Monday, August 1, 2011

Ramadan Message

Let's start cleaning our hearts from prejudice and judgment against our own and everyone else. Let there be no politics in religion. Let us fulfill a major task God assigns to the humanity, the best among you is the one who knows each other and cares for the other.

Insha Allah, I will write three articles this month covering every aspect of Ramadan; the politics, the rituals and spiritual contentment. The first one deals with the issue of Moon sighting and hope you’d like the message of respecting all the four traditions; Calendar, sighting yourselves, accepting others sighting and NASA, each systems is valid and dear to the followers. Let’s not denigrate the other or brag our tradition is superior. Ramadan is about humility in our attitudes and behavior. Insha Allah the articles will be published in Huffington post.

This is truly a test of our humility and our Taqwa. Should our Ramadan make us find deficiencies with other traditions? Should our Ramadan find faults with others? Should it free us? Should our Ramadan impel us to be a tyrant and push others to observe (Saudi and a few other nations)? Should our Ramadan strengthen us in our discipline and encourage others to enjoy their food, accompany them to restaurants and live a normal life? Are we strong enough in our faith to let others do what they want, without affecting an ounce of our faith? Alhamdu Lillah, last year I was with my clients and friends for lunch, I encouraged them not to give up anything for me and urged them to eat great foods and live their life. Fasting is for me and those who follow it and not for others. Thank God, my determination remained un-shaken.

Ramadan is about reflection about ourselves and who we are and who we want to be. I urge each one of us to reflect on what Ramadan should mean to us? Let's not reduce Ramadan to be a mere ritual or an obligation, let it do what it was intended to; to build a kind and gentler being out of us.

  1. Let’s pray that Ramadan becomes our Jihad and strips our ill-will, malice, hatred towards others.
  2. Let’s pray that Ramadan brings goodwill, peace and great attitude towards entire humanity.
  3. Let’s pray that Ramadan generates goodwill towards fellow Muslims.
  4. Let’s pray that Ramadan truly guides us to believe that God alone is the judge of one’s faith
  5. Let’s pray that Ramadan dumps our prejudices, after all we are not responsible for others
  6. Let’s pray that Ramadan makes us respect every Muslim tradition from Ahmadiyya to Wahhabi.
  7. Let’s pray that Ramadan makes us an all embracing Muhkookhul Aalameen


Alhamdu Lillah, I will be at Richardson Mosque on Monday Iftaar and will make the schedule to visit ever possible mosque where Ramadan is observed without any prejudice. I will create a schedule of mosques, if you wish to join. I will be in Louisville, Kentucky Mosques as well. If I drive, I will set up the meeting at the Murfree Mosque by Nashville, TN.

We always talk about unity and now let’s match it with action. I am in Dallas and ask at least two individuals (men and women) from each denomination to go as a group in visiting a Mosque a day. Since most of you cannot make it every day, I would urge us to gather together a total of eight times on the weekends and we will visit the following Mosques; Ahmadiyya, Bohra, Ismaili, Shia, Sufi, Sunni, Warith Deen Muhammad and others if we know any. If you are not in Dallas, please make an effort to visit every possible denomination. Please make an effort to bring people of other faiths to join, just to be a part of the Ramadan friendship circle.

We will learn about our experiences and share with each other and others. We will also learn about respecting the otherness of other and accepting the God given uniqueness that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has prophesized. I will be happy to be the scribe and get them published. Alhamdu Lillah, I was blessed to have done that last year and add to that the Suhoor at Imam Bukharis house in Jerusalem and the prayers at Al-Aqsa. Except the Ismaili congregation I have visited most diversity humanly possible. Insha Allah we will complete the circle this year.

Islam is large enough to absorb all the strands. Indeed, we can see the wisdom in the Prophet's predictions that we will divide ourselves into 73 tribes. He understood the human fitra (nature) and prepared us to accept it instead of making arrogant claim to be the best, the best among us is the one who is pious and who serves humanity.

Each one of the strands is serving the humanity. As a Sunni, I can value the respect former Prime Minister Blair's sister in law has generated for the Shiite branch of Islam. As a Sunni, I can appreciate the work Ahmadiyya Muslims are doing in serving the humanity, feeding the hungry and being neighborly. As a Sunni, I admire the selfless work done by the Ismaili Muslim Community to uplift humanity. As a Sunni, I love the bridge building work being done by the Warith Deen Muhammad Muslims. And as a Muslim, I salute the major funding of education in India by Bohra Muslim Azim Premji. The list is endless.

There is indeed a net gain for Islam collectively, and we must appreciate them all. Islam is universal; it absorbs all of us in its embrace.

If Muslims can stand up for everyone on a principled basis, then our voices will carry the moral weight necessary to bring a positive change for the entire humanity including us. Prophet Muhammad has given us a model to emulate: The Amin, the just, the truthful and the trustworthy to build just societies for humanity.

Please note; it is easy for me to stick with the Sunni tradition and not hear rogue criticism, I am willing to put up with a few bigoted ones among us for a greater goal of at least talking about unity. We should not speak about Muslim Unity anymore, if we don't mean and act on it. Let's begin the process and learn to tolerate the intolerants among us.

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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.