Causes that need our help.

I’m writing this post on behalf of Br. `Uthmaan regarding two causes that need help, and since its Ramadaan I’m hoping that people will make an extra effort to dedicate their time and donate where possible insha’Allaah.

1st Cause – Baby Maryam:

maryam

She’s a 1 year old baby who was born with multiple organ failures. Amongst other complications she has a failed left kidney and her right one is in bad condition. She has a catheter attached to her and has stitches across her belly due to a number of operations.

She is in Need of constant care. Her father, `Abdur-Rahmaan is the only one who is taking care of her right now as her mother is not mentally stable and thus prevented “legally” from tending to her baby. Her father takes care of her all day long and is in and out of the Sick Kids hospital ever since Maryam was born. We are raising funds for Br. `Abdur-Rahmaan’s mother to come to Canada from Pakistan so that he can work and provide for the family while his mother takes care of the child.

Please make du`aa for her and do what you can in raising funds insha’Allaah.

2nd Cause – War Refugee Shelters:

There are two War Refugee Shelters in Toronto where Muslims are being treated unjustly and discriminated against, and are not getting proper access to food for Suhoor or Iftaar. Sometimes they don’t get any food at all. There’s a young Muslim kid at the shelter who is in need of a wheelchair but the management is refusing to provide him with the means to get one. We’re trying to raise funds for his wheelchair and also for `Eid gifts for the kids at the shelter.

Please help in whatever way you can. This is the last half of Ramadaan wherein our rewards are multiplied manifold. And if there is no way you can donate, or volunteer your time then atleast keep them in your du`aas.

Those interested in helping out can contact me via email at: saima@muslimahsource.org.

Speaking to CSIS – Know Your Rights

csis workshop

We recently had a very informative workshop on Knowing our Rights when CSIS comes to your door. The reason behind this workshop is the continued harassment of Muslims and other minority groups in Canada.

Please listen to the workshop presented by James Kafieh, an Ottawa based lawyer with the Canadian Arab Federation, Faisal Kutty, a leading human rights lawyers in Canada, and James Clark an activist with Toronto Coalition to Stop the War. Educate yourself so that when you’re approached, you know what to do.

David’s Heiress

By: Salman Dia-Eddine

“Me and running don’t always see eye to eye. Some days it hurts more than others. But it doesn’t mean I don’t do it. I deal with it and I keep running because not everything that is good for you always feels good for you.”

– Lance Armstrong.

:::

This is a story for Muslim women, about a young woman of their own, named Sarah.

Do you know her?

To you, she’s just another Muslimah. She’s of average height and weight. Maybe you’ve seen her in class. Or at the office. Or at the masjid. Maybe in the mall.

She’s does her part in the community. She’s probably active in the MSA, or maybe not. I don’t know for sure. But you’ve seen her there often. Sometimes, she pitches in at the masjid. Helps little kids learn to read the Qur’an or cleans up the floor after the Ramadan dinner. Sometimes, she helps out a friend or an entire family in a pinch – freely and willingly – with no expectation of return. Sometimes, she helps out by writing articles, or blogs, or posts about issues affecting Muslims today. At other times, she’ll lend a hand in organizing an event raising local or even regional awareness about important social issues.

Of course, she’s human. Sometimes she gets tired, but can only sleep for a few hours at most. Other times she’ll be out cold for ten hours at a time, prancing around in dreamland with whatever version of Brad Pitt she fancies. Or maybe its Clooney. Omar Shareef. Shahrukh Khan. Amr Diab. Who knows. Maybe her mom.

She tries her best to keep her eeman decently high. And she does better on that score than she gives herself credit for. She hauls her weight around the house. Even though she might get into disagreements with family members, she’ll still do her fair share of work without being vindictive. Yeah, like many others, her parents also have high expectations of her, to which she doesn’t always measure up. She’s clueless as to how much her parents appreciate her and make dua for her, but it doesn’t matter. The angels know, and God knows. She herself will know too, one Day.

Yes, she makes mistakes, and yes she trips every now and then. But she gets back up, her resolve undiminished. Powered by that modest bit of taqwa, her conscience kicks into auto-correct mode and she glides back on course. She silently asks God for strength, and so it is delivered. She asks Him for the patience to endure gracefully, and so it is delivered. She asks Him to help her keep that torch lit ever so brightly, and so it is delivered.

Its there in her heart blazing the way for her spirit and tongue to follow. It’s there in her mind’s eye, giving her the pre-emptive foresight to overcome those pesky mountains in her way. It’s that determined sparkle you see in her eyes, it’s the potent juice which recharges her battery, and it’s what illuminates the strong ice that her confident steps walk upon.

And although she doesn’t carry her grandfather David’s sling, his blood runs through her veins like the torrential waters of the Niagara going over the edge of the precipice. His unflinching courage and determination make her legs become oaks more firmly rooted in certainty than the massive monoliths of Redwood yore. His legendary aim is as native to her in whatever she does as the sand that blows across the Sahara.

Unbeknownst to her, Sarah’s reputation has preceded her, and robbed the Goliaths of their sleep. She has hope from God, and they have none. She will stand, and they will fall.

Sarah is you.

::: AFTERWORD :::

In early December 2008, I was on the phone with that sterling champion of justice, the lawyer Dennis Edney. We were discussing a public event that had taken place a few days prior at the University of Toronto, and at McMaster University. Dennis and other speakers had been invited to speak on issues and challenges pertaining to social justice, about detainees in Canada and abroad for whom they were legal counsel, and to motivate the packed auditorium to stand up for the rule of law, fairness, and equality.

During the conversation, he expressed his admiration specifically for the young Muslim women who had worked so hard in bringing those events to life. He remarked about how proud and delighted he would be if such calibre of a woman were to become his daughter-in-law. When I asked him if he would be willing to be quoted on that, he agreed readily and sent me the following email – quoted here verbatim:

Dear Sol;

There is not much more that I can add than what I earlier stated.

I was greatly impressed by the young Muslim women who arranged and participated in my speaking engagements at the U of T and McMasters. Their approach in presenting the message of social justice for all was a tribute to their leadership and professionalism. I believe we can all learn from their example.

I had mentioned these young women represented the best of womanhood in that they exuded intelligence, a strong sense of identity, purpose and dignity. These are all the hallmarks of true leadership. We have a great need for such leadership in this day and age. I can only hope there example will be a catalyst for young Muslim males to follow.

Had my son been associated with any one of these women, I would have been well pleased at his choice.

I will always be available to assist in any way I can.

Dennis

So I write this for Sarah to tell her to keep her eyes on the ultimate prize. That sparkling castle on 4600 Firdaus Lane, the laughter of the cherubs drifting across the clouds, the sweet cool waters of al-Kauthar, and the fresh sunshine of His Eternal Pleasure on her heart and soul. Everything else along the way is just gravy.

Sarah, keep going. This is that last mile, that challenging 12th rep. Kick in those afterburners, slam that pedal to the floor, and keep doing whatever it is that you were doing for His sake. This isn’t the first time you and your kind have stepped up to the plate. This isn’t the first time you’ve rallied the team when it’s down and overcome the opposing lead to take home the Cup. While the guys were simply aiming for left field, I saw you look straight at the Sun and told it to open wide, and I saw you belt one straight out of the stratosphere.

Out of our rib you were made, a fortified pillar you have become, and no man shall succeed without you at his side. Hidden behind that polite nod and the simple reply of “jazakiyallahu khayran” is a massive ocean of admiration and dua that you know not of.

But the angels know. And God knows.

And on the Day it counts most, you will know too.

:::

“The reward of every deed is known, except for the reward of patience, which will be like heavy rain.” – Sulayman ibn Qasim

My sincere thanks go out to Saima for her assistance in giving shape to my thoughts. May God reward her. Ameen

Source: Muslimah Source

O Brother, where art thou?

Here is an excellent article written by Asim Qureshi from CagePrisoners. Thanks to Helal for sharing it with me (Jazaakillaah khayr habibtee!). It reminded me of the times I’ve had to talk to Muslim detainees just because they didn’t have any brothers calling them. I used to write to them, most of the time collectively. It would usually be a generic message but because of the situation they are in, they are extremely vulnerable. Eventually, I retired from writing because of fear of fitnah.

I turned to a few brothers and requested them to call these brothers, and write to them. To make it easy for them, I had even offered to mail out letters for them, but no one took the initiative. Its terribly frustrating, especially when you are asked to stay indoors and not involve yourself in such activities because you’re a woman!

What’s even sad is that all of the rallies I’ve attended in the past, had an overwhelming number of sisters compared to brothers! Heck, the rallies are LED by sisters!

I haven’t resolved to giving up on brothers yet. There’s always hope they say. There are still a handful of them who truly are gems. And then there are some who just need a little polishing.

May Allaah refine us and make us true believers and allow us to work tirelessly in His Cause, aameen.

Where are our men?!

I’m frustrated and outraged at what I’ve been reading over the past two weeks about Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. She was kidnapped with her 3 children, the youngest one being a 6 month old in March 2003 and her plight has just started to reach different corners of the world. FIVE long and trying years after her disappearance, and yet the men of our nation aren’t moved.

So there have been protests in Pakistan – the first one that I read about was led by women – but are there men only in Pakistan? How can this abuse be tolerated by us, especially by men who are responsible for the protection of our nation? For the protection of our honour? How can I consider myself safe if I won’t have anyone to come to my rescue if such a thing were to happen? How can any woman feel secure when the Muslim nation has morphed into a sleeping giant? We are stuck in a state of comatosity and have become so indifferent to our current state of affairs that nothing moves us anymore.

I imagine, those women who were harassed and raped at the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and during the reign of Mu`tasim Billaah, an Abbasid Caliph, were forunate to have men like them to come to their rescue and avenge their honour.

A report by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan revealed the following about her condition:

  • one of her kidneys had been removed while in captivity;
  • her teeth had been removed;
  • her nose had been broken, and improperly reset;
  • that her recent gun-shot wound had been incompetently dressed, was oozing blood, leaving her clothes soaked with blood.
  • So what about this sister? What are we doing to avenge her honour? What about her children? What would YOU do if you were treated like that and your children were snatched away from you for years, without knowing anything about their whereabouts?

    Below are links related to her case. Please inform yourselves and others and do whatever it takes to voice your concern about her.

    War on Terror – a reality check.

    Aafia Siddiqui Claims She Was Held By The US in Bagram For Years

    ‘My Sister is Innocent’

    Oh. My. God!

    This is just so ridiculous.

    Justice Peter Openshaw, a judge over the trial of Tariq al-Daour, Waseem Mughal and Younis Tsouli does not know what a website is! Lol. Allaahul musta`aan.. This is just sad..

    Read the full news article here.

    The article also had a hilarious bit at the end:
    “What are the Beatles?” judicial legend; may be apocryphal
    “How can a bed be turned into a sofa?” Judge Seddon Cripps asks about a futon
    Who is Gazza? Mr Justice Harman, who later also admitted ignorance of Oasis and Bruce Springsteen
    “What is Linford Christie’s lunch box?” Mr Justice Popplewell (probably mischievous)
    “What is this Teletub?” Judge Francis Aglionby, about a Teletubby jigsaw
    “What is B&Q?” Lord Irvine of Lairg, Lord Chancellor and head of the judiciary
    Source; Times database.

    For you, a thousand times over indeed.

    May the stars carry your sadness away,

    May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,

    May hope forever wipe away your tears,

    And, above all, may silence make you strong.

    – Chief Dan George.

    Cheeks stained with tears, and hearts wrenched with agony and frustration. The families had just heard about the painful and humiliating ordeal Steven Vikash Chand [25 yrs old; one of the Toronto 18 accused of “terrorism” charges] was subjected to yesterday. He was beaten up while taking a shower by one or more of the guards at the Maplehurst Correctional Complex and they then banged his head against a wall. He was then dragged out of the washroom by his hair to his cell. When he requested for a doctor to treat his bleeding, they denied him his right and instead put him in a holding cell.

    It will be a year since the incarceration of the Toronto 18 in about half a month from now, some of whom have been released on bail while the youngest has been acquitted. The rest have continued to be held in solitary confinement despite the fact that atleast 4 of them were not under the communication ban. While the trials for the defendants may well be months or even years away, the media has done every bit with the help of the authorities involved, in exploiting the accused. They have not been convicted, yet they are already being punished. So what about real criminals? What about the rapists and psychopaths that plague the cities all across Canada? Why aren’t their lives ruined and ripped apart? Why aren’t they humiliated and punished for crimes they’re CONVICTED of? A few years ago, a woman known as “Jane Doe” was raped in downtown Toronto. After the incident took place, she went to the police to report it. While reporting the rape, she was informed by the police that she had been a victim of a serial rapist. This was a rapist on the loose. He was walking free on the streets of Toronto, yet no warnings had been issued. So where was the media then? Why did the media not fulfill its real job in bringing out the filth of the society? Perhaps it was too busy exploiting Muslims?

    Another recent example of hypocrisy is the issue of bail to Basil Prasiris, a 41 year old man who ADMITTED to killing a  police officer. What can be more absurd than that? These young men are still awaiting their trials, but their lives have been destroyed and are faced with threats and insults by the guards at the Maplehurst “Correctional” Complex. While murderers walk free.

    How very absurd.

    Democracy. Freedom of speech. Justice. Liberty. Land of opportunities. One must rethink these glorious titles that have been so frequently used in reference to Canada since its birth, after these blatant injustices and atrocities committed against these defendants, including the Secret Trial 5: Mohamed Mahjoub, Mahmood Jaballah, Hassan al-Amrei, Adil Charakoui, and Mohamed Harkat, Maher Arar, Huseiyn Cecil and others.

    How long must this be tolerated for?

    Is Canada really growing a branch of Guantanamo on its soil?

    Why has there been constant, evident xenophobic incidents involving ethnic minorities throughout the history of Canada including the implementation of Chinese Head tax in 1885, Japanese Internment in 1942, mistreatment of the Aboriginals, etc.?

    I wonder what the Canadian government has to say to this. 

    As for Steve and his co-accused, you’re not forgotten and you never will be.

    What do I say?

    Another brother that we have disappointed as Muslims and as humans. Huseyin Cecil. A Canadian Uyghur Imaam was sentenced to life imprisonement on April 19th, 2007. As I was browsing the site that has been setup as a part of the Initiative to help release Cecil, I came across some very graphic pictures of how Chinese torturers treat their prisoners:

     

    Sleep deprivation: they insert a stick
    between eye-lashes so that the victim
    could not close eyes for hours.

     

    Prison guards force a practitioner to sit on a metal
    chair and handcuff his hands and feet, then put a
    wooden stick wrapped with a towel to his mouth
    and tighten it to his neck with ropes.

     

    At the first interrogation, they
    used electric batons to give
    shocks to my face and neck.
    The second time, I was fastened
    to a “cross” fetter, my feet were
    cuffed and they put the
    telephone leads round my big
    toes and rang the telephone
    making me jump again and
    again. To stop the jumping, they
    put me on a stool and pressed
    the stool’s legs on my feet. They
    rang the phone again and my
    legs involuntarily jumped. After
    this, my memory got worse, and
    my brain is poorer. No one
    could endure this.”

    For full story please visit:
    Amnesty International

    Subhaan’Allaah, I have never seen anything like this. And I’m lost for words as to how to describe this toture.. Its beyond cruel and inhumane. Its just.. subhaan’Allaah. May Allaah protect our brothers.

    To think that Br. Cecil (may Allaah protect him from every harm, aameen) may be totured as his family does believe that he is being tortured, is just heart-wrenching.

    Please, please make du`aa for this brother and his family.

    Oh Allaah, hasten the release of all our brothers and sisters, all around the world and grant their families patience and imaan to deal with this ordeal.. aameen.