By: John White
Middle Eastern men and women are some of the most attractive people in the world. They are tall, have gorgeous dark complexions, and almond shaped eyes with thick, lush lashes. Because of their diet rich in foods like avocado, couscous, pomegranate, and falafel, Middle Eastern men and women also have smooth skin which is soft to the touch and great figures (not to mention crazy libidos from all those aphrodisiacs!). The Middle East also happens to be the epicenter of the Muslim world. For people who aren’t from the Middle East or part of the Muslim tribe, Muslim dating can be incredibly confusing. Here is what you infidels need to know about dating a Muslim woman or man.
For the full lecture go to: Lecture title “YM Intensive: Lessons from the Story of Musa (as) by Nouman Ali Khan”
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There is a spiritual dimension in everything. All of life has meaning and everything that you do in life is in preparation for your great meeting. This great meeting is your meeting with your Lord, which is absolutely inevitable.
By: Ustadha Naielah Ackbarali
What is Recommended On the Day of Eid al Fitr?
* To wake up early, preferably before Fajr or at the entering of Fajr
* To pray the Fajr group prayer in the masjid
* To eat something sweet after the Fajr prayer before going to the Eid prayer area
* To eat dates if one can find them, and to eat them in amounts of odd numbers
* To perform the purificatory bath (ghusl) before the Eid prayer, even for a person who is not attending the prayer
* To clean one’s teeth with a siwak or similar object as much as possible
* To wear scented perfume (women do not wear strong scented perfume outside of their homes)
* To wear the best of one’s clothes, which consist of the most beautiful, cleanest or newest garments, even if they are not white
* To make one’s happiness and joy apparent, thanking Allah for one’s blessings
* To smile and display one’s happiness when meeting others
* To give much in non-obligatory charity, more than one’s usual habit
* To direct oneself to the Eid prayer area, while saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ quietly to oneself and to stop saying it when the Imam begins the Eid prayer
* To go to the Eid prayer area by foot
* To pay the sadaqat al-fitr (zakat al-fitr) if it is necessary for one to do so
* To arrive early at the Eid prayer area so one can pray in the first line
* To return from a different direction after performing the Eid prayer
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah; al-Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar]
By: Imran Khan
Christians in Mosul told they face death unless they convert or pay “jizya” tax, more victims in a wider sectarian war.
The letter distributed in Mosul on Friday
The letter looks like any other official document. It’s on headed paper. There’s a stamp. There’s even a logo in the corner. So far, so bureaucratic.
The content, however, is far from bureaucratic. It’s a letter listing demands from the Islamic State group and a response to previous request asking leaders of Mosul’s Christian community for a meeting.
The demands are blunt. Christians either convert to Islam or pay a tax that allows them to continue to practice their faith. The letter goes on to say that the decision was taken after Christian leaders in the city failed to attend the requested meeting.
The letter states they should leave the city without taking any belongings with them, and that a death penalty is the “last resort”.
Other pictures sent to Al Jazeera show Christian houses marked and declared properties of the Islamic State.
From the mosques, Islamic State imams reissued the demands after Friday prayer.
Under the Ottoman Caliphate a tax, the jizya, was levied on non-Muslims. It was designed to show that non-Muslims accepted Muslim rule, and that in return they were free to practise their religion and were afforded protection from aggression, both internal or external. The Muslims also paid a tax, zakat, to the empire.
The Islamic State has levied this tax before, in territories they control in Syria, and have issued similar decrees.
Church leaders in Iraq or indeed in Mosul haven’t responded to the threats officially and sources inside Mosul believe that most of the community fled after churches and shops were smashed and they were denied food by the group.
Between June 10 and June 30, according to the UN, at least three churches in the city had been taken over by the Islamic state, previously called ISIL, and that the group planted thier flag on top of the buildings. The UN also says that houses of Christians who had fled had been looted.
But the city itself is far from a united capital of the “caliphate”. The eastern side is dominated not by the Islamic State but the one of the main Iraqi Sunni rebel groups, the Naqshbandi.
They’ve replaced Islamic State flags with their own and are in control. But to what degree is being questioned. According to our sources an agreement has been made between the Islamic State and the Naqshbandi giving the Islamic State overall control of the city, but the situation is complicated.
Even those left behind are confused as to who is in charge. “We just avoid anyone who has a gun. I stay at home and I don’t want to be noticed. This is is now my life, hiding in the city I was born in, that I’ve lived all my life,” says Faisal, not his real name, who I’ve been speaking to in Mosul since the city fell on June 10.
The Iraqi military say they carry out regular air attacks against rebel and Islamic State targets in the city but so far no major ground offensive has begun. The reason that Mosul remains in the hands of the rebels groups is that Iraq doesn’t have the troops to retake the city.
One Middle Eastern diplomatic source told me that the sectarian nature of Iraq’s army was a problem.
“The army is mainly Shia, and Iraq is also using Shia militias. Send troops who are mainly Shia to Mosul to fight agianst the Sunni rebels will turn this insurgency into an all-out civil war with the Sunnis. It’s better that the
Sunni tribes and the Kurdish Peshmerga fight, to avoid sectarian escalation.”
So far the Sunni tribes, who have said they will fight the rebels and the Islamic State, have maintained they will not take up arms until Nouri Al Maliki, quits as prime minister. Maliki shows no desire to do so and his party is insisting he is the only one who can lead Iraq out of this crisis.
The Kurdish Peshmerga, the Kurdish regional force who control the borders of Mosul, are also waiting for a political decision from Kurdish politicians before they enter the city. Both those forces will be crucial if Iraq wants to defeat the Islamic State and the Sunni Rebels.
For now Mosul remains the capital of the “Islamic State” and an Iraq city under siege. It’s a situation few can see changing in the near future.