A Fortnightly NewsletterSeptember 15th, 2010
In This Issue
*Response to Quran Burning
*Az-Zahra Camp Report
*Funeral of Ayatullah Faqih
*Pakistan Flood Relief
*Inter-Faith Event - Minnesota
*Inter-Faith Event - Seattle
*Inter-Faith Event - Kitchener
*Matrimonial Website
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Ramadan 2010

"Muslim men and women across the world are currently observing Ramadan, a month long celebration of self-purification and restraint. During Ramadan, the Muslim community fast, abstaining from food, drink, smoking and sex between sunrise and sunset.

Muslims break their fast after sunset with an evening meal called Iftar, where a date is the first thing eaten followed by a traditional meal. During this time, Muslims are also encouraged to read the entire Quran, to give freely to those in need, and strengthen their ties to God through prayer.

The goal of the fast is to teach humility, patience and sacrifice, and to ask forgiveness, practice self-restraint, and pray for guidance in the future."

To see how Ramadan was celebrated around the world, click here.
Rediscovering Islam's Kindness

"Every day there are more worries that a clash of civilizations between Islam and the West will last for decades.

 ...What I learned as a correspondent in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, the West Bank, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries was that Islam is as decent as the people who practice it. Much like Christianity. And Islam's various forms are as different as Catholics, Baptists, Eastern Orthodox and Unitarians.
...In Iran, between college and grad school, I got sick and spent a week in a public hospital ward in Mashad with 20 other men. The kindness of the nurses, the doctors, the cleaning staff and the fellow patients is among life's sweetest memories.  
In fact, people of good will are far more numerous around the world than those intent on killing anyone who disagrees with them. But we who believe in tolerance are often less well organized and less fired up than the aggressive enforcers of absolutism. The average guy in Afghanistan or Serbia may have no problem with people from other faiths and cultures. But the average guy is not about to stand up to the Taliban, Milosevic, al-Qaeda and Chechen fighters."
To read more, click here.
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Muslim Community Responds to Quran Burning
Reverend Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center, in Gainesville, Florida, intended to desecrate copies of the Holy Quran on the ninth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Following widespread international condemnation, Mr. Jones retracted from his offensive action on September 8th.
Ayatullah Al-Seestani joined the international condemnation and his office in Najaf made a statement on the burning of the copies of the Holy Quran. To view his statement, click here.
Our community had also taken a decisive stand on this issue. The World Federation of KSIMC, on behalf of the regional membership and global community, wrote to the President of the United States, Mr. Barack Obama and the US Ambassador to the UK, Mr. Louis B. Susman, requesting them to address the grave situation and urgently intervene to stop such provocative and radical action in their country. In our letters to them, we stated our objections, a "...travesty to the spirit of freedom of speech and belief, enshrined in the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
The World Federation also wrote to Reverend Jones of the small 50 membership evangelical church, with a message of peace and tolerance, and strongly urged him to reconsider his action. The letter  sought to enlighten him on the true and pristine teachings of Islam, as well as clearly mentioned that the burning would also be "...dishonor and an insult to your faith (Christianity), as you will be burning, amongst others the names of Mary, Jesus, Moses and Abraham". 
NASIMCO is grateful to the vast majority of our moderate Christian brothers for their support and their condemnation of this event. We also extend our gratitude to the various officials, humanitarian bodies, international organisations, and other faith groups who condemned this action.
Az-Zahra Mother-Daughter Camp Report
The 2nd Annual Mother-Daughter Az-Zahra Camp Retreat took place on August 5th to 8th at Pearce Williams Camp near London, Ontario. Campers participated in a series of three daily lectures which were conducted by Sr. Massuma Jaffer, Sr. Shahnaz Alidina and Sr. Sabiha Jaffer. Topics covered included "Maintaining an Islamic Identity in the West", "Understanding the Soul" and "Effective Parenting". Sessions were highly interactive, and provided opportunities for meaningful discussion and reflection.

Participants also enjoyed recreational activities such as swimming and archery. Evening events included games, skits and a bonfire.  One of the biggest highlights was the Amazing Race, which incorporated a variety of cooperative physical and mental challenges. 
Funeral of Marhoom Ayatullah Faqih
It is with deep sorrow, that NASIMCO learned of the passing away from this temporal abode of a renowned scholar, a symbol of
piety, an epitome of God-consciousness: Ayatullah Mirza Muhammad Hasan Ahmadi Faqih (RA). 
Ayatollah Ahmadi Faqih was involved in a fatal car accident on Sunday, August 29th. His funeral prayers were led by Ayatollah Wahid Khorasani, and his body was laid to rest in the shrine of Lady Masooma Qom (AS) on Tuesday, August 31st.
The Shias are left without one of their beloved leaders, a selfless devotee to Islam. May Allah (SWT) grant him a position close to the
Ahlul Bayt. We request all believers to recite Sura al-Fatiha.
Pakistan Flood Relief Efforts - Canadian Government
The government of Canada has agreed to match eligible donations to the various relief efforts following the massive flooding in Pakistan as a way to better respond to the needs of the people of Pakistan and to more effectively match the generosity of Canadians.
The Canadian government will match all individual donations (meeting certain criteria) that are made through a Canadian Registered Charity. Donations made to NASIMCO will therefore be eligible for matching, provided they are made before October 3rd. To read more about the eligibility criteria for individual donations, click here.
Inter-Faith Event - Minnesota
On Saturday, September 11th the Jaafari Islamic Center (JIC) of Minnesota, in collaboration with the Redeemer Covenant Church as well as other churches of the area participated in a "Day of Unity". They came together for a brief program in which the different faith communities declared their solidarity against the burning of the Holy Quran that was planned for that day, and extended a hand of brotherhood to one another. The program included statements from the Resident Alim and guest speaker of the JIC, as well as representatives of the various churches. The event was also covered by a local news channel. To view the video, click here.
Inter-Faith Event - Seattle
In response to the proposed burning of the Quran in Florida on the ninth anniversary of 9/11 and the growing intolerance, the Ithna-asheri Muslim Association of the Northwest (IMAN) and Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church in Seattle co-hosted an inter-faith reading of selections from the Quran in Arabic and English. The readings were led by Jawad Khaki, president of IMAN and the service was led by Reverand Marian Stewart of Northlake. To view the presentation made by members of IMAN, click here and to watch a video recording of the service, click here.
Inter-Faith Event - Kitchener-Waterloo
This year, the day of Eid coincided with the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. NASIMCO had communicated with its member Jamaats to keep their Eid celebrations low-key out of respect for the victims of 9/11. The Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat of Kitchener-Waterloo followed the recommendation and decided to hold only prayers and not a dinner on Eid because of the unfortunate timing. The vice president of the Center was invited to a radio show with Gary Doyle and the Waterloo region newspaper reported on the Center's decision. To read the article, click here.
Matrimonial Website (Coming Soon!) is an online matrimonial website being developed for Shia Muslims around the world. The mission of this site is to help members of the Shia community find their spouses and support them in building an everlasting relationship. aims to work closely with scholars of the Ahlul Bayt school of thought, providing the Shia community a platform to not only find a partner but spiritually nurture the relationship with one's spouse as well. To find out more please visit facebook page to learn more about the website.