Message for Friday – Muslim Merchants Must Be Ethical

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَى أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ
القراان 4.135

Oh you who believe! Be upright, firm establishers of justice, witnesses for G’d even if it is against yourselves or your parents and close relationships.

With the current socio-political environment in America being hostile towards Muslims and Islam, it is important for the American Muslim community to proactive instead of just reactionary. Indeed at times, being proactive is extremely difficult when being faced with an onslaught of harassment, negative media portrayals and irresponsible speech from the higher echelon of government.  And although we can not dictate how we are depicted in the media, we can check ourselves and give the right image of Islam when conducting business.

Just as in all communities, there are a small percentage of criminals and people with mental disorders in the Muslim community. Denouncing criminality activity including terrorism has not been a problem for the Muslim community; criminality and terrorism is continuously condemned including the most recent kidnapping of two FOX journalists in Gaza.

The more difficult situation, however, comes when Muslims are obeying the laws of America, yet violating the ethics of Islam. This particular problem, which has been barely addressed or addressed in a lackluster manner by community leaders, relates to Muslim merchants that engage in the commerce of pornography, alcohol, gambling and pork products, which are forbidden to purchase, consume and sell in Islam.

In major metropolitan areas such as Chicago, New York and Oakland, a large percentage of the liquor stores are owned by Muslim merchants. In the case of Detroit, Muslims run the majority of gas stations in which items such as lottery tickets can be purchased, but many liquor stores. Muslim merchants engaged in such practices not only are doing a disservice to their own spiritual selves, but they also are doing a disservice to the neighborhoods in which they operate.

اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى
القران 5.8

Be just! It is what is more close to piety.

The Muslim community has an obligation to speak out against such practices and to dissuade Muslim merchants in being involved in such commerce. To not address this situation yet be extremely eager to complain about the transgressions of others upon the community only furthers the arguments of critics that Muslims are only concerned injustices when they are being oppressed, but are not vocal about the problems and disenfranchisement of others.

 
عدل ساعة خير من عبادة سنة
و رواه السرخسي في المبسوط
Justice in one hour (moment) is better than a year of ritualistic worship.
So while we complain about racial/religious profiling by the law enforcement to the war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza, let us be even more vigilant that we are calling ourselves towards justice.  To neglect doing so makes us look like hypocrites.
And surely G’d knows best.

Obama’s ‘Change’ for the Muslim World

Obama’s ‘Change’ for the Muslim World

By  Muhammed Qassim

IOL Correspondent

 

“Change has come” is what President Barack Obama told the world after the historical political victory in the United States of America when he became the first African American elected as President.

Forty years after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King and riots for civil and voting rights, this stunning political victory happened.

Today, American Muslims are looking for a piece in the change pie and some think it’s on its way.

“He has rejected the false choice between safety and American ideals by saying we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. I believe that President Barack Obama has already created a good will towards the Muslim world in his inauguration speech,” said Ms. Samina Faheem Sundas, the founder and Executive Director of the American Muslim Voice Foundation. 
  
Action

Talking about Obama’s change towards the Muslims world, Samina Fahim added: “Only after two days of his presidency on Thursday, Jan.22, President Obama signed Executive Order Regarding Guantanamo Bay Detainees.

Obama’s order requires closure of the Guantanamo detention camp, and also “establishes a review process with the goal of disposing of the detainees before closing the facility.”

The order asked Clinton, the Secretary of State, to work in cooperation with the international community regarding the transfer of the detainees.

“The executive order also requires that conditions of confinement at Guantanamo, until its closure, comply with Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and all other applicable laws,” The order said.

“The Executive Order Regarding Detainee Policy creates a special task force, co-chaired by the Attorney General and the Secretary of Defense, to conduct a review of detainee policy going forward. The special taskforce must submit its report to the president within 180 days.”

Obama’s second day in office was marked by the appointment of George Mitchell, an American with half Lebanese origins, as a Middle East Envoy. Mitchell greatly shaped Northern Ireland’s peace process when he was Northern Ireland’s Special Envoy. Whether he is expected to be as influential in the Middle East as he was in Northern Ireland isn’t a simple guessing to be made.

Other envoys include; Richard Holbrooke to Afghanistan and Pakistan, while Dennis Ross to Iran.

“Only time will tell how these envoys will help in bringing peace to the volatile area of the Middle East in particular and the Muslim world at large? However, at the AMV we remain hopeful that President Obama will completely reverse the policy of arrogance, arbitrariness and war that has created a negative image of our country during the Bush era,” Samina said.

Change

Talking to IslamOnline.net about the change policies of President Barack Obama, Director of the Middle East Study Center at Ohio State University, Dr. Alam Payind said: “What Obama said in his speech about the different religions, like Islam and others is very much important. Obama’s policies will let the people of all religions live peacefully.

“The orders of the closure of Gitmo and not using torture are indeed very big changes for the Muslim world.”

Pointing towards the US relations with the governments and people of the Islamic world he said: “The US has good relations with some of the governments of the Muslim world like Afghanistan, but the people of these countries are not on good terms with the US. The people of Iran want good relations with the US but the government does not have good relations with the US. Obama wants bilateral and mutual respect.”

The Muslim community of America believes that now is the proper time for Obama to implement his “change” policies. Upon Gitmo’s closure decision; many heaved a sigh of relief as Obama’s first promise begins to shape. 

“It is the most significant act in terms of race relationship since the civil war. Due to Obama’s change policy and due to the reaction to the eight long years of policies of the Bush administration, Obama has won the elections. Yet, the Muslim community is very much unhappy from “Mr. Change” due to his silence on the Israeli brutalities over Muslims in Gaza,” said Naeem Baig, Secretary General of the Islamic Circle of North America told IslamOnline.net.

Walid speaks to Homeland Security students

Wednesday evening’s presentation was given to the Homeland Security class at Madonna University in Livonia, MI.

 

Following info was cover:

 

1)      Demographic information

2)      What is Shari’ah?

3)      What is Hijab?

4)      What is Jihad?

5)      What is Khalifah (caliph)?

6)      Are there denominations in Islam?

 

Click here to listen.

Thank 60 Minutes for segment on Gazan suffering

Gazan boys looking through trash for food

Gazan boys looking through trash for food

 

Last night on CBS, 60 Minutes showed an extremely balanced segment on the suffering of the Gazan people during this latest siege and the zealotry within the extreme orthodox settlers. 

 

SEE: Is Peace Out Of Reach? Video – CBSNews.com

 

Please thank CBS for their coverage of the suffering of Gazans and encourage them to continue such balanced coverage on domestic and international issues.

 

CLICK HERE TO THANK:  http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/feedback/fb_news_form.shtml

Walid encourages donations to Gazans

islamic-relief-gaza

Tonight, I gave some brief comments regarding the importance of giving charity to the innocent civilians in Gaza that continue to suffer after the long blockade and recent war crimes committed by the Israel military.

 

At a modest dinner sponsored by the Islamic Shura Council of Michigan (ISCOM) at the the Muslim Unity Center in West Bloomfield, Michigan, approximately $80,000 was raised to be given to the United Nations Relief & Works Agency (UNRWA).

 

On February 6 in Dearborn, Islamic Relief USA has a scheduled fundraiser for the children of Gaza.

 

Our donations are not in support of the political authority in Gaza nor even for the sake of Palestinians.  Our donations are for the pleasure of our Lord, and our love for the condition of the human soul.

 

 إِنْ قَالَ أَحَدٌ:«إِنِّي أُحِبُّ اللهَ» وَأَبْغَضَ أَخَاهُ، فَهُوَ كَاذِبٌ. لأَنَّ مَنْ لاَ يُحِبُّ أَخَاهُ الَّذِي أَبْصَرَهُ، كَيْفَ يَقْدِرُ أَنْ يُحِبَّ اللهَ الَّذِي لَمْ يُبْصِرْهُ؟

 

According to the present day Gospels, Jesus, the Prophet of Islam, (Peace be upon him) in a statement that coincides with the Qur’an and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (Prayers & Peace be upon him and his family) said, “If anyone says, Surely I love G’d, but he hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that doesn’t love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love G’d whom he hasn’t seen?”

 

We’ve all seen the suffering of the people of Gaza, Muslims and Christians alike. Besides your supplications to the Almighty, please donate a few dollars for the innocent civilians of Gaza.