Thursday, April 26, 2018

A Message from Brother Ashfaq

We are in the month of Sha’ban, the eighth month of the Islamic calendar. The meaning of Sha’ban is “to disperse” as it is said that Arabs used to disperse (tasha'aba) in search of water. It also means, “to appear” (Sha’ba) as it appears between Rajab and Ramadan. Like most Islamic months, the name for the month was used by the people of Mecca before the advent of Islam.

Several expeditions and battles took place in Sha’ban in the 6th, 7th and 8th years of Hijrah.

Blessings of fasting in this month are evident from this hadith reported in Muslim and Bukhari:

A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to fast until we thought he would never break his fast, and not fast until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah fasting for an entire month except in Ramadan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Sha’ban.”

As we prepare for our personal plan for Ramadan, let us continuously make the dua our Prophet (PBUH) taught us,
اللهم بلغنا رمضان
O Allah allow us reach Ramadan

BIS Paints a House with Habitat for Humanity by Kirin Nabi

Ten BIS community members gathered Saturday, April 21st, to help paint the exterior of a home with Habitat for Humanity.

After receiving instructions and safety protocols, Brother Ashfaq Taufique recited Surah Fatiha in English and Arabic before the group grabbed ladders, brushes, paint and got to work.

For three hours the group painted the home, including the trim, visited with one another, and bonded over a shared task. As they left, the owners thanked the group, and many of the volunteers looked forward to participating with Habitat for Humanity again.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that “partners with people in your community, and all over the world, to help them build or improve a place they can call home.”

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

BIS Facilities Construction/Renovations Update

AlhamdoLillah, we are earnestly working on the 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 for the ever-increasing participation.

Hoover Crescent

 As communicated with the community last Ramadan, we are proceeding with the addition to our building on the southside. This addition will accommodate the storage for furniture, a large pantry and an infrastructure for an outdoor kitchen and food storage. Our next project, depending on the fundraising in Ramadan, will be to start with the parking addition and to continue with the building of class rooms for our Weekend Islamic School and a facility for the Red Crescent Clinic of Alabama.

We were hoping to finish the construction before Ramadan, but it may not happen until the end of Ramadan. With construction materials and equipment during Ramadan, it is more important than ever before to make sure that the children are safe and are not left unattended!

Homewood Masjid

Alhamdo lillah, with the help of IAA, we have cleared the area behind the kitchen to put a 60 x 60 tent for Ramadan.

Westside Masjid

While we evaluate the damage at our purchased building in Fairfield and determine the cost to benefit we have decided to renovate our existing Westside Masjid. The cost is being shared with the landlord. The renovation includes new roof, better bathrooms, 4 wudu stations, a better separation between the men and women and a new carpet. May Allah reward our brothers from Westside who have raised all the monies for such renovations.

Arabic Language Night by Khaled Sakallah

With a night filled with glamour and enthusiasm, the students at the Islamic Academy of Alabama stunned attendees of the Arabic Language Festival on Friday, March 9th with performances that left everyone speechless. 

The free event began with a delicious Jerusalem cuisine dinner, during which the principal, Br. Ziyad Awad, gave an English introduction to the program. After Maghrib prayer a recitation from the Quran was presented by Misky Shaeye, followed by the students’ performances.

Elementary students stole everyone's hearts with their beautiful nasheeds that involved coordinated outfits and costumes. Some songs were humorous in nature, while others were deeply religious. The constant interchange of songs kept the audience interested and able to ignore the chilly weather of the late winter evening.

The performances by middle school students in the plays that followed showed how talented our students at IAA are. Students performed incredibly in the "When Did You Enslave the People?", "Fulfillment of the Covenant", and "Juha" plays that left the audience on their feet wondering if IAA actually teaches theater at school?

After everyone enjoyed Jerusalem sweets and coffee, part two of the event began with powerful performance by the IAA middle and high school students presenting " Jerusalem Operetta" that showcased the history of the Holy City (the Bride of Palestine). From Omar Qashou acting Salah-Ud-deen to Ola Eloubeidi, whose melodious voice and exemplary act, acting (Ana Al-Quds) made March 9th evening a night to remember for many generations to come.

We thank Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and all the participants who planned and orchestrated this astounding event. We look forward to seeing more of your successes in the future.

Financial Stability for the Muslim Family

Alhamdolillah, we were blessed with a visit and a Friday night lecture from Dr. Main Alqudah, Associate professor of Guidance College. His lecture included the importance of halal income, purifying our wealth from haram, and many other aspects of achieving financial stability from worldly and spiritual aspects.

Islamic Relief USA Fundraiser Dinner by Sakeena Ahmed

The night's volunteers.

MashaAllah, Islamic Relief USA celebrated its 25th year of humanitarian work around the world on Saturday, April 14 at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham, The Wynfrey Hotel. IR-USA presented a fundraiser dinner, “Together for Children in Need”, for the children of Palestine, Syria, and Myanmar. The program began with dinner, followed by a presentation of awards to local community members who have worked in various activities that have served our community. Br. Ashfaq Taufique, Sr. Yasmin Nimer, and Br. Farook Chandiwala were recognized and presented with a plaque honoring their works. May Allah continue to give them the health and strength to continue their efforts.

The audience was shown a video of the plight of the children in the above mentioned war torn countries. Not a dry eye was seen after viewing the video. May Allah ease the burden of these children, and all children around the world, suffering from any type of hardship. Eye witnesses Br. Ridwan Adhami and Br. Yousef Abdallah spoke from their hearts appealing to the audience to give what they can to IR-USA who would deliver to the needs of these children. Alhamdulillah over $100,000 was collected from the fundraiser dinner. We pray that this small amount will offer some relief to what our Muslim brothers and sisters are facing on a daily basis.

Imam Suhaib Webb addressed the audience next with beautiful reminders from the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) life and reminding us about the journey of Isra wa’l Miraj, which occurred in the month of Rajab that just passed. The program ended with a light hearted comedy show by Br. Amer Zahr. The audience enjoyed the program and concluded with Isha prayer before heading home fo the night.

May Allah reward all the volunteers and organizers of the fundraiser dinner. It was a well organized program and reminder to all who attended that everyone is being tested in one way or another, whether it be through wealth or poverty. For those who have been blessed with wealth, Allah is testing them to see how much they will give to those who are being tested with hardship.

Jasper Community Center is Nearing Completion

The new Masjid in Jasper is almost ready to start serving the community. The goal, inshaAllah, is to have the center up and ready by the middle to end of Shaban. Alhumdulillah, there are only a handful of things that still need to be completed: installing the chandeliers, hooking up the plumbing and completing the parking lot.

Juma prayers will be at 1 pm. The address is 218, 30th street W, Jasper AL 35501 and you can contact Tanveer Papa for more information 205-572-8579.

Please make duas for the project and click on the following link to help fund such a noble cause click on “Other” and then specify “Jasper Mosque.”

Spring Community Picnic by Fariha Shaukat

Every year the Birmingham Islamic Society welcomes the much awaited Spring Community Picnic. This year it was held at the Hoover Crescent Islamic Center on April 8, 2018.

With the happy sounds of the carousel, the chug-chug and choo-choo from the children’s train, and delicious smell from the fresh BBQ, the event was well attended and enjoyed by all the community members.

The food stall which was very well organized by the Birmingham Islamic Society’s volunteers included BBQ, burgers, fries and biryani. All the food was on sale and the children’s rides were free.

May Allah reward all the volunteers who helped to make this event possible, and all those who attended the event and made it a fun day.