Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Charity During Ramadhan



bismillah
Asalaamu Alaikum and 
Ramadhan Mubarak to all,

The Muslim Ummah [Nation] today is faced with a situation where on the one hand are privileged and blessed individuals "like all of us" while on the other hand are hundreds of millions of our Muslim brothers and sisters, around the world, who are living wretched lives with no access to basic amenities, no support from the governments and with no hope for a better future for the coming generations. 


Our brothers and sisters from Pakistan to Afghanistan, from Somalia to Palestine, from Bangladesh to MANY countries in the heart of Africa are faced with living everyday with pain, misery and no hope. 

For how long we can sleep with comfort and look the other way when we know all of these less privileged brethren of ours are in distress? For how long can we seek pleasure from our own success and our own progress when we know that one day when we are asked to account for what we did with our wealth and success, only some of us will be able to answer this question well?

Ramadhan is our Holy Month in which most of us pay Zakaat [Compulsory Charity] to the needy and in this way, purify our wealth...

So let's NOT forget those who really need our wealth this Ramadhan, give as much as you can and encourage others to give as well. 

Islamic Relief is an EXCELLENT Organization to Donate To ! 


"The Messenger Of Allah (Muhammad) PBH: Was the most generous of men and he was most generous during the month of Ramadhan when the angel Jibrail (Gabriel) visited him every night and recited the Qur'an to him. During this period, the generosity of the messenger of Allah "Waxed faster than the rain bearing winds."

Commentary:  This Hadith induces us to do two good things frequently and with full preparation in the month of Ramadhan. 


First, benevolence and generosity so that people get maximum time for worship and reduce their mundane affairs during this month.

Second, recitation of the Qur'an and Mudarasah, [reading and hearing the Qur'an from one another] as is done by two Huffadh [individuals who have memorized the entire Qur'an by heart] in this manner.

The reason for the stress on the Qur'an, is that the Qur'an and the month of Ramadhan are closely linked with each other

The Qur'an was revealed in this month [Ramadhan]."

May Allah Almighty bless you and your family for the valuable time that you have spent in thinking about how to help your poor Muslim and Non-Muslim brethren,  as even the thought is in line with the true spirit of Islam – Ameen. 

-Is[Smile]-

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lupe Fiasco: Religion, Patience, Humility & Spirituality [Ramadhan]

In August of 2011, in the month of Ramadhan, Lupe Fiasco visited the youth of a Los Angeles Muslim youth group for an open and honest discussion of religion, patience, humility, and spirituality...

Cool To Hear Lu Speakin on The Subject... #Respect *Salute*

-Is[Smile]-

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Khalid Latif: Who Speaks for American Muslims?

Sherman Hemsley passed away yesterday. For those who don't know him, he played the character "George Jefferson" on the TV sitcom "The Jeffersons." He and his wife "Louise," lovingly called "Weezy" at times on the show by her husband, brought a lot of different laughs and lessons to me growing up. My family would regularly watch shows like "Good Times," "All in the Family" and "Sanford and Son," each funny in their own way, and at times purposefully educational. Many episodes dealt directly and indirectly with issues of race and racism, privilege, socioeconomic reality and culture. Watching Archie Bunker deal with the reality that a black man moved into his neighborhood, or George Jefferson interact with Tom and Helen, the interracial white husband and black wife with a daughter named Jenny, presented a good tool for learning about life experience of others. In homes that would never allow people of different skin colors in through the front door, the television was bringing them in and letting stories be heard that needed to be. Muslims can learn something from this.
Muslims today find themselves in a place where our narrative is being told by others. Many equate a normative understanding of Islam to something that is radical in its nature. Politicians are making absurd statements to further their campaign goals bringing into question anyone who is Muslim for no other reason than they practice Islam. Most recently, Michele Bachmann tried to link Huma Abedin, wife of Congressman Antony Weiner and aide to Hillary Clinton, and others working in government to the Muslim Brotherhood. As ridiculous as her conclusions are, the sad reality is that there will be some who will actually believe her voice and since Muslims wait for a voice to speak before speaking ourselves, we are one step behind. 

Most of time we find ourselves reactively saying what we are not. We are not violent, we are not terrorists, we are not oppressive to our women. There can be a value in this, but in only saying what I am not, I am not saying what I am. Television, and other mediums of art, pose a very important solution to this problem. 

So tell them the story, so that they may reflect --The Holy Quran 7:176

It's exciting to see the surge in Muslim artists taking the scene these day. People like Musa Syeed, Mustafa Davis and Qasim Basir, Aman Ali, Preacher Moss and Azhar Usman, G. Willow Wilson and Wajahat Ali, Yuna and Brother Ali, among many others telling the Muslim story to audiences that religious leaders, scholars and activists would never have access to. On a larger scale, people like Lupe Fiasco, Zain Malik and Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) show us the potential that can be reached. And it's not just the sheer numbers that they have access to, but the retention factor of the audience is different because the way the stories are being told are different. 

People these days are not really swayed as much as they used to be by conversations on theology or law. They want to see how you being a practitioner of your faith is something that is positive for people. Not how your being a Muslim brings benefit to you, but how your being a Muslim brings benefit to the society around you. Our artists can tell that story in a very powerful way. 

The unfortunate reality is the Muslim community is not very good at supporting the Arts. On a broader level, our understanding of institutional development is quite weak. Most communities support the construction of a mosque and then perhaps the building of a school, but then stop at that. The creativity of our generation is stifled at the absence of funding to support that creativity. Our counterparts in other religious communities have millions of dollars flowing through foundations and other mechanisms that provide fellowships for new artists, funding to filmmakers, seed money to fashion designers, and much more. Our most talented end up struggling to find investors who will give them something, and when they eventually do they have to decide whether they will give themselves a salary or hire a better editor. Somehow, they still manage to produce a product of such great quality that it wins award after award, and along with it the hearts of many. Imagine what would happen if they actually had meaningful support of some percentage of the 1.5 billion Muslims who are out there. We're lucky that there are those who are not Muslim who see the importance of having the Muslim story told, that provide the support that some of our artists need. Am I saying the Arts is the only way to go? No. But it an important way and expanding our understanding of what Art actually is and encompasses can help us see that. 

Support your Muslim artists. Whether they are producing "Muslim Art" or simply art as Muslims. Invite them to come to your mosques, your conferences and conventions. Bring them to your universities, high schools and elementary schools so that students with aspirations can be inspired to tap into their creativity. Art is an essential part of the cultural fabric of society, and we find the Muslim voice beginning to enter that realm. Our support will only help to amplify it, and in turn better the understanding that many people have of our Faith in general, and we as practitioners of it in specific.

For those looking for a different read on the Muslim American experience, two books that I would recommend that just recently came out are "I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim" and "All American:45 American Men on Being Muslim," both of which are collections of short stories of personal narrative that highlight, in my opinion, quite well the diversity of Muslim experience in the United States. 

My thoughts, prayers and condolences to the family and loved ones of Sherman Hemsley.

Follow Imam Khalid Latif on Twitter: www.twitter.com/KLatif 
-Is[Smile]- 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Relationship With The Quran in Ramadhan

Asalaamu Alaikum [Peace]...

I hope everyone is having a Blessed Ramadhan thus far,

The month of Ramadhan is a time when we, despite the many struggles, keep ourselves away from that which is otherwise permissible and a necessity in our life. For the past eleven months, at some level we have given preference to our physical self, in terms of nourishment, than our soul. We’ve done things we shouldn’t have, we’ve probably neglected some duties towards Allah [God] that we shouldn’t have. Maybe we haven’t been reciting much of the Quran or maybe we’ve been neglecting some of the Salaah [prayers].

 This month is a time when Allah [God] commands us to limit our physical nourishment and instead focus on the spiritual – in order to give life to our hearts and fix and improve our spiritual state. This is the time to rise up and acknowledge our deficiencies during the past months and resolve to move ahead with the aim to improve our relationship with Allah [God], with the Quran [His Book], and put what his Messenger Muhammad ﷺ [peace be upon him] said and lived into our personal and daily lives.

Ramadhan, is designed as a whole to bring our hearts/souls back to life... allowing the light of taqwah [God-consciousness] to illuminate itself within us. The fasting during the day reminds us that our purpose in life isn’t merely to satisfy the desires of our Nafs [Self] and this reminder leads us to focus instead on feeding our soul. We should instead fill our hearts with the light of the Quran...


Allah says in the Quran,

 

The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion…” [Chapter and Verse, 2:185]

 The interesting thing to note about this ayah [verse], is that Allah at the mention of Ramadhan didn’t speak about fasting first. When we think about Ramadhan, what comes to our mind immediately ??? Usually, our first thought is fasting right ??? But we find that Allah instead couples Ramadhan firstly with the Quran as if to say that Ramadhan’s FIRST and FOREMOST role in our lives should be to increase our relationship with the Quran and only then does He follow it with the command to fast in the month. The goal of fasting is taqwah [God-Consciousness], but what actually allows us to establish taqwah into our lives if not the Quran? 

So the logical step for us is that we need to try and prepare ourselves towards establishing a relationship with the Book of Allah. As mentioned earlier, fasting trains us to empty our hearts and souls from desires and aspires towards a loftier goal and that goal can only be achieved with the "soul food" that the Quran provides.

In Conclusion:

1. Let’s try and set some goals for ourselves with regards to the Quran. 

2. If we don’t know how to read it correctly, let’s try to learn. 

3. If we don’t recite it often, let us take the time out everyday to recite. 

4. If we are already reciting, then we can try and add some more or increase the frequency. 

If we listen to music in our iPods, in our cars and on the way to school or work, then let’s empty our hearts and devices from music and instead try and fill it up with the Quran for this month. 

Let’s begin to reflect upon the guidance in the Quran and try to internalize the lessons therein. 

Let’s aim to set a powerful foundation for the Quran in our lives by which we can establish routines that will allows us to begin a functional relationship with the Quran in Ramadhan and continue it thereafter so that once the devils are let out, we have a solid defense mechanism, taqwah, within our hearts to help us. 

After all, this is the month of the Quran and that necessitates that we give special attention to this Book during the month. Our aim should be to build this relationship, not just for the 30 days of Ramadan but rather setting a strong, deep, unshakeable foundation and stepping stone for a relationship that will flourish for the next eleven months and subsequently our entire lives. 
-Is[Smile]-

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ramadhan Haitus [Gone For a Month]

The Holy Month of Ramadhan is Here & I'll Be Taking a Personal Hiatus, For an Entire Month... NO Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Texts, Etc... See You When I'm Back Inshallah [God Willing] !

As an Exception to The Rule, I Will Be Updating THIS Blog...

If It's VERY Important, Email Me ! 

Once Again Another Ramadhan is Upon Us and I Take My Leave From The "Normalcy" of Life and Head Into A Place Where I Strive To  Better Myself as A Muslim, Individual, Man and Overall Human Being.
Here Is My Latest Calligraphy [Calligrafy] Project, Pray For Me and See You In 29 or 30 Days !

PeaceSalaamسلام 

-Is[Smile]-

Sent via Ismail's Blackberry by AT&T

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Support Calligrafy and Calligrafist !

Support Calligrafy and Calligrafist !

We Take Special Orders, Email: Calligrafist@gmail.com...

Shop Site: Calligrafy.bigcartel.com
Art Portfolio: Calligrafy.tumblr.com
Artist Instagram: Calligrafist
Company Twitter: Calligrafy
Personal Twitter: Calligrafist
Facebook Fan Page: Calligrafy

 -Is[Smile]-

Yuna Covers Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You” [Video]



Malaysian musician Yuna does a cover of Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You” live from her L.A. home...

Very Smooove !!!
-Is[Smile]-

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Brother Ali: Behind Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color



Brother Ali and Jake One speak on Ali’s upcoming fifth album, set to drop August 21st [I'm Gonna Make it an Eid Gift to MySelf] , which Jake produces in its entirety, also Ali speaks on his experiences and working with Jake One...

Pre-Order "Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color" Now: http://bit.ly/broalimiadic

Pre-order Includes:
- CD or Vinyl Bundle w/ exclusive Fifth Element only Mourning In America Flag T-Shirt
- Instant Download of "Stop The Press"
- Signed by Brother Ali
- Sticker
- MP3s delivered via email on release date

Album out August 21, 2012.
Produced by Jake One.

ON TOUR THIS FALL:
*With Homeboy Sandman, DJ Sosa
09.12 - San Luis Obispo, CA @ SLO Brewing
09.13 - Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
09.14 - La Jolla, CA @ Porter's Pub
09.15 - Tempe, AZ @ Club Red
09.16 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
09.17 - Dallas, TX @ Trees
09.18 - Austin, TX @ Mohawk
09.20 - Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree (18+)
09.21 - Atlanta, GA @ 529 (21+)
09.22 - Orlando, FL @ The Social
09.23 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Culture Room (18+)

*With Homeboy Sandman, DJ Sosa, The Reminders
09.25 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle
09.26 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
09.27 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom (16+)
09.28 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club (18+)
09.29 - Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
09.30 - Toronto, ON @ Annex Wreck Room (19+)
10.02 - Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig (18+)
10.03 - Chicago, IL @ Metro (18+)
10.04 - Madison, WI @ Barrymore Theatre
10.05 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue (18+)
10.09 - Iowa City, IA @ Gabe's Oasis
10.10 - Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room
10.11 - Fort Collins, CO @ Aggie Theatre
10.12 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre (16+)
10.13 - Boulder, CO @ Fox Theater
10.15 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge (21+)
10.17 - Seattle, WA @ TBA (On sale Aug. 2)
10.18 - Bellingham, WA @ Wild Buffalo
10.19 - Vancouver, BC @ Venue Nightclub (19+)
10.20 - Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
10.21 - Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall
10.23 - Reno, NV @ Cargo
10.24 - Arcata, CA @ Humboldt State Univ. (On sale Aug. 7)
10.25 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
10.26 - Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst (16+)
10.27 - Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
10.30 - Santa Barbara, CA @ Velvet Jones

http://facebook.com/brotherali
http://twitter.com/brotherali
http://rhymesayers.com/brotherali
-Is[Smile]-

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Quadir Lateef - "The Quickening Arts"



My BIG Bro Quadir Lateef... REAL Rap, Listen and Pay Attention !!!

Ridzdesign: Presents
Quadir Lateef - "The Quickening Arts" [Official Music Video]
Free Download the Album "Rebel Forces"
http://soundcloud.com/rebel-forces-download/sets


Quadir Lateef - The Quickening Arts by Ridzdesign
Directed, shot and edited by Ridwan Adhami
Original Track produced by Covert
Get Familiar With Quadir Below:
www. stayonq.com
www.facebook.com/Quadir.Lateef
www.twitter.com/QuadirLATEEF
Don't Forget to Download the "Rebel Forces" album free from:
-Is[Smile]-

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Comfort Zone

A Dream is YOUR Creative Vision for Your Life in The Future. You Must Break Out of Your Current Comfort Zone and Become Comfortable With The UnFamiliar and The UnKnown...

-Is[Smile]-

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