Masjid Today
Strengthening Our Masjids through Shared Experiences
Zul Hijjah 20, 1432 / November 16, 2011
  Masjid Today Team  

Editorial Team:
Samana Siddiqui
Taha Ghayyur

Sound Vision Board of Directors:
Abdul Malik Mujahid, President
Muhammad Khalid Riaz, Md., Secretary
Taufiq Ahmad, Treasurer
Hanna El-Amin, Director
Janaan Hashim, Director

Muhammad Fuad Lashkarwala, Director
Ahmed Murad, Director

  Creative Corner:
A Poem about
Earth by an Imam

Where am I from!

By Imam Kifah Mustapha,
Mosque Foundation of Bridgeview, IL

I am from a palm tree, an oasis in the desert of life, where people throw me with rocks to harvest my dates.

I can still smell the tent’s scent that sheltered all of us with no walls in between.

I am from the echoes of a shepherd flute, where all what existed danced on my breeze.

I am from the blonde raisins that colored my father’s face with sweetness and joy.

I am my grandfather’s carob tree that quenched his thirst after a long day of fasting.

I am from the land of chocolate where all dreams came true, the bedtime story that made my eyes sleep in the reality of love and care.

I am from the blessed water that brought life to all Arabia;

I am the answered prayers of Abraham’s supplications to safeguard a mother and a boy.

I am from the shade of an olive tree where family reflected the color of the oil in the shine of their eyes. Read More >


Did You Know?

The Average Masjid Reflects One of the Most Diverse Faiths In America
Masjid Diversity

Contrary to popular belief, the majority of attendants at Masjids are not of Middle Eastern descent. At the average Masjid, one-third of the members are South Asian, three-tenths are African American, and a quarter are Arab, according to a 2009 Gallup poll.

Muslim-Americans are also white, Hispanic, Sub-Saharan African, Iranian, European, Central Asian, etc.—representing the most racially diverse faith in America. And hundreds of Masjids in America reflect this racial diversity. 


Tip for Counseling Youth


Consider What is the Adolescent Gaining

In any situation with teens, you have to consider what they are gaining from the conflict/situation. There is a “gain” for everything people do. When counseling teens particularly, consider: what is the youth gaining from this predicament?

They could be gaining: attention; the excuse to get out of something (work, school?); the chance to get closer to a person; an escape (either physical or emotional). When you can determine the possible payoffs of the adolescent, you can nail down the cause and work on a solution.


Masjid Manners


Offensive Smell is Offensive to Humans & Angels

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Who ever eats garlic, onion, then keeps away from our Masjid because the angels get offended from what offends the children of Adam." (Bukhari & Muslim)

Muslims should avoid every thing that has an offensive smell like garlic, onion, or smoking. And attendees should wear clean clothes and socks when they come to the Masjid so that they don't repel any of the angels or Muslims around them with an offensive smell. It also means, we should avoid cooking or eating foods (specially curries) with strong aroma inside the prayer area.


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Building a Green Masjid Building A Green House of Worship
By Arwa Aburawa

From the concrete jungles of Manhattan to the dusty deserts of Mali, Muslims across the world are building eco-mosques which show that caring for the planet is at one with the teachings of Islam. Arwa Aburawa investigates.

As focal points within Muslim communities, mosques are powerful places to spread the word about environmental issues and the need to care for the planet. Read More >

Green Masjids in AmericaGreen Masjids in America
By Aisha Qidwae

A growing awareness of everything environmentally friendly is taking place in mosques across the United States, which are joining hands with grassroots faith-based groups to encourage the mainstream society to work towards better environmental stewardship.

The first mosque in the nation to go green, the Mosque Foundation, located in Bridgeview, Illinois, installed solar panels to heat water on July 31st, 2008 and received an Environmental Hero Award for their commitment. Read More >

AccountabilityAccountability in Muslim Organizations
By Dr. Mohammed Benayoune

Accountability is at the heart of Islamic belief. One of the six pillars of faith in Islam is the belief in the Day of Judgment when people are held accountable for all their actions on earth.

In addition to the accountability in front of God on the Day of Judgment, Islam also emphasizes accountability in front of other people for all actions that concern them.

How is accountability practiced by Muslim institutions in North America today?

In most Muslim institutions, there is a lack of accountability to the constituency, which has caused and is still causing many problems. Some cases have ended up in courts. But the biggest loss to these institutions is the disengagement of community from the affairs of the organization.

How do we build the bridges of trust between organizations and community? What is the best way of reengaging our constituencies to meet the complex challenges facing the Muslim community?

In the next few issues of "Masjid Today" we will highlight a few ideas to make our Masjids more accountable and transparent:

1- Open up the membership

Most groups running Muslim organizations are reluctant to open up to the broader community. This attitude is based on the fear that “other” groups may infiltrate their membership in order to take over their organization. This has happened in the past. Some groups believe that their way is the closest to the true understanding of Islam and involving others may dilute this or deviate it from the straight path.

To achieve their central mission on earth, Muslims in Canada have no choice but to work together with tolerance and understanding. Different schools of thought will always exist, especially in mosques. However, there is no reason why different schools of thought cannot coexist in the same mosque. Co-existing in the same place brings people’s understanding closer together and minimizes the fear of the “other”.

Dr. Mohammed BenayounDr Mohammed Benayoune is a former advisor to a minister of oil & gas in an Arabian Gulf Country as well as a business leader who occupied several CEO positions in large corporations. Over the past 30 years, he has set up several for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. He has consulted with many first class organizations on leadership and organizational development. Dr Benayoune has led several Muslim organizations in several countries.

Prophet's MosqueThe Prophet's Mosque
First Things First

The building of the Prophet’s Mosque was begun almost immediately after his emigration to Madinah. The mosque was built on the very spot upon which al-Qaswa’, the Prophet’s camel. had stopped. The sizeable plot of land (35 by 30 yards) belonged to two orphaned children. It was immediately bought and paid for, and the work started.

The first job was to level the ground, and remove some old graves. Some palm trees and thorny shrubs were also cleared. Then the construction of the mosque and two apartments for the Prophet’s wives began.

Prophet's Labour & Songs of Joy

The Prophet personally took part, alongside other Muslims, in the building work. He carried bricks, stones and earth. As the Muslims laboured, they sang ballads and songs in expression of their joy and happiness at the Prophet’s stay amongst them. The Prophet also sang along with them. They sang:

O Lord, there is no (worthy) living excepting one (oriented) for the Hereafter, so help (0 Lord) the Ansar and Muhajirah.

O Lord, there is no good, excepting that of the Hereafter.
So help, 0 Lord, the Ansar and Muhajirah.

The Prophet’s personal participation served to bring home to the Muslims the central importance of labour in their lives. It also helped to intensify their efforts and enthusiasm. Delighted with the Prophet’s participation in the building work, the Muslims sang:

If we sat back while the Prophet laboured, that would be our most misguided endeavour.

Source: Sunshine at Madinah by Dr. Zakaria Bashier, p. 50-51.


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