SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The wisdom of fasting Ramadan
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – We are his guests of honor!!
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Muslims recently concluded their holy month of Ramadan. However, this year’s Ramadan has been overshadowed by an uptick in Islamophobic attacks against American Muslims in their schools, homes, and places of worship. In the wake of the massacre in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin earlier this month, hate crimes threatening Muslims or members of other faiths who are mistakenly confused with Muslims have been on the rise:
Mosque’s Welcome Sign Smashed: A North Smithfield, RI mosque was vandalized on August 5, when their welcome sign was smashed with a hammer. After appealing to local police for more protection, the mosque received increased security checks.
Mosque Burned To Ground: Federal agents are investigating a suspicious fire that burned a Joplin, MO mosque to the ground on August 6. Just a month earlier, a small fire at the same mosque damaged part of its roof.
Pig Legs Thrown Into Mosque Site: On August 7, pig parts were thrown onto the site of a proposed Islamic center in southern California. Since consuming pigs is forbidden under Islam, local advocates are asking federal officials to investigate it as a hate crime.
Shots Fired On Mosque: On August 10, David Conrad fired two pellet-gun shots on the outer wall of a Morton Grove, IL mosque while about 500 people were inside observing evening prayers for Ramadan. No one was injured, but worshipers saw one of the bullets just narrowly miss a a security guard’s head. Conrad is now in police custody.
Acid Bomb Attack At School: On August 12, an acid bomb was thrown into Muslim school in Lombard, IL, while the school was being used as a facility for evening Ramadan prayers. Worshipers heard a loud bang against the building and realized that someone had hurled a 7-Up bottle filled with acid and other unidentified materials at the school.
Windows Smashed At Christian Arab Church: On August 13, a Christian church in Detroit reported that their building had been vandalized. The church’s pastor, Father Rani Abdulmasih, noted that his Middle Eastern congregation has been racially profiled before.
Paintball Attack At Mosque: Vandals shot paintballs at the Grand Mosque of Oklahoma City on August 13. The attack was caught on the mosque’s surveillance camera, but the police were unable to identify the suspects.
Molotov Cocktail Thrown Into Muslim Home: In the middle of the night on August 15, a firebomb was thrown at a Muslim home in Panama City, FL. The home’s residents believe that the Molotov cocktail was aimed at a bedroom window, but missed its target. The fire was put out with a hose.
Hate Graffiti In Cemetery: On August 16, a visitor to a Muslim cemetery in Evergreen Park, IL discovered that several tombstones had been vandalized with hate graffiti, including racial epithets and insults against Mohammad.
Two weeks ago, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) claimed that radical Muslims are “trying to kill Americans every week” at a town hall just 15 miles away from the Morton Grove mosque. Several of the other recent attacks — the acid bomb in Lombard, IL and the graffiti in Evergreen Park, IL — also took place in Walsh’s district.—www.shafaqna.com/english
Source: Think Progress
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Muslims around the world are observing Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim year that lasts around 30 days, which strict fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset and although it is a time of deprivation, Muslims consider Ramadan to be a joyful season.—www.shafaqna.com/english
Source: The Sacramento Bee
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - In the name of Allah the most Beneficent the most Merciful
The office of Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Al-Sistani in Najaf to all believers that investigation on the month of Shawwal moon sighting was done after sunset on Saturday 29 of Ramadan. Moon sighting was not proved for Ayatollah Al-Sistani in naked eye neither in Iraq nor the rest of the Arab and Islamic countries. According to this research, tomorrow Sunday, will be considered the 30th day of Ramadan and Monday will be the first day of Eid Al-Fitr and the month of Shawwal. May Allah accept the prayers and deeds of all Muslims.
Night of 30th of Ramadan 1433 H
Office of Sayyed Al-Sistani, Najaf
Translation of SHAFAQNA from original Arabic announcement
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - Every year on the last Friday of Ramadan, Muslims commemorate al-Quds day and show their solidarity with the people of Palestine. The Palestinian cause is an indisputable aspiration shared by almost every Muslim in the world, regardless of their national, lingual and sectarian diversities. Their wish to liberate Palestine and al-Quds from the Zionists goes beyond all their differences. This year's al-Quds day, in the aftermath of revolutions and political turbulences in the Muslim and Arab world, and in the prospect of sectarian conflicts and civil wars ignited by the western powers, is a unique opportunity to forget all differences, to use the spiritual and liberating experience of Ramadan and to come together as brothers and sisters.
Muslims traditionally tend to ignore the material life and worldly pleasures and to restrain themselves from any dispute during the month of Ramadan. This week's Islam and Life asks: How important is the international Al-Quds day for Muslim unity?
Courtesy of PressTV
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — An Israeli decision to ease restrictions on visits to the holy city has prompted Palestinians to flock to Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest shrine, in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) to mark the final days of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
"I'm rejoicing and so happy to be in Jerusalem after 10 years of not visiting," 42-year-old Mohammed Rashid, from the West Bank town of Yatta, told Reuters while sipping a midnight draught of coffee in a brightly lit old city arcade.
Nearly half a million Palestinians visited Al-Aqsa Mosque on Tuesday to mark Laylat Al-Qadr (the night when the Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him).
Palestinians Lure Muslims Back to Al-Aqsa
Al-Quds: The Olive City (Folder)
The influx followed an Israeli decision to ease restrictions on Palestinians seeking to visit Islam’s third holiest shrine.
Israeli officials said on Wednesday, August 15, they had lowered the age limit for men wanting to visit Al-Aqsa mosque in the old city to 40 from 50.
Officials also said that they had handed out seven times more permits to Palestinians between the ages of 35 and 40.
The Israeli Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories' (COGAT) said it had distributed 123,514 entry permits and had also slashed the age limit.
Last Ramadan, Israeli authorities had allowed only 16,700 permits.
A COGAT spokesman said the change was "due to the security situation".
Israel wanted "to support and strengthen the economy and allow Palestinian's freedom of religious worship in the maximum," he said.
Israeli officials, however, say the new rules only apply for the last few days of Ramadan, after which the old restrictions come back into force.
"Why am I allowed in now, but next week I'm not?" Rashid asked.
The Old City's stone streets, normally echoing caverns hinting at isolation and hard economic times by night, were a thick flow of pilgrims on Tuesday night, coursing past stalls of traditional cross-stitched dresses, prayer beads, spices and sweets.
Palestinian officials were also critical of the temporary rules.
"It's not a question of the number of permits, but why permits are needed at all," said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's executive committee.
"To cut Palestinians off from their cultural, religious, and political institutions in Jerusalem is unjust and unfair."
Al-Quds represents the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Israel occupied the holy city in the 1967 war and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community or UN resolutions.
Since then, Israel has adopted a series of oppressive measures to force the Palestinians out of the city, including systematic demolition of their homes and building settlements.
Israel imposed a network of checkpoints and built a broad separation barrier across the West Bank after the eruption of Palestinian uprising beginning in 2000, preventing most West Bankers from entering the country.—www.shafaqna.com/english
Source: On Islam
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Allah says in the Qur’an: “It is He who made the night and day to follow each other for such as have the will to celebrate His praises or to show their gratitude.” (25:62)
Life and death and the succession of nights and day have a purpose and that is to test us and to give us an opportunity to express our thanks and gratitude to our Creator and Sustainer. The month of Ramadan comes and goes. We must examine ourselves now and see what we have learned and achieved during this month. The test of success of this month lies in the effects it has left upon us.
We learn in this month how to discipline ourselves for the sake of Allah. In our morning and evening, we follow a strict schedule of eating and drinking. We are constantly aware that even in our such mundane activities as eating and drinking, we must remain under divine injunctions. We change our habits in our daily routines because we learn that we are not the servants and slaves to our habits, but always the servants of Allah. Then after Ramadan, we have to keep this spirit of discipline in other modes of our life and must continue with our submission to the commands of Allah.
Renewal of Devotional Life:
Ramadan renews our enthusiasm for worship and devotion to Allah. In this month, we are more careful of our daily prayers and have special prayers at night. There is no religion without prayer and Muslims learn in this month how to strengthen and deepen their religious life.
Renewal of Contact with the Quran:
Ramadan and the Qur’an are linked together from the beginning. It was in this month that this divine message was revealed to Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.). Fasting prepares the believers’ hearts to learn the Word of Allah. It is the most suitable condition for our spiritual and mental communication with the Qur’an. The Muslim Ummah pays more attention to the Quran in the blessed month of Ramadan. This renewed contact with the Quran must help us in following its message.
Renewal of Identity with the Ummah:
Ramadan is not an individual experience only, but it is an experience in community. The whole Muslim Ummah fasts together in one and the same month. We identify with one another in our obedience to Allah. This gives us a new sense of togetherness and association. Ramadan teaches us that the Muslim Ummah is the community of piety and devotion to Allah and its members derive their strength from each other in deeds of piety and virtue. The bonds that are based on piety and virtue are the strongest bonds and it is these bonds that prove good for mankind. Ramadan leaves an imprint of all these values upon the Muslim Ummah.
A Fresh Sense of Care and Sympathy:
Fasting in the month of Ramadan helps us to understand the suffering and the pains of the poor and needy. By our voluntary hunger and thirst we realise what it means to be deprived of basic necessities of life. Ramadan is called the month of charity and sympathy. We learn how to be more kind and generous in this month. Many Muslims also pay their Zakah in the month of Ramadan.
To summarise all the moral and spiritual gifts of Ramadan, we can say that Ramadan gives us the great gift of Taqwa. Taqwa is the sum total of Islamic life. It is the highest of all virtues in the Islamic scheme of things. It means, God-consciousness, piety, fear and awe of Allah and it signifies submission to Allah and total commitment to all that is good and rejection of all that is evil and bad.”—www.shafaqna.com/english
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Fasting for long hours, Canadian Muslims are trying to adapt their work in the blistering summer heat without food and water during the holy month of Ramadan.
“The most challenging part of Ramadan is that I can’t taste my food,” Rafi Raphael Taherie, a chef at Free Times Café, told The Globe And Mail.
“Normally I’m not the type of chef to have a spoon in my pocket every minute to taste, but still it’s pretty tough to not taste food and still be good.
“Part of Ramadan is to sacrifice, so being around food and not eating is actually a good challenge,” the Toronto Muslim resident said.
Canada’s Muslims started Ramadan fasting on July 20.
In Ramadan, adult Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
The sick and those traveling are exempt from fasting especially if it poses health risks.
For Alaa Hajjaj, a Toronto accountant at Trade Secret Web Printing, his first Ramadan in Canada was easier than what he expected.
“This is the first time I’ve done Ramadan in Canada,” said Hajjaj, who emigrated from Abu Dhabi.
“Everyone in the office is being nice and accommodating, trying not to eat in front of me.”
The case was not the same for Fraz Ahmed, an automotive technician at Dufferin and Bloor Auto Repair and Sales.
“As a mechanic, working on cars, observing Ramadan is a bit hard. When the cars come in and they’re hot, you sweat. When you sweat, you have less energy,” Ahmed said.
“But once you’re in there, and you’re working on something, you won’t feel it at all.”
Muslims make 1.9 percent of Canada's some 32.8 million people.
The number of Canadian Muslims has increased over the past few years making Islam the number one non-Christian faith in the country.
A survey has showed that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian.
Intersecting religious observance and work, Canadian Muslims see the holy month of Ramadan as a chance for spiritual charge for the whole year.
“Ramadan is also a time of reconnecting with God. It’s about sacrificing. And it’s about charity,” Raphael, the chef, said.
“There are people [around the world] who are fasting for two or three days in a row without any food. So we have to be connected to them and feel their pain.”
Sharing the poor for thirty days of hunger and thirsty, Ramadan gives Muslims a chance to appreciate the blessings Allah bestow on them.
“Ramadan makes me appreciate everything that I have,” said Hajjaj.
“You remember in different parts of the world they don’t have the same things as here.”
Muslims also share the feelings of the needy and poor during the holy month.
“I feel that it’s necessary to feel that it’s difficult to fast at Ramadan. It’s not easy, but it’s life,” said Suhair Abu-Khaled, a farmer at Suhair Organic Farm from Richmond Hill, Ont.
“Some people, this is normal life for them. If we look, for example, at people in Somalia, or in Southern Africa, a lot of people are fasting the whole year, not just at Ramadan.
“If we ask why our God asks us to fast at Ramadan it’s to feel how poor people live. How they feel. Of course we should feel the difference.”
Fasting is meant to teach Muslims patience, self-control and spirituality, and time during the holy month is dedicated for getting closer to Allah though prayers, reading the Noble Qur’an and good deeds.
In Ramadan, Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint and good deeds.
The majority of Muslims prefer to pay Zakah for the poor and needy during the month.—www.shafaqna.com/english
Source: On Islam
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Pakistani families displaced recently are getting a boost from the United Arab Emirates, who is sending mobilized caravans of food to the South Asian country, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Monday.
The $1 million program under the direction of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will “involve distribution of essential food among the impoverished in the month of Ramadan helping them to cook Iftar meals.”
The effort comes as part of the president’s efforts to improve the “living conditions of the impoverished and enable them to return to normal life,” said Director of UAE project to assist Pakistan Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli.
Over 20,000 families are expected to receive food aid under the first shipment.
The project is headquartered in Pakistan and has rebuilt local infrastructure, including educational and health care sectors like roads, bridges, provision of clean water in Swat and other districts to help the families affected by recent natural disasters.—www.shafaqna.com/english