Friday, October 15, 2004

MSA National Wishes Students in North America a Blessed Ramadan

1 Ramadan 1425 A.H. - 15 October 2004 C.E. 

The Executive Committee of the Muslim Students Association National would like to extend its most sincere greetings to all of you for a blessed Ramadan. Based on reported crescent sighting in Austin, Texas by two witnesses, the Islamic Shura Council of North America and the Fiqh Council of North America have declared Friday, October 15th the first day of Ramadan.

While most of us are actively engaged in Islamic activism and consumed with fulfilling our responsibilities as full-time students, it is crucial that we take time aside this month to reflect on the purpose of our temporary existence in this world. We humbly remind ourselves and our brothers and sisters that a life that is heedless of its inevitable end and of the soul’s ultimate return to its Creator is a life that is not worth living. As Allah swt says in 23:115 of the Holy Quran, “Did you really think that We created in vain and that you would not return to Us?” Let us take this month as a great opportunity to reaffirm our faith, renew our intentions and come closer to the Creator of the heavens and earth through prayer, fasting and supplementary acts of worship. “My servant draws close to Me with nothing more beloved to Me than that which I have made obligatory for them…” [Bukhari]

Furthermore, while we will observe Ramadan without much difficulties, God-willing, it is crucial that we remember the suffering and turmoil that inflicts our brothers and sisters both here at home and in other parts of the Muslim world. The Executive Committee would like to urge Muslims to make special efforts at making du’a for all of those experiencing hardships. We ask you to make du'a to Allah (swt) to grant freedom to all prisoners of conscience, detainees held without evidence or charge and Ahmed Abu Ali, a 23-year-old American-born citizen, who has been held in Saudi Arabia for over 14 months without charges. We ask you to make du'a to Allah (swt) to shelter, clothe, feed and most importantly, remove all injustices from our beloved brothers and sisters in Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Chechnya, Gujarat, Kashmir and all around the world. We ask you to make du’a to Allah (swt) to strengthen the faith and unity of the Muslim students who struggle throughout the year to serve the needs of Muslims on campus.

Finally, to assist you in maximizing the benefits of the blessed month of Ramadan, we leave you with the advice of one of our esteemed scholars, Imam Zaid Shakir:
“We encourage the believers to read through the Qur’an at least once. Those who can read the Arabic script should do so in Arabic, even if they do not fully understand what they are reading. They should also try to read through the English translation. Those who are unable to read Arabic, should try to read through the entire English translation. Ramadan is, among other things, a celebration of the Qur’an. We should join the celebration by reading the Book of God much during this blessed month. Our Imams, Abu Hanifa, Malik, al-Shafi’i, and others, May God have Mercy on them all, would cease teaching Hadith and Jurisprudence during Ramadan and devote themselves exclusively to the Qur’an.

God says, concerning His Majestic Book: The Month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was revealed, a guidance for mankind, [containing] clear proofs of guidance, and the criterion of distinguishing right from wrong. Al-Qur’an 2:185

We encourage all of the believers to refrain from all of the ruinations of the tongue during Ramadan. In his seminal work, “Quickening the Religious Sciences,” Imam al-Ghazali mentions them as the following:
a)      Speaking in matters that do not concern one.
b)      Excessive speech.
c)      Speaking about sinful matters.
d)      Disputation and contestation.
e)      Argumentation.
f)       Excessively embellished speech.
g)      Lewd, insulting, or crude speech.
h)      Invoking the Curse of God on someone
i)        Singing indecent songs, or relating immoral poetry.
j)        Excessive joking.
k)      Sarcasm and ridicule.
l)        Revealing secrets.
m)    False promises.
n)      Lying and false oaths.
o)      Backbiting and slander.
p)      Instigating tense relations between people.
q)      Being two-faced.
r)       Praising someone who is either undeserving, or unable to remain humble when praised.
s)       Speaking about involved subjects and ideas one lacks the necessary knowledge or eloquence to adequately convey.
t)       Ordinary folk speaking in subjects that are the domain of specialists.

May God spare us from these ruinations both during and after Ramadan.

The Prophet, Peace and Blessing of Almighty God be upon Him, said: “Whoever fails to leave off ruinous speech, and acting on it [during Ramadan], God does not need him to leave off eating and drinking.” Al-Bukari.

We encourage the believers to avoid all arguments, disputes, and unnecessary worldly entanglements during this blessed month. This is a time for deep devotion and dedication to Allah.

We encourage the believers to work to restore any severed relations or kinship ties they may be experiencing. This is a time when the gentle breezes of Divine Facilitation are blowing. Any good we endeavor during this blessed month will come to bear its proper fruits, Insha Allah.

We encourage all of the believers to eat simply during this month. One should try to make a vow to give up unnecessary, and generally unhealthy fare during this blessed month. Pizza, ice cream, fast food, pastries, and soda should all go. We should make our solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters in other lands real, and not something confined to speeches and pamphlets.

If one is in the habit of watching television, or listening to commercial music, one should also try to give these things up for Ramadan. They are things that divert us from the remembrance of God in any case. During this special month when every letter we recite from the Majestic Qur’an is tremendously rewarded, we should busy ourselves with recitation, and drop other pastimes.”

We ask Allah (swt) to accept all of our fasting and our acts of worship during this blessed month. We pray that our actions during this month serve to elevate our status on the Day when there will be no Shade but His.

Your MSA National Officers,
Ex-officio: Lina Hashem
President: Hadia Mubarak
Vice President of the USA: Faisal Ghori
Vice President of Canada: Mohamed Sheibani
Treasurer: Eman Hassaballa

East Zone Canada Rep: Nadir Shirazi
East Zone US Rep: Ahmed Sidky
Central Zone US Rep: Omar Zakaria
West Zone Canada Rep: Ladan Davallow

Dawah TF: Sanjana Ahmad
Education & Training TF: Sarah Islam and Idris El-Bakri
Information Technology TF: Ali Mansuri
Media and Communications TF: Saba Alvi
Muslim Accommodations TF: Shaheen Kazi
Political Action TF: Jordan Robinson
Programs TF: Nada Unus

Office Manager: Iman Muttardy
Office Specialist: Mary Khaliqi


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