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March 23, 2010
NY-NJ Mosques & Nonprofits Bring Questions, Get Answers Experts from IRS, Leading Law & Accounting Firms Address Community Concerns (NEW YORK, NY)—More than 150 imams, board members and executive officers from mosques and nonprofit organizations gathered to have their most pressing questions about financial and legal obligations answered at a free seminar at New York Law School on Saturday, March 6. The all-day event was hosted by Muslim Advocates—a national non-profit organization that offers legal and policy expertise to the Muslim American community—in partnership with the Muslim Bar Association of New York, the New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association, Muslim Consultative Network and the Association of Muslim American Lawyers. Seminar attendees formed a large and diverse cross-section of the Muslim community in the Tri-State New York-New Jersey-Connecticut
area. In addition to the many masjid and religious school representatives who filed into the law school’s auditorium from the morning chill, there were people like Zamir Hassan, whose organization, Muslims Against Hunger, provides volunteers to shelters, churches and soup kitchens in 13 cities in the United States and Canada. Zamir is now seeking to form a 501(c)(3) nonprofit for New Jersey’s first halal soup kitchen and Muslim social services center in Newark that will provide a domestic violence shelter, a free health clinic and an employment support training center and library. Sessions like “Nonprofit Governance 101: What Every Muslim Nonprofit Leader Needs to Know,” prompted attendees to queue up with their often detailed questions. Other sessions focused on immigration law and employment law essentials for nonprofit managers. Read more... Page 4
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Remembering Sister Aminah Assilmi By Hesham Hassaballa, March 10, 2010 www.altmuslim.com Aminah Assilmi, who passed away last week in a tragic automobile accident, was a tireless advocate for Muslim women's rights and equality within the framework of Islam itself. She was also a renown scholar, prolific writer, and wellknown speaker who will be sadly missed. Chicago, Illinois It was a confusing time in my life. I had struck out on my own - going to college - for the very first time in my life. All of the support structures that sustained me throughout my adolescence were now gone, and I had to fend for my-
self. And the fortress that I thought was my faith turned out to be a castle of salt and sand. When confronted with a different faith view, namely that of my fellow classmates and dormmates at Marquette University, I began to seriously doubt my the veracity of my own faith. I had not yet chosen to become a Muslim at that time; the choice had been made for me before, and at that time, I was having doubts. Enter Sister Aminah Assilmi. I did not meet her personally, but I attended a debate she was having with journalist Deborah Scroggins at the Read more... Page 4
www.TriStateMuslims.com - March 23, 2010
www.TriStateMuslims.com - March 23, 2010
Darul Arqam School Scores At the NJ Science Olympiad State Finals By Yasmeen Zayed - 9th Grade Student of Darul Arqam School It was that moment on January 9th, during the Science Olympiad Regional Tournament when our first award was announced in the Camden County College Auditorium. From that point on, I knew Darul Arqam School was out to achieve many great things. That evening, we received many awards in many events. Over all, we managed 6th place out of 16 schools, and were given an invitation to the Science Olympiad State Finals. Fast forward to March 16th, 2010. On this day, many obstacles were overcome. The middle school and several high school students of Darul Arqam learned and experienced amazing things over the course of training for the State tournament. On this day, personally, I enjoyed myself a lot. My events were: Can't Judge the Powder, Experimental Design, and Disease Detectives. They required a lot of note taking and studying, but it was worth it,
Islam is my Life... University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. The debate was about the hijab, and Sister Assilmi did a fantastic job, truly defending Islam in a way that was dignified, magnanimous, and scholarly. Yet, what struck me was the firmness of her conviction in our faith; the strength of her fortitude; the stubbornness of her love of Islam, despite losing almost everything as a result of her conversion. It left an indelible mark. Thus, it was with tremendous sadness that I learned that Aminah Assilmi, stalwart of the American Muslim community, passed away in a single car accident on March 5. Reports indicate that she died instantly, and her son, who was with her, was injured and transferred to a hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee. Assilmi was a tremendous force in the American Muslim community: President of the International Union of Muslim Women based in Reno, Nevada. She was also a renown scholar, tireless advocate, prolific writer, and well-known speaker. In fact, she died on her way home from a speaking engagement in New York. The story of her conversion to Islam is absolutely amazing, and it is tale of blessing, strength of conviction, and tenacity on the path of truth. It is an inspiration for all Muslims, converts and those born into the faith alike. Perhaps her most famous accomplishment was her role in the development of the U.S. Postal Service's 2001 issuing of the "Eid" stamp. In fact, she was planning on starting a campaign to have the stamp re-issued with a new design in time for its ten year anniversary. The International Union of Muslim Women has a number of notable accomplishments as well, including getting millions of signatures on petitions that were presented to the United Nations in support of the thousands of women were brutally raped in Bosnia as part of the campaign of terror and ethnic cleansing against Bosnian Muslims. In addition, she was also trying to build a Center for Muslim Women's Studies, which would serve as a place where converts could learn about Islam and its basics, a place of retreat, and as a summer camp for Muslim children. Her loss is a tremendous one indeed. Equally important was the fact that Aminah Assilmi advocated fiercely
because now I know more than I thought I would in the 9th grade. I tried my best, and I believe that's all that matters. During the award ceremony, Darul Arqam School, Alhamdulliah, was called twice. Our first winning event was 4th place for Bio Process Lab, which was won by Sara Mohamed and Osman Syed. Our second event, a breath taking win, was 1st Place, in Wright Stuff, which was won by Roba ElSherif and Shahir Kamil. This win, infact, was our first in Darul Arqam history! Although the competition was hard, I'm sure we all tried our best and are comfortable with the results. Our goal is to always move forward, and Inshallah, with a little more preparation and determination, Darul Arqam School will in fact make it to the Nationals. Ameen!
from page 1 for Muslim women's rights and equality within the framework of Islam itself. She drew on her knowledge of and love for Islam to demand equity for Muslim women wherever it was denied them. She rejected the way of some "Muslim feminists," who actually do more harm than good in their advocacy on behalf of Islam's women. She also rejected the route of renouncing her faith and becoming an "ex-Muslim," taking every opportunity to denigrate Islam all the while claiming to want to reform the faith. She rejected this path even though it may have brought her even more fame, more wealth, and more recognition. Rather, Aminah Assilmi said: "I am so very glad that I am a Muslim. Islam is my life. Islam is the beat of my heart. Islam is the blood that courses through my veins. Islam is my strength. Islam is my life so wonderful and beautiful. Without Islam I am nothing, and should Allah ever turn His magnificent face from me, I could not survive." Although she is now back with the Lord she loved so much, and in this we should rejoice, it is still painful to know that we will no longer have the benefit of her tireless struggle on behalf of all American Muslims, and for their sisters in particular. I pray that others take up her worthy causes, and that our community supports their work. To God we belong, and to Him we shall return. As a parent who has lost his child, I know full well the pain that her family must be feeling as they face the reality that they will no longer be with their beloved mother and grandmother. I share some of that pain, knowing that I can no longer have the privilege of calling myself her brother in faith, now that she has passed. But, her work lives on, and the memory of her undying faith and love for God will be with me always. Hesham A. Hassaballa is a Chicago physician and writer. He is the co-author of "The Beliefnet Guide to Islam," published by Doubleday in 2006. His blog is called God, Faith, and a Pen.
Pakistan’s Sprint Queen By Aamir Latif, IOL Correspondent "I have various plans to utilize this money, but my top most priority is to go to the Holy Land Inshaullah this year to perform Hajj," Naseem told IOL. KARACHI – When leaving for Bangladesh in late January to participate in the 11th South Asian Games, Naseem Hameed was little-known even in her neighborhood let alone across Pakistan. But by the time she returned in mid-February with a gold medal in the 100-meter sprint had had already became a celebrity. "It was the most joyful moment in my life," a jubilant Naseem, 23, told IslamOnline.net in an exclusive interview. "Tears flew down my cheeks, and I bowed to Allah right there." Naseem won the 100meter sprint competition in the 2010 South Asian Games, setting a new South Asian record with 11.81 seconds. She did not just make history as the fastest woman in South Asia, but became the first ever woman gold medalist in the 62-year history of Pakistan. "I have no words to be thankful to Allah. It is just because of His grace and the prayers of my parents, that I have achieved this all," said an emotional Naseem. A huge crowd waving national flags and chanting slogans such as "long live Naseem Hameed" and "Welcome sprint queen" awaited her arrival for hours outside the Quad-I-Azam International
The huge rally took hours to reach her 80-yard one-room house in a low-income area of Karachi, where her laborer father, mother and other family members were anxiously awaiting. President Asif Zardari hosted a reception in her honor and awarded her Rs one million (12000 dollars).
Cash rewards worth million of rupees and a house have also been announced by the provincial government, state-owned corporations, private businessmen and the army, which she represents in national events.
"It is only because of Allah that I have got wealth and fame together." Model Naseem has become an inspiration, especially that female athletes have never performed so well in international events. She also became a model after having won the prestigious title while wearing a full dress.
"Dress is not at all an issue for me," she said confidently.
The sprint queen ran the 100-meter race wearing green shirt and white trouser, matching the color of the national flag.
"Even if it is a disadvantage, which I believe is not, I don’t care about that. My values and culture are more important than anything else."
Nearly 2000 athletes from 8 countries competed in 23 different sports in the major multi-sport There’s more, read it at www.TriStateMuslims.com
www.TriStateMuslims.com - March 23, 2010
NY-NJ Area Mosques & Nonprofits Tough to Leave the Devastation From page 1 Executives from international charities like the Al-Shifa Foundation, which helps direct zakat donations to build hospitals in Pakistan, had their questions answered by Marcus Owens, one of the nation’s leading experts on international charitable giving. Owens, an attorney and former Internal Revenue Service official, told listeners how they can continue to fulfill their religious obligation to give charity without running afoul of the multiple federal laws, policies and regulations put into place since 9-11, which often confuse and complicate donors’ efforts. “We hope that the New York Muslim Charities Seminar—the fifth in a national series of educational seminars already held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston—filled the hunger for answers amongst New York’s and New Jersey’s Muslim community,” said Farhana Khera, President and Executive Director of Muslim Advocates. “Many American Muslim charity leaders are eager for guidance, especially because of intensive public and law enforcement scrutiny of Muslim institutions. With fewer charity dollars to go around in these tough economic times, these organizations welcome the assistance to strengthen their institutions and build confidence with donors and the public.
That’s where our seminar experts may help.” In addition to the focus on charitable giving and professional skills, the attorneys at Muslim Advocates and legal experts like Khurrim Wahid, gave attendees an overview of what to do when approached by federal law enforcement agents. Muslim Advocates provides a free video, “Got Rights?” (translated into English, Arabic, Farsi, Somali and Urdu) that advises viewers what to do when approached by federal law enforcement agents in their home or at international airports. Muslim Advocates also provides a national network of pro bono attorneys who can also assist community members. Muslim Advocates (www.muslimadvocates.org), a national legal education and advocacy organization with a network of over 500 attorneys, has launched the Muslim Charity Works program to strengthen Muslim nonprofit institutions and protect the right of Muslim Americans to fulfill their religious obligation of zakat (charity). A major component of the program is a nationwide series of comprehensive, free legal educational seminars that focus on legal compliance, financial accountability, and good governance.
MCN Partners to Promote Health Services to Muslim NYkers On Friday March 5, Muslim Consultaive Network (MCN) coordinated two mosque outreaches to help promote health services tailored for Muslim New Yorkers. Working with the Dream Project and the Free Clinic as partners, MCN’s Adem Carroll arranged for several free health screenings (including pin-prick Diabetes testing and Blood pressure) to be provided free of charge at the Al Khoei mosque in Queens. Over 12 medical students (and professors) provided tests, results and detailed counseling to over 15 women and 27 men from the congregations. It was the first time they had organized separate, gender-specific medical testing. MCN also arranged outreach on the same date, with Muslim medical students from NYU’s Heart2Heart providing blood pressure screening, as Ramzi Kacem from CUNY Law school providing a “Know Your Rights” training to 25
congregants at Masjid al Hikmah in coordination with DRUM. MCN’s Megan Putney helped to supervise this successful initiative. Fliers on Nafis Salaam services were also given out to the two congregations. Staff at both mosques were thoughtful and helpful hosts. Several individuals showed signs of medical conditions that needed further care. They were provided with referrals and gentle counseling to encourage them to take appropriate action. After all, mosques can serve as places of healing and education, especially for those with out regular access to health care due to our present disfunctional system. To make a small difference, and request a health outreach screening at your mosque or organization please leave a message at 646 251 0402 or email@example.com. For further info please visit www.nafissalaam.org or www.mcnny.org
Largest Matchmaking for Marriage Event held in New Jersey On Saturday March 20, 2010, MvMteam.com held its Bi–annual Matchmaking Dinner Event in Rahway, NJ. More then one hundred Muslim Singles turned out; making it the largest Matchmaking event on the East Coast. One attendee, EN, said, “I have been to a couple of events. MVMteam really did it well. Food, atmosphere was just right.” Another attendee from florida commented, “As someone in the 20s, and my sister in her 30’s, I believe there many mature singles our age that seem to be good match. My trip from Florida was really worth it.”my FL trip to here.” The program went late into the evening. M.A said, “It was 10pm, and everyone was still there. There was someone for anyone, alhamdulillah.”
Organizer of the event, Tamir Nasr, said, “it was our best event, we thank Allah; then our Matchmakers, our volunteers and all singles who showed up for the success we had.” Tamir Nasr MvMteam.com (Muslim Volunteer Matchmaking Team) is a FREE Personal Matchmaking for Marriage Service. It was established in 2003 by Br Tamir Nasr and his wife. Now, with annual growth rate of 300% in the last 3 years, MVMteam.com is considered to be the top Personal Matchmaking Service organization on East Coast. The organization plans to open 13 new branches by 2012 in the USA and International. When you are really ready to find a spouse for marriage, MVMteam.com can be the answer.
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By ILyas Hasan Choudry* Lets’ say for seven days in a row, you wake up to see dire situation around you. When you woke up the eighth day, you are going to take an airplane to a place, almost like paradise on this earth, as compared to the everyday anguish of the past seven days. But instead of feeling happy to leave the devastated place, you have this extreme lingering sadness inside; telling that you should not leave. May be there is a way to delay your departure and that you can stay for few more weeks or may be months or even years, to see this torturous place come out of the ruins. This is what I felt on Sunday, March 15th, 2010, when I went through a long queue for more than two hours to aboard American Airlines Flight 1908 from Port-au-Prince to Miami International Airport. I did not want to leave my fellow Haitian human-beings in desperate situation, while I had to begin my journey back to luxurious life in USA. For the past seven days, I had to take cold showers early in the morning (first time after 1987); sharing one bathroom with six other persons, when on few days suddenly realizing that I was the last of the six and that there is very little water left for me; got to eat rice & beans and for a change of menu, I used to eat beans & rice the next day; fridge not laden with food and Coke / Pepsi as electricity was unpredictable and not strong enough for the fridge to work. If it was not for immediate responsibility of my own family in Houston and to earn a living for them, I would have preferred to stay back in Haiti, as so much is needed to be done there, while we live in heaven on earth called USA. World came out in a big way to respond to Haitian crisis after the devastating earthquake of January 12th, 2010. Everyone has tried their best in the manner they know to assist. But to be really honest, the world has failed the Haitian people. I feel the hype created about safety and security situation was not appropriate. I drove & walked on the streets of Haiti during these seven days, the Haitians that I have seen on the whole are very nice hardworking people and not threatening (especially after what they had gone through). Provision of safety and security are important things, but the way this fear of insecurity was created and blown out of proportion, it hampered the overall response and made several agencies and NGOs to confine their services to few thousands, the lucky ones who could reach the so-called safe compounds, while real masses were neglected. Still there have been individuals and non-governmental organizations, working independently or together with the resources of international agencies like UNO, UNICEF, etc. who have tried their best to provide food and health services at grassroots levels in an amicable manner. I am part of one of them called “Helping Hand For Relief & Development (HHRD)”. Visit www.HHRD.Org for more details. With the help of donors from USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Pakistan and elsewhere, HHRD has provided food and healthcare services at rotational clinics in various communities within Port-au-Prince (like Nazon, Leogane, Ave Lamartinier, Masjid Taweed, Masjid Ya-Sin, etc). Between February 01 and March 19, 2010, HHRD in all have organized 55 clinics, taking care of more than 11,000 Haitians, with the voluntary help of doctors from USA, Turkey, Bangladesh and of course Haiti (paid and volun-
teer). After March 19, 2010, HHRD will work on establishing some permanent clinics.
I was in Haiti from March 7 till 14, 2010 and was appalled to see that two months have passed, but no real effort has been done by the world community. Near me, what was expected
of the Governments of the world was to bring necessary heavy machinery and equipment into Port-au-Prince to remove the rubble. Two months have passed and despite traveling east-&-west and north-&south of Port-au-Prince, the number of heavy machinery that I could see was about six (6). One can go to Centerville (Downtown) Port-au-Prince and see several five to eight story buildings leaning on one side and can fall down onto the pubic anytime. There is rubble all over the place. All the work that one can see on the rubble is that people cutting the steel and securing it for any future reconstruction work. When Tsunami 2004-2005 & later on last year Earthquake 2009 came in Indonesia and Earthquake 2005 came in Pakistan, the action was swifter in removing debris and rebuilding efforts started within one month or so. But not in Haiti, where more than two months have passed and genuine work to remove the rubble is far from sight. Question is not why work was swiftly done in Indonesia and Pakistan: Query is why not in Haiti: I have no idea why??
I was most impressed to see the resilience of common Haitians, who despite the world almost ignoring them, are coming out every day in the morning, to earn their living. Marketplace is full of people, doing small little businesses to survive and few seen begging. Their high spirits need to be saluted.
Many small NGOs like HHRD are doing their little roles at grassroots level as per their capacities, but they usually get no or little attention of the media, and as such are unable to reach out to larger audiences and people to bring more and more assistance to the common masses.
Like the next immediate need for Haitians is proper shelter with rainy season coming in April 2010. HHRD has come up with an unique idea of taking Youth during their Spring Break from USA, to work on a Shelter Home Village project, where 100 wooden small homes are being constructed in another devastated area called Leogane, Haiti (35 miles west of Downtown Port-au-Prince along Leogane Highway). These Shelter homes will hopefully sustain the rainy season and provide safe haven for three to five years. HHRD contacts in the field for this and other projects are Shahid Hayat 1-347-400-1899 and Saqib Ateeque 1-609-575-7474. For general public to participate in this project, details can There’s more, read it at www.TriStateMuslims.com
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www.TriStateMuslims.com - March 23, 2010
Freeing Dr. Afia, A Matter of Honor
By Gordon Duff - STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor for Veterans Today THE SERVICE AND SACRIFICE OF ALL AMERICAN WAR VETERANS IS AT STAKE - MY HONOR IS NOT FOR SALE, NOT FOR A LIE
Veterans Today Editors, Jeff Gates, Raja Mujtaba and I were in the AF-Pak region over the last couple of weeks. Jeff and I are Vietnam veterans, Raja a decorated combat veteran, tank commander, from the India/Pakistan war. We met dozens of Pakistani military, including nearly all of their highest ranking retired officers, from Admiral Sirohey, Chairman of their Joint Chiefs of Staff to General Alsam Beg, Head of the Army to Lt. General Hamid Gul, former head of the ISI. In our party were our other Veterans Today contributors, BG Asif Haroon Raja and BG Raza Ali, of “Charlie Wilson’s War” fame.
Today, I received an email from Admiral Sirohey. His office is lined with memorabilia from a long career of service, service as an ally and friend of the United States. Sirohey and the rest were America’s most stalwart allies during the Cold War. These were the real allies that helped us bring about the downfall of the Soviet Union. I was honored to be among them. Today Admiral Sirohey is scheduled to attend a rally protesting the illegal kidnapping, brutalizing and conviction of Dr. Affia Siddiqui. America’s best friends in Asia, the finest soldiers in the world are horrified at what we have done.
Can it be that bad? The Bush administration, when it saw its “War on Terror” wasn’t getting enough suspects, hired drug cartel members and criminal elements to kidnap innocent civilians to fill our secret prisons. Yes, we actually did this. In this case, we
kidnapped a mother with 3 children, tortured her for years, murdered a small child and then charged her with attempting to murder her captors after years in a secret prison on Bagram Air Force Base.
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Every soldier on that base, everyone who has served there has to live with the dishonor of this act until something is done. Remember when America, after World War II painted the people of Germany with the stain of guilt for not knowing about the death camps? Tell me what is different here? We didn’t know that druglords and gangsters were stealing people off the street to fill our prisons with “terror suspects” so Bush/ Ashcroft and Cheney could crow about their successes? If you didn’t know before, this is what all the secret “torture memos” were all about, not real terrorists, but innocent people we “bought” as though we were slave runners of old. A few years after we bought our phony terror suspects, tortured, raped and brutalized them, most were released. They had committed no crime other than to be standing on the wrong dark street corner when the druglords working for Bush were out hunting “meat” for America’s gulags. Dr. Aafia had to be convicted, had to be jailed and silenced. The crimes against her and her children were so heinous, only a kangaroo court in America, a country whose news is orchestrated by the Islam hating MSM/Corporate media and powerful Israeli/AIPAC lobby would have the audiacity to bring her to trial. There’s more, read it at www.TriStateMuslims.com
This book “Analyse the Arabic with English” explains and matches thousand’s of English words and their meanings for their suitable quranic Arabic words and meanings. It also gives details letter by letter and word by word the core meaning of the particular words. If you understand this book “Analyse the Arabic with English”, you will enjoy gaining the knowledge of -etymology- in English and Arabic and you will be a good scholar (Alim). Available at all Islamic Stores. Hard copy $15 and e book online at only $10. Visit www.analysethearabic.com For hard copy call Syed Mohamed: 646-249-3077
www.TriStateMuslims.com - March 23, 2010
21 Shots and the Pursuit of Justice: An Imam Dies in Michigan DETROIT -- It is a cold Sunday afternoon in February and asr prayer is being held at Masjid Al-Haqq. Children run outside, playing in the snow, rambunctious and full of life while their mothers serve the last of the stragglers who have come for a hot meal at the weekly soup kitchen. The neighborhood is typical Detroit, replete with boarded-up houses, the streets quiet and vacant save for an unassuming twostory red brick house at the corner of Clairmount and Holmur. Inside the makeshift mosque, a dozen middleaged African-American men have gathered. As the prayer concludes, a voice calls out, "Read a hadith, that's what the Imam used to do." The prayer leader dutifully opens a book of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad and starts reading." There will come forth a people on the Day of Judgment, their faces shining like the sun." He pauses for effect. "The poor, the immigrants, the disheveled ones."
The passage of time has seen an evolution in the narrative of what happened in that Dearborn warehouse in which Luqman Abdullah met his end. Initially, the US Attorney's office claimed that there had been an "exchange of gun fire" after Mr. Abdullah fired an initial shot - the term "exchange" presupposing that both sides were engaged in shooting.
a schematic of the 21 gunshot wounds on Luqman Abdullah, from page 11 of the autopsy report
The man's words resonate with the audience. They begin to look at one another, as if by taking in their appearance they are acknowledging the precarious state of their community. And slowly they begin to nod. "That could be any one of us," says one man. He thinks for a moment, before adding, "That could be all of us." Four months have passed since the death of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah. But among his community, his legacy lives on. The soup kitchen he initiated continues to serve the homeless and hungry by the dozens on a weekly basis. Among his followers, there is an odd sense of acceptance. "Even after this tragedy," says Abdul-Aleem, 55, "our doors are open to all." "We know that Allah is in control and justice will prevail." There is an uncertain gleam in his eye, and he quickly turns away as I meet his gaze - for justice has too often been an elusive concept in this part of the hood.
Yet the Associated Press quoted an FBI spokesperson as saying that the Imam "fired a weapon and was killed by gunfire from agents" - which indicates that Mr. Abdullah fired only one shot. Seizing on the confusion, the media offered widely divergent portrayals of the incident, the majority describing it as a "gun battle" or a "shootout", with a minority left wondering if he might have been gunned down in cold blood.
In addition to the shooting angle, there was another twist - the dog. The FBI was quick to announce a memorial service for Freddy, the Belgian Malinois who "lost his life in the line of duty," the day after the incident. While according to the FBI, Freddy "gave his life for his team," the US Attorney's press release is more cautious in noting that "an FBI canine was also killed during the exchange." The common perception - although never officially confirmed - was that Mr. Abdullah fired at the dog thereby prompting agents to return fire at him. Sympathetic observers asked if the life of a dog was equal to the life of a human being. Further complicating public perception was the fact that the dog was airlifted to a hospital for emergency medical care while Mr. Abdullah's handcuffed corpse was transported by ambulance to the coroner's office. Today there remain more questions than answers in the death of Luqman Abdullah. The autopsy Thereâ€™s more, read it at www.TriStateMuslims.com
Forty Hadith No: 28 It was narrated on the authority of Abu Najih al-Irbad bin Sariyah, radiyallahu 'anhu, who said: The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, delivered an admonition that made our hearts fearful and our eyes tearful. We said, "O Messenger of Allah, it is as if this were a farewell sermon, so advise us." He said, "I enjoin you to have Taqwa of Allah and that you listen and obey, even if a slave is made a ruler over you. He among you who lives long enough will see many differences. So for you is to observe my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly-principled and rightlyguided successors, holding on to them with your molar teeth. Beware of newlyintroduced matters, for every innovation (bid'ah) is an error." [Abu Dawud & Al-Tirmidhi, who says it is an authentic hadith]
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www.TriStateMuslims.com - March 23, 2010
The Tongue is An Important Organ of the Human Body The Imam Ali says: “Man is a wonderful creature; he sees through the layers of fat (eyes), hears through a bone (ears) and speaks through a lump of flesh – tongue, which is a ferocious beast that if let lose, it will cause injury.” While the Prophet of Islam says; “The destruction of man lies in three things: his stomach, his lust and his tongue.” Tongue is an important organ of human body, which is under voluntary control and moves faster than any limbs, never ages or gets sick and work continuously for entire day without getting tired. The tongue can also be one of most dangerous organ of human body which can sliced and diced many hearts. Tongue has the potential to influence positively or negatively depending how one uses it. The tongue can be as sharp as sword or as sweet as honey and the pain caused by the tongue are worse than that caused by the strike of a sword. It is said that two things never return back, an arrow leaving the bow and the words from the mouth. When the tongue is under control, the entire body is controlled. And Prophet Muhammad said: “Among all things the tongue deserves to be prison longer because it commits most sin such as telling lies, backbiting, gossip and insults. Tongue should be use positively to speaks truth, and utter praise (Zikr) of the Lord. Islam strictly discourages misuse of tongue by vain talking, backbiting, teasing, abusing and hurting others feeling.. Prophet Muhammad says: "Blessed is the man who speaks good and is triumphant; or keeps silent in the face of evil and is secure". . Among the best characteristics of a Muslim is to speak only the words of goodness and reconciliation. The demonstration of intelligence is good speech.
Undoubtedly, our tongue is one of our greatest blessings. The tongue with the ability to speak is a gift by the Lord. This has been stated in the following verse in Qur'an: "He has created man: He has taught him speech (and intelligence)." [Sura Rahman 55:3-4] The fourth Imam in the “Treatise On Rights” says: “And the right of the tongue is that you consider it too noble for obscenity, accustom it to good, direct it to politeness, do not use it except in situations of needs and benefits of the religion”. But the best advise of contriol of the tongue and to have a pleasing tongue and sound heart comes from Prophet Luqman who was so wise and respected that a Chapter (Surah) in the Qur’an is called by his name (Chapter 31). Luqman was an Ethiopian slave who worked as a carpenter. One day, his master ordered him to slaughter a goat and bring him the most pleasant and delicious two parts. Luqman did so and brought him the tongue and heart. The master asked: Did not you find anything more pleasant than these? Luqman said: No! After few days the master ordered him to slaughter a goat and bring the worst two morsels. Luqman slaughtered the goat and brought the tongue and heart. On receiving them his master smiled, fascinated by Luqman 's choice of the 'worst' The master exclaimed and said: I ordered you to bring me the most delicious parts and you brought me the tongue and heart, and I ordered you to bring the most malignant parts and you brought the tongue and heart, how can this be? Luqman said: “There is nothing better than these if they are good, and there is nothing worse than these if they are bad”.
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www.TriStateMuslims.com - March 23, 2010
ISNA’s Flagship Magazine Awarded 2010 DeRose-Hinkhouse
Building Strong Tomorrows with “Mann Aana... Who am I?”
(Plainfield, IN – March 8, 2010) The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) proudly announces that its flagship magazine, Islamic Horizons, is among the winners of the 2010 DeRoseHinkhouse Awards presented by the Religion Communicators Council – an interfaith association of religion communicators. The Islamic Horizons won the awards in three categories: the “Best of Class” and the “Award of Excellence” categories for its March/April 2009 issue, and the “Certificate of Merit” category for the Nov/Dec 2009 issue. Islamic Horizons is published bimonthly and serves as the largest distribution English language Muslim American magazine. This is second such award for Islamic Horizons magazine under the editorship of Omer Bin Abdullah. He will receive the award on 8 April at RCC’s decennial conference in Chicago.
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”—Frederick Douglas.
The DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards are given annually to active members of the Religion Communicators Council who demonstrate excellence in religious communications and public relations. The awards are named for the late Victor DeRose and the late Paul M. Hinkhouse, leading lithographers in New York City and longtime friends of RCC. The Religion Communicators Council, founded in 1929, is an interfaith association of religion communicators at work in print and electronic communication, advertising and public relations. Together, RCC members promote excellence in the communication of religious faith and values in the public arena and encourage understanding among religious and faith groups.
In the comfortable club, surrounded by dark wooden paneling, antique paintings and the convivial chatter and delicate clatter of cutlery and crockery, Yale Chaplain Omer Bajwa quoted Frederick Douglas to an influential crowd of over 70 civil society leaders sampling delicious canapés. Despite the comfortable setting, far from the mean streets of Bay Ridge or Astoria, the conversation was serious and searching, reflecting a real commitment to help educators and policy makers better understand New York’s large Arab Muslim community. On March 5, 2009, Muslim and Arab leaders,
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parents and educators gathered at the Yale Club to hear about the “Who am I? — Mann Ana?” program being developed through the Yale Child Study Center to document how Arab Muslim young people (10-14 yrs.), perceive themselves growing up in the US. Many young Arab Americans have difficulties at school because their backgrounds are misunderstood and their identities may become quite confused. Do young people of the “post 9/11 generation” hide their identities, translate, negotiate or redefine their religiosity and ethnicity?
Up to now, “there has been a lack of credible analysis of our community,” stated Linda Sarsour of the Arab American Association, one of the consultants to the project. Therefore, the project aims to document youth perceptions through surveys and focus groups fueled by pizza parties and friendly interaction. Researchers will explore how negative stereotyping and marginalizing messages often affect the children of immigrant parents. The methodology is informed by previous studies (such as the Youth in NYC Public Schools study at Teachers College, as well as Yale based studies of PTSD among extremely marginalized Palestinian children).
A lively discussion brought up additional concerns and questions. Would Arab American families allow their sons and daughters to participate, given how nervous the community has been about anything perceived even remotely related to security? Would they trust Yale? One questioner even referred to the infamous “skull and bones” secret society at Yale, which George Bush and other leaders had belonged to.
Research Scientist Dr Pia Britto explained that she initiated the project not to be another “national security study” focused on “at-risk Muslims” but to make young Arab Americans visible and their voices heard. Organizer Nancy Fallon emphasized that survey replies would be stored by number and not by name, and that the study would be guided by professional confidentiality standards.
Other questions concerned the real stigma of questions relating to mental health; but program organizers stressed the long-term importance of our facing fears and documenting our needs. Famed Educator Debbie Almontaser expressed the hope that the program would lead to policy change and to solid outcomes like bilingual education funding, access to scholarships, and social services. Organizers of “Who am I?” promised to make the results available to benefit the Arab Muslim community itself.
“I am so glad,” said Research Assistant Majed Abbadi, “to be part of a program that will promote mutual understanding between Arab Americans and ‘Mainstream Americans.’”And to most of the crowd, this new program seemed to offer at least a modest path out of invisibility and oppression. This is extremely important for everyone, not only Arab Americans. As Frederick Douglas also stated, “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”
Researchers may be coming to your school or community. Students will be paid to participate. For more information about Mann Ana/Who am I? See: http://whoami.yale.edu and http:// mannana.yale.edu
www.TriStateMuslims.com - March 23, 2010
www.TriStateMuslims.com - March 23, 2010
www.TriStateMuslims.com - March 23, 2010 classifications specified in Surah Taubah (9:60). The money does not have to be equally dispensed in all eight categories of Zakat eligibility.
QUESTION: Is it OK to contribute Zakat money to an educational fund/ scholarship fund or for that matter pay tuition that is set up in the memory/name of a deceased individual? ANSWER Thank you for your query as it reflects your ardent desire to continue to find correct manners related to essential obligations. I am also appreciative as these queries promote opportunities for me to read more about our Deen. In an authentic hadith Sunan Abi Dawood quoted from Sayedina Ziad Bin AlHarith As-Saadai’ (RA) that; “A came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said; “Give me some of the proceeds of the Zakat.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) responded; “Allah does not leave the dis-
Pakistani Pop Star Ali Haider Leaves Bollywood For Islam Will Make Debut in USA with Junaid Jamshed
Ali Haider is a former Pakistani singer and actor. He has had numerous hits in the early 90s such as Poorani Jeans. He also had a big hit later in the 1990s with Chand Sa Mukhra. Besides singing, he has acted in numerous TV serials on PTV. Among the successful dramas was Chand Sa Mukhra, which used his hit song as the theme music. He also sang the theme music for the serial Chandni Raatein. He has a large fan following in Pakistan and India and with South Asian expatriates around the world. For more information about the upcoming concert featuring Ali Haider and Junaid Jamshed email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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tribution of the Zakat to a Prophet or anyone else. Allaah ordains the distribution to eight (08) categories (already described in Surah AtTaubah 9:60). If you are in any of these categories, I will give you what you deserve.” The Zakat money can be given to any educational/scholarship fund as long as that fund is explicitly used to support any of the eight
The same criteria apply to set up a fund to benefit a deceased person or any other project as long as all those who benefit from it come under those eight categories. The first benefactor of payment of Zakat is the person whose possessions it was taken from; and then you may plea and pray to Allaah to benefit a share of reward of His mercy for anybody else you want.
It is extremely important to note that the Zakat must be paid by all living cognizant Muslims, who have enough possessions to pay the Zakat on. In case of the deceased, it is the first obligation of the family of deceased to calculate and pay Zakat on his/her possessions for current and all previous years, if it was not already paid. It is an obligation (a loan) due towards Allaah, and we must pay it every year.
I seek Allaah’s forgiveness for all of my sins, misdeeds, mistakes and misunderstandings in all matters. AND ONLY ALLAH KNOWS BEST.
Answered by Najam A. Najmi, JD, Principal - Arbitrator, Mediators. He can be contact at nnajmi@MediationNJ.com.
www.TriStateMuslims.com - March 23, 2010
Thinking A new:
by Faraz Khan
Five Essentials of a Happy Family Faraz Khan currently works in the environmental field as a Senior Geologist and a wetland expert. More info on http://liberalartsforum.blogspot.com Briefly I would like to discuss five essentials that would lead to a happy family life. These essentials are not to be confused for exclusive spousal advice but rather the entire family can adopt these maxims. A good way in improving family relations is to be proactive than reactive. It is hoped that the following practices can provide the inspiration of love and happiness: Let your family know that you love them. If you have to criticize, do it with love. Do not reason while angry. Pray together at least once a day Neglect the entire world rather than neglecting your family. Let your family know that you love them: How difficult is it to say the three magic words that can turn an ocean of tears into gentle heavenly smiles? These magical words never get out of fashion or loose their luster and the right moment to say them is now. Every family member can strengthen the family bond by repeating “I love you”. The Qur’an states that it is Allah who has placed love (mawadda) and mercy (rahma) in our hearts. This specific ayah is memorialized at many weddings. However, once after such talks an elderly woman came up to me and asked, how come within Eastern Muslims families this word is never shared? The phrase “I love you” is only heard in the movies and streets but not at home. There is great undermining of family relations from the external sources. Many people confuse love for lust on Hollywood (and Bollywood). Love is connected to family responsibility and lust is attached to a satisfaction of carnal desires. Islam does not teach people to go to the mosque so they can ignore their families. Historically, after hearing a woman’s complain Caliph Omar would not allow any soldiers to serve more than four months without seeing their families. Think for a moment, when was the last time you said “I love you” to the family members? Love can only take roots when we cultivate it with great care in family relations. If you have to criticize, do it with love. Ridicule is sufficed in public advice. Talk to others as you would like others to talk to you. A family is a team working together to attain paradise. What if you see a team quarrelling and bashing one another on the playing field? No doubt, lack of discipline can ruin great individual heroics on game day. A friend regretted about spending 20 years of his prime on Wall Street while ignoring basic Islamic education. I reminded him that lost time could be gained if we can impart Islam to our family and children. Allah exalted describes believing men and women as ‘awliya’ meaning friends, helpers, and protectors of one another. Constructive criticism removes blemish and beautifies the mundane. Giving advice does not mean one is free from receiving advice from others. In addition, family talk is not time to enliven old mistakes or compile a list of wrongs. The Prophet Muhammad said “All of the children of Adam are sinners but the best of them are those who correct themselves”. Let us focus on correcting our mistakes and advising others in loving manners with a gentle smile. Do not reason or argue while in a state of anger. The Prophet said three times to a man seeking advice ‘la taghdab’ meaning do not become angry. The Qur’an talks about the slave of the Merciful as ‘those who swallow their anger and they forgive people and overlook their faults’. Interestingly, when we swallow or eat something we seal our lips unless we want to look absurd to others. In addition, parents are models
for children. As a teacher I have seen that children’s behavior is a reflection of their parents. Students who showed generosity, care, altruism, and respect brought it from their home. On the other hand, students who shout at others, throw things, and disrespect others have also brought the baggage from their home. We have to be role models to our children and spouse. The Prophet gave us advice on anger manage-
ment. If you are standing, sit down, if you are sitting, recline, seek God’s protection from the accursed devil, drink a glass of water and cool down. We should uplift everyone in the family by becoming the best example for them. Pray together at least once a day. Allah says to the Prophet in the Qur’an ‘command your family to pray and be steadfast on it’. The congregational family prayer should be part of the daily routine. The Prophet performed supererogatory prayers with his wives, children and close companions at home. Today TV and internet have entered the house as a third parent. All efforts should be made to bring extended families together in a monthly or weekly halaqa where they study the Quran, sirah, Islamic etiquettes or listen to a scholar in person or on a CD. Be mindful of joining or initiating a halaqa that ignores younger family members. The statement “go play in another room” can be very dangerous in the long run for our children. If they do not learn family interaction at home where else they will learn Muslim traditional values? Praying together brings much needed peace of heart at home.
Neglect the whole world but not the family. Family comes first. Allah says in the Qur’an ‘O you who believe protect yourselves and your family from the fire of hell’. On a list of priorities, the first obligation is family. This does not mean we ignore our obligations to our neighbors, friends, in-laws, and others but unless a family stands on a solid foundation, our relations with others will remain shaky at best. Remarkably, some people attend jumuah prayers, lectures, congregational prayers at mosque, study or teach at the mosque but they do not share it with their spouse and children. They are on an iman-high but their families are busy surfing the TV channels, making friends on facebook, downloading new apps for cell phone, or finding new movies on Netflix. We need to come down from the clouds and live with people. How can the family be our priority when we are too busy saving people on the other side of the planet? The youth should also pay heed to the words of Allah ‘show parents excellence in manners’. Love and respect are intertwined with the mercy of Allah. Let us remember to pray for our family members and recommit to living family first so we can build a better society.
www.TriStateMuslims.com - March 23, 2010
www.TriStateMuslims.com - March 23, 2010
Allah Will Always Provide A poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries. She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food. The grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store at once. Visualizing the family needs, she said: "Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can."
The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, "I can't believe it." The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more. The grocer stood there in utter disgust. Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement.
He told her he could not give her credit, since she did not have a charge account at his store. Standing beside the counter was a customer! who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family. The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, "Do you have a grocery list?" Ameena replied, "Yes sir." "O. K." he said, "put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries." Ameena, hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed. The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down.
It was not a grocery list, it was a prayer, which said: "Oh ALLAH, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands." The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence. Ameena thanked him and left the store. The other customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said; "It was worth every penny of it. Only ALLAH Knows how much a prayer weighs." THE POWER OF PRAYER: When you receive this, say a prayer. That's all you have to do. Just stop right now, and say a prayer of thanks for your own good fortune.
Nutrients in Oats Oats are considered a “superfood” because of the vast array of essential nutrients that are not only needed by the body but also boost overall health. Oats are a cereal grain that provides complex carbohydrates, B vitamins, fiber, and minerals such as phosphorous, iron, selenium, and calcium. Health Benefits of Oats In addition to promoting heart health, oats offer the following health benefits. * Complex carbohydrates such as oats not only lowers the risk of heart disease, but also reduce the risk of stroke and certain cancers and helps lower high blood pressure. Carbohydrates also contain tryptophan, a nonessential amino acid that improves mood. * The specific type of fiber found in oats not only promotes a healthy digestive system by helping prevent constipation, but also helps control blood sugar levels. Because of the fiber, oats have a low impact on blood sugar levels and may
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The most nutritious oats are those that have been minimally processed with no sugar added. Although well-known as an inexpensive breakfast food, oats can also be incorporated into many recipes from baked goods to main dishes.
Eating Ethnic Chicken Makhani (Butter Chicken)
Ingredients * 1 tablespoon peanut oil * 1 shallot, finely chopped * 1/4 white onion, chopped * 2 tablespoons butter * 2 teaspoons lemon juice * 1 tablespoon each of ginger garlic paste, garam masala, chili powder and ground cumin * 1 bay leaf * 1/4 cup plain yogurt * 1 cup half-and-half * 1 cup tomato puree * 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste * 1 pinch salt * 1 pinch black pepper * 1 tablespoon peanut oil * 1 pound boneless chicken, cut into bite-size pieces * 1 teaspoon garam masala * 1 pinch cayenne pepper * 1 tablespoon cornstarch * 1/4 cup water
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help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Studies also show that high-fiber foods help control appetite, which is a plus for those trying to lose weight. * Selenium works as an antioxidant with vitamin E to help protect the body from free radical damage and may help protect the body against certain cancers. Selenium also boosts immunity, and studies suggest selenium may boost mood. * When it comes to strong teeth and bones, phosphorus, which is also found in oats, is just as important as calcium. Phosphorus also boosts energy and plays an important role in healthy digestion. * Oats offer B vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. B vitamins are used by the body for energy production and maintaining a healthy nervous system. B vitamins also help reduce stress and boost immunity. * Like other whole grains, oats are a good source of magnesium, which is important not only in energy production, but also maintaining strong bones, and magnesium may help relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. * With 6.1 grams of protein per one cup (onehalf cup raw), oats are a good source of protein. Protein is used to build, repair, and maintain all body tissues, provide the body energy, and studies suggest protein has a thermogenic effect that boosts metabolism, which may aid weight loss. * Oats also contain iron, which helps boost immunity, increase energy, and produce collagen. * Oats are rich in calcium. Regular consumption of calcium helps keep bones strong, reduces the risk of developing certain diseases, such as periodontal disease, and studies suggest calcium is beneficial to weight maintenance.
Time: 3:00pm - 9:00pm Fawziyyah Umrani: 413-627-5591 For vending and registration contact www.Islamic-Games.com Contact: www.ISNA.net
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Directions 1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Saute shallot and onion until soft and translucent. Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon garam masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in half-and-half and yogurt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt pepper. Remove from heat and set aside. 2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat, and season with 1 teaspoon garam masala and cayenne. Stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce, and simmer until liquid has reduced, and chicken is no longer pink. Stir cooked chicken into sauce. 3. Mix together cornstarch and water, then stir into the sauce. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.
www.TriStateMuslims.com - March 23, 2010
www.TriStateMuslims.com - March 23, 2010
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