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FRIDAY, September 12, 2008

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IMAM WD MUHAMMAD RETURNS TO ALLAH

SEEKING

TRUTH

FROM THE SHADOWS

PG 15

Local Engineer is Rare Muslim Publicly Rejecting Official 9/11 Report

COMMUNITY AWAITS DEVON BANK APPROVAL IN MD

By Zainab Cheema Muslim Link Staff Writer

Perhaps you saw the fliers flitting around DC like swallows’ wings: “9/11—An Inside Job.” Maybe you’ve walked in to a talk by Jim Hoffman or been emailed about Reps Cynthia McKinney’s and

PG 9

John Conyers’ crusade for an honest investigation of 9/11. Maybe you’ve tracked the 9/11 related news reports and have been nagged by the ghostly feeling that it just doesn’t add up.

Or perhaps you’ve glimpsed the craters in the official story for 2001’s watershed event through Enver Masud, the engineer turned public truth-seeker who is publishing his book, 9/11 Unveiled, currently available on Amazon. com.

The 9/11 Commission Report is actually very well written,” wryly notes Masud, “I’d recommend it as a work of fiction.”

>> Shadow Pg 08

Ramadan the Month of Fundraiser$ for Area Orgs Building for the Future: Qur’an Memorization From Vision to Reality School Undeterred by Second Fire

PG Planning Board Gives OK for ICCL Expansion Plan By Muslim Link Staff

The Islamic Community Center of Laurel (ICCL) received a conditional green light from the P r i n c e G e o r g e ’s County Planning Board to move ahead

Somali Cultural Center Continues to Work Towards ‘a Hafiz in Every House’

Muslim Link Staff Writer

(This article is based on an interview with Dr. Maqbool Patel, president-elect at the Islamic Society of Baltimore and among the pioneers of the construction of the original masjid. Dr.Patel has served as president at ISB many

times in the past and is heavily involved in the activities at ISB, particularly fund-raising and the expansion project.) It began as a small group of dedicated people who came together to establish a place of worship >> ISB Pg 12

By Muslim Link Staff

Muslims believe in Allah’s promise to safeguard the Qur’an until the end of time. A special group among Muslims stand on the front line when it comes to protecting the Qur ’an. These

people – men and women, young and old – give their hearts to the Qur’an. They are the huffaaz.

}

Understanding

Ramadhan

It takes an undaunted will to memorize the

A Primer on the Month of Fasting from Your Muslim American Neighbors

>> Undeterred Pg 13

INSIDE:

At a September 4 public hearing, all >> ICCL Pg 14

Each One Reach One

“No thank you, I’m Fasting”

}

By Rana Khan

with their plans to expand onto an adjacent property the center purchased in 2004.

abstaining Muslims around the world are month. from food and drink for an entire Islamic This special month in the 12-month this During n. calendar is called Ramadha and friends, , month, your Muslim neighbors their on focus to co-workers are trying top On Creator. their relationship with Muslim schedule, school of their work or days fasting Americans are spending their worof houses their at and their evenings work. ship praying and doing charitable ial newsletter will help you

Special Educational Ramadan Insert To Share with Your Non-Muslim Neighbors


2

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The Muslim Link, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008


The Muslim Link, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008

INDEX

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

3

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 12, 2008

04

Community News

16

Islam

18

Fataawa


COMMUNITY NEWS

4

The Muslim Link, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008

Community News Creating links through mutual understanding and cooperation

Masjid Mustafa Community Speaks from the Heart at Annual Dinner By Amalia Rehman Muslim Link Staff Writer As the skies were drying up and the sun was readying itself for descent below the horizon, Mustafa Center in Annandale, Virginia, began setting up for a fundraising event. People trickled in from 6:30 PM to 7:20 PM. Some busied themselves with reading Quran while others chatted amicably. A few brothers took down the carved screens that separated the view between the men’s and women’s sections and for the last twenty minutes of the day, the sun shone brightly in the bottom quarter western horizon. All was calm and serene. The sense of holiness in the House of Allah was evident. At about 7:10 PM Imam Zia entered the room and a few people got up to greet him. When asked about the purposes of the fundraiser

and the specific future goals of the Mustafa Center, Imam Zia stated, “Each year we have a fundraiser. Generally it is for the operational costs of the masjid. Now a days we have a problem with parking. We used to be able to park in the church parking lot across the street. But now they have a problem with construction and we are not allowed to park there anymore. Also, our community has grown a lot over the past year. Last year we were able to accommodate the people for Tarawih prayer, but this year, we have people standing out in the parking lot almost every night. In part, this is due to the closure of the Mahad. Those that attended the Mahad are now spilling over to other masajids. Our future goal is to purchase some of the homes around the masjid and build parking lots.” At about 7:30, the melodious tones of Imam Zia spread over the space and carried us off to the joy of Maghrib. It is always a privilege to stand behind an Imam whose voice seems to

In the end, Imam Zia reminded us, “The purpose of the masjid in the West is to preserve our Islamic identity. Worship can be done at home. We have to be concerned with our youth. The masjid is the place where they get spiritual guidance and renewal.”

hold a portion of the beauty of the Quran. And, with the graciousness that characterizes the mostly Afghani community, children and women were called to be served dinner first. About 200 meals were served that evening to whoever was present, free of charge. The presentation began about 8:50 PM with the recitation of Quran by Imam Zia. This was followed by a brief lecture, in both English and Farsi, by Brother Rashid, the President of the Executive Committee of Mustafa Center. He explained that last year they had collected money for lights in the parking lot and for the maintenance of the masjid. He explained that it was the responsibility of the community to take care of the House of Allah and he hoped people would reach deep into their pockets and give generously.

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Brother Rashid was followed by another brother who spoke only in Farsi. The next speaker, a young Muslim sister named Sister Omera stood at the podium. This was something new, profound and unusual. Sister Omera spoke with passion and choked on the words, “This past year I have volunteered as the Youth Group Coordinator and I am not kidding when I tell you that that experience

changed my life. This is vital work that we do in the community to teach the youth tafsir, Quran and seerah. We also went on field trips and had a barbecue. It was really great. We were only able to accept 80 students this past summer camp and had to turn the rest away because of budget constraints and limitations on room. This was so sad. But we should be happy that our youth are excited about attending Islamic summer camps and not having to be forced into it by their parents… Remember, whatever you give today is Sadikah Jariah and you will get it back twofold, three-fold, four-fold or more… We do this for the pleasure of Allah, which is our greatest goal.” Following Sister Omera’s speech, there was a slide-show presentation about the history of the Mustafa Center and some pictures of the youth activities. While nasheed was playing as background, slides showed pictures of the first Jumaa prayer which was held outside in the parking lot. It also showed pictures of the first annual fundraiser, which was held in a tent

RIIING! Want to get your phone ringing? Place an ad with the Muslim Link.

301.982.1020

>> Masjid Mustafa Pg 7


The Muslim Link, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008

COMMUNITY NEWS

5

Baltimore Native Chosen by MIT’s “Young innovators” 2008 By Arjumand Yousuf Muslim Link Contributing Writer Bilal Shafi, a medical doctor and entrepreneur who grew up in Baltimore’s Masjid AlRahmah community, was recently recognized by MIT’s “Young Innovators” 2008 for developing a unique medical device geared towards preventing heart failure. The implantable device decreases the stress placed on the heart following a heart attack and delays or prevents patients from developing heart failure in the future. “Technology Review” published by MIT since 1999 chooses young innovators under 35 whose inventions and research have impacted the world in the fields of medicine, computing, communications and electronics. This year Shafi’s work was highlighted. Shafi, the second eldest child of Baltimore’s well known community member Dr. Javaid Shafi, was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland and started his career as an engineer, completing both his undergraduate and graduate education at the University of Pennsylvania in Bioengineering, focussing on biomechanics and instrument design.

By developing devices to help others, he was able to develop innovations that impacted thousands of people at one time. However, he felt disadvantaged. Without the medical background he couldn’t develop meaningful solutions without understanding the clinical aspect of the problem. This is when he decided to go to medical school.

meaningful solution,” Shafi said.

He completed his medical education at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and then went on to do a general surgical residency at the University of Pennsylvania where he is currently in his second year. Now he can better understand the problem, he says.

One of the common causes of heart failure is an acute heart attack. Blood vessels supplying the wall of the heart get blocked. These oxygen deprived tissue cells die, and the heart compensates by placing stress on the surrounding tissue cells. These surrounding cells have to work harder for the decrease in cardiac function and also eventually die due to the increased stress. The heart continues to compensate for this decrease in cardiac function over a period of months and years following the attack. The result is a damaged thin-walled weak heart that can’t pump sufficient blood to the body. Presently there are various medications out there, but these

“As a physician, you can help people with their illness, but you can only help one person at a time. Once I finished medical school and started a surgical residency, I had all the pieces of the puzzle…I had the clinical knowledge and experience to identify the problem and the engineering know how to develop a

This is when he got interested in the Stafford Biodesign Program and teamed up with other physicians and engineers to develop a device to address a huge clinical problem affecting 5 million Americans: heart failure. Heart failure is a huge clinical problem that affects 5 million people in the U.S., and about 15 million people worldwide. One third of individuals suffering from a heart attack will develop heart failure in the months or years following the initial attack. These statistics are mind blowing, especially when there are limited options available to physicians to prevent heart failure in patients.

just delay heart failure, without relieving the stress placed on the heart. Shafi’s invention targets the root of the problem. Following a heart attack, a liquid polymer is injected through a catheter. The natural beating of the heart enables the liquid polymer to distribute itself around the heart. The liquid then turns into an elastic gel becoming strong enough to prevent the heart from expanding or “dilating” (dilation weakens the heart and can lead to heart failure), while flexible enough to allow it to continue beating normally. After about six months, the polymer covering completely degrades and is absorbed by the body . The amazing thing about Shafi’s invention is that it allows for future re-operations and interventions of the heart. To date a prototype has been developed that has been tested in both large and small animals. The data looks promising, says Shafi. Based on his unique innovation, Shafi founded his own company, COR Innovations and is currently raising funds to further develop the device which he hopes will be out on the market in the next five to ten years. When Shafi is not busy developing solutions to clinical problems he enjoys spending time with his children.


COMMUNITY NEWS

6

The Muslim Link, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008

Baltimore Activist Searching for Halal Meat Processing Plant By Amalia Rehman Muslim Link Staff Writer Muhammad Abdul-Hamiyd is an activist who lives in Maryland. He has been active on a number of issues involving the Muslim community. In the past, he has been involved in the effort to pass Halal certification laws in the state of Maryland. “This is important because it will insure that anything labeled ‘certified halal’ in the state of Maryland will be a product any Muslim can feel confident in purchasing.”

a meat processing company of his own. In this way, the quality of the product would be doubly assured. “First we searched for a Muslim company, and we had some people approach us. The problem was, when we got down to the point where we had one or two plants we needed to choose between, and we wanted to do a site visit, all of a sudden, the story changed. I am sorry to say that they turned out to be more like middlemen rather than owners themselves. We have one brother who is presently not available due to a family emergency, but it might work out.” stated Mr. Abdul-Hamiyd.

“For the past four weeks I and two other partners have been searching for a meat processing company that can handle a 300,000 pound per week order of halal meat. This order is for only sausages and hotdogs.” stated Mr. Abdul-Hamiyd.

This issue of finding reliable halal meat processors is not so easy. Fraud has been the bane of this market for years in the United States. In 2000, The Minaret Magazine found that about 65% of southern California Islamic stores were selling non-halal meat as halal.

Because the business deal is not solidified, Mr. Abdul-Hamiyd did not wish to disclose detailed information, but he did state that this food order would be exported to another country and that his eventual goal was to take the proceeds from his sales and set up

On another note is the company, Al-Safa. The meaning of Al-Safa means “the pure”. Although the product is marketed with an Arabic phrase and logo and the Al-Safa company has sponsored Islamic/religious events, they are a Jewish owned company.

They have made a considerable effort to market themselves to the Muslim community. Some consider these tactics misleading while others consider them good marketing strategy. Mr. Abdul-Hamiyd explained that if they do not find a Muslim meat processing plant soon, they will have to turn to Jewish meat processors that are very familiar will halal meat requirements, which are very close to kosher meat requirements. “We are looking for a meat processing plant between New York and North Carolina. I am confident there must be something out there. It is just a matter of finding each other.” Presently, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Illinois, California, Michigan, Texas and Virginia have laws that offer halal consumer fraud protection. What the Muslim community view as halal certification laws are really based on consumer protection from fraud as are the kosher food laws. In spite of the fact that the halal food industry has an integrity issue, it seems that the market is about to explode. Its potential is far greater than the kosher market, simply because of the numbers. In

the United States, the Jewish population constitutes only 2 %, (according to Stanford University) and most of these individuals do not abide by the very strict kosher laws, while the Muslim community constitutes 2 to 4% (conservatively) of the population, (based on a variety of web sites) and most of these individuals do abide by the less stringent halal food laws. Not only does the Muslim community offer an increased number of customers because of compliance to religious law, but the Muslim population is increasing significantly, while the Jewish population is decreasing through intermarriage and low birth-rate. Mr. Abdul-Hamiyd concluded, “What is important is that the halal meat business is a billion dollar a year business and the muhajiroon have not recognized its potential. I want the Muslims to serve the Muslim market. It is time Muslims took back the control of the Muslim economic market. Economics is related to everything else in the community.”

Statement from Dr. Al-Arian to Supporters Expresses gratitude for support; “Freedom restores dignity and humanity”

Northern Virginia - September 9, 2008 - Dr. Sami Al-Arian has given his first public statement since being released on bond, thanking his supporters for everything they have done, and calling on them to keep bearing witness to justice all over the world. [Statement from Dr. Al-Arian:] “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” These words, uttered by Thomas Jefferson more than two centuries ago, ring true today. I am very grateful to those who have been steadfast and vigilant in their defense of freedom, justice, and truth throughout

my struggle during the past six years. Indeed, freedom restores the most precious qualities of life, dignity, and humanity. My thanks go to those in all corners of the globe who have campaigned for my case and for other prisoners of conscience. It takes courage and principle to stand up for justice at a time when fear often trumps rationality and fairness. I am also grateful that my release came during a month of spirituality and reflection, one that I am blessed to spend with my family, while still remembering those who are less fortunate and deprived of the most important things in life: freedom, family, and peace.

The work of my attorneys, Professor Jonathan Turley, Will Olson, and P.J. Meitl, has been outstanding. I am deeply grateful for their efforts in reuniting me with my family after so many years. Finally, to my friends, supporters, and people of conscience, although I have been released, my situation is not yet over. My family and I appreciate that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers. May God bestow His blessings, mercy, and grace on all those who struggle for justice and freedom, and on those who stand up for and speak out on their behalf.

Write to Dr. Al-Arian! Personal letters are always an important source of inspiration for Dr. Al-Arian to keep persevering. To send a letter, simply email tampabayjustice@yahoo.com and your message will be passed along to him. Remember, even a short message of encouragement means a lot. Again, to all of you who have shown your support, you have our heartfelt gratitude. Source: Tampa Bay Coalition for Justice and Peace

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COMMUNITY NEWS

The Muslim Link, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008

Car Clinic 101 Empowers Sisters Sr. Iman Potter Muslim Link Contributing Writer On a bright, warm Saturday morning in late August, around a dozen sisters huddled around and under the hood of a car in the Dar Al-Hijrah parking lot watching intently while Brother Mohammed Al-Qot pointed out all the automobile’s components and functions. To the uninitiated, the scene of a man pouring Coke over the bubbling, fizzing battery posts might have been cause for concern for his mental state! But he was showing the sisters how to get rid of the white, crusty, built up corrosion that many batteries have around the posts. It literally burned the acid up in seconds! The clinic started out in the Sisters’ Hall at 10:00 am, where Brother Mohammed had a table displayed with all the essentials which every driver should have in the car before they hit the road. Many sisters sheepishly admitted that, beyond turning the key in the ignition to get from point A to point Z, they knew very little about the mechanics or safety aspects of driving. They asked great questions, such as, “What is the difference between the different motor oils?” to which Br. Mohammed replied that 10w40 is thicker and better for summer and 10w30 is better for winter use and of course, the oil and filter should be changed every 3,000 miles.

The attendees were very enthusiastic, asking for more workshops in the future. They took notes and left the workshop with a safety checklist and a “To-do” list for their own cars. The following are “must haves” for every driver: 1 . C e l l p h o n e ( c h a rg e d a n d e a s i l y accessible) 2. Jumper cables and even better yet, a battery booster for those emergencies when there is no one around to get a jump from. 3. Antifreeze or a gallon of water, a couple of quarts of motor oil, brake fluid and power steering fluid 4. A can of FIX-A-FLAT which inflates the flat tire and seals the leak long enough to get you to the safety of your service shop. 5. A socket set of pliers, both Phillips and regular screwdrivers and multi-purpose wrench to tighten loose bolts or nuts 6. Air compressor/tire gauge for checking air pressure before you drive 7. Reflector (a triangle) for high visibility when you breakdown 8. AAA or other road service membership 9. Flashlight 10. Gas can

11. Cleaning rag or roll of paper towels A- Before getting in the car: 1- Check your four tires for proper pressure and wear 2- Check your winshield wipers and fluid reservoir, especially in winter. 3- Check all your doors to make sure they are all closed. 4. Check your headlights (better to do at night) B- Under your hood while car is off- not running: 1-Check all fluids (oil, brake, power steering and antifreeze (but not the transmission fluid) 2. Check your battery posts 3- Check belts if you can see them C-Before driving your car: 1- Fasten all seat belts 2. Adjust all mirrors 3. All signals are working 4. All gauges are working The “Car Clinic 101” was sponsored by S.I.S.T.E.R.S (Sisters in Solidarity to Educate, Respond and Serve) who seek to offer Muslim women in the DC metropolitan area unique services and workshops throughout the year. For more information, go to www. sistersinsolidrity.com

7 continued >> Masjid Mustafa from pg 4 on the site. There were pictures of the 2007 MIST (Muslim Inter-Scholastic Tournament) competition and the Mustafa Center winners, and there were many pictures of youth having fun and working on projects. Following the slide-show, Brother Daoud came to the podium and explained that boxes would be passed around for donations. After a few minutes, Brother Ali, a youth in the community took the podium and gave a compelling and clearly heartfelt speech. In it he stated, “If we do not have opportunities for the youth to participate in at the mosque, then who will lead the Tarawih prayer in 20 years? Who will even attend in 20 years if we do not offer youth training? ... The society today is corrupting the youth and the youth group supports the community youth with understanding that no one else can offer… Today the youth memorize lyrics from songs and lines from stand up comedy routines, but they can’t memorize a surah!” In the end, Imam Zia reminded us, “The purpose of the masjid in the West is to preserve our Islamic identity. Worship can be done at home. We have to be concerned with our youth. The masjid is the place where they get spiritual guidance and renewal.” It was very pleasing to see an open forum for the speakers. Most of those who did speak and addressed the audience were a motley crew compared to the usual slick-speaking imams that are often brought in to give powerful speeches to communities to compel people to donate. The slide show, the young woman and the teen boy who spoke with experience and had a direct connection to the community of Mustafa Center was a different, casual approach to fundraising. InshaAllah, this proved to be successful for Mustafa Center.

DC Muslims Make First Muslim Political Endorsements in Nation’s Capitol By Talib I. Karim Muslim Link Contributing Writer Muslims in the Nation’s Capitol made a bold step towards increasing their political power recently by endorsing a list of candidates, including two of its own members, for positions up for grabs in the District of Columbia Primary elections held on September 9, 2008. Of the 18 candidates endorsed by the fledging Muslim Democratic Caucus of the District of Columbia, 10 were victorious. One, Carl Thomas, is Muslim. Thomas, a social services provider in the District was elected as a Ward 5 Democratic State Committeeman, a position which represents District residents living in parts of the City’s Northwest and Northeast neighborhoods on the DC Democratic Party. While this is an unpaid post, it affords Thomas close contact to other elected DC officials, including the City Council and Mayor, whose representatives attend Democratic party meetings.

In this race, Thomas did not have any opposition, which he attributes to his alignment with a larger [non-Muslim] slate and his own organization. “We organized ourselves early and established ourselves as candidates early,” said Thomas. The result is that he garnered over 2000 votes. The vast majority of his support were from non-Muslims, Thomas acknowledges. Thomas is grateful that the Muslim Caucus got involved to support him and others sympathetic to the Muslim community in the recent election. “I think it was a good idea. For me, the support of my Muslim brothers is paramount for my success. I would much rather be looked upon differently by the majority group, rather than those who share the same belief with me,” says Thomas. As far as next steps, Thomas hopes that the Muslim Caucus in the District will dedicate itself to organizing forums, masjid-based voter registration drives, and similar events. “To be fairly represented, we don’t have to point the finger at others and say they don’t represent us when we can represent ourselves.

We do this by getting involved and becoming a voice,” points out Thomas. Anthony Muhammad, a fellow Muslim Caucus member on September 9th’s ballot, was not as successful. A candidate for the Democratic Party post representing Ward 8, Muhammad secured 1840, just 105 shy of winning recently on Election Day. However, “I’m not discouraged,” says Muhammad. The endorsement of the Muslim Democratic Caucus was appreciated by Muhammad, [B]ut endorsements don’t mean a thing unless those groups making the endorsement are willing to go to work for the candidate through passing out literature, giving money. It has to be an endorsement in action, not just in word,” Muhammad noted. Going forward, Muhammad is not waiting to get back into the election game, “I’m on the ballot for an ANC Commissioner,” and is reading himself for the next election on November 4th, when Americans are also set to vote for the next U.S. President. According to Dr. Ihsan Bagby, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at the University

of Kentucky, political involvement exhibited by the Muslim Democrats of DC is not a bad idea. Bagby also serves as the General Secretary of the Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA), a Muslim group representing African, Caucasian, and other indigenous ethnic groups in Muslim America. “I think it’s fairly clear in Islamic intellectual history that the purpose in involvement in politics is to promote the values of Islam and the interest of the Muslims. Developing alliances with non Muslim politicians [and other leaders] has happened since the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him),” explains Bagby. During MANA’s upcoming annual conference Bagby hopes that Muslim elected officials such as Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) will attend to underscore the importance of Muslim political participation.

>> Endorsements Pg 14


COMMUNITY NEWS

8

continued >> Shadow from pg 1

Masud is well known in many circles as the founder and principal manager of The Wisdom Fund, a website established in 1995 as a clearinghouse for fresh, engaging analyses on key political and publicinterest issues. Based in the DC-VA metropolitan area, Masud became interested in the 9/11 narrative on the fateful day itself. In the preface, he recalls looking down at the Pentagon fires from his office space and thinking, “where’s the plane?” The question launched off a vigorous research project that emerged through his writings from that time to the present, culminating the concise resource book that collects all the agreed upon facts within the 9/11 truth movement. In a recent interview, Masud talks about the genesis of the book. “I was on a lecture tour in South Africa for my other book, The War on Islam, which presents all the articles I’ve written on that theme since 1991 when I realized the need for a book specifically on 9/11,”

“It’s amazing but we can have 10 Jewish people demonstrate against the Sudanese embassy and you get it all over the national news media,” he says. “With an event of this importance, there is nothing. Reps Cynthia McKinney and John Conyers held a hearing on 9/11 in Congress but they weren’t even able to a decent room. Finally, they got a basement room somewhere. Jesse Ventura, former governor of Minnesota, is speaking out about this, but they ignore him too.” “However, 9/11 truth movement is slowly gaining steam,” he reveals. “There is a lot effort to bring forward a new, independent investigation by the scholarly community, the engineering community, and various celebrities. Even the family members of those who died in 9/11 are asking for a new investigation. There is a lot of movement but it just hasn’t gained enough momentum for the mass media to take notice other than to ridicule it. But I and many others continue to work to bring this to the surface because we believe that there is a tipping point.”

“I know most of the Muslim leaders in the DC area personally,” says Masud, “I get invited to their affairs and everything, but they don’t do anything with the information I am presenting.” Masud explains. “I wanted something short and to the point, in the style of an executive summary. There are a lot of good books on 9/11—for instance, David Ray Griffith is an excellent writer—but all of them are pretty lengthy. My book is a quick read and you can find all the references, from videos to photographs on The Wisdom Fund website.” 9/11 Unveiled begins with an effective quote by the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer: “All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self evident.” Masud believes that we are in the first stage, where the truth is being ridiculed or dismissed as a conspiracy theory in the mainstream media.

9/11 Unveiled quotes some startling statistics that buttress such a hope for a tipping point. For instance, a 2006 Schipps Howard polls shows that one-third of all Americans believe that federal officials either assisted 9/11 or wittingly did nothing in order to provoke a war with the Middle East. Another poll estimated that 50% of all New Yorkers disbelieved in the government’s account of 9/11. Masud’s credentials testify to both the expertise he personally brings to the critique of the 9/11 story, and to his dedication to the obscure and thankless cause of promoting the truth. As described in his online bio, he has worked as an engineering management consultant for the World Bank and USAID and managed the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Power Grid Study. For his efforts to expose waste in the electricity sector, he

703 556 6626 Fax: 703 556 6628 www.wanilaw.com wani@wanilaw.com

The Muslim Link, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008

When you come from a family like mine, its impossible not to value the truth. My father, who worked with one of the leaders of India’s independence movement, Maulana Azad, once lay down on the train tracks to stop a train.” has been recognized in numerous TV, radio, and newspaper reports. His commitment to exhaustive research and accuracy has levied a tax on him through his career. “My speaking out at the Department of Energy has cost me at least a million dollars in consulting fees,” he reveals. “The government doesn’t want to listen to the best information but to what helps them politically. However, when you come from a family like mine, its impossible not to value the truth. My father, who worked with one of the leaders of India’s independence movement, Maulana Azad, once lay down on the train tracks to stop a train.” “At first when I started to move towards the conclusion that the results of the 9/11 Commission Investigation was totally flawed, I felt a tremendous sense of awe,” says Masud. “How could I make a pronouncement against something so big as the government, with all of its resources and experts? However, my background in managing large projects, resolving political roadblocks, managing multi-disciplinary investigations, and working in many countries gave me confidence. For me, this was another multidisciplinary investigation. Today, I would have no hesitation in debating any government representative on the real 9/11 story.” Masud reveals that a South African national talk show did indeed extend an invitation to the US embassy to send a representative to discuss 9/11 with him on air, but met with a refusal. Masud’s engineering expertise arms him with extensive design and structural knowledge, allowing him to persuasively make the case that the World Trade towers were brought down by synchronized explosions rather than by the planes crashing into the buildings. His research into modern geopolitics maps the crass urge for power that led the government to search for such a catalyst. “In a paper presented to then head of the National Security Committee Condoleeza Rice,” he reveals, “neocon policy analyst Philip Zelikow argued that in order for the United States to attain its geopolitical aims, it would need another Pearl Harbor. So, 9/11 was the new Pearl Harbor that got us into the wars with Afghanistan and Iraq.” Masud also reveals how the Bush administration sidetracked the public’s demand for a commission to investigate 9/11, which it adamantly opposed, by appointing Zelikow as Executive Director of the Commission. Zelikow then proceeded to draft the Commission’s report down to the headings and subheadings, before the Commission even had time to assemble. “The

9/11 Commission Report is actually very well written,” wryly notes Masud, “I’d recommend it as a work of fiction.” Masud believes that foreign audiences are in general, better educated about 9/11 than domestic audiences. “When I lectured in South Africa and India, I found that audiences were much more exposed than American audiences. It’s hard to draw a crowd at home. My natural allies that would set up talks, like ISNA, MPAC, and the mosques, avoid this issue entirely. In fact, I had a talk scheduled at a large mosque at Detroit that got canceled by the board at the last minute, because they got scared.” A particularly sad rill of the 9/11 story is that the devastating Iraq War launched by the event eventually became the truth movement’s salvation. “The rationale for the war on Iraq—weapons of mass destruction— soon unraveled, [giving] momentum to the ‘9/11 Truth’ movement,” Masud writes in his book. Considering the foreign and domestic horror unleashed by 9/11, the Muslim American’s community’s apathy in confronting his issue has had profound consequences. “I know most of the Muslim leaders in the DC area personally,” says Masud, “I get invited to their affairs and everything, but they don’t do anything with the information I am presenting.” “Just look at the Jewish community or the right-wing Heritage Foundation. When a person speaks out, they support them because it supports their agenda. But our folks, they don’t support a person like me even when it supports their agenda because they are scared.” Despite the lack of institutional support, Masud finds the will to keep on going. “My faith requires me to do what I am doing; the values my parents instilled in my cause me to do what I am doing,” he says. “It’s the single biggest issue that is affecting the Muslim world today. Two wars have been launched as a result. Many countries have changed their laws because of it. Every dissident movement is being labeled as terrorist as a justification for extending government powers. It’s the single biggest issue confronting Americans and Muslims, and we have the most to lose when our leaders say nothing about it.” To learn more about Enver Masud’s work or to purchase his new book, “9/11 Unveiled”, visit http://www.twf.org.


The Muslim Link, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008

COMMUNITY NEWS

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Community Awaits Devon Bank Approval in MD By Amalia Rehman Muslim Link Staff Writer Devon Bank is located out of Chicago, Illinois and has been serving their communities since 1945. Devon Bank prides itself on being a community based bank that tries to tailor each account to the needs of their clients. Seven years ago, according to an article in USA Today, published in March of 2008, a man walked into a Devon Bank branch office and asked for a business loan, but he did not want to pay interest, at the time, there was no such loan and he was turned away. But Devon Bank began to recognize that there existed a market among the large community of Pakistani and Middle Eastern Muslims. Subsequently, they developed loans which they designate as “faith based loans”. On their website is a page devoted to Sharia compliant loans and the heading alternates between four different languages. Devon Bank now offers these “faith based

loans” in 31 states. On their website, they state, “Our products are created to meet your needs by a staff versed in both U.S. and Islamic legal requirements, and then submitted to appropriate government regulators and Shariah scholars. We do not use conventional documentation with cover letters and we avoid the uncertainty of documents that do not properly reflect the Shariah requirements.” Devon Bank also employs staff members that speak 32 different languages in order to meet the needs of there clients. It is interesting to note that over 75% of the Devon bank’s mortgage portfolio is from Islamic financing, according to the USA Today article. Worldwide, Islamic financing is a $700 billion business and Devon Bank seems to clearly recognize the potential. Perhaps what is most interesting is the fact that Devon Bank offers a variety of commercial loans that are Sharia compliant. Once Devon Bank attains licensure from the Commission of Financial Regulation in Maryland, customers can go to Devon Bank not only for home loans, but for business

loans. Home loans include loans for buying a home, refinancing a home, real estate backed lines of credit, and construction financing. For commercial loans, Devon Bank will offer commercial real estate purchasing loans, real estate backed lines of credit for business operations, commercial construction financing and business and trade loans. Sarah Bloom Raskin, Commissioner of the Financial Regulations department in Maryland has been “…very accommodating… She seemed very interested in the Islamic financing alternative to the mortgage debacle we are presently experiencing. She promised, in a meeting about two weeks ago, that she would do whatever she could to process licensure for Devon Bank to operate in Maryland,” stated Muhammad Abdul-Hamiyd, a Baltimore activist. Brother Muhammad was approached by Devon Bank for help on this issue since

>> Devon Pg 13

David J. Loundy, Vice President of Devon Bank, receiving an award for Devon Bank’s service in the area of Sharia financing. (Photo courtesy of Devon Bank)

Treasury, Muslims Discuss Terror Financing Meeting held ahead of Ramadhan donation surge By Amina Ali Muslim Link Staff Writer With Ramadan in full swing, Muslims all over the world begin prioritizing their financial agenda in order to include the compulsory charitable giving each year. Muslim charities play a significant role in the society--not only do they provide food to the poor, but they also seek to aid those areas that are struck by disaster. However, some donors continue to be wary of and fear the risk of donating due to the increased government surveillance and scrutiny of these charitable organizations since 9/11. On August 15th 2008, the Treasury Department and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee organized a meeting to discuss “promoting and protecting” Islamic charity institutions. Representatives from the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Muslim Advocates participated in the dialogue on “Charitable Principles of Good Governance and Anti-Terrorist Financing” in hopes of building on and implementing some of the significant guidelines and procedures discussed over the past couple of years. Both MPAC and Muslim Advocates are organizations that seek to promote and enhance the participation of Muslims in American civic life. Other participating government agencies present included the Internal Revenue

Services (IRS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

She also points out that the community is unconvinced of the government’s accusations of Muslim charities funding terrorist organizations.

In 2002, the Treasury Department issued AntiTerrorist Financing Guidelines: Voluntary Best Practices for US-Based Charities; however, the guidelines were rendered impractical and

Ghori believes the guidelines do not offer much assistance to the Muslim charities, saying “there are still major concerns in the U.S. policies regarding charity-giving that

MPAC’s Government Relations director, Safiya Ghori claims that no matter how diligently the Muslim charity organizations follow the proposed voluntary guidelines, the U.S. government will continue investigations on its own terms. unrealistic by many of the participants of the August roundtable discussion. Moreover, the treasury officials declared that complying with the guidelines does not protect charities from risk of being investigated or shut down by the government. The government has advised these charities to check their key employees and grantees, and then check with the government to see if they are legitimate. MPAC’s Government Relations director, Safiya Ghori claims that no matter how diligently the Muslim charity organizations follow the proposed voluntary guidelines, the U.S. government will continue investigations on its own terms.

are unanswered; however, the roundtable discussion was a first of its kind that helped open the table of dialogue.” According to Farhana Khera, the executive director of the Muslim Advocates “the stepby-step program based on standards of charity accountability that we have recently launched with the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance--the Muslim Charities Accreditation Program-- is the best practical, proactive approach.” The Treasury Department encouraged the initiative to launch the program which offers free evaluation and accreditation by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, an independent charity evaluator with more than 70 years of

experience. Ms. Khera further explains the program includes eight different educational voluntary seminars held across the country that teach about charity accountability standards, including standards for the structure and operations of the Board of Directors, financial record keeping and other nonprofit best practices. Through this initiative, the Muslim charities are able to adhere to the highest standards of the principles of governance and accountability as well as reassure its donors that their donations are safe and not diverted from its goal receivers. Since 9/11, a number of charity groups such as the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA), and the Global Relief Agency (GFR), were accused of assisting terrorist groups and organizations and as a result were shut down by the U.S. government without any conclusive proofs that any of the funds were used to finance terrorist activities. They were some of the largest Islamic charities in the U.S. geared towards aiding the disadvantaged all over the world. Accusations placed on those large charities continues to negatively impact most Muslim charities engaged in legitimate, humanitarian activities today, according to Ms. Khera. The gradual shut down of many charity agencies has caused widespread concern not only among Muslim American donors, but also among those who are in need.

>> Fianancing Pg 15


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13 The Muslim Link, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008


12 Muslim Link, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008 The

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The Prophet (Peace be upon him) has said: “The example of the scholar who teaches the people good things but forgets himself, is that of a lantern, it gives light to the people but burns itself out.” [At-Tabarani in alMu’jam al-Kabeer]


COMMUNITY NEWS

12 continued >> ISB from pg 1

Learning Center.

1985-1986: Four more housing units were built on the property, to be used as rental facilities to generate revenue to sustain the masjid.

2008: Ongoing construction on phase 1 of the expansion which includes positioning of the dome and enclosures during the past 12 weeks. There are 52 windows around the dome, with calligraphic inscriptions of the Muslim declaration of faith (“shahadah”) and 99 windows on the enclosing walls, each one of which will have a calligraphic form of a name from the 99 names of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

1987: Al-Rahmah full-time Islamic school was started. 1987: The Society obtained permission to bury people on the one acre of land behind the masjid and, within two and a half years, almost 30 people were buried there. An agreement was signed to lease two plots of land (1.25 acres and 4.5 acres) at King’s Memorial Park to be used as a Muslim cemetery.

The Road Ahead There are many objectives behind the current expansion process at ISB, one of which is to provide a greater area for conducting

community’s ability to meet and exceed that goal. “This community is good. They have always responded to the call whenever they have been asked. Everything in this masjid is from the contributions of the local community. We have always paid for everything in cash and have never had to take any loans from banks or borrow money from outside the community.” Contributing to the Cause Community donations for the projects at the masjid have come in the form of cash payments or pledges, 94% of which have been paid fully within a year. The loan system from the community (“qard hassan”) is done on an urgency basis and uses a formal contract

All Photos courtesy of the ISB.

for a community of 300 people, many of whom were scholarship students from other countries. Today, the Islamic Society of Baltimore is a vibrant organization serving the needs of a huge Muslim population in the Baltimore area. Friday prayer alone draws close to 2000 worshipers. During Ramadan, iftar is catered by the masjid for an average of 100 people daily. As the community and its needs grow and evolve, the need for ISB to expand and diversify has also arisen. The current expansion project is the realization of a long-term vision to make ISB a base of strength, support and a beacon of light for

and one as a rental property.

The Muslim Link, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008

the next generation of Muslims in this area. A Historical Perspective 1969: The Islamic Society of Baltimore first came into existence. In the beginning, gatherings used to take place in various different locations, like apartments, with the Sunday school instruction taking place at Schaffer Hall at John Hopkins University. 1980: The initiative was taken to start planning for a masjid

1981-1982: Documents and plans were prepared 1982 : Broke ground for the masjid 1983: Construction completed 1984: The first fund-raising effort for the masjid. The objective was to raise money to build a residence for the imam on the premises of the masjid. The target was $75,000. The small crowd managed to raise $80,000 between them within 40 minutes of the event. Since the estimated cost of construction of the house was $60,000, the decision was taken to build two houses (after raising the additional funds needed) - one for the imam’s residence

1993 - 1994: With the growth of Al-Rahmah school demanding more structured classroom space, more classrooms were added. The gymnasium and cafeteria were built. The cafeteria was state-approved and provided subsidized meals for the students. The gymnasium was utilized for sports, lecture hall, location for bazaars and vendors at community events, wedding banquets, and as an additional prayer space when needed, especially for Friday and Taraweeh prayers. 1999: The Quran memorization program (eventually to become the Al-Rahmah Quran Academy) was

started. Many “hufadh” have graduated to date, having completed the memorization of the entire Quran and many of the male graduates regularly lead the Taraweeh prayers in masajid across the state, including Dar al-Taqwa, Masjid al-Noor and masajid in Annapolis. 1999-2000: Planning phase for developing a Community Learning Center. The organization was able to obtain two grants from the state of Maryland for this purpose. 2006: Construction began for the Community

prayers at the masjid. It is intended to build a “mezzenine” floor on which the sisters can pray and conduct their own activities. The lower area is to become an open area to be utilized for community activities and social gatherings. In the second phase of the expansion, the plan is to build a new, larger library on top of the existing prayer area and to extend the gymnasium to include a storage room on the same level. The total estimated cost of the expansion is

three million dollars, of which approximately one and a half million dollars has been spent so far.The pace of the remaining work is dependent upon the flow of funds. While it is possible for the remainder of the work to be completed within four to six months, the challenge that is faced is to raise the one and a half million dollars needed to get the job done. The target for the upcoming fund-raiser on Saturday, Spetember 13, 2008, is $500,000. Dr. Patel expressed confidence in the

between ISB and the individual(s), in which ISB generally agrees to pay back the loan within 10 - 14 months. In the history of the organization, all loans have always been paid back within the designated time. The most recent appeal for loans from the community raised approximately $300,000. ISB has come up with some creative alternatives for raising funds for the construction, including an employment counseling service, in which an ISB counselor evaluates a candidate’s profile and creates a value-added resume reflecting his/her accomplishments along with

providing cover letters and interview tips. The cost of the service is $75, with all proceeds going towards the construction fund. The youth at ISB have also been actively involved in the fund-raising efforts and hold regular sales of baked goods and food items on Fridays to raise money. They were also involved in the planning and organization of the ISB SummerFest, with all proceeds

>> ISB Pg 13


The Muslim Link, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008 continued >> ISB from pg 12 also being used to assist the construction. The membership fee of $240 (or $20 per month) is also a useful way of generating income for the masjid. Although there are thousands of families affiliated with ISB, only about 400 are fully paid members. Although this is not a critical problem, since nonmembers also donate very generously to the masjid when the need arises, the membership drive is a simple and effective way to help the masjid, based on the large number of worshippers frequenting the masjid. Vision for the Future The events of 2001 and the change in the dynamics of the community have brought with them a new and different set of challenges for

continued >> Undeterred from pg 1 book of Allah, and an iron will to keep it with you. Sheikh Adam Hassan of the Somali Cultural Center knows this well. In November 2007, the Northern Virginia Qur’an memorization school he runs with his wife was destroyed by fire. After several months of hard work and rebuilding, they reopened the school, enrolling more aspiring huffaaz than before.

COMMUNITY NEWS the society and the masjid compared to the obstacles faced by the fledgling community of the eighties. As Islam and Muslims have come under the microscope and curiosity and interest among the wider population have increased, the masjid has taken on an important role of da’awah and outreach. Interfaith activities have flourished and expanded to reach many sections of the larger community in Baltimore. Schools and colleges in the area have been approached and invited to visit and learn about Islam. This has resulted in visits by groups from various religious and public organizations to the masjid. From 2006, ISB also began getting actively involved on a political level and invited all candidates at the county, state and federal levels to visit the organization and address this growing section of voters. As the Society grows in strength, and with the completion of the expansion project, it will be able to better consolidate its base and reflect a stronger and

and Imam Al-Kisai Institute of America – the addition reflects the school’s methodology to adhere to authentic knowledge and learning. Imam Kisai (Allah have mercy on him) was from the generation of the tabi’een (people who met the companions of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him) and was the Imam of Qur’anic recitation of his time, and was a leader among scholars of the Arabic language. “He was not an even an Arab,” added Sheikh Adam, stressing the school’s intention to teach Arabic language just as they are teaching Qur’an.

This past May, the school fell victim to an arsonist. No perpetrator has been identified, and the fire department said the case is “under investigation”.

The new school space is twice as big as the old one, said Sheikh Adam. The school had to outfit and furnish all five rooms from scratch.

Again, the three-room office space filled with the sound of the Qur’an fell silent.

Not deterred with the energy it took to rebuild, the school organized two taraweeh prayers for Northern Virginia’s Muslims this Ramadan. Many of the attendees – about 300 people at a location in Fairview Park and about 100 at the Westin Hotel on Leesburg Pike – used to pray at the now closed Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America in Fairfax, better known as “the mahad”.

Again, Sheikh Adam and his students and supporters re-opened. This time only after two weeks. And this time, with a security system and in a different, much large location in Annandale. Classes resumed this past June. With the new location, Sheikh Adam changed the name to better reflect the mission of the school. Now called the Somali Cultural Center

continued >> Devon from pg 9 he had been instrumental in working for Halal certification laws in the state of Maryland. Brother Muhammad states that, “My interest is to help develop the Muslim community. I don’t get paid for this type of work. I do it with no affiliation except to my Muslim brothers and sisters.” “David Loundy, Vice President of Devon Bank and one of the co-owners, stated that he anticipates the commercial loan product will be available in Maryland within thirty

Several graduates of the school are leading taraweeh prayer around the greater Washington

days and the residential loan products will be available in about two to three months.” stated Brother Muhammad. Brother Muhammad stated that he hopes, inshaAllah, that the availability of Sharia compliant commercial loans will help to revitalize the Muslim economy. “The Muslim plight here in America is education and economics. The Islamic economics program is established on the pillar of Zakat. Since we have not established that properly, we have economic dysfunction,” said Brother Muhammad.

more positive picture of who Muslims are and what they represent. Interest among political candidates is already increasing and many ask to visit ISB and address its community. Among the larger Muslim community of the area, ISB is seen as a strong base and has supported the growth of many other centers and organizations, some of whom have done their fund-raisers at ISB. The long-term vision for ISB includes projects like the expansion of the community health center, which is at present providing health care to uninsured Muslims and non-Muslims alike, into a larger full-time facility, as well as establishment of a residential care facility for Muslim senior citizens. There are also plans to expand Al-Rahmah school to the high school level and beyond, and to add an advanced program of instruction in Arabic Language and the Islamic science of “Tafseer” for graduates of the Al-Rahmah Quran Academy. It is also hoped that the burial policy can be

DC metro area. The school also runs two juma’ prayer locations. This Ramadhan, on September 21 at the Fairview Park in Falls Church, Virginia, the Somali Cultural Center and Imam Kasai Institute continues its mission to preserve the Qur’an in the hearts of Muslim Americans. Their fundraiser, called “A Hafiz in Every House”, features Imam Siraj Wahaj and will showcase the students and achievements of the center.

13 extended to be able to provide services to facilitate the final rites for any Muslim that passes away in this area, whether they have the financial means for the service or not, so that no Muslim is denied a proper Islamic burial. ISB will be holding its 22nd Annual Fundraising Dinner on Saturday, September 13, 2008 at 6pm. A tour of the expansion sites will be given. For further information or to donate, please visit www.isb.org or call 410-747-4869. “The likeness of those who spend their money for Allah’s sake, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn), it grows seven ears, every single ear has a hundred grains, and Allah multiplies (increases the reward) from whom He wills, and Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All Knower” {2:261}

“We need the community’s support to put one hafiz in every family,” said Sheikh Adam. He knows nothing – neither fire nor finances -- can stop Allah’s promise to preserve the Qur’an from coming to pass. To be a part of that promise, or to learn more about the Somali Cultural Center and Imam Al-Kisai Institute of America, call 571-594-4127. For information on the September 21 fundraiser, see the advertisement on page 19 of this issue.


COMMUNITY NEWS

14 continued >> ICCL from pg 1 five members of the planning board voted to grant ICCL permission to move forward with expanding their parking lot onto the adjacent lot. Two neighbors expressed their concerns on the effects of the development, but according to ICCL President Hayder Qaadri, planning board members said the engineers involved with the ICCL plan had adequately addressed those concerns.

The small, white and green ICCL masjid was built in the early 1990s. Parking for Friday prayers and other large events has been a constant struggle for the community, with scores of cars spilling out onto heavily traveled Contee road, sometimes blocking neighbors’ driveways. ICCL relies on volunteers on Fridays to help direct traffic. The ICCL proposal was supported by most neighbors. “We did some outreach ... talking to neighbors and inviting them to meetings leading up to the hearing,” said Qaadri..

The Muslim Link, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008

ICCL met with all neighbors including the newly built senior retirement community on Contee Road, and with officials from the city of Laurel. The expansion plans are approved by PG County and the City of Laurel has no jurisdiction over the plan. The current approval has 12 conditions attached, which Qaadri said are all achievable. The conditions will take a few months to complete, he said. ICCL’s Imam Javid Bhaiyat said, “We first thank Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala for the approval... we’re excited and hope that this will be a step forward in completing our vision

for the future”. On Saturday, September 13th, ICCL is having its annual fundraising dinner at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Maryland. “It’s more important than ever for the community to come out,” said Qaadri. “A lot of information about the plans and the steps to reach them will be presented that night.” For more information on the ICCL dinner, see the advertisement on page 11 of this issue.

PGMA Moves Forward with Expansion Vision By Muslim Link Staff

Liggins, whose voice despite the microphone competed with a noisy hall.

Imam Karim Abu-Zaid thought he was at the wrong place. There were way too many cars in the parking lot for this to be a fundraiser for his community.

PGMA’s future goals outlined in the presentation included on-premises facilities for washing the deceased, and architectural and engineering plans for a significant expansion and development of the center. The initial study for the expansion is estimated to

He was a wrong. “For me, that was the [success in] fundraising,” he told an estimated 400 guests who came out for the Prince George’s Muslim Association (PGMA) fundraising dinner on Saturday, September 6, 2008. The crowd was the largest turnout for a fundraiser in PGMA’s almost 20-year history. Titled “Moving Forward with PGMA”, the event was geared towards raising money for future projects more than for immediate needs. The venue was Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Maryland. Br Sami Zaharna served as the host for the event, and opened the evening by inviting young hafiz Danish Ahmed to recite the Qur’an. It was a fitting introduction, as Ahmed is a graduate of the PGMA hifz program. During a chicken and lamb dinner catered by local restaurant Kafe Kabob, Ilyas Liggins presented a slide show summarizing the community’s achievements and goals. Besides the capital improvements to the building and property like adding a security system and perimeter fence to the property and maintaining a quality soccer field, PGMA invested much in new education programs over the past two years. Forming education committees, initiating institutes for tafseer, Qur’an, and Arabic, and hiring a full-time principal and office manager for the AnNur Academy full-time school were some achievements mentioned. “The Sunday school had extreme, extreme growth,” said

Next on the program was young lecturer Abdul-Basit Khan. The 16-year old hafiz gives the khutbah when needed and gives regular lectures on topics like An-Nawawi’s

PGMA’s future goals outlined in the presentation included on-premises facilities for washing the deceased, and architectural and engineering plans for a significant expansion and development of the center. The initial study for the expansion is estimated to cost $72,000.

cost $72,000. After the power point presentation, PGMA showcased its students as examples of what investing in education can produce. Abdullah Cason and Mansour Cheo are students at the full-time hifz program. They commute about 2 hours via train and bus to get to PGMA from Baltimore. “I think we should let other kids have this opportunity [to memorize the Qur’an]. It’s easier to receive than [to] give, but this is the month of Ramadhan, so maybe it will be easier to give back to the house of Allah [tonight],” said Cheo, encouraging attendees to donate. Six girls from the hifz school – complete in matching white hijaabs and blue jilbabs -- performed a skit where they discussed the Qur’an and tested their memorization amongst one another. One girl would bring up a topic, and the other girls would recite

continued >> Endorsments from pg 7

Programs for recently incarcerated Muslims as well as “a basic openness and recognition to Islam,” would be good for starters Bagby believes.

The annual MANA conference is set to take in Philadelphia this November. When they gather, Bagby believes that Muslims should use the time together to raise funds to support increased Muslim political activity.

Later, Bagby believes Muslim political participation could lead to the adoption of Islamic law principles, particularly those relating to marriage and the family, particularly at the local and state levels. Also, “[c]lose to the top of my list would be [pushing for incorporation of] Islamic values related to marriage,” states Bagby. “There are some old

And what would this money and other political participation buy the Muslim community?

ayaat about that topic. “The huffaaz keep the Qur’an safe [because] it is preserved in the hearts of the huffaz,” said one of the girls. The presentation lasted about 15 minutes.

40 hadith, serving as a virtual vice-Imam to Imam Karim Abu-Zaid. Khan reminded the community to be grateful for Allah’s blessings, and especially to be thankful for the bonds of brotherhood that exist between community members. “By Allah’s good favor and blessings, all good things are achieved. He brought us together by the relationship of eemaan,” said Khan. Guest speaker Imam Safi Khan from neighboring masjid Dar-us-Salaam urged community members to look inward at their level of seriousness towards Islam. Quoting an Islamic scholar, Imam Safi said the “first arena of battle if your own souls.” He also emphasized the quality of the community youth as an indicator of the strength of the Islamic community. “I can’’t tell you how it warms my heart to see Brother Abdul-Basit, Danish [Ahmed], laws on the book that punish marriage, such as tax laws…[t]his is something that out to be explored.” Bagby envisions that the recent political activity of Muslims in DC could be used as a template for other communities across the country. “I see the involvement in MANA in local and national politics, including supporting non-Muslim candidates who are going to be allies of the Muslim. Muhammad (peace be upon him) had his Abu Talib, we would love for there to be hundreds and

and the girls up here ... this has been the idea the whole time [to have the youth take the reigns of leadership],” commented Imam Safi. “Our real resource is our youth ... not oil, minerals, [or other things],” he said. He urged the attendees to support PGMA. “This is an urgent issue,” said Imam Safi. Fundraising started at 9:30pm, and organizers arranged for ‘Isha and Tarweeh prayer at the dinner venue. “Maybe this will be the shortest fundraising you’ve ever been to,” began Imam Karim Abu-Zaid. After advising the audience to fight their desire to hold on to their wealth and to strive for Ihsan [excellence] in worship during this month, Imam Karim reversed the traditional role of the fundraiser. Rather than asking for amounts, he simply asked for hands. Calling on each person, donors called out the amount they wanted to give. Imam Karim made dua for each donor, saying “jazakallahu khayra [Allah reward you].” As the amount raised projected on the screen approached $100,000, Imam Karim expressed the happiness and gratitude of the community. “Excellent, you all should be fundraisers,” he said. The fundraising ended around 10:20pm. It wasn’t the shortest fundraiser, but it definitely made history for PGMA. “This is the largest [fundraising] gathering in the history of PGMA. We thank everyone for coming, especially the volunteers,” said President Mohamed Willan . “All of this is for the children.” For more information on PGMA, visit pgmamd.org.

thousands of Abu Talibs,” notes Bagby. If the DC Muslim Democrats have there way, Nation’s Capitol is on its way to becoming a city filled with Muslims and people, who like Abu Talib, are allies of the Muslim community. Do you have comments on this article or on Muslim political involvement? Email the editor at editor@muslimlinkpaper.com.


The Muslim Link, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008

COMMUNITY NEWS

MAS Freedom Mourns the Passing of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed Inna Lillah wa inna ilayhi raji’oun (To Allah we belong and to Him we will return.)

By Aishah Schwartz WA S H I N G T O N , D.C. (MASNET) Sept. 9, 2008 - MAS Freedom (MASF), the civic and human rights advocacy entity of the Muslim American Society (MAS), has learned this afternoon from a source at Washington, D.C.’s Masjid Mohammed, of the passing of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, 74, leader of the largest identifiable constituency of Muslim Americans and recognized worldwide as a leading Islamic Thinker and representative. “May Allah bless our departed Imam and elevate his rank in paradise. Imam Mohammed was certainly one of the great legacies - one of the greatest being that he built a bridge for many to move from proto-Islam to orthodoxy, and established bridges of understanding between people of faith throughout the world,” stated MAS Freedom Executive Director, Mahdi Bray. Imam Mohammed succeeded his father, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, in 1975 as the leader of the Nation of Islam with unanimous support of its followers and began its transformation to traditional Islam as practiced by over 1 billion Muslims worldwide. He opened the Nation of Islam

continued >> Financing from pg 9 Millions of dollars have been frozen as a result of suspicious affiliations of charities to alleged terrorist organization groups, such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al-Qaeda, and according to the NPR news report, these groups are accused of establishing charity groups or using existing ones to build and provide services that aid terrorism. The U.S. government is able to freeze the assets of any charitable organization before charging them with association with terrorist groups, and is not required, by law, to provide any basis for or evidence upon accusation. Because of the government’s attitude of intense scrutiny, Khera identifies donations as one of the biggest concerns of the Muslim community on both donors and volunteers. Opinions of average, local donors echo

membership up to all races of Muslims and encouraged Muslim Americans to register to vote and become full participants in the politics and economics of America. Through a lifetime study of the Qu’ran and the life of Prophet Muhammad, Imam Mohammed attempted to forge closer ties with mainstream Muslim communities, including Latino Muslims. As the years passed the reformed Nation of Islam morphed into what is now known as ‘The Mosque Cares’, based in Calmut City, Illinois, and comprised mainly of followers within the Muslim community who have accepted traditional Islam. Imam Mohammed was also the first Muslim to ever give the invocation in the U.S. Senate. In 1993, he gave an Islamic prayer during the first Inaugural Interfaith Prayer Service of President Bill Clinton, and again in 1997 at the second Interfaith Prayer Service. The Detroit Free Press reported on August 30, that in honor of the WDM Ministry Convention’s return to Detroit’s Cobo Center, after a 10-year absence from the city, Imam Mohammed delivered a lecture and keynote address to a capacity crowd, urging those listening to assume personal responsibility, advising that, “We all should be trying to be Christ like.”

faiths,” stated Nadir Ahmad, 58, of Detroit. Imam Mohammed was born October 30, 1933 in Hamtramck, Michigan. He is survived by a sister, Lottie Muhammad; three brothers, Nathaniel Muhammad, Elijah Muhammad II, and Akbar Muhammad, Ph.D., as well as 45 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren. Imam Mohamed’s brother, Jabir Herbert Muhammad passed away August 25, 2008 following heart surgery in Chicago. Imam Yusuf Saleen of Washington, D.C.’s Masjid Mohammed, has flown to be with Imam Mohammed’s family in Chicago, according his assistant, Tariq Najeeullah. There is no word yet on a cause of death or details for Imam Mohammed’s burial service. MAS Freedom will update this story as additional information becomes available. -----------------------------------------------------------MAS Freedom (MASF) is a civic and human rights advocacy entity and sister organization of the Muslim American Society (MAS), the largest Muslim, grassroots, charitable, religious, social, cultural, civic and educational organization in America - with 55 chapters in 35 states.

“He was always calling for cooperation between

views of other donors in and around the area. One donor does not feel any particular apprehension at the thought of donating to Muslim charity organization because she uses one or two international organizations, which to her best knowledge, are trustworthy organizations and she has never had problems with them. “I use Islamic Relief mainly, sometimes I’ll use Indian Muslim Relief. I try my best to give to charities which have been proven not to have any problems and are established as legit,” she says. Another donor has a rather different perspective, “Since 9/11 I have definitely been cautious about the organizations I choose to affiliate with, let alone donate to. I used to try to donate to Islamic Relief and other organizations in Pakistan, but lately I have abstained from it for the fear of my donations landing in the wrong hands or wrong endeavors. Now my family mostly donates to indigent people we know in our native country, to make sure that the Zakat is actually going to people who deserve it.”

This issue not only affects the Muslims in the community, but it affects the nonMuslims living in the same community as well. Various charitable activities benefited Muslims and non-Muslims alike through food drives, health care, and other aid. Ms. Khera points that “by strengthening Muslim charitable organizations, we will ensure that Muslim charities are fully compliant with the law and with the highest standards of nonprofit practices and in turn reassure donors, volunteers and government regulators that our community institutions are engaged in lawful, vital services necessary to bettering our communities and strengthening civil society.” The aim of the Charity Roundtable discussion was to provide leverage for a continued dialogue and work between the federal government and the Muslim-American community with regards to donations. Tangible results or plans have yet to come to fruition, and Islamic charities are anxiously waiting.

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EDITORS DESK Editor-in-Chief: Minhaj Hasan Office Manager : Jann McClary News Desk: Umm ‘Abdullah (Events) Distribution: Elwaleed Elshowya Layout & Design: Fadlullah Firman Staff Writers: Lensay Abadula Amina Ali Farkhunda Ali Fasiha Khan Farha Marfani Rashad Mulla Maryam bint DawudMussallihullah Sharia Advisors: Sheikh Salah as-Sawi Safi Khan The Muslim Link (TML) is published every other Friday on a Bi-Weekly Schedule and distributed throughout the Washington, Baltimore, and Northern Virginia Metropolitan Areas. TML is a non-profit publication and is based at Dar-us-Salaam in College Park, Maryland, USA. Staff and contributors are not necessarily affiliated with Dar-us-Salaam. The views expressed in The Muslim Link do not necessarily reflect those of Dar-us-Salaam or TML management or their underwriters. Dar-usSalaam and TML are not responsible for the accuracy of information presented by advertisers, or for the religious compliance of events, products, or services published in TML. This publication contains the names of ALLAH (Subhanahu wa ta’ala). Please keep, recycle, or share it with others The Muslim Link 5301 Edgewood Road College Park, MD 20740 Phone : (301) 982-1020 Fax: 240-209-0702 editor@muslimlinkpaper.com Advertising: 301-982-1020 or email us at ads@muslimlinkpaper.com The Muslim Link. All Rights Reserved 2008


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Islam

ISLAM

The Muslim Link, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008

The way of life given to us by our Creator and practiced by our Messenger Sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam

The Fasting Person’s Dua is Not Rejected Narrated Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him): We said: “O Messenger of Allah, when we see you our hearts are softened and we are people of the Hereafter, but when we leave you we are attracted by this world and by our womenfolk and children.” He said: “If you were always as you are when you are with me, the angels would shake hands with you, and they would visit you in your houses. If you did not commit sin, Allah would bring another people who would commit sin so that He could forgive them.”

He (Abu Hurayrah) said: We said: “O Messenger of Allah, tell us about Paradise, what is it built of?” He said: “Bricks of gold and bricks of silver; its mortar is musk, its pebbles are pearls and rubies, its soil is saffron. Whoever enters it will be joyous and will never be sad, he will abide therein forever and never die. His clothes will never wear out, and his youth will never fade. There are three whose dua will not be rejected: a just ruler, a fasting person until he breaks the fast, and the prayer of the one who has been wronged. It is borne on the clouds, and the gates of heaven are opened for it,

Human Beings Before Adam? By Sheikh Fawzî Sa`âtî islamtoday.net Allah created Adam (peace be upon him) from the soil of the Earth. It is related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah created Adam from a handful taken forth from all over the world. Therefore, the descendants of Adam are as the Earth. Some are white, some are ruddy of complexion, and some are black, with all colors in between…” [Sunan Abî Dâwûd (4073), Sunan al-Tirmidhî (2879), and Sahîh Ibn Hibbân (6266) – authenticated by al-Albânî in al-Silsilah al-Sahîhah (1630)] He first made this soil it into mud and left until it became black and altered, then He created and fashioned Adam’s form. Then, when it became a resounding solid clay, Allah breathed into it of His spirit, so it became a living, flesh-and-blood human being. Allah says: “We created the human being from sounding clay, from mud molded into shape.” [Sûrah al-Hijr: 26] He says: “And (remember) when thy Lord said unto the angels: ‘I am about to create man, from sounding clay, from mud molded into shape. When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall down in obeisance unto him.” [Sûrah al-Hijr: 28-29] According to the hadîth, Adam was created sixty cubits tall. [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (3079) and Sahîh Muslim (5075)] Also, according to the hadîth, Adam was created on the last hour of Friday. [Sahîh Muslim (4997)]

Nations of the past have speculated about the existence of human beings before Adam. The people of India, for instance, claimed that their lands boasted of human habitation from before Adam’s time. Also the Arabic poet al-Mu`arrî often spoke about other “Adams” before the time of Adam. He said: “It is possible that this Adam comes after a succession of other Adams.” Some people prefer this idea, citing the following verse of the Qur’ân in support of it: “Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: ‘I will create a vicegerent on earth.’ They said: ‘Will You place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?- while we do celebrate Your praises and glorify Your holy (name)?” He said: “I know what you know not’.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 31] They argue that the angels would not have asked: “Will You place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?” unless they had knowledge of a previous population of beings who resembled Adam in their appearance and who conducted themselves on the Earth in that manner. According to them, Adam was to be the successor who inherited the vicegerency of the Earth after the demise of that population. It has also been postulated that the Jinn were on Earth before Adams time and shed blood, so Allah sent an army of angels against them and drove off to various oceanic islands.

>> Islam Pg 17

and the Lord - may He be glorified and exalted - says: ‘By My glory, I will grant you help even if it is after some time.’” Reported in Musnad Ahmad (ibn Hanbal) #8030 and classified Saheeh by Shuayb al-Arnaoot in Tahqeeq al-Musnad. This hadeeth was also reported by alTirmidhi #2525 with the words, “..the fasting person when he breaks his fast..” and was classified Saheeh by al-Albani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.


The Muslim Link, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008

Upcoming Events In Your Area Building for our future: ISB Annual Fundraising Dinner Saturday, September 13, 2008

at ISB. Guest Speaker: Imam Sahmuddeen Harun Tickets: $20 per person. Children under 7 are free. ... 410-747-4869

ICCL’s Annual Fundraising Dinner and Iftaar Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Islamic Community Center of Laurel invites you and your family to it’s Annual Iftaar and Fundraising Dinner on September 13, 2007 (Iftaar at 7:18 pm) at Eleanor Roosevelt High School 7601 Hanover Parkway Greenbelt, MD 20770 Tickets: $20/person or $60/family For more information contact ICCL at 301-3174584, visit www.icclmd.org, or email ps@icclmd.org Babysitting will be available insha’Allah ... For more information contact ICCL at 301-317-4584, visit www.icclmd.org, or email ps@icclmd.org ps@icclmd.org

Ilm Quest Competitition Sunday, September 14, 2008

ISLAM

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continued >> Islam from pg 16

Today, there are claims, based on scientific evidence, that Adam came after populations of human-like beings whose bones and other remains have been discovered by geologists. Many of these are hominid bones that differ in various ways from the bones of human beings living today. These other species, according to scientists, have since become extinct. There is nothing objectionable to the human mind in the idea that Allah might have created some other “Adam”

Want to get your phone ringing?

El-Iman Learning Center Dinner Friday, September 19, 2008

Place an ad with the Muslim Link.

A Day of Dignity Saturday, September 27, 2008

In collaboration with local Baltimore City masajids, CVS, Comcast, Baltimore City’s Promotions and the Arts and Islamic Relief USA we will provide food, clothing, toiletries, job training referral, drug rehab and health services to Baltimore City’s poor and homeless individuals and families. ... Imam Hassan A. Amin (410) 448-3371 imamhassanamin@verizon.net

HELP WANTED HARD WORKING, UPRIGHT MUSLIMS ARE NEEDED TO FILL POSITION AS COOKS AND CUSTOMER SERVICE WORKERS AT SIMPLY HALAL RESTAURANT IN CALVERTON, MARYLAND. FOR IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION, EMAIL YASSERN@COMCAST.NET OR CALL BR. YASSER AT 240-593-0925. SALARY IS BASED ON EXPERIENCE.

As for the idea that Adam is the successor of hominid populations that existed on the Earth before his advent and that have subsequently become extinct, this idea is not established by the sacred texts, any more than the “Adams” of India are established by the texts. However, we cannot on that basis rule out such ideas as false. We can just say that the sacred texts are silent about such things. At the same time, we are only required to believe what we are taught in the sacred texts. And Allah knows best.

RIIING!

There are 100 Q and A for two levels (grade 4 & 5) and Grades (6 & 7) ... alameddine Kaddoura 703-856-7005 info@creativeeducationandpublishing.com

Education for Life Invites you for its Annual Fundraising Family Iftar In Support of its full-time Muslim School. Come join the El-Iman Learning Center on Friday, September 19, 2008 , at 6:30pm. pm @ Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Campus Cultural Center (CE Building) in the Forum 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003. Speakers: Haj Sami Sadik, Mayor, Al Aqabah, West Bank, Palestine, Sr. Asmaa Jerusha Lamptey, Sheikh Rashid Lamptey. (Taraweeh Prayer will be performed, In Sha Allah) Tickets (available at door) Individuals: $30 Couples: $50 Free Babysitting & Children’s Activities. RSVP: (703) 820 6688 or email admin@eliman.org.

before our Adam. However, Allah has not mentioned any such “Adam” to us. Allah only mentions to us our Adam (peace be upon him), the father of the Prophets.

301.982.1020


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FATAAWA

The Muslim Link, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008

Fataawa Questions about Islamic life and practice

Leaving Before Witr? Question: I offer the Tarawih prayer at the local mosque along with the imam. However, I do not observe the Witr prayer with the imam, since I want to offer more prayers when I go home. Is this correct? Answered by Answered by Sheikh Sâlih b. Râshid al-Ghayth, presiding Judge at the Sudayr District Court It would be better for you to complete the Tarâwîh prayer along with the imam, including the Witr prayer. In doing so, you receive the reward of offering prayer at the late watches of the night. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever observes prayer along with the imam until the imam is finished, that person will have written for him the credit of offering the late night prayer.” [Sunan alTirmidhi – and authenticated by al-Albânî] Yo u h a v e t w o o p t i o n s f o r completing the prayer with the imam: 1. You can simply offer the odd-numbered Witr prayer along with the imam. If you wish to, you are free to offer more prayers on your own later on at night. However, in this case you do not offer a second Witr prayer when you have finished praying for the night, since the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There should not be two Witr prayers in one night.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî (470)] 2. Alternatively, you may stand up for one extra unit of prayer when the imam says the taslîm. In this case, you do not say the taslîm with the imam, but stand and offer another unit, maling it an even prayer. Then, at the end of the night, when you finish your extra prayers, you may offer the odd-numbered Witr prayer on your own. And Allah knows best. -----------------------------------------------------

Discovered Menses After Sunset Question: I fasted today from dawn until sunset. After sunset, I broke my fast and offered the Maghrib prayer. Shortly thereafter, I went to the bathroom and say that my monthly menstrual period had started. I have no idea whether it started before Maghrib or afterwards. Do I have to make that day of fasting over again? Answered by Sheikh `Abd al-Rahmân al-Jar`î, professor at King Khâlid University in Abhâ You should not make up that day of fasting.

This is because there is no way for you to be certain that your menstrual period began before sunset. As long as there is any doubt about when your menstrual period started, you do not go against the previous assumption based on the certainty that you were not menstruating. You fasted the day upon the certainty that you were not menstruating. You only became certain that you had begun to menstruate when you saw the blood after sunset. Likewise, the default assumption regarding your fasting for that day is that a fast that you have observed from beginning to end is a valid fast. This validity cannot be overturned by something wherein there is any doubt. Your fast is intact. The legal principle here is that certainty is never overturned by doubt. And Allah knows best. -----------------------------------------------------

Delaying Charity Until Ramadhan Question: I want to give voluntary charity to some needy people. With Ramadan approaching in a few weeks, I would like to know if I should wait until Ramadan to give this charity. Will there be more blessings in the act, since good deeds carry more blessings in the month of Ramadan? Answered by the Fatwa Department Research Committee - chaired by S h e i k h ` A b d a l - Wa h h â b a l - Tu r a y r î People like to give charity in Ramadan due to the extra blessings they hope to receive during that most special month of the year. However, this does not mean we should withhold giving a needy person charity right now. That would be a mistake. We receive blessings for hastening our good deeds. The needy person is presently in need. Therefore it is best to fulfill that need as quickly as you can. Do not postpone giving charity.

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Pay for Hajj or Give Charity? Question: This year, I registered to go with my wife and perform the Hajj. Ii paid nearly 80% of the cost. but I have a question. I have been looking at websites and speaking to my family overseas, and I realize that there are a lot of starving people over there. Should I still go to Hajj, or would it be better for me to give a very large lump sum of money in charity. This would mean that instead of my wife and I going to hajj paying almost 20,000 coming from Nprth America, I will give the money to struggling families who need it for necessities like food, water, and education. I have never before performed the Hajj, but I feel very sad for these people. I already give some give charity and sponsor orphans, but these people may need it more. Maybe i can go to Hajj in the future if I am still alive. Answered by the Fatwa Department Research

Committee - chaired by Sheikh `Abd alWahhâb al-Turayrî If you have the means to perform Hajj, it is strongly advisable for you to do so as soon as you can. A person who does not have the means to perform the Hajj is not obligated to do so. If that person never acquires the means at any time in his or her life, then the person is exempt. Allah says: “And pilgrimage to the House is a duty unto Allah for mankind – those who are able to undertake the journey.” [Sûrah Âl `Imrân: 93] However, from the moment that you have the means and opportunity to offer the Hajj, then you become obligated to do so. This obligation will remain with you, even if your fortunes change in the future. If you refrain from doing so at present and find your financial circumstances strained in the future, the obligation will remain a debt upon your shoulders. Therefore, we recommend that you take this opportunity to offer Hajj, unless the pressing concerns of others are of an especially critical urgency.

PERIOD

We should always hasten to perform good deeds. Allah says: “And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord; and a Garden, the extensiveness of which is (as) the heavens and the earth, prepared for those who guard (against evil). Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) people – for Allah loves those who do good.” [Sûrah Âl `Imrân: 132-133]

ISLAMICBOOKSTORE.COM

However, in Ramadan, you should hasten in giving more charity – even by paying your Zakâh early, before it is actually due, and not postponing it until after Ramadan. And Allah knows best.

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The Muslim Link, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008

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The Muslim Link ~ September 12, 2008