Posts tagged ‘Freedom’

Free Palestine Stop Injustice Facebook Cover and Profile picture

As the title suggests, below are two images; one being the Facebook cover for Free Palestine Stop Injustice campaign, and second being the Facebook Profile picture for the Free Palestine Stop Injustice.

Please set these as your Cover and Display pictures, and lets spread the message and stop this injustice and any injustice on mankind.

Fb cover; Free palestine/Stop Injustice

Fb cover; Free palestine/Stop Injustice

Profile Picture; Free palestine/Stop Injustice

Profile Picture; Free palestine/Stop Injustice

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“Free Palestine” Charity Sale in Dar es Salaam

Come over to Sea Cliff Village and join hands with us to support Palestine!
We will be having t shirts, scarves, face painting, posters, and much more creative stuff.
Bring your siblings, kids and friends as well!!

Event is being held from 1pm-7pm on Saturday the 1st of December 2012

Items for Sale:

  • Bumper stickers
  • Water bottles
  • Keychains
  • T shirts
  • Bags
  • Calendars
  • Cupcakes
  • Face painting
  • Roses
  • Scarves
  • Cd’s
  • Cake
  • Pizza
  • Sugar cookies
  • Plate of Cookies
  • Cards

 

Wallpaper; Mahatma Gandhi on Imam Hussain (a.s)

Please click to enlarge. Share and spread the message.

 

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Facebook Cover

 

 

 

 

 

Is it really the injustice that doesn’t stop or is it me?- By Zameena Kassam

IS IT REALLY THE INJUSTICE THAT DOESN’T STOP OR IS IT ME?

There is never a day that passes by in the lands of my fellow brothers and sisters, that the sound of gunshots is not heard. And there is never a day that the wind blows past them without the smell of the burning fire across the road. Oh God, has there ever been a day a family has sat together and laughed without the worry of losing each other the very next moment? Oh God, has there ever been a day my fellow oppressed muslims around the globe have been able to live their lives like I do?

Such are the thoughts that taunt me every night of every day. And I think to myself is there anything I can do for them? Not often, however, I’ve heard the news, watched the videos, cried at the pictures and raised my hands for them too. Yet, is there anything more I can do to help them? Is there any other way at my disposal that I can hold on to those hands that reach out to me for help?
Then came this one night, where my heart ached of pain and my eyes filled with tears of shame. It is then that I realized the ultimate answer to my question. It is then that it occurred to me that as compared to food, clothes and shelter, it is moreover a SAVIOUR that they need. A saviour who would put a firm halt on all the injustice and restore the peace we crave. A personality who possesses the ability to bring back to every child, his lost father, and bring back smiles to the mothers who carry in their arms their hungry infants. And need not I think who that saviour may be, for theres only ONE ULTIMATE SAVIOUR for whom the entire world awaits- The Mahdi (ATFS)

However, what filled my heart with guilt and eyes with embarrassment, was knowing that I am the reason for the delayed coming of this saviour. It maybe my one action every day that I do so guiltlessly that might have denied his arrival this Friday. Is it my subh namaz that I miss, or my other prayers that I rush? Is it my Thursday nights wasted or my Fridays more of a weekend than looking for my awaited one? Is it those innumerable times I complain or the way I dress? Is it really my Imam who chooses not to come, OR IS IT ME??

Never had it occurred to me, that my role in stopping the injustice is the greatest of all. I always thought food and shelter is all they needed. And now that it comes to my realization the greatest of all their needs, sorrow is just what I find within me. I look back and all I can think of is what have I done that requires not of me to be regretful? BUT, do I have any more time to stop and think? Is there even ONE more Friday that I can let go off my hands despite knowing it is MY call that the Imam awaits?
Now that I see through the pictures again, with answered questions in my mind, I see the wait of the saviour seem so long in the eyes of the oppressed. I notice tears running down their cheeks yet a smile they manage to wear, for they know, they know He’s coming. I see them try getting a soundful sleep every spot they earn, because although theyre surrounded with fire, they know theres a saviour. And I see again mothers in search of their children and fathers trapped amongst the cruel soldiers, but more than that, I see the belief in them, that there is someone who can get them where they want to be. BUT to undermine everything, there is ONE thing I see that just forces my head to bow down….

And that’s when I see those same tearing, hopeful and searching eyes look into my eyes and see no hope for themselves; and those hands stretched out to me in help slowly fall back down into place downheartedly. It feels like a failure to see those yearning hearts turn away from me. Because they can feel my irresponsiveness in every bullet that they take & every brother that they lose.
So now the questions that taunt me are,

IS IT ONLY THE ENEMIES BEING UNJUST OR IS IT ME?

COULD I HAVE BEEN THE REASONFOR THE PROLONGED OPPRESSION? And,

IS IT REALLY MY IMAM WHO CHOOSES NOT TO COME OR IS IT ME?

What is the Day of Quds by Meysam Rajani

The Day of Quds

 

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent the most Merciful

 

Never will you attain the righteousness (or the good reward) until you spend [in the way of Allah ] from that which you love. And whatever you spend – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it – The Holy Qur’an 3:92.

 

Imam Khomeini (RA)

Imam Khomeini (RA), the leader of Iran’s Islamic revolution called upon the Muslims of the world to mark the last Friday of Ramadhan in their calendars as the day of Quds, an annual anti-Zionist day of protest commemorated in several Muslim countries. His call was clear and firm:

I call on all the Muslims of the world to select as Al-Quds Day the last Friday in the holy month of Ramadan – which is itself a determining period and can also be the determiner of the Palestinian people’s fate – and through a ceremony demonstrating the solidarity of Muslims world-wide, announce their support for the legitimate rights of the Muslim people.

The last Friday of the month of Ramadhan, very likely in the week which contains the night of Qadr is a determining period. Our destinies are sealed in this week and our prayers, answered. The reason this day was selected by the supreme leader is because the day carries considerable weight in the eyes of the Almighty. If all Muslims stand in unison against the oppression faced by Palestine, and join in their struggle, coupled with the blessed week of Qadr, in the greatest month of the Islamic calendar and the best day of the week, who’s to say what could happen. The Almighty destroyed an army of elephants with birds a thousand times smaller – Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with the people of the Elephant? Surely it is not a task for Him to bring the oppressors of today to justice.

Of course, we need not exist if Allah (SWT) were to solve all our problems without any struggle and any effort on our part. The aforementioned verse from the third chapter in the Qur’an gives us an accurate guideline on how to deal with the current situation of the world, be it the military oppression in Palestine & Syria, or the economic oppression in Africa. As we explore our lives to determine our purpose, many have come to realize the importance of humanity towards others in this world. The contentment one obtains from actively helping out their community or their society exceeds any satisfaction obtained from worldly riches. Maybe this is one of the purposes of our existence – that we learn to be selfless, that we learn to share our blessings with the less fortunate. And when we do share, when we do help, when we do serve, there is a feeling that can only be described as ‘right’. It feels humanely right to give charity, it feels right to help out our neighbors, it feels right to protect the orphans and the oppressed. Never will you attain righteousness until you spend [in the way of Allah] that which you love.

 

To achieve one of the purposes in our life, to attain that righteousness, we have to spend from what we love. To evaluate this verse, we have to first identify what we really love and hold dear in our lives. What do we value to a great extent? Is it our wealth, health, family, time, education or our youth? To give charity out of something you do not value is easy. For instance, if one earns a salary of a million dollars a year, out of which a thousand is dedicated to charity. Despite the great amount of reward he/she may get for the given charity, it is not something that will attain you righteousness. Surely a thousand from a million is not a significant amount, it is not something you hold dear, not something you love. If you’re unemployed and have plenty of free time and you decide to spend an hour a day at your local orphanage, again that one hour is not something you hold so dear and once again, one may obtain the reward but will they attain righteousness?

As we stand with the people of Palestine this last Friday of Ramadhan, think of what you love and what you value and let us be honest with ourselves, are we truly giving what we dearly value in the cause of Allah(SWT)? Surely protecting the oppressed is the cause of Allah. If it is your time that you hold dear, sacrifice more of your time for the cause of Palestine – run, or participate in an anti-Zionist rally. If it is your wealth that you value the most, contribute towards the various charitable organizations that support the oppressed people of Palestine. If it is your family, sacrifice your and their time towards this cause, educate them, mobilize them, and support them to stand up in this fight against oppression. Seek out what you love, and spend that in the way of Allah(SWT). Yes, at first there may be that hesitance, because you’re sacrificing something that you hold dear, but the satisfaction, the reward, the righteousness you will attain from it is incomparable.

And whatever you spend – indeed Allah is knowing. Know that whatever you spend in his cause is not a forgone blessing. Be certain that your reward lies with Allah(SWT). Anything you spend in the way of Allah, you will be rewarded its multiple. Lend unto God a goodly loan. Whatever good you shall forward on your behalf you shall find it with God, as better and richer in reward.

 

Lastly, do remember NOT to stay silent about the injustices that occur in the world – Palestine being one of them. In Ziarat Waritha, we send curses on a select group of people involved in Kerbala – So, Allah curse those who killed you And Allah curse those who wronged you And Allah curse those who heard the event and rested satisfied. We curse the people who killed and wronged our third Imam, but we also curse the people who did not speak up against his martyrdom. We always question what the saying Everyday is A’shura and every land is Kerbala means. Well, it is more relevant than anything today. The Palestine, Syria and Yemen of today is the Kerbala of over a thousand years ago. Al-Hussain’s call for help echoes till today, this time for the oppressed people of the contemporary world. Who will answer his call? And how will we answer his call? Let us give serious thought to the verse from chapter 3, and sacrifice what we love for the sake of the Almighty.

And what happens if we stay silent? And Allah curse those who heard the event and rested satisfied. It is our moral responsibility, no, it is our obligation as Muslims to stand against oppression anywhere we see it. If we do not speak up, we are as accountable as the people who saw or heard about the slaughtering of the grandson of the Prophet, but did not utter a word against it.

Bikini or headscarf – which offers more freedom?

By Krista Bremer, O, The Oprah Magazine

Nine years ago, I danced my newborn daughter around my North Carolina living room to the music of “Free to Be…You and Me”, the ’70s children’s classic whose every lyric about tolerance and gender equality I had memorized as a girl growing up in California.

My Libyan-born husband, Ismail, sat with her for hours on our screened porch, swaying back and forth on a creaky metal rocker and singing old Arabic folk songs, and took her to a Muslim sheikh who chanted a prayer for long life into her tiny, velvety ear.

She had espresso eyes and lush black lashes like her father’s, and her milky-brown skin darkened quickly in the summer sun. We named her Aliya, which means “exalted” in Arabic, and agreed we would raise her to choose what she identified with most from our dramatically different backgrounds.

I secretly felt smug about this agreement — confident that she would favor my comfortable American lifestyle over his modest Muslim upbringing. Ismail’s parents live in a squat stone house down a winding dirt alley outside Tripoli. Its walls are bare except for passages from the Quran engraved onto wood, its floors empty but for thin cushions that double as bedding at night.

My parents live in a sprawling home in Santa Fe with a three-car garage, hundreds of channels on the flat-screen TV, organic food in the refrigerator, and a closetful of toys for the grandchildren.

Oprah.com: An inheritance story you won’t believe

I imagined Aliya embracing shopping trips to Whole Foods and the stack of presents under the Christmas tree, while still fully appreciating the melodic sound of Arabic, the honey-soaked baklava Ismail makes from scratch, the intricate henna tattoos her aunt drew on her feet when we visited Libya. Not once did I imagine her falling for the head covering worn by Muslim girls as an expression of modesty.

Last summer we were celebrating the end of Ramadan with our Muslim community at a festival in the parking lot behind our local mosque. Children bounced in inflatable fun houses while their parents sat beneath a plastic tarp nearby, shooing flies from plates of curried chicken, golden rice, and baklava.

Aliya and I wandered past rows of vendors selling prayer mats, henna tattoos, and Muslim clothing. When we reached a table displaying head coverings, Aliya turned to me and pleaded, “Please, Mom — can I have one?”

She riffled through neatly folded stacks of headscarves while the vendor, an African-American woman shrouded in black, beamed at her. I had recently seen Aliya cast admiring glances at Muslim girls her age.

I quietly pitied them, covered in floor-length skirts and long sleeves on even the hottest summer days, as my best childhood memories were of my skin laid bare to the sun: feeling the grass between my toes as I ran through the sprinkler on my front lawn; wading into an icy river in Idaho, my shorts hitched up my thighs, to catch my first rainbow trout; surfing a rolling emerald wave off the coast of Hawaii. But Aliya envied these girls and had asked me to buy her clothes like theirs. And now a headscarf.

Oprah.com: How do you get your daughter to talk to you?

In the past, my excuse was that they were hard to find at our local mall, but here she was, offering to spend ten dollars from her own allowance to buy the forest green rayon one she clutched in her hand. I started to shake my head emphatically “no,” but caught myself, remembering my commitment to Ismail. So I gritted my teeth and bought it, assuming it would soon be forgotten.

That afternoon, as I was leaving for the grocery store, Aliya called out from her room that she wanted to come.

A moment later she appeared at the top of the stairs — or more accurately, half of her did. From the waist down, she was my daughter: sneakers, bright socks, jeans a little threadbare at the knees. But from the waist up, this girl was a stranger. Her bright, round face was suspended in a tent of dark cloth like a moon in a starless sky.

“Are you going to wear that?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she said slowly, in that tone she had recently begun to use with me when I state the obvious.

Oprah.com: Your kids are different…and it’s okay

On the way to the store, I stole glances at her in my rearview mirror. She stared out the window in silence, appearing as aloof and unconcerned as a Muslim dignitary visiting our small Southern town — I, merely her chauffeur.

I bit my lip. I wanted to ask her to remove her head covering before she got out of the car, but I couldn’t think of a single logical reason why, except that the sight of it made my blood pressure rise. I’d always encouraged her to express her individuality and to resist peer pressure, but now I felt as self-conscious and claustrophobic as if I were wearing that headscarf myself.

In the Food Lion parking lot, the heavy summer air smothered my skin. I gathered the damp hair on my neck into a ponytail, but Aliya seemed unfazed by the heat. We must have looked like an odd pair: a tall blonde woman in a tank top and jeans cupping the hand of a four-foot-tall Muslim. I drew my daughter closer and the skin on my bare arms prickled — as much from protective instinct as from the blast of refrigerated air that hit me as I entered the store.

As we maneuvered our cart down the aisles, shoppers glanced at us like we were a riddle they couldn’t quite solve, quickly dropping their gaze when I caught their eye.

In the produce aisle, a woman reaching for an apple fixed me with an overly bright, solicitous smile that said “I embrace diversity and I am perfectly fine with your child.” She looked so earnest, so painfully eager to put me at ease, that I suddenly understood how it must feel to have a child with an obvious disability, and all the curiosity or unwelcome sympathies from strangers it evokes.

At the checkout line, an elderly Southern woman clasped her bony hands together and bent slowly down toward Aliya. “My, my,” she drawled, wobbling her head in disbelief. “Don’t you look absolutely precious!” My daughter smiled politely, then turned to ask me for a pack of gum.

In the following days, Aliya wore her headscarf to the breakfast table over her pajamas, to a Muslim gathering where she was showered with compliments, and to the park, where the moms with whom I chatted on the bench studiously avoided mentioning it altogether.

Oprah.com: Why her faith is colliding with her workout routine

Later that week, at our local pool, I watched a girl only a few years older than Aliya play Ping-Pong with a boy her age. She was caught in that awkward territory between childhood and adolescence — narrow hips, skinny legs, the slightest swelling of new breasts — and she wore a string bikini.

Her opponent wore an oversize T-shirt and baggy trunks that fell below his knees, and when he slammed the ball at her, she lunged for it while trying with one hand to keep the slippery strips of spandex in place. I wanted to offer her a towel to wrap around her hips, so she could lose herself in the contest and feel the exhilaration of making a perfect shot.

It was easy to see why she was getting demolished at this game: Her near-naked body was consuming her focus. And in her pained expression I recognized the familiar mix of shame and excitement I felt when I first wore a bikini.

At 14, I skittered down the halls of high school like a squirrel in traffic: hugging the walls, changing direction in midstream, darting for cover. Then I went to Los Angeles to visit my aunt Mary during winter break. Mary collected mermaids, kept a black-and-white photo of her long-haired Indian guru on her dresser, and shopped at a tiny health food store that smelled of patchouli and peanut butter. She took me to Venice Beach, where I bought a cheap bikini from a street vendor.

Dizzy with the promise of an impossibly bright afternoon, I thought I could be someone else — glistening and proud like the greased-up bodybuilders on the lawn, relaxed and unself-conscious as the hippies who lounged on the pavement with lit incense tucked behind their ears. In a beachside bathroom with gritty cement floors, I changed into my new two-piece suit.

Goose bumps spread across my chubby white tummy and the downy white hairs on my thighs stood on end — I felt as raw and exposed as a turtle stripped of its shell. And when I left the bathroom, the stares of men seemed to pin me in one spot even as I walked by.

In spite of a strange and mounting sense of shame, I was riveted by their smirking faces; in their suggestive expressions I thought I glimpsed some vital clue to the mystery of myself. What did these men see in me — what was this strange power surging between us, this rapidly shifting current that one moment made me feel powerful and the next unspeakably vulnerable?

I imagined Aliya in a string bikini in a few years. Then I imagined her draped in Muslim attire. It was hard to say which image was more unsettling. I thought then of something a Sufi Muslim friend had told me: that Sufis believe our essence radiates beyond our physical bodies — that we have a sort of energetic second skin, which is extremely sensitive and permeable to everyone we encounter. Muslim men and women wear modest clothing, she said, to protect this charged space between them and the world.

Growing up in the ’70s in Southern California, I had learned that freedom for women meant, among other things, fewer clothes, and that women could be anything — and still look good in a bikini. Exploring my physical freedom had been an important part of my process of self-discovery, but the exposure had come at a price.

Oprah.com: Why women are the future of education

Since that day in Venice Beach, I’d spent years learning to swim in the turbulent currents of attraction — wanting to be desired, resisting others’ unwelcome advances, plumbing the mysterious depths of my own longing.

I’d spent countless hours studying my reflection in the mirror — admiring it, hating it, wondering what others thought of it — and it sometimes seemed to me that if I had applied the same relentless scrutiny to another subject I could have become enlightened, written a novel, or at least figured out how to grow an organic vegetable garden.

On a recent Saturday morning, in the crowded dressing room of a large department store, I tried on designer jeans alongside college girls in stiletto heels, young mothers with babies fussing in their strollers, and middle-aged women with glossed lips pursed into frowns. One by one we filed into changing rooms, then lined up to take our turn on a brightly lit pedestal surrounded by mirrors, cocking our hips and sucking in our tummies and craning our necks to stare at our rear ends.

When it was my turn, my heart felt as tight in my chest as my legs did in the jeans. My face looked drawn under the fluorescent lights, and suddenly I was exhausted by all the years I’d spent doggedly chasing the carrot of self-improvement, while dragging behind me a heavy cart of self-criticism.

At this stage in her life, Aliya is captivated by the world around her — not by what she sees in the mirror. Last summer she stood at the edge of the Blue Ridge Parkway, stared at the blue-black outline of the mountains in the distance, their tips swaddled by cottony clouds, and gasped. “This is the most beautiful thing I ever saw,” she whispered. Her wide-open eyes were a mirror of all that beauty, and she stood so still that she blended into the lush landscape, until finally we broke her reverie by tugging at her arm and pulling her back to the car.

At school it’s different. In her fourth-grade class, girls already draw a connection between clothing and popularity. A few weeks ago, her voice rose in anger as she told me about a classmate who had ranked all the girls in class according to how stylish they were.

I understood then that while physical exposure had liberated me in some ways, Aliya could discover an entirely different type of freedom by choosing to cover herself.

I have no idea how long Aliya’s interest in Muslim clothing will last. If she chooses to embrace Islam, I trust the faith will bring her tolerance, humility, and a sense of justice — the way it has done for her father. And because I have a strong desire to protect her, I will also worry that her choice could make life in her own country difficult. She has recently memorized the fatiha, the opening verse of the Quran, and she is pressing her father to teach her Arabic. She’s also becoming an agile mountain biker who rides with me on wooded trails, mud spraying her calves as she navigates the swollen creek.

The other day, when I dropped her off at school, instead of driving away from the curb in a rush as I usually do, I watched her walk into a crowd of kids, bent forward under the weight of her backpack as if she were bracing against a storm. She moved purposefully, in such a solitary way — so different from the way I was at her age, and I realized once again how mysterious she is to me.

It’s not just her head covering that makes her so: It’s her lack of concern for what others think about her. It’s finding her stash of Halloween candy untouched in her drawer, while I was a child obsessed with sweets. It’s the fact that she would rather dive into a book than into the ocean — that she gets so consumed with her reading that she can’t hear me calling her from the next room.

I watched her kneel at the entryway to her school and pull a neatly folded cloth from the front of her pack, where other kids stash bubble gum or lip gloss. Then she slipped it over her head, and her shoulders disappeared beneath it like the cape her younger brother wears when he pretends to be a superhero.

As I pulled away from the curb, I imagined that headscarf having magical powers to protect her boundless imagination, her keen perception, and her unself-conscious goodness. I imagined it shielding her as she journeys through that house of mirrors where so many young women get trapped in adolescence, buffering her from the dissatisfaction that clings in spite of the growing number of choices at our fingertips, providing safe cover as she takes flight into a future I can only imagine.

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