An African Imam Breaks Ground In Mecca

22 04 2009

 

 

 

 

 

African Imam

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia

By ROBERT F. WORTH
Published: April 10, 2009

TWO years ago, Sheik Adil Kalbani dreamed that he had become an imam at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam’s holiest city.

Waking up, he dismissed the dream as a temptation to vanity. Although he is known for his fine voice, Sheik Adil is black, and the son of a poor immigrant from the Persian Gulf. Leading prayers at the Grand Mosque is an extraordinary honor, usually reserved for pure-blooded Arabs from the Saudi heartland.

Read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/11/world/middleeast/11saudi.html?_r=1

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My Sister Qamar Has Returned from Umrah and posted up her experience (and pics!!!)

14 04 2009

Insh’Allah you can check it out here:

http://alqamardesigns.wordpress.com/

May Allah accept from her and her family and us all. ameen!





Great Women of Islam:Fatimah Bint Asad

24 01 2008

Fatimah bint Asad, was the mother of ‘Ali bin Abu Talib, and the mother-in-law of the Prophet’s daughter, Fatimah bint Muhammad. Her grandsons, Hasan and Husain are to be the leaders of the youths of Paradise. Besides ‘Ali, she had two other sons, Ja’far Tayyir who was a famous General. He led the forces of Islam in the battle of Mu’tah and was martyred in the same battle.

When the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] grew up and proclaimed himself to be the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] and Last Messenger of Allah, she still stood by him. All the relentless persecution did not deter her in any way. She was exceptionally fond of her son Ja’far, but for the sake of Islam she bore the separation from him and his wife, Asma bint ‘Omais, when they migrated to Abyssiniah on the Prophet’s orders with the first group of migrant Muslims.

Fatimah bint Asad, being one of the first to swear allegiance to Islam and its concept of the Oneness of Allah, faced the economic and social boycott of the Shi’ab Abi Talib for those three terrible years. She was also a member of the privileged group who migrated to Madinah.

‘Abdul Muttalib, who was a very discriminating man, had assessed her nature, her intelligence and her capabilities from the very beginning and proposed for her for his son, Abu Talib. When the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] was told by Allah to spread the Message of Islam among his kith and kin, it was she who immediately accepted this invitation and swore allegiance and entered the fold of Islam. When the Prophet’s grandfather, ‘Abdul Muttalib, passed away, the guardianship of the orphan Muhammad [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] passed on to Abu Talib . His wife, Fatimah bint Asad, looked after him, loving him as if he were her own. He remembered in his later life that she would go hungry to feed him. He respected her so highly that whenever she visited him he would stand up and receive her with great love, addressing her as ‘Mother’.

His uncle, too, loved him deeply. Muhammad [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] in his childhood was so well mannered and so fastidious about his personal cleanliness that Abu Talib would hold him up as an example to his other children. Normally boys would be dirty and tousled from playing rough games with the other boys, but Muhammad [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] was always dignified with a neat appearance. People were impressed when they saw him. Abu Talib liked all the children to eat together because he felt that whenever Muhammad [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] ate with other children, food would be sufficient, and when the children ate alone, they would remain hungry. Abu Talib often told his nephew that he was specially blessed, as there was plenty when he was around.

Fatimah bint Asad did not spare any pains and looked after the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] in his infancy, boyhood and youth. Once in his childhood he accompanied his uncle on a business trip to Syria. Some very unusual and surprising incidents took place on the journey, and Abu Talib described these to his wife when they came back.

The Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] placed the invitation to a religion with a new and rational perspective before the Quraish of Makkah, the worshippers of all the false idols in the Ka’bah were infuriated. They could not dream that the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] would dismiss their gods as useless helpless creatures, and they became his bitter enemies for propagating a new faith that did away with their traditional and inherited practices. They adopted a very antagonistic attitude and swore to crush him and Islam. During this period they resorted to the most cruel and sadistic forms of torture to make the converts give up the new faith and return to their old barbaric practices and rituals. It was only the power and influence of Abu Talib that prevented them from doing any harm to Muhammad. He stood by him with all his love and carried out the responsibilities of a guardian faithfully by giving him his protection. No enemy could dare to do anything to him as long as he was under the mantle of his uncle’s protection.

Fatimah bint Asad cooperated with Abu Talib wholeheartedly and she was a mother, pure and simple, where the safety and well being of Muhammad [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] was concerned. No wonder he loved and respected her so highly. Considering the dangerous conditions which developed for the Muslims in Makkah, he thought it was better that the Muslims migrate to Abyssiniah where the ruler was known to be tolerant and hospitable. The leader of this first group of migrants was Ja’far bin Abi Talib, the brother of ‘Ali, and the favorite son of Fatimah bint Asad. She loved him more than the others because he resembled Muhammad [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] very much, and was extremely intelligent.

He seemed to have inherited the family’s mastery over language and was also an eloquent speaker who could win people over to his viewpoint. It was with this same skill that he had won over the king of Abyssiniah when the Quraish appealed to him to surrender the Muslims to them.

The Quraish now decided to restrict the Muslims to one small area, besiege them and boycott them. Social and economic sanctions were imposed, and these three years were perhaps the toughest that the followers of lslam faced. Economically, it was certainly the worst ever. Children could be heard on all sides sobbing with hunger, and the elders looked on helplessly with tears in their eyes. To satisfy their hunger they started eating the leaves of trees and grass; they even sucked on wet skins to slake their thirst. Fatimah bint Asad passed this terrible period with fortitude and patience, and did not waver in the smallest degree. Ten years after the first revelation to Muhammad [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] appointing him the Messenger of Allah, this harsh siege was finally lifted. It was in the same year that the Prophet’s wife and most faithful supporter, Khadijah, passed away. The pangs of separation from her were very strong for the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] . He had not yet recovered from her loss, when he was dealt another terrible blow – his best ally, Abu Talib, also passed away. This year is known as ‘The Year of Sorrows’ in Islamic history.

The torture and torment, atrocities and cruelties reached such proportions that Allah finally ordered the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] to migrate to Madinah. Fatimah bint Asad was among these migrants.

“So patience is most fitting. And it is Allah Whose help can be sought against that (lie) which you describe.” (12:18)

Anas bin Malik says that when the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] got news of the death of Fatimah bint Asad, he immediately went to her house, sat beside her and prayed for her.

“My dear mother, may Allah keep you under His Protection. Many times you went hungry in order to feed me well. You fed me and clothed me on delicacies that you denied yourself. Allah will surely be happy with these actions of yours. And your intentions were surely meant to win the goodwill and pleasure of Allah and success in the Hereafter.”

He gave his shirt to be used as part of her shroud, saying he prayed to Allah to forgive her and give her the dress of Paradise.

‘When the grave was prepared the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] himself examined it and with his own hands placed her into the grave.

Thus, she was one of the few blessed people whose graves the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] himself examined.

“Fatimah bint Asad is that great lady for whom he gave the glad tidings that she would be blessed with a place in Paradise. He said that he shrouded her with his shirt, praying that Allah would give her the dress of Paradise. Allah pleased with them and they pleased Allah.”

Taken from the book: Great Women of Islam (Who were given the good news of Paradise) By: Mahmoud Ahmad Ghadanfar Revised by: Sheikh Safur-Rahman Al Mubarak puri which may be purchased at:http://www.dar-us-salam.com/store/main.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=Dus&Product_Code=125&Category_Code=Eng_Womenas well as other places.





The Last Sermon of The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

20 10 2007

Mash’Allah this is truly beautiful! Insh’Allah wa can all read this, ponder it and benefit from it.

Last Sermon of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

 
This sermon was delivered on the Ninth Day of Islamic month of Dhul-Hijjah Year 632 A.C (10 A.H.) in the ‘Uranah valley of Mount Arafat’ in Mecca.
After praising and thanking Allah the Prophet (saws) said:”O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that he will indeed reckon your deeds. Allah has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligations shall henceforth be waived. Your capital is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn ‘Abd’al Muttalib [the Prophet’s uncle] be waived.Every right arising out of homicide in pre-islamic days is henceforth waived and the first such right that i waive is that arising from the murder of Rabiah ibn al Harithibn.O People, the unbelievers indulge in tampering with the calender in order to make permissible that which Allah forbade, and to forbid that which Allah has made permissible. With Allah the months are twelve in number. Four of them are holy, three of these are successive and one occurs singly between the months of Jumada and Shaban.Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope of that he will be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right, then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste. O People, listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers, fast during the month of Ramadhan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a white – except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware: do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

O People, no prophet or apostle will come after me, and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand my words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur’an and my Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray.

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah, that I have conveyed Your message to Your people.”

Mountains of Makkah by Zain Bhika (drums):





Eid Al Fitr Around The World

11 10 2007

Here in the United States, the way eid is celebrated varies greatly. We have many  nationalities and communities of Muslims. In the communities populated mostly by Pakistani/Indian Muslims you will see Eid celebrated with many of the traditional  foods and customs of Pakistan and India. Likewise if you go to a community with predominatley Arabs you will see more of the Arab culture and cuisine.  If you live n a largely Cuminpopulated Islamic community you are likely to find grand celebrations. Entire stadiums may be rented out to hold the eid prayer and street fairs and festivals may be held. However, if you live in a small community you may have the  prayer and potluck style dinner at the local masjid or you may not even see any celebration at all (depending on the size of the community).

I love large diverse Muslim communities. You get the best of everything. You have Indian, Pakistan, Arab, Indonesian, Malaysian, African, and yes even American food and amusements. It’s all woven together.  When I see these types of communities, It makes me feel proud to be a Muslim.  It reminds me of all the different colors and cultures that make up the Ummah. Yet, we are all together as brothers and sisters united for a common goal (ie. to be the best Muslims we can be and eventually enter Jannah together, insh’Allah).

Honestly, I love learning about other cultures. So, I thought it would be interesting to do a post on how eid is celebrated in other countries. Most of this info is from either wikipedia or people I know.

To begin….

Videos:

Eid in Cairo,Egypt

Eid in Ghana

Eid in Indonesia

Eid in Bangladesh

Singapore/Malaysia:

Eid in Morocco

Eid in London:

Eid in Portland, OR USA

Eid in Madrid, Spain

Eid in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Eid in Bejing, China

Eid in Mecca

Eid Music Videos (contain music):

In Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei Eid is often referred to as as Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Hari Raya Puasa. Hari Raya is translated as “Grand Day”.  Eid is the biggest holiday in Malaysia, and is the most awaited one. Shopping malls and bazaars are filled with people days ahead of Hari Raya, causing a distinctive festive atmosphere throughout the country. Many banks, government and private offices are closed for this holiday, which usually lasts a week.

Most people return to their home towns to celebrate eid. In many of the communites people hang oil lamps. Also, the takbir can be heard in the musallas and masjids. Many Malaysians wear the traditional Malay clothing for eid. The men’s clothing is called baju malayu and the women’s is baju kurung of baju kebaya. Many popular dishes are served on Eid such as ketupat, dodol, and lemang (rice cake cooked in bamboo).

After the Eid prayer many Malaysians visit graves, clean them, and recite surat yaseen.  It is also customary to offer apologies to anyone they may have wronged.  Most of the holiday is spent visiting friends and family. Children are often given money or other tokens on eid. To read more about Eid in Singapore visit Adik’s blog:

http://adikbongsu.wordpress.com/2007/10/03/celebrating-eid-in-singapore/

 Indonesia shares many of the traditions of Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei.  The holiday is likewise referred to as Hari Raya Idul Fitri or lebaran (holiday).  It is also recognized as a national holiday. So, schools and institutions close.  It is also customary in Indonesian culture to offer apologies on the Day of Eid. . Many Indonesian muslims acknowledge that on the day of Eid when they forgive each other, their sins with each other are cleansed and they are without sin just as they were at birth.

At the night of the last day of Ramadan, Indonesians usually do ‘Takbiran’. Takbiran is a big celebration where people, from little children to old men, recite the takbir with a microphone in a parade. They travel around the town and usually they hit ‘beduk’, a large drum, as a background music of the takbir.

In South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka):

At the end of the Holy month of Ramadan, in which the Muslims are asked to observe fasting from dawn to dusk and do extra prayers and observe religious values rigidly, the Muslims celebrate the sighting of the new moon (start of the new Muslim month). In Bangladesh,India and Pakistan, the night before Eid is called Chand Raat, or night of the moon. People visits bazaars and shopping malls, with their families and children, for last momemts Eid shopping. Women, especially young girls, often paint each others’ hands with traditional “henna” and wear colourful bangles.

The popular way of greeting in Bangladesh, India & Pakistan during celebration of this festival is to say Eid Mubarak to others.Children are encouraged to meet and greet the elders. In exchange of this they also expect to obtain some cash money, called Eidi, from the elders.

On the morning of Eid ul-Fitr, after taking a fresh bath, every Muslim is encouraged to wear new clothes, if they can afford so. Alternatively, they may wear clean washed clothes.Men and boys go to mosque or open fields called Eidgah for special Eid prayers, thanking God for enabling a Muslim to observe the holy month meaningfully. The Muslims are ordained to pay Zakat al-Fitr (special charity money) or fitra to the poor and needy before the Eid prayer, so that they can also join others to celebrate the Eid.

After the prayers, the congregation is dispersed and the Muslims meet and greet each other including family members, children, elders, friends and neighbours.

Some Muslims especially go to graveyards to pray for the salvation of the departed soul. Usually, children visit elder relatives and neighbours to pay respects and greetings.

One of the special dishes in India, Pakistan and Fiji is sivayyan, a dish of fine, toasted vermicelli noodles [4]. In Bangladesh, sivayyan is called shemai, and is an integral item of Eid dishes.

After meeting the friends and relatives, many people go for attending parties, feasts, special carnivals and festivities in the parks (with picnics, fireworks, etc.). In Bangladesh and Pakistan, many bazaars, malls, and restaurants witness huge crowd & high attendance during this principal muslim festival.

Some people also avail this opportunity to distribute Zakat, the obligatory tax on ones wealth, to the needy.

In this way, the Muslims of South Asia celebrate their Eid ul-Fitr in festive mood by thanking the Almighty and bringing their families, friends and the poor and needy people closer in a praiseworthy eagalitarian manner. (From: Wikipedia)

In Iran:

In morning of the Eid, a huge population go for Eid prayer, and after that every body go to his relatives home for eid visiting.

All Iranians even in other countries call each other to say happy eid.
People wear their beautiful clothes and there are many gathering and programs and ceremonies.

TV has spc programs and all lights are on in the streets.. (from Sharazad)

To read more about Eid in Iran, visit Sharazad’s post: http://shahrzaad.wordpress.com/2007/10/13/women-and-eid-prayer-tehran-iran/

Called Eyde Fetr by most Iranians, charity is important on that day. Typically, each Muslim family gives food to those in need. Often meat or ghorbani (literally translated as sacrifice, for it is usually a young lamb or calf that is sacrificed for the occasion), which is an expensive food item in Iran, will be given by those in wealthier families to those who have less. Payment of fitra or fetriye is obligatory for each Muslim. (From: Wikipedia)

In Turkey:

In Turkey, where Ramadan is infused with more national traditions (and where country-wide celebrations, religious and secular alike, are altogether referred to as Bayram), it is customary for people to greet one another with “Bayramınız Mübarek Olsun” (same as “Eid mubarak”), “Bayramınız Kutlu Olsun” (kutlu is calque for mubarak). It is a time for people to attend services, put on their best clothes (referred to as “Bayramlık”, often purchased just for the occasion) and to visit all their loved ones (such as friends, relatives and neighbors) and pay their respects to the deceased with organized visits to cemeteries, where large, temporary bazaars of flowers, water (for watering the plants adorning a grave), and prayer books are set up for the three-day occasion. Municipalities all around the country organize public shows such as concerts or more traditional forms of entertainment such as the Karagöz and Hacivat shadow-theatre or performences by the Mehter, the Janissary Band that was founded during the days of the Ottoman Empire as well as fundraising events for the poor. It is regarded as especially important to honor elderly citizens by kissing their right hand and placing it on one’s forehead while wishing them Bayram greetings. It is also customary for children to go around the neighborhood, door to door, and wish everyone a happy “Bayram”, for which they are awarded candy, chocolates, traditional sweets such as Baklava and Lokum (Turkish delight), or a small amount of money at every door, almost in a Halloween-like fashion. Helping the poor, ending past animosities and making up, organizing breakfasts and dinners for loved ones and putting together neighborhood celebrations are all part of the joyous occasion, where streets are generally decorated and lit up for the celebrations, and television and radio channels broadcast special Bayram programs (from: Wikipedia)

In Egypt, Eid El Fitr is a 3 day feast in which people have an official holiday in Egypt. Muslims start the celebrations by going to the mosques to perform a special prayer call the Feast holiday after sunrise where men women and children listen to a religious speech in which Imam usually reminds Muslims of the virtues and good deeds they should do to friends, relatives, neighbors and even strangers during Eid el Fetr and throughout the year.

After the prayers Egyptians usually visit families and offer sweets made specially for this occasion called the feast sweets or Kahk. Bisuits are also made in multiple flavors either at home or at candy shops which consider this occasion a profitable one because although most people used to bake Kahk themselves, nowadays many Egyptians buy the sweets from shops.

Family visits are considered a must on the first day of the Eid so they have the rest of days to enjoy by going to parks, cinemas, theatres or the beaches. Some like to go on tours or Nile cruise. Sharm El Sheikh is considered a favorite spot for spending holidays is Egypt.

Eid El Fitr is indeed a time for celebration but it is also a time for sharing as there is a special charity in the Eid called the “Sadaka” or the Eid el Fitr Charity which is paid by every Muslim before the end of Ramadan and given to the poor to be able to buy new clothes and kahk during the feast.

In Egypt People like to celebrate with others so apart from the crowded streets you are likely to have fun if you spend your holiday during Eid el Fitrs in Egypt.

In Saudi Arabia:

RIYADH/JEDDAH, 5 November 2005 — Spectacular fireworks, captivating folklore dances, orchestras led by well-known singers and other recreational programs marked Eid festivities across Saudi Arabia yesterday.

Authorities in Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Abha and other cities have lined up a variety of entertainment programs throughout the Eid Al-Fitr holidays.

In Riyadh, firework displays illuminated the city’s skyline in rainbow colors, while many people went to dance and sing on the rhythm of folk bands. Prince Sattam, deputy governor of Riyadh region, also took part in a sword dance with a troupe of young men and children.

The highlight of the celebrations were the fireworks, which turned the whole city into a wonderland of light and color. It produced a fantastic variety of enormous glittering patterns in the night sky. Up to 150 were loosed off at one time. Commonly used fireworks especially huge fountains, aerial bomb-bursts, sparklers and cones produced spectacular visual effects, much to the joy of the crowds.

The city wore a festive look. A huge length of electric cabling and over 100,000 light bulbs were used to decorate the city. “The illuminations represent the joy and wonder that are always part of the Eid celebrations and reflect the rich diversity of entertainment activities on offer,” said a technician working with the Riyadh Development Authority.

“With hundreds of trees and street poles all lit up for the occasion, no one visiting the capital for Eid will miss its unique character of celebrations,” said Ayesha Parvez, a housewife visiting the city with her husband.

One of the many shows includes a daredevil car and motorbike show held in a makeshift camp on the eastern ring road. “One can see a man driving a motorbike on a 60 degree slanting surface or another jumping through a ring of daggers and fires,” said Shahid Ashraf Khan, who went to see the exciting stunts.

In Jeddah, the festivities started with an opera led by well-known Saudi singer Muhammad Abdu with the accompaniment of folk dances.

Five locations in the city have been identified for firework displays, according to Prince Faisal ibn Abdul Majeed, chairman of the festival’s executive committee.

Thousands of Saudi and expatriate families converged on the Corniche to watch the fireworks causing traffic jams in many places last night and the night before. “In fact, cars were moving bumper-to-bumper along all roads leading to the Corniche,” a Saudi driver said.

“We set out an hour before midnight and took three hours to reach the Corniche,” said Abdul Karim Hashim, a Saudi IT professional. He said he was against the idea of going to the Corniche because of the expected rush but had to yield to the wishes of his two daughters who wanted to watch the fireworks.

In most parts of the Corniche, families occupied vintage points along the long stretch of the beach enjoying the fireworks. Children were seen playing with their toys and their parents savoring snacks and drinks that they had brought along.

Amusement and recreation spots along the Corniche were also full of families with their young ones enjoying various rides.

There have been no reports of any ugly incidents during the celebrations so far except power outages in parts of both Riyadh and Jeddah.

Check out more first hand accounts by Global Voices authors on how eid is celebrated in their countries:

http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2005/11/03/eid-around-the-world/

And I would love to hear how you celebrate Eid!

EID MUBARAK (BLESSED EID) EVERYBODY!!! SELAMAT HARI RAYA! 🙂