Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Message from Brother Ashfaq

Alhamdulillah, we are very close to reaching our goal for the Ramadan fundraising. InshaAllah, we are going to contact the architect for the conceptual development of the projects at the HCIC.  Based on the needs and the funding, BIS Board has approved the priority as the completion of the parking lot between HCIC and the Running Brook Condominiums along with the creation of storage space.  This will be followed by the preliminary work for the expansion of classrooms for the Weekend islamic School.  
We are in the month of Dhul-Qi'dah and will soon be entering the month of Hajj.  I pray that for those who have not performed this obligation, to make sincere intention and plan to perform Hajj soon.  
Hajj includes rituals that are very simple, but more importantly we need to go beyond rituals and understand the true essence of Hajj.  It should be our goal to make our Hajj, “Hajj Mabroor”. Scholars have explained that Hajj is Mabroor when we make a momentous change in our obedience to Allah after our return.
In Surat Al Baqarah, verse 197, Allah describes three requirements for those who are performing Hajj.  (1) No sexual relations with your spouses (2) No disobedience and (3) No dispute.

Of the three, be very mindful of the last two.  It is very easy to fall in the trap of Shaitan and sometimes justifiably, get into arguments and disputes.  Remember that the challenges you face during Hajj are tests from Allah.

Thank Goodness I'm Fed by Dala Eloubeidi

On Friday, June 23rd, the last Friday during Ramadan, a group of eight volunteers from the BIS worked with Greater Birmingham Ministries (GBM) to pack snacks for elementary-aged children in the Birmingham area through the "Thank Goodness I'm Fed" program.

Through this program, children whose families struggle to put food on the table during the summer are given free meals. As Muslims, caring for the less fortunate in our society is a crucial component of serving Allah (SWT), and there is no better time to work with others than during the blessed month of Ramadan. We look forward to participating in this project next Ramadan, Inshallah,  and are thankful for the wonderful work being done by GBM in our community.

TGIF 2.jpg


Ramadan Storytime and Crafts by Sakeena Ahmed

Alhamdulillah, we completed a successful and fun, second year of Ramadan Story and Craft times for our children. Children under 10 and their mothers met every Thursday in Ramadan for Dhuhr at the Hoover Crescent Islamic Center, before listening to stories and participating in a craft.  Each week had a theme related to a different aspect of Ramadan.
  • Week 1 - Introduction to Ramadan themed books with "shrinky dink" handprint magnets
  • Week 2 - Moon stories with fun thaumatropes with moon and star shapes
  • Week 3 - Drum theme with toy drums. The kids loved making this craft the most and some said they would be using it to wake their parents up for sahour each morning.
  • Week 4 - Eid theme with Eid treats of dipping pretzels in chocolate and decorating them with sprinkles.
There was a regular crowd of over 30 children each week, as we made new friends and shared our love of Ramadan with each other. Insha'Allah, we plan to resume our monthly story time for children. Stay tuned for details in the coming weeks!



Ramadan Guests by Rita Taufique

Every year, the Birmingham Islamic Society invites people from the larger Birmingham community during Ramadan, to come to our center and learn the the true meaning of Islam. The host most years has been Brother Ashfaq Taufique along with some additional community leaders; this year Imam Sameh and Ali Pabani joined in.
With the expansion of the new conference room at the Hoover Crescent Islamic Center before Ramadan, BIS was able to host 40-60 guests nightly. In the past, the maximum was 15-20.  And even with the extra space, it was amazing how quickly the room filled up. Enthusiastic individuals and groups who wanted to attend would call and email, and BIS hosted everyone from students, conservative church groups, the Jewish Community Center, to liberal individuals.
Br. Mahmoud Elqishawi, Br. Asad, and volunteers, would set the chairs and tables nightly, along with putting out the English Transliteration of Qurans and brochures for each guest.  Then around 7:30 pm, the dates and water were distributed for Maghreb, followed by the curry, rice and vegetables. The guests greatly appreciate the food, and clearly enjoyed it, based on their praise and empty plates.

This year’s Ramadan Outreach has surpassed all previous years, but I'm sure the best is yet to come, insha’Allah. Alhumdullilah!


New Muslim Eid Breakfast Celebration

Sunday, July 9, new and revert members in our area were given the opportunity to experience a community Eid celebration breakfast at a nearby Hoover, IHOP, hosted by BIS and Sisters Mariam Hammoud and Monica Khalaf, reverts themselves and long standing members of our local community.

Imam Sameh and several other brothers attended, as well as numerous sisters and children.  In attendance, were also residents new to Birmingham and those who had just recently said the shahada, all coming together to share gifts, play games, and engage in meaningful conversation.  Much of the dialogue reflected on the month of Ramadan and the mercy of Allah (swt).

May Allah (swt) continue to bless our community, our nation, and our entire, Ummah by allowing us this type of important, needed, and enjoyable fellowship.  And reward the efforts of all who made this beautiful time together possible including our newest brothers and sisters in Islam.

If you are interested in our new member outreach, wish to participate, or to volunteer please contact the BIS office at 205-879-4247 or send an email to

MyGroup Girls Ramadan Update by Dala Eloubeidi

With the grace of Allah (SWT), the MyGroup Girls, the BIS high school and college-aged girls' group, was able to accomplish much during the holy month of Ramadan. The various activities planned included: two halaqas led by Imam Sameh that focused on issues of judging others and the practical aspects of Ramadan, two qiyam ul-layl opportunities held at the Homewood Masjid, and a potluck Iftar.

Through these opportunities, our sisters were able to strengthen their relationship with existing and new friends, through shared worship and fun activities in an Islamic environment.

If you would like more information about future activities or would like to become involved with our group, then please contact Hala Sabatto at



MyGroup Boys (Feeding the Homeless, Helping with the Toy Drive, and 3 on 3 BBall) by Rashid Almuntharee

MyGroup Boys has been very active this last month, mashaAllah, and the fun continues with their overnight camp at the end of the month that will include: swimming, archery, canoeing, boxing lessons, soccer, basketball, and much more.

In June, Muadh Sabahi, Khair Hakim, Omar Abuhamdeh, Ihsaan Khalaf, Bashar Khalaf, Colin, Sam Sabahi, and others came together to pack food up to feed the homeless, mashaAllah.  


MY Group Boys assisted with the BISCIC Toy Drive as well. Those present were: Jihad Al-Muntharee, Salaam Qashou, Bashar Khalaf and AhsanAisha Khalaf, and Colin.

The winners of the 3 on 3 basketball tournament were:
Junior Division- Laith Gambino, Rafay Hamid, and Muhammad Sakalla.

The Senior Division- Salaam Qashou, Bilal Ahmed, and Muadh Sabahi.

Loving Allah and Its Impact on Our Behaviors: Imam Sameh's Eid Khutbah

Loving Allah and Its Impact on Our Behaviors
Loving Allah is the spirit of our worship and it is the essence of our Imaan. Loving Allah means endearing ourselves to Him and attaining His pleasure.
Brothers and Sisters!
We can only taste the sweetness of Imaan if we truly love Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (PBUH), more than anyone and anything else including our own selves.
The Prophet (SAW) said, “There are three qualities, whoever possesses them will relish the sweetness of Imaan through them:
1. Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to him than others.
2. When he loves someone, he loves them only for Allah’s sake.
3. He hates reverting to disbelief as much as he would hate to be thrown into a fire. [Bukhari]”
Why Should We Love Allah?
- We love Allah because of what we know of Him, and what we know of His names and attributes. Imam ibn al-Qayyim (Rahimahu Allah) said, “Whoever believes in Allah, believes in His names and attributes, and knows Him, loves Him more than he loves others, enjoys the closeness to Him and aspires to see Him, after he enters Jannah, and listen to His speech.”
- We love Allah because of the favors and bounties that He has conferred upon us. It is inherent in our natures to love those who are kind to us and who do us favors. We love Allah because everything we have is from Him. We owe Him our creation, our life, our health, and all the bounties and blessings we are enjoying. This all moves our hearts to love Him. Allah (SWT) says:
"وما بكم من نعمة فمن الله."
And whatever you have of favor - it is from Allah.” (An-Nahl: 53)
- Allah (SWT) created us and fashioned us in the best proportions, endowed us with intellects, tongues, vision and hearing. He subjected for us what is in the heaven and what is one earth, the day and the night, the sun and the moon, the rivers and seas.
- Allah sent to us the seal of His Prophets, Muhammad (SAW) with the Qur’an, the final revelation to mankind. We turn to Him for forgiveness and repentance when we sin.
- Allah is the One Who made for us mates from ourselves to find tranquility in them, and he placed between us affection and mercy.
His bounties are countless. Allah (SWT) says:
"وإن تعدوا نعمة الله لا تحصوها  إن الله غفور رحيم."
“If you tried to number Allah´s blessings, you could never count them. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (An-Nahl: 18).
Brothers and Sisters!
We need to ask ourselves an important question: Is our love for Allah a true love? It is easy to claim love but one has to prove his claim. To examine the genuineness of our love for Allah, we need to ask ourselves some questions:
1- Do we maintain our five daily prayers on time or we prioritize other matters over them. Do we pay Zakah on the money we have? Do we give Zakah passionately or do we struggle to do that?
2- Are we keen on doing more Nafl and recommendable acts of worship that are extra so we can get closer to Allah and earn His love?
3- Do we follow in the footsteps of the Prophet (SAW) and emulate him in our worship, in our character, are we keen on applying his Sunnah or we are reluctant in doing it or do it with difficulty in our hearts?
4- Do we always love to read Qur’an, and reflect on its meaning, and implement its instructions in our daily life?
5- Do we seek to Allah day and night, and in all affairs?
6- Do we humble ourselves to our fellow Muslims brothers and sisters? Do we seek to give dawah to non-Muslims and care for them?
7- Do we practice the teachings of Islam with sincerity and passion or we hide our identity out of fear of criticism?
8- Do we love whom we love only for the sake of Allah, and dislike whom we dislike only for His sake?
If the answer is yes, then we should rejoice and be thankful to Allah for the true love for Him, and we should seek to always nourish this love in our hearts with righteous deeds that please Allah. If the answer of any of the above is in the negative, then our love for Allah is deficient and we need to work harder to achieve it.
How to Strengthen the Love for Allah in Our Hearts:
1- Perform the obligatory acts of worship with sincerity and humbleness, as this is the best way to get closer to Allah.
2- Perform nawafil as much as we can so that Allah loves us. Allah (SWT) says in the Sacred Hadith: “My slave does not seek to get closer to me with something better than what I have obligated for him, and my slave continues to get closer to me with supererogatory acts of worship until I love him.
3- Follow in the footsteps of the Prophet (SAW) and adhering to his Sunnah.  Allah says what can be translated as, “Say, [O Muhammad], "If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful."
3- Love the believers and humble yourself to them and be patience with them.
4- Practice Islam with love and pride do not accept compromise about your deen.
Allah says, “O you who have believed, whoever of you should revert from his religion - Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him [who are] humble toward the believers, powerful against the disbelievers; they strive in the cause of Allah and do not fear the blame of a critic. That is the favor of Allah; He bestows it upon whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.”

5- Love Allah and His Messenger more than you love anyone else.  And give priority to the command of Allah and the command of his Messenger in case of conflict.

6- Love whom you love for the sake of Allah not for any worldly reason.

The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Whoever loves for Allah’s sake, dislikes for Allah’s sake, gives for Allah’s sake and withholds for Allah’s sake, then his Imaan is perfect.”
The Impact of Loving Allah on the Behavior of the Muslim:
Our love for Allah should be translated in actions and behaviors.
- The one who loves Allah cares for everyone and everything. He fulfills Allah’s commands of gentleness, kindness to others, regardless of whether he receives the same treatment or not. He helps others and gives them regardless of whether he gets compensated for that or not.   Why? Because He loves Allah and wants to please Him
- He loves his parents, treats them with kindness, obeys them, shows humility to them, bears any hardship for them to make them happy. He always prays for them. He does so because he loves Allah and he knows that being thankful to them means thankfulness to Allah Himself.
Allah says, “And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], "uff," and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, "My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small." (al-Israa: 23-24).
- A Muslim who loves Allah cares for his wife, loves her, treats her with kindness and fulfills his duties to her regardless of whether he receives his rights or not. And so does a Muslim wife. Why? Because they love Allah and fulfill His commands whether they are compensated or not
If they both have a conflict their reference is the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger.
- A Muslim who loves Allah cares about his/her kith and kin. He loves them, cares for them, and supports them when they are in need and shares their happy occasions as well as their times of sorrow. He gives them without expecting any compensation even if they are not kind to him he is always nice to them. He seeks only to please Allah regarding them.
- A Muslim who loves Allah is humble to his fellow Muslims and fulfills his duties to them because he is connected with them with a strong bond: Slavery to Allah and obedience to Him. So he loves them due to that.
- He feels for the suffering of his fellow Muslims all over the world, prays for them, supports them and seeks to help and alleviate their suffering in every way possible. The words of his beloved Prophet (SAW) are always echoing in his ears: “The example of the Muslims in their loving one another, showing mercy to one another and showing sympathy to one another is like one whole body; if one organ of it has an ailment, the rest of the body shares the ailment through sleeplessness and fever.
- A Muslim who loves Allah shows kindness and caring to his neighbors, whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims because Allah commanded so:
“Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side…”
“Jibril kept reminding of the neighbor's right, until I thought that he was going to give him a share of the inheritance.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
- A Muslim who loves Allah treats his fellow non-Muslim citizens and friends with kindness and justice and gives them da`wah, because Allah commands him to do so. In his ear echoes always the words of Allah:
“Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.

Eid Picnic at Oak Mountain State Park by Br. Tariq Hamid

In keeping with the traditions of the Birmingham Islamic Society, the Muslim community of the greater Birmingham area, and the adjoining areas, the completion of the holy month of Ramadan was celebrated together at the 2017 Eid picnic, following Eid-al-Fitr. This year the picnic was held at the Oak Mountain State Park Fishing Center Pavilion on the 2nd of July.

Alhumdulillah the picnic was well attended with more than 150 people, including kids participating. As always the attractions for kids at the picnic were free and included rides, face painting, and balloon twisting. The lunch was for sale and included Halal KFC. The weather cooperated and it turned out to be a beautiful day for a picnic in contrast to what the weather forecast had predicted.

This year an added incentive to attend the Eid picnic was the Awards Presentation of the annual Ramadan BIS Quran Competition. Although, the results of the Quran competition were announced a few days earlier, the actual prize distribution took place at the Eid picnic this year.  These efforts of the organizers and planners of this year’s Quran competition were greatly appreciated by the community. For a complete list of winners, see the Quran Competition Results Article.
Also, the timing of this year’s Eid picnic coincided with the 4th of July weekend, and thus the park was visited by a number of our non-Muslim community members as well. This provided an excellent opportunity of interaction between Muslims and non-Muslims. The Duhur prayer led by Imam Sameh Asal was held in congregation there at the park. After the lunch and the awards ceremony, the community members socialized and as always the brothers had a great time at the beach volleyball courts. The picnic was officially supposed to end at 5:30 PM that day, but owing to the excellent weather most of the families ended up staying later.

This Eid picnic would have been impossible without the blessings of Allah SWT and the efforts of the entire BIS office staff and the excellent hardworking BIS volunteers. Alhumdullilah of late BIS events are getting bigger and better every time and it is a testament of the intense planning and organization of the BIS leadership. May Allah SWT bless each and everyone associated with the BIS in any capacity and allow them to serve the community even better in future.                         

Eid Al Fitr Toy Drive by Adam & Erum Ebrahim

The Eid al Fitr toy drive ended on the 12th of June 2017. Toys were wrapped and distributed on the 17th of June, just a few days prior to Eid Al Fitr.

The Birmingham Muslim community as a whole donated 90 brand new toys/items that were wrapped for a variety of ages for both girls and boys.  MashaAllah there were also about that many used toys collected not only for Eid, but also toys that The Lovelady Center of Birmingham can use in their birthday closet throughout the year.

It was a team effort and JazakAllah Khair for all your support, may Allah SWT bless everyone in this blessed month.





BIS Quran Competition Winners

Beginners Level

Beginners 1
Surahs Al-Qadr, An-Nasr and An-Naas
Leen Awwad
Yasin Mostafa
Aminah Shaikh
Maryam Shaikh
Sarah Toutanji
Sara Hensley
Muhammad Bin Ahmed

Beginners 2
6 & Under
Surat Ash-Shams
Roya Jaber
Reetall Jaber
Lulu Hensley
Ameer Toutanji

Beginners 3
10 & Under
Safia Hodge

Shihanur Tahmid

Jana Elsherbiny

Abdul Mujeeb Mohammed

Aroush Maroof

13 & Under
Surat An-Naba’
Anabia Javed
Maryam Kazamel
Rayaane Elqishawi
Zainab Derkaou

Beginners 5
18 & Under
Surat Al-Insaan
Sumaiya Tasnim
Abdul Haseeb Mohammed

Beginners 6
Surat Al-Mulk
Muna Juma
Waleed Abdelqader
Rozan ElQishawi

Ahmad Kaukab Khan

Intermediate Level
Intermediate 1
4 & Under
Surat Al-Balad

Intermediate 2
6 & Under
Surat Al-Fajr
Ibrahim Kabir
Leen Saleh
Saima Iqbal

Intermediate 3
10 & Under
Surat Al-Qiyamah
Fatin Elmasry
Noor Elmasry
Yahya Shaikh
Faisal Elmasry
Hamzah Alzayat

Shihabur Tahsin

Intermediate 4
13 & Under
Surat Nuh
Besan Alabsi
Sura Ahmed
Ahmad Saad

Ahmad Elsherbini

Adil Elshirbini

Intermediate 5
18 & Under
Surat At-Tahreem
Omar Qashou
Hadeel Teyeb
Mahmoud ElQishawi

Intermediate 6
Surat Al-Mujadalah
Abeer ElQishawi
Samih Elobeidi
Mariam Ashmallah

Abdul Hamed Jalloh

Advanced Level
Advanced 1
4 & Under
Surat Al-Ghashiyah
Musa Shariff

Advanced 2
6 & Under
Surat Al-Nazi`aat
Abdurrahman Hodge

Advanced 3
Surat As-Saff
Malak Elsherbini
Ousmane Diallo
Yara Saad
Nooran Elbahrawi
Mirfaizan Iqbal

Advanced 4
13 & Under
Surat Al-Waqi`ah
Ahmad Khanpher
Aseel Gad
Habiba Elsherbini

Advanced 5
18 & Under
Surat Al-Fath
Haifaa Aldoohan
Duha Aisha
Mosa El-Husari
Mohammad Saleh

Advanced 6
Malik El-Husari
Yasmin El-Husari
Rama Ksaibati
Mohammad Ashour
Esraa Eloseili

Hifz Track
Names of the Winner
No. of the Juz’
Dala Elobeidi
Juzu’# 10
Nancy Abdeldayem
Musaab Khan
Safa Hasan
Juzu’# 21 & 24
Sana Daabish
Juzu’# 30
Mevlut Bulut
Juzu’ 19
Ola Elobeidi
Juzu’# 28
Obada Aisha
Juzu’# 26
Zainab Nabi
Juzu’# 30
Yusuf Nabi
Juzu’# 30
Haroun Nabi
Juzu’# 30
Ezaldin Alzayat
Juzu’# 30
Islam Jaber
Juzu’# 16
Aprar Bilbeisi
Juzu’# 6