June Vol. 1, 2009
(IP)- This year is known as the International Year of Natural Fibres 2009, in honor of the virtues of cotton, wool, silk and linen/flax among other lesser-known varieties of cloth derived from animal and plant sources.
In the Medicine of the Prophet, Ibn Qayyim Al Jawziyya quotes Al- Raazee on the properties of silk, in particular, which is used for women: “Raw silk (ibreesim) is warmer than flax but cooler than cotton; it nourishes the flesh. Every coarse clothing makes the body lean and the skin firm, and so the reverse is true.”
Al Jawziyya continues: “Clothing is of three kinds: one kind that heats and warms the body, one kind that warms it but does not heat it, and one kind that neither heats nor warms it. There is none that heats but does not warm it, for whatever heats it is even more likely to warm it. Clothing of hair and woollen material [like sheep’s wool, alpaca, camel hair, angora and cashmere] heats and warms, while clothing of linen, silk and cotton warms but does not heat. For garments of linen are cold and dry, those of wool are warm and dry, those of cotton are of moderate warmth, and those of silk are softer and have less heat than cotton.
“The author of the Minhaaj said: Clothing from silk does not heat as cotton does, but it is moderate. All soft and smooth clothing is less heating to the body, gives less aid to the dissolving of such matters as are to be dissolved, and is more suitable for wearing in summer and in hot lands.”
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations touts natural fibres above synthetic varieties as fabrics made from plant fibre or animal hair have served to boost the economies of economically developing countries. Some 30 million tons of natural fibres are farmed from animals and plants across the globe. The biggest crop is cotton, with an annual production of some 25 million tons, while 2.2 million tons of wool is produced every year in almost 100 countries, with Australia accounting for roughly a quarter of that. There is also flax, sisal, henequen, coir (from the husk of the coconut,) and hemp (although, for Muslims, even the form of hemp purified of the THC intoxicant should not be used on the head.) Jute, which comes from the skin of Corchorus plants, is the world’s second biggest fibre crop (2.3-2.8 million tons, main producers are India and Bangladesh) but is worth far less than cotton, or wool. Hafez Ghanem, FAO Assistant Director-General for Social and Economic Development, said production of animal and vegetable fibres is a major agricultural sector, worth some $40 billion annually to the world’s farmers and, in some cases, accounts for up to 50 percent of a developing country’s exports.
Care for your clothes, naturally.
In addition to the natural detergent formulas Hakimah Raziya A. Mu’min gives above, as a natural Islamic medicine practitioner, the hakimah also has added a few tips on the preferred use of natural fabrics, and ways to maintain the freshness and life of your clothing without the use of chemical laundering products.
“Wool and cotton fibres which are in turn made into muslin, terry cloth, corduroy, and flannel are the best to use for clothing. Synthetic fabrics hold bacteria longer, and can contribute to yeast infections. Laundry detergents are full of perfumes, petroleum, and chemicals; they can also be very expensive. The same applies to perfumed body soaps. You can grate a bar of regular Castile soap, and use it for laundry soap, adding borax and baking soda. Stain removers can be made using 2 tbsp. cream of tartar and water, making a paste of the two and rubbing into stain. Allow it to dry before washing. For clothes brighteners, add 1 to 2 tablespoons Epsom salts to the wash cycle. Add ¼ cup baking soda to your wash cycle as a fabric softener, or a ¼ cup or less borax. A ¼ cup of vinegar added to the wash cycle will prevent static cling.
Sources: FAO, Hakimah Razia A. Mu’min
June Vol. 1, 2009
Oh Lovers of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him):
The Holy Last Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “When people emerge from their graves, I shall be the first to emerge, and when three people will assemble, I shall be their leader; and when people become silent, I shall be their orator; and when people come forth for accountability, I shall be their intercessor; and when all are bereft of hope, I shall bring them hope; and on that Day, I shall be holding the Flag of Karamat, and I shall be the possessor of the keys of Heaven, and I shall be the most revered of the human beings before Almighty Allah. I shall be surrounded by thousands upon thousands of servants as if they were protecting a precious jewel. And no supplication can soar to its target without the recitation of Durood Shareef* on me, and when Durood Shareef has been recited, the obstruction is removed and the prayer soars high for acceptance.” (From the texts Aab-e-Kauthar and Sa’adat-ud-Darain)
Oh Lovers of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him):
The Holy Last Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “If a person is beset by worries, he should recite Durood Shareef for me abundantly because it removes worries, sufferings, misfortunes, increases subsistence, and fulfills wishes.” (From the texts Aab-E-Kauthar, Dalail-ul-Khairat Cawnpuri, and Nuzhat-un-Nazireen)
*Durood Shareef implies praying for peace and blessings upon the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, may God’s peace be upon him.
June Vol. 1, 2009
By Jannah A. Malik
Recently the House passed a bill for the purpose of modernizing, renovating, and repairing public school facilities. The bill, which encourages the creation of clean and healthy environments for schoolchildren, would also promote energy conservation, while at the same time producing thousands of jobs. Passing 275 to 155, the bill will now go to the Senate. If approved it would allot a starting amount of $6.4 billion within the first year and similar amounts throughout the next five years.
The bill states that the Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, shall work with recipients of funds under this Act to promote appropriate opportunities for participants in a YouthBuild program, as well as using existing Job Corps members and individuals enrolled in a junior or community college. The text of the bill cites the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and the Higher Education Act of 1965 as justification to offer “employment experience on modernization, renovation, repair, and construction projects” funded under the bill.
A separate $600 million would be approved under the act within a six year period for public schools in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi that were damaged by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
By the year 2015, 100% of funds available for green building projects would have to meet ‘green standards’ for energy sources as well as construction materials. Amongst the companies that provide the necessary materials according to these standards or guidelines are: EnergyStar, Green Globes, and the Leadership and Environmental Design (Leed) Green building rating system.
Supporters of the bill spoke about the pressing need for funds for repairs in schools. Rep. John Hall (D-NY) stated: “America’s aging schools are in dire need of assistance. I am a former trustee and school board president. I have seen it. Buildings are crumbling while school districts are having trouble paying their energy bills. This bill would help school districts invest in repairs, construction and green modernization without passing the burden on to local taxpayers who in New York, I know, can’t afford any more property tax.”
In opposition some expressed great concern over the cost of the bill. “No one is going to argue in favor of a less-than-perfect physical structure for students,” said Rep. David Dreier (R-CA) “But what I believe we need to argue is how do you pay for that. And again, I believe very strongly that we, as a federal government, have reached way too far into so many different areas.”
Allowing for oversight, however, the bill states in its text that: “Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study to determine, and report to the Congress on, the extent and types of projects in keeping with the uses of funds authorized under this Act being undertaken in schools around the United States, the geographic distribution of green, high-performing schools in the United States, including by urban, suburban, and rural areas, and the relative access to such schools of the demographic groups described in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.”
Objecting to the cost of the new school construction plan, former President George W. Bush threatened to veto the bill last year. Similar legislation was also not passed by the Senate. The bill’s sponsors, however, are more hopeful of its enactment due to President Barack Obama’s making school improvement projects one of his many priorities.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Filed under: Front Page News, Interfaith, May Volume I - 2009, National, Uncategorized
Last month, President Barack Obama announced additional members of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, including Dalia Mogahed, the executive director for the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies in Washington, DC. The President’s advisory council is composed of religious and secular leaders and scholars from different backgrounds.
While Mrs Moghahed is the first American Muslim appointed to the task, it is expected that others will follow. The advisory council currently has 17 members.
“This is wonderful. The Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships represent a great deal of compassion, understanding and tolerance for the American people,” says Muhammad Ahmad, a Latin American Muslim and Sufi. “Hopefully this will open the door to understand Islam more here.” While Islam is the fastest growing religion in the West, the majority of Muslims in America are converts (and their descendents) of indigenous roots – mixed Native American and African American ancestry. Whereas according to Arab American historian Nabeel Abraham, the majority of Arabs in the United States are Christian.
Sources: The Development of Arab-American Identity (Univ. Mich. Press 1994), WhiteHouse.gov
(IP) –The US Defense Department recently announced disaster preparedness exercises that would trains 500 guardsmen in Puerto Rico. The announcement came just after the Pentagon announced a “new yearlong program [which] for the first time allows foreigners who are studying or working in the United States on a temporary visa to join [the military] if they meet certain requirements,” as reported by Bryan Bender of the Boston Globe. “There are already about 29,000 legal immigrants serving in the US military in return for expedited citizenship,” the Globe noted. The program has been designated by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to be “vital to the national interest,” and “is being managed by the Army, which is seeking to recruit up to 557 individuals with certain foreign language and cultural skills, and another 330 who are doctors, nurses, or other medical technicians,” the Globe reported.
Also of note to the region, Dominican Today reported the participation of 88 members of the naval forces of Dominican Republic, Panama, Honduras and Nicaragua in regional training excercises by the United States Southern Command, “at a time when drug trafficking and organized crime surge as Central America and the Caribbean’s main security threats.”
Filed under: February Volume I- 2009, Front Page News, National, Uncategorized | Tags: Lobby, Revolving Door
By Mubeen Khaleel
Islamic Post Staff Writer
One of the first executive orders signed by President Barack Obama commits every appointee in every executive agency appointed on or after January 20 to sign an ethics pledge disallowing them from receiving gifts from lobbyists or engaging in lobbying activities for two years after their employment. While the order stops unethical lobbying in its tracks this point forward, it does not pertain to government officials of former administrations from becoming lobbyists for corporate interests related to their former field of work.
The U.S. Senate defines lobbying as the practice of trying to persuade legislators to propose, pass, or defeat legislation or to change existing laws. A lobbyist may work for a group, organization, or industry, and presents information on legislative proposals to support his or her clients’ interests.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) recently published a report titled “Revolving Door” which details the lobbying opportunities that have been availed by 24 former cabinet members. Although the Obama Administration has stopped the rotation in its tracks from its inception, CREW reports on those who have already passed through the highly unethical process and perhaps still retain a good deal of power in Washington:
“After leaving their government positions, many of these top officials joined the ranks of the companies they once regulated where they are highly compensated. In several instances, they have helped their new employers obtain lucrative government grants and contracts.
“The report names the companies these former officials have joined and the private interests for which they have advocated. Perhaps more importantly, it also reveals the power they continue to wield within the halls of government.
“To compile this information CREW staff reviewed news articles, press releases, websites, lobbying disclosure forms, and other public records. While aiming to be exhaustive, because information is not always readily available, CREW may not have uncovered every position held by these former officials.
“Similarly, CREW relied on the Senate Open Public Records website for information on lobbying activities. Under the Lobbying Disclosure Act [of 1995], however, a number of threshold requirements must be met before registration is required. Therefore, it is possible that an organization or individual lobbied, but was not required to file a registration form and, accordingly, was not included here.”
The key findings of the CREW were as follows:
Seventeen former cabinet officials hold positions with a total of 119 companies.
Seventeen former officials hold positions with 65 companies that lobby the federal government.
Fifteen former officials hold positions with 40 companies that lobby those officials’ former agencies.
Nine former cabinet members hold positions with 15 companies that began or resumed lobbying the former officials’ agencies after those officials joined the companies.
The most prodigious corporate advisor appears to be former Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, who has worked for 42 different companies since leaving the Bush administration.
Five former officials founded lobbying firms. Combined, these firms have represented at least 48 clients.
Ten former cabinet officials work with 39 different non-profit organizations.
President Obama has issued waivers to some lobbyists, notably to Bill Lynn, who was nominated as deputy defense secretary after having been listed as a lobbyist in the defense industry for the defense contractor, Raytheon Company. Testifying before a Senate panel in support of Mr. Lynn, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said stringent ethics rules are a major reason it is difficult to fill top posts at the Pentagon.
Capitol News reported the focus on Mr. Lynn is misplaced, according to John Hamre, president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Hamre asserts Lynn registered as a lobbyist out of an abundance of caution, and while he did oversee Raytheon’s government affairs operations, “he didn’t roam the Capitol or the Pentagon,” according to Hamre., who himself held the position of deputy defense secretary between 1997 and 2000.
Critics like Senator John McCain, however, disagree with the waiver. “It’s a bit disingenuous to announce strict rules and then nominate someone with a waiver from the rules that you just announced,” he told Fox News. But Hamre feels Lynn’s experience is more important. What Mr. Bill Lynn did was work “with people like me in think tanks,” he said. “That’s not lobbying.”
Filed under: January Volume I- 2009, Magazine/ Culture, Uncategorized | Tags: Dr. Jemille
By Dr. Jemille A. Wasi
Islamic Post Staff Writer
A few months ago I was on call one night in the hospital, and I received a page from the Emergency Department (ED) regarding the admission of a young woman. The ED record showed that she was a 36 year-old female with Diabetes Mellitus. As I stepped into the examination room I was surprised to see a bed-ridden, balding somewhat plump African American lady. She had dry, chaffed skin with a mixture of old scars and fresh, gaping wounds that covered a considerable amount of her body. I began with the usual interview questions asking what brought her to the hospital and how long had this issue been a concern. As the questioning progressed, she told me of her symptoms, her family history of diabetes, and her extensive list of medical problems including high blood pressure, hardened arteries, and her weekly trips to hemodialysis for end-stage kidney disease. She was very non-compliant with her medications, and allowed her blood sugar levels to get out of control. This inevitably led to the development of the hypertension (high blood pressure) and kidney failure. This woman was a year older than I, and already had the health status of someone more than twice her age. The thought that this once vibrant person now had all these health issues and needed dialysis three times a week was very disheartening.
Unfortunately, this is a common issue in the U.S., and many people—especially African Americans—suffer the same fate. This is made worse by the fact that the age of affected individuals is getting younger and younger every year, with increasing numbers of children presenting to doctors’ offices all over America with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. I have come to the conclusion that a major reason for this growing trend is that the majority of people are generally not educated on these conditions, or their potential outcomes; so much so, that when they develop these maladies, they usually don’t seek medical intervention until something has gone drastically wrong, and/or an emergency situation has been created. This becomes evident by the fact that most newly diagnosed diabetics—especially the children and African American population—usually find out they have disease after they develop Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) and have to go to the emergency department. Excessive thirst, frequent urination, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion, weakness, or fatigue usually marks DKA. High blood pressure patients usually come in complaining of severe headaches, visual changes (i.e. blurring or double vision), and sometimes nonspecific complaints like nausea, vomiting, or shortness of breath. Even worse hypertensives often present to the ED with strokes, heart attacks, and heart or kidney failure. The gist of it is that many of these conditions are diagnosed in the emergency department or other acute care settings.
I was always told that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, so the key to reversing this growing trend is to institute measures involved in prevention of these diseases. When this is not always possible, in the least, measures should be initiated to prevent the horrendous outcomes of these ailments. The most constructive instrument to accomplish this task is effective education. The U.S. healthcare industry has recognized the importance of education, but really only in regards to decreasing the cost of medical care. Current initiatives have done little to reduce the disease load in America. Many of the proposed methods involve the patient reading something when they leave the hospital or office, as opposed to learning the information from a knowledgeable staff person. Most of the time, that reading material never makes it home to the patient. In order for the education to be most effective, a more direct, active approach is necessary. This may successfully be accomplished by having a formal setting, with a competent teacher to discuss pertinent issues. Additionally, forums in which healthcare providers and general public meet have the additional effect of providing an opportunity for people to get screened for the aforementioned diseases.
In medical school we would hold yearly health seminars as part of our community service for the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). Here we had class-like sessions, and gave a series of handouts to all patrons. The class aspect was very informative and useful for all involved. Recently—as I was discussing a homework project of the Head RN of AMMRT—I remembered these forums from medical school, and thought we could take the class-like features, and hold a health forum in this mold. As the American Muslim Medical Relief Team (AMMRT) is always committed to improving the health of the world community at large, this seemed like a task that would be perfectly fitted for us. Discussions with multiple members thus yielded the idea of holding a set of subject driven health seminars designed to be interactive and informative. They will be multi-disciplined, combining the skills of doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and traditional Islamic natural care physicians (hakeems and hakeemahs). The first seminar will be held in late spring/early summer, and will cover the topics of high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. In addition to our interactive classes, we will be providing screenings for blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and cholesterol levels. We will also be offering classes on nutrition, for the right dietary choices are important to consider in any disease process. Future sessions in this model will be held for subjects pertaining to Obstetrics and Gynecology, First Aid (including CPR instruction), Sickle Cell and other anemias, and Pediatric issues. Although no final date has been determined, continue to look for updates in subsequent issues of the Islamic Post. As always, only from Allah, the Most High, can we be healed.
Filed under: Education, International, January Volume I- 2009, Uncategorized, World | Tags: Darussalam Publications, Wahhabi
By Noora Ahmad
Islamic Post Staff Writer
Do you own the book Ar Raheeq Al Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar, Biography of the Noble Prophet –peace be upon him) by Saifur Rahman Al Mubarakpuri? How about a particular edition of Riyad us Saliheen, the famous An Nawawi compilation of holy traditions with commentary by Hafiz Salahuddin Yusuf? If so, you are hosting texts on your bookshelf by Darussalam Publications which has been known not only to inject false text into the English translations of sayings related from the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) and shown utmost disrespect to the Beloved of Allah, but also to have distorted Islamic history –specifically with regards to the descendants of the Holy Last Messenger who are known as Ahli Bait. They demonstrate a complete rejection of the authentic scholars of Islam and even advocate for the killing of pious Muslims, based on scholarly claims proven to be erroneous.
El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani Hashmi, himself a descendant of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family), advises the Muslims at large: “Keep away from all of their works, including their books, history, even hadiths –traditional sayings of the Holy Last Messenger, everything. They have distorted things, disrespected and dishonored the Holy Last Messenger and his family (peace be upon them all).”
Darussalam Publications promote themselves as a multilingual international Islamic publishing house based in Riyadh, with outlets on all continents. The publisher claims to present “books free from sectarianism and in accordance with the Qur’an and the Sunnah (the way of the Holy Last Messenger, peace be upon him).” However, it cannot be imagined how much division is created when the works presented by Darussalam claim the majority of Muslims have abandoned Islam, and that their blood is lawful to shed.
Darussalam Publications uphold distortions of Islam and mistranslate the holy traditions. The resulting works are used to accuse the community of polytheism. In one such instance, it is found that the publishers mistranslated a hadith wherein a companion of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him, narrated to the Beloved of Allah his experience setting up a tent in a place not knowing there was a grave underneath, and hearing Surah Mulk from Holy Qur’an being recited from it. The Darussalam translators instead write that it is the visitor who recited Surah Mulk. This was done presumably because to acknowledge pious people to be alive in their graves contradicts the teachings of Ibn Abdul Wahhab, the founder of the Wahhabi (or some say Salafi) movement in 1713. The publishing house’s website refers to Ibn Abdul Wahhab “Imam,” or leader. According to Ibn Abdul Wahhab, who is believed by historians to have been in collusion with a British spy known only as Hempher, declared that Muslims who visit the graves of the pious people with the intention of gaining benefit from them, have abandoned monotheism and deserve death. It was on this premise that thousands of Muslims were massacred in the Najd uprisings against the Ottoman Empire, which established the current kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The works of Abdullah bin ‘Abdul- ‘Azeez bin Baz, the grand mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 1992-1999, also confirm the teachings of his imam, Ibn Abdul Wahhab, in his various books and in erroneous commentary on the books of others, many of which are widely distributed by Darussalam. In just one example, Bin Baz slanders a companion of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), Bilal ibn al-Harth in his remarks on the text Fath al-Bari. Bin Baz claims the visit of Bilal ibn al-Harth to the grave of the Mercy to all of the Worlds, Muhammad (peace be upon him), and his asking the Almighty for the sake of the Holy Last Messenger to bestow rain was “aberrant” and “an avenue to polytheism.”
By these things, the publishing house misleads the Muslims with interpolations. However, similar aims are equally achieved by their omissions. While volumes upon volumes have been written by authentic scholars on Islamic history, Darussalam works and books –comparatively short texts– intentionally delete the history of the descendants of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (may the peace of Allah be upon him and upon his family). This effort to negate the contributions and legacy of the Ahli Bait is in direct rejection of the well-established tradition passed down from the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, which commands the Muslims to cling to his family and descendents after him, peace be upon them.* For example we find in one text called Commanders of the Muslim Army, by Mahmood Ahmad Ghadanfar, chapters are dedicated to different personages, yet no mention is made of the greatest commander and cousin of the Holy Last Messenger, Ali ibn Abi Talib, nor of his son, the king of martyrs, Hussein ibn Ali. This could be due to the fact that Wahhabis and Salafis, who produce the majority of the works at Darussalam, bear allegiance to the Umayyad clan.
The Umayyads during the time of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), swore vengeance upon the family of the Beloved of Allah for the Meccan pagan chiefs who were killed during the first battle of Islam, the Battle of Badr, in which the fledgling Muslim state in Madinah defended themselves against the torture and aggression of the Umayyads. Ali ibn Abi Talib, the Lion of Allah, killed 70 of those chiefs. The Umayyads, via Yazid son of Muawiyah son of Abu Sufyan, the main enemy of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him and his family), carried out a most bloody and brutal massacre in which Hussein the son of Ali, and the majority of the descendents of the Holy Last Messenger, were martyred. Needless to say, although Imam Hussein continued to fight valiantly, even after suffering extreme hunger, thirst, and witnessing atrocities against his beloved children, his blessed name is not included in Commanders of the Muslim Army.
It seems being free from sectarianism demands the murder of all those who do not agree with the Umayyad, or Wahhabi, philosophy.
Muslims are hereby warned to guard their imaan –the faith foundation which allows the upholding of true Islamic principles—by rejecting all works published and products sold by Darussalam Publications. Thereby, Muslims can hope to not only safeguard themselves and their families from false ideologies, but also take a firm stand against the divisive spread of such teachings in the Muslim community at large. Muslims should be aware that every cent which goes into the coffers of this Saudi-based publishing group is used to distort Islam around the world, in the eyes of Muslims and non-Muslims, for which the entire Muslim world pays.
Filed under: Magazine/ Culture, Religion, Sept/Oct Volume - 2008, Uncategorized | Tags: Islamic miracle, miracle
Announcement Of Glad Tidings Given On The Occasion of A Divine Miracle in Holy Islamberg, NY
By Muhammad Haseeb Abdul Haqq, Islamic Post Staff Writer
This year, the month of Ramadan began much like previous observances for the residents of the quaint Village of Islamberg, located in Hancock, upstate New York. For the 24 years of the village’s existence, the days of the Islamic fasting month have begun with the tahajjud prayer in the middle of the night, while others are asleep. Sehri, the meal taken prior to the beginning of the day’s fast, is taken thereafter. The end of the nighttime hours of worship and nourishment is then hearkened with the adhan, the call to the early morning, fajr prayer.
The serenity of these peaceful hours fades somewhat, as parents hurry daily off to work. Children’s laughter penetrated the atmosphere as they walked the roads leading to the Islamberg Children’s Academy. On the whole, the days were quiet and uneventful; but an hour or so before sunset, the atmosphere changed. There was a noticeable increase in movement as parents returned from work and children hurried home to prepare themselves for iftar, the small meal taken just after sunset that ends that day of fasting.
The day ended for most with the night prayer, Isha, and the longer Tarawih prayer which follows Isha only during the month of Ramadan. Tarawih was made in congregation at the village’s mosque.
The day’s cycle found itself completed in Holy Islamberg as adults arose again in the stillness of the night to offer more prayers and supplication.
An unusual occurence.
In their daily routine of work and worship, what many village residents were not aware of was that Allah, the Most High, had chosen the Honored Family home of AlHajj Muhammad Jamal A. Rahim Qadri and Khadijah A. Rahim to manifest His personal name, “Allah”, in transparent brilliant white luminous light. The letters were written in Arabic script and pulsated on the ceiling and walls of the living room in their village home. The One Almighty Creator also manifested the name of His Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), in radiant green and red Arabic letters that shimmered on the ceiling in the kitchen area of the home. In that same area numerous rainbows with distinct colors were visible on the floor.
How to gain the pleasure of Allah.
Ramadan is a month when Muslims, the world over, increase their acts of worship hoping to raise their awareness of the One Almighty Creator, and seeking His Forgiveness, Help and Protection while praying that every possible good and favor be extended to the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad . Because of the love of the Almighty for the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), this prayer, called darood, becomes the source of salvation by virtue of the distinction bestowed upon those who honor the Beloved of the Most High. It is no surprise, therefore, that the Beloved of Allah, the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, is the Mercy To All The Worlds, and even upon mentioning the blessed name of the Beloved of Allah, “Peace be upon him,” is said afterwards. This practice of invoking blessings and peace, in a spirit of gratitude, love, and obedience to the Almighty, does much to create the aura in the village which was founded by His Eminence, Imam, El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, El Hashmi, El Hassani wal Hussaini. El Sheikh Gilani is the Sultan of Qadria and Awliyah, a Sufi Master.
Blessed visitors proclaim the miracle.
Knowing well that scrutiny could follow an announcement of a miraculous manifestation, Honored Mother, Khadijah A. Rahim, kept to herself what she had seen. But visitors to her home began to exclaim the miracle. Her guests confirmed the same karamah, or miracles, which had been appearing on and off for the previous two weeks or more.
Sabeeha Hussain and Nasimah Nuruddin witnessed the name of Allah in the living room (see photographs below with caption), and it was pulsating and shimmering.
Khadijah Begum was the only one to see the name of Muhammad . The blessed name was “written in noor [Divine light], trimmed in a reddish green hue,” she said.
Ayannah Rauf, Lailah Begum Rashid and Jamillah Begum witnessed the rainbows.
Attempts to capture on film.
Some guests in the home of Khadijah A. Rahim looked for sources of refracted light and reflections. Another visitor raised a camera with the hopes of capturing the images. Each time the camera was raised the images faded but quickly returned when the camera was lowered. [*The photographs shown on this page display the same phenomenon, themselves being not as vibrant as the actual occurrence.]
Announcement of glad tidings.
When Khadijah Begum placed a call to El Sheikh Gilani to mention the blessed events, she was overwhelmed with excitement at what she and her companions had witnessed.
After conversing with El Sheikh, the Honored Mother began to announce the miracles that had occurred in her home. Khadijah Begum had been advised during the call to announce to all the marvelous glad tidings from Almighty Allah, and to proclaim this to Muslims in particular: the coming Salvation, Success and Dominance of Al Islam.
Second Holy Khanqah named in the United States.
His Eminence also stated that the Village of Islamberg has been named “The Village of Holy Islamberg,” and that the site of the miracles would henceforth be known as, “The Holy Khanqah, Qadria Gilaniyya, Sufi Lodge 2.” A khanqah is a place for worship and contemplation of the One Almighty Allah. Muslims and non-Muslims of whatever background are welcomed therein to put forth their own needs and prayers to the One Almighty Allah, which are answered with expedience by the Almighty Himself.
El Sheikh Gilani emphasized that all the proper reverence and etiquettes should be observed, in the same fashion as in Sufi Lodge 1 in Holy Islamville, South Carolina. This is due to the blessed and lofty status of the miracle site, a gift from Allah to Whom all glorification, praise and thanks are due.
Allah the Most High chooses, when He wishes, to manifest who His true friends are.
Sufi Lodge 1.
It has become customary for thousands of Muslims, mostly from North and South America, to observe the Blessed 27th Night of Ramadan and also the Eid ul Fitr, the congregational prayer and festivities that denote the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, at the Holy Khanqah located in the Village of Holy Islamville, in York, S.C. Journeys are routinely undertaken to the site in the southern United States where miraculous signs have been occurring for over a decade. The Holy Khanqah, Qadria Gilaniyya, in Holy Islamville, S.C., is Sufi Lodge 1.
Filed under: Magazine/ Culture, Sept/Oct Volume - 2008, Uncategorized | Tags: Islamic Culture
By Waliyah Karam, Islamic Post Contributing Writer
It was a royal wedding, orchestrated by our humble Murshid Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani. The bride was carried by the male members of her family in a lovely, velvet hawda, decorated with flowers. The groom and his brother, handsomely clad in elegant wedding suit and turban were mounted on a tall stately horse as they descended the mountain followed by the men of his family. Morning-dew green rose petals were strewn on the bride and groom. All of the men in the family of the couple held brightly lit tikki lamps, surrounding them like so many guards. It was a nikaah in the Islamic tradition.
May Allah forever bless our Murshid Kamil, a humble Hashimite, Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Jilani who has stayed the course with us with much love, sacrifice and endurance over three decades, to ensure that we maintain and pass the banner of the Sunnah, or life practice, of our Beloved Nabi Kareem (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to the future. ShukrAllah and All praises are due to Allah alone. May Allah immensely reward our Murshid forever, who taught us that the most blessed, life invigorating Sunnah is only kept alive by practice. Otherwise, it lies dormant in books.
Filed under: Interfaith, International, Sept/Oct Volume - 2008, Uncategorized
Abdul Hameed Abdul Aziz, Islamic Post Staff Writer
The mission of conspiracies has remained the same throughout history: to prevent the restoration of the will and love of God in the people.
Devoid of love, or even understanding, the conspirators, who obviously wish to bring difficulty to the believers today, are the same in spirit as those who hurled insult to the Second to Last Holy Messenger Jesus, as well as Moses, peace be upon them both.
Muslims, Christians, and all people whose goal is the pure, honest, and just progression of mankind as one family and one nation under God, should come together in joint efforts to overcome falsehood and ignorance, as was the example of our ancestors. Perhaps then, when Jesus returns (which, we can see is to be very soon), the sincere amongst both groups –united on the religion of Jesus, who worshiped One Almighty Creator– will be able to show the Son of Mary something to make him proud, bringing light to a darkening world.
Like throwing stones at the moon.
The traits of the Holy Messengers are very similar; parallels can be drawn between them throughout time, as their missions were the same: to guide people to the worship of One Almighty Creator and behave fair, just, and kind with the rest of creation. May God’s peace be upon them all.
The Holy Last Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) was well known throughout Arabia, before his Messengerhood was revealed, as the man with the most sublime, mannered, and truthful character, whose justness, piety, and trustworthiness was completely unmatched by any individual. His advice was sought on the most vital matters, and in the course of his living he was surnamed “Al-Amin,” or the Most Trustworthy One, by those who were not Muslim.
Like other Messengers before him, the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) was granted permission from the Almighty Creator to marry mustarah (honorable Muslim ladies) of various backgrounds. As a result, every Muslim woman up to today and until the Day of Judgment has the example of a lady whom she can personally relate her character, personality, tendencies, and preferences to. The youngest of his wives was destined to be the personal student and scribe of the most intricate details of his home and public life, and as a result, she is the greatest woman scholar that the world of Islam has ever seen, and has related more traditions of his example than any other lady in history, thereby benefitting mankind until the end of time (May the Almighty Creator be well please with her). Nor did this young lady go to live with her most honorable spouse until she became of age.
Conspirators continue to hurl sadistic taunts, blind attempts to defame the character of our teacher, the one who was responsible for bringing the world out of the Dark Ages. Unseemly reactions by Muslims, incited by these slanderers, only causes alienation from other religious elements of society. Disunity between Christians and Muslims cannot be afforded, as it would allow the irreligious conspirators to continue to “divide and conquer,” achieving their ancient dream of a Satanic world order.
Filed under: August Volume 1 - 2008, Interfaith, International, Uncategorized | Tags: Archbishop Canterbury, Lord Chief Justice, Rowan Williams, rule of law
By Khadir A. Ghani, Islamic Post Staff Writer
Britain’s Lord Chief Justice, Nicholas Phillips, addressed the East London Muslim Centre (ELMC) last month, regarding Islamic law, termed sharia, as practiced on the island.
“In February this year, I chaired a lecture given by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Royal Courts of Justice on the topic of Civil and Religious Law in England,” said the Lord Chief Justice, the highest legal authority in Britain. (The Archbishop of Canterbury, in turn, is the highest religious authority in Britain.) “It was, I believe, not clearly understood by all, and certainly not by sections of the media which represented the Archbishop as suggesting the possibility that Muslims in this country might be governed by their own system of Sharia law(…)
“A point that the Archbishop was making was that it was possible for individuals voluntarily to conduct their lives in accordance with Sharia principles without this being in conflict with the rights guaranteed by our law.”
Nicholas Phillips has been condemned from many Islamophobic quarters, as was the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, before him,
Be that as it may, the remarks of the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales are of greater significance to the Muslim, and also Christian, community at large, as his words spell out a message of tolerance; a tolerance which is equally upheld in the legal realm of Islam.
Muslim jurists say the same.
The scholars of Islamic law have similar messages to the two British officials regarding non-Muslims living in an Islamic realm.
Islam is the founder of democracy; its legal system instituted laws of religious tolerance from the outset, in the 7th century C.E. Europe began to do so only as far back as 1951 when the European Convention on Human Rights guaranteed religious freedom.
Lord Chief Justice Phillips states, “In 2006 the Equality Act extended the prohibition against discrimination on the ground of religion or belief to cover other areas such as the provision of goods, facilities and services, the letting of premises and the provision of education.(…)
“British law has, comparatively recently, reached a stage of development in which a high premium is placed not merely on liberty, but on equality of all who live in this ‘country. That law is secular. It does not attempt to enforce the standards of behaviour that the Christian religion or any other religion expects. It is perhaps founded on one ethical principle that the Christian religion shares with most, if not all, other religions and that is that one should love one’s neighbour.”
Law of the Land.
For the majority of his ELMC lecture “Equality Before the Law,” Lord Chief Justice Phillips dealt with the origins of British law in what could be taken as a detailed plea for the understanding and respect of the law of the land.
Similarly, Abul Hasan al Quduri in his work Al Mukhtasar al Quduri, the most respected book of Islamic jurisprudence, laid down the principles of law derived from Holy Qur’an and the practice of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, in the 9th century C.E. In regards to non-Muslims living in a Muslim state, tolerance is required by Muslims; on the other hand, respect by non-Muslims for the rule of law is also requested. Under the category “Good character and respect for fundamental rights,” al Quduri states, “A Muslim is supposed to deal with people kindly and justly, unless they are open enemies to Islam and/or Muslims. Allah does not prohibit you from being kind and just to those who have not fought you on account of religion, nor expelled you from your homes.” [Holy Quran, 60: 8] (…) Hence, traits such as truthfulness, justice, kindness, and honesty should be part of the Muslim’s character whether he is dealing with Muslims or non-Muslims. (…)
“Generally, when one has entered their [non-Muslim] lands under a peaceful agreement, he is expected to abide by common standards of decency as long as it does not violate any injuctions of Islam [usury is an example of a such a violation]. (…)
“A Muslim is supposed to respect the human rights, not only of Muslims, but even of non-Muslim subjects of the Islamic state. According to a tradition of the Holy Last Messenger, peace be upon him, severe warning is reported for violating the property or lives of non-Muslim residents,” up until the violator [eventually] being condemned to Hellfire.
The Chief Justice concluded his speech with a request for the Muslims to become part of the British legal system and assist in assuring fair treatment of all people in the U.K.
His request hearkens a legal point made by El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani in his discourse on Sura Yusuf, which relates the story of the Holy Messenger Joseph, peace be upon him, in the Holy Quran. Nabi Yusuf, peace be upon him, became the Treasurer and Minister of Agriculture in Egypt, under the realm of a non-Muslim pharoah named Raiyaan, who had not caused problems for the believers living in his country. “Muslims and non-Muslims should join hands with the government and run the country if the government is benevolent to Muslims and not oppressive. There are clear injunctions regarding this,” said El Sheikh Gilani.
Contrary to popular opinion, and distorted extremism on both sides, there is no such thing as an uprising in Islam against the non-Muslim state in which Muslims are living; just as it would be improper for non-Muslims living in a Muslim land to rebel against the rule of law there. Mutual respect is what is encouraged. If the government is one tolerant to all faiths, such a wrong stance is against human decency and religious principles of gratitude.
Therefore, Muslims are expected to follow the Holy Qur’an in all matters, and stay away from those who, in their denial of the scholars of Islamic law and the principals of international secular law as well, have likened themselves to anarchists.
Filed under: August Volume 1 - 2008, Latino/Caribe, Uncategorized | Tags: Haiti, Haitian Voodoo, Islam in Haiti, Witchcraft in the Caribbean
Voodoo and witchcraft are no boon to any society.
By Raheemah Atif, Islamic Post Staff Writer
In Haiti, voodoo (fr. voudu), is part and parcel of religious culture which blends one part traditional Christianity with two parts sorcery. It is estimated that at least seventy-percent of Haiti’s 9.5 million people practice voodoo in some form, and also claim to be adherents of Catholicism or other Christian denominations.
Although more beneficial is the realization that voodoo, or sorcery, makes a wasteland of the soul and, eventually, of the nation; in 2003, the government of former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide officially sanctioned voodoo as a legal religion, granting its priests full rights to perform marriages for the first time.
One voodoo priest confided to the Associated Press that Haiti’s economic stagnation has driven many towards other religious beliefs away from Christianity towards voodoo, which is widely associated with mainstream success; noting that voodoo practice often demands relatively expensive offerings to its deities, in exchange for one’s petition. A notable Islamic text on the subject states, “Evil deeds and corruption bring about worry and sorrow, fear and grief, distress and sickness to the heart. For people who commit such deeds, when their desires have been fulfilled, their souls grow to detest the damaging effects of sin; yet, they continue the practice, only to repel the distress, worry and sorrow they find in their breasts.”
Sin being the most vicious of circles, one can only depart from it by turning to the Almighty Creator for help, offering one’s sincere tauba, completely turning away from the wrong-doing and even those things associated with the person’s weakness.
Canadian sociologist, Andre Corten concluded in a study that roughly thirty percent of Haitian citizens identify themselves as Christian, and adamantly oppose voodoo. Evangelical Christians from America have adopted Haiti as a mission for proselytizing, and have established churches along with thousands from other denominations who come to convert voodoo practitioners.
On the other hand, Haitian Muslim groups estimate that there are between five to seven thousand Muslims in the severely impoverished nation which shares half the island –formerly known as Hispaniola– with the Dominican Republic.
A CNN report found that followers of Islam have recently stepped into the public eye. Nawoon Marcellus, who comes from the northern city of San Raphael, became the first Muslim elected to the Chamber of Deputies, Haiti’s lower house of parliament. “I returned to Haiti in 1985 just to preach Islam,” said Abdul Al-Ali, the Delmas mosque’s white-bearded, commanding imam, or spiritual leader. “I converted while I was in Canada and we bought the space for the mosque in 1993.”
“Haitians would like to have the truth, and Islam will bring it to them. If we follow Allah, and the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, I think things can change. (…) Those who don’t have anything tend to help out. It is in some way inborn to us as Haitians, as well as Muslims, to help out. So that principle of responsibility, of helping those less fortunate, resonated very well.”
In an impoverished Haiti, beset by a faltering economy and political violence, some converts find the attention Islam devotes to charity and social justice particularly appealing. “If you see someone who is in need, the ones who need help, whether it’s education, money or what have you, we Haitians as a whole tend to be very generous in helping one another,” said Racin Ganga, the Imam of the Carrefour Feuille Center, who was introduced to Islam at a college in New York. The Imam, or prayer leader, commented on the unfortunate September 11 attacks, “Allah says that if a man kills another man it is as if he has killed all humanity. The people who did what they did in New York, they are not even human. Islamic people use the weapon of their love, because violence, as we’ve seen here in Haiti, will not take us anywhere.”
Yacine Khelladi, an Algerian economist who has conducted an informal survey of the religion in Haiti, said the true Islam, devoid of interpolations, could address many of Haiti’s needs, including social justice, literacy, and a sense of community. “It even regulates business, land disputes, banking and other things –all of which could be perceived as attractive in Haiti as an alternative model,” Khelladi said.
An influx of Pakistani and Bangladeshi soldiers came to Haiti with the U.S.-led peacekeeping forces in 1994, and were able to further established the Muslim presence when onlookers observed them at prayer and became curious to understand Islamic cultural practices and requirements.
The study of Islam has also clarified some informational errors in Haitian history, including the account of Boukman, a rebel slave who inspired other slaves to rise up against their colonial masters. “Boukman was never a voodoo priest, like they say; he was a Muslim,” said Samaki Foussoyni, a worshiper at Haiti’s Delmas Mosque, one of many that have sprung up over the years.
“When they describe his name, Boukman, in English –as he was from Jamaica, they are really describing ‘book man,’ because of the book he was always reading, which the French here in Haiti always referred to as an “upside-down” book,” Foussoyni said.
“They described it as such because it was the Qur’an, which you read right to left. When they say they had a voodoo ceremony at Bois Cayman, where Boukman lived, it was in fact ‘Bwa Kay Imam,’ or ‘the woods of the house of the imam’ in Creole.” ‘the woods of the house of the imam’ in Creole.”