Sunday, October 10, 2010

Candlelight vigil for flood victims of Pakistan

Posted by bcsmuslim at 12:43 AM

(By Fahad Haque)

On Wednesday October 6th, 2010, Aggies got together for a candlelight vigil, lighting a candle in remembrance of those who have lost their lives to the Pakistan floods, and showing support for those who are still struggling.

The vigil was held appropriately the day after Silver Taps, in Academic Plaza. The lights were shut off for the event. Speakers included the president of TAMU Speech and Debate, president of TAMU UNICEF, and the CEO of Pakistan Kidney Institute.

Approximately 150 people attended, and over $700 were raised by the students, and most importantly, the 150 people were provided with motivation to go out and do something about the floods. A few organizations have already started to donate the proceeds of their upcoming events to

For more photos of the event, follow this link.

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Saturday, September 09, 2006

ICBCS and MSA host newcomers’ welcoming dinner (fall 2006)

Posted by bcsmuslim at 11:35 PM

The Islamic Community of Bryan/College Station and the Muslim Students’ Association hosted a dinner this Friday to welcome all newcomers to the community. There were a little over fifty newcomers that attended. As always, rest of the community was also invited.

The program started with a welcome note and a brief introduction to ICBCS by its president, Br. Faisal Chaudhry. MSA president, Br. Zahir Latheef then gave a brief introduction to the MSA and its activities. An icebreaker followed the introductory speeches. MSA students then presented a short skit which was well received by the audience. A dinner that included chicken korma, white rice, bhigaray baingan, salad, and kheer on the menu, was served after the skit. Approximately 250 brothers and sisters attended the program. The program ended with Isha prayer.

For more photos, please visit the BCS Muslims’ flickr page.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Al-Huda weekend Islamic school award ceremony

Posted by bcsmuslim at 11:38 PM

Al-Huda Weekend Islamic School, operated by the ICBCS conducted its awards ceremony for spring 2006 semester this Friday, June 2. Achievement certificates and prizes were distributed among students ranking first in each class section. Recognition certificates and gifts were distributed among the kindergarten students as well. The ceremony ended with a dinner just before the Isha prayers.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Muslim students effort to keep College Station clean

Posted by bcsmuslim at 5:19 PM

In an effort to keep College Station area clean, Muslim Students’ Association at Texas A&M has signed up for the Adopt-a-Street program by the city. The street adopted by MSA is the section of Welborn Rd. between George Bush Dr. and Harvey Michelle Pkwy. Every few months MSA gathers volunteers to clean up the roadsides for this section. MSA President, Zahir Latheef said: “MSA likes to participate in the adopt-a-street program as it is one of the ways for Muslims to give back to the community by helping keep our neighborhood clean.”

For information regarding next cleaning day and other community service events by MSA, please check the official MSA website.

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Imam Mahdi Bray's lecture on civil rights makes front page news

Posted by bcsmuslim at 12:50 AM

I had posted earlier about 9 February's lecture by Imam Mahdi Bray on civil rights struggle in the US. The lecture was organized by the MSA as part of the Black History Month. It was an informative session for the general B/CS community and Muslims in particular. Imam Mahdi Bray emphasized the need for Muslims to build coalitions with other organizations to uphold civil rights in our society. Detailed coverage of the lecture made front page news on The Battalion this Friday.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Got Stuff? Donate it at masjid's garage sale

Posted by bcsmuslim at 11:03 PM

Got stuff you no longer need and want to do something good with it? Donate it to the masjid when it organizes a garage sale. You can donate pretty much anything you like. Favorite donations in the past have been sofas, mattresses, tables, chairs, phones, computers, sound systems, ironing boards, dinnerware, and lots and lots of strollers (I mean really... LOTS of strollers).

Due to space limitations, the masjid is unable to store large items in the Islamic center. For this reason its best that you hold on to those extra items till a garage sale is announced. It usually takes place at someone's house in the community. If you live in Bryan/College Station, you are very unlikely to miss the event since it requires a lot of help from sisters and brothers.

The next time you think you’ve got stuff, save it for the garage sale.

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Something in it for everyone - ICBCS community picnic

Posted by bcsmuslim at 11:03 PM

Many of you already know about the community picnic organized by ICBCS this past Saturday. Photos above are for you to look at in case if you missed it, or were too lazy to come out. Better yet, you can look at the whole album at BCS Muslims Flickr page. In a nutshell, great sunshine, great BBQ and games for everyone.

Please leave you feedback by writing comments.

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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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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Help for those moving to Bryan-College Station

Posted by bcsmuslim at 9:57 PM

If you are moving to Bryan-College Station (BCS), you probably have a ton of questions. Your "things-to-do" list is probably a mile long and you desperately need some help. Don’t worry as the Muslim community in Bryan/College Station is very welcoming and friendly. People like to know each other and help out as much as they can. Following are some of the resources that you can avail before and after you make the move.

Contact the Muslim community
If you are moving to College Station because you'll be attending school here, or you have a new job or business in town, or simply because you feel that Bryan/College Station is the place for you, first thing to do would be to get in touch with the Islamic Community of Bryan-College Station (ICBCS) or the Muslim Students' Association (MSA) at TAMU (both organizations work together). You can email the executive committee of ICBCS or MSA and let them know that you are on your way. You can ask them any particular questions that you may have and seek their assistance with any specific needs of yours. ICBCS and MSA try to help newcomers in a lot of different ways, mostly with housing and finding roommates.

Find housing and roommates
ICBCS and MSA generally setup a "reception" committee to assist newcomers to town. If you are single brother or sister coming to Bryan-College Station, the reception committee will try to find a local host for your temporary housing. In this time period, they will assist you in finding a permanent housing. Depending on your requirements and availability of other newcomers, the committee will also help you find a roommate. Just so that they have enough heads up, get in touch with them at least a month before you expect to arrive. You can email ICBCS or MSA with your housing preferences and requirements. It helps if you include information such as your date and place of arrival, range of rent that you are willing to pay, if you will be willing to share an apartment or not, and if so, whether you will be willing to share a room or not. Most of the brothers and sisters moving to College Station like to stay closer to the masjid, which is very close to the TAMU campus. Your chances of finding a roommate therefore increase if you stay in the neighboring area. Currently, rents for two-bedroom apartments range from $350 to $700 per month (with $550 being an average for a decent apartment) in the area close to the Masjid.

If you are a family moving to College Station or Bryan, it is generally very difficult to find hosts for temporary housing. You should plan on staying in a hotel for a short duration while you look for housing. If you will be renting an apartment, the reception committee can assist you find one. Otherwise if you are planning to rent a house or buy one, they can put you in touch with real estate locators.

Miscellaneous tasks
Once you are here, there may be several other tasks that you may need help with. The reception committee can help you with tasks such as opening up a bank account, taking you for groceries, laundry, etc. If you will be arriving at the College Station airport, they can also come pick you up.

Prayer information
Once you are here, you'll need to know the timings of the prayers. Please visit the official ICBCS website for current and more accurate prayer information. The direction of the kabah in Bryan-College Station is 44.65 degrees clockwise from North (i.e. North-East).

If you found this post helpful, or if you feel that there is some information missing, please leave your comments.

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