Sunday, March 25, 2018

A Message from Brother Ashfaq

We are in the month of Rajab, the seventh month of the Islamic Calendar. Rajab is one of the four sacred months mentioned in the Quran and explained by Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him).

It is widely believed that Rajab is when the event of Isra and Meraj, the night journey and ascension of Prophet (peace be upon him) to the heavens took place. We, in this time of trials and tribulations, can learn from Abu Bakr’s (may Allah be pleased with him) steadfastness to his faith, as he, without reservation, accepted the “unbelievable” story of a one-night journey to the farthest masjid and then the ascension to the heavens by saying “If my friend (Muhammed) said it, it is true.”

As updated in the last issue, we are earnestly working on logistics of Ramadan at our three masjids. You will see a lot of construction activities at Hoover, Homewood, and Westside to make the facilities more accommodating, inshaAllah, due to the ever-increasing participation.

BIS Community Open House by Ream Shoreibah

Birmingham Islamic Society opened its doors to the community at large during an Open House held on Saturday, March 10. An estimated 200 to 250 guests visited Hoover Crescent Islamic Center to learn about BIS, and about Islam and Muslims.

Among the visitors were Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato and several political candidates. BIS volunteers led guests on guided tours of the facilities that included a stop with representatives from the Red Crescent Clinic of Alabama (RCCA).

Guests also had the opportunity to attend the Asr prayer, learn about hijab at the “try your look in the hijab” booth, and there was even a kids’ art booth, where children enjoyed treats and various art activities. The Council on American Islamic Relations, Alabama (CAIR-Alabama) also hosted a booth.

Visitors had the opportunity to attend the following presentations: “Introduction to Islam,” “Women in Islam,” “Shariah: What You Need to Know,” and “Islam and People of Other Faiths.”

Refreshments were generously donated by restaurants as well as individuals in the community allowing guests to sit down and enjoy food and conversation with their Muslim neighbors.

Bullying Prevention Workshop by Hadam Benachou

The Birmingham Islamic Society hosted a workshop titled ¨Bullying Prevention” Saturday, February 24, 2018. The workshop was presented by Dr. Madiha Tahseen, a PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and who works for the Family and Youth Institution, which has the mission to strengthen and empower individuals, families, and communities through research and education.

The well attended workshop addressed many key issues regarding the bullying phenomenon in United States.

The first part of the workshop used new data and a CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) sponsored case study results to answer the question: “What does bullying look like for our young?” It also explained the different types of bullying such as cyber bullying, microaggressions, and biases in educational textbooks, in addition to verbal bullying and physical bullying.

The second part of the workshop described a four step model developed for parents, and guardians of young children and families in general, to help handle instances of bullying as and when they occur. The model’s four parts are:

      B Be Aware of bullying symptoms that your child might display

     A Advocate on the behalf of your child

      I Identify the school and district anti-bullying guidelines or laws 

     R Report bullying incidents to CAIR or other concerned organizations, such as Southern Poverty              Law Center, that record bullying incidents

Dr. Madiha Tahseen opened the floor for a Q and A session that addressed the local community’s concerns and presented other resources such as:

     How to teach tolerance :,


    Government initiative to stop bullying in schools :,

     Board of education Act and policy against bullying in schools here

Fort Rucker Visits Hoover Crescent Islamic Center

International Military students of the Fort Rucker Field Studies Program visited the Hoover Crescent Islamic Center on Sunday, March 18. More than forty students from Mexico, Columbia, Jordan, India, Indonesia, and Tunisia were part of the group.

Imam Sameh and Brother Ashfaq Taufique greeted the group and made presentations about the Muslim community and an overview of Islamic beliefs. The purpose of the visit was to show diversity in American life to the international students.

IAA’s Central Alabama Regional Science Fair Winners by Duha Aishah

Many Islamic Academy of Alabama students participated in the regional science fair held at UAB on March 3, 1018. For many years, IAA has pushed its students into going to science fairs, whether it be the school one, the regional one at UAB, or even advancing to the state one held at UAH. With over 40 judges, and 255 projects, IAA students represented themselves and their school well.

Students are expected to choose a topic they are passionate about, research it, design an experiment proving it, test their theory on it, and finally record their results. It is a long and rigorous process, but one with much reward. The first, second, and third place winners from each category at the regional fair at UAB then go on to compete in the state science fair in Huntsville. From there many students get recognition from companies, organizations, and even the US Army. We ask Allah to bless all our students with places at UAH insha’Allah, and a great experience.

The Science Fair Winners from IAA:

Behavioral & Social Sciences 

Salma Mahdi                              2nd Place 
Saif Alzayat                                 3rd Place 
Hala Mallah                  Honorable Mention
Talia Hunaidi                Honorable Mention


Sarah Jasser                    Honorable Mention


Zainab Nabi                     Honorable Mention

Energy & Transportation 

Aisha Diallo                             1st Place 
Arsalan Ahmad                       2nd Place
Ayman Mahdi               Honorable Mention


Izaldeen Alzayat                     3rd Place


Sura Ahmed                            2nd Place

Math & Computer 

Samba Jallo & Mohammad Ashouri          1st place                  
Talal Nasser                               3rd Place 
Nadeem Johnson                  Honorable Mention

Medicine & Health 

Omar Jasser                            2nd Place
Lena Jaber                             3rd Place
Yousef Z & Abdulhamid Jallo       Honorable Mention    

Physical Science 

Ali Mughal                           3rd Place

Menu Additions at Community Breakfast Bring Out More People

The Community Breakfast this quarter had a different touch to it. In addition to the regular menu of pancakes, sausages and nihari we had a south Indian popular dish, idli and sambar, and mediterranean hummus and pita. Many members of the community showed up and enjoyed the fellowship and delicious food.

WIS Surah Competition by Nabiha Yusuf

WIS conducted its annual Surah Competition on February 18, 2018. The students were judged on their memorization and tajweed. Our Quran group leader Sr. Rameeza had introduced changes in our Quran curriculum in the past few years to incorporate tajweed. It was a learning curve for our students, but as a result, several of our students have now been able to recite with proper tajweed.

Our well-trained Quran teachers, Sr. Fatimatu and Mariam Jalloh (Grade I), Sr. Khadra Abubakar (Grade II-1), Sr. Jishan Zaman (Grade II-2), Sr. Nora Oukajji (Grade III-1), Sr. Rameeza and Sr. Safa Hasan (Grade III-2), Sr. Islam Jaber (Grade IV), and Br. Mohammad Jalloh (Grade V) have made great effort to make this possible. Please join me in congratulating them for their effort!

We would like to extend our thanks to our judges, Sr. Ruba Chahine and Sr. Shireen Elbaz (Grades I-1 and I-2), Sr. Abeer Ashouri and Sr. Mirvet (Grade II-1 and II-2), Sr. Ghadeer Bilbeisi and Br. Mevlut Bulut (Grades III-1 and III-2), and Sr. Rana Eloubeidi and Br. Ali Mubarak (Grades IV and V).

Special thanks to our chief guest, Br. Ahmad Hussain for presiding over the event, and offering special words of encouragement to our students.

Last but not the least, thank all our teachers and support staff who helped our judges and Quran teachers to make this possible.

The results of WIS Surah competition:

Grade I-1: 

First: Layan Asal, Minna Shaeye

Second: Iqra Fatima

Third: Othman Mohammad, Farheen Rahman

Grade I-2

First: Mustafa Jaber

Second: Mohammad Abdulahoom , Ayaan Shahzad, Amer AlHarthi

Third: Afham Khan, Zayna Islam, Ali Adaeh

Grade II-1

First: Mohammad Shaeye

Second: Heba Mohmoud, Aayat Hamed

Third: Adam Essalah

Grade II-2

First: Rehan Jiwani, Moaz Abdelmotilib

Second: Maryam Asal

Third: Naureen Towhid, Mina Khan, Hamza Zuaiter, Tyem AlHarthi, Mobeen Rabbani

Grade III-1

First: Abdul Rahman Asal

Second: Omer Kazamel, Kamilya Khribeche

Third: Tashfeen Mohammad Abdullah

Grade III-2

First: Anabia Fatima Javed, Khadijah Raquib

Second: Hadi Saad

Third: Shihabur Tahsin, Shihanur Tahmid

Grade IV

First: Yasmine Saad

Second: Maryam Kazamel

Third: Naveen Towhid, Waasay Mohammad Hamid

Grade V

First: Musaab Khan

Second: Aysha Anwaar

Third: Nadeem Jaber