The LADO Group - Latino Muslims

In the name of Allah SWT

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The Latino Muslim Voice

The July-September 2011 newsletter features:

1. Quotes of the Month
2. "Two Ramadan Poems"
3. "Whispers of Satan, a poem"
4. "God's Mercy to All" By Imam Yusuf Rios
5. "Andalucia Raises Funds and Awareness at their 2011 Fundraising Gala"
6. "'Aren't You Hot in That?' - My First Summer in Hijab" By Holly Garza
7. "Ramadan Reverts, Friends and Family Iftar" By Nylka Vargas
8. "The Texas Prison Dawah Project"
9. "Your Assistance is Always Needed" By Yusef Maisonet
10. "The Azizah Magazine Feature Story and Cover You Missed"

Quotes of the Month

“A time will come when the sky bursts apart, obeying its Lord as it must. A time will come when the earth expands, casting out all the creatures that live upon it and within it, and becoming empty; it will do this in obedience to its Lord, as it must. Then all men and women who strive to meet their Lord, will do so.” - Quran 84:1-6.

“The hypocrites exchange guidance for error. But they gain nothing in the exchange; instead they stray from the right path. They are like people who kindle fires; but as soon as their fires are burning brightly, God puts out the fires and leaves them in darkness, unable to see. They are deaf, dumb and blind; they will never return to the right path.” - Quran 2:17-18.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “If anyone says in the morning: ‘O Allah! whatever favour has come to me, it comes from Thee alone Who has no partner; to Thee praise is due and thanksgiving,!’ he will have expressed full thanksgiving for the day; and if anyone says the same in the evening, he will have expressed full thanksgiving for the night.” - Sunan Abu-Dawud 41/ 5055. Narrated Abdullah ibn Ghannam.

“…I heard the Messenger of Allah as saying: He who amongst you sees something abominable should modify it with the help of his hand; and if he has not strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue, and if he has not strength enough to do it, (even) then he should (abhor it) from his heart, and that is the least of faith.” - Sahih Muslim 1/79. Narrated Tariq b. Shihab.

“The good sense of Muhammad despised the pomp of royalty. The Apostle of God submitted to the menial offices of the family; he kindled the fire; swept the floor; milked the ewes; and mended with his own hands his shoes and garments. Disdaining the penance and merit of a hermit, he observed without effort of vanity the abstemious diet of an Arab.” - Edward Gibbon in 'History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.'

Two Ramadan Poems

http://muslimpoet.com/yourpoemschild.htm

Taqwa's Ramadan Poem
By Taqwa Brookins

Oct 2003

Every Ramadan I wake up before sunrise for Sahur.
Sometimes during the day I read a page of the Qur’an.
In the evening I break my fast, "Yum." And I eat a date.
On the day of 'Eid, I wake up before sunrise and get dressed
in special clothes and go out to do a special prayer,
and I do the same thing on 'Eid al Adha.
I see my friends there.

Sometimes I take naps during the day
to make fasting easier for me.
In Ramadan I pray tarawih and do a du'a,
and I break my fast at iftar time.

Muslim
By Amir

Being a Muslim is great
Especially when it's Ramadan!

You get to fast even if under 12.

And after Ramadan it is Eid.
Where you eat as much as you like!

Whispers of Satan, a poem

By a 15 year old sister from LA, California

Stay in your bed, don't make a fuss.
Your prayers can wait; give in to your nafs. (1)

What! Go to the mosque, the path you'll pave?
Don't bother, think of the gas you'll save.

Why go the extra miles to be kind?
Don't share that smile, they won't mind!

Listen to your parents, why should you?
You're big enough, don't let them tell you what to do!

Don't look at those orphans, what could they need?
You have your own problems, and family to feed.

Wear good Hijab? Oh me, Oh my, you'll be targeted as
a Muslim and
put to shame.

Just wear no makeup, and dress simple and plain.

Go for Jihad? No not you.

It's not your problem, what can you do?

Don't worry about Jannah, your place is reserved.

I promise you'll get all you deserve.

Preach about Islam, and be nice?

Listen to me, and take my advice!!!

Don't fast during Ramadan, you'll feel dead.

Don't go for Hajj, the heat you'll dread.

Why give charity, or feed the poor?

Don't do it I say, They'll just ask for more.

Don't visit the Muslims, they'll bite your back.

Don't stop your work for prayer, it's money you lack.

Then he makes you hoard your wealth.

He thinks while he talks, and laughs to himself.

You take me as your friend, and don't give me a fight.

I'll take you to hell to gain respite.

On the judgement day we will meet.

Allah's plan we can not defeat.

Shatan thinks and thinks of more to say.

Say A' oothoo billahi, and make him run away.

Dear believer, don't let shatan put you to the test.

You can overcome him, just do your best.

---------
(1) Nafs: Arabic word meaning self. (yourself)

God's Mercy to All

By Imam Yusuf Rios

http://www.thelastingmiracle.com/eng/article.aspx?id=383&cat=164

God Almighty says in the 107 verse of the 21st chapter of the Qur’an

"And we have not sent you except as a mercy to all of Creation"

A Thematic Introduction to the Verse

Theme One: Islam Is Peace And Justice For All

This verse of the Holy Qur’an, defines the reality of the person of Muhammad (May the Peace and Blessings of God be Upon him) emphasizing him as primarily characterized by mercy. The most prominent feature describing the Prophetic mission of Muhammad (PBUH) besides his comprehensiveness is just this -his being a mercy to humanity not to mention to the whole of creation. The mission of the Prophet (PBUH) then is to communicate the mercy of Almighty God to the whole of humanity without restriction. This message is to be communicated by mercy and not by force based upon the well-known verse

“there is no compulsion in religion.” (Qur’an 2:256)

This then can be said to be the first unique characteristic of Islam, that it is a divine message rooted in unrestricted mercy and this is defined by its universality and its invitation to the brotherhood of humanity based on a life of justice and spirituality both of which are marks of mercy.
Theme Two: Islam Caters To The Life Of The Soul As Well As The Body

Islam is a way of life aimed at catering to and facilitating the needs of life whether they are material or spiritual. Islam looks to preserve the life of the Soul, Intellect, Family, as well as the Economic life in addition to protecting the Physical life of the individual, which is highly valued in Islam. It is these five arenas that Islam looks to develop and create the conditions for growth and well being because these are the essential arenas, which support and sustain living. So it was a demonstration of God’s all-encompassing mercy that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sent to teach Islam and how Islam facilitates the needs of all facets of life and how we may achieve eternal peace with our creator. So humanity is not left unto itself without guidance, but rather it is aided in the process of life and assured in time of hardship that life is more than just material existence it also has a spiritual component that transcends death. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) teaches humanity what is the purpose of life and how to establish justice in the process of realizing the needs and demands of daily life without forgetting or neglecting the demands of the heart, soul and intellect.

Theme Three: Islam And The Environment

The role of the Prophet (PBUH) according to the above verse is that of servant and educator. The Prophet (PBUH) is characterized as a vehicle of Divine Mercy that is expressed to humanity in specific and all creation in general. The Prophet (PBUH) taught humanity how to live in the most productive and meaningful way. He taught that human beings are not just responsible for being just to one another but also to other life forms. It is in establishing the justice that Islam preaches that business and science is conducted in an environmentally friendly manner because the ethics of Islam demand that the human being be charitable and not greedy, that he be considerate and not indifferent, and that his action promotes life and does not reduce or stifle life. In fact, the role of the human being, in relation to the creation, according to Islam, is one of stewardship, stewardship that is bound by self-accountability in this life and the next.

The problems of today when we look to the environmental crisis are rooted in a lack of consciousness of the real role of humanity which is clear in Islam.

Likewise, much of the environmental crisis is because of the greed and corruption run rampant in business dealings and the management of the world’s resources. Islam teaches that all creation is “Muslim” in a state of submission to the Creator. So from the lens of Islam all of creation, including human beings, are servants and guests of Almighty God as long as they remain in existence. Therefore, humanity is obliged to act responsibly and not arrogantly, to act wisely and not hastily, to act sincerely and not hypocritically, and to act in frugally and not extravagantly.

Theme Four:

Even in the time of war, Muslims are obligated not to kill women, children, monks and priests, or even to destroy trees or animal life. So what is to be said of a time of peace? Islam commanded in the time of war for non-human life to be regarded because it serves life and to destroy it is an encroachment on the right of others to live. The teachings of Islam order its adherents when camping or out in the desert or forest regions for example, not to relieve themselves on the road people travel on nor under trees which people may seek shade under or on things of value. All these injunctions are aimed at instilling a character that is concerned with others and we see in these injunctions that we are to act in the environment in a way that promotes a high standard of living free of pollution caused by irresponsible action. Because living involves cooperating with others the Muslim is obliged to act responsibly and justly.

Theme Five: Reaffirming the Identity of the Prophet Muhammad

The uniqueness of person of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is that history has left us with a very accurate and detailed record of his doings, sayings and life history all which indicate to the reality of his mission and life. As an educator he was occupied and concerned with the affairs of human life and how to teach humanity to realize that life is meaningful when informed by the worship of The One God who created us. The power of Islam lies in this teaching that the human being was created to worship or to serve his Maker with sincere devotion. This worship is the purpose of our existence in that we must submit in gratitude to our Creator worshipping Him alone while seeking his guidance and forgiveness. The test of life is about realizing this truth thereby attaining serenity, hope, and fulfillment which inspires life filling it with hope of a greater sense that gives meaning to death.

So he or she who wishes to understand what Islam is and who was the person of the Prophet Muhammad {PBUH} is not restricted to imagination, emotion, and/or scanty records as a basis for drawing up an understanding of who he was and yet with this overabundance of information we have the Qur’an testify to who he was and what was his purpose. The single verse mentioned above illustrates in detail his mission and identity.

The Arabic version of this verse is much richer in meaning as it is the original language by which the final message of God was revealed. Arabic is the language of the revelation and the oldest living language on the earth. There are other tongues like Sanskrit older than Arabic but they are all dead languages, no longer spoken. Given this reality we wish to expound upon this verse from its original language so that the most meaning can be derived from it. Let us begin to ponder the meaning of the verse as it is traditionally done in the Arabic language.

An Analytical View of the Verse

"And we have not sent you except as a mercy to all of Creation"

1. And We:


In these two words the message related is that it is the one and only God, the Exalted who commissioned the Prophet so that the origin of the Prophetic effort and message is not the wisdom of a wise man or an ascetic, but rather it is Divine.

In addition His speaking in the singular first person “I”, in many places in the Qur’an God talks in the “royal” we. In many languages there is a mechanism for one to speak in the plural giving the meaning of elevated status. For example a chief of an Arab tribe might address his people as “We” when talking to them. Of course after the Qur’an and the conversion of Arabia to Islam this became restricted to the Qur’an since by Islam people were generally humbled.

2. Have not sent you except as a mercy:


This part of the verse is very profound and deserves the most attention possible in that its meaning becomes apparent with reflection. Here Almighty God is declaring why He commissioned the Prophet (PBUH). The Arabic reflects a restrictive meaning so that it reads as such- the Prophet was sent for no other purpose except to be a means for humankind to realize and attain God’s Mercy. There is an emphasis on the role of the Prophet as a vehicle of mercy sent from God in addition to the point that this mercy is to be shared with all of humanity.

The mission with which God sent the Prophet (PBUH) is not restricted to a particular audience but rather it is an inclusive message; it is a message to all of humanity. In other words Islam is a message for all of humanity. It is comprehensively characterized by mercy for all of humanity and all of creation thereby inclusive of the eco-system. This Mercy even applies to those who choose not to believe in it, of course with the exception of those who attack it or its adherents. Even then, as mentioned above, the rules of war are merciful to non-combatants.

To understand on a much more profound level what this small verse contains it is necessary to key in on the notion of “Mercy” in this verse. Mercy here means that God sent the Prophet (PBUH) with “guidance to a meaningful existence”. He was sent to teach humankind the path to a communal and social life which is pleasing to God. It teaches respect and love in a way that grants all the right to co-exist and lead a full life. This understanding of mercy is a path to a peaceful existence in this world and a path to a blissful eternity after death can only be understood in the context of God having created the human being to lead a purposeful life, a life of worship, a life in which the purpose of existence is fulfilled by living a committed and profound relationship with the Creator, to live in commune with action and spirit. It is the Prophet (PBUH) who guides us to understand the nature of our purpose in life and teaches us the path to self-fulfillment and how to be humane not only to fellow human beings but also to fellow creatures and this wasn’t merely done by wise sayings it was through his lived example. The thousands of authentic narrations related about his life (known as Hadith) were either; statements he made, actions someone saw him doing or silent approvals which he passed by something and didn’t prohibit it. The large majority of these narrations start and so and so saw the Prophet do this or that.

3. To all of Creation:


This part of the verse makes clear that the message of Islam is universal and directed at all peoples of all walks of life and backgrounds no one is discriminated against with regard to participating in the mercy of living a full life of not being left to a life of despair and misdirection, left to be bewildered as to what is the aim of life and what is the best means to live the most joyful and peaceful existence possible. Neither is anyone left alone to make sense of the aim of death and its meaning.

In fact this part of the verse is a declaration that Islam calls humanity to brotherhood and cooperation and rejects tribal, nationalistic and racist thinking. Islam considers all humanity brothers, but demands that humanity work to cultivate that brotherhood by doing good deeds and cooperating on a moral basis and especially in the worship of the One who created all of humanity. Islam declares that the unity of humanity lies in recognizing God’s Mercy as presented by all Prophets. The noble Prophets of God all taught that even though life is not without hardship that life has meaning and that existence is not haphazard. The aim of life is to contemplate our origin and our end and to reflect on the deeper order of Creation which indicates to the existence of purpose in the Universe and from here Islam enjoins humanity not only to accept the message of all the Prophet’s but rather enjoins humanity to reflect upon creation utilizing the intellect to see that all things point to order and purpose. It is through this intellectual objective reflection upon the life of the Prophet that the reality of Muhammad’s being sent as “a mercy to mankind” can be more firmly grasped and better understood.

The following are a list of authentic narrations of the Mercy propounded by Almighty God by means of the Prophet Muhammad for all of mankind to embrace-

The Prophet only invoked God against a few people who went to extreme inhuman measures to assasinate him, curse him and the divine message he was sent with, and torturing and killing the other beleivers. In each one of these cases a miracle took place as to their demise. Besides these few men there were hundreds of enemies to the Prophet and they did many horrible tings to the beleivers. But when asked by his companions to invoke God against them the Prophet (PBUH) said-

"I was not sent to curse people. In reality the main purpose I was sent as a Mercy from God."(Muslim)

It is also well known that the Arabs were harsh hearted and that the men rarely ever interacted with their children much less show love to them. Once a man came to the Prophet (PBUH) and saw that He (PBUH) was holding his grandson Husain and that He (PBUH) even kissed him. The man said to the Prophet "I have ten kids and I have never kissed one of them". The Prophet said

"Whoever is not Loving and Merciful will not recieve Love and Mercy (in the Hereafter)."(Bukhari)

The Prophet tells us a Parable-

"A man was walking through the desert dying of thirst when he suddenly saw a well. So he crawled down and drank (there was no bucket). When He emerged from the well he saw a dog lapping foaming at the mouth of thirst. He said to himself- that dog is in the state I just was- so he took off his shoe went down and scooped some water for the dog until its thirst was quenched. Almighty God was pleased with this and forgave the man his sins. Then one of the Prophet's companions "Are we rewarded for being good to animals?" The Prophet replied "There is a reward for being good to all living beings"(Bukhari)

he also said

"A woman went to Hell becasue she caged a cat and didn't feed it until it died."(Bukhari)

It is also well known that the Arabs used to view their women and servants as lesser than human and they would often beat them in a fit of anger. The wife of the Prophet (PBUH) and beloved mother of the beleivers said about her husband-

"He never hit a women or a servant."(Bukhari)

It was also narrated that he said

"I would come to prayer sometimes intending to read a long portion of the Qur'an. Then I would hear a baby crying and I would shorten the prayer so his mother who wishes to leave the prayer can attend to him."(Bukhari)

The Prophet was even Merciful and Compassionate when in war. He commanded his companions-

"Do not kill women, old men, children, or religious monks and priests. Do not cut or burn down trees."(Tirmidhi and Bukhari)

Andalucia Raises Funds and Awareness at their 2011 Fundraising Gala

From the Andalucia Center Blog

August 27, 2011

http://www.andaluciacenter.org/profiles/blogs/andalucia-raises-funds-and-awareness-at-their-2011-fundraising-ga

In efforts to raise awareness and support for its groundbreaking project, the Andalucia Center and IslamInSpanish hosted a Fundraising Gala on August 17th. Entitled "Serving Humanity in the Multimedia Age", the Gala affair featured various figures that spoke openhearted about the impact the Center has made so far in the community and its need to be recognized as a headquarters of using media to promote social change.

Andalusia Center fundraising eventAn assortment of videos played which not only highlighted the targeted demographics that the center caters to--Youth, Women, New Muslims, Latinos and the General Society--but it also put on display the capabilities the center has to offer. For one, the KnewU Program was presented in a lively informercial format. A dramatic short film was screened featuring youth who participated in the Media Summer Camp in June and IslamInSpanish's efforts were highlighted in a interesting newscast.

The Fundraiser was a sellout at Signature Manor, the beautiful and spacious ballroom which hosted the event. The nights festivities were capped off with Keynote Speakers Khurram Mujtaba, CEO of Guide US TV and creator of Islambox.com, urging the guests to believe and get behind the center and the concept of using multimedia to raise the status of the Muslim community in the mainstream. Imam Siraj Wahhaj also had a touching speech and gave a fine endorsement for the Center being a platform for the people to let their voices be heard and their ideas come to life.

Other notable items were a special art auction that took place where Houston artists put on display unique pieces in efforts to raise funds for the Center.

Andalucia Center logoAll in all, the gala was a memorable affair that created a buzz in the community and caused people to take notice of the Andalucia Center as a valuable resource designed to Make Media Social.

Related Links:

IslamInSpanish/Andalucia Fundraising Gala 2011 Promo Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V22fvGzGevs

Andalucia Social and Educational Media Center
http://www.AndaluciaCenter.org

"Aren't You Hot in That?" - My First Summer in Hijab

By Holly Garza

http://ww2.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/living-islam/personal-stories/in-their-own-words/409345.html

July 14, 2009

As-salamu Alaykum! This just means "peace be upon you" or, in Spanish, "La paz sea con usted".

Am I hot in my headscarf with covered arms and legs? Yes, I am hot, but I'm not any hotter than you not covering like I do. Honestly, at times I'm even four to six degrees cooler than you.

Now, a few degrees cooler will not make me feel cool in 95 degree weather, but I am not really suffering much more than someone who is not covered. This I know for a fact.

At home I do not dress this way, and when I go out to the back yard with my daughter to hang laundry, boy, does the sun bite and eat at my skin, I get very hot and very itchy very quickly from the sun.

These are some tips I use to avoid the all-feared heat stroke, and you can use them too to stay comfortable in the summer.

1- Stay hydrated. I force myself to drink that water. You have to and besides, it's great for your skin and hair.

2- Use sunscreen on your face and carry an umbrella to make your own shade. We all know the umbrella makes it at least 2-3 degrees cooler, and you can try staying to the side of the road with trees as well.

What I do to dress Islamically, and stay somewhat comfortable, is to dress in appropriately light and loose clothing whenever I can. Wide-leg pants let the heat out, and a gentle breeze in, every now and then. I admit that I don't have many of these, but they make all the difference. Currently I am purchasing more for my wardrobe.

Underneath my tanks, or dressy short-sleeved shirts, I like wearing a long-sleeved, super thin, white, or very light-colored, garment. It helps so much in this weather to wear light, breathable fabrics.

I have three main shirts I always wear: a white long-sleeved shirt of super thin material, a grey long-sleeved shirt also of super thin material, or a thin off-white turtleneck. These shirts compliment 90% of my clothing colors and styles and are perfect for the heat.

You are probably thinking long sleeves = HOT. But not really, just try it. The real truth is, light-colored and loose-fitting articles of clothing which reflect heat are much better for keeping cool than bare legs and bare arms. And I don't know about you, but I burn easily in the sun's harsh rays.

Honestly, it's perfect because I cover my skin from sun damage, and because the fabric actually is breathable, I get the random cool breeze. So while its still very warm outside, I'm not burning up or catching a sun burn.

And the best thing is that I can be identified as a Muslim. If it gets very hot for me, I remind myself that even if I take it off, it won't really make me any less hot. And there is only so much clothing you can remove; I'm not about to go into work wearing a bikini, so why not be an Islamically-dressed woman and proud?

I love for the world to know that I'm Muslim; it's a huge part of who I am and I love the questions I get because of it. I don't want to take off my little super thin scarf over two extra degrees of heat. Why should I?

I'll keep my sleeved, breezy, non sun-burned scarf-wearing self and be happy.

Ramadan Reverts, Friends and Family Iftar

By Nylka Vargas

September 3, 2011

Asalaamu Alaikum,

I finally got around to getting the pics transferred from my phone. The pictures unfortunately look small from my end. I will try to edit them for later use, insha'Allah but the idea is conveyed, I hope. I believe Sr. Mariam also had some taken.

Iftar

Alhamdullilah the Reverts' iftar was a success and we had many new Muslims come that day. The invite was sent out with follows up by email and through the telephone.

Iftar

To summarize:

New Muslims were awarded gift cards as a token of welcoming them to our community. The Sheikh gave a short speech about the growing Muslim community and the importance of our coming together to have our iftar. We appreciate any meal Allah (swt) provides us with, but for the purposes of our gathering we should aim to make it nicer next time, like former years where more came out and more efforts were put into the decoration.

Iftar

Insha'Allah we'll improve next year with dedicated brothers and sisters. There is so much to do at our masjid. Planning for an event is not something we should limit for event time but should work on year round. Now is the time to figure out what our needs are and fixing them so we can have better programs. Enjoy the photos! Jazaakum Allahu khair.

Iftar

Iftar

Iftar

Iftar

Iftar

The Texas Prison Dawah Project

http://www.prisondawahproject.org

The Texas Prison Dawah Project was founded in 2000, for the purpose of distributing Qur'ans, Islamic videos, books, and pamphlets to the incarcerated Muslims of Texas and the rest of the United States. TPDP is funded by the East Texas Islamic Society (ETIS) and promotes Millati Islami, a twelve step recovery program founded by Zaid and Sybil Imani in Baltimore, Maryland 1993.

The work of Dawah (propagation, invitations, and/or conveying) is directed towards Muslims and Non-Muslims. Regional Muslims Chaplains and knowledgeable Muslims on the inside need materials and support from us to enhance their efforts in teaching the religion, engaging in Dawah, and assisting in the successful reintegration of incarcerated Muslims into (free world) society as productive members of our communities.

We believe Islam to be the true religion revealed to all the Prophets of Allah since the beginning of human history. We believe in the adherence to Qur'an and Sunnah, as a completed, finalized and universal religious/spiritual path for all time and all people.

TPDP believes successful rehabilitation and reintegration into society are essential elements of social reform. We do not believe these elements can truly be successful without Divine Guidance The Creator. We believe Tawbah (open repentance) to be the key to true and practical rehabilitation.

Islam teaches us that repentance is a sincere turning away from the evils of the world around us and from the evil inclinations within us, while turning in Islam (a peaceful state of surrender/submission) to Allah The Forgiver. The religious life, the spiritual awakening, and the moral structure of Islam uniquely guides, heals, and illuminates the path of those who turn to Allah. Peace and unity, in varying degrees, becomes a reality in the life of the Muslim even if that life is lived under oppression, in poverty, or inside a prison. The TPDP motto "Surely Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change the condition within themselves" (Qur'an 13:11), reminds us of the personal responsibility we have for our lives and the personal accountability we have for our actions.

Muslims throughout the prison system are making Salah five times-a-day, attending Jumah, Taleem, fasting in Ramadhan, and studying Qur'an and Sunnah in a sincere effort to please Allah while breaking free from the impulses of the nafs ammarah lower (commanding self) and the deceptions of the shayateeni min al jinnati wan-naas (devils from among humans and jinn). We (the American Muslims), must increase our awareness and sensitivity to the needs and plights of our incarcerated brothers and sisters. Throughout the prison system people are embracing Islam, nationwide, every year. We must unify our efforts to enhance Islamic Rehabilitation by supporting Prison Dawah and we must fulfill and complete this process with active Islamic reintegration programs. Reintegration means "to restore to a unified state," "to re-enter as a part of society." Islamic Rehabilitation unifies our conscious mind with our original, innate Muslim nature. Islamic reintegration unifies the rehabilitated Muslim with the Islamic community and society in general. We have seen that a truly rehabilitated person, reliant upon their creator can reintegrate into their communities, encouraging and establishing faith, family structure and moral behavior.

Islamic reintegration flourishes within a receptive and supportive community. Even though many of us may come from broken homes and shattered lives, we can, (insha'allah), rise up from the rubble of who we were and embrace what Allah has given us the opportunity to be. Our world is not suffering from a lack of entertainers, athletes, tycoons, or politicians, but it is suffering from a lack of responsible parents, trustworthy neighbors, and "God conscious" communities. American Muslims should be just as concerned (if not more) with the issues of crime and punishment as any other American. The American prison population continues to grow while crime continues to rise. Apparently, our law enforcement agencies and our prison systems are failing miserably to "serve and protect", or to rehabilitate or reintegrate.

Allah has given us what we need to address this very important, but often neglected aspect of social reform, a clear and complete guide. The Qur'an and the Sunnah of his Messenger Muhammed (saw). We understand that we must address these issues as sincere Muslims, as active Muslims, and as thinking Muslims. Prophet Muhammed (saw) said "The seeking of knowledge is incumbent upon every Muslim." (Tirmidhi and ibn Majah). The problems we face in our society are deeply rooted in our individual and collective minds, perpetuated across many generations, races, and cultures. The knowledge of our faith must be deeply rooted in our hearts and minds and applied universally to all people and all times. The light of social reform must shine from us the believing Muslims who rely upon Allah Al-Wakeel (The Most Reliable).

We are responsible for our condition. In order to face the challenges of purifying our world, we must face the challenge of Tazkiyyah un-nafs (self purification) and Allah knows best. Assalamu Alaikum, Luqman Mudhakkir.

Related links:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Texas-Prison-Dawah-Project/151686890853
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZbKIIdeV5A

Your Assistance is Always Needed

By Yusef Maisonet

August 3, 2011

As Salaamu Alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatullah,

I serve the Muslim community in the most treacherous prison in the United States. We have approximately fifteen Muslim brothers on Death Row and a large Muslim community in regular population. All members of the Holman Islamic Community have many needs.

They all want to learn the way of (Ahlus sunnah wal Jamaah). Alhamdulila. They make Wudu and Salah like the Prophet (SAW), as explained by Shaykh Muhammad S. Adly. The need is great but I am counting on those that know that this work is hard but fruitful. As many of you know, I also do work in Puerto Rico and Cuba, and your financial support allows me to continue all of this much-needed work.

This Ramadan we are trying to raise a minimum of five thousand dollars ($5000.00) to send a believer to hajj (inshAllah). I am asking you for your help during this Blessed Month of Ramadan. We are getting ready to open a grocery store to help us achieve our goal of being a service to the Muslim and Non-Muslim community. We want to create jobs and make decent food products more available. This is to implement all that I have learned from my Muslim brothers and sisters from overseas. I'm appealing to the Muslim in you for your assistance.

We are also doing everything that we can for the Muslims that are incarcerated, so that they may have a prosperous Ramadan. And, during this Blessed Month, they continue to have many needs including Islamic literature, prayer rugs, kufis and for the Eids, halal food slaughter by Muslims and cooked for the Muslim inmates. I just wanted to make you aware of some of the blessings that you can earn as caretakers of this Deen. Again, please consult your hearts.

We have a Paypal account on our website:
http://masjidassalaam.bbnow.org/

Ramadan Mubarak to all of the believers.

Imam Yusef Maisonet
Masjid As-Salaam
313B Houston St.
Mobile, Al 36606

The Azizah Magazine Feature Story and Cover You Missed

Azizah Magazine

Azizah magazine cover"All in the Family." Passing beauty, strength and faith from woman to woman in Muslim American families. By Amirah Abdullah.


"All in the Family" was among the
feature stories from:

Azizah Magazine
Volume 4, Issue 3 "Single Issue"
Tapping the Power Cover Story
http://www.azizahmagazine.com
SBN: 1530-7220 (ISSN)
Publisher: WOW Publishing Inc. (2006)


Special Report :

"Tapping The Power." Deep inside, there is the spiritual power to propel us past difficulties and hardships. Many women are accessing that strength to survive life's ups and downs. Survivors of tragedy and disaster share how they are coping. By Tayyibah Taylor, Renee Warner Syed & Kelly Crosby.

Shahada
 

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