Google embraces Islam by releasing a tool for Ramadan


Today Google is specifically embracing Islam by releasing a tool for Ramadan. The unimaginatively named ‘My Ramadan Companion’, which will help Muslims to observe this very holy month.

“To help you get the most out of Ramadan, we’ve launched My Ramadan Companion (, which gives you customized and locally relevant information, tips, and other content highlighting the richness of what the web can offer during Ramadan around you. You can find out the sunset time in your location, plan your day accordingly, check out the traffic in your area, navigate to the closest charity Iftar, find and share recipes, enjoy Ramadan content on YouTube ranging from drama series and comedy sketches, health tips to stay fit during the 30 days of fasting”, says Zain Kamal Masri, associate product marketing manager, Middle East and North Africa, Google.

Masri further explains, depending on your location Google now will show you a range of relevant cards with popular YouTube videos, latest Ramadan news and information, and recommendations for apps that alert you to wake up for Suhur, enable you to design greeting cards for Ramadan to share with the family, find Halal restaurants around you, and countdown to Iftar time”.

Google already makes a big deal about Christmas with its Santa Tracker apps and websites, so it is nice to see the search-giant focusing on Muslims too. Even if you are not Muslim, this tool may be a great way to learn more about the religion and its traditions.

Mosque in Tatarstan to launch “free Ramadan taxi” for elderly, disabled

7543a270a90ba4f04a33d933153f5ebeYardim mosque in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, which is a Muslim-majority region of the Russian Federation, will kick off the charity campaign called “Ramadan Taxi” on Thursday, the first day of the holy month of Ramadan.

Participants in the free taxi service will transport the elderly and disabled people after Iftar as well as after Isha and Taraweeh prayers from mosques to their homes in a first-of-its-kind initiative in the capital Kazan.

Yardim mosque also organizes mass iftar meals throughout the holy month of Ramadan.

New Jersey Muslims Urged To Share Ramadan

Jersey_Muslims_Urged_To_Share_RamadanSeeing Ramadan as opportunity to spread peace and love among New Jersey faiths, an online initiative has urged Middlesex County Muslims to share food with their neighbors and friends during the holy fasting month.

“As the Month of Fasting or Ramadan approaches, we would like to encourage Muslims near and far to take part in the Ramadan Sharing Initiative,” South Brunswick resident and Board of Education member Azra Baig was quoted by on Tuesday, June 16.

“(It is) an initiative to help spread peace, love and kindness by sharing food with our friends, neighbors, co-workers and the greater community.”

Called “Ramadan Sharing Initiative”, the Facebook page of the event calls South Brunswick Muslims to share Ramadan experience with the town’s non-Muslim residents.

According to the page, Muslims can share a plate of food, a bowl of dates, a food basket or some cookies.

“Ramadan is a month of honoring and celebrating the teachings of the Muslim’s Holy Book, the Quran. And what better way to celebrate the teachings than to act with peace, love and kindness,” said North Brunswick resident, and fellow Muslim, Saima Iqbal said.

“Muslim’s Prophet, Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was a mercy to mankind. Being merciful, loving and caring toward each other and to those in our community is his legacy.”

Led by the two Muslim women, Iqbal and Baig, the initiative has launched a hashtag, #RamadanSharing, to help in rising awareness about the positive move.

“By extending warm wishes and sharing a plate we are promoting the legacy of the Prophet and celebrating the Quran,” Iqbal said.

“I hope we’re able to perpetuate the sense of love, mercy, and sharing with this initiative, this Ramadan and in the years to come.”

Ramadan is the holiest month in Islamic calendar.

In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.

Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint and good deeds.

It is customary for Muslims to spend part of the days during Ramadan studying the Noble Qur’an.

The United States is home to a minority of between six to eight million Muslims.

A US survey has also revealed that the majority of Americans know very little about Muslims and their faith.

U.S. Mosque welcomes over 50 School District staff

U.S.-Mosque-welcomes-over-50-School-District-staffAbout 50 teachers and administrators at one Pennsylvania school district attended a recent training session on Islam and Arabic culture, While there they learned about the practice of Islam, watched an afternoon Muslim prayer service.

The workshop in the town of Lebanon was led by a former district Arabic translator, Mohamed Omar, who “took time off from his new job as a case worker for the Department of Human Services in Philadelphia to share his knowledge of Islam with the staff,” the Lebanon Daily News reported.

Among the attendees: Superintendent Marianne Bartley and a handful of other administrators.

“I think this is the first time ever in the United States that a school district goes to a mosque,” mosque founder Hamid Housni told the Daily News. “Usually a representative of a mosque goes somewhere. We don’t have words to explain to you how we appreciate that. This is very, very special.”

The training session included a comparison-contrast of U.S.-Arab education, as well as a visit to a local mosque to learn more about the Islamic religion – and to join in the congregation’s prayer service, the news outlet said.

“We have so many students from different Hispanic countries, but slowly but surely the Arabic population is growing,” Omar said. “With Hispanics you have the language differences and certainly cultural differences, but there are similarities in their religious practices. Of course, the Arab language and the religion are very much different, but we are learning that there are also many similarities.”

Teachers and administrators removed their shoes at the mosque and mingled with the congregation, discussing God, Islam and Christianity, the news outlet reported.

“We believe we will be judged by God,” Omar said, at the mosque. “The more good deeds we do, God will forgive us in the end. … You must work. Faith without work will not be accepted.”

Teachers were given opportunity to ask questions and afterwards, called the event informative.

“It’s important that we educate ourselves about cultures that are different from our own and that we try to eliminate some misunderstandings,” said Lara Book, one of the teachers who attended. “And any way that I can communicate with my students … that makes it more meaningful or easier, it is a vital tool.”

Book also said: “Basically, although our cultures are different, the fundamentals of them are similar and we all want the same things, happiness for our families, health, and success. Although we might go about finding those things in our lives differently, from a cultural standpoint, we all want the same thing.”

Californian Muslims brace for Ramadan celebrations

Californian Muslims brace for Ramadan

Like Millions of Muslims across the world, Muslims in the US are preparing to observe the holy fasting month of Ramadan, which starts on Thursday, with a religious flavor.

At southern California’s multi-cultural mosque, the Islamic Society of Orange County, preparations are going on to host thousands of Muslims on the first Saturday of Ramadan.

A huge canopy is being installed in the courtyard of the mosque where a large celebration is to be held.

The heavy schedule of the mosque will focus on mid-day prayers along with evening celebrations after the fast is broken.

“When you go without food and drink for entire day, even for one day, you realize what you have given up, and you realize what you actually have that you had taken for granted,” Sheikh Mustafa Umar, of a southern California mosque, told Voice of America on Monday.

Sheikh Umar is one of southern California Muslims who are bracing for fasting, reflections and communal gatherings that mark the holy month.

“Every day here at the mosque, we actually break our fast together at sunset, so that is around 8:00 pm,” Duaa Alwan, the president of the Islamic Society of Orange County, said.

“There are free meals, free dinners here. A lot of the larger community are invited to that, a lot of our friends from different faiths, our neighbors.”

Photos: Initiative to feed daily 30 thousand displaced people during Ramadan in Syria

Photos: Initiative to feed daily 30 thousand displaced people during Ramadan in Syria

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12 Incredible Health Benefits Of Fasting


Dr. Cinque’s Facts about Fasting:

[dropcap]1[/dropcap]Fasting initiates rapid weight loss with little or no hunger. Most people are surprised at how little desire for food they have while fasting.

[dropcap]2[/dropcap]Fasting promotes detoxification. As the body breaks down its fat reserves, it mobilizes and eliminates stored toxins.

[dropcap]3[/dropcap]Fasting gives the digestive system a much-needed rest. After fasting, both digestion and elimination are invigorated.

[dropcap]4[/dropcap]Fasting promotes the resolution of inflammatory processes, such as in rheumatoid arthritis.

[dropcap]5[/dropcap]Fasting quiets allergic reactions, including asthma and hay fever.

[dropcap]6[/dropcap]Fasting promotes the drying up of abnormal fluid accumulations, such as edema in the ankles and legs and swelling in the abdomen.

[dropcap]7[/dropcap]Fasting corrects high blood pressure without drugs. Fasting will normalize blood pressure in the vast majority of cases, the blood pressure will remain low after the fast, if the person follows a health-supporting diet and lifestyle.

[dropcap]8[/dropcap]Fasting makes it easy to overcome bad habits and addictions. Many people have overcome tobacco and alcohol addictions by fasting, and even drug addictions. Fasting rapidly dissipates the craving for nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and other drugs.

[dropcap]9[/dropcap]Fasting clears the skin and whitens the eyes. It is common to see skin eruptions clear while fasting, and the whites of the eyes never look so clear and bright as they do after fasting.

[dropcap]10[/dropcap]Fasting restores taste appreciation for wholesome natural foods. People say that their taste buds come alive after fasting and that food never tasted so good.

[dropcap]11[/dropcap]Fasting increases the acuity of other senses as well, including hearing and smell, and sometimes even vision. Fasting can sharpen the mind too.

[dropcap]12[/dropcap]Fasting is the perfect gateway to a healthful diet and lifestyle. Going on a fast gives you the motivation and enthusiasm to make a fresh start.


The Social Effects of Fasting

The-Social-Effects-of-Fasting[su_heading size=”19″]The Social Effects of Fasting[/su_heading]

[dropcap]1[/dropcap]Fasting and the Equality between the Rich and the Poor:
The social effects of fasts are evident. Fasts impart the message of equality amongst the individuals of the society. By acting upon this religious obligation the affluent ones not only get first-hand experience of the hunger of the hungry and the impoverished ones of society, but economizing on their daily food also serves to benefit them. .It is quoted upon the authority of Imam Sadiq: “God made fasting obligatory so that the rich and the poor are made equal. If there were no fasting, the rich would never experience the feeling of hunger that would make them have mercy on the poor, for whenever the rich desire something they are able to acquire it. Thus God desired to place His servants on the same level, and that the rich experience hunger and pain so that they have compassion for the weak and have mercy on the hungry.” (Mahajjah al-Bayda, v.2, p.124)
We see in this tradition that one of the philosophies behind fasting in the month of Ramadan is to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor people. Wealth has always divided human societies into two classes – the rich and the poor. The rich who possess means of comfort and convenience can never realize the hardships and pains suffered by the poor and experience what they go through. When one fasts, he gets hungry and thirsty. His human emotions get aroused and he starts to think of ways to help those who are hungry. It is interesting to note that according to Islamic jurisprudence no rich man can pay a poor man to fast instead of him. This clearly shows the purpose behind fasting.

[dropcap]2[/dropcap]Unity, Brotherhood and Charity:
The fast of Ramadan helps the Muslims to be aware of their unity. From the moment the new moon is seen, the whole Muslim world enters into the spiritual discipline of fasting. Mutual awareness and mutual sympathy between Muslims is increased. We try doing more acts of charity towards each other. We bear in mind that back-biting gossip, quarrelling and so on can take away the spiritual benefits and reward of our fasting.

[dropcap]3[/dropcap]Fasting develops dignity
People who have persevered against hardships, such as hunger and thirst, and have thus trained their body and soul, can challenge and overcome every difficulty they may encounter in life. Hunger and thirst cease to be great threats for such people. Hunger pains are no longer a chain that holds them back. Such people can protect their self-respect and dignity at any cost. They will not beg for money or food, even when they are hungry.
Yogis can go on living without food or drink for six months, even though they are not seeking the pleasure of Allah, therefore it is not hard to understand how believers feel secure that with the help and consent of their Lord they can easily endure more physical suffering without degrading themselves before other people if they fall on hard times. But those who have never fasted and thus immunized their body against hunger will most probably abase themselves and begin to beg for food in order to satisfy their hunger when they find themselves having to do without.

The benefits of fasting/Fasting and Patience


Ramadan is the month of patience as the person who observes fasting is patient regarding acts of obedience and avoiding acts of disobedience. He abstains from the permissible things he used to enjoy out of obedience to Allah the Almighty and in fulfillment of piety. Meanwhile, he stops himself from doing acts of disobedience and forces himself to do many righteous acts which bring one closer to Allah The Almighty, such as observing the voluntary night prayers, giving in charity, maintaining kinship ties, providing food for the needy and bearing the suffering of hunger and thirst.
The Qur’an has interpreted fasting as patience. There is a tradition in which Imam Sadiq (The Sixth Imam of Muslims) has been quoted to have said the following in the interpretation of the Almighty God’s statement “Seek help from patience and prayer”: What is meant by patience is fasting. When something really hard descends upon man, he should fast since God the Almighty says “seek help from patience” – that is fasting. So fasting strengthens people’s patience and such a person is able to resist withstand problems.

Benefits of Ramadan and Fasting/Social Healing

Social-Healing[su_heading size=”19″]Social Healing[/su_heading]

A man wrote a letter to Imam Askari (a.s) asking him: “For what reason did Allah make fasting compulsory?”
The Imam (a.s) wrote in reply: “God has made fasting compulsory so that the rich shall find the pain of hunger so they have a mercy upon the poor.” (Bihar al-Anwar Vol.96, p.339)
Starvation and its related diseases causes one person per second to die on this planet, 75% of them being infants and children under the age of 5.
Typically, stories involving deaths in Africa receive lesser coverage than those, which occur elsewhere. Nonetheless, let us read the following news.
Exodus newsmagazine in its July 22, 2001 issue reported: Starvation in Ethiopia, Help Slowly Arriving, Death Toll Cannot Be Determined by Howard A. Gutman
“A massive tragedy is unfolding in Ethiopia as thousands of starving people are expected to die. Without help, many expect the death toll to be in the millions. Yet little is being done in the U.S.”
According to the same newsmagazine in the last famine, there were approximately one million deaths.
Now compare the above news with the following:
‘More than half of U.S adults (20+) are overweight. Nearly one-quarter of U.S adults are obese.’ And the figures are drastically increasing. This is despite all weight-loss programs in these countries.
According to Wolf & Colditz in ‘Current estimates of the Economic Cost of Obesity in the US 1998’: “Economic cost in the U.S related to the overweight in 1995 was the total of $99.2 billion. And according to the same source Americans spend $33 billion annually on weight-loss products and services. This includes low calorie foods, artificially sweetened products; such as sodas and memberships to commercial weight-loss centres.
And if you want to know whether you are among those over-weight people in a time when starvation causes one person per second to die, here is your scale.
The biggest problem facing the world today is not people dying in the streets of Mumbai, Zimbabwe or Ethiopia; it is rather the lack of a sense of caring for those disadvantaged people whose rights have been usurped by others. Fasting provides the opportunity for the faster to feel and find for himself or herself the pain and agony that a poor person is going through. A fasting person can also keep his or her money, usually spent on lunch, away to feed a group of poor people with. Thus, Zakatul-fitreh is compulsory and is regarded as the compilation of fasting