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Not Only Moon Sighting And 18 Degrees, But Now Fasting Times.

Islamicate - 18 June, 2015 - 20:07

For those having now started to fast, it has probably become apparent that the next few days will serve to normalise daylight abstinence. The apprehension that preceded Ramadan was driven for many by the unwarranted coverage it received from major media outlets citing, as the BBC put it, our leading scholar Usama Hasan who demands that we should fast in moderation, be balanced, and take the rather more enlightened non-literalist approach. This vernacular that views every Muslim issue through the lens of securitisation is something that we have become accustomed to, and instead of discussing fasting as a means to God’s grace through sacrifice, fasting somehow becomes a battle against nefarious religious literalism.

In this context there has once again been a number of declarations fraudulently re-termed fatwas; let alone qualifying as religious verdicts – the definition of which is very specific – these declarations fail to meet the requirement of nominal acumen, their authors provide insipid arguments and opt for artificiality in order to attract superficial attention. As we have seen time and again, when their arguments fail to make traction they throw hissy fits with politicised ad hominem remarks, throwing around accusations of extremism or radicalism, all of which is not only disgraceful sportsmanship but a pitiable attempt to intimidate interlocutors when pseudo-scholarship falls on its face.

Rather than radicals promoting an extreme interpretation of the fasting period, the case is that Muslims are simply continuing to do what they have done for thousands of years. Thus it is perplexing that there is a need to offer a fatwa, not to those who have sought one, but to the national press as if to infer that to support the 19 hour fast is indicative of radicalism. The term moderate repeatedly crops up as if Mr Hasan’s view is most easy-going, yet the irony is that the concession conferred by God is far more progressive: if the fast is so difficult that one’s wellbeing is threatened then simply do not fast and make them up at a time of one’s convenience before the next Ramadan: “And whoever from amongst you is unwell or on a journey then (fast for) a period on other days.”[1]

However, Mr Hasan takes the restrictive approach rather than accepting the flexibility and leniency God offers, so clearly this isn’t really about a progressive and moderate shariah – he rejects it when proposed. In his fatwa he views the concession God offers to make up fasts at another time as equivalent to illegitimately moving Ramadan out of the summer and into the seasons of autumn, something abominable in his eyes, yet he inconsistently advocates moving the fast out of its specified period into an arbitrary timeframe for those who might struggle a little. And where God permits the sick to make up the fast at another time Hasan’s reasoning implies that God Himself is moving Ramadan out of the summer and into the seasons of autumn. Putting this aside, even if it were the case, if God is fine with it why should Mr Hasan object?

Every one of Mr Hasan’s arguments are poorly constructed; matters are either conflated or arbitrarily identified. He fallaciously associates those who might become unwell with those who find the fast a bit of a struggle. The shari’ah very clearly demarcates between the two; the former are offered a very lenient concession and the latter is essentially the purpose of fasting. The overarching notion that Mr Hasan continuously asserts is one that religion is easy, which it certainly is, but fails to nuance such ease with the fact that the obligation of fasting, or any other act of worship for that matter, is predicated by taklif. Whilst the technical term means ‘legal obligation’, the Arabic word means hardship, thus the commandments of God are meant to be testing, and it is through perseverance through such tests that paradise is earned. This is where the balance of the shari’ah actually lays: God tests mankind and offers opportunities to earn paradise, but the tests themselves are neither beyond what humans can bear nor are they ever on the extreme end. And given the variance of ability amongst humans, for those who have their own personal impediments, God confers dispensations.

Now the topic of shar’i dispensations, or rukhas, it is an entire subject of study in Islamic jurisprudence. The Prophet said: “God loves that His concessions be availed, and abhors that He be disobeyed”[2] Al-Zarkashi in his Bahr al-Muhit defined a legal concession as being: “an (divinely) established ruling in opposition to the evidence due to a (valid) reason.” Al-Shatibi wrote in his opus al-Muwafaqat: “that which has been decreed (by God) due to an extremely testing reason; it is an exception to a fundamental rule that would normally necessitate a prohibition, and restricted to circumstances of necessity.” For every situation that can be reasonably termed unbearable or unmanageable, Allah offers a way out. But Mr Hasan’s preoccupation seems to be with making it easy for those who do not like the idea of a long fast. Whilst our compassion might incite empathy, it is not our job to decree on behalf of our Lord. The fact that the vast majority of Muslims will be fasting everyday points to one very undeniable fact: the summer fast is not intrinsically unbearable. While the month starts off as somewhat difficult it quickly becomes normal and millions of people effortlessly adjust. The discomfort of a dry throat and empty stomach is what makes fasting so commendable to God – “I shall reward him, he forsakes his desires and food for my sake.”[3] The perseverance one must exhibit in having to maintain levels of productivity but with less energy than normal is what earns paradise. The idea that we shall simply waltz into heaven is a complete misnomer – “do people assume that they shall be left to say: ‘we believe’ and not be tested?”[4]

Is the shari’ah about balance and flexibility as Mr Hasan put it to the BBC? Well not exactly, and such a statement fails in the precision legal scholars are trained to reflect. The shari’ah is about serving God, the perpetual struggle for divine grace, the practice of effectuating the love of Allah and having it reciprocated, “say if you love Allah, follow me, Allah will love you and forgive your sins.”[5] As the ancient jurisprudents would put it: ‘it is to act in concordance with divine directives and avoid what God has prohibited.’ Yes, balance and flexibility underpin the mercy of God and His expectations of imperfect mortals, but given the indeterminate nature of such notions and their dependence on context, this is something we glean from willful compliance to the law and not through the process of abolishing it.

The unfortunate case of Mr Hasan’s insights is that they have neither been decreed by God nor is his use of scholastic precedence sound. The opinion of the Azharite scholars he cites in his declaration very much revolves around their idea of a moderate fast, where the things that make a fast difficult are not only the length of the fast but also other factors such as temperature and the lifestyle of citizens. In the Middle East temperatures easily reach 40-50 Celsius with many Muslims engaged in manual labour throughout the day. Whilst the UK might be warm, an average of 20 Celsius is hardly synonymous as well as the fact that we live in a highly industrialised society where work takes on a different nature. If we were to work on balance, an 18-19 hour fast in 20 Celsius might be said to equal a 13 hour fast in 40 Celsius for those performing manual labour. In fact, the latter scenario is probably far more unmanageable than the former.

A pertinent point that has been overlooked when discussing the length of the fast is that the British fast commences from the early hours of the morning which means that the vast majority of Muslims will sleep through a substantial portion of it. Thus the actual hours of conscious abstinence – one cannot find difficult something one is unconscious of – are approximately 13-14 hours which, by Mr Hasan’s own admission, is rather moderate given that he would like British Muslims to adopt Makkah’s observance times which can be up to 15 hours. The arbitrary nature of his revision was characterised by his BBC interview where he couldn’t make up his mind telling us: “12 to 14, 15, 16 hours…” So 16 hours would be deemed moderate yet an extra two or three completely unmanageable?

Oddly, for all of Mr Hasan’s talk of British Islam, he refers to a number of modern mainly Egyptian scholars who neither had much to do with the UK nor actually experienced Ramadan in its summer months. In fact, his assertion that we might follow Makkah’s observance times is somewhat peculiar given his advocacy to abandon Makkan moon sighting in favour of a British practice. This contradictory attitude comes across impulsive and unconsidered: first we’re told we mustn’t move Ramadan out of the summer and into the seasons of autumn but encouraged to move the fast out of its specified period, and then it is suggested we shouldn’t follow Makkah in deciding when to start the season of fasting since we live in the UK, but it is perfectly fine to do so when dictating the length of the fast?

The inattention and nonchalance with which the issue has been approached is unreflective of the scholastic training and erudition required to provide British Muslims with shar’i solutions to complex contemporary problems. It is further exacerbated where there is an inability to differentiate between shortcomings that require spiritual cultivation and legitimate shar’i concerns. And where the entire affair is projected with the use of a vernacular that has served in the demonisation of an entire religious community and the politicisation of their religious practice, the matter isn’t simply one about fatwas and adab al-ikhtilaf (the etiquette of differing) but the need to assert a confident and sound expression of the Islamic faith and pronounce a rejection of godlessness dressed as piety.

There is no need for a fatwa; the practice of British Muslims fasting the entire month makes is rather evident. For those unwell the Most High confers a concession. For those unwilling to meet the decree of God aggravated by the prospect of being taken out of their comfort zones, the Prophet put it plainly: “With what then will you enter paradise?”[6]

[1] Quran 2:185

[2] Musnad Ahmad; narrated by Abdullah b. Umar

[3] Muslims; narrated by Abu Hurairah

[4] Quran 29:2

[5] Quran 3:31

[6] al-Hakim; narrated by Bashir b. al-Khasasiyah

The green Pope: how religion can do economics a favour

The Guardian World news: Islam - 18 June, 2015 - 12:30

In the runup to Paris climate talks, religious leaders such as Pope Francis can push forward debates about climate change, consumption and equality

Palpable shock met Tuesday’s news of the Pope’s unequivocal and outspoken intervention in the debate on climate change and global inequality. The stir caused by his latest encyclical could partly be due to generally low expectations of the Catholic Church following years of relentless, negative scandal. But we shouldn’t be surprised. The world’s major religions all have economic teachings that apply to how we treat the planet and each other, and which often starkly contradict orthodox economic models.

Modern economics views itself as value free, but that wasn’t always the case and the major faiths all view economic prosperity through a moral lens. If that makes business leaders or economists squirm, it’s worth remembering that the grandfather of market economics, Adam Smith, wrote about The Theory of Moral Sentiments. To him, the economy was rooted in an explicitly moral universe. Whether we’re aware of it or not, and regardless of the fulminations of anti-environmental, extreme, right wing Republican Christians in the US, the economic teachings and moral frameworks of the great faiths profoundly shape how we view the path to prosperity, sometimes in surprising ways.

Related: Good, natural, malignant: five ways people frame economic growth

Related: Companies cannot keep shying away from setting tough climate targets

Related: Beyond capitalism and socialism: could a new economic approach save the planet?

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Ramadan Mubarak!

Muslimah Media Watch - 18 June, 2015 - 10:26
We at MMW would like to wish you all a wonderful, happy and blessed Ramadan. Whether you celebrate or not, we hope you will join us during this month as  we take a break from our usual fare to sharing our reflections, memories, resolutions, and struggles this Ramadan. This will be the fourth year we have done this, and each time we look forward [Read More...]

Ramadan in St Petersburg – the city where the sun doesn't set

The Guardian World news: Islam - 18 June, 2015 - 06:00

Muslim authorities in northern Russia say wait of up to 22 hours to break fast is simply an extra challenge to faith

When Ramadan starts on Thursday, the faithful in St Petersburg and elsewhere in northern Russia will face an obstacle that the prophet surely didn’t envision: in June, the sun never truly sets.

Related: Ramadan: a guide to the Islamic holy month

I have a hard job, I can’t observe it … There aren’t any white nights where [most] Muslims live.

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Nauru detention centre guards return after suspension over Facebook posts

The Guardian World news: Islam - 18 June, 2015 - 02:17

Asylum seekers are protesting the return of Wilson Security guards who were suspended after promoting Reclaim Australia posts that were hostile to Muslims

A group of Wilson Security guards on Nauru who promoted Facebook posts of the Reclaim Australia movement which were hostile to Muslims have returned to work at the detention centre, sparking protests from asylum seekers.

In April eight members of the “emergency response team” (ERT) at the Australian-run Nauru detention centre were stood down, following a report by Guardian Australia.

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Approaching Ramadan – Recharging for Social Justice Work

altmuslim - 17 June, 2015 - 22:11
By Afeefa Syeed I am an aspiring potter and love to be covered in clay. I’m excited about the process of what clay does even more than what products my playing with mud might yield. More than anything else, being a potter gives me head and heart space to reflect on humility, patience, submission and [Read More...]

How Palestinians Die in The NY Times

Abdullah Iyad Ghanayim, 22, died under an Israeli army jeep last Sunday in the West Bank village of Kafr Malik. The New York Times barely took notice. Other news media inform us that there is a story here and one that is in dispute.

Eyewitnesses in the village east of Ramallah say soldiers shot Ghanayim in the back and then ran him down with a jeep, crushing him against a wall, which collapsed on the vehicle and knocked it over. The soldiers got out, observers say, left the man pinned under the jeep and prevented medics from attending to him.

According to witnesses, Ghanayim was throwing stones when he was shot and bled to death after being left unattended for more than an hour. The mayor of Ramallah, Laila Ghannam, told reporters that soldiers killed Ghanayim “in cold blood.”

The Israeli army had a different story: Ghanayim was throwing a Molotov cocktail at the jeep, and this caused it to swerve and crash. After the vehicle turned over on the victim, the army claimed, “forces later entered the village to try and provide medical assistance,” but the man had already died.

In spite of the army’s failure to explain why “forces” had to enter the village to provide aid when soldiers were already present, The New York Times goes with the army account. This appears in the form of a three-paragraph Associated Press story, which made an obscure and fleeting appearance online and none at all in print. The article gives a brief nod to the eyewitness accounts, saying the mayor of the village claimed the man was shot first.

It’s possible the Times was unable to assign one of its three reporters in Israel to get a firsthand account, but the paper also omitted the story from its World Briefing section, where it frequently runs AP and Reuters news.

The Times had a choice. It could have run a Reuters story by Ali Sawafta and Dan Williams, which states in the lead that “military and locals gave conflicting accounts” and also quotes witnesses who said the man was “run down and then crushed.” Instead it chose the AP version, which relies almost entirely on the Israeli army.

We find fuller reports elsewhere, such as in The National, Agence France-Presse,  and Maanbut the Times treatment falls short. It has chosen a biased wire service piece over a more complete and honest report. Thus it avoids revealing unsavory charges against the Israeli army and allows one more Palestinian death to pass unnoticed.

Barbara Erickson


Filed under: New York Times israeli Bias Tagged: Associated Press, Israel, Israeli army, New York Times, Palestine, Reuters, West Bank

Hate crimes against Muslims in Britain spike after 'jihadi' attacks, study finds

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 June, 2015 - 19:00

Anti-Muslim attacks in the UK nearly quadrupled after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris but fell overall on 2013-14, when Lee Rigby was murdered


Muslims in Britain are becoming the target of hate crimes in retribution for terrorist attacks around the world, according to a new report based on the latest figures for anti-Muslim attacks.

The study by Teesside University found that children as young as 10 have been involved in hate-crime attacks and incidents, although most perpetrators were identified as being over 40.

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Sports Hijab Industry Wins – Or Does It?

Muslimah Media Watch - 17 June, 2015 - 18:39
Women’s athletic wear has become a billion dollar business. Designers and sportswear companies such as Adidas and Under Armour have designers catering to the needs and fashion preferences of women, from working out in style to walking about in comfortable prêt-à-porter items. But recently a new category of sportswear has unveiled itself and is racing [Read More...]

Ramadan: share your photos and stories

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 June, 2015 - 12:12

How are you preparing for the ninth month of the Islamic calendar? Share your experiences and pictures with us

Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, begins this evening with Muslims around the world fasting for a month from sunrise until sunset.

During Ramadan, as well as fasting many Muslims give money or volunteer for particular causes. What are you doing for Ramadan? Are you fasting, fundraising or helping the homeless? Have you set yourself a particular challenge or are you doing something different this year? We’d also like to hear from those adhering to traditions in modern or unusual surroundings, such as the Somalis marking Ramadan in a synagogue in north London.

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The roots of radicalisation? It’s identity, stupid | Shiraz Maher

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 June, 2015 - 11:08
The common thread that links the Bradford sisters, Talha Asmal and Thomas Evans is a search for belonging. The answer is to build a value system everyone can buy into

What links a white Englishman from Buckinghamshire with a second generation British-Pakistani man born in Dewsbury and a missing family of 12 from Bradford? Such is the mercurial world of Islamist radicalisation that all are believed to have left the UK in order to support jihadist causes overseas.

These cases demonstrate that radicalisation is born of a multiplicity of factors which are often inextricably intertwined. This complexity is frequently lost in polarised public debates that either identify Islamic scripture as the sole reason for all terrorism or blame everything on government policies.

Related: Relatives of 'Syria-bound' Bradford women and children criticise police

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Eight essential apps for Muslims observing Ramadan

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 June, 2015 - 10:23

Avoiding eating, drinking and getting angry before sunset is tough during fasting month – but these apps can help keep prayer time, habits and diet in check

The alarm on your phone buzzes at 2:39am. Bleary eyed, you wolf down your toast and sip your water in the last minute before the day of fasting begins. No eating, no drinking, and no getting angry before sunset. You roll your eyes as your phone pings with notifications of yet another message with a mosque emoticon, or a cheesy “I have a date every night in Ramadan” joke. The fast begins.

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The Somalis who mark Ramadan - in a synagogue

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 June, 2015 - 10:10

Finchley Reform Synagogue in north London hosts local Bravanese after their community centre was burned down in an arson attack

When Ramadan gets under way this week, a group of Muslims in north London will gather for prayers not in a mosque, but a synagogue.

In an tale of interfaith tolerance for our times, the Finchley Reform Synagogue has been hosting local Bravanese people – members of an Islamic community from south-east Somalia – since their nearby community centre was burned down in an arson attack two years ago.

Related: Ramadan: share your photos and stories

We are discovering that we have more in common than we think

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How to Really Get Ready For The Month of Ramadan

Muslim Matters - 17 June, 2015 - 08:17

Many Muslims approach Ramadan with mixed feelings. On one hand they've heard how the Companions used to eagerly await Ramadan six months in advance. But on the other hand, they genuinely worry about the long hours of fasting (in hot weather in some cases) while they have to work.  Such feelings of anxiety are sometimes accompanied with a sense of guilt that we're not eagerly anticipating the month, like the Companions used to.  The question then becomes, is there anything we can do to lessen this pre-Ramadan anxiety, and hence be better prepared for the Month of Fasting?

To help answer this question, let me bring to your attention what I believe is a key verse in this regard. Allah says about the prayer:

وإنها لكبيرة إلا على الخاشعين

“And indeed it's big except on the people of khushoo'” [Qur'an:2:45]

At first, you might be saying, well, what's this to do with fasting?  But let's do some examination. In essence, God is saying that the prayer is hard and difficult, except on people who possess certain qualities. The difficulty in the prayer lies in the fact that we have to perform it five times a day, every single day of our lives. Therefore, it requires a lot of persistence. Likewise, fasting is hard and difficult. But its difficulty lies in the fact that we deprive ourselves from essential pleasures which we take for granted and we incur a certain amount of pain on our bodies, the pain of hunger and thirst. Therefore, it requires a lot of endurance. But whether it's the challenge of persistence or endurance, Allah forewarns us that it will be difficult if we only focus on the physical aspect of worship. Indeed, when you tell non-Muslims how Muslims fast from dawn to sunset (now an average of 16 hours for many people on Earth), their heads will shake in disbelief.

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The Role of Faith in Fasting

The word khushoo' mentioned in the verse above is a combination of many things. But one essential component of khushoo' is faith or iman. It's not a surprise then that the Prophet made faith a precondition for fasting to be effective. In the authentic hadith,

من صام رمضان إيمانا واحتسابا غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه

“Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith while expecting its reward, then all his previous sins will be forgiven” [Bukhari and Muslim].

In other words, you treat fasting as a true and complete act of worship. We don't do it out of habit, or because my family or my environment expects me to, but because I worship Allah through this act. If we break it down further, worship is made out of our pure love and utter submission. If we were to apply that to fasting, it means I fast out of pure love for Allah and out of utter submission to His command.

So when you're about to fast this time, remember the various bounties that Allah has bestowed you with.  Remember the variety of food you have and the availability of cold water.  Remember the roof over your head and the decent job you've got.  Remember all the special bounties that are unique to your and your surroundings.  Then say, I'm fasting out of gratitude to this Lord who has given me all this.  Every time you feel the pain of fasting, remind yourself that you're doing it out of love for the Creator who's the reason for everything you enjoy in this life.  In other times, remember that fasting is an ultimate show of utter submission to a command that may not seem very comfortable to follow.  You may choose to alternate between the feeling of love and the feeling of submission.

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Forgiveness of Sins

Again here, some people might say, why do I need to fast Ramadan in order to get my sins forgiven.  Can't do it the easier way through Istighfar (seeking forgiveness) and other good deeds?  The answer is, there will be some types of sins that only Ramadan can help you rid yourself from.  In fact, Ramadan is the ultimate way of getting sins forgiven when all other fail.  Consider this Hadith of the Prophet AS:

“The five daily prayers, Friday to Friday, and Ramadan to Ramadan, will forgive the sins in-between as long as major sins are avoided” [Sahih Muslim].

So it's clear that we have daily, weekly, and yearly opportunities for forgiveness.  So, you may call Ramadan the “yearly cleansing“.  This is why in a different Hadith, the Prophet described the one who was able to attend Ramadan yet failed to get his/her sins forgiven as someone who is far [from the Mercy of Allah].  In other words, the only way you don't get your sins forgiven is if you totally forfeit this opportunity.

However, the question remains.  Is there some type of sins that only Ramadan can help forgive?

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 Getting Rid of Addictions and Changing Bad Habits

If we were to imagine that sins are like shackles that hold us down, then Ramadan is the tool to set us free.  I believe this is part of the reason the Sahaba used to have such eager anticipation.  Now, since Satan is largely immobilized, we are mostly talking about the sins that stem from the self.  Everyone has certain weaknesses that keep haunting them and inviting them to sin.  This is different from the method of Satan who is more sporadic and doesn't really care what sin you commit, as long as you commit it.  But here, Ramadan offers more than just breaking away from sins.  It offers to break away from addictions and bad habits.

When you say addictions, some people think of only drugs and alcohol.  But in reality, an addiction is much more than that.  In fact, an addiction doesn't have to be related to something that is Haram.  For example, overeating is an addiction.  This is why obesity is a big problem in this country.  Now, Ramadan offers a great opportunity to break this bad habit.  But, you have to be ready and you have to use the tool of Ramadan properly.  Otherwise, we all know too well that some people end up gaining weight in the Month of Ramadan.  This is not to mention that food gets wasted in Ramadan more than any other month.  So, we clearly can see that Ramadan is only a tool and it's up to us what we make of it.  Ramadan will not do miracles if we're not ready or if we don't use it properly.

Another addiction is oversleeping.  Yes, some people might sleep some 10 straight hours missing Fajr altogether and barely making it to work on time.  Again, Ramadan offers a golden opportunity to become the master of your sleep.  For the busy person in Ramadan, you know you can barely manage few hours of sleep in the row.  Yet, some people sleep through the whole day, missing Dhuhr and asr, and not waking up till Iftar time at sunset.  Again, we see how Ramadan can be a tool that works for you or against you.  It's all up to you.

Another form of addiction is watching TV.  For the serious worshiper, even one minute of TV is a waste of time.  Even if he/she used to watch TV outside of Ramadan, their time in Ramadan turns to reciting Qur'an, praying voluntary prayers, and making extra du'a and Dhikr to mention a few.  Yet, how many new TV shows we see introduced in Ramadan especially in Muslim countries?  And no, there not religious shows!  They are romantic soap operas, silly comedy and game shows.  Once more, we see how one can pretty much defeat the very purpose of Ramadan.  Instead of utilizing Ramadan to help you rid yourself of a bad habit, now you've turned it up side down and made it a vehicle of sinning or at least watching other people sin.

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Make your Intentions Now

Along of making the intention to fast the whole month, please make the intention that this Ramadan will be like no other Ramadan.  You say I will fast this Ramadan out of faith.  I will do it for the love of Allah and out of full submission to His order.  I will set myself some goals.  I want to rid myself of sins that may have plagued me for years.  I want to change some of my bad habits and break away from some old addictions.  I want to change my life this Ramadan.  I intend to make this Ramadan the best Ramadan ever.

Inshaa'Allah during Ramadan, I intend to post unique Du'as from the authentic Sunnah on my Facebook page

The post How to Really Get Ready For The Month of Ramadan appeared first on MuslimMatters.org.

Ramadan: a guide to the Islamic holy month

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 June, 2015 - 07:00

The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is when Muslims fast during daylight and when the Qur’an is said to have been revealed to the prophet Muhammad

Muslims around the world are preparing for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. From waking up in the early hours for a quick bite and sip of water, to the waiting – date in hand – for the seconds to tick by until the call to prayer at sunset, why do Muslims fast and what is Ramadan?

O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain Taqwa [God-consciousness]. – The Qur’an, Al-Baqarah:183

Related: Ramadan: share your photos and stories

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As Ramadan approaches, the moon-spotting arguments begin

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 June, 2015 - 05:00

Muslim fasting begins when a halil crescent moon is sighted – and the race to spot it first has become a clash of ideologies, idiosyncrasies and egos

The chairman of the Qasim Ali Khan mosque in Peshawar has little doubt why it regularly throws a spanner into the timings of Pakistan’s most important religious festivals.

“It is because we are experts in spotting the moon!” he declares.

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Tony Abbott's rhetoric on Muslims is damaging and dangerous | Gay Alcorn

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 June, 2015 - 02:15

The tone of national conversation around Islam and terrorism leaves Muslims feeling hurt, angry and bewildered. What purpose does it serve?

Every now and then, you get to understand – even just for a moment – someone else’s point of view. You might have assumed you knew all about it, but it’s rare to feel it, to glimpse what life is like for another human being.

At a forum organised by the Islamic Council of Victoria on the weekend, a group of around 100 people turned the tables on five journalists about media coverage of Muslims, terrorism, counter-terrorism laws, police raids, multiculturalism and the hijab. It was polite and welcoming – we all got a box of chocolates at the end – but what people wanted us to understand was that to be a Muslim in Australia now was to feel hurt, angry and bewildered.

Abbott has presided over a breakdown in the relationship between many Muslims and their government.

Related: Tony Abbott opens summit on countering terrorist propaganda

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Israeli Author Avi Lipkin Says All Churches Are Infiltrated By Undercover Muslims Pretending To Be Christian

Loon Watch - 16 June, 2015 - 22:50

Avi-Lipkin

By Emperor

If Muslim Americans thought that they were being watched by the FBI in their mosques, community centers, local restaurants and cafes (as they are), well, that’s nothing compared to what the secret-Mooslamic-Empire is doing with its world takeover plot that will usher in the Last Days/End Times/Return of the Moschiac. That’s according to Israeli author Avi Lipkin, a beloved and frequent commentator on the right-wing Zionist speaker circuit.

Lipkin has been telling churches that “‘all’ churches in America have been infiltrated by Muslim spies who frequently pretend to have found Christ but are really looking to provide intelligence to radical Muslims who will try to kill all Jews and Christians when jihad is ordered upon the U.S.”

This is a departure from Lipkin’s previous call for Christians to bring Muslims “to the Lord or they’ll bring you to the sword.” Apparently, even ex-Muslims aren’t to be trusted as they might be activated at any moment to usher in The Jihad. Lipkin also states that Israel will expand its borders into Syria, (which it already did in 1967), perhaps Lipkin ascribes to the conspiracy that Israel seeks to extend its borders from the Nile to the Euphrates.

greaterisrael

Lipkin thinks Islam is a psychosis, his recent rants really make you wonder why he is projecting so hard?

By Oge Okonkwo, The Pulse

A popular Jewish author, Avi Lipkin, has warned that “all” churches in America have been infiltrated by Muslim spies who frequently pretend to have found Christ but are really looking to provide intelligence to radical Muslims who will try to kill all Jews and Christians when jihad is ordered upon the U.S.

Christian Post reports that Lipkin, who has authored a number of books critical of radical Islam, frequently speaks at Christian churches around the U.S. to emphasize the importance of unity between the Jewish and Christian communities in standing against the advance of radical Islam.

Lipkin, who immigrated from New York to Israel in 1968, spoke at this week’s Future Conference held at Skyline Church in San Diego where he proclaimed that the world is facing the “most interesting” biblical period since the days of Jesus Christ and contended that the coming of the Messiah is just around the corner.

“We are realizing with our own very eyes fulfillment of more Bible prophecy than in any other generation in 2,000 years,” Lipkin asserted. “I believe the Messiah is in our time and I believe Israel will realize its borders.”

As Lipkin believes that Israel will soon expand its borders to occupy part of Syria, he argued that soon after, jihadi orders will be called to rid the world of Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims.

When Muslims are called to jihad, Lipkin believes that they will already have personal information on Jews and Christians because they will have used deception to build personal relationships with those they seek to exterminate.

Explaining that it is a violation of the Quran for Muslims to seek relationships with Jews and Christians, Lipkin said there is an exception for those who plan to act as Islamic spies on churches and synagogues.

Lipkin further explained that his wife, an Egyptian-born Jewess named Rachel, is an avid monitor of various Islamic broadcasts, television feeds and other Islamic news outlets. In one particular Arabian broadcast, Lipkin said Rachel heard the claim made that “all” churches in America have Muslim spies.

“It is very dangerous for a Muslim to even be associated with Christian missionaries or Christian churches unless they are spies. My wife has picked up broadcasts that say all the churches in America have Muslim spies in them, including former Christians who converted to Islam,” Lipkin said.

“When Muslims come to you and say ‘Oh yes, we have accepted Christ and we are born-again,’ you gotta be real careful because lying in Arabic is not only permissible it is commanded. Lying is a virtue in Islam to defeat the enemy.”

Lipkin told the story of one highly-decorated Middle Eastern Muslim doctor who applied for a Canadian visa in order to set up a medical office in Edmonton, Alberta. Before leaving for Canada, Lipkin explained that radical Muslims demanded that she record the personal information, addresses and phone numbers of her Jewish and Christian patients in Edmonton. The Muslims demanded that after she acquired the personal information of her non-Muslim patients, she had to send it to them on a disk so that information can be used to kill her patients once jihad has been ordered in Canada.

“When a war breaks out in the Middle East and orders for jihad come to the Muslims of Canada, the Muslims of Edmonton will kill the Jews of Edmonton and Muslims of Toronto will kill the Jews of Toronto and the Muslims of Vancouver will kill the Jews of Vancouver,” Lipkin continued.

“This was in 1999 but even now, they are cataloging the Jews wherever the Jews live. The Muslims like to have ecumenical relations with the Jews because they want to know who the Jews are and they go to the rabbis and want to be best friends with a rabbi. They want to get close with the rabbi because it will be easier to reach him and kill him.”

Lipkin further suggested that when the orders for jihad are made, Muslims are to kill the Jews on Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath) and then kill the Christians on Sunday.

“Allah wants to kill the Jews on Saturday and kill the Christians on Sunday; kill the Hindus, kill the Buddhists, kill the blacks in Africa and the Muslims kill each other all in the name of Allah,” Lipkin contended. “The bottom line in Islam is that every Jew dies and after that every Christian dies. Jesus Christ is coming back.”

“Ask any Muslim and they will tell you that Jesus is a Muslim,” Lipkin added. “On that day of judgement, every Jew and every Christian who has not converted to Islam will have his throat personally slit by Jesus Christ, the Muslim.”

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