Blog Archives

Basheer Jones – Changing the world one young person at a time (Video)

info-pictogram1 This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Understanding our youth, identifying their point of reference and relating to them.

Basheer Jones is a poet, speaker and author. As the founder of the “Be the Change” leadership series, his life’s focus has been to inspire young people to see beyond their current situation. Jones shares his life experiences with the hopes of inspiring them to be the change that they want to see. Born in New York, a graduate of Martin Luther King High School, and Morehouse College, he is trying to change the world one young person at a time.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
More lectures…

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Imam who was blinded in one eye after assault says he forgives attackers

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Source: iengage.uk.net

Hull Daily Mail carries an interview with a local leader, Imam Hafiz Salik, who was blinded in one eye after a brutal attack more than a year ago.

Imam Salik, of the Hull mosque and Islamic centre, presented an alternative Christmas message in the local paper a few days ago in which he alluded to the attack last November.

Imam Salik was travelling in his car with his wife and daughter when a group of people stopped his car in the middle of the road, opened the driver’s door and punched him in the face before running off. Imam Salik suffered major injuries and has undergone several operations to his right eye though his vision is still severely impaired. Despite a police appeal for witnesses, the perpetrators have not been apprehended. Imam Salik’s son expressed concerns over the ‘stalled’ police investigation earlier this year prompting Humberside police to release CCTV images in an fresh attempt to identify the attackers.

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Israelis buy properties in ISIL-held Iraqi cities

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Source: presstv.com

A report says Israeli businessmen are buying properties belonging to the displaced  minorities in the ISIL-held regions in northern Iraq to prepare the ground for accommodation of more than 2,000 people there.

Citing a local source, Fars News Agency reported that estate agencies in Mosul and other cities of the Nineveh province in northern Iraq have began purchasing the houses and lands of Iraqi minorities including Christians and Izadis and Turkmens.

The estate agents offer “attractive prices” in exchange for the properties and later sell them to Israeli businessmen, the unnamed source said.

The source added that more than 2,000 Jews have recently returned to Iraq’s Kurdistan region to resettle in Iraq’s northern areas.

Thousands of Iraqi Christians and other communities have been forced out of their homes in Mosul since June following an ultimatum by ISIL terrorists. Most Christians in the northwestern Nineveh province escaped after the Takfiris overran the region.

The ISIL terrorists control some parts of Syria and Iraq. They are engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control.

The first Masjid of the Northeast Canadian Province of Nunavut has been completed

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By: Abdullah Hakim Quick

By the mercy of Almighty God, Allah, and the hard work of the Muslim brothers and sisters of the North, the groundbreaking and pillings for the first Masjid of the Northeast Canadian Province of Nunavut has been completed, al Hamdulillah. Official permission for the masjid has been obtained and the local elders and authorities have given their blessings. The site will be covered till the snow comes off in June but this foundation will enable us to build the Islamic Center of Iqaluit in the land of the Innuit people (wrongly called Eskimos) for the first time. May Allah empower the Innuit people through Islam and bring into them into the Ummah in crowds.

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Your Favorite Fast Food Chains Might Be Using Expired Meat In China (Video)

info-pictogram1 Fast food giants McDonald’s and KFC have apologized to Chinese customers for using expired meat from a local supplier in China. Now Starbucks and Burger King have also been engulfed in the mess. The revelation was made in a local Chinese TV investigation. Food safety is a big concern in China after a 2008 milk scandal which led to the death of six kids and made thousands sick.
Watch more…

Myanmar: Villagers Vs. Foreign Investors (Video)

info-pictogram1 Villagers in Myanmar have protested against major Chinese oil and mining corporations for two years, claiming they are stealing their land and ruining the environment. China’s investment in Myanmar has recently declined, but U.S. trade with the country is on the upswing. Will American companies treat local people any better?

UK: Crime-fighting Jews praised for protecting Muslims

Source9news.com.au

The unusual sight of crime-fighting Orthodox Jews pounding the streets of a tough London neighbourhood after dark has captured the attention of grateful locals, but their ongoing protection of local Muslims has seen their profile go global.

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Palestinians struggle to ‘dig out bodies’

Dozens of dead bodies remain under the rubble in Rafah, as Israel’s assault on southern Gaza kills scores of civilians.

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Local medics said that at least 110 people have been killed in Rafah in the past 24 hours.

By: Mohammed Omer

Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/

Rafah, Gaza Strip – Under continued Israeli air strikes and artillery fire, Issa Akel has no other choice: The 50-year-old bulldozer driver must stop unearthing the dead bodies buried beneath the rubble in this southern Gaza town and seek safety for himself.

In Hay al-Junina, east of Rafah, Akel went on a mission to rescue the dead, but he soon realised that his life was in danger. On Saturday, the town’s roads were littered with dead bodies, left bleeding for hours without any ambulance crew arriving to rescue them.

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Having a Productive Ramadan in Johannesburg, South Africa

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By: Fatima Bheekoo-Shah

Source: http://productivemuslim.com/

Johannesburg is the business hub of South Africa. Islam has been in practise here since the 1600s, brought by people from other countries who eventually settled in the region. Today, South Africa is home to a number of Islamic educational institutes and masajid (mosques).

In this post, we hear from Fatima Bheekoo-Shah, a resident of Johannesburg.

Experience of Ramadan in Johannesburg

Ramadan here is always a much-anticipated time and Muslims prepare months in advance for its welcome. Although Muslims only make up about 2% of the South African population, the environment and the amenities made available for them make it hard to guess that they are, after all, such a small minority.

While it is a month of fasting, it is ironic that we have many Muslim women who start preparing savouries months in advance. They do this either for their own use or for sale. While much could be said about the merits of this savoury-frenzy, it certainly helps in the build-up to this auspicious month. Qur’an competitions and recitals are also held in Rajab and Sha’ban (months prior to Ramadan) to prepare huffād [plural of hāfid, are Muslims who have completely memorised the Qur’an] for taraweeh.

During Ramadan there is definitely a community spirit in the air. In Cape Town little plates of edibles and sweets are sent to one’s Muslim neighbours. In Johannesburg, it is customary for women to prepare large amounts of soup and savouries, sending them to their local masajid to be distributed among devotees that gather there. Closer to Eid, various charitable organizations call on the community to help package and distribute food and clothes-parcels as part of their charitable campaigns for the less fortunate.

Boosting productivity during Ramadan

Because we are not a ‘Muslim country’ there are no such things as reduced working hours. It is pretty much a normal day with Muslims fasting. This year though, the month of fasting falls during our annual winter holidays. So most schools will remain closed during this period, making things easier for our children. Also, most employees take permission to leave work early.

Spiritually, the masajid run various programs for the community to attend. Most masajid in South Africa, with the exception of a few, perform the full 20 raka’ats of taraweeh. The objective is to complete a full recitation of the Qur’an in the month of Ramadan. It is also usually completed during the last ten nights of the month. Some even strive to complete two such full recitations.

It has become somewhat of a tradition for Mufti Menk to spend Ramadan in South Africa, having a tafsir (exegesis) lecture after taraweeh every evening. Even with taraweeh ending late and Muslims having had a normal workday, the masjid can be seen overflowing with devotees eagerly soaking up wisdom from the Mufti. It is also a very social time for Muslims and having iftar dinners is high on the agenda. Many of these do end before taraweeh prayers, though.

Through Jumu’ah Khutbas (sermons) imams encourage the community to attend prayers at the masjid a few months before Ramadan begins. Charitable organizations also run programs on weekends, where people in poorer communities are treated for iftar.

Productivity challenges

Because we are not a ‘Muslim country’ we do not face challenges such as Ramadan TV series. Living in a non-Muslim environment makes us yearn to hang on even more to the traditions, culture and practices of Ramadan.

The biggest challenge for those who work is trying to balance work, benefiting from the immense reward of reciting the Qur’an and offering optional prayers. This Jumu’ah, the khateeb (the one delivering a sermon) reminded the people that fasting will actually fall during the World Cup and this should not distract nor prevent us from attending prayers at the masjid.

Overcoming obstacles and making the most out of Ramadan

I have learned to overcome this by planning, planning and more planning.

wake up an hour before suhoor and recite as much Qur’an as I can. After suhoor I don’t retire to bed; I prepare my meals instead so that there is no rush to do it for iftar in the evening.

At work while performing my salah I use some of my break to read more Qur’an. This helps me complete at least one khatma in the holy month. Once I get home I take a power nap before iftar so that I have ample energy for taraweeh.

Over the last few years, my family and I have cut out oily and all unhealthy food so we do not become lazy and sluggish. This went a long way in helping us enjoy a productive Ramadan and keeping our energy levels constant.

Most group iftar parties are held just before taraweeh so that family and friends can attend the taraweeh in congregation. After taraweeh I go to bed. We also switch off the TV during this month so that our minds are not occupied by it and we don’t waste time during this precious month. Even children get used to this and find healthy alternatives to keep themselves occupied.

Some of the Islamic radio stations broadcast lectures and Qur’an recitation to inspire Muslims throughout Ramadan.

Most importantly, we make a firm intention from the beginning of the month that we will try our best during the coming month. We have goals written down and try to complete them as quickly as we can and motivate ourselves to do more.

The key thing is to be consciously aware that Ramadan is not a month for feasting nor should it be taken easy. Rather, it’s a month to be more productive despite the challenges we face. Renewing our intentions periodically throughout the month and carefully structuring our day will lead to greater productivity on a daily basis, In sha Allah.

I remind myself that the Battle of Badr took place in Ramadan. That in itself is a big motivating factor.

That was a quick and brief look into life and productivity during Ramadan in Johannesburg. What productivity challenges do you face in your locality? What unique ways do you adopt to overcome these challenges? Please share your life experiences in the comments below.