Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ramadan day 4 Madinah Masjid

DAY 4 - Madinah Masjid, Carrollton

Monday, July 23, 2012 | Ramadan 4, 1433
Madinah Masjid, 2180 Old Denton Road, Carrollton, TX 75006
Ramadan Realization

I was completely exhausted today, the fasting really got to me. I was hungry from Noon down. The only thing that came to my mind was hungry children and people around the world in Congo, Haiti, Somalia and Burma. The tragedy of Rohingi people in Burma shatters me… it is the identical humility that the Vietnamese suffered, and Darfurians and Palestinians are enduring.

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A sense of responsibility grips me and the only possible thing I can do is pray for them, and through fasting, in my own way, I express solidarity with them, and empathize with them. Taqwa or spirituality in simple terms is being in tune with the creation, created and the creator. We feel helpless, yet we feel part of the whole universe.

My biggest reference point is always Holocaust, the world did nothing while people were sent to gas chambers, and mercilessly shot into the ditches… the looks in their eyes was so overwhelming, friends turned their faces away from them; a sheer betrayal of humanity. That is one of the most dominating scenes in my life, when I hear the word helplessness, that is the scene for me and that means more of the Ramadan Realization for me, a month of connecting with humanity, a month of feeling empathy for others and a month of goodwill generation.

I was debating about breaking the fast in my office. But, decided to head out to Madinah Masjid. It is perhaps the only Mosque in the area with arrangement for Iftaar dinner every evening.

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My friend Javed Haider has been in-charge of Ramadan Iftaar along with Amin, Naushad and a few others for several years. I go to Madinah Masjid, at least twice during each Ramadan. The hospitality here is exemplary, a smaller but a friendly group of people.

Madina Masjid is a fully ethnic mosque, meaning the congregants are homogenous and predominantly Urdu Speaking. Most of them are from India and Pakistan. Other than the ritual prayers, all other talk is in Urdu.

Those who come fresh from India or Pakistan may feel home at this Mosque, it is a continuation of every practice that is done back home.

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For instance, before breaking the fast, in most mosques the Adhan (prayer call) signifies the moment to break the fast, in Madinah Masjid, Imam Seraj Misbahi sits down with the group and recites the words slowly prior to breaking the fast, so others can repeat after him.

After the formal obligatory congregational prayers, most mosques conclude the prayers at the last act of the ritual - that is sending peace and blessings to the right and to the left with the head turning in both directions. In Madinah Masjid, the Imam goes for the duwa (supplication) after the end of the prayes, a common practice in the Subcontinent.

The Imam also keeps the recitations short; the prayers are supposed to be short during Ramadan. Imam Zia Shaikh of Irving and Imam Muhammad Shakoor of Dallas are sensitive to this need. However, when a guest imam leads the prayers in some Mosques, the Imams love their own voices so much that they take it for ever, and it is quite taxing during Ramadan. I wish everyone tells some of these Imams to keep it short and take all the time they want in the Taraweeh Prayers; that is the special nightly prayers during Ramadan, where one chapter of Quraan is completed each night in 29 to 30 days.

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The food was great with Salad, lentil, rice, and grilled chicken. The dessert was kheer (rice pudding) with sliced almonds and possibly broken cashew. Loved it!

Ah, our friend Marylou at the world Muslim congress forum, thought it was humorous that I had to wipe my fingers inside of my pant pockets as there was no napkin available yesterday or the other two days. Here at Madinah Masjid, thank God they had a good supply of them and I wiped my fingers with the napkin after breaking the fast.

I urge fellow Muslims to become a part of the whole and visit different Mosques for Iftaar with an open mind and respectful of other traditions. It takes you out of the narrow cubby and puts you out in a larger world. That is what Ramadan is supposed to make you, give you arms to embrace the whole humanity.

Please mark your calendar for the Unity Day USA, a positive event that brings all Americans Together to rededicate our pledge for a peaceful, prosperous and secure America. We are a part of America and we need to feel and live it. If you liked some of the article, you will like the description of Unity Day USA at

A few other Articles to read if you have the time:

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on the topics of Pluralism, Coexistence, politics, interfaith, Islam and cohesive societies. He is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

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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.