The Meaning of True Faith (iman)

By Dr. Fatima Arafa
Ph.D. Islamic Studies

What is faith? Faith is not merely words you say, nor wishes you make. While wishful thinking may make you feel at ease, in and of itself it is not rewarded. There are some who want to strengthen Islam with wishes, and make themselves feel content with words instead of actions.

As Allah states, “And of the people are some who say, “We believe in Allah and the Last Day,” but they are not believers.”1

Faith is something you believe in and live in accordance to it. It is what settles in the heart, and is manifested in actions. This was firmly entrenched in the heart, soul, and mind of the first generations of believers. This is true iman.

Our gracious Messenger once said “There are three things for which whomever has them, then he has tasted the sweetness of faith: The one for whom Allah and His Messenger are more beloved than anything else; whoever loves someone and he does not love him except for the sake of Allah; and whoever hates to return to disbelief after Allah has saved him from it, just as he hates to be thrown into the fire.”2

To prove our love for Allah we have to give His commands and wishes our priority of everything else. And to prove our love for His Messenger we have to follow his path. The Messenger of

Allah once said “None of you believes until his desires are submissive to that which I have brought.” 3 Do not think that this is impossible; it is quite possible for anyone, and at any time.

We need to be patient when we seek to achieve our goals, we need to exert earnest efforts, act wisely and at the right time.

To love a person for the sake of Allah is to love them for their piety. We love that they are filled with taqwa, and iman, and because they work hard spreading da’wah.

May Allah grant us all with the true “Iman”

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Love for the Messenger

By Dr. Fatima Arafa (Ph.D. in Islamic Studies)

The strength of love for the Prophet (peace be upon him) is directly connected to the Muslim’s faith: when one’s faith increases, one’s love for the Prophet increases. Loving the Messenger is an act of obedience to Allah and a means of coming closer to Him. Loving the Prophet is one of the obligatory duties in Islam, as it was narrated by a close companion of the Prophet, Anas ibn Malik, has said “The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘None of you truly believe until I am more beloved to him than his father, his child, and all people.’”1

Love is not a word to say, a rose to give, nor a song to sing. Rather, love is something that makes up a third of our being. The human body consists of a mind to think and understand with, a body to move with, and a heart to love with.

Islam is filled with love. If love were removed from it, then it would be as if the spirit is removed from the body. It is similar to when we lose a loved one; once their spirit is removed we bury the body, as the carcass no longer is of use to us.

The following are ways of increasing your love of the Messenger of God (peace be upon him):

Follow him: It is written in the Quran that Allah has told the Prophet to say, “If you love Allah, then follow me and Allah will love you and forgive your faults. He is the all Forgiving, the

Learn about him: Read about the Prophet’s sunnah (teachings) and sirah (life) and try to practice his teachings. Love yourself by striving to be close to the Prophet (peace be upon him) by remembering and praising him.

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Being Intentional

Greatness doesn’t happen accidentally.

 You don’t “accidentally” save $20,000 for hajj.

 You don’t “accidentally” have a 4.0 GPA

 You don’t “accidentally” become a millionaire.

These are all things you have to intend to do, and follow through with a game plan that can help you accomplish these goals.

The Messenger of God (peace be upon him) didn’t “accidentally” help change the world. It was intentional. When we look at the ways in which God and His Messenger helped accomplish this goal, you’ll see that the game plan involved winning the hearts of the people first and foremost.

It wasn’t by mere chance that the themes of early revelation dealt with belief in the Oneness of God, a belief system, a spiritual call to morality and ethical behavior.

This was all critical in paving the road for what was to come next, as the wife of the Prophet, Ayesha stated: “The first thing that was revealed thereof was a Sura from Al-Mufassal, and in it was mentioned Paradise and the Fire. Then, when the people embraced Islam, the verses regarding legal and illegal things were revealed. If the first thing to be revealed was: ‘Do not drink alcoholic drinks.’ people would have said, ‘we will never leave alcoholic drinks.’”

In order to prosper as a community, we must do so intentionally.

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They say “One is too small a number to achieve greatness” and I wholeheartedly believe that.

Your input is not just wanted, but needed. Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts on the direction our community is moving towards.

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“So that you may know one another…”

By: Zuhair Shaath

O Mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may know one another. Surely, the most honorable of you in the sight of Allah is the one who has Taqwa. Indeed, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (49:13)

The purpose of our languages, nationalities, ethnicities, and differences is “So that you may know one another” as Allah has stated in the Qur’an.

Why is that?

Why is it that a Bangladeshi and a Jordanian should get to know each other? Or a Canadian and a Somali? Or an American and a Turk? Why? Why should we leave our comfort zones? Our comfort zones are filled with so much comfort – we all speak the same language, eat the same food, and watch the same shows. So why should we leave our comfort zones?

Because staying in your comfort zone also means you think the same way – and you cannot grow and develop if your thought process stays the same way.

I know that it can be difficult. Removing yourself from your comfort zone requires work, sometimes it is very uncomfortable work. But as they say, the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

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They say “One is too small a number to achieve greatness” and I wholeheartedly believe that.

Your input is not just wanted, but needed. Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts on the direction our community is moving towards.

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Defining our community

com·mu·ni·ty

noun

1. A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
a. “Rhode Island’s Japanese community.”

2. A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
a. “The sense of community that organized religion can provide.”

When we look through the Muslim world today, we see many nations and states with Muslims flowing through the streets and mosques occupying every street corner. I remember when I went to ḩajj in 2007. We were visiting a local city, and, when the ‘adhān was called, all we had to do to pray in a mosque was walk right across the street. One thing that I noticed, however, was that the mosques were not filled with fliers along the wall. In fact, other than the short talks immediately following the prayer, there were hardly any programs at all. I was stunned.

Growing up, I constantly heard about how the Muslim communities overseas and “back home” were much better and more vibrant than the communities in the West were. Yet, here I was, standing in a mosque that had little to no programming: no potlucks, no youth group, no family nights, no field trips, no weekend school — you get the picture.

The reason I was so disappointed was because western Muslim communities defined the word community differently than those of Muslim majority countries. While communities “back home” fulfilled the first definition posted, our communities in the west have less to do with a physical locale and much more to do with the growth and development of Muslims in the West.

As we continue to develop and grow, we see many Muslim communities in the States begin to develop with both definitions in mind: a Muslim community that serves the needs of the Muslims as well as the general public at large. In doing this, we need to accept and hold on to the fact that Islamic Centers develop a place not just for prayer, but a place for community development to take place in.

They say “One is too small a number to achieve greatness” and I wholeheartedly believe that.

Your input is not just wanted, but needed. Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts on the direction our community is moving towards.

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December Construction update

masjid 12 2015

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Masjid Construction

Your Masjid AlNoor Construction Update as of
November 29, 2015

mm

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Construction Work Update

ICSB Construction Work Update as of September 30, 2015

Your Generous donation needed to complete Masjid AlNoor and Youth Center get the blessings, Invite a
Potential Donor

NL10151

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Obituary

Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajiun
“Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.” (2:156)

It is with sorrow we annouce the passing the brother Mohammad Ahsan Uddin of Lomita, CA. He passed away in Mecca during Tawaf on Thursday, Sept 10, 2015. His last breath in Haram Al-Sharif bears the perfect testimony. A khatm of Quran was held for him on evening of Sunday, Sept 12, family and friedns joined to read the Quran and Dr. Hassan uddin Hashmi of Momin Lodge made dua to his maqfirah.
Br.Ahsan was a sincere, most loving and kind brother and he will be missed. Please make dua may Allah(swt) place him in the highest station in Jannah and give the family strength and patience to bear with their loss. Ameen.
Family members thank to all of the community members came to the khatm ul Quran and made the dua a maffira for Br.Mohammad Ahsan Uddin.
We also pray for the victims of the accident in the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the lost of the loves at the Jamarat.
We also join fellow Californians to pray for the victims of the blazing fires in Northern California.

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ICSB Annual Family Carnival 2015

ICSB Annual Family Carnival event on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at the Masjid Grounds. The event started at 11 am an dended at 6:30 p.m. Lots of Community members attended the carnival. Children had fun playing on the jumpers, playing water balloons toss, and even winning a goldfish. Youth enjoyed with Joust Arena, Velcro Walls and Combo obstacles. Adults were able to enjoy the bazaars, food and sociliazing.
The center rended Popcorn, Ice cone making machines.
Among the food and snack items, there was a variety of menu to choose from. Four local retaurants were invited to sell the food at a reasonable cost. The most popular was KFC (Halaal Friend chicken), Chicken Kobideh, Kabobs (Mediterranean) and burgers from Fanoos Grill. Kabob Rolls and lunch special (Indian/Pakistani) from famous Tandoori Restaurant and Chicken Biryani made by Sister Shama and Razak Sani.
The Volunteers worked hard for days and planned the event with many hours of their time to make it successful. Alhamdulillah, our center is fortunate to have diligent and sincere brothers and sisters who continously dote time for center’s activities, no matter what.
Our volunteer team designed a wonderful Game arcade. They did a great job in organising games. Girls and boys of our youth were present to assist in every department. The Board of directors is gratefly for all the help provided by our volunteers. Please keep up the good work!
May Allah keep us united and give each of us health and happiness for upcoming years.

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