Assalamu alaikum wa rahamatullahay wa barakatuhu
I hope Ramadan is going well for you and your family. It is a test for our physical, emotional and spiritual strength. Fasting, in the manner prescribed by Allah SWT, improves our physical body, balances our emotions and elevates us spiritually. I hope you are able to use this opportunity to your advantage.
As you know, many Muslim societies all around the globe are going through conflicts and wars. In some places, this has been the case for decades. Sometime the fighting parties are both or all Muslims and sometime not. We feel sad and upset because of the sufferings of innocent women, men and children. I could name many conflicts including the ones in Afghanistan, Burma, Pakistan, India, Kashmir, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, China and the chronic conflict in Palestine. Because of the multi-national and multi-ethnic nature of our local community, quite often the victims might be closely related to at least some of our members, which result in personal and direct psychological and emotional stress.
Remember the most appropriate way, the way of the Prophet Muhammad, May peace be upon him, to react to a stressful situation and shape the words and actions accordingly. Protesting an unjust or illegal situation should never include any unjust, illegal or inappropriate words or actions. Our primary responsibility is to safeguard our own interests, our families’ and the interests of the society around us. Being a local Muslim, we also represent the Islamic Society of Western Mass (ISWM.) While representing it, it is important to remember that the mission and purpose of ISWM is primarily for the community of ISWM.
ISWM is not a political organization but we do stand for the rights of the oppressed people of Palestine. We do protest and condemn in the strongest possible terms all the perpetrators of injustice, persecution and killings inflicted upon innocent men, women and children and their properties on both sides of the conflict. We expect our government to take all possible actions to help stop the war and promote peace and respect for one another. In this sacred month, we pray to Allah SWT to minimize trials and tribulations of all the Muslims and non-Muslims, especially those going through conflicts and wars. May Allah SWT guide their leaders to find a peaceful solution instead of a perpetual state of war, Ameen.
M. Zubair Kareem
As-Salaam ‘Alaikum wa Rahmatullah
Insha Allah, the first day of Ramadan will begin on Sunday June 29th, 2014. The first Taraweeh will be on Saturday after Isha prayer which is at 10:15 pm. Please see attached document for the Ramadan prayer schedule.
May Allah bless us with health, happiness and the ability to fulfill His rights, Ameen.
We, the Muslim community, are facing challenges of different kinds, but through faith, knowledge, good character and unity, we can achieve success through these challenges. Let us take advantage of this generous gift from Allah by developing and rebuilding your Muslim personality through it. Read Allah’s message and reflect upon its meaning more during this month.(Tafseer)
There many things we can do to maximize our efforts during this month. Here are a few.
Let us try to:
- Minimize or avoid social networking services.
- Give more time to worship (ibaadah) and prayer (dua) for all.
- Collect money in a charity box or put it in masjid’s box.
- Volunteer and get involved in community service efforts.
- Break the bad habits and replace them with a good ones.
- Be kind to family and friends and also maintain ties of kinship.
- Do charity on behalf of your beloved ones who have died.
- Seek the Laylatul Qadr during the last ten days of Ramadan.
- Rejoice with Allah’s bounty and mercy.
Remember what Allah says (which means): “Say, “In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy – in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate.”
Allah also says in a Hadith Qudsi (which means): “Every action of the son of Adam is given manifold reward, each good deed receiving ten times its like, up to seven hundred times. Allah the Most High said: ‘Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I will give recompense for it, he leaves off his desires and his food for Me’. For the fasting person there are two times of joy; a time of joy when he breaks his fast and a time of joy when he meets his Lord, and the smell coming from the mouth of the fasting person is better with Allah than the smell of Musk.” [Muslim]
Imam Wissam Abdul-Baki, Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts