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Archive for April, 2007
On May 26, more than 600 Muslim athletes will assemble to compete in the Annual Islamic Games presented by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)at Crossroads South, South Brunswick.
The annual Islamic Games under the theme “Strong Inside … Strong Outside” will feature action in track and field, basketball, volleyball, soccer, cricket for males and females of all ages.
Many other fun activities, sports and games will be on hand for kids and grown-ups.
The Islamic Games is being launched in response to the growing needs of the Muslim communities. The purpose of the Islamic Games 2007 is to promote athletic skills and serious participation in sports and athletics among Muslims.
Many Muslims, male and female, participate in sports and athletics at all levels, the Islamic Games allows such athletes to meet, network and compete with each other.
The Islamic Games also seeks to provide the forum for Muslim Schools to
Medals and trophies will be awarded for first and second place in the
Registration can be done online or by mail-ins. Forms are available at
For more information, contact S. Nausrudeen at (718) 554-7620 or visit www.islamic-games.com
By EMAN ELKHOLY
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity." (Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 589)
As news of the deaths spread far and wide YM, Young Muslims decided to step in and help this Muslim family. The sisters in Jersey City decided to visit them. The weekend before the visit we went shopping for school supplies for the children. Afterwards, the feelings I carried were quite ambiguous. Perhaps, I felt disconnected from it all. I felt that it wasn’t enough, that more should be done for this family.
A few days later, I was at work speculating about ways I could offer my help. I decided to ask the group of people I pray with while at work. I figured maybe they could contribute something for the family. I sent out an email to the group, and left my desk for five minutes. Upon my return, I discovered at least ten replies from people who wanted to help. Immediately I remembered the verse from the chapter in the Quran entitled ‘Divorce’:
“And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty)”
Since the beginning of this YM project God made it very easy for us to buy supplies and raise funds for the family. I can only assume the reason for this ease was that God must love this family for remaining strong during this time of tribulation.
Finally, the day had arrived. I met up with the most kind-hearted, beautiful sisters (inside and out) anyone could ever meet. We began our journey to visit the family. We first picked up boxes donated by students from Miftah ul Uloom (Key to Knowledge)
We visited the first wife, who lost at least 5 of her children. She was left with an older son and daughter. Looking at her, I felt the sense of utter despair and emptiness. She did nothing but thank us, but that feeling of discontent entered my heart once more. I felt as if I had done nothing for this family. Nothing can ease the pain and suffering of losing a child, never mind five! I wish I had said more to her, done more for her, but words were just trapped inside me. What can I as a sister say or do to ease this sister’s pain? God, grant her patience. I wish I had told her the story of Prophet Ayub (Jacob) who suffered more tribulations than anyone in this world, yet he uttered a prayer to God more beautiful than anything that the ears can hear:
"And (remember) Jacob when he cried to his Lord "Truly, distress has seized me, but You are the Most Merciful of those that are merciful." ‘The Prophets’, Verse 83 The Quran
I couldn’t grasp the idea that the person before me has been through a flaming, burning fire; lost her children, her belongings, everything that she ever owned, possessed, and loved. I couldn’t help but wonder what would I have done in her situation? In the Chapter of the Quran called ‘The Believers’ 23.62FhFF, it is stated:
'On no soul do We place a burden greater than it can bear.'
Yet, this sister handled this better than anyone I know can. She did not shed a tear in front of us. Despite her despair, I sensed her strength. May God grant her strength and patience in her faith.
My favorite part of the day occurred next. We visited the other mother who, Praise be to God, did not lose any of her children, but suffered a few minor burns. The children, as well, had a few bruises but nothing major by God’s will. The children were cuter than words can describe. They melted my heart, especially the baby. We started to open up the gift bags (full of school supplies) and handed each to its rightful owners. To their excitement, they couldn’t help but smile and checked out the cool new stuff these strangers had bought in for them. I handed the remaining money to the mother, and we exited the apartment leaving a smile on each family members face, and that was priceless!
This visit made me realize regardless of all the hardships of this world, it cannot equal the troubles and hardships of the next life (i.e. heave and hell). God promises in the Quran, in Surah (chapter) ‘The Morning Hours’, Ad Duha:
Verily, the hereafter will be much better for you than the present.
This chapter has nothing but wisdom and truth. God gave us everything, and in a blink of an eye, can take it back. Brothers and sisters, do not assume that God will not test you in this world. And when He does test you, remain steadfast on your faith, because no one but HE can help you endure the hardship.
A hadith (saying of the Prophet Muhammad) narrated by Abu 'Abbas 'Abdullah, says:
"Remember God in times of ease, and He will recognize
God give us strength to endure the hardships that you will bestow on your believers. And give us strength to emerge from all the trials and tribulations of this life victorious.
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) sponsored the Arts Council of England and Mohammed Ali’s Arts and Islam USA Tour which has made quite an impact this week in Chicago, New York, New Jersey, and Boston. Please see press coverage below:
Just days before he faces Naisy Dolar at the ballot box in Chicago's 50th Ward, Bernie Stone is facing a different kind of challenge in his ward: public art, and the tension it can create in the community. Mohammed Ali, a British Muslim artist who is touring the US in conjunction with the Arts Council England for his “Arts and Islam” tour, came to Chicago this past weekend. For the Chicago portion of the tour, he had planned to paint the word "Peace" in both Arabic and English on the side of the Islamic Circle of North America mosque on Granville and California. Come Friday, however, Ali and his supporters, including children from the community that had come to help paint the wall were confronted by none other than Bernie Stone himself, telling them that they needed a permit for the sign, and it had to go through his office first.City Ordinance 8-4-270 seems to address this situation; we have to wonder, however, if the authors of the ordinance intended it to apply to works of public art on private property, particularly religious institutions. Unfortunately, what started out as a simple misunderstanding flared up into a much stickier situation.
Mohammed Ali, the artist, told Chicagoist, "We were out here for a
BY ESTHER J. CEPEDA Staff Reporter
A misunderstanding about permit requirements for public art has a North Side Islamic group calling for an apology from an alderman facing a runoff Tuesday.
The Chicago chapter of the Islamic Center of North America says Ald. Bernie Stone (50th) acted inappropriately last week when he stopped the painting of a peace mural by an internationally known artist and a group of 20 high school students.
Muralist Mohammed Ali was in Chicago through a program with the Arts Council of England, said Mahmood Khan, ICNA president. On Friday morning, he and the teens were painting a skyline and the word "salaam," which means "peace," on the side of ICNA's building in the 6200 block of North California when Stone drove up and shut down the project.
"We didn't know we needed a permit," Khan said. "This is a piece of artwork, not for commercial purposes."
Khan said he's also concerned because of comments from Stone that implied the letter "m" in the mural looked like the World Trade Center towers crumbling after the 9/11 attacks.
Stone said he'd be willing to introduce the permit request to the City
With graffiti, British artist offers vision of unity between Islam, West … but mural here must wait
In a world where Islam and the West are sometimes viewed as clashing cultures, Mohammed Ali's art says otherwise.
Like many young Muslims, he grew up reading the Quran and watching music videos, praying at the mosque and listening to hip-hop.
Through his work, the British-born graffiti artist — who visited Chicago as part of a U.S. tour to promote a dialogue about Islam and the arts — challenges the assumption that the two cultures are at odds.
Instead, he offers an airbrushed metaphor for how young Muslims raised in places like Europe and the United States can connect with their faith. Ali, 27, says graffiti lends itself to blending with Arabic calligraphy because both art forms are script-based.
"I hope to inspire youth by introducing a new kind of Islamic art that is born in the West, and therefore something that belongs to us," said Ali, who started work Thursday on a mural in Chicago.
But for now, plans for the mural, on the side of a mosque run by the Islamic Circle of North America, have been postponed, in what some Muslims say is a poignant reminder that peaceful coexistence between the cultures is a ways off.
On Friday, Ali had to stop work on the mural, which was about 5 percent
But the oversight only surfaced after
It will take about a month for members of the Islamic
Khan, who plans to apply for the paperwork, said the group didn't know they had to get permits.
"The idea behind this project was, 'How can we connect with the masses?'
Ali's work, all done legally, is not about
"That's the power of graffiti, there couldn't
"I lost a good friend to
"When you think of religion, you don't
To Chicago-born Mohammad Khawaja, 20, the mural reflects his reality.
And though much of his work hangs in galleries,