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How Meditation Feeds My Muslim Faith

Written by Kaighla Um Dayo

There is a rather common misunderstanding among the Muslim community that meditation is haraam (a sin). The word itself is taboo.

One thinks of gongs, Tibetan prayer flags, maybe a smiling Buddha statue, and Sanskrit chants. But these things are a commercialized picture of a very healthy, very widespread practice that millions of people from all walks of faith—and lack thereof—have enjoyed from the beginning of humankind.

How Meditation Feeds My Muslim Faith

 

In this day and age when we are almost never alone, truly alone, without a device to keep us company and distract us from our innermost thoughts, it’s almost impossible to shut our brains down, creating an epidemic of sleep deprivation, stress, and anxiety.

I have always had a very busy, very distracted mind, and my emotions take hold of me easily. But one day in 2015, shortly after my divorce and iddah (waiting period) had begun, I suddenly saw the ways in which my new meditation practice was helping me.

In the midst of an emotional meltdown after yet another argument, I felt the same inner drive to do something about the pain and rage I felt. Suddenly, and totally unexpectedly, I felt a calm come over me and I felt myself tell myself, “Actually, Kaighla, you don’t have to do anything. You could sit and let this pain pass over you.”

And I was hooked.

What is Meditation?

What do I mean when I say “meditation”? For starters, it doesn’t (always) include chants, Sanskrit, or otherwise. The National Institute of Health says that meditation involves a combination of four things:

1.) a quiet location with as few distractions as possible; Read more

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Politicians, Prophets, and Pathetic Excuses

written by Stephanie Siam 

Recently, the internet was set ablaze (again) when US Vice President Mike Pence declared that he doesn’t eat alone with women other than his wife.

Many people spoke up in defense of women’s rights. How dare this man in such a privileged, public position require all of his personal assistants be male?

What did he mean when he said he wouldn’t attend events where alcohol was served if his wife couldn’t be there to chaperone him?

How could such a sexist, misogynistic, clueless individual attain such an important political position?

Oh, that’s right … Well, I suppose we should be thankful Pence doesn’t want to be alone with women. It could be worse. He could want to grab them wherever, whenever he gets a chance.

But I digress.

Truly, at first, it does seem a bit offensive – as a woman – to hear that I won’t be eligible for a one-on-one session with the Veep. Am I not good enough? Are my ideas, education, and theories not valid enough for this man?
Read more

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Pink Mosques

written by Theresa Corbin

Here on islamwich, we talk a lot about how too many mosques are not what they are meant to be.

Mostly mosques around the world are cultural clubs who marginalize or even do disservice to converts, or they make women feel unwelcome by only providing dingy closets for us pray in, or they have banned women entirely, or they are openly racist towards any arbitrary group they choose, or they don’t welcome non-Muslims, or all of the above … and more.

All of this mess is not from Islam. The mosque is meant to be for all: women, men, young, old, and people from all cultures, countries, colors. It is supposed to be a place to learn, to hang out, to enjoy each other’s company, to share meals, to pray, to supplicate to God, to foster volunteer and outreach programs, to build interfaith bridges, and more.
Read more

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Islam + Emoji = Islamoji

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Time to Talk Ramadan

written by Theresa Corbin

Hello boys and girls of islamwich. In case you didn’t know, Ramadan is right around the corner. Err, maybe a little ways down the street and then a right at the corner.

Talking about Ramadan

Whatever distance it is from us, I am getting ready. This year, I want to share your Ramadan traditions with the world, like literally because I am writing an article for Al Jumuah magazine about you. That’s right, you. 🙂

So, this week’s post is interactive. Let me know how you as a Latino, African, Russian, American, Middle Eastern, or Australian, etc. Muslim celebrate the month of Ramadan.

What special dishes do you make? How do you share the month with the community? How do you celebrate the sighting of the new moon at the beginning of the month? What cultural garments are purchased or made and worn for Eid? What is your unique cultural take?  

Let’s not simply prepare for and celebrate the holy month, let’s get to know each other, as God said in the Quran:

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another […]. (Quran 49:13)

Follow us (upper right of the page). Email us (islamwich@yahoo.com). Like our face with your face on Facebook (facebook.com/islamwich). Tumble with us on Tumblr (islamwich.tumblr.com). Pin with us (pinterest.com/islamwich). Follow us on twitter (@islamwich).

Like the post, share it, pin it, comment on it, and/or do whatever social media magic it is that you prefer. Find out more about us in the understandably named “About” page and browse other posts in “Table of Contents”.

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Review of Revive Your Heart by Nouman Ali Khan

written by Theresa Corbin

Brother Nouman Ali Khan has a new book coming out. Are you exited? I know I am. It’s currently available for pre-order on Amazon. Go, put in your order now. The release is set for May, but I have a strong feeling this one will sell out fast. Also it is available now in some Islamic book retailers in the US. 

Revive your heart

You might be wondering, who is Nouman Ali Khan?

If you aren’t familiar with his work, then you can send me a thank you letter once you find out. According to a bio on goodreads (that I lazily copied and passed here) he is

recognized as one of the world’s most influential Muslims, not only in the West. His deep and profound bond with the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book, is at the heart of his work and the focus of his teachings, which manage to reach out to millions of Muslims from many different countries. 

Over the years, I have learned so much from Brother Nouman’s YouTube lectures and Bayyinah TV’s Arabic classes.

Nouman, in Revive Your Heart, takes short mentions from the Quran and blows them up to poster size so we can see the scene clearly. You think at first, we couldn’t possibly have such a large scope of understanding of such small mentions in the Quran.

Read more

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What Have the Muslims Done Lately?

muslim giants

Written by Theresa Corbin

In the Golden age of Islam, Muslim scholars were polymaths, making discoveries in all fields and advancing science, math, engineering, economics, medicine, astronomy, art, and human rights in amazing ways. From the first hospital and university to the first tooth brush, Muslims contributed greatly to the world during a time that is ironically called the Dark Ages. But do inheritors of this great Islamic legacy exist today? They do indeed. Let me introduce you to a few of them:

Maha Abu-Dayyeh

mahaA Muslim feminist who established the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC) in order to empower women and enable them to contribute in all aspects of life. Maha recently passed away.

Dr. Teepu Siddique

Dr. Teepu Siddique

A Muslim neurologist who, with his team, succeeded in discovering one of the causes of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Dr. Khalid Shah

shahA Muslim molecular neurotherapist and stem cells professor who successfully discovered a brain cancer treatment by prompting stem cells to kill brain cancer cells.

Dr. Zainab Alwani

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  A prominent American scholar, academic, and activist who is reclaiming gender equality in Islamic scholarship.

Jawed Karim

Jawed

A Muslim internet entrepreneur who co-founder YouTube.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC)

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A non-profit, Muslim organization whose mission is to “work with different organizations from Muslim and non-Muslim backgrounds, to campaign for justice for all peoples regardless of their background.”

Ziad Ahmed

redfy

A Muslim sophomore New Jersey who founded redefy.org, a multi-platform organization whose mission is “to boldly defy stereotypes, embrace acceptance and tolerance, redefine our perspectives positively, and create an active community.”

Ahmed Zewail

Ahmed_Zewail

A Muslim Chemist who won the 1999 Nobel Prize for his studies of the transition states of chemical reactions using femtosecond spectroscopy.

Mercy-USA

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 A non-profit, Muslim organization that is dedicated to alleviating human suffering and supporting individuals and their communities in their efforts to become more self-sufficient.

Tawakel Karman

karman

 A Muslim activist who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.

These are only a few of the Muslim men and women who contribute to our world in amazing ways. Just because you haven’t heard about them on the news doesn’t mean they aren’t out their working hard for a better tomorrow.

Follow us (upper right of the page), email us (islamwich@yahoo.com), like our face with your face on Facebook, like the post, share it, pin it, comment on it, and/or do whatever social media magic it is that you prefer. Find out more about us in the understandably named “About Us” page and browse other posts in our “Table of Contents”.