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“I did not want to ‘trade in’ my culture. I wanted access to new meanings.” – How an American writer born of a Jewish father and a Christian mother found spiritual fulfillment in Islam.
After twenty-five years as a writer in America, I wanted something to soften my cynicism. I was searching for new terms by which to see. The way one is raised establishes certain needs in this department. From a pluralist background, I naturally placed great stress on the matters of racism and freedom. Then, in my early twenties, I had gone to live in Africa for three years. During this time, which was formative for me, I did rubbed shoulders with blacks of many different tribes, with Arabs, Berbers, and even Europeans, who were Muslims. By and large these people did not share the Western obsession with race as a social category. In our encounters being oddly colored rarely mattered. I was welcomed first and judged on merit later. By contrast, Europeans and Americans, including many who are free of racist notions, automatically class people racially. Muslims classified people by their faith and their actions. I found this transcendent and refreshing. Malcolm X saw his nation’s salvation in it. “America needs to understand Islam,” he wrote, “because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem”.
There is a little-known story of three English gentlemen who embraced Islam at a time when to be a Muslim was to be seen to be a traitor to your country. Through personal journeys of still surviving relatives, the programme looks at their achievements and how their legacy lives on today.
William Henry Quilliam, a local Liverpool solicitor and resident embraced Islam in 1887 (aged 31), after returning from a visit to Morocco, and took on the name Abdullah. He claimed that he was the first native Englishman to embrace Islam. His conversion led to a remarkable story of the growth of Islam in Victorian Britain. This history is now beginning to emerge and has important lessons for Muslims in Britain and around the world.
Francia. E’ quasi ufficiale، i musulmani supereranno i cattolici…
In circa quaranta anni la Francia è diventata la nazione dell’Europa occidentale dove la popolazione di origine musulmana è la più rilevante. E anche se non si conosce con certezza il loro numero – dai due ai sei milioni – un dato significativo riguarda la costruzione delle moschee». Tanto che، comparando i diversi dati statistici su cattolici e musulmani praticanti «è ipotizzabile il sorpasso dell’Islam sul cattolicesimo francese».
È quanto mette in luce l’Osservatore romano in un servizio dal titolo: “Mezzaluna crescente” nel quale si sottolinea che، in dieci anni، è raddoppiato nel Paese il numero delle moschee، «raggiungendo le duemila unità. Tanto che il leader islamico francese، Dalil Bubaker، rettore della grande moschea di Parigi، ha dichiarato che per soddisfare pienamente la domanda crescente dei fedeli le moschee dovrebbero essere almeno il doppio، cioè quattromila».
Muslims worldwide observe total fasting (no food or water) between dawn to sunset in the month of Ramadan. They do so not for losing weight or any medical benefit, but as it is ordained in Qur’an which says.
“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you, as it was prescribed for those before you (i.e. Jews, & Christians) so that you may (learn) self-restraint.”(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:183)
According to Islamic Laws, children below the age of 12, sick patients, travelers, and women who are menstruating or nursing a baby are exempt from fasting. In addition to staying away from food or water for the whole day, they are asked to stay away from sex, smoking or misconduct during the period of fast. In addition, they are encouraged to do more acts of piety i.e. prayer, charity, or reading Qur’an during this month.
As-Salamu `Alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh (May Allah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!)
I was confused by the issue of intention after I had listened to several lectures, and knew that intention is divided into three stages:
(1) To dedicate all actions to Allah sincerely without seeking anything from the world.
(2) To dedicate actions solely to Allah but seeking also therewith the reward of the Hereafter and the fruit of the world.
(3) To dedicate it for the world only. Also I read Allah’s Saying: “Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter; to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein.” [Surat Hud: 15].
As for the Prophet’s saying: “Whosoever desires (by his deeds) the reward of the Hereafter, We give him increase in his reward, and whosoever desires the reward of this world (by his deeds), We give him thereof (what is decreed for him), and he has no portion in the Hereafter.” [Surat Ash-Shura: 20], but sins always prevent us from understanding the significance of these Ayahs; so I hope you clarify things out.
Also, I read about the subject of charity where the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Cure your patients with charities.”
Scholars mentioned that whoever gives in charity just to cure a sick person shall have no reward in the Hereafter.
The first question: How can we compromise between those who do actions for the sake of Allah but seeking therewith a worldly benefit and the actions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Companions where the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to:
• Offer Salah for Rain which is a worldly sustenance.
• Offer the Salah of need.
• The Prophet’s commandment to his daughter Fatimah when she came to ask for a servant,which is a worldly matter, to recite Adhkar (invocations and Remembrances said at certain times on a regular basis) before sleeping.
• The story of the Companion whose son was captured and the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded him with frequent saying of: “La Hawla wala Quwata illa billah (There is neither might nor power except with Allah!).”
Do these instances contradict dedicating actions to Allah with the purpose of achieving a worldly benefit?
The second question is: My son is sick, which intention should I have when I want to give in charity?
The third question is: When I need to achieve a worldly benefit and I want to seek Allah’s Aid to fulfill it, what should I do? What intention should I have in this action?
The fourth question is: How to compromise between relying on Allah when starting worldly actions for the sake of combining between worldly benefits and sincerity?
The fifth question and the last is: How could we correct intention and how to make sure of it? I have the intention of seeking knowledge (Engineering for example) because I love it and for the sake of sustenance, but sometimes fame sneaks into my heart, how to correct my intention?
May Allah reward you the best.
Short days and pleasant weather ease the fast for Brazil’s growing Muslim population.
BRASILIA, Brazil – For Ibrahim Nashawaty, a refugee from Syria now living in Brazil, his first Ramadan away from home has been a strange and unsettling experience so far.
“In some ways it is much harder here,” he tells AA, at the only mosque in Brazil’s capital Brasilia. “Everyone is eating and drinking on the streets all the time, because they are mainly Christians.”
“It is strange for me to see,” he adds.
But the 19-year-old, who fled the civil war raging in Syria six months ago with his three brothers and parents, admits that fasting in Brasilia has its benefits.
Muslim students at a Northern Ireland university have to pray in corridors, classrooms and forgotten corners of the campus because the college will not provide a dedicated space for prayer.
Students at Queen’s University Belfast are campaigning for the university to set aside a private area where they can pray – a move that would end constant struggles to find privacy while on campus.
Speaking on the BBC Radio Ulster Talkback programme, Ahmed Amer from the QUB Muslim society stressed that most other universities in England and in the Republic of Ireland have dedicated rooms for prayer – as does the University of Ulster.
“Having a prayer room on campus is just a sign that the university is accommodating the needs of its students,” he said.