Wednesday, September 29, 2004

15 Sha'ban

Wednesday night and Thursday day this years marks 15 Sha'ban on the Islamic calendar. This is the anniversary of the birth of the Imam of our age (as), as well as one of the nights when decrees may be made by Allah swt and when the doors of forgiveness are very open. The Ahlulbayt (as) are known for spending the entire night awake during such nights in prayer and supplication.

Mabrook everyone!

Dua'a for 15th NIGHT of SHA`BAN

Shaikh Toosi and Shaikh Kaf`ami said that recite the following during this night.

In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful.

O` my Allah the seekers have presented before You their requests in this night and the ambitious has resolved to reach Your guidance and the seekers are hoping Your grace and bounties.

And in this night you bestow Your hidden bounties, the provisions, gifts and presents upon those of Your creatures whom You please and You deny the same to the one for whom no divine decree has been ordained.

And here I am your worthless bondsman in want but hopeful for getting grace and bounties. O` my Master if You have kindly bestowed in this night on any one from Your creation any benefits, please bestow Your blessings on Mohammad and his pure and purified progeny, the best of the learned, and be kind to bestow on me Your wealth and bounties.  O` the Lord of the Prophets and pure progeny and His perfect greetings and salutations on them. Verily Allah is praise worthy and glorious.

O` Allah I invoke you as taught by You .  You therefore grant me my requests as You did promise.  You surely do not go against Your promise.

O` Allah! Send Your Blessings on Mohammad and his Progeny, Ameen.



Liahi Ta`arraza Laka fi Hazal Lailil Muta`arrezona wa qasadakal Qasedoona wa Ammala Faziaka wa Ma`roofakat Taleboona wa Laka fi Hazal Laile nafehatun wa Jawaa`ezun wa Ataya wa Mawahibo Tamunno Beha Alaa Man Tashaa o Min Ibadeka wa Tamna`oha Man Lam Tasbiq Lahul Inayato Minka waha Anaza Ubaidoksl Faqeero Ilaikal Mo`ammilo fazlaka wa Ma`roofaka Fa In Kunta Ya Maulaya Tafazzalta Fi Hazehil Lailate Ala Ahadin Min Khalqeka waudta Alaihe be aa`edatin Min atteka Fa Salle Alaa Mohammadin wa aale Mohammadit tayyebeenat Tahereenal Khaiyyereenal fazeleena wajud Alayya Be Tanleka wa Ma`roofeka ya Rabbal Aalameena wa Aalehit tahereena wa Sallama tasleeman Innallaha Hameedun Majeedun; Allahumma Inni ad`ooka Kama amarta Fastajib Li Kama wa`adta Innaka La tukhleful Mee`ad.

Allahoomma Salle Alaa Mohammadin wa Aale Mohammad, Ameen



Monday, September 27, 2004


This is one of my favorite childhood poems - we had to memorize it in 5th grade. We studied the parts of speech of the words to understand what the poem was saying. Reminds me a little bit of a very not-for-childhood book - Clockwork Orange. That is a great but disturbing book. It is awesome to read because when you start it you don't understand it as it is almost another language but before long you pick it all up and know what is being said. Made-up language fascinates me - like Sindarin and Quenya and Vulcan and Klingon..... cool stuff!

So do you see in your mind when you see the slithy toves?


Lewis Carroll

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal blade in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought-
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood a while in thought

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh, Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Stevens Kin Says He Has No Terrorist Ties

See how ridiculous this all is? I know countless people who've been turned away, it is crazy. In a way, it is good when it happens to people like this because it helps people to see just how ridiculous it is.

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Singer Cat Stevens, taken off a London-to-Washington flight because his name showed up on a government "no-fly" list, has no ties to suspected terrorists, his brother said Wednesday.

Stevens, who converted to Islam and changed his name to Yusuf Islam more than a quarter-century ago, recently made the watch list after U.S. authorities received information from multiple sources indicating he may have associations with potential terrorists, a government official said.

United Airlines Flight 919 was diverted to Bangor, Maine, on Tuesday afternoon after U.S. officials who checked the passenger list learned that the singer was aboard. Federal agents met the plane and interviewed Islam.

Islam's brother and business manager, David Gordon, said in a telephone interview that he could guarantee that Islam does not associate with possible terrorists.

"It's not true," Gordon said. "His only work, his only mind-set, is humanitarian causes. He just wants to be an ambassador for peace."

Gordon, who said he spoke by phone to Islam on Wednesday, said his brother was in good humor. "He's fine. It's an unfortunate incident, but on the other hand, people are worried and they want to feel secure when they're flying," Gordon said.

Airlines have access to watch lists and are supposed to screen passengers to make sure those deemed direct threats to aviation do not board planes. The official said it was unclear why United Airlines personnel allowed Islam to get on the flight in London.

A call to the airline was not immediately returned.

Homeland Security Department spokesman Dennis Murphy said Islam was "denied admission to the United States on national security grounds" and was expected to be sent back to London on Wednesday.

A second government official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said U.S. authorities think donations from Islam may have ended up helping to fund blind sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and Hamas, a Palestinian militant group considered a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel.

In July 2000, Islam was deported hours after arriving in Jerusalem. A local paper reported then that the government claimed he had delivered tens of thousands of dollars to Hamas during a visit in 1988. Islam denied ever knowingly supporting Islamic terrorists.

Islam has made a number of trips to the United States in recent years, including one in May for a charity event and to promote a DVD of his 1976 MajiKat tour. He donated half the royalties from his most recent boxed set to the Sept. 11 Fund to help victims of the attacks.

Islam, who was born Stephen Georgiou, took Cat Stevens as a stage name and had a string of hits in the 1960s and '70s, including "Wild World" and "Morning Has Broken." Last year he released two songs, including a re-recording of his '70s hit "Peace Train," to express his opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

He abandoned his music career in the late 1970s and changed his name after being persuaded by orthodox Muslim teachers that his lifestyle was forbidden by Islamic law. He later became a teacher and an advocate for his religion, founding a Muslim school in London in 1983.

Islam founded Islamia Primary school in London in 1983. In 1998, it became the first Muslim school in Britain to receive government support, on the same basis as Christian and other sectarian schools.

Islam drew some negative attention in the late 1980s when he supported the Ayatollah Khomeini's death sentence against Salman Rushdie, author of "The Satanic Verses."

Gordon denied that he had called for Rushdie's death. "They completely misunderstood what he said," he said.

Recently, Islam has criticized terrorist acts, including the Sept. 11 attacks and the school seizure in Beslan, Russia, earlier this month that left more than 300 dead, nearly half of them children.

In a statement on his Web site, he wrote, "Crimes against innocent bystanders taken hostage in any circumstance have no foundation whatsoever in the life of Islam and the model example of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him."


On the Net:

Yusuf Islam:

© 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Purchase this AP story for reprint.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Dua al-Hazeen

This dua recited after night prayer is one that always affects me emotionally; that makes it one of my very favorites!

Du’a after Salatul Witr

This du’a is called Dua al-Hazeen, the sorrowful du’a. It should be recited softly and sorrowfully.

بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

اَللّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ

اُنَاجِيْكَ يَا مَوْجُوْدًا فِي كُلِّ مَكَانٍ

لَعَلَّكَ تَسْمَعُ نِدَائِي

فَقَدْ عَظُمَ جُرْمِي وَ قَلَّ حَيَائِي

مَوْلاَيَ يَا مَوْلاَيَ

اَيُّ اْلاَهْوَالِ اَتَذَكَّرُ وَ اَيُّهَا اَنْسى

وَ لَوْ لَمْ يَكُنْ اِلاَّ الْمَوْتُ لَكَفى

كَيْفَ وَ مَا بَعْدَ الْمَوْتِ اَعْظَمُ وَ اَدْهى

In the name of Allah, The Beneficent, the Merciful

O Allah bless Muhammad and his family

I whisper unto You

O one who is present in every place

so that You may hear my call

for surely my sin is excessive

and my shame is less

My Master, O my Master

which of the terrifying states shall I remember

and which of them shall I forget

for if there was nothing except death

it would be enough

then what about after death

greater and much worse?

مَوْلاَيَ يَا مَوْلاَيَ حَتَّى مَتى وَ اِلى مَتى

اَقُوْلُ لَكَ الْعُتْبى مَرَّةً بَعْدَ اُخْرى

ثُمَّ لاَ تَجِدُ عِنْدِي صِدْقًا وَ لاَ وَفَاءً

فَيَا غَوْثَاهُ ثُمَّ وَا غَوْثَاهُ بِكَ يَا اَللّهُ

مِنْ هَوىً قَدْ غَلَبَنِي

وَ مِنْ عَدُوٍّ قَدِ اسْتَكْلَبَ عَلَيَّ

وَ مِنْ دُنْياً قَدْ تَزَيَّنَتْ لِي

وَ مِنْ نَفْسٍ اَمَّارَةٍ بِالسُّوْءِ اِلاَّ مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّي

مَوْلاَيَ يَا مَوْلاَيَ

اِنْ كُنْتَ رَحِمْتَ مِثْلِي فَارْحَمْنِي

My master O my Master

up to when and till when

will I say, I am to blame,

again and again,

but then You do not find any truth or loyalty in me?

I call for help

and I call for help, O Allah

from desires which have overpowered me

and from the enemy which has pounced on me

and from the world which attracts me

and from the soul that leads towards evil

except that on which my Lord has mercy (12:53)

My master O my master

if You have had mercy on the likes of me

then have mercy on me

وَ اِنْ كُنْتَ قَبِلْتَ مِثْلِي فَاقْبَلْنِي

يَا قَابِلَ السَّحَرَةِ اقْبَلْنِي

يَا مَنْ لَمْ اَزَلْ اَتَعَرَّفُ مِنْهُ الْحُسْنى

يَا مَنْ يُغَذِّيْنِي بِالنِّعَمِ صَبَاحًا وَ مَسَاءً

اِرْحَمْنِي يَوْمَ آتِيْكَ فَرْدًا

شَاخِصًا اِلَيْكَ بَصَرِي مُقَلَّدًا عَمَلِي

قَدْ تَبَرَّأَ جَمِيْعُ الْخَلْقِ مِنِّي

نَعَمْ وَ اَبِي وَ اُمِّي وَ مَنْ كَانَ لَهُ كَدِّي وَ سَعْيِي

فَاِنْ لَمْ تَرْحَمْنِي فَمَنْ يَرْحَمُنِي

وَ مَنْ يُؤْنِسُ فِي الْقَبْرِ وَحْشَتِي

and if You have accepted from the likes of me

then accept from me

O One who accepts the early morning prayer

accept me,

O One who, I still know only good from Him

O One who nourishes me with blessings

morning and evening

have mercy on me when I come to You


my glance fixed on You

my actions carried on my neck

When all of creation

will withdraw away from me

yes, even my father and mother

and those for whom I worked and struggled

then if You will not have mercy on me

who will have mercy on me

who will give me solace

from the loneliness of the grave

وَ مَنْ يُنْطِقُ لِسَانِي اِذَا خَلَوْتُ بِعَمَلِي

وَ سَأَلْتَنِي عَمَّا اَنْتَ اَعْلَمُ بِهِ مِنِّي

فَاِنْ قُلْتُ نَعَمْ فَاَيْنَ الْمَهْرَبُ مِنْ عَدْلِكَ

وَ اِنْ قُلْتُ لَمْ اَفْعَلْ

قُلْتَ اَلَمْ اَكُنِ الشَّاهِدَ عَلَيْكَ


فَعَفْوُكَ عَفْوُكَ يَا مَوْلاَيَ قَبْلَ سَرَابِيْلِ الْقَطِرَانَ

عَفْوُكَ عَفْوُكَ يَا مَوْلاَيَ قَبْلَ جَهَنَّمَ وَ النِّيْرَان


عَفْوُكَ عَفْوُكَ يَا مَوْلاَيَ

قَبْلَ اَنْ تُغَلَّ الاَيْدِي اِلى الاَعْنَاقِ

َيَا اَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِيْنَ وَ خَيْرَ الْغَافِرِيْن

and who will make me speak

when I am alone with my deeds

and when You will ask me

about what You know better than me?

Then if I say yes (to my sins)

where will be the escape from Your Justice?

And if I say I did not commit it

You will say was I not a witness over you?

So (I beseech) Your Forgiveness

Your Pardon

O my master

before the wearing of the clothes of Hell

Your Forgiveness Your Pardon O my Master

before the Hell and the Fire

Your Forgiveness Your Forgiveness

O my Master

before the hands are tied to the necks

O the most Merciful

and the best of Forgivers




Thursday, September 09, 2004

The Supplication for Friday

In the Name of God, the All-Merciful,
the All-compassionate

All Praise belongs to God,
          the First before the bringing forth and the giving of life,
                    and the Last after the annihilation of all things,
          the All-knowing who forgets not him who remembers Him,
                    decreases not him who thanks Him,
                    disappoints not him who supplicates to Him,
                    and cuts not off the hope of him who hopes in Him!

O God,
          I call Thee to witness
                    - and Thou art sufficient witness - and I call to witness
                    all Thy angels,
                    the inhabitants of Thy heavens,
                    the bearers of Thy Throne,
                    Thy prophets and Thy messengers whom Thou hast sent out,
                    and the various kinds of creatures Thou hast brought forth,
          that I bear witness
                    that Thou art God;
                              there is no god but Thou, Thou alone,
                              who hast no associate nor any equal,
                              and Thy word has no failing,
                                        nor any change;
                    and that Muhammad (God bless him and his Household)
                              is Thy servant and Thy messenger;
                    he delivered to the servants
                              that with which Thou charged him,
                    he struggled for God as is His due,
                    he gave the good news of the truth of reward,
                    and he warned of the veracity of punishment.

O God,
          make me firm in Thy religion
                    as long as Thou keepest me alive,
          make not my heart to swerve
                    after Thou hast guided me,
          and give me mercy from Thee,
                    surely Thou art the Giver.
          Bless Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad,
                    make me one of his followers and his partisans,
                    muster me in his band,
                    and give me the success of
                              accomplishing the obligatory observance of Friday,
                              performing the acts of obedience
                                        which Thou has made incumbent upon me within it,
                              and [receiving] the bestowal
                                        which Thou hast apportioned for its people
                                        on the Day of Recompense!
                    Surely Thou art Mighty, All-wise!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Mr. Venetucci

I just learned that Nick Venetucci passed away yesterday at the age of 92. The void in our community created by his absence can never be filled. He generously gave pumpkins away to school children every fall for 50 years, making no profit from his farming. There is not a person in this city of half a million who grew up here who does not have a memory of taking the field trip to his farm to select a pumpkin to take home. He stopped a few years ago very reluctantly due to poor health and severe drought. Last year even though the drought would not support a pumpkin patch, he planted a field of marigolds so that as we drove past his farm on our ways to and from work we would have something beautiful to look at. He has deeded his land to the Catholic Church as he and his wife Bambi had no children. The Venetuccis, the Pinellos, and the Janitells are all Italian immigrants who settled and farmed this land long before anything else non-native was here. Many schools in my home district are named after them. We will miss Mr. Venetucci. May God bless him for all his good deeds.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

IEB Nasimco


I spent most of the day Friday in the air. I left home for the airport around 5:15 a.m. Security went pretty quickly, and then I was on my way to Dallas. There I transferred on to Newark. At Newark, a lady who lives in Allentown where the conference was met me and drove me back to Allentown, about 1.5 hours away. We stopped at another airport and picked up another lady. We got checked into our hotel and went to the mosque which is only a few blocks away for dinner and opening session. Their mosque is a relatively new building - about a year or so and is very nice. The last activity of the night was a presentation of Islamic Jeopardy - a game system with all the timers, scores, screen etc., so you can design and play Jeopardy with an Islamic theme. It was pretty neat.


Saturday we really got down to business and had presentations on the aims of the meeting - IEB Nasimco is creating the whole scope and syllabus and lesson plans for madrassah teachers for all grades. They are going about it in a very organized manner, masha'allah. This year's aim was to provide teachers with modern teaching strategies, particularly cooperative learning and mind mapping. In the afternoon I presented a workshop on using jigsaw as a cooperative learning technique. It seemed to go over well. I managed to do one geocache at a park a little ways away from the mosque. By this time I was starting to get comfortable, meeting lots of people and finding some old friends. I met Sr. Sakina Dewji in person for the first time.


Sunday included the workshops on mind mapping. Dr. Liyakat Takim also presented on a resource paper he made about the period of minor ghayba and the beginning of the major ghayba of twelfth Imam (as) - what was happening at that time in the Shia world and in context, etc. It was very interesting, so I bought the resource paper for $1. In the afternoon, we went out into Amish country on a little bus trip. A brother used my camera to take a few pictures but I haven't had time to look at them. Maybe tomorrow I'll get some up, insha'allah. Also went out to dinner at an Indian restaurant with a few people Sunday night.


I was feeling pretty tired by this time because each night we were getting to bed around midnight and then getting up at fajr time. At fajr time, a brother came to take me and a few other sisters back to Newark airport. My flight didn't leave until almost noon, but their's left at 8 something so we all rode together and I got to hang out at the airport for a few hours. There were people at the conference from many places - most of the Khoja Jamaats from North America and London and Kenya and few other places. I met a Pakistani sister at the airport who just got back from holidays and was heading down to St. Lucius to continue her medical school studies. After flying I finally got home around 5pm and paid $20 for parking. Then I had to try to get caught up on graduate school stuff.

Okay, in brief that is the trip. There are some more details left out obviously that if I think of or get a chance maybe I will add later.

I had a nice time mostly and was very happy to meet with the people.