April - June 2012, Mexico

An Islamic Expedition to Mexico

By Sadeel Allam

June 26, 2013


Can you picture 115,296,797 persons? Now, out of that amount, 3,700, according to a 2010 census by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography are Muslim, with a one third concentrated in Mexico City. Over the past 10 years in the conflicted area of Chiapas, reside approximately 300 native people, some which are from the ancient Mayan civilization that don’t speak Spanish, but have reverted to Islam.

This is where the heart of the journey begins for Nahela Morales, a Mexican American Muslim who has taken it upon herself to carry through a project that aids and builds a bridge for people around the world to needed Muslim communities throughout Mexico. An expedition that initiated today with her travel to Mexico along with 11 full bags of donated clothing such as scarves, overgarments, and other items from people around the U.S.

It was during the revert’s panel at the ICNA Convention in May 2013, that I met Nahela Morales. She is part of WHY ISLAM? and was holding a panel of stories by reverted Muslims. After the panel, I followed her to a video recording session about more stories on reverts and it was in the waiting area that I heard her story and what she was preparing to embark on. During 2011 while vacationing in Mexico, Nahela Morales was looking for a mosque to pray the Friday prayer, but had a very hard time finding one. It was on this trip that her initiative to help the much needed Mexican Muslim community in Mexico awakened. After meeting with community organizers and leaders like Isa Rojas, a Mexican national who studied Islamic Law in Saudi Arabia and leads various Mexican Muslim communities and before departing from Mexico, Nahela Morales vowed to return in a year with donated items and $500 dollars. A year later and a month before her take-off to Mexico, she found herself in a bit of frustration due to the lack of support including from recognized Muslim leaders in the U.S. who literally turned her down. It was also during the ICNA time while Nahela Morales was in the elevator making a supplication where things changed around. After putting her son to bed and heading to the hotel lobby to get coffee, she gets off the elevator and sees Muslim leader Nouman Ali Khan. Nervously and courageously, Nahela Morales told him about her initiative. He didn’t just offered monetary aid in a tripled amount to what she had already raised, which surpassed the initial $500 goal, but himself and his wife’s presence as well. Interesting enough, the Islamic leader that turned her down came up and joined them at that same moment, which he then also agreed to help.

mexico2013cNahela Morales and her strongly belief in this initiative is something very close to heart, because it is not only about helping out the neighbor as Islamic scriptures asks Muslims to do, but aiding people in the most of their basic needs. A need that is not seen, lived nor even smelled for many people who live in America or even heard of. The need of essential clothing, food and housing in addition to support new Muslim communities with knowledge and everyday faith struggles. Nahela Morales tells a story of her while in her 2011 vacation in Mexico on how she stood up the whole night sharing her knowledge about women issues with a group of eager learning Mexican Muslim women. The need is clear at all levels and should not be understated nor should our responsibility to comply. It doesn’t stop there for Nahela Morales. She has another goal in mind when she travels to Chiapas.

mexico2013aHer goal is to rebuild the mosque that has sheets as dividers and exposed wood and brick walls with the money she has received in donations for the Muslim community that reside in Chiapas. Islamic leader Nouman Ali Khan along side his wife will be accompanying Nahela Morales and others on this building project and to Chiapas too. Nahela Morales also counts with the support of WHY ISLAM? This will be also the first time for Nahela Morales to travel to the southern region of Mexico in a state that has been know for continuous warfare between Mexico and Zapatistas since the early 1990’s. All in the exact one year as she vowed by the grace and permission of Allah(God), The All Mighty and All Merciful.

Nahela Morales and friends will be traveling throughout Mexico to different communities in different states throughout Mexico during a month to give their collected donations along with their support. The expedition may be followed through Facebook page Unidos Para El Dawah En Mexico(United For The Dawah In Mexico). Nahela Morales advised pictures will be continuously posted as they travel and stop at their travel points. We asked Nahela Morales what is one way for the everyone to help and she responded that by joining her in her initiative.

July - Sept 2008, Mexico

The Mexican Kitchen’s Islamic Connection

By Rachel Laudan


Saudi Aramco World
May/June 2004

When Mexico’s leading writer, Nobel Prize laureate Octavio Paz, arrived in New Delhi in 1962 to take up his post as ambassador to India, he quickly ran across a culinary puzzle. Although Mexico and India were on opposite sides of the globe, the brown, spicy, aromatic curries that he was offered in India sparked memories of Mexico’s national dish, mole (pronounced MO-lay). Is mole, he wondered, “an ingenious Mexican version of curry, or is curry a Hindu adaptation of a Mexican sauce?” How could this seeming coincidence of “gastronomic geography” be explained?

For a Mexican, this was no trivial matter. Laborious to produce, mole is served for weddings, festivals and national holidays. The legend of its origin in the convents of 18th-century Puebla, the second city of New Spai as Mexico was then called is part of the nation’s popular history, recounted time and again in newspapers, school textbooks, guidebooks and even on paper placemats in restaurants. Mole comes in many varieties, but it usually contains ingredients such as cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, anise, coriander, chocolate, chiles, almonds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, bread and tortillas all ground together and cooked in a light broth to make a harmonious brown sauce that is served with turkey, chicken or vegetable dishes.

Chocolate seems a curious ingredient to non-Mexicans indeed, outside Mexico mole is sometimes referred to as a chocolate sauce but in fact not all moles contain chocolate and even those that do use it in small quantities to balance the flavor of the other spices. More complex and less piquant than the better-known, fiery, tomato-based sauces that have spread around the world with Tex-Mex cuisine, mole, as Paz observed, does have a color, flavor and texture reminiscent of many of the Indian dishes collectively known as curries in the rest of the world. And in raising the question of the uniqueness of mole, Paz was challenging the idea that mole was the cornerstone of a uniquely Mexican culinary heritage.

But while Paz was right to point out that mole resembled curry, he was wrong to imagine that Mexican cooks had created mole as imitation curry, or that Indian cooks composed curries in an effort to emulate mole. He would have done better to picture both moles and curries as vestiges of the cuisine of medieval Islam, a cuisine that was enjoyed from southern Spain in the west to northern India in the east.

The high cuisine of medieval Islam, one of the most sophisticated the world had seen, flourished from the eighth century on. It originated in Baghdad, where cooks had the advantage of being able to adapt a Persian cuisine that had developed over the past thousand years, and it was quickly adopted in the other cities of Islam. With the diffusion of Islam, the cuisine was transplanted to new territories. One of the most important was the Iberian Peninsula, whose southern two-thirds came under Arab rule in the eighth century. Watered by five rivers and greener than either their arid homelands or the other lands they had conquered, al-Andalus, as Muslim Spain was called, held out to the Arab and Berber settlers the promise of being a culinary paradise on earth. In the valleys, farmers grew wheat, grapes and olives. In the hills, shepherds tended the sheep and goats that the Arabs favored for meat dishes.

But other culinary resources that the Arab elite had come to expect were lacking. The settlers immediately set about correcting this, transforming the landscape of al-Andalus and the cuisine it supported. They built stone irrigation channels through orchards and fields and filled them with river water raised by towering water wheels (norias). They installed walled gardens (huertas) where they could raise slips and cuttings of their favorite fruit trees. As early as the eighth century, the amir “Abd al-Rahman I introduced the date palm into Spain, and he happily accepted a pomegranate variety from Damascus offered to him by the chief judge of Córdoba. A century later the poet al-Ghazal returned from a mission to the East with a fine fig cultivar that he had smuggled out of Constantinople in a package of books.

The Muslims also introduced rice for fine pilafs, sugar for drinks and sweets, saffron to add aroma and color to their dishes and a wide variety of their favorite fruits and vegetables, including apricots, oranges, limes, artichokes, carrots, spinach and eggplant. They grew coriander, mint, thyme, fennel, cumin and caraway; the spices and aromatics that they could not grow such as black pepper, cinnamon, spikenard, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, galingale, musk and camphor they imported.

As in the rest of Islam, the Spanish Muslims built granaries (alhóndigas) to store grain to be distributed in case of hardship. And they set up their characteristic food-processing plants: distilleries to produce rose- and orange-blossom water to perfume their foods and refineries to make fine white sugar.

In the court kitchens of Córdoba and Granada, cooks could now produce the dishes of high Islamic cuisine. There were the pilaus, made by frying rice or thin wheat noodles and then simmering them in an aromatic liquid until it was fully absorbed. Another family of dishes consisted of delicate dumplings (albondigas) of meats pounded with seasonings. And there were the most characteristic meat dishes: meltingly tender spicy stews. Flavored with a variety of herbs and spices, these stews were cooked in earthenware pots nestled in circular holes in charcoal-heated masonry bench stoves. Some were green with spinach and coriander. Others were golden with saffron. And the most complex were flavored with cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, almonds and raisins and thickened with eggs or breadcrumbs.

Other great creations of the Muslim kitchen were based on clarified white sugar. Sweetened drinks (sharbat) were flavored with ground nuts, citrus fruits and pomegranates. Jams were made of rose petals, oranges and apricots, and dense pastes of quinces. Figurines were modeled from a white paste of sugar mixed with gum (alfenique). And a wide variety of confections such as marzipan was created from sugar and nuts.

It is small wonder that Spanish Christians eyed the cuisine of the Muslims with envy. Over the centuries, they adopted their rice and noodle pilaus, their albondigas, their aromatic stews of lamb, kid and chicken, and their sharbats, jams, fruit pastes, alfenique and marzipan. The modifications that they introduced, such as adding pork to the list of meats, baking raised breads instead of flat breads and distilling wine and molasses instead of flower petals, did not change the basic structure of the cuisine. By the late Middle Ages, this Christian version of the cuisine of al-Andalus was famous as the finest in Europe. In 1611, Francisco Martínez Montiño, the head cook of King Philip III, recorded it in the 500 densely packed pages of his Arte de Cocina, Pasteleria, Vizcocheria, y Conserveria (Art of Cooking, Cake Making, Biscuit Making and Conserving).

Almost a century earlier, Christian Spanish cuisine had already reached the Americas. In 1492 the very year in which the Christians took Granada, the last Muslim outpost in al-Andalus Columbus had set sail. Within 30 years, Cortés had captured Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital that we now know as Mexico City. He sent back glowing reports of the lavish banquets of Moctezuma as proof that he had conquered a rich and powerful empire. But he and his men had embarked on their perilous adventure to create a New Spain, and they had not the slightest intention of adopting Aztec cuisine, with its maize (corn) flatbreads and unfamiliar dishes. They were going to replicate the cuisine of their homeland.

So once more, the cuisine of medieval Islam was transplanted. Within five years of arriving in Mexico, Cortés had established a sugar plantation. Galleons arrived from Spain laden with seed wheat, sheep, goats and cattle, and wooden planters carrying citrus, fig and pomegranate trees. Within a generation or two, the culinary landscape of Mexico had been transformed to resemble that of the Islamic world. Shepherds followed their flocks through the dry scrub on the mountain slopes of central Mexico. Stone irrigation channels filled by the traditional noria threaded their way across the landscape. Fields of foreign wheat jostled against fields of native maize. Rice was well established. Towns constructed alhóndigas to store these grains. Stills transformed molasses into aguardiente and refineries processed sugar for confectionary.

The houses of Mexico, like those of much of Islam, presented blank walls to the street. But behind the doors and central courtyard were huertas filled with trees heavy with limes, pomegranates, quinces and figs. Inside, the kitchens were equipped with masonry bench stoves covered with Islamic-style tiles. Niches in the walls held pottery canisters of cinnamon, cloves, thyme and black pepper. The wealthiest kitchens boasted copies of Martínez Montiño’s Art of Cooking; others relied on manuscript recipe collections that still survive today.

In these kitchens, the cooks of New Spain adapted the medieval Islamic cuisine of al-Andalus to the resources of Mexico. They substituted turkey and other American game for the stewed chickens or roasted partridges of Spain. They used indigenous beans as well as the traditional Iberian chickpeas. They added tomatillos to green sauces, annatto to golden sauces and, in a pinch, replaced almonds with peanuts or pumpkin seeds. Native fruits, such as guava, cherimoya and cactus, as well as introduced citrus and quinces, went into confectionary and drinks. They adopted spiced chocolate as a hot drink and, occasionally, as a spice too. Most important, they substituted chiles for black pepper.

In one set of manuscripts, the Recetario de Dominga de Guzmán (Recipe Book of Dominga de Guzmán), compiled around 1750, it is possible to catch a glimpse of the cook in the act of adapting the traditional dishes of al-Andalus to the circumstances of New Spain. In the first of two recipes for braised fowl, the ingredients include onion, oregano, mint, parsley, garlic, cumin, ham, sausage, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper and capers. This is simply titled “Morisco” to indicate Muslim origins although the ham and the sausage are obviously Christian, not Muslim. The second, called “Mestizo” or “mixed race,” drops the typically Islamic cloves, cinnamon and black pepper and substitutes Mexican tomatoes and chiles.

Sometime in the 18th century, though, the brown sauces took on the collective name mole, even though some of the older Spanish names also persisted. Mole had multiple resonances in the Mexican kitchen. In the Aztec language, Nahuatl, still spoken by many servants, molli meant “sauce.” In Portuguese, mollo (pronounced something like “molio” in English) also meant “sauce,” and many recipes in Martínez Montiño’s collection went by this name. And in Spanish, moler means “to grind,” the crucial technique used in preparing these sauces. Mole therefore was a word easily recognizable by everyone in the kitchen and one that made it easy for the mistress of a house or a head cook to communicate with the servants who carried out all the menial tasks.

But for all these substitutions and changes in terminology, the basic techniques and structure of the Islamic cuisine persisted in New Spain. The manuscript cookbooks contain recipes for pilaus of rice or thin noodles that could have come straight from the court of Córdoba. So too could the acidic, herby green sauces, rich in coriander. Or the recipe for “Rabbits in Sauce” (Conejos en Mollo), consisting of a base of fried onions to which pieces of rabbit were added, seasoned with pepper, nutmeg and ginger, stewed with stock, and finished with vinegar and saffron. Or, again, the “Chicken in Nut Sauce” (Pollo en Nogada) in which quartered chickens were simmered with cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, saffron and a little vinegar, then fried and sauced with a mixture of ground cloves, cumin, garlic, breadcrumbs and nuts. And the complex, expensive confections marzipan and nut brittles, candied fruits, luscious jams, fruit pastes and leathers and fruits preserved in syrup not only derive from the Islamic tradition but often retained even the Arabic names, such as jarabe and almibar for syrups.

Today Mexican families still sit down to dinners that reveal their Islamic origins. They begin with a “watery” soup (sopa aguada), such as a broth with tiny albondigas. Then comes a “dry soup” (sopa seca), such as “Spanish rice,” which is none other than the pilau of the Islamic world. The main course is a piece of chicken or meat accompanied by a green sauce, a nut sauce (nogada), an almond sauce (almendrada) or a spicy reddish-brown sauce (mole). After the meal comes a quince paste, with a little fresh cheese. Accompanying the meal is a refreshing drink an agua fresca, as the Islamic sharbat is called in Mexico a colorful, lightly sweetened homemade beverage of lime, melon or milky ground rice with almonds and cinnamon.

If, after the meal, the family takes a stroll and it is the week leading up to the Day of the Dead, they will find the streets filled with stalls selling alfenique. Households dedicated to the task have labored since the preceding year making figurines of white sugar paste, a mixture of gum from a Mexican orchid, egg whites and sugar. Children buy lambs, pigs feeding their piglets, platters of food, skulls, television sets and skeletons that pop out of coffins, all modeled from the paste, and wander along licking on their treats.

With this background, it takes only one more step to see why Mexican moles resemble Indian curries. In the early 16th century, as the Spaniards were introducing their version of Muslim cuisine to Mexico, the Mughals conquered northern India half a world away. They came by way of Persia, which had become the cultural and culinary center of the region since the Mongols had ruined Baghdad more than 200 years earlier. It was this Persian version of Muslim cuisine that their cooks adapted to Indian circumstances, creating the sophisticated Mughal cuisine of New Delhi. By the mid-16th century, then, a belt of high cuisine could be traced from northern India westward to Mexico. Although in every area it had been adapted to include local ingredients, the basic techniques and the basic dishes of medieval Islam continued to form the basis of all the local variants.

Today, it is difficult to perceive this earlier global gastronomic geography. Over the centuries, one event after another clouded the simple picture of the belt of Islamic high cuisine. As time passed, Spain, northern India and Mexico all had reasons to play down the origins of their cuisines. In Spain, the growing prestige of French cookery over the 18th and 19th centuries meant that cooks and diners abandoned much of their earlier cuisine and adopted French techniques and French dishes. In 19th-century India, the British lumped all the rich stewed dishes of the Mughal court together as curries rather than using their traditional Islamic names. In the mid-20th century, independence from Britain and the partition of India and Pakistan meant that India became a predominantly Hindu nation. It was not so odd, therefore, that Octavio Paz identified the high cuisine of New Delhi, with its roots in the court cuisine of the Mughals, as made up of Hindu curries.

In Mexico, the early 20th century saw the Mexican Revolution, which lasted the better part of 20 years and tore the country apart. Following the war, politicians and intellectuals struggled to create a sense of national unity. Among many other tactics, they turned to cooking as one of the formative national traditions, portraying their food as a mestizo cuisine in which Spanish elements were added to an Aztec base. Setting to one side the multiple derivations of the term mole, they concentrated on its Nahuatl roots. This derivation, they suggested, proved that mole was basically an Aztec sauce to which Spanish ingredients such as cloves and cinnamon had been added. The tale of the invention of mole in the convents of Puebla appeared for the first time.

Today Mexicans flock to the Alhóndiga of Guanajuato, the scene of the first successful skirmish of Mexico’s war of independence, when the insurgents dislodged the representatives of the Spanish crown who had barricaded themselves behind its massive walls. It is a national shrine, and few visitors but the occasional historians remember the Islamic origins of this former granary. Similarly, mole is celebrated as the national dish. It is of course typically Mexican. But it and much of the rest of Mexican cuisine has roots that go back to medieval Islam, roots that have been lost from sight. Octavio Paz was absolutely right when he detected the parallels between Mughal and Mexican cuisines: They are linked by Islam in the global gastronomic geography.

April - June 2008, Latino Muslims, Mexico

What Latino Muslims Can Learn From Mexican Muslims

By Tania Tahira Canales

Islamic Center of Mexico

Before September 2001, Islam was largely viewed as a religion for Arabs. Most Mexicans could not identify a woman wearing hijab with Islam if they saw her walking down a Mexican street. After September 11, Mexican people received all kinds of information about Islam. They heard good information, half-true information, biased information, and misconceptions about Islam. But many Mexicans wanted to know more about Islam. They wanted to know what we Mexican Muslims had to say about Islam.

After understanding Islam, many Mexicans understand why some of their countrymen have embraced Islam. Once you remove all misconceptions of Islam, Mexican people stop thinking that Allah is an invented deity, that Muslims are terrorists, and that Muslimahs are oppressed. Instead, Mexicans begin to realize that Islam is a suitable way of life for any Mexican and for all people. They also realize Muhammad’s life (pbuh) is the best example to follow. I want to share what we Mexican Muslims have learned with Latino Muslims and all American Muslims.

We must be ready to present Islam to whoever wants to hear it. Stating that we are Mexican Muslims surprises almost everyone, even Muslims. During the last ten years, around eight hundred Mexicans have embraced Islam. Mexican Muslims find in Islam truth that was not found in the beliefs and traditions of their parents and closest relatives. They have found that Allah (swt) and His last Messenger (saws) are the truth.

We inform Mexican people about Islam in all possible ways including radio programs, TV shows, and university lectures. Sometimes we simply go out to the street and wait for people to ask us where we were born. Mexican people want to know why we Mexican Muslimahs dress the way we do. Mexican people ask the men why they wear beards and strange sombreros. A smile always brings the best out of people and is charity as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would say.

The best way to call people to Tawheed is with patience, Islamic manners, and a gentle way of speaking. Although almost every Mexican professes to be a Roman Catholic, introducing Islam is an easy task. Mexicans are open-minded and curious. They are amazed to learn that both Muslims and Catholics believe in the Day of Judgment, Virgin Mary, Angels, Paradise, and Hell. Every Christian has wondered about the rational of the Trinity, but fear Hellfire for questioning their current beliefs.

Fortunately, many Mexicans are beginning to believe in only One God and in the line of Prophets. After Jesus Christ (as) left, Muhammad (as) came as a mercy of Allah (swt) to revive the true universal message of God. Mexicans are beginning to learn that all humans are born Muslim. Consequently, many Mexicans understand that nothing is wrong with reverting back to Islam. They are neither betraying God nor rejecting Jesus or the Virgin Mary. Islam is clear and pure without priests, without original sin, and without all the rituals.

We must remember that only Allah (swt) is the guide. We tend to think that we can change a person’s life and way of thinking. We assume that by showing the truth all people will say Shahada. Our assumptions are not true and can be very dangerous. We cannot try to force Islam on people. We are not selling houses to Paradise. Nor are we the sales staff of “Islam Inc.” If someone accepts Islam, only Allah has guided him or her.

Bringing people to Allah (swt) was the mission of our Prophet Mohammed (pbuh). We must accomplish this mission using the methods he would adopt. We must not adapt Islam to what nonbelievers will accept and want to hear. The Deen should not be weakened for the sake of converting more nonbelievers. We need Muslims with the right understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah of Muhammad (pbuh). The search for true knowledge creates the Muslim character. We must be open to knowledge.

The best way to spread Islam is by practicing Islam as Prophet Muhammad and his companions would practice it. Dawah begins with us. Muslims cannot talk about something they have no idea how to do. All Muslims must be positive examples by correctly practicing Islam. Practicing our faith often takes courage. Many misconceptions about Islam come from bad Muslims exhibiting bad behavior. The beautiful Muslim character should stand out within every crowd. How effectively can a Muslim invite people to Islam if he or she drinks, lies, steals, is impatient, and does not pray? Islam is the only way of life that pleases Allah.

By continuously learning and practicing Islam, we will be ready to spread Islam within our homes, our families and friends, our neighborhoods, and to the world. Our dream as Mexican Muslims is to present Islam to all Mexican people. Mexican people have the right to know that Islam is their birthright. We must all struggle to build a strong, Allah-fearing community.

Through our own struggle, we have built a mosque and a study center for Mexican Muslims at Tequesquitengo, Morelos, just a half and hour away from Mexico City. This place seeks to provide the ideal environment for Mexicans searching Islamic knowledge, inshaAllah. At this location, we have started and intend to start more courses about a variety of needed subjects such as Qur’an recitation, introduction to fiqh, and science of haddith. We still need your assistance to continue working for Dawah in Mexico.

Make dua for us and for Islam in Mexico. Help us to please Allah (swt) by visiting www.islam.com.mx to learn about how you can join our struggle.

Mexico, Oct - Dec 2004

Two Events in Mexico

Centro Cultural Islamico de Mexico

Fiesta (Open House) del Fin de Ramadhan

Assalaam A\’laikum

Dar as Salaam (Tequesquitengo, morelos), tiene el agrado de invitarlos a un evento (Open house) que dará inicio a las 10:30 AM el Domingo 14 de Noviembre.

Habrá una serie de actividades recreativas (montar a caballo, football, paseo en lancha, nadar etc) y platcias sobre el Islam. Habrá una comida y una gran oportunidad de conviviar con Musulmanes. Estan muy bienvenidos nuestros amigos No Musulmanes a pasra el dia con nosotros.

Hermanos y hermanas si el Domingo 14, cae el dia del Id y quieren hacer su oracion en su localidad, NO HAY inconveniente alguno, es por eso que hemos iniciado las actividades desde las 10:30 AM para que les de tiempo venir a Tequesquitengo. En esta ocasión si la oracion es el Domingo nuestra pequeña comunidad la realizará en Dar as Salaam. Siendo que no tendremos estaremos preparando todo para recibirlos. Quien guste adelantarse el Sabado para pasar más tiempo en Dar As Salaam, bienvenidos aqui los esperamos.

Ramadhan Mubarak
Omar Weston

Curso intensivo en Dar As salaam con Isa Garcia y otros

Assalaam A\’laikum

Queridos hermanos y hermanas, habrá un curso intensivo sobre el Islam, en Dar as salaam del Martes 28 de Diciembre (2004) al Domingo 02 de Enero (2005) para hombres y mujeres.

Pasen el año nuevo con sus hermanos Muslims en la mejor compañia.

Estaran con nosotros:

Muhammed Isa Garcia de Argentina, graduado en La Universidad Islamica de la Mecca (Arabia Saudita), estudiante directo de grandes sheikhs como Sheikh Uthaimeen, Sheikh Abul Muhsin Al Abaad, Sheikh Salih Al Fauzen. Autor y traductor de decenas de libros sobre diversos temas Islamicos. www.iiph.com.ar

Sabina Mariam Rigoni, primer y unica Latino-Americana con estudios superiores sobre el Islam. Graduada de la Universidad Islamica de la Mecca, vendrá a compartir su conocimiento.

No dejen pasar esta oportunidad, el curso tiene cupo limitado. Sólamente se pedira una contribucion hacia los costos de alimentación.

En Dar as Salaam se recibiran a los primeros 25 alunmos varones Gratuitamente.

Habra una Casa cerca de Dar as Salaam para las primeras 10 mujeres en inscribirse (gratuitamente).

Para los que no alcansan hospedaje les podremos conseguir descuentos en hoteles cercanos a Dar as sAlaaam si nos avisan prontamente.

Manden sus solicitudes con los siguientes Datos:

Nombre Completo:
Fecha de Shahadat:

Si no eres Musulman, explicar su interes en el Curso.

Manden la socilitud a esta misma dirección.

Brothers and sisters, there will be an intensive course in Mexico on Islam from the 28 December to the 2nd of January. If you want to come or want to send someone you know who could benefit, let us know.

Yours in Islam
Omar Weston

Mexico, Oct - Dec 2002

Ramadan in Mexico

By Mudar Abdulghani
IOL Mexico Correspondent


MEXICO CITY, November 23 (IslamOnline) – Muslims in Mexico started observing the holy month of Ramadan on November 6.

Some Muslims determined the date based on information received from Islamic countries, while others used information received from adjacent countries, mainly the USA.

The moon sighting information from abroad concurred with information received from the Observatory of the UNAM (the Autonomous University of Mexico.)

As normal, the Taraweeh prayer started immediately on the night before Ramadan, and was well-attended by members of the small Muslim community of Mexico City.

The Islamic Center has planned and implemented a beneficial educational and worship program for the Muslims.

Regular classes of Quran are given before the Maghrib prayer.

After the Iftar (break of the fast), there is another interesting class about the life of the Prophet, peace be upon him.

The fasting starts approximately at 5:30 AM, and continues until about 6 PM.

Since this is a non-Muslim country, Muslims have to keep their regular schedule of work or study, which is from about 9 AM to 5 PM.

Despite this long duration, very few are complaining from fatigue.

The climate in Mexico city is moderately cold nowadays, and this makes the fast more convenient.

The collective Iftar is a good occasion for gathering the Muslims of various nationalities: Arab, Pakistani, as well as an increasing number of Mexican Muslims.

The warm display of brotherhood could account for several new converts (five in the first 10 days of Ramadan,) who have been impressed by the world of Islam and the genuine feelings of brotherhood among Muslims from different races.

Some non-Muslims have been invited to the collective iftar, and it was a good chance to experience the warmth of the Muslim community, and the brotherly atmosphere that’s ready to welcome any stranger in a friendly manner.

The number of those attending the collective Iftar and taraweeh varies between 20-50 everyday, which shows how small the Muslim community in the city is.

Many Muslims find it hard to join these collective activities, due to the fact that they live very far.

With Mexico City being one of the largest in the world, some Muslims have to travel for one or two hours in order to reach the Islamic Center.

A number of Muslims explained that this Ramadan has a better feeling than last year, with more attendance at the Center, and more organized activities that give the Muslims a chance for education as well as worship.

Some new converts expressed excitement at joining such a busy program, and enjoying Ramadan with their newfound brothers and sisters.