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  • NNC 9:41 PM on October 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Maha Mourad   

    What’s in your cup? 

    “And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the differences in your languages and colors. Verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge
    -Holy Qur’an (30:22)

    It isn’t hard to discover the importance of community in Islam through the Qur’an and Sunnah. As Imam Khalil Akbar of Masjid As-Shaheed in Charlotte put it: “The whole idea of worship is to form a community.”

    How much do we incorporate these ideas into practice? (More …)

    • Nabila 9:58 PM on October 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Very inspiring, gives me renewed energy to smile and say good day even when I don’t get a response.

  • NNC 3:40 AM on October 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Maha Mourad   

    “I used to wonder why God put me in this position – black in the hood, poor, all these strikes against me socially. Then I read in the verse in the Qur’an and realized I have a story to tell. If your cup is already full, how are you supposed to fill it?”

  • NNC 5:02 AM on October 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Day 3 in Quotes 

    “9/11 presents an opportunity to explain Islam. Sometimes Allah can make a bad situation real good.”
    -Imam Khalil Akbar

    “Nothing hurts me more than when I see kids disobeying their parents.”

    • Sumaya

    “When I went [to Hajj], we could stick our faces in the Black Stone and take our time. Now it’s become like Muslim Vegas or something.”

    “I became Muslim in the hood.”

    “You could count the number of African Americans [at UF] on your fingers, and there would still be fingers left over, even if you didn’t count your thumbs as fingers.”

    “I already believed everything he was explaining to me about Islam. It was like being Muslim and not even knowing you’re Muslim.”

    “The biggest picture in my house growing up was Malcolm X. It was bigger than black Jesus, Rastafarian Jesus, and white Mary.”

    “I got stopped by a cop for driving while black. With two white children in the backseat.”

    “I wish that Muslims could understand that when we join the service, we’re not trying to kill other people. Why would I want to do that? We did good things too. We protected towns; we helped build schools and wells for locals. The main mission was to try to help Afghan civilians against the Taliban.”

    “Worship has to be seen and shared in our community life….worship is expressing our religion in community life.”
    -Imam Khalil Akbar

    “Becoming Muslim was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Not because of fasting or prayer or any rituals. It’s because of dealing with other Muslims.”

  • NNC 4:41 AM on October 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Maha Mourad   

    On Niqabs and Candy 

    We met Sister Sumaya in a small masjid located in a small, secluded shopping plaza. She wore a beautifully decorated purple abaya. The tail of her pink hijab was pinned to the other side of her head, covering her face. She warmly welcomed us inside as we sat in a circle before beginning to recount how she got to where she is today.

    Having formally studied Arabic in Saudi Arabia, Islamic Studies in Pakistan for 5 years, and memorizing the Qur’an in its entirety, she certainly has a wealth of knowledge to share.

    She spoke fondly of her childhood, emphasizing how her father, a former ambassador for Saudi Arabia to Kenya, was very open minded and never pressured them into certain beliefs. She arrived in the U.S. in 2005 after her husband relocated to Charlotte for work. She is involved in the Islamic communities in Charlotte, Gastonia and Hickory, teaching Islamic classes to children.

    Of course, many people who meet Sumaya for the first time do not see her educated background or service at the masjid. Instead, they focus on the piece of cloth, just a few inches long, that covers her face.

    (More …)

    • Nabila 3:26 PM on October 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for this post Maha! The candy analogy makes me highly uncomfortable too, and I am glad you were able to admire her strength while pointing out what made you uneasy.

      I would love to hear more thoughts from you and others on this trip about gender, hijab, beards, the value of clothing, etc. Did being female affect your access to leadership? Were there certain communities more female-friendly than others? How did masjid architecture affect female participation? What determined how involved women were/could be?

    • Fatema Ahmad 12:26 PM on October 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thought you guys might appreciate this young hijabi’s rant about the candy/pearl analogy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7gAcn4Idow

  • NNC 6:10 PM on October 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Maha Mourad   

    We’ve arrived in the “Land of Waterfalls!” Off on a hike to explore Brevard. InshAllah we will find a beautiful waterfall where we can pray Maghrib.

  • NNC 1:34 PM on October 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Maha Mourad   


    One way to keep ourselves entertained on the road? Appreciate the simple pleasurez.

    • Summan 1:35 PM on October 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply



  • NNC 2:19 AM on October 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Maha Mourad   

    What’s in a Name? 

    As we nomads walked up the steps to the Community Mosque of Winston-Salem, I passed by the giant sign in front of the building and didn’t think much of it. In reality, I subconsciously noticed the sense of community the mosque offered from the moment I walked through doors. As I expected, there were separate entrances for the men and women. What I didn’t expect was to enter through the sisters’ door and walk into… the space that the brothers’ door led to. Initially, I was confused. Then I felt…at peace. A sense of unity. Whatever it was, it was refreshing. The high ceilings, open space, and thriving plants that encircled the prayer area evoked a welcoming spirit. By bringing everyone together physically, it seemed to send a broader message that everyone in the building belonged together.

    (More …)

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