From The Editor’s Desk – March 2016
Greetings of Peace to You All! Charlotte Happenings .................................................... 06 Khutbah Recaps ........................................................ 08, 09 The Role of Mosques in Our Lives .................................11 Jesus in Islam - I ........................................................ 12, 13 March -2016, Volume 2, Issue 3 ISSN 2377 - 9624 Publisher & Editor-in-Chief: Mohamed Haroon Sait Editor: Duston Barto Design & Layout: Mubin M.K.
“My sin burdened me heavily. But when I measured it against Your Grace, O Lord, Your forgiveness came out greater.” Imam Shafi (RA)
Through my travels, I have talked to hundreds, perhaps thousands of Muslims from all over the world. One common theme I hear over and over again is the doubt of one’s ability to be worthy of God’s forgiveness. People are eager to confess sins out of some desire to get it out of their gut and have someone validate that they are indeed forgiven. But we Muslims don’t work that way.
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There is a reason why we repeat the phrase “In the name of the One God, Most Gracious and Most Merciful” over a dozen times through our daily prayers. Our Lord Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the advertisers wishes to remind us that He forgives and grants mercy or individual contributing writers and not necessarily those of the because it is in His divine nature to do so. editor or publisher of this magazine.
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It is also a reminder of the most important attributes that we must embody. As Muslims, we are taught to learn the 99 names, or attributes, of God. This is not merely to cite them as trivia, it is to remind us that these are 99 attributes that we should try to reflect in some way. The Divine Creator has placed a spark of Himself in us, this is what grants us a unique soul and limited free will. As we harness that spark to emulate some small fragment of His attributes, we should turn to those that He reminds us of most often; Mercy and Grace. Reflect that to humanity and you will find yourself worthy of all the mercy and forgiveness that God has already granted to you. “Meet the people in such a manner that if you die, they should weep for you, and if you live, they should long for you.” Ali ibn Abi Talib (RA)
May God’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you all,
Editor, Muslim American magazine
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Charlotte Happenings from February
Al Maghrib Institute held a seminar entitled “Deception - A Study of Shaytan” at the end of January.
On Saturday 20 Feb 2016, ISGC Presented a seminar “Jewels of the Qur’an” with Shaykh Walead Mosaad.
The program was well organized as a comprehensive study on Shaytaan, his traps and what the believer should be aware of in dealing with this open enemy.
Imam Atif said, “His knowledge and wisdom has had such an effect on the community of Charlotte that people are already asking ‘When will the Shaykh return?’” ISGC has made all three sessions available on their YouTube page.
Meet Your Muslim Neighbor
Ask a Muslim
American Islamic Outreach and Islamic Community of South Charlotte co-hosted an Open House on Saturday, February 13th 2016.
On Wednesday, February 10, 2016, the MSA of UNC-Charlotte organized an information table in front of the Student Union at UNCC. American Islamic Outreach supported that event by providing free copies of Qur’an and brochures.
About 200 people were in attendance for a great evening including a presentation by Imam Eesaa Wood from Greensboro, NC.
Over 200 copies of Qur’an and lots of brochures were distributed.
Shifa Free Health Clinic American Islamic Outreach held its monthly Free Shifa Health Clinic on Sat, February 20th 2016. With dedication from all the volunteers, doctors and professional staff, everything ran smoothly and many new patients were registered.
The next Shifa Free Clinic date is Saturday, the 19th March 2016, God willing.
February Khutbah Recap As part of our ongoing effort to unify the Muslim American ummah, we are sharing the Khutbah (Friday sermon) from various Mosques in the greater Charlotte area so that everyone can listen to Imams that they may not have the chance to visit. For the complete audio of these Khutbah, please visit MuslimAmerican.com/Multimedia
“Every Word You Utter is Recorded” – Imam Atif Chaudhry
Islamic Society of Greater Charlotte, 7025 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28215 “Surely We have created man, and We know the promptings of his heart, and We are nearer to him than even his jugular vein. Moreover, there are two scribes, one each sitting on the right and the left, recording everything. He (man) utters not a word, but there is a vigilant watcher at hand (to record it).” - Qur’an 50:16-18 What the God is saying here in the Qur’an is very clear; when a person says something, it is recorded to make him or her accountable on the Day of Judgment. This passage should remind us of our responsibility and the gravity of the situation when we say things that can be either beneficial
or dangerous. We must all therefore possesses a be aware of what we are saying. characteristic of hypocrisy There is nothing that exists outside the till he gives it knowledge of God. We cannot hide up. These are: our speech or think that falsehoods when he is are not important. A Muslim cannot entrusted with something, he proves be a liar because this is the quality of dishonest; when he speaks, he tells a hypocrite. “Indeed, the hypocrites will be a lie; when he makes a covenant, in the lowest depths of the Fire - and never he proves treacherous; and when will you find for them a helper.” – Qur’an he quarrels, he behaves in very 4:145 imprudent, evil, insulting manner.” The Messenger of Allah said, Al-Bukhari and Muslim “Whosoever possesses these four Therefore, we must all guard our characteristics is a sheer hypocrite; and tongues. Speak only truth, peace, love anyone who possesses one of them and kindness.
“Justice and Fairness in Islam” - Imam Bassam Obeid
Islamic Center of Charlotte, 1700 Progress Ln, Charlotte NC 28205 “O, you who believe! Stand firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even if against yourselves, or your parents, or your relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, God takes care of both. So do not follow your desires, lest you swerve. If you deviate, or turn away; then God is Aware of what you do.” – Qur’an 4:135
rituals of worship to Him. When you witness, you must tell the truth. Even when you have a conversation with others, you must be just and fair in communication. We are constantly tested in the way we conduct ourselves to be just and fair. We must be willing to witness against ourselves, our family, and our friends in the interests of serving justice. The greatest test is when you are just and fair to those who have wronged you.
There is Justice in Islam between mankind and God, and between believers, and between believers and non-believers. Each pattern of justice and fair dealing is spelled out in the Qur’an as God guides mankind to In order to illustrate how this justice worship through acts of kindness and and fairness has been patterned by mercy to one another as well as the the companions of the Prophet, Sheikh Bassam gave many examples 8
from the great leaders of the early Muslims. One of the strongest of these examples is of Ali and Muawiyah. These two men disagreed strongly with one another. However, Muawiyah still respected Ali as a leader and would send messengers when he needed help on a ruling. We must be strong in our faith to project justice in every action and deal with our fellow man in fairness and equity at all times. www.MuslimAmerican.com
“Animal Rights in Islam” - Imam Tamir Mutakabbir
Masjid Al-Muminum, 1720 Wilson W Lee Blvd, Statesville NC 28677 “There is not an animal on the earth or a being that flies on its wings, that does not form communities like you. Nothing have We omitted from the Book, and they will be gathered to their Lord in the end.” – Qur’an 6:38 “The seven heavens and the earth, and all beings therein declare His glory. There is not a thing that does not glorify and praise Him, and yet you do not understand how they declare His glory, indeed He is OftForbearing, Most Forgiving.” – Qur’an 17:44 God gave every animal its ability. He enabled birds to fly, fish to swim, and horses to gallop. Animals were here on earth long before humans. They live in an existence of perfect submission to their nature in the way
God has created them. God then placed man and woman on the earth and gave them the responsibility to be caretakers, or khalifah, of the Earth and the animals upon it.
to eat sparingly of certain animals. We should respect the nature that God has created During his sermon Imam Tamir in them and expressed how those who are preserve the quality of life for all caretakers must take the responsibility animals. strongly. In many ways mankind has failed to be a proper caretaker for the We believers must reclaim our creation of God. Mankind has forced responsibility to be khalifah on the animals to fight one another for his earth. Be the caretaker of creation, amusement; he has killed animals for not its abuser. no purpose and has laid waste to the environment. Further, we must respect the life of the animals that we take for food. All life has been made sacred by God and permissions have been given to us
Should your Imam be featured in our future Khutbah Recaps? Tell us and send the khutbah! Editor@MuslimAmerican.com
What is the Role of Mosques in our Lives? Adapted from a Khutbah by Imam Osamah Salhia
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) said “Indeed the house of God is the house of every God-fearing believer” For many Muslim Americans, the mosque is neither a central nor a primary influencer. It takes a backseat in the list of priorities. When moving to a new locality, the question of “Is there a mosque nearby?” is not always prominent. Primary considerations are instead about how nice the neighborhood is, how lovely the houses are, the quality of schools, jobs opportunities etc.
We are quick to flood the mosque during Ramadan and Eid, but are we leaving it vacant the rest of the year?
the mosque except from one Eid to another. How then, will our children grow with an attachment to the house of God? Everyone has to assess his or her own condition. When was the last time I went to the mosque? Was it last Prophet Muhammad advised us that Friday? Is the mosque only worthy of those whose hearts are attached to an hour of my time a week? mosques will, in the Day of Judgment be shaded under the throne of God. Prophet Muhamad honored the When the leader of the faithful, Umar mosque so much that he uniquely (May God be Pleased with Him) distinguished the caretaker of the missed the Asr prayer in the mosque, mosque. When this woman who was he became so sad. He admonished the caretaker of the mosque passed himself, “You missed the Asr prayer away, Prophet Muhammad was only in the mosque, oh Umar,” He then informed after her burial. He asked donated his garden for the sake of the Companions, “Couldn’t you tell God seeking forgiveness for this me that she passed away?” Then, even error. He treated this as something though it was late at night, he went major. Some of us may not even feel with his Companions to her grave and that seriously about missing Jumu’ah prayed her janazah (funeral prayer). (congregational prayers) in the When Prophet Muhammad left mosque. his home Makkah due to religious Who did God say in the Quran should persecution and migrated to Medina, maintain the mosques? “The mosques he journeyed for days and throughout of God are only to be maintained by those the nights. However, the first thing he who believe in God and the Last Day and did when he reached the outskirts of establish prayer and give zakah and do not Madinah was to visit the first mosque fear except God, for it is expected that those of Islam, Al Quba. Once he arrived will be of the [rightly] guided.” – Qur’an in Madinah, he did not rest until he designated the ground for the mosque 9:18 to be built there. The Prophet and his We have to take care of the mosque companions then built the mosque like our homes and we should feel at brick by brick with their own hands. home when we come to the mosque. They were chanting poetry “Oh God, Unfortunately for most families, the the true reward, is indeed the reward parents themselves do not come to of the Hereafter. Oh God, have mercy upon the helpers and the emigrants.” 704-597-5424
Does anyone own the mosque? Do the mosques belong to wealthy investors? Do they belong to a particular organization or people? The mosques are all owned by God, they are all places where we gather together as believers seeking God alone, seeking to grow in our faiths and seeking to remember Him. If this is our intention, then God will bless our efforts and bless our mosques. We need to ask ourselves, does the mosque fill a space in my heart and the hearts of my children? Our mosques must become our community hubs. If you are moving to a new community or a new city and you choose to live in a place that is half an hour away from any mosque, you are choosing for your children to have a weak relationship with the house of God. The role of the mosque is not limited to prayer alone. During the time of the Companions, the mosque was central to all of their affairs. In the mosque they socialized, ate, gained education, tended to the sick and homeless, received delegations, and made important community decisions. We must revive this understanding of the mosque. Ask God to make us of those whose hearts are connected to the mosque and make the mosque the center point in all Muslim community affairs. 11
Jesus in Islam – I
Part 3 of Why You Should Call People to Islam Haroon Sait
Co-Founder of American Islamic Outreach Foundation
he day of coming to America finally arrived! I landed in San Francisco on September 7th, 1999. After wading through emigration and customs I rushed out to the arrival terminal. I had no idea what to expect and was pleasantly surprised to see a chauffeur holding a sign with my name on it. I felt like a VIP as I hopped into her car and we drove up and down the winding hills of San Francisco toward San Jose. After about an hour of driving we arrived at my “bachelor” apartment where a few other IT consultants who arrived before me have already settled down. We were all waiting for a software project elsewhere in America with any corporation contracted with
our company. My excitement soon started to fade as I realized “I have to cook!” My wife, Thafseera, had spoiled me with her delicious cooking for eight years. The transition to my cooking for myself was a challenge!
the buses and use acrobatics to hold on to some metal pipe railing in the steps, nor in Saudi Arabia. That courteous driver left a lasting impression in me about the wonderful people that The next morning I woke up early and I would be dealing with in America. got ready to go to work. I wore my Over the years that impression only brand new Pink shirt, which I bought got better and more concrete. in India for this exciting day. My roommates became my first guides in After several stops, we finally arrived at America as I joined them in a brisk the office at about 10. My roommates short walk to catch the 9:30 AM bus. introduced me to my boss, then my We arrived at the bus stop just two manager, the accounting department, minutes ahead! They taught me to and to other support staff. With few press the WALK button and wait for exceptions, everyone was from India. the beep before crossing the street to My manager jokingly rebuked me get to the bus stop. I was fresh from saying “No one wears pink here.” Saudi Arabia and this was a world of I had no clue of the color gender difference. Roads associations; we never had such a were clean and thing in India or in Saudi. I felt so not crowded, even embarrassed that the pink shirt never the air smelled saw the light of day again. different. This was an awesome feeling. I stayed in Santa Clara, CA for a little over a month. During the day, I was The bus arrived given training on new software which on time, the door prepared me for new client projects. opened and I In the evenings, I got bored as stepped inside. The homesickness slowly crept in. It was driver gave me a big hard to adjust to life with bachelors smile and the first after living with my wife and two thing I heard was kids for so long. In order to cure “Good Morning the boredom, sometimes my friends Sir. How are you took me to nearby malls and other doing today?” I was attractions. really surprised to hear that. This was Most of my roommates were Hindus my first experience and much younger than me. Their in America and that interests were mostly in movies and is not something other things that I had no inclination I was accustomed to. As I did in Saudi, I would initiate to! Neither in discussions around the dinner table Delhi, where I had about God and his books. Most of to sprint behind the time, these discussions didn’t www.MuslimAmerican.com
of people working in various departments and projects. This was my first experience working with Americans. As I expected, people were friendly and courteous across the board. In the cubicles near my work area there were several people who handled tech support over the phone. Even though they were not in my team, I tried to become good friends with them.
go well. I gradually withdrew as I felt that I was talking to the wrong crowd. During this time, my priority was to get over with the training so I can get interviews for projects. Only after I got a project and settled down somewhere, could I bring my wife Thafseera, and my sons Nabeel and Nadeem to the USA. Towards the end of my first month in the States, I felt confident about what I learned, so I gave some interviews and was offered a position. This job was with Nortel Networks in Research Triangle Park of Raleigh, NC. I said good-bye to my friends and flew to Raleigh. Fortunately, the hotel they booked for me was also in RTP just opposite of my workplace. The hotel-owned shuttle bus would take me to work and bring me back in the evening. My contract ran for a total of six months and I wanted to maximize my time with them. Nortel was a large corporation with thousands 704-597-5424
Whenever I would meet a Christian I liked to ask if they know what the Qur’an says about Jesus. Nine out of ten didn’t even know that Muslims believe in Jesus the messiah. I quickly figured out that the topic of Jesus and his mother Mary was the best way to initiate a conversation. I have to admit that in my initial years of calling people to God, I did not observe the courteous tone that is expected in America. Coming from India, I brought with me some baggage connected to the tense atmosphere created by missionaries. Later on I realized that I had to unlearn this tension and meet people in conversation. Unfortunately, there were bridges burned and irreparable damage done through this learning curve. The holy Qur’an exhorts Muslims to invite people to God. Since the overwhelming majority of American citizens identify with one of the denominations of Christianity, it just makes sense to start the conversation at a place where they can agree. The
Qur’an addresses a lot of these points directly as it invites the people of the book (Christians and Jews) to reflect upon God’s word. Here are some of those main points I intend to dive into more deeply in the next section: • Mary, mother of Jesus (peace be upon her) was a righteous woman. • Miraculous conception of Jesus by the Virgin Mary. • Jesus was a mighty prophet of God. • Jesus called people to worship one God. • Jesus did miracles with the help of God. • Jesus was like Adam. Adam had neither father nor mother. Jesus had no father. • Jesus was neither crucified nor killed. God raised Jesus to him. • Second coming of Jesus (from the teaching of Prophet Muhammad). • Jesus told his disciples of the coming of Prophet Muhammad (peace be up on him). God willing, I will write these in details in the next issue. May God’s peace and blessings be with you. If you have any direct questions for Haroon Sait, feel free to email him at: Haroon@MuslimAmerican.com
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” - Rumi 13
All content Copyright © 2016 Muslim American, Inc. except where otherwise noted. Please contact the editor or publisher directly to obtain r...