Congratulating each other at the commencement of Ramadan

Resurrected from the now defunct “Islamic Law, Etc.” blog, here is a post I made a long time ago about the permissibility of saying “Ramadan Mubarak.”

I felt there may be some benefit in it given Suhaib Webb’s recent article “Can We say Jumu’ah Mubarak” and some of the discussions surrounding it.

Enjoy.

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

“Ramadan Mubaarak”

Every year Muslims all over the world wait in eagerness for the coming of the month of Ramadan. Ramadan, the month in which every night Allah has designated people to be freed from the hellfire, the month in which there is a night better than one thousand months, whoever fasts it with faith and reflection then all of his past sins will be forgiven.

Because of the status of this month and its importance, many of us greet each other in excitement with phrases such as “Ramadan Mubaarak” , “Ramadan Kareem”, “Kullu ‘aam wa antum bi khair” anticipating the great blessings of this month and wishing them for others.

Yet these phrases and greetings, even though we use them frequently, do they have a basis in our religion? Meaning: is there a precedent which has been set for such greetings? Read more

Fareed Zakaria Asks The Wrong Question

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Fareed Zakaria World Economic Forum 2013

In a recent op-ed by Fareed Zakaria titled “Let’s be honest, Islam has a problem right now” he discusses the very public, very crude simplifications of Bill Maher that “Islam” is inherently bad, violent, or both as well as Maher’s guest Sam Harris who says that Islam is “the mother lode of bad ideas.” If liberal secular values are what Maher and Harris claim to support, they’ve certainly gone against them in this instance by essentially making statements by a segment of Muslims included in a Pew study into a thought crime. The position that some percentage of Muslims, when asked, believe that apostasy should be punishable, is for them beyond the pale. Freedom of speech and thought be damned, if those engaging in it are Muslims.

While Harris and Maher attempt to paint 1.6 billion people with broad strokes based on a poll of 15 Muslim majority countries, they fail to admit to or acknowledge that even if 20% expressed that when polled, the other 80% of that population is still over 1 billion people. Zakaria rightfully brings up large swaths of Muslims that don’t fit the convenient caricatures that Maher and Harris would like us to believe, namely Indonesia and India. To support his point, Zakaria quotes Read more

An Open Letter to Atheist Muslims – or – Is The Quran A Violent Text Or Is Your Reading A Tad Off?

Dear Self Described Atheist Muslims,

Let’s start with what I am not going to do.

I am not going to accuse you of never knowing anything about Islam. Most of you have grown up in Muslim families, attended Muslim Sunday school, gone to Muslim summer camp, etc. You know the drill and the day to day of what many Muslims experience, especially in a communal sense. Also, I will not accuse you of being sympathetic to the bigotry and hatred projected towards Muslims. Despite your self-declared apostasy and atheism, I am sure that when you are in line in the airport, pulled over for a minor traffic violation, or opening an account at a bank, you are wholly identified as an “other” and your “Muslimy” name doesn’t help you in the least. I get it. You are still, like it or not, culturally tied to the community that you have identified with much of your life, Read more

Explainer: What was that “Muslim Prayer” KC Chiefs Husain Abdullah did after his touchdown?

“If I get a pick, I’m going to prostrate before God in the end zone,” Abdullah said. (1)

Husain-AbdullahHusain Abdullah, Kansas City Chiefs safety, intercepted Patriot’s Quarterback Tom Brady’s pass. Rushing 39 yards to the end zone, he dropped to his knees in what many media outlets called “a Muslim prayer.” Thought to be celebrating at first, Abdullah was yellow flagged for “excessive celebration.” This drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, which was quickly retracted. Players routinely gesture, pray, and thank God after scoring. Tim Tebow, native of Jacksonville FL and former Denver Broncos quarterback, made prayer famous by praying on one knee after scoring; Tebowing quickly became an internet meme with thousands of imitators.

As evidence to Husain Abdullah’s gracious nature and refusal to play the victim, Read more

6 tips for job applications

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After reading this article about religion and job hiring, I’d like to share a few points about religion in the work place.

1- Don’t wear your religion on your sleeve and announce it as the only thing that defines you. MSA shows up on your resume, fine. Hijab, fine. Let your qualifications shine through.

So for example, an interviewer says “So, tell us about yourself”

BAD: “Well I’m a convert al-HUM-du-lillah…”
BAD: “I’m a Muslim, spirituality is SO important to me, I went on this Rihla and ehrmegerd. ..”
GOOD: “I was born and raised here in Anytown, USA. I’m a San Antonio Spurs fan, and Ive just finished an internship at a major industry player.”
You get the point.

2- Dont list your religion on your resume. And don’t lead with it in the phone convo or interview. No one cares really about that stuff when applying for a job. And don’t bring it up. They care if you are qualified not how many rakats you prayed last Ramadan.

3- Be cordial. They want a pleasant person to be around. If you are a jerk you probably won’t get hired, unless you are a total badass. If you are a badass, still be humble. That’s two things you’ve got going for you.

4- Be confident about your faith and identity but be private as well. Lead with stuff relevant to your experience. When religion comes up, if it does in your interview, control the situation. “Yes I feel I am a person of faith but I also believe faith is a private matter. I am more concerned about doing a good job and fulfilling my job requirements.”

5- Also, don’t make demands before you are fully hired. “Before you give me this baller 130k a yr job, realize that I’ll need every Friday off and a special room to pray in 5 times a day.” If you do that, they’ll find something to disqualify you for before you are ever hired.

6- You can still practice your faith, you dont have to comprimise. If you get hired on merit or good personality then go into the job and kick butt, you can easily say to your manager “hey do mind if I take a longer lunch on Friday? There is a service I’d like to attend and I’ll stay late or come in early to compensate. Rest assured if there’s an important team meeting then I’ll be here.”

All it takes is a little tact, humility, and confidence.

What are your experiences with applying for jobs?