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Muslimmatters Highlights of 2015

MuslimMatters has some great news to share. We have wanted an offline presence where topics that we discuss online are amplified. With that in mind, we have acquired the rights to the Texas Dawah Convention (TDC) and will host a national convention on December 24-27, 2016 in Houston, TX. More information on registration, programming will follow.

[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap]s the digit changes on the calendar, we look at the year gone past and thank Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for all the blessings He continues to shower upon us. Alhamdulillah, MuslimMatters has continued to grow, both in reach and staff. We had several new writers join us to continue our goal of thought leadership and defining the Muslim narrative in the West.

Earlier this year we were noted as the most read English media website in the Global Islamic Digital Economy Report 2015-2016 by Thomson Reuters and Dinar Standard. We were also listed as the #6 top Islamic website in the world across all categories. In addition, our wonderful readers once again expressed their support by nominating and voting us as the Best Muslim Blog at the Brass Crescent Awards 2015. We are grateful for your vote of confidence and hope to continue striving for excellence.

MuslimMatters has some great news to share. We have wanted an offline presence where topics that we discuss online are amplified. With that in mind, we have acquired the rights to the Texas Dawah Convention (TDC) and will host a national convention on December 24-27, 2016 in Houston, TX. More information on registration, programming will follow. MM played a vital part in planning the diverse and dynamic #TDC2015 ‘To Things That Matter the Most’. It was a great chance for #MMFamily to meet each other and plan for the next year. All #TDC2015 videos will be uploaded to the Muslimmatters Youtube Channel.

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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.

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TDC2015

 

Several of our scholars and writers spoke at the Annual ISNA Convention in Chicago- the largest gathering of Muslims in the United States. Our Editor in Chief Hena Zuberi spoke about the work MuslimMatters has done as a Muslim media organization to shape the narrative of Muslims.

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2015 saw ISIS rear up its ugly head, trying to pass off the Khawarjite ideology as as a representative of Islam. Whether it was attacks in Beirut, Paris, or San Bernardino, Muslims were left scrambling as they faced the backlash stemming from these attacks in the form increased xenophobia and Islamophobia. We also saw an increased amount of hate in our comments section, and while we tried to give room to all voices, we sometimes had to censure the two extremes to ensure the majority still felt comfortable to comment.

So it is no surprise that our top 11 articles for the year included coverage on Paris, ISIS and what defines extremism — and the ever increasing pressure to condemn all acts of lunacy as “not Islam”. Here are are the most read articles of 2015:

 

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What Muslims Are Saying About The Paris Attacks

by Hena Zuberi & Muhammad Wajid Akhter

Following the brutal Paris attacks, our writers compile a collection of tributes, condolences and reactions from Muslim scholars and leaders all over the world on social media.

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What is “Islamic”? A Muslim Response to ISIS and The Atlantic

by Daniel Haqiqatjou & Dr Yasir Qadhi

Graeme Wood’s “What ISIS Really Wants,” published in the March 2015 edition of The Atlantic, has quickly become the most widely read article on the militant group. Indeed, it is becoming the most read article ever published by The Atlantic.

Popular as it is, Wood’s essay is deeply flawed and alarmingly tone-deaf – dangerously so. What is so objectionable about Wood’s essay is encapsulated in his statement: “The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic.” While Wood acknowledges that “nearly all” Muslims of the world reject ISIS, ultimately his thesis is that the atrocities committed by the group have a theological basis in Islam. In support of his thesis, Wood cites Princeton academic, Bernard Haykel, who not only agrees that ISIS is “very Islamic,” but even goes so far as to say that those Muslims who denounce ISIS as un-Islamic are either ignorant about Islam or are simply being politically expedient by deliberately whitewashing the legal and historical dimensions of their religion.

By characterizing ISIS as Islamic, Wood and Haykel in effect, if not intent, attribute cruel beheadings, wanton massacre, and all other manner of savagery to Islam. In their minds, such an attribution is neither factually incorrect nor particularly damaging to “nearly all” Muslims who reject ISIS. But are Wood and Haykel too naïve to understand that by making such attributions to Islam, they ipso facto implicate and foment suspicion about all those who subscribe to Islam?

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10 for 20 at 40 – Ten Pieces of Advice I’d give to my Twenty-Year Old Self Now that I’m Forty

by Dr Yasir Qadhi

Forty is a special age. It’s the quintessential age of mid-life. It’s older than ‘young’, but younger than ‘old’. It’s an age where one has typically finished jumping all the hoops that society and education and starting a family require, and where one now looks forward to thinking about the major accomplishments of life, and the legacy that one wishes to leave.

The Qur’an mentions forty as the age of reaching full maturity: “Until, when (man) reaches his maturity (ashudd), and reaches forty years of age, he says, ‘O My Lord! Allow me to thank the blessings that you have bestowed on me, and on my parents, and that I perform good deeds that are pleasing to you, and make my children righteous as well. Truly, I repent unto You, and are of those who submit totally to you” [Ahqāf; 15].

No wonder, then, that our Prophet Muhammad actually began receiving inspiration and preaching his message at the age of forty. For forty years, he was merely being prepared for the real purpose of his mission: the call to Allah.

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Debating Homosexuality

by Daniel Haqiqatjou

In light of the recent US Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, we have seen a number of Muslim scholars reiterate the position of Islamic law on same-sex acts. What we have not seen much of, however, is reasoning explaining why Islamic law prohibits same-sex acts. Clearly many people today including Muslims do not understand why Islam or any religion would forbid homoeroticism. As it is often put, if two people love each other and want to consummate their love, what difference does it make if they happen to be of the same sex? What could be wrong about this?

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Get the Muslim iCondemn App!

by Daniel Haqiqatjou

Why don’t we Muslims ever condemn terrorism? This is a perennial question many intelligent, reflective people have asked over the years. Usually these people don’t have a single Muslim acquaintance and don’t know how to use a search engine, but that’s besides the point.

Some have argued that Muslims shouldn’t be required to condemn every single criminal act done in the name of their religion. After all, asking Muslims to condemn terrorism is akin to demanding Muslims assume guilt for the crimes of a deranged few, and that’s just racist. Or so the argument goes.

But I totally disagree.

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Blurred Lines: Women, “Celebrity” Shaykhs, and Spiritual Abuse

by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Our leaders, particularly those who claim to be spiritual guides, must practice what they preach. Our ‘ulama are not politicians, for whom a wide disparity between public image and private conduct is expected. Yes our ‘ulama are fallible, but they have a responsibility to recognize the tensions inherent in their roles, the pitfalls of the celebrity Shaykh culture, and the integrity of the positions they hold. How can our leaders recite platitudes about women’s empowerment and status in Islam publicly, while privately undermining those very rights they claim to cherish? How is it acceptable to publicly proclaim respect for women, while privately deeming them little more than sexual conquests?

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Intimacy for Muslim Couples

by Haleh Banani, Umm Reem Saba Syed, Hena Zuberi

Intimacy between spouses is a beautiful act of worship. A divine experience that has been mired by anxieties fueled by hypersexualized media, Hollywood movies, many cultural beliefs from the East and misinformed 18th century notions rooted in the West.
It took a year of contemplation for us to publicly address this topic in a broadcast, but the need amongst Muslim couples was so great that we had to put aside our hesitations. The Prophet, sallallahu alihi wasalam and the sahaba and sahabiyaat were not shy to discuss these matters.

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Practicing Islam in Long, Long Prayer Garments

by Umm Zakiyyah

“I suppose it’s natural to feel judged when we know we’re not living right. Our guilty conscience projects on everything around us. Innocent laughter becomes mockery. A fleeting frown becomes scorn. Even dhikr (remembrance of Allah) becomes offensive. But it’s so much easier to just start living right than to expend so much energy complaining about all the people judging us for doing wrong.”

— from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah

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Mental Illness and Ramadan

by Sh Yahya Adel Ibrahim

Although mental health care has improved significantly over the last decades, many Muslims still choose not to seek treatment or quit prematurely. Stigma is perhaps the most significant cause of this. Simply, a person is made to feel that they are disqualified from full social acceptance.

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2 Authentic signs DURING Laylatul-Qadr

by Majed Mahmoud

Those who are keen to capture the reward of Laylatul-Qadr (Night of Decree) seek to learn as much as possible about it. There are two authentic narrations that discuss the signs seen during the Night of Decree, not including the signs that appear after the night. If you were to witness these signs during one of the last ten nights of Ramadan, know for a fact that you are witnessing Laylatul-Qadr.

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Uyghurs in China: We Buried the Quran in Our Backyards

by Hena Zuberi

With the news of China forcing imams to dance in public and to make oaths to keep children away from religion in what is known as Xinjiang, where government officials warned that Muslims “During Ramadan do not engage in fasting, vigils or other religious activities,” effectively banning Ramadan, I wanted to share an interview that I did for the Muslim Link newspaper, with the Prime Minister of the East Turkistan Government in Exile, Anwar Yusuf Turani.

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MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. 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.

Aly is an entrepreneur who was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan where he currently resides. He has been associated with many diverse fields such as Textiles, Cement, Minerals & Ores, Feeds and Agri-Commodities. As a Life Coach, NLP Practitioner, and Hypnotist, he works with clients to reach the Next Level in their personal and professional lives, to breakthrough performance blocks, self-doubts, or habits that limit them from reaching their true potential. Send him a message to find out more. Known on Social Media as DiscoMaulvi, he serves in operational and advisory roles for LiveDeen and Azaan Institute. He is also a co-founder and trustee of Ihsaas Trust, a not-for-profit started in 2012 with a vision to improve social mobility for Karachi’s under-privileged. Our distinguishing factor is the efficient utilization of Sadaqah and Zakat for healthcare and rations and to provide micro-finance for Enterprise Facilitation. Aly joined the team of MM in 2011 as a blogger/writer and is currently the Team Lead for the Comments Team and a former member of the Executive Shurah. He is easily accessible via Twitter or through his Public Page on Facebook where you can learn more about him.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Mohamed

    January 6, 2016 at 6:13 PM

    Congratulations MuslimMatters on another successful year. May God bless you with many more years of success and accolades!

  2. Avatar

    iqrawrites

    March 23, 2016 at 9:04 AM

    I’ve been reading and following Muslim Matters for several years now. I first “discovered” the site from the Brass Crescent Awards winning blogs list. I think it’s an admirable effort with a lot of heart put into it. May Allah bless your every sincere intention and give you increase in all that is good.

  3. Avatar

    Ayeina

    April 11, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    The fact that Muslimmatters always stays on top is because of their dedicated team. As authors ourselves, we can tell it’s not easy to write “impressive stuff” all the time but muslimmatters team pulls it off every single time mashaaAllah. Zeba Khan, in particular, has been our favorite! <3 Read this article by her and you'll be hooked. http://muslimmatters.org/2013/10/16/look-whos-coming-isnt-think/

  4. Avatar

    Aafia

    August 28, 2016 at 8:43 AM

    I Like Muslimmatters a lot and it has been an inspiration to me in the starting of my own blog : http://islamhashtag.com.
    Thank you Muslimmatters for guiding us towards Islam.

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Announcements

Ramadan Mubarak: This Ramadan Is Going To Be Different…

This Ramadan is going to be different. No Taraweeh in the masjid. No parties for Iftar. All dressed up and nowhere to go. Except exactly where we need to be.

This Ramadan is going to be different. Alone with your Lord, but together in our isolation. This Ramadan, rediscover your faith. Rediscover the beauty of personal worship, even as we as we pray for the return of communal celebrations.

Ramadan Mubarak with love from MuslimMatters.

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MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. 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.

Support Our Dawah for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. 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.

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Editor’s Choice: Top 10 Articles Of 2019

Top ten posts of 2019

MuslimMatters is grateful to Allah for our readers and our writers for collaborating to build the Muslim Internet’s most widely read online magazine. It is an honor to publish every article that goes up on the site. Here are the editor’s choices from the top most read articles of 2019.

10. Reflections on Muslim Approaches to the Abortion Debate: The Problem of Narrow Conceptualization | Sh Salman Younas

This comprehensive scholarly essay, published in August, was nuanced and forces the reader to take a step back and holistically look at the issue of abortion. Shaykh Salman, a traditional trained scholar, is completing his PhD at Oxford University on early Hanafi fiqh.

American Muslims must go beyond simplistic and emotionally-charged approaches to the abortion question. This issue, like many others, cannot be properly addressed through a narrowly defined law, politics, or clash of ideologies narrative, especially at the level of individual fatwā, communal irshād, or political activism, advocacy, and legislation.Click To Tweet

9. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf And The Question of Rebellion In The Islamic Tradition | Dr Usaama al-Azami

In this September piece, which predated many controversies, Dr Azami, a Departmental Lecturer in Contemporary Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford argues against Shaykh Hamza’s contention that the Islamic tradition has uniformly called for rendering obedience to tyrannical rule.

8. What Fasting Demands From Us | Mufti Taqi Uthmani

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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.

This article was a Ramadan treat, a translation of the work by the esteemed South Asian scholar.

It is, however, important when there is the temptation, the heart desires it, and the environment encourages it, and then in submission to the command of Allah one says, “مَعَاذَ الله” “I seek refuge of Allah” (Surah Yūsuf, 12:24). This is the worship that Allah has created mankind.Click To Tweet

Ramaḍān is commonly viewed as only a month of fasting and tarāwīḥ, and that there is no other significance to it. Without a doubt, the fasting and the tarāwīḥ prayers are two major acts of worship in this month. However, the reality is that the blessed month of Ramaḍān demands more from us.

7. When Faith Hurts | Zeba Khan

This piece by our Director of Development and regular writer, Zeba Khan, hit a nerve with many readers. It went deep into recognizing that faith is not a protection from pain, and pain is not the absence of faith.

Our spiritual education is broken. In order to fix it, we have to be upfront with each other. We have to admit that we can be happy with Allah and still find ourselves devastated by the tests He puts before us, because faith is not a protection from struggle.Click To Tweet

6. Emotional Intelligence: A Tool for Change | Imam Mikaeel Smith

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) displayed perfection in both moral intelligence and interpersonal understanding and the author, Imam Mikaeel Smith encapsulates this in his book on Prophetic emotional intelligence.

Moral Intelligence helps us maintain our ideals and live by them, while Emotional Intelligence ensures that the message is effectively communicated to othersClick To Tweet

Emotional Intelligence by itself is not sufficient for individual reform or societal reform; instead, it is only one part of the puzzle. The ʿaql or intellect that is referenced repeatedly in the Qurʾān is a more comprehensive tool that not only recognizes how to understand the psychological and emotional aspects of people but recognizes morally upright and sound behavior.

5. Sri Lankan Muslims To Fast In Solidarity With Fellow Christians | Raashid Riza

Mainstream Muslims have in fact been at the forefront not just locally, but also internationally in the fight against extremism within Muslim communities. Sri Lankan Muslims, a numerical minority, though a well-integrated native community in Sri Lanka’s colourful social fabric, seek to take lead in helping to alleviate the suffering currently plaguing our nation. This article is on this list not just because it was an excellent read but because of the positive effect it had on repairing divides causes by the attacks.

4. Loving Muslim Marriage Episode #2: Do Women Desire Sex? | Saba Syed, Zeba Khan

In this episode, the Loving Muslim Marriage team asks an obvious question with what seems like an obvious answer – do women need sex? Obviously, yes. If that’s the case though, then why is expressing a sexual need, or seeking help for sexual issues such a taboo in Muslim cultures? Obviously many people wanted to learn more.

3. Are You Prepared for Marriage and Building a Family? | Mona Islam

The article is a curriculum for young Muslims with real life examples that parents, teachers and youth groups can use. Expert curriculum designer, Mona Islam, emphasizes on the need for this education in middle and high school.

In retrospect, we learn that marriage is not simply a door that we walk through which changes our life, but something that each young Muslim and Muslima should be preparing for individually through observation, introspection, and reflection.Click To Tweet

2. The Day I Die | Imam Omar Suleiman

Imam Omar’s column never fails to uplift readers. This was his most poignant post.

A wise man once said to me, “Always put your funeral in front of you, and work backwards in constructing your life accordingly.” With the deaths of righteous people, that advice always advances to the front of my thoughts.Click To Tweet

1.  Few Can Build Many Can Destroy | Sh Mohammad ElShinawy 

With so many internal and external forces bent on crushing our souls. this article compels us to adopt the Quranic formula for returning the ummah to health; focus on developing the good, more than destroying the evil.

The Quran also nurtured in its reader’s spirit the magnificence of God, far more than it illustrated the futility of idol-worship, all because deepening your understanding of who Allah is will always outperform identifying who Allah is not, and because the second will naturally happen once the first has been secured.Click To Tweet

InshaAllah, we will publish lesser read pieces that were gems that readers may  have missed. 

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MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. 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.

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Complicated?:​ ​The A-Z of Women’s Modern Fiqh | Sh Waleed Basyouni

You know that frustrating feeling of not knowing the answers to certain questions?

Questions like:

…am I praying or am I not?

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MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

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…can I touch the Quran or can I not…?

…did that man really just say that because I’m a woman, I can’t do this, or wear that, or speak up?

Every ​question,​ every ​concern,​ every ​misconception on​ Women’s Fiqh… What if you had the answers?

Women’s fiqh has a reputation for being complicated. However, the reason why is because nobody has given it the full attention it needs in the context of Muslim women living in the West today.

I propose we end that confusion, stop the misuse of Islamic texts, and reclaim the knowledge. This applies to the men, as well. Men will want to learn about this as well – not just because they have women in their life (a mom, a sister, a wife or a daughter). But because knowing the fiqh specific to half of the world’s population saves everyone from making dangerous mistakes.

The answers to your questions and the knowledge you’re looking for comes in a complete, online guided course:​ Complicated?:​ ​The A-Z of Women’s Modern Fiqh.

It’s titled with a question mark because it really isn’t that complicated. This is the complete online course that covers every stage of a woman’s natural lifecycle. From newborns, puberty, and education, to marriage, old age, and the eventual janazah.

 Plus, it covers modern fiqh questions about topics like careers, public speaking, fashion, social interactions and textual misconceptions.

Here’s what past attendees have to say about this course:

“Throughout the course, I was nodding all the time….. …..like YES, this is a question I’ve had….

…. and thank you for answering it.

It opened my eyes to so many different issues,

Som that I was struggling with, and some I hadn’t even considered.”– From author and speaker, Sr Asmaa Hussain

 

“At first, I thought it would be a course on the usual Fiqh of Women stuff… …like pregnancy, periods, ghusl, salah. Sure that was there and with great clarity… …but it was literally the A-Z: He talked about women’s leadership, women as judges, women in positions of power… Never had I felt more empowered, more confident.…and especially grateful to be present in this class. “ – Ustadha Taimiyyah Zubair

You will also get to listen to these guest speakers:

  • Imam Omar Suleiman ​- AlMaghrib Instructor, ​civil rights activist, writer, and speaker
  • Dunia Shuaib -​ Certified marriage educator, author, and lecturer
  • Maryam Amir ​- Hafidha  and social justice educator
  • Dr. Marwa Assar -​ Psychologist, educator, writer, CEO of H.O.M.E.
  • Hina Mirza​ – Registered psychotherapist

And watch recorded bonuses with:

  • Ustadha Taimiyyah Zubair​ – Instructor at AlMaghrib Institute
  • Asmaa Hussain​ – Author of the best seller- A Temporary Gift
  • Sarah Sultan​ – Mental health counselor
  • Noor Salem​ – Nutritionist, author and speaker
  • Aminah Khan​ – Entrepreneur, Founder of Amanah Fitness
  • Shaykh Yahya Ibrahim​ – Instructor at AlMaghrib Institute

  Every question ever asked about Women’s fiqh is answered in this online course. And if you still have more questions, there are Live Q&A sessions scheduled for you to ask what hasn’t already been discussed.

If you are interested in joining, then make sure you register before ​today Oct 10th 11:59pm, ​when the course closes.

Click on the link below and get access to your student portal today:

www.almaghrib.online

Support Our Dawah for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. 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.

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