NASIMCO Post

A Fortnightly Newsletter
February 1st, 2013 
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In This Issue
Facilitator's Development Program
Pakistan Relief Campaign Update
Community Event - Toronto
Community Event - Boston
Community Event - New York
Election Results - Vancouver
Election Results - New York
Election Results - Minnesota
ALI Winter Courses

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Muslim Personalities

Al-Khwarizmi: Islamic Mathematics
  

One of the first Directors of the House of Wisdom in Bagdad in the early 9th Century was an outstanding Persian mathematician called Muhammad Al-Khwarizmi. He oversaw the translation of the major Greek and Indian mathematical and astronomy works (including those of Brahmagupta) into Arabic, and produced original work which had a lasting influence on the advance of Muslim and (after his works spread to Europe through Latin translations in the 12th Century) later European mathematics.

 

The word "algorithm" is derived from the Latinization of his name, and the word "algebra" is derived from the Latinization of "al-jabr", part of the title of his most famous book, in which he introduced the fundamental algebraic methods and techniques for solving equations.

 

Perhaps his most important contribution to mathematics was his strong advocacy of the Hindu numerical system, which Al-Khwarizmi recognized as having the power and efficiency needed to revolutionize Islamic and Western mathematics. The Hindu numerals 1 - 9 and 0 - which have since become known as Hindu-Arabic numerals - were soon adopted by the entire Islamic world. 

 

To read more, click here.
  

Islam in the News

 Islam and science: The Road to Renewal

 

The sleep has been long and deep. In 2005 Harvard University produced more scientific papers than 17 Arabic-speaking countries combined. The world's 1.6 billion Muslims have produced only two Nobel laureates in chemistry and physics. Both moved to the West: the only living one, the chemist Ahmed Hassan Zewail, is at the California Institute of Technology. By contrast Jews, outnumbered 100 to one by Muslims, have won 79. The 57 countries in the Organisation of the Islamic Conference spend a puny 0.81% of GDP on research and development, about a third of the world average. America, which has the world's biggest science budget, spends 2.9%; Israel lavishes 4.4%.

 

Many blame Islam's supposed innate hostility to science. Some universities seem keener on prayer than study. Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, for example, has three mosques on campus, with a fourth planned, but no bookshop. Rote learning rather than critical thinking is the hallmark of higher education in many countries. The Saudi government supports books for Islamic schools such as "The Unchallengeable Miracles of the Qur'an: The Facts That Can't Be Denied By Science" suggesting an inherent conflict between belief and reason. 

 

Many universities are timid about courses that touch even tangentially on politics or look at religion from a non-devotional standpoint. Pervez Hoodbhoy, a renowned Pakistani nuclear scientist, introduced a course on science and world affairs, including Islam's relationship with science, at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, one of the country's most progressive universities. Students were keen, but Mr Hoodbhoy's contract was not renewed when it ran out in December; for no proper reason, he says. (The university insists that the decision had nothing to do with the course content.)

 

But look more closely and two things are clear. A Muslim scientific awakening is under way. And the roots of scientific backwardness lie not with religious leaders, but with secular rulers, who are as stingy with cash as they are lavish with controls over independent thought.


To read more, click here.

  

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Salaam Alaykum!

 

As part of its vision and mission, the NASIMCO Post serves as a tool by which to bind our community together and promote a unified and caring environment for all. If you have anything you would like to include in this newsletter, contact us at info@nasimco.org.  

 

Facilitator's Development Program

Facilitator's Development Program

There are over 85 million meetings in the world every day. People spend increasing amounts of their work and community life attending meetings, planning sessions, retreats, conference calls, etc. in order to achieve their goals.

How many times have you sat in a meeting and wished it was better facilitated? How many times have you thought that a meeting was a waste of time due to poor facilitation? 

If you want to improve your facilitation skills to help achieve your visions and goals and those of your organization / community, then the Facilitator's Development Program is right for you.

When: April 6th-7th, 2013
Where: Jaffari Community Center, Toronto

Click here for more details.

Please note that this program is only open to alumni of the NASIMCO Leadership Development Program. 
  
Pakistan Relief Campaign Update
Muharram 1434 Pakistan After the devastating floods in Pakistan in July 2010, NASIMCO, in conjunction with The World Federation, launched a Muharram Appeal entitled "40 Islamic Centres in 40 Days" to which many of you donated generously. The campaign was a huge success and Islamic Centres were erected in the flood-affected areas. 

The following year, Muharram 1433, NASIMCO and The World Federation appealed to the community once more for the "Delivering the Future: Islamic Scholars for Islamic Centres" campaign. Again, NASIMCO would like to thank all of you who kindly donated towards this cause.

As a result of the donations we received, this Muharram, special Muharram programs were arranged in all of the new Islamic Centres. The appointed religious guides for each centre delivered lectures where they highlighted the following:
1. The objectives of Imam Husayn (A.S.)'s movement
2. The importance of 'Sajdah' and 'Pardah'
3. The role of Imam Husayn (A.S.)'s companions and family members

In addition, mourning processions started at the centres and moved through the streets to show solidarity with Imam Husayn (A.S.) and his aim of replacing oppression and corruption with truth and goodness for all of mankind.

  
Community Event - Toronto

Protest_TO On January 14, a Candle Light Vigil and Protest against Shia Genocide took place outside the Pakistani Embassy in Toronto, Canada.  

 

The event was attended by over 500 protesters of all ages, nationalities and religions. Buses were organized from ISIJ of Toronto and other centres in the Greater Toronto Area. Attendees held up placards decrying the violence and bloodshed and stood in sub-zero temperatures for several hours to listen to speeches, chant slogans and recite prayers for the slain Shias of Quetta, Pakistan.

 

The speakers at the vigil included Zakira Shyrose Jaffer Dhalla,   Toronto Jamaat's resident alim Maulana Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi and other political activists. Candles inscribed with the names of the the deceased were lit and held high above the crowds.

 

Community Event - Boston
The youths of Boston Jamaat have formed a grassroots organization called Young American Muslims (YAMs).  The mission of the group of various 13-18 year old youths is to overcome the negative stereotypes of Muslims that exists among their peer-groups.

In an effort to spread the message of Imam Hussain (A.S.), these youths spent an afternoon at Boston Commons, a large park in the center of Boston, giving away over 400 reusable water bottles as part of the "Who Is Hussain (A.S.)" campaign. The bottles bore the web address of the "Who Is Hussain (A.S.)" campaign,
 as well as a short message.  In addition to giving out the reusable water bottles, the youths fielded many questions from the public regarding this great personality and on Islam in general. 

All in all, this was a well-executed event and received positive feedback from the general public.  A short Youtube video documenting the experience can be found here 
 
Community Event - New York
SIJNY Seminar On December 29th and 30th, 2012, the New York Jamaat (SIJNY) hosted a ladies seminar. The theme of the seminar was "Embarking On Our Spiritual Journey." Covered topics included: taqwa, backbiting, tawakkul, repentance, self-accounting, showing off and many more. The seminar was conducted by Sister Masuma Jaffer of London and was attended by 70 ladies. Participants included youths as well as elderly members of the Jamaat. There were also a number of participants from other Shia centers in the New York and New Jersey areas. Overall, the seminar was considered a success.
 
Election Results - Vancouver

The Shia Muslim Community of British Columbia (Vancouver Jamaat) recently held elections for their Management Committee. The elected positions for the term 2013-2015 are as below:  

 

President: Mohamed Ladak

Vice President: Mohamed A. Dewji

Secretary: Mohamed Hussein Meghji

Treasurer: Mahmood Merali 

Chairlady: Zainab Bhojani
Director of Public Relations: Mahmood S. Jaffer
Director of Education: Shaheen Rashid
Director of Internal & External Affairs: Minaz Fazal
Director of Operational Transformation: Iqbal Meghjee
Program Director: Mehboob Khaku
Maintenance Director: Jaffer Nathu 
Director of Religious and Cultural Affairs: Hussein Bhojani
 
Election Results - New York

The Shia Ithnasheri Jamaat of New York (SIJNY) recently held elections for their Management Committee. The elected positions for the term 2013-2015 are as below:  

 

President: Murtaza Nathani

Vice President: Mazaher Jivraj

Secretary: Kazim Pirmohamed

Treasurer: Hasnain Dharsi

Chairlady: Gulzar Meghji
 
Election Results - Minnesota

Anjuman-e-Asghari of Minnesota recently held elections for their Management Committee. The elected positions for the term 2013-2015 are as below:  

 

President: Mohsin Kassam

Vice President: Sadiq Dattoo

Secretary: Imtiaz Salemohamed

Treasurer: Mohamed Raza Lakha

Chairlady: Sakina Bai Salemohamed
Committee Member:
Ahmad Roowala

Building Maintenance: Shabir Walji

 

Advanced Learning of Islam Courses
Winer 2013 ALI Registration for Winter Term (Jan - Mar 2013) is now open. Courses include:

ALI 224: Quranic Arabic Level 4
ALI 225: Goal of Life: Lectures by Ayatullah Murtadha Mutahhari
*Women Only
ALI 226: Selected Duas from Sahifa Sajjadiyya
ALI 227: Sirah of Masumeen (A): Life History of Imam Musa Al-Kadhim (A)
ALI 228: Quran Appreciation 
*Children Ages 9-12

Click on the poster for more information.