Quran Focus Academy Blog

What is Eid Al Adha or Eid ul Aza? When will Muslim celebrate Eid Al Adha 2016?

Eid Al Adha is one of the holiest celebrations on the Islamic calendar. The holiday known as the “Feast of Sacrifice” or ”Festival of the Sacrifice”, also called the “Bakr-Eid” represents the end of Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia that lasts three to four days. The Holy Quran recommends all Muslims make the journey at least once in their lifetime.

What is Eid Al Adha?

Muslims celebrate this day as a reminder of the time in which Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son but was told by God to sacrifice an animal instead. The celebration symbolizes Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah.

When will Eid Al Adha start?

Up to 2 million Muslims from around the world arrived in Saudi Arabia for the start of Hajj this week. The start of Eid Al Adha is determined based on the lunar cycle, which means the festival falls on a different date every year. In 2016, it was expected to fall on Sunday, But the new moon was not spotted on Sept. 1 as expected and instead was spotted on the second day of the month. That means Eid Al Adha will start on Monday and end Tuesday, Metro UK reported.

How is Eid Al Adha celebrated?

Depending on where you are in the world, Eid Al Adha could be celebrated on a different day. For example, the Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court announced that it would celebrate the festival Monday, whereas other nations will celebrate Tuesday.

Eid al-Adha

Muslims start out the day with a morning prayer and then exchange gifts and food among family and friends. They are required to share their food and money with the poor so they can also take part in the celebrations. Worshippers typically slaughter an animal
like a goat or sheep. Close to 10 million animals are slaughtered in Pakistan on Eid.

For those who make the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, they are expected to perform two rituals. The first is a lesser pilgrimage known as “Umrah,” or a journey to Mecca at any time of the year. The second is the main pilgrimage, known as “Hajj.” During
these rituals, worshippers are to circle the Kaaba, believed to be a shrine built by Ibrahim and pray to Allah.

The festival is traditionally four days long, but the celebration of the public holiday varies depending on the country.

Like Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha begins with a sunnah prayer of two rakats followed by a sermon (khutbah). Eid al-Adha celebrations start after the descent of the Hujjaj, the pilgrims performing the Hajj, from Mount Arafat , a hill east of Mecca. Eid sacrifice may take place until sunset on the 13th day of Dhu al-Hijjah.

Hajj 2016: Five-day pilgrimage begins on September 10

The 2016 Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca is a five-day ritual beginning on Saturday, September 10 and ending on the 15th.

Hajj is an annual piligrimage to Mecca for millions of Muslims from all over the world.

In 2016, Hajj, one of the world’s largest gatherings, is to begin on Saturday, September 10.

The dates of the pilgrimage were confirmed by Hajj authorities in Saudi Arabia on September 1 based on the sighting of the Moon.

hajj

Hajj 2016

On the third day of Hajj each year, Muslims celebrate the Eid al-Adha, Islam’s holiest festival.

In the Islamic calendar, Hajj begins on the eighth day of the Dhu al-Hijjah lunar month, and ends on the 13th day of Dhu al-Hijjah. The religious rituals of the Hajj pilgrimage, however, can be completed in five days.

For Muslims, the Hajj re-enacts the actions of the Prophet Muhammad in his “farewell pilgrimage” in AD632, and is a central pillar of the Islamic faith meant to cleanse the faithful of sin and bring them closer to God.

Muslim Home Schooling – Quran & Mathematics

 

BOB FAW, correspondent: In the heart of mainstream America, a Cub Scout derby where each of the home-designed cars is carefully weighed and measured before roaring off at breakneck speed. Here enterprise, ingenuity, and patience are justly rewarded.

ISRAFEEL JAKA: My favorite part was when I got in first.

FAW: It’s a mainstream event passionately embraced not only by the Jaka brothers, but also by nine- year-old Bilal Khan, whose education and upbringing is anything but mainstream. In his Loudoun County, Virginia home, Bilal is being taught math by his mother Zakia.

 

post01-muslimschooling

 

ZAKIA KHAN (speaking to Bilal): So 5 is closer to 7, or 10 is closer to 7?

FAW: In another home nearby, Priscilla Martinez is teaching her six children, ages two to 12, about condensation.

PRISCILLA MARTINEZ (speaking to children): We’re going to learn about clouds, evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.

FAW: They are part of a growing movement—no one knows the exact number—of Muslims who home-school their children because they want them to get a more holistic education than a public school can provide.

MARTINEZ: What we are trying to do is give our children a foundation within the family first, and their identities, with values. That’s kind of the springboard for what it is that we would like for them to take with them throughout life.

FAW: And home schooling lets these Muslim families focus on their faith. Using the computer, Bilal studies the Quran/ Koran with a teacher from Pakistan, home of his father, Maqsood, and his mother.

post02-muslimschooling

 

ZAKIA KHAN: Over there we know that everything is Islamic-based, but over here we don’t see Islamic way of life outside the house.

MAQSOOD KHAN: We’re still tied to that country and want them to understand the culture and to learn about the religion.

FAW: Priscilla’s twelve- year-old daughter, Hidayah Jaka, a seventh grader, helps her eight-year-old brother, Mikaeel, to read the Koran.

HIDAYAH JAKA: It is better like this because we have the flexibility to do it whenever we want.

FAW: Muslim parents say home schooling can provide a better learning experience because the work can be tailored to each child’s needs. Bilal, for example, who learned to read before he entered public school, got bored when he had to wait for the other kids in his grade to catch up.

MAQSOOD KHAN: It was just not challenging enough for him, and so we felt that we could probably do a lot more to challenge them and to help them learn. They can learn more of what they like, what they feel comfortable with.

FAW: In each home the older children assist the younger siblings. When fifteen-year-old Meena Khan is not studying geometry, history, and literature, she helps her fourteen-year-old sister, Heba, with her math. No matter what‘s going on, both families stop what they are doing to pray five times every day. All this, proponents argue, is part of instilling values which their children would not get in public schools.

RIZWAN JAKA: We’ve chosen home schooling for our children and our family to provide that, again, the strong values and strong foundation as well as strong academics and strong respect and understanding of our faith as well as respect for other faiths.

post03-muslimschooling

 

FAW: Are they getting a good education? Meena excelled in public school before starting home schooling four years ago. She studies totally on her own with the help of a curriculum for home-schoolers. It takes discipline, she says, but she feels she’s doing even better here than she did in public school.

MEENA KHAN: I think I’m getting a very good education. I can go at my own pace, so if I understand something I can go ahead, but if I don’t understand something I can slow down on it and review it and go over it again and get help if I need to.

FAW: It is a glowing picture. But some educators feel that children are better served in a school setting. At the University of Maryland, where she helps train teachers, Melanie Killen worries that home schoolers can be sheltered and miss the benefits of rubbing shoulders with different kinds of students.

MELANIE KILLEN (University of Maryland): Peer relationships are very different from sibling relationships. This is where you learn how to share, negotiate, how you learn how to resolve conflicts. There’s a whole host of very important, fundamental building bricks and blocks for how we become members of a culture that come out of the peer interaction.

FAW: Muslim parents who home school understand the criticism and go to great lengths, they say, to expose their children to outside interests. To help integrate their kids into the culture, the Khans and Jakas go to scouting events, to classes at museums and interfaith meetings. Exposed to different faiths, they also bring their faith to others. Here they’re not only part of the mainstream culture, they are totally caught up in it.

post04-muslimschooling

 

MIKAEEL JAKA: Today I got my car checked in, and I also got a patch, and I watched a lot of cars go down. It was really cool.

FAW: Activities like this, say Muslim home-schooling parents, show that their kids are not cloistered.

RIZWAN JAKA: It’s important to us, again, to make sure that, you know, the children get to know people, and that they’re not sheltered, that they intermingle with people, and they get to know the larger society.

PRISCILLA MARTINEZ: We aren’t looking to run away from the world and draw the blinds and shut everything and everyone out living in our own little utopia. What we’re looking to do, especially with our children, is to be out there, to get to know our neighbors.

FAW: While each of these families says they have experienced prejudice, they insist prejudice was not a factor in deciding to home school. But prejudice, say educators, can be subtle.

MELANIE KILLEN: These are Muslim families living in a predominantly non-Muslim area. You have different conventions, dress, dietary practices, and all that. But there’s also implicit forms of prejudice that people experience and oftentimes don’t even call it that, but they’re uncomfortable. They might feel excluded. There’s this level of uncomfortableness about being in a school that’s not part of their own culture and religion.

FAW: Another pitfall: While Priscilla and Zakia are both dedicated and smart, neither was trained as a teacher.

MELANIE KILLEN: You need training in terms of how to be a teacher. You’re managing a classroom of children, you’re figuring out how to do this, but you’re also aware of social development and children’s social, cognitive development, their biological development. These are all things that they need to know about.

FAW: To make sure home schoolers are making progress, Virginia requires they meet certain requirements by taking a test, by interviewing with a certified teacher or handing in a portfolio of their work. Muslim home schooling is still a small movement, but those who spend hours on the front lines are not crippled by any doubt.

MARTINEZ: Our goal is basically to bring up our children who are contributing citizens, who feel that they can and should give back to the world and ultimately to grow up in peace and be able to live a fulfilling life.

FAW: As a sign in her living room reads, “Home is where your story begins,” here where the alphabet, arithmetic, and Allah meet.

Bob Faw - Religion and Ethics Newsweekly

When is the Eid Al-Fitr 2016 holiday?

MOST MUSLIMS AROUND THE WORLD THIS YEAR WILL CELEBRATE THE EID AL-FITR FESTIVAL ON WEDNESDAY JULY 6, COMMEMORATING THE END OF RAMADAN 2016.

Eid-Al-Fitr is celebrated for three days and is an official holiday in all Muslim-majority countries Adel Hana/AP

 

Eid Al-Fitr is expected to be on Wednesday July 6, but as per Muslim tradition, it can only be confirmed based onSIGHTINGS OF THE MOON on Monday July 4.

If the Moon is seen on Monday then the lunar month of Ramadan will have ended after 29 days and Eid Al-Fitr will be on the next day on July 5. But if the Moon is not seen as NASA predicts, Ramadan will be assumed to have lasted 30 days and the start of Eid will be celebrated on Wednesday 6.

UK and North America

In the USA, the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) announced that Eid Al-Fitr will be observed in the United States on Wednesday 6 July, based on astronomical predictions.

The Charity groups Islamic Relief Canada and Islamic Relief UK also predict the Eid to be on July 6.

In the UK, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan will host an Eid food festival in Trafalgar Square on Saturday, July 9. The charity group Islamic Relief UK predicts this year’s Eid will fall on Wednesday, July 6, 2016.

Days of holiday

Traditionally, Eid-Al-Fitr is celebrated for three days and is an official holiday in all Muslim majority countries.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced on Thursday that Turkey will observe a nine-day public holiday for Eid Al-Fitr, from Saturday, July 2 until Sunday, July 10. The official holiday, however, will be for three days, from Tuesday July 5 until Thursday July 7, 2016.

Together with the weekeed, this allows public sector employees to enjoy a six-day holiday from Tuesday until Sunday. Eid-Al-Fitr is also known in Turkish as “Seker Bayrami” or “Ramazan Bayrami”.

Bangladesh also announced a nine-days public holiday, starting from July 1.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar are also likely to observe a three-day public holiday over the same period. In 2015 Eid Al-Fitr was on Friday July 15, and the UAE’s public sector declared a five-day Eid holiday, from Thursday July 16 until Monday July 21.

Laylatul Qadr: 10 points towards successfully seeking it

By: Farrukh Paasha

We should remember that even though is not possible to definitively know whether we have attained Laylatul Qadr or not the real success is in the seeking itself. We ask Allah for that success in this Ramadan and in many others to come!

Allah, Most High, says in the Qur’an: The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn. [Qur’an: 97:3-5]

The blessed Laylatul Qadr can be found in any of the last 10 nights of Ramadan, which are the most blessed nights of the year. As such, we should increase our worship and devotion during this period.

Aisha, Most High, reported: With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work harder) and used to pray the whole night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers. [Bukhari]

Abu Hurayrah (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever stands (in the voluntary night prayer of) Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. And whoever spends the night of Lailat Al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i]

Subhan Allah! Such immense rewards are to be gained during these blessed 10 nights. How can we afford to miss out on them? Who is to say that we will live to see the next Ramadan? We MUST make the best of these 10 nights. If we cannot manage all of the 10 nights, then as many as we can manage, particularly on the odd-numbered nights: 21st, 25th, 27th and 29th.

There is a saying that a person who fails to plan, plans to fail. So I have created a Worship Plan that we can use to maximise these blessed 10 nights of Ramadan. But first, there are a few points to consider:

10 Points to Consider in the Worship Plan

  1. Remain in I’tikaf: The best way of catching the blessed night is to remain in I’tikaf, which both men and women can do. If it is not possible for one to remain in I’tikaf for the whole of the 10 days and nights, then one should try to remain in I’tikaf for as many days and nights possible. It is also possible to make intention of Nawafil I’tikaf each and every time one enters the masjid to gain rewards for the time spent in the masjid.
  2. Worship all the 10 nights: Try to worship the whole of the 10 nights or as many days you can manage as that is the best way to catch the unimaginable and incomprehensible rewards of  Laylatul Qadr. Each and every good deed from Maghrib until Fajr on Laylatul Qadr is rewarded a minimum of at least 83 years’ of worship. Subhan Allah, that is longer than most of us will live!
  3. Best dua of the last 10 nights: اَللَّهُمَّ اِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ ، تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
    Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I realize Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), what should I supplicate in it?” He (peace be upon him) replied, “You should supplicate: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me).” [At-Tirmidhi].
  4. Give charity: Any good act such as charity during Laylatul Qadr is rewarded like you have done it for over 83 years.
  5. Eat light: As you will be staying up until Fajr, the more you eat, the harder it will be for you to stay up and the less productive you will be!
  6. Hydrate well: Keep some water with you at all times. This will help you stay up, feel energised and refreshed and have a clearer mind.
  7. Complete all tasks beforehand: Make arrangements to clear as many of your pending tasks as possible or make a plan for tackling them later. This way, we are free to worship during the 10 nights without being distracted by worldly tasks.
  8. Show exemplary character: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Nothing will be heavier on the Day of Resurrection in the Scale of the believer than good manners. Allah hates one who utters foul or coarse language.” [At- Tirmidhi]. So we must aim to be the best in character during these blessed nights and continue to do so for the rest of the year. We must not argue, swear, backbite, slander or gossip.
  9. No time wasting: We must make a firm intention that during these blessed 10 nights, we will not take part in idle talk, watch TV, play computer games or spend time on the social media. There are 355 days in the year for all that – if you really cannot resist. This is just 10 nights! There will be indeed an utter loss and regret for those of us who waste these blessed 10 nights.
  10. Making life changes: We should make the necessary changes to improve ourselves as Muslims and what better time to make such changes than during these blessed 10 nights where we can change our lives forever. We must internalise these changes and make a firm commitment to Allah, Most High , and maybe that he will wipe off our sins until we become newborn babies, In sha Allah.

Source: ProductiveMuslim

Students from Lowfield Primary School visit Sheffield Islamic Centre Madina Masjid Trust

Students from Lowfield Primary School visited a local Mosque, to learn more about Muslims living in the city.

The youngsters visited Sheffield Islamic Centre Madina Masjid Trust, where they were given a tour of the Mosque’s wash rooms, prayer areas and library and learned more about the contents of the Quran and how children start to study the religious text of Islam from a young age.

Mosque visit - Quran Focus Academy

The children and staff were joined by students from their partner school, Hartington C of E Primary School, as part of studies into city and countryside cultures and differences.

Lowfield Teaching Assistant, Judith Flower, said: “The Mosque tour was such a great experience, for both the children and the staff. We removed our shoes and our guide explained the importance and relevance of why Muslim people cleanse before they go to pray.

“We learnt so much about the religious views of Muslim people, as well as how and where they pray.

“It was fantastic to see all the children asking questions to develop their learning. As Hartington is a Church School with a strong Christian ethos, it is fantastic that pupils are able to learn about other great world faiths.”

This event came after Sheffield youngsters visited the Derbyshire Dales school in July last year, where they investigated life within a rural community.

Hartington pupil Jacob Blackwell, 9, said: “It was interesting to see the Mosque and stunning to learn more about what Muslim people do when they pray and how they worship Allah.”

Lowfield School Council Co-ordinator and Year 3 Teacher, Richard Green said: “The trip to the Mosque gave the Hartington children an understanding of the social and cultural activities that our children undertake and really bonded the two communities.”

Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital opens another free cancer hospital in Pakistan

Peshawar gets Pakistan’s largest free cancer hospital

 PESHAWAR: Pakistan’s largest and the second Shaukat Khan Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre was formally inaugurated here Tuesday.It was announced on the occasion that 75 percent cancer patients would get free treatment.

Free Cancer Hospital Peshawar Pakistan

 

A six and a half years old cancer patient, Faakhir Afridi, along with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan inaugurated the hospital.

Donors, members of the hospital’s board of governors, and senior staff members of the Lahore-based cancer hospital attended the event. British High Commissioner to Pakistan Philip Barton was also present.

Speaking on the occasion, Imran Khan said establishing a cancer hospital in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was one of his biggest dreams.

“The construction of the free cancer hospital is beyond logic, wisdom and rationality and I congratulate all Pakistanis for their generosity which made it possible to build two hospitals,” he said.

“Cancer treatment is one of the most expensive in the world. Despite having all the resources and my start status, my mother died due to cancer. The poor people have no place to go for treatment of cancer,” he reminded.

“It is a miracle because these are the only hospitals in the world that offer free cancer treatment to 75 percent patients,” he said.He praised Prof Dr Nausherwan Khan Burki, who happens to be his cousin, Dr Faisal Sultan, chief executive SKMCH and Dr Asim Yousaf, medical director, for their contribution in realising his dream of establishing the two free cancer hospitals.

“There had been many occasions of happiness in my life but I was so excited over completion of the cancer hospital in Peshawar that I couldn’t even properly sleep last night,” Imran Khan remarked.

Though Imran thought he had arrived an hour before the start of the scheduled time, he kept the participants waiting for his arrival to formally begin the proceeding.Imran recalled his old struggle launched by him in the 1990s for collecting donations to build the cancer hospital in Lahore.

“In the 1990s, I was at the peak of my popularity as a cricket star but when I decided to establish a cancer hospital through donations, I collected Rs100 million only in one and half years. But now when we made an appeal for Rs800 million donations in November last, people gave us Rs900 million because of their trust in the excellent services provided by the Shaukat Khanum Hospital Lahore,” Imran said.  He said he needed Rs800 million to purchase important diagnostic equipment for the hospital and this had prompted him to make the appeal for donations in November.

Imran recalled he had visited 29 cities of the country in six weeks to collect donations for the cancer hospital in Lahore. “During my life, I had not even asked my father to give me money, but when I decided to establish the cancer hospital, I used to go to every person to collect donations. The educational institutions and the students played a vital role in establishing the first cancer hospital. They proved my real tigers and helped my fundraising campaign for the hospital,” he said.

Imran said he used to go to educational institutions in the morning and bazaars in the evening to seek donations. “I can’t describe the scenes how daily-wagers, poor labourers and shopkeepers generously donated for the cancer hospital,” the PTI leader said.

Imran said after deciding to set up the first cancer hospital, he called top 20 doctors in Lahore to seek their opinion.“Out of 20, 19 said establishing cancer hospital was not possible in Pakistan. One of them said it was feasible but providing free cancer treatment is not possible. But I was determined and we built Lahore hospital 21 years ago and opened the second one in Peshawar today,” he stressed.

In the 1997 general election campaign, he said the PML-N launched campaign against the hospital in Lahore and it caused a drop in donations and the hospital was about to stop operations.

“But once people went to the hospital then nobody could stop them from giving donations. We spend Rs7 billion in Lahore per year and faced a deficit of Rs3.5 billion but we were able to not only cover the deficit but also raise Rs4 billion for the Peshawar hospital,” Imran expolained.

The hospital would provide 20 beds for chemotherapy, six emergency room beds, 12 admission beds, two intensive care unit beds, radiology services, including mammography, plain radiology and ultrasonography and pathology laboratory.

In the first phase, the hospital will provide X-ray, CT scan, MRI, chemotherapy and pathological services to the patients. Next, the radiation services will be made available in the second phase and surgery after one year.

Imran said the Peshawar hospital was 30 percent larger in size than the one in Lahore.The construction of this comprehensive cancer diagnosis and treatment hospital began on March 9, 2011.

Imran Khan said the hospital was built as per international standards to provide modern cancer treatment services to the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa irrespective of their ability to pay.

He said patients are equally treated in Shaukat Khanum Hospital. “In the Lahore hospital, son of our great poet Allama Mohammad Iqbal, Javed Iqbal was lying on one bed and a poor patient was on the bed next to him,” he pointed out.

With the establishment of the Peshawar hospital, patients would no longer need to go to Lahore, he said, adding, 23 percent cancer patients visiting SKMCH Lahore belonged to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata and some even came from Afghanistan.

It may be added that former chief minister Ameer Haider Hoti, who belonged to the ANP, had provided 50 kanal of government land in Hayatabad to the cancer hospital free of cost and had also donated Rs50 million.

Dr Faisal Sultan, the chief executive officer of SKMCH Lahore, told The News the patients would be offered the best quality treatment in the Peshawar cancer hospital.He said being an expensive treatment, cancer destroyed families financially. Dr Asim Yousaf, medical director of SKMCH Lahore, said in the first phase they started walk-in-clinic, outpatient clinics, chemotherapy facilities, radiology services, ICU, an inpatient unit and emergency assessment room in Peshawar from December 29.

 

Muslims donate 30,000 bottles of water to Flint, Michigan, during water crisis

A Muslim organization called “Who is Hussain?” donated 30,000 bottles of water to the Red Cross in Flint, Michigan, on Sunday to help alleviate the water contamination crisis that has gripped the city for months. The donation drive came on the heels of President Obama’s declaration of the situation as a federal state of emergency.

Flint MI water drive - Quran FocusFlint MI water drive – Quran Focus

Who is Hussain? collected the water after a local campaign collected donations of cases of water bottles and online donations netted funds to purchase additional water.

The city of Flint is located approximately one hour away by car from Dearborn, Michigan, the city with the highest population of Muslims by percentage in the United States. According to the 2000 US Census, the population of Dearborn was more than 29 percent Arab.

Dr. Aziza Askari, representative for the Michigan chapter of the Who is Hussain?, said, “We saw what needed to be done and we decided to do it. We reached out to schools, neighbors, friends, mosques, anyone and everyone to help us by donating a case of water, or money towards a case.”

Who is Hussain? was inspired by the story of an early Islamic leader, Imam Hussain ibn Ali, the grandson of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Hussain ibn Ali complained early on about growing violence and extremism in the Muslim community, but was brutally killed after being denied water for several days. Adherents of Hussain’s teachings believe that the denial of water under any circumstances is an unconscionable crime, and actively promote water distribution campaigns on a regular basis. On the anniversary of Hussain’s death, they themselves forsake food and water for most of the day as a type of remembrance.

“Prophet Mohammed taught us ‘Your neighbor comes before your own household.’ As a resident of Detroit this is not only a Flint problem this is a Michigan problem and I feel obligated to help to the best of my ability.” said Mohammed Almawla, a local filmmaker and volunteer for the organization.

Flint has been the site of growing issues with water contamination, after the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) allegedly ignored months of reports of water quality issues and fought with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over water quality treatments. The EPA was also criticized for failing to prevent the problem.

Another Michigan native and filmmaker, Michael Moore, called for the arrest of Gov. Rick Snyder. Mr. Moore also called for President Obama to visit Flint to survey the problem, criticizing the president if he failed to do so.

“We’re taking every action within reason, and going beyond reason to address this,” said Gov. Snyder in response to scrutiny, according to the Detroit Free Press. “This is something you wish that never happened, and let’s see that it never happens again in the state of Michigan.”

Howard County, Maryland adds Muslim holidays to school calendar

Ater considering how best to create an inclusive academic calendar — either by removing all but state-mandated public school holidays or by recognizing additional holidays — the Howard County Board of Education has voted to close schools for students on a Muslim and a Hindu holiday, for the first time in the school system’s history.

Howard County school calendar

“I am extremely pleased by the Board’s ability to discuss and unanimously agree to seek ways to recognize the diverse backgrounds of Howard County’s students and families,” said Board of Education Chairwoman Christine O’Connor. “We want to do our best to find flexibility within the calendar to provide opportunities for all students to experience all cultures within our community.”

Please read more;

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/columbia/ph-ho-cf-school-calendar-0121-20160115-story.html

 

 

Islamic Quran academy opens in Tatarstan, Russia

An Islamic academy has opened in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Bolghar Historical and Archaeological Complex in the Tatarstan Republic of the Russian Federation on Thursday with the intent of raising Islamic scholars for Russian Muslims.

Islamic Academy Tatarstan Russia

The Bolghar Islamic Academy opened with Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov, Turkey’s Kazan Consul-General Turhan Dilmaç, Religious Affairs Secretary of Turkey’s Moscow Embassy Dursun Aygün, chief mufti of Russia and head of the Central Muslim Spiritual Directorate Talgat Tadzhuddin, President of Russia’s Muftis Council Rawil Gaynutdin, Tatarstan’s Mufti Kamil Samigullin and other religious leaders in attendance. The academy will offer six-month Quran courses. The Bolghar Historical and Archaeological Complex went under restoration and was included on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site List last year. “The new academy will raise Islamic scholars not only for Tatarstan, but also Russia’s [other] Muslims,” Minnikhanov said.

Dilmaç also said two religious lecturers have been sent from Turkey to give Quran courses at the academy. “We are pleased with their efforts. Bolghar will remain both a historical, educational and religious city,” he said. Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Aygün said Quranic recitation courses will be extended and offered to religious staff in Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and other parts of Russia. An international conference was held with the theme “Religious view of Muslims on the concepts of nation, religion and civilization.”