Milad Un-Nabi – Birthday of the Prophet (pbuh)

February 27, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“You have indeed in the Messenger of God a beautiful pattern of conduct for anyone whose hope is God and the Final Day.” (Al-Ahzab 33:21).

Alhamdulillah! The moon is full, a reminder that this is Rabi a-Awwal, by the Lunar calendar the month of the blessed birthday (Milad Un-Nabi) of the Prophet Muhammad (the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his family).

According to Sunni scholars, the Prophet’s birthday is observed on 12th Rabi al-Awwal, which falls on February 26, 2010, and 17th Rabi al-Awwal (March 3rd this year) according to Shia scholars.

There is a difference of opinion about whether the Milad Un-Nabi should be a time of celebration. There is evidence that the Prophet (pbuh), his Companions, and the early followers after them did not celebrate or otherwise observe his birthday. On the contrary, he was careful to warn his people not to imitate other faiths, whose followers elevated their prophets and added to the religion what was not in the original teachings.

Those who disagree see it as a time to read the Qur’an, fast, pray, and remember the life, teachings, and example of the Prophet (pbuh).

When praising the Prophet (pbuh), we are also warned not to exaggerate in his praise. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Do not overpraise me as Christians overpraised Jesus, son of Mary. Say [when referring to me], ‘Servant of Allah and His messenger.’”

Servant of Allah and His messenger!

Surely that is a title that needs no embellishment. And so, what will you do to celebrate the Prophet’s (pbuh) birthday? Will you be fasting and praying? Having a celebration and giving gifts to family and friends? Giving to charity, visiting the sick, going to the mosque, helping a neighbor?

“Remember Me and I will remember you!” (Qur’an, 2:152)

May Allah bless you all, gentle readers, and guide you on the straight path of love, compassion, mercy, generosity and kindness.  Ameen.

Ya Haqq!


“Everything is Love!”

February 21, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

I read of a Christian woman years ago who went on a forty day meditation retreat in a monastic cell. When she finally came out, all she could say is: “Everything is love!”

Surely those who open to faith and do beautiful wholesome works, for them the One Who is the Most Gracious will appoint Love.  -  Qur’an 19:96

A man once came to the Prophet (puh) and asked him about the hereafter. The Prophet asked him, “And what have you prepared for that time?” The man replied, “Nothing, except that I love Allah and I love you.” The Prophet (puh) answered him, “You are with the ones you love.”

I profess the religion of love,

Love is my religion and my faith.

My mother is love

My father is love

My prophet is love

My God is love

I am a child of love

I have come only to speak of love

- Jalaluddin Rumi

“…the guidance of Islam is the guidance of love. The innate, natural and ancient religion that is Islam is the religion of love. The Prophet (pbuh) came to guide us to love and to make clear the love that is at the core of all religion. Our purpose as human beings is to consciously manifest Allah’s love in our lives.”

- from Love in Islam, a Khutbah (Sermon) by Mahmoud Mostafa

Ya Haqq!


Islamic Writer Alliance Poetry Contest 2010

February 19, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The Islamic Writers Alliance is sponsoring its Annual Poetry Contest for  2010 in April to coincide with National Poetry Month in the US. The theme of this year’s contest is ibadah, or worship. Submissions will be accepted from April 1st through April 30th 2010. For complete information about the Poetry contest and its guidelines, go to http://www.IslamicWritersAlliance.net and scroll down to the middle of the page.

Ya Haqq!

Note: The poetry is usually quite good, and inshallah  I will enter this year also :)


One Chicago, One Nation – Short Film Contest

February 14, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

I received this email from Souheila Al-Jadda, a producer at Link TV, and promised to help get the word out about the “One Chicago, One Nation” short film contest (under 5 minutes). It is a worthy interfaith project, and I am from Chicago, although the contest is not limited to Chicago residents but open to anyone in the US. The film just has to be about Chicago.

There is No Entry Fee. Here are the details:

One Nation is holding a short film contest to share stories in or about Chicago that demonstrates the social benefit of diverse individuals and communities working together. It really is aimed at bringing communities, particularly interfaith ones, together. We have had two successful film contests in the past two years and hope to make this more localized one equally as successful, with the goal of replicating them in various metropolitan cities throughout the country.

The Grand Prize winner will be awarded $20,000.

Category winners receive $5,000 each.

The first 25 accepted entries also have a chance to win an iPod Nano!

The categories include: Comedy; Drama; Documentary; Under 60 seconds; Music video/spoken word/animation; Mobile digital media (phones, mp3s/iPods, Flip cameras).

Deadline for submissions is April 23. For more information please visit: http://www.linktv.org/onechicago

Winners are publicly announced at a ceremony in Chicago’s Millennium Park on Thursday, June 17, 2010. To inspire community dialogue to strengthen communities, winning films will be televised on Link TV (except Mobile Digital Media), online at www.linktv.org/onechicago, and will be used in community conversations to create intercultural connections.

One Nation, in partnership with The Chicago Community Trust, Link TV, Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), and Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), is creating a national model for engaging communities in building relationships between American Muslims and their neighbors. For general information about One Chicago, One Nation visit the initiative’s website at http://onechicago-onenation.org/

Please help to spread the word to friends, filmmakers, and interested groups, especially High Schools and Universities, that may want to participate.

Ya Haqq!


Purple Hijab Day Against Domestic Violence

February 6, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

International Purple Hijab Day, Saturday, February 13, 2010 is a day to reflect on the deaths which have resulted from domestic violence. A purple hijab is an apt reference for this phenomenon. The hijab—or head scarf, is a symbol of the modesty and piety associated with Muslim womanhood. Purple is a color associated with mourning. Hopefully, a purple hijab will bring to mind what is important for us to remember.

Remember Aasiya Zubair Hassan whose decapitated body was found by upstate New York police after they were told by her husband where to find it. Remember Sandeela Kanwal whose strangled body was found in her Jonesboro, Georgia, bed after someone in her household called the police early in the morning on July 6, 2008. These are just two of the 11 confirmed cases of murder in the US of Muslims by Muslim family members. Two of the 11 cases are of men, one murdered by his wife and the other a murder-suicide. Unfortunately there are other reports of murders in the US due to domestic abuse that can’t be substantiated at this time.

The Baitul Salaam Network, Inc., a national domestic violence awareness organization has put out a call for all in the Islamic community here in the US and abroad to reflect on the cases of death due to domestic violence in the Islamic community here in the US and around the world. “We have a very serious problem of domestic abuse, both nationally and internationally, that we as a community need to face head-on and work together to eradicate,” says Hadayai Majeed, co-founder and administrator of the organization.

So far the call has been answered by other organizations and individuals throughout the US. In Rhode Island the Healthy Families Initiative will host an all day workshop using materials developed by the Peaceful Families Project, a Muslim domestic violence think tank and advocacy organization headquartered in northern Virginia. In Atlanta, Georgia, Muslim Men Against Domestic Violence-Atlanta, an initiative of Baitul Salaam Network, Inc., facilitated by Professor Shyam Sriram of Georgia Perimeter College, has coordinated a prayer vigil. The host is the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam located in East Atlanta, on Saturday, February 13 beginning at 12 noon. In New York City HARIM, a Muslim women’s artist and writers collaborative, will host a literary event featuring South Asian poetry, at 37th Avenue and 74th in Street Jackson Heights. Other events are planned in the Midwest and Far West. On the same day, organizers have called for a moment of silence in the Islamic community, to begin at 12:12 pm, to remember all eleven reported murders of Muslims due to domestic violence and all others that have not been reported in the US and around the world.

Islam does not teach nor condone abuse of any living thing. It teaches Muslims not to harm others and Muslims are taught to believe there is a grave punishment for Muslims who do harm to others or abuse the land, sea or plant life. Prophet Muhammad (SAW), the example of how excellent a human being can be, was known to have never harmed anyone in his family. He only used violence when on the battlefield against a clearly identified enemy. He taught self-restraint and peace during his time here on earth. Muslim domestic violence advocates want to make it clear without any doubt that these heinous crimes that have been committed in some of the homes in the Islamic community are not supported by the Holy Quran or the valid Ahadith (life sayings and teachings of Prophet Muhammad) and are not the norm. These are learned behaviors that have nothing to do with religious teachings or practices.

AltMuslimah, an online Islamic newspaper, has launched a web site (located at UNIFEM Say-No UNiTE) devoted to domestic abuse activism. They also were instrumental in coordinating a multi-racial and multi-ethnic domestic violence advocacy forum, last February, called V2A, hosted by Masjid Dar Al Islam in Arlington,Virginia. The newspaper has compiled a calendar of events for the weekend of February 12-14, 2010, which includes Khutbahs (Friday sermons) focusing on the subject of domestic abuse that will be given at Muslim places of worship throughout the US.

Muslims are uniting against domestic abuse in the US and abroad and want to make it known that domestic abuse in any form will no longer be tolerated in the Islamic community and that survivors of abuse and their supporters are speaking up and out.

To get more information about events associated with International Purple Hijab Day contact Hadayai Majeed at haleem1@aol.com or call 770-255-8500.

Ya Haqq!

Note:  Posted as an act of  public service and awareness.


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