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Greater Washington, DC Office 2003 Newsletter
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Download the 2003 Newsletter

Muslim Women’s Coalition

Greater Washington, DC Area Office Newsletter

Volume 2:1 (2003) This Volume of the 2003 MWC Newsletter is dedicated lovingly to our beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.

 

Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Rahim

In the name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.

 

SalAllahu Alaika Ya Rasul Allah

Wasallam Alaika Ya Habib Allah

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Mawlud

Mawlud an Nabi SalAllahu Alaihi Wasalam

 

1st ‘ Raby` al-awal 1424 A.H started on Saturday 05-03-03

 

“Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet.

O ye who believe!  Send ye blessings on him and salute him with all respect.”

Quran: Surah Al Ahzab. 

 

The Tradition of celebrating Mawlid an Nabi (s) dates back to the time of the blessed companions of Prophet Mohammad SalAllahu Alaihi Wasalam known as Sahabas. When the Prophet (Allah’s blessings upon him and his blessed family) immigrated to Medinah Sharif he was welcomed with songs in praise of him out of love by the young girls of Ansars:

“The full moon rose over us from the mountains of al-Wada‘!
We must give thanks as long as there remains one who calls unto Allah!” - - Courtesy 
http://www.mawlid.net

The noble birthday of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings upon him and his blessed family) was celebrated in simplicity and love on the 12th Raby al Awwal.  MWC members dedicate this whole month with poems and ode's to our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).  It was suggested that we send darud and salawat/praise and blessings upon Prophet Mohammad (s) every night.  Everyone was encouraged to light their homes with festive lights for the entire month and buy new clothes for their children for the 12th.   Sadaqa/acts of charity are a dominant part of the celebration of this month.   MWC introduced a new book called “Mohammad (s) The Messenger of Islam.  His Life and Prophecy” It is told by Hajjah Amina Adel.  Some excerpts were read to motivate the members. 

                                           

MWC started a new series in the month of Raby’a al Awwal with a quote of Rasul Allah (Peace and blessings upon him and his family) each day.  This helped inspire the Muslims to lead their lives according to the teachings of their beloved Prophet SalAllahu Alaihi Wasalam.  Friends of MWC sent their stories of how this month is celebrated in their homes around the world.  Magda sent us a detail account of Mawlud an Nabi (s) from Egypt.  Sister Amira related the stories from Bosnian perspective.  We learnt that in Bosnia preparations for Mawlud are done with great respect.  Each night from the 1st of Raby al Awwal to the 12th, different prominent families reserve the celebrations in their homes and send out invitations a full year in advance!  Tasneem Anjum reminisced about Mawlud in Pakistan and told us how it was celebrated in her childhood.  It was also noted that Pakistan and other Muslim countries offered a public holiday on 12th of Raby’ al Awwal the birthday of Prophet Mohammad SalAllahu Alaihi Wasalam.  Charaghan or special festive lights adorn all official buildings in major Muslim cities around the world that night. 

 

By the grace of Allah swt the first gathering was held at Uzma’s house on May 13th 2003.  Everyone came with a lot of dedication and love to hear stories on the life of Prophet Mohammad SalAllahu Alaihi Wasalam.  Tasneem sang salawat in Punjabi language.  Yasmeen (Tasneem’s daughter) read an interesting hadith.  Rachida Roberts brought her Moroccon flavor and said dua I Tunjena.  The children sang naats and stood in respect when darud and salams were offered.  Farah, Sadia, Yasmeen Burns, Nadia, sister Asma, Riffat and their daughters listened with aqeedat/respect.  Sweets were passed around after offerings of blessings and peace/salam upon Mohammad SalAllahu Alaihi Wasalam.  The following week Tasneem took the lead and invited all her friends and relatives for Mawlud.  It was noted that this year the celebrations of Mawlud an Nabi (s) had taken precedence in many Muslim households.  Alhumdulillah for this great bounty!!!!  May the love of our eternal Prophet (s) live and grow in our hearts ameen sum ameen!   

Interfaith Activities
 
Rasul Allah SalAllahu Alaihi Wasalam built bridges with the interfaith community living in Yathreb/Madina Sharif .  Let us try to follow in his blessed footsteps Godwilling.

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It is important to note that in the ever-changing dynamics of the world where race, ethnicity and religion play a great factor in our lives, MWC’s grass roots organization puts its efforts in building bridges within the community at large.  Our goals are based in simplicity and in sincerity.  Islam is a religion of peace and submission to the Will of Allah swt.  One such role of MWC is to provide a forum where the seeds of love, peace and harmony are cultivated in the hearts of everyone especially women.  Why women?  We feel that women are the nurturers of our society.  The reflection of that is seen in the very first verse of the Holy Qur’an:   “Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem.” In the name of Allah of the Most Compassionate and the Most Merciful.   Allah describes Himself as the Most Compassionate by His holy beautiful attribute “Rahman.”  Lets us break this word and see it’s root.  Rahman in Arabic comes from the root word “rahm” which means the womb.  It is feminine in gender.  It means that which nurtures the fetus.  Here we can take the world as the fetus that is nurtured by Allah through His compassion.  He gives to all without measure and without any distinction of race, ethnicity and religion.  This is the beauty of the manifestation of the word Rahman, which is seen in mothers when they carry their child in their womb. 

Day of Prayers

On April 6th, 2003 MWC held it’s annual Interfaith Day of Prayers and Talk in the home of Uzma Farooq.  The Day of Prayers and Talk brochures were handed out to the participants at the meeting for distribution to their friends and neighbors.  The theme of this event was "What Peace means to me."  All participants were asked to give a brief statement about the beauty of Islam and Peace.  Poetry as well as prayers and personal stories were shared with participants.  The event was held on Sunday, April 6th 2003 from 3pm – 5pm. 

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Each year this unique day provides Muslim Women Coalition members to weave kindness, understanding and love amongst other faith traditions by coming together in a circle of prayers and talk.  Invitations were extended to neighbors, friends and family members.  Diane Sherwood of Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington gave a very inspirational talk on faith from her Catholic perspective.  She has not been feeling well and said that it was the faith of her friends and family members that was pushing her forward toward strengthening her own faith.  Later in my talk with Diane, I felt that she was very dedicated to reaching out to anyone who was interested in creating peaceful resolutions in their lives and invited us to her private circle of prayers in Bethesda Maryland.  The event ended with MWC members saying a few words on what peace means to her.  Later it was stressed that MWC members need to open up more in their thought provoking ideas to delve in the Interfaith community.  Looking forward to new ideas for our next interfaith event in 2004!

Presbyterian Breakfast at the Grace Presbyterian Church in Springfield, VA

 

 “An Interfaith Celebration Of Hope, Unity and Peace”

On 25th of January 2003, Vice Moderator for the National Capitol Presbytery Margaret Anderson invited MWC members to "An Interfaith Celebration of Hope, Unity and Peace" Prayer Breakfast meeting.  Seema, Sarah, Tasneem and Uzma were very excited to attend this beautiful gathering of different faith traditions.  We felt it was very important to expand our horizons and meet new challenges while keeping our faith in love, peace and harmony. 

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The event started off right after a delicious breakfast with over 200 Presbyterian members present.  A Christian prayer and talk was followed by a speech by the Regional Director of MWC Mrs. Uzma Farooq on Unity from the Islamic perspective.  Noreen and her friend chanted the beautiful Buddhist prayers.   Rukhmini sang her bhajans  and a member of the Jewish faith gave a short talk.  The ladies from Cameroon sang wonderful hymns in their colorful style.  Susanna of United Religions Initiative led everyone into a meditation just before Margaret ended the beautiful interfaith event with thanks and gratitude. Margaretended the beautiful IF event with thanks and gratitude.                                                                             

At the movies!

 

Cross Cultural Cinema II:  Arlington VA- Community Resilience Project and Friends of Arlington County Public Library show film series to promote cross-cultural understanding.

Mohammad: Legacy of a Prophet by Michael Schwarz showed on Thursday August 14, 2003 at 6:15pm.  In telling the story of the 7th century prophet who changed world history in 23 years, and continues to shape the lives of more than 1.2 billion people, the film took viewers not only to ancient Arabian sites where Muhammad's (pbuh) story unfolded, but into the homes, mosques and work places of some of America's seven million Muslims. Both films were shown at the Arlington Central Library Auditorium 1015 North Quincy Street, Arlington.

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Kundun: On September 28, 2003 MWC members; Uzma, Asma and Yasmeen along with Patricia and Susanna (URI members) watched a Buddhist movie called "Kundun".  This was based on the life of the Dalai Lama.  We thank our friends for bringing this to our attention!  MWC members discussed some points through their Islamic perspective. 

Remembering and honoring the victims of 9/11 attack at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Arlington Virginia.


Tasneem and Uzma attended the 9/11-memorial service by the Arlington County Interfaith Community and Arlington County Community Resilience Project as they celebrated the " PATRIOTIC INTERFAITH MEMORIAL CELEBRATION SERVICE " for the victims of 9/11/2001 Terrorist Attacks.  Uzma read a prayer/dua of Prophet Mohammed SallalAhu Alaihi Wasalam:   “Oh Allah give me your love and the love of those whom you love.  Give me good actions that lead me to your love.”  She finished off by reading a prayer/dua on "Peace" at the congregation.

 

Kick off of Habitat for Humanity!

 

On September 16th 2003, Mona Khan, sister Asma and Uzma Farooq attended the official kick off for DC Habitat For Humanity’s interfaith house in Northeast Washington DC parcel.  Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington and United Religions Initiative sponsored this event.  Leaders of many faith traditions help hoist the frame to the house and prayers were offered.  Later refreshments were offered and MWC also contributed a tray of rice and chicken. 

2003 Newsletter, page 2 >>

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Muslim Women's Coalition, (MWC) is a 501(c)3 Organization with Business Identification Number 0400-0055-65. Copyright 2011