In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
“Say, ‘He is God the One, God the eternal. He begot no one nor was he begotten. No one is comparable to Him.’”
(Qur’an 112 1-4)
What is Ramadan? According to the American Muslim Voice Foundation (www.amuslimvoice.org) : is the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar. The holy book of Muslims, the Qur’an, was sent down from heaven as guidance for humankind and also as a direction and means to obtain salvation during Ramadan. For the entire month, Muslims fast with no water or food during the daytime. The day starts with eating breakfast before sunrise. At sunset they break the fast with dates and water. After breaking the fast Muslims perform the sunset prayer. After the prayer they have a meal called “Iftar” with family and friends.
FROM THE PAMPHLET “CONCEPT OF GOD IN ISLAM”
So in what do Muslims believe in? Muslims often refer to God as Allah. This is a universal name for God and does not refer to an exclusive ‘Islamic’ God. Interestingly, tis name is related to the Aramaic and Hebrew names for God, Allaha and Elohim. Therefore, Allah is simply the Arabic name for God which affirms that He is One singular God with no partners or equals. The name Allah cannot be pluralized or limited to a specific gender, which establishes that God is One and that He is unique from everything. He creates. Muslims continue to use this original Arabic name for God (Allah) since it perfectly expresses His unique qualities.
God is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe who created everything for a reason. Muslims believe that He created humankind with a simple purpose – to worship him. He sent messengers to guide people in fulfilling this purpose. Some of these messengers include Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed. They all taught a consistent message about God by affirming His greatness as the creator and guiding people to worship Him alone. This basic concept has always resonated with people’s natural understanding of God.
July 28th 2012 the Santa Clara, California mosque celebrated the 10th day of Ramadan with prayers and a special guest speaker. Imam Zaki Shakir. Imam Zaid Shakir is amongst the most respected and influential Islamic Scholars in the West. As an American Muslim who came of age during the civil rights struggles, he has brought both sensitivity about race and poverty issues and scholarly discipline to his face-based work.
Born in Berkley, California, he accepted Islam in 1977 while serving in the United States Air Force. He obtained a BA in International Relations at the American University in Washington, D.C. and later earned his MA in Political Science at Rutgers University.
He has studied Arabic, Islamic Law, our Qur’an studies and spirituality with some of the top Islamic scholars of our age. In 2003, he moved to Hayward, California to serve as a scholar-in-residence and lecturer at Zaytuna Institute. In 2009, he co-founded Zaytuna College, where he now teaches Islamic Law and history.
He has also authored numerous articles on a wide range of topics. His most recent work is “Where I’m Coming From: The Year In Review” A collection of his essays from 2010.
Emerging as one of the nation’s top Islamic Scholars and a voice of conscience for American Muslims and non-Muslims alike, he was ranked as “one of America’s most influential Scholars” in the West; by “The 500 Most Influential Muslims” edited by John Esposito and Ibrahim Kalin.
. The Mosque is located at 3003 Scott, Blvd in Santa Clara, California.
Web site www.mcabayarea.org
Among the hundreds of guests were Mohammed Nadeem (web site www.DrNadeem.com) who is running for the City Council and ArLyne Diamond (web site www.DiamondforAssembly.com) who is running for the assembly. Also attending were the Mayor of Santa Clara and the Fire chief. The day of course began in the prayer room at the Mosque with men and women at in their separate prayer rooms because Muslim tradition requires separation of the sexes at different times and then all were reunited at the banquet hall though of course no one could eat until after the Imam declared the day was finished and a further call to prayer.
This peaceful gathering certainly runs counter to the current Islamic Phobia in Washington as reported in the Huffington Post: Conspiracy theories about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin being linked to the Muslim Brotherhood publicly dribbled down to the lower echelons of conservative politics this week, with an Arizona Tea Party leader promising to launch a recall effort against Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for his defense of Abedin.
Last week, a group of Republican lawmakers led by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) drew widespread condemnation from both sides of the aisle for the loosely sourced contention that Huma Abedin, the Muslim-American wife of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
McCain strongly pushed back against this charge, taking to the Senate floor to call the allegations “nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman.”
Wes Harris, the founder and chairman of the Original North Phoenix Tea Party, now says McCain’s words have given him grounds to mount an effort to unseat the longtime senator.
In an interview with the Arizona Capitol Times, Harris called McCain an “embarrassment,” before laying out a variety of unapologetic anti-Islamic sentiments.
“Have you ever read the Quran? I suggest you do so, because anyone that is a Muslim is a threat to this country, and that’s a fact,” Harris told the Times. “There is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. If they are Muslim they have to follow the Quran. That’s their religion and that’s their doctrine.”
According to the Times, Harris believes Muslims are incapable of being loyal to the U.S., because he claims that their faith in Islam and the Quran trumps any other allegiance. He also apparently believes Muslims shouldn’t be able to serve in the State Department at all.
“Is [Abedin] a Muslim? Is she an active Muslim?” Harris asked the Times. “I rest my case. That’s all she needs to be.”
In his email airing his grievances, Harris also linked to the Bare Naked Islam blog, an internet clearinghouse for Islamophobia that claims to have further proof of Abedin’s supposed ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. One post touts a new report from the Center for Security Policy, the right-wing think tank behind the paper that led to Bachmann and her cohort’s initial inquiry, that seeks to unveil the “Islamist” roots of Abedin’s mother.
While other top Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), came out to reject Bachmann’s accusation, Harris says McCain’s defense of Abedin is just the latest in a string of actions that have warranted a recall effort.
When listening to Imam Zaki Shakir’s talk we certainly see a contrast from the vitriol described here and the people who I talked to. People who are required to give 2.5% of their income to help the poor. For an English translation of the Qur’an go to
And a special thanks to Imam Hosea Noah for inviting me to the breaking of the fast on this magical night.