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.

November 22, 2010

MWA Joins 45-Member Coalition Calling for Investigation into FBI Targeting of Activists

Coalition of prominent community, civil and human rights organizations delivers open letter to President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr., in follow-up to Sept. 24 FBI raids against activists and issuance of grand jury subpoenas.


PRLog (Press Release) – Nov 20, 2010 – WASHINGTON, D.C. (MWA-Net) – On November 19, 2010, a coalition of 45 national and statewide prominent community, civil and human rights organizations, including Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), delivered a jointly signed open letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr., and the U.S. Congress, calling for an investigation and report on FBI activities that appear to be targeting legitimate political speech and assembly. (LETTER - SHORTCUT URL:

The coalition's letter is in follow-up to the Sept. 24 FBI raids targeting the offices and homes of 14 peace and anti-war activists in Minneapolis and Chicago. Raid victims were also served with grand jury subpoenas. It has been reported that the grand jury subpoenas target the activists for alleged material support of terrorism. On the same day agents also attempted to question activists in San Jose, California; Durham, North Carolina; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The raids come on the heels of a recent report by the Department of Justice (DOJ) of the Inspector General documenting recent examples of the FBI monitoring activists engaged in protected political speech and not criminal behavior. This suppression of civil rights is aimed at those who dedicate their time and energy to supporting the struggles of the Palestinian and Colombian peoples against U.S. funded occupation and war.

"The September 24 raids serve as a wake-up call. We must not remain silent as the First Amendment rights of all Americans are increasingly jeopardized. We must take action now in turning back the tide, by demanding that the trend of intrusive government surveillance and prosecution of progressive activists for protected political activity stand corrected," stated MWA director, Aishah Schwartz. 

November 14, 2010

Looking Toward the Eve of Eid ul-Adha...

By Aishah Schwartz
Originally published January 9, 2006

It's hard to believe this time last year (2005) I was at Arafat making Hajj. Al-hamdulillah!

What a difference there is between how I felt during that time and how I feel today.

While it is true that I have surrounded myself with reminders of being in the
first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah through prior blog posts and communication with friends via email, and tried to do a good deed here and there, the truth is there hasn't been much in my environment lending itself to the suggestion that Eid ul-Adha is supposed to be a time of festivity.

After rising from a short nap this afternoon I prayed Asr and dressed to go outside for a walk. Al-hamdulillah the weather is still quite pleasant here in Alexandria, although the skies were somewhat overcast, indicative of my non-festive mood.

On reaching the end of the street adjacent to the apartment building where I live, deciding to turn left, I immediately ran into an impromptu barnyard; a first sign of the upcoming Eid holiday. Subhan'Allah.

I started to walk right past the goat curled up on the sidewalk against the wall in front of a parked car, the cow tethered next to it, and the lamb watching me from across the street (pictured above), when I came to an abrupt stop to turn around, realizing I was leaving behind a perfect photo opportunity, which in turn, provided the inspiration for this story.

My mind is flooded, much like our campground was the day after we returned from Arafat to Mina during last year's Hajj. I remember thinking how symbolic it was that Mecca was hit with a rare, thunderous
rainstorm that drenched the entire area, including our Mina campground, the day after Eid as many pilgrims began to depart for Masjid al Haram to make their final tawaf, marking the end of Hajj.

Mohamed Jamal Khan, from the Pakistani city of Peshawar summarized my thoughts most succinctly: "Rain is always a blessing and for it to fall so hard at the end of our hajj rituals means our sins are washed away and God has accepted our prayers."

Despite the subsequent flood that threatened to dampen the spirits of the record 2.56 million pilgrims, if a poll had been taken of the sisters in the camp at Mina that had been my home-away-from-home for the most amazing five days of my life, you would have been hard-pressed to find a single one anxious for the week to end.

On the contrary, we were most reluctant to leave behind the new friendships we had forged with one another, bonds made with sisters who had come from near and far. We had grown into this huge, somehow instantly and forever connected, happy family.

Returning from making the third and final
jamarat the day after the flood, I knew the time had come to prepare for departure. However, I failed to realize on agreeing to be ready for boarding the bus back to Taif within five minutes, how impossible it would be to say goodbye in such a short period of time.

I solemnly walked down the indoor-outdoor green carpet path to the entrance of my tent, and stepping inside went straight to where my packed belongings were waiting for me.

As I reached to pick up my tote bag and turned around to face the tent's entrance again, there stood the group of sweet young sisters who had been my closest bunkmates. Tears immediately welled in my eyes as one by one they stepped forward to hug me. I somehow knew the next five minutes of my life would seem like an eternity as the farewells commenced.

Stepping outside the folds of the tent's opening, the biggest surprise of all was right before my eyes. Perched neatly in a row along the top of a short block wall sat each one of the nine servant girls who had adopted me (and I them), waiting for me to come out so they could say goodbye.

Passing by each one, feeling their arms embrace me, and meeting their tearful faces eye-to-eye, it felt as though my heart was being ripped right out of my chest.

The tiniest one, a young girl from Mecca, reminded me that she would gladly squeeze herself into my suit case and go home with me in order to continue her ritual of combing out my freshly shampooed hair; a memory that makes me smile every time I picture her innocent face.

But coming to the end of the line was the hardest thing ever, as there sat 'little u nour'. (That is how she always signs her text messages.) Nour (and her mother, Umm Mustafa) had become the most dear to me of everyone I had met that week. As her tear-filled eyes met mine, it felt as though I couldn't bear to say good-bye to her, and prying myself from her arms was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.

As our bus began the winding, slow journey out of Mina I pulled a
niqab from my handbag and fastened it behind my head, grateful for the comfort it provided in covering the tears that continued to stream uncontrollably down my cheeks.

I sat reflectively and recalled
my first Ramadan and the iftars shared with sisters who had gathered at the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C. One evening after breaking our fasts, praying Maghrib, and eating our mini-feast, we sat visiting, enjoying sweets and hot tea. After a short time our conversation ventured into the topic of Hajj. A few of the sisters had already made hajj and began to share their experiences. I remember, being that I was still pretty new to Islam, listening with the utmost attention, drinking in every word.

In that evening's conversation I heard the bad and the good, the harsh realities, the blessings and joys. I remember being so grateful for the opportunity to hear their stories. But what I remembered the most from that conversation as we drove out of Mina, having just completed my own hajj, was the unanimously spoken sentiment, "When it's time to leave, you won't want to go."

Watching Mina's seemingly endless sea of white tent domes pass from view, I realized no truer words had ever been spoken.

I found something recently in randomly reading through other blogs, that seemed so profound that I saved it, and tonight I think it pretty well wraps up my thoughts this Eid ul-Adha eve:

"Truly in the heart there is a void that cannot be removed except with the company of Allah. And in it there is a sadness that cannot be removed except with the happiness of knowing Allah. And in it there is an emptiness that cannot be filled except with love for Allah and by turning to and always remembering Him. And if a person were given all of the world and what is in it, it would not fill this emptiness."
(Ibn al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyya)

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.

November 13, 2010

Do You Know a New Muslim?

Incentive to reach out to a new Muslim this Eid-ul-Adha. "My memories of my first Eid (it was actually a Eid al-Fitr) are actually quite lonely. As a new Muslim I knew very little about what to do and where to go and was too shy to invite myself somewhere. Unfortunately invitations weren't very forthcoming either. Only years later I decided to create my own festive atmosphere by getting together with other converts who also did not have Muslim family. Together we would go around the whole day visiting different individuals and families. This was the first time I really felt some of the togetherness, which should be such an important element of Eid. It would be good if Muslim families, instead of focusing only on their own extended family, would make a greater effort to include people within their Muslim community who may not have a place to go for Eid. It would give converts a greater feeling of belonging and strengthen their hearts in the deen."
From: Your First `Eid Al-Adha: Joys & Frustrations
Copyright 1999-2005 Islalm Online
The word 'Eid is an Arabic name to mean a festivity, a celebration, a recurring happiness, and a feast. In Islam, there are two major 'Eids namely the feast of Ramadhan ('EId Al-Fitr) and the Feast of Sacrifice ('Eid Al-Adhha). The first 'Eid is celebrated by Muslims after fasting the month of Ramadhan as a matter of thanks and gratitude to Almighty Allah. It takes place on the first day of Shawwal, the tenth month of the lunar calendar. The second 'Eid is the Feast of Sacrifice and it is to be celebrated for the memory of prophet Ibrahim trying to sacrifice his son Isma'il (Ishmael). This 'Eid lasts four days between the tenth and the thirteenth day of Zul-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the lunar calendar.

Eid-ul-Adha History and Origin

Two of the most important Islamic holidays of the year are Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. While the former marks the end of the long fasting month of Ramadan, Eid-ul-Adha marks the end of Hajj, the sacred pilgrimage to the holy city Mecca. It’s customary for every able Muslim (as prescribed in the Five Pillars of Islam) to go on a Hajj at least once during his lifetime. Also popularly known as the Festival of Sacrifice, this Muslim holiday Eid-ul-Adha commemorates Prophet Abraham’s unselfish act of sacrificing his own son Ishmael to the One God, Allah.

The history behind Eid-ul-Adha follows the story of the faithful Abraham, who was instructed by Allah in a dream to raise the foundations of Kaaba, a black stone, the most sacred Muslim shrine in Mecca (Saudi Arabia), which the Muslims face during their prayers (salat). Immediately responding to the Lord’s call, Abraham set off for Mecca along with his wife and son, Ishmael. At that time, Mecca was a desolate and barren desert and Abraham had to face a lot of hardships. However, he supplicated Allah’s commands uncomplaining. In a divine dream, he also saw himself sacrificing his son Ishmael for Allah’s sake. When he told this to Ishmael, the latter immediately asked his father to carry out Lord’s commands without faltering and assured that he was completely ready to give up his life for God. But miraculously enough, when Abraham was about to sacrifice Ishmael, Allah spared the boy’s life and replaced him with a lamb. And this is what Abraham ultimately sacrificed.

To commemorate this outstanding act of sacrifice (qurbani) by Prophet Abraham, people sacrifice a lamb, goat, ram or any other animal on Eid-ul-Adha and give the meat to friends, neighbors, relatives and the needy. People who are away from the holy pilgrimage, Hajj, also carry out this traditional sacrifice. Hence Eid-ul-Adha is also known as the Feast of Sacrifice or the Day of Sacrifice.

Eid-ul-Adha begins from the 10th day of the 12th Islamic month Dhul-Hijjah. But the date of Eid-ul-Adha depends on the visibility of the moon each year. Eid-ul-Adha is known by different names in different parts of the world. For instance, Eid-ul-Adha is known by the name Hari Raya Aidiladha in south-east Asia. In Singapore, the local name for Eid-ul-Adha is Hari Raya Haji and in Malaysia, people refer to this festival as Id al-Adha and have made it a national holiday there. Indians know Eid-ul-Adha as Id al-Adha or Idu’z Zuha. And in Bangladesh, Eid-ul-Adha is known as Eid-ul-Azha or sometimes even Id al-Adha. But whatever the name, the celebratory spirit of Eid-ul-Adha runs high among Muslims all over the world, the geographical variations notwithstanding.

November 10, 2010

BREAKING: GFM 2009 Delegate, Marjam Salvesen Bhatti, Deported from Egypt

Marjam Salvesen at Erez Border Crossing, Gaza.
STAVANGER, NORWAY (Nov. 10, 2010) - Shortly after arriving at Hurghada airport in Egypt on Tuesday, November 9, 2010, Marjam Salvesen Bhatti, a 2009 Gaza Freedom March delegate, was deported back to Norway.

Salvesen stated via sms from Norway's Stavanger Airport, that she had not been harmed in Egypt, but was deprived of her mobile until she boarded the return flight.

Egyptian authorities questioned Salvesen about her visits to Gaza, Algeria and Pakistan. Salvesen added that on arrest she was told her name was on a list of people that cannot enter Egypt.

At 7AM Norway time on Wednesday, Marjam, who had arrived to Hurghada for holiday with her daughter, was still at Stavenger airport where the two had slept through the night with no tickets to arrive to their hometown in Trondheim.

November 07, 2010

Pondering the Best Deeds of the First 10 Days of Dhul-Hijjah

By Aishah Schwartz
November 18, 2009 (updated)
January 8, 2006 (original publication date)
NOVEMBER 7, 2010 - It's here! The first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah! And, subhan'Allah, as I sat updating this in November 2009, I was still reliving moments shared earlier in the day with two very dear people, married 36-years, preparing to board the passenger vessel, Dhab, at Safaga, Egypt – destination, the experience of a lifetime (and their first) – HAJJ! My heart swelled as I remembered those very first steps for my own hajj  experience – and the memories came flooding back as if it were yesterday, not, wow…four, now five years ago? Time sure does fly, doesn't it?

Many of you may have already read your share of articles about the virtues of the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah, but try to trust me when I say; this one is a little different.

The first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah are noted to be among the special seasons of worship preferred by Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala over all other days of the year, and a Muslim has to seize every opportunity that could bring him or her closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, no doubt about that.

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." [emphasis] 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." (Bukhari)

Another hadith affirming that fasting is one of the best deeds, urges us to fast on the Day of Arafat (9th of Dhul-Hijjah) as the reward for fasting on this day is multiplied greatly:

It is said that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Fasting the Day of Arafat atones for two years of [minor] sins, the year prior and one forthcoming." (Reported by Muslim, Abu Dawud and others.) (Fiqh-us-Sunnah Vol. 3 Page 124c.)

It is my most sincere dua that each Muslim who has this knowledge and is able to, takes advantage of the great benefit to be derived from fasting on this special day.

However, perhaps in not specifically stating that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) fasted each of the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah, is it not within the realm of possibility that there are other ways to perform good deeds in addition to fasting on the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah? Of course!

In further reflecting on the best of deeds, we might first, as a wise friend of mine has often said, go back to the basics...the five pillars.

As Muslims we have already achieved the first pillar, the testimony of faith (saying with conviction, "La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadur rasoolu Allah." This saying means "There is no true god but God (Allah), and Muhammad is the Messenger (Prophet) of God."

Zakaat (alms), being the third pillar, is what a believer returns out of his or her wealth to the neediest of Muslims for the sake of the Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala; it is an obligation upon every Muslim who possesses the minimum Nisaab (requirement). The word itself means to increase, purify and bless. "… what you give in Zakaat, seeking Allah's Pleasure, then it is those who shall gain reward manifold..." (30:39)

The fourth pillar, fasting the month of Ramadan, we did our best to complete, insha'Allah (for those of us who were able), as it has already passed.

And the fifth pillar Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), which is made during the month of Dhul-Hijjah (a one-time requirement for those with means), is something I hope we all pray that each and every Muslim gets the opportunity to perform, insha'Allah.

I bet you thought I forgot the second pillar, often referred to as the "central" pillar of Islam, salat (or prayer), but I saved that one for last on purpose.

In consideration of what is within our means to do when looking for the "best deeds" - one of the simplest things that came to mind (which doesn't cost us a thing monetarily), is to perfect our salat.
  • Are we making our best effort to pray on time?
  • Are we making our best effort to concentrate?
  • Are we striving to make our salat in a state of humility and consciousness?
  • Are we making our best effort to perfect the surah's we recite in our salat?
  • Are we rushing off after salat without making dhikr?
  • Are we missing salat altogether?
  • Are we making up missed salat?
  • Are we lazy and lacking in commitment?
  • Are the men in our lives praying as much as possible in the masjid?
Bottom line: Are we making our best effort to perfect our salat?

Be conscious of Allah's angels who have shifts - one by day and one by night - to monitor your condition and your prayers and report to Allah Most High.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "There are shifts which rotate with regard to you - angels by night and angels by day. They all meet during the dawn prayer and during the afternoon prayer. Then those who spent the night with you go up and their Lord asks them – and He is the most knowledgeable of them - 'In what state did you leave my slaves?' They answer: 'We left them praying after having come to them while they were praying.' (Muslim & Bukhari)

Need an even stronger incentive to safeguard and perfect this most important second pillar of Islam?

Narrated Abu Qatadah ibn Rab'i: "Allah, the Exalted said: I made five times' prayers obligatory on your people, and I took a guarantee that if anyone observes them regularly at their times, I shall admit him to Paradise; if anyone does not offer them regularly, there is no such guarantee of Mine for him." Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 2, Number 430, Prayer (Kitab Al-Salat).

In conclusion, when seeking a determination as to what might be considered amongst the "best deeds", we really don't have to look any farther than our knees, do we?

May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala guide us, forgive our sins, protect us from the hellfire...and reward our intention to perfect our salat. Amin.

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.


Also by Aishah Schwartz
Al-Jamarat: The Rest of the Story
You're Back from Hajj…Now What?

November 06, 2010

"The challenge is not to be's to be whole." Jane Fonda

A Muslim viewer pays tribute to the October 27, 2010, 25th Anniversary Oprah Winfrey Show Episode Featuring Jane Fonda

By Aishah Schwartz

Wisdom and its Varying Sources

The quote titling and triggering this post began with a Facebook reader asking me about the meaning behind the quote.  I replied that it came from a discussion Oprah Winfrey was having in a televised interview with Jane Fonda as she shared reflections on 'life, love and working out."

I further explained that often times people spend their lives striving for perfection, which in and of itself is not bad, however, when striving to be perfect becomes all consuming, it can also be like a poison negatively impacting your life. This is why Islam teaches that there is moderation in everything. (smile) To strive to be whole is to accept yourself, and all of your imperfections and idiosyncrasies; to let go of pain and to forgive so you can move forward, freeing yourself to evolve - to move toward becoming whole. 

Jane Fonda has, to say the least, led a very public life. In the interview with Oprah she discussed the first two chapters of her life and her memoirs, "Jane Fonda: My Life So Far" (published in 2005). She is now writing another book about the 'third' chapter of her life. Masha'Allah, she will be 73 in December! Seeing her and listening to the interview gave me renewed hope that, at 49, I am far, insha'Allah, from being dead!

She also helped me feel reassured that it's not too late yet to find true joy and happiness in a relationship...something I have found myself in despair of never achieving.

I can just imagine someone reading this and wanting to write saying, "Astifurgallah al-Azeem - why do you look to Jane Fonda in that way? She isn't Muslim!" To which I reply, you do not have to be a Muslim to be a human being; or to have wisdom to share.

To further preempt those who might feel the itch to shoot me down for finding myself lost in thought over a televised interview featuring a non-Muslim woman, what people often forget or refuse to accommodate for when mistakenly jumping to judge reverts is that, that is exactly what we are; reverts.

I was raised in a different faith and culture for 42-years. I lived an entirely different life apart from what the average Muslim woman born into a Muslim family and raised in a completely different culture has lived. No one can erase that! And those who refuse to accommodate for the fact that reverts, like myself, have had a lifetime of experience(s) pre-Islam, are being far too short-sighted and judgmental.

So, if I, as a revert of merely eight years, find myself identifying with a woman who has lived a life in the same culture I lived in - it is simply what it is! Therefore, if anyone reading this pauses for a even a nano-second to allow judgment to form in their mind over me, my life or comments about my life - please pause again and stop yourself, insha'Allah.


In the interview Jane elaborated further on the how a woman's life is divided into chapters. When she spoke of menopause and how difficult this stage of life is - tears came to my eyes. The past two years of my life have been extremely difficult. 

Aishah Schwartz shortly
after she became Muslim.
Earlier in the day I had been reflecting on life and in an sms to a friend I wrote, "I was watching a movie, a story of lawyers in a DC law firm. I had to stop watching, it made me remember the sights, sounds, buildings; satisfaction of a job well done. I LOVED my work & I was damn good at it. I had a 2br. apt. beside Washington National Cathedral, my favorite car; a 8cyl. Thunderbird (oh how I miss driving!) amazing clothes, manicured hands and feet (lol), $70,000 salary; RESPECT. I had it all. And I was GOOD ENOUGH. Then came Islam and a year later I walked away from that life. Since then I haven't felt 'good enough' for anything...I lost myself. I am just a shell of the person I spent 17-yrs to become...I'm just a memory..." (frown)

Of course, I know the last eight years of my life have been a COMPLETE turn-around; in many respects bringing me full circle. Indeed, I have lived a different life - one that, despite how depressing my note might have sounded (actually it was exactly how I felt at the time), I know I was guided toward Islam. I've had experiences I never imagined I might have...and I am grateful, Al-hamdulillah - it is, after all, MY "Chapter Two". (smile)

For sure I am still in the second chapter of my life (it is after all my mid-life period) and, insha'Allah, as Jane and so many before us have, I will survive it. Perhaps he conclusion of this chapter will be titled, "Getting off the sofa...and out of the refrigerator." I might also have to invest in Jane's newest exercise video. (laughs)

As I continued listening to and watching the interview, my ears and eyes absorbed everything. In front of me I observed a woman not unlike myself, feeling so much that often tears threatened to breach the brim of her eyelids; she brushed them back several times with the elegant stroke of an index finger.

In speaking about her first grandchild she described how her relationship with him opened her heart in a way she never imagined. She described how she used to just get lost looking into her grandson's eyes, and how before he would fall asleep she would lay with him curled up beside her. She said, "I'd turn to go to sleep, but he'd pull me back and say, 'I'm not ready.' And he'd look at me more and say, 'I wuv you, Gamma.'" Subhan'Allah. It made me so grateful to be able to remember similar moments; it was surreal.

Aishah Schwartz and her grandson, Landen.
I have a photo, Al-hamdulillah, of myself and my grandson Landen when he was three years old, taken during a visit with family shortly before a trip abroad. It was morning; he had awakened and hearing him call out, I went upstairs to get him because my daughter had spent the night away. Still half asleep when I reached for him, he wrapped himself in my embrace, melting into my body and I carried him downstairs to the sitting room. From the comfort of a chair and the cradle of my arms, Landen fell easily back into a semi-slumber; the warmth of his body, the smell of his hair and skin quickly consuming me. I sat for the longest time just looking down on his angelic face...and my sister picked up her camera to snap the 'Kodak' moment. When I saw the photo...masha' was amazing...but even if I didn't have the photo, I will never, ever, insha'Allah, forget holding him in my arms and remembering the gift of motherhood.

Moving Forward

Later into Jane's interview Oprah reminded her of a quote from their first interview ten years ago for O Magazine: "To do life right you have to feel like you're growing up until the day you die..." It made me smile; so many times I've found myself asking, "Aishah, what DO you want to be when you grow up?!?!"

I still don't know.

But what I do know is that I need to remind myself sometimes that it isn't such a bad idea to go back and read some of the inspirational stories I've written since becoming Muslim (, just to remind myself that I'm not really lost - I've just evolved; moving towards becoming whole.

It is often difficult to focus on accentuating the positive and letting go of the pain - but, insha'Allah, I'll keep working on it.

Legendary Icon Jane Fonda: Her Life, New Love and Working Out  
Jane Fonda: My Life So Far 
Jane's workout DVD, Jane Fonda Prime Time: Fit and Strong, comes out November 30. Preorder it now.
On the Importance of Writing Your Own Memoirs. And Jane Fonda's Relationship with her Mother, Frances Ford Seymour 
Biography Aishah Schwartz
Sister Aishah's Beginner's Cheat Sheet (a brief Muslim glossary with audio)