The Islamic Bulletin
The Islamic Bulletin
In 1992, Jacques got married to De Jahnee Jackson and had a son
named, Jacques Baston, Jr. Being married to De Jahnee and being
a father to his son were some of the high points in Jacques life.
He used to discuss Islam with his wife and explain to her how he
believed it was the right religion. Jacques had never believed in
the trinity and said that he did not want his children growing up
believing in it.
Even though he started reading and praying at the mosque, he did
not enter into the fold of Islam as he said he had to be perfect and
give up selling. He continued, however, to come for the Jumha
On Friday January 8, 1993, Jacques came to the mosque in Oakland,
performed the Jumha prayers and left to see some of his friends.
After Jumha, Tashiri went to visit Jacques. With Jacques were three
friends. Tashiri started speaking about the Akhira (after-life). He
started telling the four men that if anybody does bad things in this
life, eventually he must face Allah alone on the Day of Judgment.
Tashiri also explained that Muslims believe in Predestination-that
their time of death was already known. And, that they could leave
the building that same day and be killed or die in a car accident.
After a moving talk that touched their hearts, Jacques’ three friends
were ready to embrace Islam. They declared their faith in the “One
God, (Allah) and that Muhammad (PBUH) is the Messenger of God.”
The three also chose their Muslim names--Terry chose the name Ali,
Eric chose Hassan and Rodney chose Hakim. Then his friends asked
Jacques what was holding him from accepting Islam. He responded
that he was ready. Because Jacques was always smiling, the name
S’aid (happy) was appropriate. So Jaques became S’aid Mohammed.
The next day Said was killed in Richmond, California. Thanks to
God, he was guided to the true religion of Islam.
Tashiri went to S’aid’s family’s house and explained to the family
that since Jacques had accepted Islam, he would now need to be
buried Islamically. They agreed to the Islamic burial because they
were accustomed to hearing about Islam from Jacques. The family
only wanted to make a viewing of the body for family and friends.
The Islamic funeral ceremony was arranged where S’aid Moham-
med was washed and wrapped in cloth. His body was viewed by his
family and friends at Fuller Funeral home in Oakland. No music nor
touching of the body was allowed. Three hundred people came to
the funeral home, mostly non-Muslims, including major drug dealers
dressed in suits and silk shirts. Brother Tashiri opened the talk with
Surah (verse) Al’Fatiha (Qur’an Surah 1). Surah Yasin (Qur’an Surah
36) was then recited. Imam Abdulmalik followed with a talk and
the ceremony was closed with Surah Al’Asr:
“By the time, Verily Man is in loss, except such as have Faith, and
do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual enjoining
of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy.” (Qur’an Surah 103)
A few of S’aid’s Muslim friends, who were dressed in Islamic
clothing, were surrounded by police cars while they were going
to the Islamic cemetery. They were taken to the police station
for questioning. The funeral procession proceeded to the grave
site. The Imam then started the Janaza (funeral) prayer as the
Muslims were forming a straight line and were joined by the other
non-Muslims and a priest who were repeating “Allah Hu Akbar”!!
S’aid was carried from the casket and lowered into the grave and
placed on his right side facing Qiblah (Mecca).
May Allah have mercy on his soul.
Editor’s Comment: The Hadith quoted at the beginning shows
how a man behaves like the people of the Hell-fire and is an
arm’s length between him and it; and that which has been
written overtakes him and so he behaves like the people
of Paradise and thus enters it. Inshallah we must all take a
good look at the lifestyles we are leading. None of us have
any guarantee that Paradise awaits for us. Now is the time,
especially during Ramadan, to repent to Allah and begin to
lead true Islamic lifestyles, Inshallah!
Colombo - A group of 10 Bay Area Muslims visited Sri Lanka for the
purpose of dahwa work. Sri Lanka is a country consisting of 16 mil-
lion people, of which 10% are Muslim, 65% Buddhist, 20% Hindu,
and 5% Christian. Tradition has it that Prophet Adam’s (AS) footstep
is imprinted on an area which is now covered by a mountain. The
mountain, named Mount Adam, is in the city of Halton and is said
to cover the footstep of Prophet Adam (AS).
Sri Lanka has approximately 2,000 mosques. In small villages, 100%
of the Muslims attend the five daily prayers at the local mosques. In
larger cities, the Masjids are filled to 60% capacity at every prayer.
The Muslims in Sri Lanka are very active and devoted to the Islam-
ic cause. Although the government is not a Muslim government,
Muslims are well represented. There is one speaker in Parliament,
one Trade Minister, and one in Ministry of Religion and Culture.
There are even official government holidays celebrating the Eid
of Ramadan, the Hajj and Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) birthday.
The first masjid in Sri Lanka, in the city of Beruwala, was built by
Yemeni merchants. There are now many Islamic centers throughout
the country. In the larger Islamic centers, 5,000 Muslims attend their
weekly program; in the smaller centers, there is an attendance rate
of 2,000 Muslims for their weekly programs. In 1983, there was
a huge Ijtimah (Islamic meeting) in which 90% of the Muslims in
Sri Lanka attended. This huge success rate was due to the fact that
every Muslim family was personally invited. There was a group of
Muslims who went house to house visiting the Muslim families and
inviting them to attend the Ijtimah.
Sri Lanka also houses many Islamic schools. The #1 rated Islamic
school in Sri Lanka, named Zahira, is in the city of Colombo. There
is even an all-girl Muslim school, ILMA International, in Colombo.
More Islamic schools are opening up to fill the demand in the in-
crease of Muslim students.
The S.F. Brothers had a very productive trip and the time spent
in Sri Lanka was extremely beneficial. They felt accepted and the
hospitality extended to them was very gracious. The Muslims in Sri
Lanka are more than willing to extend their arms to foreign jamaats.
While in Sri Lanka, the S.F. Brothers had two Buddhist converts to
Islam. Due to the visit of the S.F. Brothers in Sri Lanka, we now have
9 Brothers from Sri Lanka visiting the Bay Area.
Many of our readers will remember Noor Cassim, the gentleman
who was portrayed in the June 1991 issue of the Islamic Bulletin,
WHY I EMBRACED ISLAM? Noor Cassim, who is from Sri Lanka,
was a priest named Father Anthony Perera O.M.I. (Order of Mary
Immaculate), before accepting Islam. Brother Noor Cassim is vis-
iting the Bay Area Masjids at the present time; in fact, while this
issue is being written. May Allah bless Brother Cassim and the rest
of the Sri Lanka Jamaat who are traveling with him and spreading
the word of Allah.
A continuation from previous article
A South African Jamaat (SAJ) of four brothers left from Nizamudin,
India to the former USSR. They took with them Qurans, Islamic
literature, and other items such as dates, topis, and miswasks to
be given as presents. Religious freedom had been restored to the
people about three years ago. The prior 73 years, all Masjids and
Madressas were closed or used for non-religious purposes. Learning
and teaching of Quran and Islam were banned; but the spark of
Iman (faith) was kept alive by practicing Islam secretly in homes or
underground tunnels at the risk of death or imprisonment. Thou-
sands of ulema (scholars) were massacred during the beginning of
the century and thereafter those that were caught teaching religion
were sent to labor camps. Islam still managed to survive.
The SAJ went to the former USSR to help further the revitalization of
Islam. The first city the SAJ went to was Tashkent. It is the 4th largest
city of the former U.S.S.R. and the capital of Uzbekistan Republic.
At the Tashkent Airport, they were met by two Muslim brothers.
They went directly to the masjid in the heart of old Tashkent city.
The masjid is very active and there were nearly 200 people for Fajr
Salat. Before its reopening, it was used as a government storeroom
and in latter days as a hotel and bar. Most masjids are very large,
with spacious courtyards, plenty of rooms, and central heating. The
masjids are a good indication of the past days of Islam.
The people were very humble, kind, and soft spoken. Visitors were
held in very high esteem. In the masjid, the SAJ was given a place in
the first Saff (row). Azaan is respected very greatly and is performed
over a microphone in all the masjids. No one talks or walks around
during Azaan. These people are lovers of the Quran and the SAJ
ran short of copies to distribute.
It is a custom there for people to gather for any ceremony like an
Akikah, Walimah, etc. This was also one of the ways Deen was kept
alive. All types of fruit, sweet meats, soups, and shish kebabs were
offered. The SAJ went to several of these gatherings at which the
Quran was read, Bayaan (talk) was given and the work of Dahwa
(invitation) was explained.
The next day the SAJ flew to Kokand. They were met at the airport
by Sheikh Noaman and representatives of Mr. Yakubou Yusufjan, the
mayor and an oil mill director. In Kokand there are about 180,000
Muslims of a total population of 200,000.
From Kokand the SAJ went to Margillan. There are 200 Masjids
there of which 46 are opened. Jumha Salat takes place in 8 Masjids.
There they met Sheikh Sabir who asked them to give the Bayaan
at the masjid. About 400 people sat for the Bayaan. The work of
Dahwa was explained in detail. After Asr he took them to another
masjid and asked them to give a Bayaan after Maghrib. The masjid
was filled to capacity.
Two programs were arranged for the SAJ in both the high and prima-
ry schools. As they entered the school’s hall, all the students stood
and recited Kalima Tayyiba: La-ilaha illallah Mohammed Rasullallah.
This made the Sheikh and the SAJ cry. The Sheikh told the students
how fortunate they were that in their youth, religious freedom has
been granted to the country. The SAJ spoke on the Omnipotence
of Allah, life after death, Jannah (paradise), and even established
local volunteers in the masjid.
After Asr the SAJ took a few brothers with them to the Taron Ba-
zaar Masjid in the City Center for Maghrib. There the etiquette of
inviting was explained. Four jammats of seven brothers were made.
However when they went out, more brothers insisted on joining.
Some jamaats had up to twenty brothers. The people listened very
attentively. When they left the Taron Bazaar Masjid, “Riyad Al Sali-
heen” was given to the Imam to be read daily after salat.
The next morning the SAJ left for Fargana. From Fargana, they went
to Andizaan, the birthplace of Sultan Baber, founder of Mogul
Empire of India. The Jumha Masjid they went to was very large.
There were approximately 7000 people who prayed Jumha Salat
there. The SAJ gave the Khutba (Friday talk) in Arabic. There were
10 Jumha Masjids and about 700 small masjids. Youngsters there
were very keen, and enjoyed listening to the SAJ.
From Fargana the SAJ went to the border of the Republic of Kirgizia,
which is divided from China by a mountain range. Local people say
the Sahaba (Companions of the Prophet) (RA) crossed this mountain
range and entered China. A local brother had organized the day’s
program for the SAJ. Hundreds of people attended. Their desire for
religion after 73 years of isolation made the jamaat’s Iman (faith)
strong. The next morning they took a 10 hour train ride back to
Tashkent. Back in Tashkent, the SAJ slept in the masjid of Qari Abid
Jaan. They were amazed to see about 15 youngsters learning the
Quran until 11 pm at night. These youngsters loved to wear Islamic
attire, which unfortunately was not readily available.
The SAJ concluded their trip by returning to Tashkent and visiting
Idana-Diniya. A Quran from the time of Hazrat Osman (RA), which
is written on leather, is there. The Quran had been taken away by
the government and returned only three years ago.
The SAJ reported that many masjids have now opened. In addition,
six Islamic schools have been established. In many towns Hafiz and
Quran classes have started. For many years, jamaats from India,
Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the UK have been working and their
fruits could be seen. The SAJ encourages other jamaats to travel to
the former USSR.
San Francisco, California - Recently, representatives of the Islamic
Center were invited to speak at a Group Home for Children which
is run by the City and County of San Francisco. The Home had
two teen-age Muslim boys in residence and the staff wanted more
information about Islam so that they could better understand the
needs of their wards. After giving the staff a brief talk on Islam, the
Islamic Center brothers also met briefly with the two young men.
One was from Yemen, the other from Afghanistan. They were both
very interested in attending prayers at the Masjid and arrangements
where made to accommodate them. Islamic literature was left for
the staff and the boys. The boys also asked for copies of the Holy
Quran, which were given to them.
This visit was very moving and points out the variety of work which
the Islamic community has to do to attend to the spiritual needs of
Muslims in all levels of society. There is a growing need for volun-
teers to work with the Muslim youth as they try to make the very
difficult adjustment of integrating into mainstream America with its
very un-Islamic values. In addition to homeless or troubled Muslim
youths, another growing problem is runaway teen-age girls who are
rejecting traditional Islamic family values in favor of the decadent
western ways. We need to identify resources in the Social services
community which may be sympathetic and supportive of objectives
to help our Muslim youth, males and females, protect their Islamic
beliefs and values. This is particularly urgent for those youth that
are receiving public assistance in any form, such as foster home
care, as was the case here.
If you are interested in working with Muslim youth, or if you know
of social work resources which might be able to help, please contact
us at 415-552-8831.