Authorities have assigned a designated area in the Haram for worshippers who follow Urdu and English where headsets and compact audio devices are being provided by the Grand Mosque authorities. The device is connected to FM frequency that broadcasts the interpretation of the Arabic sermon delivered by the Imam of Haram, Abdul Hafez Al-Shubaiti.
The program began operation last Friday at the King Fahd gate area of the Grand Mosque. A similar program is expected to launch soon at the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah. Non-Arabic speakers have long expressed a desire to understand the sermons in order to benefit from the knowledge and advice shared.
If you listen in on a conversation among Muslims anywhere in the world, you are likely to hear several Arabic words and phrases peppered through the conversation, regardless of the language actually being spoken. These phrases hold special meaning among Muslims, are often used in their original Arabic language, and serve as a unified way to communicate among the global Muslim community. It took me quite a while to figure out the nuances of when to use each phrase...
- Assalamu alaikum! (ex. "Assalamu alaikum! I'm home!")
- Insha'Allah (ex. "Tomorrow I'll pick you up at 5pm, insha'Allah.")
- Masha'Allah (ex. "Your new baby has such cute dimples, masha'Allah!")
- Subhan'Allah (ex. "Subhan'Allah, the Quran describes science in such detail.")
- Alhamdulillah (ex. "Alhamdulillah, she is feeling much better now.")
Now let's put them all together: "Assalamu alaikum! How have you been? Alhamdulillah, I'm fine. How's the new baby? Masha'Allah, she's so cute! I can't believe you're already a dad... Subhan'Allah, how time flies by. Well, I hope to see you at Friday prayer, insha'Allah. Assalamu alaikum!"
"It is He Who made the sun to be a shining glory, and the moon to be a light of beauty, and measured out stages for it, that you might know the number of years and the count of time. Allah did not create this except in truth and righteousness. And He explains His signs in detail, for those who understand" (Quran 10:5).
Giving your child a proper, meaningful name is one of your first responsibilities as a new parent. Find a Muslim name for your baby, with the help of these resources:
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- Shia and Sunni Muslims: What's the Difference?
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The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, advised us:
"Take advantage of five matters before five other matters:
- your youth, before you become old;
- your health, before you fall sick;
- your wealth, before you become poor;
- your free time before you become busy;
- and your life, before your death."
"Animal rights come before religion." - Denmark's Minister of Food, Dan Jorgensen
Denmark has passed into law a prohibition on the production of kosher and halal meat, on the pretense that these religious slaughtering methods amount to animal cruelty. The UK's Independent newspaper reports: "The ban has divided opinions in the country, particularly after it recently made headlines for animal welfare policy after Copenhagen Zoo slaughtered the 'surplus' young male giraffe Marius."
Under European regulations, an animal is required to be stunned before slaughter, unless there is an exemption on religious grounds. Denmark now joins Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Poland in finding that religious slaughter should not be exempt. The law does not affect the import of such meats.
The law took effect on Monday, prompting much debate about humane slaughtering methods, and government interference in religious freedoms.
MSNBC reports that a U.S. federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit questioning the legality of widespread surveillance of the Muslim community in New Jersey. The plaintiffs, including a Muslim U.S. army veteran, brought the case against the NYPD for its targeting of Muslim individuals, businesses, and places of worship. Rather than being discriminatory, the federal judge ruled that "the police could not have monitored New Jersey for Muslim terrorist activities without monitoring the Muslim community itself."
The NYPD has admitted that the widespread, long-term surveillance did not result in a single investigation.
"Allah is He, other than Whom there is no other god.
Who knows all things, both secret and open.
He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Allah is He, other than Whom there is no other god.
The Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace, the Guardian of Faith,
the Preserver of Safety, the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the justly Proud.
Glory to Allah! High is He above the partners they attribute to Him.
He is Allah, the Creator, the Originator, the Fashioner.
To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names.
Whatever is in the heavens and on earth declare His Praises and Glory.
And He is Exalted in Might, the Wise." (Quran: Surah Al-Hashr, 59:22-24)
For nearly 3 years now, news headlines have been filled with updates about the latest atrocities and battles in Syria. What is really happening there, and why? The About.com Expert on Middle East Issues offers this primer on the subject.