Recently a new Musallah has officially opened at 52 Park Road Auburn. The Imam (Sheikh Suleiman) has commenced a variety of classes, lessons and most importantly began Jummah Prayers. Visit his personalised page at http://uud.com.au/searchdetail.php?id=2193&cat_or_busi=abu&page=1 to see class, talks, prayer, and Jummah times.
By Sara Bokker
Sara Bokker is a former actress/model/fitness instructor and activist. Currently, Sara is Director of Communications at “The March For Justice,” a co-founder of “The Global Sisters Network,” and producer of the infamous “Shock & Awe Gallery.”
I am an American woman who was born in the midst of America’s “Heartland.” I grew up, just like any other girl, being fixated with the glamour of life in “the big city.” Eventually, I moved to Florida and on to South Beach of Miami, a hotspot for those seeking the “glamorous life.” Naturally, I did what most average Western girls do. I focused on my appearance and appeal, basing my self-worth on how much attention I got from others. I worked out religiously and became a personal trainer, acquired an upscale waterfront residence, became a regular “exhibiting” beach-goer and was able to attain a “living-in-style” kind of life.
Years went by, only to realize that my scale of self-fulfillment and happiness slid down the more I progressed in my “feminine appeal.” I was a slave to fashion. I was a hostage to my looks.
As the gap continued to progressively widen between my self-fulfillment and lifestyle, I sought refuge in escapes from alcohol and parties to meditation, activism, and alternative religions, only to have the little gap widen to what seemed like a valley. I eventually realized it all was merely a pain killer rather than an effective remedy.
By now it was September 11, 2001. As I witnessed the ensuing barrage on Islam, Islamic values and culture, and the infamous declaration of the “new crusade,” I started to notice something called Islam. Up until that point, all I had associated with Islam was women covered in “tents,” wife beaters, harems, and a world of terrorism.
As a feminist libertarian, and an activist who was pursuing a better world for all, my path crossed with that of another activist who was already at the lead of indiscriminately furthering causes of reform and justice for all. I joined in the ongoing campaigns of my new mentor which included, at the time, election reform and civil rights, among others. Now my new activism was fundamentally different. Instead of “selectively” advocating justice only to some, I learned that ideals such as justice, freedom, and respect are meant to be and are essentially universal, and that own good and common good are not in conflict. For the first time, I knew what “all people are created equal” really means. But most importantly, I learned that it only takes faith to see the world as one and to see the unity in creation.
One day I came across a book that is negatively stereotyped in the West–The Holy Qur’an. I was first attracted by the style and approach of the Qur’an, and then intrigued by its outlook on existence, life, creation, and the relationship between Creator and creation. I found the Qur’an to be a very insightful address to heart and soul without the need for an interpreter or pastor.
Eventually I hit a moment of truth: my new-found self-fulfilling activism was nothing more than merely embracing a faith called Islam where I could live in peace as a “functional” Muslim.
I bought a beautiful long gown and head cover resembling the Muslim woman’s dress code and I walked down the same streets and neighborhoods where only days earlier I had walked in my shorts, bikini, or “elegant” western business attire. Although the people, the faces, and the shops were all the same, one thing was remarkably distinct–I was not–nor was the peace at being a woman I experienced for the very first time. I felt as if the chains had been broken and I was finally free. I was delighted with the new looks of wonder on people’s faces in place of the looks of a hunter watching his prey I had once sought. Suddenly a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I no longer spent all my time consumed with shopping, makeup, getting my hair done, and working out. Finally, I was free.
Of all places, I found my Islam at the heart of what some call “the most scandalous place on earth,” which makes it all the more dear and special.
While content with Hijab I became curious about Niqab, seeing an increasing number of Muslim women in it. I asked my Muslim husband, whom I married after I reverted to Islam, whether I should wear Niqab or just settle for the Hijab I was already wearing. My husband simply advised me that he believes Hijab is mandatory in Islam while Niqab is not. At the time, my Hijab consisted of head scarf that covered all my hair except for my face, and a loose long black gown called “Abaya” that covered all my body from neck to toe.
A year-and-a-half passed, and I told my husband I wanted to wear Niqab. My reason, this time, was that I felt it would be more pleasing to Allah, the Creator, increasing my feeling of peace at being more modest. He supported my decision and took me to buy an “Isdaal,” a loose black gown that covers from head to toe, and Niqab, which covers all my head and face except for my eyes.
Soon enough, news started breaking about politicians, Vatican clergymen, libertarians, and so-called human rights and freedom activists condemning Hijab at times, and Niqab at others as being oppressive to women, an obstacle to social integration, and more recently, as an Egyptian official called it–”a sign of backwardness.”
I find it to be a blatant hypocrisy when Western governments and so-called human rights groups rush to defend woman’s rights when some governments impose a certain dress code on women, yet such “freedom fighters” look the other way when women are being deprived of their rights, work, and education just because they choose to exercise their right to wear Niqab or Hijab. Today, women in Hijab or Niqab are being increasingly barred from work and education not only under totalitarian regimes such as in Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt, but also in Western democracies such as France, Holland, and Britain.
Today I am still a feminist, but a Muslim feminist, who calls on Muslim women to assume their responsibilities in providing all the support they can for their husbands to be good Muslims. To raise their children as upright Muslims so they may be beacons of light for all humanity once again. To enjoin good–any good–and to forbid evil–any evil. To speak righteousness and to speak up against all ills. To fight for our right to wear Niqab or Hijab and to please our Creator whichever way we chose. But just as importantly to carry our experience with Niqab or Hijab to fellow women who may never have had the chance to understand what wearing Niqab or Hijab means to us and why do we, so dearly, embrace it.
Most of the women I know wearing Niqab are Western reverts, some of whom are not even married. Others wear Niqab without full support of either family or surroundings. What we all have in common is that it is the personal choice of each and every one of us, which none of us is willing to surrender.
Willingly or unwillingly, women are bombarded with styles of “dressing-in-little-to-nothing” virtually in every means of communication everywhere in the world. As an ex non-Muslim, I insist on women’s right to equally know about Hijab, its virtues, and the peace and happiness it brings to a woman’s life as it did to mine. Yesterday, the bikini was the symbol of my liberty, when in actuality it only liberated me from my spirituality and true value as a respectable human being.
I couldn’t be happier to shed my bikini in South Beach and the “glamorous” Western lifestyle to live in peace with my Creator and enjoy living among fellow humans as a worthy person. It is why I choose to wear Niqab, and why I will die defending my inalienable right to wear it. Today, Niqab is the new symbol of woman’s liberation.
To women who surrender to the ugly stereotype against the Islamic modesty of Hijab, I say: You don’t know what you are missing.
LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK…..
About the College
The Australian College of Arabic is a new and professional organisation that offers the highest quality of Arabic education, while keeping the cost minimal and the schedules of classes feasible for people with different full-time commitments. The primary mission of ACA is to popularise Arabic studies to allow Australians to appreciate and understand the Authentic Arabic texts.
The Australian College of Arabic was born in August 2010 out of the enthusiasm and vision of six international Arabic language experts currently studying or lecturing in Australian Universities. Having been teaching Authentic Arabic for decades, and having lived with local Australians who are struggling to understand Authentic Arabic, it was natural for them to develop the most intensive and practical Arabic course in Australia.
|Committing to providing students with a world-class Authentic Arabic Program has allowed the Australian College of Arabic to partner with the world’s most popular and widespread Arabic curriculum developers: “Arabic for All”. Arabic for All has worked to run training programs for teachers of ACA.|
LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK…..
Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatulahi Wabarakatuhu,
With the mercy and tawfiq of Allah alone, the Habib Tour 2011 team wish to announce that Habib Umar is coming to Australia in April 2011. Australia will be blessed again to receive Habib Umar this year with the Tour encompassing a 10 day journey to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.
This year Habib Umar’s tour will change from familiarisation to a practical application of Habib Umar’s manhaj of Islamic knowledge, dawah and purification.
Our Main Event will be held at the University of New South Wales and will feature a special live interview with Habib Umar by Mark Davis from Dateline SBS. A dinner with Habib Umar will also be held at the Grand Royale, Granville NSW.
An intensive Dowrah is also part of our line up and Habib Umar will again visit our local Mosques and meet our community stakeholders. In Melbourne, there will inshallah be a series of lectures and in Brisbane a consolidation of friendships developed with “The Centre of Excellence and Multi Faith Groups”.
In 2009, both the Main Event and Dinner were sold out 2 weeks before Habib Umar sat foot in Australia. Be sure to book your tickets early and keep yourself updated at www.habibtour.com.au
Please register on the website to receive further information.
To follow Habib Umar’s current tour of Canada, United States and UK please visit habibumar.org
WHAT DO YOU THINK, LET US KNOW…..
He’s converted from a rugby league teen sensation into an All Black juggernaut, and along the way become a promising heavyweight boxer.
But Sonny Bill Williams has also made a spiritual conversion to Islam.
While rumours of the 25-year-old sporting superstar’s religious beliefs have circulated for some time, the Herald on Sunday can reveal he made the leap of faith two years ago.
He has since become the first Muslim to wear the All Black jersey, and requested halal food during the Northern Hemisphere tour last year.
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when followers are forbidden from eating between dawn and sunset, falls in August this year – when the All Blacks play three Tri Nations matches. It is during the final build-up to the Rugby World Cup.
Williams regularly attends Friday prayer sessions at a Christchurch mosque, according to friends.
Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand first vice-president Javed Khan said his allegiance was commonly known among the Muslim community.
“He is practising the religion and he is a great role model for the youngsters. We will pray to Allah that he will win the World Cup for us. Everyone talks about it you know. The Muslim community, everyone knows everyone, you know.”
Williams’ manager Khoder Nasser and mentor, league star and boxer Anthony Mundine, are both Muslims, as is his brother Johnny, who lives with him in Christchurch.
This YouTube footage appears to show Williams performing a Muslim prayer in the changing room before his debut for Canterbury against Bay of Plenty in the ITM Cup last year (first 5 seconds only):
Williams’ friend Tairek Smith said he had regularly prayed with the 1.91m, 108kg second five-eighth since he embraced the Sunni branch of Islam during a ceremony at the Regent’s Park mosque in Sydney’s western suburbs in 2008, where former Canterbury Bulldogs teammate Hazem El Masri attends.
All Black manager Darren Shand said the star’s religious beliefs had a “minimal” impact on the team.
He said: “He has talked to us about his dietary needs and we do make some concessions there. We request halal beef and so on but he doesn’t make a big deal of it.
“We always leave players’ religious affiliations and a lot of those holistic things outside of the game. That’s their personal life and they decide what they do.”
When asked if his faith clashed with the All Blacks’ philosophy for encouraging players to be free thinking and self reliant, Shand said Williams was a “sponge” for information.
“That’s why he is so good at all the sports he has been involved in. He just ticks all the boxes. He wants to be the best.”
Since converting to Islam, Williams has put a string of embarrassing alcohol-related incidents behind him.
He is in training for the Crusaders’ Super Rugby campaign and was unavailable for comment.
WHAT DO YOU THINK, LET US KNOW….
The UUD has also been doing some very extensive research on its competitors and has released a document labelled “UUD: Professionals in Advertising” which indicates how UUD completely dominates in its offering and unique services. By skimming over this document you will ultimately find how UUD is highly innovative, efficient and transforming the market as we speak. The document can be found by visiting the website www.uud.com.au and clicking on the “Why advertise with us” link, or by using the following link http://www.uud.com.au/why-advertise-with-us.php.
The UUD website has made a minor but significant change in its search engine with users now having fulltime access to the sort by distance tool. Previously accessible by clicking on the sort button, the tool is now a permanent feature during search. This tool allows the user to refine their search to businesses closest to a selected, a very valuable tool for someone who is in an area or suburb that they are not familiar with need to find a particular business or somewhere Halal to eat at, or would simply like to find a business closest to their present location (e.g. a mechanic/hairdresser/plumber)
UUD has been very busy in the last couple months exhausting its time and efforts in making the website more efficient and practical for the Muslim community in Australia. The UUD team has now reached over 2500 listings with plans to exceed this by a great number in the near future. UUD is also releasing a print edition towards the end of the year with 20 thousand copies released and will also be downloadable online. If you have a business or service to offer jump on board! Visit www.uud.com.au now!
|1||Allah (????)||The Greatest Name|
|2||Ar-Rahman (??????)||The All-Compassionate|
|3||Ar-Rahim (??????)||The All-Merciful|
|4||Al-Malik (?????)||The Absolute Ruler|
|5||Al-Quddus (??????)||The Pure One|
|6||As-Salam (??????)||The Source of Peace|
|7||Al-Mu’min (??????)||The Inspirer of Faith|
|8||Al-Muhaymin (???????)||The Guardian|
|9||Al-Aziz (??????)||The Victorious|
|10||Al-Jabbar (??????)||The Compeller|
|11||Al-Mutakabbir (???????)||The Greatest|
|12||Al-Khaliq (??????)||The Creator|
|13||Al-Bari’ (??????)||The Maker of Order|
|14||Al-Musawwir (??????)||The Shaper of Beauty|
|15||Al-Ghaffar (??????)||The Forgiving|
|16||Al-Qahhar (??????)||The Subduer|
|17||Al-Wahhab (??????)||The Giver of All|
|18||Ar-Razzaq (??????)||The Sustainer|
|19||Al-Fattah (??????)||The Opener|
|20||Al-`Alim (??????)||The Knower of All|
|21||Al-Qabid (??????)||The Constrictor|
|22||Al-Basit (??????)||The Reliever|
|23||Al-Khafid (??????)||The Abaser|
|24||Ar-Rafi (??????)||The Exalter|
|25||Al-Mu’izz (?????)||The Bestower of Honors|
|26||Al-Mudhill (?????)||The Humiliator|
|27||As-Sami (??????)||The Hearer of All|
|28||Al-Basir (??????)||The Seer of All|
|29||Al-Hakam (?????)||The Judge|
|30||Al-`Adl (?????)||The Just|
|31||Al-Latif (??????)||The Subtle One|
|32||Al-Khabir (??????)||The All-Aware|
|33||Al-Halim (??????)||The Forebearing|
|34||Al-Azim (??????)||The Magnificent|
|35||Al-Ghafur (??????)||The Forgiver and Hider of Faults|
|36||Ash-Shakur (??????)||The Rewarder of Thankfulness|
|37||Al-Ali (?????)||The Highest|
|38||Al-Kabir (??????)||The Greatest|
|39||Al-Hafiz (??????)||The Preserver|
|40||Al-Muqit (??????)||The Nourisher|
|41||Al-Hasib (??????)||The Accounter|
|42||Al-Jalil (??????)||The Mighty|
|43||Al-Karim (??????)||The Generous|
|44||Ar-Raqib (??????)||The Watchful One|
|45||Al-Mujib (??????)||The Responder to Prayer|
|46||Al-Wasi (??????)||The All-Comprehending|
|47||Al-Hakim (??????)||The Perfectly Wise|
|48||Al-Wadud (??????)||The Loving One|
|49||Al-Majid (??????)||The Majestic One|
|50||Al-Ba’ith (??????)||The Resurrector|
|51||Ash-Shahid (??????)||The Witness|
|52||Al-Haqq (????)||The Truth|
|53||Al-Wakil (??????)||The Trustee|
|54||Al-Qawiyy (?????)||The Possessor of All Strength|
|55||Al-Matin (??????)||The Forceful One|
|56||Al-Waliyy (?????)||The Governor|
|57||Al-Hamid (??????)||The Praised One|
|58||Al-Muhsi (??????)||The Appraiser|
|59||Al-Mubdi’ (??????)||The Originator|
|60||Al-Mu’id (??????)||The Restorer|
|61||Al-Muhyi (??????)||The Giver of Life|
|62||Al-Mumit (??????)||The Taker of Life|
|63||Al-Hayy (????)||The Ever Living One|
|64||Al-Qayyum (??????)||The Self-Existing One|
|65||Al-Wajid (??????)||The Finder|
|66||Al-Majid (??????)||The Glorious|
|67||Al-Wahid (??????)||The One, the All Inclusive, The Indivisible|
|68||As-Samad (?????)||The Satisfier of All Needs|
|69||Al-Qadir (??????)||The All Powerful|
|70||Al-Muqtadir (???????)||The Creator of All Power|
|71||Al-Muqaddim (??????)||The Expediter|
|72||Al-Mu’akhkhir (??????)||The Delayer|
|73||Al-Awwal (?????)||The First|
|74||Al-Akhir (?????)||The Last|
|75||Az-Zahir (??????)||The Manifest One|
|76||Al-Batin (??????)||The Hidden One|
|77||Al-Wali (??????)||The Protecting Friend|
|78||Al-Muta’ali (????????)||The Supreme One|
|79||Al-Barr (????)||The Doer of Good|
|80||At-Tawwab (??????)||The Guide to Repentance|
|81||Al-Muntaqim (???????)||The Avenger|
|82||Al-’Afuww (?????)||The Forgiver|
|83||Ar-Ra’uf (??????)||The Clement|
|84||Malik-al-Mulk (???? ?????)||The Owner of All|
|85||Dhu-al-Jalal wa-al-Ikram (?? ?????? ? ???????)||The Lord of Majesty and Bounty|
|86||Al-Muqsit (??????)||The Equitable One|
|87||Al-Jami’ (??????)||The Gatherer|
|88||Al-Ghani (?????)||The Rich One|
|89||Al-Mughni (??????)||The Enricher|
|90||Al-Mani’(??????)||The Preventer of Harm|
|91||Ad-Darr (?????)||The Creator of The Harmful|
|92||An-Nafi’ (??????)||The Creator of Good|
|93||An-Nur (?????)||The Light|
|94||Al-Hadi (??????)||The Guide|
|95||Al-Badi (??????)||The Originator|
|96||Al-Baqi (??????)||The Everlasting One|
|97||Al-Warith (??????)||The Inheritor of All|
|98||Ar-Rashid (??????)||The Righteous Teacher|
|99||As-Sabur (??????)||The Patient One|
Team UUD wishes all the Muslims a very happy and peaceful Eid. May Allah accept your good deeds, forgive your transgressions and ease the suffering of all peoples around the globe. Eid Mubarak and May all your duas be answered.