Monday, August 31, 2009

Powerful Sister of the Month - September 2009

The powerful sister for September 2009 is Maha ElGenaidi. She is the founder, President, and CEO of the Islamic Networks Group (ING). ING is a nonprofit, educational organization founded in 1993, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The organization delivers educational programs relating to Islam and Muslims.

Maha ElGenaidi has spoken at hundreds of schools, churches, synagogues, police departments, corporations and other public agencies. She has appeared on numerous television and radio programs and is the author of seven training handbooks on outreach for American Muslims as well as eight training modules for public institutions on "developing cultural competency with the American Muslim community". Maha is active with many state and federal government agencies and was a former commissioner on Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante's Commission for One California. She currently serves on the California Three Rs Advisory Committee, Santa Clara County Human Relations Commission and is an Advisor to California's Commission on Police Officers Standards and Training (POST) for cultural diversity and hate crime prevention. Maha has been recognized with numerous civil rights awards, including the "Civil Rights Leadership Award" from the California Association of Human Relations Organizations, and the "Citizen of the Year Award" from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Economics from the American University in Cairo. Maha is married and lives in Santa Clara, California. 

For more information about ING, please visit:

Sunday, August 30, 2009

How can $1 become $1000 or more?

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Save yourself from the (Hell) Fire even with half a date (to be given in charity). And if you do not find a half date, then with a good pleasant word.” – Collected by Al-Bukhari. is a Muslim-run service that is inspired by this teaching. Checkout the site's current creative fundraising projects:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Free Ramadan Webcast Lectures

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

For 3 Sundays during Ramadan, MANA (Muslim Alliance in North America) will host a series of audio webcast lectures by Imam Siraj Wahhaj, Dr. Jamal Badawi, and Imam Zaid Shakir starting on August 30, 2009: 

Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Jummuah (Friday)! Got Mulk?

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

Tafseer (commentary) on one verse of Surah al Mulk (chapter on the dominion) each day during Ramadan:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Job Openings at Islamic Relief

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

May Allah (God) bless us with halal rizq (lawful provision):

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Celebrating Ramadan in Canada

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

For my Canadian sisters. Taraweeh times and public iftars (fast-breaking dinners) and a Ramadan guide for the workplace: 

5 Ways to Avoid Ramadan Weight Gain

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

Tips from our sister Mubarakah Ibrahim (

"Ramadan is a time in which we rejuvenate ourselves spiritually. The fast is a form of ibada that we do solely for the sake of Allah, seeking only his rewards and his pleasure. We must keep our intentions pure for this sake and this sake alone. We read articles on the physical benefits of fasting and we get long-winded about our “need” to fast for physical restoration. But the fast of Ramadan is not intended for this purpose. It is essential that we maintain its intent and purpose for indeed the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said “he who fast with the intentions of pleasing Allah his reward is with his lord”. 

However on the practical side of fasting, every year we deviate from the sunnah and we suffer physically. It’s often manifested in weight gain, which then leads to tiredness which prevents us from staying awake for our late night ibada and thus the physical harm affects us spiritually and it comes full circle. Our intentions are not to make the fast a month of dieting but minimally make it a month in which we do not worsen our physical condition. The following are some practical tips on how to avoid the “notorious” Ramadan weight gain that many Muslims suffer from.

1. Eat protein in the morning

Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. So much so that it is a Sunna. When eating sahur resist the urge to try to make up for the food you will be missing during the day. We are not whales, thus we do not have an extra stomach to hold food for later. Don’t eat a stack of pancakes thinking if you eat 5 instead of your normal 3 you will be satisfied longer. Calories from carbohydrates (i.e. pancakes, grits, waffles, toast, etc.) are burned much faster than protein. Even though hunger during some part of the day is inevitable with fasting 13 hours days, you can delay when the hunger kicks in by having a healthy portion of protein with your sahur. Having eggs with your pancakes or waffles, turkey bacon with your grits or a protein shake with your oatmeal will have much more longevity in your system than a pure carbohydrate meal.

2. Drink plenty of water when you break your fast

It is very easy to become dehydrated and not drink enough water during Ramadan. We spend most of our alert hours not drinking anything. When the Messenger of Allah (saw) could not find dates to break fast with he would break fast with water. Water is an essential part of a healthy diet even when you are fasting. Dehydration is often misinterpreted as hunger. When we are dehydrated when we break fast, then we have the hunger of the fast on top of the mistaken hunger of being dehydrated. Break your fast then drink 2 large glasses of water before you eat your iftar meal. Eat slowly, consciously and with intent to eat for nourishment not to satisfy your hunger and cravings.

3. Eat consciously

One of the joys of a fasting person is mentioned in the hadith when Allah says in hadith qudsi that a fasting person will have two joys, one when he breaks his fast and one when he meets his lord. There is very little that compares to having fasted all day then sitting in front of a nice spread with every dish you had been fantasizing about, everything from your favorite roasted lamb to cake and cookies. However there is very little that can compare to the amount of self control we must have when faced with such a feast of the eyes and the palette. We must remember that we are hungry because we are Muslims and as Muslims we much keep the Sunnah in mind and in actions. Remember the advice of the Prophet (s.a.w) was a one-third rule. One-third food, one-third drink and one-third air. When we sit and eat our fill at iftar we violate the sunnah and we violate our bodies. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: “A Muslim should never loosen his waist wrapper due to over eating”. Ramadan is a time in which we are trained in self control. This self control and discipline is not limited to the day. This training during the day extends to all parts of our lives and our behavior. And there is no better time to show the benefit of this training than sitting down to an iftar spread and NOT eating everything in sight.

4. Limit sweets

Sweets are the indulgence of just about every culture during Ramadan. From the special Moroccan halwa, to African American cross cultural pies and cakes. Ramadan is the month that even the “cooking handicapped” practice their skills. We all have a tendency to justify the extra calories with the fact that we fasted most of the day. But the fact remains that it doesn’t matter if you consume the calories throughout the day or all at iftar. A calorie is still a calorie and too many still adds up to stored fat. Okay it’s unrealistic to say do not eat any sweets. In fact it’s okay to enjoy the sweetness of your Muslim sister’s cooking. But have a piece of cake AFTER you have eaten a balanced meal, drunk a large glass of water and prayed Maghrib to give your digestive system time to settle and register the food you have eaten. If you still crave the sweets have a small serving then leave the rest for someone else to enjoy. Drinking the water will help fill your stomach and leave less room for over indulgence in sweets. And waiting after salat allows for the 15 to 20 minutes it takes for your stomach to communicate its fullness to your brain.

5. Avoid late night snacking

When we are up late night doing ibada we tend to take detours through the kitchen to “taste” all the things we won’t be able to have during the day. Leave the night for ibada and you will benefit much more. But if you happen to leave your Qur’an in the kitchen and must go in there to get it, then grab a small potion of protein rich food instead of the extra piece of cake. Eating carbohydrate and sugar rich foods late at night increases the chance of those carbohydrates being stored as fat. Eating a “small” portion of protein will balance your insulin and leave you feeling fuller longer.

May Allah Bless each reader to have a successful Ramadan. If you found benefit in this article then make a special dua for the author and if you found any mistakes make an extra dua for the author to be guided on the Siratal-Mustaqeen."

The 5 Essential Tips for Your Fitness Program in Ramadan

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

Tips from our sister Mubarakah Ibrahim that will, insha-Allah allow us stay active during Ramadan without overtaxing our systems and jeopardizing our fasts.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Jummuah (Friday)!

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

Ramadan mubarak (Have a blessed month of fasting)! My posts will be reduced during Ramadan so that I can focus on my worship, insha-Allah (God willing). Please enjoy this online seminar by Muhammad AlShareef called "The Fasting and the Furious":

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Save Water through Efficient Lawn Watering

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

Yes, we can save water while making wudu (ablution before prayer) and while watering our lawns:

20 Tips for Keeping our Kids Debt-free

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

The sunnah we teach our kids smart money habits, the better:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Is your child the only one at school who is fasting?

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

Are you the only one at your job who is fasting? Do your college classmates understand why you are fasting? Get free resources for Ramadan planning and sharing Ramadan with our non-Muslim friends and neighbors here:

Ramadan Food for Thought

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

Ramadan mubarak, insha-Allah (May you have a blessed Ramadan, God willing):

Qur'anic recitation: 

Dr Saleh as Saleh rahimahullah - Fasting in Ramadaan (20+ lectures on the fiqh, etiquette, focus and benefits of fasting) 
Abu Uwais rahimahullah - We need Ramadaan(Transcribed lecture here
Dr Bilal Philips - Ramadaan: a Way of Life (video) 
Ali Tamimi - Benefits of Ramadaan
Ahmad Jibril - Are you Ready for Ramadaan
Ahmad Jibril - Greeting Ramadaan
Yasir Qadhi - Preparing for Ramadaan
Yahya Ibrahim - Rewards Derived from Ramadaan
Yahya Ibrahim - Renewing One's Faith is a Priority in Ramadaan 
Muhammad Alshareef - Towards an Outstanding Ramadaan (video) 
Nouman Ali Khan - Welcome Ramadaan (video)
Siraj Wahhaj - Ramadaan: Prepare Yourself 
Waleed Basyouni - How to Make this your best Ramadaan (9 parts) 
Navaid Aziz - Preparing for Ramadaan
Sa'eed Rageah - Ramadaan Reminder 

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Feed Your Baby the Good Stuff

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

Could this be our own health care reform? Is this how to save on future health care costs, insha-Allah (God willing):

Back to School? Save Money and Save your Children

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

Tips for saving money on school supplies, dealing with misinformation in the classroom, and handling other important issues:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fabulous Long Skirts you Thought you Would Never Find

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

Great colors, great styles, no slits, and available in sizes for tall sisters. No, you're not dreaming:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Natural Remedies for Heartburn

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

Relief is on its way insha-Allah (God willing):

Another Weapon in the Battle of the Bulge

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

Walk to boost your metabolism:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Why Ramadan is the Worst Time For Dietary Changes

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

Mubarakah “The Muslim Trainer” Ibrahim gives us the inside scoop on one way to have a healthier Ramadan:

Choices to Make for a Healthy Ramadan

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

May we all have a blessed Ramadan:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

ING's 17th Annual Supporters Dinner

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

Our sister Maha ElGenaidi is the President and CEO of the Islamic Networks Group (ING). ING will have its 17th Annual Supporters Dinner on 10/3/09 at 6 PM in Santa Clara, CA: 

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Muslimaat Al-Nisaa Shelter Fundraiser Iftar

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

Muslimat Al-Nisaa provides food, clothing and service-enriched shelter housing for Muslim women and children who come to them from states nationwide. Please support the iftar fundraising dinner to benefit the Muslimat Al-Nisaa shelter. September 6, 2009 at the University of Maryland College ParkKeynote Speaker: Dr. Altaf Husain:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hijab Rework, Not Hijab Removal?

As-Salaamu alaikum (Peace be with you),

To my sisters who are considering removing their hijab: Maybe it's just time for a hijab makeover in addition to an iman (faith) makeover. I remind myself before I remind anyone else. 

Jennifer Kabir writes in her article: "Your headscarf is a big part of your wardrobe yet contrary to what we have been taught it does not necessarily have to be the defining element of your style." I would say that my headscarf is obligatory and it does definitely define my style. However, as Allah (God) tells us, the best dress is good character. Obedience to God must be reflected in all our of actions. Insha-Allah we should be God-conscious Muslims on the outside and on the inside.

Here are some of Jennifer Kabir's Hijab Fashion Tips.