Copyright © 2003-2011, Aishah Schwartz. Permission granted to circulate among private individuals, groups, or in not-for-profit publications in full text and subject title. All other rights reserved.

January 25, 2006

Muslim American Activist Promotes Universal Standards for Human Rights at World Economic Forum

5-Day Summit Begins in Davos, Switzerland By Aishah Schwartz January 26, 2006 U.S. Newswire reports that Muslim American Society (MAS) Freedom Foundation Executive Director, Mahdi Bray, has joined world leaders, academicians, activists and economists from over 89 countries, in Davos, Switzerland, as an invited speaker for the 2006 Annual World Economic Forum (WEF). The forum is designed as a platform for world leaders to brainstorm on key issues facing the globe. Issues on the 2006 WEF agenda include escalating oil prices, Iran's nuclear ambitions, new business models and the shifting balance of power in Asia. In a statement released Wednesday, Bray stated that central to his agenda is promoting the concept of universal standards for global human rights. "We discuss issues concerning global economics and global terrorism, but little is said about universal standards for global justice," said Bray. "It's my hope that the religious caucus of world leaders who are here would use their voices in concert to promote this important concept," he added. Bray's talking points will more specifically focus on social and economic justice, especially among developing nations, human rights and global justice, the growth of Islamophobia in Europe, conflict resolution and arms proliferation in Africa, and U.S. relations towards the Muslim world. As the WEF opened on Wednesday, South Africa lost forefront status to China and India as they touted booming economies to world business and political leaders. Day one results were announced late in the day as WEF Founder and Executive Chairman, Klaus Schwab, signed an agreement with China to establish a WEF office in Beijing that will lead to an annual global industry summit in the Chinese capital as of 2007. Schwab announced the agreement according to Asia news sources, saying, "We have chosen China for our Global Industry Summit because we believe China is well positioned to serve as a global hub for working with the next generation of corporate champions." The announcement is made despite last September's report released by WEF chief economist, Augusto Lopez-Claros, stating that China needs to build up the institutional underpinnings of its economy to strengthen its competitiveness. "It needs to improve the quality of its educational system and the delivery of improved public health services to the population. Education is key for developing the future innovation potential of the country and the challenges here are huge. There is also a large technology gap with respect to the more developed industrial economies; so the process of modernization will have to continue," he said. Opponents of the summit, who claim it is merely a forum used by the "rich and powerful" to impose their own interests of power to the detriment of the Third World population, have gathered directly outside Davos. It is the first time in the 34-year history of the summit that demonstrations have been allowed at this proximity. Protesters argue that the forum is merely a gathering of the elite and powerful, meeting to dictate political priorities and discuss big business deals, the consequence of which can be seen on a daily basis in the war against Iraq, the poverty and hunger in numerous countries of the developing South, the destruction of social security safety nets in the countries of the industrialized North, massive unemployment, environmental destruction and the unprecedented profits made by transitional corporations. Arguments, according to news sources, set forth by Iris Widmer of the Swiss affiliate offices of the Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens (ATTAC). Reports indicate that demonstrations in opposition of the WEF are expected to continue throughout the remainder of the week as protests migrate from Berne, the Swiss capital, to, Basel, St. Gallen, Lucerne, Chur, Thun and Lugano. Founded in 1971, in Geneva, the WEF propagates a commitment to "improving the state of the world." Capitalists and activists, most of who are at odds with one another, seem to find some middle ground called compassionate capitalism and equitable globalization as they convene for the annual international forum. The WEF is known as the most influential podium in the world, for which CEO's feverishly lobby to get tickets granting them the highly coveted status of guest speaker. The Freedom Foundation is the public affairs arm of the Muslim American Society (MAS), a national grassroots religious, social, and educational organization. MAS is America's largest grassroots Muslim organization with over 50 chapters nationwide. Learn more at Copyright © 2006 Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

January 24, 2006

Saudi Woman Poet Honored

JEDDAH, January 2006 — The Forum of Young Global Leaders, an affiliate of the World Economic Forum, announced yesterday that internationally acclaimed poet and writer Nimah Ismail Nawwab has been named a Young Global Leader. Nimah Nawwab, born in Malaysia to Makkawi parents, is one of 16 new Young Global Leaders from the Middle East and North Africa, and will join a global community now including 410 leaders from all regions and stakeholder groups. The Forum of Young Global Leaders’ Nomination Committee chose the 2006 selected members from among 3,500 candidates. (continued...) Image: Poet and writer Nimah Ismail Nawwab poses for a picture with Madain Saleh in the background. Arab News © 2006 Biography: Nimah Ismail Nawwab is an English-language writer, photographer, lecturer and internationally recognized poet. Her work, including her book, The Unfurling, has been featured in Newsweek International and the Los Angeles Times, among others. The first Saudi Arabian female poet to be published in the US, her work includes a historic public book signing in Saudi Arabia. Her poetry has been translated into numerous languages and taught internationally. She is an international poetry judge and facilitator and is currently working on two anthology projects concerning women and youth. Her interest in diversity, tolerance, women’s issues and youth empowerment has led to involvement in activities and presentations at international educational conferences and forums, including The Arabian Reading Association. She is a judge and workshop co-facilitator in the British Council's I Belong international project, which encourages young people to engage in the intercultural and creative process and to portray themselves creatively. Nimah is a member of the South East Asian Studies Institute and active with the Gulf Organizational group of MIT Peter Senge's Organizational Learning Society. Related: Women Artists Carve a Niche for Themselves Ebtihal Mubarak, Arab News JEDDAH, 16 January 2006 — Obstacles will not stand in the way of success if there is a strong will present which is determined to overcome them. History is full of hundreds of stories of people who fought against amazing odds in order to achieve their dreams and aspirations. Sometimes, however, history marches along without paying much attention to the achievements of normal individuals. (continued...) Arab News © 2006

January 23, 2006

Rajaa's Tale...The Courage to Write

Young author breaks taboos By Donna Abu-Nasr December 17, 2005 RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - It's hardly Sex and the City, but by Saudi standards The Girls of Riyadh is a bombshell. The fictional tale of the loves, dreams and disappointments of four young women in the capital has, not surprisingly, drawn criticism in a country where women are not supposed to date or have a love life until married. More striking, however, is the degree of support being voiced for 24-year-old author Rajaa al-Sanie and her first novel. In the novel, Sadeem's husband divorces her because she's too sexually bold for his liking. Qamra discovers soon after her wedding that her husband is in love with a Japanese woman. Mashael's boyfriend cannot marry her because her mother is American. Only Lamis finds true and lasting love. The Girls of Riyadh was published in September in Lebanon, the most liberal of Arab countries, and is going into its third printing. In Saudi Arabia, where the sexes are strictly segregated, authorities haven't decided whether to approve its sale, but pirated editions are circulating in photocopy form. (continued...) Image released by Rajaa al-Sanie on Thursday Dec. 14, 2005 shows Saudi author Rajaa al-Sanie, 24, in Nov. 2005, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP/HO)

January 20, 2006

SURVEY: You're Back from Hajj...Now What?

Then when you pour down from Arafat, celebrate the praises of Allah at the Sacred Monument, and celebrate His praises as He has directed you, even though, before this, you were astray.” Al-Baqarah 2:198. Assalamu Alaikum! So, you're back from Hajj! Mabrook! Congratulations! Hajj Mabrour! May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala accept! Amin. what?!? *scratches head* It is taught that in order for our hajj to be accepted, we should strive to meet the following criteria:
  • It should be paid for from halal funds.
  • We should keep away from evil, sin and unjust disputes during Hajj.
  • We should do our best to observe all rituals according to the Sunnah.
  • Our Hajj should be performed purely for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and not for show.
  • We should not follow it with acts of disobedience and sin.
And if we fulfill these obligations successfully? Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Whoever does Hajj for the sake of Allaah and does not have sexual relations (with his wife), commit sin, or dispute unjustly (during the Hajj), will come back like the day his mother gave birth to him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1449; Muslim, 1350) ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Hajj wipes out whatever (sins) came before it.” (Narrated by Muslim, 121) The Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “…There is no reward for Hajj mabroor [accepted] except Paradise.” (Al-Bukhari) Okay, review: for those who have, insha'Allah, successfully completed their hajj, according to hadith we return as though newly born, free from our past sins, and insha'Allah with the promise of Paradise. But can anyone who has completed this journey honestly think that's all there is to it? We simply return home and carry on with our lives as we did before making Hajj? Do we think at all about what we might have to do differently in order to maintain that clean slate status? Is it even possible? What should we say, do or think differently than we did before making Hajj? Bottom line: What is your plan for keeping the slate clean? Please share your thoughts, experiences and ideas! Also, if you're interested in five-minutes of fame *smile* your comments or suggestions could be used for a magazine article I am in the process of writing. If your name is used together with your comment or suggestion, I will do my best to arrange for a copy of the magazine to be sent to you, insha'Allah, on publication. Please send your Hajj experiences, comments, or suggestions to:, or you can post a comment here on the blog (below). Hope to hear from you soon, insha'Allah! Ma'Salaama, ~Aishah Image compliments of "SoulAdvisor" (Jazakallahu khayran Ukht!)

January 19, 2006

Tunisian Activist to Internationalize Hijab Ban

By Mohammad Al-Hamroni, IOL Correspondent TUNIS, January 19, 2006 ( – A prominent Tunisian lawyer and human rights activist are threatening to "internationalize" a government ban on wearing hijab, decrying it as a flagrant violation of the people's simplest rights. "We are preparing a special file to take our case to the UN," Saida Al-Ekremi told on Thursday, January 19. In 1981, then Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba (1956-1987) ratified Law No. 108 banning Tunisian women from wearing hijab in state offices. The Tunisian lawyer said the hijab ban infringes on Tunisian women's fundamental rights. "The basic rights of citizens, including the right to dress, are entrenched in the Tunisian Constitution as well as international conventions," maintains Al-Ekremi. (read more...) Copyright © 1999-2006 Islam Online Related: Tunisian official criticizes Muslim attire Related by way of shared interest: Aishah Protesting Ban of Hijab in France at French Embassy, Washington, D.C. Speech Text

January 18, 2006

A Day of Remembrance

Today I remember the first day of Hajj as I arrived by plane from Riyad to Jeddah on January 18, 2005, thereafter hiring a taxi to speedily deliver me to Taif and my husband, who was waiting for me so we could begin our Hajj journey. Subhan'Allah. I was physically born 45-years ago today; but on the completion of my Hajj I was born anew, insha'Allah. So today, rather than acknowledging the date of my entry into this dunya, I offer thanks and appreciation to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala for the journey of a lifetime... Al-hamdulillah. Related: Aishah's Journey Continues...Hajj 2005, On the Eve of Eid ul-Adha

January 17, 2006

My Love for Allah Awakened

By Amatuallah Abdullah Tears streamed down the face of my friend who sat with her face buried in her hands on the day of her marriage. I looked at her as she sobbed, unsure of what to do, and finally asked her, "Why are you crying?" "I'm just nervous," she replied, but I knew that she was holding something back. Out of respect for her privacy, I reserved any additional questions I might have had about her situation. However, the ladies around her, family and friends, would not leave her be. They insisted on knowing. I sensed that my friend just needed some space of her own. This is the day that changed me. Her tears triggered my own memories of an unhappy wedding day, my own. ----- My whole family rejoiced on a day which was supposed to be special for every woman- my wedding day! The air fairly tingled with excitement and laughter was the tune for the day. "You look gorgeous!" my cousin said. I forced my lips to curve into a smile as I said, "Thanks." My lips felt so much strain as they were forced to do something they didn't want –SMILE! And this was a pain that I was obliged to grow accustomed to from that day forth, until I found the courage to assert my rights. Indian culture did not allow my parents to seek my permission for marriage. Custom dictates that the parents of both the groom and bride arrange the marriage, and the children agree without any say in the matter. My heart was not inclined to the man I was married to from the first day of my marriage and I was not able to express my feelings for the fear of being alienated from my family and society. I wanted to please my parents and the community and show them that I was happy, even if I wasn't. I didn’t want to be alienated from them and to add to that, I heard the people, making unpleasant remarks about women who says they are not happy with their husband nor interested in marrying a man their parents choose. This is the South Indian culture: If a woman is married to a man, and has a child from that marriage, she has to live with him no matter what. "Are you trying to please your parents and the cultural society fearing that they would alienate you and speak ill of you if you told them that your marriage has not brought you any joy? Oh come on! You are no better than a robot!" my heart cried. My heart was right; I was almost a prisoner to society. I became a lifeless woman from the first day of my marriage like a robot only going through the motions of life...continued... This story was chosen as winner of a contest sponsored by the Muslim Writers Society, January, 2006. Copyright © 2005-2006 Amatuallah Abdullah All Rights Reserved. Please do not repost/reprint from here without permission from the author. Used here with permission.

January 15, 2006

QUIZ: Which Religion is the Right One For YOU?

(Click on post title to take the quiz)

You scored as Islam. Your beliefs are most similar to those of Islam. Do more research on Islam and possibly consider taking the shahadah and officially becoming a Muslim, if you aren't already. Despite the actions of some - who go against the teachings of Islam - Islam is a religion of peace; the word "islam" means "peace through submission to God." "Muslim" means "one who submits to God." Islam is the third of the three Abrahamic faiths, and it shares much with Judaism in Christianity; its differences are the acceptance of Muhammad as the last and final prophet, and the oneness of God - in other words, that Jesus, though he was a revered prophet, was not in fact God, and only one God exists. Apparently the Taliban could not read (though their name means "students"), because the Qur'an states that men and women are equal as believers, and that all believers should be educated and seek knowledge. Modesty in dress and behavior is required in Islam for both men and women to preserve the values of society and move the emphasis from superificial appearance to intelligence, knowledge, and God.



















January 13, 2006

Al-Jamarat...The Rest of the Story!

By Aishah Schwartz January 13, 2006 Yes, it is true, on January 12, 2006, many Hajj pilgrims died in a stampede at Mina, Saudi Arabia. Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajoon. But what will it take for the truth of Islam to prevail? It's as easy as the click of a mouse button running a query on the terms "rituals of hajj", and in some cases even easier to tap into pre-existing research, as in the case of CBS. For anyone reporting on Islam it would seem that the basics are known, or that is to say, easily known; the basic's being that Islam is based on 5 pillars. Hajj being the fifth pillar, Al-Jamarat, or stoning, being a part of the Hajj process. What is disturbing to me, yet again, is the fact that although accurate information pertaining to hajj is readily available, and in some cases even already a part of past record, print media has once again misrepresented information with regard to Islam. The miscarriage of information is disseminated through the Associated Press (AP) and subsequently delivered through two of the most 'reliable' sources of news and information, as is hammered into the minds of listeners and readers through various corporate slogans: ABC News "America's #1 Broadcasting Company" "America's Favorite Network" "More Americans get their news from ABC News than from any other source" and CBS News "America's Most Watched Network" "Everybody's Watching CBS" Now, it might seem like small potatoes to some, but there is a distinct difference between what the news has reported and the truth with the most recent case of dissemination of misinformation about Islam. First Case in Point In the AP story distributed through ABC News Misplaced Bag, Haste Led to Hajj Stampede, not only in the third paragraph, but also in the story's accompanying picture is found the following text, with regard to the purpose of al-Jamarat or as referred to in the article, the 'stone throwing ritual': In the stoning ritual, all pilgrims must pelt a series of three pillars called al-Jamarat, which represent the devil, to purge themselves of sin. (Third paragraph of story) The stampede occurred as tens of thousands of pilgrims headed toward al-Jamarat, a series of three pillars representing the devil that the faithful pelt with stones to purge themselves of sin. (Picture caption with article) Second Case in Point In another version of the AP story Stampede Kills 345 at Hajj Ritual circulated via CBS News we have the following: In the stoning ritual, all the pilgrims must pass by a series of three pillars called al-Jamarat, which represent the devil and which the faithful pelt with stones to purge themselves of sin. (Fourth paragraph) Interestingly enough, a interactive slideshow provides the following, which correctly states: "In Mina, the stones are tossed at three stone pillars in a symbolic rejection of Satan." The Fundamentals of Islam - Click on the third link for "Hajj" and then click on the number "5" for Mina and you get the exact text. Third Case in Point The organization that ran the story from which other news organizations obtained copy: The Associated Press (AP). Q. How many people hear or read an AP story? Depending on whether the story ran on the state, national or international wires, more than a billion people may read, hear or see news from The Associated Press. (AP FAQ's) Ethics and Principles: The good newspaper is fair, accurate, honest, responsible, independent and decent. Truth is its guiding principle. (Associated Press Managing Editors' (APME) Statement of Ethical Principles) The newspaper should guard against inaccuracies, carelessness, bias or distortion through emphasis, omission or technological manipulation. (Associated Press Managing Editors' (APME) Statement of Ethical Principles) "…we abhor inaccuracies, carelessness, bias or distortions." (AP Statement of News Values and Principles 11/29/05) In this age of instant information, anyone with a discerning eye can ferret out the truth with just a few strokes at a keyboard. Would it not behoove those who claim to be the most watched, listened to and trusted, and who aspire to uphold accuracy and responsibility as primary principles in the course of business, to let the information disseminated through their collective outlets reflect truth and accuracy to the best of their capabilities, to include their reporting on Islam and Muslims? It would appear instead that for the purposes of the 'powers that be' behind organizations like AP, ABC and CBS that perpetuating an impression to the world that Muslims are a silly lot who think that throwing a handful of pebbles at a pillar will purge them of their sins, when the truth is that the actions of al-Jamarat are those of religious symbolism not mockery. Al-Jamarat is the ritual commemoration of Ibrahim's (Abraham) stoning of Satan when the latter tried to tempt him to disobey Allah, which doesn't even come close to the reported statements that the purpose of throwing the pebbles is to purge one from sins. Guess what AP, ABC and CBS? Muslims abhor inaccuracies, carelessness, bias and distortions too. Related: Heaven…The Rest of the Story Image © 20th Century Fox Copyright © 2005 Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

January 12, 2006

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajoon

...just because they wanted to throw a handful of stones... UPDATE: Death toll in Hajj stampede climbs to 362 Update: Death Toll Rises to 345 Stampede at Hajj in Mecca Kills 110 MECCA, Saudi Arabia - Thousands of Muslim pilgrims rushing to complete a symbolic stoning ritual on the last day of the hajj tripped over luggage Thursday, causing a crush. Medical officials said more than 110 people were killed and some 1,000 injured. The stampede occurred as tens of thousands of pilgrims headed toward al-Jamarat, a series of three pillars representing the devil that the faithful pelt with stones... Photo: REUTERS/Ali Jarekji

January 11, 2006

ANNOUNCING: The New 'ear' Logo!

Assalamu Alaikum! Insha'Allah this message finds you in the best of health and imaan, and having enjoyed a blessed Eid holiday! Amin. This message is to thank you for voting on the 'ear' project logo, and to share with you a preview of the new logo as viewable on the 'ear' home page:!! I am in the process of updating the site's other pages, so by clicking on any of the site's other indexed pages, you can see the 'before' and 'after' results! At this time I would also like to thank those who have written to offer their assistance as the project develops (don't worry, I'll be tapping into your collective resourcefulness soon enough!), and to thank those who have sent in poems and other items for recommendation/addition to the project's development. Special thanks to Brother Tarik Shafi, from the U.K., who volunteered to design the logo; and did it with amazing responsiveness and enthusiasm! Subhan'Allah! Brother Tarik does logo design for a living so please support him and pass the word along...he is the 'go to' resource for all your logo needs!! Brother Tarik's email address is: Jazakallahu khayran! Insha'Allah, in 2006 the 'ear' project will sprout wings and fly...just like the logo's butterfly! *smile*

January 05, 2006

Heaven...The Rest of the Story!

An ABC News 20/20 Special Report with Barbara Walters on the subject of Heaven aired recently (Dec. 20, 2005), however, I didn't happen to see it until a few days ago when the program finally hit the satellite line-up here in Egypt. Night owl that I am, when the program came on at 2:00 in the morning, I tuned in to watch and listen. I have to admit the program was captivating, from the interview locations, Ms. Walters' fashionable wardrobe changes (seriously, at age 74 she never looked better!), and her amicable chat with the Dalai Lama in India, I watched every minute with great enthusiasm. However, I am compelled to express my deep disappointment with the way print media has, once again, chosen to allow misrepresentations of the teachings of Islam regarding heaven and terrorism (i.e., suicide bombing and martyrdom), in a continuation of the effort to depict Islam and Muslims in a less than favorable light. For example: Walters' team also traveled to Israel where Jihad Jarrar, of Islamic Jihad, who is incarcerated in an Israeli prison for a failed suicide bombing, tells Walters that only Muslims will go to heaven and that "...the Lord promised the martyr who lost his life and lost the world on earth, that he promised him these 72 women in paradise as honor, as respect for him." And: Jihad Jarrar...tells Walters that only Muslims will go to heaven and "the reason I chose a martyrdom operation" was to spend an eternity in paradise. What these two articles fail to include is that Ms. Walters also interviewed Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, an Islamic Scholar who rebutted Jarrar's misinterpretation of martyrdom; and asserted with emphasis that Jarrar was wrong in his attempt at suicide bombing. Since none of the articles I've reviewed have offered any of the Imam's clarifying statements I am unable to quote him here, but I do recall from watching the ABC report his mentioning a reference from the Quran: "If anyone slew an innocent person it would be as if he slew the whole mankind and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole mankind." [Al-Qur’an 5:32] The Imam was quoted in another article, but once again, his rebuttal of Jarrar's comments did not appear in print. Instead, the public is given just enough to suggest that the Imam agreed with Jarrar, when in fact, he did not!!! The article misquotes the Imam as saying: "...there's plenty of sex there -- and with virgins, no less." Please note the " -- " in the quote...yes, of course there was more to what he said!!! The full quote from the ABC News original report stated: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, tells Walters he believes heaven is indeed a physical place, but getting there depends on your behavior in this life. "The real life is the next life … and based upon how we live this life, it determines where we shall be in the next. We are told we will be in comfortable homes, reclining on silk couches … so we're given the delights of sex, the delights of wine, the delights of food with all of their positive things without their negative aspects." Still neglecting to print anything positive with regard to the correct teachings of Islam on the subject matter, as offered by the Imam in his 20/20 interview, print media once again gives Jarrar a voice from his prison cell in Israel, in an article where he is quoted as telling Ms. Walters that unless she became Muslim, "hell would be her final destination." And, for the purpose of this article, one last time in an story where Jarrar states that, "...only Muslims will go to heaven and the reason I chose a martyrdom operation was to spend an eternity in paradise." Producers of the ABC special did an admirable job putting together a program that offered representation from varying faiths, to include: Cardinal Theodore McCerrick of the Roman Catholic Church of Washington DC; Rabbi Neil Gilman from the New York Jewish Theological Seminary; Comedian Jackie Mason, who is a Rabbi; Reverend Calvin Butts, Pastor of New York's famed Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem; the reincarnated Buddah His Holiness the Dalai Lama; National Association of Evangelicals President, Pastor Ted Haggard; Ellen Johnson, President of the American Atheists Society; and the Islamic Scholar, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. I also appreciated, as the 20/20 report came to an end, the narrator's comment based on the Imam's clarification regarding the correct teachings of Islam on the subject of martyrdom, which revealed the apparent conclusion of the producers that, "Jarrar would be the one going to hell," - not Ms. Walters. Apparently neither ABC nor Ms. Walters appreciated being told by a man imprisoned for attempted suicide bombing that hell would be her final destination; the ABC News Original Report didn't even mention his interview. --------- Order the the CD of "Heaven - Where is it? How Do We Get There? 12/20/05 Video Clip from "Heaven - Where is it? How Do We Get There? 12/20/05 Islam's Stance Against Terrorism: Islamic Statements Against Terrorism and Muslims Condemn Terrorist Attacks Posted January 10, 2005: Saudi cleric says terrorism used to discredit Islam Image 'Stairway to Heaven' © Jim Warren from: (used with permission) Copyright © 2005 Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

January 03, 2006

The Official Trivia Post

UPDATE: Since the time when I originally posted this blog, it hadn't crossed my mind again until today. I was doing some research for an article I am writing on Madinah, when I stumbled onto a new discovery. In addition to the date of my wedding anniversary and my mother's birthday being the same (June 8), I just read that many biographers of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) have recorded the date of his passing out of this dunya to also be June 8, (632)!! Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajoon. Original Post of 11/17/05: One year after embracing Islam in 2002 I decided to create an e-group for sisters. Exactly one year from the date that I started the e-Group, I was in Mecca making my first Umrah. When I was 19 and making a commitment as a Christian to serve God; my husband was 20 and making his first Hajj; 22-years later I would make my Shahada; and 19-years later my husband would return to Egypt. Mine and my husband's wedding anniversary is the same date as my mother's birthday; we were married 14 days after we met! My sister and my husband share the same birthday. The date that my grandson was born in November of 2003 was also the day of Eid. As we were waiting in early 2004 for the Saudi Embassy to give us our visa's so that my husband could start his new job in Taif, I quit my job at a non-profit organization, not knowing for sure when the visa's and airline tickets would come through, and the very next day we got the long-awaited Embassy phone call telling us to pack our bags; we were on our way. The date we started Hajj in January of 2005 also happened to be my birthday. While at Arafat during Hajj I made many duas on behalf of others. There was a particular dua that I just recently learned was answered! A dear sister in Riyadh had told me of her wish to become pregnant; and her desire to have a boy (she already had a girl). Well, during Ramadan, I learned that almost exactly 9 months from when that dua was made on her behalf...subhan'Allah...the pregnancy and baby boy had come to pass. Al-hamdulillah! The very first time I got to see my grandson in person instead of just from a picture was on Valentine's Day, 2005 (it's just trivia!!). There's more, I'll just have to think about it a little...but for now I am tired and I think I will get some sleep. For real! *lol* Copyright © 2005, Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

January 02, 2006

Just a Reminder...

Assalamu Alaikum, Insha'Allah this message finds you in the best of health and imaan. Amin. Just a reminder: Righteous Deeds During the First 10 Days of Dhul-Hijjah A Muslim has to seize every opportunity that could bring him closer to Allah. Among the special seasons of worship are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, which Allah has preferred over all the other days of the year. Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days." The people asked, "Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?" He said, "Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight, giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing." (Reported by Al-Bukhari) Ma'Salaama.