Defender of the Flag: In Memory of Alia Ansari

By Imam Zaid Shakir

This past Tuesday, Muslims celebrated ‘Id al-Fitr, one of Islam’s two great festivals. For me, it was a beautiful day that began with a truly warm and vibrant ‘Id gathering at the Zaytuna Institute. God afforded me a wonderful opportunity to see friends who had been “missing in action,” to meet enthusiastic new converts to Islam, and to kiss so many babies I felt like a politician. During that time, I was also able to break away from the gathering to visit the graves of some distinguished Muslims buried in a nearby cemetery. Visiting the local Muslim cemetery on ‘Id day is a practice I have been able to maintain since my earliest years in Islam. They serve as a solemn reminder that all of us have an appointment with the Angel of Death.

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Zaytuna launches new website –

Every community should have a group of people that commits to sighting the new moon each month. High-quality astronomy magazines and websites indicate the most probable day for its sighting. However, astronomical new moons and juristic new moons are not the same: the birth of a new moon astronomically is not its birth according to the jurists of Islam. This fact creates much confusion every year and could be easily resolved if Muslims return to the sunna of the Prophet peace be upon him, as he peace be upon him said in a sound hadith related by Imam al-Hakim, "The best of Allah’s servants are those who observe the new moons and shadows as a way of remembering Allah." Although the hadith generally refers to the muezzin who traditionally fulfilled that function, it does not exclude others who partake in the practice of tawqit.

Taken from the new site launched by Zaytuna,

Taking a break in search of Layltul Qadr

I won’t be posting until next week, inshaAllah due to my search for the Night of Power. Make dua for me!

We have now embarked on the last ten nights of Ramadan. The Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam used to exert himself in devotion during the last ten nights to a greater extent than at any other time.

Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Power) is described in the Qur’an as, {better than a thousand months}. [Surah Al-Qadr: 3] The Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said: “Whoever prays during the night of Qadr with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” [Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurairah].

Taken from Zaytuna.

MR tries to educate Peter King about his statement, “85% of mosques are run by radical extremists”

At least some students opposed to King’s views said they would rather hear him speak than try to drown him out. Amir Sahib, who was waiting outside the faculty room door for King, said he wanted to educate the congressman about Islam.

Sahib had heard his lecture and was angered when King repeated the contention of a Muslim sheik that 85 percent of mosques in the United States are run by radicals. The congressman had been challenged on the statistic by another student, Erol Ruzehaji, during the question-and-answer session.

Sahib, who comes from British Guyana, said the sheik King quoted is a minor figure whose name most American Muslims would not even recognize. Leading Muslim clerics would not say the same, he claimed.

“I’ll admit there are probably a few, maybe 7 percent out of 100 percent, that have extremist ideologues,” Sahib said. “It’s been five years since 9/11. If it were 85 percent, you’d think the CIA would have gotten them by now.”

Some corrections: I said maybe there are 2 percent out of 100 percent. Maybe the journalist wrote 2 really fast, and it came out to be 7. Also, I said my parents are from Guyana, which was a British colony in South America. Other then that, it was pretty good wording of what I said.

Source: Rancor over SBU speech

The Olympics of Quranic Recitation

Khubaib Muhammad, a 10-year-old Kenyan, recited the Koran during the contest. He does not speak Arabic, but has memorized the text by rote.
This is really amazing, mashaAllah! I never knew about this and it’s the 10th one.

Young Muslims Compete in a Different Kind of Recital
By Hassan M. Fattah
Published: October 10, 2006

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 8 — With its big-budget sets, promise of large cash prizes and surly judges who grimace at the slightest slip-up, the contest might seem like yet another made-for-TV talent show.

But the competition being beamed by satellite across the Muslim world this Ramadan is no “American Idol.” The winners, judged the best at reciting the Koran from memory, won’t become the objects of breathless gossip in glossy magazines. Instead, they will become stars of a different sort, earning the respect of devout Muslims and invitations to recite the text during religious gatherings.

The competition, the Dubai International Holy Koran Award, is open to males aged 21 and younger, and this year more than 80 young Muslim boys and men faced off in more than two weeks of nightly performances that end Tuesday. The contestants came from around the world to represent their countries, including Iran, Iraq, Brazil, Australia and the United States.

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