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IMAM'S CORNER (BLOGS & EVENTS)

USATODAY Article by Imam Azfar - April 2020

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2020/04/30/ramadan-amid-coronavirus-we-pray-separately-and-sacrifice-together-column/3046801001/

18 Etiquettes of making dua - April 2020


Fiqh of Fasting - April 2020

For the full presentation by Imam Azfar regarding Fasting, click on the link below

Fiqh of Fasting.pptx

Fiqh & Virtues of Zakat - April 2020

Imam provided a presentation regarding the Virtues of Zakat and has shared the presentation slides here:

Virtues of Zakat seminar.pdf

He has also shared a paper regarding Zakat on 401k Plans and other Securities

Zakat 401k Plans.pdf

Mufti Hussain Kamani provided his presentation on the Fiqh of Zakat

Fiqh of Zakat.pdf

Jumuah Procedure & Funeral Body Washing- April 2020

Below are two files for common questions that have been asked to IFN  and the Imam:

1. What is the Jumuah Procedure? Click the link to download

Jumuah procedure.pdf

2. How is the washing of the body performed during this time? Click below on IFN's Statement during this time.

IFN religious committee statement -Washing the body of the deceased.pdf

Based on the new information provided in the previous meeting on April 5th by the COVID task force that the government estimates that there will be a peak over the next three weeks, I recommend that the body of the deceased who passed away from the virus go straight to the cemetery since there is a “genuine danger” or “reasonable doubt” regarding harming the health of those around the corpse according to infectious disease doctors. This includes not washing the body of the deceased at another funeral home. The obligation of ghusl and tayammum is lifted and it is not considered sinful.

My friend has a bipolar disorder and needs to take medication - Does she have to fast? - April 2020

I would I would advise your friend to speak with a practicing Muslim doctor. Along with the consultation of a practicing Muslim doctor, she should base her judgment on her own past experience. If she feels that there is a "reasonable chance" that fasting for so long will trigger manic episodes and depression, then she should absolutely not fast and make these missed fasts up when you are able, such as when the days are shorter during the winter. Her health will takes precedence. as Allah states that He does not burden one more than he or she can bear. Quran 2:286. If she can't even make them up in the winter, then she should pay for someone else to be fed. This is known as Fidyah. The present rate is $10 for each day that is missed (this should provide one person with two meals or two people with one meal. If someone misses all the fasts of Ramadan, they would need to pay $300. And Allah knows best.

Treating COVID-19, N95 Respiratory Masks & the Beard - April 2020

Many doctors who are now on the front lines treating COVID-19 (Coronavirus) patients in hospital settings have asked for clarification regarding the use of respiratory masks.

Specific masks, like the N95, significantly reduce the transmission of pathogens. In fact, these respiratory masks mitigate transmission until only a marginal chance remains. Furthermore, the effectiveness of these masks requires that they form a tight fit on one’s face, which is compromised by the presence of facial hair. This raises a question regarding a Muslim physician removing some or all of his facial hair to ensure that he can wear the equipment needed to protect himself and to continue treating patients who have this fatally contagious disease, especially in the absence of alternative equipment.

In the process of detection and identification of COVID-19, and the testing and treatment of patients of the disease, many health care works are exposed and at risk. If a doctor becomes infected, he must be quarantined and can no longer treat patients. Moreover, he may expose himself, his family, and the lives of others at large to this fatal disease.

Ordinary surgical masks are much less effective in comparison to other respiratory masks because they do not fully seal. There are only two types of masks that significantly reduce the risk of transmission of pathogens:

- The first is the N95.

- And the other is the PAPR.


Regarding the N95 respiratory mask, the following is the FDA’s description of it:

“An N95 respirator is a respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles. The 'N95' designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small (0.3 micron) test particles. If properly fitted, the filtration capabilities of N95 respirators exceed those of face masks. However, even a properly fitted N95 respirator does not completely eliminate the risk of illness or death.” -(1)

Then, there is the PAPR mask. The following is the NIH’s description:

“In general, PAPRs can be described as respirators that protect the user by filtering out contaminants in the air and use a battery-operated blower to provide the user with clean air through a tight-fitting respirator, a loose-fitting hood, or a helmet.” -(2)

A beard hinders the N95's effectiveness because it must form a tight seal against the face to block pathogens from entering the nose or mouth. On the contrary, the PAPR mask does not require this.

Considering that a PAPR mask can be used without removing facial hair, it might be assumed that a bearded doctor does not need to use the N95. However, after consulting with physicians who are currently in this situation, it was confirmed that there are some situations in which the only option is the N95. Some reasons for this are as follows:

(1) Hospitals have limited or no supplies of PAPR masks.

(2) If one is in an exposed environment for a long period of time daily, wearing PAPR masks all day for weeks and months to come may be very cumbersome.

If a health care worker has no other option, doing what is needed to effectively wear the respirators that they require is allowed. This includes removing facial hair, if that is required.


For medical reasons, the jurists considered that which is unlawful as allowable due to necessity. We are commanded to cover our nakedness and to avoid physical contact with the opposite gender. And these rulings are maintained except for in dire circumstances. And the scholars explicitly mentioned medical treatments as a case of necessity.

On this basis, in the absence of alternative equipment or in a condition of intolerable hardship using alternative equipment if removing facial hair must be done to wear the N95 so that health care professionals may treat COVID-19 patients in an attempt to save lives while also protecting their own life and that of their families, it is allowed in this specific situation.

Some N95 masks can be effectively worn despite the presence of some facial hair, namely hair on and around the chin and under the bottom lip. One should only remove that which is necessary to wear the respiratory mask properly.

May Allāh protect us! And may He bless and protect the doctors who are out there working hard to treat those who are sick and safeguarding the rest of us by helping stop the spread of this dangerous illness.

And Allāh knows best.

By Salman Khan
Email: Salmanalikhan494@gmail.com

(1) - U.S. Food & Drug Administration. “N95 Respirators and Surgical Masks (Face Masks).” https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/n95-respirators-and-surgical-masks-face-masks. March 22, 2020.

(2) - National Institutes of Health. “The Use and Effectiveness of Powered Air Purifying Respirators in Health Care: Workshop Summary.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK294223/. March 22, 2020.

Corona Help - Toilet Paper Delivery -
April 2020

Do you know anyone in need of free toilet paper? Imam Azfar and a volunteer are willing to deliver whiles supplies last. Click on the video link for more information

Corona Help.mp4

Friday Prayer - March 2020

Legally, the Friday prayer is an individual obligation on every sane, male adult who is not a traveler (musāfir) and is in sound health. It is therefore not an obligation upon women, children, the sick, the mentally insane or the very frail.

For everyone else, in the absence of a valid excuse, missing the Friday prayer is considered a significant transgression (fisq). Thus when calls are made for suspending the Friday prayer are made or restrictions are imposed on those who wish to fulfill their obligation to Allah, it is natural for any person of faith to be disturbed.

Legitimate fear of sickness is an excuse to miss the jumu'ah salah.

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease researcher said “We would recommend that there not be large crowds.”

An infectious disease expert in the Lake County area also recommended that we avoid large crowds.

There are confirmed cases of people with the coronavirus in Lake County.

Since infectious disease experts and public health authorities advised against public gatherings because of the risk of spreading the virus, we made the difficult decision to suspend congregational acts of worship at our masjid.

Allah says, “Have taqwa of Allah as much as you are able” (64:16)

My respected brothers and sisters of IFN,

Right now taqwa is NOT to pray the jumuah salah at other masajid.

Right now taqwa is NOT to protest and pray outside the IFN masjid.

These types of actions are rooted in selfishness.

Today, taqwa is to pray the Dhuhr Salah at your home

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting - April 2020

Health benefits of intermittent fasting By: Azfar Uddin and Dr. Omar Jamil

While we should not use science to validate the prophetic biography, there is no harm in finding benefit when science elaborates the benefits of prophetic practices. Our mother A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) described that the Prophet (upon him be peace) was keen on fasting Mondays and Thursdays, and from this narration is born the well-known sunnah of fasting on these particular days. Since 1997, scientists have been interested in understanding the health benefits of intermittent fasting. In the December 2019 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the premier journals in clinical medicine, an extensive review of the studies elucidating the health benefits of fasting was published. In summary, the review describes the following benefits

  • There are two described regimens of intermittent fasting: daily intermittent fasting with a 16-18 hour fasting period and a 6-8 hour feeding period and 5:2 fasting, eating regularly 5 days a week, and fasting 2 days a week with consumption of <700 calories on fasting days. The former regimen is more similar to the fasting of Ramadān, while the latter is similar to the Sunnah method of fasting Monday and Thursday.

  • The goal of intermittent fasting is achieving ketosis, when the body exhausts itself of glucose and begins converting fat into ketones. Ketones are a backup energy source used when the body does not have access to glucose. Additionally, it signals to the body that the body is in fasting mode and has numerous positive cellular effects.

  • Fasting periods lead to cell signaling that increase antioxidant defenses,repair of energy producing components in the cells and decrease inflammation.

  • Intermittent fasting has demonstrated better results than calorie restriction alone, and in head to head comparisons, people utilizing intermittent fasting have an increase in insulin sensitivity (to prevent diabetes) and reduction in waist circumference.

  • Intermittent fasting regimens reduce obesity, insulin resistance (i.e. diabetes),high cholesterol, hypertension and inflammation.

  • In both human and animal studies intermittent fasting regimens have demonstrated a positive impact on memory and cognitive performance.

  • Multiple animal trials and limited human trials have shown a positive impact of intermittent fasting regimens on decreasing tumor growth in cancer patients.

  • There is limited evidence that intermittent fasting regimens benefits patients with autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

It is important to know that the science is always evolving, and the known benefits of intermittent fasting are dynamic. However, we know for certain that fasting Mondays and Thursdays and following the sunnah of the Prophet (upon him be peace) will have benefit for us in the afterlife. If there is benefit in the dunya as well, that can only be a good thing.

de Cabo, R., & Mattson, M. P. (2019). Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease. New England Journal of Medicine, 381(26), 2541-2551.

Islamic Guidelines on Plagues & Viruses - March 2020



Valentine's Day Love - February 2020

In 2019, Americans spent approximately 20.7 billion U.S. dollars on Valentine’s day

If we’re spending all that on “love", then why is major depression on the rise among Americans from all age groups, especially teens and young adults?

God says, “Surely those who believe and perform righteous deeds, for them shall the Compassionate ordain love” (Qur’an 19:96)

God is al-Wadud

He is not only the one who loves you, but He will show you that He loves you.

How will he show that He loves you?

By granting you everlasting joy.

The philosophy of love in Islam is twofold

  1. Do good to others
  2. Have faith in God.

If you do these two, He will give you His love.

The philosophy of love in Islam is giving unconditionally.

The philosophy of love in Islam is UNCONDITIONAL affection and mercy between the spouses (Qur’an 30:21)

“The hand that gives is better than the hand that receives.” (Muhammad ﷺ)

If we want to soften our hearts and achieve lasting happiness, Muhammad ﷺ advised us to perform two actions.

  1. Feed the poor
  2. Rub the head of an orphan.

It's not strange that both of these actions refer to giving unconditionally which is the philosophy of love in Islam.

Superbowl Halftime Thoughts - February 2020

I've noticed that the start of the Super Bowl usually occurs around Maghreb in Chicago. It will take imān and determination to ensure that one prays Maghreb on time. InshAllah this Concise Advice video will help us accomplish that in the future.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=to9LbJCD0_w

As far as watching the halftime show, find a healthy alternative. (The timing for the Isha salah at many masajid in Chicago occurs around the halftime show, 8:00pm.)

There are some who are stating that the Superbowl halftime show was about empowering women and not objectifying them.

At uoregon.edu, a research study by Emily Albertson, Belynda Murray, and Lily Martin-Chamberlain concludes that, “The damage the music video industry has caused is irreparable, and it has caused an innumerable number of problems with self-esteem issues among women.”

If the message that girls are getting from the music industry (including the halftime show) is that they are primarily valued for their sexuality and their sex appeal, that can be damaging to girls’ self-esteem. The singers' intention may have been to "empower women", but the "pole dancing, crotch grabbing and tongue waving” was a clear sexual exploitation of women.

Professor Hall, who teaches a class on sexuality education at BYU, fears that adolescents will confuse the lyrics of popular music with social norms.

“If Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are talking about sexual activity, and I’m 14, that just increases this misperception that I have that all kids are sexually active"

Hall said. "It’s this idea that if you’re listening to music that is saturated with sexual messages, you tend to believe that everyone’s doing it. That in itself becomes a powerful perspective.”

The Oregon study does point out, “There should be a distinction between embracing one’s own sexuality and giving up their rights to the men that seek them as sexual objects.”

Is it clear to everyone viewing the halftime show which one is happening?Can a young male seeing a woman in revealing clothing repeatedly spreading her legs before the camera determine whether she is empowered or objectified? Is she embracing her sexuality in a healthy way or is she entertaining men even if that may not be her intention?

“Modesty and faith are companions. If one is removed, so is the other” (Hadith).

"Sin causes uneasiness in the heart" (Hadith)

A person of haya, regardless of their faith, will be disturbed to watch the halftime show, especially with their family members.

Lastly, an ESPN article revealed that the Super Bowl remains a target for human trafficking.

Since women are being objectified during the halftime show in front of thousands of viewers, does that lead to a culture of engaging in paid sex activities?

Remembering Kobe - January 2020


Is the praying of Salah with a Kufi Part of Islam or Part of Culture - January 2020

“Covering one's head during salah is a sunnah and one should act upon it to the best possible extent, however, it is not a mandatory condition for the validity of salah therefore, the obligation is discharged without it, though devoid of the blessings of sunnah. We should try our best to make our salah as close to the sunnah as possible. Even a slight carelessness may deprive us from the barakah and reward which every sunnah of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, may bring to his true follower. Therefore, we should not take this matter lightly.” - Mufti Taqi Usmani

“Wearing a hat (Qalansuwa in Arabic) is the Sunnah of our blessed Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), Sahaba (Allah be pleased with them all) and the great scholars and pious predecessors of this Ummah.

There are many evidences which support this. Just to mention a few:

  • Abdullah Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) used to wear a white hat (Recorded by Tabrani).

  • Hasan al-Basri (Allah be pleased with him) says: The people (Sahaba-Allah be pleased with them all) used to perform Sajdah (prostration) upon their turbans and hats (Sahih al-Bukhari, 1/151)

  • Rukanah (Allah be pleased with him) says, I heard the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) say: The difference between us and the polytheists is, wearing the turban over the hat (Sunan Abu Dawud, 4075 & Sunan Tirmizi, 3919).

  • In the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah, the wearing of a hat is reported from Ali ibn al-Husain, Abdullah ibn Zubair, Dahhak and Abu Musa (Allah be pleased with them all).

  • It is clear from the above that wearing a hat is a Sunnah. It has been the practise of the Ummah throughout history, and has become one of the symbols of Islam.

  • The great Hanafi jurist, Mullah Ali al-Qari (Allah have mercy on him) states that the wearing of the hat has become one of the salient symbols of Islam. (Mirqat al-Masabih, vol.8 pg.246).

Due to the above, the scholars mention that even though, not wearing a hat can not be classed as unlawful (haram), as it is a Sunnah, but due to the fact that it has become one of the signs of Islam, it is generally undesirable to keep the head exposed. One should try to keep the head covered whenever reasonably possible.

And Allah knows best

Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester, UK

"Praying bareheaded is makruh (disliked).” (From Al-Qawl Al-mubin fi akhta' Al-musallin by Mashhur Hussain on page # 58 of the 2nd edition):

“It is not established at all that the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) ever prayed outside the pilgrimage with bare head, without a turban/cap. Whoever thinks he did so then he should bring the proof. If he (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) had done so, it would have been recorded. The narration attributed to Ibn 'Abbaas that the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) would sometimes remove his cap and place it as a sutrah in front of him is weak (da’eef)."

Shaikh Albani (May Allaah's mercy be on him) goes on to explain the mistake of some brothers in Egypt who brought the proof of the permissibility to pray without covering the head by analogizing with how the head is uncovered for someone in ihraam during the pilgrimage.

This is wrong since not covering the head during the pilgrimage is from the law (Sharee'ah) of Allaah. If their analogy was right then they should make it compulsory to pray without any head covering at all since it is obligatory to do so during the pilgrimage and to follow all the other restrictions of Ihraam in regular life! [Tamaam-ul-Minnah fee ta'leeq 'alaa fiqh-us- Sunnah by 'Allaamah Albaani]

Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 2 pg #863It is mentioned that Anas Bin Malik (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) used to wear a kufi (cap).

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



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