Ramadan-Wear 2011: What Are You Wearing this Season?

July 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Siddiq Ather, TMO

thobes 4We have been blessed to be this close to the holy month of Ramadan, a great month of brotherhood, sisterhood, and spiritual advancement. Everyone is getting their Ramadan-wear ready. Lines of e’thr are arrayed on tables, and thobes (robes) and shalwar kameeses (long shirts) are dug out from the closet. But, there is some conflict.

One man looking at the one Saudi thobe he got as a gift a year ago realizes it’s a bit worn. He thinks in urdu,” Kash mera paas aik neya thobe tha ( I wish I had a new thobe).” Another looks at his Friday thobe sequestered between his stylish array of dress shirts and sweaters and thinks, “Man, I wish thobes had a bit more variety.” A third comes back from work, and upon seeing his thobe back from the dry cleaners thinks, “I wish I had a thobe with enough presence to wear at a business meeting.” A sister, after running around the mall all afternoon, stops for a breath of air, and thinks, “All that looking, and I still haven’t found one proper outfit I can wear to the masjid.”

Brothers and Sisters, look no further. There are options out there. First, I would suggest looking up your local Muslim all-in-one stores, or indian pakistani clothing store. If you still can’t find what you are looking for, there is still hope. If you attended the recent ISNA convention of 2011 in Chicago you probably could not help but notice the two Muslim-wear powerhouses, Kamani Clothing and Lawung Ltd. On their two websites, www.kamanionline.com and www.lawungdirect.com , respectively, they have taken Muslim-wear to a whole new level. Kamani clothing has a variety of thobe styles: Legacy, Prime, Ideal, and Classic. Lawung has a nice variety of children’s thobes along with their adult collections

They have integrated styles reminiscent of brand name formal and casual wear into the thobe. They have re-invented the thobe as we know it. Their items are modern, sleek , and affordable. Prices range from about thirty five dollars to eighty dollars, depending on what style you choose; shipping and handling is an additional cost. However, these items would be ideal for Ramadan-wear for you or as a gift. Lawung is based in the United Kingdom, and Kamani Clothing is run by the young Midwestern scholar Mufti Hussain Kamani.

From ’Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood (R) who said that the Prophet (s) said, “No one will enter Paradise who has an atom’s weight of pride in his heart.” A man said, “What if a man likes his clothes to look good and his shoes to look good?” He said, “Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Pride means denying the truth and looking down on people.” (Muslim) Muslims should try their best to be clean, neat, and nice, especially during Ramadan; this allows the environment in the masjid to continue to be inviting, even with the higher number of attendees.

Many sisters try wearing hijab for the first time during the holy month. Be supportive of such sisters, instead of ruthlessly criticizing there slight hijabesque blunders. If you are such a sister or are just looking for tutorial on how to wear the hijab in different styles, search “stylecoveredvideo” on youtube. Stylecoveredvideo is the Youtube channel by the Muslim designer Hana Tajima-Simpson, and her tutorials may make the transition to wearing hijab a bit easier. 

Hopefully, you all find the Ramadanwear you are looking for, locally, online, or elsewhere.

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Illinois Muslim Leaders Make Impact in Washington, DC at ISNA Convention

July 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Press Release — Junaid M. Afeef, Esq., Executive Director, CIOGC

Chicago, Illinois – July 6, 2009 – The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (the Council)  made substantial contributions to the growth and development of the American-Muslim community during a major convening of American-Muslims in Washington, DC over the 4th of July weekend.

Dr. Zaher Sahloul, Dr. Abdul Malik Mujahid and Junaid M. Afeef took active leadership roles at the Islamic Society of North America’s annual convention.  The ISNA convention is the largest annual single gathering of American-Muslims in North America. 

Mujahid, the immediate past-chair of the Council and current Council board member, presented on a distinguished panel of political experts including U.S. Congressmen Keith Ellison and Andre Carson.  Mujahid presented strategies on tactics for American-Muslims to build upon the efforts and gains made by American-Muslims during the 2008 presidential elections.  He called upon American-Muslims to join a political party, to obtain political action training and to work engage mosques to become active in areas that are allowable under various federal and state tax regulations.  Mujahid is a founding member of Muslim Democrats, an organization that mobilized hundreds of thousands of American-Muslims in support of Barack Obama.

Afeef, the executive director of the Council, shared his insights on leadership and the impact of the Council in a session on building the next generation of leaders in the American-Muslim community.  He discussed the unique nature of the Council with an audience that represented Muslim communities across the nation.  During the discussion Afeef pointed out the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California as an outstanding forum for meeting and learning from other young leaders.  Afeef is a 2009 graduate of AMCLI.  He was joined on the panel by the Eboo Patel, founder and executive director of Interfaith Youth Core.

Sahloul, the current chair of the Council and also the president of the Mosque Foundation, met with leaders of ISNA and several other national Muslim organizations in private meetings.  Sahloul represented the Illinois Muslim community at ISNA’s annual community service luncheon featuring Dalia Mogahed, co-author of “Who Speaks for Islam” which is a book based on a multi-year international survey of Muslim opinions conducted by Gallup.

“The Illinois Muslim community is a strong example of how a geographically dispersed and an ethnically and racial mixed Muslim community can unite, cooperate and collaborate as one ummah” noted Afeef.  “We want to share the Council’s success with the rest of the U.S. and that is we engages with ISNA during its invaluable annual convention even when it is outside of Chicago.”

The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (the Council) is a federation of over 50 mosques and Muslim organizations throughout the metropolitan Chicago region.  The Council’s members collectively represent over 400,000 Muslims.  The Council works to coordinate the activities of the Muslim community as well as provide education, training, networking and advocacy to and on behalf of our member organizations.

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ISNA Convention 2009

July 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Rick Warren and Senior White House official visit 46th ISNA Convention

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An image from a parallel session of this year’s ISNA Convention, Turkish-American Muslims (TAM) — Status, Integration, and Future.

(Washington DC – July 6, 2009) – Valerie Jarrett was the keynote speaker on Friday at the inaugural session of the 46th Annual Convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).  Ms. Jarrett, who serves as a Senior Advisor and Assistant to President Obama for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, was introduced to the Convention’s participants by ISNA President Dr. Ingrid Mattson.

Citing President Obama’s Cairo Speech, Ms. Jarrett acknowledged the Contribution of American Muslims to the overall development of American society and the strengthening of American institutions. She commended ISNA for addressing many critical issues in the convention: “increasing civic engagement and interfaith cooperation, protecting the rights of the disabled and elderly, addressing domestic violence, improving education and health care, expanding renewable energy, and protecting the environment.”

Ms. Jarrett paid a tribute to the diligent work of Muslim Americans on behalf of the country.

“As this Convention demonstrates,” she noted, “ gone are the days of describing distinct sets of ‘Muslim issues’ and American issues.’ Your work here is crucial in confronting the challenges that all Americans are facing. And you help advance the new beginning between the United State and Muslim communities around the world that the President called for in Cairo.”

ISNA Convention attracted around 35,000 participants from around the country. The Convention featured 70 sessions, giving the participants the opportunities to address issues of Muslim and national concerns, plan future projects, and engage in interreligious and intergenerational discussions. In addition to Ms. Jarrett, guest speakers included the world-renowned Evangelical leader Pastor Rick Warren, and the popular singer Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens).

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