Masjid Al Islam’s Monthly Communication Wire April 2011
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Disclaimer: The views presented in the articles of this newsletter do not represent the views of Masjid Al Islam
By: Yusuf Abdullah
An important social skill to learn is how to control your reaction after hearing an ignorant remark. Recently, I was seated at a table at a fundraising dinner. A conversation between two brothers brought up the subject of the recent killing of 7 people by rioting Muslims angry and upset over a Quran burning by a Christian minister. I asked a brother who also happened to be an Imam, a question, “what purpose did killing 7 innocent people at the UN serve for the act of burning a Quran?” The answer that he gave was, “I believe that the United Nations is responsible for a lot of the suffering of the Muslims”. His answer to my question made me wonder if he correctly understood my question, but since I was seated only an arm’s length away from him; I decided not to ask my question again. I did not want to embarrass the Imam or make him feel uncomfortable or start an argument over dinner. After all, this was a public dinner, several people were seated at the table, and proper etiquette should be observed. I think I got his point. He could not answer my question from a logical position, reasonable position, or religious position, so he avoided the direct answer of the question and provided a response that does not answer the direct question at all. In law, that would raise an objection given from the attorney that asked the question of the person as being Non-Responsive. A response was given; it was just not a response to the question that was asked. However, in every response there is information that is given, even if it is avoidance. In avoidance responses, the responding person is telling you that you are questioning in an area that they would rather not openly and honestly discuss. In another situation, a Muslim brother was in my office and I asked his opinion on whether or not a particular trucking business was a good financial investment. His answer to me was that he did not think so. I asked him why. I was thinking that he would speak on the demographics, cash flow, high investment cost, etc. but instead he looked me straight in my eyes and said, “Because I think your customers would call you a Nigger”. I was definitely caught off guard with his answer, but because I did ask him his opinion, I simply said, “Well, that would be a consideration”. I guess he never considered that I’ve been called the “N” word more times that I could count. Again, a response that had nothing to do with the question asked, but more to do with how he internally felt. Finally, I was involved in a conversation with a Muslim brother who was so excited because of a recent convert. I too became excited until the brother explained that the convert was a Caucasian and that he was of the opinion that we need more Caucasian converts. Why would the race matter I thought to myself? Since Allah created us all and calls to his Deen whomsoever he wills, what control do we have over the matter? The brother then tried to explain that he thought that a Caucasian convert was more valuable in the public relations war with the West. Wow! That’s all I could say inside to that remark was wow, wow, wow. Objection! Ignorant Response! That’s what I wanted to say, but I didn’t.
By: Khalid Shaheed
Edward Blyden only saw the remnants of the power of the West African Islamic civilizations. The West African empires of Ghana, Mali, Songhay cascaded across west Africa for 800 years, beginning in the 700s. Keep in mind that the Prophet,(PBUH), is reported to have said of Ethiopia ” Yonder lieth a country wherein no man is wronged, a land of righteousness. What a marvelous beginning to the westward flow of Islam. The West African Islamic civilization was the southern edge of a much larger Islamic geographical zone that extended northward into Spain. According to the book “A History of Muslim African Americans written by The Islamic History Project Group, ” As Islam expanded across Africa, great cities of learning were established in Goa, Jenne, Walata, and Kano in present day Nigeria. Timbuktu in the heart of present day Mali, which is a thousand miles into the interior of West Africa , became a primary center for West African Islamic scholarship”. Other learning centers were located in areas located in modern day countries of Mali, Niger, Gambia, Senegal ,Guinea, Northern Nigeria and others. These learning centers that extended from West Africa to Islamic Spain had the same character and nature. They had a great love for books. It has been said by many scholars that although Timbuktu, during its prime, was a very wealthy city, its main trade was in books. Even today as poor as that city has become there are thousands and thousands of ancient books. Some are in private and some are state collections. These rare collections are reportedly at risk of being lost because of conditions that prevail currently in that area. In Ivan Van Sertima’s book “Golden Age of the Moor” it is said that Islamic Spain had 70 libraries and that the one in Cordova had 600,000 manuscripts. My good personal friend Okolo Rashid of Jackson, MS is executive director of The International Museum of Muslim Cultures. The Museum currently has 2 outstanding exhibits. One of Islamic Spain and the other of Timbuktu called Wonders of Written Word. The latter has many very old manuscripts on a variety of subjects written in West Africa.
Bismillah Ar-rahman ar-raheem
By: Leigh Kadane
(Quran; Surah 47:31)
And We shall try you until We test those among you who strive their utmost and persevere in patience; and We shall try your reported (mettle).
Patience, such a word lost to our generations. We have no idea what it is to wait for a letter, nor can we imagine life without a cell phone. We want what we want, and we want it now. In an instantaneous and globalizing world, patience is one of the most difficult character traits to acquire for a Muslim. I am not going to tell you how to gain patience, as that is granted to us from Allah SWT alone through hard work and disciplining ourselves, but rather, the many benefits of being patient, especially a patient woman. Woe to the power of a patient woman, for she is greater than she who has a hasty tongue.
1) Blessings from Allah SWT:
I know you have heard the saying “good things come to those who wait.” This is most definitely true. In reference to the life of a woman, if you are patient with your spouse or anyone around you, then your relationship will be much stronger. Patience opens up the doors to communication and that communication is the foundation for respect and trust between two people. And, I don’t know about you, but a good solid relationship with a special individual whether it be a family member, a friend, and especially a spouse, is one of the most cherished Blessings from Allah SWT.
2) Mercy of Allah SWT:
If a Muslim is patient in the time of a hardship and perseveres through without asking why and becoming impatient with the situation, Allah SWT will be most merciful towards this person. Allah SWT does not let us go through any situation that we cannot handle. Also, as Muslims, we should understand that Allah SWT is showing favor upon us to allow us to handle a tough situation. It means that Allah SWT is willing us to grow and mature. So, in a time such as that, Allah SWT is actually giving us a huge blessing, we just have to prove we are capable of handling it through our patience. And when the tribulation has passed, Allah SWT always has something greater than what we could have expected. This is a true sign of the mercy of Allah SWT. That HE would grant us some sort of reward in this world or insha ALLAH in the hereafter that is beyond what we could have wanted for ourselves.
3) Guidance from Allah SWT:
We live in a dark world ruled by temptation. It is a true test to remain on the narrow road that is lit by the Guidance from Allah SWT. Every day we are assaulted with the opportunity to take a walk down the dark path, and many times we do pick that path. Part of the mercy from Allah SWT, is that if we are patient, even if we stray, Allah SWT is there to guide us back. Making decisions in this world is hard. Thinking about how to raise children, or care for elderly parents or even the quickest of subconscious decisions that dictate in which tone will we reply to our parent or child or friend or spouse. If we are not patient and do not seek a righteous path, then guidance from Allah SWT will be limited. If we are actively pursuing a lifestyle pleasing to Allah SWT, then Guidance is much more graciously bestowed upon us.
In the end, it is up to us to make a conscious decision to be patient. It is up to us to ask Allah SWT to have this Sabr with ourselves and with those around us and with situations that occur in our lives. I can tell you, and I am sure you know, that in times of hastiness, something bad is more likely to occur, and in times when we have been patient, we have been much more rewarded and are more pleased with the outcome of whatever that situation was. So please, remember to be patient and kind towards one another. We all need it.
Anything I have said that is truth comes from Allah SWT alone. Anything that I have said false is from my fault alone. JAK.
Donate to the Beacon of Light Project
Masjid Al Islam is embarking on an important project for the south Dallas area. The neighborhood around Masjid Al Islam is in dire need of community development. The Beacon of Light Community Center project is a major step in addressing this issue. Also, because of the growing numbers of recipients every year at the Day of Dignity and Humanitarian Day events, The Beacon of Light Center will be critical in providing a larger platform to host these events. In additions to the Day of Dignity and Humanitarian Day, the Beacon of Light Center will house other services such as; Food Pantry, Social Services, Job Training, Substance Abuse Counseling, Youth Activities and Medical Screenings. Make a pledge by filling a pledge card or going to www.masjidalislam.org to support this project.
Masjid Al Islam Recurring Activities
All activities and classes are open to anybody who’s interested, call the numbers below for more information about the activity/class.
Community Meeting (Anyone/everyone invited)
Every other 3rd Sunday of month 1:30 pm- 3:30 pm
Feeding our neighbors
Every Saturday and Sunday of the month, volunteers arrive at 9:00 am
Every 3rd Saturday 11:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Sunday’s 6:00 am after Fajr prayer
Childrens Arabic and islamic studies (ages 4-7)
Sundays 11am – 1pm
Childrens Arabic (ages 8-14)
Sundays 11am – 12pm
Childrens Islamic studies (ages 8-14)
Sundays 12pm – 1pm
Introduction to Islam Classes (open to anyone wanting to learn basics about islam)
Sundays 11am – 1pm
Adult Arabic Class
Wednesdays 7 – 8:15pm
April Prayer Schedule
Masjid Al Islam is a registered 501C3 Organization. For more information on Masjid Al Islam, please visit www.masjidalislam.org
2604 S. Harwood St.
Dallas, TX 75215