be raising money to fund a campaign for Will Coley 2020 instead. Four Libertarian caucuses and a PAC that used to fund Republicans have already gotten behind me. “I went from ‘that guy’ to somewhat of a legend among Libertarians and all it required me to do was get out of my chair and go do something. My biggest regret, my biggest mistake was not doing this sooner because we reached more people in four months of campaigning than I had in four years of traveling the country, getting on the radio, and getting speaking engagements.” Will’s final advice for the Muslim community is: “If you want to reach people, get out and run for office. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there for the critique and approval of your neighbor. Do not settle for mediocre. Fate and Allah favor the bold.”
In addition to these, Will explained that the Libertarians are supportive For more of Will Coley’s work, visit of using precious metals, barter and Muslims4Liberty on Facebook and at trade, along with alternative currencies www.Muslims4Liberty.org which fall in line with the sunnah 7
Charlotte Happenings June 2016 Interfaith Iftar/Dinner Charlotte Tea House, American Islamic Outreach, Being There and many other local Mosques co-hosted a wonderful Iftar night. Imam Khalil Akbar, Imam Atif Chaudhry and Hadia Mubarak sat on the Panel and answered questions from the audience. Police officers, Politicians, clergy and members from various faiths were all present for this beautiful event. Here is how it looked during the program and at the dinner time.
Imam Khalil Akbar Addressing the crowd.
Moderator Rahman Khan, Panelists Imam Atif Chaudhry, Hadia Mubarak, Imam Khalil Akbar.
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Islamic Q&A from Imam Osamah Salhia Question: Assalamu aleykum, Last year I converted to Islam and my occupation caused me some issues because, as a skin therapist, I had to work with close contact to men. Therefore I quit that job and have plans to start my own business to only work with women. Among the services I planned to offer are eyelash extensions and permanent eyebrow makeup. However, I have read that these may be haraam. Please advise me on this issue. Jazak Allahu Khayran Answer: Seeking lawful provisions is a very honorable endeavor in Islam. The Prophet (SAWS) said, “No food is better to man than that which he earns through his own labor”. (Sahih Bukhari) Allah says: “O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan.” (Qur’an 2: 168)
prohibitions. It should be noted that head, many scholars have allowed there are a lot of nuances surrounding synthetic extensions and have limited the prohibition to actual human or the aforementioned issues. animal hair. The Prophet (SAWS) said: “Allah has cursed those women who modify their As for eyelash extensions, if it is for eyebrows or ask others to do it for someone who has suffered some them” (Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim). ailment that has caused a facial The Prophet (SAWS) has prohibited abnormality, some scholars have both modifying the eyebrows and allowed such eyelash extensions. doing that for others, and such severe However, if it is purely for leisure, wording has been connected to this many scholars say that it is prohibited deed. The spirit behind the prohibition because it entails changing Allah’s is to disavow beautifying oneself by creation. If permanent makeup for the eyebrows is done purely out of leisure, means of distorting Allah’s creation. it would follow the same ruling. Can any changes be made to the eyebrows? What are the parameters to As you can see, the scope of your field this discussion in light of our Islamic has a number of restrictions in Islamic law. If you are able to apply these legacy? guidelines, I pray that it will be a source Being that the focus here is changing of halal income. Otherwise, I strongly Allah’s creation, many scholars have encourage you to be patient and search allowed removal of hair that is between for other means for your livelihood. the two eyebrows. Some have allowed a And Allah knows best. very light trim, if it is so thick that it is seen as abnormal. For more details regarding the Fiqh nuances, I encourage you to read the fatwa posted by SeekersHub, a popular fatwa resource: bit.ly/ EyebrowFatwa
In many cases, it can be a serious challenge to reconcile between the dynamics of the workplace and the tenets of our faith. As Muslims, we view our transactions and financial dealings as a critical aspect of our devotion to our Creator. Hence, Umar ibn al-Khattab (RA) emphasized the importance of understanding our religious duties before engaging in transactions: “No one should sell in our markets except one who has understanding in the religion.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi) I commend you for taking the steps to ensure that your income is As for hair coming from halal sources. extensions, the Prophet (SAWS) Thinning or plucking the eyebrows is a very popular trend in the modern said: “Cursed is the day. Even those who do not have any maker and wearer extensions facial abnormalities are tempted to of and the tattooer make changes to their natural beauty. and the one who In authentic traditions of our Prophet tattooed”. (SAWS), hair extensions, tattoos and is (Sahih al-Bukhari) plucking or thinning the eyebrows have terms of been specifically addressed with strong In extensions to the 704-597-5424
June Khutbah Recap
These khutbahs have been summarized by our editor. The words are not necessarily direct quotes from the Imam represented. To hear the full audio and to read un-edited transcripts, please visit our website.
Spirit of Ramadan - Sheikh Osamah Salhia
Ramadan is not an arbitrary choice for our intense focus and worship. Rather, Ramadan is significant due to the history of many great feats and achievements in Islamic history. Ramadan is not historically a month of stagnation, so we as Muslims must make sure we are not stagnant when observing it nowadays. We cannot also use the fasting as an excuse to be lazy, to oversleep or to be gluttonous. Ramadan represents religiously, the pillar that directly deals with our spiritual presence. Our focus must be on controlling our whims, striving for excellence, and commandeering our passions.
on mine? Will I just throw them in the masjid and I’ll go pray by myself taraweeh, and let them go running around, not caring what Ramadhan means to my children? Will brothers burden their wives with too many invitations? Some sisters rightfully complain about this issue where they spend all day in the kitchen and their Ramadan is comprised of merely sleeping and preparing food. Would you do your spouse? Feeding those who are fasting is a virtuous deed; however, allowing this social aspect to dominate will defeat the spirit behind Ramadan. Your wife needs to be able to read Qur’an, to attend taraweeh and to focus on her worship and connection to Allah as well. Her excellence in Ramadan is not measured by making new sweets everyday. It is measured in piety of worship; so let her worship!
Ramadan is a time of community and a time of unity among the believers; but that social events are not the goal. The goal is spiritual excellence. We cannot merely pass through the rituals of Ramadan but we must take hold of the opportunity to increase For those Muslims in conflict, our spiritual connection with Allah they must work to mend broken relationships. Swallow our pride and (SWT). be willing to mend our own character As a parent, will I neglect my children’s rather than pointing out flaws in Ramadhan experience and only focus
others. We must stand for truth, even against ourselves. The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Your fasting is a protection.” So make sure that you are using this protection from passions, desires, etc. Muhammad goes on to say, “If someone speaks to you profanely, transgresses against you, you should say, I am one who is fasting.” This is not just to end an argument; rather it is to remind ourselves first that our fasting requires us to fast from brash behaviour as well as from food and drink. This is how Ramadan purifies us. It sets us on a challenging course by weakening our physical body and commanding us to rise above that by creating a stronger spirit that can fight the weakness of the flesh. Fasting makes you short-tempered but Islam makes you strong. This is why we have to hold tighter to Islam during Ramadan.
Spending in the Path of Allah - Sheikh Abdul Hakeem
We begin with the story of Abu Dahdah. An orphan came to Rasoullullah (SAWS) with eyes full of tears saying “Oh Messenger of Allah, I want to build a wall around my property, but my neighbor has a palm tree in the way. I asked him to give me the palm tree but he refused, I offered to buy it but he refused. Rasoulullah called the neighbor and asked him to give the palm tree or sell the palm tree to the orphan but he rejected. Then Rasoulullah said “If you give him this palm tree, then Allah will 12
give you a palm tree in Jannah” but the “Rasoullullah, a palm tree in jannah? If I would offer the palm tree this man man still said no. has, would I get that?” Muhammad One of the very faithful companions, agreed that he would. Abu Dahdah, overheard this exchange. Abu Dahdah was well known among So Abu Dahdah went to the neighbor the people as having the most beautiful who refused to sell his tree and said orchard, the richest dates and the most “Do you know my garden?” of course beautiful palm orchard around. The the man did. Abu Dahdah then traded his entire orchard for the land marketplace loved his dates. and the single palm tree that was in Abu Dahdah came to the Prophet dispute. Then he went to the orphan (SAWS) and asked about the exchange and gave the palm tree to him so the that he heard and followed with orphan could build the wall around www.MuslimAmerican.com
it. Faith is what makes us generous the perfection of our Islam and then we toward one another and what drives should be reminded of this world. After this, he then went to Rasoulullah us to perfect our own selves in Allah’s We are so easily distracted nowadays (SAWS) and said “I have done this, way. with entertainment and games that do I get the palm tree in jannah?” and Muhammad said “No, Allah offered We wake up each morning and work we forget the Qur’an all year round one palm tree for another. But you hard to earn a living. We tolerate until Ramadan arrives. have offered a garden of palm trees bosses and co-workers and deal with and you will not be more generous all the garbage of life just to get a This Ramadan, we have a chance to than Allah (SWT). Therefore, Allah few dollars at the end of each month. be reminded of our purpose and to will give you a garden with more trees Most of that money then gets lost in be focused on the plan of Allah. bills or other things that we cannot This Ramadan, we have the than I can count.” even account for. Yet most of us There are very few Abu Dahdah cannot make the effort to get up early opportunities to take away from this life and build for the next life. We amongst us; the majority are the other to pray two raka’at for Allah. restrain ourselves every day from our one. Those in this life who will say NO to anything good that comes You have to be willing to let go of desires. Desires which cause us to their way because they have no faith. what you love, for that which is better. spend money, so that money is saved. Then Allah tells us that he will reward Knowing for a fact that something exists doesn’t mean that you have faith. Unfortunately far too many of us are us for charity done in Ramadan with Even Shaytaan knew with certainty heavily focused on this world (the this money that we have saved. that Allah was the creator and that dunya) and do not spend any time Invest in Jannah in Ramadan and a Day of Judgment was coming, but at all on the next world (akhira). For throughout the year. Support your he did not have faith. Faith is what Muslims, those who submit to the will local mosque to build the community empowers us to do the things that are of Allah, should be focused on the for Allah’s sake and reap the right because Allah commands us to afterlife, on the purification of self and magnificent reward in the hereafter. his property.
Make The Best of Ramadan - Imam Atif Chaudhary Throughout the year the distractions, temptations, and problems that we face have an effect on our soul and on our hearts. There is an influence that threatens our salvation outside of Ramadan, that is the whisper of Shaytaan.
Then, from the mercies of Allah (SWT), we have been given a month with opportunities to fast, pray, give our wealth. Opportunities to unite, to come to the masjid, to feed the hungry; overall to do the things that we don’t do throughout the rest of the year. Then Allah compounds this mercy with chaining Shataan and shielding us from their whispers. Worship and doing good in Ramadan is easier than the rest of the year, this is not an accident, this is part of the mercy from Allah. Shaytaan and his minions are chained up for this month so that we can have a period of time to 704-597-5424
only struggle against ourselves. If we commit sin in Ramadan it is because we have failed to restrain ourselves, our desires, our egos.
every night of Ramadan to be a night of powerful forgiveness and an opportunity for the Muslim to become purified and to forge new habits.
All year long, the shaytaan tell us things to make us think that committing sin is OK, they give us whispers of doubt to break apart communities and to doubt our brothers and sisters. Ramadan frees us from their influence According to Rasoulullah (SAWS) and challenges us to better ourselves. There are two times during the day that Allah will not reject your du’a All of this is to allow us to go through in Ramadan. That is the time of the month as sinless as possible. Sahoor and the time of Iftar. These However, if we have made a habit opportunities are golden because the through the rest of the year to disobey first is the time that you are making the Allah, to spread gossip or to ignore intention to submit yourself to Allah the few things that Allah asks of us; for the entire day and the second is then Ramadan will find us continuing when you are gaining the reward for these habits. this submission. Allah will not forgive Have you entered Ramadan with the you, Allah will not deny you. Take habits of the rest of the year? Have hold of the opportunities that Allah you planned to wait until Layat ul has given us in Ramadan and make Qadr? Do not wait! Allah has blessed the best of it for your salvation. 13
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