The Muslim Link ~ December 19, 2008

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Muslim Link Wins Journalism Awards | pg 6 Read it online. w w w.muslimlink pap Muharram . Safar . Rabi’ al-awwal . Rabi’ al-thani . Jumada Al-awwal . Jumada al-akhir . Rajab . Sha’aban . Ramadan . Shawwal . Dhu al-Qi’dah . 21 DHU AL-HIJJAH . 1429 A.H. FRIDAY, December 19, 2008

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Dar Al-Hijrah Opens Doors to Homeless this Winter Farkhunda Ali Muslim Link Staff Writer

PG 13


For the fifth winter season in a row, the Fairfax County government, faith groups, businesses and civic organizations arecooperating with each other to provide safe haven for the homeless from hypothermia. This winter, Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center partners with Volunteers of America and the Fairfax County Government to provide services as part of the Hypothermia Prevention Program. The intent is to do everything possible to help prevent any suffering or death from the cold weather for the most vulnerable locals – the homeless.

and warm places for the homeless during the cold winter nights from December 1st to March 31st. During a roundtable discussion on December 12th, the Public Affairs Office of Fairfax County discussed how non-profits, faith communities, governments, and schools are all facing an unprecedented demand for help with basic necessities. “The hypothermia program supplements the county’s yearround effort to provide shelter and services to homeless individuals and families,” said Belinda Buescher, director of communications, Fairfax County Department of

Dar Al-Hijrah’s goal is to find nurturing, safe,

Family Services. Since the emergence of a global economic crisis, more Americans are depending on government assistance for rent, food, and clothing distribution. Last week, CNN reported one out of every ten Americans is applying for food stamps, an increase in demand for government assistance. Brian Worthy, Public Information Officer at the county said, “Unfortunately, this demand is expected to grow if the economy continues to worsen.” Within the last two years, the county witnessed a 42 percent increase in requests for help with basic needs. According to Worthy, the largest increase

>> Homeless Pg 1

Local Meat Distribution Projects Abound By Amalia Rehman Muslim Link Staff Writer Every Eid ul-Adha there is the distribution of meat throughout the Muslim community. This year saw many efforts to distribute this meat locally. Some individuals give the meat to others who can distribute it to needy families in the community. Others donate meat to organizations that serve the needy in their community, and some have even established charities and organizations that distribute the meat not only to needy Muslims, but to non-Muslim needy families in the community. In the Richmond, Virginia area, the Islamic Society of Greater Richmond held an Eid prayer and a barbeque on a halal farm so that they can combine prayer with the slaughter. At the same time, they

>> Distribution Pg 13

FBI Sponsors Masjid Eid Dinner Muslim Doctor Adds Voice

to Health Care Debate

By Amalia Rehman Muslim Link Staff Writer A curious thing happened on Saturday evening, December 13th, 2008. Dar Al-Noor masjid had their Eid dinner, which in and of itself is not unusual, but the fact that it was sponsored by the FBI made it quite remarkable. There was a lot of confusion among the attendees at the onset of this event. Several individuals indicated that they had planned not to come, but perhaps their curiosity got the better of them. Generally, Eid dinners and other events at Dar Al-Noor are a packed house. Perhaps 400 people

By Khalida Ismael

Muslim Link Contributing Writer

usually attend. This time, about 200 people attended. It was crowded, but it was not the usual crush. There were comments flying around prior to the arrival of the FBI. One young woman stated, “I wonder if the food is poisoned.” Another mature

sister stated, “I was thinking the food may have something in it that it will stay in your stomach forever and they can detect where you are.” Another young man, after the dinner asked, “Do you feel anything strange in your >> Sponsors Pg 7

On December 14, 2008, the Muslim Community Center (MCC) in Silver Spring, Maryland held a program to educate their community on some possible solutions to the current health care crisis in America. Through the expert lens of Dr. Shaik Hassan, an MCC Board of Trustees member and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Howard University College of Medicine, attendees go

seasoned expert.

a glimpse into the current state of the US healthcare industry from a

Dr. Hassan described the astronomically rising costs of health care and its impact on the American standard of living before going into detail about each of the factors driving this increase. He attributed it to a rise in direct

marketing of new drugs to consumers which created unrealistic patient demands, widespread lack of coverage which contributed to the misuse of emergency rooms as primary care centers, the rise of ‘boutique medicine’ which makes it more difficult for lower income people to see a doctor, and the lack of preventative care and education. Dr. Hassan – also on the board of the Islamic Medical >> Debate Pg 11




Al-Kasaba Theater & Cinematheque

Alive from Palestine:

Stories Under Occupation

The Muslim Link, December 19, 2008


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Toll-free (800) 444-1324 | TTY (202) 416-8524 | Groups (202) 416-8400 Presented as part of ARABESQUE: Arts of the Arab World, a Kennedy Center festival of culture imported from 22 Arab countries, February 23–March 15, 2009. For complete information and schedule, visit

ARABESQUE: Arts of the Arab World is presented with the generous support of Presenting Underwriter, the HRH Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center, the Qatar Foundation, A. Huda and Samia Farouki, the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Alice and David Rubenstein, Arcapita, Michael Kojaian, Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley and Mr. Smith Bagley, and the Laura Pels Foundation. International Programming at the Kennedy Center is supported through the generosity of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts. Presented in cooperation with the League of Arab States. Credits current as of November 21, 2008.


The Muslim Link newspaper is looking for full and part-time candidates to fill upcoming staff writer positions. The ideal candidates are committed Muslims who have a penchant for good writing, are involved in community work, have a strong work ethic, and believe in establishing Muslim media. To join our team and start on a job which offers ground breaking opportunities and excitement, send your resume, cover letter, and a writing sample to the editor at


The Muslim Link, December 19, 2008

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The Muslim Link, December 19, 2008

Community News Creating links through mutual understanding and cooperation

As Services Grow, So Do Expenses for Masjid Al-Islam By Farkhunda Ali Muslim Link Staff Writer Due to the expansion of the Masjid AlIslam’s full time Group Home School, an increased need for social services, and the growing demands of new Muslims, the community members now require more financial assistance for its operation. While most Americans enjoyed stuffed turkey with sweet yams on Thanks Giving Day, Masjid Al-Islam hosted a fundraising dinner with a similar menu educating the community the importance of coming together in time of need through strategic management. The evening fundraiser raised $4,000 in cash, checks, and money orders. The donations will be utilized for dawah programs, the full time Islamic home school, and the general operation of the Masjid.

Masjid Al-Islam’s Group Home School began in 2002. Since then, the student population grew tremendously, according Bahiya Ali, principal of the school. Ali said the full time Islam school focuses on excellence in academics, Islamic education, and life skills. The school provides one-on-one counseling for the youth on how to deal with their every day struggles, life-skills, and training on social development. Teachers at the school said Muslim educators need to fill in the gaps when Muslim children attend home schooling or non-traditional Islamic school. The Group Home School teaches Muslim children how to deal with non-Muslims, how to address the social problems in their communities, always to stand up for truth, justice, and equality, and have fun in an Islamic manner. The keynote speaker Mohammed Al-Asi, known to the DC Area Muslim community as the Imam who was asked to leave the Islamic Center of Washington decades ago due to

differences of political views, said Muslims need to collaborate when it comes to helping others and establishing peace and justice in their surrounding communities. Reflecting on the sacrifices of Prophet Ibrahim, Al-Asi reminded Muslims they should not be afraid to stand up for justice anywhere in the world. Masjid Al-Islam established a trend of supporting many Muslims being wrongfully imprisoned, according to members of the community. This community consistently supported Muslims that have been “sidelined by other Masajid,” said Imam Abdul-Alim Musa of Masjid Al Islam. For several years, this corner building in SE Washington DC, known to the general Southeast population as the “center where there is always good food available,” been connecting with the marginalized members of the inner city.

Eid in South East DC All About Giving By Farkhunda Ali Muslim Link Staff Writer Approximately 200 DC Area Muslims attended the Masjid Al-Islam’s annual Eid Al-Adha Prayer and Brunch in Southeast, Washington, DC. Similar to most of their Eid celebrations, children roamed around with their friends, and adults enjoyed food and socialization. Families reached the Masjid in time to be present for the Eid prayer. The message of the hour long Eid Khutbah kept the Muslims’ interest. Imam Abdul Alim Musa said, “The best community is the community of Prophet Ibrahim [Abraham], who is an example of sacrifice for the Muslims.” Imam Musa told the American Muslim community to be prepared to make a change. He said Muslims “must be willing to sacrifice and adopt the life of Prophet Ibrahim.” Comparing the obligation of the Muslims to stand up against oppression, the khutbah stressed the importance to stand firmly for goodness even if one has to establish good by himself. Imam Musa asked Muslims to make a plan of self-improvement starting with their

selves, their families, extended family, friends, and neighbors. He encouraged everyone to open their hearts to give continuously in small amounts and large amounts. Prayer is the believer’s greatest strengths, he said.

He reminded his audience to examine their economic condition, and come up with a plan to address the condition before it becomes worse. He said the Muslim should always be prepared for the worst while planning for the best. Imam Musa said the community is making great progress. “We always judge our outcome by testing whether our behavior fits our condition. It is a life-long selfimprovement process.”

Leggett Recognizes Local Muslims At Conclusion of Eid ul-Adha (December 12, 20008) At the conclusion of the Muslim holiday Eid ul-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice), Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett recognized and thanked the County’s Arab and American Muslims for their many contributions to the community.

Eid Al-Adha is a simple celebration for people to understand, said community members. It is all about giving, sacrifice, and putting one’s full trust in Allah and his decisions for mankind. Imam Musa added, the remembrance of Allah will “polish the heart and build it just as we would want it.” After the khutbah, families enjoyed their fried potatoes, fried omelet, Belgian waffles, halal turkey sausage and bacon, and Sisterhood shines from the faces of these Masjid beverages. While the members Al-Islam Eid goers. Photo by author asked for seconds, few sisters continuously cooked in the kitchen to accommodate everyone’s wish. Like the Imam said, “Eid Al-Adha is about sacrificing and giving. I’ve been in this kitchen since fajr cooking and I’m happy to

Imam Musa spoke briefly on the lack of strategic management in the Muslim community and how this adversely affects the American Muslims. Addressing the needs of the deprived areas of the nation’s capital, the Imam said the first step to deal with “conditions of repression” is to for one to examine his or her self. Second, scan history, economy, and one’s living environment. Then, one must come up with a strategic plan, implement the plan, and then analyze its results.

make this sacrifice,” said one cook to TML as she mixed pancake batter at 2PM, serving the last batch of people entering the Masjid.

“Montgomery County is fortunate to have a diverse population that contributes so much to the rich culture that we all enjoy,” said County Executive Isiah Leggett. “As the celebration of Eid ul-Adha concludes, I’d like to express my gratitude to our Muslim residents for serving as leaders and role models in the community. Since 9/11, they have made extraordinary efforts to promote understanding and tolerance among religious, racial and ethnic groups. I’d like to thank them for continuing the dialogue that is keeping stereotyping and discrimination at bay, while seeking peace and unity for all.” The Feast of the Sacrifice is an important holiday for those practicing the Islamic faith. The festival commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael in obedience to God, and it marks the end of the Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca). The holiday is observed with prayer and feasting with family and friends. [Source: Montgomery County press release]

The Muslim Link, December 19, 2008



ISB Youth Group Holds “A Day of Celebration for the Entire Family” By Arjumand Yousuf Muslim Link Staff Writer The cool 34 degree winter weather didn’t deter the young or old from coming out and taking part in the “Eid Celebration” hosted by the Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB) youth group on Saturday December 13 from 12-5pm. The first annual Eid celebration was a huge success with over 30 vendors and an estimated turnout of 500 people. With the voices of Native Deen and Sami Yusuf blasting in the background, the gym at ISB was filled with the spirit of Eid. It was a day of celebration for the entire family filled with numerous vendors, lots of food, and loads of fun. Vendors came from as far away as Virginia to showcase jewelry, clothing, and decorative items. One local vendor, Muniara Harun had a table set up with handmade quilts, wall hangings, and beautiful handbags from Bangladesh. Others sold colorful silk hijabs, jilbabs, prayer mats and Islamic art and plaques. Those looking for clothing were not disappointed as there were several vendors

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selling suits from Pakistan and India with matching costume jewelry, bright bangles, and shoes. For the children in the crowd, there was also a table set up with dolls, cars, and little trinkets to please young boys and girls alike. Just in case all that shopping around made you hungry there was plenty of food to satisfy a variety of taste buds. For those who really brought their appetite there was spicy biryani and delicious haleem (a dish made of pounded wheat and mutton) garnished with lemon, fried onions and fresh coriander. For others just looking for a snack there were samosas filled with ground beef, chicken, or vegetables. Folks craving your typical American food got to sink their teeth into some chicken tenders, fried chicken or steak pizza. YUM! Of course there was also carnival food including hotdogs, buttery popcorn and sticky cotton candy. Speaking of carnivals…there were plenty of activities to keep the kids occupied. From the moon bounce, and pedestal joust to the pony rides and clown making balloon sculptures. The ISB youth group sure didn’t leave anything out! When the kids got tired of

The ISB Eid Festival hosted many vendors selling Islamic gift items the ones pictured above. Also avaialble were custom fitted balloon hats adorned by the two happy client on the right. Photos by the author.

jumping around, there was an area set up with arts and crafts where kids could make their very own maracas, get their face painted or have henna done on their hands. It was great to see everyone having so much fun! “This was one of the best Eid’s ever Mommy” my daughter said to me with the butterfly on her face, and balloon sculpture in hand. I must admit that as a parent and adult I not only enjoyed myself, but felt thankful to be part

of a such a wonderful community that helped make Eid truly a “day of celebration for the entire family.

Stop venting at dinner parties and in masjid parking lots. Cool down, get your points together, and send us a letter to the

editor or post a comment online.


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The Muslim Link, December 19, 2008

Muslim Cleric’s Lawyers Challenge Surveillance Program, Conviction By Jerry Markon

Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, December 17, 2008; B08 Attorneys for a prominent Muslim spiritual leader convicted on terrorism charges said yesterday that they have evidence that he was wiretapped under the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program, and they have asked a judge to declare the program illegal. The filing in U.S. District Court in Alexandria is the latest development in a nearly threeyear battle over whether Ali al-Timimi was a

subject of the now-defunct National Security Agency anti-terrorist operation. Timimi, of Fairfax County, was convicted in 2005 of inciting his Northern Virginia followers to train for jihad against the United States and was sentenced to life in prison. Timimi’s attorneys are using the controversial surveillance program to challenge his conviction, saying the Islamic scholar was a likely candidate for wiretapping. If he was, they say, that would have violated his constitutional rights because the program was illegal. Bush has said the program, under which the NSA monitored phone calls and e-mails involving U.S. residents and foreign parties without obtaining warrants from a

secret court that handles such matters, was legal and necessary to protect Americans from terrorists. In yesterday’s filing, Timimi’s attorneys wrote that “it has been established that surveillance related to Dr. al-Timimi was gathered under NSA’s warrantless surveillance program and potentially other agencies.” They did not specify the evidence, which has been litigated in secret proceedings since a federal appeals court sent the case back to the trial judge to explore the matter in 2006. Federal prosecutors declined to comment and have said previously that they provided Timimi’s defense all material required by law. In a hearing in October, U.S. District Judge

Leonie M. Brinkema said the government might have violated federal rules by failing to turn over relevant evidence to the defense. But she also indicated that she is unlikely to grant Timimi a new trial. Andrew McBride, a former federal prosecutor in Alexandria, said Brinkema might decline to rule on parts of yesterday’s motion because “the issue of the program’s legality isn’t really before her. What’s at issue is: Did they give the defense what they recorded, and would that have affected the outcome of the trial.” [Source: Washington Post, December 17, 2008 Metro Section]

Taqwa Needs Patience to Get Deen MAS Freedom Announces Return of ‘The at Baltimore Bball Tournament Crescent Report’ on New World Radio By Karim Amin Muslim Link Contributing Writer The Crisp air whipped through between the cavernous buildings that surround the Lake Clifton gym. This Gym stands as a testament to the history of great basketball in Baltimore. Basketball stars like Carmelo Anthony and Reggie Lewis have earned their stripes playing in this building. Today it was the Muslim’s turn. Teams from up and down the east coast battled for the title of the Saif ul Bar Abdullah Basketball tournament. This is the second year for the tournament named in memory of Brother Saifulbarr Abdullah Muslim, an active brother and avid Basketball player from Baltimore who passed away in 2006. This tournament was created to reinforce the brotherhood and athleticism that Brother Saif was known for. Six teams from the Baltimore, Washington and as far away as New York battled for this year’s crown. The tournament is single elimination so every game counts. Scores of fans watched as each team gave its all to win the title. One of the first games between

Iqamatideen of Baltimore and Masjid DarlTaqwa of New York went to the wire, only being decided by two points.

Hosted by Imam Mahdi Bray and co-hosted by Ibrahim Abdil-Mu’id Ramey Beginning Sunday, December 21, 2008 at 11:30AM

Excited smiles turned into concerned frowns as teams were eliminated. The Championship game came down to a battle between last years Champion Team Deen and the upstart, Taqwa team from Columbia. Taqwa gave its all shooting their patented three pointers and scrapping with the strong Deen team. As if the game wasn’t enough excitement, at half time fans were treated to an inspiring song by Native Deen member Naeem Muhammed.

WASHINGTON, DC (MASNET) Dec. 16, 2008 - MAS Freedom (MASF), as the civic and human rights advocacy entity of the Muslim American Society (MAS), announces the return of “The Crescent Report” live via New World Radio (WUST 1120 AM), the Multi-Cultural Voice of the nation’s Capitol, beginning Sunday, December 21, 2008.

The Deen team and Taqwa battled throughout the second half trading baskets mixed in with crowd pleasing dunks. However in the end the Deen Team proved to be too much for the upstart Taqwa team winning the Championship game 55 - 43. Ismail of the Deen team summed the tournament up best. “Taqwa really came to play. They Challenged us more than we expected. I loved that Naeem ( Native Deen) rocked the crowd . Over all I enjoyed playing with my Muslim brothers. I hope more people come out next year.”.

The area’s only Muslim hosted talk radio program in the greater Washington metropolitan area, The Crescent Report hosted by MAS Freedom Executive Director Mahdi Bray and co-hosted by MAS Freedom’s Civil and Human Rights Director Ibrahim Abdil-Mu’id Ramey - will be broadcast live every Sunday from 11:30AM-12:00PM. The Crescent Report, formerly hosted on Amin Radio, was one of Washington’s most listened to programs with media accolades in the LA Times, Washington Post and Al-Jazeerah and received a special Red Cross Public Service Award for its broadcast during the first two tragic weeks of the September 11 tragedy.

Additional information on how to find rebroadcasts of “The Crescent Report” on the Islamic Broadcasting Network (IBN) and IslamOnline will be announced soon. New World Radio - WUST 1120 AM - Washington, DC’s live audio website broadcasts live in over 17 languages, and is the only station serving the metropolitan Washington area, including the capital city, suburban Virginia and Maryland and the city of Baltimore with programming oriented to the area’s varied ethnic communities. To l i s t e n t o W U S T 11 2 0 A M programming live you will need Windows Media Player for PC or Macintosh. For additional information contact MAS Freedom at (202) 552-7414, (703) 6426265 or 1-888-627-8471 for additional information. Email inquiries can be sent to Make a Pledge Today to Support MAS Freedom by sending you tax-deductible donation online or by sending your check or money order to: MAS Freedom, 1325 G Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005.

Muslim Link Wins Journalism Awards The Muslim Link took first place in Immigration reporting and two honorable mentions in other journalism categories at the first New America Media awards ceremony in the DC region. New America Media is the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations. Over 51 million ethnic adults connect to each other, to home countries and to America through 3000+ ethnic media, the fastest growing sector of American journalism. Founded by the nonprofit Pacific News Service in 1996, NAM is headquartered in California with offices in New York and

Washington D.C., and partnerships with journalism schools to grow local associations of ethnic media.

the child’s name. After intense media scrutiny and ridicule, the government eventually allowed the child to enter the country.

The Muslim Link, a new NAM member, answered a call for submissions earlier this fall, submitting eight original news articles and editorials appearing in issues during the past year.

“Alhumdulillah, we are very happy that the value of our stories and the hard work of our reporters and contributors stands out among the thousands of alternative media outlets in the nation. Being in the thick of our work, we often forget the impact we have in the community. We ask Allah to continue blessing our newspaper, allow it to grow and flourish, and we ask our readers to continue their support,” commented editor Minhaj Hasan.

Sister Farkhunda Ali, a regular Muslim Link correspondent and staff writer, took top honors in the Immigration reporting category for her coverage of a Virginia Muslim couple’s tribulation stemming from the US government’s refusal to allow their 3-year old son into the country due to a security flag on

See also: D.C. Honors Ethnic Media, Community Storytellers, pg 11

If you would like the Muslim Link to be available at your establishment give us a call.


The Muslim Link, December 19, 2008



FBI Sponsors Masjid Eid Dinner Sponsors >> Continued from pg 1

believe it when I saw your name up there.’ But I have never had trouble with management.”

Brother Abdel-Hafiz spent the beginning of his stomach? Maybe there were trackers in the speech explaining how he had consulted with food.” If this attests to nothing else, it attests scholars regarding the work he was doing and to the public relations problem the FBI has that he also had the support of his family. He stated, “You will never be asked to do anything with the Muslim Community. illegal.” When asked, “The issue is not doing But there were more surprises to be had. There something illegal. The issue is becoming part of are actually only 7 Muslim FBI agents and the an organization whose agenda is profiling and speaker, Brother Gamal Abdel-Hafiz, an FBI targeting Muslims. The FBI is an enforcement veteran of 20 years, along with other Muslim agency of policy that violates civil rights and FBI agents, were flown from around the civil liberties that were first established in country to meet the Muslim community at Dar the Constitution.” Brother Hafeez explained Al-Noor. Why? Well, Mohammed Mehboob, that the Patriot Act is not specifically against the President of Dar Al-Noor stated, “The Muslims, but admitted there are agents with agendas and that change must occur from within. That the Muslim community needs to take part and take action. The best way Brother Hafeez pointed out, “In to change something is to be a part one year, the FBI investigated and of it and affect change one step at a time. Brother Hafeez explained. brought to trial about 150 cases of “In Dallas an agent can not come discrimination against Muslims. That back from the mosque and say ‘the imam is saying this or that.’ They you don’t hear in the media. That, no know I am there and go to all the one seems interested in publishing.” mosques and know all the people. What if I was at the mosque when this agent was there? What would FBI are anxious to come and develop a better he do then?” relationship with the Muslim community... “An agent can not abuse his or her power. They will also be here to recruit.” If a judge finds an agent lying to them just Brother Gamal Abdel-Hafiz, a native of Egypt once, they agent can be barred from testifying and a graduate of Al-Azhar University, yes, Al in court for life. What can an agent do then Azhar University, says he came along the job when they can not testify in court, when they with the FBI by chance. He was a language can not provide evidence or research that expert at the time hired by the FBI and he was would require testifying in court? What can encouraged by a co-worker to ask the supervisor an agent do when they can not even produce to become an agent. After six months, he took information that would require someone else the plunge. While training, he was approached to testify in court on that evidence? Ostensibly, by a high official who wanted to meet him and that agent’s career is over. They have become inform him that he was the very first Muslim useless.” to join the FBI. Brother Gamal Abdel-Hafiz talked about the difficulty he had in training, “The Muslim community needs to become because it was during Ramadan. But, he said involved… Look at the Jewish organization, the management was great and supported his the ADL, they come around and introduce limitations. On the other hand, Brother Hafeez themselves and hand out cards. They are commented, when asked about his experience well known by the FBI. Why do you think?.. with discrimination, “I could write a book. Because, they want to establish personal There is always that one agent that hates to relationships and get to know you. When see you there. When I first was stationed in there is a problem, they call you up and ask Dallas, an agent approached me and said, ‘Is for a favor. Since you know them and trust your name really Abdel something? I couldn’t them, you are more inclined… Where are the

Gamal Abdel-Hafiz, (right)a native of Egypt and a graduate of Al-Azhar University, says he started working with the FBI by chance. He was a language expert at the time hired by the FBI and he was encouraged by a co-worker to ask the supervisor to become an agent. Photo be the author.

Muslims who do this? That is what we need to do. We need to be known and build trust.” By its nature, an agency that conducts its activities in a covert fashion, the FBI is viewed by many as dishonest and sinister. It began at its inception with the infamous notebook of J. Edgar Hoover, the first director of the

FBI. A notebook that he would carry around that suggested to everyone that he possessed information on their secrets. But, Brother Hafeez pointed out, “In one year, the FBI investigated and brought to trial about 150 cases of discrimination against Muslims. That you don’t hear in the media. That, no one seems interested in publishing.”

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The Muslim Link, December 19, 2008

The Muslim Link, December 19, 2008





The Muslim Link, December 19, 2008

Al- Rahmah Sunday School Students Celebrate “Many Cultures One Islam” By Arjumand Yousuf Muslim Link Staff Writer The students at Al-Rahmah Sunday School celebrated Eid this year by learning about each other’s cultures with the theme “many cultures, one Islam”. The event held on Sunday December 14 during Sunday school was part of the annual Eid celebrations. “Last year the kids did a reenactment of the Hajj, this year they decided to do something different to show that Islam has no cultural boundaries” said Nasrin Rahman, one of the Sunday School administrators. A total of 14 countries were represented at the cultural fest including: Egypt, Palestine, Spain, Ethiopia, The United States, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Iran, Iraq, Senegal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, and Pakistan reflecting the multicultural student population. There is quite a diverse student population that attends Sunday school so we thought it would be nice for the students to learn about other cultures and the ethnic background of their classmates Brother Anis Ahmed the Principal stated. The Sunday school at Al-Rahmah has about 240 students enrolled ranging from ages 5 to 16 with 14 different class levels. Students come from all over the Baltimore area and as far away as 32 miles away to attend classes

every Sunday from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Each class was assigned a different county and had to discover interesting facts about their country. The level 2 class with students ranging from 7 to 10 years of age had a great time learning about Indonesia said their teacher Sister Fatna Zhouii. Only one of the students is from Indonesia, so it was a great learning experience for the rest of them. Ryein Hafeez, one of the students said he didn’t realize that most people in Indonesia are Muslim. Their diet is also different from ours in America, said another student. They eat a lot of rice, fish and coconut milk. After finishing their midterm exams the students headed upstairs to the school gym where the event was held. Colorful balloons, representing the different countries and flags made by the students lined the gym wall. Many students were dressed in traditional clothes from their country of heritage. There were tables set up with displays from the different countries, and poster boards listed many interesting facts the students had learned such as the main religion, major cities, and languages spoken. Some students brought in pictures of major landmarks, and different cultural artifacts from home. Others brought in a dish to share.

Children representing the diversity of ISB and of Islam smile for the camera at their Sunday School Eid event. Photo by the author. The cultural medley of food was the highlight of the event! Parents and teachers sampled authentic cuisine served by the students. There was delicious chicken and couscous from Morocco, spicy chick pea curry from India, corn and coconut salad from Indonesia and special deep fried bread made of ground rice called pitha from Bangladesh. The senior

girls’ class got creative and made a cake representing the flag of Spain. The students seemed to have a blast at the Eid celebration and also learned a lot said Sister Nasrin. Even though we all come from distinct backgrounds with different traditions and customs Islam unites us all.

Baltimore County Muslim Council Holds Annual General Meeting By Arjumand Yousuf Muslim Link Staff The Baltimore County Muslim Council (BCMC) held its annual general body meeting on Saturday, December 5 at the Loch Raven library in Towson. There were about 20 people in attendance at this year’s general meeting including Delegate Stephen Lafferty from District 42 of Baltimore County. The BCMC is a non-profit volunteer organization that started in 2002. It promotes the support and contribution of Muslims in Baltimore County, through encouraging political involvement at the county level and works to attain social and economic equity for Muslims in Baltimore County. It is part of the Maryland Muslim Council (MDMC) which is comprised of eight county councils that operate autonomously, but work collectively at the state level in activities pertaining to Muslims and the citizens of Maryland. One of the goals of the group is to increase Muslim civic and social involvement. The Council does this through increasing Muslim volunteers, involving Muslims in the development of public policy, strengthening Muslim businesses and professionals, educating the Baltimore County School System about the special needs of Muslim students and developing leadership in Muslim students in Baltimore County. Brother Akbar Ansari, President of the BCMC highlighted some of the impressive

activities the council has been involved in 2008. The Council plans and conducts 12-14 events each year in Baltimore County. They include planting trees, helping to deliver food for Meals on Wheels, building houses for Habitat for Humanity, giving presentations to interfaith groups, and collecting winter coats and food for those less fortunate. The council also likes to organize interfaith activities four times a year. This year they

in Baltimore county Public Schools, the social studies curriculum, Muslims and the media, and the challenges and opportunities faced by Muslim American youth. One issue the council continues to fight for is to have the two Eid holidays approved by the Board of Education of the Baltimore County Public School System. Brother Muhammad Jameel a BCMC board member

Among the items covered in this year’s annual meeting were holidays in Baltimore county Public Schools, the social studies curriculum, Muslims and the media, and the challenges and opportunities faced by Muslim American youth. also had their second political forum and voter registration events in January and August to encourage Muslim voters to exercise their right to vote in the November election. The BCMC executive committee members and board of directors meet each month to discuss events and issues, and hold a general meeting each year for general members in December to recap the year and see what changes need to be done for next year. Among the items covered in this year’s annual meeting were holidays

and active community member who volunteers at the Al-Rahmah Sunday School and Women’s homeless shelter said that “this is the thirteenth year that Muslim students are being discriminated and do not have the same privileges as their peers from the other two Abrahamic faiths.” It is not fair that if Muslims take the day off they may miss a test or lesson. For this reason, some students opt to go to school that day. A college bound senior student from Dulaney Valley high school Kanwal Rehman also spoke of her

experiences. Some addressed some issues affecting students in Baltimore County including cafeterias not being sensitive to Muslim students’ dietary needs, not having proper jummah prayer accommodations, and discrimination towards female students wearing hijab. She felt misunderstood by her peers and partly blamed the media for causing and fueling these misunderstandings. She said students don’t question what they learn in school from their teachers, or from the news media. Dr. Bash Pharoan Past President and Acting secretary and treasurer of the Council said “speaking to the media is a double-edged sword.” It is like free advertising for Muslims but the speaker needs to be cautious about what it said and how it is said. He offered some tips on speaking to the media when giving an interview including: preparing adequately, knowing your audience, focusing on the goals, and being brief and truthful. The meeting concluded with questions and comments by Muhammed Jameel , a dua and dhur prayer. The Council currently has 4 executive committee members, 7 boards of directors and eighty paid active members on the council. Membership dues are $25 a year. More information about the council and its activities can be found on the web at

The Muslim Link, December 19, 2008


D.C. Honors Ethnic Media, Community Storytellers New America Media, News Report, Cristina Fernandez-Pereda, Posted: Dec 12, 2008 WASHINGTON -- More than 100 people gathered Thursday for the first Washington, D.C., Ethnic Media Awards, organized by New America Media and American University School of Communication to honor excellence in reporting. “I’m really happy. I think this award is not for me but for the people we work for, for the communities,” said Luisa Fernanda Montero, winner in the Best Broadcast Category for her story on how native people honor their ancestors “Pow Wow – Somos un Pueblo Unido.” Montero, a reporter for the Hispanic Communications Network, emphasized the significance of honoring the work of journalists who show a community’s virtues and needs. Other ethnic media awards winners agreed with Montero that the awards were not just for the reporters but for the communities they are covering. Mark Lloyd, presenter and Vice President for Strategic Initiatives of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, noted in his speech the humility of the reporters who didn’t take credit for the award and gave it all to the communities they work for.

Dean of the American University School of Communication Larry Kirkman noted the first ethnic media awards in the Washington, D.C. metro area is taking place in the same year as the 60th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights. He underscored the meaning of these awards and ethnic media. Article 19 recognizes not only the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Kirkman said, but also “the right to receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Alfredo Duarte-Pereira, photographer for El Tiempo Latino, won the photojournalism award for his portrait of a 15-year-old autistic boy and his mother’s struggle to learn how to teach him through music. “This is a very important award for me, both as a photographer and as an immigrant. I came to this country not too long ago and now I’m being awarded for doing what I really like,” he said. For Nisa Muhammad, Final Call reporter and Best Local News Coverage winner for her story “Black Neighborhoods on Lockdown” about police checkpoints in some areas of Washington, D.C., the event was not just about the awards.

“I think it’s great that we are being awarded as journalists for writing about our communities and also for doing it with passion and emotion,” said Muslim Link reporter Asma Hanif, who earned an honorable mention under the Best Commentary/Editorial Writing Category for her editorial “Domestic Violence.”

“I’m totally surprised and also very happy for the award. But this kind of event has allowed us to connect with other communities we wouldn’t have reached any other way, we would have remained unconnected,” Muhammad said.

DEBATE >> continued from pg 1

we do have a number of dishonest physicians no doubt about that” said Dr. Hassan.

Association of North America -- started his discussion with evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah to support the Islamic Perspective on health care. According to a hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) mounted the pulpit, then wept and said, “Ask Allah for forgiveness and health, for after being granted certainty, one is given nothing better than health. (Tirrmidhi) The state of the current healthcare system results in more than 45 million people without medical coverage. More have inadequate coverage, and 80% who do not have coverage are working class people and 20% are children. More than $100 billion dollars are spent on diseases that could have been prevented. This financial focus results in an attitude of covering up the problem instead of creating programs that will help to educate people about ways to alleviate preventable disease. “Forget the diet, take the medicine”, said Dr. Hassan as the overall attitude displayed by the pharmaceutical companies. Many people are bombarded with advertisements for many medicines that they should take. “Most physicians are honest, but

all these journalists I wouldn’t have found any other way. They are the ones who can really tell you about their communities,” said Tara Libert, deputy director of Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop. Event attendees included Pepco, regional electric service provider that sponsored the cash awards for winners, and representatives of government agencies such as the 2010 U.S. Census, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Navy. “The presence of members of government agencies tells us how important this night has been,” said New America Media Executive Director Sandy Close. New America Media received more than 80 submissions from newspapers, TV stations, radio news programs, and web magazines from Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. The outlets serve Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Muslim, Jewish, African-American, Korean, and Spanish-language communities in the region.

In 2007 the national health expenditures increased two times the rate of inflation. Total

“The reality is that the ethnic media plays a vital role in our society by bringing news and information to demographics that want more than what is delivered by the major media outlets,” said Alex Moe, NAM’s Washington, D.C. director. “NAM and American University School of Communication are honoring the tremendous contribution, often made on bare-bones budgets, the ethnic media offers.”

Americans are getting far too much unnecessary care. Of our total $2.3 trillion health care bill last year, $500 billion to $700 billion was spent on treatments, tests, and hospitalizations that did nothing to improve our health, said Dr. Hassan. Many Americans

Best Local News Coverage

Nisa Muhammad, Final Call, “Black Neighborhoods on Lockdown” Honorable Mention: Barbara Pash, Baltimore Jewish Times, “Star Crossed”

Best Immigration Coverage

Farkhunda Ali, Muslim Link, “Virginia Couple Reunited with Son” HM: Milagros Melendez-Vela, El Tiempo Latino, “Quiero Estar con Mi Mama” HM: Albert Hong, Korea Daily, “Please Help Us: Illegal Immigrants Family”

Best Investigative/ In-Depth Coverage

James Wright, Washington Afro, “Black Women in Criminal Justice System” HM: Peter Dao, Pho Nho Newspaper, “Students in Hanoi and Saigon Demonstrate Against China” HM: Farkhunda Ali, Muslim Link, “Local Palestinians Remember Their Catastrophe”

Special Award for Best Media Supplement

The Staff of the Washington Informer, “Nelson Mandela Supplement”

Best Arts, Sports, and Entertainment

Winyan Soo Hoo, Asian Fortune, “Kelly Tsai: A ‘Yellowgurl’ Poet” HM: Neil Rubin, Baltimore Jewish Times, “Now…That’s Funny” HM: Dereje Desta, Zethiopia, “Emerging Ethiopian Rock Star, Kenna!” Jose de la Isla, Hispanic Link, “Social Intolerance on the Rise” HM: Asma Hanif, Muslim Link, “Domestic Violence”

Best Photojournalism

Alfredo Duarte-Pereira, El Tiempo Latino, “El Mundo Según Zamir”

Best Broadcast Story

Luisa Fernanda Montero, Hispanic Communications Network, “Pow Wow – Somos un Pueblo Unido” HM: Marcelo Sanchez, Telemundo, “Down Syndrome: Buddy Walk” Source: New America Media

began to use the Emergency Room as their Primary care providers instead of using family doctors.

for healthcare, and which are currently not alleviating many of the diseases plaguing the nation.

We need to reawaken the idea of simplicity, said Dr. Hassan. He suggested that we start to correct our own behaviors.

Another problem lies in the inequalities in the healthcare system. Some doctors use prejudices when dealing with patients. A doctor may spend more time explaining how a particular medicine should be taken to a white American in comparison to an African American. As a result, the African American may find them in the same predicament dealing with the same health issues because a lack of education from their primary care provider. Published from the Institute of Medicine in 2002, the study committee was struck by the consistency of research findings: even among the better-controlled studies, the vast majority indicated that minorities are less likely than whites to receive needed services, including clinically necessary procedures.

“How many of you exercised this morning,” asked Dr. Hassan? Hardly a hand went up

Americans are getting far too much unnecessary care. Of our total $2.3 trillion health care bill last year, $500 billion to $700 billion was spent on treatments, tests, and hospitalizations that did nothing to improve our health, said Dr. Hassan. Many Americans began to use the Emergency Room as their Primary care providers instead of using family doctors. spending was $2.3 trillion dollars; 80% of health care expenditure is used by 20% of the population. Most of this is used in the last few months of life.

The Winners:

Best Commentary/Editorial Writing

“It was so great to be able to reach out to

He suggested problems stem from inappropriate care, inaccessible care, funds being inappropriately used, and care that is unequally available to those who need it.


from the twenty or so attendees in the main hall of MCC. He than explained how his dad used to walk 10 miles per day, between walking to the Masjid to pray and operating his own business. Simple changes in hygiene helped to increase life spans in America from about 47 years to 77 years on average. We need to look at the simple changes that were made to improve human health that were not as costly compared to our modern day technologies that are eating up funds

If an ideal health care system can be expressed using the Vowels of the health care system as Dr. Hassan describes, healthcare would be: “accessible, affordable, appropriate, available, equitable, intelligible, obvious, universal, and utilized”. During the short question and answer period, the doctor was asked about the possibility of

>> DEBATE ii Pg 12



Request For Dua’s

{ To A l l a h We Belong, and to Him is Our Return }

“Everyone is going to taste death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and good, and to Us you will be returned.” (Surah Al-Anbiya:35)” 11-24-08 Syed Niamat Ali returned peacefully to Allah on Nov. 24, 2008. His janazah was held at Islamic Foundation in Villa Park Chicago, and he was buried at Arlington Cemetery, Elmhurst , IL on Tuesday, November 25th. He left three sons, three daughters (all married) and many grandchildren behind him. (Source: Br. Syed Akhtar Alam) 11-28 -08 Br. James Bradley passed away and was buried at Bethel Cemetery in Alexandria, VA. (Source: Aden Muslim Funeral Services) 12-2-08 Hassan Saeed, age 48 and formerly of the Embassy of Egypt, passed away. His janazah prayer was at Darul Hijra and he was buried at Stafford Cemetery. (Source: Aden Muslim Funeral Services)

The Muslim Link, December 19, 2008


An In-Depth look into the lives of Adam, Ayyub and Isa (alayhim as’salam) Teachers: Imam Zaid Shakir, Shaykh Muhammad Bin Yahya Ninowy, Ustdath Abdullah Bin Hamid Ali Location: New Destiny Family Worship Center 1330 Livingston Avenue #5 North Brunswick, NJ 08902 Date: Saturday December 20th, 2008 10am - 5pm Location: 1330 Livingston Avenue #5 North Brunswick, NJ 08902 Cost: $25 ($30 at door) In today’s era, we do not realize the struggle our beloved pro ...


Extravaganza fundraiser for Masjid As-Saffat. Come and sample some of the finest cuisines our brothers have to offer. Held at the Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB). Kids 2 and under eat free! ... 410.728.8107


12-4-08 Noor Rasheed, a longtime active member of the Mutafa Center community, returned to Allah. His janazah prayer was held at Dar al Hijrah Islamic Center. (Source: Mustafa Center)

The United Muslims Martial Arts Association (UMMA) is holding a FREE expo and demonstration Thursday, Dec. 25th from 8am to Maghrib at Al Rahmah School in Baltimore. Fun for the entire family includes FREE seminars from 8am until dhur! FREE demonstrations by Muslim experts of over 10 different martial arts styles from dhur until maghrib! FREE momentos for all who attend! FREE ADMISSION! Refreshments will be on sale. ... Contacat Br. Abdulmuhsiy Abdurrahman at410-448-1611

12-5 -08 Abdul Nazeri, born in Afghanistan, returned to Allah. His janazah and burial was at South King in Alexandria, VA. (Source: Aden Muslim Funeral Services)


12-5-08 Mohamed Rashid, age 77 and born in Pakistan passed away. The janazah prayer was held for him at Darul Hijra and he was buried at National Memorial Park on Lee Highway in Falls Church, VA. (Source: Aden Muslim Funeral Services)

Home of the Heart 2008 Fundraising Dinner and Family Night Saturday, December 27th at 4:30 pm with Special Guests: Abdalla Idris Ali~Altaf Husain~Safi Khan ~Baba Ali of ummah films~ at UMUC INN and Conference Center by Marriott 3501 University Blvd East, Adelphi, MD 20783 ... or call 301-982-2061~

12-7-08 Waquir Hassan, age 57 and born in Pakistan, passed away. His janazah and burial was at Al Ferdous Cemetery, MD. (Source: Aden Muslim Funeral Services)


12-8-08 Hajji Issa Feregu, the grandfather of Shemsiya Ali, passed away in Ethiopia, may Allah have mercy on his soul. Inshallah, please make dua for him and his family. (Source: Shemsiya Ali ) 12-9-08 Karmat Hussein, age 61 and born in Pakistan, passed away. His janazah prayer was held at Darul Huda. His body was shipped to Pakistan for burial. (Source: Aden Muslim Funeral Services) 12-12-08 Karman Chaudry, born in Pakistan, passed away. His janazah was held at Darul Hijra. He was buried at the Stafford Cemetery. (Source: Aden Muslim Funeral Services) 12-12-08 Baby Skir Shoila, 120 days old, passed away. The janazah was at Darul Hijrah. Burial was at the Stafford Cemetery. (Source: Aden Muslim Funeral Services) 12-14-08 Saeedi Hajibaba, born in Pakistan, passed away. His janazah payer and burial was at the National Memorial Park in Arlington, VA. (Source: Aden Muslim Funeral Services) 12-15-08 Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury, age 59 and known affectionately as ‘Babu’, passed away in Mymensingh, Bangladesh due to a sudden heart attack. He was the brother of Mohammad S. Choudhry. He is survived by his wife, one son and four daughters. Please make dua for him: May Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) forgive his sins and enter him into Jannat-ul Firdous and give sabr to the family to bear his loss, Aameen. (Source: Islamic Center of Maryland) 12-5-08 Br. Saeed Iqbal Cheema, father of Sr. Asma Cheema, and father-inlaw of Br. Saad Cheema of Gaithersburg has passed away in Lahore, Pakistan. He was 69 years old. Please make duaa that Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) forgives him, has mercy upon him, overlooks his sins and pardons him. May Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) admit him into paradise and protect him from the punishment of the grave and torment of the fire. Ameen. (Source: Islamic Center of Maryland)

Allima Institute Now Fffers Salat-ul Jumah each week at 1:15 and doors are also open for all other prayers as well. We will also be holding our first fund-raising event on Sunday, December 28 from 4-6pm. Theme: “Vision of Change A Community Benefit for Our Young People.” Location: 1 East Chase Street The Belvedere Building, (2nd floor) Baltimore, MD 21202 Toll Free: 888-858-4543 , Fax: 443-7032295 http:\\ Email: ... 888-858-4543


EPC-2008 is an annual essay/panel contest for Muslims Youths in Metro DC area. This platform provides an opportunity for our youths to develop their writing, speaking and leadership skills. This is a youth development event that should not be missed! Be a part of it and experience the difference! Top Selected Essays are Published in a Book. For more on EPC, please ... Organizer: Mafiq Foundation, Inc and CCMO Host: Islamic Center of Maryland POC: Mostafiz Chowdhury

DEBATE >> Continued from pg 11 adopting a single payer health care system in order to meet the need for reform. Dr. Hassan responded that “for that to occur... the economic system in this country is going to have to change” because it is currently “too... capitalistic.” For this reason he was unsure that a single payer system is a possibility at this time. He closed by making an appeal for basic health education programs which could be carried out at clinics like that sponsored by MCC.

Everyday American citizen’s think of ways that they can change the healthcare policy of this country. The ideas of reform have been presented on Capitol Hill as well in documentaries that discuss America’s health policy compared to other nations across the globe. There have been staggering statistics showing the tremendous amounts of money that are spent each year on medical care. Yet, there are still hundreds of millions suffering from lack of care. Attendees appreciated Dr. Shaik Hassan adding a much needed voice to the debate of health care. Luqman Clark contributed to this report.

The Muslim Link, December 19, 2008



Dar Al-Hijrah Opens Doors to Homeless this Winter HOMELESS >> continued from pg 1 in requests came from emergency food (70% increase), food stamps (69% increase), job search (64% increase), emergency housing payment assistance (46% increase), and subsidized housing (60% increase). Since Dar Al-Hijrah began its community outreach program a few years back, its members have been on the front lines helping the un-insured, homeless, providing school supplies, free health screenings, Islamic education, and cultural awareness in their neighborhoods. Throughout the county, several faith based organizations and religious centers opened their centers for the homeless. After searching for a house of worship to cover the missing nights in the schedule, Sandy S. Chisholm, Community Interfaith Liaison, Fairfax County Department of Systems Management for Human Services, came to Dar Al-Hijrah’s social services for help. Dar Al-Hijrah was quick to join the area churches in providing temporary overnight shelter for the homeless in Falls Church.

Chisholm stated a January 2008 survey estimated there are 2,000 homeless adults in the county. “The overnight shelter will be open every night during the winter months and members of our congregation will be providing breakfast for our homeless neighbors each morning, Islam teaches us that it is our duty to care for our neighbors” said Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, who serves as Director of Outreach for the center.

community groups throughout Fairfax County. Five homeless shelters in the county provide an array of housing, social service, health, and employment services. Every year, the county reaches out to faithbased communities to open their centers when these five shelters reach capacity.

and sacrifice from Eid Al-Adha continue throughout the year. Imam Johari encourages Muslims to take part in helping the homeless in the spirit of Surah Al-Ma’un. “It does not matter whether they are Muslims or non-Muslim, they are our neighbors,” added Imam Johari.

Last year’s program provided 724 homeless people with the help. The effort took more then 2,300 volunteers, collaboration of 57 faith communities and 13 nonprofit and business organizations.

Fairfax county officials said other Muslim organizations and Islamic centers are providing food and other social services for the homeless as well. Although they have asked to remain anonymous, they give good, clothing, and host self-sufficiency programs for the homeless.

In Falls Church, those in need of shelter first register at Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter. After dinner, the shelter provides transportation for them to go to the Dar AlHijrah or other religious sites for the night.

County officials said they provide year-round shelter services to women, men, and families. In March 2008, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted a 10-year plan to end homelessness.

The Bailey’s Shelter is operated on contract with Fairfax County by the non-profit Volunteers of America to put an end to homelessness. The plan is to help save lives during the winter nights, said Belinda Buescher, director of communications of Fairfax County Department of Family Services.

Imam Johari said this was the first time the Masjid participated in a program to provide shelter for the Homeless. He said among the homeless people sleeping the Masjid every night, there are few Muslims who also pray with their congregation. “This program is designed to help people transition from homelessness into permanent housing” says Imam Johari.

The county’s hypothermia prevention program involves faith communities and

For Muslims, the symbolic practices of giving

The county provides the homeless with a network of services including health screening, mental health treatment, job placement, and shelter. These homeless go from a temporary living arrangement, to a permanent shelter to a transitional housing and then finally independent living. “Emergency housing assistance is the primary use of zakat,” said Imam Johari. Generally, Muslims have this “fear” of the “stereotypical homeless.” In the past the


Safwan ibn Salim related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who looks after and works for a widow and a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah’s Cause, or like a person who fasts during the day and prays all night. (Bukhari)

Local Meat Distribution Projects Abound DISTRIBUTION >> continued from pg 1 are also able to distribute the meat and eat their slaughter, in the fashion of the times of the Prophet (peace be upon him). At Dar al-Noor Masjid, in Woodbridge, VA some individuals have donated their meat through the small food bank effort at the masjid; thus keeping their contribution very local. There is something heartwarming about discretely sending your donations through a local person who has worked with and knows the local needy families. Such acts stand in strong contrast to the degrading hand out lines that the needy are so often asked to stand in to receive their necessities. It calls to mind a time when I drove by a local church in my

neighborhood. They were having a winter coat drive and people stood in a long line outside the church. In that line, clear to be seen by all, were a number of women with hijabs. My heart twisted as I asked myself, why are my sisters standing in line outside a church? Why are my brothers, the keepers of the masjid coffers, not there to gracefully provide these necessities to my sisters? There is another endeavor started four years ago with the establishment of the charity Express Care. This organization was initially established to assist needy families with medication. More recently, through a U.S. Department of Labor grant, they provided a training program for nursing assistants, so that Muslims who needed home health care would have Muslims that were trained to work with them. This year Express Care will distribute meat to 35 needy families. Express Care was

“One of the things that is missing most of the year is meat. We are very thankful that so many people have come to donate to us, Alhamdulillah… But, when one organization from Virginia called and said they were donating 90 bags of meat, I was overwhelmed

A truck carries meat donations collected by the Montgomery County Muslim Foundation. Photo courtesy of MCMF the only Muslim non-profit organization in Virginia to be recognized by the White House for their work. In Maryland’s Montgomery County, the MCMF (Montgomery County Muslim Foundation) has paired up with social services organizations and will distribute gift baskets and qurbani meat to needy families in Montgomery County. The gift baskets and qurbani meat will be distributed to both Muslim and non-Muslim families. As Sister Irma Hafeez, President of MCMF, stated, “a lot of the Muslims are hesitant to give to non-Muslims. But it is very permissible. We

went out and got fatwas stating that charity can be given to Muslims and non-Muslims. There should be no discrimination in giving charity to the needy. They are our neighbors. As we are taught, if your neighbor is hungry, then you should not have a full meal… The initial purpose of MCMF is to present Muslims in their true humanitarian selves to the community at large. This is particularly important since 9/11.” MCMF works with all the local masajids in their meat distribution and expects to >> Distribution II Pg 15




The Muslim Link, December 19, 2008

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

‘Prayer Was Made the Sweetness of My Eyes...’ By Sheikh `Abd al-Majîd b. Sâlih al-Mansûr

Anas b. Mâlik relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Women and fragrance have been made dear to my affections, but prayer was made the sweetness of my eyes.” This hadîth is related in Musnad Ahmad and Sunan al-Nasâ’î al-Kubrâ, among other sources. It is an authentic hadîth. It has been authenticated by al-Hâkim in al-Mustadrak and by Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalânî in Fath alBârî. In some narrations it reads, “From your worldly life, women and fragrance have been made dear to my affections…” However, the variant narration that begins: “Three things from your worldly life have been made dear to me…” is not authentic. It is not established in any of the primary hadîth source works. Moreover, it is a strange narration since its meaning is contradictory, as prayer is not a matter of our worldly lives, but rather off our spiritual lives. This hadîth is rich in its benefits. It informs us of the relationship a believer should have with prayer as well as with the world. It shows how Islam balances our spiritual lives and our worldly aspirations. For the devotees of Allah, prayer is the most beloved of all experiences. It is where they find peace and contentment. Without it, they cannot find harmony, balance, and satisfaction in their lives. They need the experience of reverence and awe before Allah that prayer affords them. Ibn Hajar al-`Asqlânî explains: “The ‘sweetness of one’s eyes’ is the beloved that one hopes never to depart from to the bliss that this beloved brings and the happiness that it enriches one’s life with. This is experience with prayer only by those who are reverently patient.” Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had attained an unparalleled level of devotion, where worshipping Allah became something much more than beloved to him. Ibn alQayyim writes: No pleasure in this world compares to the bliss of the denizens of Paradise except for this. This is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Women and fragrance have been made dear to my affections, but prayer was made the sweetness of my eyes.” Here the Prophet (peace be upon him) tells us that two things of the world have been made

For the devotees of Allah, prayer is the most beloved of all experiences. It is where they find peace and contentment. Without it, they cannot find harmony, balance, and satisfaction in their lives. They need the experience of reverence and awe before Allah that prayer affords them. dear to him – women and fragrance. Then he informs us that it is prayer which is the sweetness of his eyes. This is something far more than love. The “sweetness of the eyes” is the most beloved of all – that which is loved for its own sake. The object of this love is none other than Allah. Everything else that is loved is beloved for His sake and does not in any way contend with the love for Him… Prayer is the sweetness of the eyes of Allah’s devotees in this world, since it is the communion between the worshipper and his Lord, and this is the only way that the heart

prayer is the love of Allah and your desire to draw near to Him and seek His pleasure. 2. Devotion: Your heart is focused entirely on Allah. Your inner being is as fully involved in the prayer as your body which is going through the outward motions. Your mind is not distracted. 3. Proper performance: Your prayer must be carried out in accordance with the Prophet’s example. The Prophet (peace be upon him) instructed us, saying: “Pray as you have seen me praying.” Care should be taken to observe

the person whose heart is heedless of Allah will find prayer to be a burden. Standing for each prayer will be like standing on a hot coal, and the person will fidget until that prayer is over and done with – the shorter the prayer, the better. finds contentment and the soul finds peace. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to his caller to prayer: “O Bilal, give us our rest in prayer.” From this we know that prayer is what brought the Prophet relaxation and respite, just as it was the sweetness of his eyes. We should, therefore, think twice before we say something like: “I offered so much prayer and then I took a rest from praying.” For a true devotee, it is within prayer that rest and contentment are to be found. Such a person will love to prolong the prayer so as not to depart from that which is beloved. By contrast, the person whose heart is heedless of Allah will find prayer to be a burden. Standing for each prayer will be like standing on a hot coal, and the person will fidget until that prayer is over and done with – the shorter the prayer, the better. WHAT FACTORS WILL MAKE PRAYER THE SWEETNESS OF YOUR EYES? 1. Sincerity: Your reason for offering the

the prayer in all of its details as it was learned from the Prophet by his Companions. It also means that no additional rites or practices should be added to the prayer. 4. Perceptiveness: The Prophet said: “Worship Allah as if you see him, and though you do not see him, you know that He indeed sees you.” This is how the Prophet (peace be upon him) defined the perfection of faith. 5. Gratefulness: You should recognize that it is only by Allah’s grace that you are praying to Him. It is the greatest of privileges that He has blessed you to be offering this prayer. This is a key factor in prayer becoming the sweetness of your eyes. The more acutely privileged you feel to be offering your prayer, the more beloved that prayer will be to you. 6. Humility: We should never feel haughty and self-satisfied with our piety. Rather, we need to feel that the prayers we are offering are not enough. Though we may strive to do the best we can, our worship must always fall far short of the mark. Allah’s greatness far surpasses our ability to glorify Him. His kindness and mercy far outweigh our gratitude.

OUR WORLDLY DESIRES This hadith refutes the idea that piety means the renunciation of worldly pleasures or devotion to Allah requires monasticism. This is one of the benefits we derive from the Prophet (peace be upon him) telling us: “Women and fragrance have been made dear to my affections.” We are not called upon to forsake what Allah has made lawful and good. There is no piety in renouncing wholesome pleasures. Some people think of asceticism in outward terms. They mistake a “pious image” that other people can see for true piety and Godliness. This is because they are ignorance of the Prophet’s guidance in this matter. He was the most God-fearing of all people, but he would fast on some days and eat on others. He would spend part of the night in prayer, but he would also sleep. He got married. After elaborating this to his followers, he said: “And whoever desires something other than my way is not of me.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim] He never behaved like those conspicuously “pious” people who look emaciated and dress in rags. The Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us that piety is an inward quality. It is the relationship that we have with our Lord. The Propet (peace be upon him) took great care of his appearance. He was a clean person. He wore presentable clothes. He wore fragrance. This did not contradict with his asceticism in any way. Ibn Rajab, while commenting on this hadîth, explains: Asceticism means to turn your heart away from being preoccupied with the world and to focus on seeking knowledge of Allah and nearness to Him. It means to long for Allah and to desire to ultimately return to Him. These things are not of the world in the first place. This is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “From your worldly life, women and fragrance have been made dear to my affections, but prayer was made the sweetness of my eyes.” He did not count prayer among the worldly matters that were made beloved to him. I conclude by beseeching Allah to make our words and deed righteous, and that He may bless us to be sincere to Him.

The Muslim Link, December 19, 2008

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 Advertising: 301-982-1020 or email us at The Muslim Link. All Rights Reserved 2008


Letters to the Editor


Fasting Kids Inspired Me For quite some time now I have been incarcerated. And never have I stepped into a masjid. I have 20 months left until my release to the Feds, shortly thereafter I will be home, insha Allah.

children who fasted [Muslim Link October 31, 2008 issue], alhamdulillah. Reality struck, knowing Islam is expanding and our youth are still inspired to worship Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala). It is a difficult path here, but today those faces gave me inspiration, for I know that this was my hardest Ramadhan yet! And I know those who didn’t fast. In our condition, some are weak. Yet still, 9-year olds, and some 5-year olds, sacrificed their eating, because He said so! Wow!

Your newspaper did something to me. I felt my eyes well up in tears when I saw all the

My most wanted desire is to raise a daughter on the deen of truth, or a son as a lion of Allah

As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatuallah, Insha Allah, I hope this is not crossing boundaries, yet I felt inspired to write this letter.

(Subhanahu wa ta’ala). To expose them to what they were created for, and to establish why the trust is so sacred; not to take lightly but to live for Allah by it! I feel that is where Islam is proven, in our children. They are future protectors. They can be proof, but first it starts home in our own hearts. May Allah continue to aid and assist you all, and may He grant guidance and paradise for those whom strive in His cause. Robert Kyle Horne [Brother Robert is an inmate at a federal prison]

Sacrifice – The Essence of the Eid Assalamu’alykum, Some criticize the way in which some of the udhiya meat distribution is done around the local area. There is this underlying sense that people are taking pride in their efforts and successes and projects more than feeling a sense of relief and joy in fulfilling their religious obligation to Allah as well as distribute wealth more

HOMELESS II >> continued from pg 13

Masjid did not have access to security and volunteers to do advocacy work and prepare breakfast for the homeless. Imam Johari said there are several homeless

DISTRIBUTION II >> continued from pg 13

distribute meat and gift baskets to 717 families in Montgomery County on December 20th. “The cost for this effort will be between $25,000 to $35,000 dollars. Presently, MCMF has commitments for seven and a half cows. The meat will be slaughtered professionally and distributed. Al-Mumtahinah Home, Inc. is a Muslim Women’s homeless shelter in Baltimore that opened in February of 2007. Presently they operate a four bedroom house. The house is always full. Even the living room has been converted to a bedroom. Baqiya Adam, Vice President, Treasurer and Program Director for the shelter stated, “We don’t use the word shelter, especially for the children. We want it to be like a home…When a sister is ready

evenly in the community and give solace to the unfortunate. I challenge each reader to step back and ask themselves, “When I donated my qurbani meat, did I do it with respect and appreciation that someone took my offering or did I feel bloated about being the giver and not the taker? Or, did I avoid any of the labor and inconvenient involvement in sacrifice by sending a check or money order to a relative in

living in urban and suburban communities. “You may find homeless sleeping under the bridge, in a car, and there are also the working homeless who were evicted due to one missed paycheck,” said Imam Johari. There is no stereotypical homeless person, he added. Individuals with no homes are ordinary people who were forced out of their homes

to leave; we have a goodbye party for her. We encourage our residents to want and expect more.” To date, Al-Mumtahinah has been offered qurbani meat from a few sources and is awaiting delivery. Muslimat Al-Nisaa, a homeless women’s shelter also in Baltimore run by Asma Hanif, has received some qurbani meat donations. This year there were several private donors and donations given by the Islamic Society of the Washington Area (ISWA), Dar al-Taqwa and Masid al-Inshira. But, in addition to supplying food to the residents of the women’s shelter, Muslimat Al-Nisaa also distributes food to anyone who asks for it. “One of the things that is missing most of the year is meat. We are very thankful that so many people have come to donate to us, Alhamdulillah… But, when one organization

Pakistan or Syria or Indonesia? Did I turn Eid into a shopping and party event like Christmas or did I relive a part of the sacrifice of Allah’s khalil [friend] – Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) -- and imagine his relief and joy at the opportunity to slaughter an animal instead of my son?” A. Rehman Virginia

due to some economic hardship, according to county officials and religious leaders. Program Direct of Volunteers of America Hypothermia Program, Alonzo Davis said, “faith based communities generally think about doing something chartable in the spirit of giving. One of the best things anyone can give anybody is an opportunity.”

from Virginia called and said they were donating 90 bags of meat, I was overwhelmed and concerned that I would have storage problems. In actuality, lambs are small animals and a third is not as much as I had expected. I want to encourage [Muslim Link] readers in the community to continue to give meat donations throughout the year. Although this meat can last us a while, there are many times during the year that we are wanting for meat.” stated Sister Asma Hanif. It seems that the economic times we live in are markedly different and more difficult, even from where we were year ago. Many families and individuals that sent qurbani money for slaughtering overseas are now distributing not only to Muslims in the local community, but also to non-Muslims.

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