Ramadan Mubarak (Blessed Ramadan)

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

 

Ramadan is expected to begin on May 16th, give or take a day.  This will be posted early to encourage Muslims to begin preparation.  Some helpful information was shared on the FaceBook site.  Check it out.  Ramadan Mubarak in Advance!

“O who believe, fasting is decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you; perchance you will guard yourselves.”

“The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down, a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion.” (Quran: Chapter 2, 183)

The fourth pillar of Islam is Sawm or Fasting in the month of Ramadan. Fasting is also practiced in many other religions and is mentioned in the Torah and Bible as well as in Hindu scriptures. Observant Christians fast during Lent by giving up a particular food. Hindus fast on certain days of the week or on holidays, and for Jews, the most important day of fasting is on Yom Kippur, which lasts a little over a day.

Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic Calendar. Because Ramadan follows the lunar calendar, it rotates through the seasons, moving back around eleven days each year. Last year, Ramadan started on May 27th and this year, Ramadan will begin on May 16.

Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, abstaining from food and drink during this time. The aim of the fast is to weaken the physical desire or self and allow for the purification of the soul. It’s a process of spiritual purification and strengthening of willpower to carry us through the year. Muslims break their fast with dates and water followed by the evening prayer and dinner.

Those who are sick or unable to fast, such as elderly, pregnant or nursing women, travelers, and of course children, are exempt from fasting. However, they do participate in the spiritual part of Ramadan, rejuvenating their faith and growing closer to God through extra worship, feeding the poor, charity and other good deeds.

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Lessons on power and oppression from Moses 6

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

God! There is no deity but He! To Him belong the most Beautiful Names. Has the story of Moses reached thee? (Qur’an 20:8-9)

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Sometimes, it takes time before God’s justice will manifest. Oppressors are sometimes given many chances for repentance and transformation.  Some receive, while others reject and grow in delusion.

I was trying to decide which article by scholars on trauma to share, but the reading is quite long and difficult to follow.  However, I found this article on psychotherapy which is a very easy reading that can help you follow my analysis in this piece.  Try to read it before continuing with the rest of this reflection piece.

God opened a door of repentance, and, in the case of the magicians, they saw the truth and told Pharaoh:

So the magicians were thrown down to prostration: they said, “We believe in the Lord of Aaron and Moses”.

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Learning from charlatans

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

Imam Ibn Hazm has noted, those who cross the line when offering advice and help become a “seeker of submission and possession,” are wrongdoers and not advisers.

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Sometimes, you meet people with knowledge. These people both expand your horizons and strengthen your faith in God. Sometimes, you meet charlatans. At first, they seem to offer you sincere advice and assistance, and yet it turns out to be toxic.

How can we tell the difference, and what can we learn from charlatans?

Sometimes God puts you in the path of charlatans. This isn’t so they can teach you wisdom, but so you can learn gratitude and humility from those who—like Satan and Pharaoh—try to pressure you into pledging your allegiance to them instead of God.  They will encourage you not to give money to ‘XYZ’ to encourage you to give money to them.

Knowledge and wisdom are a form of power. However, when they are misapplied, as by charlatans, they can do serious damage. It’s important to learn from charlatans what not to do.

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Emotional Bullying and Being a ‘Winner’ in Life

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

“Once a target realises this, they can take comfort from the fact that every time they are blamed, criticised or subjected to another specious allegation by the bully, the bully is implicitly admitting or revealing something about themselves.”
–Kitty Jones

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For a few years, a woman contacted me regarding a story about her in the shadows that was widely circulating.

Bits by bits the story unfolded itself to her, not through honest and open discussion, but slander, projection, bullying, emotional blackmail, gaslighting, mental abuse, harassment, and stalking.

The story began with another woman who wanted to bring her down and humble her. This woman saw herself as a matriarch and took it upon herself to act as Judge, Jury, and Executioner of the town. She demanded respect from everyone and wanted all women to acknowledge her sense of greatness in their eyes.

This woman created a team of people and designated each a role. One played the spokesperson, other the spies, some the hyenas who publicly attacked the woman targeted if she responds back. Others played an assigned role when it was needed.

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It is caucus time; we need your support.

Minnesota precinct caucuses will be held today, February 6, starting at 7:00 pm.  You might want to come early if you want to support Minnesota Break the Bonds in passing a couple of resolutions.  We also have a FaceBook group if you want to join us.

 

So what is a caucus?

Precinct caucuses are meetings run by Minnesota’s political parties. They are the first in a series of meetings where parties may endorse candidates, select delegates, and set goals and values (called party platforms).

In 2018, one part of precinct caucuses will be a preference ballot for the candidates you want your political party to support for Governor.

If you want a visual aid instead of reading watch the following video:

 

How does it work?

You can click on here for more information on finding your party caucus, on eligibility and how the night unfolds.

At the caucus you also get to introduce resolutions for your party to include and address.  This is your chance to push solutions that will nurture a better Minnesota.

If you are planning to go, please consider supporting Minnesota Break the Bonds by introducing the following resolutions for your party to include in their platform:

  • Resolution 1:

Category:  Government Accountability to the public.

The State of MN must not invest in nor contract with nations or corporations violating human rights laws. – The State Board of Investment formerly had guidelines to restrict investments in countries and corporations which did not violate human rights, labor rights or environmental protections. When MN BBC urged them to follow their own guidelines, they instead threw out the guidelines altogether. We want them back!

  • Resolution 2:

Category: Civil, Human and Constitutional Rights.

The State of MN must not restrict the Constitutional rights to Free Speech and advocacy by individuals and organizations, nor retaliate against the exercise of those rights. – This should not be controversial, right? But the MN legislature passed, and Governor Dayton signed into law, a bill which does exactly that: it requires a person or company doing business with the state to sign a certification that it does not participate in a boycott of Israel. If the individual cannot sign this certification the state will not grant the contract. Similar laws were ruled unconstitutional in a Supreme Court ruling Claybourne Hardware v NAACP, and recently a court threw out a similar law in Kansas.

Ask your party chair for resolution form or find it online and fill it out in advance.

Minnesota DFL Resolution Form
Republican Resolution Form

Please bring these resolutions to your caucuses on February 6, and please let us know what the results were!

Engage Minnesota!

‘Nobody’s perfect’

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

Indeed, those who are in denial about their own specific imperfections are often obsessed with the imperfections of others.

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People often say: “Nobody’s perfect.” Many motivational speakers and life coaches are fond of the phrase. Even Adam, the first among us, wasn’t perfect. It’s undeniably true, and obsessing over perfection can be a harmful practice. But what sorts of things can we hide behind the phrase “nobody’s perfect?”

Imagine a child who is raised in a family where, every time he does something wrong, his parents make excuses: “He didn’t mean it,” “he’s a good boy,” “everyone makes mistakes.” Instead of the child facing the consequences of his actions, accepting responsibility, and repairing the harm, he avoids them because “he’s only human.”

This can result in a case like Brock Turner’s, where, even when he has been convicted of rape, his parents make excuses and help him evade responsibility. Here, the mantra that “I’m not perfect” becomes a way of refusing to deal with one’s crimes.

Indeed, those who are in denial about their own specific imperfections are often obsessed with the imperfections of others.

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