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     Three Steps to a Happy Life

     

    Happiness is the universal goal of people from all walks of life – be they philosophers of a high intellectual caliber or unlettered laborers — everyone strives in search of happiness and looks for ways to escape the worries of life.

    However, most people achieve only partial or superficial happiness, which provides temporary relief from their problems. In order to search for everlasting happiness that will lead a person to true success, one must keep an open heart and mind, as the wise one is he who searches for the truth and adopts it immediately.

    1. The most important means of happiness and the foundation of all felicity is to have sound belief and perform righteous deeds.

    Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {Whoever works righteousness (whether male or female) while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter).} [Quran16: 97]

    Allah, The Almighty, promises whoever possesses sound belief and performs righteous deeds that he will have a happy life and will also be rewarded in the eternal Hereafter.
    The reason for this is obvious: those who have the correct belief which leads to righteous deeds, reformed hearts and refined manners, have the basic foundation that they can refer to in any event – regardless of whether these are matters which cause joy and happiness or sorrow and dejection.

    The Prophet  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) described this quality of the true believers when he said: “How wonderful is the affair of the believer! All of his affairs are good and this is the case for nobody else except a believer. If he is blessed with prosperity, he thanks (Allah) and that is good for him; and if he is afflicted with adversity, he perseveres and that is also good for him.” [Muslim]

    The Prophet  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) informed us that a believer’s reward would be multiplied many times over, regardless of whether what befalls him brings him joy or sorrow.

    2. Keeping oneself busy in performing beneficial deeds and acquiring useful knowledge.

    By doing so, one’s heart is diverted from whatever causes it grief and sorrow, to the extent that a person may completely forget his worries and unhappiness and become happy and energized. This is something that is common to believers and others, but the believer is distinct due to his belief, sincerity, and his hope for reward while learning or performing beneficial deeds. If this deed is an act of worship, then he will receive the reward for it, and if it is a worldly task which is accompanied with a good intention, such as working for the sake of being able to worship Allah, The Almighty, better, then this will have a strong effect in removing his anxiety and grief.

    3. Concentrating on the tasks at hand, not being anxious about the future and not crying over the past is another way of attaining happiness.

    This is why the Prophet  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) sought refuge with Allah, The Almighty, from anxiety and sorrow. Usually, a person experiences sorrow due to what has passed and cannot be retrieved, whereas grief is due to anxiety for the future and the fear of what may happen.

    A believing slave of Allah, The Almighty, should live for the current moment, focus, and exert the utmost effort to utilize his time in the best possible way. This will enable him to accomplish his tasks and forget his sorrow and grief. When the Prophet  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) made a particular supplication or guided his nation to do so, he would also encourage them to exert efforts to obtain what they supplicated for and shun everything which might prevent the supplication from being answered.

    As the Prophet  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Be keen to do that which will benefit you, rely on Allah, and do not be lazy (by not exerting effort) and do not say when a problem befalls you: ‘If only I would have done such and such, then the result would have been such and such’; rather, one should say: ‘This was decreed by Allah and He does what He wills.’ Saying ‘If’ opens the gate for Satan (to cause discontent).” [Muslim]


    The Islamic Society of Clemson Presents:

    Meet Your Muslim Neighbors

    “Lectures on Islam“

     

    635925348849289288-443400736_download (1)Regularly, the Islamic Society of Clemson offers courses about Islam in general to all members of the local community. While many are familiar with the inexcusable actions of radical extremists, not as many are familiar with Islam’s role as a way of life and a religion, what Muslims believe or how those beliefs are practiced.

    The courses, taught by Imam Mohammad Mustafa, will guide you through the facts and clarify misunderstandings and misconceptions about Islam and the more than 1.5 billion Muslims who practice the world’s second largest and fastest-growing religion.

    Each week, Imam Mohammad Mustafa will lecture 30 minutes about topics such as: Do Muslims believe in Jesus? What are the core beliefs in Islam? What does the Quran teach Muslims? What are the similarities between Islam, Christianity and Judaism? What guidance or information about racism, terrorism or violence is found in the Quran? Each class will end with 30 minutes of Q & A. The class should last approximately an hour and will meet for eight (8) consecutive weeks.

    The lecturer, Imam Mohammad Mustafa is currently working toward his Ph.D. and earned his M.A. and B.A. in Faculty of Languages and Translation, Islamic Studies in English with distinction from Al Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt. His Master’s thesis was in comparative religions and following graduation, he works as the Imam of the Islamic Society of Clemson in 2013.

    The program is free, open to the public and will be held at The Islamic Society of Clemson.

     Our New Program is “Misconceptions about Islam” 

    It started at March 1st, 2018

    for more information send to : islamicsocietyofclemson@gmail.com


     The Month of Ramadan

    In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

    Fasting is a common form of worship among the various religions across the world. Its spiritual benefits are widely recognized even though its frequency, practice and duration may differ from faith to faith. Islam places great importance on the act of fasting, calling it one of the pillars of worship, along with prayer, charity and pilgrimage. 

    God says in the Quran, the holy book of Islam, “You who believe, fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may be mindful of God” (2:183).

    Islam teaches that God (Allah in Arabic) sent many prophets since the beginning of the human race, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon all of them). Hence, Islam shares core values such as belief in God as well as a commitment to justice and virtue with Christianity and Judaism; similarly, fasting in one form or another is common to all three Abrahamic faiths and, indeed, to the vast majority of religions across the world.

    In Islam, fasting is one of the major acts of worship and a means of attaining God-consciousness. Along with the physical aspects of fasting, its spiritual dimensions purify the soul, instill self-reflection and inspire virtuous living.

     

    Ramadan: An Annual Retreat

    Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, which begins with the sighting of the new moon. During this month, Muslims worldwide are obligated to abstain completely from food, drink and sexual relations from dawn to dusk, culminating in a release of restrictions at sunset. The fast, as per the teachings of Prophet Muhammadp,is broken with dates followed by a meal which varies from culture to culture.

    However, fasting is not mandatory on those for whom it would constitute a difficulty. For instance, people who are sick or traveling can postpone their fast until their illness or journey is over. The elderly, the weak, the mentally ill and those who have a chronic illness that prevents them from fasting, are all exempted during Ramadan. They may feed a needy person for every missed day, if they can afford to do so.

    Fasting is observed as an act of obedience to God, one for which He has reserved special blessings. The fasting person is rewarded manifold for all good deeds. In addition, according to a saying of Prophet Muhammadp, whoever fasts and prays during Ramadan with pure intentions will have their past sins forgiven.

    At the same time, Prophet Muhammadp taught his followers to remain conscious of the deeper significance behind their fast, saying, “Whoever does not abandon falsehood in word and action, then God has no need that they should leave their food and drink.” Therefore, fasting is multidimensional – along with the physical aspects of fasting, one must nurture the social and spiritual elements as well in order to fully benefit from fasting.

    In essence, fasting in the month of Ramadan is a yearly opportunity for Muslims to physically and spiritually revive themselves. Fasting redirects the heart away from worldly affairs and towards the remembrance of God. During Ramadan, Muslims focus on strengthening their relationship with their Creator. The self-restraint practiced in Ramadan makes the heart and mind accustomed to the remembrance of God and to the obedience of His commandments.

    Fasting during Ramadan is, therefore, a spiritual regimen and a reorientation for the body and mind. It is a time for spiritual reflection, prayer and good deeds. The spiritual cleansing during the month of Ramadan results in renewed determination to worship God throughout the year.
    Benefits of Fasting

    Fasting is intended to instill self-discipline, empathy and compassion in the individual. Muslims are motivated to increase their generosity during this month. They are encouraged to share the blessings that God has provided them by giving generously in charity because wealth is regarded as a trust from God.

    Indeed, fasting makes people more aware of the many bounties of God. Experiencing hunger and thirst allows us to feel the desperation of hunger and leads us to empathize with those who don’t know when they will eat their next meal. “Fasting allows us to experience once a year what many throughout the world experience almost daily. Hunger, for them, is not a choice; it is simply a fact of life,” says Hamza Yusuf, a renowned Muslim leader based in California.

    Fasting also reminds us of the importance of appreciating what we have and minimizing waste. From His generosity, God continuously graces us with His favors, and fasting reinforces the concept that wasting the Creator’s bounties is a sign of ingratitude to Him.

    Fasting builds endurance. As the lunar year continually shifts, Muslims encounter Ramadan in varying seasons – from the sluggishly long summer days to the short, crisp wintry weeks. Muslims of all walks of life manage their work duties irrespective of the weather and the fast, although often on a shortened schedule; this includes professionals as well as manual workers such as peddlers and day laborers. In countries where Muslims are a minority, they maintain a full workload on empty stomachs, balancing their added worship in the early mornings, evenings and weekends along with their normal work routines.

    Muslim athletes keep up with practice and play games despite fasting. Hakeem Olajuwon, a retired NBA professional basketball player, was widely recognized for not only playing basketball during Ramadan, but also playing well. In February, 1995, he was named the NBA Player of the Month; incidentally, Ramadan that year began on Feb. 1st. Olajuwon has been the inspiration for many other players who manage to perform on the field or in the court with gusto even when they last had any water or food hours ago.

    When the month of Ramadan arrives, it brings a heightened sense of community with it. Muslim families often wake up together before sunrise for an early breakfast. They also invite one another to break their fast together, which creates friendship and stronger ties among neighbors, families and friends. Many people also bring meals to mosques to share with the community, especially the poor, the needy, the travelers and those who do not have families. Together, they also make it a point to go to the mosque for the nightly Ramadan prayers.

     

    The Month of Quran
    God began revealing the Quran to Prophet Muhammadp during Ramadan in the year 610 C.E. The Quran, the final revelation from God, is often read and memorized in its original Arabic language, preserving the divine order and structure of this book. In Ramadan, Muslims are encouraged to focus as much time as possible on reading, listening and understanding the Quran as a means of coming closer to God.

    One of the ways Muslims become nearer to the Quran during Ramadan is through extended congregational prayers offered in the late evening after the breaking of the fast. Over the course of the month, the entire Quran is commonly recited in these night prayers. This is an opportunity for Muslims to become spiritually connected to God and reflect on His words of guidance.

    As AbdulWahid Hamid explains in his book, Islam, the Natural Way:

    Ramadan is a month of heightened devotion. In it, prayer is performed with greater intensity. There are extra prayers on Ramadan nights… In the last ten days of Ramadan, some retreat to the mosque to perform Itikaf (seclusion) at the local mosque, a period of intense reflection and devotion, seeking guidance and forgiveness, and reading the Quran. Ramadan is a great opportunity to get closer to the blessed guidance of the Quran which was revealed in this month. Ramadan is also called the month of the Quran.

    Muslims believe that the last ten nights of Ramadan are the holiest of all, and strive to increase their worship during that time even more. The most sacred night of all, the Night of Power, falls on one of the odd-numbered nights in the last third of Ramadan. God mentions in the Quran that the Night of Power is better than one thousand months (97:3). In other words, the worship of this one night is worth more than the worship of a thousand months. As a result, Muslims seek this special night by staying awake in worship during the odd-numbered nights from the last ten days of Ramadan.

    Although fasting may seem severe and difficult, it is truly a gratifying time for Muslims. Every year, Muslims experience a unique excitement and jubilation as Ramadan approaches. Homes are cleaned, groceries are stocked, children are prepped – and, above all, many resolutions are made.

    Even as the day’s routine of work and home continue, Muslims make extra time for spiritual nourishment and self-introspection. Commitments ranging from the recitation and study of Quran to increased charity to nightly attendance of additional prayers are commonly made to reap the rewards of the fasting month.

    And, as the month draws to a close, a sense of sadness overcomes the worshippers, wistful at the departure of the blessed month which seemed to have flown by.

    Eid-ul-Fitr Celebration 
    The end of Ramadan is marked by the sighting of the new moon, which is followed by a day of celebration known as Eid-ul-Fitr. Families wake up early in the morning, put on their best clothes and go to the mosque for a brief Eid sermon and congregational prayer. They thank God for giving them the opportunity to experience the holy month of Ramadan. The day is filled with celebration, socializing, festive meals and modest gift-giving, especially to children.

    Before attending the Eid prayer, the head of the household or guardian gives a special charity on behalf of each dependent family member called Zakat-ul-Fitr. This is the giving of a meal to a needy person to make sure that none are excluded from this happy occasion and to encourage people to continue the spirit of generosity after Ramadan as well.

    The Eid celebration is not merely about feasting and socializing. There is a deep significance for those who truly observed the holy month with their fasting, abstaining from all bad habits and striving hard to earn the pleasure of God. Muslims feel a sense of happiness and a renewed energy to face the rest of the year with faith and determination – until next Ramadan!

    “It was in the month of Ramadan that the Quran was revealed as guidance for mankind … distinguishing between right and wrong. So any one of you who is present that month should fast, and anyone who is ill or on a journey should make up for the lost days by fasting on other days later. God wants ease for you, not hardship. He wants you to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him for having guided you, so that you may be thankful.” (Quran, 2:185)

     

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    • Annual Masjid Fundraiser Going On!

    sadaqa

    Allah (SWT) says: “The Mosques of Allâh shall be maintained only by those who truly believe in Allâh and the Last Day; perform prayers, and give Zakât and fear none but Allâh. It is they who are on true guidance.” (At-Tawbah 9:18). sapling1The Masjid is continuing its annual fundraiser.  Alhamdulillah, we have a generous donor who committed to match every dollar that is donated to the Masjid through the end of Ramadan (i.e., if we raise $25,000, he will give us another $25,000 on top of that).  The funds raised will mainly cover the salary of the Imam and other key needs of the Masjid.  This is a tremendous opportunity to contribute to the Masjid and the community insha’Allah and gain hasanath multiplied.  Every single donation you make, no matter how small it may seem, will be an investment for your life in the hereafter insha’Allah.

    “The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains.  And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills  And Allah is All-Encompassing and Knowing.” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 261)a6731d9de78d33b1922100e88195af1b

    This opportunity will only be around for a limited time, so we encourage all our brothers and sisters to hasten to donate for the sake of Allah within their capabilities for the Masjid.  May Allah(swt) reward you abundantly for your generosity.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


     

  • Community Dinner

    table-food

    As-Salaamu `Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh;

    Dear Brothers and Sisters,

    In-sha-Allah, we will have our monthly Community Dinner in the Masjid at Saturday, March 3, 2018. Families can share with the main dishes and single brothers with sweets and beverages.

     

    Jazakumullahu Khair,
    Wa Alykom Assalaam