Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Little About Ramadhan

I'm often asked what Ramadhan is (Usually spelled "Ramadan", but there is no D sound in the Arabic word... so Ramadhan is a more proper "Transliteration"). This post is a lil intro into Ramadhan and some of its actions and activities.
Ramadhan (Arabic: رمضان‎ ) is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 to 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, and sexual activity during the day and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, humility, and spirituality. Muslims fast for the sake of God (Arabic: الله‎, trans: Allah) and to offer more prayer than usual. Compared to the solar calendar, the dates of Ramadhan vary, moving backwards by about eleven days each year depending on the moon; thus, a person will have fasted every day of the calendar year in 34 years' time. Muslims believe Ramadhan to be an auspicious month for the revelations of God to humankind, being the month in which the first verses of the Qur'an were revealed to the prophet, Muhammad.

Origins of Ramadhan


The word Ramadhan is derived from an Arabic root rmḍh, as in words like "ramiḍha" or "ar-ramaḍh" denoting intense heat, scorched ground and shortness of rations. Ramadhan, as a name for the month, is of Islamic origin. Prior to Islam and the exclusion of intercalary days from the Islamic calendar, the name of the month was Natiq and the month fell in the warm season. The word was thus chosen as it well represented the original climate of the month and the physiological conditions precipitated from fasting. In the Qur'an, Allah proclaims that "fasting has been written down (as obligatory) upon you, as it was upon those before you". According to a hadith (tradition of the prophet Muhammad), it might refer to the Jewish practice of fasting on Yom Kippur.

The Beginning of Ramadhan


Hilāl (the crescent) is typically a day (or more) after the astronomical new moon. Since the new moon indicates the beginning of the new month, Muslims can usually safely estimate the beginning of Ramadhan.


There are many disagreements each year however, on when Ramadhan starts. This stems from the tradition to sight the moon with the naked eye and as such there are differences for countries on opposite sides of the globe.


For the year of 1432 Hijri, the first day of Ramadhan was determined to be August 1, 2011 (Depending on the sighting of the moon).

Practices during Ramadhan

Fasting

Ramadhan is a time of reflecting, believing and worshiping Allah. Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam and to avoid obscene and irreligious sights and sounds. Sexual intercourse among spouse is allowed after one has ended the fast (after sunset). 

During fasting intercourse is prohibited as well as eating and drinking, one is also encouraged to resist all temptations while you are fasting (foul language, looking at unlawful sights, harmful actions... etc). Purity of both thoughts and actions is important. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the inner soul and free it from harm. It also teaches Muslims to practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate; thus encouraging actions of generosity and charity (Zakaat).


Muslims should start observing the fasting ritual upon reaching the age of puberty, so long as they are healthy, sane and have no disabilities or illnesses. The elderly, the chronically ill, and the mentally ill are exempt from fasting, although the first two groups must endeavor to feed the poor in place of their missed fasting. Also exempt are pregnant women if they believe it would be harmful to them or the unborn baby, women during the period of their menstruation, and women nursing their newborns. A difference of opinion exists among Islamic scholars as to whether this last group must make up the days they miss at a later date, or feed poor people as a recompense for days missed. While fasting is not considered compulsory in childhood, many children endeavor to complete as many fasts as possible as practice for later life (I remember my days as a lil man fasting, *Smiles*). Lastly, those traveling (musaafir) are exempt, but must make up the days they miss.

Prayer and reading of the Qur'an


In addition to fasting, Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Qur'an. Some Muslims perform the recitation of the entire Qur'an by means of special prayers, called Taraweeh, which are held in the mosques every night of the month, during which a whole section of the Qur'an (Juz', which is 1/30 of the Qur'an) is recited. Therefore the entire Qur'an would be completed at the end of the month. 

Ramadhan is also a time when Muslims are to slow down from worldly affairs and focus on self-reformation, spiritual cleansing and enlightenment; this is to establish a link between themselves and God through prayer, supplication, charity, good deeds, kindness and helping others. Since it is a festival of giving and sharing, Muslims prepare special foods and buy gifts for their family and friends and for giving to the poor and needy who cannot afford it; this can involve buying new clothes, shoes and other items of need. There is also a social aspect involving the preparation of special foods and inviting people for Iftar.

Iftar

Muslims all around the world will abstain from food and drink, through fasting, from dawn to sunset. At sunset, the family will gather the fast-breaking meal known as Iftar. The meal starts with the eating of a date and drinking of water or milk — just as Prophet Muhammad used to do. Then it's time for the Maghrib prayer (Prayer after sunset), which is the fourth of the five daily prayers, after which the main meal is served.


Over time, Iftar has grown into banquet festivals. This is a time of fellowship with families, friends and surrounding communities, but may also occupy larger spaces at mosques or banquet halls, where a hundred or more may gather at a time.


In Muslim/Predominately Islamic Countries, most markets close down during evening prayers and the Iftar meal, but then re-open and stay open for a good part of the night. Muslims can be seen shopping, eating, spending time with their friends and family during the evening hours. In many Muslim countries, this can last late into the evening, to early morning. However, if they try to attend to business as usual, it can become a time of personal trials, fasting without coffee or water.

Charity


Charity is very important in Islam, and even more so during Ramadhan. According to tradition, Ramadhan is a particularly blessed time to give in charity, as the reward is 700 times greater than any other time of the year. For that reason, Muslims will spend more in charity (sadaqa), and many will pay their Zakaat during Ramadhan, to receive the maximum blessings (reward). In many Muslim countries, it is not uncommon to see people giving food to the poor and the homeless, and to even see large public areas for the poor to come and break their fast. It is said that if a person helps a fasting person to break their fast, then they receive a reward for that fast, without diminishing the reward that the fasting person got for their fast.

Laylat al-Qadr


Sometimes referred to as "the night of decree or measures", Laylat al-Qadr is considered the most holy night of the year. Muslims believe that Laylat al-Qadr is the night in which the Qur'an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Also, it is believed to have occurred on an odd-numbered night during the last 10 days of Ramadhan, either the night of the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th.

Eid ul-Fitr


The holiday of Eid ul-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر) marks the end of the fasting period of Ramadhan and the first day of the following month, after another new moon has been sighted. The Eid falls after 29 or 30 days of fasting, per the lunar sighting. Eid ul-Fitr means the back to the fitrah ; usually a special celebration is made. Food is donated to the poor (Zakat al-fitr); everyone puts on their best, usually new, clothes; and communal prayers are held in the early morning, followed by feasting and visiting relatives and friends. Muslims are expected to do this as an act of worship, and to thank God.


Any More Questions About Ramadhan, I'm Open To Answer... Hit Me Up or Comment and I Will Reply !
-Is(Smile)-

High-Energy Foods

At one time or another, we’ve all had that feeling of barely being able to keep our eyes open on the way to the gym. This creates a serious problem, as depressed energy levels result in depressed training intensity and, consequently, depressed results.

The primary role of your diet is to provide your body with sufficient energy-boosting nutrients. Unfortunately when it comes to training, many people look for the quick fix, which is often an instant energy boost loaded with refined sugars and caffeine.

AskMen asked body transformation and sports nutrition expert Brian St. Pierre (CISSN, CSCS) for some ideas on health-conscious high-energy foods. Brian packed this top 10 with unique foods to help keep your energy levels high while keeping your body fat low.
High-Energy Foods

No.10 Coffee

Of all natural food sources, coffee has the largest caffeine content. Caffeine has been shown to improve performance and decrease your perception of effort, allowing you to work harder longer. Coffee also contains large amounts of antioxidants and may supply up to 70% of the total daily antioxidant intake of the average American. If you use coffee to give you a quick energy boost, be conscious of the time of day. Drinking coffee within eight hours of when you go to bed can cause some men to have trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep. If you wake up in the middle of the night with your heart racing, you may have to find a less intense alternative, such as tea.
High-Energy Foods

No.9 Tea

When proper nutrition and hydration fails you (or when you fail it), sometimes a quick caffeine boost can help get you through a training session. Teas like white, green, oolong, and black can give you a small amount of caffeine, but they also contain the calming amino acid theanine, which has been shown to prevent the anxiety that large caffeine consumption can cause. This will ultimately help you create better attention and focus. The amount of caffeine per serving depends on the type of tea. White gives about 20 milligrams; green gives about 30 milligrams; oolong gives about 40 milligrams; and black gives about 50 milligrams.
High-Energy Foods

No.8 Water

Water is the most overlooked “performance enhancing” supplement out there. As many as 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Dehydration can limit your physical and mental capacity. Because water is paramount in cooling your body during times of increased heat or stress, as you attempt to ramp up your exercise intensity, dehydration will cause limitations in thermal regulation, circulation and, ultimately, the generation of force.


The common recommendation is that the average, inactive person (not you) should consume at least six to eight ounces of water per day. In reality, you should probably be taking in about double that amount (on top of the water you take in from other foods). Start carrying a 16- to 20-ounce water bottle around with you during the day. Aim to refill it every three to four hours. You’ll be amazed at how much energy you get just from staying adequately hydrated. If you notice you’re making more frequent trips to the bathroom, don’t worry; as your body adapts to getting a constant supply of fluid, you’re lavatory frequency will return to more socially acceptable rates.
High-Energy Foods

No.7 Fruits

Fruits (especially apricots, bananas, cantaloupe, and kiwi) are high in potassium (an electrolyte that maintains normal nerve and muscle function), fructose for liver glycogen, ready-to-use sugars, fiber, and tons of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. If you’re looking for a healthy, natural energy boost, consuming fruits throughout the day and within about an hour before you train will give you just that. You can also blend a banana, frozen berries, some nuts or seeds (from above), and Greek yogurt together for a great post-workout drink.
High-Energy Foods

No.6 Quinoa

Quinoa, although technically a seed, is a supergrain that everyone should have as part of their diet. It is a complete protein, which is very rare for a plant food. It is also a high-quality complex carbohydrate, high in fiber and iron as well as calcium (necessary for proper muscle contraction), potassium and magnesium (necessary for proper hydration).
High-Energy Foods

No.5 Old-fashioned oats

Old-fashioned oats are a quality source of complex carbohydrates that are high in fiber, low on the glycemic index and  high in energy-boosting B vitamins. This is not your instant oatmeal. Old-fashioned oats are a more natural, unprocessed form of oat. Because they aren’t broken down to the extent that instant oats are, it takes longer for these oats to be processed within your body, providing a slower release of energy.
High-Energy Foods

No.4 Seeds

Seeds from sources like flax, chia and hemp provide a great supply of fiber, healthy fats (including omega-3s), vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Chia is an especially great choice, since it has a large amount of soluble fiber, which creates a viscous gel in your gastrointestinal tract. This keeps you full/satisfied for a long time and provides an energy time-release effect, stabilizing your blood sugar and keeping your energy levels even during intense training.
High-Energy Foods

No.3 Tree nuts

Tree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, and cashews, are loaded with healthy fats (monounsaturates, as in olive oil, as well as some omega-3s), fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You can also consume these as nut butters, which are delicious and offer lots of variety, as they can be spread over other fruits or vegetables or be included in a smoothie for a perfect energy-boosting snack.
High-Energy Foods

No.2 Omega-3 eggs

Omega-3 eggs are full of healthy fats, energy-boosting B vitamins and some vitamin D. They also provide a rich supply of brain-boosting choline, the precursor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and are considered the ”perfect” protein because of their amino acid profile and high biological value. They are one of nature’s most nutrient-dense foods.
High-Energy Foods

No.1 Cold-water fatty fish

Cold-water fatty fish include wild salmon, mackerel and herring. These fish are an excellent source of omega-3s, which provide a number of health benefits, including decreased risk of heart disease and various cancers, decreased inflammation and decreased body fat. They’re also rich in complete protein, energy-boosting B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium, and are one of the few food sources of vitamin D.


For more great nutrition information from Brian St. Pierre, check out his website: BrianStPierreTraining.com.

-Is(Smile)-

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Official Trailer For The DEEN TIGHT Documentary.

DEEN TIGHT is an intimate film that reaches down to a deep place in the Islamic discourse and into the hearts of the characters. Its a film about people trying to make their way through the murky waters of modernity and the challenges they face as Muslims in the West. This is the story that hasn’t yet been told. Its the story of Hip Hop & Islam. This is DEEN TIGHT by: Mustafa Davis.



To Legally View The Whole Documentary, Go Here !
PassCode To View: mustafadavisinc
I Just Watched It and I Can Relate 100%, I Recommend EVERYONE Watch It (Muslim and Non Muslim Alike).
-Is(Smile)-

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lupe Fiasco on the Top 10 Intellectual Rappers List

Philip Cheek published a list featuring the Top 10 Intellectual Rappers solely based on mastery and exemplary use of language, literacy, knowledge-ability, overall subject matter, concept and artistic statement. Lupe is #7.

#7 - Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco is an extremely popular artist despite having some of the most deeply multi-layered lyrics the genre has ever seen.

Normally I would see this as a positive thing for the industry, however his last album was a terrible, pandering piece of work thanks to people working at the label (I’m not a guy who rails against mainstream evil hampering artistic integrity or even like other people who spew such things, but in this case I was very angered).

That last tidbit aside, however, his previous work was glorious. He always had a socially responsible message in his agenda, but his rhymes were more than that. He would paint beautiful, detailed pictures, often times listening to him provided an experience akin to lucid dreaming, the way he delivered his fantastical lines in his trademark laid back manner.

Yet, his lyrics were not just free-associative “mush,” he always rapped with substance, often times just one couplet would offer three different meaning simultaneously, and yet his command of language never allowed the listener to be overwhelmed or frustrated. Even if you did not always know what he meant you always felt it. And damn… the man had a way with words.
Also listed was my "Twin" Mr. 3 Stacks !

Check the full Top 10 HERE

-Is(Smile)-

Self

Remember: Always Take Time Out For YourSelf, ReEvaluate Your Life, Slow Down & Look Within. Never Lose Sight Of Who You Are, Where You Were & Where You Wanna Be In Life !

-Is(Smile)-

Monday, July 25, 2011

Paper Brown Bag Biggie T's At Vinnies Styles

New Biggie (BK) PatchWork T's At Vinnies Styles...

-Is(Smile)-

Friday, July 22, 2011

Short Film: "Ecology Of Love" Featuring Pharrell



Back in 2004, snippets of this surfaced, but now we get the film in its entirety. The flick stars Pharrell Williams and even includes the Neptunes remix of Sade’s classic tune, “By Your Side”.
A stylish romance centering on a brokenhearted urbanite who, only after breaking down and getting stranded in the desert, unearths the resources to woo a French-speaking woman at a lonely motel.
-Is(Smile)-

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Signs You Give A Damn

Signs You Look Good

No.10 Bright brogues

Dingy, dirty shoes can make even the finest suit look, well, not so fine. Plain and simple, a freshly shined pair can spruce up even the most mediocre digs. Polish shoes in regular rotation about once a week, because they’re quite literally a reflection of you.
Signs You Look Good

No.9 Cut and coiffed

Overgrown? Jersey-gelled? Waiting too long between cuts or, worse, plastering on the putty is the quickest way to go from dapper to douchebag. See your stylist/barber every three to four weeks and go easy on the product -- two rules that coif-conscious men follow religiously.

Signs You Look Good

No.8 Tailor-made

No matter what your closet contains -- luxe labels, fine fabrics, the newest trends -- it doesn’t mean much without a flawless fit. And that piece of advice isn’t reserved for a custom collection of suits and sport coats. The same holds true for everything from off-the-rack trousers to $10 T-shirts. And there is only way to know if the cut is right: always try before you buy.

Signs You Look Good

No.7 Color coordinated

Somewhere along the line -- say, after elementary school -- you should have developed an eye for harmonizing hues. If you were left back a few grades in the dressing department, though, remember that colors should complement but never be matchy-matchy. In fact, feel free to experiment by contrasting colors in the most unexpected places -- like a pair of pink socks with even the subtlest of suits.

Signs You Look Good

No.6 Understated elegance

It shouldn’t take a rainbow of Robert Graham button-downs, Ed Hardy shirts and a Mr. T’s-worth of jewelry to get you noticed. Then again, fading into background isn’t the answer either. The compromise? Wear one piece that says something (it can be anything from a blazer to a bracelet) and let the rest play a supporting role. In the end, your attire and accessories should make a statement, not put on a show.

Signs You Look Good

No.5 Vintage finds

Few men are fortunate enough to have a heap of valuable hand-me-downs; that’s where second-hand shopping comes in. We’re not talking about Salvation Army-style dumpster diving for clothing by-the-pound. This is high-end haberdashery at its best: think vintage watches and old-school designer duds. They’re not always easy to find, but once you do come across them, you’ll never want to let go.

Signs You Look Good

No.4 Pocket protection

Somewhere along the line, men forgot about the little things in life -- like the all-important pocket square. Use it with a tux or dress up a denim-sport coat combo. The key, as you’ve already learned, is to mix rather than match. Employ the flat fold (look it up), and you’ll soon realize that the hanky is a minor detail with major impact.

Signs You Look Good

No.3 Grooming routine

If you think Hollywood A-listers look the same as they did 20 years simple by hitting the gym 5 times a week, you are sorely mistaken. Look inside the bathroom of any man who gives a damn about how he looks and you will find tried and tested moisturizers, face scrubs, high-tech shaving gels, and body washes that leave him smelling precisely the way he wants to. Check out NIVEA's latest lines of grooming products to go from scruffy to giving a damn in one step.

Signs You Look Good

No.2 See clearly

We’re not all blessed with natural 20/20. So, if you’re holding off on going under the knife and your stash of contacts isn’t cutting it, good-old eyeglasses are your only option. And when it comes to specs, go bold or go home. Sure, they should always fit your face and it may take 30-plus pairs to find ones that do, but make certain they speak with the sureness of geek chic plastic or some angular metal.

Signs You Look Good

No.1 Confidence

Confidence -- one word says it all. Without a little swagger in your step, nothing else matters.

-Is(Smile)-

Monday, July 18, 2011

The "AgeLess" Stacey Dash

The beautiful actress recently posed for a spread in Runway Magazine. She rocks fur, diamonds and beautiful red lips in this retro-50's shoot.


-Is(Smile)-

No L's By: C.I.G.M x Rob Curry (From Day 26)



This Past Friday (July 15th) C.I.G.M Released The Video For "No L's" Featuring Rob From Day26 on The Hook at Plush NightClub in Detroit. CheckOut The Video and Share It With Your Friends... My "Yung Ahks" Are Doing Their Thing !
-Is(Smile)-

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Pursuit Of Cool – SAVOIA THE TAILOR (Pt. 1)


The Pursuit Of Cool: SAVOIA THE TAILOR from R+I creative.

After showing you the trailer of the new ‘The Pursuit of Cool’ documentary series the other day, you can watch today the first part of the series, featuring Michele Savioa ‘The Tailor’.

-Is(Smile)-

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Dwyane Wade x Hublot – King Power D-Wade Watch

We are quite familiar with the Swiss Watchmaker Hublot but I'm just learning that Miami Heat team member and basketball icon Dwyane Wade has been announced as the brand’s ambassador. As brand ambassador, Wade not only wears the luxury brand but has now played a part in creating a new limited edition watch for the brand named the “King Power D-Wade.”

Wade set out to add subtle details to the King Power D-Wade that give it an air of class with some attitude thrown in. The D-Wade watch will come in a short run of 500, 48mm watches encased in ceramic and microblasted. The face of the watch is reminiscent of the hardwoods of the basketball court and has a leather wrist strap with netted stitching to further the b-ball theme. Wade’s jersey number 3 stands at the 12 o’clock mark and a new logo on the back completes a watch that is uniquely Hublot and Dwyane Wade with a $20,000 price tag.


-Is(Smile)-

I'm On - Trae The Truth ft. Lupe Fiasco x Wale x Big Boi x Wiz Khalifa

All I Can Say Is "Summer Hip Hop"... Real Rap, Lyrical, Spitters, Bars, RESPECT !


-Is(Smile)-

Monday, July 04, 2011

My Feature In Imaan Magazine




Imaan Magazine’s Feature is: Ismail “Calligrafist” Sayeed 
http://imaanmagazine.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/ismail-photo-bio.jpg
Ismail is from New York City. He was born in Mount Sinai Hospital, which is located in Harlem. He has lived in many places throughout his life (all over the US), but most “Notably” he states is: New York, Detroit & Trinidad.

Ismail’s work is one to marvel over and admire; while embracing what he has to offer. His passion is Calligraphy, among his other passions and talents. We were able to interview Ismail to learn more about the story behind the artist as a person and a Muslim.

How long have you been Muslim? I am an African American born and raised Muslim, from Harlem, NYC. Hafidh of Quran by the age of 17.
 CheckOut The Rest of The InterView HERE...
-Is(Smile)-

"Will Do Calligrafy For Change"


-Is(Smile)-
View More Teaser Pics From My Photo Shoot Here...

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