Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ramadan day 3 Plano Masjid

Plano Masjid, 6401 Independence Parkway, Plano, TX

click on pic to see larger picture - 12 other pictures in the Flickr link above
Experiencing Ramadan.

It’s the 3rd day of Ramadan, and Plano Masjid was my destination. Most of the people involved in building of the mosque were part of the Richardson Mosque eons ago, as Plano grew and filled every piece of land that there was with homes, so did the growth of Muslim population. Now there is another Mosque on the east side of the town called EPIC, East Plano Islamic Center.

Plano is one of the most progressive cities in the area and took off in mid-to-late eighties. It is also one of the top ten safest cities for single women, no; it was # 1 at one time, Mayor Pat Evans took joy in correcting me. Former Mayors Jeran Akers and Pat Evans were part of many a events including Unity Day USA. Indeed, we got 4 Cricket play grounds when Jeran Akers was the Mayor and I was President at North Texas Cricket Association then. Pat Evans has been a part of the Unity Day since 2005. I have met the new Mayor but yet to develop relationship.

Imam Yaseen Shaikh posted great messages on the face book;

Imam Yaseen Shaikh, more pictures in the link

“Reminder: Community Iftaar at Masjid does not mean we sit with our family and friends of same ethnic background to breakfast. It means we breach the barriers we have created and create a bond of brotherhood and sisterhood by building friendships and relationships with brothers and sisters beyond our ethnic background during these If tar’s. Please try to sit with somebody you don't know, break bread together, build friendship, bond, and then invite them and their family over for Eid. Many Muslim's feel isolated on Eid because they are not Desi or Arab. Let's change this.”

Indeed that has been our effort as well, to visit every mosque of every denomination, to know each other and familiarize with the uniquenesses of each other. Quite a lot has been written in the last two years on this Blog. Except the actual prayers, the ritual prayers, most other practices differ from community to community.

Plano Masjid Probably is closer to Richardson Mosque in its practices, I am using the word probably because I have not been a part of this mosque, but I do know many of my friends who are a part of this mosque to make that assumption.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a large number of young people during the time of Iftaar, but at the prayer, there were two rows of adults. I was wondering where they came from. They were not at the Iftaar and of course, I did not check if there were two different venues for Iftaar. Normally all people sit together and break the fast.

In the kitchen where they were making plates with dates and fruits, it was good to see an adult asking the teens to wear the gloves to handle the food. Indeed, yesterday at Richardson Mosque, each one in the food supply and service was wearing gloves.

Neither yesterday, nor today, there were napkins to wipe the fingers. I have found this to be a common practice among most of the homes as well, napkins is the last thing on their mind, collectively as well as individually. I wiped it on my sleeve, no, I am just kidding. I wiped inside of my pant pockets.

Mike Ghouse is committed to doing his individual share of building cohesive societies and invites you to the 8th Annual Unity Day USA on Tuesday, September 11, 2012. Details at, it’s an event that builds bridges and uplifts every American.

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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.