Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ramadan Calendar

On her blog Confessions of a Convert, Alma made a My Ramadan Calendar for herself to help her go through the month of Ramadan. It may of help to you also.

Actions Speak Louder than Words

Um Nur
Um Nur, in her new blog NoDramaGramma, writes: "To amass a lot of information, skill and/or knowledge, receive guidance, instruction and directives from a scholar or shaykh and not act on it.
"Allah has given us the tools to acquire unprecedented levels of knowledge and information, yet it seems the more resources and ability we have to gain knowledge, the less we do."  Read more.....

10 facts most Muslims don’t know about Muhammad (PBUH).

Did you know that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the most influential man in history according to many intellectuals and world leaders? His biography is published in many languages throughout the world. Even though I’ve compiled 10 facts from his life which most of the Muslims are not aware of . Read the list and see whether you knew any of the facts below.  Read more.....

Surah At Taubah (chapter 9) Recited By Abdul Rahman Al Sudais

I am currently reading and listening to Surah At Taubah (chapter 9) recited by Abdul Rahman Al Sudais. Introductory comments to the surah here. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

A new study reveals what Islam means in different countries


ISLAMIC law, in many eyes, has overtones of rigid puritanism. Yet some of its staunchest backers are also strong supporters of religious pluralism, reports the Pew Research Centre, a think-tank, in a survey of 38,000 Muslims conducted in 39 countries. Read more.....

The Leading Whistleblower of All Time: Philip Agee

Philip Agee
Before there was Edward Snowden, William Binney and Thomas Drake … before there was Bradley Manning, Sibel Edmonds and Jesselyn Radack … there was Philip Agee. What Agee revealed is still the most startling and important information about US foreign policy that any American government whistleblower has ever revealed. Read more.... 

Hispanic American immigrants increasingly finding home is Islam


A growing community of Hispanic American immigrants, as well as Hispanics in their home country, are choosing to convert from their predominantly Christian religions to Islam. It's especially common for women. More 

Overcoming Anger Towards Allah


By Aishah Mohd Nasarruddin
People respond differently to crisis. During troubled times, it is natural to be sad and exasperated be it the death of a loved one, being diagnosed with serious illness, trauma, natural disasters or any negative events. Some people become angry, and even turn that anger towards God. After blaming other people, themselves, and fate, they eventually blame Allāh.
“It just doesn't make sense. Why is Allāh doing this to me? How can Allāh allow this to happen? Haven't I done enough? I did everything because of Him but this is what I get. Do I deserve this?”
Yes, it is frustrating when you don't have all the answers. When things are difficult and out of our control, it is easy to snap.  

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Surah Al-Anfal (Quran Chapter 8)

 
I am currently listening to and reading Surah Al-Anfal (Quran Chapter 8) recited Mishari Rashed Al-Afasy.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Are you listening?


Surah Al Araf -- Recited by Abdul Rahman Al Sudais

I am currently listening to and reading Surah Al-Araf (Chapter 7)-- Recited by Abdul Rahman Al Sudais. Introductory comments to the surah here.

Geller and Spencer banned from UK


This news bulletin from the website Hope Not Hate
I’ve just heard the news that American anti-Muslim rabble-rousers Pam Geller and Robert Spencer have both been banned from entering the UK. 
As you know, they were heading here to address an EDL demonstration in Woolwich on Saturday and spread their anti-Muslim hate. This is both a victory for common sense and people power.
Over 26,000 people signed the HOPE not hate petition calling on the Home Secretary to prevent these anti-Muslim activists from entering the UK. Others soon took up the call and sent their own letters in. Together, we let the Home Secretary know the strength of feeling on this issue.
This once again proves that people have the power to force change if we decide to use it. 
Thanks again to everyone who signed the petition.
Alex Seitz-Wald notes on Salon.com that , "Geller joins conservative radio host Michael Savage, Florida pastor Terry Jones, and rapper Snoop Lion (previously Snoop Dog) on the list of people denied entry to Britain, whose strict laws limit freedom of speech and expression, some legal activists say."

And Jessica Elgot of Huffington Post quotes the Home Office,"There is no right to appeal the decision, but it may be reviewed in three to five years."

Read here what Pam Gellar says.  
Read here what Robert Spencer says.

McDonalds has served its last halal McChicken sandwich in US


McDonalds has served halal food, which is in accordance with Muslim dietary laws, at two Michigan restaurants for 12 years. But it's stopping the service after a lawsuit alleging the food was not halal. One problem: Not everyone agrees what halal is. Read more....

Ramadan In 12 Days

100 days until Ramadan = ✔ 
75 days until Ramadan = ✔
 50 days until Ramadan = ✔ 
25 days until Ramadan = ✔ 
12 days until Ramadan = Left!

Monday, June 24, 2013

76 percent of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck.


According to CNN Money, 76 percent of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. 

Roughly three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with little to no emergency savings, according to a survey released by Bankrate.com Monday.

Fewer than one in four Americans have enough money in their savings account to cover at least six months of expenses, enough to help cushion the blow of a job loss, medical emergency or some other unexpected event, according to the survey of 1,000 adults. Meanwhile, 50% of those surveyed have less than a three-month cushion and 27% had no savings at all. 

 "It's disappointing," said Greg McBride, Bankrate.com's senior financial analyst. "Nothing helps you sleep better at night than knowing you have money tucked away for unplanned expenses."

Even more disappointing; The savings rates have barely changed over the past three years, even though a larger percentage of consumers report an increase in job security, a higher net worth and an overall better financial situation. 

CBC report on Ottawa's Abraar School


See school website at: http://www.abraarschool.com/

Brazilians have reason to protest the cost of Olympics and World Cup

Protests in Brazil 

See also:
Brazilian protesters became angry against the cost of World Cup and Olympics

MATT LUNDY

The Globe and Mail -- Published Monday, Jun. 24 2013

As many as a million people have flooded the streets of Brazil this month to protest everything from subpar public programs to government corruption, in what is the country’s largest display of public dissent in decades.

Many of them have targeted next year’s World Cup as symbolic of the government’s questionable priorities. The event’s hefty price tag – much of it bankrolled by taxpayers – is considered a prime example of wasteful spending.

It’s unlikely that criticism of Brazil’s sporting events will subside. Two years after the World Cup, Rio de Janeiro will play host to the 2016 Olympic Games. The mega-event double-header is supposed to anoint Brazil as a global superpower, much like when China hosted the 2008 Olympics. Instead, the events could wind up being a public-spending debacle that kills any good PR Brazil was expecting.

At current estimates, the upcoming World Cup will cost roughly $13.3-billion, with more than $3-billion earmarked for new and upgraded stadiums. The priciest of them is Brasilia’s Estadio Nacional, a 71,000-seat venue costing 1.5 billion reais (about $680-million), according to Bloomberg. So far, the venue has drawn spotty attendance and is considered a potential “white elephant” – that is, a useless building that sucks taxpayer dollars long after an event has left town. Cities that host mega-events are often full of them.

Another concern is quality control. Brazil has a reputation for building shoddy, overpriced infrastructure. Just last month, a soccer match between Brazil and England was cancelled when Maracanã Stadium – a World Cup and Olympic venue that underwent a pricey renovation – was ruled unsafe for play. (The decision was later overturned when the necessary documents were produced.)

Already, these problems sound familiar. In 2007, Rio hosted the Pan Am Games, whose organizers made a slate of promises, including new subway lines and a clean-up of polluted Guanabara Bay. Neither of those plans was executed. Not to mention that the athletes’ village – which became a residential property – started caving in within years, according to a Time Magazine article. The initial estimate for the Pan Am Games was $177-million. The final tally is believed to have cost as much as 10 times that figure.

Brazil can ill afford that level of error with the 2016 Olympics. When Rio bid for the rights, it presented a $14.4-billion budget to the International Olympic Committee, just a touch higher than the combined budgets for the three other finalists. The greater cause for concern is that every Olympics in modern history has overshot its budget by a wide margin.

Last year, a working paper from Oxford University claimed that every Olympics since 1960 has gone over budget, with an average overrun in real terms of 179 per cent. “The data thus show that for a city and nation to decide to host the Olympic Games is to take on one of the most financially risky type of megaproject that exists, something that many cities and nations have learned to their peril,” the researchers concluded.

Take London, for example. In the bidding process for the 2012 Games, London’s organizers presented a £2.4-billion budget. After winning hosting rights, the budget swelled to £9.3-billion. Critics believe the actual cost is billions higher.

Perhaps the Rio team is the first in recent memory to present a realistic budget for the Games. Then again, given the five-decade trend in budget overruns, and Brazil’s own spotty track record on event planning, it’s entirely possible the 2016 Olympics could cost billions more than advertised. After all, the budget for next summer’s World Cup was revised upward by about $1.7-billion.

But what about the economic impact of hosting these events? Is there a net gain to be made by spending billions on the World Cup and Olympics?

For the most part, research on mega-events believes they make a negligible (or unidentifiable) impact on long-term economic growth. “If a city is using an expectation of a financial windfall as justification for hosting the Olympics, past experience suggests that the host will be in for a rude awakening,” writes Victor Matheson, an economics professor at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, in the New York Times.

Likewise, the notion that mega-events lead to wild tourist influxes is largely a fallacy. The number of foreign tourists who visited the United Kingdom last August – the month in which the majority of the Games were held – actually fell by 150,000 people compared with same month the year prior. In Beijing, “the Olympic Games were a toxic event that crushed normal demand, both business and leisure,” said a 2010 reportfrom the European Tour Operators Association.

On the bright side, some would argue that mega-events force governments to tackle much-needed infrastructure projects, like improvements to mass transit – something that Brazil’s protesters clearly want. Construction projects costing billions are tied to Brazil’s World Cup and Olympic vision, but as we’ve seen before, the country has a checkered history in making good on its promises.

Should either event meet a similar fate as the Pan Am Games, the public uproar could become deafening.

Matt Lundy is an editor at The Globe and Mail and a business writer who has specialized in the financing of major events.

SURAH AL-AN'AM - Mishary Bin Rashid Alafasy

 
 I am currently reading and listening to Surah Al An'am (chapter 6 of the Quran) recited by Mishary Bin Rashid Alafasy. Introductory comments on the surah here.

‘Muslims Can’t Do Anything, Why Be Muslim?’

Though it is undeniable that non-foundational matters can give us a deeper understanding of Islam, it's important to remember that they cannot define Islam. To many of us, this might seem like a small point. But for many struggling Muslims and near-apostates, understanding this is the difference between remaining Muslim and letting go, writes Umm Zakiyyah.

Don't Call it a Turkish Spring


"The protests are not about a park, or a prime minister—they're about who Turks think they are. And it's not as simple as religion v. secularism," writes Haroon Moghul.

The excellence of being in a gathering in which Allah is remembered


Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, 
"Allah, the Exalted, has teams of angels who go about on the roads seeking those who remember Allah. When they find some people remembering Allah they call to one another and say, `Come to what you are looking for; and they surround them with their wings till the space between them and the lowest sky is fully covered. Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, asks them (although He is best informed about every thing): `What are my slave saying? They say: `They are glorifying Your Tasbih, Tahmid, Takbir, Tamjid, (i.e., they were declaring Your Perfectness, praising, remembering the Greatness and Majesty of Allah). He asks: `Have they seen Me? They reply, `No, indeed, they have not seen You. He asks: `How would they act if they were to see Me? Thereupon they reply: `If they were to see You, they would engage more earnestly in worshipping and glorifying You and would extol You more. He would say: `What do they beg of Me? They say, `They beg You for Your Jannah. Allah says, `Have they seen My Jannah? They say, `No, our Rubb. He says: `How would they act if they were to see My Jannah? They reply, `Were they to see it, they would more intensely eager for it. They (the angels) say, `They seek Your Protection. He asks, `Against what do they seek My Protection? They (the angels) say, `Our Rubb, from the fire of Hell. (He, the Rubb) says, `Have they seen the fire of Hell? They say, `No. By Your Honour, they have not seen it. He says: `How would they act if they were to see My Fire? They say: `If they were to see it, they would more earnest in being away from it and fearing it. They beg of Your forgiveness. He says: `I call you to witness that I hereby grant pardon to them and confer upon them what they ask for; and grant them protection against what they seek protection from. One of the angels says: `Our Rubb, there is amongst them such and such slave who does not belong to the assembly of those who are participating in Your remembrance. He passed by them and sat down with them. He says: `I also grant him pardon because they are the people by virtue of whom their associates will not be unfortunate."
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ottawa Muslim Cemetery on CBC Radio

Freelance journalist Amira Elghawaby, of Ottawa, produced a short (approx 8 minutes) radio program on the Ottawa Muslim Cemetery which was aired today (JUne 23rd on the CBC radio program called Tapestry.

The link to the show is:

If you listen to the complete podcast, it is around 45 mins into the show. 

You can send your comments to: tapestry@cbc.ca

6 Great Converts To Islam

Here is a good article about 6 people who converted to Islam throughout history.......Click here.

See also Fatima Kojima's conversion story that she recently posted on youtube:
 

The Importance of Studying History According to Ibn Khaldun


The following is a translation from the opening pages Ibn Khaldun’s book of world history, Tarikh ibn Khaldun, written in 1377 in North Africa.

Ibn Khaldun was a scholar of history, economics, sociology, and historiography. His summary of history and particularly its introduction, the Muqaddimah, is seen by many as the basis for modern historical philosophy. Read more.....