Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ramadan day 17 Shia Momin Center


Each mosque and each tradition is uniquely different. Insha Allah, I will do my best to keep that uniqueness intact, however, it is not easy to write different things each day for the whole month. If you wish to get a complete essence of this journey in Ramadan, you have to glance at the other days.

Click on picture to enlarge - other pictures in the link

Today’s destination is the Shia Masjid in the city of Irving called Momin Center, in case you are wondering what Momin stands for, here it is: Metroplex Organization of Muslims in North-Texas. Please remember, it is a name, and not necessarily the organization of Muslims. That’s how we name things in the USA, all private entities.
Click on picture to enlarge - other pictures in the link

The articles at this site are being published (translated versions) and read in several nations across the world, here is the statistics for today’s views: USA 6800, Russia 2530, India 1070, UK 880, Pakistan 553, Qatar 530, Germany 389, Canada 330, Saudi Arabia 190, Australia 181… 32% form Internet explorer, 28% through Chrome, 16% from Fire Fox, 11% from Safari and…

Russia has thrown me off completely with their numbers, but no China today, indeed we have had views from Tibet as well. There may be a correlation here; I was invited to speak on Pluralism in Islam in Tataristan, Russia, but I could not go, their budget did not pick up the airfare, it makes sense why so many Russians are viewing this site, indeed, the statistic is similar with World Muslim Congress.org. It was the same story with Indonesia, did not get to go to speak on Islamophobia. If they pay for the airfare, I will go and present the papers on various aspects of Islam, particularly on Pluralism in Islam.

One of the first things I do when I visit a Mosque is check on Quraan translations; One H
ilali Khan’s translation is fraught with deliberate errors. Thank God, that is out of circulation now, but millions of copies are out there in the hands of public doing the damage - it is a sensitive issue, and part of the reason for Islamophobia. The Quraan I picked to read was published in Saudi Arabia, the translation of Quraan 1-7 was done up well. Picture in the link.

Got to meet with the Dr. Mustafa Zaidi, president of the center and Mr. Sohel Sachak, VP, Insha Allah, I will send them a formal invitation to join us at the Unity Day event with as many members of the center as they can on September 11, 2012 - by the way, our purpose is to bring all Americans together for a common purpose, to know each other and build a cohesive America. It is a positive step forward. More about it at www.UnitydayUSA.com
Click on picture to enlarge - other pictures in the link

Maulana Raza Usmani is a visiting scholar. In the last three years I have been going to this Mosque, it is a common practice to bring scholars to give dars, education. There is one on Tuesday night prior to Iftaar, if someone wants to go.

The Maulana explained the difference in Iftaar procedure well. Unlike the Sunnis and Ahmadiyya who do the Iftaar on the call for Maghrib (dusk) prayers, the Shias do it after the prayers. He said, they do break the fast on the call, but wait to eat after the supplication at the end of the prayers, they believe that supplication is more powerful after the Dua (supplication). However, on the call, one of the gentleman who knew me, asked me to go with my Iftaar and I did along with a few others. They had an additional item - Lassi, the yogurt shake, and that was delicious. I remembered back home in Bangalore, this was a common thing to serve in the Mosques. I cannot believe, I don't remember its name.

The Shias do the Maghrib and Isha prayer back to back, the Isha is 2 units, as the Imam's during Ramadan are usually visiting Imams. Most people do the balance 2 on Isha after the prayers. No Taraweeh prayers in Shia Mosques, it is a Sunni tradition initiated by Hazrat Umar.

The ritual prayer outlines are the same, but with a few differences in the process. During the Qiyaam (i.e., the standing position), the hands are dropped to the sides, I made an effort to do that, but did not feel home with it, so I did what I am used to; place my hands on my stomach folded together. The feeling was almost like the feeling when you don’t wear seat belt while driving. There is nothing wrong or right about either method, it is simply what you are used to.

Lifting of forefinger as a witness is a Sunni practice while reciting Ashadu anna Muhammadur Rasool Allah in the Tashahhud position and not a Shia practice.
Sunni prayers are concluded with a physical turn of the head to the right and then to the left with a Salaam Aliakum o Rahmatullah, while the Shias conclude it with the words alone in the middle of the recitation.

If I were to score on the quality of carpet, this mosque scores 8 out of 10, and the Plano Mosque would score low, the Masjid e Aqsa perhaps scores 10 out of 10, and Aqsa is one of the cleanest Mosques I have been to, it was incredibly clean!
One of the purposes of writing the Ramadan notes is, for us to see that each method is beautiful, and learn to drop the arrogance of wronging others. It’s not easy, but good things are not easy anyways.

The language we need to develop in expressing the difference is that of respect and not in terms of better or not better, but appreciation of the uniqueness. Do we forget that Allah constantly reminds as that the best among you is the one who knows the other, it means acknowledging the difference and living with it. At the Ahmadiyya Mosque, I added in my little talk, that Allah does not shower favors one over the other, he has not signed a deal behind others backs for us to be arrogant. The least liked person by God is an arrogant one.

May Allah help us all to learn to describe the otherness of others as genuinely as we can and with utmost respect. One of the greatest values of Islam is equality and it must reflect in our actions and words. No one should be looked down or up, shame on us if we do. You might want to consider reflecting on the wisdom of conducting a civil dialogue as describe in Sura Kafirun (http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2008/07/sura-kafirun-un-believers.html)
Had a short discussion with the Maulana, and was amazed at the way he described Ayatul Kursi, and what does it mean to be in Jahilya box and how to get out of it. and the first statement Prophet Muhammad made at Masjid-e-Nabwi about maintaining relationships.
Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America with participation from every community. Please visit www.AmericaTogetherfoundation.com

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 www.UnityDayUSA.com

Please visit
www.RamadanDaily.com for a record since 2010.

MikeGhouse is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a professional speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, civic affairs, Islam, India, Israel, peace and justice. Mike is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News and regularly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. The blog www.TheGhousediary.comis updated daily.

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Voice of Moderate Muslims

Voice of Moderate Muslims
Voice of Moderate Muslims

Moderate Islam Speaker

Moderate Islam Speaker
Moderate Islam Speaker

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 (www.UnitydayUSA.com) 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.

URL- http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2013/08/planned-muslim-response-to-quran_18.html

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.