Wednesday, April 3, 2019

A Message from Br. Ashfaq Taufique

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), for the first three years after receiving prophethood, spread the message to close friends and relatives. Right before the pagans of Mecca could mobilize a campaign against the spread of Islam (now called Islamophobia), Allah revealed the verse:

“O, you who is wrapped, Rise and Warn”

Immediately after the revelation of this verse, the Prophet (pbuh) went to mount Safa and gathered the clans of Mecca and asked them, “If I were to tell you that there was an army of enemies on the other side ready to attack you, would you believe me?” A resounding answer was, “We have never seen you lie”. He (pbuh) said, “Then know that I am a warner for you before the severe punishment comes over you.”

In today’s environment of Islamophobia, we have indeed some lessons to be learned from this historical event. We need to be honest and truthful in our dealings and establish a firm footing in the communities at large. We must reclaim our narrative. If there will be a discussion about our community and our faith, we are the ones speaking.

It is not a time to be silent bystanders. Our response to the negative propaganda about our faith and community should be a positive one. We need to engage in discussions with our neighbors, coworkers, friends and family about the exemplary status of us as Muslims in the USA.

Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), a research organization, works for a better understanding of Muslims in USA and has the following track record that we need to proudly promote:

· 1/3rd of our community (African-Americans) have been here as early as anyone.

· Muslims are statistically the most diverse faith group in the US.

· Muslim-American women surpass their male counterparts in education.

In Michigan, Muslims are 2.5% of the population, yet account for:

· 15% of the state’s doctors

· 10% percent of the state’s pharmacists

· 4-5% of small business (over 35K business owned, over 103K employed)

· $117 million donated to local and international charities in 2015

In NYC, Muslims are 9% of the population, yet account for more than:

· 9% of the city’s medical doctors, serving over 5 million patients annually

· 2% of the state’s pharmacists, filling over 9.5 million scripts annually

· 11% of NYC’s engineers, 40% of taxi-drivers, 57% of street-food vendors

· 1,000 of NYC’s police officers and firefighters

· 10,000 of NYC’s teachers, educating ~250,000 kids K-12

· 95,000 small businesses owned, employed over 250,000 people

· $608 million donated to local and international charities in 2016

This article was inspired by a khutba, I heard from Sheikh Omar Sulaiman.

BIS Annual Spring Hike by Abdulkarim Taufique

Members of the BIS community hiked on the Dunnavant Valley Trail for our Annual Spring Hike. We hiked roughly four miles through some beautiful foliage following along a small creek where hikers spent time looking for fish and enjoyed connecting with the natural world. Along the way, we got to know each other despite our diverse backgrounds, nationalities, ages, and professions. We began hiking as strangers and found meaningful connection through our shared faith and love of the outdoors.

May Allah SWT bless us all in our lives and allow us to hike the trails of Jannah together as he has allowed us to hike the trails on his earth. Ameen.

Leadership Birmingham Hosts Panel Discussion at HCIC by Mohamed Shoreibah

Birmingham Islamic Society hosted a panel discussion for Leadership Birmingham participants at Hoover Crescent Islamic Center in February. Panelists were: Sufia Alam, Lucas Gambino, Ashfaq Taufique and Mohamed Shoreibah, and the moderator was Hussain Abdullatif.

The discussion covered topics ranging from the daily life challenges Muslims face in the U.S. to the status of women in Islam. The meeting not only brought leaders from many different industries to HCIC--in some cases for the first time--but was also an effective venue to present the true image of American Muslims and Islam in the U.S. At a time when some media outlets and political figures choose to promote misrepresentations of Islam, we are in need of platforms that allow us to rectify this situation and teach others about the the true image of Islam and Muslims. It is safe to say that the diverse group of attendees left the event with the realization that we agree on more than we disagree on.

Family Movie Night and BBQ Food by Aser Janjua

On Friday, March 22nd, BIS held a Family Movie night for adults and children. It was a great turn out. The adults watched “Hidden Figures,” while the children watched their movie, “Homeward Bound.”

For dinner BIS arranged with Br. Ali Mustaqeem to bring his food truck, and he served a variety of wood-smoked, fire-grilled meats with rice and vegetables. There also was fresh made popcorn and cotton candy for all ages to enjoy.

Overall it was a great turn out and we look forward to having more of these family social events.

List of Items Being Collected for Area Women and Children as Part of BIS's Ramadan Craft Fair

If you can help please bring the requested items to the BIS Ramadan Craft Fair on April 27, 2019 or contact the sisters to make arrangements beforehand. JazakhAllah kher.

NCCJ Biannual Awards Dinner Honors Ashfaq Taufique by Lucas Gambino

The National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) held its biannual awards dinner on Thursday, March 7, 2019, at the Harbert Center in downtown Birmingham. Brother Ashfaq Taufique was honored at this event with the presentation of a prestigious award commemorating his years of civic service to the Birmingham community, both Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

Nearly 400 people attended the black tie affair, and Birmingham Islamic Society was well represented with many of its members present at the dinner. This award is a testament to the tireless efforts that brother Ashfaq has contributed to our community over the last three decades. We are all very fortunate to have brother Ashfaq leading our organization and continuing to execute his vision for the future. Please congratulate brother Ashfaq when you see him for receiving this distinguished honor!

Pictures from the Lecture "First Black Muslims in America"

The lecture, "First Black Muslims in America" by Br. Muttaqi Ismail took place on 2/22 after Isha at HCIC. Pizza was served after the event.

Family Fun Night: Reptile Show, Face Painting, Balloons, and More by Sakeena Ahmed

BIS is planning to organize a monthly Family Fun Night for the community to gather at the masjid for an evening of fun that the whole family can enjoy. Our first event of the year was on Friday, February 15 at the Hoover Crescent Islamic Center. This was planned together with Br. Imad Bensalem's son's aqiqah dinner. Alhamdulillah a large crowd attended.

For entertainment, we invited a balloon twister who shaped balloons into animals and figures for the children. We also had face painting. The highlight of the evening was a reptile show. The presenter brought some exotic reptiles such as a bearded dragon, blue tongued skink, tegu lizard, small alligator, snake, and turtles. It was a big hit with the young and old alike as the presenter allowed community members to touch and hold the animals.

May Allah bless our community with more such events and reward those who made the event possible.

Ramadan Craft Fair Bag Design Competition Rules and Guidelines

The 5th Annual Ramadan Craft Fair will take place on Saturday, April 27 at the Hoover Crescent Islamic Center for children ages 2-10. All paid participants will receive a reusable tote bag to collect their crafts.

We are having a design contest for the tote bag. One winner will be chosen from the submissions at the discretion of the Ramadan Craft Fair committee to be printed on the bags to be distributed. Please contact Sr. Sakeena ( if you have any questions.
  • Here are the rules for the contest:
  • Use only black and white in the design.
  • Size should be no larger than 8.5"x11".
  • Design can be a graphic and/or text.
  • Design must be Ramadan related.
  • Submission deadline is April 15, 2019 at 12 noon.

Email submissions in .jpg or .pdf format to

Last year's tote bag design is below.

Vigil Following the Events in New Zealand at HCIC by Bashar Khalaf

The theme that was summoned in the vigil for our New Zealand brothers and sisters was “unity.” Many speakers from many different religious and personal beliefs came and publicly gave their condolences on a microphone in front of hundreds of attendees at the HCIC on the Sunday following the tragedy.

Many heartfelt people gave their support to the Muslim community in this trying time, but other communities received support as well.These mentioning did not take away from the direct intent of the vigil to give support to Muslims as it focused on a greater ideal, unity.

Martin Luther King Jr. was quoted by one Christian speaker, and I would like to quote Dr. King once more when he said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Again, unity is the ultimate goal. Although Dr. King and our kind speakers were headed in the right direction, it is our Prophet Muhammad (SAS) who put it most beautifully as stated in Bukhari, ‘The believers resemble one body, so that if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the ill feeling’.

We must unite and take what our collective goals have in common and not allow any injustice that we know about. The call to action is to stop injustice when you see it, advise the politicians around you to do so at the local and global level, and pray for those who you cannot help with your hands or voice. May God forgive us for allowing so much pain to our Muslim brothers and sisters and for all other oppressed people.

Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari 6011 Book 78, Hadith 42

Friday, December 28, 2018

A Message from Brother Ashfaq Taufique

The most ideal way to end the year 2018 is to make al-ehtesab (accountability) of our accomplishments, our shortcomings, our failures, both as it relates to the worldly matters but more significantly, our spirituality. The meaning al-ehtesab is very profound, but I will limit my discussion to only one meaning, “accountability”.

The concept of al-ehtesab is engrained in our faith. We believe that on the Day of Judgement, we will stand in front of our Lord and be accountable for our beliefs and our deeds. Ehtesab is to constantly evaluate and improve ourselves. One of the companions that was called a man of Jannah by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to cleanse his heart from any ill feelings towards anyone and forgive those who may have harmed him.

We are a failure if we do not put knowledge into action. In the Quran, Allah equates those people as donkeys carrying a load of tawrah (knowledge). In another place in the Quran, Allah shows His disgust on those who say, but do not act upon it.

May Allah (swt), make us among those who put the teachings of the Quran and Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in to our daily lives. We pray that we model our lives in the fashion of our leader Muhammad (SAW). We pray that while we make our goals for the worldly matters, we should remember death and the accountability we face. Ameen.

Year 2018 In Review by Br. Ashfaq Taufique

AlhamdoLillah, we are blessed with a vital community and indeed an enthusiastic executive committee that organizes programs in many facets that benefit the community. I would like to recap here many of the activities performed in 2018:

In the area of community development, we had a workshop on Islamic Wills, a series of Leadership Trainings, a series of Hajj Workshops, an Islamic Financing Seminar, a Bullying Workshop, a lecture on Prophetic Medicine, a Quran Competition, and paid tribute to our High School and College Graduates. We also had an Islamic Book Fair, as well as provided an opportunity to our community to fulfil the sunnah by inviting a licensed Hijamah practitioner for men and women to come.

We had active outreach programs where we organized Soup Kitchen meals, participated in “Habitat for Humanity” house building, participated in two “Rise Against Hunger” events, sponsored a table at the “Mercedes Marathon” and helped “Be a Blessing” with packaging of food and personal care items. We partnered with APPNA and had a Health Fair that served hundreds of community members and those from the community at large.

Our Open House brought community at large to our center and they left with a better understanding of Islam and Muslims. Our Ramadan outreach program brought more than 300 guest to our masjid to learn about Muslims and Islam as well.

We promoted community social engagement by conducting Community Breakfasts, Community and Eid Picnics, Iftars in Ramadan, Shawwal, Day of Arafah and Aashoora, a Welcome Back Hajji Party. We engaged our community youths with a Family Fun Night and had three levels of Essay Competition.

Our Human Rights Committee conducted Rohingya Refugees Clothing Drive and also conducted several Islamic Awareness lectures at local libraries.

May Allah bless our sisters who tirelessly conducted Monthly Story Times throughout the year and weekly in Ramadan. The Ramadan Craft Fair was a great success.

Our Imam provided several weekly classes to improve the spirituality of our community. Our Weekend Islamic School continues to help parents by providing them with an organized curriculum and guideline.

Truly our success is a gift from Allah swt, and we pray for more opportunities to engage with one another and learn our deen in the new year. Ameen.

Prophetic Parenting by Youth Director Rashid Al-Muntharee

In the previous two articles regarding Prophetic Parenting (go to to read) we discussed the meaning of the verse “O you who believe save yourselves and your families from the Hell Fire…” [Tahreem:6]

Covered in that article were the following:

1. Abdullah ibn Mas’ood’s tafsir of “O you who believe” and its importance.

2. How to save ourselves and families from the Hell Fire

3. Children are the most important part of the family and what must done by parents to save and protect our children.

In this article I would like to share something from Zimmer a well-known Catholic Philosopher regarding how he hoped to destroy Muslims. I hope this resonates with us all. May Allah grant us the tawfeeq. Ameen.

Alas, how can we be pleased with sending our young children to a faculty in America or to such and such country, and he [the parent] says: ‘’My child has gone to study’’, [whilst he has gone] to study disbelief, hearsay, deviation, how to turn away from his family, his country and religion!! They will teach him this, just as Zimmer [The Catholic philosopher and theologian] advocated.

This Zimmer was a head of Christian Missionaries and he sent Christian missionaries to the various regions of the Arab-Islamic Countries. He gathered them before dispersing them and said, ‘’Inform me of what you will be doing in the Muslim countries?’’ One of them said: ‘’I will convert five to Christianity.’’ Another said: ‘’I will convert two to Christianity, and I will give them the blessings of Christianity and make them thankful.’’ He (Zimmer) said: ‘’You have not understood our desired objective! It is not possible to convert the Muslims to Christianity; it is not possible for the Muslims to reject their religion, except if you teach them. The most important thing is that you teach the Muslim children by sowing doubts in their souls about their religion and rejection in their souls against their countries. And eventually when one of them sets up a centre in his country, he will give no importance to anything else except his desires. And when he gathers wealth, he will do so according to his desires. Therefore, he ends up having no religion and no connection with his Creator. Therefore, cultivate the lands of Muhammad [i.e. the Muslim lands] upon this.’’

And he (Zimmer) said in another speech of his: ‘’Indeed, Islaam is like a tree, therefore cut off its branches. Its branches are the children of the Muslims, therefore teach them so that they can aid you to cut off the tree of Islaam in their countries. You will not be able to cut it off yourselves, rather teach their children to aid you in uprooting it in their countries.’’

This is their statement [O reader]! If this is their statement, then how can a person excuse himself for sending his young child to Germany, France, America, Italy and London, whilst he has not yet been nurtured upon the correct creed. This is an error. [Your Muslim child] will come to you whilst turning away from his religion; turning away from his parents and looking down upon them. He will consider them to be [people] who neither possesses understanding nor do they know, whilst in reality he is the one without understanding. Therefore, it is incumbent upon a person to give serious concern to the children under his care because they are a trust. And when you neglect them, then indeed you have betrayed the trust. Allaah [The Most High] said:

يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَخُونُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلرَّسُولَ وَتَخُونُوٓاْ أَمَـٰنَـٰتِكُمۡ وَأَنتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُونَ

‘’O you who believe! Betray not Allah and His Messenger, nor betray knowingly your Amanat [things entrusted to you and all the duties which Allah has ordained for you]. [Soorah Anfaal: Ayah: 27]

Therefore, your children are a trust and when you neglect them, then indeed you have betrayed them. It is obligated on every one of us to fear Allaah with regards to the [affair] of his children and those under his care.

The days go past and the end of a [person’s] lifespan draws closer, and a person does not know when his life span will suddenly come to [an end]. [A person] must strive to teach his children beneficial knowledge, nurtures them upon goodness and obedience to [Allaah and His Messenger].

“All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of his household and he is responsible for them. A woman is a shepherdess in her husband’s house and she is responsible for her flock.”

And Allaah knows best, and may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon Muhammad [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam], His family and companions.


Source: An Excerpt from ‘Al-Fataawaa Wad-Duroos Fil Masjid Al-Haraam’- by Al-Allaamah Abdullaah Bin Muhammad Bin Humayd (rahimahullaah): pages: 938-944. slightly paraphrased]

Upcoming Burma Task Force Fundraiser

Birmingham Islamic Society is teaming up with Burma Task Force of Chicago, Illinois in organizing a fundraiser program on Sunday, January 13, 2019 at Soiree Events Gallery from 3 to 6 pm inn sha Allah. This fundraiser is to collect funds to help pay for the legal expenses to take the Burmese government to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands. As we all know, several Bosnian Serbs were taken to this court several decades ago for their part in the mass killing of the Bosnian Muslims. Now we have the current case of mass killings of women, children and elderly people, rapes, house burnings and mass exodus of over 1 million Rohingya people from their native Burma to Bangladesh. The United Nations has already called it a genocide. Currently, the US congress is also considering calling it a genocide, which is a more severe designation from the previous designation of ethnic cleansing, thanks to the efforts of the Burma Task Force, especially its chairman, Br. Abdul Malik Mujahid.

So we appeal to the conscience of our local Muslim brothers and sisters to come and attend this program. Tickets can be bought online at Eventbrite. Details are on attached poster. This is the first time, we will also be video streaming this event LIVE to many communities within and outside Alabama and asking for their help in this cause by donating.

Winning Essays from the Family Fun Night Competition

As part of the BIS Family Fun Night, an Essay Competition was organized for the elementary,

middle and high school students. Topics were designed to encourage creative thinking and thoughtful expression. The elementary aged topic was, “How has the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) Influenced Your Life?“. Middle school students were prompted to write about, how “The Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Qur’an tell us to practice two things: (a) practice good and spread it to others and (b) avoid evil and help others to stay away from it. As a Muslim youth living in our modern time and place, how can you practice the above two teachings of Islam?”. High school’s topic was, “You do not do evil to those who do evil to you, but you deal with them with forgiveness and kindness.” Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) - Sahih al-Bukhari. Explain the individual, social, and cultural aspects of applying the above tradition during the contemporary period and the issues and/or benefits that we might have”.

Maria Ejaz placed first followed by Musab Khan for High School.

Elementary school student Haroon Nabi was first followed by his brother Yusuf Nabi in second and Saima Iqbal was third.

There was no entries for middle school.

Here are the winning essays.


Applying the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) to Our Daily Lives

By Maria Ejaz

There are many passages from the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad, but a few sayings stand out because they apply so well to today’s world. Hadith is a collection of traditions containing sayings of the prophet Muhammad. The Hadith contained Muhammad's accounts of his daily life which we know now as the Sunna. Throughout his life the prophet found success in spreading the message and culture of Islam. He is duly noted as one of the most influential people in the world leaving a mark for generations to come. His maxim, “you do not do evil to those who do evil to you but you deal with them with forgiveness and kindness”, expresses a primary belief for people then and now. The meanings of Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) teachings apply to the following three aspects of life today in a beneficial way: individual, social, and cultural.

The effects of the above quote on an individual are amazing to see. It teaches people to not let their evil thoughts of others get the best of them. The quote emphasizes forgiveness, a now well-known key quality in a human being, and kindness, a vocal point to prevent evil such as bullying from spreading. The emphasize on forgiveness is key because it shows that people must learn to forgive much like Allah(swt) who is the most merciful, but as the Quran says it is not always easy to forget, and this is the same quote many individuals still live by today: “Forgive, but don’t forget”. The emphasize on kindness is so crucial to understanding the meaning of the prophet's quote because it explains to individuals that kindness is the best peace offering one can offer. People must learn from Allah(swt), who shows his kindness through his mercy.

Not only are individuals impacted by the prophet's message, but also society as a whole shaped by this lesson. Society carries the weight of pride which will eventually lead to their downfall when they do not forgive and do not teach others to forgive: “ He who has in his heart the weight of an atom of pride shall not enter Paradise”. The societal need for salvation, including from people of any religion in which they believe in an Almighty, and the fear of an Almighty helps this lesson dig deeper into the societal roots we have all been raised on.

The cultural effects are closely related to the societal effects, but differ due to creating cultures based off of Islamic law in various parts of the world. The cultures in different parts of the world differ in multitudinous ways. An example of the effect on Britain, a country with many religions including Islam as a primary religion, is when a British man by the name of Terry Waite forgave his capturor, a Dubai man named Hezbollah. Another example of the effect of the forgiveness part of the quote is the Pakistani Law of Forgiveness which protects killers.

It is hard to argue with the messages of the messenger himself because of his wisdom which benefited not only people long ago, but also those of our world today, but such as with the Pakistani Law of Forgiveness we can see that not everyone has the same perspective on certain topics, and how something can be taken a different way than its intent. Overall, the effects of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) have well impacted our individuality, society, and cultural laws and beliefs.


Generosity is the beauty of Islam

By Musab Khan

The hadith or the saying of our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) are so important that if we follow them, our life can be a whole different story. Following his path doesn’t just affects you but everyone around you; friends, family, society. In one of Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) saying he says that, if something that is harmful has been done to you by someone, do not respond the same way, rather be generous and be forgiving towards them (Sahih al Bukhari). Applying this hadith in our lives and doing this to somebody can change their life in many ways.

A disbeliever gave some money as loan to prophet to feed the poor. He came to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to get his money back three days before the end of loan duration, to get his attention he pulls Prophet Muhammad (SAW) cloth in a disrespectful way and asks, “where is the money that I have loaned you?” That disrespectful behavior has caught by one of the companions of Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) attention, and the companion was Umar (R.A). Umar (R.A) confronted the disbeliever with anger and wanted to punish the disbeliever badly because of the behavior toward Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Prophet Muhammad (SAW) became very disappointed by the action of Umar R.A. Prophet Muhammad told Umar (R.A) to pay the disbeliever back and give him more than what he loaned. The disbeliever was shocked by the generosity and forgiveness from Prophet Muhammad (SAW), later the disbeliever accepted Islam.

One time when I was in school, a student started calling me out by some names and talked about my religion on how bad it is. I became mad, which led me to say something bad, but next day I gave him something and apologized to him only because of Islam. After few days, he came to me and apologized for what he said. This is an example of following the way of Prophet Muhammed (SAW), if it’s used then things will be beneficial for the person using it and the ones around you.

Following the way of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is very important for the individuals in Islam these days, since the disbelievers of Islam are against Muslims because of what they see in the media, we Muslim must prove them wrong. The easiest way to prove them wrong is to follow Islam in the right way.


How Prophet Muhammad (saw) Influenced my Life

By Haroon Nabi

Prophet Muhammad (saw) influenced my life by teaching me how to be kind and generous, loving and respectful. He also taught me to be responsible. Thanks to his teachings I try and be a religious Muslim boy.

A long time ago when there was a fight for who would put the black stone in the Kaba, Prophet Muhammad (saw) he was chosen to settle the dispute. He asked one of the men there, to bring a cloth and put the black stone in the middle. He then asked one man from each tribe to pick up a corner of the cloth and place the stone in the Kaba. This solved the problem in a good way, because everyone got to help equally. I keep this in mind when my friends have an argument. I try and solve it in a way that doesn’t make one of my friends sad while another is happy.

There is also a story about Prophet Muhammad saw always helping that I need to remember when I’m asked to do something I don’t want to do. One day, the Prophet and his companions were stopping for the night and planning to have a lamb for dinner. Each of the companions volunteered to do something to help. The first one said he would kill it, the second one said he would skin it and the last one said he would cook it. Prophet Muhammad (saw) offered to gather the wood. The companions, said, no stress on you, but the Prophet said something like, “Allah doesn’t like people who think they are better than others.” So, he went and gathered some wood. If he could help, so should everyone.

Another story that I should try to follow is when a man brought grapes for the Prophet and he ate them all without sharing. Normally he shared everything, so one of the companions asked him why didn’t you share. And he said, the grapes were sour, and if you ate them you might make a bad face and hurt the poor man’s feelings. I try to not hurt anyone’s feelings, but I need to remember this story and keep trying harder.

While so much of what I do has been influenced by Prophet Muhammad: pray, say Assalamalaikum, read Quran, share, forgive. There are a lot of things I need to remember: eating with my right hand, being more responsible, not losing my temper, and الحَمْد لله, there are a lot of stories of Prophet Muhammad (saw) that I can learn and put in to action.


How the Prophet Influenced My Life

By Yusuf Nabi

The Prophet Muhammad (salllahu alayhi wa sallam) influenced our lives in many ways. He is our role model because he is the last prophet of Allah (swt), and he is guaranteed Jannah. He also received the Quran and is the example for how Muslims should behave. He influenced us in all aspects of our life, especially for me, in giving charity, being kind, and being patient.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) taught us that helping the poor and needy is important. There is a hadith that says, “He is not a perfect Muslim who eats his fill and lets his neighbor go hungry.” I try to remember the poor and needy when I eat. I give food to my friends when they don’t have any at lunch. As a family we make sandwiches and lunches and give them to the homeless downtown. I also give food and other things to my little brother when I don’t want to, because Prophet Muhammad also said, "None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself,” (Bukhari & Muslim).

Prophet Muhammad (saw) told every one to be kind, even when people are mean to us. In fact it says in the sahih al bukhari, “kindness is a mark of faith and who ever is not kind has no faith.” As a student, I see kids being mean all the time, and I try to not be like them. I try to help those that people are being mean to by being a friend to everyone. I also try to help my teachers when everyone is out of control by telling everyone to be quiet and being a good example.

Sometimes being patient is hard for me. I have two little brothers who annoy me, a sister who bullies me, and a class that is sometimes crazy. I try and be patient and remember what Prophet Muhammad experienced in his life. He taught us to be patient. He went to Ta’if to preach Islam, and they threw stones at him. This is an example of patience as he could have asked Allah (swt) to hurt them, but he prayed to Allah (swt) to make them Muslims instead.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) was blessed, but had a hard life. For me, his example is not just charity, kindness, and patience, but in all things, so that Inshallah, I too will go to Janna. We should all be happy that we are Muslims and be happy that we have a good example to follow, Alhumdulillah.


How did Prophet Muhammad (s) influenced your life?

By Saima Iqbal

Many times we were told in the Qur’an that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was sent as a Mercy to mankind. And we Muslims cannot describe as to how, and how much, he made us feel blessed for having him (pbuh) as our Prophet. We love him of course, because he has brought with him Islam, my and your religion. Without the Islam he has brought, I would not have known about myself and about my Lord, Exalted is He. Without the Islam he has brought, I would have gone astray, away from Allah (swt) and away from the Truth. Without the Islam he has brought, I would not have known about the Day of Judgment, wherein we will be rewarded for the good deeds we have done and punished for the evil deeds we have committed. Without the Islam he has brought, I would not have become close to my parents, my siblings, and the rest of the people of my household and many, indeed, too many to mention.

It is a sad thing indeed that many people are unaware of these sayings of the Prophet (pbuh), and even ridicule and accuse him of being this-and-that when truly I have not known anyone better and kinder than him.

Now that I am writing this essay, I’ve realized that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) played a major role in my life and that I do love him and am very proud of being among the people of his (pbuh) Ummah. For all the goodness people see in me now, it is because of Islam which he (pbuh) has brought that turned me this way. Allah (swt) has indeed granted me my prayer and has consoled me regarding my problem, Alhamdulillahi Rabbil A’lamin.

One of my favorite sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is this A believer is one who desires for his brother what he desires for himself.” And another saying tells us that when a believer supplicates for his brother, an angel will say, Ameen may you have the same.

Muslims believe that Islam is a faith that has always existed and that it was gradually revealed to humanity by a number of prophets, but the final and complete revelation of the faith was made through the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century. the most important type of revelation for Muslims. The Qur'an is regarded as a special revelation from Allah to Prophet Muhammad. It was revealed to him in Arabic. The Qur'an is therefore different from any other book for Muslims because it contains the words of Allah.

Muslim High School Basketball Team in Action by Rashid Al-Muntharee

Alhamdulillah I’m very honored and grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of something so special and amazing. We are one of only a few communities in the US that have an organized high school basketball team, Alhamdulillah. It’s an awesome sight to see the boys as well as their parents being so committed. We practice on Mondays and Thursdays and our games are on Tuesdays at Mountain Brook Community Church.

At every game the Muslim fans outnumber the fans of the non-Muslims! The fathers, mothers, and siblings of the players attend every game Masha’Allah. As of today, our record is 2-2. They have all been nail biters. We lost both games by a combined total of 4 points!

Listed below is the team roster:

Omar Qashou 0

Colin Mobley 15

Sufyan Al-Muntharee 44

Nooruldeen Absi 25

Adil Al-Jallad 24

Jaylen Giles 1

Samba Jalloh 11

Saleh Jalloh 3

Nadeem Jaber 6

Jalal Sabahi 2

Abdallah Deeb 9

Jacorey Giles 23

Tony Mobley Jr. Assistant Coach

Hijamah, Cupping Therapy, Comes to BIS by Sakeena Ahmed

Hijamah cupping therapy, is a neglected sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). This is a highly recommended practice that offers many health benefits. It is a natural, holistic, healing therapy that comes from the teachings of Prophetic medicine. It is important to revive our traditional health treatments in accordance with the Sunnah.

"Wet cupping is done by creating a vacuum in a cup that is placed on the body. This vacuum creates a negative pressure and pulls the muscles into the cup and therefore, draws the blood to the cupped area. This is known as “dry cupping”. Then you remove the cup in order to make small, shallow incisions in that same area, before putting the cup back on. This pulls out the toxic blood, acids and excess fluids from the body. This is known as wet, or blood cupping."

"Hijamah is the religious or spiritual aspect of this procedure. “Hijamah” is the Islamic version of cupping therapy. Muslims practice hijamah cupping therapy, in accordance to the way of the Prophet (peace be upon him). It means that the patient and hijamah practitioner should have done their ablutions (wudu) and should recite Quran during the hijamah procedure."

On Saturday, December 1, 2018, the Birmingham Muslim community was blessed with two hijamah practitioners from Dallas, TX. Br. Saiyad Ahmad and Sr. Fatima Akram both took time from their busy schedules to offer their hijamah services to about 40 brothers and sisters from our community at the Hoover Crescent Islamic Center. They had a full schedule of patients from morning to evening. Patients paid up to $90 to have the procedure completed, which lasted about 20 minutes per person. It was a spiritual experience for all who participated, many for the first time having it done. May Allah reward Br. Saiyad and Sr. Fatima for their time and patience with us. Insha'Allah we can invite them again to the community to offer their services.

To read more about "hijamah", please visit 10 Things You Should Know About Hijama Cupping Therapy.

HHRD Fundraiser for Building Syrian Refugee Container Homes by Farooq Chandiwala

Helping Hands for Relief and Development (HHRD) organized a fundraiser in Birmingham at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Hoover on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2018. The videos were well done to inform the audience of the condition in which these hapless refugees live, this time in Lebanon. Br. Mirza Krndic of Helping Hands, who has come before to our community, had large posters set up in the room, which not only highlighted plight of the Syrian refugees but also other HHRD projects in different parts of the world. What was sad to hear is that these poor refugees had to fend off scorpions, snakes and other such wild creatures where they live. That touched my heart and I was very much grieved, along with the others in the audience.

What grieved me equally was the very small crowd. The room had a capacity of around 150 people, but only 25 people attended. Br. Monzer Talib was the fundraiser and he did a good job in motivating those attending to donate. Some people called in their donation, and I believe a total of around $40,000 was raised, not bad for such a small crowd. Though HHRD had placed posters and BIS had made appropriate announcements, our Muslim brothers need to increase their attendance. The attendance in last year’s event and other events held by other charities have been good, so we all need to step up to the plate and help out in future events. We spend an enormous sums of money in our personal events, such as weddings, get togethers, etc., which is okay, but we should increase our efforts to help our fellow Muslims who are in severe distress world wide. Our place in Aakhirah should be our concern also. So I request the Birmingham Muslim community to help out by attending future such events, and help by donating to these noble causes.

Children's Book Author, Randa Taftaf, Visits IAA by Aminah Shah

“IQRA!” It’s the first word the Angel Jibreel said to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him! It is incumbent upon each of us as Muslims to seek knowledge, and we send our children to school so that they can acquire and hone the skills necessary to become lifelong seekers of knowledge.

The Islamic Academy of Alabama played host to a guest author, Randa Taftaf, in November 2018 as a part of its IQRA Program. Sr. Randa Taftaf, author of the Zaydo Potato series of children’s picture books, visited the school for a series of events designed to promote a love of reading and writing, teamwork, and belief in the superpower of being a Muslim who believes in Allah and makes good choices. Sr. Randa is also a professor at the University of South Florida and has taught English Language Learners for over 17 years.

Preschoolers were treated to a special story time with Sr. Randa, and they had a great time finding the “hidden potato” in her story! Lower elementary students listened to Sr. Randa read to them as well, and then they participated in obstacle course-type team-building activities. Each one left the activities with a certificate certifying him or her as a “Muslim Superhero,” along with a face mask (because all superheroes need a mask, right?).

Upper elementary students through grade 8 welcomed Sr. Randa for an informative and motivational talk about the writing and publishing process. The students asked a lot of great questions, and they left with a renewed energy about their own writing. High schoolers and parents were invited to an evening event during which Sr. Randa spoke about the importance of reading in developing critical thinking skills. This was especially thought-provoking, as we parents are well aware that our kids are faced with potentially life-changing decisions every day and require the ability to use careful reasoning when making choices.

The takeaway from it all? First of all, read, read, and read some more. Kids need to be read to when they’re young, see the adults around them reading often, and be provided with opportunities to acquire new and varied reading materials. To become good at reading, you have to…READ! IQRA! The more our kids read, the better they will be able to reason and use critical thinking skills throughout their lives.

Secondly, IAA has a lot of good things going on! Please keep the school in your duas that we may be able to provide and grow the opportunities and programs that will help our students become lifelong learners and exemplary global citizens, insha’Allah!

GET INFORMED: Situation Regarding Uyghur Muslims in China

The situation regarding Uyghur Muslims in China is devastating to say the least, if you are unaware of what is going on, here are some links to shed some light on the situation:

Please turn your emotions in to action and contact the Chinese Ambassador and your local representatives urging action and public condemnation.

Here is an email to use as an example, that was sent by Br. Farook Chandiwala.

Mr. Cui Tankai

The Ambassador of China to the United States

Your Excellency:

I called your embassy telephone number twice today, but could not speak to anyone, nor could I leave a message; hence I am penning these few thoughts. There is a very strong indication of Uighur Muslims being forcefully taken to re-education and internment camps to force these people to abandon their religious faith and adopt a different lifestyle, against the principles of Universal Declaration of Human Rights as propounded by the United Nations. China is an important member of the UN, being one of the members on the Security Council. I was in Costa Rica some time ago and was impressed by the soccer field donated by the Chinese government. I am also aware of the many good projects China does in many developing countries in Asia and Africa.

As a world power, China needs not only to portray itself to the world as a do-gooder abroad, but must also adopt a laissez-faire attitude towards its own citizens. We request the Chinese government to treat the Uighur Muslims humanely, and not to force changes on their lifestyle through these forced internment and re-education camps. History will not judge the current Chinese government kindly. Please do the needful and help return these estimated 2 million of your fellow citizens back to their homes and lives.

We intend to follow up by contacting our government representatives and the US State Department for further action.

Yours sincerely,

Farook Chandiwala

Chairperson, Birmingham Interfaith Human Rights Committee

(associated with Birmingham Islamic Society)

Birmingham, Alabama

BIS Family Fun Night by Aser Janjua

On October 31, 2018, BIS held a Family Fun Night as a Halloween alternative for the community to gather and learn, all while doing fun activities for ages 3-11. 

We had engaging topics and activities for the event. For the girls and boys ages 7-11,there was a talk in the prayer area on the topic, “The difference between winners and losers according to Islam” and for the younger children, there were stories, activities and crafts focused around Prophet Yunus (AS) and the whale.

Sr. Kirin read beautiful books for the kids and had an activity to memorize the dua of Prophet Yunus (AS), as well as a cute whale souvenir to take home with them to remember what they had learned that day. Sr. Sakeena arranged a craft to make whales with paper, straw and ping pong balls to show how the whales blow through their blowhole.

At the end, the kids got to measure themselves, to compare their size to the size of a baby whale to get an idea of how big a whale can be with Sr. Aser.

Food was sold outside and the event concluded with salat al Isha and the announcing of the essay winners (see article regarding essay winners for a list of winners and their winning essays).

Alhamdulillah it is good to offer other options for the Muslim community to avoid participating in non-Islamic holidays, such as Halloween. Volunteers are always needed to organize such events. Please contact the BIS office if you are interested to help out in future events.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A Message from Brother Ashfaq Taufique

“Political Activism for Muslims is no longer an option; it is an obligation.”

We, Muslims, must get out of our cocoons and embrace the fact that we are Americans and as such have a grave civic responsibility to shape our government to deal with the internals of our country and more importantly our role as the leader of the world.

Let us accept the fact that currently, we as a group are a political liability. Changing this will require a grassroot efforts to “Get Out and Vote” campaign. Call me a dreamer, I believe that the day is not too far when major broadcast and cable media will recognize us Muslims as a statistical body. How we voted and were indeed the tipping factor in any of the elections will be the medium of the political pundits discussions. It is only then, that we will have voices to shape our domestic and foreign policies.

Inshaa Allah, Americans will be going to poll on November 6 and we need to be showing up in droves to make our voices heard. We need to make sure that we know the precinct we are voting in and what to expect. It would be best to get a sample ballot before, and understand the manifesto of each candidate before voting.

Anyone who turns 18 on or before November 6 is eligible to vote

Election Date: November 6, 2018

Voter Registration Deadline: October 22, 2018

Here is the link to Register Online:

Download the PDF form here :

BIS Fall Festival and APPNA Health Fair 2018

Birmingham Islamic Society, in keeping up with its vision of "improving quality of life for all," hosted the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America's (APPNA) National Health Care Day 2018. Here doctors and other volunteers served the community at large with primary medical care, flu shots, cholesterol checks and other services.

Lifesouth blood mobile was invited and members of the Muslim community responded by donating blood to help the community at large.

Families while taking advantage of the health screening and donating blood, enjoyed the Mediterranean and Pakistani food for sale and the children enjoyed the free rides.