• Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
  • default color
  • green color
  • red color

The Muslim Link

Community News
Home of the Heart Campaign Begins PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 5
Community News - Community News
Written by Muslim Link Staff   
Tuesday, 25 September 2012 11:30

Dar-us-Salaam's bid to make a new home on a 66 acre property in Howard County, Maryland is ready to go into full swing after post-Ramadan planning.

Area Masajid and Organizations Issue Statements On Killing of US Ambassador, Film Protests PDF Print E-mail
Community News - Community News
Written by Contributing Writers   
Tuesday, 25 September 2012 11:20
In the wake of last week’s protests in Libya and elsewhere against the hate-filled film “Innocence of Muslims” and the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi which resulted in the deaths of several US diplomatic staff including Ambassador Christopher Steven, local masajid and American Muslim organizations once again found the need to publicly distance themselves from events happening across the world. Here are some of the statements from local Muslim groups issued to news media. -- The Muslim Link
New Imam Aims to Target Youth At Masjid Ibn Taymiyyah PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 4
Community News - Community News
Written by By Hena Zuberi, Muslim Link Staff Reporter   
Tuesday, 25 September 2012 11:14
imamfirdaws Masjid Ibn Taymiyyah, located in Glenarden, Maryland, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Highway, is situated next to a liquor store, a Chinese restaurant, a laundry, and other retailers. The new masjid opened in January 2010 committed to serving the neighborhood, and making it a better place to live for Muslims and Non-Muslims.

Haunted by a turbulent past few months, the Shurah Board of the masjid is focused on reviving this direly needed place of worship. Many changes are taking place including the hiring of a new financial accountant and reformation of the Shurah Board.

To head the new masjid, the community is welcoming a new Imam. An approachable and friendly man, Imam Firdaws was a regular speaker, offering weekly lessons on the authentic stories of the Prophets and Messengers of Allah at the Mount Hope Masjid (Masjid Sunnatu Wal Jama’ah) in Bronx, New York. The imam also devoted his time as a visiting khateeb (speaker) to masjids both outside and inside New York.

Imam Firdaws Ladan received his Islamic education at the Islamic International School (in Kumasi, Ghana), which is an affiliate of both the Islamic University of Madinah and the King Saud University of Riyadh, where he received a 3-year diploma in Arabic and Islamic Studies. He furthered his education through a diploma certificate program in teaching Arabic and Islamic studies from the Islamic University of Madinah in 1995.  Forever a student, the Imam is continuing his education in Islamic studies from Arees University-Texas.

The Imam is passionate about working with the youth. “Where are the youth and the elderly in our masajid? They are my target.” Planning on hosting events like inter-masjid soccer games, the Imam will use these events to bring the youth back into the masjid.

A midfielder, Imam Firdaus loves playing soccer; he is affectionately known as Platini – after the famous Italian soccer genius of the 1990s.

For the past 4 years Maryland has been home for the Imam. A family man, Imam Firdaws lives with his wife and stepdaughter in Upper Marlboro.

Counseling is one of the needs of the community that Imam Firdaws recognizes.  With rising dviorce rates in the Muslim communities, marriage counseling will be a focus for the new Imam. Imam Firdaws is a certified Conflict Resolution and Analysis facilitator from the United States Institute of Peace, Washington DC and a Serious Crime Investigator. He will refer couples to professionals if he sees the need.

"We needed someone dynamic, who shares the vision of the community", says Ahmed Lampety, a member of the board for Masjid Ibn Taymiyyah, "Including the sisters. Sisters in our community do so much and need to be heard. To address their needs Imam Firdaws has scheduled a meeting with the sisters in the community."

“One of the many problems our community faces is the irresponsibility of our brothers in regards to their families. We need to change this culture,” said Br. Lampety.   “This can only take place when we have leadership who can address this issue.”

“He won't shy away from tough topics, his last khutbah was about homosexuality in Islam,” Br. Lampety told the Muslim Link.

Another role that the adminstration sees him filling is a liason between the various Masjids and Islamic centers in the area. “He will be a bridge between us and other communities, inshaAllah, as we see humilty in him and a vision to bring people together.”

Putting his background as a manager, radio talk show host and chaplain into use, Imam Firdws plans to fix the ‘hot mess’ the masjid is currently in. ‘My first task is to organize and to bring the people in’, he told us in a phone interview.

The Imam recognizes that the environment is not great. The neighborhood needs help and working with the people of the community, his plan is to present Islam in a good manner. Programs like Feeding the Hungry and other free social services will be relaunched, ‘so non-Muslims can see the perfection in Islam.’

He is no stranger to community service, the Imam is the founder of the ‘Shoulder To Shoulder Foundation’ which sponsors brilliant, but needy children, to help narrow the education gap in his Ghanaian community.

Imam Firdaws holds membership of various bodies such as: the Islamic Propagation and Research Centre (a grouping of Muslim comparative religion preachers based in Ghana), the Ashanti Regional Branch of the Ghana Muslim Students Association (Executive Member), the American Independent Black Writers Association, North American Imams Federation (NAIF), Denver Association of Ghanaian Muslims (Co-founder), Amaana – Ghanaian Association in Maryland (Imam), Ibadur-Rahman Inc. – New York as well as the Islamic Research & Humanitarian Services Center Of America (IRHSCA) in Washington DC.                   

Addressing the greatest need of his new congregation, the dearth of Islamic classes, Imam Firdaws will be giving classes every Saturday at Masjid Ibn Taymiyyah after Asr prayers till Maghrib for men and women.  ‘What is the cause of people not populating the masjid? I believe it is the lack of classes.’ In addition he will be teaching the Qur’anic Weekend School starting at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

A published children’s author, his series of short stories made him a favorite amongst his young students., learning him the endearment, 'darling teacher'.   Some of his titles include:’ A Bad Beginning Makes A Good Ending’,  ‘A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed’, ‘AIDS Is Real’ and ‘The Brave Little Mice’.  He has also authored a book called “Qur’an, Science and the Secrets of the Unseen World”,  which he has written based on his experiences as a jinnologist and exorcist, learned in the method of ‘ropes’.

His next book which is in the editing stages is called: “Morality: A Neglected Part of A Muslim Belief."

The address for the new masjid is 8000 Martin Luther King Highway, Glenarden, MD 20706, or visit
Annapolis Muslims Welcome A New Member: Their Imam PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 8
Community News - Community News
Written by By Hena Zuberi, Muslim Link Staff Reporter   
Tuesday, 25 September 2012 11:12
The Muslim community in Anne Arundel County, Maryland began renting an office space in downtown Annapolis in 1996 for juma’ prayers catering primarily to Muslims who worked in the area. In 2006, a 6000 sq ft modular masjid opened in Gambrills on a 20-acre property and became the Makkah Learning Center.

Earlier this year, the community announced plans to purchase a house in Annapolis for use as a permanent masjid in the state capitol, making it the second facility for the Islamic Society of Annapolis. Now the community has some more welcome news.

A new Imam has been hired for the Islamic Society of Annapolis.

He was a young kid growing up in Buffalo, New York who loved Jesus and had deep faith, deep Baptist faith. A ‘latch key’ kid whose single mom worked hard to raise his elder sister and him, he grew up in a deeply spiritual home.

Until he started high school at a Catholic private school, and then it didn’t make sense anymore, nothing made sense, his faith, his belief in what it meant to be Christian, the Bible. So he gave it up and filled his life with stuff that teenage boys indulge in: games, sports, and girls.

It was the year after graduation, 2002, at the age of 18, during a yearlong hiatus from college he started working and a co-worker gave him the Qur’an and he started reading it.  And it made sense.

Mass media was instrumental in encouraging his study of Islam. "We were constantly bombarded with images of Islam. As a minority, I didn’t trust the media and wanted to differentiate between propaganda and reality. What is this religion? The desire to connect with God was tugging at me." He started calling himself a Muslim.

Within a year after his 'official' shahadah, Mikaeel found himself enrolled at the Dar ul Uloom Madaniyyah in Buffalo, NY. There he learned to read the Mushaf and memorized the Qur’an in 3 ½ years.

“This was a supreme blessing from Allah, as many converts do not get this training. We are like new-born babies and need similar attention," said Imam Mikaeel in an interview with the Muslim Link. “ I was lucky to receive the education and perform Hajj within a few years of taking shahadah.”

“Education is vital to our iman, it is vital for your Islam.” Imam Mikaeel became fluent in the Urdu language to complete the ‘Alim course and then proceeded to study in Damascus, Syria at Jammayah Abu Nur’s Arabic Immersion Course in 2008.

Mikaeel Ahmad is a hifdh and has served as the Ramadan imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Augusta in Georgia for several years. He completed his studies of the Sahih Sitta and Tafseer of the Qur’an from the Academy of Sacred Knowledge, in Chatham, Ontario, Canada.

Now Mikaeel is Imam Mikaeel Ahmed Smith, the new Imam at the Islamic Society of Annapolis’s Makkah Learning Center.

He is a newly wed; his nikkah was performed right before Ramadan. His wife, Sarah, is the daughter of Imam Adil Khan, the former Imam of Muslim Community Center. She is also holds the ‘Alimah degree and will be assisting him in teaching the congregation.

The Imam is passionate about reading and plans to open a book club in the center. Two books he recommends that every Muslim adult should read are the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey and Enjoy your Life by Dr. Arifi published by Dar us Salaam. One he recommends for our ever social media connected youth is Alone Together by Sherry Turkle.

TML: Who has influenced your leadership style?

The Rasul of Allah, salla hu alayhi wassalam, first and foremost, the things that he overcame and the hard, hard circumstances he faced. After him, my greatest influence has been Malcolm X. It was upon reading his autobiography that I came to understand Islam and differentiate it from the Nation of Islam. How he came from darkness to the light and his self-motivation to study. He taught me that with the help of Allah, you can go anywhere.

Anyone who stands for justice and truth, those are the people who I want to model my life after.

TML: What is the greatest need of the community?

In general, I see this generally in American Muslims, there is a gap between the scholars and the youth; this gap needs to be filled. They need someone that they can confide in.

Someone who can evoke a sense of outward pride and inner humility, encourage their sense of learning. The greatest need is the lack of education, knowledge about Islam and specifically the difference between religion and culture. Don’t get me wrong we have beautiful aspects in our cultures.

To meet this need we intend to teach several classes at the Makkah Learning Center. The Foundations course is our course aimed at college students, juniors/seniors in high school as well as adults to learn the essentials of the Islam, mainly Aqaaid, Fiqh and spirituality.  Another class that will be taught is the Adab al Mufrad by Imam Bukhari (RA), every Friday after Maghrib.

As we settle in, we would like to start interfaith dialogue, I had a great chance to been involved in interfaith between the scholars and bishops in Syria.

TML: What is the role of the masjid?

Across the country, the masjid is playing various roles. However, I feel that the maktab system is great, where the children come after school to the masjid and just spend time there. They do their homework there, read Qur'an.

The masjid should be an integral part of every child’s daily life. Here we explain to them that Allah [causes] the effect and it happens. This is opposite of what they are taught in schools. Children are taught day in and day out that everything happens by itself; that the water becomes ice by itself, without a Creator. After years of hearing this, when they become teenagers, doubts start creeping into their minds about Islam.

How many of us just spend time at the masjid? When do we say 'I have some free time, let me go to the masjid?' We don’t have a connection with the masjid; we have forgotten the purpose, dhikr Allah.  A mu’min feels at home in the masjid, like a fish in water, it’s their natural habitat. We need to instill this in ourselves, the desire to be in the masjid away from dunya instead of impatiently waiting for salah to be over to rush to the dunya.

TML: How do you view the Board of Directors and Imam’s relationship?

I can only speak of my personal experience.  This community has been so welcoming. I have yet to fulfill the favors that they have done for my wife and me. It reminds me of the Muhajirun and their arrival in Madinah and how the Ansaar welcomed them into their new homes.  The Board of Directors had arranged a welcome wedding reception for us. It has been simply amazing and I just hope that I can return the favor to the best of my abilities.
<< Start < Prev 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 Next > End >>

Page 80 of 83

Print Edition