Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Message for Friday - The True Renewers of Faith Have Knowledge

G'd says in the Qur'an (39:2):
Is one who worships devoutly during the hours of the night prostrating himself and standing [in adoration] that takes heed of the latter-life and places his hope in the Mercy of G'd [like one who does not?] Say! are those who know equal to those who do not know? Only those endowed with intellect reflect [concerning this].
The Qur'an is a book that calls towards observation, acquistion and analysis of knowledge. In fact after the word G'd (ALLAH), the word knowledge (`ilm) and its derivitives is the most used word in the Qur'an.
A person, who is endowed with the proper understanding of implementing knowledge, however, is one, who has firstly devoted himself to worship, adoration and obedience to G'd. This person recognizes that the same order within the universe that is governed by G'd also must discipline their life within the same order to achieve success in this life and in the next life. Thus, a person of knowledge understands that success in cannot be independent of the guidance of G'd. Muslims believe that this guidance can be found within the pristiness of the Qur'an.
إن الله يبعث إلى هذه الأمة على رأس كل مائة سنة من يجدد لها دينها
أخرجه أبو داوود و الحاكم والطبراني والبيهقي
The Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) stated, "Surely G'd will awaken within this community at the head of every century one who will renew for it the religion [of Islam.]"
Those who say that there needs to be reform within the Muslim mind are absolutely correct. Their statements agree with the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the prophets that came before him. However, this reform must coincide with the core principles of the Qur'an and the life example of the Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) for it to be Islamic reform. The reform is in fact a renewal of certain aspects of the Islamic life that the Muslims have deemphasized or no longer practice with the correct understanding.
Hence any reformer, who attempts to introduce concepts into Islam outside of the Qur'an, the primary source of Islam, is not a reformer. Introducing something outside of the Qur'an differs from thoughtful exegesis that factors in textual information with the development and evolution of applying the text to modern circumstances.
كل بدعة ضلالة، وكل ضلالة في النار
The Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) said, "Every [baseless, religious] innovation is astray, and every astray leads to the fire."
Fire is fueled by passions and feelings. The person, who just has a feeling about solutions to problems without proper knowledge may mean well, but this person will miss the mark. In fact, the person may actually observe issues that are truly problematic, but their lack of knowledge and baseless opinions may actually cause more harm than good.
Imam Ali (KW) said, "Knowledgable people are alive after death; ignorant people are dead although alive."
Therefore, how can a person who lacks knowledge of the Islamic sciences or cannot read the Qur'an have the capacity to reform the practice of Islam? It would be like a person claiming that he is going to create a pill to cure obesity, yet the person has not taken even one class in biology. It is absurd, and the pseudo Islamic reformers appear to be just as absurd to those who reflect and think.
And surely G'd knows best.

Refutation of Irshad Manji

The following audio refutes only certain aspects of Ms. Manji's heterodoxy.

Cut and paste to listen:

Monday, February 26, 2007

Walid's speeches in the US Virgin Islands

2-23-07 at Charlotte Amalie High School in St. Thomas - "Choices, Chances and Consequences":

2-23-07 at Masjid Un-Nur in St. Thomas - "Muslims Duty to be Fair & Just to All":

2-23-07 at the University of the Virgin Islands - St. Thomas Campus - "Islam's Position on Extremes":

2-24-07 at the University of the Virgin Islands - St. Croix Campus - "Misconceptions about Islam and Muslims"

Walid speaks in the US Virgin Islands

Imam Tells UVI Audience How to Learn About Islam
by Christopher Stowens

Feb. 24, 2007 -- "Go to the source: If you want to know about Islam, talk to a Muslim," said Imam Dawud Walid Friday evening, speaking at the University of the Virgin Islands.

The Islamic cleric spoke for more than 90 minutes in a wide-ranging discussion and question-and-answer session on the nature of his religion. "If you want to learn, go to the Muslim community right here in St. Thomas."

Walid, 35, encouraged people to engage with Muslims, to ask questions of each other: "If you wanted to learn about Hinduism, you wouldn't go to a Muslim, would you? Don't let people like Pat Robertson explain or define Islam to you."

When questioned about the role of women in Islam, he smiled and deferred to the Muslim women in the room. "They are not oppressed, and they can certainly speak their minds," he said. "They can talk about it themselves."(MORE)

Another story is linked below:

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Message for Friday - Man is the brother of man

النبي محمد عليه الصلاة والسلام يقول: الإنسان أخو الإنسان أَحَبَّ أم كره
- أخرجه أحمد: 3/154 بإسناد حسن.
- وابن حبان: عن أنس، في البر والإحسان (510) بإسناد صحيح على شرط مسلم.

The Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) stated, "Man is the brother of man whether he likes it or dislikes it."

Although humans have cultural and political differences, G'd has evolved the creation in such a manner that human beings, who were once never dependent on others far removed are now directly effected by the plight of others hundreds of miles away.

The globalization of modern commerce and the information age has brought mankind closer together and more dependent within itself than ever before. For instance, a natural disaster half way around the world could have the potential of driving up prices on certain goods to a level that it could adversely damage others' including job lose.

These realities are nothing but proof of the wisdom taught by the prophets that the concern of one group of people should not only be a sectarian or tribal concern but a concern for the entire humanity. What troubles one group can truly effect the whole, but what assists one group in cultivating excellence can improve circumstances for the whole.

And surely G'd knows best.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Farrakhan takes podium once more

Farrakhan takes podium once more

DETROIT -- Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is heading into what's billed as his final major address Sunday, and some Muslims are wondering if the fiery orator - now slowed by poor health - will try to repair old divisions between his movement and mainstream Islam.

Farrakhan's scheduled appearance at Ford Field, home of the NFL's Detroit Lions, will be his first since ceding leadership last year to an executive board because of illness.

The 73-year-old Farrakhan was released last month from the hospital after undergoing a 12-hour abdominal operation to correct damage caused by treatment for prostate cancer. A statement from the Nation at the time said Farrakhan "doesn't see himself coming before the public on such a major stage as we are preparing in Detroit." He might, however, honor lesser engagements.

The event will be a homecoming of sorts for the Nation of Islam movement, which promotes black empowerment and nationalism. It was founded in Detroit by Wallace D. Fard in 1930.

Fard attracted black Detroiters on the margins of society with a message of self-improvement and separation from whites, who he said were inherently evil because of their enslavement of blacks.

Farrakhan rebuilt the movement in the late 1970s after W.D. Mohammed, the son of longtime nation leader Elijah Muhammad, moved his followers toward mainstream Islam.

Farrakhan angered many Americans in the process.

He became notorious for his provocative comments, calling Judaism a "gutter religion" and suggesting crack cocaine might have been a CIA plot to enslave blacks. He met with foreign leaders at odds with the United States - Moammar Gadhafi, Fidel Castro and Saddam Hussein - prompting the State Department in 1996 to accuse him of "cavorting with dictators."

His closest brush with the political mainstream probably came in 1995, when he attracted hundreds of thousands of black men to Washington for the Million Man March.
Now, back in the Nation's birthplace, there's speculation about what Farrakhan's last major address could tackle. The topic of Sunday's speech, capping a series of meeting that start Friday, is "One Nation Under God."

"We have been told that Minister Farrakhan is going to be making a big announcement at this meeting," though it's not known what he will say, said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The Nation and orthodox Islam diverge on several key beliefs. While mainstream Islam holds that Muhammad was God's last prophet, Nation of Islam had taught that God came in the form of Fard decades ago in Detroit.

Farrakhan has downplayed many of those teachings in recent years, adopting some mainstream Muslim traditions and embracing W. D. Mohammed on stage in 2000 after years of discord. Mohammed also visited Farrakhan recently during his recovery, a Nation of Islam official said.(MORE)

A Primer on Islam


There are approximately 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide that primarily reside in South and Southwest Asia, Sub-Saharan and North Africa, and the Middle East. Islam, the way of life for Muslims, is derived from the word peace in the Arabic language and denotes submission to Allah (God in the Arabic language). Muslims believe that God is One, Absolute, and Eternal without a likeness in the material creation. They believe in the chain of prophecy beginning with Adam and including Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Christ Jesus. Prophet Muhammad is believed to be the conclusion of this prophet chain, who reaffirmed the teachings of all of the previous prophets and culmination of all of their missions.

What are the 5 pillars of Islam?

1) Shahadah/Testimony – Witnessing the Oneness of God
2) Salah/Prayer – Performing the 5 ritual prayers per day at fixed times
3) Zakah/Charity – Paying minimum of 2.5% charity from wealth per year
4) Sawm/Fasting – Fasting the Month of Ramadan (9th Month on Lunar Calendar)
5) Hajj/Pilgrimage – Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime

What are the articles of faith in Islam?

1) Belief in the Oneness of God, who is the Creator, the Unique, the All-Powerful, and the All-Knowing. This belief is also solidified in the understanding that God was not born nor does he give birth.
2) Belief in all of God’s Prophets and Messengers, who were mortals that came to teach a unified message to humanity worshipping none except God. Islam makes no distinction between prophets meaning there are no distinctive categories such as good prophets/greater prophets and lesser prophets. It is believed that God sent 124,000 prophets to humanity, but only 25 are mentioned by name in The Qur’an. Some of these mentioned in The Qur’an are Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, John the Baptist, Christ Jesus, and Muhammad.
3) Belief in all of God’s Books that were revealed as sources of guidance for humanity. Some of these books are the scrolls of Abraham, the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospels, and the Qur’an, which was the last of God’s revealed books. The Qur’an is only in the Arabic language.
4) Belief in the Angels, who are beings made of light. In Islam, all angels are totally obedient to the direct commands of God; hence, there are no bad angels. God’s two chief angels in Islam are Gabriel and Michael.
5) Belief in the Day of Judgment when this material world will come to an end, and all of humanity will be resurrected and judged upon their faith and their deeds.
6) Belief in God’s Measure that He has set the natural boundaries for what is good and what is wrong.

Are there different denominations in Islam?

Islam does not have formally recognized denominations with their own central hierarchies; however, there are varying schools of thought relating to jurisprudence.
These different schools arose over differences of interpretation of political events and regional customs; the differences have little to do with “theological” differences.

Sunnis, who constitute the vast majority of the Muslim World (80%), have 4 major schools of thought (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i, and Hanbali).

Shi`ahs, who constitute approximately (15%) of the Muslim World, have 3 major schools of thought (Zaydi, Ja`fari, and Isma`ili). Shi`ahs are primarily found in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Arabian Gulf States, India, and Pakistan.

Ibadi constitute approximately (5%) of the Muslim World. Ibadis are primarily found in Oman and East Africa.

What is Jihad?

Jihad means exertion or struggle in the Arabic language. Jihad does not mean holy war. In fact, there is no term called holy war in The Qur’an or the traditions of Prophet Muhammad. It is a central and broad Islamic concept that includes struggle against evil inclinations within oneself, struggle to improve the quality of life in society, struggle in the battlefield for self-defense (e.g., - having a standing army for national defense), or fighting against tyranny or oppression.

What is Hijab?

Hijab literally means screen in the Arabic language. Hijab means more than just a head scarf that Muslim women use to cover their hair; hijab is modest dress that covers curvature of the body. Muslim men are also to dress in a modest manner, not just Muslim females.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Middle Passage - Holocaust of Africans

Of the 15 million slaves that were brought to the Americans during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, estimates range that 30 million to 100 million slaves perished before making it to the Americas in the infamous sea route known as the Middle Passage. There is no crime against humanity that can compare in years of protracted brutality and amounts of death. The only story that comes close in comparison is the 400 years of captivity, which the Children of Israel suffered in Egypt according to the scriptural narratives.

The Middle Passage is the area of the Atlantic Ocean where slave ships sailed between the west coast of Africa to the Americas. The areas where the largest concentrations were taken were Muslim lands (Senegal-Gambia, Hausa land, Sierra Leonne, and Ghana). See the book written by the Non-Muslim African history scholar Dr. Sylviane Diouf entitled "Servants of ALLAH: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas."

Has an apology ever been given regarding this holocaust? Have the offspring of these people been given justice? How many wealthy families and corporations that currently exist owe their wealth to the blood, sweat and tears of the victims of the African holocaust? Are they willing to give reparations?

Don't hold your breath.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Detroit leaders welcome Nation of Islam convention

Detroit leaders welcome Nation of Islam convention
February 15, 2007

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick joined political and religious leaders in welcoming the Nation of Islam to Detroit, where it will hold its annual convention next week.

"We're serious about welcoming the Nation to the city of Detroit," the Detroit mayor said at a press conference Thursday at the African American National Museum in Detroit. "We're serious about wrapping our arms around this event here in the city of Detroit."

The Nation of Islam will hold its convention, known as Savior's Day, from Feb. 23 to Feb. 25, when Minister Louis Farrakhan will deliver the keynote address.

It could be his last public speech, said Nation members. The Nation of Islam was started in Detroit, but is now headquartered in Chicago.

Detroit City Council President Pro Tempore Monica Conyers praised Farrakhan at the press conference.

"We have seen a real black man stand strong for all of us," Conyers said. Farrakhan is the "epitome of what black men should be."

Detroit City Councilwomen Joann Watson and Barbara-Rose Collins also praised Farrakhan at the press conference.

Religious leaders from metro Detroit who attended the conference included the Rev. Samuel Bullock, president of the Council of Baptist Pastors, Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Affairs, and Imam Abdullah El Amin, head of the Muslim Center in Detroit and executive director of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Walid speaks about holding on tightly to "the Rope of G'd"

This sermon, which was given approximately 4 years ago, discusses the issue of Muslim unity and the ignorance among believers that causes emnity between them.

Cut & paste the following link to listen:

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Message for Friday - Pure secularists consider religious people to be fanatics

وروى الإمام أحمد عن أبى سعيد الخدرى قال: قال رسول الله : أكثروا ذكر الله حتى يقولوا مجنون

Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) stated, "Increase the rememberance of G'd until they say, 'he must be insane.'"

In today's age of obtuse secularism and pure rationalists, who seek to erase time held values, people who invoke G'd in their conversations and act in accordance to their beliefs are viewed as crazies. This same indictment has been passed down on the prophets and saintly people that proceed this generation. The Messiah Jesus, the son of Mary, was accussed of being insane.

In many of the top universities in America, atheist professors, at times, even mock those who believe in The Unseen and Omnipotent deity. What follows by individuals with this mentality are expressed sentiments that the People of Rememberance are not rational and in touch with the natural world, which is purely an object of empirical observation to the atheists. Hence in today's society, a young lady who wears a long dress in the summer time and covers her beauty for religious reasons is painted as an religious extremist and while another young lady, who wears a halter top and shorts is considered to be in the norm.

The Pious Believe in the Unseen

الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنْفِقُونَ

G'd says in the Qur'an (5:3): [The pious people] believe in the unseen, establish regular prayer, and spend from what we have been provided them.

Believing in G'd, who cannot be empirically observed, and remembering that He will bring all human beings to account for their faith and deeds holds the pious people to a higher level of concern for their own long term welfare as well as the welfare of the rest of Creation, other humans in particular.

For instance, the atheist could easily rationalize that if he/she commits a crime yet does not get caught, he/she has gotten away and has profitted from the crime without consequence. The People of Rememberance, however, are certain that they are always being watched even if no human sees them, which aids in preventing the execution of the crime. And the more the People of Rememberance contemplate their relationship with G'd, their discipline in thoughts and actions increases. Moreover, when the People of Rememberance happen to commit a mistake or harm part of the Creation, they seek not to repeat the same error or inflict further harm upon the Creation.

May G'd guide America to be more remindful of Him, and guide America to be more remindful of its relationship with the rest of the Creation of G'd. AMEEN!

Walid discusses Malcolm X at University of Detroit - Mercy

Last night's presentation was given in front of faculty, teachers and students at the University of Detroit-Mercy in Detroit, Michigan. Many of the issues that Malcolm X discussed over 40 years such as Islamophobic media coverage in America and American Exceptionalism that displays itself in our government's occupying sovereign nations holds true as ever.

*NOTE* The speech mentions a lawyer, who purchased from Alex Haley's estate 3 chapters of Malcolm X's autobiography that were omitted. The Detroit man, who paid $100,000 for those manuscripts, Warren Evans, is a doctor, not a lawyer.

To listen, cut & paste below:

Monday, February 12, 2007

Walid on NPR's All Things Considered - Michigan Muslims Feel Sectarian Ripples

To listen to today's NPR story, click on:

Islam and Black History Month

The following article was printed in the Detroit News on 2-23-06:

Islam remains a key to Detroit's history

By Dawud Walid

Rarely do we equate Black History Month with the Islamic movement in the United States. In fact, Islam and the history of African-Americans in Detroit have a stronger link than with most other regions.

At the turn of 20th century, many African-Americans migrated from Jim Crow Southern states to northern metropolises such as Detroit and experienced a different form of racism. Proto-Islamic movements such as the Nation of Islam, which was born in Detroit in 1930, convinced many African-American Detroiters that the key to a better life was Islam, that Islam was freedom, justice and equality. The Nation of Islam gained popularity in Detroit and later spread to Chicago, Milwaukee and Washington, D.C.

Just as American Muslims today face harassment and are victims of Islamophobia, African-American Muslims in the 1930s-60s faced illegal detainments, firings and, in some cases, assaults and killings. In 1934, teachers and staff of a Muslim school were jailed by the state on charges of leading to the delinquency of minors; children also were incarcerated. The charges were dropped for a lack of evidence.

In 1942, Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam, was jailed on draft dodging charges at the age of 45, even though he was past draft age. Other Islamic movements in Detroit faced harassment for being perceived as foreign creeds that had the potential of altering the status quo.

Islam's message of social equality attracted Malcolm X, otherwise known as "Detroit Red," whose charismatic speeches helped spark the spread of Islam among African-Americans. Malcolm X's influence became so widespread that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover feared Malcolm X's becoming the "Black Messiah." This same message attracted the world's most famous athlete and recent Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Muhammad Ali.

Many African-American Muslims with roots in Michigan -- such as Imam W. Deen Mohammed, the first Muslim to make the invocation in the U.S. Senate, and Adam Shakoor, America's first Muslim judge and co-trustee of the Rosa L. Parks Trust -- are a testament to how Muslims have contributed to the fabric of society. African-Americans and Muslims, regardless of race, enjoy many freedoms not enjoyed 70 years ago; however, the goal of freedom, justice and equality has not been fulfilled. Government searches for radiation at mosques yielded no results yet cast suspicion on an entire demographic.

Profiling includes "driving while black" and "flying while Muslim." Cartoons that demeaned African-Americans have switched to cartoons that disrespect Latino and Arab-Americans. February is more than a time for reflection on African-American history.

It is a moment for all of us to contemplate how far this nation has come in achieving "liberty and justice for all." Our nation's struggle for equal protection under the law should peak during this special month.

Walid mentions growth of African Muslims in Michigan

Besides the two African immigrant majority mosques referenced in this article, there are significant amounts of African Muslims, who attend other mosques in Detroit, Ypsilanti and Lansing, Michigan. The Africans range from as west as Sierra Leone to as east as Somalia.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Immigration to Metro Detroit
African brain drain is gain for region
Gregg Krupa / The Detroit News

Notable presence

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2005, significant populations of African immigrants live in both Wayne and Oakland counties. Some of the largest groups in each county are from the following countries: Kenya: 628 in Oakland, 125 in Wayne Egypt: 731 in Oakland, 557 in Wayne Ghana: 88 in Oakland, 210 in Wayne Liberia: 40 in Oakland, 186 in Wayne Nigeria: 733 in Oakland, 1,069 in Wayne

Growing numbers

In Michigan, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 10,007 people who said they were born in Africa in 1990. In 2000, they numbered 16,735, an increase of about 60 percent. By 2005, according to the census, that number jumped again, by 87.9 percent, to 30,898.

Touray Kunda came to Detroit from Gambia for business opportunities. He stayed because Touray Kunda Enterprises, his importing business, boomed.

"If business is not good back home, you think, 'Let me go to America, home of the immigrant," Kunda said.

After she finished medical school in Nigeria, Kehinde Ayeni, came for more post-graduate work. The psychiatrist stayed because economic and social circumstances in Nigeria made it impossible to find work.

"Most professionals still can't find jobs there," Ayeni said. "I believe many people migrate for the same reason."

African immigration to Metro Detroit is at a historically high level, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, having grown by about 400 percent since 1990. The African brain drain is a brain gain for the region, observers say.

More highly educated than the general population or other communities of recent immigrants, Africans are influencing Metro Detroit professions, higher education, neighborhoods, religions and culture.

Evidence of a viable, expanding ethnic community is ample from growing congregations in churches and mosques, to grocery stores featuring African products, to immigration lawyers and social organizations established for Africans.

Michigan is home to about 40,000 Africans, roughly half of whom live in Wayne or Oakland counties. Many others are in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor and Flint.

"They are smart, motivated, and they do well in this country, and that leads to growth in immigration," said David Wiley, director of the African Studies Center at Michigan State University. "Of all African-born immigrants to the United States, 50 percent have one or more degrees in higher education."

African immigrants are less likely than many immigrant groups to confine themselves to certain neighborhoods. But in Metro Detroit, significant pockets of African immigrants are noticeable along Livernois, between West McNichols and Eight Mile and in areas of Southfield and Oak Park. And around the intersection of Eight Mile and Lahser, some denizens refer to a collection of businesses and residences as "Little Africa."

More Africans have immigrated to the United States since 1975 than the total of number of slaves who were forced into bondage here over parts of three centuries, according to The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, in New York City.

"The immigrant population from Africa is a share of the total African-American population that is beginning to be noticed, and people are reacting to it," said Steven Camarota, director of Center for Immigration Studies. "Washington and New York have the largest populations, and Detroit is down on the list. But it is happening, there, too."

Many recent immigrants say it is happening in Metro Detroit because their community is now large enough that word circulates about this area.

"The immigration is growing due to the positive nature of the Detroit area," said Salewa Ola, of Detroit, the leader of the United African Community Organization, a community group. "It is a melting pot where a lot of cultures and people from different cultures are able to come in and blend in."

And while the metropolitan area is noted for its harshly segregated housing market, the city also has a reputation for welcoming the newly arrived.

"I lived in Pittsburgh for 20 years before I came here," said Mulugetta Birru, director of the Wayne County Economic Development Corp. and a native of Ethiopia. "You never become a Pittsburgher.

"In Detroit, that is never an issue," Birru said. "I am a Detroiter."

The immigrants are affecting spiritual lives in Christian and Muslim congregations.
Two mosques opened recently to accommodate some of the new residents, the Masjid as-Salaam, on West Seven Mile near Lahser, and the Detroit Muslim Community Center, on Marlborough, blocks east of the Chandler Golf Course.

"They add a different perspective to the Muslim community, " said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations of Michigan. Many of the immigrants from West Africa, in particular, are devoted to the more mystical Sufi strain of Islam.

"Their preaching or orientation is more geared towards a discussion of not only a love of God, but the responsibility Muslims have to have a healthy relationship with other human beings and being more considerate of others."

Friday, February 09, 2007

Walid speaks about respecting culture in Islam

The following sermon was given after the destruction of Lebanon in the summer of 2006. Location of the sermon was Indianapolis, Indiana.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Message for Friday - Caring for neighbors is a sign of faith

والذي نفسي بيده لا يؤمن أحدكم حتى يأمن جاره بوائقه

Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) stated, "I swear by HIM, who has my soul in his hand. None of you has faith until his neighbor feels safe from his actions."

والذي نفس محمد بيده لا يؤمن أحدكم حتى يحب لأخيه ما يحب لنفسه من الخير

He (SAAS) also said, "I swear by HIM, who has my soul in his hand. None of you has faith until he loves for his brother [in humanity] what he loves for his own soul from what is good."

Part of being a person of faith is showing concern for one's neighbors. For example, the Islamic teachings state that a Muslim is not a faithful Muslim if he/she goes to bed with a full stomach, but his/her neighbor is hungry. That summons the question, how would a Muslim know whether his/her neighbor is hungry if he/she doesn't even know his/her neighbor?

Thus, one of the lessons of these sayings is that a faithful Muslim has to have concern with his/her neighbors to even know their condition, meaning he/she must interact with their neighbors. This opens up the opportunity to be benevolent towards neighbors as well as takes away the neighbors' fears of the unknown.

Thus, it is un-Islamic for Muslims to stay in the cocoons of their own homes and mosques and not have enough concern about their neighbors to become acquianted with them. In fact, the cocoon mentality does an extreme disservice to the image of Islam in the communities, which "cocoon Muslims" dwell.

And surely G'd knows best.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Rwandan troops most respected in Darfur - say that Darfur is not a genocide

Rwanda: Rwandan Troops Most Respected in Darfur- Envoy

The New Times (Kigali)

George Kagame

Recently President Kagame invited all foreign heads of missions and ambassadors for an end of year get together meeting. The New Times' George Kagame managed to have an exclusive interview with Hassan Ibrahim Gadkarim the Sudanese ambassador to Rwanda, the relationship between Rwanda and Sudan, the conduct of Rwandan peace keepers in Darfur being the most prominent issues that were discussed.

TNT: What is your mission here in Rwanda?

Hassan: My mission is to act as a bridge between Rwanda and Sudan, in all sectors where the leaders and peoples can interact for mutual benefit. Ambassadors are conduits of communication between nations, individuals and sectors. Left to themselves they cannot do anything.

What projects are you coordinating between Rwanda and Sudan?

I'm trying to connect technical cooperation in irrigation from Sudan to Rwanda, but am also trying to link the health, agricultural and educational sectors between the two countries.

What lessons have you learnt from Rwanda's recovery to help develop the relations between the Arab dominated North and Christian dominated South Sudan?

The Government of Sudan reached a comprehensive peace settlement with Southern Sudan two years ago, so we learn from the Rwandan experience after 1994, we want to learn lessons from Rwanda and apply to the Sudanese case. Also we are very happy about the presence of Rwandese peace keeping troops in Darfur and the conduct they are exhibiting. As Africans, Rwanda and Sudan share a common experience and a vision for a great future.

Do you target specific projects between Rwanda and Sudan?

Agriculture and irrigation are my biggest concern.

I will establish contact between several sectors in health and education from Sudan and Rwanda.
Then the technocrats will see more avenues for practical work. Sudan has sufficient experience in managing a national budget without foreign supplement.
I believe we can share that knowledge with Rwanda as the country intensifies its fight against poverty.

On 9th Jan, the Comprehensive Peace Treaty between the Sudanese government in Khartoum and the Southern government in Juba was signed. How is the progress so far?

The implementation of the CPT (Comprehensive Peace Treaty) is going on very well, especially in the South. Of course there are problems, but you can understand the progress only if you look at certain indicators, the SPLM (Sudanese People's Liberation Movement) is a liberation movement from the jungle and now it came from the jungle directly into government without being transformed in a political movement or a party.

The government machinery system in the South was starting from scratch, there was no ministry, no institution, no civil service, no transport or sewage system, no electricity or water service. But now if you go to Juba, at least there's some form of government there, there's a parliament and accountability, an army transformed from guerrillas and jungle warriors to an established army that undergoes training. Also in place are budgetary mechanisms. The most important thing is that there's no getting back to war.

What is the situation in Darfur? Is it Genocide or not?
Concerning Darfur, I'm not only speaking as ambassador but I also come from there, so I understand the issue clearly. The problem in Darfur is not religious, because the people in Darfur are mostly Muslims, it is not an ethnic war between black or Arabs, it is a problem of imbalanced development.

The government in Khartoum has not developed the region at the same level as other regions, and this was the same problem with the Southern Sudan provinces. Some people have given it a different interpretation as a war between Arabs and blacks. This is not true; it is an issue of development being shared out differently.(MORE)

Walid speaks about Sunni & Shi`ah relations

Following audio is of an hour interview on WEMU 89.1 FM, NPR's affiliate in Ypsilanti, Michigan on the Lynn Rivers Show regarding Sunni & Shi`ah relations:

Monday, February 05, 2007

Walid discusses Islamophobia

Excuse the audio quality of this one hour interview regarding Islamophobia. The interview was on the Lynn Rivers Show (WEMU 89.1 FM) from NPR's station at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Cut & paste the following link:

Walid speaks to Muslim youth about avoiding extremes

The following is audio addresses Muslim youth regarding avoiding extremes in religion:

Friday, February 02, 2007

Walid speaks at MSU regarding Islam's position against terrorism

Last night's presentation at Michigan State University can be heard by cutting and pasting the following link:

Notes from last night's discussion can be found here: