The Hajj, Shuraa Baynahum, On Mass Gun Violence, Nation’s Mosque and Back to School

Three million plan for Journey of a Lifetime…

TheJourneyINTERNATIONAL ― “By no means shall you attain righteousness unless you give freely of that which you love; and whatever you give, of a surety, Allah has full knowledge.” Al-Qur’an, 3:92.

Soon the multitudes will gather in the Sacred Precincts leaving their homes and families in answer to the Call of the Creator.

More than at any other time, we’ll soon be collectively remembering Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ishmael, upon them be peace as the world’s greatest gathering of mankind commences. And whether we’re in Mecca on Hajj or at home in another part of the world, we’ll be reminded of the importance to willingly sacrifice what we hold dear when G’d calls us to do so.

We pray for the 2018 Hajjis to prepare well, successfully complete the rites and return home enriched, strengthened, renewed and ready to remake our world. We entreat of our Lord to fulfill the aspirations of those who have not made hajj, yet yearn in their hearts to do so, and we pray Allah (SWT) bless the “veteran” hajjis to recall their journey(s) and continually draw upon their experiences to live the hajj of life daily and share the blessings to help make our community and world better.

Stay tuned to American Muslim 360 at AM360.org or (701) 719-4197 for Hajj and Eid-ul-Adha Programming. As we near the Blessed Days tune in for an encore of the critically acclaimed AM360 series The Hajj in the 21st Century with host and legendary Muttawif Imam Hamin S. Dawan (and guests).  This timeless message is for all, for when Allah (SWT) calls us, may each of us be blessed to rise to the occasion and give freely of that which we love. Blessed Hajj!

Third National Live Townhall on Shuraa Baynahum Coming August 18…

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NATIONAL[UPDATE: Hear an encore of this Special Presentation.] CWSC is set to convene its third National Townhall Panel Discussion of the year on Saturday, August 18, 2018 @ 10 a.m. EST on AM360.org American Muslim 360 Radio. You’re invited to join the live national conversation on Shuraa Baynahum in the 21st Century American Muslim Intelligentsia.

Mark your calendars and schedule your smartphones as CWSC welcomes to the airways panelists: Dr. Ameena Ali, birth and social justice activist and “lactivist,” certified doctor of naturopathic care, founder-director of Atlanta-based A Mother’s Peace midwifery outreach attending to the maternal wellness needs of women in crises, Distinguished Lecturer CWSC Speakers Bureau, and host of AM360’s The Birth of Women; Dr. Baiza Muhammad, doctor of naturopathy and nutritional health, founder and director Newlife Horizon House, Inc., and AM360 Host of Healing and Harmony for Human Kind; Ni’mat Shaheed, public school educator and restorative justice practitioner, published author, distinguished lecturer CWSC Speakers Bureau, and AM360 Host for the Pearls of Women Qur’anic MondaysQuran Shakir, educator, children’s advocate, CWSC scholarships program director, and host for AM360’s The Importance of Educating Our OwnMahasin D. Shamsid-Deen, cultural development & expression artist, playwright, founder and director of the Woven Orbits Theatre; and Aisha Waheed, women’s & human rights advocate, community organizer & planner, and guest on AM360’s Woman-Up.

The Townhall’s Moderators are: M. Nailah Williams, member of CWSC’s Board of Directors, Distinguished Lecturer CWSC Speakers Bureau, founder and director of the KNOW ME/no me Institute, and AM360 Host; and Mukhtar Muhammad, CWSC Executive Director, AM360 Host, Vice Pres. FAMACO Publishers LLC, and author, Genesis of New American Leadership (the Book & Blog).

The topic is Shuraa Baynahum and its importance to the group intellect in fulfilling the group aspirations. It’s not enough to make Scriptural connections without also making the social and work connections. And it’s not enough to make social and work connections without making the Scriptural connections. If you just do the former you’ll be a ghost. And if you did the latter, you’d be a materialist.

We need connections in the logic of Scripture and we need connections with one another to apply the logic of Scripture in community life…that’s the real balance we need now to make progress and that’s what an Intelligentsia, respect for the group intellect and proper human relations give us. Now a Straight to the Point National Dialogue continued …On Shuraa Baynahum coming Saturday, August 18, 2018 @ 10 a.m. EST. Stream it live at AM360.org or listen by phone at (701) 719-4197.  Log on or dial in anytime to hear quality Islamic programming 24/7/365. Visit our News Page to hear the prior Shuraa Baynahum Townhall Panels. 

CWSC aims to provide a shared freedom space for the group intellect. Views expressed in panel discussions and other forums on-air and off do not necessarily reflect the policies and /or opinions of CWSC or AM360.

Our round the clock Islamic programming via live stream and telephone is a reflection of our service commitment to communities nationwide and even globally as we seek to help bridge the digital divide…together we can remake the world. 

American Muslims and their interfaith brethren weigh in on mass gun violence…

“…Work to build a better place for [ourselves], one that will benefit all people, regardless of race or religion.” —Imam W. Deen Mohammed

theCapitolWashington, D.C. ― The late humanitarian and community leader Imam Dr. W. Deen Mohammed (R) declared the mission for American Muslims was to help remake the world; For CWSC, that spiritual, civic, and shuraa-based mandate was foremost on the agenda of the National Intelligentsia and upon the hearts and minds of volunteers when lawmakers welcomed CWSC recently to Capitol Hill.

From Washington, D.C., Jacksonville, Florida, and Silver Spring, Maryland, volunteers converged on Capitol Hill to deliver a message to lawmakers on behalf of sixty faith-based organizations representing thirteen faith traditions and hundreds of thousands of the faithful across the country and even outside of America.

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Jonathan Levi, Congressional Aide to U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (center) with L-R, Mongi Dhaouadi, Debbie Shankman, Maya Muhammad, Mukhtar Muhammad, and Darlene Muhammad at the Hart Senate Building.

Several meetings with Senate and House members and staffers represented an interim culmination of a national interfaith campaign to ensure the voices of faith-based communities we’re prominent in supporting next-generation leaders who have and continue to eloquently argue for needed and urgent reform in our nation’s policies on mass gun violence.

In the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and the unprecedented national organizing of the student-led Never Again Movement followed by the March For Our Lives mass protest, CWSC volunteers nationwide like many other Americans expressed outrage and concern as to why this problem of repetitious mass gun violence couldn’t be solved. That’s when the CWSC Public Affairs, Ambassador Programs Department, and the Office of Executive Director worked with believers nationwide to coordinate a national response that would eventually snowball into an international action in support of the nation’s children who were simply asking for safe schools and neighborhoods.

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In March, 2018, hundreds of thousands took to the streets of our nation’s capital to protest gridlock and political stalemate on the mass gun violence issue.

“We were touched by students’ pleas that the usual ritual of “we give you our thoughts and prayers,” followed by a period at the end of that sentence that then becomes symbolic of a cyclical period of personal grief and national mourning, debate, political infighting and stalling, and then back to business as usual until another shooting, except for the slain and their families and communities, is simply a moral insufficiency on all our parts including faith communities,” states Delegation Lead and CWSC Executive Director Mukhtar Muhammad.

Beginning just after the end of Ramadan and the Eid Celebration, volunteers convened at Masjid Muhammad Washington, D.C. to join Resident Imam and the Nation’s Mosque President Imam Dr. Talib Muttaqee Shareef who helped coordinate the CWSC visit with lawmakers and other area faith-based leaders. Also joining the Delegation were Debbie Shankman, Darlene Muhammad, Maya Muhammad, and Mongi Dhaouadi (see related article below Return to the Nation’s Mosque: A Personal Return to Innocence).

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Honorable Andre Carson meets with CWSC Delegation. Pictured (L-R) are Debbie Shankman, Mukhtar Muhammad and Imam Talib Shareef.

The Capitol Hill visit was an especially significant undertaking as it was CWSC’s first official visit to the Senate and House legislative offices and a practical demonstration of how the Model Communities National Resource Directory (MCNRD) and National Volunteer Human Resource Network can be brought to bear for on-site project management involving volunteers from diverse geographical locations.

Various members of the Delegation met in the Hart Senate Office Building with staffers for Senator Chris Van Hollen, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senator Charles Schumer. On the House of Representatives side, the Delegation met directly with Congressman Andre Carson, one of two Muslims members currently serving in the House. The Delegation also met with civil rights legend and women’s rights advocate, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Notably Representatives Carson and Norton are allied with Senators Van Hollen and Schumer on the need for comprehensive reform. Click here to continue reading

Return to the Nation’s Mosque: A Personal Return to Innocence

Washington, D.C. (CWSC Executive Director Mukhtar Muhammad traveled to the nation’s capital and to its national mosque and shared the following reflection on a journey to help remake the world.)

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L-R: Khafi McDowell, Darlene Muhammad, Debbie Shankman, Mukhtar Muhammad, Imam Talib Shareef, Maya Muhammad, and Fitrah Muhammad at the Nation’s Mosque.

The weather was perfect as we arrived in Washington, D.C.’s metropolitan area on the city’s northwest Islamic Way to convene with the Nation’s Mosque leader, Imam Dr. Talib Shareef ahead of scheduled meetings with federal lawmakers.

For weeks Imam Talib had been working locally to help coordinate CWSC’s session with legislators; His mosque had been among the institutional signatories on the Never Again Interfaith Letter calling for intelligent reform to prevent mass gun violence across the country. I was especially grateful for the assist as I had no experience on Capitol Hill, whereas Imam Talib was the veteran in more ways than one.

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Imam Talib and Mukhtar during a visit to the national offices of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

While we had both served our nation, he in the Air Force and I in the Navy, and over the decades we had both appreciated one another’s privilege to serve both the nation and our community, I was happy to have him as a wingman and also to be his wingman. I witnessed and admired how he moved effortlessly and confidently throughout the most important global power center in the world…Navy had to take the Air Force’s lead on this one (smile), but I was both happy and honored to do so, as I sought to fulfill a long-held personal goal of working with one of our most progressive institutional leaders while also fulfilling a CWSC core commitment of intrafaith collaboration in a mutually respectful shared freedom space…working together to remake the world.

Before arriving at the mosque to meet with Imam Talib, my family and I had the privilege of rendezvousing with another committed servant that helps CWSC fulfill another important core value: interfaith respect and collaboration in the wider group intellect.

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CWSC volunteers Debbie and Mukhtar finally meet in person after years of working together.

We had just left Union Station to meet up with someone whom I’d only met via our American Muslim 360 Radio Network (AM360.org) and in planning meetings off-air. She was my Christian-Muslim sister. And she might call me her Muslim-Christian brother. I’m speaking of Debbie Shankman of Maryland or as her fellow volunteers and loyal listeners at AM360 call her, Sister Debbie. She was inspired immediately by the Never Again Interfaith Campaign to Congress and CWSC’s initial presentation of the Letter to the Senate and House leadership on May 7th’s Muslim Advocacy Day. She had been on pins and needles since being invited to join the second June Delegation.

 

Debbie has been an active volunteer with the CWSC since 2015 and has assisted with the AM360 Strategic Planning Team specifically in promotion and interfaith outreach. She was a loyal listener and ardent supporter when CWSC and AM360 founder the late Imam Thomas Abdul Salaam (R) was the station’s executive producer and CWSC’s first executive director. Debbie also has an interfaith relationship with her local Muslim community in Maryland. She is passionate in her support for Imam Mohammed’s scholarship and leadership and in her respect for our efforts to build an intelligentsia to serve all. Now after weeks of careful planning, the day had finally arrived and there she stood on time in front of Union Station beaming as brightly and colorfully as the beautiful dress she had worn.

Needless to say, it was a joyous meeting as we finally had the opportunity to meet in person. And although Debbie had been to Washington many times, this visit would be very special for her too as she thought for weeks about what she wanted to share personally with legislators. She proved to be an excellent CWSC Ambassador on The Hill.

After the quick trek to the Mosque from Union Station, I soon saw Masjid Muhammad coming into view. The sense of excitement was building as we’d soon be heading to the Rayburn House and Hart Senate Office Buildings. But as I now glimpsed some of the most unique architecture I’d ever seen in my life and certainly one of the most historic architectural landmarks in a city known for its monuments and iconic structures, I began experiencing a deja vous of sorts and a nostalgia springing deep from the days of my youth. Click here to continue reading

It’s Back to School…

BTSFrom shopping to last minute vacation days, to re-establishing good sleeping habits, tens of millions of households are readying for the start of the new school year. Whether your student is headed to pre-K or pre-law, now’s the time to get organized, disciplined and set goals together to help your student achieve his or her best. And while anticipation of tomorrow brings excitement, it can also mean stress for both students and parents or other loved ones.

Communication is one of the biggies in reducing any associated stress. School safety may even be on the minds of many. Don’t avoid talking about current events and school security. Find out if your student has any apprehensions or concerns and address them with age appropriate guidance. Here’s some helpful information to start. Talking between parents and with children about what they liked or disliked last year and what expectations and fears might be for the coming year is a great way to help ensure a successful school year.

De-clutter the house and the schedule now and instead of the device wars common now between parents and children depending on age, consider using the devices to help plan their schedule and record goals. You might even find your student giving you helpful tips on using your own device with apps you weren’t aware of. So who’s teaching who? Well, learning has become more reciprocal than ever.

For middle school, parents might explore early academic prep tests. For higher grade levels, check out college credit programs and entrance test practice programs before the 9th grade. College-bound and current students should always be exploring scholarship resources early and comprehensively as many funds still go unawarded due to non-application. Finally, it’s not too early to start looking at summer programs for next year based on your child’s interest and cost. STEM and STEAM programs for all, but especially girls including coding and robotics should be considered now routine as a matter of general education and preparation for a 21st-century economy, regardless of eventual profession. The problem solving and attention to detail skills are transferable.

May Allah (SWT) bless all our students and their families with a safe and successful school year.


“Education is the greatest tool for advancing the society.” We do want to advance our society, don’t we? Are you a part of a society or are you just a part of a Masjid?”―Imam W. Deen Mohammed (RA)

 

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