Friday, April 27, 2007

Museum with No Frontiers

Passed on to me by my friend Noura, take time to explore this beautiful look at Islamic History and the art it created.

I had a hard time picking which pictures to include in this post, as each era produced such unique and fascinating art.
Ceramic tile with a picture of the Ka'baHegira last quarter of the 10th century / AD 16th century - Ottoman Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey

Tile showing the Ka'ba, which would be placed on the outside of a mosque showing the direction of and reminding the faithful about the holiest site of Islam.

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Aghlabid ReservoirsHegira 248 / AD 862Abbasid Kairouan, Tunisia

This reservoir is composed of two pairs of circular basins. About 15 similar reservoirs originally surrounded the area outside Kairouan. In addition to rainwater, water from the tributaries of the Merguelil Valley was directed into them. > More information
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Museum With No Frontiers (MWNF) is an organisation whose ground-breaking and visionary programme aims to establish a vast trans-national museum that presents works of art, architecture and archaeology in the context in which they were created. Inspired by the principle of organising exhibitions without moving the works of art, MWNF is creating through modern technology an exciting new dimension to museums. The visitor is invited to experience a museum not only as a place to admire artefacts on display but also as a gateway to related works of art in other museums, relevant archaeological sites and monuments as well as to thematic visits.

By raising awareness of artistic and cultural heritage and promoting investment in restoration and conservation projects, MWNF aims to promote cultural integration as a means of facilitating political cooperation between different countries and cultures. The MWNF programme provides an opportunity to learn about and enjoy the shared cultural heritage of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East in a completely new way. Its masterly orchestration brings together a large number of academics, professionals, photographers, tourist managers, politicians and many other people and organisations participating in this innovative project.

The ever expanding MWNF network includes partners from 19 countries in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. To date, public and private bodies from Algeria, Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Kingdom have joined the MWNF programme.

Missing BBC reporter

Alan Johnston banner

For the last three years, Alan has been the only foreign journalist from a major media organisation based in Gaza. At times, he spends months in the territory without leaving it.

In the last year, the atmosphere has been incredibly tense as the inter-factional violence raged between Hamas and Fatah. Gun battles would erupt out of nowhere and the noise could keep you awake all night.

There has also been a spate of kidnappings targeting foreigners - although all have been released unharmed. Alan often spoke to his colleagues about his fears of being abducted. He knew the risks and took precautions. There are only a handful of foreigners - mostly aid workers - still living in the territory.

Life revolves around office and apartment - it is simply too unsafe to go out at night. Social life is minimal. But day after day, month after month, year after year, Alan has persisted in living in Gaza to cover Palestinian issues. He feels they are too important to go unreported. And he will be furious now that he's become the story instead of the one writing it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

National news again

Word has gone out in the right wing blogosphere, and once again, the entire world is watching Twin Cities muslims. In an NPR interview, the college president talks about thousands of angry letters and phone calls they've received.

If we were to so much as sneeze, people would freak, saying we're secretly smuggling avian flu in or something.

Editorial: Muslims deserve a welcoming campus
Minneapolis college is not out of bounds.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College has been bombarded with letters and e-mails -- most of them hostile, some of them hateful -- since disclosing that it is considering the installation of a foot bath for some Muslim students to use before prayer. This reaction is out of proportion to the modest and cautious inquiry the school has undertaken, and it is certainly out of keeping with Minnesota's long tadition of social tolerance and temperate thinking.

If the downtown Minneapolis school were discriminating in favor of Islam and against other faiths, we would understand the outrage. But it's not. When Christian students asked for space to study the Bible and conduct prayers, the school obliged them. When a Jewish student asked to reschedule an assignment because of a religious observance, the college agreed.

If MCTC were setting some unusual precedent, we might worry. But it's not. St. Cloud State University, the University of Minnesota-Duluth and at least a dozen other colleges around the country have installed small foot-washing facilities for their devout Muslim students -- at modest cost and often using student fees rather than state revenues.

It's worth remembering that this question first arose at MCTC as a matter of safety, not religion. A student slipped and fell after another student used a campus sink to bathe her feet. School officials could have banned the practice of foot-washing in hand sinks, but then they might have run afoul of state law governing religious discrimination and court decisions on religious accommodation.

And so the school found itself wading into that murky question of what the Constitution's "establishment clause" permits and forbids. In our view it has handled that question appropriately. Banning Christmas carols on the official campus coffee cart -- which incensed the school's critics -- seems plainly in keeping with a long string of court rulings that forbid the use of public resources to endorse a particular religion. But accommodating the prayer practices of some devout Muslims seems akin to putting kosher items on the cafeteria menu and letting employees display religious objects in their private workspaces -- accommodations that MCTC has in fact made in the past.

We don't pretend that these decisions are simple. A growing Muslim population means that Minnesota will face difficult questions, time and again, about how far the majority should accommodate the minority -- and how much the minority should adapt to majority norms. But Minnesota will be a stronger state if it tackles these questions in a spirit of generosity and confidence -- and who wouldn't be confident when the state's schools are full of pious, ambitious young people who are trying to get a college education?

©2007 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.

While I'm glad to see this, it does make me wonder. I never stick my foot in the sink or make a mess when I make wudu in a public restroom. Couldn't we be a little less vigorous with the water splashing? Hmm, maybe some enterprising young muslim could come up with some wudu foot wipes or something that people could keep in their backpacks.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Reporter falls short in hijab sauna story

Via Rolled up Trousers by way of Sunni Sister

Yet that's not how the journalist at the local newspaper in Oxford, the Oxford Mail, decided to approach the issue. Her article was titled "Row over fully dressed woman in sauna". The main interview in the article was with Ian Caldwell, the man who verbally attacked me in the lobby. There was no attempt to find out the full story. A so-called "Muslim community leader" called Taj Hargey called it "political correctness gone crazy".

At no point had the journalist contacted me. She seemed to have decided to take a similar approach to the man in the swimming pool - talking about me, not to me. As did David Lloyd's, which had backed up his story without consulting me. At no point did they bother to inform me, a paying member, that such an article was being written. I contacted the Oxford Mail, offering them my side of the story. I never heard back.

Of course, that would have destroyed the theme of the article. Nobody in Oxford would be interested in new swimming suits with hi-tech material, but a crazy Muslim woman jumping into a pool fully clothed and potentially suffocating in the sauna was much more interesting. Since when have facts been important to journalists covering stories involving Muslims?

Alhamdulilah, I haven't had any international sensation news stories written about me when I go swimming at the local Y. Maybe someone will write one when I finish a marathon (currently training for a half, planning on a full in 2009), but I would hope they would have the decency to interview me. Heck, I hope they interview me.

I think I"m going to use the sauna this weekend at the gym...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Can't take it with you when you go

Via HAhmed

Music video with Zain Bhikha, Dawud Wharnsby Ali and Abdul-Malik of Native Deen. I'm glad to see more muslim music video, and Dawud is just hilarious. The look on his face while he and Zain sing the chorus is priceless.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wow, muslims do have a voice

Unfortunately, all we've accomplished is now Fritos has put up a list of it's products that are made without pork in response to the huge "aayyyy, Cheetos and doritos are haraaam...the world is ending" hysteria that has been floating around the net for the last few weeks.

Imagine what we could accomplish if we put that same energy towards something important...

*I will be going to Target at lunch to pick up some baked cheetos however*


Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji'oon

At the Convocation on Tuesday, four college religious leaders spoke. You can listen to the muslim speaker starting around 20:00.

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At least 150 people were killed in Iraq today. I wish we could have profiles of all the people killed in Iraq like what we are getting for those killed at Vtech on Monday. I mourn the loss of the students, because I can identify with them. American college students, gunned down while in class. It wasn't too long ago that I was a student in class. The deaths in Iraq are more distant. If I knew more about these people, maybe I would mourn their passing more, rather than just feel, oh, more people died there today...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Publications from WLUML

Some publications available to download for free from the Women Living under Mulim Law website. Haven't read anything yet, but the Women Reading the Qur'an paper was recommended on a message board I read.

Me and the Mosque

The documentary by Canadian film maker Zarka Nawaz is up on YouTube. Posting it for viewing after work.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Related content around the net:

Flickr set of the premiere
Izzy Mo review
Islamica Magazine article

Monday, April 16, 2007

Opening Muslim Prayer at Minnesota House of Representatives

Got this via email

The Minnesota House of Representatives yesterday invited a Muslim chaplain to deliver the opening prayer. Hesham Hussein, president of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota delivered the opening prayer, yesterday, April 11 2007.

After opening with the recitation of Sura al Fatiha in Arabic, Hesham prayed for justice and blessings of all the people in the state of Minnesota. He also prayed to join our hearts, to enable us to live in peace and resolve our differences in peace.

The full opening prayers can be seen in the following video (starting at minute 6)

The full text of the opening prayers is attached below.

The Muslim American Society of Minnesota seeks to encourage the participation of Muslims in building a virtuous and moral America. MASMN seeks to foster unity, encourage cooperation, and promote the human values that Islam emphasizes, namely: brotherhood, equality, justice, mercy, compassion, and peace. MAS is a national organization with over 50 chapters across the country.To learn more about MASMN or donate & support the ongoing activities, please visit
Sincerely,The MAS-MN Team

· In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
· Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds;
· Most Gracious, Most Merciful; · Master of the day of judgment.
· We worship you, and seek your help
· Guide us to the straight path,
· The path of those whom you blessed, not those who deserve wrath, nor those who went astray.
· God, show us the truth as it is true and give us the ability to follow it
· And Show us falsehood as it is false and give us the ability to avoid falsehood
· And not confuse it with truth
· God you are Just.
· We seek refuge in you from injustice; whether suffering injustice or causing injustice to others, we seek refuge in you
· God, join our hearts in all goodness and give us the ability to understand those who have different opinions than us. Make our debate a way through which you guide us to what is best for us.
· God, our knowledge is limited and your knowledge is not
· Bless our time and our efforts and help us speak for those who can not speak for them selves,
· Help us provide a shelter for everyone who needs a shelter, Help us provide care for everyone who needs care, Help us take care of our elders and provide education for our children
· God increase our resources and bless them for us
· Bless our budget and guide us to the best way to spend it for the benefit of every resident of our state.
· God, You are the peace, the source of peace, enable us to live in peace and resolve our differences in peace.
· God Bless our hearts, our souls, our bodies and our minds. Protect us from all evil, Protect us from Greed, from arrogance, ignorance, from violence, from fear.
· Bless our time, our effort, our people and our state.
· Ameen.

Evening of Inspiration finale

via HAhmed

The Lion King and Islam. Could it get any better?

Happy muslimiversary to me

5 years ago today, I made shahada. Alhamdulilah. I wish I had something profound to say, but alas, it's Monday, I've got a ton of work to do and I'm still half asleep. So, here are some of my favorite online videos, most which I think I've posted before, but are worth looking at again.

My favorite nasheeds, reposted.

And videos from Yusuf Islam's album that speak to issues of conversion

The moment you walked inside my door/ I knew that I need not look no more,/ I've seen many other souls before - ah but, /Heaven must've programmed you/The moment you fell inside my dreams /I realized all I had not seen, /I've seen many other souls before - ah but, /Heaven must've programmed you.

Who walked inside his door? The Prophet Muhammad (saws)?

Good character. We need more of it.

And finally, the reason I am muslim today, the Qur'an. Pick any surah, any verse and start reciting, and it will tug at my heart strings.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I am enthralled by the art of Amina Malik. What else can I say aside from SubhanAllah?

Allah (swt)

Peace, Love and Compassion

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


From the Al-Adab al-Mufrad al-Bukhari (Muslim Morals and Manner of al-Bukhari) chapter on Mercy:

174. The Most Merciful of those in the earth

372. 'Umar was heard to say, "Anyone who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy. Anyone who does not forgive will not be forgiven. Anyone who does not turn in repentance will not be turned to nor will he be protected or guarded."

373. Mu'awiya ibn Qurra reported that his father said, "A man said, 'Messenger of Allah, I was going to slaughter a sheep and then I felt sorry for it (or 'sorry for the sheep I was going to slaughter').' He said twice, 'Since you showed mercy to the
sheep, Allah will show mercy to you.'"

374. Abu Hurayra said, "I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, the truthful confirmed one, Abu'l-Qasim, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'Mercy is only removed from the one who is destined for wretchedness."

375. Jarir reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah will not show mercy to a person who does not show mercy to other people."

Monday, April 9, 2007

Online Eid window shopping

It's never too early to find your eid outfit lol. Should I go "arab" or "western?" I really really really don't want to wear something from my closet again. The more western style outfits could be worn to work, where as the arab style outfits would add some pizzaz to my poor abaya wardrobe that has been neglected as of late.

Top-Stitched Wrap Abaya

Machine & Hand crafted Traditional Thoub

The Aliya Long Button-down shirt, skirt and scarf

Samaa Lace Shirtdress and Iridescent Skirt

Arwa Belted Long Tunic and Crochet Diamond Skirt

The Crystal Wave Belted Tunic

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Surah Al Ikhlas recited by Mishary Rashid Al Afasy

Surah Al Ikhlas recited 10 different ways. The last few recitations are ones I don't know if I've heard before. Absolutely beautiful.

Whoever recites Surah al Ikhlas 10 times, Allah (swt) will build for him (or her) a palace in paradise (Ahmed)

Friday, April 6, 2007

Islamic Law in the West

Will download when I get home tonight, stick it on my ipod and listen on my commute next week:

Nawawi Foundation - Video and Audio - Islamic Law in the West: Theory, Doctrine, and Practice

On the weekend of February 2nd, Dr. Umar Abd-Allah was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Washington College of Law at American University annual Founder’s Conference. With the theme of “Islamic Law and the West,” this conference addressed contemporary issues in the Muslim world related to Islamic law, development, human rights, women's rights and international law. Speakers addressed the current state of Islamic law and its possibilities for survival and advancement in the modern world. Dr. Umar’s keynote address and panel presentation are provided at the links below, courtesy of the American University Washington College of Law.

Keynote – Muslims in the Mainstream -As more Muslims and persons of non-Christian faiths enter the public arena, we are observing a bitter reaction from mainstream America. While the founding fathers had strong religious grounding, their intentions were not to make religious requirements for public service. Over time, the fact that one religious group has dominated creates traditions that are more akin to a certain religious understanding and practice, particularly the Christian faith; however, such traditions are not constitutionally mandated. The traditions and practice have become the accepted norm, and any deviation - while permissible and legally accepted - cause tension. As the number of American-born Muslims increases to create an indigenous Muslim community, the number of Muslims in public office and in mainstream society must increase to accurately represent this growing community of citizens.Audio (16.7MB)

Islam and Gender Politics - Issues such as women’s rights and gender equality are at the forefront of the current debate in the development of the Islamic world. This session will discuss the impact of culture and custom in Muslim practices worldwide. Additionally, this session will examine the tension between international human rights norms under CEDAW and Islamic law and its impact on Muslim women worldwide. Audio (28.2MB)

Panel with Speakers - Dr. Anouar Majid (Professor, University of New England, Maine) - Anne Goldstein (International Association of Women Judges, Washington, D.C.)

Video (Hosted by American University)

The Book Foundation

My favorite translation of the Qur'an is the Muhammad Asad translation put out by the Book Foundation. SubhanAllah, it's a gorgeous book, something that is beautiful to look at as well as to read. The translation is easy to understand, has excellent footnotes, and it has accurate transliteration in addition to the english and arabic. If you don't have this book, put it on your list and get it!

The Book Foundation has also published a number of other books that are well worth checking into. If you don't have the $100+ it would cost to buy them all at the moment, the Book Foundation has kindly put up the first parts of each of these books online, mashaAllah. I printed them all out yesterday and have started to read through them. They all get a thumbs up from me thus far.

The Book of Revelations, Selections and Interpretations from the Holy Qur'an, Kabir Helminski, Editor - this is the one that's first on my list to buy. My husband is always telling me to THINK about the Qur'an, not just plow on through. He's excellent at doing that. He'll stop on a verse, pause for a moment, and then expound on it, going on and on and on, tying it to other verses and other subjects for as long as I'll listen to him. This book has 256 verses from the Qur'an with interpretation afterwards. I think it would help me with the thinking and reflecting

The Book of Character, Writings on Virtue from Islamic and Other Sources by Camille Helminski - second on my list to buy. If I could chose to be a scholar of anything, I would be a scholar of adab. Somehow, I feel that most of the world's ills are rooted in the fact that human beings treat each other like crud much of the time. We need a little more adab in this world.

The Book of Language, Exploring the Spiritual Vocabulary of Islam. Kabir Helminski, with Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad

The Book of Nature, A Sourcebook of Spiritual Perspectives On Nature and the Environment, Camille Helminski, Editor

The Book of Essential Islam by Ali, Aisha, and Aliaa Rafea

The Fragrance of Faith, The Enlightened Heart of Islam by Jamal Rahman

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Living Vivaciously through pictures

*off topic rant before the thread - stupid blogger, won't do the spacing I ask for @#$!@#^@#$#$#*

Every Ramadan, I troll the yahoo news pictures, and become engrossed in pictures of the ummah fasting and celebrating. This has become a habits out of longing for a community to belong to. I've been muslim for nearly 5 years now, and still haven't had muslim community to call home. I converted by myself at University. It took me 2 weeks to work up the courage to say salaams to a girl in my class who was muslim. Then I transferred to another school. It took me 6 months to work up the courage to start going to MSA events. I had quite a few muslim aquiantences in college, and a few sisters who I thought were real friends, but alas, those friends were apparently superficial and didn't survive past graduation.

Now, I've lived at my current location for 2 and a half years. I've tried to attend halaqas, I go to the masjid for iftars during ramadan, and still, no community to call my own. The iftars are the worst. The food is delicious, but I always sit alone. People chatter around me in arabic or urdu, and will occasionally glance my way, but most won't even offer me a kind word. I went to a masjid for jummah for awhile before and during Ramadan, but they're closed for construction. inshaAllah when they open again, I'll be there, but it's far away from my apartment, and I don't really see the kind of community I long for. I suppose I could attempt to create a community, but that seems like a tall order. (there's suppose to be a paragraph break here, but for some reason it disappears when I hit publish. Notice how there's a ton of extra space in between the pictures. I didn't put that there. Maybe that's where my missing space moved to)
Which brings me to the point I started off with - living vivaciously through others. I downloaded the Zaytuna Mawlid celebration onto my ipod and have been enjoying it. I'm paroosing the pictures and my heart longs to be there. See, see, there is a place you belong. Too bad it's in California and I'm in the midwest, with no money to relocate. *sigh* The husband would like to relocate. Maybe if we save up for a few years, we could swing it, inshaAllah. Is it too much to ask for a place to call home?

Mawlid an-Nabi 03/30/2007: Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Imam Zaid Shakir lead attendees in poetic reflection on the life, character and blessing of the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace

Zaytuna Institute hosts a gathering to honor the occasion of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Photo taken on 3/30/07

Tariq Ramadan and Haji Noor

Two videos to watch this weekend inshaAllah - A seminar with Tariq Ramadan in 2001 on his book "To be a European Muslim" and a short piece on calligrapher extrodinaire Haji Noor Deen.

Monday, April 2, 2007

On my ipod

The 30th part of the Qur'an by Sheikh Ali Hani. It's such a unique recitation. I don't know anything about different styles of recitation. Anyone know what this is called?

It has some weird popping noises that I didn't notice when I listened online, but still, it's beautiful, subhanAllah.


I think kids are adorable. Muslim kids are especially adorable. Well, not when they're running around the mosque screaming and throwing things during Ramadan dinners, but how can you look at this picture and not go awww.

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Now, this may not make you go aww, but I sure hope it makes you go subhanAllah

Note to self - work on tajweed.