Monday, July 9, 2012

Dallas interfaith Imams and Ramadan

Saturday, July 6, 2012

The Islamic Speakers Bureau had organized “Islam 101” program designed to familiarize Islam to the community at large. Indeed, it is our responsibility to know each other, when we do that, conflicts fade and solutions emerge. God in Quraan 49:13 says that the best among you are the ones who learn and understand each other. Most of the issues we face as communities within America are a product of living in silos with social, religious, cultural, racial and ethnic boundaries around us. 

Unless we connect with each other, our energies would be spent on gossiping about others, living in phobias, frightening myths and plain distrust of others, this binds us to these human ills. We need to get out of it and live and breathe the air of freedom without apprehensions. Yes, we can do that.

We must appreciate the efforts and drive of at least a few Imams in our region; Imam Dr. Yusuf Zia Kavakci, Imam Dr. Zia Shaikh, Imam Yaseen, Imam Yahya, Imam Mujahid, Imam Zafrullah and Imam Shakoor to name a few.  I am sure we have a few other great Imams, but these are the ones I am familiar with and in touch with. I know Dr. Kavakci and Dr. Zia Shaikh fairly well and have worked with them on many events. However, I was looking for an opportunity to know Imam Yaseen, and I am glad I attended the Islam 101 at Plano Mosque today.

I listened to Imam Yaseen intently, wanting to know how his talk will contribute towards making America a better place for everyone to live and let live. He is right on, and is as committed to invoke the “to know each other” and “social justice” aspect of Islam as frequently as I do, as an American Muslim.

Gone are the days when clergy of most religions thrived on finding faults with other faiths, people never questioned that. Thanks to these Imams  for genuinely sharing the values of Islam such as truth, justice and accountability of one’s actions.

Our right wing media plays a broken record that Muslims teach hatred in the Mosques, and shamelessly some of our Muslim brothers and sisters sing along with them. They need to wake up from their sleep, and see the world around them, that is different than it was when they went into the slumber.

They need to visit these Mosques to find the truth and hopefully change their perceptions about Muslims. The Islam 101 program started with a caveat that this is not an attempt to convert, but to present our point of view. Indeed, that was similar to the introduction at the Quraan conference2 event held in December 2010, it was to separate the myths about Qur’anic verses and not to sell the religion.

One of the corrections we need to make is the utterance that Islam is the most diverse religion in the USA, nay, Christianity is more diverse than Islam in America, followed by Islam and the Baha’i faith. Islam rather brings most diversity in one place of worship, even though we have a few private mosques, where a certain homogenous group of people go, but most mosques are diverse and open to all Muslims. If you attend the Mosques in Irving and Richardson, you will find God’s full creation in attendance at the Friday congregational prayers. It may be the case with other mosques, but I have not been to all of them yet.

So, the next time you see ISLAM 101 at Plano Mosque, make an effort to attend it, it is a comprehensive program. I recommend that the Muslim council of North Texas develop a common presentation to be used in all Mosques. However, I must caution that I have attended a few 101’s that are a turn offs and almost border on reinforcing the negative perceptions of Islam to the non-Muslims, of course, you will find that in most 101s of different religions, all of us need to get out of the little holes we live in, and see the big world and be a part of the universe.

The creator we believe in, is the lord of the universe and not just the lord of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims or others,  and our talk should reflect that Universality “Aalameen” of God, and not reduce him to be puny God of Muslims or Christians.

God willing I am set out to produce a film called Americans together building a cohesive America, where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of other, the trailer is ready to be viewed at .

On the same principles, we need to work on building a cohesive Muslim society, where no Muslim feels alienated with other Muslims. If you have the will to be a part of the larger Muslim community without barriers, Insha Allah, I will have a schedule out for Ramadan at

This would be the third year of Iftaaring in each Mosque. We have to shed our bias and prejudices, and visit each mosque, the ritual prayers and Iftaar sequence will differ in each place, but you have to accept and respect their way and drop the arrogance that yours is the only right way.  I have documented some of the differences at the Ramadan blog.

Insha Allah, we will be visiting the mosques of the following Muslim denominations; Sunni, Shia, Bohra, Ahmadiyya, Sufi, WD Muhammad, Ismaili, Salafi, Ahle-Sunnat and others. If you know a different denomination other than the listed, let’s put it on the list.

You can do your own program, but if we all can follow a schedule, it will make a difference. I can take 4 additional passengers with me in my SUV, and if each one can pool, it would be great. It’s for men and women, seniors or youth, all are welcome. 


Thank you.
Jazak Allah Khair

Mike Ghouse is committed to nurturing the pluralistic values embedded in Islam. The role of a Muslim is to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill to create cohesive societies where all of God's creation can co-exist in harmony. More about Mike at indexing to his blogs and sites. 


  1. Interfaith this :)

  2. I'm looking forward for this Ramadan 2012. Hence my greetings to all of you. May you all have peaceful and happy Ramadan.

    Ramadan greetings



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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.