Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 1 of Ramadan 2011

Ramadan MubarakMonday, August 1, 2011 | Ramadan 1, 1432
Sahri - Pre-Dawn meal before early morning prayer (fajr).
Iftaar - Sunset Meal as a conclusion of the fast.

Sawm - fasting from surise to sunset - No food, no water, no nothing and no intake of any food or water. More critically it is a practice to abstain from ill-will, malice, anger, temptations and human desires. Don't hear, see, speak or act less than goodness.

Rituals - There are several variations of the terms, and rituals vary from place to place. Whole family gets up early around 4:00 AM and together cook extensive meals for Sahri /Suhoor and some just pre-cook earlier night and choose to eat on time. The Iftaar is done elaborately at mosques, homes or other gatherins places where friends from different faiths are invited to break bread and nurture goodwill.

Purpose of this site: To share diverse experience of Ramadan with our friends and families Muslims and others.

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Sahri - Bagel Sandwich
Iftaar - Grilled Fish

Alhamdu Lillah, (Praise the Lord) today is the first day of fasting in the month of Ramadan 2011. It's Monday, Yasmeen my wife, dropped me off early in the morning at Louisville Airport, and on the way we grabbed a Bagel sandwich from McDonald's for Sahri aka suhoor (early morning meal). I reached Dallas at 8:00 AM

Theoretically Ramadan should commence on the same day for all Muslims, but it seldom happens. It is the same moon that every one follows, but sighting technicalities makes it different for different groups, usually a day or two apart. Most Muslims wish it were on the same day. I suggest that we learn to appreciate that wish, but ask people to resist the temptation to think anything less of others who begin a day earlier or later. The article “Politics of Ramadan” is about to be published, God willing I will share that on this blog. Ramadan is about humility.

For Iftaar (meal to break the fast) I went to Richardson Mosque, the oldest Mosque in Dallas built in the mid eighties. I was early and went straight to see Imam Dr. Yusuf Zia Kavakci (links below) in his chambers. He is such a delight to talk with and he has more than once said that he finds that he could talk with me about anything comfortably.

Imam Dr. Yusuf Zia Kavakci has been recognized as one of the 500 influential Muslim leaders in the world. He is a lawyer, a scholar of Islam and an Imam. He has now established an institution with his name to impart education to the youth born and raised here in the D/FW Metroplex. The future American religious scholars will be influenced by his wisdom and he has both male and females students learning to be the future leaders. One of them is Rashad Hassan, US Ambassador to OIC, Organization of Islamic countries. 

We talked about the Sharia conference briefly and the need for Muslims to have a plan, rather than react to situations. The situation in Murphree, Terry Jones and other topics and ended up talking the Chapter I am writing on Muslim Agenda which puts together a blue print for Muslims to define where we need to be twenty years from now and how we are going to get there. The need to become participants and contributors towards the safety, security and prosperity of America is crux of the Agenda. He was enthused about the plan and mentioned about the Late Dr. Dilnawaz Siddiqui who was planning on writing one. The phrase Insha Allah jumped quickly and repeatedly out of my mouth. I panicked.

Well, he and I shared his fruit plate and yogurt for breaking the fast. I enjoyed it very much. He is a great host!

Being the work day, there were about 150 people at the congregational evening (Maghrib) prayers which he led.

After the prayers I ate my meal in the car which I had picked up from Silver Spoon Restaurant I used to frequent some 15 years ago. Waqar and Ursula have run that operation for over 20 years and I enjoy their home cooked meals, listened to NPR while I enjoyed the curried grilled fish.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, writer and a thinker nurturing the pluralistic values of Islam. More at:

* * I did not realize that I have written at least 7 articles about him.
Article dedicated to Imam Dr. Yusuf Zia Kavakci

Can Muslim pray in Cordoba Masjid?

THE PLAN :: Iftaar at a mosque from every denomination including: Ahmadiyya, Bohra, Ismaili, Shia, Sufi, Sunni, Warith Deen Muhammad, Wahabbi and others.


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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.