Category Archives: General

Could There Be A Muslim Woman In Congress?

In Detroit, Michigan, for over 50 years Republican John Conyers held a House of Representative seat. He resigned last year after sexual harassment allegations.

On Tuesday, August 7th, District 13 had a primary election. Not one Republican ran in the race. Democrats elected Rashida Tlaib, 42-year-old Detroit native. Not only did she clinch the Democratic nomination, she also won the right to run opposed, meaning in November’s election she is guaranteed to win and will be serving her full two-year term starting in January of 2019.

Rashida is not nervous about being the first. She is the eldest of 14 siblings, the first one in her family to earn their high school, college and law degree as well as being the first Muslim Woman to be elected to Michigan’s legislature.

There are other Muslim Woman running for Congress but their primary elections have not yet occurred nor are they guaranteed to win even if they do win their primary. But there could be Muslim Woman congress members in Minnesota, Arizona, and Massachusetts as well.

There have been Mulsim Men in Congress, Republican Keith Ellison of Minnesota was the first. But both of these men are African-American. Tlaib would have another first distinction as being the first Arab Muslim to be in Congress.

What is interesting to note is that District 13 only has about 5% of their voters who identify as Arab American. She won her district due to her politics and her reputation as a state lawmaker. She is known as an environmental activist and a vocal critic of Trump. On her campaign trail, she indicated that she’s push for the President’s impeachment.

What makes Tlaib stand out is her ability to stay true to her self in adversity which might come in handy if the mid-term elections do not go as Democratic as people think. For more information visit website.

What Is Hajj?

Hajj is an Islamic holiday where many Muslims make the pilgrimage over to Mecca, the holiest city for Muslims. The pilgrimage is a religious mandate for many Muslims to be completed at least once in their lifetime as long as they are a healthy adult and are financially able to. If a Muslim meets these criteria they are called istita’ah and if they make the pilgrimage they are then called mustati. The Hajj is the second largest gathering of Muslims a year and is a demonstration of the strength of the Muslim people under their god – Allah. It is also one of the five pillars of Islam in conjunction with Shahadah (faith), Salat (prayer), Zakat (charity), and Sawm (fasting).

The pilgrimage occurs from the 8th to 12th of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah. Once at Mecca there are specific rituals including walking counter-clockwise around the Kaaba, sprints back and forth between Safa and Marwah, drinks from the Zamzam Well, nights on Mount Arafat and Muzdalifa, symbolic stoning of the devil, and animal sacrifices during Eid-al-Adha. Muslims are also required to wear Ihram clothing which is two white sheets.

Pilgrimages to Mecca are not uncommon for Muslims to do throughout the year. These are called Umrah, however, they do not substitute the religious obligation of performing Hajj. It doesn’t matter what job you have such as a Forth Worth and Dallas Lawyer or a pediatrician, everyone who is Muslim and is able will have to make the pilgrimage.

It’s A Sad State Of Affairs for Muslim Americans

According to a new survey that was performed by John Sides, a political scientist, and Dalia Mogahed, a researcher, and the Democracy Fund Voter Survey Group, attitudes towards Muslim Americans are quite disturbing (albeit not too surprising). The survey showed that 20% of Americans believe the following:

  • Muslim Americans should not be allowed to vote
  • Muslim Americans are less proud to be American
  • Muslim Americans are more accepting of violence

While honor killings are indeed prevalent in many Muslim Communities oversees, there have been studies that contradict the sentiment that Muslim Americans condone violence. Mogahed does indeed argue that Muslim Americans are predisposed to violence but through ongoing polling in religious communities in the United States, she has found that Muslims are the least likely to agree with a government targetting and killing civilians.

Mogahed also continues to state that these Muslim American attitudes do not come from Muslim violence but from political campaigns and political rhetoric. Due to Trump’s very specific views on Islamic nations, the attitude towards Muslim Americans has changed for Republicans and Democrats. While more right learning people believe the bullet points above, those who lean to the left actually have a more favorable view of Muslims post 9/11. In a way, Trump has actually helped Muslim American views overall.

However, until the ignorance about Muslim Americans becomes solved there will also be that 1 out of 5 Americans who believe that Muslims are violent and should not be allowed to vote.

A Muslim Superhero is in the Works

It seems as if Marvel is ready to answer the call of Muslims around the world (Pakistani Muslims in particular). The Muslim superhero, Ms. Marel was confirmed in a BBC interview with Kevin Feige, who produced Avengers: Infinity War. Feige told BBC that “Ms. Marvel… is definitely sort of in the works.” Although Feige confirmed that this was a future project of Marvel, we should not expect to see the superhero anytime soon. Marvel is already set to roll out Captain Marvel, who will be played by actress Brie Larson. Captain Marvel is set to hit theatres in 2019 and is likely to play a part in the Avengers movie that will follow her solo debut.

Ms. Marel will not be the first female lead for a Marvel movie. As previously stated, Captain Marvel will be played by female actress Brie Larson. The theory is that Captain Marvel will introduce Miss Marvel and there will be a new alliance formed. This theory is backed by the Ms. Marvel comic book series. In the comic books, it is made clear that Ms. Marvel is inspired by Captain Marvel.

Who is Ms. Marvel?

Ms. Marvel is a Muslim Pakistani-American teenager from Jersey City, New Jersey. Ms. Marvel’s alter ego is Kamala Kahn. The superhero was created by Sana Amanat and Stephen Walker and she made her debut in comic books around the world in 2014. Ms. Marvel has grown to become one of the most popular superheroes in the Marvel Universe. Fans love her bright colored uniform and quirky personality. Ms. Marvel’s superpower is shapeshifting. In other words, she has the ability to change her shape or identity at will.

In Kamala’s free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends and writing fan fiction about her favorite superheroes. So basically, she’s a normal teenage girl. In the comic, Kamal is obsessed with Carol Danvers, also known as Captain Marvel.

Who will Play Ms. Marvel?

The early speculation is that Priyanka Chopra will be handed the role. While some fans approve of this move, others are not in favor. Many people are calling for a teenage Pakistani actress to play the superhero. Chopra seems like the logical fit because she is already an award-winning actress.

Casting for this role is very far off. As of right now, everything about Ms. Marvel is speculation. As more news begins to break about this superhero’s movie, we will bring it directly to you.

Sports Hijabs For Women

What Companies Sell Sports Hijabs?

Muslim women are just like other women who want to take part in sports and other outdoor activities and not just be a nursing home abuse lawyer NYC. They also have physical fitness goals or health habits which usually involve some requirements. However, one general issue is the type of sportswear they need to consider. Fortunately, there are companies selling sports hijabs to help them feel comfortable without disobeying their beliefs. Continue reading to learn more about what these sports hijabs are and where to buy one.

Sports Hijab

A Sports hijab are a product which is culturally-appropriate active wear. It allows Muslim women to participate in sports while upholding their culture and beliefs. Muslims are known for their strong dedication and commitment to observe their beliefs, culture, and traditions.

These companies consider three headscarf styles which are Fit, Sport, and Lite. They are available in 4 neutral colors navy, grey, black and white. Both Sport and Lite have been designed to allow Muslim women tuck them inside the uniform. Their designs also prevent inadvertent snags as they play. On the other hand, the Fit style works similarly, yet provides more coverage in the front portion. These sports hijabs are breathable and sweat-wicking. This means that women will feel comfortable and cool while they are playing the game.

One ideal place to go if you want to shop for sports hijabs is ASIYA. Since these items are not available in various shops, you can look for ASIYA’s Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Here, you may pre-order this product. It will be shipping worldwide.

Another company selling these items is the House of Fraser. House of Fraser offers a lot of items for Muslim women who want to work out and stay fit. On the other hand, the company named Shorso also created modest sportswear which includes light-weight hijabs and unitard bodysuits.

These leading department stores take pride in offering ideal sports hijabs designed for various outdoor and physical activities including gymnastics, aerobics, and swimming. They are using the finest materials to obtain the best style and highest level of comfort. As a result, Muslim women will become more active and more inspired to perform workouts and exercises while staying true to their beliefs.

Muslim women have the right to decide how they will serve God even if they perform different physical activities. This means that the designs and quality of these sports hijabs will not force women into wearing them.

Great Muslim Athletes

The Muslim religion is among the largest and fastest growing religions in the world. Athletes are often outspoken about their religion and who they tank for the “blessed” life they live. Some of the greats in sports history have accredited Allah, the Muslim deity, with their personal values and athletic ability. Complex put together a list of some of the most dominant players in their respective sports, that are also Muslim. Check it out below!

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson is one of the most prolific boxers the heavyweight division has ever seen. Tyson burst onto the scene in 1981 and never looked back. Over his career, Mike racked up 50 wins, 44 of which were knockouts, and only tallied six losses. Towards the end of his career, Tyson became infamous when he bit one of his opponent’s ear. This was during a dark period in his life, where he was struggling with addiction and arrests. Mike Tyson credits Allah as his savior, claiming that his faith in the Muslim deity helped him crawl out of a dark hole.

Shaquille O’Neal

When Shaquille O’Neal entered the NBA, he was before his time. He was a massive center who was athletic enough to dunk the ball over anyone in the game. He quickly asserted himself as one of the most physically dominant players in the game.

Shaq was never too outspoken about his religious views. In a few interviews, Shaq mentioned that his mother was Catholic and his step-father was Muslim. It turns out, Shaq took to the beliefs of the Islamic faith as he is on record saying that he has completed the pilgrimage to Mecca.

Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon is everything you could ever want in an NBA center, and player for that matter. He is one of the greatest of all time. He even has a signature move, “The Dream Shake”, that other players have tried to perfect over the years. When Hakeem first entered the NBA, he converted to Islam. He practices a very strict faith and was even known to fast during Ramadan despite the start of the NBA season.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Maybe it has something to do with being an NBA big man great, but Kareem is another center that makes the list. Kareem dominated through all levels of his basketball life. He too invented a move that seemed unguardable. The “skyhook” liked “the dream shake” is a move that NBA players still attempt to perfect to this day. Kareem’s born name was Lew Alcindor, but he changed his name when he converted to Islam in 1971.

Muhammed Ali

You are probably most familiar with the name above, Muhammed Ali. The ring wasn’t big enough for Muhammed’s boisterous personality. Muhammed’s strong Islamic faith helped shape the American Civil Rights movement.

Muslim Holidays

Every religion has celebrations that take place over the course of the year. Some require that you fast, others require that you refuse to give in to temptations, others celebrate the birth of the religions. Some religions have holidays throughout the year, while others are concentrated in one month or so.

The Islamic faith has two major holidays, al-Fitr and al-Adha. Al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan. The fasting is now over and the end of the holy month is celebrated with a big celebration and bountiful feast.

Al-Adha is another holiday that is very important. The english translation of this holiday is the “Feast of Sacrifice.” The holiday marks the day that prophet Abraham was going to sacrifice his son to honor God. Just as he was going to sacrifice his son, God provided him with a goat to slaughter. Since this day people of the Islamic faith have been slaughtering a goat as a sacrifice to God.      

Important Muslim Holidays

Some of the important holidays in Islamic faith are:

  • Ramadan

Ramadan is a month long celebration that takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. During these 29 or 30 days, Muslims must fast from sunrise to sundown. Ramadan is meant to celebrate the first verses of the Quran being presented to the prophet Mohammed.

  • Laylat al-Qadr

Laylat al-Qadr takes place on one of the ten final nights of Ramadan. This celebration marks the day that the first verses of the Quran were presented to Mohammed. During this day, Allah’s blessings are said to be the strongest and all sins are forgiven.

  • Eid al-Fitr

Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan. The end of the month long fast is celebrated with a great feast. In Islamic countries, the holiday is celebrated over a three day period.

  • Hajj

The Hajj is one of, if not the most important holiday in the Islamic faith. Each year, there is a pilgrimage to the Mecca. While it is not required to attend the pilgrimage every year, it is required to complete the pilgrimage at least once in your lifetime; if you are able, of course. This holiday celebrates one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

  • Eid al-Adha

Eid al-Adha marks the end of the Hajj. The day is celebrated with the sacrifice of a lamb. The intent of Eid al-Adha is to celebrate happiness and forget any differences you have. Gifts are given to family and friends an there is a large feast.

For every religion, holidays mark the day of an important event. They are a day to rejoice and celebrate. It is important that no matter what your beliefs are, you respect the beliefs of others as well.

The Muslim Population in the United States

The Muslim Population in the United States

The United States has one of the lowest percentages of the population being Muslim in the world. That being said, the Islam religion is the fastest growing religion in the world. According to Pew Research Center, the religion’s popularity is growing at a rate that will surpass the Christian religion and take the number one spot by the halfway point of this century.

As of 2010, there were 1.6 billion Muslim people in the world; 0.2% of the Muslim population are living in the United States. By 2015, the United States’ Muslim population had risen to 3.45 million, making up about 1.1% of the population. Out of the approximated 2.15 million Muslims in the country, 58% are immigrants. According to surveys done by Pew Research Center, the Islam religion is projected to pass Judaism for the second most popular religion in the world by the halfway mark of this century. The two areas in the United States with the highest percentage of their population being Muslim are New Jersey and the District of Columbia, coming in at 3%.

Reasons for the Rapid Expansion of the Muslim Religion

There are a number of factors contributing to the recent rapid expansion of the Muslim religion. A couple of these reasons are not what you would expect. While the Muslim faith has some people converting to their religion, the reason for the rapid expansion is the number of children families of the Islamic faith have. According to research done by the Pew Research Center, Muslim women have an average of 2.9 children. This is higher than the combined rate of all of the other religions, which is 2.2 children per woman.

While these children will grow up to be of Islamic faith, there is another reason that the Muslim religion is projected to grow exponentially. The reason is because the median age of the religion as of 2015 is 24 years old. At 24 years old, the birth of the Islamic faith is getting ready to marry and begin a family. Kind of like the baby boomers forcing the American population to explode in the 1950s and 1960s. With a median age of 24 years old, the Islamic faith has a median age that is 7 years younger than non-muslims.   

Both of these facts are the leading factors in the rapid expansion of the Muslim religion. There are simply more people being born into the faith than any other religion, which is why the Islamic faith is surpassing the  Jewish and Catholic religions, in terms of popularity.

American Muslims On Christmas

It is now the time of year that many seem to split into two or three distinct occasions. One is a time of great religious significance that celebrates the birth of Jesus, the Messiah of the Christian faith. Another involves what some call the over-commercialization of the former with gatherings of family and friends, gift giving, decorations, and dinners that dwarf the typical family sit-down. And then, there is a third, foreign to Christians of varying degrees. That is the concept that Christmas is just another day for members of other faiths. The stereotype has been for some time that Jewish people “celebrate” Christmas by ordering Chinese food. And whether or not the former is actually an accurate depiction of the religion as a whole, the point still stands that Christmas in itself is significant almost exclusively to Christians despite the great marketing campaigns that many of us are exposed to during this time of the year.

But it also begs the question of what others do during this time of great celebration for many who follow the Christian faith. For example, how do Muslims observe Christmas, if even at all?

Well, in fact, it would seem that Christianity and Islam have more in common regarding Christmas than many might have realized. For example, Harvard University professor Hisham Mahmoud stated in an interview with National Public Radio that, “Muslims and Christians believe that Jesus is the only Messiah.” Others support this assertion as well. Sajdah Nubee describes the veneration of both Jesus and Mary in the Qur’an and the significant roles they play in the faith of Islam. She goes on to say, however, that Muslims do not tend to celebrate the births of prophets, the regard in which they hold Jesus.

Others recount their holiday “celebrations” by mentioning giving to charities or even going bowling at the time. Some even mention getting involved in the Christmas spirit. Fawzia Mirza and Nabeela Rashid describe the 13-foot tree in their living room even though they are both Pakistani-American and of the Muslim faith. Zahra Noorbaksh mentions all of the Persian members of her community gathering to celebrate and even having someone dress up as Santa Claus.

Even despite this, there are many who don’t feel the necessity of observing Christmas. For one, the month of December, in particular, is riddled with religious importance for a number of faiths. Christians celebrate Christmas, Jewish faithful celebrate Chanukah. And while Muslim Eids (holy celebrations) shift in dates every year due to the observance of the lunar calendar, they do occasionally fall in December.

However, the significance of the holiday isn’t lost. While Muslims do not celebrate the birth of Jesus as Christians do, there are many who recognize the spirit of the holiday itself: a time of generosity and charity, of kindness and love, and of reflection on the blessings of life. They may not all hang up garland or lights or get swept up in gift-giving, but the similarities of the faiths are strong enough where they can at least appreciate the holiday season, if not necessarily celebrate it. Perhaps it can also serve as a lesson in mutual respect and awareness of religious observances.

Muslim Boy Scout Troup

Can something as American as the Boy Scouts work within the traditional framework of Islamic traditions? In the small town of Richmond Heights in Ohio, an all-Muslim Boy Scout Troop is attempting to answer that question.

Boy Scout Troop 2690 is headed by Scout Master Isa Abdul Matin and is represented by Muhammad Samad. According to Samad, “These boys are American boys. They bleed American pride. They do what American boys do.” And let’s be honest, there’s nothing more American than the Boy Scouts.

However, there are certain aspects of being a Boy Scout that does not mesh with some aspects of Islamic law. A prime example is the Boy Scout tradition of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at Scout meetings.

“We pledge our allegiance to God, not a flag or a country,” says 12-year-old Boy Scout Mohammad Zoraiz. “Saying the pledge is ‘American’ but our basic tenet that we don’t have to is… because it’s America,” he added, understanding that the right to free speech is an American tenet.

Samad points out, “Those who do not pledge allegiance to the flag still stand at attention out of respect.”

But how do the Boy Scouts America feel about this? According to Mark Baxter from the Lake Erie Council, it’s absolutely fine.

“Scouting is and has always been open to all faiths and religions,” Baxter continued. “We have a duty to God but to who’s god? What god? That is between the young person, their parents and their organization’s faith. We support that.”

For those who don’t know the Boy Scout Oath, you can read it below:

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

Boy Scout Law requires a scout to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. If anyone is familiar with the tenets and laws of Islam the similarities are clear. It turns out that you can be Muslim and American.