June -2017, Volume 3, Issue 6 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. This magazine is published monthly. Article Submission : Editor@MuslimAmerican.com Advertising inquiries : Haroon@MuslimAmerican.com Muslim American 400 Arrowhead Dr East Charlotte, NC 28213
Phone: (704) 597-5424 FAX: (704) 597-9310
Editorial 5 | The Fear of Fear By Nabeel Sait
6 | In Perspective,
Black Lives Activism, Gay Rights, Media and ‘Trumpism’ with Imam Yahya Ederer By Nabeel Sait
Community 10| Taking Back
Control of the Muslim Narrative By Saad Haq
22 | Headache, A nagging
discomfort or a pending neurological devastation Qaiser By Toqeer MPH MD
12 | Islamic Center of the
Triad’s Local Refugee Aid Efforts By Maitha Ali
Home and Lifestyle
16 | Tamishan: The Old
African By Melissa Henry
24 | How they learn in a special way By: Sajdah Ali
19 | Islam is Interfaith
By Duston Barto
26 | Simple Ways to have a
Healthy Ramadan This Year By Rumana Bai
Medical 21 | Ramadan & Oral Health
By Dr. Naba DDS
Spiritual 29 | Since Last Ramadan By Tammy Little
June 2017 Muslim American Magazine
The Fear of Fear As we reach the fifth month, since the election of our leader, we find ourselves with more questions than answers. Any doubts we had of the candidate, before the election, still remains. For many of those Americans who voted for Trump, it is a troubling time. Many promises were made to the supporters of the republican party; the loyalty of the voters were rewarded with more promises and less access to healthcare. It seems that, in the current state of affairs, the only thing most of us can do is debate. Many students, coworkers and friends are caught in a battle of political correctness and awareness. We seek to change the opinion of the others because we feel that one side is not being represented. However, it is quite easy to forget that, problems we are facing on our own soil are nothing compared to the struggles of our brothers and sisters overseas. For those of us who have been in the US since the tragic events of September 11th, we know Ramadan is an especially trying time for Muslims. However, this year will be the most challenging. Aside from the unyielding Islamophobic rhetoric that already exists, now we are faced with the immediate repercussions of political unrest that affects every American citizen. My heart goes out to the victims of Manchester; As Ariana Grande put it, “words cannot express our sorrow for the victims and families harmed in this senseless attack.” In truth, it is senseless; unfortunately sense is not how decisions are made any more. Emotion takes the front seat and rationality is replaced with fear. It is important that all Muslims keep calm in the face of ignorance. It is not our job to fix the opinions of all the biased individuals. It IS our obligation to observe patience during this month. Even though the current president does not do anything to calm the fears of our people, FDR has told us, “There is nothing to fear, but fear itself”. It is crucial that we remain calm, rational, educated and opinionated; the only thing we cannot be, is afraid. Ramadan Kareem,
Nabeel Sait Editor of Muslim American Magazine
Muslims in the Middle East prepare for Ramadan by placing lanterns in the street to make the city festive for the holy month. This picture is a street in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
June 2017 Muslim American Magazine
In Perspective Black Lives Activism, Gay Rights, Media and ‘Trumpism’ with Imam Yahya Ederer By Nabeel Sait Imam Yahya Ederer, previously the Imam of Islamic Society of Tulsa, has moved back to Charlotte as the Imam of the Muslim Community Center. Imam Yahya has a certification of mastery in Arabic from Egypt, as well as a diploma in Islamic Studies from Kuwait. Imam Yahya, being born in America, has first hand experience in the tides of American culture. We sat down with the Imam to understand what he believes to be the most important issue regarding the Muslims. He believes that the current political events, as well as civil unrest, is the most pressing issue which Muslims must become active about. This is his perspective. In your opinion, what do you believe is the most urgent issue for Muslims to focus on? “The state of the Muslim community, and the American community, are at such a place where there is no room for Muslims to be reclusive or complacent. We need to establish the human element with our neighbors. We cannot just stay between the house, the mosque and the halal restaurant. We have to build relationships and understanding, based on genuine desire to help one another. That’s the missing reality of the whole anti-Islamic narrative. Right now, what we are seeing in the country, with the emergence of ‘Trumpism’, is the dormant crowd of very nationalistic and culturally white christians who feel that this is an identity issue. They are threatened by anything that doesn’t fit in their comfort zone. I think after eight years of having a black president, and the false claim which he was secretly Muslim, added up to this frustration. Trump knew very well that, on average of most polls, 61% of American people have an unfavorable view of Muslims. To become president of the United States, this is 6
which is subjugating these black communities. We, as Muslims, should be out there engaging society on important issues. Although many Americans, have What are your goals as the a fear of Sharia law taking the new Imam of the Muslim country, the sharia itself says to Community Center? help establish the good principles of the current laws and forbid “The new Muslim Community the bad principles of the country; Center is a fresh project, it Which is part of the democratic already has a lot of native system, honoring the law of the born people involved in the establishment of this center. This country and your contracts. is such a huge step in the Muslim We are here to establish a politically active, social, muslim community of America. God bless the immigrant community community driven by a spiritual connection with God. Empower that tried very hard to establish their faith and communities, but the younger generation to come together and work on that baton pass is way overdue. the American Muslim Identity. It is very important in order to thrive and flourish for our future We have to rectify the current image of Muslims by making generations. What I would like the connection. We are working do is, facilitate that growth and with Saad Haq, and his project development. For example, you see “Black Lives Matter” and you hear someone say that “All Lives Matter”, of course all lives matter. However, there are ten houses in front of you, one of them is burning down, and no one is doing anything about it, because “All Houses Matter”. So the other ones should be taken care of before putting out the burning house? It makes no sense. There is still a huge, oppressive system an effective agenda to receive support. It is our job to change that narrative by getting involved in the American community.”
Muslim American Magazine June 2017
In Perspective “Being There”, to facilitate help to the underprivileged charlotte communities. Making sure that the Muslim’s representation of divine mercy is there to less fortunate people. We currently have someone on the Mecklenburg board working with us, and I plan to be very proactive. We will also be working with school system when it comes to the history and facts being taught in school.”
How do we approach those nationalistic Americans who behave like bigots or discriminate certain groups?
“If you look at Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons who go door to door, it becomes annoying, and most people don’t entertain that; but when you’re coming with something that is less mystical and something more tangible, it can be effective. You can look where strong Trump In today’s world, you are not support is, you will see the ‘Trumpsters’, but you will also allowed to stay on the fence see a lot of people on the fence . on any issue. If you do, you I know people in my family like seem ignorant. Now that this; in their minds, racism is everyone is forced to pick a side and be educated, how do over, it’s not real. This idea itself is pretty racist. They think racism you approach someone on is over, black people have all the an extreme and bring them to fence and look at the other opportunities and equal access to education as everybody else. side? That’s the way they have been “It’s about the human element, taught, they don’t know about making people feel comfortable black people and their plight. in a genuine way. If you never Basically, the human connection deal with people in that way, it between the two groups of will be awkward at first; but the people is not there. They live more you work at it, the more you in a bubble. Those people don’t start to have a humble desire to know what racism is, they look learn something, you can make at it as ‘exceptionalism’.One way them comfortable. For example, to approach them is to have an when you speak about ISIS, you event where Muslims sit down can tell them, ‘Look, Muslims with a nay sayer of the Muslim have been around for 14 centuries, community. Get someone who’s there hasn’t been this fear of in the evangelical crowd and is global conversion till 9/11. Since tapped into Christianity; you then, many events have taken can use them to teach the nonplace there in the war torn region. Muslims about the real teachings The people are going through and similarities between the this terrible thing that we can’t scriptures. even imagine, being put in this Many Muslims are also out political turmoil.’ if you come in of their comfort zone when it terms of absolutes and trying to dispute their opinions, you will get comes to civil rights, should Muslims be engaging in nowhere. Whereas, if you show all the current civil rights them the true unbiased facts and let them come to their conclusion, movements? by questioning themselves and “Muslims have to respect the thinking about the possibility other citizen’s rights to believe or rather than just hearing your disbelieve… As you said, there are rhetoric, it will go alot farther.”
Muslims who live in a bubble as well. There was once a man who came to me and said, ‘Imam saab, I appreciate that you’re trying to help us make da’wah, but if I go make friends with non-Muslims, they are going to take me to the strip club or try to convert me’. This is the same issue that is happening with the nationalistic American cultural issue. One group wants to believe that the other group is trying subjugate them, when that is not the truth. I went to Kuwait after studying at the Islamic American University and took a job with the Islamic presentation committee. This time I had to meet American and British soldiers and American expatriate businessmen who work in the oil industry and live in Kuwait. At first, there were some awkward exchanges, it’s normal, it comes that way. This is the effort, this is jihad. After a couple of years, I got to a point where I was extremely uncompromising and devout as a Muslim, while remaining respectful, kind, gentle and understanding when starting that bond with nonMuslim people. You just have to get to the point where you’re relating to people with ease. The way Muslims talk amongst each other, is very different. Not that we are hiding something, it’s just a certain attitude which we have. There are certain ‘understood’ conspiracy theories that are blown out of proportion that Muslims take as a fact. We must stick to the truth, present the reality that you know for sure. We must teach our people about discourse because America is an extremely intellectual society. With politics and religion, people become highly polarized to their family or their way of thinking. It’s not Islamic behavior.”
June 2017 Muslim American Magazine
For the new generation of Muslims that came after immigrants, their view on gender equality is much more lax than their parents or the older generation. Should the Muslims be helping with issues on gender equality, potentially going against the beliefs of the previous generation?
encourage my community to follow it; but I will encourage my community to respect their rights here to follow the practices if it agrees with the law of the country’. You see that gays were the ones who were attacked and abused in the last few decades, and now the Muslims are the ones like that. You will find that the top political entities that are defending the Muslims across the country is the gay community, because they see us going through what they went through. Here, we have something in common, the right not to be opressed.”
group of people on TV can help that group form an identity or image that is easily understood by the TV viewers. For example, gay characters in movies and TV. Would it help Muslims to try to be involved in entertainment to further this ideology?
“I think it’s important to bring the average Muslim to TV. There was “Basically, we need to understand a group of scholars who convened our religion without emotion. in Jeddah, they said that the Look through a lense of priority modern mode of influence is mass and clarity. On the issue of gay media, and entertainment is at rights, many Muslims are very the top of the list. When it comes emotional about this. Anyone to Maher Zain, Lupe Fiasco or Are we allowed to donate to who thinks about it outside of other influential Muslims who organizations, such as the the emotional reality, they will have a moral thread coming ACLU, who supported the see the merit. They don’t have to from them, it is so unappreciated Muslims during the travel agree or support these practices; bans, even though they might and underutilized. This idea they can see the merit that this also be supporting rights for of discouraging Muslims from does not compromise our own anything to do with television is un islamic principles? islamic beliefs. Are we living a big mistake. Because there is a in an Islamic state? No. Are we “Some scholars may say that is lack of practicing Muslims on TV, obliged to recognize that this is okay, others scholars will say it is the non-practicing self identified a secular state? Yes we are. By Muslims are the ones who look citizenship, by visa, by greencard, doubtful, avoid it. Here is where I draw the line in generality of for diversity and inclusion. It’s we are in a covenant legally that where I put my funds. When important for the average Muslim this is a secular country and we The ACLU came out as a driving to get involved in the arts and are honoring that. When we force against the legislation of establish the human image. Show respect that and all the laws of the Muslim ban, as a show of them praying a rakah of prayer the land, we should also agree solidarity tens of thousands just to show them how parts of that everyone has a right to their their life would be. If we can get beliefs and practices. Do we have of muslims came together in support and donated to them, I these ideas out there, the better it to agree with the practices? No. am one of them. This was to say, will be.” However, we respect their right ‘We appreciate that effort. We to beliefs as they live in America How can others see what know the field you’re in is blind and they will respect us. They have the right to be acknowledged justice and it’s respecting without events you have planned and your programs dates? in the American construct just as political or religious bias.’ When you look at it, you see that there Muslims have the right to their “They can visit www.charlottemcc. is more good in it than there is beliefs and practices. Gay rights bad, without specific religious text org where we will have began with discrimination and information on events and our oppression of the gay community, forbidding it; In that context, i’m plans. We are working on a multiprimarily bullying. Now they have a donor. Where as if there were faceted social program named many causes to donate to, right came back with their activism ‘Open Tables’, things like this are in front of me, which benefited in full force. Many Christians I what we plan to do. You can see Muslims, would I donate to the know say, ‘I don’t believe in gay programs like this and others on marriage, but i respect your right ACLU? No.” the website.” to it’. Same way, Muslims must Reza Aslan and others say, ‘Religiously, I don’t agree have stated that having with gay marriage and i will not a humanizing image of a 8
Muslim American Magazine June 2017
Taking Back Control of the Muslim Narrative
simplicities and complexities - are When pondering on this, I had to ask myself, how well do I know winning the hearts and minds of my Muslim brothers and sisters? the viewer, myself included. How much do they know about People invest their time in telling, me? We know each other through listening, and watching stories. the Masjid, activities, Eid prayers, They invest in a character who and other programs, but when do By Saad Haq resonates with them because it we sit down and learn about one I credit my passion of storytelling may represent who they are and another at a deeper level, beneath to a mixture of Bollywood movies, who they want to become. There the surface? If we are not doing Hollywood movies, and American is at least one negative outcome; this as much within the Muslim people may invest in a character television shows. Earlier movies community, how can we tell who may be like them, but may in my life such as Stand By Me, others about ourselves? not best depict who they are; The Breakfast Club, and Dil To take back control of the Chahta Hai to recent movies such that is when the divest from that narrative, and to use my passion character. And when they realize as Boyhood, Piku, and Kapoor for storytelling, the best way I this pattern continuing, it gives & Sons depict stories of family, could contribute was to create a a negative representation, which friendships, relationships, and podcast, which is called Muslim the transitions and challenges life people take to believe to be the StoryTellers, or MuST for short. norm, when it truly is not. presents. These movies are not The goal of this podcast is to bring the normal 2-3 hour marathons, For Muslims, this is well known Muslim voices to the forefront, consumed by the masses, giving to us, whether depicted in TV, countering the false narrative an escape from reality through Movies, or in the News - this has with stories of our own to define colors, opulence, romance, been happening well before 9/11. the true Muslim narrative. These explosions, special effects, and It is a narrative being told by stories can be about family, logic defying action. These are people who do not have a correct friendships, relationships, and stories that can relate to many of understanding of what Islam the transitions and challenges life us; the movies themselves may is and who Muslims are. Our presents, or they can be about not be true stories, but we can find response should be to take back anything else. There are many truths in them that apply to our control of the Muslim narrative. stories that can be told; we forget lives. that our stories are relatable to In the Qur’an, Allah tells us In addition to movies, television many people, regardless of age, in Chapter 49, Verse 13: “Oh shows have had the same impact religion, or ethnicity. The mission Mankind, We have created you on me. Shows such as Breaking is to flip the script, to be the from male and female and made Bad, Mad Men, Lost, The Wire, protagonists, not the antagonist. you nations and tribes so that and The Sopranos have been you may know one another (not The podcast has 16 episodes with heavily popular, even after they despise each other). Indeed the stories from different Muslims. have stopped airing, thanks to most noble of you is the most One story we have is a person’s online streaming services such as righteous of you.” This verse journey to Islam through a Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, and has been used in many occasions Muslim who fought for America the test of time. Shows such as in the context of interfaith in the war on terror. Another these have defined the Golden collaboration, bridge building, podcast we aired was about a Age of Television. This period is and solidarity, and it should still Muslim navigating out of Ground continuing, not just because of be used for this. What if we take Zero on 9/11. Our most recent hours of programming available this verse and ponder on it some one was about Muslim changing outside of the normal broadcast more? Allah is telling us to know career paths to Mass Media and and cable channels, but due one another and one way to know Journalism as her contribution to to a great number of original one another is by telling our own promoting the Muslim narrative. content being offered. In a world stories to different nations and InshaAllah, we will be airing of movie and TV remakes and tribes. Muslims by themselves Episode 17 at the beginning of reboots, shows with original are made of different nations and Ramadan. content, character depth, and tribes. multi-layered plot - and all its We are looking for more people 10
Muslim American Magazine June 2017
to share their stories. The storytellers can be anyone, there is no prerequisite, one just needs to be willing to share their story, and we can help you through that process. Stories one may not think are good stories may turn out to be great stories. If you are the person that may not know where to start, perform this simple mental exercise by asking yourself one question: “If had to tell one story, what would it be?” Once you have it, believe in it, because there is power and wisdom in every story. To visit our website, you can go to www.muslimstorytellers.org. If you are interested and you know of others who are interested in sharing their story, feel free to reach us at muslimstorytellers@ gmail.com The morning after the election, my children asked who won, and I told them. The one who they hoped would lose became the
victor, and they reacted with some concern. Their very first question after my response was “What happens next?” I replied “You will need to grow up a little faster.” The best way we can help them grow is to help them become great communicators. They can be whatever they desire to be, but they need to be effective communicators because they will need this skill for the rest of their lives. We all need to be effective communicators to convey our message better, only then will people invest their time in telling and listening to these stories. I
hope for myself and for all of us that Muslim StoryTellers will be the first step in that direction.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanintarian Affairs, 13.5 million Syrians require aid and humanitarian relief, 5 million Syrians are refugees, and 6.3 million are displaced within Syria; half of those affected are children.
Islamic Center of the Triadâ€™s Local Refugee Aid Efforts By Maitha Ali
(GREENSBORO) â€“ In response to the oppressive political and economic climates within the Middle East and Africa, large flocks of refugees have been displaced in various countries, including the United States. In fact, according to a demographic study completed by Pew
Research Center, nearly 85,000 displaced refugees entered the U.S. in the fiscal year of 2016 (PRC, 2016). Since then, many churches and other nonprofit organizations have taken the initiative to intervene with the affairs of the refugees, sacrificing an extensive amount of resources, efforts, and time in attempt to assist them. A prominent and notable non-profit organization in the small yet populated city of Greensboro, North Carolina, has a similar mission. The Islamic Center of the Triad (ICT) Refugees Committee, founded by a team of Muslim activists, is a newly established organization with hopes of aiding families who have endured separation, immense discomfort, and suffering. This team is determined to empower and transform the lives of the displaced refugees who know little to nothing about America. “Our non-profit organization was primarily established to serve the ends and objectives of the refugee’s community where the government and other resettlement agencies may lack in support and/or resources,” Sheikh Badi Ali, one of the founding members stated. The ICT Refugees Committee, oversees 97 families within Guilford County, including the cities of Greensboro and High Point. While more than half of the refugee families are from Syria, the rest represent the countries of Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Congo, Bhutan, Somalia, and Sudan. Of course, this overwhelming selfless service is not achieved in solitary – however in solidarity. “We maintain constant contact with our partnerships of numerous resettlement agencies as well as some churches, such as the College Park Baptist Church,” executive Director of the ICT Refugees Committee, May Zamamiri, stated. “This not only avoids overlapping of services, but unites our community towards one cause – regardless of our individual differences,” Zamamiri added. Considerable efforts assembled by the ICT Refugees Committee include monthly educational orientations, featuring accredited guest speakers who discussed topics of Medicaid, rights as a refugee, job hunting, and ways to access different services and resources. In addition to education, schooling, and adapting to the new environment of American laws and culture, the Committee has also assisted by providing counseling and health
check-ups, in which several refugees were diagnosed and treated for any physical or mental faults. Also, clothing, furniture, and food drives, were carried out on several occurrences. Earlier this week, because the holy month of Ramadan is upon us, the ICT Refugees Committee evenly distributed a 55-pound box to all families, obtaining a variety of halal meat and other food products. So how is this non-profit organization notably accomplished? And why do they sacrifice their own personal endeavors? Zamamiri explained how her background as a bilingual Palestinian benefits her in this field of work. “Palestinians are generally closer to the language and culture. For the sake of Allah (SWT) anyone can do this job, but being a practicing member of the religion of Islam and knowing the culture and the language – I make it easier for the refugees.” She goes on to state, “This is what sets us apart from other agencies – not only our drive, but our diversity, and ability to naturally connect without having cultural or language barriers.” “I am an immigrant, so I understand,” Samira Khan, Outreach Officer of the ICT Refugees Committee stated. Khan is a self-motivated, and exceptionally educated individual from Pakistan, who shared her struggles as a former refugee – mentioning that even the three languages she was fluent in, were not useful when she initially entered the U.S. “At one point, I had to start a new life too, so I am not only physically involved with these individuals [refugees], but mentally and emotionally too.” Khan said. According to Sheikh Badi Ali, “Without volunteers, we would not be able to continue the work we do. Always get involved.” Ali also believes that service is a form of worship and explicated the importance of making the refugees feel welcome. “We are all only human. These people may not remember what you did for them, but they won’t forget how secure and happy you made them feel,” Ali said. Ali concluded, “We worship Allah (SWT) by serving, caring, and loving our community and the community at large.” June 2017 Muslim American Magazine
Tamishan The Old African By Melissa Henry Even before Trump began dismantling any semblance of developing race relations in America, many believed that ‘Muslim’ and ‘foreigner’ were interchangeable terms. Few know of the influence African Muslims had on the communities that line the Mississippi River or grace the southeast coast of the United States. Some clearly understand that Columbus was not the first to reach North America and that West Africans from the kingdom of Mali crossed the Atlantic and interacted with indigenous peoples here as early as 1311. Still the information regarding the hidden heritage of African Muslims in the Americas is lacking. Most assume Islam was brought to the Americas during the latter 18th century as official immigration laws were formed. Those of us who have had to hunt frantically for some connection to our past know differently. My search for my family’s past began when I was a Berkeley undergraduate, majoring in English and minoring in African-American studies. At that time I knew almost nothing of what the continent of Africa had to offer, a rich, varied culture and history dating back thousands and thousands of years. My senior thesis ended up being a 40 page essay on the Presence of African Muslims in Antebellum America. Combing through narratives detailing life during slavery and witnessing the beauty and diversity of the culture that persists gave me such hope. At that time I only dreamed of being able to witness firsthand the legacy of my ancestors’ past. In order to increase my chances, I knew I would have to head to the Southern region of the United States where all of the original slave history had been formed and the narratives were carefully preserved. I spent years traveling the area, hoping to expose my children to our strong roots. We toured Savannah, GA admiring the rich culture there after visiting Charleston and Hilton Head to learn about the Gullah People, but it was in Burke County, NC that I found a true gem. I had always read about the examples of inspirational individuals (including Islamic scholars and Muslim royalty) who had been kidnapped from West Africa and dragged into the hellish experience that was the American slave system. Names such as Abdur Rahman Ibrahima, Bilali Muhammad, and Ayub Ben Soloman graced the pages of my early research. Their examples were few and far between, 16
Muslim American Magazine June 2017
but amazing nonetheless. The stories of how these African Muslims had succeeded in preserving key elements of culture, some even convincing their owners to set them free and allow them to return to their native lands amazed and inspired me. To find the living descendants of one such patriarch was a dream. It took years and years, but this dream was actualized in 2012. It all started when I became friends with my 88 year old neighbor, Mr. Woodard, a decorated Veteran, retired mechanic, and avid farmer. After spending a year in his presence, absorbing all I could, I learned that his father had built a barn on a local plantation where a particularly memorable ancestor was held captive as a slave. He was lovingly known as the Old African by his family here and as Negro Prince by the white community. We traveled to the Swan Pond Dairy, a well known plantation, now a preserved historical site, to investigate. Here we found out more exciting news! The granddaughter of Waightstill Avery, the plantation owner, knew of Tamishan. She shared that he practiced Islam and was able to impress her grandfather with his knowledge and ability to speak seven languages, as well as Arabic. In addition, she said, his skillful Qur’anic recitation kept the local slave owners in awe. They would gather, she told me, to listen to Tamishan recite. The African American community in Burke County knew well of the noble prince who was mentioned by a third-party in a newspaper. Most exciting for me was the fact that this African Muslim had descendants who knew of his legacy. In fact there were a large number of these descendants with the last names Avery and Fleming populating the small town where I lived. A local barber, Jimmy Fleming, was next on my list of people to see. The story he told me brought tears to my eyes for it told of fearless perseverance and peaceful resistance. Jimmy explained that the story had been passed down throughout his family for as long as he could recall. He shared with me this account of Tamishan, a well documented part of his family history that appeared in a book, A Summer Remembered, written by one of his family members. During slavery, Tamishan made it known that he would never be a docile servant. He revolted every chance he got, in word and in action. Jimmy shared: “As my grandfather told me and his father told him,
the family and larger African American community. Nothing can take away the pain that our people have gone through during our time here, but hearing stories of survival during one of the darkest chapters in human history is like seeing a spark of light in a sea of darkness. Knowing that a knowledgeable Muslim man broke the chains of slavery and impacted this small rural town in the foothills of Appalachia serves as a reminder for me. The painting of Tamishan that still hangs in the Burke County library in downtown Morganton brings me joy every time I see it. The history speaks for itself. Jimmy added: “Slavery life was hard. People worked all the time but our families were kept intact. When emancipation time came, we were free to come and go as we saw fit. Papa and Grandpapa secured land and changed their name to ‘Fleming’ because Avery was a slave name. So that’s how we came to be Flemings and not Averys. Every time Grandpa would see his former owner coming down Burkemont Avenue, he would take great pleasure in sitting on his porch like a man of leisure, showing his former owner that he was his own boss now. This used to greatly irritate old man Avery.” Many have taken on the great responsibility of educating their progeny. Tamishan, the Old African, was a source of pride for his descendants, who knew that he used knowledge to rise above his oppressor. Recently a friend of mine, More important was the strength his children Sandy West, who has been working on preserving inherited from him, demonstrated in their brave historical documents at the Morganton History decision to change their surname as a means of Museum found an old store ledger that makes disassociating themselves from the institution of mention of a Negro prince who was making a slavery. Just listen to Grandpa Fleming’s message to purchase on behalf of his owner in 1790. This his offspring: “Never accept a substandard status” was a joyous discovery for her, and it served DePapa, the modern patriarch of the family taught as confirmation for those of us who have been his children. He emphasized: “We could not be researching the story. In fact, when I first presented slaves so long as we knew who we were. We come this story to the Citizen Times, the reporter who from a proud line of Africans of noble birth. We kept followed up with me asked if there was any evidence. our pride because we know who we are. You should At that time I knew I had none except for the do the same. Never let anyone mistreat you.” I am family and community who spoke of him. It was honored to have been permitted to participate in the quite miraculous that when I called to speak to sharing of this story. I pray the words are of some Sandy, who is known as somewhat of an expert on benefit to those who read them. Anything that has Tamishan, she had this new discovery to share with been helpful is due to the Most High. me. To myself and my neighbor Mr. Woodard, to his The original account by the Fleming family descendants and those who knew his family, there can be found here: http://www.enquirer.com/ was never any question about his existence. To this editions/1999/02/11/loc_up_from_slavery.html day, Tamishan’s wisdom in the face of a terrible oppressive force provides a source of comfort for June 2017 Muslim American Magazine 17 Tamishan lived on Swans Pond on the Johns River. Old Avery was the largest plantation holder in the county. Tamishan was of noble birth. He was a proud man [who]…never accepted his lot as a slave and often encouraged other slaves to feel the same way. Soon he became known as a troublemaker. When he asked Avery if he could return to Africa in exchange for compensation, Avery agreed, with certain conditions. One condition was that he had to be taken to Charleston by William Walton, a merchant who traded in slaves, and two, that the captain of the ship was not to let Tamishan to go ashore alone. Another was that he exchange four Africans to replace him. All agreed to the terms and Walton took Tamishan to Charleston where he boarded a ship for West Africa. During the voyage, the captain and Tamishan had long conversations. Because Tamishan had so impressed the captain with his knowledge and skills, when they arrived on the West coast of Africa, the captain allowed Tamishan to go alone into the interior. He returned in four days with four hundred dollars in gold dust, the value of four slaves. He told the captain to give the money to his former master because he could not sell his people into slavery.” Jimmy Fleming said he had heard the story so many times that he could recite it by heart.
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Community It is a beautiful thing as a Muslim to hear a Pagan priest talk about his views of the afterlife and hear threads of connection to what Islamic doctrine teaches us. But none of that can happen if you keep that wall up and insult others whose beliefs are strange.
Islam is Interfaith by Duston Barto “And certainly We raised in every community a Messenger saying, “Worship Allah and shun whatever is worshipped other than Allah.” So there were some, among them, whom Allah guided and there were others who were destined to be misguided. Travel in the land then, and see what the end of those who rejected the divine Message was.” (Qur’an 16:36) The Qur’an compels me to work with interfaith in my community. Interfaith is a powerful tool for dawah because it communicates a mutual respect on a human level. Since I have begun working in interfaith, more doors have been opened for me to speak to people about Islam in churches, schools, and community halls. Why me? Because they trust me. Why do they trust me? Because I am willing to listen to them first. In the passage above from the 16th Surah, Allah reminds us that every community in humanity was sent a messenger. Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad (SAWS) has told us that there are over 124,000 messengers. The Qur’an only reveals the names of 25 of them. Who was the messenger to the Japanese? The Cherokee? None of us know. What I believe is the lesson we Muslims should take away is that all faith comes from the . We know this to be true in the Biblical texts, we are told that the People of the Book are Jews and
Christians. However, the Qur’an also instructs us that things were changed and the Qur’an exists to abrogate the Biblical text and to correct the mistakes. However, the Qur’an does this with all belief systems. Interfaith dialog begins when you accept that your neighbor’s faith has the same right to exist as your own. It begins when you respect your brother in humanity and respect their faith even if you disagree with it. Allah commands us in the Qur’an 6:108 “And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do.” What is amazing to me, is that if you take down the wall of resistance and listen to what other people actually believe, you can find the threads that connect their faith back to Islam.
Many times I have been told by other Muslims that interfaith is dangerous, that it is the work of shaytaan and we must convey Islam without listening to others. My biggest challenge to people who think that way is simply this: If I don’t know where a person currently is, how can I give him or her directions to where they need to go? Yes, as Muslims we must convey Islam, but we must “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.” (Qur’an 16:125) It doesn’t say that YOU will know who is rightly guided, it says that Allah will know. We have to stop thinking about the world only in the way our eyes can see and our ears can hear. All we need to do is share Islam in a way that is kind, in a way that is open, honest and caring. Allah will open hearts and minds as He wills. Duston Barto is the Co-Director of Foothills Interfaith Assembly
June 2017 Muslim American Magazine
Ramadan & Oral Health By Dr. Naba DDS Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is a month of fasting and religious focus for Muslims. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam where Muslims refrain from consuming food and drinks, including water, from early dawn to sunset. Fasting teaches self-control and self-discipline, purifies the mind and body, and allows one to empathize with the poor and hungry. Ramadan poses many oral health challenges and it’s important that those who fast take proper care of their teeth and gums. Tips to maintain good oral health during Ramadan: • Brush, floss, and use mouthwash after suhoor and iftar • Drink at least 8 glasses of water after iftar because hydration allows the mouth to salivate which reduces the acidity and minimizes cariogenic bacterial activity • Eat a decent amount of fruits and vegetables, as they are an excellent source of hydration • Cut down on the number of cigarettes smoked since nicotine, the addictive chemical in tobacco, leads to periodontal disease, bad breath, and other harmful effects towards one’s general health (Ramadan is a great opportunity to quit smoking) • Avoid sticky food such as candy since it increases mouth acidity and bacterial activity resulting in decay • Use a tongue scraper because 21
it eliminates anaerobic bacteria that stick to the posterior third of the tongue and are the main cause of bad breath • Chewing mint leaves or parsley is a natural solution to refresh the mouth Among people’s biggest concern is the fact that fasting causes bad breath, which is usually caused by dehydration, gum disease, tartar buildup, or leftover food in between teeth and on the tongue. As noted in the British Dental Journal, fasting causes “an increase in the concentration of sulphur containing compounds present in the oral cavity with time when a patient is fasting causing a marked malodour, which may be misdiagnosed as being associated with poor oral hygiene or oral disease. The odour may reduce with debridement with dentifrice or when the individual breaks their fast.” Several sources concluded that brushing, visiting the dentist, having anesthesia, and receiving dental treatment are all permissible while fasting as long as one does not swallow water, toothpaste, or blood. If one believes otherwise, rescheduling an appointment is always an option. Tooth decay is prevalent and often overlooked since people usually consume large quantities of sweet carbonated drinks as well as many traditional desserts when breaking their fast. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for people to forget to brush
their teeth after a long day of fasting. A great dental solution recommended by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the miswak from the araak tree. He said, “Make a regular practice of miswak for verily it is the purification for the mouth and a means of the pleasure of the Lord.” International studies show that the miswak contains anti-bacterial properties which help reduce tooth decay, fight plaque, and prevent gum disease. Using these preventative measures along with frequent visits to your local dentist will ensure that both your teeth and gums are healthy.
About Dr. Naba & Six Sigma Dental Care:
Dr. Naba graduated from Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in 2001 earning a DDS degree and was given the Professionalism Award. She has been a general and cosmetic dentist in the United States for over 16 years. Dr. Naba is bilingual, speaking English and Arabic fluently. The team at Six Sigma Dental Care is committed to provide world-class dental care for their patients. Six Sigma Dental Care utilizes the latest, cutting edge dental technologies to provide the most gentle and caring treatments for all patients.
Headache A nagging discomfort or a pending neurological devastation Qaiser Toqeer MPH MD Headache is a very common disorder that we face on a regular basis some suffer more than others. Can headache be a sign of something major concern? There are several neurological disorders that can have headache as a symptom therefore it should not be taken lightly. Especially in someone who does not suffer from headaches on regular basis. We typically divide headaches into two major categories. Primary and secondary headaches which can then further be divided into many other subtypes. Primary headache disorders are those that are typically not due to anything serious and resolve spontaneously. There are 3 main types of primary headaches: Migraine, Tension and Cluster. Tension headache is far more common than anything. Next is migraine which affects approximately 1 in 4 households where someone suffers with migraine headaches (American Headache and Migraine Association 2017). Migraine is far more common in females than males. It carries variable disability and can lead to significant incapacitation. Signs of migraine typically include severe one sided headaches and pain is typically described as throbbing or pulsating. Additionally, symptoms include nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity and sound sensitivity. Patients usually complain of worsening pain with physical activity. Duration of migraine attack can be for from few hours 22
to days. Typically headache starts mild and progressively worsens over time to severe enough that functioning in normal life becomes extremely difficult. There are several triggers to migraine attacks and avoidance of triggers is usually the mainstay of treatment. Triggers to migraine headaches include sleep deprivation, certain foods, dehydration, caffeine overuse, inconsistent mealtimes, and exercise etc. There are several other triggers to migraine attack which are patient specific and finding those triggers can lead to better management of headaches. For young females migraine attacks are common during the menstrual cycle which is typically thought to be hormonal related phenomenon. Moreover, sleep deprivation is one of the most common reasons for headaches. Sleep deprivation can come from stimulation in bedroom such as TV, or video games in room or caffeinated drinks prior to bedtime. It is recommended to not have any caffeinated beverages at least 8 hours prior to the bedtime (source). If headaches are still not controlled then medications are recommended to prevent migraine attacks. Most of these medications cannot alleviate migraine attacks all together however can decrease the intensity and frequency of attacks.
serious neurologically. There are several neurological disorders that may lead to headache and typically have some other associated symptoms. Some of these disorders are treatable if caught early. Therefore recognizing red flag symptoms when someone is suffering from headaches can be lifesaving. Red flag symptoms point towards neurological disorder and include new sudden onset severe headache (Also known as thunderclap headache), worsening of headaches with lying flat, bending forward, or with cough, headaches associated with fever, altered mentation, blurring or loss of vision, weight loss, and severe neck pain. Common reasons for secondary headaches include bleeding in the brain, tumors, infections, stroke, primary eye disorder and certain inflammatory conditions. Many of these neurological disorders can be treated if caught early enough. Considerable delay in seeking medical attention in the presence of red flag symptoms can lead to severe permanent damage or even death.
Although commonly headaches are typically considered to be just nagging discomfort however presence of red flag symptoms should be taken seriously. Urgent medical attention should be sought if any of the red flag symptoms are present. Furthermore, careful Secondary headaches are recording of symptoms can help considered to be due to something your neurologist come up with
Muslim American Magazine June 2017
urgent medical attention should be sought.
diagnosis quicker. In summary, 1.2 million Americans seek medical attention in the emergency room due to acute migraine attack (MRF 2017). Migraine can be prevented by avoiding triggers of which poor sleep hygiene is considered to be one of the common reasons. Medication overuse headaches specifically pain medications can lead to rebound headaches therefore such medications should not be taken on regular basis. Secondary headaches are due to neurological condition which if not caught early enough may lead to permanent damage to brain or even death. Red flags symptoms are those that suggest secondary headaches and should be taken seriously. If any of the above red flag symptoms are present then
References “About Migraine.” American Headache & Migraine Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2017. “Migraine Facts.” Migraine Research Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2017.
Qaiser Toqeer MPH MD A diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc., a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties.
Dedicated to my mother Nadra Toqeer who suffers from Migraine and encouraged me for this work.
Novant Health Inc. Dept. of Neurology
Home and Lifestyle
How they learn in a special way By Sajdah Ali When a parent witnesses their child excel beyond his/her potential, no matter the challenge or environment, it is very special. However, when a parent notices a problem in their child’s learning and doesn’t have an idea or plan of how to help them get to the potential, then the idea of special education takes a different approach.
anything on time and his test scores reflect the same lack of care and consideration. When he’s at home, he seems to be able to solve every problem present in the house; from helping you figure out a Google program, to identifying a faster and easier route to Walmart without using your GPS. However, in school his number grades resemble the chronological age of a 5th grader. As much as you’ve been working through this since the beginning of 6th grade, you feel it’s bound to stay this way forever.
If any of these examples sound like something you’ve been through, then you are not alone. Many children in school today face one or more forms Do these scenarios sound familiar? of an academic, social or behavioral difficulty. According to the National Center for Educational • It’s the end of the Kindergarten year and Statistics, 13 percent of all public school students are the exciting start to his academic journey is beginning to settle down for you. As much as you diagnosed with a disability. Under the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA) there are 14 celebrated his first step towards independence, categories of disability that may require specially you can’t help but reflect on how he struggled designed academic or physical instruction in a adjusting to his new friends and classroom. special education program. Special Education In addition to this, his teacher has mentioned is a form of learning provided to students with to you at least once that she’s noticed a slight exceptional needs, such as students with learning difficulty in his foundational social skills. disabilities or mental challenges. Based off the scenarios mentioned, what does all of • The last quarter of your daughter’s 7th grade this mean for you and your child? That’s a simple year did not fare as well as you hoped. She answer…...Not much, right now! thought she had finally caught up to her grade At least not until the proper process of intervention level skills in reading, yet she was still far below supports and assessment test are conducted to performance standard in Math. Of course, your determine eligibility for Special Education services. spouse shrugged it off as her just not being a But before you go down that path, you should know “math person”, but you feel it’s more than that. what you are looking for. • Sophomore year is ending and your son continues to dismiss his homework and projects. Most times, when students start at a new school, with a different environment and different academic His teacher cannot seem to get him to complete 24
Muslim American Magazine June 2017
expectations; the child finds a difficult path in self navigating his/her way through the adjustment and transition phase. Just like the boy in scenario 1, he might be willing and wanting to do well but his mind and emotional self are reacting differently than expected. In these situations, the parents should focus their attention on social and emotional status. For the middle school girl who keeps missing the mark in Math; and the sophomore who refuses to comply with the academic standards in the classroom but is an Einstein at home; paying attention to their overall academic and psychological capabilities would be the best place to start. How is this done? Here are a few pointers to get you started
begin to ReBUILD. Traditional Public and Charters Schools have student intervention support teams available to assess any learning disability, development plans, and implement programs/ strategies that will best serve that student’s needs. You can request a meeting with the coordinator of the team to discuss your child’s difficulties and if he/ she may be eligible for additional support. We can create Multi-Tiered Support System where various levels of intervention are developed, implemented and documented in the classroom setting for an extended period of time. Each program is provided and supported by state and federal laws to ensure that all possible and accessible resources are provided in order to assist your child in becoming successful in school.
So there it is, the simple steps of Proaction, Refocus, Reassess and Reinvent, Request and Rebuild all provide the primary avenue of Think PROactive and not REactive As shocking and heartbreaking as your son’s all out success for your child’s learning. What you may determine initially as a disability, might just be a tantrum was during reading circle time, or your new scenario for you to investigate and solve with daughter’s failing grade on the math test you spent 48 sleepless hours studying with her on- you cannot simple tools of parent ingenuity and curiosity. So, overreact! Take a deep breath and ask yourself these consider these steps for the 2017-2018 school year. questions: Is this a behavior or work performance a In the end, you would have learned more about your child than you thought you knew; and a little pattern? What did she/he do prior to the situation more about the specialness within yourself that you that may have influenced the outcome? How does didn’t know you had! my child feel about him/herself in regards to it? Depending on the answers that come up, then you should schedule a conference with your child’s teacher to discuss situations, collaborate issues and current solutions. ReFOCUS and ReASSESS and ReINVENT: After collaboration has taken place, but the issue still presents itself, your next move is it to refocus your thoughts and knowledge on the issue, reassess how to handle it and reinvent your plans to act. At the high school level, a student not passing consecutive tests yet expecting to pass the class course is equivalent to an employee continuing to show up late to work but expecting a promotion from their boss. Therefore, you need to refocus after-school study time to items/issues that are contributing to his lack of care and interest in school. This may cause for you to reassess his aptitude by introducing reinvented (nontraditional) learning tools that encourage engagement and personal interest; such as having him create 3-D projects for math instead of the standard poster board requirement, or drawing graphic novel style writing pieces that summarizes one of the Shakespearean Tragedies instead of a typical 3 page essay. If the matter still stands, then ReQUEST and 25
Home and Lifestyle
Simple Ways to have a Healthy Ramadan This Year Ramadan is the month of fasting, Quran, extra good deeds and worship for Muslims. In the United States, with Ramadan occurring in summer for last few years and with this year as well we have long days of fasting. With the “Iftar” or breaking of fast at around 9 pm and the night prayers starting soon after 10 pm we rush through the eating process. By reaching home around midnight and waking up before 5 am for “Suhoor” or breakfast, many get sleep deprived. Yet, the month is enjoyed by us and the spiritual attainment and self-purification we reach during the month is amazing. The act of depriving ourselves of food and other worldly distractions give us the ability to connect with ourselves and thus the potential to connect to God in a deeper sense. If this is not happening to you due to physical discomforts and mental fog, maybe, it is time to look at what you really are eating. Eating too much or not eating the right foods make us sluggish throughout the day. The low energy keeps us disconnected from the spiritual purpose of the holy month.
With 15-16 hours of no food and water, if not properly planned, we could end up cooking and eating not so healthy dishes. Don’t we all watch the cooking channels and browse the online recipe blogs and try new recipes for Ramadan more than any other month? Our Facebook pages are filled with what our friends made for Iftar, and we drool over all those Instagram food pictures. There is nothing wrong with trying out new recipes and indulging in sugary and fried foods occasionally in Ramadan. After all, for many of us, Ramadan creates beautiful memories due to great tasting food in addition to communal meals and spiritual elevation. You don’t have to make drastic changes this year. Make some of the gradual changes given below, and in a few years, you will have the perfect, healthy, Ramadan. These are some tips to make your Ramadan healthy: 26
Muslim American Magazine June 2017
1. Plan for the whole month or on a weekly basis what you will be preparing for Ramadan and stick with that. 2. No matter what you have, keep a salad and eat it first or eat it along with your food. 3. Don’t drink sugar for this Ramadan. The traditional Rose milk or the bottled drinks you drink every day for Ramadan are loaded with sugar, artificial flavors, and food colorings. Make your own fresh juices or lemonade with unrefined sugar or stevia. If you need something packaged, go for coconut water as it helps your body to replenish the lost electrolytes. 4. Make breakfast healthy. Smoothies, Smoothie bowls, and Avocado toast are all popular healthy choices. Pasture-raised organic eggs keep you full for many hours. Other breakfast ideas are full-fat yogurt with berries, hummus with pita bread or vegetables, and whole grain porridge with fruit. 5. Frying is okay on some days, but some foods like samosas and spring rolls can be baked. An air fryer is a great investment. 6. We all know that white flour, white salt, and white sugar are not good for us. If the recipe
calls for white flour, replace some part of it with wheat or spelt flours. Replace white sugar with unrefined sugars like jaggery, agave, dates or date sugar, coconut sugar, honey, fruits or apple sauce. Replace table salt with sea salt, Himalayan or Celtic salts to get all the minerals. Keep in mind that sugar in any forms including the healing honey in Islamic culture in excess can give you blood sugar problems.
teas like CCF tea made by boiling water with equal amounts of Coriander seeds, Fennel seeds and Cumin seeds (1 tsp each) 14. Practice mindful eating. Chew your food properly and slow down. 15. Last but not least remember the following verses of Quran regarding food quantity and quality (eating pure).
7. Sneak vegetables into anything you make “eat and drink, but not in EXCESS.” spinach or other greens to your pakoras, peas to your rice, ground carrots to your pasta, “O people of faith, eat from the PURE mushrooms to your meat dishes, etc. provisions we have given you.” 8. Do not live on processed or packaged foods in Ramadan. This is the time to nourish your Rumana Bai is a health body with nutrient rich homemade whole coach and student at foods preferably organic after long hours Institute of Integrative of depletion. Packaged foods are devoid Nutrition. She specializes of nutrients and filled with many harmful in cooking at home whole ingredients our body can’t process. If you feed your body with nourishing foods, it gives healthy foods, self healing, chemical free living and effortless weight the body sustainable energy to carry you loss. Connect with Rumana through throughout the day. Instagram @rootmountaincom, Twitter 9. For iftar, do not make appetizer every day. If @rootmountaincom or blog www. you have to have appetizers, only make 1-3 rootmountain.com pieces per person so even if you want to have more there will not be any left. If you eat more than that, keep in mind that your appetizer is not an appetizer anymore and is the main course. 10.
If you cannot live without desserts in Ramadan, plan for low sugar or fruit based desserts.
11. If you have the habit of eating after night prayers or just before going to bed, save your fruit based dessert for that. No two servings of dessert during Ramadan. 12. If you suffer from constipation during Ramadan, you will have to make a conscious effort of consuming fiberrich foods like vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Indigestion issues can be resolved by not overeating. Headaches due to not having caffeine can be reduced by limiting or eliminating caffeine a month before Ramadan. 13. Carry a water bottle and sip water throughout the night prayers. If you suffer from indigestion consider some 27
Spiritual of that more often. I will give blood, register with the bone marrow donation program, and brush up on my Urdu. I stopped speaking it when my fiancé passed away (he was from Karachi).
Since Last Ramadan By Tammy Little Since last Ramadan, there have been many changes in our lives. My children and I made a move to the mountains of NC due to my oldest continuing her education there. So far, it’s been quite a change; of scenery, of culture, of daily life, for all of us. The town is small, and there are tourists and students everywhere. It’s an adjustment, but the mountains are beautiful, the weather is nice, and the people are so friendly. We are blessed to be here. But it’s also been a year of loss. Since last Ramadan, my father passed away. That was shortly followed by the death of my best friend, both of our cats, my uncle, and my fiancé. After my fiancé died, someone asked me, “How are you dealing with all that loss?” I said, “I just keep praying.” There are so many people who have it so much worse than I do. For the past few years, my children have enjoyed making lists for Ramadan, trying to come up with new and creative ways to give, to be more charitable. And though they have made many lists already, this year I have a list of my own, personal things I want to work on myself. This year, after a scare with skin cancer last year, I will remember to wear more sunscreen when I go outside, and make my children wear it too. My kids and I will finish our “little free library” project (https://www.littlefreelibrary.org) and put lots of children’s books in there (along with several copies of Qur’an). I will wear the pink hijab that I keep “only for special occasions.” Every day is a special occasion, a gift from Allah, and I will remind myself
This June, In’sha’Allah, I am working at a summer art camp for Spanish-speaking children, and will work on my Spanish-language skills at the same time. Now that we live in the mountains of NC, I want to take my children to play in the river. I’m going to dust off my pink bicycle and go bike-riding with them more. I will not worry what anyone else thinks. I will recycle more, conserve gas, and offer my time to the humane society. I will share dates with our neighbors and teach my children how to make bread, the homemade kind that takes hours to rise, and share that with the neighbors as well. I will tell my children more stories from their childhood, take more pictures, and keep my car cleaner. I will be better to myself this year. I will ask Allah for patience, wisdom and humility. Martin Luther King Jr. once kindly said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” I will smile more. I will try to eat less Cashew Rose Petal Chikki from Around The World Market (my one real weakness). This Ramadan…resolve for yourselves…to mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter, share some knowledge, and give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Find the time. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Talk less. Listen more. Apologize if you were wrong. Try to understand. Flout envy. Examine your demands on others. Let go of judgement. Think first of someone else. Appreciate. Be kind; be gentle; be generous. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more. Deserve confidence. Take up arms against malice. Decry complacency. Express your gratitude. Go to the mosque. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Pet an animal. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth, of everything Allah has created for you. Speak your love. Speak it again. Speak it still once again. And when Eid-ul-Fitr rolls around once again, think back on all the blessings you’ve been given, the big ones and the little ones. Smile. Love. Peace. June 2017 Muslim American Magazine
"Trumpism" and other issues facing the Muslim Community Today. All content Copyright © 2017 Muslim American, Inc. except where otherwise...
Published on May 30, 2017
"Trumpism" and other issues facing the Muslim Community Today. All content Copyright © 2017 Muslim American, Inc. except where otherwise...