Thursday 31 July 2014

Eid Al-Fitr 2014: How Muslims Celebrate The End Of Ramadan Around The World

 Eid Al-fitr 2014

Eid Al-Fitr is one of the most celebrated occasions in the Islamic calendar, and after a month of fasting, Muslims around the world have a good reason to celebrate.

While dates can vary, this year most Muslims will begin celebrating Eid on July 28, to mark the end of the month of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast each day from sunrise to sunset.
Eid, meaning festival in Arabic, has different names around the world. In South Asia, it’s often called Choti Eid, meaning small Eid, in comparison to the larger Eid Al-Adha. In Turkey, it’s referred to as Ramazan Bayrami, meaning Ramadan holiday.

While the names may vary, Eid holds the same value for Muslims everywhere. It’s a day of celebration, meeting loved ones, and after a month of fasting, eating lots and lots of food.
In Muslim countries, Eid is a three-day celebration and generally a national holiday. In most Western countries, Muslims tend to take a day or two off from their busy schedules for the special occasion.
Whether they are in a predominantly Muslim country or living around the world, Muslims look back to the religious and cultural customs of their ancestors when celebrating Eid. Some of the basics, such as giving charity and attending Eid prayers, are common among all nationalities, while many practices are unique.

Full article.

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Socrates- Speak good or not at all

In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem.
One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, "Do you know what I just heard about your friend?"
"Hold on a minute," Socrates replied.
"Before telling me anything I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."
"Triple filter?"
"That's right," Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you're going to say. That's why I call it the triple filter test.
The first filter is Truth.
Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"
"No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it and..."
"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if it's true or not.
Now let's try the second filter, the filter of goodness.
“Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?"
"No, on the contrary... "
"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, but
you're not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter left: the filter of usefulness.
Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?"
"No, not really."
"Well," concluded Socrates, "If what you want to tell me is neither true nor good even useful, why tell it to me at all?"
This is why Socrates was a great philosopher & held in such high esteem.
Use this triple filter each time you hear loose talk about any of your loved ones :)

Thursday 24 July 2014

Syrian mother's agony: why I made my teenage daughter become a child bride


Um Rulla

We left in February last year: me, my husband Ahmed and our seven children – two sons and five daughters. I borrowed 5,000 Syrian pounds (£20) from my mother to hire a car to drive us from our home in Deraa to the border with Jordan.
When we got to the borderlands, we had to walk with other Syrian families who were fleeing Syria too. We were walking at night to avoid being spotted by Syrian security, who would shoot at us. It was so risky, but I was more scared of what would come next, what sort of life we would have in the refugee camp.

Finally we got into Za'ateri camp, which was like paradise compared with the hell of Deraa. And yet I became worried about the safety of my five daughters. My husband is old and not well, and my sons are little boys. There is no one to protect us. The tents are too close to each other, young men would pass by and stare at our tent.
My eldest daughter, Rulla, was 13 and is attractive. She and her other sisters could not even change their clothes in the tent. We were so scared that my daughters and I might be attacked by strangers. The camp was full of men of different ages. I could not let my daughters go alone to the bathroom, I had to take them one by one even though the bathrooms were far away. Along the way we would be harassed by young men. If any of my daughters wanted a wash, we would have a basin in the tent, and I or my mother would keep watch in case anyone came.
Looking around I could see that families were trying to get their daughters married by any means, even if they were only 12 or 13. They were not asking for dowries, they just wanted a man for their daughters.

My daughters were a huge burden to me. I never thought I would think of them like that. I was so glad when they born. You can't imagine the fear of a mother when she looks at her daughter and she thinks that she might be raped at any moment. It is horrible to think if the rape story became known publicly, her uncles would kill her immediately. I felt like dying when I thought of that moment.
Most of the marriages in the camp are for girls of 12, 13 or 14, but even 10-year-olds might get engaged if they are tall and developed. The way it works is that a female relative of the groom tours the tents to find a girl. When she finds someone suitable, she brings her to the man, who asks for her hand. The groom might be Syrian or Jordanian or from other Arab nationalities.
A 70-year-old Saudi man married the daughter of my neighbour. She was already engaged to a Syrian man but her family could not believe their luck in getting a rich Saudi, so they dumped the first groom to make way for the second. The Saudi man had to pay the family 1m Syrian pounds to marry their young daughter.
It was a big shock when an old Jordanian man came to my mother's tent asking for her hand. He said that he wanted to provide her with a better life and spare her humiliation. These Jordanians are really exploiting Syrian refugees' terrible circumstances.

An acquaintance in a nearby tent had an 18-year-old nephew, Omer, who worked in an embroidering workshop. She told him about our daughter, came to our tent and told us that she wanted Rulla for her nephew. Rulla blushed in astonishment. For me, it was hard to accept the idea. She was still a child, playing with kids in the camp. But the war, hunger, humiliation and fear forced me in the end to accept the offer. It was difficult to throw my daughter into a new life I do not know and she herself does not know either. Rulla knew nothing about marriage, I had to teach her every single thing.
We rented two houses in Amman, one for Omer and one for us. The groom brought jewellery and even paid for a wedding ceremony. We had to take in the wedding dress to make it fit Rulla's tiny body. I had to tell her how to behave with her husband. I asked her if she loved her groom. She said she did, but I was not sure that she knew the real meaning of love.
I fumbled to illustrate things to her bluntly. I told her that her husband might get too close to her, he would kiss her and she should not shudder but welcome that. I did not want to scare her with the whole story of marriage. I told her that her husband would teach her how to be a good wife. I sat for two hours with the groom himself before he married my daughter. I tried to prepare him for the fact that he was getting married to a child, not a mature woman, and that he needed to be more tolerant with her.

The second day after the wedding, I ran to see Rulla and asked her how her night had been. She told me it was OK and that everything went well. I'm praying all the time that her marriage will last. The problem is Rulla can't forget that she is still a child though she is married now. In one of my visits, it was terribly shocking to see her wearing socks and slipping about on the floor like other children in the house. I told her she should not do that because she is a married woman now. She said:"Oh mum, I really like to run like before and play with other girls."
Rulla now lives with her husband's family because she needs her mother-in-law to guide her. She has been married for five months now. I do not think her husband will allow her to complete her studies. He wants her to focus on her house and kids.
Ten days ago, I took Rulla to the hospital, thinking she was pregnant but the doctor found that she had an ovarian cyst. That was bad and good news for me at the same time. Deep in my heart I was content that she won't get pregnant soon because she herself is still a child and her marriage is not documented, which means the baby would not have a birth certificate. I still ask myself every day if I was fair to Rulla.

pls read full article its harrowing.

Tuesday 22 July 2014

This Group Faces Terrifying Persecution, And You May Have Never Heard About It

Anti-Muslim sentiment has a long history in Myanmar, dating back to the colonial period when large numbers of Indians followed the British into the country, as theCrisis Group details in its report. Many of them were Muslims, although Hindus and members of other religions moved in as well. Tensions between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State became violent for the first time during World War II, when the Rohingya supported the country's colonial rulers and the Buddhists sided with Japanese invaders.
Violence and repression flared in the decades that followed and intensified in earnest in the spring of 2012. The rape of a Buddhist girl by several Muslim men set off a wave of reprisal violence in Rakhine State, and members of both communities took part in attacks.
Months later, in October of 2012, a new wave of violence by ethnic Buddhists against Rohingya Muslims broke out, this time in a much more organized way. Local authorities and extremist Buddhist monks riled up Rakhine's Buddhist majority, releasing pamphlets that demonized the Rohingya and public statements that called for their expulsion. Buddhist mobs responded by razing and torching Muslim villages, forcing the inhabitants to flee for their lives.
More than 200 people were killed in the violence of 2012, and about a hundred thousand people -- mostly Muslims -- were forced to leave their homes. The majority ended up in segregated makeshift camps, where their movements became more restricted than ever before.
The following year, attacks spread to the center of the country and were no longer restricted to the Rohingya community, instead targeting Muslims as a whole. Dozens of people were killed and entire neighborhoods destroyed in two waves of riots in the spring and fall of 2013.

Sunday 20 July 2014

Protests against Israeli Terror from around the world

Comment: I think for years Israel has taken advantage of the collective guilt the world and especially Europe feels due to the Holocaust to continue their oppression, but for how much longer? Public opinion is changing. Now is the time to continue to protest and push for sanctions, boycotts and divestment.

More than 150k Jews in NY protest against Israel the press is silent.

More than 150k Jews in NY protest against the press is silent. Embedded image permalink

 This is Marseille, France where protestors risk arrest and imprisonment to protest.

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Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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Albany, NY, USA

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Germany for #FreePalestine

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 Belgium says NO to Zionist attacks on Gaza.

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 Glasgow, Scotland #WorldWithGaza

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 Anti-Israel protesters defy French ban on demonstrations

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  Cape Town, South Africa. #WorldWithGaza

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 Milan Italy #WorldWithGaza

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 Aligarh, India #WorldWithGaza

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 Porto Alegre, Brazil #WorldWithGaza

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And I was marching alongside 100,000 protestors in London, a rally which the BBC barely mentioned. Shame on you BBC!

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Saturday 19 July 2014

Ramadan Reflection Day 18: No Woman Left Behind

A man once come to the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, asking for financial support. The Prophet asked him what he owned in his home and other than a blanket that he and his wife used to sleep on, they owned a plate. The Prophet asked him to bring the plate and then following one of the congregational prayers, he asks the people in attendance who would purchase the plate. He received a bid for it and then asked who would give more for it. The money that was raised was then used to purchase the blade of an axe. The Prophet then put a piece of wood in it to serve as its handle and gave it to the man so that he could cut his own wood and sell it to make money. His solution was long-term, not just in the moment.
Since Ramadan began, I've seen and been in contact with numerous women who are in need of support and help. Amongst them are three women whose husbands have been unfaithful to them, a woman who became pregnant and then abandoned by the man who impregnated her, a convert on the verge of homelessness whose family has disowned her and local community won't invite her into their homes let alone provide her with support, and a survivor so frustrated with the lack of resources available to her that she is starting to doubt her faith because she doesn't understand why Muslims haven't built a support system for people in her situation. For each one of these women, there are thousands more who need our help. And for each one of these women, there are hundreds of thousands of us who can help.

#MBC1 - #OmarSeries - Ep14 - English Subtitles

Thinking about truces/treaties difficult decisions that have to be made. #hudaibiyya #propheticexample

Thursday 17 July 2014

Mob of 200 Women Murders Serial Rapist In Indian Slum, Every Woman Who Lives There Takes Responsibility

 So I think these women are awesome. And Usha Narayane should be given a Padmashri.
 article image
The trial of a woman accused of organizing a lynch mob that killed a known rapist and murderer in India has been ongoing since 2004, but ten years later, the same issues that caused it are still prevalent in the country.
According to The Hindu, Usha Narayane is still on trial for allegedly organizing the massive mob that killed Akku Yadav. Since the incident, Narayane has denied that she organized the mob or that she was even there when they killed the serial rapist, but she has not come out against the killing, acknowledging that the hundreds of women from the Kasturba Nagar slum who take responsibility for Yadav’s murder did the right thing.
Reports say that on August 13, 2004, Yadav was brutally murdered by a mob of women who ambushed him at a courthouse while he was under police protection. The hundreds of women of the Kasturba Nagar slum all accused Yadav of rape, murder, and a slew of other crimes, and although the evidence against the man was overwhelming, local police refused to do anything about it. Many women claimed that when they reported their rapes to police, they were either laughed at or told that they deserved to be raped. When Yadav was actually arrested for three separate murders, he was let go each time. Yadav also continuously terrorized the community, abused the women, and continued his chain of sexual assaults for years without any police intervention.
Two weeks prior to his death, Yadav reportedly approached Narayane, who at 25 was an outspoken advocate for the women in her community, and threatened to rape her.
"He raped only poor people whom he thought wouldn't go and tell, or if they did, wouldn't be listened to,” said Narayane, who herself was educated and set to take a managerial position in the north of India prior to the incident. “But he made a big mistake in threatening me. People felt that if I were attacked, no woman would ever be safe."
The week before the lynching, Yadav disappeared from the area after hearing chatter that action was going to be taken against him. Hundreds of residents proceeded to destroy his home, and at that point, police took him into custody to protect him, the alleged serial rapist and murderer, from harm.
The women of the slum heard that Yadav was going to be given a hearing for accusations against him, but the belief was that he would once again be granted bail. Fearing for their safety, a group of 200 women went to the courthouse on the day of his hearing and brutally murdered Yadav. The rapist had two police officers protecting him when the women entered the courthouse wielding knives, but they fled out of fear for their own lives. The 200 women proceeded to cut off Yadav’s penis, repeatedly stab him, and throw stones at him until he was dead on the floor. Five women were immediately arrested, but ultimately, they were released when every single woman from the slum claimed responsibility for the attack.
Narayane said that while the mob attacked Yadav, she was actually collecting signatures for a petition against the serial rapist, but police still arrested her and accused her of planning the lynching.
"It was not calculated," Narayane said. "It was not a case that we all sat down and calmly planned what would happen. It was an emotional outburst. The women decided that, if necessary, they'd go to prison, but that this man would never come back and terrorise [sic] them."
The trial is still going on to this day, even though Narayane was reportedly released from custody in 2012. Sadly, as The Hindu’s Mythili Sundar writes, the mistreatment of women by India’s male dominated society, especially as thousands of rape cases are dismissed by authorities every year, is still as strong today as it was in 2004.
“What can be done to dent the rigid frame of patriarchal values? A change in thinking should begin at home,” writes Sundar. “Girls should be encouraged to speak, ask questions. Schools should include in their curriculum lessons on equal treatment of boys and girls. They should conduct activities encouraging equal participation. Stereotypes should be broken and boys should be sensitized [sic] on gender issues. Even if the programmes [sic] succeed marginally, the impact will be huge in the long run.”
- See more at:

Tuesday 15 July 2014

A Woman's Story About Being in the Mosque

Says Shyema:
"It was already a long day. The night before I only got a few hours of sleep. Most nights in Ramadan end up that way for many Muslims because of the short period between our nightly prayers and waking up to eat before dawn. Whereas my fasts were going by with surprising ease the days before, yesterday I found myself terribly sluggish and fighting an unusually pronounced headache, while simultaneously hoping my colleagues at work would ignore the loud conversations my stomach was having with itself. The humidity didn't help on the way back home, and if matters couldn't have gotten worse, the subway got stuck right before my stop. With the crowd and heat, I was almost certain I would pass out (I didn't). When I finally made it out, I rushed home to cook for my roommates and finished just in time for prayer. After we broke fast together, I promptly passed out on the couch. Not even an hour later at 10pm, my roommate, Shazia, woke me up to go for the nightly prayer. I contemplated skipping out and just praying at our apartment, considering how little energy I had, but I also didn't want her to go alone. I forced myself up and got ready while my other roommate, Amina, made me a cup of coffee to go. This is what Ramadan is all about, I thought. It's about denying the self, sharing these moments in worship with the community, and strengthening your personal bond with your Lord. The fatigue swiftly turned into excitement as we made our way to the mosque.
Unfortunately, that feeling quickly faded.
As soon as we began heading upstairs where we had normally prayed in the past, a man called after us, redirecting us back to pray in a dark corner on the first floor instead. We followed his gestures towards the area and quickly realized it had no air conditioning. We finished our first prayer and found ourselves wiping away beads of sweat from the extreme humidity and heat.
"Let's go to the third floor," Shazia suggested. "It's empty and has air conditioning." The other two ladies sitting with us overheard and told us that women were actually told to pray in the basement next to the bathroom. However, because of the recent unbearable heat, they were given the current space on the first floor, which was just barely more tolerable. Shazia was determined though, and to her credit, it was really hard to focus with drops of perspiration rolling down our backs. We attempted to make our way back up and this time, another gentleman in a white thobe shot up, wagging his finger. "No! Women are not allowed up there," he said in an all too condescending tone that made everyone around look our way. Shazia tried to explain to him that it was too hot where we were...and then came the cherry on top: "Sisters, your place is here," he said pointing to the first floor oven, "or the basement--not anywhere else." And just like that, he killed my Ramadan spirit.

Monday 14 July 2014

Pakistan police investigate after young woman dies during exorcism

Comment:  I get a lot a messges about possesssion and balck magic etc. please be careful of trusting 'pirs' and other self-proclaimed religious healers. Please look for scientific/medical explanations and consults respected imam in your local community.

Police in Pakistan have launched a murder inquiry after a young woman was reportedly beaten to death by a Muslim holy man who was trying to “exorcise demons” from her.

Reports said the 24-year-old woman from Lahore, Zeenat Bib, had been suffering from undiagnosed problems for some time and that her family had taken her to several doctors.
Her condition had not improved and so her family decided to take her to a local pir, or Sufi elder, who they believed could confront “the demons tormenting her”.
Police told the Express Tribune newspaper that the young woman’s cousin, Shahbaz, had taken her to the healer, identified as Pir Afzal. During his so-called treatment, the pir is alleged to have tied her up with ropes and began to beat her.

“When Zeenat Bibi started screaming in pain, Shahbaz tried to stop him but the pir told him that the blows were not hurting her,” a neighbour told the newspaper.
At that point, the young woman fainted and efforts to revive her failed. The pir then told the nephew to take her to hospital, where she subsequently died.
Such incidents are not rare in large swathes of South Asia, especially in rural areas, where knowledge about mental health issues is still growing and where resources to tackle such problems are often scarce. When mainstream doctors are unable to help, people will often turn to an alternative.
In 2012, a 13-year-old girl was killed in Cheecha Watni, around 160 miles form Lahore, after a pir tried to rid her of “demons”. Reports said the teenager suffocated after cotton was pushed into her nostrils and her throat was blocked.

In the current case, police have reportedly arrested the nephew of the young woman and are looking for the pir.

Tuesday 8 July 2014

The searing hypocrisy of the West

Since the teens went missing from Gush Etzion, a Jewish-only colony in the West Bank, Israel has besieged the 4 million Palestinians who already live under its thumb, storming through towns, ransacking homes and civil institutions, conducting night raids on families, stealing property, kidnapping, injuring, and killing.
Warplanes were dispatched to bomb Gaza, again and repeatedly, destroying more homes and institutions and carrying out extrajudicial executions.
Thus far, over 570 Palestinians have been kidnapped and imprisoned, most notably Samer Issawi, the Palestinian who went on a 266-day hunger strike in protest of a previous arbitrary detention.
At least 10 Palestinians have been killed, including at least three children, a pregnant woman, and a mentally ill man. Hundreds have been injured, thousands terrorized.
Universities and social welfare organizations were ransacked, shut down, their computers and equipment destroyed or stolen, and both private and public documents confiscated from civil institutions.
This wonton thuggery is official state policy conducted by its military and does not include the violence to persons and properties perpetuated by paramilitary Israeli settlers, whose persistent attacks against Palestinian civilians have also escalated in the past weeks.
And now that the settlers are confirmed dead, Israel has vowed to exact revenge. Naftali Bennet, Economy Minister said, "There is no mercy for the murderers of children. This is the time for action, not words."
Although no Palestinian faction has claimed responsibility for the abduction, and most, including Hamas, deny any involvement, Benjamin Netanyahu is adamant that Hamas is responsible. The United Nations requested that Israel provide evidence to support their contention, but no evidence has been forthcoming, casting doubt on Israel’s claims, particularly in light of its public ire over the recent unification of Palestinian factions and President Obama’s acceptance of the new Palestinian unity.
In the West, headlines over pictures of the three Israeli settler teens referred to Israel's reign of terror over Palestine as a "manhunt" and "military sweep." Portraits of innocent young Israeli lives emerged from news outlets and the voices of their parents are featured in the fullness of their anguish. The US, EU, UK, UN, Canada and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) condemned the kidnapping and called for their immediate and unconditional release. Upon discovery of the bodies, there has been an outpouring of condemnation and condolences.
President Obama said, "As a father, I cannot imagine the indescribable pain that the parents of these teenage boys are experiencing. The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms this senseless act of terror against innocent youth."
Although hundreds of Palestinian children are kidnapped, brutalized or killed by Israel, including several in the past two weeks, there is rarely, if ever, such a reaction from the world.
Just prior to the disappearance of the Israeli settler teens, the murder of two Palestinian teens was caught on a local surveillance camera. Ample evidence, including the recovered bullets and a CNN camera filming an Israeli sharpshooter pulling the trigger at the precise moment one of the boys was shot indicated that they were killed in cold blood by Israeli soldiers.
There were no condemnations or calls for justice for these teens by world leaders or international institutions, no solidarity with their grieving parents, nor mention of the more than 250 Palestinian children, kidnapped from their beds or on their way to school, who continue to languish in Israeli jails without charge or trial, physically and psychologically tortured.
This is to say nothing of the barbaric siege of Gaza, or the decades of ongoing theft, evictions, assaults on education, confiscation of land, demolition of homes, color coded permit system, arbitrary imprisonment, restriction of movement, checkpoints, extrajudicial executions, torture, and denials at every turn squeezing Palestinians into isolated ghettos.
None of that seemingly matters.

Tuesday 1 July 2014

The leader of resistance to occupation from Algeria: Lala Fatima N'Soumeur

The leader of resistance to occupation from Algeria: Lala Fatima N'Soumeur
1830 - 1863
She was an intelligent child whose father took care to educate her in religious sciences and left her in charge of his Quranic memorization school after his death. Her reputation for knowledge spread quickly throughout the Algerian tribes.
At the time, Algeria was under French occupation, and one day the French army launched a military assault on her village.
Fatima bravely fought alongside her brother and sparked fear in the hearts of the French, so much so that they started telling tales of the Algerian “Joan of Arc”.
After the day her village was attacked, she became active in the resistance and was part of many military campaigns. she achieved one victory after another, until the French army had to offer her a truce which she accepted. However, the French army soon broke that truce and attacked her village and captured Fatima and seized her library (which was rumored to have contained around 150 books) 

Fatima was placed in a prison under heavy French guard and there she stayed for several years until she suddenly passed away.
Some say of a sudden illness and some say poisoned by the French because they couldn't break her spirit, but her memory remained in the hearts and minds of the Algerian people as a symbol of resistance and strength.

from Muslim women in history FB page