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Making Wudu Easier with “Wudu Gear” Waterproof Socks PDF Print E-mail
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Community News - Community News
Written by Muslim Link Staff   
Thursday, 09 July 2015 00:31

wudugearAlmost anyone who has been awkwardly caught with his or her foot in the sink while doing wudu (ablution) in public can understand the need for the Wudu Socks by WuduGear.com.


Based in Selden, New York, the company is run by a female Islamic scholar, Amna Tirimzi and her husband, Fahad. Their aim is to serve the wudu needs of Muslims in North America. They sell highly breathable socks look like the thick black outdoor socks seen at stores like REI.


"Whether you are on campus, traveling, at work, this is a 'shariah complaint' option that is easy. We realize that public facilities, and even our own homes, are seldom designed to accommodate our needs to perform wudu," she says.


According to the hadith of Al-Mughirah bin Shuíbah radiallahu 'anhu, who said that the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam made wudu. Al-Mughirah said, ìI moved to remove his khuffayn and he said, "Leave them, for indeed my feet were in a state of purity when I wore them." So he wiped over them. If someone completes the rest of the steps of wudu (ablution) and wipes over khuffayn, this can make doing wudu in public much more convenient.


The need for modern day khuffayn that are easy to use was important to the team behind WuduGear. WuduGear is the exclusive distributor of DexShell waterproof socks in North America. The pair of socks retail for about $30 a pair.


Potential buyers frequently ask if the socks are durable and can last for three miles if used without shoes. The WuduGear team says that the DexShell socks they sell have been thoroughly tested by the Darul Iftaa in Durban, South Africa, as well as several other Islamic institutions and ulema (scholars) around the world. "They have physically walked in them beyond three miles and passed the durability test."


"Alhumdulilah, my hubby and sons like these socks. [G]ot one [the] first day and then [bought] 3 more because th[ey] are very good for wudu," says Umm Adil who bought the socks at the ICNA convention in Baltimore.


Huda and Heba*, students from a local Islamic school also bought a few pairs. "It gets cold in the winter and these are perfect for making wudu in the bathroom at school," shared Huda. "They are pretty cool," said Heba, "but they maybe too hot for the summer."


Consumers have to be careful washing the socks are improper drying can puncture the membrane. The proper way to dry after washing is to turn the socks inside out and spin dry without heat and then turn outside in and hang to drip dry.


The company sells to individuals, resellers, and wholesalers through a resellers program on their website.


* names changed on request for privacy

 
At Natural Products Expo, More Companies Embracing Halal PDF Print E-mail
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Community News - Community News
Written by Sarah Khasawinah, Muslim Link Staff Reporter   
Thursday, 09 July 2015 00:23

saffron-roadRamadan builds community. At sunset, families convene at the table to break fast together; students meet on campus for iftar; organizations hold fundraisers; mosques host hundreds of Muslims and friends of other faiths; and companies reach out to the public to spread the spirit of Ramadan.


At the 29th annual Natural Products Expo East in September 2014, the East Coast's largest natural, organic and healthy products event, held in the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland, halal has become a household name. With over 23,000 attendees, and 1,277 exhibitors, more and more companies are seeking halal stamps, and two extraordinary leaders in the sector have gone beyond the stamp alone: Saffron Road and Crescent Food are using halal as a means to engage communities and spread goodness.


Saffron Road is a young and growing all-natural and halal certified brand that specializes in frozen and ready to eat entrees from around the world. Crescent Foods is a 20-year fixture in the halal industry that supplies premium all-natural halal chicken and beef.


These companies are unique because in addition to meeting the requirements for halal, they also meet requirements for all-natural and antibiotic-free. In the truest definition of the word halal, perhaps natural and halal ought to be one in the same: Adnan Durrani, CEO of Saffron Road, explained "For us halal is about tayyeb, what's wholesome and pure."


Ramadan provides a special opportunity to spread the meaning of halal and engage communities. Durrani shared at Expo East in the Fall, "We were on sale for the whole month of Ramadan. We did a Ramadan theme in all our stores and Whole Foods championed it. Some stores built pillars with crescents on top." This year, Saffron Road products are again on sale all month at Whole Foods, and can be spotted near artwork of domes, mosques, and signs that broadcast "Ramadan!" Additionally, 5% of sales on products will go to the Whole Kids Foundation, which aims to bring vegetable gardens to underprivileged schools.


The superior quality and ethics of these halal food companies shines light on the meaning of halal. Ibrahim Abed, Managing Director of Crescent Foods, said at Expo East, "Over the past year, we get less and less questions about what halal is." The increased awareness of halal has also heightened interest; Abed explained, "Interest in halal has gone up 50% from last year. People know it's quality and it's healthy."


Crescent Foods engages communities through social media and by sponsoring events. During Ramadan, and throughout the year, consumers can access promotions and enter giveaways on Facebook and Twitter. Crescent Foods sponsors a number of halal fests, sports tournaments, and other events around well-being and social good. Amna Haq, Marketing Director, shared that they recently sponsored a hijab fest "to empower women to be proud to wear the hijab." To partner with Crescent Foods, send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it two months prior to the event.


Crescent Foods spreads the spirit of community engagement not only by providing funding and donating to social causes, but also by volunteering. To celebrate the company's 20th anniversary, Crescent Foods organized a food pantry community service project on Saturday, June 6, 2015. Haq reflected on the experience, "Volunteering is more substantial than a monetary donation."  She explained, that "Being asked to share your time revitalizes your commitment. It gave us a chance to work with the individuals that we're helping."


With Crescent Foods and Saffron Road providing superior products and exemplary service with a proud halal brand, it is no wonder that halal is elevating standards. At Expo East, Durrani shared that, "the CEO of whole foods, Walter Robb, told us, "You've lifted the standards of our entire chain." They didn't [prior to Saffron Road] have one antibiotic free entre in the whole frozen store. Similarly, Abed of Crescent Foods said, "People ask us how they can support it [halal]. They don't have Islamophobia because of halal."


These companies successfully spread the meaning of halal by engaging communities. Durrani explained, "The other brands just stick a halal stamp on, but there is no engagement. We are very connected to the Muslim community." This message resounded with Haq, "Community engagement is a strong part of what we do here at Crescent Foods. We do whatever we can to help the community."


Saffron Road's Ramadan promotions end on July 14. However, the community engagement will not end for both Saffron Road and Crescent Foods, building communities is as important as building the brand. Along the way, humility reigns; Durrani said, "Alhamdullillah, I say it's my mother's duas. We have lots of angels protecting us."

 

 

 
Saalakhan Rallies for Aafia in the United Kingdom PDF Print E-mail
Community News - Community News
Written by El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan, Muslim Link Contributing Writer   
Thursday, 09 July 2015 00:11

mauri-saalakhan-nizar-ahmed-web

I arrived in the UK on June 2, 2015, and had the pleasure of being met at the airport by my brother in Islam, Rashid Ali. From Heathrow Airport I was taken to the British Parliament for a meeting with one of the UK's respected political leaders, "Lord Ahmed of Rotherham," the first Muslim appointed to Britain's House of Lords. The British Parliament, like the U.S. Congress, is comprised of two chambers; the "House of Lords" (the upper house) and the

"House of Commons" (the lower legislative chamber).


Our meeting and discussion, over lunch, revolved around Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and some of the challenges confronting Muslims in the West. Lord Ahmed shared the outline of a debate that he was preparing to engage in later in the day (on the floor of the British Parliament) on the growing trend of Islamophobia in the UK. I was also gratified to learn that he has publicly raised his concerns regarding Aafia in the past, and assured me that he will continue to do so in the future.

The very next morning Lord Ahmed sent me the draft of a letter that he was planning to send to the newly installed attorney general of the United States, Ms. Loretta Lynch. (After reading the letter I thought to myself, 'If only Muslim elected and/or appointed officials in America had the courage and presence of mind to do likewise.')


From the Parliament Br. Rashid and I checked into our hotel, freshened up, and then headed out to the impressive studio offices of the UK's "Islam Channel." I was invited to participate in one of network's most popular talk show programs ("Living The Life"). Interaction with the high octane hosts of this informative program was a real pleasure.


The following day witnessed the most important initiative of my five day visit. It was this  initiative, spearheaded by a group of committed Muslim women, that brought me to the UK: The Walk For Freedom for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. The initiative began with an assembly outside the Pakistani High Commission in London. It was accented by a meeting comprised of a representative delegation from our assembly, with one of the counselor officials, Zahid Ahmed Khan Jatoi (First Secretary of the political wing of the High Commission for Pakistan).


The meeting went well, and was followed by a briefing to those gathered outside (by Sr. Yvonne Ridley and this writer); then prayer, which was followed by a mile long walk through Hyde Park that ended with a rally at the U.S. Embassy - a large, gated, imposing looking compound, with heavily armed security personnel (located at 24 Grosvenor Square, London).


The rest of my UK itinerary consisted of a number of talks at different venues in Manchester and Bradford. Each presentation touched upon a different aspect of a central theme - i.e. The Challenges Confronting Muslims in the West. The itinerary included khutbahs at two different masajid (about a 30 minute drive apart) on Friday, June 5th; a presentation to a sisters group; and an interactive discussion with an assembly of youth (of different age groups) at a large Muslim weekend school. (This was my most challenging audience, by far, but it went well, Alhamdullilah!)


On the day before I flew out of the country, we had a press conference at the law office of Shazia Anjum (Director/Principle Solicitor of Premium Law Solicitors LTD), where to my surprise, on a Sunday, a number of other Muslim public officials and activists came to meet me, and to receive a detailed briefing on my visit. Among those present were Afzal Khan (Member of the European Parliament for the North West); Councillor Shaukat Ali (Manchester City Council); and Raja Najabat Hussain (Chairman, Jammu & Kashmir Self-Determination Movement).


The meeting/press conference, followed by lunch and off-camera discussion, went exceptionally well. Overall, I found the Muslims of the UK to be far more confident and assertive (generally speaking) than my Muslim brethren in the US.


Needless to say, my first ever trip to the UK was an amazing visit that received considerable international attention. The June 3rd Aafia mobilization that took place in London received coverage in Pakistan, and shortly after my return to the states, I received a request for an interview from the South African-based, Muslim operated communications network, CII.


The struggle continues...


El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan serves as Director of Operations for The Peace Thru Justice Foundation, and leads the U.S. branch of the international ìFree Aafiaî Movement. He can be reached at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
Why Young Muslims Need to Vote PDF Print E-mail
Community News - Community News
Written by Naadira Aalim-Johnson, Muslim Link Contributing Writer   
Thursday, 09 July 2015 00:02

I can still remember the day my brother turned at 18 and was legally allowed to vote. My brother did not seem to care about his new found right to vote as much as my parents did. I remember the specific moment my parents tried to tell him how important it was that he use his right to vote after he did not vote for the next president.  He stated that he didn't care for either presidential candidate or their policies and decided not to vote for either.  At the time I wasn't sure why my parents were so fervently on his case about the topic. He had given a pretty good reason for why he had decided not to vote, it certainly seemed like a much better answer then the usual reply of "I didnít feel like it" that I had heard from a lot of other people his age. At the time the subject of voting just seemed like something my parents were stressing over unnecessarily. At age 16, the topic wasn't something I really cared to discuss. It wasn't something I needed to worry about for another 2 years.


Not too long ago my parents took me to see the movie 'Selma', a historical film that depicts Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s efforts in Selma, Alabama during a time where racism and segregation were rampant and African Americans were struggling for the right to vote. By the end of the film African Americans were given their right to vote and racist sheriffs and governors were voted out of their positions; positions that gave them broad authority to oppress African Americans.  The movie, though heartbreaking, forced me to realize, now at the legal age to vote, why voting is so important.  Voting has the ability to make change.


In the aftermath of the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri's on August, 9th 2014, the police force in Ferguson was investigated by the Department of Justice. It was revealed that police officers had "routinely violated the constitutional rights of the city's residents." They were applying racial stereotypes and discriminating against African Americans. It was also revealed that though 70% of Fergusons population is African American, 80% of the police force was white. As surprising as this sounds there was a clear reason why:  out of the 70% of African Americans living in Ferguson, only 6% were voting.


When you don't exercise your right to vote, a right that was fought and died for and is still being fought for in other countries, you are giving your power away to those who may be corrupt or indifferent to the needs of the people.  To most young adults it may not seem that we have a voice; but we do have a voice, a powerful one that deserves to be heard. Your vote decides who is patrolling the streets to keep you safe. Your vote decides how are tax dollars are spent and with whom. Your vote decides who serves in Congress and the state and local governments.  The laws they pass can help you or hurt you. Your vote will decide who will be our next president. I cannot stress enough how important your vote is to keep us from having another president like George Bush. We do not need another president like Bush.

If you are of the legal age to vote, get registered and vote in the next election - not just in the presidential election but the local elections, too. Use your new found right to make a difference that could not only affect you but your legacy. We are the future and we owe it to ourselves to vote for people who will help better our future.


Naadira is a former student of Al Huda School and Eleanor Roosevelt High School.  She is entering her second year in college.

 
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