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V O L U M I E S S 11 U E 5

Al - Risalah Š Nama Khalil



MSA Poll

What are you planning on doing down the road with your education from Michigan?

Typical Mozlems, all going into medicine...-__-. But wait! What is this “G” group closing in on them?! Could it be, might we actually be realizing that to make a difference in someone’s life one doesn’t have to be a doctor? Allahu Akbar. Good work guys! We’re finally makin’ some progress! B)

Picture of the Month

Misbah Ahmed Bilal Zaidi Gibrael Barlaskar Omar Shaikh Shoaib Rasheed Aliza Hirani Photography: Rabia Mahmood Asma Khan Noor Haydar Omar Malas Wajiha Ibrahim Shoaib Rasheed\ Omar Shaikh Writers: TesnimeSelmane Eman Abdelhadi Saad Vaid


Risalah is sponsored by the Michigan Student Assembly To contact MSA E-board email Questions or comments about the Risalah? Email

“I see you sneaking that ham sandwhich!”

Views expressed within the Risalah do not necessarily reflect those held by the University of Michigan Muslim Students’ Association


$OOp3r MSAers of the Month





usam Alghanem is a hidden gem in the MSA; the unsung hero of many of our events. He co-wrote, edited, and helped film the 2011 Brothers' Skits, almost single-handedly producing all of the sound to "Tick Tock." He played the vital role of on-site chair during this year's three venue Fastathon, leading the Markley venue with poise and a bright smile. His Johnny Husam Alghanem Depp goatee can be seen at every halaqa, and he's always willing to spot you if you're a few bucks short at Ahmos after jummu'ah. Overall, Husam is one of the most selfless, hardworking, and sincere guys you'll ever meet, and that's why we're proud to feature him as one of the MSAers of the month!

ou've seen her poetry and heard her perform at Banquet. She co-chaired the biggest Dawah event of the year- Laugh in Peace. She's involved in many other MSA committees and is seen at every MSA event. Ever wondered who's the person behind the poet, interfaith activist and committed MSAer? She's one of MSA's most dedicated freshmen- Aliza Hirani!! Aliza Hirani With her bright smile and enthusiastic spirit, she has added much to the sisterhood in our community.Her friendly character and bright ideas have been a blessing for the MSA community. Aliza, your commitment is much appreciated and we hope to see your smiling face throughout your time here in Ann Arbor.


he MSA community is blessed to have one of its most committed MSA sisters to dedicate her time to several events throughout the year. Noor Ain has been involved in many committees such as Community Affairs, Education, and Outreach. Noor was the Central campus chair for Fastathon, one of the largest and most ambitious events this year. She was also the High School Recruitment chair, Noor Ain where she worked hard in collaboration with MYNA to hold a successful event for high school students. This year, Noor's contribution to MSA has been unique because of her sudden involvement in many committees and her motivation to take ambitious roles. The MSA is indebted to Noor's commitment and we hope to see her involvement in the coming years, inshallah.

sama El-Sayed is a pretty fly Freshman. He is the DP Day site-leader for MSA and encouraged so many people to volunteer for DP day. It’s going to be amazing this year inshAllah! He also helped out with Fastathon and contributed so much of his hard work and dedication to making it a huge success. He is also an active and dedicated member of the Community Affairs committee and helps Osama El-Sayed out with many of the events. Osama was also the Community Service Day with Circle K Site-Leader, where he led the group to sew mittens for the less fortunate. He was also the MC for Fall STP and did an amazing job! Osama is also a crucial member for the Education committee and helped organize both STP’s as well as attending all the meetings. MashAllah he has done so much for MSA and will continue to show his enthusiasm and dedication to it!



Spotlight on a Scholar Sayyidina Abdullah ibn Mas’ud he Companions of the Messenger of Allah(S) are considered to be the best of people after the Messenger(S). Their closeness to the Prophet(S), while having faith gave them the sweetest taste of spirituality that no one would taste after the Messenger(S)’s demise. Allah(SWT) himself has said in the Qur’an that he is already pleased with them(9:100). Among the great Companions that Allah expressed his gratitude towards was none other than Abdullah ibn Mas’ud(R).


Sayyidina Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (R) is one of the many Companions from whom the great Imams of jurisprudence have narrated ahadith and after whom modeled their juridical rulings and opinions. Abdullah ibn Mas’ud(R) is one of the most well-respected Companions and is very popular for his deep insight of the Holy Qur’an and Ahadith, which ultimately makes him one of the biggest jurists, or masters of law amongst the Companions. No one knew Islam better than the Companions, so to be revered amongst the Companions as a great scholar is truly an honor that not all the Companions had the privilege of taking par t in. To become a great scholar though, Abdullah ibn Mas’ud(R) had to spend much time in the company of the Messenger(S), learning from him at every opportunity. Abu Musa(R) relates that he believed that Abdullah ibn Mas’ud was even from the household of the Messenger(S) (Bukhari, Muslim).

We see the zeal for knowledge from Abdullah ibn Mas’ud(RA: that we would spend as much time with the Messenger(S) so as to maximize benefit from him both spiritually and academically. The narrations of many Companions indicate the Abdullah ibn Mas’ud(RA) was extremely close to the Messenger(S). Abdullah ibn Mas’ud was allowed to en-

He spent so much time with the Prophet(S) that many Companions said that his social conduct was truly a carbon copy of that of the Beloved of Allah(S). ter the Prophet’s(S) house frequently and also traveled quite often with the Prophet(S) on many of his journeys. He spent so much time with the Prophet(S) that many Companions said that his social conduct was truly a carbon copy of that of the Beloved of Allah(S). This shows that the company of being around good people who have the character and Sunnah of the Prophet(S) is a true way that we can better our own character, and that the true students of Islam not only embrace the knowledge of Islam, but the beautiful character that it brings with it.

By: Gibrael Barlaskar

truly possessed a deep insight of the Holy Qur’an. He possessed vast knowledge of its meaning, its modes of recitation, and the and circumstances under which each verse of the Holy Qur’an was revealed. To be a great master of the Qur’an, it is quite evident that one has to spend time gaining the true understanding of the delicate sciences of the Holy Qur’an , and this takes much dedication. During the rule of the time of Umar(R), Abdullah ibn Mas’ud was sent to the then flourishing city, and the future capital of the Islamic world, Kufa. Abdullah ibn Mas’ud was sent to Kufa as a teacher of the Islamic sciences. It is said that the governor of Kufa at the time, Abu Musa Al-Ashari(R) once said that as long as Abdullah ibn Mas’ud is amongst them, that to never ask him [Abu Musa Al-Ashrai(R)] a question. This shows the great respect and authority that Abdullah ibn Mas’ud received as a scholar. We should also truly respect the great scholars amongst us and show them our utmost love and care.

May Allah make it easy for us to follow the Sunnah of the Beloved of Allah(S) like Abdullah ibn Mas’ud(R) and the other Companions, to gain a love for the Companions, to truly thrive in the quest to quench our thirst for the knowledge that brings us closer to Allah, to understand the value of Islamic schol As mentioned earlier on arship, and to truly benefit from the the article, Abdullah ibn Mas’ud best scholars of our time.


Quran Corner


And the (faithful) slaves of the Most Gracious (Allâh) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness. [25:63] (Mohsin)


ow many times have we let our emotions get the best of us when people insult us? How often do we reply with words of gentleness and peace? In the aforementioned verses, Allah talks aboutsome of the qualities of the ‘Abd-ur-Rahman, the slaves of the Most Merciful. The name itself impliesthe softness of their character. They walk on the earth in humility. This does not mean that they walk very slowly, because this is against the Sunnah if it is without any need. Rather it means that they donot walk with pride or arrogance. They reply to those who act ignorantly with words of peace. Next time someone tries to insult us, ridicule us, or argue with us we should make an attempt to respondwith words of peace. The Prophet (S) has said in a hadith, “I guarantee a house in Jannah for one whogives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one whoabandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for onewho has good manners.” [Abu Dawud] May Allah grant us all the guidance to be of the ‘Abd-ur-Rahman.

Helping of Hadith Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr: A man said to the Prophet, “Shall I participate in Jihad?” The Prophet said, “Are your parents living?” The man said, “Yes.” the Prophet said, “Do Jihad for their benefit” (Bukhari).


hile this hadith pertains to all Muslims in general, as young Muslims this hadith is especially relevant to us. Whether internally or externally, jihad is understood to be one of the highest forms of worship to Allah. With this in mind, the Prophet (S.) places servitude towards one’s parents as a higher form of worship than jihad. This is a powerful statement because it highlights the fact that even if you partake in many respectable acts of worship, they mean nothing if you’re not fulfilling your responsibility to your parents. The Prophet (S.) is also known to have taught the message that Allah’s anger is associated with anger of one’s parents, and Al-

By: Bilal Zaidi

lah’s pleasure is associated with the pleasure of one’s parents. This is a tremendous fact because oftentimes we are taught to only seek to please Allah, and to avoid pleasing others. However, an exception is made for parents, where we are encourage to seek their pleasure, as in doing so, we are earning the pleasure of Allah. This underscores the rank of one’s parents in the eyes of Allah. Not only are you pleasing Allah by pleasing your parents, but you are also showing your gratitude to Allah for the very fact that Allah blessed you with parents who care for you and do everything within their ability to give you not only the best of this world, but also the best of the next life. From this one can understand that serving one’s parents is an extremely virtuous act because it not only attracts the pleasure of Allah, but it also allows one to fulfill their obligation of showing gratitude towards Allah for the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon them.

Sacred Time Project




Advice from Alumni


he University of Michigan MSA has a long legacy and community of success. With alumni in almost every corner of the world and in almost every profession, you never know who you may find. This “Get to know an Alum” segment will introduce us to some of our older siblings out there in the real world. Today, we interviewed Ibrahim Ashmawey, a 2006 UM alum who now lives Orange County, California with his wife. After working on the trading floor at Deutsche Bank on Wall St , he now works as a hedge fund administrator in one of Deutsche Bank’s California offices.

Q: Time for some fun. What was your most embarrassing/craIbrahim memory from your time at UM? Ashmawey ziest I can say this now since I’m hundreds of miles away from

Q: So Ibrahim, lets start with a trip down memory lane. Tell us a little bit about your experience at University of Michigan. Well I was an engineering student, so my experience was confined mostly to the north campus libraries and my desk at home. My first day on campus I met with an old friend who gave me one piece of advice, “No matter what you do at U of M, don’t go into electrical engineering.” Naturally, I went into electrical engineering, and spent my 3.5 years working day and night to get through. Q: So when you left UM, what was your first job? I did a summer internship with Deutsche Bank while I was still doing my degree, and so at the end of the summer they offered me a full-time position pending my graduation. So I went straight to New York right after I graduated. That’s a route I highly recommend for someone if they’re absolutely sure of what they want to do and have already chosen a defined career path. The earlier you start, the better. Q: What was the most important thing you learned from your time at UM? Something that carried on to post-graduate life? Being an extremely competitive school, the most valuable things I learned at U of M were multi-tasking and how to properly schedule my time. There was always too much that needed to get finished at U of M and not enough time in my day. I learned to wake up early to finish something that had a deadline. I learned how to work on two things at the same time, etc. These things helped me in my job, specifically by giving me an edge over others. I finish my work faster and more efficiently, and everyone recognizes that.

Michigan. Being a bachelor living alone, I wasn’t very…tidy. A friend of mine came over to study at my apartment in TP. They helped themselves to the fridge (I hadn’t opened it in some time) and were hit in the face with a foul smell. After searching they saw that I had a carton of milk, apparently, from a long time. The milk had hard ened and started eating away at the carton, and so it had spilled out of it. The chunky milk was coming to life, so this friend of mine decided the best and most fun thing to do would be to open the window in my seventh floor apartment and pour the chunky milk down to the street below. People would think it was snow. Maynard St. smelled like rotten milk the rest of the day. Also I think I still hold the record with three fire department visits to TP because of one apartment. I never could time the microwave right and always overheated food till it burned in flames. Q: Most of our readers are undergraduates. As is such, is there a piece of wisdom that you would go back and give yourself as an undergraduate, or even to undergraduates today? What kind of advice would you want to leave us with? There is something I wish I had been told about while I was still in school, and even if I was told about it, I wish someone would have really hammered it into my head and forced me to listen. During college, people always think and decide about what they want to study. I wish someone would have really explained to me that what you will work has nothing to do with what you will study. Enjoying math doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy engineering. Liking anatomy doesn’t mean you’ll like being a doctor. I urge students to not spend so much time thinking about what they’re going to do for four years of their lives, but rather what these four years will make them do for the rest of their lives. Know your career choice inside out. What you will do on a day-to-day basis, how much you’ll be making, where you’ll probably be living, everything. And if there’s something else you enjoy more, something you’re more passionate about, pick that instead, since you’ll be doing this everyday for the rest of your life. Q: Lastly, is there a verse or hadith that you find particularly moving? And if so, why? There is one verse, from surat al Baqarah, that I find particularly applicable to our lives as Muslims today: “And certainly, we will try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth, lives, and fruits. But give glad tidings to the patient.” It is a tough time for us as Muslims. Muslims abroad are fighting for their freedom, and we are here being unfairly persecuted. But Allah warns us of this, and he says to remain patient.




Sisters Skits 2011: By: Asma Khan Filling in the Gaps

his is a journey through the lives of heroes and victims, a story of comedy, drama and tragedy. This is the story...of the Sisters Skits 2011. We begin in September 2010 with transfer student Noor Haydar stepping into A2, bright-eyed with the prospects of getting involved in the MSA. Little did our innocent protagonist know...she was already being stalked. Stalked by the older sisters who had heard about her camera skills and pinned her for working on the Sisters Skits. Sweet person that she is, Noor agreed to help without protest. Fall semester zoomed by with a million events pulling Noor in all directions and then came: Winter 2011; and with it, the monster of an event known as the Sisters Cultural Show. [Enter dramatic music] SCS appeared as a black hole, ruthlessly pulling in everyone’s spare time and energy. Eventually, the (many) sisters involved pulled off the amazing event and floated away from a successful evening on cloud nine. The euphoria was short-lived, however. With horror, the MSA Sisters accepted that Banquet was merely three weeks away. Panic ensued when they realized what this meant: Skits were due in less than three weeks. 0_0 Quick! Need a savior! Of course! The classic ace up our sleeve: More Freshies!! Cue stalking, begging, and pleading of beloved freshman: Suha Najjar. Once again, the innocently brave transfer comes on board as Chair of the Sisters Skits. But, okay, it really wasn’t fair to leave them on their own. Must find a veteran MSAer who is also a skits enthusiast…oh, DUH! Enter Sahar Aggour as Co-Chair. Ta- da! Presenting...the Skits Management Team (SMT)! Mission Accomplished: SMT successfully roped in (er...given an opportunity) to lead the effort. The worst was over. …*Chuckle* Yeah, right! They haven’t sent any emails yet!! C’mon, are you ON the MSA lists?

The show has yet to begin... Email 1 (or, rather, “Chain 1”): Calling Idea Days! Outcome of Idea Days: SMT bombarded with 2,398,675.8 ideas. Email Chain 2: Filming Days! Come one, come all! Outcome of Filming Days: Confusion abounds. [Case in point: “No reply” to emails did not equal “Of course, I’ll be there!” It was more like: “Not convinced enough to make it, but I’m not gonna be rude and reply just to say I’m not coming! Gosh!”] Determined, SMT trooped forward: scripts were written, actors’ insane “I-only-want-the-blue- M&Ms” whims were fulfilled and behind-the-camera laughter over the dialogues was contained just enough to shoot the hilarity. All that was left to do was editing and then dominating the Banquet. Alas, tragedy struck SMT when they played back some of their best material and watched in disbelief as it played...with no sound. (Other clips were also lost due to technical issues too complicated for this writer to comprehend…) Head held high, the Sisters presented the mismatched, surviving clips at the Banquet, graciously applauded the Brothers skits aaaand…walked away from the event without creating the drama that would have made this a juicier story. Where are they now? SMT has gone its separate ways since the Banquet, with Sahar Aggour drowning in Japanese homework, and Suha and Noor finishing up the crazy roller coaster ride that is her first year at UMich-AnnArbor. Still, they look back at their experience with a certain fondness. To everyone that was involved, they send a sincere expression of gratitude. And a special shoutout is mandatory to Shayla Menagi, a truly dedicated freshman and one of the actors whose work was tragically buried in the lost clips. Moment of silence, please, for all the victims whose performances were lost in this tragedy…



Review: Laugh In Peace Tour


night full of laughs and tears at the University of Michigan helped the bond between both Jewish and Muslim students grow stronger during the Laugh in Peace tour. The tour was co-sponsored by Michigan’s Muslim Student Association, MuJew, Hillel, Michigan Housing, Islamic Relations Council and MESA. These organizations came together to spread the message people of different faiths can come together and see their similarities and differences through discussion and even laughter. The doors opened at 7 P.M. to a turnout of people of all races and nationalities who came together to experience the joy of laughter. Rabbi Bob Alper, a rabbi and full time comedian, started off the show by introducing the event. He

started the laughs by poking fun at the hard workers who made the event possible. Azhar Usman, a Muslim comedian, followed Alper by connecting to the issues that are happening overseas. Alper and Usman shared stories about their experiences and how they have shaped them to be the inspiring men they are today. The two comedians not only told humorous tales but also spoke about the injustice they experienced due to their Irish dance... religion. The audience saw how the discrimination between Muslims and Jews actually gives the two groups of people a reason to come together and laugh, instead of believing the two groups of people are completely different. The night ended with the two comedians bringing the audience together with not only laughs but a fun-filled Irish dance that closed off the night. The Laugh in Peace in Tour is not a political tour that Rabbi

By: Tesnime Selmane

Bob Alper and Azhar Usman participate in but rather a tour around the United. It’s goal is to spread laughter to people who have forgotten that as humans we must treat everyone well and with respect. As emotional beings, we let our emotions cloud our judgments which cause us to hate each other due to what the media portrays the other to be. Bob Alper and Azhar Usman came together to remind us that through laughter we can see the similarities between two different groups of people and come together. The event was a huge success with groups from different faiths coming together to laugh and experience a night full of bonding.


On Pursuing The Pleasure Of Other Than Allah: A Fable

10 By: Shoaib Rasheed


he wise yet bumbling village shaykh Mullah Nasruddin once had to go on a long journey. He packed his camel and took his son along with him as a traveling companion. When they began, Mullah told his son, "Why don't you ride on the camel while I walk next to you holding the reins.” They traveled several miles. Eventually they had to pass through a village. The people of the village pointed at the two travelers and said, "What an ungrateful lad! There he sits comfortably on the camel, while his poor father is walking in the heat!" Mullah was quite embarrassed and said to his son, "Let's switch places." They traveled several more miles and came across another village. The people of this village said, "What an unmerciful father! There he sits comfortably on the camel, while his poor son is walking in the heat!" At this, Mullah told his son "Let us both ride the camel together." They traveled farther ahead and came upon another village. As they passed through this village, the people said about them, "How cruel these people are! They are both riding the camel, and they are overburdening the camel!" By this time, Mullah was getting quite frustrated. He told his son, "Let us both walk; neither of us will ride the camel." They traveled several more miles and came upon a fourth village. The people of this village said, "How foolish these two people are! They have a perfectly healthy camel with them, and yet they are both walking through the desert in the heat! Why doesn't at least one of them ride the camel?" At this, Mullah Nasruddin exclaimed, "Enough is enough!" And he placed the camel on his own shoulders and carried it for the rest of the journey.

Moral of the story: People are impossible to please. Instead, focus on pleasing Allah, and you’ll find that doing so will win you the pleasure of the people anyway.

We don’t only play mafia...



Years Almost Over, Don’t Miss Out!

See how much fun DP Day was?!

Come Support MSA this Saturday (all day) at Relay for Life on Palmer Field! :) Be there, or Beware of these two fellows! Beezle and Bub! They’ll come getchu!





I miss home. Love for my mother but love for Him like no other. She may have given me birth ,but He gave me this life. She fed me ,but He gave her the ability to be able to help me. Al-hamdu lil-lahi rabbil-‘Alameen Siratal Mustaqeem is all I want; to go back home to the one I love Home is where the heart is and my heart is with Allah. He gave me what I have. I am because He lets me be. I can because He blesses me. I try because I believe in Him.

Now all I want to do is serve Him. Serve Him like a slave to his master At each command working harder and faster

Oh Ar-rahmanir Raheem Maliki Yawmid Deen If it weren’t for you then I would have nothing I want to go back home, back to Allah, back to where I came from and where He is now. He is the reason for my existence I solemnly vow. Back to where I came from. You may be from Pakistan, Palestine, or the Philippines but these borders have no meanings. Where you and I came form is not an ordinary place, Not a place on a map you can just find and trace. It’s the home of Allah subhana wa talla. The lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is in between. It is my Jannah and its where, I work here in this life to be there in the next life, it is my past and inshAllah my future home. Oh how I want to be with you, is that too much to ask? This desire is like a disease. I feel so helpless almost never at ease Oh Allah bring about my death when death is good for me, and keep me alive as long as life is good for me And until that day I stand here and pray that You give me the strength to love and obey And until that day I continue to be homesick. © FOTHA


Risalah March 11  

Last Risalah for 2010-2011 School Year

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