Sunday, October 23, 2005

Zakat and Sadaqa: The Charity of the Muslimeen

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Rita

South Asian Earthquake

Hurricane Wilma

Famine in Niger

South Asia Tsunami

and wars all across the Earth

These are just a handful of the causes that you can serve for the sake of Allah ta'ala. Give your duas and prayers for them. Don't underestimate the power of appeal to Allah. There are no veils between Allah and the oppressed. Volunteer for relief efforts if you can. Work with your masjid to donate clothing and to send relief. Whatever you give during this month of Ramadan, whether it's the gift of prayer or monetary wealth, your action will be blessed a thousand times over.

Red Cross

Mercy USA

Hidaya Foundation

Islamic Relief

ICNA Relief

Zakat and Sadaqa Information

Soundvision: Zakat Page

General Zakat Questions

What can I do to help Iraq? (I would apply this to all countries affected by war)

The Inner Dimensions of Zakat by Imam al-Ghazali (radiallahu anhu)

Donating blood as sadaqa

Is it bad to give old clothes in charity?

Is buying books a form of charity?

I'tikaf Preperations

So the last 10 ten days of Ramadan are almost upon us. Time flew fast, didn't it? It will never be this easy to worship in the other months of the year as it is in the month of Ramadan. Some of you maybe making i'tikaf (spiritual retreat) at the masjid but many of you, especially the sisters, will be making i'tikaf at home. Here are some tips for you and some good reads to prepare for the last 10 days of this blessed month.

Spiritual Retreat for Women at Home

More on women making i'tikaf at home

The best times to begin i'tikafConditions of I'tikaf (from the Fiqh of Fasting--Hanafi)

Ramadan for Women: Making it Special, Making it Spiritual by Umm Zee

And just in case you want to prepare for Laylatul Qadr a little early

When is Laylatul Qadr?

Worship on Laylatul Qadr?

Islamicity link to Laylatul Qadr

The Powerful Night of Ramadan

The Powerless and the Night of Power

Monday, October 03, 2005

Progressive Islam: Musharraf Style

Salaam alaikum,

Let's say you are the leader of a Muslim country that's not particulary known for protecting the rights of rape victims. And a recent controversy dealing with a rape victim who refuses to take her abuse has decided to use whatever tools at her disposal to confront this national problem. And a few weeks ago, you made the blunder of saying that such rape victims are using their trauma to get a visa out of your country or tarnish the image of said country. Lovely. Guess who I'm talking about? Well, the title of the post made it obvious. Here is a statement made by Musharraf.

"Mai had come under the sway of organizations determined to harm Pakistan’s image and he did not think Pakistan 'should be singled out when the curse is everywhere in the world.' He noted he had seen reports or figures about rape in the United States, Canada, France and Britain showing that 'it is happening everywhere."

Yes, rape is a global curse and it does occur everywhere. But the difference is in how the crime is handled. It's not fair to point the finger at Muslim countries for instances of rape. It IS justifiable to point the finger if your country punishes the victim rather than the rapist. That distinction seems to get by him each time. But I digress.

It seems that when he is not busy blaming Pakistan's rape victims for their suffering, he has started funding Pakistan's own progressive Islam. Many thanks to the PMUNA Debate for posting this entry on the blog. Yes, while the Islamic court in Pakistan is prevented from properly punishing Muktar Mai's rapists, he likes to dabble in 21st century styled ijtihad. And you wouldn't believe who is the head of this institute. Riffat Hassan, progressive Muslim and feminist, is the leader of this progressive Islamic institute. She speaks with glowing terms of Pakistan's current leader.

Organised by international scholar, Dr. Riffat Hassan, and featuring the views of one of the most prolific progressive thinkers of our times, Dr Fathi Osman, a project of no less controversy is now in the works. An autonomous, progressive Muslim institute - the antithesis of more orthodox organisations, such as the Islamic University in Islamabad - and headed by the bastion of the "enlightened moderation" movement himself, President Pervez Musharraf. And it will be truly global in its make and manifesto. It is envisioned that the board of directors will comprise the best international progressive scholars, whose works and teachings will be transmitted to Pakistanis around the country through multimedia sources and teachers programmes.

And here's an excerpt from the Dawn, with Riffat Hassan defending Musharraf from criticism.

At the end of his presentation, three-fourths of the people in the room stood up and applauded. The remaining one-fourth were persons who were opposed to him for personal or political reasons. Their venom toward the president became manifest in the question and answer part of the meeting. In a voice filled with anger the questioner told the president that since he had “categorically denied” making the statement attributed to him by The Washington Post, he should make a clarification to the world press.

She went on to express her disappointment at the way he was treating human rights activists who were protesting against violence toward women. The president responded to the deliberately provocative comment by saying that the many journalists who were present had already heard his clarification. He expressed his disappointment at the questioner and others like her who were engaging in what he said was unpatriotic behaviour. He said that he would always support the cause of women but he would oppose those who were using women’s cause to further their own agendas that were harmful to the country. At the end of the Q & A session, again the vast majority of the people stood up and gave the president a resounding round of applause.

Hmm, can't bite (or criticize) that hand that feeds you.