The Latest News from PIEDAD
By Nylka Vargas
April 13, 2011 – Vol. 1, Issue 1
PIEDAD (Propagación Islámica para la Educación y Devocion a Allah el Divino) is a national network of Muslim women coming together for the common good: spiritual development, community building, sisterhood, and educational outreach, with a focus on the Latina/Hispanic community.
As-Salaamu Alaikum! Thank you for your interest in PIEDAD. The following is an outline of our programs. We hope that you enjoy reading about the and ask for your feedback. If you have any questions, or would like to help us out please send us an email. Do keep us in your duas. Baraak Allahu Feekum. May Allah bless you all!
For sure, having an online presence is important to get the message out of who we are and what we do. That being said, it is also a vehicle to help others learn about Islam, giving them reliable reading material, most up to date information available, and relevant happenings in the Muslim Community. The PiedadOnline website is designed with that in mind! For example, the newcomer to Islam can easily browse our Intro to Islam section, access learn how to pray resources, and be linked/directly access Quran recitation with narrations in English and hard to find Spanish. At our women’s page, one can find articles and audio files on Women in Islam plus direction to other works by women’s related websites and projects will be easiliy acessed, again in the Spanish language. At our resource page, links to other Latino Muslims or Spanish Language. We are always collecting New Muslimah stories for those interested in sharing. Do visit us often and stay informed of our latest schedule! Send us a message through our website at PiedadOnline.com.
Quarterly Informational Sessions
We host quarterly information sessions or get-togethers, where topics are presented, ideas are shared, and agenda items to benefit the ummah are put into action!
Dawah Tables at Street Festivals
Piedad coordinates dawah tables at various street festivals throughout the year: Masjid Al-Huda Jersey Heights “Everything Festival”, North Hudson Islamic Educational Center “Street Festival” , Journal Square “Egyptian Cultural Festival”, in New Jersey.
The primary purpose at these festivals and dawah events is to outreach to the community and offer free Quran, introductory pamphlets, and cds on Islam. It is amazing how often spectators are curious about Islam, having heard something about Islam on the news or through friends. Also too, we get a large turnout of Muslims visiting the booth asking for basic information on Islam or directory of Islamic programs in the area . Recently our own misconceptions were put to the test at the 2010 “Egyptian Cultural Festival” where we had to turn away many requesting Qurans and basic reading material in Arabic or Urdu. There definitely is a demand to host more informational tables, especially in multi-languages. To do so, we need more funding for Qurans, pamphlets, booklets, and volunteers to help coordinate, set-up and service the table. The source of our literature comes from 1-877-WhyIslam (www.whyislam.org) and Islam in Spanish (www.islaminspanish.org) May Allah give us the ability to continue hosting many more. Insha’Allah.
P.I.E.D.A.D at the 8th Annual Hispanic Muslim Day, September 2010
The Annual Hispanic Muslim Day is the hotspot for many of the Latino Muslims, coming from as far as California. Every year topics include: Fundamental of Islam, The History of the Latino Muslim, The Growth of the Latino Muslims, and Personal Journey to Islam Accounts. Piedad members volunteer to make the day a success!
Sisterhood & Mentorship: As individuals we are all developing, Insha’Allah, for the better and moving forward. Development is a non-linear process with its setbacks and gains. Mentorship/tutelage/guidance means many things. From the Islamic perspective it means both assisting a fellow brother/sister learn the din and also lending them some social support. Sisterhood is not limited to the formal Islamic discourse and classes. We set up events that celebrate significant life events (marriage, newborn, graduation, etc.) We also coordinate Ramadan Iftars and Eid gatherings. inshaAllah. There are no set guidelines, really.
Purple Hijab Day (February 2010)
P.I.E.D.A.D hosted a private sister’s gathering on February 14, 2010 to remember Sr. Aasiya Zubair’s (Hassan) domestic violence. Our remembrance was in the form of prayer, education, and discussion. A Domestic Violence power point was presented and discussed in a halaqa type style; attendees included Fatima Kaba, Fatima Vargas, Gretel Martinez, and Nylka Vargas. Jazaakum Allahu Khairun to all participants. Together we can make a difference to end injustice of all forms. Amin.
Purple Hijab 2011
On February 13, 2011 at the North Hudson Islamic Center, in Union City, NJ. At this in-house community event, Piedad volunteers researched DV topics, custom made a display board and baked desserts for the DV fundraiser.Topics displayed/presented were: Defining DV, Domestic Violence Prevalence within the Muslim and general community, Domestic Violence Resources/Info display of various localities/organization throughout the U.S., The Islamic Perspective of Elevated Status of Women and Islamic legal verdicts of various misconstrued verses and ahadith on the Muslimah. We also handed out out free Why Islam Pamphlets, “Unveling the Hijab” and “Status of Women in Islam”, plus Message International’s special edition on “Domestic Violence in the Muslim Communities”. We were fortunate to have WAFA House board members, Sr. Huma, Wafa, and another sister, with us. They gave a very informative lecture on their objectives and the endeavors at the organzation. Areas of concern found at WAFA House: lack of volunteers and funding.
Many thanks to all the diligent workers and supporters who made the even a success: Sheikh Mohamed Al-Hayek from NHIEC, Jennah (Stephanie) Perrotta, Dominique Castro, Ida Netanhou, Gretel Martinez, Nahela Morales, Vanessa Rivera, Jennielle Yasell, Linda Rodriguez, Sumaya, Damaris Tapanes, Michelle Garcia, Fatima Vargas.
Iftar Get-Together Ramadan 2010
Ramadan is the season of fasting, reflection, remembrance and seeking forgiveness. Having at least one sister’s iftar is a MUST but so worth the effort.
Piedad participates at Masjid Annual Iftar
Every year, a number of reverts gather to break fast together at the NHIEC masjid. In addition to the main course prepared and donated by members of the Muslim community, Piedad volunteers bring in a selection of desserts and appetizers. Alhamdullilah, it was an affair to remember, but most importantly a time to give thanks for all the blessings bestowed upon us by Allah (subhanhu wa ta ‘ala).
Piedad hosts Hijab Party, November, 2010: Sr. Miriam Colon’s Dignity Apparel Inc.
“It’s not just a business, it is where Modesty meets Fashion Industry”, says designer Miriam Colon, who’s already worked in NYC’s fashion scene and is now pursuing a degree in Fashion Designing in Chicago, Illinois. Masha’Allah. May Allah make her reality true, and give her success in all her endeavors.
Islamic Studies: The sisters of PIEDAD will strive to learn and implement the Islamic principles in their daily lives according to the Qur’an, Sunnah and ijma’ of the scholars. To achieve this goal an Islamic Studies program of Aqeedah, Seerah, Quran memorization, tafsir and tajweed will be designed and completion/attendance will be tracked through several mediums tailored to meet individual needs: Online studies, Sister’s Halaqas, Islamic Studies class at mosque choice or self-paced study for the exceptional case. PIEDAD sisters will be assessed through a written test and presentation.
Introduction to Basic Tenets of Islamic Faith
The purpose of the program is to help new Muslimahs and reverts learn about the basics of Islam and the Salat essentials in either Spanish or English. The instructor is a qualified PIEDAD sister, either through certification or intensive studies program. We are also part of the masjid dawah and sister’s committees. It’s all about working together and often times our programs supplement or are an extension of another program. Please see our schedule at piedadonline.com.
Expanding the Amando Nuestra Religion to Hackensack, NJ masjid! Sr. Orbe Acosta and Sr. Flor Maza will lead the effort. Insha’Allah.
Love for the sake of Allah, Islamic Study Program: Whether in the traditional classroom, study socials, at the masjid, or online; coming together to learn and share Islam is to Love for the Sake of Allah. Upcoming program is focused on reading essential works on women’s issues by qualified authors. Check the website for details.
Youth development: PIEDAD will support, advocate, and train young Muslimahs to be vibrant leaders of tomorrow.
We’re happy to announce that PIEDAD will begin a Young Muslimah Halaqa at the NHIEC masjid. In 2008 we had a 6-month Muslimah Halaqa at the Masjid Al-Huda in Jersey City, NJ. The Youth Halaqah initiative allows us to create a platform for the young and developing Muslimahs to talk, be heard, express, and receive adult feedback. We have on staff a mental health counselor who will lend that listening ear, integrating both the psychological, social, and Islamic modules. Moreover, evidence based studies will be referred as well as prominent works of researchers in this area.
Children’s Activities and Affairs: Now let us face it, children require a whole lot of our attention! They are dependent on us from infancy through their formative years to be healthy, happy and rightly individuals! PIEDAD sisters know first hand the motherhood experience, by way of on the job training or theory in practice. We are ready to tackle the issues most needed: support programs, babysitting for sister studies, Eid parties, play-dates, networking with mommies, providing online educational material, etc. Remember we are a WOMAN’S organization; CHILDREN ARE WELCOME!
Ready, Set, it’s Ramadan: 3-WEEK kidz workshop, ages 5-12
Every year we try to do a number of fun things for the kids. The “Ready, Set, It’s Ramadan” workshops were designed to promote educational, social and emotional competencies in pre-school and early elementary aged children, intended to better prepare children to enter Ramadan 2010. The curriculum is summarized below. Our apologies for not displaying the bulletin board pictures this year but they were lost.
STORY TIME: THE APPROACH OF RAMADAN SIGHTING THE MOON, WHY DO WE FAST DURING RAMADAN? GOOD DEEDS AND SADAQAH, LAST TEN NIGHTS OF RAMADAN, LAYLATAL QADR, PREPARING SUHOOR AND IFTAR CHOICES, CHILDREN AND FASTING, RAMADAN AROUND THE WORLD, HOW DO WE FAST RECAP/ PREPARING FOR EID, ITIKAF, SALAATUL TARAWEEH. ARTS AND CRAFT: MOON PHASE CALENDAR FOR RAMADAN, START RAMADAN BULLETIN BOARD, RAMADAN BULLETIN BOARD CONT’D & SADAQAH TREE, SADAQAH / GOOD DEED TREE CONT’D, FANOUS MAKING!, FANOUS, DUA BOOK, RAMADAN GREETING CARDS, LET’S DECORATE, ITIKAF, SALAATUL TARAWEEH, LET’S DECORATE!
Children’s Learn Islam Workshops at Hackensack Masjid, NJ (soon to come in 2011, inshaAllah)
Thanks for reading. Jazaakum Allahu Khairun.
Sr. Nylka Vargas is the P.I.E.D.A.D Coordinator.