Connect with us


*Special Announcement* Photo Contest with $6,000 in Prizes!

Omar Usman



Everyone has vivid memories of enjoying their time at the masjid in Ramadan. It might be when we were kids, helping put a date and samosas on each iftar plate and handing it to people as they walked in. It might be hanging out with our friends and breaking fast together as a student at the masjid close to campus. We can reminisce back to the powerful and emotional dua that the Imam made on khatm night and how it moved us. The masjid, particularly in America, serves as the ultimate community center. For many of us, a random night at the masjid could have been a major turning point in our lives – anything from taking shahadah, to meeting someone that would later become a close friend, to feeling an unmatched level of faith (eman) as we stood to pray.

This month we wanted to do something special and highlight our masajid. With that in mind, we’ve got a special photo contest with 4 prizes. Here’s how it breaks down:

Simply take a photo (or a few) at your masjid and submit in the appropriate category-

  1. Inside your mosque
  2. Outside your mosque
  3. With the Imam
  4. At Taraweeh prayers.

Write a short caption about what makes your masjid yours and let us know what’s in the photo.

*Contest is for masjids in the United States.

Once you’ve submitted a photo, make sure to let your friends know so they can vote. A winner with the top 3  votes in each category will be randomly selected for the prize. Each category has a prize of $1,500 – that’s $1,000 to your masjid, and $500 to you. And yes, you can enter multiple photos in multiple categories.

To get started with the contest, like the Guidance Residential page and submit your photo!

We’ll be highlighting random photos throughout the contest, and in the end we hope to have a great photoblog of masjids across the US.

Contest ends August 15th. Click here and get ready to win!


Omar Usman is a founding member of MuslimMatters and Qalam Institute. He teaches Islamic seminars across the US including Khateeb Workshop and Fiqh of Social Media. He has served in varying administrative capacities for multiple national and local Islamic organizations. You can follow his work at



  1. Avatar


    June 19, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    What is this?! Taking pictures of people in Islam is Haram!

    • Avatar


      June 20, 2014 at 4:49 AM

      La hawla walaa quwatha, illa billah…

  2. Avatar


    June 20, 2014 at 3:53 AM

    No love for Canadians

  3. Avatar

    A Fellow Sister Who is Deeply Concerned About You

    June 20, 2014 at 3:55 AM

    Oh no….Please!!! They’re actually trying to do something good. Don’t do the contest if you think it’s haram!

    • Avatar


      June 22, 2014 at 8:57 AM

      Sister, be concerned for every Muslim, but most of all “save your self and family” –

      I love photography myself, and do take a lot of photographs of Allah’s creations from different perspectives and they’re really beautiful, not photographs of creatures though – it’s haram.

      I’m not thinking it’s haram, I’m taking it from the scholars (with evidence), who’re taking it ultimately from Allah’s messenger salallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.

      Tell me where I’m wrong and give me evidence from the Quraan and Sunnah. I’m willing to learn, unlike some ignorant disbelievers I’ve come across, who’re so bigoted for whatever reason..

      And Allah knows best.

      • Avatar


        June 22, 2014 at 2:55 PM

        Ok so maybe it is haram according to some scholars. But ‘haram’ is a very strong word, you should have been more polite and should have explained why you said so in your earlier comment (rather than simply leaving a link). Maybe that’s why you got so many thumbs down.

        • Avatar


          June 22, 2014 at 10:03 PM

          Wassalaam, Jazakallahu khairan bro, I’ll heed your advice next time (hopefully there won’t be a next time) insha Allah.

          Rather than explaining in my own words, I directed those who want to seek knowledge, to the link where it’s explained in the words of Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan – the renowned scholar.

          Thumbs down or up do not really matter to me here. But the people who clicked down should really think about why they did it.

          May Allah guide us all.

  4. Avatar


    June 20, 2014 at 3:56 AM

    A great idea. Mashallah. But isn’t randomly selecting winners a form of (prize) draw which is haraam in Islam? Please correct me if I am wrong.

  5. Avatar


    June 20, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    why only US? I’m in pakistan, i want to participate

  6. Avatar


    June 23, 2014 at 1:36 AM

    Let’s pause the Fatwas for just a second. This business is actually doing an amazing job marketing themselves. Great promotion and branding identity mashAllah. May Allah (swt) empower the Muslims with success in this dunya and the next.

  7. Avatar


    June 25, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    Very, very bad and wrong idea!

    I have been following Muslims Matters for a while and I am quite impressed of all the efforts and articles, MashaAllah. I don’t usually comment but this compelled me to share my thoughts, I know that some people will disagree which is fine with me as everyone is entitled to their opinions.

    1. First of all as Brother Mohammad pointed out that Islamically, we should not be encouraging to take pictures of people, especially in the blessed month of Ramadan.

    2. Ramadan is so precious that even the people who are not regular in prayers, start praying and attending mosque and we know that it’s not for worldly gains but to get closer to our Lord. All of us need more encouragement and support to concentrate better in all kinds of worship during this special month.

    But, in my view, this competition is a cause for distraction from the purpose of going to the mosque. I know that no one is forcing anyone to participate but those who want to participate would be rather concentrating on how to take the best photos? Which angle to sit or stand? Which row will give me the best view of Imam, congregation and the mosque? Also, it can be distracting to others who really would be trying to concentrate and enjoy their acts of worship.

    Now a days, we already see people getting back to their phones as soon as they finish praying. I think that at least in this blessed month, we should try to engage to Zikkar and Astaghfaar before & after the prayers and not engage ourselves in taking the best shots.

    3. I really think that photography and the use of phones in mosques should not be allowed. I have seen people taking photos, using phone calls & Skype while doing tawaaf! Imagine how blessed they are to be in that place and how easily they are letting those precious moments slipped away. Similarly, in my opinion, this competition is encouraging the distraction from the concentration in worship.

    4. Also, I don’t think that it is appropriate or a Islamically accepted practice to take other people’s photos without their permission, especially in the House of Allah. Is the photographer going to ask each and everyone of the congregation, including the Imam for their permission? Why encourage anyone to do a wrong, however minor it may be, while they have come to the mosque to get rid of their past wrongs?

    I am sorry for being too long but I felt that as a fellow muslim we should remind each other to evaluate and correct ourselves as we have been told in Sura Al-Assar (chapter:103). I sincerely hope that Muslim Matters will take this matter seriously and reconsider the requirements for this competition . I am sure that other suitable criteria can be set with plenty of other ideas and suggestions.

    May Allah S.W.T. give all of us suitable knowledge and wisdom to practice our Deen in the rightful way.

    A very happy and blessed Ramadan to all of us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


MuslimKidsMatter | Muslim Youth Helping Neighbors and Having Fun: Please Vote!




Loud, friendly chatter fills up a large, brightly-lit room as people scatter about.  As they pass through the room into the next to make way for a large group of newcomers, a collective gasp of amazement suddenly issues forth.  The chatter and laughter miraculously die down as everyone stares ahead wide-eyed.

An eight-foot sculpture appears, clearly in the shape of a water well with a bright orange bucket hanging from the top.  A low fence surrounds the well with the words “Water is Life” in front.  As the observers lean closer for a better look, they are startled when they realize that the bricks of the well and fence are actually food cans!  And the letters were clearly shaped out of juice boxes!  What is this amazing genius of engineering before their eyes, they wonder.  Can it really be that they are looking at a well made out of cans?

can well drama club pics 010

This sculpture has actually been in display at the Zakat Foundation Delaware Community Center for the past few days.  The youth can project team members have anxiously watched as amazed fans of our well continuously edge closer to the sculpture, a truly frustrating action that worries us to no end.  Alhamdulillah, however, our well is still standing and has survived this past week to enter the judging phase of the DelawareCAN competition.

Having created a prizewinning masjid out of pasta boxes and tomato cans last year for the contest, we entered the competition a few months ago feeling a certain pressure this time around.  After our can sculpture from last year demonstrated the spirit of giving in Islam through the words “Feed the Poor” on our masjid, we felt compelled to again display a strong message in a magnificent sculpture for this year’s competition.  Realizing that participating in the contest would not only give us a chance to gain the special honor of being a winning group, but also the opportunity to spread a positive message about Muslims, we had a big responsibility and a whole lot of work cut out for us.

Through weekly meetings, many back-and-forth emails, dozens of sketches and plans, we eventually reached our goal, creating a magnificent well, complete with a roof, bucket, and fence.  Oh, and grass, too.  After hours and hours of working on our sculpture, we finally had our finished product standing in front of us.  After all those arguments and complaints (what do you expect from kids of ages 5-16 all working together) and tiresome hours (re-stacking cans after they topple over gets annoying after about the third time around), we finally had our well.

We had a break for a few days to admire our sculpture, and now the next stage of our contest is on…

Time to collect votes!  Now we are asking you to help us out.  No matter where in the world you live, what kinds of cans you eat out of, or what your favorite color is, you can help us win the People’s Choice Award.  All you have to do is click on the picture above or follow this link and like our well.  (Note: You will need a Facebook account.)  Please don’t blunder and like the entire album or make another such error.  We need you to help us now, to be there for us and to show us you care.  Thank you for taking the time (which should be a total of about two seconds) to give Muslim youth your support.

Friday at 12 noon (USA Eastern time) is the deadline.delawa

Continue Reading


The Spirit of Eid | MM Eid Photo Contest: The Winners!




Announcing the Winners of the MM Photo/Instagram Eid contest!
It’s about time, right?! :)
We know you have been anxiously waiting, so let’s get straight to it!

*duff roll*

First Place – $500 Prize

Holding it down with Gramps masha'Allah. Eid Mubarak everyone! #Eid #Swag #mmeid #family

Holding it down with Gramps masha’Allah. Eid Mubarak everyone! #Eid #Swag #mmeid #family

Second Place – $300 Prize

The cuzzie wuzzie buzzie muzzie fuzzies!

The cuzzie wuzzie buzzie muzzie fuzzies!

Third Place – $200 Prize

Women of Bandung, Indonesia, after Eid prayers in Institut Teknologi Bandung. By Jimprz

Women of Bandung, Indonesia, after Eid prayers in Institut Teknologi Bandung. By Jimprz

Runners Up – $25 Amazon Gift Card

This year they are doing the picture-taking

This year they are doing the picture-taking

Hugs after Eid prayer

Hugs after Eid prayer

My father and my son

My father and my son

Always admired ppl volunteering some of their Eid day to make prayer service safer for everyone else by putting themselves in front of 3000 lb vehicles.

Always admired ppl volunteering some of their Eid day to make prayer service safer for everyone else by putting themselves in front of 3000 lb vehicles.

Eid Mubarak from Houston, Reliant Center

Eid Mubarak from Houston, Reliant Center

After prayer, a Muslim family poses for the camera in Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

After prayer, a Muslim family poses for the camera in Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Alhamdulillah, my new home allows me to spend every day reflecting upon some aspect of the beauty of Allah's creation. Honolulu, Hawaii.

Alhamdulillah, my new home allows me to spend every day reflecting upon some aspect of the beauty of Allah’s creation. Honolulu, Hawaii.

This is my family photo on the first day of Eid 2012 in our traditional Malay outfit.

This is my family photo on the first day of Eid 2012 in our traditional Malay outfit.

The day before Eid, I made sheep cake pops for an Eid party I was going to. They were a hit!

The day before Eid, I made sheep cake pops for an Eid party I was going to. They were a hit!

Congratulations to those who won, and many thanks to everyone who took part. It was a close competition, with many great entries masha’Allah. We hope you enjoyed capturing your special Eid moments. JazakumAllah khair for sharing them with us!

Please join us in congratulating all the entrants. Which was your favourite photo and why?

Continue Reading


MuslimKidsMatter | Announcing the Winners of the MuslimKidsMatter Ramadan 1434 Competition!





Eid Mubarak to all the kids out there!  We hope everyone had a great Eid.

All the kids who participated in the Ramadan competition did a great job, and it is obvious that you learned a lot from the sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).  You’re all probably really excited to find out who the winners are. Well, here’s the moment you’ve been waiting for!

The Grand Prize winner for the Category 1 competition is…

Umar Ahmad Syed from Irving, Texas

Umar made a great poster showing how he follows a hadith in his own life.

Eat with Your Right Hand

Eat with Your Right Hand

“When any one of you eats, let him eat with his right hand, and when he drinks, let him drink with his right hand, because the Shaytaan eats with his left hand and drinks with his left hand.” [Muslim]

The 1st place winner for the Category 2 competition is…

Zaynab Khan from Plano, Texas

Zaynab wrote a wonderful essay describing how she followed a certain hadith in her life.

The Surprise Package

One day my Grandfather sent us a surprise package from California. In the package, there were many surprises for me and my three year old sister. I got a book called ‘Du’a the Weapon of the Believer’ and she got the book ‘21 Du’a for Children’. We were SOO excited when we opened up our books! My little sister thought it was a storybook and got very happy and started jumping with excitement. I thought she would be disappointed, but surprisingly, she was happy to get a Dua book!  

A little while later, I got a thought in my mind, an idea…my idea was to teach my sister a new Dua from her book every week, and have her practice the dua she learned every day. I wanted to do this for the great reward of teaching someone a good thing. If you teach someone something good, and they learn from you and follow it, they get rewarded and you get rewarded too.

So that day, I taught my sister the first dua in her book which was the dua for knowledge: ‘Rabbi zidni ‘ilma’. I read the dua to her word by word and she repeated after me. We read the dua together about ten times. She learned it and practiced it every day for about half a week. I used to randomly ask her to recite the dua to me, and within a few days she started to recite the dua to herself while she was playing. MashaAllah, I was astonished when she recited the dua to herself.  Alhamdulillah, my idea really worked and she learned the dua very well.

As you can see, Allah is so Merciful that when we teach someone something good and they follow it, He will reward both of us, and when we do something bad and someone else learns it from us, He will punish both of us. Why don’t you start teaching good things to others and stop doing bad things so that people don’t copy you?  I’m sure that you all want some good deeds so that you can enter Jannah Insha’Allah and enjoy it, so why not teach others something good today!           

Jareer ibn ‘Abdullaah al-Bajali (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever starts a good thing and is followed by others, will have his own reward and a reward equal to that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their reward in any way. Whoever starts a bad thing and is followed by others, will bear the burden of his own sin and a burden equal to that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their burden in any way.'” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, no. 2675. He said, This is a saheeh hasan hadeeth)

The 2nd place winner for the Category 2 competition is…

Hana Sabrine Hubert from Wilmington, Delaware

Hana wrote an awesome story about a Muslim character who learns to follow the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) example in her life.

Big Difference from a Small Hadith


Hafsa Abdu Rahman was a kind, and patient 12 year old girl. She was kind and patient about everything BUT dealing with her brother, Ahmad who is 6.  He was nothing but trouble.  Hafsa couldn’t bear being in the same room with him for more than 5 minutes. Unfortunately, their house was small so they had to share a room, and Hafsa found that unbearable. Every morning, she woke up to find her bed covered in paint, the rug snipped and torn, or her Barbie’s faces covered in black marker. The worst part was, Ahmed never got in trouble. Every time Hafsa’s face turned red and her fists balled, Ahmed would laugh and run to their mother, Fatima. Whenever Hafsa told Fatima about Ahmed, Fatima would just sigh and shake her head.  Hafsa was feeling quite miserable indeed as she plopped down on the couch, lost in her thoughts.

            “Hafsa, please do your work now, in your Islamic Workbook,” called Fatima from the kitchen. Sighing, Hafsa scooped up the worn book that had once belonged to her mother, and flipped to her current page. The activity was on a Hadith about controlling anger, but Hafsa knew nothing about that. She read it, and it said

Abu Hurairah, radiyallahu ‘anhu, reported that a man said to the Prophet, Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam: “Advise me!   “The Prophet said, “Do not become angry and furious.” The man asked (the same) again and again, and the Prophet said in each case, “Do not become angry and furious.”

            “Do not become angry or furious.” Hafsa repeated slowly to herself. Then she grinned and skipped away. She opened the door to the kitchen, but as soon as she did, a cup of water came crashing down, and drenched her, the cup just missing her head. Instead of screaming and raving, Hafsa took a deep breath, and relaxed.

            “Ahmed, that wasn’t a very nice thing to do.” Said Hafsa simply, wringing the water out of her hair. Ahmed frowned, not having received the reaction he wanted, and slipped away. She encountered Ahmed again, and this time he held a pair of scissors. In his other hand, he held Hafsa’s favorite slippers, which was tattered and shredded. Hafsa was horrified, but kept control over her quivering body.

            “Ahmed.” She managed.

            “That was not a good thing. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to share my DS with you anymore, Ahmed.” Then Hafsa gently took the scissors from Ahmed, and her slippers, then walked away. By the next day, Ahmed had improved. He hadn’t played a single trick on her, and by the end of the week, he was actually helping Hafsa with her chores. Hafsa grinned. What a big difference such a small Hadith had made!”

Hadith – Sahih Al-Bukhari 8.137, Narrated Abu Huraira, r.a.
A man said to the Prophet Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “Advise me!” The Prophet said, “Do not become angry and furious.” The man asked (the same) again and again, and the Prophet said in each case,“Do not become angry and furious.”
Due to the lack of participation in Category 3, there are no winners for that category.
Congratulations to all the winners!  And to all the other kids who participated, don’t give up.  Your submissions were great, but of course, there can only be a few winners.  Insha Allah you can win a prize in MKM’s next competition.
(Attention, writers!  Muslim Kids Matter is a regular feature at Muslim Matters.  New articles for kids are posted every other Sunday.  You’re welcome to send in your entries to

Continue Reading