Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Texas A&M MSA to hold a lecture on struggle for civil rights

Posted by bcsmuslim at 10:32 PM

The Muslim Students' Association recently announced an upcoming program it's organizing as part of the Black History Month at the Texas A&M University. The program is a lecture by Imam Mahdi Bray, titled "Civil Rights: The Struggle Continues" and will be held in the Memorial Student Center (MSC) room 206 on February 9 at 7 pm.

Imam Mehdi Bray is a nationally renowned Muslim civil and human rights activist. He is the Executive Director of the Muslim American Society (MAS) Freedom Foundation, and the President of the Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations (CCMO).

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

ICBCS Masjid hosts spring 2006 welcoming dinner

Posted by bcsmuslim at 5:05 PM

The ICBCS masjid hosted its spring 2006 welcoming dinner for all newcomers to the community this Saturday. The dinner was also the aqeeqah of Br. Nabil Bensouda’s son. Br. Nabil Bensouda had generously sponsored the dinner with the help of several sisters in the community who put in the time and effort to prepare the meal.

The program started after isha prayer with brief introductions to ICBCS and MSA by Br. Faisal Chaudhry (ICBCS President) and Br. Zahir Latheef (MSA President). Newcomers were then introduced to the community. Several icebreakers and team games followed the introductions. A small portion of the program was dedicated to distributing awards to Al-Huda Weekend Islamic School students. Awards were given to students who attended the fall 2005 semester. The program ended with the dinner.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Question: Can one be a Texan and a Muslim?

Posted by bcsmuslim at 12:21 AM

Those of us who live in Bryan/College Station already know the answer. Our community has seen several devout Muslim brothers and sisters who also happen to Texans. Here is an excellent documentary that explores answer to the same question. It covers some very moving stories of Texan reverts to Islam. You may even recall Br. Eric Meek and Sr. Saffiya Meek from their visit to College Station in summer 2005.

This is indeed the beauty of Islam – a guidance for all humanity, irrespective of race, color, ethnicity, language and social status.

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Local ranch owner makes arrangements for udhiya this Eid-al-Adha

Posted by bcsmuslim at 8:41 PM

For quite some time now, Br. Abdul Fatah has made arrangements at his ranch in Somerville, Texas (25 miles from B/CS) for Muslims to offer their udhiya (qurbani/sacrifice). This year was no exception. Br. Abdul Fatah had bought fifty or so goats from a local cattle raiser and kept them at his ranch before the Eid day.

In addition to people from Bryan/College Station, a good number of Muslims came from Houston and other neighboring cities. If you’ve been in College Station long enough, you’ll probably get to see some of the old timers there.

The goats are weighed and tagged before people start coming in. You get to pick your goat and the price is determined based on its weight. Brothers will tie up the goat for you and after that you are pretty much on your own. All the required equipment such as knives, hooks, electric saw, etc. are provided, but you have to slaughter, skin and process the goat. Even though that's the general rule, Br. Abdul Fatah, his son and some other brothers at the ranch are extremely helpful. For a newbie, they pretty much do everything and guide through the whole process. The experts on the other hand seem to need no help. In the morning, there were about five to seven goats being processed simultaneously.

As part of his hospitality, Br. Abdul Fatah provided a generous supply of breakfast. After some of the goats were slaughtered, there was cooked goat meat and bread available. Overall the environment was very hospitable and welcoming.

Since the number of goats is limited, people usually reserve a spot with Br. Abdul Fatah several weeks in advance of the Eid.

If you are not the type that seeks perfection in the way the meat is cut, and can help yourself with some of cutting and cleaning, Br. Abdul Fatah's ranch is definitely the place for you to perform your next udhiya.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

6 activities you must not miss in Bryan/College Station

Posted by bcsmuslim at 12:22 AM

6. Newcomer's welcoming dinner
At the start of fall and spring semesters, ICBCS and the Texas A&M MSA invite the whole community to a welcoming dinner for all newcomers to the community. The dinner is hosted in the masjid (417 Stasney St) and the food is generally very good. MSA also presents some entertainment items during the event and the overall mood is very light and informal. If you are moving to Bryan/College Station, whether for business, work, or study – don't miss this event.

5. Community camps
Once in a while ICBCS arranges a community camp at one of the state parks in Texas. If this happens during your stay in College Station, you must not miss the opportunity. Everyone in the community is encouraged to go for a subsidized registration fee. The camp usually takes place over a weekend. ICBCS rents a few barracks at the park, so you won’t have to sleep out in the open. Brothers and sisters are assigned different barracks. Activities include all the fun stuff such as hiking, games and entertainment. In addition to that, ICBCS also invites a guest speaker to give two or three talks during the camp.

4. Eid picnics
Eid Picnics are always a blast in College Station. Nice barbeque, soccer, basketball, volleyball, etc. For the kids there is a lot more to do. Their activates usually include piñata, tug-of-war, three legged race, moonwalk floats, and we've even seen free cotton candy and snow cones.

3. Friday lessons and sisters' English and Arabic halaqaat
Usually there is an Islamic halaqa/lecture for the community every Friday night. In addition to the Friday lecture, there is a weekly lesson in Arabic and English for sisters only. These lessons are definitely something that you don't want to miss. In addition to increasing your Islamic knowledge and being in a gathering of remembrance of Allah, you'll also make a lot good friends.

2. Workshops and lectures with guest speakers
Every now and then ICBCS and/or the MSA organize a lecture or a weekend workshop given by nationally acclaimed speakers and scholars. The list includes Sheikh Mokhtar Maghraoui, Imam Siraj Wahaj, Dr. Ingrid Mattson, Sr. Amina Gandali, Dr. Jamal Badawi, Sheikh Yusuf Estes... and the list goes on. Since the community size is relatively small, these workshops/lectures are an excellent opportunity for you to have good one-to-one interaction with the invited scholars and speakers.

1. Ramadan
On top of the list is none other than our beloved Ramadan. No other event will make you feel the bond of Islamic brotherhood and sisterhood more than Ramadan. There is a community iftar in the masjid every single day of the month. The food is sponsored by the community members and a large percentage of the community attends the iftar. In addition to that, there are traweeh prayers with a short talk (khatirah) in between. Ramadan climaxes with the arrival of the last ten days of the month. There is qiyaam-ul-lail (night prayers) in the masjid for the last ten nights and the masjid is open 24/7 for anyone who likes to make ittekaaf. During the last 10 nights, the masjid also hosts suhoor (sehri) for the people staying overnight for the qiyaam prayers. For most people, this is truly the best part of their stay in Bryan/College Station.

If you feel that there are other activities that have been missed, please do leave your comments. Please also leave comments if you would like to share your experience at some of the above mentioned activities.

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