Right of Way

The post “I’m Buying a Radar” by Shabina on Moz Boondoggle re-awakened some thoughts that have been lingering around in my mind and usually bubble up to the surface while I am driving in my car.

No Turn on Red
MuslimApple is driving in the city and wants to make a right turn but the light is red and there is a No Turn on Red sign posted. OK, no problem, I can wait for the green light. Light changes to green, alhamdulillah, I think I can proceed to make my turn. Right?

Wrong. The pedestrian walk signal is indicating that this is the most opportune time for people on foot or in wheelchairs to use the crosswalk. OK, no problem, I can wait.

Unfortunately, this is not a signal with a countdown of time remaining until the red light returns so as the pedestrian signal begins flashing the “Don’t Walk” symbol I feel nervous.

Am I going to make the light or not? Should I inch ever so slightly forward into the crosswalk and hope that the pedestrians pick up their pace so I can turn?

The light is now yellow, so I move determinedly forward and just as the light turns red I complete my turn. Alhamdulillah.

Roll Through

Touching the line of my patience circle are drivers that roll through stop signs without stopping. I mean why can’t you come to a complete stop? It’s dangerous not to stop. Did you consider each possible avenue of oncoming traffic? Continue reading

Moonsighting or Moonfighting – Part 2

Alas, we have a North American body dissenting from the Fiqh Council’s decision to use calculations. The Hilal Sighting Committee of North America has announced that they will use “naked eye” observations to determine the start of Ramadan.

The Hilal Sighting Committee has released two versions of a report expressing their dismay at the Fiqh Council’s earlier decision entitled:

A Refutation to ISNA/Fiqh Council’s Decision to Disregard the Qur’an and the Sunnah and to follow Astronomical Calculations for Beginning an Islamic Month.

Short Version

Long Version

Now, one might ask as I did, “Who are the members of the Hilal Sighting Committee”? The dissenting opinion was signed by:

Mawlana Muhammad G. Nadvi, Ph.D - North American Ulema Council, CA
Mufti Hidayatullah Farooqi – Jamat Ahle Sunnat of America, Chicago, IL
Mawlana Abdullah Kapodrawee – Jami’atul ‘Ulama Canada, Toronto, Canada
Mufti Muhammad Jamaluddin – Darul ‘Uloom/Baitul Hamd, New York, NY
Mufti Ruhul Amin – Shari’ah Board of New York, NY
Mawlana Mohammad Tayyab Qasmi – Islamic Shari’ah Council of B.C., Canada
Mufti Mumtaz Qasmi – Islamic Shari’ah Council of California, CA

Mufti Noman Vazir – Shari’ah Board of New York, NY
Mawlana Muhibur Rahman – Ulama Council of America, NY
Shaikh Syed Muhammad Rizvi – Shi’a Association of America, Toledo, OH
Imam Ashrafuz Zaman Khan – Ulama Council of America, NY
Mawlana Khaleel Ahmad – Hilal Committee of Metropolitan Toronto

Moonsighting or Moonfighting Part 1

North American Muslims elect first female president

More on the election of Dr. Mattson as president of ISNA:

Source: Houston Chronicle

Aug. 28, 2006, 5:22PM

Muslim group picks first woman leader
By Rachel Zoll AP Religion Writer
© 2006 The Associated Press

The first woman president of the largest Muslim group in North America says that she’s proud of her community for electing her.

Ingrid Mattson, a Canadian convert to Islam and an Islamic law scholar at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, was chosen to lead the Islamic Society of North America just ahead of its annual convention, which starts Friday in Rosemont, Ill.

“This is a community that can choose to be whatever it wishes to be, unlike many other Muslims throughout the world who don’t live in democratic societies,” Mattson said Monday in a phone interview from Chicago. “I think it shows what Muslims can do and would like to do.”

Formed in 1963, the Islamic Society is an umbrella group that represents Muslim associations for youth, college students, engineers and others, and also provides support to Muslim chaplains and North American mosques. Its annual meeting regularly draws more than 30,000 people. Continue reading


Al-Imâm ibn al-Jawzi, may Allâh have mercy upon him, was once asked:

“Is it better for me to make tasbîh or to make istighfâr?” He replied, “The dirty robe is more in need of soap than perfume.”

Hasan, may Allâh be pleased with him, once said:

“Increase in making istighfâr for you’ll never know when His Mercy will next descend.”

From Linxia, China with Love

Linxia, China also known as “Little Mecca” is home to a large and vibrant Chinese Muslim population.

In the Islam Invulnerable class, we spent some time going over the spread of Islam to China, the revival movements and uprisings, and the oftentimes brutal repression of Muslims by successive Chinese goverments spanning the centuries.

I don’t want to sound like an advertisement for the New York Times but they have another excellent slideshow commentary by Jim Yardley on Muslims in China called Little Mecca.

Source: New York Times

Conversions to Islam increase after Rwandan Genocide

Alhamdulillah, conversions to Islam among Rwandans have increased in the aftermath of the genocide which occurred there in the 1990’s.

Many Rwandans were disgusted that some Christian leaders and churches helped assist and perpetuate the mass killings which are estimated to have killed more than 800,000 people.

Mark Lacey, the New York Times Nairobi bureau chief has a remarkable slideshow commentary on Religion in Rwanda.

Source: New York Times

Women Lead an Islamic Revivial in Syria

An interesting look at the Islamic revival in Syria and of Muslims rediscovering the richness of our religious tradition. It seems that everywhere we look, we see Muslims are realizing the faults and emptiness of the other paths and returning to Islam as a source of inspiration to effect change not only in their personal lives but also in the political landscape of their countries.

August 29, 2006

Islamic Revival Led by Women Tests Syria’s Secularism

Source: New York Times

DAMASCUS, Syria — Enas al-Kaldi stops in the hallway of her Islamic school for girls and coaxes her 6-year-old schoolmate through a short recitation from the Koran.

“It’s true that they don’t understand what they are memorizing at this age, but we believe that the understanding comes when the Koran becomes part of you,” Ms. Kaldi, 16, said proudly.

In other corners of Damascus, women who identify one another by the distinctive way they tie their head scarves gather for meetings of an exclusive and secret Islamic women’s society known as the Qubaisiate.

At those meetings, participants say, they are tutored further in the faith and are even taught how to influence some of their well-connected fathers and husbands to accept a greater presence of Islam in public life.

These are the two faces of an Islamic revival for women in Syria, one that could add up to a potent challenge to this determinedly secular state. Though government officials vociferously deny it, Syria is becoming increasingly religious and its national identity is weakening. If Islam replaces that identity, it may undermine the unity of a society that is ruled by a Muslim religious minority, the Alawites, and includes many religious groups. Continue reading

What Have You Learned?

From Imam Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum ad-Din:

Hatim al Assaam was once approached by his teacher Shaqeeq al Balkhi who said you have been my companion for many years what have you learned? Hatim replied, eight matters.

“I looked around and saw that everyone has something or someone he loves and with whom he remains until the moment he dies. Then they part. Therefore I made good actions the object of my love so that when my hour of death comes, that which I love will accompany me to the grave.”

“I reflected on the words of Allah, ‘As for the one who fears the station of his Lord and holds his self back from passion, the Garden will be his dwelling-place.’ (79:40-41) Therefore I struggled with myself and strived to repel passion until I was well settled in obedience to Allah. Continue reading


Imam Shafi’ee rahimuAllah ta ala said, “True knowledge is not that which you memorize but that which benefits you.”

Some people are just containers of knowledge but that knowledge benefits no one, not even himself or herself. We ask Allah to teach us knowledge that is of benefit and to benefit us by that knowledge. Ameen.