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Newsletter for March 2008




Article 1    The Holy Qur'an Sura #: 73 Al-Muzzammil (The Enshrouded One) Translated by Yusufali More.....

Article 2     The Martyrdom of Sayyidina Imam Hussain (a) by Maulana Sayyid A.A. Maudoodi        More.....

                  The legacy of placing politics over Deen and violating the Shariah for the sake of power politics that started during the rule of Muawiya  reached a critical low during the rule of his own appointed heir, Yazid. Three specific things during his rule stunned and appalled the entire Muslim world.  

Article 3    QUR’AN, HADITH AND WOMEN by Asghar Ali Engineer         More.....  


                What is position of women in Qur’an and hadith? It is very interesting to compare what is stated in Qur’an about women and what do we find on women in Hadith literature? And here I am not referring to ahadith from an other source but from what is known as Sihah Sitta (.e. six most authentic sources of Hadith). I wish our Ulama reflect on the contrast between how Qur’an treats women and how ahadith treat them. Much of woes of Muslim women will be over if we follow Qur’an rather than these ahadith.


Article 4     Roots of North Indian Shi‘ism in Iran and Iraq by J. R. I. Cole Religion and State in Awadh, 1722-1859   More.....


Two modern events, the 1947 creation of Pakistan out of India and the 1978-79 Iranian revolution, underline the importance of religion as an element of state formation in West and South Asia. One could almost speak of "Muslim nationalism," but it has recently been suggested that it might be better to substitute an uncontaminated phrase such as "political identity" for the vaguer "nationalism."[1] Whatever we wish to label it, Muslim separatism and Muslim state-building on a religious basis have profoundly influenced the modern history of Asia, in sharp contrast to the rise of secular government in modern Europe.

How far back to look for the roots of Muslim separatism and religious state building has become a central debate in the study of Asian Islam. The two major approaches to the problem have been called the "instrumental" and the "primordial." The extreme instrumentalist might say, for instance, that ethnicity is "the pursuit of interest and advantage for members of groups whose cultures are infinitely malleable and manipulable by elites."[2] He would argue that pre-1947 Muslims and Hindus in the subcontinent differed little from one another, but that different rates of mobilization and the claims of elites to advantage created a split. The primordialist would counter that Islamic religious conceptions so profoundly shape community identity that "the formation of separatist movements on the basis of religious confession, the assertion of a political identity on the basis of religion... does seem to be an especial characteristic of Muslims."[3]


Article 5     Nuts and your heart: Eating nuts for heart health by Gerald T. Gau, M.D.  More.....

It sounds a little — pardon the pun — nutty, but there's growing recognition that eating nuts as part of a healthy diet is good for your heart. Nuts, which contain unsaturated fatty acids and other nutrients, are a great snack food, too. They're cheap and easy to store.

The type of nut you eat isn't that important. Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, you name it, almost every type of nut has a lot of nutrition packed into a tiny package. If you have heart disease, eating nuts instead of a less healthy snack can help you more easily follow a heart-healthy diet.

Dr. Gerald Gau is a Mayo Clinic preventive cardiologist and is a specialist in internal medicine and cardiovascular diseases. He's been involved with the National Cholesterol Education Program Coordinating Committee, which develops national cholesterol guidelines. He shares his insights on the heart-health benefits of eating nuts.


Article 6    When Worry Consumes You by Kathleen Doheny More.....

-Almost everyone worries about something -- credit card debt, car repair bills, an upcoming work review, whether your child will get into a good college. A little worry is natural and normal.

But when you become a 24/7 fret machine, that's not normal. You may have what doctors call generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD -- a condition marked by worry about most aspects of life that you feel you can't control. It can leave you feeling physically exhausted and emotionally drained, and also frustrate loved ones who must listen to you verbalize all that anxiety.

"This worry process never ends," said Dr. David H. Barlow, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Boston University and founder and director emeritus of the university's Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders.

"The key psychological feature of GAD is a state of chronic, uncontrollable worry," he added, noting that about 6 percent of Americans suffer from the condition at some point in their life.


Article 7    Unleashing the Power of Creativity and Intelligence by Bill Gates   More.....

I've always been an optimist and I suppose that is rooted in my belief that the power of creativity and intelligence can make the world a better place.

For as long as I can remember, I've loved learning new things and solving problems. So when I sat down at a computer for the first time in seventh grade, I was hooked. It was a clunky old Teletype machine and it could barely do anything compared to the computers we have today. But it changed my life.

When my friend Paul Allen and I started Microsoft 30 years ago, we had a vision of "a computer on every desk and in every home," which probably sounded a little too optimistic at a time when most computers were the size of refrigerators. But we believed that personal computers would change the world. And they have.


Article 8    Low Self Esteem: A Disease Amongst The Youth by Sr. Aysha Khanom    More.....

It's a silent one, but the affects are at large. It is one of the main causes of depression in the youth. It could be one of our closest friend, colleagues that suffer from it, or someone in our household, whether it is siblings or our own children. It's hard to recognize it in some, and in others it is easier. We could be the ones who are impacting on it, without realizing, not that it is of any fault of our own, but it's something which is rarely brought to attention, and rarely admitted by those that suffer from it. Those that haven't experienced it, will have difficulty understanding it, or relate to it. It stems from a form of irrational thought. It is a major barrier or an obstacle that one suffers from, and there are no set solutions you can give to people that have low self esteem because it's all what they have developed in their own mind, or in their 'own world'.

The effects of it many of us underestimate, for some it has a lesser degree of affect, they may not interact well with people, may want to be alone a lot, lack confidence or lack of self belief, or low educational attainment, for some it leads to drug abuse, suicidal thoughts, and committing crimes, many of which Islam condemns. One that suffers from it, takes negative comments to heart, and receptive to what others think of them. They always evaluate themselves- which is praiseworthy in Islam - yet it is a lot of negative evaluation, which blinds them from the good they have, which causes a veil for them to see their inner good, and leads to a vicious cycle. Some aim to please people, and this can affect a person's deen, as we should intend to please Allah only in all that we do. It varies depending on what age they are.


Article 9     The Secret to a Lasting Marriage: Embrace Imperfection!  More.....

When I was a little girl, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.
On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and extremely burned toast in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his toast, smile at my mom, and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite! When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the toast. And I'll never forget what he said: "Baby, I love burned toast."
Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his toast burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Zahra, your momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides - a little burnt toast never hurts anyone!"


Article 10    When the light of Islam almost vanished  Posted by Jawad Jafry      More.....

The genocide lasted decades. Historians said that the world had never seen murder and destruction on such a massive scale. Millions died and those left alive often longed for death. People openly wondered whether the light of Islam would be forever extinguished. But the course of history changed through some of God's most unassuming servants.

In the thirteenth century a tidal wave of devastation swept over the Muslim world. City after city, region after region disintegrated amidst a storm of iron and fire. The death toll was incredible.


Article 11    Ten Golden Rules to Ensure Peace of Mind      More.....

1. Do Not Interfere In Other people's affairs Unless Asked 
Most of us create our own problems by interfering too often in others' affairs. We do so because somehow we have convinced ourselves that our way is the best way, our logic is the perfect logic and those who do not conform to our thinking must be criticized and steered to the right direction, our direction. This thinking denies the existence of individuality and consequently the existence of God. God has created each one of us in a unique way. No two human beings can think or act in exactly the same way. All men or women act the way they do because God within them prompts them that way. There is God to look after everything. Why are you bothered? Mind your own business and you will keep Your peace. 

2. Forgive And Forget 
This is the most powerful aid to peace of mind. We often develop ill feelings inside our heart for the person who insults us or harms us. We nurture grievances. This in turn results in loss of sleep, development of stomach ulcers, and high blood pressure. This insult or injury was done once, but nourishing of grievance goes on forever by constantly remembering it. Get over this bad habit. Believe in the justice of God and the doctrine of Forgiveness. Let Him judge the act of the one who insulted you. Life is too short to waste in such trifles. Forgive, Forget, and March on. Love flourishes in giving and forgiving. 

Article 12     International Symposium on Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi   More.....

The year 2007 marks the 800th anniversary of the birth of Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi. To celebrate this occasion the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism organized an International symposium. The symposium was held on 8-12 May in Istanbul and Konya. More than 150 scholars participated in the symposium from countries as diverse as America, Mexico, France, Spain, Turkey, Iran, Indonesia, Singapore, Egypt, Syria, Bangladesh and Pakistan. To name some of the most prominent participants: Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, William Chittick, James Morris, Carl Ernst, Omid Safi, Abdulkarim Soroush. The scholars from Pakistan included Dr. Javed Iqbal, Mr. Suheyl Umar, Dr. Shahzad Qaiser, Dr. Arif Naushahi and Dr. Safir Akhtar.


The papers read at 34 parallel sessions of the symposium covered scores of dimensions of Rumi's Thought, its meaning and significance for the contemporary world. Some of them included, for example, the structure and various themes of the Mathnavi, the place of Qur'an, Sunnah, and the Prophet in it, Rumi's relationship with other important Islamic figures like Ibn 'Arabi, Sadruddin Qunawi, Bayazid Bistami and others, his concepts of Love, Reason, Justice and Generosity and the diffusion of his teachings in the contemporary world.







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