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Archive for May, 2006

05 31 06
 

The First ICNA-MAS South Central Regional Conference

The First ICNA-MAS South Central Regional Conference Brought More Than 1,500 Together. This was the first effort of its kind to organize a conference on Islam during one of the most traveled weekends of the year in the South Central Region of USA. This conference was held at the University Center University of Houston Main Campus.
The theme of the conference was: “Rediscover Prophet Mohammad’s (Peace Be upon him – Pbuh) Message”. The Conference featured the largest Qur'an exhibition, which also included pictures of the Messenger Mohammad's (PBUh) footprints, shoes, clothes and many other similar possessions.
 The following topics were discussed: “Essence of Prophet Muhammad’s Message: Submission to The Creator” “Mission of Prophet Muhammad: Establishment of Allah's Deen” – “Exclusive Session for Sisters” – “Development of an Ideal Society: From Makkah Al-Mukarrma to Madina Al-Munawwara” – “Way of Prophet Muhammad” – “Islam: The Hope for Humanity”. Islamic activities for Children and Exclusive Sessions for Youth were organized. Topics included: Seerah For Me – Muslims Vs Non-Muslims (Workshop) – Build a Nation (Prophet Mohammad PBUh Way) – A Cool Sheikh? – Men: As Described in Quran – Entertainment Session.
Participants from New York, Virginia, Baton Rouge, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio attended. All the participants went back homes charged and received many practical ideas and proactive actions from the Life of Beloved Messenger Mohammad (PBUh) to perform daily, so as to bring happiness and solace to the humanity around us. Some of the salient things learnt included that our Beloved Messenger the Last of a series of several thousand Prophets all of whom we adore is that Messenger Mohammad (PBUh) is a Mercy unto Universes and Mankind, so we as Followers of God and His Messenger(s) have to be Merciful to human being s and the natural system around us. Then without thanking and assisting the humanity one can not wish to receive the blessings of God. All the participants showed keen interest in having similar Conference every year in the South Central Region. Those who failed to come this year will hopefully not miss it next time.

The program started with recitation of Qur'an by Qari
Hashim. Then local president of ICNA Houston Hanif Harris welcomed the
guest and introduced the conference and programs of ICNA.
The most moving instance of the day was the last session “Why No Islam”,
when one young student of Mexican origin was brought to the keynote speaker at the Conference, the  world renowned Islamic scholar Sheikh Yusuf
Estes at the Conference, saying he is lost in his life, is scared of
the future, needs assistance, guidance and light. Sheikh asked him that
as he is feeling these apprehensions, is there nobody to assist him as
he feels troubled: The young man replied Yes: There is God. On that
Sheikh Yusuf Estes invited him to the folds of Islam and said as he is
aware of God, coming to the folds of Islam will bring him to God and
the brotherhood of Islam as established through the efforts of
Messengers of God of whom the most successful and last of all Messenger
Mohammad (PBUh): That Brotherhood will assist you all the way. The Rope
of God the Book of Quran will bring the guidance to you. Then Sheikh
Yusuf Estes recited Suran Nasar of Quran and said victory and salvation
for those, who believe in the One God, is coming nearer and nearer. It
must be recalled that Sheikh Yusuf Estes used to be a Christian
Minister and became Muslim in Year 2000. All of Sheikh Yusuf Estes
sessions during the Conference were broadcasted live at his website:
http://www.islamtomorrow.com/
Many prominent speakers spoke at the event: Dr. Khurshid Khan
(President of ICNA), Naeem Baig, Sheikh Zoubir Bouchikhi, Sheikh Khalid
Griggs, Imam Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh, Sheikh Omer Suleiman, Dr. Yusuf
Kavakci, Dr. Hamed Ghazali, Sheikh Abdool Rahman Khan, Dr. Muhammad
Yunus, Dr. Yusuf Ziya Kavakci, Dr. Tarek Hussein (CAIR), Hisham Ebeid
(MAS), Sheikh Rodwan Saleh (ISGH) and Dr. Mazhar Kazi.
About Fifteen Businesses had their stalls, selling their Islamic and
Muslim Merchandize to the participants. Tickets were sold at the
registrant desk for the excellent food with both Mediterranean and
South-Asian Taste was on sale by Shahnai Restaurant.
For more information about ICNA activities, please call 1-866-323-1063.

 
 
05 7 06
 

National Muslim Organizations Offer Practical Steps to End Darfur Crises

WASHINGTON, DC (May 2, 2006) – Several national Muslim American organizations today reiterated their concern for the crisis in Darfur, and condemned the violence, which has been perpetrated upon villages by government sponsored militias and the rebels, and has produced more than 1.3 million internally displaced refugees.
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05 6 06
 

Third Annual Seerah Conference

by SUBHANAH WAHHAJ

ON SUNDAY, April 30, 2006, hundreds of Muslims flocked to York College, eager to attend the third, annual Seerah conference.. About half the attendees were sisters.

Over three hundred books and audio and video materials, in seven languages, on the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) were exhibited. Photo by Ali Rahman

 This year's conference was titled, "Prophet Muhammad (SAW), Mercy to Mankind." Put together by York College's Muslim Student Association, the New York Chapter of Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Society of New York (MSNY), Bangladesh American Islamic Society (BAIS), and Arab Muslim America Federation (AMAF), this event attracted Muslims from all different backgrounds and nationalities.
The Seerah Conference took place in the theatre building of York College, located at Guy R. Brewer Boulevard, Jamaica, Queens. At about 6:00 p.m., the president of Muslim Student Association of York College, Brother Mohid Hussaini, kicked off the conference by welcoming the attendees and introducing the speakers lined up for the evening. After Brother Khursheed Ahmed Khan, president of ICNA gave the introductory address, a a variety of speakers graced the stage with words about the beloved Prophet and the phenomenal accomplishments that he made during his era. Each speaker touched on a different aspect of the Prophet, from his qualities of high morality to his work as a social reformer. Though the style of every talk was different, an emphasis was placed on Muslims learning the Seerah (example and lifestyle) of the Prophet and implementing it into their lives as much as possible. The lecturers were Imam Shamsi Ali, Wael Mousfar, president of AMAF; Bawa Jain, secretary general of the World Council of Religious Leaders; Imam Ashraf uz Zaman Khan, president of BAIS; and Khalid Lamada, director of Outreach Program at MAS. Paul Findley, former member of the U.S. Congress; Sister Rehana Abdulla, co-principal of the Islamic Community School in Maryland; and Imam Kalid Yasin also addressed the crowd. A video of Dr. Jamal Badawi was presented, and Imam Alamin Abdul Latif concluded the program with Dua. The materials sold outside the auditorium reflected the mood of the conference. Over three hundred books and audio and video materials, in seven languages, on the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) were on display or sale.

 The Seerah Conference ended with a resolution put together by scholars, Imams, and prominent members of Islamic Organizations. "Prophet Muhammad was sent as a benefactor for mankind," said Brother Shamsheer Ali Baig, who read from the resolution.  "He raised the status of women, advocated for the poor and constantly made sacrifices for the betterment of others.  He was a perfect human model."  

Imam Kalid Yasin seized the essence of the conference by reminding Muslims of their everlasting obligation and challenge. "We have to inspire people through our conduct and productivity," said Imam Yasin. "We must personify the Prophet Muhammad's (saw) legacy with commitment, strength, unity and courage, assuming and striving for leadership and excellence."

Taken from: http://www.muslimsweekly.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1871&Itemid=343

 
 
05 4 06
 

WhyIslam Booths at LA Times Book Festival: A new milestone

Armed with copies of the Qur’an, information brochures and gifts, trained WhyIslam volunteers engaged the visitors in discussions and answered their questions at the LA Times Book Festival for the second year in a row on April 29-30. The WhyIslam information booths again surpassed all expectations. This meant running out of all copies of the Qur’an on the first day itself. The volunteers spent rest of the evening trying to arrange more copies from individuals, Islamic Centers and book stores.Despite setting up two booths this year, the volunteers found themselves extremely busy throughout the two days with friendly discussions and handing out material at the event that drew 127,000 visitors.

There were several occasions when people were lining up to pick their free material or to ask a question. Movie producers, authors, poets, publishers, journalists, actors, even Buddhist monks were all excited to discuss Islam and everyone took home information that they could hardly find in the media. People thanked the volunteers for giving them not only the copy of the Qur’an but also the opportunity to freely discuss issues on their mind, since no topic was off limits.For most it was their first such interaction with Muslims. 5-7 people expressed their desire to embrace Islam. "I am so excited because this is the first time I am actually getting a chance to a talk to a Muslim about their faith" said Martha from Santa Monica. "Why don't you do this more often?" asked Ben an American Israeli.

With over 2700 copies of the Qur’an and over 7000 brochures distributed, these two days proved to be the busiest ever for the 20 volunteers. Gifts included bookmarks that showed a few quick tips on reading and handling the Qur’an. The WhyIslam booths were probably the only booths among the 350 that did not have anything to sell. A project of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), WhyIslam is a nationwide network of dawah volunteers who operate the Islamic information toll free line 1-877-WhyIslam and the website whyislam.org which connect volunteers with those seeking guided mosque tours, 1 on 1 email correspondence, and free literature among several other outreach services.

Qur’an Distributed:

            Day 1    Day 2    Total
2005    123        901      1024
2006    1300     1450     2750
 

LA Times Coverage
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
05 3 06
 

Prophet Muhammad: A Mercy to Mankind: ICNA Seerah Conference at York College

mirror-logoThe ICNA Conference, held at York College this past Sunday, April 30, kept its tradition of having a variety of speakers from different backgrounds, ethnicities, communities and genders. The first part of the conference consisted of an exhibition of books about the Prophet in many different languages including Russian, Bengali, Arabic and Urdu. After Asr prayer, held outside on the lawn, Imam Shamsi Ali gave a brief background on Aa’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) and her love for the Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and how she carried on his legacy through her transmission of Hadith and her reports of him being a walking Qur’an.
Next, Brother Wael Mousfar gave a brief but energy boosting speech on how the enemies of Islam have done many favors to the religion and have inadvertently helped people to become more curious about the religion, thus causing many to convert to Islam. “We have an allegiance to Allah and the Prophet as Muslims and we have to come together against the great enemies of Islam and continue to defend and propagate this deen. The question that we have to ask ourselves as Muslims is: what have we as individuals done to promote the Prophet’s image?”

After Brother Wael’s speech, former Congressman from Illinois, Paul Findley, spoke on his admiration for Muslims and the faith. The topic of his speech was, ‘How Muslims Should Reach Out to Non-Muslims’. “I have traveled to many Muslim countries and have been interacting with Muslims in America for a long time and I have never once came across a Muslim terrorist,” he said, to great applause. “Unfortunately people still believe what they see on TV about Muslims because many people do not know who and what Muslims are.” He went on further to state that the reason why people have a warped idea about what Muslims are because the headlines always directly connect Islam to violence.  He challenged the Muslims to connect with others who are not Muslim by going to visit other houses of worship and to introduce themselves to someone after the service. Let them know who you are and what Islam is really about. He ended his speech by calling the Muslim community to become ambassadors of Islam and reach out to those who are Non-Muslim and to help them understand that Muslims are decent, loving, kind people and are not the monsters that are shown on the news. “I do not know of any problems in the world today that are more deserving of your attention.”

Sister Rehana Abdulla spoke on Prophet Muhammad salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam being the greatest reformer of all times. “We can learn and obtain many benefits from the miracle that Prophet Muhammad salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was divinely chosen, someone who could not read or write.” In a published book by the name of ‘The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History’ by Michael Hart, Prophet Muhammad appeared as number one on the list. What was it about Prophet Muhammad salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that can inspire someone 1400 years later to place him at the top of his list of the 100 most influential people in history, especially since that person never saw him nor is that person a Muslim? Allah says clearly in the Qur’an that Truth stands out clear from falsehood [2:256].

Brother Bawai Jain spoke afterwards and challenged the statement of Mr. Findley that Muslims should wear certain types of symbols to identify themselves as Muslims. Brother Bawai stated that, “It is not necessary for us to identify ourselves through symbols but rather [through] our actions and how we treat others as Muslims. It is better that someone comes to know our character and then later discovers that we are Muslim.  [This would have] a greater impact than the symbols we wear to show that we are Muslim.”

After Maghrib prayer, Dr. Jamal Badawi spoke via telecast on how the Prophet Muhammad dealt with Islamophobia. He gave examples of the Makkan period when the Prophet did not act aggressively or in an ill manner with those who opposed, humiliated and oppressed him and his followers. He counteracted their negative attitudes with patience, understanding, and wisdom. He also reached out to people who did not know anything about Islam. The way that Prophet Muhammad salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam dealt with such people is the way we must do so in this day and age.

Other speakers educated the audience on the various roles and life that Prophet Muhammad salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam played and helped us to better understand how he was able to establish and spread Islam without the usage of the media that we have today. Brother Khalid Yasin ended the conference with a dynamite speech in which he stated the prophesy by Prophet Muhammad that we as an Ummah today would be the preservers of the Quran and that the message of Islam will continue to spread until it is in every home until the last days.  May Allah make us the lucky ones who will accomplish such a task.

All Mankind were once one single community; [then they began to differ] whereupon God raised up the prophets as heralds of glad tidings and as warners, and through them bestowed revelation from on high, setting forth the truth, so that it might decide between people with regard to all on which they had come to hold divergent views. Yet none other than the selfsame people who had been granted this [revelation] began, out of mutual jealousy, to disagree about its meaning after all evidence of the truth had come unto them. But God guided the believers unto the truth about which, by His leave, they had disagreed: for God guides onto a straight way him that wills [to be guided]. [2:213]

This article was written by Tahira Muhammad and was published in the Metro Section of Mirror International Weekly

 
 
05 1 06
 

Muhammad Ali crowned: R.S. United sweeps with record-high voter turnout

By  Joshua Errett
Ryersonian Staff

Last Updated: Feb.16, 2006. 1:00 a.m.

It was a clean sweep for the R.S. United team on Wednesday night, with each of their four executive candidates winning with comfortable margins in the Ryerson Students’ Union elections.

In what was a record turnout, students elected Muhammad Ali Jabbar as President, Nora Loreto as vice-president of education, Chris Drew as vice-president of finance and Alam Ashraful as  vice-president of student life. The results were announced close to 1 a.m. this morning at the Ram in the Rye pub.

Jabbar won the tightest contest, beating Elect Connect candidate Sarah Turnbull by a few hundred votes. Turnbull was the only candidate on the Elect Connect slate to win a polling station, taking the Rogers Building by a slim margin.

“We gave them a run for their money,” said Turnbull during a reading of the election results. “That’s what we wanted to do.”

Jabbar had support from several key groups on campus, including the Muslim Students’ Association. He also credits the community services department in the Library Building for his victory. Jabbar ended up winning by more than 600 votes. The rest of his slate had a much more comfortable majority, with Loreto and Drew both garnering more than 1,000 votes each.

Loreto, who was re-elected in a landslide victory,  was the most visible candidate in the campaign.

“This is my work, this is my life,” said Loreto just before final results were announced. “This shows people respected my work.”

Elect Connect candidate Rohan Singh, Loreto’s opponent, viewed the results differently.

“Students chose the status quo,” he said directly after it was clear he had lost.

Chris Drew, who also won by a generous margin, complimented the student body on what he believed to be a good choice.

“Ryerson students are very smart,” he said.

The two-week campaign leading up to today’s results was not without controversy.

The subject of disqualification played a larger-than-usual role this year, as Turnbull faced the prospect of being removed from the ballot as late as Tuesday night.

The third slate, which included a joke candidate that did not campaign, did not play a factor in the results.

The current RSU executives will leave office in April.

Article taken from: http://stw.ryerson.ca/%7Esonian/feb15/news/ali.html

 
 
05 1 06
 

Opening Books, Opening Minds at the Festival

 

More than 127,000 meet authors and attend panel discussions during the two-day event.

 
May 01, 2006|Louis Sahagun | Times Staff Writer
 
With critics pointing a harsh finger at Muslims and the Arab world, Alia Dada and Shahid Ali could not have been more pleased with the crowds gathered around their little information booth at the 11th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on Sunday.
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