Howdy!

Sep 11 2012

Salam y’all!

I know I haven’t posted here in a minute, but been busy Alhamdulillah :)

To keep up with the latest happenings check out QalamInstitute.org also don’t forget the facebook page and twitter.

Subscribe to the Qalam podcast for Seerah, Khutbahs, and more inshaAllah.

Till next time.

Wasalam,

ANJ

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Traveling to seek knowledge

Mar 29 2011

This past weekend I taught the ‘Meaningful Prayer’ seminar in Lansing, Michigan. Yes you read that correctly. LANSING. If you think it’s “the middle of nowhere”, then “the middle of nowhere” is the place to be!

Alhamdulillah, a few brothers drove down from Toronto to take the course and I had the pleasure of spending time with them. I not only enjoyed chillin with them but felt the blessing of their company. It reminded me of the blessings of traveling to seek sacred knowledge. My own memories of traveling around to benefit from scholars came rushing back. So just wanted to take a minute to remind myself and y’all about the importance of traveling to learn the Deen. And of course inform everyone about the awesomeness of the Lansing community. Hopefully we’ll cross paths in our pursuit of Ilm inshaAllah!

Till next time, Salam y’all!

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A Message About the Muslim Hearings & The Tsunami in Japan

Mar 11 2011

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Ramadan Travels: West Coast!

Sep 01 2010

In a previous post I wrote about how I have been leading Tarawih for many years Alhamdulillah. As a result of this, I haven’t traveled in Ramadan for many years. In fact I have advised many a young Hafidh to make sure to stick to his Tarawih and not skip any days! However this year I was being requested by a few locations and some very dear friends to work in a couple of trips this Ramadan. Traveling during Ramadan is not only a part of the Seerah but two of the greatest moments from the life of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him) occurred during this blessed month; Battle of Badr and the Conquest of Makkah.

In any case I decided to accept a couple of invitations. The first was to a part of the country where I’ve been to quite a few times this year, SOCAL! I mean what’s not to love about SoCal? Beautiful weather, amazing communities like Masjid Omar AlFarouk, old friends like Shaykh Nomaan Baig and the rest of the crew at Institute of Knowledge, inspirational people like Shaykh Muhammed ibn Faqih, One Legacy Radio, and last but not least MOHAMMED MANA! :)

The primary reason for the trip was to speak at the annual iftar banquet for IIOC – Masjid Omar AlFarouk. MashaAllah what a great community! I’ve been impressed with this community but the presentations made were sincere and highlighted the awesome projects underway.
Not only are they active in doing Dawah but also have a support system for new reverts. Any brother or sister who has taken Shahadah is assigned a mentor to help figure things out. A few people who have been through this program spoke at the banquet and it was very powerful and touching! They have a diversity of social activities going on to help establish a proper sense of community. They have a very active Education Committee that organizes and hosts a variety of lectures and seminars. Two of them that I had the pleasure of being a part of were; they hosted ‘Meaningful Prayer’ and they organized a Summer Tafseer Intensive where I presented the Tafseer of Surah al-Hashr. MashaAllah they have an up and coming Youth Department headed by Br Atif Abdul Qadeer. Masid Omar has also become the standard for recording and providing media online. Finally, the leadership at Masid Omar at all levels is exceptional. The Shura which is headed by Br Samir, Shaykh Muhammed Faqih, Qari Youssef Edghouch, and all the volunteers.

After the banquet they had arranged for Tarawih at the venue and it was lead by none other than Qari Youssef! I am always moved by his recitation, so I recorded a couple of clips. Here they are for your benefit and pleasure. You’re welcome :)

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While I was there I also had the opportunity to visit the MAS All-Masajid Qiyam hosted annually at the Islamic Society of Orange County in Garden Grove. There were literally hundreds of youth there MashaAllah. I spoke at the Qiyam addressing how to come closer to Allah by familiarizing ourselves with the Beautiful Names and Attributes of Allah.

Next morning it was back home Alhamdulillah!

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Ramadan = Tarawih Time!

Aug 09 2010

This will inshaAllah be my 17th year leading Tarawih. Alhamdulillah.

I still remember finishing my Hifdh and reciting it from cover to cover to my teacher (which took about 22 hours). We started at 4am, a little while before Fajr, and finished at almost 2am with breaks only for Salah and a little food and water. Plus I am a slow reciter, so that definitely added to the time. Just ask the folks at the Colleyville Masjid! The next day after recovering a bit, we sat down for the Ijazah certificate signing. I was 11 years old at the time. My father was sitting next to me. My teacher was about to sign the certificate and then hesitated. My heart nearly jumped out of my throat. He was and mashaAllah still is very particular about things. He looked at me and my father and said, “I will sign this on one condition. That as soon as he is old enough, he will lead Tarawih every single year barring some serious circumstances.” I looked at my father and he nodded, “yes”. So I looked back at my teacher and replied, “yes, inshaAllah”.

The year I turned 14, I reminded my father that I had a promise to keep and was excited to achieve a milestone. He started asking around if anyone needed a Hafidh to lead Tarawih. A few communities were interested, when my uncle called saying there was a new community in the Mid-Cities (Colleyville) area of DFW that was looking for a Hafidh to lead Tarawih. This was about 20 minutes from where we lived, my father knew the people, so it was decided. I would be leading Tarawih SOLO for the first time.

Alhamdulillah, there were a few bumps in the road. Some days were a little rougher than others :) but the community was very encouraging and my parents were supportive every step of the way. May Allah bless all of them. 16 years later and here I am. I lead solo for about 13 years and then had to take on a few young’uns and mentor them.

However one very disheartening trend I see increasing, is Huffadh not taking Tarawih seriously. There is very little desire to lead Tarawih. This can stem from either nervousness on behalf of the young Huffadh, in which case they need to get over it, or communities not wanting to deal with newbie Huffadh learning things on the job. Communities need to realize the importance of cultivating leadership form within. I spoke about this at the grand opening conference of the Mansfield Islamic Center. YouTube Preview Image
I want to advise young Huffadh to inshaAllah step forward this Ramadan. There will be tough days and people will sometimes be very critical, but it’ll all be worth it in the end inshaAllah. Secondly I’d like to remind communities that these young folks are the future leadership of our communities inshaAllah. We need to give them the opportunity to grow and flourish and encourage them along the way. This is also a means of motivating other youth and children within our communities. My own motivation to start studying Quran was found at Tarawih in Ramadan watching a graduate student from the Middle East leading prayer and reciting the Quran from memory. I mentioned it here.

May Allah make this a most blessed Ramadan for everyone!

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Perspective.

Jul 15 2010

I recently spent some time in an area where I felt a serious lack of brotherhood, Ukhuwwah. Being in such an environment for quite some time made me realize something. Many of the aspects of our Deen that are results of strong Iman are themselves the means of cultivating our Iman! For instance, punctuality with Salah is a byproduct of Iman. However commitment to Salah is also a means of cultivating and increasing Iman.

Brotherhood/Sisterhood is similar. We all know that brotherhood and unity is a result of Iman, but what we fail to realize is that an environment of strong brotherhood and solid unity is nurturing to ones Iman. Therefore being in an environment seriously lacking in Ukhuwwah for a prolonged period of time can be detrimental and draining on ones Iman. It’s in such a situation that things like Husn-ad-Dhan start to become very challenging, SubhanAllah.

In the spirit of brotherhood I wanted to mention a few people who have really come through this summer as I travel across the country. Brothers Umer Khan, Omar Bakhrani, Shad Ali and of course Muhammad Mana were amazing during my stay in SoCal. Shaykh Nomaan Baig and the rest of the crew at the Institute of Knowledge are my classmates, brothers, and some of the classiest people I know mashaAllah. Brother Omar Sharieff and his family made Maryland feel like home. I also got to meet some amazing brothers in Maryland; Harun, Harris, and Farhad. My stay in NYC was a little more challenging but there were a few brothers who went out of their way to make my stay pleasant. Brothers Abdullah and Ubaidullah drove over from Long Island to hang out. Hafidh Nihal Khan of NJ was there every other day mashaAllah and Br Umer Farooq was instrumental in making the course happen. A very special thanks to the Khan family in SoCal and the Begawala family in NY for hosting me. Y’all should come up under the definition of hospitality in the dictionary. May Allah reward y’all abundantly.

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Reflecting on World Cup reflections

Jul 12 2010

Quranic and Prophetic guidelines when advising people. YouTube Preview Image

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Haji Noor Deen = highlight of ISNA bazaar

Jul 09 2010

Alhamdulillah I had the opportunity to study calligraphy with a couple of teachers while studying overseas. Therefore I’m not always impressed with calligraphy artwork. However, Haji Noor Deen’s work is too awesome mashaAllah. I have one of his pieces in my office at the Colleyville Masjid.

I’ve wanted to purchase some of his artwork for my library at home, and Alhamdulillah was able to acquire a beautiful piece.

Then Haji Noor Deen being the awesome guy that he is mashaAllah, made me a gift by writing the names of my daughters, Maryam and Ayesha on a scroll! Check out the video and please excuse Nouman Ali Khan’s commentary. May Allah forgive him :) YouTube Preview Image

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Road Trip to ISNA 2010!

Jul 07 2010

I decided to take a road trip up to the ISNA convention from Dallas, TX with Nouman and AbdelRahman. We stopped for Salah at a Masjid in Urbana, IL. Check out the short video. YouTube Preview Image

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Salam again!

Jun 30 2010

Some people have commented and messaged me saying that the first blog post is dated Dec 2009. That was when the blog was actually created but my website guy just got it out and connected to my social media :)

Anyways talk to y’all soon inshaAllah!

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