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Jihad Jane and the Muhammad Cartoons

Jihad Jane and the Muhammad Cartoons

(Wall Street Journal Blog)

By Wajahat Ali

article-0-08a7200c000005dc-848_468x377The recent arrest of Americ Colleen LaRose (who reportedly called herself Jihad Jane online) and seven individuals for allegedly plotting the murder of Swedish Cartoonist Lar Vilks, could be a teachable moment.

Vilks was allegedly targeted by assassins for drawing the Prophet Muhammad as a stray dog. This event speaks tellingly of how certain inflammatory images, which some non-Muslims may consider satire or benign parody, are intentionally provocative insults to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.

As a Muslim-American writer, I know firsthand that creating thought-provoking art about Islam and Muslims can be a thankless task. If one’s fictional Muslim characters are not avatars of perfection or they happen to speak critically about certain Islamic customs, then the Muslim artist risks being convicted as a godless instigator by a vocal minority. However, in my experience the overwhelming majority of Muslim audience members embrace these uncomfortable, yet necessary, artistic depictions of religiosity provided the characters and images are complex, honest, and crafted respectfully, instead of being reduced to vile stereotypes purely for the sake of sensationalism.

Respected Muslim scholar Shaikh Faraz Rabbani of SeekersGuidance.org explained it to me, “I think the critical issue is recognizing the power of sacred symbols to committed believers. In Islam, the most central symbols are the Qur’an and the person of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).”

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Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s Video Released: Help Haiti Fundraiser

Alhamdulillah, we’ve finally uploaded Shaykh Hamza’s video from the “Help Haiti, Heal Haiti Online Fundraiser”.

Click on the screenshot below and scroll down:

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Videos from the “Help Haiti, Heal Haiti” Emergency Online Fundraiser: Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Imam Zaid Shakir, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Imam Mohamed Magid, Dr. Sherman Jackson, Imam Tahir Anwar, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Imam Khalid Latif and Others


Just in case you missed the “Help Haiti, Heal Haiti” Emergency Online Fundraiser, here are the videos from the event:



Over $105,000 Raised Through the “Help Haiti, Heal Haiti” Emergency Online Fundraiser – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Imam Zaid Shakir, and Others Exhort Us to Support Our Neighbors in Haiti

As-salamu alaikum,
May this reach you in the best state of health and iman. Ameen.


Alhamdulillah!
Earlier today, Islamic Relief, SeekersGuidance, MSA National, United for ChangeFawakih Institute, and Relief Works banded together for an emergency online fundraiser to alleviate the suffering of the victims of Haiti Earthquake. A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital, resulting in wide spread devastation and destruction. Several Muslim organizations immediately initiated relief efforts, including SeekersGuidance.

Alhamdulillah, thanks to you and your contributions, we were able to raise over $105,000 in just two hours. If you were unable to attend the event, we will be uploading pictures and videos soon, but please take a moment and make a donation to Islamic Relief for the noble cause of eliminating global hunger. You can make a donation here.

Special Thanks
We would like to give special thanks to our wonderful scholars and speakers – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Imam Zaid Shakir, Imam Mohamed Magid, Dr. Sherman Jackson, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Imam Tahir Anwar, Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, Imam Khalid Latif, Joshua Salam, Nader Khan, Nura Sediqe, Christopher Abdurrehman Blauvelt, and Faraz Siddiqui.

We would also like to thank key members of the SeekersGuidance staff and team, especially Sidi Khuram Zaman, Sidi Abu Bakr Batasi (Outreach), Tarek El-Messidi (Direct Programs), Ibraheem Shakfeh (Outreach) for their efforts in making this event a success on such short notice. And to Naeem Muhammad, Anwar Khan, and Sheema of Islamic Relief USA and Sr. Hafsa Hasan of Islamic Relief Canada.

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf made a surprise live webcast at the end of the fundraiser

Imam Zaid’s Challenge: Let us raise $1,000,000 for the people of Haiti

The original goal for the fundraiser was $100,000 and by its conclusion over $105,000 was raised. Imam Zaid Shakir said that we as a community must strive our hardest and should try and raise $1,000,000 for the people of Haiti.

Our income as a community is $170 billion. Brothers and sisters, what is one million out of $170 billion? Its nothing! We can do this and inshaAllah, we will do this! … We are a community that is on this earth to make a difference and to do positive things … Remember the saying of our Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) “Allah will continue to help His servant as long as His servant is helping his brother.”

To facilitate this, SeekersGuidance will give a free course for the Winter 2010 semester to anyone who donates over $500. (To view our course catalog, go to https://seekersguidance.org/site/online-academy.html) Once you’ve donated, send an e-mail to our help desk stating “Haiti Online Fundraiser Donation” in the subject.

Donate Now!

You can donate at any one of the following links:

IR USA: http://www.islamicreliefusa.org/home

IR UK: http://www.islamic-relief.org.uk/

IR Worldwide: http://www.islamic-relief.com/

IR CA: http://www.islamicreliefcanada.org/

The Call of Compassion

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, founder of and instructor at SeekersGuidance, drew connections between the character of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and the last speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C., on March 31, 1968 –  just four days before his assassination.  (“Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution”)

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said “Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation …. It seems that I can hear the God of history saying, “That was not enough! But I was hungry, and ye fed me not. I was naked, and ye clothed me not. I was devoid of a decent sanitary house to live in, and ye provided no shelter for me. And consequently, you cannot enter the kingdom of greatness. If ye do it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye do it unto me.” That’s the question facing America today.”

This is the call of the Prophets. It is the call of compassion. It is a call of mercy. Let us answer that call. For it is, “The merciful who are granted mercy by the all-Merciful. Be merciful to those on earth and the Lord of the Worlds will be merciful to you,” said the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). He said, “Be merciful to those on earth:” Whoever they may be, if any person who is in need, if any thing that is in need, it is the believer’s duty to hasten and assist.”

May Allah (Most High) grant us success and accept our efforts. Ameen!

wassalam

SeekersGuidance Staff

SeekersGuidance Supports Islamic Relief’s Efforts for Victims of Haiti Earthquake

The people of Haiti are in dire need of support after their country was hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake this past Tuesday. 45,000 to 50,000 people are feared to be dead and many more injured. (BBC) Homes, schools, and hospitals have collapsed with people trapped inside them.

IslamicRelief has announced that it is teaming up with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to give $1 million in aid to the survivors of the earthquake. (Washington Times) Naeem Muhammad of Islamic Relief (and Native Deen singer) is leaving the US on Saturday for Haiti to assist with the relief efforts. Donations to Islamic Relief can be made here.

Eyewitness Accounts

Several brothers and sisters from Haiti and the Dominican Republic have given SeekersGuidance eyewitness accounts and updates.

Ibn Ambroise (Haiti):

“Brother Abou Bakr lost his sister when their house crumbled (she made shahada a few months ago). They are gathered at a masjid in Port-au-Prince that still stands, alhamdulillah! Their condition isn’t too good. They have no food, no water, no clothing . . .  [very little] medicine.”

Abdus Salam (Dominican Republic):

“We are in contact with brothers that are in the masjid in Haiti and it was said that all the masjid are standing while all the churches were destroyed. So the brothers and siters are waiting there for the help of Allah. Ya Allah make it easy on them . . . Ameen!

[Shaykh Faraz Rabbani’s response: “O Allah, protect the mosques and the churches–the Muslims, Christians, and others!”]

“They are really in need. They need food and all the help [they can get]. They [said] that their houses are all destroyed.”

Sr. Rodriguez Rosie (Dominican Republic):

“[Shaykh] Faraz, We have bad news. Our Haitian brother Abdurahman lost his sister, his  brother and his cousin yesterday because of the earthquake. He is very  sad, I ask you to please make lots of duas for him and his family.  We really need to give our brothers a hand…inshAllah.”

Healing Haiti Online Fundraiser

InshaAllah, SeekersGuidance, Islamic Relief, and MSA National will be hosting an emergency online fundraiser for the survivors of the Haiti earthquake. The online fundraiser is scheduled for this Sunday January 17 at 2pm EST. So far the following speakers are confirmed: Imam Zaid Shakir, Imam Tahir Anwar, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Imam Khalid Latif, and Nader Khan.

SeekersGuidance Winter Session Courses Open: Learn to Live.

Feed the Needy Online Fundraiser Presented by Seekersguidance and Islamic Relief

Join Our Facebook Event

Send Out an E-mail to Forward

Register here

Catch SeekersGuidance at ISNA

Catch SeekersGuidance at ISNA at Firdous Books (Booths 742, 841, 740)

SeekersGuidance (www.SeekersGuidance.com) will be at the Firdous Books Booths (# 742, 841, 740). The first 500 or so people who come over can sign up for a free online course on Imam Ghazali’s description of “The Prophetic Character” (Book 20 of the Ihya’)

“The Reality of Prophetic Character: Book XX of the Ihya Uloom al-Deen by Imam al-Ghazzali Explained”

Course Description:

Six Lessons with an online forum and a closing live session with Q&A on “A Concise Summary of Prophetic Perfections of Character & Conduct”

Reasons to Take this Course:

(1) to draw closer to Allah (the Most Exalted) through increasing one’s belief and respect for the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace);

(2) increasing in love for him (peace and blessings be upon him);

(3) learning what made the Prophetic character tremendous;

(4) key aspects of the Prophetic character and how to bring them into one’s life;

(5) moving glimpses from the life of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) highlighting his tremendousness of character;

(6) examples from the Companions and righteous’ living of this light of Prophetic guidance.