Islam

In its 10th year, the game ‘Pilgrims at Home’ takes on new meaning for Muslim women

July 31, 2020

 

At 4 a.m. in Houston, Afshan Malik wakes up to pray tahajjud, the voluntary night prayers for Muslims. That earns her 5 points. She wins another 20 points for salat al-tasbih and salat al-haja, the prayers of forgiveness and need. Five more for qada yawm, to make up for obligatory prayers missed over the years; another 5 for staying awake until sunrise; 1 for performing the mandatory fajr prayer; and an extra point for doing so just as dawn breaks.

By the time her five children wake up, Malik has already scored nearly half the 100 daily points she can...

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Unable To Travel To Mecca, Muslim Community Holds Drive-Thru Hajj

July 30, 2020

 

At a traffic circle in Maryland, Mona Eldadah watched her father plodding in circles. 

Hadi Rahnama, 77, was walking around a black cube, a replica of the Kaaba shrine in Mecca, to demonstrate the tawaf, or ritual prayer, that Muslims perform when they visit the shrine on the hajj. 

Eldadah corrected her father. 

"No, Daddy, the idea is that the car is actually going to do the tawaf," she said. "It's a drive-through." 

This is the time of year when many Muslims undertake the the ...

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Sailor Gets OK to Grow 4-Inch Beard, Pushes Navy to Grant Career-Length Waiver

July 29, 2020

 

Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Leo Katsareas can, for the first time in his Navy career, wear a beard consistent with his religious beliefs while in uniform -- at least for now.

The Navy's personnel chief granted Katsareas, a Muslim sailor, a special grooming accommodation to grow his facial hair up to 4 inches long. Katsareas, who converted to Islam at age 16, believes his faith requires him to wear a fist-length beard.

Getting...

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Muslims to mark 2nd holiest day on Islamic calendar by gathering in cars for prayer on grounds of Big E

July 28, 2020

 

Muslims here will celebrate the second holiest day on the lunar-based Islamic calendar by gathering to pray together on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition Friday, while observing social distancing regulations during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will have congregants come in their cars and park at least six feet apart,” said Dr. M. Saleem Bajwa, a Holyoke physician and member of the Islamic Society of Western...

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From changing lives to preaching at iPads: How clergy are coping with the new normal

July 27, 2020

 

They can’t shake hands. They can’t sing robustly. And, in most cases, they can’t worship in person with people they’ve seen on a weekly basis for years.

Clergy have been forced to adjust to a “new normal” of leadership in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, a crisis that was unexpected both at its start and in its continuing duration.

“We moved from snow day mentality to marathon mentality now,” said the Rev. Rob Dyer, senior pastor of a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation...

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Hilary Decent: How Naperville’s faith communities are operating under phase 4 of Illinois reopening

July 27, 2020

 

Naperville’s faith communities are taking a cautious approach to eased restrictions now that Illinois has moved to phase four of its coronavirus recovery program.

Members of the First Congregational United Church of Christ have been meeting online since March. Rev. Mark Winters said: “Since the middle of March, we have been live streaming our services from our sanctuary. We recently switched to a pre-recorded model which allows us to include more readers and...

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Presidential Nominees Rarely Speak To Muslim Audiences. Biden Did Monday

July 21, 2020

 

Joe Biden spoke to a notable Muslim American advocacy organization on Monday. 

Just his presence — albeit virtually, due to the pandemic, from his home in Delaware — was rather historic for Muslim leaders, who can't recall another presidential nominee speaking directly to such a large group of Muslims. The group, Emgage Action, says 3,000 people RSVP'd for its livestreamed event.

Biden didn't introduce any new policy priorities, but his tone marked a noticeable departure from how many politicians have addressed Muslims in recent years....

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Through sci-fi and fantasy, Muslim women authors are building new worlds

July 17, 2020

When blogger Umairah Hussain asked her readers if they would join a book club for science fiction and fantasy novels by Muslim authors, she was overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response and suggestions for additions to the club’s reading list.

But there was something unusual about two dozen authors on the reading list Hussein compiled for the club, including the writers behind her favorite series, “An Ember in the Ashes” and “The Daevabad Trilogy.”

“Almost all of them were actually published by women in the past few years,” said Hussain, a sci-fi fan who blogs at...

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Citing health concerns, Westborough officials hesitant to approve religious gathering at state hospital property

July 16, 2020

 

The Board of Selectmen met jointly with the Board of Health July 14 to consider a request from resident Muhammad Ramzan to host upwards of 2,000 people at the Westborough State Hospital property on Saturday, Aug. 1 for Eid, a Muslim religious celebration. Eid marks the end of a month of fasting from dawn to sunset, as well as spiritual reflection and prayer.

Ramzan, a physician at UMass and member of the Worcester Islamic Center, said his congregation was looking for an outdoor facility to conduct a 30- to 45-minute religious service where worshippers would...

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Muslim civil liberties group to represent inmate denied kosher food in Michigan jail

July 9, 2020

 

An Islamic civil liberties and advocacy organization will represent a man who has been denied kosher food in a Michigan jail.

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, said in a statement issued Monday that it would appear as legal representative for Brandon Resch, an inmate in the Macomb County Jail, in his lawsuit against the county.

In November 2017, Resch was transferred from Oakland County Jail, where he was receiving a kosher diet. He requested a kosher diet in Macomb and had an interview with its chaplain...

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Dearborn mosque: Woodmere Cemetery shutting out Muslims from graves they already purchased

July 6, 2020

 

More than two dozen religious, political and community leaders gathered Friday morning, before noon prayer at the American Moslem Society mosque in Dearborn, to call attention to a legal fight with nearby Woodmere Cemetery. 

At issue, the mosque — the oldest in Michigan — said the 150-year-old cemetery is preventing Muslims from being buried there and seeking to take advantage of them.

And, its religious leaders added, it's affecting Muslims throughout the state. 

"All we want from the new management...

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Alabama death row inmate hopes courts will allow chaplain by his side at execution

July 1, 2020

 

Charles L. Burton Jr. doesn’t want to be alone when he dies.

The death row inmate hopes a federal court will make sure that does not happen.

Burton, who was sentenced in 1992 for participation in a murder during a robbery, filed suit last year after the state of Alabama denied a Muslim inmate from having an imam serve as a spiritual adviser at his execution, citing state policy that only allowed Christian clergy to serve as chaplains in the death chamber.

In response, the state barred all spiritual advisers, a move...

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These racist memes say coronavirus masks will lead to burqas - Daily Dot

June 30, 2020

by Samira Sadeque

Nihad Awad doesn’t even find the memes frustrating anymore; he just finds it funny. He’s reviewing a tweet by user Michelle Maier (@mmba23baer). 

“I believe we are being conditioned for something,” the tweet says, along with four photos dated 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023. 

The first photo shows a woman in a face mask, the second photo shows another woman in a slightly bigger face mask, the third shows a woman in a mask covering her hair and her neck, and the fourth lands on a woman with her face, forehead, neck covered. She...

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After Floyd, raw talk, racial reckoning among US Muslims

June 29, 2020

 

As a young student, Hind Makki recalls, she would call out others at the Islamic school she attended when some casually used an Arabic word meaning “slaves” to refer to Black people.

“Maybe 85% of the time, the response that I would get from people ... is, ‘Oh, we don’t mean you, we mean the Americans,’” Makki said during a virtual panel discussion on race, one of many organized in the wake of George Floyd's death.

“That’s a whole other situation about anti-Blackness, particularly against African Americans,” said Makki, who identifies as a Black...

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