Jewish and Muslim Clergy Pray For An End To Violence: White House Vigil 7/17

July 13, 2014

In the past month the Jewish and Muslim communities have been shattered by the terrorist killings of four boys: Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah, and Muhammed Abu Khdeir.

In response, Jewish and Muslim clergy of the DC area are joining together as part of an international effort by religious leaders to pray for an end to the violence.


On Tuesday, July 17th the Jewish and Muslim calendars are united in a day of fast: the fast of 17 Tamuz, and the fast of Ramadan. For both traditions this is a day designated for soul-searching, an opportunity for people to take responsibility, and for self repair, communal purification, and repentance.

As we join together we hope to direct the consciousness of both peoples to this day as a “peak day” – a day in which each man and woman will be invited to take part, to fast in solidarity with the suffering, violence and pain of self and others, to ask how to end the cycle of bloodshed and draw a horizon of hope and vision.

Please join Maharat Ruth Friedman, Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, and Imam Johari Abdul-Malik on Tuesday, July 15th at 5pm in Lafayette Square in Washington, DC to offer prayers for peace and comfort. Leaders and members of all faith communities are encouraged to attend.

Please contact Maharat Friedman at or 847-722-8287 to add your congregation’s name to the list of co-sponsors.

DC Gun-Violence Memorial

July 12, 2014

☮ Salaam سلام : Hello, Supporters and Members of Heeding God’s Call of Greater Washington,

As you are aware, in October, 2013, the Maryland State Legislature passed and Governor Martin O’Malley signed the Maryland Firearms Safety Act of 2013. Perhaps you are like me, wondering if the new laws have made a difference. Recently, we received the following information from Mr. Vinnie DeMarco, President of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence. Please take the time to read it and to rejoice for the apparent initial success while understanding that it is only the beginning. Also, below the information on the new gun laws, you will find a paragraph detailing the next stop of our Memorial to the Lost.

Mr. DeMarco wrote:

Statewide in Maryland, gun deaths have gone down 24 percent
between in the first five months of 2014 compared to the same period
last year. We . . . believe that the Firearms Safety Act of 2013 played an
important part in this progress, particularly its key provision
requiring prospective handgun purchasers to first obtain a
fingerprint-based license to purchase from the state police.

According to Professor Daniel Webster of the Johns Hopkins Center on
Gun Policy and Research, handgun purchaser licensing laws in other
states have worked well to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
As a result, states with such laws tend to have lower
firearms-related death rates than states without such laws. According to research done by Mr. Webster, when one state, Missouri,
repealed its handgun purchaser licensing law in 2007,
firearm-related homicide rates in the state abruptly increased while
remaining stable in neighboring states and nationally.

Clearly, our job is not done. Even one innocent life lost to gun
violence is too many. Even as we make it more difficult for
criminals to acquire guns in Maryland, we’ll still be vulnerable to
criminals acquiring guns in other states. In New York City, for example, which has one of the lowest gun-violence rates in the nation and where fingerprint licensing of
handgun purchasers has been in effect for decades, 90 percent of the
guns used in crime come from out of state. So we must do all we can to educate the public, lawmakers in other states and members of Congress about how important handgun purchaser
licensing is to prevent gun violence.

In addition, Heeding God’s Call Greater Washington is proud to present an installation of The Memorial to the Lost at Northeastern Presbyterian Church at 2122 Varnum Street NE, Washington, DC. The Memorial of 176 t-shirts on stands for the 176 victims of gun violence in the Greater Washington area in 2013 is compelling to see and visit. We ask that folks stop by the Memorial, walk among the shirts and pray for the names listed on each shirt. Each shirt represents an entire family group which can use the prayers and support anyone can share. The Memorial will be in place at Northeastern until Saturday, July 26. Anyone with questions regarding the Memorial is asked to send them or call Lisa Delity, Chairperson of HGCGW at 301 661-3154.

Thank you for your continued efforts to reduce the violence in our communities and homes.

Lisa Delity
Chairperson, HGCGW

Heeding God’s Call of Greater Washington
P. O. Box 130
West Bowie, MD 20719

The Attitude is Gratitude – Ramadan Message Prayer Line

July 9, 2014

In The Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

Gratitude in the way that we use it in Arabic is more than Shukr.
Combination of Hamd (Praise) and Shukr (thanks)

So I begin by saying all thanks and praise is due to Allah.
I am grateful to join you this blessed morning

Thanks for the work of Min Farrakhan, Akbar Muhammad,
I have prepared some healthy tips for fasting Ramadan

Brother Jalil and Sister Nisa….thank you and
All the brothers and sister who make this prayer call possible
And all those who are on the line with us and those who will benefit for this month of Ramadan

Salat is full of Gratitude:
Al-Hamdulillah, Subhanna Rubbi athmeen, Subhanna Rubbi ‘ala……

We will divide gratitude into two types:
- Thankfulness to Allah
- Thankfulness to people.
Everyday life is filled with distractions that prevent from seeing all that Allah has done and is doing for us. Although gratitude is ALWAYS beneficial, it’s not always easy. When you’re feeling discouraged, sad or overwhelmed, it’s probably not on your radar to thank God. But shifting focus and thanking Allah for all He’s done in our lives is the fastest way to change our attitude and reenergize our faith.
Gratitude to Allah
Obviously the one who is most deserving of thanks and praise from us is Allah because of the great blessings that He has bestows in our lives every day. Allah has commanded us to give thanks to Him for those blessings, and not to deny them.
Gratitude and thankfulness are mentioned on many occasions in the Qur’an but we will only mention a few to make the point

Allah says in the Qur’an [2:152]:
“Therefore remember Me (by praying, glorifying). I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for My countless favors on you) and never be ungrateful to Me”

Allah says in [2:172]:

Allah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His favor to you that you may be thankful”

And [16:18]:
“And if you would count the favors of Allah, never could you be able to count them. Truly, Allah is OftForgiving, Most Merciful”

And [16:53]
“And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allah”
And [31:46]…

“And among His Signs is this, that He sends the winds as glad tidings, giving you a taste of His Mercy (i.e. rain), and that the ships may sail at His Command, and that you may seek of His Bounty, in order that you may be thankful”  

To break this down, Allah also says [43:13-14]:
”In order that you may mount on their backs, and then may remember the Favor of your Lord when you mount thereon, and say: ”Glory to Him Who has subjected this to us, and we could never have it (by our efforts).  And verily, to Our Lord we indeed are to return!”

Allah mentioned in the previously mentioned ayah the three pillars of gratitude, and they are:
Acknowledgement of Allah’s blessings in our lives
It was narrated in Sahih Muslim that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah is pleased with a person who eats some food and then praises Him for it, or who drinks some drink and then praises Him for it.”
Instead of getting out of bed with the weight of the world on our shoulders, let’s try refocusing on our Creator by thanking Him for all that He has done in our lives. For the provisions that he is providing. For the guidance that he provides us. For even the unseen blessings he has given us.
Proclamation of Allah’s Blessings, Speaking about it, and Praising Allah for it.
Our grandparents used to call it “testifying” in church. It was where they got up and spoke about and proclaimed God’s blessings in their lives and how it tested and strengthened their faith. We don’t do this enough and this tradition is spoken about in the Qur’an and we need to practice it.
3. Submission to Allah
That is because the intent behind the statement of Allah, ”And verily, to Our Lord we indeed are to return” is acknowledgement of the fact that we will die one day and that we must be prepared for that.
When we recall that he is encompassed by the blessings of Allah and that nothing is from himself, but rather blessings have an origin (i.e. all blessings are from Allah); and that its means are facilitated and its obtainment made easy; and that it remains and continues (and) that which blocks it is repelled; and that all of this is from Allah–; so when the slave recalls this (in his mind and heart), he submits to Allah, humbles himself and thanks and Praises Him, and way of this the slave is given continuous blessings and Allah blesses him in this, so that it becomes true blessings (in reality).

Other ways to show gratitude to Allah:
- Thanking Allah by saying “Alhamdulillah” (all praise and thanks be to Allah)
- Thanking Allah by worshipping him (performing the five pillars). Especially in this blessed month of Ramadan when we should be thankful that the blessings are multiplied. We can show gratitude by taking advantage of this month fully!
- Thanking Allah by doing good deeds (e.g, showing kindness to others; giving charity; doing favors)
- Thanking Allah by not sinning
- Prostration of thankfulness:
It is from the suggested that when one is especially thankful to Allah for a surprise blessing or when Allah has saved him from a trial is to make a prostration of thankfulness. You know, one of those blessings that just come out of nowhere! One should prostrate immediately the way he is and praise Allah with whatever words he can for that blessing that He gave him, out of thankfulness to Allah
This prostration comprises of one prostration, and one does not need to be in wudoo (state of purification) to perform it.

Thanking Other People
A hadith in Bukhari states: “He who has not thanked the people has not thanked Allah”
A hadith in At-Tirmithi states “Whoever has a favor done for him and says Jazaak Allahu khayran (may Allah reward you with good) has done his utmost to thank him.”
So thanking the people is a form of thanking our creator. And gratitude here means reciprocating kindness and giving praise to the one who has done good and kind things. Let’s make it a habit to thank the people.
A few profound quotes on gratitude:
Psalm 136:1: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Psalm 107:3: Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
William Arthur Ward said: “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
Type 1.- Lip-Service Gratitude

If you were asked to make a list of the things you’re grateful for, what would it include? Most likely, you would list important relationships, life circumstances, and possessions, such as:

Type 2 – Attitude Gratitude

Unlike type 1 gratitude, the second type is not just a temporary state we enter when things are going well or as compensation when we feel down and dissatisfied with our situation.
Type 2 gratitude represents a more permanent underlying shift in attitude. Your feeling of gratitude goes beyond your life circumstances and possessions and is actually independent of outcomes. You’re grateful for all your experiences, positive and negative, and you see them as part of the journey called life. You’ve come to realize that life has constant ups and downs and that there ’s always much to be grateful for. If you were to make a list of things you’re grateful for while experiencing this type of gratitude, your list might include everything on the previous list, plus things such as:

Type 3- I Am Gratitude

The third type of gratitude represents a continuous state of gratefulness, one that you don’t shift into or out of. Rather than practicing gratitude, you live it, all the time. With this type of gratitude, you transcend your daily preoccupation with your small self and experience a sense of oneness with everything. Your life is about selfless service and giving back, because all your needs are met.

Some time ago my wife and I saw the movie “Happy”
Gratitude to Allah for all
Gratitude by being Togetherness
Gratitude by doing something for others

Let us keep our tongues and our lips wet with the dhikr (rememberance) of Allah in this month of Ramadan.
In Closing: I have prepared some healthy tips for fasting Ramadan

May bless you Allah in this month of mercy, forgiving and freedom from the fire/entry into paradise forever.
If agree with me say Ameen….

Healthy Tips For Fasting Ramadan

July 9, 2014

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله – Peace. I pray that this finds you and yours in the best health and Iman/faith

- Fasting of course is done with the intent to please Allah. But if we do it correctly we will not only gain spiritual benefit but do it in a healthy manner that will also benefit us in this life

The Suhoor:

- The Suhoor is the meal before fajr (sunrise)

- It helps the fasting person persevere through the fast. It is very important in these hot months

- Suhoor is so named because it happens at the time of “sahr”, which is the end of the night.

Importance of the suhoor and its blessing:

It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Eat suhoor, for in suhoor there is blessing.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1923; Muslim, 1095.

‘Abdullah Ibn Haarith said that one of the companions said: ‘I entered the house of the Messenger (SAW) whilst he was taking the Suhoor (pre-dawn meal), and he (SAW) said: “Indeed it (the Suhoor) is blessing that Allah has given to you so do not leave it out.” [An-Nasaaee and Ahmad]

It was narrated from Jaabir that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever wants to fast, let him eat something for suhoor.” [Narrated by Ahmad]

It was narrated that Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Suhoor is a blessed meal, so do not omit it, even if one of you only takes a sip of water, for Allah and His angels send blessings on those who eat suhoor.” [Narrated by Ahmad]

What to eat during suhoor
- My advice is to be sure to drink AT LEAST two 8 oz. glasses of water at this time. It is summer time and this will help with thirst.
- Eat fruit. They contain the vitamins and fiber you will need to maintain your fast.

- Lentils, almonds, nuts and tofu are good because they contain protein and are not too heavy.

- While you CAN eat heavy, I don’t recommend it. We are aiming for quality over quantity to help you get both the blessing and the health benefits of the fast.

- Avoid coffee. It will dehydrate you.

The best time for suhoor

- The suhoor is best eaten about an hour of so before fajr (sunrise) prayer. It is best to be done with the suhoor meal at about 20 minutes before sunrise. This gives you time to brush your teeth and prepare for fajr prayer.
It was narrated that Zayd ibn Thaabit (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “We ate suhoor with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) then he went to pray.” [Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

When Breaking the Fast:

- Do NOT “overcompensate” (over eat). Unfortunately we see in the Muslim majority nations that Ramadan is a time when even MORE food is consumed and many actually GAIN weight. Let’s try to get this right! It will be tempting to over-eat, but try not to do this. Besides, it may make you sick.

- Avoid greasy/fried foods. After a day of fasting, it’s hard on the body. Should be avoided anyway

- Try to eat foods that do not contain a lot of fat and are easy to digest. Again, yogurts, vegetables, and fruits.

- Cut back on meat (especially red meat). My recommendation is to have a meatless iftar” once a week. I am recommending that we go without meat at least once a week as a regular practice. Try to encourage your mosques to have communal meatless iftar to spread this message. It is good for our health and good for the environment

- Avoid sweet desserts such as cakes and pies. Fasting will make you crave sweets. If you indulge, you will gain weight. Try to have fruits and dates as a substitute. Sugar is a killer. This is a good time to begin to avoid it.

- While talking about over eating, it should be mentioned that fasting is not a recommended method of losing weight. We are fasting for Allah, and while this month can be a wonderful opportunity to eat well and develop healthier habits, it is actually not a time to try to lose weight.

- Do NOT try to fast if you are unable to due to health reasons such as diabetes, and hypoglycemia

Ramadan Mubarak May Allah bless you and your family tremendously and allow us to gain all the good deeds that we can in this blessed month. Your Brother Imam Johari, Nia, Mustafa, Salima and Amira.

Salaam سلام :

May Be Suffering – Maybe Not?

July 5, 2014

☮ Salaam سلام :

It is the month of Ramadan, a month of fasting and prayer, self-reflections and charity.

Today I got a text from an unknown individual.

He wrote:
I am an us veteran who has recently embraced the true faith of my ancestors i could not bear the killing of the wives and children any more so i spoke with
With the imams in persia and with the warriors and discovered my faith.

I replied:
How can I be of service to you? War is very traumatic. I know some Muslim vets who you can talk to, if you like.

I don’t know what to believe from this message. As a soldier decided to switch sides? Is he suffering from PTSD? Is he trying to entrap me? Or is it simply just a cry for help?

I have not heard back from him after my reply. I don’t know his name only the number from the text but I pray that all is well with him in his quest for truth and inner peace.

Press Conference on Nigerian Issue

May 7, 2014
The Council of Muslim Organizations will host a press conference at the National Press Club on Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 10:00AM to respond to the kidnapping of Muslim girls and other barbaric actions in Nigeria by the cult group, “Boko Haram”.
Representatives of national and local Muslim organizations will be present along with representatives from the Nigerian Muslim Council USA.
We will be launching a media campaign called “I am Boko Halal for American Muslim School Children to Post their video commentaries on the web

Quest for Fire – 21st Century Barbarism

May 6, 2014

I was playing golf Saturday in Norfolk Virginia and got paired up with a young, white seaman. After a few holes he began sharing his life story; raising a blended family and a daugther from his wife.

After we became closer I took the risk to share some golf tips which he accepted and improved his swing. We got deeper and he share his plan for his life and provided some insights for which appeared grateful.

Then I took a risk to talk about politics. I shared with him that I have many issues with President Obama, but I grateful that he is not sending our young men and women to fight in every conflict on the globe. The young man responded quickly, “he brought us (his ship) home early for Christmas”.

As the world seems to be going mad, with conflicts breaking out almost everywhere, I am thankful the President Obama is not fighting the worlds wars for them.

By “them” I meant every despot seeking to build an empire, whether it Putin-dreaming of the days of the Russian Empire or the once superpower, The Soviet Union (USSR).

The murders from Nigeria’s Boko Haram wish return to the era feudal barbarism in the name Islam. As an American imam these backward medieval practices are no more Islam than burning “witches” at the stake is Christian.

I am clear that the success of the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, was to take the waring tribes of Arabia to be ultimately defeated by his relatively non-violent coup, overthrowing the Meccan establishment.

Although, the president is criticized as an isolationist but he has saved many lives at home and aboard due to his non-interventionist Foriegn policy.

African peace-keepers should take the lead in the armed conflict while Imams, scholars and modern Islamic governments defrock Boko’s “Islamic” methodology as Haram itself.

I and that young seaman thank God for President Obama.

Today, non-violent resistance, honest diplomacy and engagement has been proven to be more effective then armed struggle.

Let there be peace on earth



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