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Open Thread Sunday 10-4-2009 | Your best deed today?


Bismillah-irRahman-irRaheem. As salamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allahi wa Barakatuhu.

posted by abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

What’s your best deed of the day? (Wouldn’t you like to see “my best deed” trending on twitter instead of TGIF?) Pray for those suffering from at least three major earthquakes that have devastated parts of Indonesia and Samoa. Give money for their relief if you have it. May Allah be pleased with the patience and fortitude of the Muslims facing this tragedy. May He give them better than what they have lost. May He make their trial brief and reduce their suffering. Ameen.

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It’s IlmFest weekend in Baltimore, Maryland, USA! Hurray for Ilm! Hungry for Ilm? Hurry for Ilm? Humbled by Ilm? Humanized by Ilm?

This weekend’s festival of Ilm led me to wonder how you get your Ilm on? Where do you go? Who do you go to? What’s your Ilm regime, your P-90-I if you see what I mean. Or is it more like Tai-Ilm for you? Is Ilm a gourmet meal for you, a spartan affair, or McDonald’s fast food? Would you walk barefoot across a desert or over a mountain or through a forest with pine needles? Would you overcome obstacles or be deflected? Okay, if not you, then who are your heroes when it comes to seeking Ilm? Share their stories if not your own. :)

MM Ilm posts this week:
9/26: IlmFest 2009: Generation Islam
10/1: “Islam for Sale
10/2: Response to “Islam For Sale” – How to Seek Knowledge

From this week’s Headlines…
The Muppets of Palestine.

Curbing the evil of alcohol one car at a time…

Should more Muslims make films in order to get favorable treatment from western law enforcement? Also, does the F in France stand for “Film Fanatics?” Married woman wants to wear niqab, “Sacre bleu!” But French/Pole pleads guilty to sex with a minor, flees justice but is caught three decades later, and France’s elite rush to his defense? France, it’s not just the brie that stinks.

Maybe more Muslims should join the NRA? Seriously, I wonder where the NRA would stand on Muslims owning or possessing guns, or being entrapped by federal agents into holding guns that were legal for the immigrant when he entered the country (eg, a Pakistani student in Houston who was sentenced to 10 months in a federal detention center under the harshest conditions — including almost constant isolation — convicted on weapons charges even though the weapon belonged to the federal agent who actively entrapped him; the student having no idea the weapon was illegal for him to fire or even hold), or any of a number of scenarios in which the government relies on the picture of a Muslim with a gun to cast that Muslim as a threat to the public. How easy would it be for the government to fearmonger against a dues-paying NRA member?

From the benefits of last week’s open thread
MM Reader “aboo alee” contributed the twitter ID of Al Kauthar instructor Shaykh Abu ‘Abdissalam.

Check out this timely talk by the Shaykh. This article from the British newspaper, The Independent that the shaykh pointed to bears another message that too many Muslims ignore. May Allah subhanahu wata ala forgive us and protect us.

And the shaykh’s tweets also pointed to a cool Muslim-themed release of the Ubuntu/Linux operating system. Something better than being another Mac OS X user? Hmmmm. As Apple’s Snow Leopard abandons my PPC Mac, should I abandon Apple for Sabily? Read a non-Muslim’s review, recommended by the shaykh.

Also, a request for feedback…
Do you like these recent open thread posts? What would you like in an open thread post?

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Bismillah walhamdolillah. May Allah accept my repentance and yours. I am an attorney, a stepfather, a husband, a son, and a Muslim. Studying Islam is a means, reflecting what I have learned is a must, and to Allah is the inevitable return. If you would like my help, know that Allah is the source of all aid. If you would like to contact me, try tariqnisarahmed at Gmail, LinkedIn, Twitter, or add me as a friend on Facebook.



  1. Dawud Palmer

    October 4, 2009 at 5:39 AM

    In reference to the comment of Muslims being part of the NRA, own ,and further carrying firearms I am one of those people. I have been part of the NRA for the past 7 years and have always had a sidearm on my person. I have never once had to draw it, but it is there for the community. To further the point, when I go out backpacking I carry a 30-06 (thirty aught six) rifle for protection from larger animals. Bears and mountain lions are common here.

    Forgive me, but I wanted to put my two cents worth in.

    • abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

      October 4, 2009 at 1:33 PM

      As salamu alaykum, Dawud. No apology necessary. Sometimes these paragraphs I write about headlines are like shots fired at a gun range. And sometimes I need to exercise more weapons safety with my pen/keyboard. I’m sorry if the cynicism in my comment came off as directed towards the NRA or its existing Muslim members. As a Muslim member of the NRA, has your religion ever come up in conversation with any other members? Or have you ever come across an NRA comment on the topics I raised?

      Genuinely curious.

      abu abdAllah

      • Dawud Palmer

        October 4, 2009 at 2:10 PM

        I have only had any issues with it with the younger members. The board, however, hasn’t as issue at all. Faith is a common subject for some reason. The furthest it had gotten was with a young 24 year old male. He was so distraught at the thought of a Muslim with a firearm at the gathering they he petitioned the governing board of the event to revoke my right to carry a gun during the event. When they denied his request he became violent and by the end of the first day the board asked him to leave because they saw him as more of a threat than myself. Police were contacted to escort him back into the city.

        It is a very interesting topic and one not many will touch and I am very glad that you did so.


  2. Huddi

    October 4, 2009 at 6:22 AM

    That’s my second cousin, and cousins husband, mA!—->Shaykh Abu ‘Abdissalam

    • abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

      October 4, 2009 at 1:36 PM

      Cool! Has he converted you to Sabily? Or ever let you use his computer? :) Please say salam to him from his fans at MM when you talk to him.

  3. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    October 4, 2009 at 1:39 PM

    Okay, do you follow MM on twitter? You should! Check out this tweet:

    A Truly Shocking Guantánamo Story: Judge Confirms That An Innocent Man Was Tortured To Make False Confessions

  4. BintKhalil

    October 4, 2009 at 1:53 PM

    Assalamu alaikum

    The article about the Palestinian version of Sesame Street is a really good one. Here is an excerpt that discusses where the Palestinian and Israeli muppets should meet.

    Each set of Muppets lived on their own set — so where would they meet? An American adviser from Sesame Workshop proposed the Muppets meet at a neutral third location on the border of their sets, perhaps a park, but the Palestinians weren’t comfortable with that idea — they wanted to know who owned the park. Dolly Wolbrum, the show’s producer at IETV, told me she thought that wasn’t a question that 3-to-6-year-olds would wonder about, but Kuttab said he felt Palestinian children would assume it was an Israeli park. He proposed dividing the park by a low wall, an idea Wolbrum said was a deal breaker. They finally agreed that the Muppets would visit one another’s streets rather than meet in a park. But again, controversy arose: the Israelis were in favor of spontaneous Muppet drop-bys, but the Palestinians insisted the visits had to be by invitation only. “The only Israelis who come to Palestinian neighborhoods uninvited are settlers,” Kuttab explained to me.

    It’s amazing how 60 years later when the Palestinians who are fighting for their freedom weren’t even alive when they lost their lands and they won’t let their children forget that they lost their lands. This is what makes them different from the Native Americans and the many other peoples who had their lands usurped and their cultures forgotten.

    It’s a refreshingly honest perspective from the NYTimes.

  5. BintKhalil

    October 4, 2009 at 2:06 PM

    This has been done before (but could perhaps warrant another look) – the repeating patterns in medieval Islamic art that has modern mathematicians in awe.

  6. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    October 5, 2009 at 11:05 AM

    “Shaykh” Tantawi, the man appointed by Firawn Mubarak to run Al Azhar, has reportedly forced a Muslim student in Egypt to remove her niqab and is saying he will issue a fatwa against the wearing of the face veil.

    The niqab question reportedly arose when Sheikh Tantawi was visiting a girls’ school in Cairo at the weekend and asked one of the students to remove her niqab.
    The Egyptian newspaper al-Masri al-Yom quoted him expressing surprise at the girl’s attire and telling her it was merely a tradition, with no connection to religion or the Koran.

  7. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    October 5, 2009 at 11:09 AM

    Apparently, Tantawi would benefit from reading MuslimMatters

  8. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    October 5, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    Here’s an article with even more troubling details about what Tantawi allegedly did

    In a high school for girls in Madinet Nasr, a suburb of Cairo, Sheikh “was surprised to see one of the schoolgirls in niqab when she was in class” the newspaper said.

    He got “angry” and asked her to remove her veil, saying: “The niqab is a tradition, it has no connection with religion.”

    The teenager had to remove the veil hiding her face, even if one of these teachers tried to defend her saying that the girl usually takes off her veil in that establishment and had that she had put it on only when she saw the sheikh.

    The imam responded by asking the schoolgirl never to wear the niqab, saying also he was determined to officially ban any person wearing the niqab from entering schools dependent on Al-Azhar according to Al Masri Al-Yom.

    Moreover, according to the newspaper, the Minister of Higher Education Hani Helal has decided to ban access to the universtity campus to students wearing the niqab.

  9. F

    October 5, 2009 at 12:29 PM

    I wish there was a way to officially confirm these incidents. BBC is OK in its reporting but any media outlet can easily misquote a statement or event.

    • Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

      October 6, 2009 at 11:33 AM

      IslamOnline is reporting the incident.

      If the reports are true, Tantawi is not only ignorant and wrong about this issue, he is an arrogant bully without manners.

      And he was already well known as an apologist for Mubarak.

      People should read the Qaradawi fatwa from 2006, linked to at IslamOnline about this issue.

  10. aisha

    October 6, 2009 at 4:06 AM

    this may be off topic, but can someone write a blog about Halloween since it is approaching and many of our youth like to participate in it. Many Muslims dress up and go to Halloween parties with other youth, and others go trick or treating around their neighborhoods, or go to haunted houses. All in all, these are not good things and should not happen. How can these things be prevented? how can we answer our youth when they ask why these things are forbidden? they say its all for fun, and has no religious connotations behind it, so then why can they not attend it? please respond.
    jazakallah khair

    • Huddi

      October 9, 2009 at 5:57 AM

      for sure, someone DO IT. iA if my new blog is up by Sunday night, I might have something in there about it next week.

  11. Hassan

    October 7, 2009 at 7:52 AM

  12. Px

    October 9, 2009 at 1:15 AM

    “Standing United against Terrorism and al-qaeda”

    Shaykh Salman speaks out:

    Spread the article.

  13. Huddi

    October 9, 2009 at 5:55 AM


    I just want to apologize to Sister Dina and Muslim in the Niqab thread if I sounded a little too harsh/mean. I could have definetly thought about my posts more before I said stuff, but sometimes you just act/say stuff more on emotion than anything.

    I wanna apologize on behalf of everyone if you guys, or anyone else for that matter, was offended. We love you all as our Brothers and Sisters in Islam

  14. sister in deen

    October 10, 2009 at 5:24 AM

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