Thursday, 25 August 2011

After 9/11, Muslim Assertive Of Their Identity

Under a cloud of suspicion and distrust after the 9/11 attacks, there were stories of men named Muhammad who started going by "Mo," mosque leaders telling their flocks to lie low and women leaving their headscarves at home.And then there was Asma Mangrio."My husband was nervous with me driving alone with my scarf on after 9/11," said the 37-year-old mother of three. "But I said I'm not taking it off. I'm not going to let something like this stop me."
565Instead, Mangrio organized an information session for neighbors in her apartment complex, explaining her beliefs and condemning terrorism. She threw herself into life at her San Francisco Bay Area mosque, and in 2005 helped launch Muslim Unity Day, which draws as many as 4,000 Muslims to a local amusement park.

"Everywhere you go in that park, you see Muslims. It took me until the second year to realize that this is the first time in my life that I have been a majority in a public place in America," she said.

While many Muslim Americans sought invisibility after 9/11, others did the opposite: growing beards, donning headscarves and skull caps, and making sure people knew they were Muslim.

The point? To be visible, and to challenge the notion that Muslims are oppressed, uneducated, dangerous or extremist.

"There's nothing wrong with being an outwardly devout Muslim, and a proud loyal American," said Hassan Shibly, who was in 7th grade on 9/11. As a teenager, he was taunted by classmates who called him "Osama" or "terrorist."

But when Shibly began his studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo, he grew out his beard and started wearing a kufi, or skullcap. Sometimes he wore a jubah, a traditional Arabic gown, when he chaired meetings of the student senate.

"People got to know me and like me in regular clothes, and then they'd see me in something they wouldn't expect, and that would really help break down the stereotypes," said Shibly.

He went on to law school and worked for judges over summer break. And while he opted for suits instead of the jubah, he wouldn't let go of the beard or kufi. People were "astonished," he said, to see him "chilling with the judge."

Last spring, Shibly turned a few more heads when he got an airport job -- with full security clearance -- handling luggage on the tarmac.

"It hopefully broke some stereotypes because you've got this guy with a beard and kufi, looking like what they're probably afraid of, loading and unloading their planes," said Shibly, who now directs the local branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Tampa, Fla.

The Muslim-and-proud message, however, isn't just directed at critics, or those who think they know everything they need to know about Islam. It's also directed within.

"We need to teach our Muslim youth what the reality of the religion is, and to help them feel a sense of pride in their religious, cultural and ethnic heritage, and also to teach them and Americans that this is part and parcel of the American ideal," said Sheikh Yasir Kazi, a prominent cleric who teaches Islamic courses at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.


After enduring dirty looks as a medical student in Sarasota, Fla., Pakistani immigrant Azlan Tariq bought a shirt in 2005 that read: "I'm not a terrorist, I just look like one."

"I would get looks all the time, and they weren't the happy friendly looks," said Tariq, who is now in a medical resident in Chicago. "Down there I had to make the statement."

Tariq still has the shirt, but doesn't wear it much anymore -- there's less need for it in Chicago, he said, and in a way, Tariq thinks he may have outgrown it.

"That was more of a phase. Now I feel like I can just talk to people," he said. "I'm a lot more confident. If people look at me curiously, I'll just say 'Hi.' I don't feel I need this statement on my shirt."

Shibly said Muslim Americans have a lot to learn from Sikhs who wear turbans or Jews who wear yarmulkes without a sense of shame. If they can do it, he says, there's no reason Muslims can't.

Muslims In America After 9/11

After all the books, speeches, seminars, Facebook posts and mosque open houses to teach Americans about Islam in the wake of 9/11, Americans say they now know more about Islam than they did 10 years ago.The problem, pollsters say, is that Americans don't seem to like what they're learning. Indeed, the percentage of Americans who say they know some or a great deal about Islam climbed from 38 percent immediately after 9/11 to 44 percent in 2010, according to the Pew Research Center.
At the same time, Pew polls report, the percentage of Americans with favorable views of Islam dropped, from 41 percent to 30 percent in the past five years.

That has left many Muslims exasperated with Islamic advocacy organizations, and sometimes divided over the best ways to use scant resources in hopes of improving American perceptions of Islam. Critics say the numbers prove that education has failed to reduce Islamophobia among Americans.

"The idea that education will lead to a lessoning of bigotry is just factually incorrect," said Reza Aslan, an award-winning author who recently launched a media company, BoomGen Studios, in New York and Los Angeles that focuses on Muslim and Middle Eastern themes.

Americans "don't care about your religion. They don't want to know more about Islam,"

Aslan said Muslim organizations shouldn't eliminate or overlook education, but argues that more resources should be spent on integrating Muslims into all aspects of American society -- politics, business, education, and civic life.

He points to American Jews as a community that was once reviled but is now respected.

"What happened? Did people learn more about Judaism? No, there wasn't a concerted effort to teach people about Jewish life or Jewish religion," said Aslan. "The Jews integrated themselves into American life to the point that the argument that the Jews aren't American sounded so stupid, that people stopped thinking it."

Kamran Memon, a civil rights lawyer in Chicago who also heads the grassroots group Muslims for a Safe America, said education isn't the problem. Rather, it is the subject matter.

While Muslim Americans are good at talking about Islam's appealing aspects, Memon said, they haven't addressed legitimate concerns about Islamic scriptures and beliefs that have been used to justify violence.

"When people are so scared of something, you can't change the subject, you have to address the issue," Memon said. "Talking about peace in Islam is like trying to change the subject, and you can't change the subject when someone asks, 'Why are some Muslims trying to kill us?"'

Muslim groups counter that education does work. Without it, they say, Islamophobia would be much worse.

"From our experience, education works," said Ashfaq Parkar, a coordinator for 1-800-Why-Islam, a hotline sponsored by the Islamic Circle of North America in Queens, N.Y. The hotline fields as many as 600 calls per month. "Many people who call will be confrontational when they start, but when they conclude, they're sympathetic, or at least less aggressive."

Maha ElGenaidi, CEO of the Islamic Networks Group in San Jose, Calif., which trains speakers to talk about Islam in schools, government and law enforcement agencies, corporations and religious institutions, also rejected the idea that education isn't working.

"That's not our experience at all," she said. "Just the opposite, in fact."

The problem, Muslim educators say, is that attempts to provide what they call "positive" knowledge about Islam are often overwhelmed by a sea of "negative" information that's spread by conservative cable and talk radio hosts, and the right-wing blogosphere.

"The challenge is the onslaught of negative images, negative stereotypes," said Nadia Roumani, director of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California, "and the resources and manpower these (Muslim) groups have just don't match up."

The newly resurgent anti-Muslim movement makes education more important, not less, Muslim educators say. Some experts agree.

"If the only thing you know about Islam is Osama bin Laden and the stoning of women in Afghanistan or Iran, then clearly your attitude towards Muslims is going to be bad," he said.

"But if you knew that the most common prayer in Islam is 'In the name of God, the all merciful,' your attitude towards Muslims would probably be a lot better."

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

‘Flagman’ becomes hero at Egypt

With the Egyptian flag draped over his shoulder, a carpenter carefully climbed up the 21-story Israeli Embassy in Cairo on his way to becoming an instant hero to millions across the Arab world.“Keep going, keep going!” an awe-struck crowd below yelled at dawn Sunday, craning their necks to watch him.When he reached the top, Ahmed al-Shahat ripped down Israel’s blue-and-white flag and replaced it with Egypt’s red, white and black. Thousands of protesters cheered; fireworks went off.

And so was born “flagman,” a figure who resonates with Egyptians angry not only with Israel’s killing of five Egyptian policemen on Thursday, but with Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and their own government’s decades-long support of Israel under Hosni Mubarak’s ousted regime.

Fireworks were set off after al-Shahat took down the flag, in a symbolic eruption of decades of pent-up frustration. Within minutes, Twitter was abuzz with people writing about al-Shahat, making “flagman” one of the most popular phrases on the microblogging website. Shaky video recorded on mobile phones of him climbing the building received thousands of hits on YouTube. Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff received more than 1.5 million visits to his website after posting his latest creation: Ahmed al-Shahat as Spider-Man, in a suit with the Egyptian flag’s colors.

The attention echoed that given to Iraq’s “shoeman”—the man who flung his shoes at President George W.Bush during a press conference in Iraq in 2008.

“What he did was so amazing because it was so simple and spontaneous,” said activist and photographer Lilian Wagdy. “After the revolution people don’t believe there should be concessions to an apartheid regime and what he did was take action in reshaping the official stance.”
By late Sunday, the Egyptian flag remained hoisted above the Israeli Embassy, which had no immediate comment about the incident. The Israeli envoy is away on vacation.

“Millions of Arabs want to pull that flag. When I pulled the flag it ripped accidentally, but it was burned below,” al-Shahat said after climbing down. He was speaking to Al-Jazeera’s live broadcast channel for Egypt.

Thousands of protesters have rallied outside the embassy since five Egyptian policemen were killed by Israeli gunfire in Egypt’s Sinai late Thursday. The incident took place after Israel said Palestinian militants crossed from Egypt to carry out a series of deadly ambushes in southern Israel.

Militants in Gaza have agreed to cease-fire with Israel in an agreement brokered by Egypt, a senior official for Hamas, which rules in Gaza, said Sunday.

“The path to Jerusalem leads through Cairo,” chanted activists outside the embassy.

The April 6th Youth Movement, one of the main organizers of the Egyptian uprising that led to Mubarak’s downfall in February, said in a statement that al-Shahat’s actions were “a new blow by the people to Israel and the United States and its failed diplomacy.”

Al-Shahat said taking the flag down was about people’s “disrespect and disgust” with Israel and showing that people in Egypt are not waiting for their government to take action.

“I wasn’t scared going up there. This is a message to Israel that we can send millions of martyrs for the good of our country,” he said.

The latest trend amongst non-Muslims in Philadelphia USA

The-Philly-Sunnah-BeardThere’s not a woman in Philly who would rock a burka just to make a fashion statement.But when it comes to Muslim-inspired menswear, well, that’s another story. Regardless of their religious affiliations, certain Philadelphia men, mainly African-Americans, have adopted the style of wearing long, old-world-style beards, sometimes pairing them with calf-length trousers and long shirts – all looks inspired by traditional Muslim attire.
For many, this convergence of hip-hop with Islamic style is purely a fashion statement and has nothing to do with whether a guy worships in a church or mosque. Some jokingly refer to non-Muslims who adopt this mode of dress as “asalama-fakems,” a play off the traditional Arabic greeting of “as-salaam alaikum,” meaning “peace be upon you.”

Whatever you call it, the Islamic-style aesthetic has been around for a while, and the beard in particular – often referred to as a “Philly beard” or a “Sunni” – has come to be identified with the City of Brotherly Love. My friend Anthony Henderson, the fashion stylist who divides his time between Philly and Los Angeles, makes a point of wearing it because of hometown pride.

“I can go to a corner store in Crenshaw or in Watts and people will say, ‘You’re from Philly,’ ” Henderson said. “And if I have to go to a new barber here in Los Angeles, I say, ‘I need a Philly beard.’ They automatically know what it is.

“I love my Philly beard because I think it makes me look attractive and sexy. People like to touch it and pull on it.”

Henderson’s chin whiskers are in a circle beard that connects his mustache with his goatee, and are darkened with hair dye that gives his beard Philly-esque definition. Barbers such as Darryl Thomas of Philly Cuts at 44th and Chestnut will use a dark wax pencil to give a sharp edge to the beard, a “serious outline.”

“We just put that razor on it and make it look real hot,” Thomas told me.

The most famous Philly beard-wearer is rapper Freeway.

“In college, we would often call it the Freeway beard, the Philly beard or the Muslim beard, also the West Philly beard,” said Ben Piven, who created a short YouTube documentary on the topic. “There’s a specific shaping to it, the way it puffs out around the cheeks and the sideburns and extends below the chin, definitely low in the mustache area in keeping with the Islamic style of facial hair.

“It’s definitely well-groomed, well-kept. It’s a neat look,” he added.

“Muslims will wear the beard as a way to pay respect to the prophet Muhammad. Muslims believe that all the Abrahamic prophets wear beards,” Zulfiqar told me. “It’s a sign of piety. It’s a sign of religiosity, a sign that you’re trying to walk the path that the prophet walked.”

He added, “I think a lot of people in Philly do it because it’s become a part of the culture, urban culture in particular. It’s now part of Philly.”

Zulfiqar occasionally will be approached by a stranger who compliments him on his facial hair by saying, ” ‘I like your Sunnah.’ ”

“Sunni” is derived from the term Sunnah, which is Arabic and generally refers to the practices or ways of the prophet Muhammad. Police dispatchers can be heard on police scanners describing suspects as wearing “Sunni” beards.

The so-called Philly beard has been growing in popularity with non-Muslims since the mid-’90s, according to Mark Lightfoot, owner of the Philadelphia Hair Co., 5805 Germantown Ave.

“It probably started out as a fad, but it’s not dying down,” said Lightfoot, who’s also a barber. “If it’s 10 people I do, it’s probably six or seven of them that get it.”

The popularity of the beards is a sign of how mainstream Muslim culture has become in Philadelphia. Another example is the style of wearing pants cropped to an above-the-ankle length. During ancient times, certain Muslims would allow their clothing to drag on the ground as a sign of extravagance or to demonstrate their wealth.

Given the number of Muslims in Philadelphia, this look is likely to endure.

But the beard? Like a lot of women, I much prefer a little chin stubble to a full-face beard. I asked Thomas of Philly Cuts if he thinks that the Philly beard will ever go out of style, and he laughed.

Fasting and Premier Football

ngly like to control every aspect of their players’ fitness, testing them weekly, providing individual exercise plans and dictating diet. Sometimes, however, outside influences come into play. For the increasing number of Muslims in the Premier and Football League, normal eating habits are currently suspended, for this is the month of Ramadan. During Ramadan, which runs from 1 to 29 August this year, devotees are expected to refrain from taking in food or liquid, smoking and sex, from before sunrise until sundown. This is intended to teach patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to Allah.
Nicolas-AnelkaIt is one of the five pillars of Islam, the others being a declaration of faith, giving to charity, praying the five daily prayers and the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca.

Managers and coaches may question the wisdom of a footballer having to train and play when fasting, but this is something that Muslims know is part of their life.

“They’re quite curious, yes. They wonder why I don’t eat and ask all these questions, but you have to answer them. It’s good also because it’s witnessing the religion and we can talk about that. They see me praying in the dressing room, I don’t think of how people look at me, I’m just natural and it’s my way.

“Islam has helped me to be this way, so this is normal. It’s a path you take to keep you calm, to help you think about the place you live in, to love your neighbour. It’s strange when I hear about all these problems of terrorism because it’s the opposite of what I understood for Islam.”

In a diverse Premier League, an increasing number of players are followers of Islam. You’ll see them cup their hands in silent ayer before kick-off, then brush them over their face. Kolo and Yaya Touré, Nicolas Anelka and Samir Nasri are all talented players who would not want any fuss over their faith, but during the month of Ramadan, games can become even more of a challenge than usual.

Some players compromise. Anelka has said that he initially fasted in daylight hours as prescribed, but “I realised I often got injured just after the period of Ramadan, so I don’t observe it strictly any more”.

A similar approach is followed by Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh. “I have no problem fasting during Ramadan, it becomes normal. The day before a game and on match days I do not fast, but I’ll make up the lost days later.Ipswich striker Nathan Ellington converted to Islam seven years ago, and has just set up the Association of Muslim Footballers, whose purpose is to inform non-believers. He said educating the footballing authorities will help alleviate the type of comments that Mourinho came out with, which he described as “unfair”.

The Millwall winger Hameur Bouazza admitted fasting can be problematic, but said it was part of his faith. “I’m proud to be a Muslim. I’m not going to say [combining fasting and football] is easy. Ramadan is hard, and I try to do my best every time. You know God is there to help us, we believe in him and he believes in us as well. We just need to pray and believe in him.”

The issue of fasting and playing is a tricky one with the religious needs of the player somewhat at odds with the footballing needs of his manager and the club. Until now, there have not been any defining guidelines on the issue, but as more Muslim players find a place in the top leagues of Europe the issue of fasting during the holy month – which arrives annually 10 days earlier than the previous year – will not be going away

Premier League Muslims 

Marouane Chamakh, Abou Diaby, Samir Nasri, Bacary Sagna, Armand Traoré –  Arsenal

Habib Beye – Aston Villa

Nicolas Anelka, Salomon Kalou –  Chelsea

Marouane Fellaini – Everton

Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tioté  - Newcastle

Edin Dzeko (left), Kolo Touré, Yaya Touré – Manchester City

Adel Taarabt – Queen’s Park Rangers

Ahmed Elmohamady  - Sunderland

Younes Kaboul (left)  - Tottenham

Youssuf Mulumbu  - West Bromwich

Ali Al Habsi, Mohamed Diame  - Wigan

10 ways to maximise the Ramadan

Mosque-at-night-600x403It’s hard to believe that Ramadan is heading down the final homestretch. The last few days of Ramadan are upon us, as Muslims from all over the world step up their efforts to make the most of every remaining moment.
The last ten nights of Ramadan are are the most blessed and we should increase our worship and devotion as they hold the glittering jewel of Laylat al-Qadr, or the Night of Power, which Allah describes it in the  Quran as being [better than a thousand months.] ( Al-Qadr 97:3)
Allah’s Messenger used to exert himself in devotion during the last ten nights to a greater extent than at any other time.” (Muslim).
Aisha (Ra) reported: With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work harder) and used to pray the whole night, & used to keep his family awake for the prayers. (Bukhari) 

So there is still time for us to redeem ourselves in the last 10 blessed days of Ramadan. We must NOT miss this opportunity otherwise we will regret it forever. We should strive to seek out night of power which is hidden in one of the last 10 nights of Ramadan, particularly in the odd numbered nights.

So this is our chance to get closer to Allah & to gain his mercy and forgiveness of ALL of our past and present sins! Therefore we should put everything into the last 10 nights & know that we will get so much more in return. But if we waste these nights then we will regret it FOREVER!

The following are 10 ways which we can maximize these blessed nights:

1. Sitting I’tikaf in the last 10 days

I`tikaf is the seclusion and staying in the Masjid with the intention of becoming closer to Allah by doing constant remembrance, glorification and worship of Allah. I’tikaf is a great Sunnah:

Aishah (RA) reported that the Prophet (Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam): “Used to perform i’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan until Allah the Mighty & Majestic, took him.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

Abu Said reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever makes I`tikaf with me is to make I’tikaf during the last ten [nights].” (Bukhari)

Women can also sit I’tikaf

Women can also sit I’tikaf at the Masjid with husbands permission. There is a difference of opinion whether she can sit I’tikaf at home. The Hanafi madhab states a woman can sit I’tikaf at a designated place in her home.

Nawafil I’tikaf:

If a person cannot sit I’tikaf for the full 10 days & nights then they should try & sit I’thikaf on as many days & nights as they possibly can.

They can make intention of doing Nawafil I’tikaf everytime they enter the Masjid so a person will be rewarded for the duration of their stay in the Masjid as long as they did not commit any sins or indulge in idle talk.

Immense rewards for sitting I’tikaf

Ali Ibn Hussain (RA) narrates from his father that Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “He who observes the ten days I’tikaf during Ramadhan will obtain the reward of two Hajj & two Umrah.”(Bayhaqi)

Abdullah bin Abbas (RA) reported that Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said: “Whosoever for Allah’s sake did even one days i’tikaf, Allah would keep him away from Jahannam by trenches.”(Tabarani)

What an amazing opportunity for us to gain such immense & abundant rewards aswell as closeness to Allah. We can also take this opportunity to strengthen & boost our imaan (faith) for the rest of the year.

2. Schedule & Monitor Daily Worship

What better way to maximise our worship during the last 10 days of Ramadan than to plan & schedule our time so that we can spend it as effectively as possible. By setting ourselves daily targets we can ensure that we are more likely to achieve them.

Below are links where you can download an hourly scheduler where you can set yourself hourly worship targets & schedule your daily worship. There is also a daily worship check where you can check & monitor your daily worship throughout the last ten nights:

Worship check for the last 10 days: Ramadan Planner.pdf

3. Exerting oneself in worship during last 10 night’s

We should make more effort during the last 10 days:

Allah’s Messenger used to exert himself in devotion during the last ten nights to a greater extent than at any other time.” (Muslim).

Aisha (RA) reported: With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work harder) & used to pray all the night, & used to keep his family awake for the prayers. (Bukhari)

The last ten days & nights of Ramadan are the most blessed. Therefore we should exert themselves in worship even more during each of the last 10 days and nights, particularly the last ten odd numbered nights: 21, 23, 25, 27, 29.

By worshipping the last 10 nights we would be most likely to catch the night of power & gain the reward of over 83 years of worship! Subhanallah thats longer than the average human life expectancy!

4. Reciting Qur’an abundantly

What better time to recite the Qur’an than in ones of the very nights it was revealed – The Night of Power.

Therefore we should increase our recitation even more during the last ten days & nights. The pious predecessors used to increase the amount of Qur’an they recited during the last ten days & nights.

Remember: The reward for reciting each letter of the Qur’an during Ramadan is 700 hasanah or more. Subhanallah!

So we should make a target during the last 10 days using the scheduler provided above in point 4 and put down a target of how much Qur’an we will recite each day & night. We should try & aim to complete the Qur’an at least once if not more by the end of the last 10 days of Ramadan.

Along with recitation we should also read & learn the meanings of the Qur’an. We should contemplate & ponder over the verses & implement what we read & learn into our daily lives.

Note: We should try & recite Surah Ya-sin everyday particularly after Fajr time. We should also recite Surah Mulk before we going to sleep & Surah Kahf every Jumma. Other very rewarding Surahs we can recite much of are Surah’s Zilzalah, Al Kaafirun & Al Ikhlas

Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas & Anas Ibn Malik (RA) reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, ‘Whoever recited Surah Zilzilah (99) would get the reward of reciting half the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Kaafirun (109) would get a reward as if reading a quarter of the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Ikhlas (112) would get a reward as if reading one third of the Qur’an’. (At-Tirmidhi 2818/A)

5. Nawafil (Voluntary) prayers

What better way of drawing closer to Allah during the last 10 days of Ramadan than by praying the voluntary prayers:

Allah says in Hadith Qudsi:

….And My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (voluntary deeds) until I love him, [Bukhari]

Does anyone want the company of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in Jannah? Then increase in praying the Nawafil prayers:

Rabi’ah Ibn Malik al-Aslami reported that the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam said: “Ask (anything).” Rabi’ah said: ”I ask of you to be your companion in paradise.” The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: ”Or anything else?” Rabi’ah said: ”That is it.” The Prophet Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam said to him: ”Then help me by making many prostrations (i.e., Nawafil prayers).”(Muslim)

The reward for praying fard prayers outside of Ramadan is the greatest a Muslim can gain but in Ramadan we get the same reward for praying a Nawafil prayer. Subhaanallah! What other time of the year are Nawafil prayers rewarded equal to that of a fard prayer?

Therefore we should strive to pray as many Nawafils as possible during the last 10 days & nights of Ramadan, so that we can get closer to Allah & gain the company of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in Jannah. On top of that each Nawafil prayer carries the reward of a fard prayer!

Sunnah & Nawafil prayers to pray during last 10 days:

1. Pray 12 Raka’ahs of Sunnah daily: - 2 Sunnah of Fajr, 4 Sunnah & 2 Sunnah of Dhuhr & 2 Sunnah of Maghrib

Umm Habibah Ramilah bint Abu Sufyan (RA) narrated she heard the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying: “A house will be built in Paradise for every Muslim who offers twelve units of Prayers other than the obligatory ones in day & night, to seek pleasure of Allah.” (Muslim)

2. Salaatul Duhaa (Can be prayed from 20 mins after sunrise up until 20 minutes before Dhuhr begins)

So we should remain seated after Fajr prayer & recite the Qur’an or do Dhikr up until 20 minutes after Sunrise & pray Salaatul Duhaa. If not then we can pray it anytime before midday.

‘Salat al-Dhuhaa consists of 2 – 12 Rakaats & it is preferable to perform 8 Rakaats.’ (Raddul Mukhtaar vol.1 pg.505)

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: Whoever prayed twelve rakaats (before midday), then Allah will, as a reward, prepare a palace of gold for him in Paradise. (Mishkat, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)

3. 4 Sunnah, 2 Sunnah & 2 Nawafil of Dhuhr

Umm Habibah (RA) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever sticks to the habit of offering four rak`ahs before Noon Prayer & four rak`ahs after it, Allah will shield him against the Hell-Fire.” (Abu Dawud & At-Tirmidhi)

4. 4 Raka’ahs Sunnah of Asr

The Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alaihi wa sallam) said:“May Allaah have Mercy on the one who offers four (Raka’ahs) before ‘Asr prayer.”(Abu Dawud)

5. Two Raka’ahs Sunnah after entering Masjid 

Abu Qatadah (RA) narrated the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) as saying: “If any one of you enters a mosque, he should pray two rak`ahs before sitting.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)

6. Tahiyyatul Wudu - 2 Raka’ahs Sunnah after doing Wudu (Ablution)

Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying to Bilal (RA): “Tell me about the best of your deeds (i.e. one which you deem the most rewarding) since your embracing Islam because I heard your footsteps in front of me in Paradise.” Bilal (RA) replied: “I do not consider any act of mine more rewarding than that whenever I make ablution at any time of night or day, I perform Prayer for as much as was destined for me to do.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)”

7. The MOST REWARDING Nawafil Prayer of all is Tahajjud

Allah Most High said: “Establish worship at the going down of the sun until the dark of the night, & (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn. Lo! (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn is ever witnessed. And some part of the night awake for its recital, as voluntary worship for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to a praised estate.” (Qur’an, 17: 78-79) 

Imam Abu Sa’id al-Khadimi said: “There is scholarly consensus (ijma`) that among the best of virtuous acts is the night vigil prayer.” [al-Bariqa al-Mahmudiyya Sharh al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya]

The scholars derived the following in regards to Tahajjud from the Qur’an & Prophetic Hadiths:

1. The minimal night vigil prayer is 2 Rakaats. [Hindiyya, quoting Fath al-Qadir]

2. Its optimal recommended amount is 8 Rakaats, because this was the general practice of the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) [Hindiyya, quoting Fath al-Qadir]

3. Lengthier recitation of Qur’an is superior to a larger number of Rakaats prayed. [Durr al-Mukhtaar, Radd al-Muhtar]

If one has not memorized much of the Qur’an then one should recite whatever they know or recite Surah Ikhlas 3 times after Surah Faathiha in each rakah to gain reward of reciting entire Qur’an.

4. It is recommended to start the night vigil with two short Rakaats, because of the Hadith of Abu Hurayrah (RA) that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “If you get up for night prayer, start with two short Rakaats.” [Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Dawud]

We should pray Tahajjud every night in the last 10 nights for one of those nights could be Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power). If we cannot do all 10 nights then we should at least try to pray Tahajjud in as many nights as we possibly can particularly in the odd numbered nights: 21,23,25,27,29.

We should wake up a little earlier for Sehri, make Wudu & pray a minimum of 2 Raka’ahs of Tahajjud but try to aim for at least 8 Raka’ahs.

Abu Hurayrah (RA), related that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: When the last one-third of the night remains, our Lord, the Glorious One descends towards the heaven of the earth & proclaims: Who is that who supplicates for Me, & I grant his supplication? Who is that who begs Me for anything & I grant it to him? And who is that who seeks My forgiveness, & I forgive him? (Bukhari, Muslim).

The last third portion of the night is the most blessed & dua’s are readily accepted at this time. So by praying Tahajjud it gives us the best opportunity to get closer to Allah & to make sincere dua, repenting for our sins past & present & to crying & asking of Allah for whatever we want.

If we cannot cry due to the hardness of our hearts then we should at least make the face as if we are crying. Just as a mother tends to her baby quicker & more promptly when it is crying in the same way Allah tends to his servants quicker when they are crying.

Ibn Mas`ud (Allah be pleased with him) was asked, “I cannot pray at night.” He said, ”Your sins have prevented you.”

6. Excessive Remembrance of Allah

We should increase our remembrance of Allah during the last 10 days of Ramadan, keeping our lips moist in his glorification & praises.

Surely we will have utter regret in the hereafter for each second wasted without remembering Allah:

Mu`adh Ibn Jabal (RA) said that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “The People of Paradise will not regret anything except one thing alone: the hour that passed them by in which they made no remembrance of Allah.” Narrated Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-iman (1:392 #512-513)

The highest rank in Jannah are for those who remembered Allah the most:

Abu Sa`id (RA) narrates the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was asked, ”Which of the servants of Allah is best in rank before Allah on the Day of resurrection?” He said: ”The ones who remember him much.”I said: ”O Messenger of Allah, what about the fighter in the way of Allah?” He answered: ”Even if he strikes the unbelievers & mushrikin with his sword until it broke, & becomes red with their blood, truly those who do Dhikr are better than him in rank.” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi, & Bayhaqi)

What better time to start remembering Allah more than during the blessed last 10 days of Ramadan.

The following are 11 Dhikr, supported by Hadith that we can recite throughout last 10 nights:

Note: We should try & aim to recite each of these 10 Dhikr a 100 times each which makes a total of 1000 a day minimum.

1. Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘annee - Recite this abundantly during the last ten nights of Ramadan.

2. Subhaanallah

3. Alhamdulillah

4. Allahu Akbar

5. Laa ilaaha illallah


7. Asthaghfirullah-halladhee Laa ilaaha illa-huwal Hayyul Qayyuumu Wa athoobu Ilay

Or short version: Asthaghfirullah



9. Subhāna-llāhi, wa-l-hamdu li-llāhi, wa lā ilāha illā-llāhu, wa-llāhu akbar. Wa lā hawla wa lā quwwata illā bi-llāhi-l-aliyyi-l-azīm

10. Lā ilāha illā-llāhu waḥdahu lā sharīka lahu lahu-l-mulku wa lahu-l-ḥamdu yuhyi wa yumītu wa huwa ḥayyu-llā yamūtu abadan abada, ḏū-l-jalāli wa-l-ikrām, biyadihi-l-khayr, wa huwa alā kulli Shay-in qadīr

Or the shortened version:

Laa ilaaha illal-laahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu wa huwa ‘alaa kulli shay-in qadeer

11. Radeetu billahi Rabban Wa bil Islami deenan Wabi Muhammadin Nabiyyan

We should also recite much of durood e Ibrahim which is the durood that is recited towards the end of Salaah.

Or the shortest durood is: Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallim

7. Making Excessive Dua

Almighty Allah says in the Qur’an:

“When my servants ask you concerning me, (tell them) I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on me.” [2:186] 

The place of Dua is so high in front of Allah, that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallim) has said:“Nothing is more honourable to Allah the Most High than Dua.” [Sahih al-Jami` no.5268]. 

Allah loves repentance & loves those who turn to him in sincere repentance, so repent unto him sincerely as much as possible:

Truly Allah loves those who turn [to Him] in repentance… (Qur’an 2:222)

Many of us rush our Dua’s & quite often our hearts are not present whilst we are making dua to Allah. That is why we lose out on much of the benefits & blessings of Dua. Therefore we should not let our minds wonder whilst in Dua & we should concentrate more, making sure our hearts are present whilst asking of Allah. Whilst we are in dua we should imagine Almighty Allah in front of us & so we should humble ourselves in front of him in a state of meekness & humility.

It may also help if we made a list of what we want to ask Allah during our dua’s. We can then refer to this list as a reminder so that we can cover everything we need to ask him, which may help in making our Dua’s longer & more sincere. This is because we will not always remember everything we want to ask Allah unless we note it down & refer back to it when we need to.

The times when Dua’s are most accepted during the last 10 days are:

1. The third portion of the night shortly before sehri ends.

2. Whilst fasting.

3. Between Asr & Maghrib.

4. Just before fast opens.

5. On Jumma before & after khutba.

6. Between Adhan & Iqamah.

7. After Qur’an recitation.

8. The Night of Qadr

9. Whilst it is raining.

Let us not be of those who pass by Ramadan without gaining any forgiveness:

Rasullullah (sallahu’ ‘alaihi wasallam) said: …the angel Jibra’il appeared before me & said: Destruction to him who found the blessed month of Ramadan & let it pass by without gaining forgiveness…’ Upon that I said: ‘Amin.’ (Al-Bukhari, Al-Tabrani)

What better opportunity to make long & sincere dua’s to Allah than in the last 10 days & nights of Ramadan. If we make dua every night then we may be lucky enough to have made dua in the night of power where all dua’s are accepted.

8. Practising the Sunnah

Following the Sunnah is a command from Allah:

“Say (O Muhammad to mankind): ”If you (really) love Allah, then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic monotheism, follow the Quran & the Sunnah), Allah will love you & forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran: 3:31)

Almighty Allah says: “There certainly is an excellent example in Allah’s messenger for he who fears Allah & the last day & remembers Allah abundantly” (al-Ahzaab 21)

By following the Sunnah in every aspect of our daily lives, everything we do will become worship, even going to the toilet, having a bath, dressing & undressing etc.

Annas (RA) reports the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasallam) advised: “Whoever cherishes my Sunnah, indeed he cherishes me & whoever loves me will be with me in Jannah.” (Tirmidhi: 2678: Ibid)

REMEMBER: Doing voluntary good deeds in Ramadan carries the reward of FARD! Subhanallah!

Reviving the Sunnah:

Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

“Whoever revives an aspect of my Sunnah that is forgotten after my death, he will have a reward equivalent to that of the people who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward.” (Tirmidhi)

The following free E book contains complete daily Sunnah’s & dua’s from waking up in the morning until going to sleep at night: 

Download Beautiful Daily Sunnah’s…unnah-s-of.pdf

9. Repentance of past & present sins

We should cry & beg of Allah to give us his mercy & forgiveness especially in the last 10 blessed nights of Ramadan. If we leave Ramadan without gaining the mercy of Allah then surely we are of the most unfortunate and amongst the biggest losers in this world and the next.

Best dua for gaining mercy & forgiveness in the last 10 days & nights:

Aisha (Ra) said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah: ‘O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?’ He said: ”Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘annee” (Ahmad, Ibn Majah, & Tirmidhi).

Stand in prayer to gain forgiveness for all sins

Abu Huraira (RA) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever stands (in prayer) in Laylatul Qadr while nourishing his faith with self-evaluation, expecting reward from Allah, will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” (Bukhari and Muslim).

When we make Dua we should imagine Allah is watching us and so we should call on him like a begger, crying to him. If we can’t cry due to the hardness of our hearts then we should at least act & make the face like we are crying. We should ask of Allah sincerely with remorse & intention not to repeat such sins again for forgiveness of our past & present sins.

10. Seeking out Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power)

{By the manifest Book (the Quran) that makes thing clear. We sent it (this Quraan) down on a Blessed Night (i.e. the Night of Qadr) in the month of Ramadaan..(The Smoke 44:2-5)

So valuable is the Night of Qadr (Power) that the Quran devotes a special surah to it: “Lailatul Qadr is better than a thousand months” [97:3] 

This one night surpasses the value of 30,000 nights. The most authentic account of the occurrence of the Night indicates that it can occur on any one of the last ten, odd numbered nights of Ramadan, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29. It may also occur on any of the even nights.

Therefore we should strive to stay up & worship on all of the last 10 nights of Ramadan. If we can’t do that then we should at least worship on the odd numbered nights of the last ten days. If we still can’t manage that then let us pray on whatever nights we can, minimum on the 27th night.

The following dua should be recited as much as possible during the last 10 nights of Ramadan:

Aisha (RA) said:

I asked the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam): ’O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?’ He said Say:  ”Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘annee

Trans: ‘Say: O Allah, You are pardoning & You love to pardon, so pardon me.’ “ (Ahmad, Ibn Majah, & Tirmidhi).

Forgiveness of past & present sins on Laylatul Qadr

Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu`Alayhi Wa sallam) said: ”Whoever stands (in qiyaam) in Laylat ul-Qadr out of faith and expectation (of Allah’s reward), will have ALL of his previous sins forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)


As we fast approach the end of Ramadan we must evaluate ourselves & think to ourselves what we have learnt about ourselves & what good habits we have acquired and what evil and bad habits we have left behind.
We must NOT stop doing the good we aqcuired throughout Ramadan as soon as it finishes. We should continue reciting the Qur’an & making long sincere dua’s. We should continue guarding our eyes, ears, tongue and privates away from sin & harm. We should continue to strive to please Allah & get closer to him. We should continue to make effort on our imaan (faith). We must NOT let go of the good habits we acquired & instead go back to our old ways again.

Allah knows our intentions and what is in our hearts and If we go back to the way we are before Ramadan then how can we expect our good deeds and efforts to be accepted? The very purpose of Ramadan is that doing good becomes easier & so it gives us a wonderful opportunity to be able to train ourselves to become better & stronger Muslims. It enables us to let go of the bad habits & to acquire good ones instead. It enables us to strengthen our imaan (faith). Best of all it enables us to get closer to Allah

If we leave all of the good we acquired as soon as Ramadan ends then we will in effect just throw away our Ramadan & risk our good deeds & efforts not being accepted.

This is our chance to change our lives for the better FOREVER. So we must NOT miss this opportunity for we may not be alive next Ramadan.
Therefore let us continue the good we acquired during Ramadan throughout the year & never go back to our old ways.

May Allah enable us to make the necessery changes this Ramadan and for us to continue that way throughout the year. Ameen.

Eid El Fitr 2011/1432 – Location & Prayer times

eid-mubarakAsalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh will be providing constantly updated information on Eid venue details and prayer times for Australian capital cities + beyond.
Please subscribe to our RSS feed or check back regularly to this page for the latest info Inshallah.If you are aware of Eid prayer details for any particular Mosque or Islamic organisation in Australia or beyond, please email us this information to
On behalf of, once again Eid Mubarak to you and your loved ones.

Eid al-Fitr 2011 (1432) Sydney, Australia – Eid al-Fitr Prayer Locations

All care has been taken in compiling this table and verifying details, however please confirm all information provided with your local Mosque/organization.

Masjid | Musalah |OrganisationDatePrayer TimeLocation DetailsGoogle Maps Link
Auburn Gallipoli Masjid

15-19 GeliboluParade, Auburnmap
Bonnyrigg Masjid

Bibbys Road, Bonnyriggmap
Cringila Masjid (Wollongong)

1 Bethlehem Street, Cringilamap
Erskineville Masjid

13 John Street, Erskinevillemap
Guildford Turkish Masjid(Mountford Ave)

64 MountfordAvenue, Guildfordmap
Gwynneville Masjid (Wollongong)

9 Foley Street, Gwynnevillemap
Mount Druitt Masjid

52 HytheStreet, Mt Druittmap
Penshurst Masjid

445 Forest Road, Penshurstmap
Redfern Masjid

328 Cleveland Street, Redfernmap
Smithfield Masjid

30 Bourke Street, Smithfieldmap
Armidale UNE Masjid

Booloominbah Drive, Armidale (near tenniscourts)map
Arncliffe (Darul-Iman) Masjid

Tempe Reserve, Holbeach Ave, Tempe,map
Artarmon Masjid

35 Hampden Rd, Artarmonmap
Auburn Omar Masjid

43 Harrow Road, Auburnmap
Bankstown Musalah

Bathurst Masjid

75 BonnorSt, Kelsomap
Blacktown ’Afghan’ Masjid

Corner of Prince Street & FourthAvenue, Blacktownmap
Brighton Le Sands Musalah

Bukhari House Musalah

Progress Park, Auburnmap
Cabramatta West Masjid

22 Water Street, Cabramatta Westmap
Campsie Musalah

Unit 1, 19-21 Wilfred Lane, Campsiemap
Caringbah Musalah

Daar Aisha Shariah College

17 Cross St Bankstownmap
Daar Ibn Abbas College (Bankstown)

Darul Fatwa (2 Winspear Ave - BankstownMasjid)

Paul Keating Park, Bankstownmap
Dee Why Masjid

12 South Creek Road, Dee Whymap
Edmondson ParkMasjid(Camden Valley Way)

2094 Camden Valley Way, Edmondsonmap
Ernest Street LakembaMasjid

Australian National Sports ClubHall (Cnr. Punchbowl Rd & McCourt St, Lakemba)map

Granville Masjid

20 The Avenue, Granvillemap
Green Valley Masjid

264 Wilson Road, Green Valleymap
Harris Park Musalah

Closest venue: Attend Parramatta Masjid Eid prayermap
Heatherbrae Musalah(Raymond Terrace)

206 Pacific Highway, Heatherbrae (unconfirmed whether correct location)map
Hill District Muslim Society

Closest venue: Attend Cherrybrook ILM Society Eid-or- Quakers Hill MasjidEid
Hornsby Musalah(Asquith)

Closest venue: Attend Cherrybrook ILM SocietyEidprayermap
ILM Society North West Sydney

Uniting Building – 134 New LineRd, Cherrybrookmap
Lakemba Bangla School (Hampden Road)

Hampden Road, Lakembamap
Lakemba Masjid (WangeeRd)

65-67 WangeeRd, Lakembamap
Lalor Park Musalah

Lismore Musalah

BP Service Station (uncomfirmed whether correct location) – 2 Leycester Street, Lismoremap
Macquarie University Musalah

Macquarie University – North Ryde Campusmap
Marrickville Musalah

Marrickville Town Hall - 303 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville
Matraville Musalah

Matraville Public (Primary) School – 310BunnerongRd, Matravillemap
Mayfield Islamic Centre(Newcastle)

3 – 5 Victoria Street, Mayfieldmap
Merrylands Musalah

Miller Street Community Centre -(1st Floor) 17 Miller Street, Merrylandsmap
Minto Masjid

44-48 Westmoreland Road, Mintomap
Newcastle Masjid(Wallsend)

Parramatta Masjid

150 Marsden Street, Parramattamap
Prospect Musalah

Punchbowl AIDA Masjid

1 Catherine St, Punchbowlmap
Punchbowl Musalah

Punchbowl Park (Viola Street) – Mathew St if rainingmap
Quakers Hill Masjid

37 Douglas Rd, Quakers Hillmap
Riverwood Musalah

Rockdale Musalah

Rooty Hill Masjid

63 O’Brien St, Mount Druittmap
Rydalmere Masjid

2 Primrose Avenue, Rydalmeremap
Ryde Islamic Centre

3 BlaxlandRoad, Rydemap
Sefton Masjid

11-13 Helen Street, Seftonmap
St MarysIPDC Centre

Dunheved Road Outdoor Field (in front ofWerringtonCounty Shopping Centre)map
Strathfield Musalah

Surry Hills Masjid

175-177 Commonwealth Street, SurryHillsmap
Sydney City Musalah

Abraham Mott Hall, 17 ArgylePlace, Millers Pointmap
Tamworth Musalah(Kootingal)

Closest venue: Attend Armidale UNE MasjidEid prayermap
Tempe Masjid

Marrickville PCYC, 531 Illawarra Rd, Marrickvillemap
UNSW Musalah

Leighton Hall, Scientia Building,UNSW,
Wentworthville Musalah

Closest venue: Attend Parramatta MasjidEid prayermap
Wyong Musalah

Zetland Masjid

932 Bourke Street, Zetlandmap
Auburn (ASWJ)

Bicentennial Park. Olympic Drive, Homebushmap
Belmore Masjid (ASWJ)

Bicentennial Park, Olympic Drive, Homebush
Campbelltown Youth Centre CYC (ASWJ)

Woodward PArk, cnr of Hoxton Park Rd & Hume Hwy, Liverpool
Canberra Masjid

130 Empire Circuit, Yarralumla (Canberra)map
Dubbo ’Kotku’ Masjid

71A Tamworth Street, Dubbomap
Griffith ‘Kotku’Masjid

58 BenerembahLane, Griffithmap
Homebush (ASWJ)

Bicentennial Park, Homebush Baymap
Liverpool (ASWJ)

Woodward Park, Liverpoolmap
Monash (Canberra) Masjid

221 Clive Steele Avenue, Monash (Canberra)map
Wagga Wagga Masjid

Charles SturtUniversity onsite – Ron Potter Drv,WaggaWaggamap
Warwick Farm Kurdish Musalah

Unit 6, 10-14 Hume Highway.Warwick Farmmap
Wollongong Essence of Life (ASWJ)

118 Montague St, Wollongong Northmap
Young ‘Afghan’ Masjid

Briggs Street, Youngmap


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...