Issue 8: Peace Be Upon You
Assalamu Alaikum my beautiful brothers and sisters, I want to remind everyone of the importance of saying alhamdulilah. It’s simple, easy and the truth is, we never realize much we’ve got until we start counting those blessings. Saying alhamdulilah throughout the day reminds you of the blessings and unique opportunities you’ve got open to you. As finals creep closer and closer, hopelessness may set in and we may succumb to feelings of despair. Even in these moments, however, exclaim Alhamdulilah. Our college education is a baraka, one that only 7% of the World population has the chance to take advantage of. The year is not completely over however, and there are a few more key MSA events to keep tabs of, inshAllah.

N ewsletter

End of the Year Events
April 19th: Jeopardy GBM
Bringing your Islamic ‘ilm to the test!

April 23-30th: Finals Weeks May 1st: Annual MSA BBQ May Striving For Unity, MSA Annual Banquet 3rd:

Jazakallahu Khair, Mushtaq Dualeh Iqra Newsletter Director

IQRA Newsletter

Issue 7: Peace Be Upon You

Finals are coming up? 1. Stay Away from Stressful People: Stress is contagious. Resist the urge to have a study session with your Stressed? super-tense friend. Definitely avoid them if they are constantly complaining about all the work to do and breaking pencils all Don’t be. over the place. Your workload is bad enough; you don't need to Follow these steps! add others' stress to it also. 2. Avoid All-Nighters: Some students swear by this method; however, most serious students avoid it like the
plague. A study published in the January issue of Behavioral Sleep Medicine found that students who typically pulled all-nighters tended to have lower GPAs than those who didn't. Ideally we should all begin preparing for our exams long before finals week. Make sure you have all of the notes that you need, and then create a study schedule that you can handle during finals week.

3. Schedule in Sleep: Go ahead; call it a night and sleep. Some people are able to function pretty well on just
three hours of sleep a night. Most of us, however, cannot. You'll do much better during exams if your mental state is good. Not sleeping enough can weaken your immune system, subsequently increasing the chance of you getting sick during finals.

4. Prioritize: One massive marathon of studying for five different classes will only make you red-alert anxious.
Instead, aim for two weeks of studying for, say, 30 minutes to an hour a day. That way, you gradually build the knowledge into your brain. However, if you've only got 12 hours until the exam, do not try to cram in four months of information in 12 hours. Your mental well being will thank you. Instead, look over notes from class and try to go over the main concepts.

5. Put Down the Caffeine: Caffeine may give your energy level a jolt, but that is usually accompanied by a later
crash that leaves you feeling utterly drained. Studies have also shown that students who consumed energy drinks may also experience headaches or even heart palpitations.

6. Form Effective Study Groups: There are only two kinds of study groups possible: very, very good ones, or
very, very bad ones. The biggest flaw in these study groups is the lack of studying that occurs. If you do magically manage to study, avoid at all costs the "group think" syndrome. Take for example: Mashhood: Why did the US colonies want freedom? From who? Harry: No idea. Shamiyan: No clue. Mushtaq: Well, like, wasn't the war with North Korea in like, 1775? So that's why the US and North Korea don't get along anymore? Harry: I think she's right. Shamiyan: I do too. Basically, when no one knows the answer, it allows for a very wrong answer to present itself. Pick a group with some credentials and get studying!


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IQRA Newsletter

Issue 7: Peace Be Upon You

Is Islam truly compatible with Democracy?
Mushtaq Dualeh Public Health and Development Studies ‘15 With strong and violent images of Islam gracing television and computer screens across the nation, many Americans question and marvel at the seemingly backward and barbaric society produced by the “Muslim” world. The differences between
Islam and culture are left muddled and unclear and the media instigates fear and wonderment into the eyes of the viewer. It is through the democratization efforts in the prominently Muslim countries that have brought these widespread expectations of democracy and it is with a strong belief that once dictators are removed, democracy and its ideals would flourish within the nation. Yet, this vision of democracy continues to fail in the Muslim world and the only explanation many seem to believe is that there is an incongruity between Islam and democracy. This paper will look at the arguments for and against the compatibility of the Islamic faith with the democratic form of government. It seeks to address misconceptions of Islam by taking the core principles of the religion and applying them to the axioms of democracy, while also noting the influence Islam has had on political factors. Before the main issue of this discussion is realized it is important to understand the basics of Islam and it’s teachings and the basis of democracy. When it comes to the Abrahamic faith of Islam, one must comprehend that the religion is based on the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. The Quran is known as the literal word of God and the teachings of the Prophet are called the Hadiths. One of the integral pieces of being a Muslim (a follower of Islam) is the declaration of faith, without this key belief one cannot truly be a Muslim. Muslims believe that Islam is a complete and universal message that has been passed down since the dawn of man and that the final message was delivered by the seal of the Prophets, Muhammad. A democracy is a political system that determines by whom and how decisions are made. A democratic government can go one of two ways. It can take the ambiance of American politics and exemplify a presidential democracy or it can go the way of many European nations and stand as parliamentary democracy. Although ruled in different styles and mechanisms, both forms of democratic government require the voice of the populace. In the most general of terms a democracy is “a set of principles and practices that protect human freedom; it is the institutionalization of freedom. Democracy rests upon the principles of majority rule, coupled with individual and minority rights (Handleman.)” Courtesy of Google images This means that all democracies, while simultaneously esteeming the wants of the many, will protect the fundamental human rights of the individual and the few (Prothro.) A democracy is a guard against personalistic autocratic governments like those in North Korea. It ensures that there is a decentralization of government at both the regional and local levels. Now herein lie the questions of many: does Islam hinder, facilitate, or have no affect whatsoever on development? One may even inquire that Islam is a religion with a submission not to the wants of the people but only to the word of God and exclaim that democracy would simply not work. These questions and statements can be answered with verses found in the Quran and the teachings of the prophet Muhammad.
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Issue 7: Peace Be Upon You

When, it comes down to Islamic jurisprudence, Sharia law, the rules, rights and regulations for societies and even people to follow are all acquired from the teachings of The Quran. Muslims can decide and rule the political needs and goals of their nation through the consensus among the people. However, when it comes to terms of exercising this authority, they are not to legislate on matters on which God and the Prophet Muhammad have already pronounced decisive judgments. People are mandated to achieve means through democratic process of consensus and consultation by God in the Qur’an, "… And consult them in their affairs; then when you decide (matters based on consultation) put your trust in Allah (in implementing the same) for verily Allah loves those who place their trust in Him" (Aal `Imran 3: 159, the Holy Quran). Meaning that all aspects not clearly stated in the Quran are subject to democratic practice so long as they are governed by the Qur’anic obligations to establish truth, justice and honesty. Muslim society was not left with one style of government, rather the Prophet Mohammed taught lessons of equality and fairness (Prothro.) He taught modules of abolishing corruption and bringing rulers to justice. The Quran commands Muslims to decide on matters with serious and thoughtful discussion. “Islam has a full spectrum of potential symbols and concepts for support of absolutism and hierarchy, as well as foundations for liberty and equality. It is important not to view the Islamic tradition in isolation. The experience of Muslims has many important similarities to the development of political institutions. The relationship between Islam and democracy is best understood in a perspective that views both the global context of democratization and the distinctive concepts and experiences of Muslims,”(Esposito.) Islam is highly compatible with democracy and encourages all people to act upon rulings and fairness. It must be clear that democracy can only be applied in matters that are not clear cut in the Quran and were the application of ijtihad, or logic are necessary. Democracy should be perceived and applied positively and should always contradict the tyranny and despotism if it is to be established in an Islamic fashion. Opponents may believe that democracy is in contradiction with Islam's concept of the sovereignty of God’s law. They argue that Islam and democracy cannot go together, and produce examples like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Yet, throughout the Quran verses supporting and illustrating the importance of

democracy are present. Secular democracies are aplenty in the Muslim world rather than religious democracies. The simple ideal of democratic participation and liberalism are at the very fabric of Islamic law and has been present in Islamic culture since medieval times. The Rashidun Caliphate is an early example of a democratic state and even in stories of Mu’Awiyah, the fifth Caliph where soon after development of democracy in the Islamic world came to a halt after the split between the Sunnis and the Shia, you find democracy (Esposito.) Islam is a set of customs and epitomes that stresses the attributes of people, the responsibility of leaders to community and values the respect of diversity and other faiths; these qualities are fully compatible with democracy (Esposito.) The democratization in the Muslim world takes “place within the framework of the existing state system and the constant attempts to democratize the Muslim world continue to fail in the eyes of the West due to the expectation that the region would fully and undeniably accept this Western style of democracy,” (Esposito.) This democracy we see in America today, took a long period to occur, to surmise that the same type of democracy would bloom from the Muslim world is both illogical and notwithstanding. Democracy in one nation will be the same in another; different ideals and cultural standing dissuade that (Handleman.) To believe that a religion takes away the possibility of a government structure is assuming that both the religion and the government structure are static. No people are static and a government run by people will never be such.

Works Cited Esposito, John L., and John Obert Voll. Islam and Democracy. New York: Oxford UP, 1996. Print. Handelman, Howard. The Challenge of Third World Development. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996. Print. Prothro, James W., and Charles M. Grigg. "Fundamental Principles of Democracy: Bases of Agreement and Disagreement." JSTOR, 5 Feb. 2001. Web. 1 Apr. 2013. < cles/prothro.pdf>.



IQRA Newsletter

Issue 7: Peace Be Upon You

The Best Times to Make Dua
There are certain times dua (supplication) is more likely to be accepted by Allah (SWT) as mentioned by Prophet (SAW). These are four times that are ideal, to find more times check out!
1. The Last Third Of The Night Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: 'In the last third of every night our Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) (Allah (SWT)) descends to the lowermost heaven and says; "Who is calling Me, so that I may answer him? Who is asking Me so that may I grant him? Who is seeking forgiveness from Me so that I may forgive him?."' [Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith Qudsi] Amr ibn Absah narrated that the Prophet said: 'The closest any worshipper can be to His Lord is during the last part of the night, so if you can be amongst those who remember Allah at that time, then do so.'[at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa'i, alHakim - Sahih] 2. Late at night When people are sleeping and busy with worldly pleasures Allah (SWT) gives the believers an opportunity, or an answer hour if they can fight sleep and invoke Allah (SWT) for whatever they need. The Prophet (SAW) said: 'There is at night an hour, no Muslim happens to be asking Allah any matter of this world or the Hereafter, except that he will be given it, and this (occurs) every night.' [Muslim #757] 3. Between Adhan and Iqamah Anas (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: 'A supplication made between the Adhan and Iqama is not rejected.' [Ahmad, abu Dawud #521, at-Tirmidhi #212, Sahih alJami #3408, an-Nasai and Ibn Hibban graded it sahih (sound)] 4. An Hour On Friday Narrated Abu Hurairah (RA): Allah’s Messenger (SAW) talked about Friday and said: 'There is an hour on Friday and if a Muslim gets it while offering Salat (prayer) and asks something from Allah (SWT), then Allah (SWT) will definitely meet his demand.' And he (the Prophet (SAW) pointed out the shortness of that particular time with his hands. [Sahih al-Bukhari] Some have said that this hour is from the time the Imam (prayer’s leader) enters the mosque on Friday’s prayer until the prayer is over (ie between the two khutbahs), whereas others have said that it is the last hour of the day (ie after the Asr prayer until the Maghrib prayer).

Dua for finals

‘O Allaah, there is no ease except in that which You have made easy, and You make difficulty, if You wish, easy.’

Surat Al-Baqarah Verses 155-157
And surely We shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and crops; but give glad tidings to the patient, Who says, when afflicted with calamity: “To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return”: They are those on whom (descend) Blessings from Allah, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance. (Al-Baqarah 2:155-157)


IQRA Newsletter

Issue 7: Peace Be Upon You

How I can get you to heaven (insha’Allah)
Abdulrahman Al- Ruwaishan | Journalism ‘15

“Be kind to one another; love one another.” --Prophet Muhammad, pbuh
I can get you into heaven. It’s all through the grace of God, of course, but you read that right. I—neighbor, friend, stranger, enemy—, I can be your salvation; I can be your grace. God gave me that power when he made me, when he pulled my soul from whatever formless ether preceded heaven and earth. He gave it to you, too. After all, you were made when I was made. He made me available to you, and you available to me. I am not an annoyance to be brushed aside. I am not a hindrance to be run over. I am not a sorrowful shade half a world away, to be pitied in one moment of spoiled fun and then passed by and forgotten in the light of fatuous, forgetful day. I am that gentle soul you think a coward. I am that brash, brusque tedious bother who preaches to everyone. I am that too-kind person you hold in contempt; also the loudmouth you avoid--I am the one you never talk too because you’re too busy with your friends or your classes or your passing, worldly distractions. But I am your brother I am your sister. I deserve better; you deserve better. I am with you, by you, and we are both tested and tasked by God. Why fall apart when we can stand together? So smile at me. Pray for me. Open your doors to me. Give me aid when I am oppressed and help restrain me when I am the oppressor. Never forget me and always remember that you and I were made of one pure breath of God--that you and I are one, though we might have our differing fates. I am a connection to God and his mercy. Never forget: I can get you into heaven.

IQRA Newsletter

Issue 7: Peace Be Upon You

The 2013-2014 MSA Board

Mushtaq Dualeh Secretary

Shamiyan Hawramani Outreach (Female)

Ilham Abdi Sisterhood Chair

Ilhan Dahir Marketing Chair

Talha Saif Treasurer

Ahmed Daboul Outreach (Male)

Mashhood Salahuddin Brotherhood Chair

Eyad Hamza Education Chair

Wali Shariff IT Chair

Abdulrahman Alwattar President

Zakaria Farah Ex-Oficio 7

IQRA Newsletter

Issue 7: Peace Be Upon You

Paper Cranes
Ilhan Dahir | Political Science and English

I’ve watched the undulations of the ocean’s waves in horror the torrid waters only paying tribute to her infinite power, folding in on herself, the beat of her waves sustaining us all. She pulsates with the knowledge of civilizations that have risen only to fall. Is it possible that she’ll survive even our final hour? Perhaps she’ll allow the expanse of the sky to warm her and rejoice in the silence… It is imaginable. Day makes way for night and our memory of sun fades like watercolorAnd it is not with violent thrusts that Autumn’s winds leave Summer naked the gentleness of the transition makes us forget and yet, our death is met with weeklong pomp, month long circumstance, and yearlong grief. We make our separation felt. We sigh and sigh and sigh, until wind makes room for the size of our pain. We cry and fall and break and cry and bleed and cry and – Stubborn as immovable tree trunks and fragile as paper cranes we plant our roots on hostile land, only to wonder why she so violently rejects us. 8

IQRA Newsletter

Issue 7: Peace Be Upon You

But never does God grant a delay to a human being when his term has come; and God is fully aware of all that you do. (63:11)

Allahu A’lim: Training Our Nafs
Controlling our Nafs is a major part of our religion. One’s Iman highly depends upon the extent of his control over Nafs. Among the major dangers, one of the dangers of submission of Nafs is losing every last bit of Iman and totally losing faith in Allah SWT. Hence controlling it becomes of utmost importance. While Nafs in itself is a very broad term and even though being very complicated thing to master but it can be trained really well by doing little things. Nafs in plain language and one of the simplest definitions can be defined as following your heart desires ignoring our conscience and intellect. Like, for example, when you want something badly and the feeling of getting it “by hook or by crook” can be called as an attack of Nafs. Though, following ones desires is human nature and if we totally let go of our desires it would make us Angels but yet we need to pick and choose what desires to follow and what not to. There are many things one can do to gain control of Nafs. The first and foremost being obvious is “Itakullah” i.e. Fear Allah. Once we have this fear of Allah SWT that he is always watching us and we would be responsible for what we are doing. We would automatically refrain from doing bad. But since Allah SWT is so merciful and we often tend to take it for granted by doing what our heart desires and having this “I’ll make tauba later” at the back of mind. Of course, there is no doubt that how badly one may commit sins, a sincere forgiveness would wipe it all. But let’s not throw ourselves on hot coal because you never know you die while committing a certain sin. One of the practical tip I have discovered is by controlling our desires in Halal things we can control our Nafs from refraining the Haram things. Like for example when you have this strong craving of eating that chocolate cake and you just want to eat it. Stop right there. Take control of yourself and let go off the craving. You see it would be really hard at first because what is the harm in eating that is permissible? But its like if we start from small things we can build upon it later. Self-control is an art and like any art it takes some great practice to master it. With that thought I just want to make clear that refraining from Halal things always would be a burden, because Islam is not a burden but its a way of life. So don’t go hard on yourself but control yourself every once in a while so next time when you have this strong craving of eating that chocolate cake or have a strong craving to rant off your mind on your blog. Stop. Wait. Let it go and once you do you can reward yourself later. I hope that made sense. May Allah help us control our whims and desires. May Allah protect us from all the evils we fall into knowingly and unknowingly, inshAllah. 9

IQRA Newsletter

Issue 7: Peace Be Upon You

MSA 2012-2013: A look back at our year
From Fast-A-Thon, Friday Night Lights, MSA Girls Soccer, Buck-I-Slam, the annual conference, Pink Hijabs, Project Downtown, Jeopardy!, Half Our Ummah and of course the weekly GBMs; this year has been jam-packed with opportunities of acquiring ‘ilm and an allaround halal college experience and halal burgers.


IQRA Newsletter

Issue 7: Peace Be Upon You

Enamored of Death: The Selfish Jihad
Abdulrahman Al- Ruwaishan | Journalism ‘15
As I was reading a transcript of a recent NPR interview with Jeremy Scahill, a national security correspondent, I came across this exchange:
GROSS: I guess they do that because it’s such a good thing to be a martyr. SCAHILL: Well, I do think that, you know, there’s this saying… GROSS: In their eyes. I’m not endorsing this. SCAHILL: No, I understand what you’re saying. It is interesting, from Afghanistan to Somalia to Yemen, I’ve heard similar things from various insurgent groups and – or Islamist militant movements, and they often will say we love death like you love life, meaning you the Western world. We’re not afraid to die, and you, you cling to your life as your most prized possession. And it’s an interesting window into that mentality. 10/12/12

First of all, I’d like to point out Terry Gross’s amusing little backtrack (as if her listeners needed to be assured of the fact that she does not approve of terrorism). Then, and more importantly, I’d like to address the issue of “loving death”. Saying that one “loves death” is a storied piece of Islamic rhetoric, used since the earliest battles fought by Muslims against the decaying Persian and Byzantine empires. And it is just that: a piece of rhetoric, meant to show that Muslims do not fear death. Islam does not command us to “love death”. Love of death is as silly as fear of death, and it unmans one just as surely. Muslims love their Creator. They love serving him. They love helping their fellow human beings, Muslim or not. Terrorists—with their braggadocio, their false or deluded veneer of piety and asceticism—are an ignorant and sorry bunch who has missed the entire point of their faith. Extremists often do, being short-sighted. It seems to me that those who brag of loving death, actually love death for their fellow Muslims–who are being slaughtered wholesale by them every day–more than they love death for themselves. They commit acts of terror, and then scurry into their caves like the filthy vermin they are, to wait for an inglorious extermination. There is no honor, much less service of God, in what they do. And yet too many young Muslim men in the Islamic world have convinced themselves that “jihad” involves mostly blowing markets up and occasionally killing an American soldier here and there. Jihad is a struggle for whatever benefits the Muslim ummah (“nation”, in a sense); and I fail to see how killing Muslims will solve the problems of rampant poverty, corruption, intolerance, and “American Imperialism” which plague the Muslim world as a whole (with few exceptions). Why don’t we try something constructive for a change? A word of advice, to these terrorists mired in their folly: try loving your fellow man, instead of loving some grotesquely romanticized notion of death. That would work better for you, and for everyone else.


IQRA Newsletter

Issue 7: Peace Be Upon You

Good luck on Finals and have a great summer, inshAllah!
Do you have suggestions for Iqra next year? What can Iqra do next year to serve you better? Let your voice be heard! Contact the current Iqra Director, Mushtaq, at!
The Ohio State University’s

Iqra Newsletter 2013 ©


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