"FIRST THEY ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." These words of Nicholas Klein are often misattributed to Ghandi. But the misappropriation of one’s words are just one example of how the truth of things often becomes distorted.
People believing something doesn't make it true. People ignoring you doesn't make you or your ideals irrelevant. People laughing at you doesn't make you incompetent. People fighting you doesn't make you worthy of being despised. Ultimately, the winning in all of the aforementioned is when the truth plainly and clearly shows itself and it can no longer be denied or resisted. The current truth I would like to deal with is the condition of those in the African Diaspora. The time for talking is past and action is the now the only alternative.
There are many racial initiatives and programs going on these days and given my background in Anthropology, Philosophy, and Education, most people expect for me to be interested in or engaged with many of the seminars available on “race” right now especially those that are addressing the racism that exists in my religious group, the colorism among people in my tribe and other tribal levels of connection, and even the disparities on a larger community level that address the engagement of the "black" community with the modern day police force which has quite a complex history in this our United States of America.
The main reason many will find me absent from discussions they might expect me to be present in, knowing full well how passionate I am about Afircan liberation across the entire Diaspora, is because I do not engage in conversations that ignore deeply examined, sensible premises in order to support conversations that can truly lead us forward. Educating our young people, ourselves, or even others outside of our cultural group about The African Diaspora experience must transcend above and beyond presenting information that begins at a historical view that only acknowledges Africans post European or post Arab contact.
It is not sensible nor is it an honest approach to continue to pretend Africa was the “Dark Continent “ and nothing of value occurring there until outside contact. It is impossible to understand anything of any society in the Earth and not recognize the origin of organized society IS Africa. The first place for man to have a religious idea and expression for example to have the cognition and spiritual awareness to bury their dead happened in Africa first. The first Universities in the world exisited in Africa first and therefore were the first seats of Philosophical thought. Hippocrates, Socrates, and Plato all admitted that whatever knowledge they had they had garnered out of "Kemmet" (in Egypt) and brought it back to Greece, modified it, interpreted it and fit it to fit the back drop of the culture of Greco-Roman cultures. So when you want to talk to me about the plight of African people, understand that if you are not bringing me the whole story and with a clear lens through which not only to understand Africa of the past, present and future, I am unable to meet you where you stand. African culture and condition is much greater than a snippet of 700 years.
I do not engage in conversations that merely talk about personalities and accomplishments of individuals without recognizing the long-term implications of long standing, vast kingdoms and their impact on the world and then subsequently them meeting their demise through a global phenomena that goes ignored constantly and therefore is the common and undeniable root and cause of the majority of the injustice and oppression currently in the world today. A true conversation about African liberation must address what happened and why and the part EVERYBODY has played in it because knowingly or unknowingly most everyone has had some involvement even if you have only been used unwittingly by the invisible hand of greedy and powerful governments.
This is the age of information. Being educated is mostly a click away from any of us at anytime. If you are not a part of the solution, try not to be a part of the problem, and a big part of the problem is ignorance....being unaware. Many of the current seminars, initiatives. and series presented since the surge after the death of George Floyd have been beneficial to showcase certain public speakers, or met with glee by a staff (particularly in schools) who are required to spend a certain amount of dollars on professional developments yearly, and I'm sure plenty of money has been made. Bottom line, what has been accomplished in the knowledge gained that will be life changing for the people attending the seminar? What can professionals, especially teachers take away from it that teaches them to ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS of the right people and of the right time?
The problem is and has always been that history repeats itself when not being accurately known or understood. There seems to be a wide and fearful disconnect when we look at world history and American history when it comes to dealing with our relationship to Africa. It's time to come out of the dark and realize, education frees, not shackles. I beleive we (Americans) are strong enough to look at our history, all of it--although it is complex and problematic. We can examine it in a realistic and wholistic way that allows us to analyze it and consider its implications for our current life and our futures. Don't be afraid to do just that. Our Universe is uni=one, verse =song. Don’t be afraid to sing along. Peace and blessings All.
Janice West is an Islamic School educator as well as a relationship coach. She holds a degree in Anthropology from Wichita State university and is certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Janice lives with her family in Chicago, Illinois.
“Communication between Mamas and their young adult sons can be a challenge, but it doesn't have to be. Join Jaasmeen Hamed and her son Nafees Hassan, a favorite in the Mama son duo crew every Monday and Friday where good conversation takes place and tools to improve the mother-son bond are shared. If you are a mother of a young man between the ages 13-26 in search of; conversation topics that are both culturally and socially relevant, tools to break the ice on sensitive subjects, or have an interest in connecting with other mother-son duos in need of convo tips, then this podcast is for you.”
Jaasmeen Hamed is a California Bay Area native and a lover of all things African & God friendly. She has a passion for research and project development internationally in the areas of architecture, religion, and international exchange. Jaasmeen is a volunteer with several organizations throughout Metro Atlanta that offer interfaith and at-risk youth services through programming for both high school and college-level students as well as other residents within Metro Atlanta. The owner of Spirit Foods LLC, a vegan and vegetarian specialty food provider, Jaasmeen is a health advocate and loves providing her customers with wholesome foods to enrich both their bodies and soul. She also works professionally as a Business Analyst and is the mother of one young adult man.
The Roots of Islamic Psychology …..”Ilm al nafs”
Why do so many so-called “religious people” see mental illness as incongruous or contrary to faith? This is a question that must be addressed. These assumptions can be rooted in unjustified stigma and ignorance. Mental illness has existed in all times amongst all people. Psychology, the medical and philosophical study of the psych, soul or self, was recorded as early as 1550 BCE when depression was noted in the Ebers Papyrus.
One of the earliest noted contributors was a Persian named Muhammad ibn Zakariya al Razi who was a physician, scientist and philosopher. He was noted for writing about mental illness and psychotherapy. His major works called El Mansuri and Al Hawi described many conditions as well as treatment options. He eventually became the first director of a mental health ward in a hospital. The first bimaristans or hospitals were built in Baghdad in the 9th century.
Another Persian writer, Abu-Ali al Husayn ibn Abdalah Ibn Sina, more commonly known as Avicenna was a forerunner in the field of psychosomatic medicine. He demonstrated the link between changes in the mental state and changes in the body.
Ali ibn Sahl Rabban Al Tabari wrote a work emphasizing the need for psychotherapy. In the 10th century, Ahmed ibn Sahl Al Bakhi stressed the link between spiritual and mental well being. By the 13th century separate wards were made available in the bimaristans for those suffering with mental disorders. These were a few of the pioneers in Islamic psychology that intersected with information of Greek origin within the learning center of Baghdad during the “Golden Age of Islam” from the 8th to the 14th centuries CE. The rest of the world was experiencing what was termed “The Dark Ages” or the “Middle Ages” which began after the decline of the Roman Empire. This was a period of cultural and economic deterioration that occurred in Western Europe.
A group of scholars from China, India, Arabia and Ancient Greece exchanging mathematical, astronomical, philosophical, medical information in the learning center of Baghdad. Baghdad, which was centrally located between Europe and Asia, was a major trading spot where ideas were spread for the enhancement of civilization.
1. Wikipedia contributors, “Timeline of psychology,” In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 3 Oct. 2020. Web 2 December 2, 2020
2. Wikipedia contributors, ‘Psychology in medieval Islam’, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 26 November 2020. Web 2 December 2020
3. Ayad, Dr. Amira, Healing Body and Soul, 2013, International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Ameedah Diaab Abdullah
Ameedah has been a mental health consumer for several years and has dedicated her lifework to improving mental health outcomes for others dealing with challenges. She has experience working directly with clients connecting them to services and teaching basic activities of daily living in New Jersey prior to moving to Atlanta.
Bread and Butter Farms was officially established in 2013. As a family, we have been growing both
collectively as well as on an individual basis throughout our lives. We are both science researchers by
trade and at heart, so we treat farming as a science as well. We operate in ways that go against the
norm for some people. For example, we plant in a bio-intensive manner which basically means we plant
really close together, we make our own chemical-free pest control and offer prepared meals with our
produce/meats. It is our passion and we share this with our children by exposing them to the humbling
experience of farming. It is important to us to show them that the world of agriculture has many aspects
that are not limited to growing. We have a strong respect for the land that we have been blessed to
steward. Homeschooling allows us to pass this passion on, educate them in entrepreneurship, and
exposes them to the multifaceted options available in the form of value-added products. These are
products that you make from produce or animals you have on your farm (i.e. infused oil/vinegar,
canning and preserving, goat milk soap, bread from grains, etc.). We offer a variety of products outside
of produce available on our website, www.breadandbutterfarms.com. This enables us to provide our
customers with a wide range of options and to reduce food waste. At its core Bread and Butter Farms is
a family farm that is passionate about education, the environment, and serving our community. Come
grow with us!
Musa and Micole Hasan
Musa and Micole Hasan operation Bread and Butter Farms located in Monroe, GA. They run the
Cupping is an ancient remedy dating back to 1550 BC. The oldest medical book in the world The Ebers Papyrus describes the Egyptians’ use of hijamah (cupping). In China, the earliest description of horn method (using animal horn) was in book Fifty Two Diseases from Han dynasty (202 BC). Over 2000 years, Cupping has been part of Chinese medical practice, among which are acupuncture, Qigong, herbal and dietary therapy. Cupping helps all diseases through balancing Yin Yang and energy flow. From modern medical perspective, cupping increases blood circulation. This relieves muscle tension and promotes tissue repair.
Cupping is made of bamboo, glass, ceramic, silicon and plastic. There are two main categories of practice today. Dry cupping is a suction-only method. Wet cupping involves both suction and controlled medicinal bleeding.
Recent years, people are enthusiastic about cupping due to famous athletes and celebrities’ engagement. However, like any therapy, it should be careful if you have skin irritation, on blood thinner, pregnant or with some medical conditions. Side effects include dizziness, nausea, skin bruise and blister. Wet cupping leads to hepatitis and HIV if the cups are not sterilized. Please check the practitioner’s training before cupping therapy.
Yu Kang, LAc, RD, LD, DipOM
Yu first began healing studies with her parents, who are well-known doctors of Oriental Medicine in her hometown Zibo -a mid-sized city in northern China. At the age of 15, she was accepted by Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine as one of the youngest students in school history. After eight-year training in Western and Oriental Medicine, she graduated with a doctoral degree of oriental Medicine. Yu then went to China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine to be further trained in acupuncture and herbal medicine under the most influential doctors of Oriental Medicine in China. Prior to her arrival in the United States, Yu was a neurologist in Xiyuan Hospital, Beijing. Yu’s extensive training also includes a master’s degree in Nutrition from the Pennsylvania State University, and a one-year dietetic internship at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center-a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. Yu is a licensed acupuncturist, a registered dietitian, and a certified herbalist from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
Greetings of Peace and Prosperity! My name is Bellamy and I am a personal wardrobe
stylist and professional organizer. I will be sharing my insight on a concept of modesty that
is often missed or over looked, in my opinion. First up, understanding what modesty really
means. The dictionary defines modesty as follows:
1. The quality of being modest; freedom from vanity, boastfulness, etc.
2. Regard for decency of behavior, speech, dress, etc.
3. Simplicity; moderation
As a community we are very familiar with the first 2 entries. Many controversies across
the globe stem from how modesty is primarily practiced in the form of hijab by Muslim
women. While the concept of hijab isn’t fully captured by a head-scarf (as most media
platforms have inferred) neither is the concept of modesty fully captured in hijab alone.
These two concepts extend beyond applying to women only; they apply to men as well in
The Beloved Prophet (SAWS) said: “Every religion has a distinctive characteristic
and the characteristic of Islam is modesty.” (Ibn Majah)
While the focus of modesty has primarily been on the outer appearance of women,
the inner characteristics have been mentioned but not nearly as much. We’re instructed to
be modest and to wear hijab but “the how to do that” isn’t discussed in depth as often. Yes,
we are told to wear certain types of clothes that don’t draw attention. Yes we’re told to
speak kind words and to do good deeds. Don’t brag or boast and definitely don’t use
profanity. These are great actions to get started but they do not engage the heart and the
mind. They don’t give us the bigger picture.
As our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) succinctly stated, the characteristic of Islam is modesty.Let that statement marinate with your heart and mind for a moment while I share a brief story.
When I first began practicing Islam, I was super excited and overwhelmed about
implementing Islam as my way of life. Initially, what attracted me to Islam was that it is a
complete way of life. I was tired of trying to figure out if I was living “right”. I was relieved
that all I had to do was follow Islam like everyone else and I could possibly earn paradise. It
was a no brainer. I just dove right in and started praying, covering, fasting and even got
married within my first year. SubhanAllah! I truly underestimated how my choice to practice
Islam would truly impact me (mentally, spiritually, emotionally), my identity, my family (I’m
the only Muslim for now...smile insha’Allah), my friends and my livelihood. Now on top of all
of that, I had the audacity to become a wife and a mother before I really had a real clue
about just being Muslim. I was doing WAY TOO MUCH in a very short period of just 2 years.
Being raised as a Christian I basically had the Cliff’s Notes idea about Islam. Because
of this, I sort of glossed over the 5 pillars like a checklist and assumed that I got this! I mean,
I was already a good hearted and kind person. I strived for excellence and was known for
my character. I didn’t use any forms of intoxicants. I naturally dressed “modestly” so that
wasn’t an issue. I believed in Allah as the one and only G-d, His Angels, His Books and all the
Messengers sent before and including Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). I was like, BOOM! I am
practically a Muslim already! WRONG! As I began to study Islam more I learned that
guidance is deeper than externalities. In my first marriage alone, I learned even more about
myself. How I understood and practiced Islam. I was so overwhelmed by everything, I began
to lose hope and sink into despair. I began to question, if I was really living Islam because I
was so miserable. I knew I must be doing something wrong because this deen is perfect.
A few years later, after reading that quote again. It resonated with me differently.
The characteristic of Islam is MODESTY. It prompted me to look up the word modesty
again. This time I noticed the 3rd entry: Simplicity; Moderation. I was amazed by the clarity
and relief I experienced.
I thought THIS IS IT! This is how I can actually implement Islam in my life without being so overwhelmed.Alhamdulilah! Allah (SWT) is so merciful and so kind.
Islam is truly for all of humanity. There is no part of it that a human being cannot benefit
from. I thought about how the Quran was revealed in stages and how Allah’s (SWT) infinite
wisdom of sharing the foundation of the Shahadah (how to worship Him alone with no
partners) took years before the rules of halal and haram were given. Islam was revealed
simply and in moderation as a progressive path so the companions had time to engage and
internalize the concepts with their hearts and their minds.
If it took years for the best of humanity to implement Islam into their lives, why do
we think we are any different? The characteristic of Islam is Modesty. This means to me
that every aspect of our faith can be implemented simply and with moderation. Even the
concepts of hijab and modesty for men have some relevancy. Looking back on how I began
my journey in Islam, I realize that I didn’t approach it with modesty. Now when I look at
different areas (finances, health, knowledge, relationships, etc.) of my life that I want to
improve, I use modesty as my method of approach. I filter my intentions, actions, desires
and habits by asking myself two initial questions: 1) what is the simplest way to handle or
implement this? 2) How can this be broken down into moderate steps?
The Modesty Method | Simplicity + Moderation = ModestyI sincerely hope this little gem of insight, I was blessed to discover and share with you has
been of some benefit on your life’s journey. It is my hope to continue this dialogue about
how modesty as a method can help us practice and implement Islam in our daily lives,
insha’Allah. Give it a try. I would love to hear about your experience. Share it with me on
social media @iStyleModesty & #LiveLifeModest
L. Jehaan "Bellamy"
Bellamy has a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising from Florida State University and over 15 years of fashion experience. NYC is where she cultivated her true talent to curate all things stylish by working with brands such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Tommy Hilfiger and IslamicDesignHouse.com. Currently she resides in Atlanta, making motherhood look stylish and teaching her signature online courses Hijabology: Wardrobe As Worship and The Hijab Style Lab at iStyleModesty.Com/Learn
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and while most people know about breast cancer, with many showing support by wearing pink ribbons, it's less known that it’s the most common cancer in American women and the second leading cause of cancer death in women globally. Educating ourselves on this disease is an important aspect of breast cancer awareness.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the risk of an American woman developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 12%, or a 1 in 8 chance. Further, the chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is about 2.6%, or a 1 in 38 chance. There are about 230,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in women in the U.S. each year, and about 2,300 new cases diagnosed in men.
The following are four key points to educate ourselves on reducing our risk for breast cancer:
Naila Abdul-Hakeem, MPH
Naila Abdul-Hakeem, MPH is a Public Health Educator that has a YouTube channel called Accessing Care with Naila where she provides resources and information on ways to access health services without breaking the bank. She lives in Chicago with her husband and six-year-old cat
A little over twelve years ago I welcomed my fifth child into the world who happens to have Down Syndrome. It became apparent to me very early on that I would have to do more and be more to meet my son’s needs that were unique to him. If I were state side during his birth, I would have had many more options early on. There is the First Steps program that is available in each state that help children with disabilities and developmental delays. The program starts at birth to 3 yrs. and includes help with physical and developmental needs of a child.
Not having access to First Steps I depended a lot on books and my own creativity to help his physical development. Some of the books I depended on early on were “Gross Motor Skills in Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals by Patricia C. Winders” . “Fine Motor Skills for Children with Down Syndrome by Maryann Bruni” and “Babies with Down Syndrome a New Parents Guide by Susan J. Skallerup”. These were my go-to books that were well used. I was able to learn not just what to expect from my child but also how to help and support him in his development. Some of the help required my own creativity and using some simple objects for both fine motor skills as well as gross motor.
At a point in his development I saw that language would be his bigger hurdle. Physically he developed about the same rate as peers his age, but the ability to speak was a struggle. The understanding of language was there but getting it out and able to express it was the problem. He would be latter diagnosed with apraxia and the tools to help him greatly changed as he grew. Early one we focused on sign language which is a great resource for any young child to express their needs and wants. Signing Time was the best resource for the whole family. There are many videos of various themes that can help a child easily communicate their needs to those around them. The downside of this is that whoever they are communicating with also needs to know sign language.
As he got older, we received a communication device from his school district. There are a number of dedicated devices just for communicating. Some of these devices are in the thousands of dollars but there are programs available to help aid with the cost. But thanks to technology advancing it's much easier to buy an iPad and download an app to help a child communicate with everyone around them. There are many to choose from and much of it depends on what the child is most comfortable and what will grow with their age and ability.
One of the things I decided early on is that my child will determine his capabilities. I would never limit him due to the preconceived notions of what he should be able to do. While he was younger and very active, I signed him up for sports with his typical peers. I found that most parents and other children were very accepting because, although different in some ways, he was still very much a child of their own age. As he grew and the competitive nature of his peers kicked in that is when we sought programs by special needs groups. Locally we have several such as Special Olympics, Special needs soccer association, TASK and horseback riding programs. There are many ways to get a child who happens to have special needs moving.
Through the years it was vital that I also learned how my child learned. Even as the fifth child I was very much surprised how my child's diagnosis would impact the way in which he actually learned. A huge help for us was The Maren Fund. Which is an awesome program that not only assists children with Down Syndrome to learn but also teaches parents, and those who are involved with their learning, how the children actually learned. There is much research out there that shows that it is much different than their typical peers so the best manner to teach them is to teach ourselves a different approach.
There are many resources out there to help aid parents with the raising of their child with special needs. Even as they age support will need to be given to them. So, it is imperative that parents seek out all that is available and be their foundation of learning and development. I cannot stress enough the importance of that foundation and the willingness to help your child to continue to grow and reach all of their capabilities. It truly starts from day one and will continue for as long as they require it. This path has been quite the blessing I will say. I have learned so much from my son in this short 12 years and I look forward to the growth of what we will both continue on.
Ann Tamimi wife and mother to five. Avid reader, scrapbooker and has large diy fantasies.
The Lamppost Education Initiative (Lamppost) is a non-profit 501c3 charitable dedicated to Islamic education for English-speaking Muslims. Lamppost provides a window into the rich Islamic tradition through the eyes of contemporary American Muslim scholars, intellectuals, activists, and leaders.
We offer to the public: live and pre-recorded webinars, classes, books, essays, and onsite enrichment programs dealing with the topics of Islam, Muslims, and the socio-cultural dynamics of American society. Our contributors offer expert analysis of current events that affect Muslims in the West and offerings in the classical Islamic disciplines. Lamppost features some of the foremost scholars of Islam in America. Scholars like Dr. Sherman Jackson, Imam Zaid Shakir, Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, Dr. Khalid Yayha Blankinship, and a host of other scholars and teachers.
Covid-19 increases the importance of our online learning efforts. The pandemic forced us to cancel our annual Conference-The Black American Muslim Conference-as a live event. Many masajid where Islamic classes and teaching occur are now closed and restricted due to this life-altering pandemic. This year we are conducting our Conference as an online event. Once again, Lamppost is featuring some of the most prominent Muslim-American scholars at this virtual event including, Imam Zaid Shakir, Imam Siraaj Wahaaj, Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, Dr. Jamillah Karim, Imam Fode Drame, Shaykh Khalil Abdur-Rashid, and many others. This Conference took place on October 16th, 17th, and 18th. More than ever, the Lamppost Education Initiative needs your financial support to provide more online sessions, events, and classes for Muslims in America.
Managing Director, Lamppost Education Initiative
Covid-19 has us all thinking about our own mortality, families are thinking about what happens to my family if I die too soon. Unfortunately, most families only own life insurance through their employer, yet we cannot depend on life insurance on our jobs because our jobs are not guaranteed and, usually they will not provide enough life insurance coverage to: leave your family the ability to pay all the expenses that you were covering for them while alive and leave them a legacy. In the Holy Quran, Surah Baqarah 2:240 states that, “husbands that die with a wife left behind to bequest maintenance for at least 1 year”. We must make sure our family can sustain whether we are living or returned back to Allah, it’s our duty.
Life insurance is the best way to do that because it provides an instant estate for your heirs, think about it, when most people want to leave their families houses, why not leave them MONEY, which will pay for the homes and other items. Term life insurance is the best way to accomplish this, it’s low cost which makes it easier to purchase larger amounts to be able to leave generational wealth, it’s pure insurance and works like your car/home insurance because you’re only paying for protection. I always say, “Death is the only Guarantee in life and Life insurance is the cheapest insurance you can buy, because you get to name your own price”. Let’s make sure we are gifting from the grave as our family is gifting us with dua’a from earth. My Salaams
Helena Clemons is a native of Brooklyn, NY; where she has resided in Atlanta, GA for the past 15 years; and has been state licensed in Life & Health insurance and a Financial Coach for 20 years. She’s been happily married for 25 years and has 4 adult children. Helena and her family also run a family business MBGW GLOBAL LLC of which she is the CEO/CFO: their focus is business development, real estate, health initiatives and novelties that make a statement. She dedicates her time educating families about business, wealth generation and credit repair, as she truly believes in group economics and community empowerment.
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