I hope you are all are doing well and excited about break like I am :)!! This week Sunnah In Action is about how smiling is an act of charity. Please take a moment and read this blog written by Eyad Kholoki. Also, feel free to comment below a smile :)
The Prophet (saw) is reported to have said: “Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity.”
Charity sometimes comes in the simplest of actions. As college students, we are often times so caught up in the difficulties and stressors of life that we forget to smile and show appreciation for our blessings. Not only is smiling infectious, but it also fortifies the Muslim community as a whole. It allows for the bonds of friendship, affection, brotherhood, and sisterhood to be strengthened within a society. In light of recent events, this goal has become more critical than ever.......
Salam everyone, I hope you're all doing well. Just wanted to remind you that we're having this awesome event going on today at 6 in Bremner Lounge, and we hope to see you all there inshAllah. ... See MoreSee Less
Assalaamu alaykum and GOOOOOD MORNING!!! :D It's another beautiful day and don't ya wish you had this year's MSA gear to rock as part of your outfit? Tomorrow night is the deadline for you to place your order and pay for your shirt/crewneck/hoodie! Follow this link to make your order!!! ... See MoreSee Less
I hope this letter reaches you with the best of health and Iman. Just sending you this letter.
It has now been a week since the attacks in Paris. Looking at the conversations online, off campus, and in my office, we can sum up the discourse as follows.
1- Criticism of inconsistent attention given to the various deaths. 2- Nobody talks about Imperialism or French culpability in global atrocities. 3- Muslims are not terrorists. 4- Nobody talks about White Supremacists. 5- Syrian Refugees and Political Rhetoric. 6- Anxiety.
I will address some of these points in separate letters, Insha Allah. But, let us start with this point about inconsistent attention.
Many have commented that we care about the French but do not care as much about the Lebanese and Iraqis who were killed the day before, or the Nigerians who were killed a few days later. To make this point further, many mentioned that the attacks in Kenya half a year earlier were not given much attention.
The implicit point in these contentions is that we give more attention to (White) Westerners. There is some truth to this point. We do. We will continue to do so. But, let us explore this.
The most prominent contention is that the media continue to ignore these events. This point is somewhat false and somewhat true. We have to distinguish between actual journalism and the “Breaking News Industry.” The whole reason we know about these events in the first place is that they were covered by journalists. This is not to negate the impact of social media (tweets, posts, camera footage), but the only reason I knew about Beirut and Baghdad were because some journalists covered the stories.
The Breaking News Industry is a different story. As we know, the Breaking News industry is a business that we might mistake for a public service. Meaning, the Breaking News industry will focus on whatever will get ratings and revenue, and will try to convince us we need to give it all our attention. We all know this. As you and I know, a Muslim killer will often get more attention, and different attention than a Christian killer. Or, when a crime has been committed by a celebrity against a woman, we focus on the celebrity more than the survivor. But, you and I also know that a “Reality TV” star’s pregnancy or dog will get more attention than a genocide. But, why? Because we will watch. That habit of picking and choosing stories might have several problems to it, but it is now “normal.”
Such has been the case when I was in college. Such will be the case when your children are in college. Frankly, I have trouble watching that part of televised news because the intensity of the moment, with the flashy graphics and dramatic music, is overwhelming. It not only exhausts me, but it also makes me anxious.
Facebook has now reached that point for me. I have to turn off Facebook because the bombardment of these stories gets to me. Some of the sensitivity just comes from age. Some of it comes from being a parent. Some of it comes from trying to appreciate the reality and gravity of the situations. Consider the point I’m making. It is getting overwhelming, learning over and over again about people getting murdered.
Having said all this, I want to draw your attention to this layered phenomenon, and what it tells us. Why is it that the Breaking News Industry thrives? Because it feeds into our appetites. Why is it that Facebook thrives? Because it feeds into our narcissism. But, what I am illustrating with my own experiences (with these various business and social media) is that this fueling of these appetites will reach that conclusion: a type of anxiety. Meaning, you are taking in too much information -- rather, too much violence -- for what you can process. In other words, despite living in some degree of comfort, removed from the violence, we are causing ourselves to get a media-motivated PTSD.
Thus, try a sabbatical from social media. Most of you know that I take regular sabbaticals. I hope to restart those. The first few days are difficult, weaning ourselves off. Then, after enough time, something wonderful happens: we start getting clarity again.
But, there is another point I have to make about the inconsistency of attention given to such atrocities. As mentioned, it will continue. Regardless of the media’s involvement, some atrocities will gain more sympathy than others. We had a similar experience months back, when young Syrian Muslims were killed in North Carolina at just about the same time a young Somali Muslim was killed in Kansas City. The latter received far less attention from us. So, consider two points about this.
First, we know that our collective concerns tend to place most attention on causes closer to us demographically. Meaning, if your family is directly affected in Palestine, Syria, India, you have every reason to be concerned especially about them.
But, if your primary concern is over a particular population of suffering people, nobody should criticize you for your grief. Consider the grief you experience over the loss of your own relative, against the grief you might not experience over the loss of a stranger. My point is that if the killings in Paris trigger someone into all the difficult experiences that go with such an event, it is wrong to criticize that person for only focusing on Paris. It is not injustice if that person experiences grief over killings only in Paris, just as it is not injustice for the next person to only experience grief because of killings in Karachi. Justice requires us to treat everyone fairly. Compassion requires us to seek out all who can receive it. But mourning, like love, will be selective.
Having said that, the point in all this is that we are in a time not only of extensive violence, but extensive information, and extensive emotions. There is no end in sight. It is difficult just keeping our bearings straight. But, I hope this letter helps in the process of processing. And if you need to grieve, let yourself grieve.
Apparently I wasn't an admin til now lawlz so I hope y'all enjoy my first post hehe
Thanks to everyone who came out to the lecture last night with Mufti Kamani! Please feel free to leave us with any feedback or ideas for the future by filling out the quick form on Loyolamsa.com under the “Get Involved” tab. It would be very much appreciated, and I will personally read and consider each and every suggestion insha'Allah.
This week Sunnah In Action is about how we should strive to be perfect! Please take a few minutes to read this beautiful blog :)
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
Verily, God loves if any of you does a job, he does it with perfection”.
We, as muslims, should strive to be perfect in all aspects of our life. It is very common that we see people who have jobs, but cut corners and don't put in all their effort in their daily lives. We should be the best in every way. When we get a 95% on an exam we should strive to be even better. ask yourself “What can i do to get 100%” When we grow up and begin working in our field of interest, everyone should look at that one muslim person and say “ Wow they are truly amazing human beings”. We should never be satisfied with ourselves if there is room for improvement.....Read the rest of the blog at
Assalaamu alaikum everyone! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! Here is some exciting news for you all! The MSA is cosponsoring a Thanksgiving dinner with Project Rizq: Serving Our Neighbors for refugee families in Chicago! We need volunteers to help with the success of the evening and if you are interested, please fill out this form at your earliest convenience: docs.google.com/forms/d/1rSt7KQ16x4gXGo_atf2ai3BnTMaxVXb-jf5KKXSYF9A/viewform This is a wonderful opportunity to help serve our neighbors and bring smiles to countless faces this Thanksgiving weekend! Check out the flier for more details and please don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have! We hope you will join us insha'Allah :) *please note this dinner is for volunteers and refugee families only* ... See MoreSee Less
I hope you receive this note with the best of health and Iman.
In light of the attacks in Beirut and Paris, I first ask that you exercise a bit extra caution for the next few days until things seem calm again. We are still learning about today’s attacks, but are also bracing ourselves for more attacks and any potential backlash. I have a French student who has acquaintances who were killed today. We have a family friend who is a young Kurdish woman raised in Germany who has been terrified for the plight of her family.
If anyone needs help in processing what is happening, please do get in touch with me and we can walk through everything. If necessary, we will find the appropriate resources to help. I am here to help you.
As I type this note, we do not yet know who the perpetrators are, but we know that many will assume ISIS or some other groups of Muslims. We will wait to see who takes “credit” and who gets blamed. At this point, having lived through two decades of all this (going back at least to the first World Trade Center attacks) I find myself a bit resigned regarding attacks allegedly done in the name of Islam.
There are definitely passages that people can somehow cite for killing in the name of Islam. But my point is that killings for any purpose are beyond explanation. Killings committed because of ideology (religious or secular) are frightening. While the consequences are vastly different, killing in Chicago is already a horrendous problem. But, our immediate concern is make sure our loved ones are ok.
There are definitely those who seek war, for the sake of dreams of salvation. There are definitely those who seek war to accelerate the arrival of the apocalypse, so that in a triumphal march, their team can win. And, there are those who seek war, for worldly profit. Whatever the motivations are, ours is an era of rampant killing.
The plight of Muslims in Europe is increasingly tense. If you can imagine in America the mixture of the hostilities in America against Muslims combined with the hostilities against Mexican immigrants, you have a sense of the plight of Muslims in many regions of continental Europe. There is a similar Islamophobia there, but the anti-Immigration sentiment targets Muslims entering from North Africa, Turkey, Iraq, and now Syria. Europe witnessed the Holocaust, yet witnessed the “ethnic cleansing” of the Bosnians and Croats a few decades later, a few decades ago.
Thus, the plight of the refugees, especially from Syria, is now a very big question mark. They sought refuge from obliteration, and now we wonder what will happen to them.
All these are questions that are larger than anything I have answers for.
I also have to remind us not to overplay the threat against us. Meaning, the hostilities institutionally and socially against African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, and LGBTQI are each greater than the overall threats against us. This point is not meant to negate anything that any of us have faced.
In other words, if the killings in Chicago are not scaring you, then you need not be afraid of any killing here by ISIS. Statistically, you are more likely to get hurt by your furniture than by terrorism. Thus, should the killings in Chicago frighten you? No. But, you should be cautious when you walk through your neighborhoods.
Stay with people during this weekend. Stay in touch with your family and friends. Insha Allah, things will calm down in the next few days, even if the world continues to turn into a bigger and bigger mess. As I mentioned, I’ve been watching these attacks for over two decades. That doesn’t include all the violence that has been taking place here in Chicago.
Now and then, I’m here to serve you. Life goes on and will continue to do so, Insha Allah.
Hope you all are having a wonderful week! This week Sunnah in Action was about how we should not have negative feelings toward each other!
Allah's Messenger PBUH said, "Do not hate one another, nor be jealous of one another; and do not desert one another, but O Allah's worshipers! Be Brothers! And it is unlawful for a Muslim to desert his brother Muslim (and not to talk to him) for more than three nights."
We, as Muslims, are one Ummah (nation/community). We are all brothers and sisters and should behave as such. We should not have negative feelings toward each other, just as you wouldn’t want to have negative feelings toward your parents. Love should be what we feel for our fellow Muslims. We should want the best for each other and be eager to assist each other whenever possible. Some of us don’t have our families nearby at Loyola being commuters or out-of-state or even foreigners from a different country. Therefore we should be the family away from each other’s blood family and try to forgive each other whenever one of us makes a mistake. So each of you should “be a brother/sister” to your fellow Muslim, and by doing so, our bonds can only get stronger, and the reward with Allah more bountiful, Insha’Allah. ... See MoreSee Less
Assalaamu alaikum everyone! Hope you all are having a wonderful week so far! This week Sunnah In Action was about not searching for faults in others written by Simar Barkatullah. Please take moment to read this beautiful blog:
The Prophet (SAW) said: “Do not search for (the faults of others), for if anyone searches for (others) faults, God will search for his.” (Sunan Abî Dawûd).
Too often we are caught up with the actions of others’ and the judgment of their character based off of our own perceptions of them. Whether these people are strangers or your close friends, it is easy for us to point out their mistakes and tell others about them. But at the same time we guard our own shortcomings and take special care not to reveal them. The judgment we fear for ourselves is the same judgment we too often readily hand out to others..... Read the rest at
Assalaamu alaikum everyone! Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!! :)
Just wanted to remind you all that FAST-A-THON IS FINALLY NEAR.
Pledge to observe a fast on THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5TH (AKA THIS THURSDAY) from sunrise to sunset by abstaining from food or drink, as done in the Islamic Tradition, in hope of cultivating compassion in our community and standing in global solidarity with those who face hunger.
Make sure to pledge at loyolamsa.com/fastathon!
Loyola’s Muslim Students’ Association, in conjunction with Loyola’s Hunger Week, organizes an annual Fast-A-Thon in order to raise money for local, national, and global beneficiaries that focus on hunger relief.
This year’s beneficiaries are: -A Just Harvest -Feeding America -Action Against Hunger ... See MoreSee Less