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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Emancipation day in the District of Columbia – April 16th 1862

April 17, 2014

April 16, is Emancipation day in the District. It celebrates the day in 1862 when 3,100 enslaved individuals in the District of Columbia were emancipated, including slaves who lived and worked in our community. This occurred nine months before Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. The District emancipation involved compensating the slave owners – at a total cost of $1 million. It stands as the only emancipation with compensation in the United States. Four years later, after the Civil War ended and after the 1865 ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution officially abolishing slavery nationwide – slaves were freed without compensation to their owners.

The Emancipation Day celebration was held yearly in the District from 1866 to 1901 with a parade. Organized by the black elite of the city, the parades began in 1866 as a demonstration of African American pride and political strength. School children often took a day off in order to watch all the black civic organizations and clubs march in the parade. Militia groups and Civil War veterans marched in full regalia with slogans on banners that called for liberty and equality for all citizens.1 Rain or shine the emancipation parades went on, all throughout the city in stark contrast to the black codes of the antebellum era, which restricted African American movements. Where slave coffles had once passed, free African Americans now marched openly rejoicing their new status as citizens.

In close proximity to the White House, where many of the domestic staff had been enslaved, witnessing scores of free African Americans in elaborate civilian or military dress was an evocative image. Presidential approval helped make the parades a success and acknowledged African-Americans had the right to assemble in Lafayette Square as free people. Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Andrew Johnson particularly enjoyed the tributes to Lincoln and the Republican Party as emancipators. Presidents usually reviewed at least one of the parades during their administration.

The city revived the parades in 2002 as a result of the research, lobbying and leadership of Ms. Loretta Carter-Hanes. She started her quest to bring back the parades in the early 1980s. She scoured the archives for any and all information about emancipation day and the parades. Starting in 1991, Hanes organized events that would commit the day to public memory. Eventually, Emancipation Day was made an official public holiday in the District of Columbia in 2005. Each year, District residents again celebrate the end of slavery in Washington, D.C.

Among those compensated for their slaves were John Adlum’s heirs. He was the founder of the Springland Farm. In order to secure compensation, they had to pledge loyalty to the Union and would then received up to $300 per freed slaves. (The DC emancipation act also appropriated $100,000 “to aid in the colonization and settlement of such free persons of African descent now residing in said District … as may desire to emigrate to the Republics of Haiti or Liberia, or such other country beyond the limits of the United States as the President may determine.”) This compensation process, plus Adlum family wills where their “property” is listed, gives us precise records of the slaves that lived and labored on the Springland Farm for the Adlum family.

Today is a day to honor these men and women and their children who toiled on the land where we live.

Thanks.

Chuck Ludlam

Chuck Ludlam and Paula Hirschoff live in the UDC area. Thanks, Chuck!

Frank P. Esposito

Administrative Support Specialist

202-633-4633

espositof@si.edu

africa.si.edu

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 37012

National Museum of African Art 0708

Washington, DC 20013-7012


Join Us for the Culmore Clean-Up – Sat April 26th 2014

April 15, 2014

Dar Al-Hijrah Outreach Department Invites You:

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Saturday, April 26th, 2014

9 am – 12 pm

This year the cleanup will start from Bailey’s Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences, (Not from Woodrow Wilson library) Every year a cleanup of the Culmore area in Falls Church is organized to rid the streets of litter and bring awareness to keeping the community clean. The volunteers are provided with gloves, water, bags, “nifty-nabbers” and bright tee shirts. Also, a modest breakfast and lunch served.

Bring your family, your class, classmates and friends – T.E.A.M. Together Everyone Achieves More.

“On the authority of Abu Huraira who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him said), “Every small bone of everyone has upon it a charitable act for everyday upon which the sun rises. Bringing about justice between two is an act of charity. Helping a man get on his mount, lifting him onto it or helping him put his belongings onto it, is a charitable act. A good word is a charitable act. Every step you take toward the prayer is a charitable act. And removing a harmful thing from the path is a charitable act.” (Recorded in al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Go to the Dar Al-Hijrah office & sign up today or Call:  703-536-1030

Visit us at www.facebook.com/culmorecleanupday

 

 


Farewell Faraj: Humble Life – Honored in Death

April 11, 2014
On Sunday, after the night prayers were concluded he was found lying dead by a park bench in front of the mosque.  He had passed away during the prayer service.  We had lost one of the most regular members of our community.
The Prophet said:
There are seven whom Allaah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: a just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic; a man whose heart is attached to the mosques; two men who love each other for Allaah’s sake, meeting for that and parting upon that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but be says: ‘I fear Allaah’, a man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and a man who remembered Allaah in private and so his eyes shed tears.’ Narrated by Abu Hurairah & collected in Saheeh al-Bukhari (english trans.) vol.1, p.356, no.629 & Saheeh Muslim (english trans.) vol.2, p.493, no.2248
He was known to wear a large hat that made him look like a scarecrow.  My daughter told me his scruffy overgrown salt-and-pepper beard made him resembled Dumbledoor from Harry Potter.  He was an older Iranian immigrant with an accent like a foreign born university professor.  Some say he was. His large frame cast a giant shadow and his commanding deep voice made some feel frightened. Yet, he always had a pleasant demeanor except when arguing for justice.
He was an ever present personality. The kind of talkative eccentric that when you see him coming you kind of hope he won’t try to engage you in some esoteric conversation that will invariably last too long. He often rode a bicycle to the mosque, when he had one.  He would deliver bread and fruits from neighborhood shops to make them available to members of the community.  He was always present and controversially outspoken at town-hall and community meetings and the community leadership always allowed him to have a voice, even though often times his statements did not make sense in the context of our gatherings.
He was a voracious reader and regular user of the public library.  He would often come to me talk about articles which he had read on the internet regarding a wide array of social and political issues.
He was a real germophobe, always concerned about physical contact. He would never pray side-by-side with the congregation and never shake hands.  He would always greet me by bumping our forearms.
I found it strange that vehemently criticized the mosque for sheltering homeless people of all faiths in the mosque during the winter months.  Although, he was poor we never found him begging or asking for charity.
You see, I believe he was chronically homeless and was probably battling some type of psychological or emotional disorder.  He was one of those people who refused to be institutionalized (homeless shelter) even for his benefit or to seek treatment.  He tried to find a spiritual home at a number of centers in our region but was not welcomed (or tolerated) until he came to Dar Al-Hijrah in Falls Church, Virginia.  Perhaps because of the cultural atmosphere of Virginia and with the resources of Fairfax county he was able to make a life for himself.
After his death the authorities tried to find his next of kin.  Finally, they released body to the masjid. He had no other family besides us and although he had no assets when it came time to pay for his burial expenses his mosque family came together and in a matter of minutes raised thousands of dollars for his burial.  He was the most well-known and loved homeless person in our community.  It is fitting that he passed away at place he called home among people who knew him.
Undoubtably he was an ever present part of us.  May God have mercy on him and grant the finest home in the highest places in paradise.  Those of us who God has given another day need to recommit ourselves faithfully to fight to end homelessness and to provide mental health services to all.
Imam Johari Abdul-Malik
Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center
Falls Church, VA

METRO IS COMING TO DAR AL-HIJRAH

April 1, 2014

METRO BUS TOWN-HALL
Metro wants to hear from you. Join us for a town-hall meeting with representatives from MetroBus. They want to know what you think and to learn new ways to serve YOU better.

LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD.

We all talk about the service, the wait, the price, the route….
Now it’s your time to speak to METRO!

Metro Bus Wants to hear from YOU!!!

What: METRO TOWN Hall
When: April 6th 2014
1:30pm-3:00pm

Where: Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center
3159 Row St,
Falls Church, VA 22044

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