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Toronto Textbook Controversy and the Media Circus

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Sayyid Rizvi delivers a lecture addressing the media allegations.Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, resident scholar of the ISIJ who has been at the face of the issue, has assured the wider community that an internal review is underway to determine the lack of process in this addition.

The Question of Religious Identity

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United We Stand?There is no arguing that Islam, being a religion of justice and equality, has zero tolerance for racism. The religion seeks to root out every form of racial prejudice and discrimination through various means, congregational prayers being a stark reminder where Muslims stand in rows, shoulder to shoulder as brothers in faith, where no distinction is made by race, ethnicity, or social standing. As it is stated quite clearly in the Qur'an, "Verily, the most honorable among you in the sight of God is he who is the most righteous, the most God-conscious among you." (49:13)

It's a Girl!

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It's a girl!When we analyze history, we will find that there are numerous occasions where the female offspring have brought special honor to the family till the end of time. For example, the birth of Lady Maryam was a unique blessing and honor for the family of Imran.

You're Married...Now What?

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Newly married couples should definitely take advantage of marriage counseling from a religious scholar or even from secular sources in order get help in meeting the challenges of marriage. There are however some simple things couples can do to keep their marriage strong and lively. One major challenge to overcome is time management. When we are single, we have plenty of time to perform our obligations and pursue any extra-curricular activities we desire. Once married, time management becomes an issue, as time must be given to family, friends, work, the community, and recreational activities. Both husband and wife must plan ahead and learn how to spend their time wisely.

Awesome Speakers or Humble Scholars?

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When it comes to service in religious matters, such as delivering Islamic lectures and reciting at the mourning gatherings of Imam Hussain, it is not befitting from a moral and spiritual perspective for a scholar to demand a huge compensation, because ultimately, it is his obligation to provide spiritual nourishment to the community. Also, doing so certainly takes away from the dignity of the scholar and goes against the etiquette of a respected Aalim. A scholar is benefited from and taken as a spiritual guide not just because the amount of knowledge he carries, but equally importantly because of the way he carries himself in his behavior and the self-respect which he invites towards himself based on his apparent actions and lifestyle.

Dealing with Bullying

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Kids also have to be taught how to behave and respond to bullies. Teaching kids how not to respond with anger is important, so that the cycle does not continue. Yes, it is important for kids to be able to defend themselves, but teaching kids to be rude back will not help them develop into problem-solvers; rather, they will just learn how to respond aggressively. When kids learn to be problem-solvers, they will be able to define their problem, converse in a respectful manner, and create solutions. If parents only teach their kids to run away from the problem or fight back, then the kids will not develop into strong problem-solvers.

Third International Revert Muslims Conference Held in Ontario

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The intention behind organizing a revert conference was not to separate reverts from the general Shia Muslim population, but rather to bring together reverts and born-Muslims alike from diverse backgrounds to address education, needs, and issues encountered by both reverts and born-Muslims in the West. One of the beautiful things about the conference is the fact that believers from many different communities – and, in the case of many reverts, believers from no community at all – gather to experience the benefits of brotherhood and sisterhood. Many were moved by the sense of togetherness, and a sister from the US even announced her intention to convert to Islam after being invited to the conference and having felt the love and beauty of Islam at the event.

Depression, Lying, and Suicide among Muslim Youth

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Here are just a few recent happenings: a middle schooler (age 11-13 years old) openly admits to suicidal thoughts and with signs of cutting herself. A high school student with a chronic lying problem telling students and teachers she was pregnant and had an abortion when in 8th grade, getting married in 9th grade, working jobs in 10th grade, and the lies continued. Other students are seen with extremely low self-esteem and confidence, or the extreme opposite with arrogance, which in actuality are just their defense mechanisms in action. College students now believing they are gay or lesbian because they saw their parents in an unhappy marriage. These are all examples from Muslim families.

That's Just Disgusting!

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Ignorance is disgusting.To the man who sought to intimidate me this past Saturday by calling my proud Muslim identity "disgusting", I guess I should thank you. You have helped me realize there is something disgusting out there, but it is not I. It is your ignorant mind.

The Communication Gap Killing Our Families

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Where are we failing?Open communication will help families thrive and have a happy home. It is hard to have a happy home if kids are mad at their parents for days, weeks, and months, and vice versa. The more we hold "things" against each other, the harder it will be to love and respect each other. We need to take the time and reflect on how our communication skills are with our families. If we are able to respect and talk to strangers and others nicely, what is it that is making us angry at home and snappy and full of attitude when we talk to our siblings, children, or parents?

Our Allegiance to Islam

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Are we loyal to Islam or our individual causes?

It is not shocking to see that many youth avoid involvement in youth groups due to the fact they are often run by individuals set in their own ways and biases towards others. The lack of willingness among youth groups and other Islamic organizations has disillusioned many talented individuals of merits whose abilities would have served Islam profoundly in our era. Indeed, the believers are brothers to one another, and yet we say this phrase with our tongues while maintaining dislike and discord towards other servants in our hearts. While organizations that have clearly violated Islamic laws should be disassociated from in the spirit of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, this is rarely the case. Many times, petty and un-Islamic issues are the basis for Islamic groups trash-talking and destroying the work of others. In countless situations, we see the diseases of the soul manifest themselves in our actions towards other organizations.