The Latino Muslim Voice

The October-December 2011 newsletter features:

1. Quotes of the Month
2. "Reversion" By Emily Correa
3. "Latino Muslims in Hispanic Parade" By Nahela Morales
4. "In Memory of Sister Mary Ali" By Rebecca Abuqaoud
5. "Guerra y Paz" By Miguel Alvear
6. "Running to Remember a Mother and Her Trust in Allah" From
7. "Creación de "CAIR en Español'" Por Wilfredo A. Ruiz, Esq.
8. "Two Latino Cultural Events at the Muslim Community Association"
9. "Hawo's Dinner Party in New Orleans" By Jenny Yanez
10. "Hispanic Muslim Day 2011"

Quotes of the Month

"Had God not repelled some people by the might of others, the monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which God's praise is daily celebrated, would have been utterly demolished. God will certainly help those who help His cause." - Quran 22:40.

"O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful." Quran 49:12.

The Prophet said, "Every Muslim has to give in charity." The people asked, "O Allah's Prophet! If someone has nothing to give, what will he do?" He said, "He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns)." The people further asked, "If he cannot find even that?" He replied, "He should help the needy who appeal for help." Then the people asked, "If he cannot do that?" He replied, "Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds and this will be regarded as charitable deeds." - Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/24/524. Narrated Abu Burda from his father from his grandfather.

Allah's Apostle said, "O 'Abdullah! Have I not been formed that you fast all the day and stand in prayer all night?" I said, "Yes, O Allah's Apostle!" He said, "Do not do that! Observe the fast sometimes and also leave them (the fast) at other times; stand up for the prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you." - Sahih Al-Bukhari 7/62/127. Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr bin Al-'As.

"Each pilgrim reacts to seeing the Kaaba in his own way. In my father's first experience he felt dizzy. My mother clung to his arm, trembling and sobbing. This time my sister shuddered as if an electric current had shot through her, and I was speechless, struck by deep feelings of sweet tranquility." - Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Cordoba Initiative.


By Emily Correa

The journey
my innocence,
was my deepest

To be once again
like a child,
full of acceptance,
and void
of all

And to go back
to "living to learn",
and reversing
my habits of

I was
strapped down
with vainities,
I grew up too soon,

My inner self
and selfish

But as new
as a butterfly,
I sought to be

with too much
in my lungs,
I admit
I almost

That day,
I finally
was no one
to save me,
and deserted,
I cried out.

Then I surrendered.

Latino Muslims in Hispanic Parade

By Nahela Morales

Before the Parade:

September 30, 2011

Assalam Alaikum WRWB Brothers & Sisters,

Latino Muslims in Hispanic ParadeFor the first time our Hispanic Muslim community will be participating in the parade of "Hispanidad" this Sunday, October 2 at 10:00 am.

It is very important that we all participate as our mosque is in this community. This is the best opportunity for dawah and to show the surrounding communities how diverse we are. I can't stress enough how importance it is to attend this parade. Please, join us for the sake of Allah.

We will are waiting for all of you at the park on 80th and Bergenline Ave where the parade will begin in Union City, NJ. Do not forget your flags, representing country of origin, insha'Allah - (Spread the word).

*Por primera vez la comunidad Musulmana estara participando en el desfile de
la "Hispanidad" este Domingo, 2 de Octubre a las 10:00am.

Es muy importante que todos participemos ya que nuestra mezquita esta en esta comunidad. Los esperamos en el paque de la 80th y Bergenline donde iniciara el desfile en NJ. No se les olviden sus banderas, representado sus paises, insha'Allah - Corran la voz.

JazakAllahu Khair.

After the Parade:

October 3, 2011

Assalam Alaikum WRWB Brothers & Sisters,

Latino Muslims in Hispanic ParadeAllahu Akbar!!!

Our participation in the Hispanic Parade was a huge success, Alhamdulillah!!!

Everyone was very happy to see us believe it or not. From clapping to great job and even some yelled "Assalam Aliakum." We also had the opportunity to speak to several people after our participation. With our Hispanic Muslim Day around the corner we had the opportunity to invite Non Muslims to join us.

I have attached a few pictures from the yesterday's parade. Now that the ice has been broken, we plan to expand and pre-plan better for next year insha'Allah. We are planning to participate next year both in NJ and NYC insha'Allah. Excellent opportunity for dawah, insha'Allah.

JazakAllahu Khair.

Related links:

Latino Muslims in Hispanic Parade

In Memory of Sister Mary Ali

By Rebecca Abuqaoud

December 9, 2011

Assalam Aleikum dear sisters in Islam,

It was not easy to receive the sad news of the decease of Sister Mary Ali last Tuesday. The news was shocking. She leaves us with great memories.

May Allah SWT have mercy on her soul and grant her the highest rank in Paradise.

It was an honor to have Mary Ali among us with her teachings, advice, and wisdom.

The first time, I met Sister Mary Ali face-to-face was in my house in September 8, 2001. I invited her over the phone to my house to share a topic for the women in Islam.

As a new Muslim at that time, I was anxious to learn more about my new religion and I had so many questions to ask. For that occasion, I also invited other women and about 18 women attended the lecture. I liked her presentation very much, I liked her patience and time she answered the questions she was asked. I continued inviting her for more of her presentations. SubhanaAllah people showed interest in learning more of Islam. Her second presentation was at the MCC, in September 14, 2002, with another appealing topic for the woman. This day is unforgettable; there was a shahada of a young Mexican lady.

SubhanaAllah, this second gathering of ladies is known as the 2nd Annual Sisterhood event. Most of the attendees were Latina women; they showed interest and asked for lectures and classes in Spanish more often. Glory be to Allah. Classes for ladies in Spanish were established at the MCC in March 2003. Sister Mary was the bridge of connection to the MCC. I let her know of this request by ladies, so sisters can have a classroom where they can learn of their religion.

With the continuous classes for the Spanish-speaking ladies, came along the bloom of many programs and events in Spanish not only for sisters but for brothers also. In short, the continuous gathering of this community has led to an organization known today as the Latino Muslims of Chicago.

Sister Mary Ali continued to be invited to the Annual sisterhoods events in 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2007. Many were blessed to listen to her wonderful presentations.

It was a huge blessing to continue having her for more presentations more often since February of 2010 until before Ramadan of this year in the program known as the monthly halaqa that takes place on Friday evenings. Many were blessed to listen to her wisdom. Many were touched and inspired by her. She was a role model.

As a coordinator of the halaqas and as an organizer of the annual sisterhood events, I was the one to call Sister Mary to schedule her lectures and presentations around her calendar. This opportunity to contact her led us to a strong bond. She became my mentor. At this moment, I'm weeping non-stop. I have so many great memories of her. Our friendship became closer after she became ill. I would always call her to see how she was feeling. We would have long conversations over the phone, sometimes almost an hour long.

She shared with me experiences of her journey as a young mother, and many more experiences and...Wow! What a wise woman! I'll miss her. I was very fortunate to meet her a long time ago, and I'm almost positive many of you who met Sister Mary Ali feel so fortunate to have known her. May Allah SWT bless her for her great contributions and may Allah SWT reward her Paradise.

Guerra y Paz

By Miguel Alvear

Guerra y PazEste díptico es un retrato del quiteño: Dr. Juan Suquillo, Shaij del Centro Islámico e Imam de los Musulmanes en Ecuador.

Estudió en la Escuela Militar, y cuando subteniente, se enfrentó al ejército peruano en la Cordillera del Cóndor, durante el conflicto armado de 1981. Una mina le causó gravísimas heridas y la pérdida de su mano derecha. Al borde de la muerte, Juan Suquillo dice que se dió cuenta que "no estaba preparado para enfrentar a Dios". Luego de su recuperación fue condecorado con la Cruz al Mérito de Guerra y viajó a Estados Unidos a estudiar, no obstante, su experiencia cercana con la muerte le había provocado "una búsqueda intensa hacia la Divinidad, debía encontrar un equilibrio entre el mundo espiritual y el material".

En Ecuador se casó con Layla Dassum, musulmana de ascendencia árabe con quien fundó el Centro Islámico, "para inculcar las enseñanzas del Islam a nuestros hijos".

Realizar esta fotografía presentaba un reto singular, por las particularidades que dicta la Tradición Profética Sunna- en el Islam. Finalmente el Sr. Suquillo aceptó ser retratado, pero no podía ser un retrato directo, había que buscar una manera indirecta de producir su imagen. De ahí que la primera foto del díptico es una composición de objetos personales: su túnica de Imam, un medallero de sus triunfos estudiantiles y deportivos con fotos elaborado por su madre, su alfombra de oración, la Cruz al Mérito de Guerra, sus sandalias, fotografías familiares.

El díptico ilustra el paso de la vida militar-laica de Juan Suquillo al sosiego de la espiritualidad y la cercanía con Dios en la forma de vida del Islam.

Guerra y Paz
Fotógrafo Profesional: Miguel Alvear

Running to Remember a Mother and Her Trust in Allah


Muslims who perform the Hajj or Umra must run in the middle portion of the distance between Safa and Marwa seven times. Safa and Marwa are two hills close to the Kaba. This is a commemoration of one mother's sacrifice for her son.

That mother was Hajira (may Allah be pleased with her). Her son was the Prophet Ismail (peace be upon him). Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was Hajira's husband, and Ismail's father.

Hajira's example of sacrifice took place when she and her baby was left in the valley of Makkah by Allah's order as pioneers to start a civilization.

Here was the wife of a Prophet, the princess of the king of Egypt, left with her child in the desert. All for the sake of pleasing our Creator.

As Prophet Ibrahim headed for his next responsibility from Allah, he reached an area where Hajira and Ismail could not see him. At that point, he turned back, raising his hands in Dua and said,

"O Our Lord! I have made of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation by Your Sacred House; in order Our Lord, that they may establish regular Prayer: so fill the hearts of some among men with love towards them, and feed them with fruits, so that they may give thanks." (Quran 14:37).

Hajira returned to her place and started drinking water from the water-skin, and her milk increased for her child.

But when she had used up all of the water, she ascended the Safa hill and looked, hoping to see somebody.

The area was empty.

She came down and then ran up to Marwa hill. She ran to and fro (between the two hills) many times, then went to check on her baby Ismail.

He was dying. And she could find no water for him or herself.

She could not watch her son perish. How could any mother?

'If I go and look, I may find somebody,' she told herself. Then she went and ascended the Safa hill and looked for a long while but could not find anybody.

In all,Hajira ran seven rounds between Safa and Marwa, in the hot, waterless valley, where her thirsty baby lay.

She told herself to go back and check on Ismail. But suddenly she heard a voice: it was the Angel Jibreel.

'Help us if you can offer any help," she said to him.

The angel hit the earth with his heel and water gushed out. Hajira was astonished and started digging. Allah, as she had rightly proclaimed, had not abandoned them.

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), in the Hadith in Bukhari in which much of this incident is narrated, said, "If she (Hajira) had left the water, (flow naturally without her intervention), it would have been flowing on the surface of the earth."

Today we are bearing the fruits of this mother's struggle and sacrifice. Many of us drink and have drunk from the well of Zamzam. And those of us who have made Hajj run in a much more comfortable way than Hajira ever did, between Safa and Marwa.

Her commitment to her son, her sense of urgency and her unshakable faith in Allah in such harsh circumstances are all examples of not only what an excellent mother she was, but also what a strong believer in Allah she was.

If you're going to Hajj this year, Insha Allah, remember this incident and think of that great mother, in whose memory Muslims today run between Safa and Marwa. Also think about your own mother, and how she too, would probably have done the same for you.

Creación de "CAIR en Español'

Por Wilfredo A. Ruiz, Esq.

25 de agosto de 2011

Assalam Ailekum; Ramadan Kareem! " Bismillah:

Sé que la mayoría de ustedes conocen la organización CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations - También estoy seguro que conocen y/o han experimentado la necesidad de nuestra comunidad de musulmanes latinos en los EEUU de tener un vehículo de representación ante los cada vez más frecuentes expresiones de islamofobia, desinformación sobre el Islam y nuestro Profeta (SWS) y en el plano personal las reiteradas violaciones de nuestros derechos civiles ya sea con problemas con patronos que no respetan el derecho de las hermanas a usar el velo (hijab), de nuestros hijos estudiantes a que se les provea un espacio y tiempo para el Salat, se respeten nuestras dietas así como que se respete nuestro derecho y de nuestros hijos de ayunar en Ramadán.

El propósito de la presente es comunicarles que CAIR Florida ( está dispuesto a crear para nuestra comunidad el proyecto CAIR en Español en el que nos beneficiaremos de las siguientes formas, Insha'llah:

  1. Tendremos nuestro propio departamento CAIR en Español con oficina y dirección física desde donde podremos establecernos, operar, hacer conferencias de prensa y atender las necesidades de nuestra comunidad.
  2. Tendremos personal hispano trabajando en las oficinas de CAIR en Español para atender personalmente a los musulmanes latinos.
  3. Gozaremos de una página en el Web exclusiva de CAIR en Español en la que:
    1. Mantendremos al publico general, los medios y a nosotros mismos informados de nuestra fe, los derechos y obligaciones que nos cobijan.
    2. Se colocarán, además las últimas noticias y comunicados de prensa de relevancia a nuestra comunidad.

Este es ciertamente un proyecto ambicioso pero de gran impacto nacional; como tal necesita recursos. ¿Qué nos toca hacer? Primeramente hacer Duás par que Allah (SWA) mantenga el proyecto genuino y para Su servicio. Segundo y también muy importante es apoyar financieramente al proyecto. (Por qué apoyar:

Te recomiendo envíes un e-mail al hermano Nassar Hamze (info @, director, notificándole que haces una contribución para el proyecto CAIR en Español.

Aquí las distintas formas de hacerlo:

  1. Enviar su cheque o giro con su contribución a nombre de CAIR Florida a:
  2. CAIR Florida; 1601 N. Palm Avenue Suite 203; Pembroke Pines, FL 33026
  3. También directamente en el web:
  1. Es extremadamente importante que le envíe este mensaje a su lista de amigos.
  2. Jazak Allahu Khairan Que Allah les recompense!

Two Latino Cultural Events at the Muslim Community Association

Latin Cultural Night
MCA Banquet Hall
Friday, December 09, 2011
06:30pm - 10:00pm

Echoes of Andalusia: Islam in Latino America
Maryam Banquet Hall
Saturday, December 10, 2011
12:45pm - 05:50pm

Latin Cultural Night Echoes of Andalusia

Our Mission: We are the Muslim Community Association of the San Francisco Bay Area. In cooperation with Muslim communities around the Bay Area, our mission is to: Live our faith as a congregation, inspired by the teachings of the Quran and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as individuals and as a collective body, and to foster a mission of peace, justice and compassion for all within our Mosque, our community and the world.

Hawo's Dinner Party in New Orleans

By Jenny Yanez

Assalamu Aleikum,
Peace and blessings dear brothers, sisters, friends, and colleagues,

Hawo Dinner Party - FlyerAttached please find an invitation to a special gathering tomorrow, Friday, November 11th, from 7:00pm-9:00pm at the new Islamic Center in Kenner, LA, also known as Dar Al Salam Hall. It is adjacent to the Islamic School of Greater New Orleans.

Latinola, Puentes, Jefferson Muslim Association, and The Islamic Shura Council of Greater New Orleans have joined together in a partnership that we believe will benefit the community in general. We hope that this first gathering will help start a dialogue regarding immigrants and refugees living in New Orleans and the many issues they face when coming to a new country and experiencing a new culture. In addition, it will also provide an opportunity to learn about the different communities established in New Orleans, whether they have been here for decades or have just arrived, highlighting their culture, religion and traditions.

The documentary film, "Dinner at Hawo's" will be shown (30 minutes) and dinner will be provided. Please note that there is free parking available at the Hall.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Jenny Yanez, MSW
Outreach Coordinator for the Islamic Shura Council of Greater New Orleans

Scarlett Lanzas
LatiNola Program Manager, Puentes New Orleans, Inc.

Hawo Dinner Party in New Orleans

Who's Using "Hawo's Dinner Party" and Why

Across the country from houses of worship to YMCA's, libraries, classrooms and more people are taking a cue from Hawo. Community leaders are using her story to bring people together in established and informal settings to help deepen discussions, build new relationships, and break down stereotypes across faith, race, culture and citizenship status. You can use it too. Below are a few highlights to help you plan!

...More than 250 people attended this first-ever collaboration between local Muslim and Latina/o communities, convened by Puentes New Orleans, the Islamic Shura Council of Greater New Orleans and the Jefferson Muslim Association. In one of their earliest calls with Active Voice, staff members of Puentes one of the newest Welcoming America affiliates explained that in the face of an ailing economy and scarce resources, these two communities could not afford to stay divided. So working together, these local leaders held a community-building dinner featuring "Hawo's Dinner Party" to help break the ice.

The module was "instrumental in creating dialogue within our audience," according to Scarlett Lanzas, a member of the event planning committee. "We initially feared that there would be little participation," she continued, "but were pleasantly surprised by the audience's reaction and level of participation." The screening has led to newfound Muslim representation in their Welcoming Committee and they are developing a Welcoming Louisiana Family Exchange project "to help recent immigrants live meaningful, fulfilling lives through education and cross-cultural exchange." We can't wait to see what the future holds for this wonderful new alliance!

"While the concept of holding a simple conversation may seem rather elementary, it's the first step necessary in creating understanding and acceptance within two groups." - Scarlett Lanzas, Puentes, New Orleans.

About "Hawo's Dinner Party"

With tensions mounting between the U.S. and the Muslim world, integrating newcomers from those countries raises a whole set of sensitivities and challenges. That's where "Hawo's Dinner Party: The New Face of Southern Hospitality" comes in. This half-hour DVD serves as a tool for community leaders including educators, clergy, law enforcement, public officials, and employers who are helping to integrate newcomers with unique needs, often against considerable obstacles. By focusing on the experiences of several Somali residents in Shelbyville including Hawo, a refugee and former nurse who now works at a local poultry processing plant, and Mohamed, the local imam the module puts a human face on the complex issues we face in this time of increasing globalization.

By following Hawo through ESL classes, a tense meeting with the local reporter who has little knowledge of the community he's reporting about and, most importantly, into her living room for dinner with her newest neighbors and as she reflects on her flight from civil war, what it feels like to live in such a radically different culture and her vision for making this small town her permanent home, the viewer is invited to take a walk in her shoes. These scenes and interviews with longer-term residents provide the context necessary to address the growing distrust of Somalis, offering a valuable opportunity to reach out to them and others from Muslim majority countries, deepen discussions, break the ice around difficult issues, and enhance cultural competency among service providers.

Hispanic Muslim Day 2011


Sunday, October 23, 2011 @ 1:00 AM

Event contact:


North Hudson Islamic Educational Center
4613 Cottage Place
Union City, NJ 07087


We welcome people of all faith to join us in celebrating the 9th Annual Hispanic Muslim Day. It is a day of recognition, support and encouragement for our new Muslim brothers and sisters. This gathering is to invite our neighbors to learn more about Islam and to celebrate those who already have embraced it. Our mission: to share guidance of the glorious Quran, and the mercy of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with our neighbors and friends and to empower Muslims to be advocates of the message of Islam. Bring with you your non-Muslim friends. Free admission, lectures, entertainment, Q&A, and raffles. Come and win electronic prizes!

Hispanic Muslim Day 2011