Cultural Fair Muslim American Will be Hosting the first annual Cultural Fair on,
Saturday May 20, 2017 For more information, please refer to the back cover of this magazine.
May -2017, Volume 3, Issue 5 ISSN 2377 - 9624 Publisher & Editor-in-Chief : Mohamed Haroon Sait Editor : Nabeel Sait 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.
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6 | In Perspective, with
20 | Charlotte Islamic Academy and
Sheikh Bassam Obeid
International House Hosts Russian
22 | Central Mosque of Charlseton
9 | Islamic Society of
Greater Charlotte Potluck and Mosque Tour Hanifa Shaikh
11 | To Islam - Shylon Smith
14 | Forging A New Generation of Peace andCoexistence
16 | Normalizing the System Of Hate 3 Muslim American May, 2017
Delegation of Scholars Open House
Home and Lifestyle 25 | Hyderabadi Chicken 65
Spiritual 26 | Plant A Seed This Ramadan Samia Mubarak
28 | If I Told You Today I was a
Messanger of God Part 2 - Eesaa Wood
Sunan Ibn Majah Chapter 9,The Book of Fasting; Hadith 1649; Rabiah bin Ghaz asked Aisha about the fasting of the Messenger of Allah (SAW). She Said, “He used to fast all of Sha’ban, until he joined it to Ramdan” - Sahih
In Perspective Preparing for Sha’ban and Ramadan in 2017: Advices from Sheikh Bassam Obeid As we head into Sha’ban, and Ramadan draws near, it is important to align our priorities and goals before we begin fasting. We asked Sheikh Bassam Obeid, Imam of Islamic Center of Charlotte, for his perspective on how to prepare for Sha’ban and Ramadan this year. With the current state of the ummah and rising political tensions, it is good to have clear game plan for yourself in Ramadan 2017. We wanted to address some common questions as well as questions regarding current affairs as it relates to Muslims around the world. In Sha’ban, what is the best thing Muslims can do before Ramadan arrives? Is there something that is better than anything else? “There are two authentic narrations of a hadith which says, ‘The prophet (pbuh) used to fast more in Sha’ban than any other month.’ Why did he fast in Sha’ban more than any month? Rajab is a sacred month, which Muslims know. Ramadan is also a sacred month; even nonMuslims know this. Sha’ban is the month between two sacred months; many people do not pay attention to it, but it is very important. The prophet (pbuh) said, ‘Allah will be presented with our deeds from Sha’ban, and I would like my deeds to have saum (fasting) in it.’ There is also another reason. If someone wants to prepare for an olympic event, what do they do? They train themselves. Fasting in Sha’ban is training for your stomach and your body to anticipate and prepare for Ramadan. When Ramadan comes to you then, it will be easy. On the other hand, people
6 Muslim American May, 2017
do not fast all year; Then when Ramadan comes, it is very difficult to fast. So I believe, fasting is the best deed you can do in Sha’ban and preparing yourself is the significance of Sha’ban.”
work, do not miss it; otherwise, when you go home, you may be tired, but do not waste the opportunity to read the Qur’an. You can also listen to the Qur’an when possible. You do not get the same reward as reading it, but you are rewarded for listening. The most important thing to focus on is intention. Have the intention to read the whole Qur’an; if something happens and you could not, inshallah, you will be rewarded for having the intention.” What is more important, reading the Qur’an as much as possible or trying to understand the Qur’an?
“This is an important question; I’m glad you asked. Ramadan is not a time to understand the quran or do thafseer. It is the With Ramadan being in summer, what advice do you time of reading quran. The great scholars: Imam Shafi, Imam give to Muslims who work everyday and find it difficult Abu Hanifa, Imam Nawawi, et cetera, when Ramadan comes, to read Qur’an? they would stop their classes. “It depends on the nature of Ramadan is the occasion of work, but for the most part, you reading Qur’an, not teaching will have some time to read or understanding. This is the Qur’an. If you can read at your best opportunity for reading
the Qur’an, there is no doubt in this. Allah says that the month of Ramadan is the one in which he revealed Qur’an (Surah Al-Bakarah: 185), therefore, Ramadan is the month of Qur’an. I would urge everybody to do many khatma (reading the entire Qur’an) in Ramadan. Imam Shafi, for example, would do two khatma a day; Not two a month, two in a day. That means, by the end of Ramadan, he will have read the Qur’an sixty times, cover to cover. I advise myself and my fellow brothers and sisters to read as much as you can.” Some would say that Ramadan is a time for self reflection and dedication to yourself and your iman, others would say it is a time for being a community and providing iftars for other muslims. To you, what do you think is more important to focus on? “Ramadan is a time for ibada (worship); it doesn’t mean you should neglect the social life. Just do not focus only on social; you should focus on reading the Qur’an and doing ibada. However, there is a hadith of Rasulullah (pbuh) which says, ‘O people! Spread (the greeting of) Salam, feed others, uphold the ties of kinship, and pray during the night when people are sleeping, and you will enter Paradise with salam.’ This is not only talking about the poor. if you help somebody break his fast, you will receive his reward for fasting without taking it from him. So this is one of the best things you can do in ramadan. ” What is your advice with Muslims in countries dealing
with Islamophobia? Do we try to avoid conflict at all costs, or do we do our best to explain Islam to nonMuslims?
Everything is available. There are masjid everywhere, in Muslim and non-Muslim countries. Muslims, in any generation, have to focus on what is missing. For our generation of Muslims, “It depends on the situation; if we are missing peace. There is the person in front you does not bloodshed everywhere. This is wish to be respectful and listen to a good nafahat ()ﻧَﻓَﺣﺎﺕ, meaning you, take the advice of the Qur’an: an opportunity in which dua ‘.. they walk on the earth easily, (supplication) is accepted by and when the ignorant address Allah. One of the longest periods them, they say salam’. It is very in which d’ua is accepted, is important to say salam or peace Ramadan. Prophet Muhammad be upon you, as this shows what (pbuh) said, ‘Allah accepts the real intention of Muslims are. the dua of the one observing Do not be harsh, rude or mad. If saum’. The Muslim has to live the person is open minded and in two dimensions; one, as the ready to listen, it is mandatory to individual and the other one as explain Islam to them.” a part of his ummah or nation. There is no doubt, each one of For organizations such us has needs with himself and Gain Peace, Why Islam and American Islamic Outreach, his community. You must ask for your needs from Allah, that who deal with many nonMuslims, is it wise to engage is understandable. However, in da’wah during Ramadan? you must elevate your rank to the level of ummah. We have “Doing dawah is one of the great to feel that ‘I am responsible, you are responsible’ with things Allah (swt) has described regards to the current state of in the Qur’an. Spreading dawah the Muslim ummah. It is my among non-Muslims is a great responsibility to invoke Allah thing and very noble. Ramadan to take their hardship from is the occasion to do it more and focus on it for many reasons. One them. In Ramadan, during this nafahat, you must beg Allah reason is for non-Muslims who for this. Especially after the hear about Ramadan and like to recent chemical attacks in Syria. learn our culture. They want to We have to take advantage of know what Muslims do during Ramadan; I urge all Muslims to Ramadan. I support it, 100 focus on using this nafahat to beg percent, and encourage to do it more in Ramadan. Inshallah, we Allah to help them.” get more rewards for this.” What do you believe is the most important thing to focus on this Ramadan? “Alhamdulillah, our deen is complete. We fast, we pray, we pay zakat (charity) and those of us who can afford it go to Hajj.
Muslims and Non-Muslims gather at Islamic Society of Greater Charlotte. The event was held in the hall area of the facility.
Islamic Society of Greater Charlotte Potluck and Mosque Tour
progressive organizations and houses of worship.
In his speech, Imam Atif emphasized the need to come together as a community. He stated that Muslims are part of the local community,making positive contributions to society. “We are not outsiders… we are not foreigners… we are not aliens.” Imam Atif also touched on the uneven reaction from the public and the media, who strongly condemn attacks against Americans or westerners, but do not show By Hanifa Shaikh the same level of outrage against attacks on people of another color, race, or creed. He concluded that we On the evening of the 7th of April, between 250 and as a society need to get to know each other better in 300 people gathered for a Charlotte Community order to build trust and mutual respect. By doing this Interfaith Potluck and Mosque Tour at the Islamic we will conquer fear and hatred. Society of Greater Charlotte (ISGC). The gathering included approximately 80 to 100 non-Muslim Friday evening’s program was well received by most. guests. The event was organized by Charlotte Humans Many of the guests enjoyed the food and conversations, and the UNCC Muslim Students Association (MSA). learning a little more about each other. American The host, as well as the keynote speaker for the Islamic Outreach was on hand with an information evening, was ISGC Imam Atif Chaudhry. There was table and translations of the Noble Qur’an for those also a message of support delivered by Julia Lopez on who had more questions about Islam and Muslims. During the dinner, there was a new sister who took behalf of U.S. Congresswoman Alma Adams. the Shahadah (testimony of faith) on stage. Eric Bostic, a member of Charlotte Humans, was the evening’s emcee. He explained that Charlotte Humans ISGC is planning to host an interfaith iftaar (breaking is a new organization formed during the airport of the fast) this coming Ramadan, sometime in early protest against President Trump’s “Muslim ban.” The June. organization is working hard toward a more positive and progressive future. Charlotte Humans Seeks to build a coalition of support from within the Charlotte community by organizing more events with other 9
To Islam By Shylon Smith
My father is retired US military. I was born on an American Air Force Base in Turkey. I knew about Muslims all of my life; however, I did not really pay attention to their religion until I was about 12 years old. My father is Methodist and my mother was a Southern Baptist until she married my father who had 22 years of perfect attendance in church, so she joined his church and became Methodist. My family has always been very active in the church. I remember believing in God and being sure about Him when I was five years old. I wanted to become a nun when I was eight years old. My parents told me no because only Catholics can be nuns.
and added information that made me very curious to learn more about Islam. I remember I asked, “Why did God have a son and not a daughter? Why did He kill his son after he told Abraham not to kill his son? What happened to the people who believe in God before the sacrifice happened?” The Muslim guy explained that Muslims believe in Jesus (peace and blessings upon When I was 12, I was confirmed him) but that he was a Prophet into the church. I visited other like Moses and Adam (peace and Christian denominations and blessings upon them both). He a Jewish synagogue during the said that God has no parents and confirmation process. Later no children and if you ask for that year my school took a field forgiveness and are sincere, He trip to the National Mosque in will forgive you for anything. I Washington, DC. This was almost learned later that most of the 30 years ago; they probably have beliefs about Jesus (peace upon more than one mosque there him) are the same: the virgin now. We saw a Quran that was birth, he is the messiah, and that hundreds of years old. I asked he was able to heal people as part the man who was there a lot of of the miracles God gave him. questions that I had been asking I knew that Muslims and Jews my preacher. My preacher had told me, “Have faith. Believe. Do believe in the same God as Christians. I went home that not ask so many questions.” The night and told my mother that I man at the mosque answered all needed to learn Arabic to read a of my questions in a logical way 11
book called the Quran because it was important. She told me there was not anyone to teach me in our area and DC was too far because ten miles there takes more than an hour to drive. She said Spanish would be far more useful and to take Spanish at school. I forgot about the visit for several years and studied Spanish. When I was in college, I met several non-practicing Muslims. By non-practicing, I mean they were not praying and they drank alcohol. May God bless them and forgive them. I asked one why he did not pray and why he drank alcohol. He told me, “I am a bad Muslim.” Looking back, I respect him for his honesty. He did not make up excuses or try to twist the religion. May God bless him. I was reading the Bible and thinking about why people are different religions and why humans are not all the same religion since there is only one God. I thought most people are whatever their parents are. I began thinking which one is really the right way? I prayed and asked God to guide me. I stopped eating pork and drinking alcohol in case I would become Jewish or Muslim. If I were to be Christian, which one, there are so many denominations… which one is the right one? I prayed daily and asked God for a clear sign. I promised that once I knew, I would stick to the right way no matter what and I would not ask for more signs. I had heard a sermon about a guy who when speaking to an Angel kept
asking for signs (in the Bible). He knew it was an Angel. That should have been enough. After a few months, I had a very clear dream and then woke up. Most dreams I forget quickly. This one I still remember vividly. There are many ahadeeth about dreams. I prefer not to share it in a public magazine. Just know that when I woke up, I was a Muslim from that moment. I began reading everything I could about Islam and began my journey to find my way. I had a very idealistic view the first few years. I thought Muslims were all good. Islam is from God and is perfect. Muslims are human beings like anyone else. Some are great and some are not. Most are medium. If you are nice to them, they are nice to you. I laugh at myself now looking back at how I thought everyone would think in the same way I do because it was so logical to me. I thought everyone would see that Islam is the right way. I would explain to non-Muslims and tell them about Islam and then feel sad when they did not suddenly see it on their own. Then I would deal with very closed minded cultural Muslims who would try to tell me everything except breathing is haram (forbidden). When I would give them evidence, they would reject any scholar not from their own country. Then I would try to talk about science with Atheists and wonder how they did not see God in all the beautiful creations on Earth because they are so complex. How many people know that one of Allah’s names is the Evolver? Do we all know Islam supports the evolution of animals? This could be an article on its own inshallah later. The Quran says there is no force 12 Muslim American May, 2017
in religion and God guides who He wants. It is our job as Muslims to be kind to EVERYONE (not just Muslims), to share with those who are in need, and to follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him). We should be open minded, always learning, and if we do all of these things, our kindness is an invitation to others to learn about Islam. We share the Quran with them, and then God will guide them when the time is right for them. Every person should be treated with respect and kindness. We might be the only Muslim they meet in real life, so we better be the best example we can be. We will be asked about it on Judgment Day. Eighty percent of non-Muslim Americans have never met a Muslim. Their only experience with Muslims is from the media. We also have to be good to other Muslims. In my almost 20 years as a Muslim, I have seen several women leave Islam because of the harshness of human beings who did not know the real Islam and who were pushing their customs from their home country onto new Muslims and trying to make them do everything the way those people did back in their country. Islam respects culture. We learn that cultural differences are fine. When someone becomes Muslim, you do not change their culture. Only the religion. The companions traveled and taught people about Islam. They did not try to change peoples’ foods or clothing. They focuses on the heart. Islam gives everyone rights including women, children, elders, and even pets and farm animals (I love animals, so this was really cool to me). New
Muslims have rights on other Muslims. We must say when we do not know something and refer them to someone with more knowledge. It is okay to say, “I am sorry I do not know and that is a great question. Let us ask a scholar.” It is wonderful finding new information and often there are multiple right ways to do something. Helping others answer their questions also opens our minds for new knowledge and gets us closer to Allah (swt). Give everyone the benefit of the doubt. The Prophet (pbuh) often allowed multiple views to exist at the same time and accepted them all as valid. He valued the opinions of others and listened to them. He made everyone around him feel special and needed. He included people of all ages, ethnic groups, and he included women. Women were everything from scholars to bodyguards. How many of us know the women who defended the Prophet in battles where he was surrounded and outnumbered? The Prophet (pbuh) empowered women and encouraged them. His wife Khadija (may Allah bless her) was an amazing businesswoman. She proposed to Muhammad (pbuh) because he was very honest and trustworthy. She had been his employer. Thousands of educated women in England, Australia, and the United States convert to Islam every year. I remember joking with a Muslim friend a few months before I thought about Islam. I said, “I would never be Muslim or Jewish. I like bacon too much.” Never say never. Smelling pork now makes my stomach hurt. A friend introduced me to beef bacon, and it was love at first bite. People ask me many questions.
The most common one is about my clothes. When people ask me about my modesty, I explain to them that Muslim women are like nuns who can get married and have kids. We pray a lot and we devote ourselves to taking care of our kids and parents and community. We help the poor and the sick, and we serve God exactly like nuns. We also dress like them. The Bible in Second Corinthians tells women to cover their hair. The Bible tells women to dress modestly. Islam tells men and women to dress modestly and to lower their gaze (not to stare at those of the opposite gender). Islam and Christianity have so many things in common because they are both from God. As Muslims it is our job to invite Christians to Islam. The Quran says you will know Christians by
their love. We need to share our love with them too. I pray for my parents and all of my family to become Muslim. I pray for our country and all of the world to live in peace and for all of us to be kind to everyone. If I start with my community and work to make it better, if each of us does our best, the world will be a better place. I often think of the Girl Scout motto: Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Change begins with one person. Let that change begin with me.
Sahih Bukhari Chapter 31, Fasting; Hadith 190; Narrated by Aisha (RA): “Allah’s Apostle used to fast till one would say that he would never stop fasting, and he would abandon fasting till one would say that he would never fast. I never saw Allah’s Apostle fasting for a whole month except the month of Ramadan, and did not see him fasting in any month more than in the month of Sha’ban.”
Forging A New Generation Of Peace and Coexistence
MSA Students speak with college peers about Islam. MSA has been doing this da’wah table annually for the past few years. This year’s efforts were supported by Dr. Sabeel Ahmed, Directior of Gain Peace in Chicago, IL.
“This year’s annual MSA UNC Charlotte Da’wah table was different than ever before. Alhamdulilah all our volunteers were trained prior to the event during Dr. Sabeel’s Da’wah Workshop and we all felt more empowered in our religion and dialogues throughout the event. The response from many of the non Muslim students was welcoming and we saw many returning faces during our other Islamic Awareness events later that week. The da’wah table not only served as a great precursor for the interfaith mosque open house event we hosted Friday of that week, but it was also the instigator for the formation of the MSA Da’wah Group, which now consists of about 12 very dedicated MSA members who are passionate about da’wah and are still connected now. We still are planning more da’wah events together and plan on volunteering together as a group around Charlotte inshallah to increase da’wah and Islamic awareness in the community routinely throughout the year.” -Abrar Al-Shaer, President of MSA UNCC
Photographs by Saman Siddiqui of Muslim Student’s Assoication at UNC Charlotte
Normalizing The System Of Hate
On March 23, 2017
the Wait Chapel at Wake Forest University, WinstonSalem, NC, hosted a presentation by Nihad Awad, the Executive director of Council on American Islamic Relations. The theme: Normalizing the system of hate. Continued on next page........
Muslim American May, 2017
Community Nihad delivered a stunning speech to a captivated audience. He spoke about the perils of allowing hate to be normalized. His speech was filled with historical facts and examples of when hate caused havoc in humanity. He pointed out the Rwandan and Bosnian genocides, which were relatively recent; He noted how the world failed to stop these atrocities. “Do not take credit for the skin color, take credit for your accomplishments. It is a dumb idea to be a supremacist of any kind”. His speech included many verses from the Holy Quran. He quoted ayat 22 from Surah Rum (Chapter 30) where Allah said “.. And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. Verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge.” Being a refugee himself, he explained how, as a child, he and other children in the camp would gather around the one television they had in the entire camp. He learned the plight of thousands of Africans who were brought to this land against their will. It brought tears to some people’s eyes when Nihad mentioned his doleful visit to a museum where he was able to touch the shackles of the slaves. While making his argument, that Freedom to practice one’s faith is worth standing up for, he quoted the famous verse in the Holy Quran from chapter 2 verse 256 where Allah says, “There is no compulsion in Religion”. He also confirmed this to the audience by quoting Surah Maeda, verse 32 “..because of that We ordained, for the Children of Israel, that if anyone killed a person, not in retaliation of murder or the spread of mischief in the land, it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.”
start with violence. It started with hate messages which set the stage for the violence. When you see hate speech, you must speak out against it. We have a moral obligation to fight the hate. Amidst all this Islamophobia, there has also been great show of support from various faiths and non faith groups who have vowed to stand with the Muslims. Nihad pointed out the example where a biker gang who came to support Muslims and stood in front of the armed and violent protesters. Muslims have also shown support to the Jewish communities in the country by raising funds to repair the damages when their synagogues and cemeteries were desecrated.
About Muslim Americans, Nihad said, “More During Q&A, Nihad singled out the current crisis than sixty thousand Muslim American doctors of Myanmar and the genocide committed against serve American citizens. You will also find Muslim American who are engineers, lawyers and financiers. the Rohingya Muslims. He expressed how powerful countries have been largely silent; they have let this continue in the very times we are living in. He A CAIR report which is due states that 2016 has ended by saying: “We have to stand up for those been the worst year for the Muslim Americans in whom we know, but It is more powerful when you the history of America”. He blamed a well funded stand up for those whom you do not know” network of organizations working round the clock in spreading Islamophobia. The Holocaust did not 18 Muslim American May, 2017
Charlotte Islamic Academy and International House Hosts Russian Delegation of Scholars
group of scholars from Russia, accompanied by two interpreters from US State Department and coordinators from Citizen Diplomacy Program at International House in Charlotte, visited the Charlotte Islamic Academy on Monday, the March 27, 2017. The goal of their visit was to learn how religious organizations focus on the development of civic culture among youth in America and how the organizations contribute to an environment that nurtures acceptance.
Mr. Farid ISMAGILOV
The group met with representatives from the students, teachers, and administrators of Charlotte Islamic Academy to learn about the academy and observe how it encourages youth activity in the community and contributes to the development of civic culture among youth. They also visited classrooms and observed students engaged in activities pertaining to their core-curriculum learning, as well as religious studies that help them to become productive citizens and good Muslims at the same time.
Advisor on Church-State Relations, Administration of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan,Kazan
The group was highly impressed by the diverse population of the school working in united efforts to enhance their academic achievements. The group included the following members from Muslim Communities in Russia.
20 Muslim American May, 2017
Imam, Spiritual Administration of Ural Muslims, Yekaterinburg Ms. Zimfira SAIDULINA Deputy Mufti of the Urals, Urals Islamic High Council, Yekaterinburg Mr. Ildar SALAKHOV
Mr. Ravil SEYFETDINOV Plenipotentiary Representative of Mufti Gaynutdin, Muslim Spiritual Directorate of the Russian Federation, St. Petersburg Mr. Akhmet YARLYKAPOV Senior Researcher, Center for Caucasian Studies and Regional Security, Moscow State University of International Relations, Balashiha Mr. Idris YUSUPOV Correspondent, Novoe Delo, Makhachkala
Central Mosque of Charleston Open House
Patrons and visitors of the Mosque intently listen to Imam Eesaa Wood.
On Saturday 21st April, The Central Mosque of Charleston on 1082 King Street was busy with non muslim guests who came to attend the semi annual open house organized by the Mosque and the director of Shifa Clinic, Dr. Reshma Khan.
friendship between all residents of vareity of other delicacies that Charleston. enhanced socialization and brought the Open House to a good The Organizers had prepared savory ending. dinner for the guests. Imam Abu Yacoobâ€™s Hummus and meatballs The Mosque is eyeing Dec 2017 were a hit. There were enough for the next Open house.
Dr. Reshma Khan opened the sesssion and invited Imam Aby Yacoob who welcomed the guests. The President of the Mosque, Amer Mahmood thanked the guests and briefed them on the Mosque and the services it offers and the outreach activities it undertakes. Imam Eesaa Wood from the Furqan Foundation delivered the presentation filled with enough information on Islam for some one to know the basics. He sprinkled light humor and made the presentation live, engaging and entertaining for all. The hour long presentation ended with Question and Answer session. The Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, John Tecklenburg expressed his gratitude and support for such outreach efforts in strengthening the 22 Muslim American May, 2017
(From left to right) Dr. Reshma Khan, Imam Aby Yacoob, Amer Mahmood, Eesaa Wood and Charleston Mayor, John Tecklenburg.
Home and Lifestyle
HYDERABADI CHICKEN 65 By Ayesha Iffat
Main Ingredients: 1. 1 pound Boneless chicken 2. 5 tablespoons Corn flour 3. 2 teaspoons Salt 4. 1 tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste 5. 1 tablespoon Black Pepper powder 6. 1 Egg 7. 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Sauce / Gravy Ingredients: 1. 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds 2. 4 to 5 Green chili slit and deseeded 3. ½ bunch Curry leaf 4. ½ teaspoon Salt 5. ½ cup Yogurt 6. ½ teaspoon Red food color 7. 1 tablespoon Corn Flour 8. 1 tablespoon Tandoori Masala 9. 1 teaspoon Chopped Ginger
1. In an empty bowl, add boneless medium size chicken pieces, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Ginger Garlic paste, Corn Flour and 1 Egg. 2. Mix well and keep aside. Let it marinate for half an hour. 3. After marinating, add oil to a frying pan, When the oil is hot, put in the chicken pieces and fry it on both sides till they turn brown and slightly crispy; it will take approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Keep the fried chicken pieces aside. 4. Remove oil from the pan, leaving only about 4 tablespoons of oil. Add cumin seeds, let them
splutter and add one tablespoon diced ginger, curry leaves, green chilies fry for 1 minute. 5. Add yogurt, salt, red food color, tandoori masala, one tablespoon corn flour and half cup of water. Mix well and cook this sauce for 2 to 3 minutes on medium flame until sauce becomes thick like gravy. 6. Now add fried chicken pieces into the sauce, mix well until chicken is well coated with sauce, cook for another 2 minutes. Garnish with thinly sliced green pepper and chopped cilantro. Serve with hot tandoori naan or paratha. 7. ENJOY! 25
Plant A Seed This Ramadan By Samia Mubarak
Ramadan is soon to be knocking on our doors, and as this beautiful month approaches, it is time for us to start planting our seeds. In what areas of your life do you have shortcomings? How can get you closer to God? What changes do you want to make to better yourself as a person and as a servant of your Creator?
26 Muslim American May, 2017
Illustrations by Nabeel Sait of Muslim American
Imagine planting a seed and carefully watering it on a daily basis. Slowly but surely, after nurturing that seed, you will see it bloom into a beautiful blossoming flower. The end result makes your effort at the beginning worth every drop of sweat you shed.
Plant those seeds now, for Ramadan is a time to water and care for them. With every fast, every sajda (prostration), every donation, every letter you read of the Quran, you are watering your seeds. And when Eid comes, God-willing you will see the fruits and blessings of those seeds come to life. You may currently be at a low point in your life, needing something to pick you back up, and that’s why Ramadan is so essential in our lives. It’s a chance to repent, a chance to change and get closer to God. You may feel like you’ve made so many mistakes between last Ramadan and now, and that there is no more hope for your darkened heart. This is where the Quran brings out a concept so powerful.
God says in the Quran, chapter 57, verse 16: “Isn’t it time for the hearts of the believers to humble themselves to the remembrance of God...”. Isn’t it time for you and I to prioritize God in our daily lives? The verse continues and says not to become like those whose hearts hardened with time. When you’re lacking in remembrance of your Creator, when you stop praying to Him and asking Him for your needs, a hardened heart is almost inevitable. But this is why the next verse is so pertinent.
assumed would never be sown now has a chance of becoming a beautiful blossoming flower. When you feel so far from Allah, filled with mistakes, with a heart so dark, know that God can bring light back into your heart, just as He gave life back to the dead land. There is always hope. And God starts off this verse by saying “Know”. Know it like nothing else, believe it, embody it, and let that be your motivation to plant a seed this Ramadan.
God says next: “Know that God brings life to the earth after it was dead. We’ve made Our proofs clear to you so you can understand.” God shows us that a dead land, a land we deemed absolutely lifeless, can come to life once again. A seed you
What will you harvest out of Ramadan?
Start today and ask yourself:
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If I Told You Today That I Was a Messenger of God Part 2
By Eesaa Wood
n last month’s article, we addressed that many people have concerns accepting Muhammad (P.B.U.H) as The Messenger of God. In that article, we took ourselves as well as any potential person we may be trying to convince through a logical progression to prove, without using “faith claims”, that The Prophet was truthful, God conscious, mentally sound and sincere in calling mankind to worship The One and only Creator. This month, we want to explore some of the signs of his prophethood. After all, signs are available for those who wish to see. A great debater once illustrated that man often asks to be shown proof. However, when the proof is given, the one asking for it has their eyes closed and says that they don’t “see” any proof. In that way, we should understand that no amount of evidence will convince a person who has already ruled out the possibility for Muhammad being a prophet. God the Most High even reminds us that absolute indisputable proof immediately condemns the person asking for it who doesn’t accept it on the spot. “They (disbelievers) say, “Why has no ‘visible’ angel come with him (the Prophet)?” Had We (God) sent down an angel, the matter would have certainly been settled ‘at once’, and they (the disbelievers) would have never been given more time ‘to repent’ (Quran 6:8). So, it is a mercy from The Almighty that the proof we offer today requires some reflection on the part of the reader. Let’s examine a few undisputed facts shall we? Today, Muslims all over the world have the same Quran. It contains over 500 pages of Arabic text that are continuously recited in the five ritual daily prayers and in religious gatherings all over the earth. We can be very confident that the Qur’an we recite today is the same Qur’an that the Prophet recited to his companions from 610 to 632 of the Common Era. The Birmingham manuscripts, recently discovered in the basement of a British museum, contain portions of the Quran. The carbon dating on these manuscripts falls right over the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Those portions have little to no difference in them from the same ones recited today. But beyond these 28 Muslim American May, 2017
early manuscripts of the Quran, we have an amazing and miraculous system that has preserved the Qur’an from corruption since its beginning. Miracle One: The Preservation of The Quran in the five daily prayers established in the life of the Prophet. According to The Prophet, Muslims should pray at least five daily prayers. At least three of these obligatory prayers are recited aloud by the prayer leader each day at mosques, in homes and at places of work throughout the world. In the prayer, the communities praying behind the prayer leader, who like him have memorized the Quranic text being recited in the prayer, are responsible to correct the order and pronunciation of the Quranic recitation by the leader if a mistake is made. If someone wanted to add or delete some portion of the Quran, they would have to convince the local leader and congregation behind him of this new correction, but it doesn’t stop there. Muslims also have Friday prayer, a larger community prayer where the local small prayer halls and Mosques close so that the community can go to the bigger citywide Masjid for Jummah prayer. They would also have to convince those people as well of the new correction. Still further we have the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca where millions of Muslims from all over the Earth convene for prayer in the Grand Masjid AlHaram once each year. You would have to convince them as well. In reality you would have to go all over the world and convince each individual Muslim one by one of this new correction in order to achieve the goal of changing the Quran. This is virtually an impossible task. This system has always preserved the Quran. As God said in the Quran, “It is certainly We who have revealed The Reminder (the Quran), and it is certainly We who will preserve it.” Quran 15:9 So it goes without saying that we recite the same Quran as those before us. When God says something in the Quran, we can be assured that it will happen in an extraordinary way as a “sign” of its divine origin. Let’s just take a few examples of signs from the Quran. Firstly, God calls
the book of the Islam (68 times), “The Quran”. Quran means “that which is recited continuously”. Secondly, God calls the opening chapter of the Quran (SuratulFatihah), “the seven often-repeated verses.”Quran 15:87 Finally, God says to The Prophet Muhammad, “And (have We not) elevated your renown for you?” Quran 94:4 Bear in mind that originally these statements in the Quran were revealed to a few hundred followers of Islam. Let’s see how all of these statements have manifested themselves over 1,400 years as signs. Remember we’re looking to see if the Quran is recited continuously by people, that the opening chapter is repeated often and that the Prophets repute has been raised. Miracle Two : The overwhelming number of times that the Quran, it’s opening chapter and The Prophet are mentioned by Muslims. There are an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims on earth today. There are few if any Muslims on earth today or in the past who have not offered a least one ritual prayer in their lifetime (Salatul-Eid for example, which is prayed twice a year on Muslim Holidays). In those prayers, there are obligatory elements that the Prophet mandated for the prayer to be acceptable to God. The recitation of the opening chapter of the Quran and the proclamation of Faith (I testify that there is no god except Allah and Muhammad is God’s Messenger) are necessary for the prayer to be considered valid. That means on holidays, at least 1.6 billion times the opening of the Quran is recited and Muhammad is proclaimed as God’s messenger twice a year. Now assume that all these Muslims offered their 5 daily prayers any given day of the year. With 19 repeating units in those five prayers, that would work out to 30,400,000,000 times the opening of the Quran is recited and 14,400,000,000 times that Muhammad is called God’s messenger (9 testimonies of faith in those 19 units). Even one practicing Muslim who prays their 5 daily prayers for 50 years straight will say the opening chapter 1,733,750 times and “Muhammad is God’s Messenger” 821,250 times! When you start factoring in the billions of Muslims that have lived over the past 1,400 years and all the voluntary and ritual prayers they have offered, these numbers become so astronomically high that...well one has to admit that The Quran is recited often, the first chapter is indeed often-repeated and the prophets renown is elevated. As Allah says, “Surely in this are signs for people who reflect.”Quran 13:3 It’s also worth mentioning that the Prophet’s name as God’s messenger is shouted in the call to prayer around 29
the clock from the tops of Mosques throughout the earth everyday of the year. Today, there could be as many as 1,000,000 Mosques and prayer halls where this is done in almost every county on the planet! Outside of the Quran you have prophecies that Muhammad made about the Future. The most famous of which is contained in the well-known Prophetic narration of Gabriel (Mentioned in the most famous and accepted book of authentic statements from the Prophet: Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih-Muslim). The Arch-Angel Gabriel comes to the Prophet and asks him to narrate the signs of the Day of Judgment. He responded, “When the poor Arabs begin to compete with others in the construction of higher buildings.” Today we see the Burj khalifa (the tallest in the world), Abraj Al-Bait towers (the 3rd tallest in the world) and the soon to be Jeddah tower (which will be the new tallest building in the world). All these buildings reside in different parts of the Arabian Peninsula. Let’s examine how unlikely this prophecy was to have happened. Miracle Three: The unlikely chance that the Arabs would become so wealthy as to build the tallest buildings on Earth. For more than 2,000 years there existed few if any buildings in the Arabian Peninsula that were greater than a few floors. Arab civilization, despite being as ancient and longer lasting than the Roman, Persian, or Egyptian civilizations around it, had little in terms of structures to compare. In the 19th and 20th centuries, God caused the industrial civilization to sweep the globe. One of the Major fuels of the revolution in technology and transportation was and still is today petroleum. Guess where God caused some of the largest supplies of petroleum to be found on earth? That’s right, Arabia. Now some of the poorest Arabs on earth become some of the richest people in the world. What do they do with their money? Literally compete to build the tallest building in the world. Had these unlikely events not all lined up so “coincidentally”, none of this would be possible. Without the industrial revolution, petroleum as its fuel and those large deposits of oil in Arabia, there would be no way for the Muslim community to “make” this prophecy come true. Indeed, we could go on and on about the signs and miracles contained in the many prophecies of the Quran and of the Prophet Himself, but these that we have offered today are a great place to begin, insha’Allah.
All content Copyright © 2017 Muslim American, Inc. except where otherwise noted. Please contact the editor or publisher directly to obtain r...
Published on Apr 28, 2017
All content Copyright © 2017 Muslim American, Inc. except where otherwise noted. Please contact the editor or publisher directly to obtain r...