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Every year after Ramadan is finished, the very next day a holiday is celebrated by Muslims all over the world called Eid ul-Fitr. One of the things that people are required to do are give a specific charity leading up to Eid called Zakat ul-fitr. The charity goes to those in need and at the Islamic Center at New York University, we try to distribute it to people in our local community.

Last year, there was a young woman in our community that I ended up giving a large sum of zakat ul-fitr to. Amongst other things, her husband was negligent and abusive and her family was not supportive in any way. Rather, they told her they didn’t have room for her and couldn’t help. Knowing her personal situation and some of the things she had gone through, it was clear that she should be one of the people the zakat ul-fitr was given to. When I gave it to her, she took it from me and after a couple of minutes handed it back.

I was somewhat perplexed and asked her if she didn’t need it. She responded that she most certainly did, she just didn’t know what she was supposed to do with it. She had never paid a cell phone bill or credit card bill in her life. She never managed her own bank account or balanced her own budget. She needed more than just money. And we, unfortunately, were not providing it.

This woman, like so many others, needs a variety of services to help her get back on feet. Something that teaches her basic computer and life skills, how to write a resume, how to apply to a job, etc. In addition to her professional and personal development, she needs a place to live that is secure and safe from her abuser and counseling services to help her process everything she has gone through. How could she get all of that on her own? I felt foolish just handing her money.


Our issue is that when we think of our charitable giving, especially that which is religiously mandated, we think of it too much at times of the fulfillment of our obligation and not what the beneficiary class is really in need of. I can give to solely fulfill my obligation or I can give to fulfill my obligation and really help someone in need the way they need help. It wouldn’t really take that much for us to do the latter other than the time and patience necessary to strategize and become better organized, as I wrote about yesterday.

Ramadan Reflection Day 18: No Woman Left Behind by Imam Khalid Latif (via navigatethestream)

Just a reminder that it takes more than money to take care of people in your community. We should all take care of each other.

(via techno-gal)

(Source: pbnpineapples)







This is an enormous chain and I’m sorry, but I need to say this:

The laws in the Old Testament were set forth by god as the rules the Hebrews needed to follow in order to be righteous, to atone for the sin of Adam and Eve and to be able to get into Heaven. That is also why they were required to make sacrifices, because it was part of the appeasement for Original Sin.

According to Christian theology, when Jesus came from Heaven, it was for the express purpose of sacrificing himself on the cross so that our sins may be forgiven. His sacrifice was supposed to be the ultimate act that would free us from the former laws and regulations and allow us to enter Heaven by acting in his image. That is why he said “it is finished” when he died on the cross. That is why Christians don’t have to circumcise their sons (god’s covenant with Jacob), that is why they don’t have to perform animal sacrifice, or grow out their forelocks, or follow any of the other laws of Leviticus.

When you quote Leviticus as god’s law and say they are rules we must follow because they are what god or Jesus wants us to do, what you are really saying, as a Christian, is that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was invalid. He died in vain because you believe we are still beholden to the old laws. That is what you, a self-professed good Christian, are saying to your god and his son, that their plan for your salvation wasn’t good enough for you.

So maybe actually read the thing before you start quoting it, because the implications of your actions go a lot deeper than you think.

This is a theological point that doesn’t come up often enough.


This could help a lot of people.



I’m religious and my pastors NEVER told us this.

(Source: drunkonstephen)







Newborn baby stuns doctors by holding her own bottle (in the UK)

A baby girl has amazed doctors with her ability to hold her own feeding bottle. Two-week-old Ammra was able to grasp her bottle alone just three days after she was born at Queen’s Hospital, Romford in Essex, her mother Onyi Chiedozie said.The 20-year-old, who is using a combination of breast and bottle feeding, said doctors and nurses were stunned by the baby’s ability to master her strong grip so soon after she was born.


Black excellence 

this baby is gonna be a brain surgeon when she’s like 10

For people who are like big deal, she held a cup.

My nephew didn’t hold a bottle till he was like one.  Most babies don’t know how to process gravity or the concept of if you grip the bottle it stays close to you where you can suckle it and if you tilt it back the liquid is accessible and it’s a lot to process for a baby okay.

This baby is way ahead in neuromuscular and cognitive development. She’s one of the xmen probably, it’s really amazing, the equivalent of a baby saying it’s first word at 2 months old ok it’s really amazing

Okay above it said the 2week old held the bottle 3 days after it was born…

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