Media, entertainment and our spirituality (Friday Khutbah)

Friday Khutbah, May 2,  2014 at the Islamic Centre of Kingston (Ontario)

Allah instructs us to consume food that is permissible and wholesome. While food goes to our stomach, what we see and watch goes straight to our spiritual heart. What risks do our current media and entertainment diet present? We discuss current media consumption trends, spirituality and our future.

Media, entertainment and our spirituality  (Runs 31:23 ~ 7.18 MB)

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Announcement

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Kingston, Ontario

Friday, April 18, 2014 / Jumada al-Thani 18, 1435

This is a long weekend and many travelers have joined us here today. There was a time when I too would stop by this masjid, during my teenage years.

Four years and one week ago, this community kindly invited me as a guest khateeb and I gave my first khutbah here, something that I never imagined doing.

Following that, Allah blessed me with the opportunity to settle here in Kingston and I got to know all the wonderful people here, masha’Allah.

Alhamdulillah – all praise is due to Allah – the last four years have been an amazing experience, in many ways but especially as a learning experience.

You (the members of the Kingston community) have been extremely kind. May Allah reward you immensely.

I honestly say that I have zero complaints about anyone or anything, whether it be individuals, the community or the past and current management of the Islamic Society of Kingston. This city has been blessed with a wonderful community masha’Allah. May Allah increase this city in goodness and faith.

So it is with heavy heart I inform you today that, due to family reasons, I will be moving on to Ottawa as of June 1st of this year, insha’Allah.

My family and I did not take this decision lightly and it was very a difficult decision.

There was a lot of pressure from some of our dear brothers and sisters here to reconsider, which we did. However, this appeared to be the best path forward at this time. We try our best to make the right decision, but only Allah knows best.

I pray to Almighty Allah that He grants this community a new imam who is the best for this community and who can work harder and do a better job than what I have been able to do.

I have also offered to visit every other week for the next few months insha’Allah. I will be assisting and offering my full support in the transition and in finding new imam.

A committee has been formed to look for a new imam. One of our students suggested that perhaps we should have imam auditions (Canadian Imam instead of Canadian Idol), so perhaps that is something to consider!

We will continue to be in touch, insha’Allah. I hope I have not caused anyone to be upset or angry. Please forgive me for this and all my shortcomings and mistakes.

The most valuable gift we can give to each other is that of good wishes and prayers. I pray for the best for each of you and for the community, and request that you please do the same for me and my family.

Thank you for your kindness, support and understanding. May Allah bless you all.

-END-

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Opinion: ‘Oh, no, I hope it’s not a Muslim’ (Kingston Whig-Standard & London Free Press)

By Sikander Hashmi

The moment I saw my Twitter feed light up with breaking news alerts about a terror bust last Monday, my heart sank. I was worried not because I wanted a potential terror plot to go ahead, but because April had already been a difficult month, and the last thing I needed to hear was that there had been another potential terror threat.

First there was the revelation that two young Muslim men from London, Ont. had allegedly travelled to Algeria and taken part in an attack on an oil refinery in mid-January. Both were reportedly killed. There was the expected barrage of questions, concerns and criticisms regarding our communities that I was still dealing with.

The Boston Marathon bombings were particularly difficult. To watch fellow human beings go through such a sudden and terrifying event was heart-wrenching. It reminded me of the many civilian deaths and injuries occurring almost daily in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and many other parts of the world. Except this time, it hit a lot closer to home. I was born in Montreal, have lived in Toronto and have relatives in New York, so Boston is a city I can identify with.

The “oh no, I hope it’s not a Muslim” moment came and went quickly, as the suspects were soon identified as Muslims. Only a few days had passed since the terrible bombings, and the overall sadness, concern about violent radicalism and fear of backlash hadn’t dissipated. The latter was so strong that last Friday, as I prepared to leave home to lead our weekly prayer service, I actually considered saying proper goodbyes to my wife and two young children in case something terrible happened and I never returned.

Click here to read more

Also: Authorities must work to build Muslims’ trust

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Welcome

It’s been over four years since I stopped actively blogging. That happened after I discover my 180,000 words of blogging over eight months had virtually allowed Google to index my life.

Hopefully, that won’t happen again.

As the famous saying of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) goes, “Actions are judged by their intentions.” Thus, my intention in starting this blog is to make a positive contribution to the many discourses that are either going on or should be going on, by sharing knowledge, insights, feelings, tidbits or anything else that can be of some sort of benefit to myself or to readers.

If I feel this blog is doing more harm than good, I’ll shut it down.

Thanks for stopping by.

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