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When It Rains It Pours - November 2019

We have read the news of three of our community members losing their parents in the past two days. May Allāh grant beautiful patience to Br. Emad, Br. Jaseem and Br. Ahmed. May Allāh also grant them firm yaqīn in the hereafter so they realize that this separation is temporary.

My respected community members, think about this question.

What do you want those closest to you to say at your funeral?

A great way to answer this question is to visualize your own funeral.

During our summer Maktab program I asked my students to visualize their own funeral. They reflected on the question, “What do you want those closest to you to say at your funeral?”

After the students imagined themselves in 60 years, they wrote their own eulogy and had a classmate read it while a kafan was placed on top of them.

The Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace) said, “A wise person is the one who calls himself to account and performs deeds that will benefit him after death.”

How can you call yourself to account? Three steps.

1. - The most productive and accomplished people all had a clear vision for their lives. (As Muslims, our vision must coincide with Islamic principles.)

2. - Once you have a vision, live out your legacy. People listen to us most intently, not by what we say, but by watching us live.

3. - Share with your kids what kind of lives you would like them to live, even after you have passed away. This is what the Prophet Ya’qub (upon him be peace) did with his sons while he was on his deathbed (2:133). This way, even after you have left this world, when your children are making critical life decisions, they will be asking themselves, “What would Dad/Mom do?” This is one of the most powerful legacies a parent can leave.

Domestic Violence - October 2019

Islām does not promote abuse of any kind towards any of Allāh's creation. If the Prophet (upon him be peace) strongly rebuked people who hurt animals unnecessarily, what do you think he said about those who intentionally hurt other human beings? There are narrations in which he (upon him be peace) proactively ensured that people would not get married off to individuals who were known to abuse their partner. He would publicly call out the abuser in public. Hurting human beings was never in his repertoire. Rather when the Prophet (upon him be peace) would discipline someone, he would do so with dignity. He instructed men to be mindful of women and mandated husbands to treat their women fairly. Later, Muslim legal scholars enacted this into Islamic Law and allowed women legal recourse if they fear they are being abused. Likewise, the Prophet (upon him be peace) encouraged women also to be mindful of their husbands.

Personal Transformation Worksheet - September 2019

Post Fajr Jog with Imam - August 2019

Imam held a session on 10 healthy habits of highly effective Sunday School Teachers. He shared this presentation at ICW masjid in Wheaton, IL and has shared the presentation below. 

10 Habits of Highly effective Sunday School teachers.pdf

Post Fajr Jog with Imam - August 2019

In the Summer, Imam created a weekly post Fajr jog team to help the community come for the Fajr prayer at the masjid after Ramadan. They cleaned the beach together, jogged together and had breakfast together.

Hajj Seminar - July 2019

Attached are the KeyNote Presentation and checklist from the Hajj Seminar

Hajj seminar 2018 .pdf

Preparing for Hajj Checklist and Umrah and Hajj checklist.pdf

How to Maintain Islamic Principles without being Homophobic - July 2019

Etiquette of Making Du'a - May 2019

18 Etiquettes of Making Dua.pdf

Recommended Reading List  for Fard 'Ayn - May 2019

General Books on Islam
Submission, Faith and Beauty:  The Religion of Islam by Hamza Yusuf
Being Muslim by Asad Tarsin

Islamic Belief
The Creed of Imam al-Tahawi, translated by Hamza Yusuf
Islamic Law
Ascent to Felecity: A Manual on Islamic Creed and Hanafi Jurisprudence by Faraz Khan

Life of the Prophet
Muhammad (upon him be peace) His life based on the earliest sources, by Martin Lings
Prophet of Mercy by S. Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi (Haji Arfeen Academy) Translated by Mohiuddin Ahmad

The Qur'an 
Maa'riful Quran
Ibn Khatir
The Qur'an: A new translation by Abdel Haleem
Etiquette with the Qur'an, by Musa Furber

The content of Character: Ethical sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, translated by Hamza Yusuf
Islamic Spirituality, Purification of the Heart, translated by Hamza Yusuf

Time Management - May 2019

Eid al Fitr 2019 Go Home Action Item

Imam Azfar encouraged the congregants to keep a personal time log to find out how their time is allocated.

Zakat on 401k Plans - April 27th, 2019

Click on the link below for information on Zakat pertaining to 401k Plans

Qur'an Night at IFN - April 27th, 2019

Ramadan Toolkit - April 2019

The Family and Youth Institute has prepared this Ramadan Toolkit with practical tips on how to nourish your spiritual selves while simultaneously managing the realities of your daily lives during this blessed month. This toolkit includes resources in the following 7 categories.

  1. Personal Development
  2. Encouraging Family Traditions
  3. Mental Illness and Ramadan
  4. Experiencing Ramadan as a Convert
  5. Ramadan in the School
  6. Ramadan in the Workplace
  7. Fitness and Nutrition during Ramadan

Tea Time with Imam - April 21st, 2019

Fiqh of Fasting
Location: IFN LRC
Time: 10:45 a.m. to Noon

With Ramadan less than a month away, Imam Azfar will be holding a session on the Fiqh of Fasting. This is open to all and a great opportunity to help prepare for Ramadan. 

Fiqh of Fasting .pdf

Tea Time with Imam - April 14th, 2019

Zakat Workshop Presentation.pdf

Fiqh of Zakat Presentation.pdf

Du'a for Protection - March 2019

Du’a for protection - Our first line of defense

وعن عثمان بن عفان رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: "ما من عبد يقول في صباح كل يوم ومساء كل ليلة: بسم الله الذي لا يضر مع اسمه شيء في الأرض ولا في السماء وهو السميع العليم، ثلاث مرات، إلا لم يضره شيء". رواه أبو داود والترمذي وقال حديث حسن صحيح .

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "He who recites three times every morning and evening: 'Bismillahil-ladhi la yadurru ma'as-mihi shai'un fil-ardi wa la fis-sama'i, wa Huwas-Sami'ul-'Alim (In the Name of Allah with Whose Name there is protection against every kind of harm in the earth or in the heaven, and He is the All-Hearing and All- Knowing),' nothing will harm him.” [Abu Dawud and At- Tirmidhi].

Make it a habit to recite this du’a three times in the morning and in the evening.

Allah is the All-Powerful.

While we don’t know why Allah allows certain calamities to occur, the way that people respond to calamities is a test of their moral fiber.

Let’s respond to hardship by being steadfast on fulfilling the commandments of Allah and refraining from committing that which Allah forbade us to do.

Additionally, there may be a silver lining behind every difficulty. There were numerous non-Muslims showing solidarity and offering words of support to Muslims. Rashid Davis, former Bears football player dropped off these flowers yesterday at our masjid.

We can also derive comfort in the fact that life doesn’t end after death.

This is our first line of defense.

The 2nd line of defense can be taken directly from CAIR’s packet on “Best practices for Mosque and Community safety”.

Is the Hijab Fard - February 2019

Allāh commands Muslim men to be modest and chaste. (24:30) Since, one cannot “lower one’s eyes” against everything, this verse is interpreted to mean that men should not look at those things that are forbidden with passion.

The command to women to be modest and chaste mirrors the command for men in the previous verse.

“And let them draw their khumur over their juyub and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, […]” (Qur’ān 24:31)

A khimar can mean a cloth that covers the head or neck; a scarf; a flowing garment.

Before the advent of Islām, women would wear the khīmar and it would drape behind their backs, exposing their upper chests (and according to some accounts, their breasts as well).

A jayb can refer to the heart or chest, the place where the chest meets the neck, or the opening of a shirt through which one places one’s head. (27:12, 28:32)

Islāmic laws and rulings come from the Qur’ān and Sunnah and not from speculation. Our laws and rules are guided by Allāh. The Prophet (upon him be peace) received wahi (revelation) and informed the Sahabah. The Sahabah in turn informed others and so on.

Please be aware that rulings do not necessarily have to be explicitly described in the Qur’ān for them to be Islāmic. That is NOT how Islāmic law works.

Rulings may be found and are indeed found also in the Sunnah and the consensus of the early scholars.

There are certain rulings in Islām that Muslims from the time of the Sahabah saw as conclusive; non-contextual and binding like the prohibition in the eating of pork. There are certain other rules that they deemed contextual and non-binding like sitting on the floor to eat. We must learn which rules are conclusive and binding and which rules are not.

In the issue of women covering their hair, it is clear from the verses mentioned in Surah Noor and Ahzab, and the rulings of the Prophet; the Companions and all other subsequent scholars that it conclusive (for women to cover their hair) and thus binding and non-contextual. This consensus on this matter is the reason why we hold this rule to be law and not an opinion.

In conclusion, there is clear and decisive scholarly consensus on the mandate of hijāb. The Qur’ān unambiguously commands Muslim women to wear the hijāb.

al-Noor 24:31.

al-Ahzaab 33:59

al-Ahzaab 33:53

There is no verse or hadith to show that commandment might mean anything besides obligation. The ayāt and āhadith all confirm this obligation and Muslim scholars are in unanimous agreement about it and have been from the time of the Prophet (upon him be peace) till today.

Although we believe hijab is fard, we don’t degrade those who don’t wear the hijab.

As you can see, this is not a simple answer and it requires discussion. Feel free to contact myself so we can sit down and discuss this in person.

Daily Herald Article - Imam's Invitation to Cubs Owner - February 2019

Memorization Chart  - December 2018

10 Tips to get your Kids on Allah's (SWT) side  - December 2018

1. Get them to love you

2. Understand the cosmological argument

3. Understand the design argument

4. Watch the Documentary “Privileged species” with them, but follow the strategies I mentioned on how to watch a documentary. (Activate prior knowledge, pause often, use the KWL learning strategy, watch with a purpose answering the question, “Are human beings the accidental products of a blind and uncaring universe? Or are they the beneficiaries of a cosmic order that was planned beforehand to help them flourish?”

5. Read Surah Fussilat Ayah 53 with the tafsir

6. Encourage your children who are in high school to attend the Aqidah course taught by Imam Azfar at IFN starting late January

7. The IFN Religious committee is working on having an Aqidah-Tahawiyah weekend seminar for the community by an external guest speaker. More details to follow.

8. Read an Aqidah book with them:
     a) X9

     b) Mawlana Fahim has an excellent commentary of Aqidah Tahawiyah

     c) Imam Ghazali has written “In the Principles of the Creed” (Kitab qawaid al-aqaid):

     d) Imam Suhaib Webb has a book titled, “Essentials of Islamic Faith” -

     e) Al-Ghazali The Book of Belief for Children -

9. Read the “Divine reality”  -

10. Read two research papers published by the Yaqeen Institute

    a) Why do Muslims doubt? -

     b) Can Islam Object to Evolution? Evaluating Human-Chimp Genetic Similarity -

Tea Time with Imam Azfar   - December 2018

Eight (8) Principles of Aging Successful - November 2018

Tea Time With Imam Azfar - November 2018

Etiquettes of Visiting the Sick Presentation

Thoughts on Thanksgiving -   November 2018

On Thanksgiving day, we should thank Allah for the following:

  1. Good health
  2. Food for the day
  3. Safe place to stay

These are three blessings which our Prophet (upon him be peace) explicitly mentioned to be thankful for. (Tirmidhi)

On Thanksgiving day, we should ask “Do the Native Americans celebrate this national holiday?”

Read these resources to learn more about the history of Thanksgiving:

  1. Peoples-History-United-States-ebook - read the first chapter
  2. Genocide of the Native Americans
  3. Bury-My-Heart-Wounded-Knee-ebook
  4. Read the first 4 chapters of "Lies my teacher told me. Everything you American History Textbook got wrong" by James W. Loewen
  5. Read "An indigenous peoples' history of the United States" by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz

On Thanksgiving today, many of the Native Americans are not against giving thanks.

They are quite thankful that they survived a genocide. They are thankful on Thanksgiving, but they also mourn the ones that passed because they feel a sense of betrayal.

“We helped you survive, you almost wiped us out”

That’s different than the way many Americans celebrate thanksgiving today

This grateful attitude of the Native Americans is something we all can learn from as I discuss in this khutbah.

To summarize, on Thanksgiving day, we should do the following:

  1. Thank Allah for the blessings we have.
  2. Adopt the Native American attitude in regards to when we are struck with a calamity.
  3. Learn the history in regards to the origins of Thanksgiving.
  4. Realize that if the Native Americans didn’t help out the Europeans they would have certainly died off. Native Americans ensured the survival of the Pilgrims.
  5. “Just as two groups of people with little in common came together and formed a peace and friendship agreement, we should try having a meal with family, friends, neighbors and people we usually don’t have a meal with.
  6. Understand that Native American had innovations in areas such as mathematics and government which greatly influenced other cultures in Europe and Latin America.


Edible plants domesticated by Native Americans have become major staples in the diets of peoples all around the world. Such foods include corn (maize), manioc, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peanuts, squashes and pumpkins, tomatoes, papayas, avocados, pineapples, guavas, chili peppers, chocolate (cacao), and many species of beans.


Native Americans were the first to raise turkeys, llamas, guinea pigs, and honeybees for food.

Non-edible plants

Other plants of great importance developed by Native Americans include cotton, rubber, and tobacco.


The Quechua peoples of Peru discovered the medicinal use for quinine. Also, Canadian Indians knew how to prevent scurvy by eating plants rich in vitamin C, and they passed this information along to the Europeans.


The Mayans of Mexico appear to have been the first to use the zero in mathematics. Scholars believe that Asians traveled across the Pacific Ocean and learned about the zero from the Maya.


Native American governments in eastern North America, particularly the League of the Iroquois, served as models of federated representative democracy to the Europeans and the American colonists. The United States government is based on such a system, whereby power is distributed between a central authority (the federal government) and smaller political units (the states).

Halloween by Imam Azfar - October 2018

Halloween by Imam Azfar.pdf

Sending Salawat on the Prophet (pbuh) - Every Thursday

Tea Time With Imam Azfar - October 2018

Month of Muharram To Do Items - September 2018

Extracts from Ibn Rajab’s Lataif al-Ma`arif, regarding the month of Muharram:

1. It is the best of months for general voluntary fasts, after Ramadan.

2. It is especially recommended to fast the 10th of Muharram (known as the Day of `Ashura), with a day before it or after it. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, quoting Kasani’s al-Bada`i]

3. It is also virtuous to give in charity on this day.

A New Kind of Safety Plan - September 2018

If Someone is Suicidal, Do you know what to do - September 2018

I want to thank the Family and Youth Institute for sharing these resources.

Hajj Seminar - July 2018

Attached are the KeyNote Presentation and checklist from the Hajj Seminar

Hajj seminar 2018 .pdf

Preparing for Hajj Checklist and Umrah and Hajj checklist.pdf

Eid ul Fitr - June 2018

This Eid Al-Fitr, Imam Azfar spoke about the benefits of writing in a journal.

He recommended 3 types of journals  

1. Personal Development - Recommended if you want to focus on in improving your life and monitoring progress.

2. Prompt Journal - You'll be writing every day on a variety of subjects.

3. Couples journal - This journal provides a question for every day of the year, with enough space for two people to jot down a one- or two-sentence response.

University Visits / Lectures - Spring 2018
University of Illinois

Trinity University

Fiqh of Fasting - May 2018


Click the following link for the full presentation: Fiqh of Fasting Seminar.pdf

Make a Goal That You Have Stamina For - May 2018

On the first day of Ramadan, we excitedly dust off the cover of the Qur’an, and start reading enthusiastically only to burn out after a few days.

“The most beloved deed to Allah is that which is done consistently even if it’s small.” - Prophet Muhammad

Here are two items to note this Ramadan

1) Commit to a j